Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's that time of year.

Cross racing is coming to a close, which is fine by me. Now don't get me wrong, I love racing cross. I am just having one heck of a time convincing myself to train at any kind of intensity lately.

So its getting to be that time of year I find my weight creeping upwards and my avg speed on rides creeping downward. Usually I would be flipping out right about now, but with a full season behind, I am okay with letting by legs relax a little before I get back in training mode again for the spring.

There are a bunch of Cross races this week, on up to next weekend. I am not sure if I will be doing any of them though. My form is definitely fading and I have been riding like I have a bag of bricks tied to my waist. I hate racing and not being competitive. Simply participating is not very fun for me.

So we will see, perhaps after my sugar cookie hangover is gone, I might feel a bit differently by the weekend. Who knows...

One thing hasne't changed though. My disdain for trainers. I think I have ADHD or something, I have been on it twice and I can't bare the thought of a third time.

Check out what I got my little man for Christmas, his first bike! Sweeeet... I can't wait to get him out on two wheels!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Boss Cross 5

Headed down to Parkville MO, 5 min from where I grew up and raced Boss Cross 5 down at English Landing Park.

What is neat (to me) about this particular race is not only was I a home grown KC north-ender but my first cross race ever was here. 3 years ago the Hippy and I came down and tried out the cross thing. Took our SS MTB down with us and gave it a shot. Both came in DFL and one from DFL but it was the bug that bit us bad! I like to think that running a 32x18 had something to do with the DFL's but that's another story.

Off to racing.... English Landing is pretty flat, which does not suit me at all, but I have been feeling pretty good last couple of races.

Even better, I had the fam down with me! Well most of it anyway..
Yes, I am a lucky man..
Lined up front row (Cat 3) and herd Joe Fox announce that first lap gets a 12 of Boulevard. Hummm, I might just have to push it a little more than I would, see what happens.

Were off and I hit the hole shot about 5 deep. Anyone who had any legs took off about the time we hit the paved trail and thinned out the field quit a bit. There was a technical section by the river that had a sand "run" up which was pretty easy to ride if there wasn't any traffic.

First lap, there was traffic, and we all got stalled out at the top. Got back on the rig and crossed the first lap in 3rd, just missed out on my free Boulevard.

Most of the race consisted of 1&2 dropping me on the flat paved section and me catching back up on the sand/180 turns and the "run" up.
The "run" up
Fast forward to the last couple of laps and I devised a game plan. The plan was have 1&2 play with each other and tire out. I will draft off of them on the pave section and then haul arse to the finish in first.

Well....... Second to last lap we hit the run up, which I have been riding and getting all kinds of time on them and we got into lapped traffic.

We hit the run up and someone was running the uphill on the line and there was no way for me to ride it. This pretty much ended my hopes for the W. The boys had hit it hard on the last lap and there was no way for me to close a gap that big in one lap. Bummer....

Cool thing is we completely left the field behind us, which made me feel a bit of accomplishment. Not as much as a win would have done though!

On another note.. Granted I am not a Cat 1 bad arse, but if you can't ride sections of the course, please don't run on the only line available. Get to the side and run it. Thank you!



On another (another) note.. Huge props to Joe A and Chuong D for racing open!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Colavita Cup!!

Raced on Saturday at the Colavita Cup down at Stump Park and Wow! I have to hand it to the Colavita guys, they can make one hell of a cross course!! Every one they put on turns into my favorite courses to race..

 Manions = Flippen Awesome
Colavita Cup = Also Flippen Awesome!

I just love courses that are not pancake flat, get some good elevation change and throw in some off camber 180’s and we have a cross course fellas.

The Cat 3 field was as deep as I have seen it, 39 lined up behind the Open 1, 2’s. We were going the same 50min and starting 20 seconds behind them.

Lined up with the usual suspects and had Travis to contend with for the first time.  My plan was to just hop onto John Williams wheel and see what happens.  For the second time this year at the start I had trouble clipping in, but still hammered the best I could so that I did not get to far behind. About the time I get up and going, JW broke his chain so a new game plan had to be devised.

Got up and going about 6-8 back and on the first lap noticed that guys were having trouble on the off camber stuff and I noticed I was climbing pretty good also. After the first lap and things had calmed down a bit I kept a pretty strong pace (for me anyway). Game plan was to go pretty hard on the climbs and then just hold my spot through the technical areas.

Here is Doan's cam of the first lap. He had be beat til we hit the barriers when I pass him, think he held on for the rest of the rest of race a couple guys back. Good race for him..

After several laps in I started dropping the field, yet the top 3 were hauling arse and you could tell. I kept passing 4th place at the same spot on a switchback each lap so I knew he was in range but I wasn’t making any headway.  

Last couple laps in and I had caught and passed a couple open 1/2’s which I thought was too cool. Only other times I raced behind them, I had a nice DNF with a  crash and a mechanical.

About the time I got to start feeling good about myself was about the same time I got lapped by Joe Schmalz. Holy hell batman, that will humble you in a hurry. I did however make a pivital decision at this point, im gonna hold his effing wheel up this hill if it kills me... Which I did, then I blew up, it was great..Anyway, not to much longer after that came Elwell and then Coe.

Coming down to the last couple laps I pull an Andy Schleck and downshifted like a moron and dropped my chain. I was sitting 5th chasing 4th and got passed while putting my chain back on. While I thought we had one more lap I thought to myself not to panic, just get going and put in a good dig up the hill and pass him back there if I can.

Once we get towards the end of the lap, over the ditch named Mrs. Stiches I see the guy looking back. Immediately I knew that only meant one thing… S*^T!!!! This was the last lap... I wondered if being lapped by some of the open guys would affect the number of laps we had left, and now I knew… Owe well.. I had a good race, and it was a blast!!

Here is a great example of what I am talking about when some of these folks have a really hard time riding off camber sections.
 That guy got drilled, hope he is alright..

On another quick note, Jake (Rider for Colavita) was hit by a SUV sometime last week or so. Send him some good mojo so he can get back on his ride and start kicking are are butts again..

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UK Style Hill Climbs???

Saw this over at RKP and tought it was... Well.. Awesome!!

Tuesdays with Wilcockson: Could UK-style hill climbs be big in the US?October 30, 2012 by    

Jonathan Vaughters climbs one of England’s notoriously steep hills.
Since I moved to the States, American friends have often asked me what I miss most about “England’s green and pleasant land.” I tell them I miss the expected things: meeting old friends for a chat at the village pub, hiking with my brother in the Surrey hills, or watching a good game of English football. But what I really miss—and only a British club cyclist would fully understand—is hill-climb season.
English hill climbs aren’t long, but they’re very, very steep! These short, intense time trials organized by cycling clubs all over the country are among the most popular events in British cycling. Maybe we should import the idea to America….
Hill-climb season happens right now, peaking around Halloween, when there’s a nip in the air, a thick mist hanging over waterlogged fields, and slick, wet leaves covering the back roads where the races take place. These hill climbs are usually two- or three-minute efforts up near-vertical, ancient roads that over the centuries have cut a trench into chalk or sandstone ridges. And the climbs have evocative names such as Horseblock Hollow, Pea Royd Lane, or The Rake.
This past Sunday, a 22-year-old club cyclist from Lancashire named Jack Pullar won the British national hill climb championship on that very hill: The Rake. It starts outside the library in the village of Ramsbottom, passes the Rose & Crown pub a short way up the climb’s easier opening half, and finishes just before another pub, the Shoulder of Mutton. Thousands of fans, most of whom arrived by bike, lined the 874-meter-long climb that averages 11 percent, and has long stretches of between 20 and 25 percent.
Competitors on Sunday had to cope with head winds and a fine drizzle, making it tough to avoid wheel spin on the steepest parts, so Pullar didn’t get closer than five seconds to the course record of 2:16.9. That time was set, remarkably, 19 years ago by Jeff Wright, who used a fixed gear of 42×19 on a good day! Fixed-gear bikes are preferred on these short, sharp ascents because of the more-direct transfer of power to the single rear cog.
Such is the intensity of “sprinting” up these rugged climbs that some riders end up zigzagging across the road or even having to stop and run. Most are in agony when they finish. After his championship-winning effort, Pullar told Cycling Weekly: “My body shut down when I finished, and even when my friends told me I’d won, I said I couldn’t have cared less.”
There are few efforts in cycling that are as demanding as a British hill climb. You quickly go into the red zone, just as you would in a kilometer time trial or individual pursuit on the track. But there’s no elevation gain riding around a velodrome! I can still remember a hill climb I did up that aforementioned Horseblock Hollow, which averages 11.4 percent for a kilometer with some of those nasty 20-percent pitches that characterize English climbs. The anaerobic effort was so excruciating that, on stopping, I lurched to the side of the road like a drunkard and threw up.
It’s because every rider has to race at his or her maximum intensity that hill climbs are so popular with spectators. The starting order in English time trials is different from those in Europe, where the fastest riders nearly always start at the end of the field. In the UK, in a field of 120 riders, the best riders are seeded from the back, but at 10-minute intervals, with bib numbers 10, 20…through to 100, 110 and 120. That keeps the crowd’s interest high throughout the event, usually with a resounding climax at the end.
Virtually all of the UK’s hill climbs take place in September and October, with the top national contenders probably riding a dozen separate races, sometimes twice on the same weekend. One of the most popular, and easily the oldest, is the Catford Classic Hill Climb, which was first held in 1886 and has been staged for the past 127 years, except for breaks during the two world wars. It’s held on a course an hour south of London. Yorks Hill, which starts at a dead-end farm lane, climbs for 646 meters (707 yards) at a 12.5-percent average gradient, with two pitches of 25 percent. Amazingly, despite advances in bike technology and training, the course record of 1:47.6 by South London rider Phil Mason has stood for 29 years!
Just a handful of Britain’s hill climbs are longer than 10 minutes, with the short, sharp ones giving fans the most excitement. And just as cyclo-cross has successfully crossed the Atlantic, perhaps UK-style hill climbs could be the next big thing for bike racing in North America, especially if they are compressed into a similar, short season in the fall.
Most of the current U.S. hill climbs, up mountain peaks such as Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Mount Evans in Colorado, and Mount Tamalpais in California, are held in the summer and are mass-start road races, not time trials. The few uphill TTs include those at Pinnacle Hill, near Albany, New York; Lookout Mountain, near Denver; and San Bruno Mountain, near San Francisco. These are all 15-minute climbs, which is at the top end of the classic UK hill-climb format.
The nearest we’ve come to a British-style event was the one raced up the Manayunk Wall in Philadelphia, which was an amateur time trial held on the Friday night prior to the Philadelphia International Championship. In 2000, that race was also contested by a number of pros, with the victory going to former U.S. pro champ Eddy Gragus, who recorded a 1:50.18 for the one-kilometer course—which had a flat opening section before reaching the 400-meter Wall and its maximum grade of 17 percent.
Many American cities have steep streets that could host hill climbs—including places such as Pittsburgh, Richmond, San Francisco or Seattle—while most experienced riders know about steep hills in their local areas. Imagine a race up Sycamore Street in Pittsburgh, which was a highlight of the Thrift Drug Classic in the 1990s; or up San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill, which has seen prologues for the Coors Classic in the 1980s and the more-recent Tour of California.
Short, snappy hill climbs in the autumn are made for riders who race criteriums all summer. In fact, in the month before he started an unbeaten run in this year’s hill-climb season, new British climbing champ Pullar was doing a crit series—and now he’s talking of following in the footsteps of his countrymen Chris Froome, John Tiernan-Locke and Brad Wiggins, and heading to the Continent.
Curiously, British television has yet to embrace hill climbs, but their sudden-death format and enthusiastic crowds are compelling ingredients for great viewing. And in this country, where reality TV is king, a sports event with instant impact could even make it big. I’d love it to happen because, then, I wouldn’t get homesick in hill-climb season.

Damn!!! My legs burn just watching this thing!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Joules Cross (Day 1)

Wow, what a race... Head on over to TwinSix get a race report.

Little bit more detailed one here.

I really like this course, it levels the playing field for some of us who ride fat tires a bunch.

The Cat 3 field was a bit smaller than usual 18 I think, down from our 30+. I still recognized quite a few of the usual suspects and then Doug Long decided to throw his hat in the ring. CHoppe just told me that he was riding very well, but did not think much of it at the time.

Race started great, after the start I sat in comfortably about 4 back. The pace was not very crazy yet, so I just sat on some wheels and see how it plays out. Once section went around a pond, a steep downhill, left turn and then back up the hill. This was my first race on my killer set up disc carbon tubluars. The Tufo's comer on rails. This is my fist set of tubluars and I grew very confident in them very quickly.
Climbing back up this section behind the pond
On the first time through this section I was able to rail the corner and take up a position rather easily. Took up second and then took up a mini attack after the "spiral of death" and took the lead. Hells to the yes!!!
This is my first lead ever in a Cat 3 race and let me tell you I was planning to make the most of it.
Chasing Jake in the Spiral od
Lap 2 in and I had made a small gap on the guys behind me. Bombed down the hill behind the pond and I bit it hard! Ended up head over heels and went from First to Fifth just like that..

I was still feeling pretty good, messed up the bike a little bit but still rideable. Took up a place or two and then Doug Long blew right by me. I held on his wheel during the flat section up top, but could barley do that.
For those that don't know him, he just blew away the 60+ Masters and is now kicking my arse.

Down to a handful of laps to go and Doug and I are pulling back up to John and Jake in the lead. When I say Doug and I what I mean is Dough is pulling and I am chasing onto his wheel like a mad man.
3 laps to go and I think we have a good shot at getting back before the last lap.

Halfway though the lap and one of the race refs (I don't know what to call them) ran to us ringing a cow bell saying oilha[ofei one oijoij[sipoj] hjso[hoihj hoiafhe9 left....
You know, when your 30 min deep into a 45 min race, you have like 25% oxygen remaining in your head. After a couple turns later its slowly starts sinking in... Did she say this is the last lap?
I  held up my pace contemplating what to do, I am not sure what in the hell is going on at this point. Then as were running out of real estate I thought it better to hammer it home, just in case it actually is the last lap. Caught up with Doug at the top of the hill and he held my wheel pretty good. We closed a little gap between 1 & 2 but it was too late... I sprinted the final straight away and looked back to see where Doug was and it became clear he had no idea this was the last lap. So I snatched 3rd on the day.

Felt a bit bad for Doug he was going really strong, had he not had a race under his belt I am pretty sure he would have whooped all our arses at the ripe age of 60 years young.

Owe, forgot to add the race was cut short because someone went down pretty hard I guess. Broke his collarbone and they had to cut it short to let the ambulance get to him. Hope you recover well and get back in the saddle soon.





Monday, October 15, 2012

My CX rig just went from pretty good to bad arse!

Sold a Surly and got myself some upgrades to the cross rig!! 


After (and more than 3lbs later)!


Thank You, to Justin and Travis at  Horizon Cycling for my components and Britton at Volker Bikes for the wheels!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

360 Cup

360 crew put on a great event last weekend! I did my usual race Saturday and bail on Sunday weekend CX racing.
It was about 40 degrees out, but with that wind blowing it felt like it was 20 at times. The 3's did not go off til 2 so I spoke to Roger a bit about the course and it looked like we have yet another power course on our hands. Owe boy!
Pic from last weeks boss cross. Why are there so few pics of Saturday CX races?
I pre-registered this time so I could get a call up and not have to deal with all my starts in the back of the pack. Smart huh!!

After a couple pre laps it was go time. I remember last year, as long as I could get in the first three rows I was golden. I can "usually" clip in quick and take off ahead of the pack. Whistle blew, were off and I can't get clipped in for the life of me... YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!

Good little video of the start and then he must have passed me at some point because I finished right behind him.
I had a decent race.. Held onto the tail end of the lead group for about 2 laps where I began to fade a little bit. The course was balls out the entire time! The only time it wasn't was just before the finish area where there were some 180's etc.

After 2 laps I lost track of the top 3 but the rest of us kept pretty close the entire race. I was yo-yoing off the  tail end of the top 10 with three guys riding my arse to keep me going. About as soon as I thought I was going to catch the Colavita/Parisi train in front of me they would catch a glimpse of me around the corner and pick up the pace and drop me again.

Every lap someone was going down on the soft corners. I did not find the course very technical but perhaps that's my problem. Not going fast enough to loose control! I was not able to capitalize on many of them, bunch of guys put the hurt-en on me that day.

Last lap and everyone is going 100% every second of this lap. I was jumping every corner trying to catch the boys in front and then a Tallgrass dude has closed a decent gap from behind. All for nothing though I stayed in the same position for the duration. 10th out of 30(something).

At first I was pretty disappointed in my place, but man, this race was fast. I about vomited when we finished, I had not felt like that in a while.

Here is a great video that was put together by Keith Walberg over on Vimeo (I can't figure out how to embed this one, you'll have to click the link)

Open guys up next and just have to say I love seeing the newbies in that class! You might be getting your ass handed to you right now, but its AWESOME! I love it!!

Keep it up - SC, El Hombre Loco and Mark Horn (we have to come up with a nickname Mark)!



Friday, October 5, 2012

Best Video I Have Seen in a Long Time!!

Saw this over on Tilfords site. Its awesome! I can't quit smiling when I watch it!!

Malcolm's first Descent of the first ramp on Hellion at Highland Park (age 4 yrs). Thanks everyone for your encouragement and comments. Malcolm lives in Maine. We ride often at Highland Mtn Bike Park enjoying not only the incredible trails, but the supportive and friendly community and staff which Mark Hayes has created. Kudos to all of you there, and thanks for having us. Malcolm also participted in The Maine Youth Bike Race Series (in Falmouth, ME) this past summer. It's another wonderful place for kids to get together to ride and have fun. Thanks to Andrew Freye for organizing this event. 
Malcs is indeed 4 years old and hopes that this video will encourage other kids and their caregivers to get out there and ride! Again, glad people are enjoying the video
-Dan (aka Malc's Dad)

Enjoy! & your welcome!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Boss Cross 1 (Saturday)

So as it turns out, my dnf last week was right about the time that separates the race from fun to holy crap why do I do this to myself.  Boss Cross 1 (Saturday) was my second race of the season but the first one I actually got to finish. And that time that separates the race is only like 1/3 into it.
EH Young Park is a pretty good venue, relatively flat but fast. OMG fast.. I usually prefer hilly and slow, so I thought this was going to be interesting to say the least.

Did some warm-ups with El Hombre Loco being very mindful to get my last pre race bathroom break in so I don’t line up in the back like I did at Manions.  Did a couple of laps got everything primed and dialed in, stopped to talk to JWill and wouldn’t you know it, they are flippen lined up. Here I am sitting 30 back. AGAIN!

Race whistle blows and were off. Well, the first 15 or so are, we just stand there for 5 to 10 seconds before were off and then bottleneck in the first turn.  Like usual there are a couple fellas falling around some of the “technical” stuff but nothing serious like this group the following day..

I work my way past 15 or so where I seemed to hit a spot where everyone is going about the same pace. Me and about 2-4 guys are playing leap frog for about 2-3 laps… Leaders are way gone at this point. I think I saw El Hombre Loco ½ a lap ahead of us already on the first or second lap. Also at this time the top 2 to 3 SS guys smoked by us.

I know I was pushing myself pretty well, I do remember thinking that this sucks. That’s my internal barometer of how much effort I am putting into the race. If I am miserable and ask myself why I do this, I am going as hard as I should. If I think to myself, wow, this is fun, then I am not going nearly as hard as I should be.

Down to about 3 laps left I am closing a gap on JWill a little bit. I caught him about the time I was riding down this stair section and dropped my chain. Man it sucks to be putting in a huge effort to see it go in a matter of seconds. Luckily I was able to put my chain back on without any trouble, so I was back in the chase.

Last lap and I get John within my sights, all while I can’t quite seem to drop the guy behind me chasing.  Once we hit the home stretch we had to go through two sand pits, one you ran (everyone did minus, Joe S and Elwell in the open race) and the second you could ride though. I hit the section as full gas but ended up about two bike lengths away from John for a mediocre 10th out of 33(ish).

From last year, I somehow had forgotten how hard cross is. I absolutely love it for that, nice to put my body through the shock of it all. Add some fuel to the fire and start looking to the next race!
As it turns out , I have a bit of work to do this season if I even want to entertain the thought of racing open later.

I can’t find any pictures anywhere, will post if I do..
Check out some of the other race blogs on the left…

On a MTB note, Cameron won the 24hr national title again. From what I read, destroyed the competition.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Manions CX

I was looking over my race results from last year and came to a unexpected conclusion. I used to think or label myself a mtb dude that races Cross on the off season. Well, I hit up like 6 mtb races a year and about 15 or more cross races.... Huh, I guess I am a CX racer that races mtb on the "summer off season".. Who would have thought! At least till next year when I start getting my roadie on, but that's a different story all together.

Anyway, my much anticipated debut to the cross season started on Saturday on on of my absolute favorite venues. Manions Baby!
I just told Jesse G-Funk (racing SS) that I would rather climb all race than ride around on the outfield of a softball complex and Manions offers just that. Although the climbing was a little watered down this year it still was a great, great course..

Had the wife and little man out cheering! Need to get Twin Six to do a kids race jersey!

Getting ready I stopped to introduce myself and talk to Joe Schmalz for a little bit, pretty cool hearing about his experiences with Bissell and racing the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge in CO. 

Off to the start of the Cat 3 race. Having us line up behind the open guys and racing the same time is a flippen brilliant idea. I love it!
Not a very brilliant idea was taking one last pee break before the line up. I miss judged the time and everyone was lined up when I got there. So I got in line roughly 28 deep, which sucks so bad and inevitably probably ended my race for me.

At the start it was really congested as you could imagine, but thinned out pretty nicely. Until you hit the downhill switchbacks where it was a mess every-single-flippen-lap.. Felt pretty good out of the climbs and was settling in nicely. Once I got a game plan in place where I was going to just go hard and where I was going to go really hard my race ended.

I noticed I was going quite a bit faster than everyone else on this same downhill area, in fact I would kind of sit up a bit before the section so I did not waste any energy getting to the eventual bottleneck. (had to be my mad skills and nothing to do with my disc breaks since all I read is how they don't help in cross) Lap 3 I sprinted to get in front of as many people as I could before this section and once down to about the last 180 a dude when down right in front of me and I had zero time to react. Boom! a endo was in my near future.
So over his bike and then over my bike I tumbled onward down the hill, hood now 90 degrees inward and my rear derailer a little bent. 

I attempted to fix everything and actually completed another lap and a half with my chain slipping quite a bit. I was basically out for the day, but I at least found some hand ups!! Thanks guys!!

 Once on the other side of the barn, chain slipped again and down I go. That"s it, better quit before I really mess something up.. Bummed out to this day about it... But that's racing man. 

Its ironic that I have had a pit bike all last year and never used it once. Sold it and first race later I would have loved to have it waiting for me. 

So there you have it... I would have posted some pics but there isn't much out there for day one. Good to see some of last years Cat 3s up with the big boys this year. I hope to join you, but we'll see...

You can find some good tidbits (race reports, pics, etc) and results over at the race blog. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Strava Addiction...

This is soooo me.. Had to share, you can find it over here. Caught my eye over at the Black Market..

New Strava algorithms announced

Strava CEO Michael Horvath posted an entry on the company blog today about sportsmanship, competition, ethics, and a new focus on the social media site’s core users. “After doing a six-month analysis of rider usage patterns,” he wrote, “we were able to pinpoint the key characteristics of our avid regular users and of our paid ‘premium’ users. Our user review team has classified our customers as something known in the industry as ‘delusional assholes.’”
According to Horvath, Strava’s current KOM/QOM algorithm no longer correlates to the behavior of the web site’s most dedicated users. “KOM’s started out as virtual datapoints to mark your progress. Unfortunately, they’ve become real in the minds of countless users. People actually believe that because Strava describes them as a KOM, they are in fact the king of some mountain somewhere.”
Horvath relates the fistfight that broke out between cyclist Elmer Thudpucker and a local landowner when Thudpucker claimed feudal demesne rights to Pighumper Mountain in western Arkansas by virtue of his Strava KOM. “First they beat him senseless, then they tied him to a post, then they made him grunt like a pig. We decided something needed to be done.”
Too much of a bad thing?
Problems also arise when KOM holders interact with other actual cyclists and get their shit handed to them on a plate, according to Horvath. “The cognitive dissonance that arises when you think you are the king of a mountain, but then on a group ride you are the last person up the mountain you’re supposedly king of, creates so much depression, self-doubt, anger, and disillusionment that our most committed members are letting their memberships lapse,” he explains.
“We’ve decided to revamp the KOM algorithm so that all of our Strava users know exactly what their KOM’s really mean, and hence aren’t so dejected when they get crushed by the kid on restricted gears who hasn’t started shaving yet.”
Preview of the new, improved Strava rankings
“We’re in the process of gathering more personal data from our users in order to perfect the algorithms, but in a nutshell here they are. This entire system was dreamed up by Steven L. from San Diego, so we owe him a big debt of thanks even though he won’t see a dime from all his hard work, as we intend to pirate the shit out of his idea.”
COM: Chicken of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider never rides with others, and instead sets all of his best times alone.
FOM: Faker of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider never tells others he’s going for a particular segment, so they will do all the work as he moves from the back to the front of the group to collect the FOM.
POM: Peon of the Mountain
Idicates that the segment has been ridden less than 500 times, and the rider is literally a smallish-fish-in-the-tiniest-of-ponds.
WOM: Wanker of the Mountain
Indicates that the segment has never been ridden by a UCI pro or Cat 1 roadie.
Cit-OM: Citizen of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider doesn’t do road races.
FROM: Fraudster of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider is the one who created the segment.
SPROM: Sprunter of the Mountain
Indicates that the segment is less than 5k in length.
CHOM: Cheater of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider achieved the time with motor pacing or other pacing assistance.
EPOM: EPO of the Mountain
Indicates reliance on PED’s.
KOV: King of the Valley
Indicates net decrease in elevation, ergo it’s not a climb, stupid.
LOM: Lawsuit of the Mountain
Indicates idiot took outrageous risks on a descent or other twisty, dangerous road in order to score points on a stupid web site.
TOM: Triathlete of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider isn’t even a cyclist.
DOM: Delusional of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider thinks that his performance on Strava correlates to his racing ability.
“This is just the outline; we’re hoping to get it tweaked in the next couple of weeks,” writes Horvath. “Once we’ve gone through the AMA’s Index of Psychiatric Disorders to fully categorize our customers, we should be ready for launch.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Later that same year at le Tour, Hinault had retired, and LeMan was recovering from his bird hunting escapades, Roche was the favorite. 1987 saw the most mountainous Tour since the war. On stage 20, crossing Galibier, Madeleine, and finishing on La Plagne, Rosche attacked early. Delgado then attacked, and Roche found himself 1:30 down in the middle of the last climb. He then crushed the remainder, in his big ring, pulling back all but 4 seconds. After crossing the finish line, he collapsed and lost consciousness. He came to after receiving oxygen and was asked if he was OK. His reply was “yes, but I am not ready for a woman straight away” (and that my friends is how it’s done).
From Velominati’s profile of Stephen Roche.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Give me some feedback bike nerds!!

I have one race and one project I am curious on your input...

First up... Cycocross!!!! I am going to run disc breaks again and am trying to find a good option for a wheelset. I know there are many, many, nay sayers on disc breaks for cross. Well I embrace change, you all can take your canti breaks and your 26" MTB's and suck it!!!

Now if only the manufacturers can follow suit. WTF guys? Get your S%$T together!! There are like 5 companies that are making disc bikes yet I have found one that makes a wheelset. I see Easton has one, but unless your JPow, us working stiffs can't get our hands on them.

See, they do exist... JPow's ride..
So I have found Reynolds makes one, Reynolds Assault CX Disc. And that's all I can find and better yet, I don't know of a shop that can order Reynolds. Anyone know of any other options? Other than running a MTB wheelset... I know that is an option, I am just tired of rigging stuff, wanted to make an attempt in actually putting cross specific parts on a cross bike. I want to try tubular, but as of right now I am just leaning towards another stans set and running tubeless. 

On another subject entirely, the only logical thing to do with cross on the horizon is enter a 60 mile MTB race, the Berryman Epic

I have never done this race and it has been on my "to do" list for a while now. From reading other blogs n such I have a handle on conditions, etc...  So I have two questions to my 3 readers.. I am sure some of you have raced BTE before.

First, I think I need to get some beefier tires. But what? I normally run a Fast Track on the back and a Captain on the front. From what I gather, its rocky as crap and I know I will be in no mood to be changing flat tires.

Second, camel-pack or no? I freggin hate those damn things, yet I would rather wear one than run out of fluids and/or food...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wow, its been a while

I wore a jacket on my Monday morning ride!! Holy crap!! Anyway.....

I have been so busy I haven't had any time to post any bike ramblings lately. I have been a bit out of it with work and then on vacation for a week. I missed several races due to it, but man, the beach is awfully nice this time of year..
After a week of this, its hard to get back to the daily grind!
It is very true statement that a running motor wants to stay running, a resting motor wants to stay at rest. Vacation got me in rest mode, ate like crap and did nothing but relax for a solid week, and now its really hard getting back in gear, let me tell ya..

Looking at the the racing schedules coming up and it is very bleak, making it hard to train hard with nothing really on the horizon. You have a race up in Swanson Park NE thats not that far away, but its this weekend and I just got back from vacation and am sitting kinda fat and legs kinda weak at the present moment.

We have a good MTB race in Columbia next month and some Endurance races, but really its about cross time if you can believe it..

So its looking for me its maybe one more MTB race and then on to cross. Where did the summer go????
Summer has about left us and I have only raced 6 times. Man, things sure don't pan out like you think sometimes but that's life..

I had a blast on my only two road races but they look to be done also.. 

Next up UFD Championship on Sept 30..(Maybe that is, I haven't ridden my MTB in 2 months!!)
HOLY CRAPBALLS!!  Cross is here man..
  • 9.22 & 9.23 Manions Cyclocross
  • 10.21 & 10.22 Joules Cross

On another note, I am toying with the idea of riding my MTB Single Speed again.. Everytime I think about it, I smile. That's got to mean something, right?

Other than my babble, here is some cool stuff you might check into...

Ethos Racing has a good link to Dan Miller, a stupid fast dude from Columbia. Its a great read, I highly suggest it..

Another good little tidbit is a local roadie, Joe Schmalz was picked up by Bissell and racing in the Tour of Utah. I don't know him but thats pretty damn cool!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tour of Lawrence

Hey! This is my first road race report!! Heck yah..
First off let me say, that was pretty flippen fun. Well, only doing two laps (5’s) did not really put the hurting on you for long enough to be miserable. 

I really did not know what to expect coming into the race other than it was something new and I was excited about it. I had the 1st day of school nervousness on the start line. I haven’t had that kind of feeling for quite some time. You always have a little apprehension before races but not the kind that you can feel in your legs. I really don’t know how else to describe it.

I looked around on the start and noticed this aint a Cat 3 (beginner) MTB race! There were a bunch of guys there; big…small… hairy legs… shaved legs….23lb motobecanes…. 16lb Tarmacs with carbon Roval wheelsets.. Quite the eclectic group..

Once we started I motored on up to the front. I did not know how this was going to play out, but I did now I did not want to go down, that’s for sure. I have seen the bike handling skills of some of these guys in cross season and I don’t want to be behind them on any corner. Through the entire race I don’t think I was any further than 5-6 back.

First lap of the circuit was pretty uneventful, pretty much a warm-up lap. The profile on their website is pretty deceiving, from the looks of it, there were three climbs in the circuit, but the first two “hills” came and went all while I was looking around every corner for the hills. There was a good climb right before the start finish, but that is the only one I would consider a climb.

Here they come!

Second lap the pace did not pick up very much and I kept waiting for the action to begin. Turn after turn, same pace, and same story. We hit one section that on the profile was the middle “climb”, but I would say more of a gradual slope. I could tell everyone was content in just staying together as a group and see who could climb up to the finish first. So I thought that prospect sounded rather boring and wanted to spice things up so I attacked and created a decent gap.  This is about the time my MTB legs failed me a little.  They are great for short intervals, the attack went beautifully but once the engine is up, keeping it there for the amount of time necessary to make it stick was a different story.

Delaying the inevitable.. At least there were only a select few left!!
I did a great job of breaking the field up, looked back and there were only 3ish left chasing me. Gave it all I could trying to hit the final climb first and see how it goes from there. At the end of the straightaway following the downhill I looked back to find they have found their way back to me about 20 yards back. I then sat up to conserve what energy I had for the climb to the finish. Hit the hill 2nd back for most of it. Guy put in a dig from behind, I tried to hold his wheel, but when the climb pitched up at the end I just could not keep up. From there I hammered the best I could to the finish for 2nd. DAMN! THAT WAS FLIPPEN AWESOME FUN!! My MTB brethren are going to be so disappointed in me for enjoying this so much..

After the race Darrell and I went up to watch the Cat 4s race. Hung out with the KCBC dudes and watched from the top of the climb. I am wanting to cat up as soon as I can and wanted to see how the boys were going. Uhhhh, fast.. I am game for it, but there were some folks who looked miserable out there doming up that climb on laps 4 and 5. I can’t even imagine the Pro 1/2’s doing it 14 times.  Honestly that would be tiring even at cursing speed, let along race pace.

All in all, I am doing more of these things for sure!

Other report over at TWIN SIX if your interested.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tour of Lawrence

Okay, its not set in stone, but thinking of getting my roadie on.. Tour of Lawrence is this weekend and I am thinking of doing the circuit race on Sat..

June 30
Event TypeTimeLocationEvent


8:30amKU CampusMaster's 40+/50+/60+
KU Circuit Race


10amKU CampusCat 5
KU Circuit Race


11amKU CampusCat 4/5
KU Circuit Race


12noonKU CampusWomen 3/4
Juniors 14-18
Juniors 10-13
KU Circuit Race


1pmKU CampusCat 4
KU Circuit Race


2:30pmKU CampusCat 3
KU Circuit Race


4pmKU CampusWomen Pro/1/2
KU Circuit Race


5:30pmKU CampusPro/1/2
KU Circuit Race

So I need some help from my CX/Roadie friends. Do I have to start at Cat 5? Do I do that race or the 4/5's? I just know you guys are a peculiar bunch, love your rules and shaved legs carbon parts and all...
Just need the 411 on everything..

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Down and Dirty/ MO State Championship

What a great turnout for the Down and Dirty/ MO State Championship MTB race at Warsaw Lake. I pulled in about an 1.45 before race time and could hardly find a parking spot. Damn, this field is going to be deep! Saw the usual suspects out to give me a arse whoopen, but I was determined to give them a run for their money. It had been a while since I had a good race effort in my legs with my mechanical at Robidoux Roundup, so I really did not know what to expect. In a good note, I finally have gotten over my hamstring issues that have been bothering me the last several weeks.
Race started down a very long gravel road which had rock pebbles flying around like rocket ships. I personally don’t care much for glasses for MTB so I was a little apprehensive I was going to get one shot directly into my eye. I hammered it just hard enough to get in front of a couple dudes I wanted to, yet behind the guys I knew would be tough to hold onto a wheel. Minus the guys who just killed it on the start, I was able to keep up with the main bunch for about half a lap before I started blowing up.. I did not think I was going too hard, but the all too familiar feeling of misery, aka the full body drain that tells you that your putting in one hell of an effort, was creeping on me fast. I do have a motto that if you don’t feel like quitting at some point during the race, then you’re not going fast enough. Halfway into the first lap is not the time to be feeling this way however. So I started to back off a little to gain some composure.

By this time teammates Micah and Roger was just ahead of me and Craig was back (how far I didn’t know). On another note, Doug Long passed me at this point with what looked like plenty of gas in the tank. I remember thinking that was pretty impressive. Unfortunately for him, I saw him messing with a tire shortly thereafter… Anyway, finished out the lap feeling a little better. Looking back on the race, its not too often that the first lap goes worse than the last two.

I did lose a bunch of places on the first lap when I fumbled around on a non-technical section but started to pull a couple of people back in on lap two. I started feeling like I wanted to put in a couple digs and see about putting in a decent lap here. I passed a guy (can’t remember who now, it’s been to long) and remarked to him to be careful as I was bound to blow up shortly. Little did I know that I was going to mean that literally. There was a section towards the end where the rocks were just a little bigger and had more off camber areas to it. I was in recovery mode after a good dig to pass a couple of people when I clipped a pedal and ended up over the handlebars, face plant followed by summersaults down a ravine.  After checking to see if all my limbs were still attached I picked up my bike and proceed back to the trail about 10 yards away, same dude came by to see me in all my glory.
Can't really see it from the pic, but hit the ground so hard I broke a huge chunk off my helmet.
Third lap was pretty uneventful, just hammered along as hard as I could and not blow up. Finished 5th out of 8 in Cat 1 30-39. Overall Cat 1, 11th out of 28. RESULTS HERE

Teammates did well ,Micah came in 4 min ahead of me for 4th and Roger came in 1-2 min before me and took 2nd in the 40-49.

There were some fast guys out there that weekend!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Robidoux Roundup

Okay, a little late on this post. Figured I better get it up before this weekends race.

Being at my home course, and one that I know like the back of my hand, this is always my best result of the season as far as MTB racing goes. I was going to kill myself out there trying to keep up with the top guys that beat me down on a regular basis and give some overdue payback to a couple of guys that have gotten the better of me the last couple races.

Randy, Craig, Brad and the rest of the trail hippy disciples had Krug in the best shape I can remember. The course was perfect! I know I am biased but the work that goes into this race as far as trail maintenance is second to none. Its always cut three feet on both sides throughout the entire single track. When was the last time you raced without some overgrown areas on the trail? Not here! A huge thank you to everyone that make this race as sweet as it is!!! And for not 100% ostracizing me for not pulling my weight. Another story entirely.

Anyway, I knew from the start that I needed to hit the single track right behind the stupid fast guys. I made the mistake last year of not hammering it as hard as I should and I found myself riding my breaks the first 2/3 of the lap.

Race started perfect! I hit the single track sitting on TDonn's wheel, behind GWiz and two other dudes. Little did I know, this was also the end of my race.. I heard a pop on the road climb leading to the singletrack but did not think much of it until my handlebars started rotating on the first downhill.

Typing a multitude of profanity could only express maybe 1/3 of how I felt at this time. After the first little climb, I hop off to the side and tried to fix my stem, only to find that one of the bolts was completely stripped. I got it as tight as I could and tried to pedal on but I had to stop again and try to fix it. At this point all the Cat 1's were long gone and half the Cat 2's had passed me also.
Apparently this little 5Nm actually means something.. Yah, I am an idiot!
Once I thought I got it rigged enough to ride further I passed all the Cat 2's and just thought I would turn this into a good workout. Try and catch whoever I can. On to lap two I had taken back some places and even passed some of the tail end of the Cat 1's, but half a lap in and I had to face the inevitable and DNF.

This was my 2nd DNF, EVER! It took me a solid week to get over having to DNF on my home race. Disappointed would be the understatement of the year. Owe well, thats racing..

All those that had to miss it. Sucks to be you, the course was sweeeeet!

On to this weekend down to Warsaw, we'll see how it goes..

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dirty Little Secret/KS State Championships

Aaron puts on one hell of a good event! Its a damn shame that Fancy Creek State Park kicks my arse every time I race there!!!

The venue is great! Good food, swag, well organized, you name it. I just suck when I race there. I did do better than last year as none of the Cat 2's or Singlespeeds caught me, but that is about all the good I can take from my performance.

Head on over to Twin Six for a general race report. They are awesome folks and have the coolest gear you can buy.

Back to the report, start of the race I did announce that I was going to take the hole shot and then proceed to show everyone down with my stellar technical abilities. Its like a superpower I have. The inability to pick a decent line even if they spray paint the thing for me..

I guess its kind of insane of me to expect any kind of decent performance when the only practice I ever get on any rocky technical section is on race days.

Anyway, start goes off and I am sitting fine, about 6 deep. Once into lap one for a bit I have somehow lost 4 additional places in a matter of minutes. I pass a couple dudes, gap them, then hit a section that gives me fits and they catch right back up. That pretty much sums up my race. Well except for the second lap which I was in a funk and had no desire to put any kind of effort into it what so ever.

It actually crossed my mind to DNF this lap I was having such a hard time being motivated. If it weren't for never quitting a day in my life I just might have done it.

My last lap got me out of the funk a little bit and I got the desire to push it a little. Felt just good enough to have a little fun with it and start looking forward to this weekend. Its always nice to race on your home trail.

Robidoux Roundup is this Sunday. Lots of climbing and you can get into a grove on the single track. No damn rock gardens!!!!

Randy, Craig, Brad and crew have done a steller job with Krug. I just rode them today and they are in the best shape I can remember!!! Owe did I mention is is wicked fast this year... Lap times have already been in the mid 30's... We can expect some of the stupid fast guys to his low 30's.