Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Missouri State Cyclocross Championship

Wow! What a race!!

Headed down to the CX state championship race in St. Louis on Sunday. I have had my eye on this race since last year when I got my arse handed to me by the St. Louis boys in Jefferson City in 2012. I have never raced cross in St. Louis before, so no matter what I knew this was going to be fun. Also we get to have a race in "cross" conditions with the snow the night before.

This was going to be my last one as a Cat 3, so I really wanted it to count. I am planning on catting up soon, so I am going to go from one of the top 3 in every race to one of the last 3, real quick-like.

One look at the course set up, add the snow and knew in a moment this race was going to be tough. The course was set up at St. Vincent Park. They seriously found a little bit of everything and incorporated it into the course. Had 2 sand pits, pavement, a good climb, some technical corners and add ice you have a great recipe for a cross race.

Warming up basically consisted of trying to stay dray and figuring out what combos of gear/gloves/boots to wear. I was either sweating or freezing it seems.

Had a great section that ran you through some singletrack ish trail 
I had done a little bit of research through the registered riders and crossresults.com to find out who I need to be looking for out there. Still a bit unsure, I asked a couple locals at the start line, who the fast dudes are.
I was starting in the second row which is okay if the guy directly in front of you gets clipped in and started okay. Well, this race was no different than most, and my guy does not get clipped in clean and I am 10 people back in the matter of 3 seconds.

Minus a little snafu on the first sand section my first lap actually went great. About 1/4 into it, I found the wheel of one of the labeled "fast dudes" the locals pointed out and hit the end of the first lap behind him. He was sitting 2nd and I 3rd.

Hey, here is the video of it, see for yourself. I had my GoPro turned on for this one.

After the fist lap I got passed by another dude and it stayed that way for the rest of the lap. I noticed at this point that the course was getting worse as the race progressed. Some of the corners were starting to ice up.
The race was pretty much blown apart by this time and there wasn't a group to be found. Just singles and a couple doubles. I traded some pulls with one more guy and thought that we were going to be able to pull back the guy riding in 3rd (1st was bout out of sight at this point and 2nd was in sight, just out of reach) who was just a couple seconds ahead of us.
1000 yard stare, I was in the hurt locker at this point.
Looks as if I was having a bit of trouble out of the corner.

I was beyond the point of delirious at this time and had started to make some mistakes around corners etc. With two laps to go, I thought this was going to be a good lap to catch up and make a play for the podium. On a corner that took us to the barriers I was still holding a wheel and I blew it and went down on some ice.
I got up and got back on as soon as I could but he had about a 10 second gap on me. I tried to close it the best I could, but I just couldn't. And that's where I would remain, finished up 5th. They got some fast guys over there.

It was a complete east side of the state event. The only west side guys were me, TDonn, Garet, and Mark D. Garet looked flippen awesome out there and won the open with his MTB. By the time I got changed and watched some of their race, he had already created a gap of nearly a minute. I think they were only about 1/2 way into the race at that point.

Results are not up yet, but you will be able to find them at USA Cycling when they do.

I saw a bunch of people with cameras, but these are the only photos I have seen yet.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

JingleCross Rocks!!

Wow! I did not know what to expect heading up to the middle of Iowa to catch a cross race. I am rather sheltered in attending, well... Any race within a 2 hour drive from MO. I am also a little biased in I love Cross over other bike racing.

With that being said...JingleCross was the coolest bike event that I have ever been to!!! Between racing on the coolest course I have ever raced, to the atmosphere and the pros, it was worth the 4+ hour drive.

Saw some folks I know from the local races, and met some cool folks (Some of the T6 crew) up Mt. Krumpit. It was a blast!

Saw TDonn kill it in the 35+ and take 2nd. Then it was time to warm up. I think it took me longer to pin my arm/shoulder numbers on than actually warm up.

I only made it up for Sundays race and decided way late that I was going. They lined up based on the pre-registration date, which put me waaaaay back in the 7th row (50+ people back). It took the entire first lap for things to spread out a bit and find the room to stretch your legs out a bit. We were lucky enough to have the sloppiest race on the day with it raining the first couple of laps. I ended up moving up to 18th with gas still in the tank.

Here is my GoPro video of the first lap + 1/3 of the second (I apologize in advance for some of the language in the music. By the time it took to download I was fed up with editing as I don't have skills or decent software)


JingleCross FB



Here are some more picks/videos I took.

Looking across from the finishline
Wheel Pit
Beer man on top of Mt. Krumpit
Top of Mt. Krumpit
This Guy
Course from top of Krumpit
The green thing. I don't know what they call it. 
The run up Mt. Krumpit

The Pros running up Krumpit
Check back tomorrow, I have some videos I am going to post. Ran out of time....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Boulevard Cup Cyclocross

Headed out to Shawnee KS for the Boulevard Cup!

I had to miss out last weeks races so I was eager to get back at it, especially when Boulevard Brewery  is the key sponsor!

During my warm up I noticed the usual suspects plus Mark came out to play with us today. I guess him and G & TDonn ran out of MTB races to dominate once BTE is over. 

The Boulevard guys laid out one hell of a nice course, had literally a bit of everything, sand, pavement a little bit of climbing and a bunch of switchbacks. I usually do well on courses like this. Well any course that does not have long power straights on them anyway. 

Started in the front row and had two to three guys picked out on which wheel I wanted to follow given how the race plays out. I don't like taking the hole shot, I can't pace myself properly and I don't want to blow myself up. 

So once were off I was sitting about 4 to 5 back when Mark who was looking to take the hole shot, blew straight by the turn in to get onto the course from the pavement and took the next 3 guys behind him. So I ended up second just like that. Fast forward a min later (its on the GoPro video, I don't want to spoil it for ya) and I find myself in the lead, exactly where I did not want to be. 

(You tube upload so slow with blogger it will take a day or so to get the actual video on the blog.)

The rest of the race would prove to be somewhat uneventful. I put the bike down a couple of times on the corners trying to be super cross man and rail them. I guess I got a little overconfident in my tires a couple of times.  Basically the whole race I wold take time on Andrew on the sand section and he would make it back on me during the pavement climb on the back side. We would yo-yo like this for the duration of the race. 

And just like that, I got my fist win ever as a Cat 3!!

On another note and even more important than my first win... Took my boy on his first MTB ride on his stryder bike and he LOVED IT!! He yelled either, come on dad or faster dad the entire time!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Joules Cross, Day 2

Headed out to Lawrence for day 2 of Joules cross with two races on the agenda for the day. Last week that did not turn out very well with wheel issues. Got them glued back up and ready to rocks and rolls.

Leading up to race day, the prior weeks training sucked. I had nothing but issues. It a moving car on Tuesday, had to take Wednesday off because my knee was swollen. Back in the saddle on Thursday, my a.m. ride was cut short on Friday, because my 3 year old has placed my lights somewhere and my back up light battery went dead 10 min into my ride. (no worries, now that I have purchased a new light, finally found his secret hiding spot)
Anyway, the reason I even wrote this, is because my races would fare no better.

I lined up with the Masters 30+ and Masters 40+ and found out I was the only 30+ in the group. Boom! 1st place!!!! I rock!!!

I brought my GoPro and bought a bigger memory card for it and guess what, the flippen battery was not charged so I was only able to record the first 40 seconds of the Masters race. Not enough for me to mess with and post. 

Masters Race, Travis on my heels like usual. (Pic Rogers)
Race started pretty good. Hit the start and hole about 8 back and after a lap was sitting pretty well. After about 2 to 3 laps my rear wheel was going flat. SOB!! I pitted and grabbed my spare wheel and got back in the race and had intentions of catching back up with the group that just passed me while pitted, but they were actually in a race and digging deep. I lost motivation with about 3 laps to go and sat up to conserve energy for the next race. 

About an hour before the Cat 3/4's I got back on my bike (hoping the stans would seal the pinhole leek I have in my tubulars) and the tire seemed to be holding pressure so I did not worry to much more about it. 
Before the race I felt like I could take a nap. Lined up and did not really know who to watch, I did not recognize but a couple guys. Start went pretty good and I got in the hole shot again about 7 back and held my position pretty well without too much effort.  There was one long false flast/uphill section that drained my legs first race, but this one the strangest thing happened. I felt great!!! I am normally an out of the saddle kind of rider, but I was able to stay seated and just hammer it up. 

Was feeling so good second race,  goosed Jaret K & Rocky R on my way past them up the hill (pic Rogers)
Its a good feeling when your going good and can have some fun. 
After a couple laps the I settled in behind the eventual winner and we started reeling in the leaders but every lap I found my rear tire loosing pressure again. Each lap it was getting worse and worse and with 3 laps to go I was all over the place. This sucks!!!!! The four of us were within 5 seconds of each other and It was anyone's race. I knew I would not catch them with so few laps left but really had no other choice, I was all over the place. Went to the pit, changed my rear wheel and there everyone went. I eventually caught up with the second group and ended up having to sprint up the final climb to take 7th. 

Every race is a new learning experience. Sucks when you have good legs but your bike is not working with you. Any suggestions to fixing a pin hole leak in a tubular???

Hey! Still had matching wheels at this point!! (Pic, Rogers) 
Man, I am really seeing the value of a pit bike. When I had a spare bike, I never used it once. I could have used one the last 3 out of 4 races. Maybe I need to put some cross tires on my MTB? Travis seems to be kicking arse on his... Hopefully next race I can finish on the wheels I start with. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cross out Cancer 2013

Cross out Cancer was last Sunday and yet another glorious day for racing. Well, a bit warm actually, which is a good problem to have.

The organizers dropped the Masters race age down from 40+ to 35+ which means I get to race twice! I have not done that since I raced Single Speed and Cat 3. That was rough then, think I battled Roger Williams (pre fast as crap Roger) in the Cat 3's for something like 18th out of 22. 

Also on this fabulous day, I got the family to come back out and have Court race her second ever cross race.
Court getting after it!
Court having already raced Manions had a bit of apprehension in her eye as I was explaining the course to her, but knew she would be happy not having to climb a ton for the day. 

The course was relatively flat with a two different sets of barriers and a make shift sand pit. I personally labeled it a roadie course, which means only one thing, the legs are going to hurt today.. I typically like the Manions style courses with hills and a bunch of tight turning. Once you get a bunch of straights you have to put the constant power down and have little time for recovery. 

I was in between races when Court was out racing but she seemed to have a bit better time this go round. She went all out on her first race and blew up a bit. So I told her to pace herself and finish strong. Boom! Court got her first cross win ever!!!

Our little cross girl! If she keeps at it, she will be in the 4's in no time.
I started the day racing Masters 35+ and race went pretty well. First off the course was pretty bumpy and I could not get clipped in for crap. At the start while fumbling into my eggbeaters, I got behind about 8 guys. Luckily, the start was a rather long straightaway and once clipped in was able to get back into the top 3.

Masters being new to me, I really did not recognize anyone but Travis so I really did not know who to watch. After a half of a lap the lead group was established between 4 of us. Eventually two of the 40+ guys caught up with us, but but that was the lead of the race. I took over the lead at the end of the first lap when Dan Miller (He's got a pretty cool story, go check out his blog) came and got in front of me and that is where we would remain for the rest of the race. Dan 1st, Me 2nd, Travis 3rd, Gregory 4th (good to see you back out Greg!) 

Hey!! I figured out (again) how to use my GoPro. Here is the first lap of the Masters 35+! I wanted to get the Cat 3's also, but apparently, the memory I have for it actually records like 15 min before it fills up.
Now off to the 3's. Gregory was doing the double for the day also, so there is some comfort in knowing that your not the only one suffering. The field was pretty big, I recognized the usual suspects. I had no idea how my legs were going to hold up but I am going to double up any time I can race masters. At the start I had the same problem, could not get clipped in. Hit the hole shot about 5-8 back and I was comfortable with that. I kind of surprised myself holding the top 10 through the fist lap without too much stress. Heading into the technical section I heard a sharp pop coming from my front wheel. I did not think much about it until I hit an off camber corner and down I go! Sorry guys!! I backed up a bunch of guys in the process which I am sure created a bit of a gap from the top 5 guys. 

The "sand" pit. Looks ridable, but I never quite got it down.  Travis hot on my heels!!!
Anyway, I look down and I'll be damn if I did not roll my tubulars off the rim. Should have re glued them this season. And when I say I, I mean someone who knows what they are doing, tubluars are still pretty new to me. 

I initially thought my day was over and started walking back to the car, when I thought about all the good training I am missing so I decided to start jogging to the wheel pit. Changed my wheel and headed out. I was able to catch back up to the tail end of the 3's but Its really hard to motivate yourself in digging real deep when the race is 1/2 a lap away. Since I originally thought I was done for the day, I cut the course a little bit when I thought I was waling back to the car, so I DNF'd myself on the last lap. 

Great day of racing all in all!! Man I LOVE cross!!!! See you next weekend at Jules. Looks like I get to race twice again!

Must have been the 1st lap of the Cat 3's. Still had guys around me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

360 Cup!!

Work has kicked my butt this week, normally I like to get something posted while its fresh on my mind.

360 Cup went off last weekend and I headed down on Sunday to race the Cat 3 race. I raced here last year and was still not in shape yet, which makes this course though. Its a vary fast course with little to no recovery sections.

For me when you get a hilly course like Manions it allows the mountain biker in me to recover a bit. What goes up must come back down. Courses like this one out in Lawrence is a good mix of turns with a long straightaway to keep you honest. They had one barrier section that was low to the ground which allowed me to never get off my bike and I can't tell you how much I love it when I don't have to dismount on a cross race.

Sorry, no GoPro camera stuff to post, as I am an idiot and could not figure out how to turn it on when we were lined up at the start line. So when I got home I looked and had 3 different 2 second videos of my forehead.

Anyway, there were call ups and I am not that organized, so best I could do was line up in the second row. This is sometimes problematic and sometimes not depending on who is in front of you. About 30 seconds to go time I notice not a single person in front of me had egg beaters. Thought to myself, great, not a single one of these guys are going to get clipped in cleanly. Sure enough were off and I am stuck behind every one of them struggling to get clipped into their pedals.
MJ Photography
Once going I found myself further back than usual, about 10 to 12 back and saw my usual competition (Travis and Vince) was in the same boat, about 3 to 4 people in front of me so I did not panic. The start of the race immediately went into the barriers and some 180 degree turns so basically your stuck in your position and there's nothing you can do about it. You just hope that some fast riders are not up front gaining massive amounts of time on you.

Worked my way through the pack and eventually got up to the front with Travis and Vince again right in front of me. Both were riding strong and took several laps to finally get ahead of them. I nearly blew up in doing so and started to get a little gassed. However Vice was behind me not giving up an inch in his chase and Travis behind him doing the same. Once a lap I would meet them on the same section on a switch back.
Travis is getting really strong. Couldn't shake him, AND this was his second race of the day..
Rogers Pic
I honestly had no idea where we were sitting at this point. I know at leas one, maybe three riders are so far in the lead I can't even see who it is. About two laps to go I see I am not gaining any ground what-so-ever so I said screw it, I am going to hammer out this second to last lap and hopefully discourage any idea of Vince and Travis catching me, made sure to hammer it and sprint out of the corners and was able to get a little breathing room, but not enough to take it easy though. Last lap I had to fight off the two of them up to the final paved section to the finish.
Rogers Pic
At one point I could have sworn that I saw a group of three off the front and I was sitting 4th, but as it turned out that must have been some lapped riders. Finished 2nd on the day. Pretty happy with that. My lungs hurt for a couple days after this one.

Head on over to Twin Six and get more race report.

Cat 3 Podium.. Beer always wins! Hah... 1st place was off racing open.

Roger was out taking pics for everyone, go here to see them!

Results here

MJ Photograpy pics here. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Manions CX


Manions CX marked the first cross race in the KC area of the season. Day one (which I was not there) was a mud fest and good times seemed to be had by all. Well, everyone that was not replacing bike parts the next day.

Day two the sun was out and the course dried out perfectly. It was a really cool weekend for me, my little man turned 3 on Saturday, and my youngest step daughter came out and raced her first Cross race ever!!
She raced Juniors woman and did awesome for her first race. Especially being on the one the most vertical courses we will see all season.

On her last lap she informed me that she wanted to puke and she hated us all! Can't sum Cross up any better myself!!!! I will note she was wearing her new Manions T-Shirt to school this morning! (Britton, you still owe me a M by the way)

Rogers Pic..

Court looking PRO in her Twin Six kit!
I was next up, racing Cat 3. Lined up and had about the usual 30+ guys in field. We stared about 30 seconds to a min behind the 1/2's.

After surveying the course I knew that anyone wanting to place well needs to get in the top 3 to 5 hole shot to do really well. I always seem to line up after everyone else (folks get there too early in my opinion). I nudged myself in the second row, with a clean clip-in your usually okay in the first or second row.

Here is my GoPro Video. I wanted to do a bunch more with it, but my patients and tec geek only go so far, so this is what you get for the time I am willing to spend on it... I had some good jams with is, but apparently The Black Keys is copyrighted material so its muted. Go figure. Any tips on editing would be appreciated. 

Hit the hole shot (all uphill by the way) 3rd which I was happy with. The game plan was to hold on to second or third wheel for as long as I could and see how it played out. Travis took the hole shot and was riding really strong. I knew he had just got 2nd in Masters so I figured out he would not be able to keep that up for very long. Turns out about 2 to 3 laps, and still got a 6th place. He is riding really strong already.

Anytime someone would jump into 1st, I would jump with them and hold their wheel. This was working perfectly until Mark came by about about 4 laps into the race and drop everyone on his MTB. I held his wheel as long as I could but eventually blew up trying to do so and then battled with the eventual 2nd place guys the rest of the race. I don't know who he is but we traded places until the last two laps when he eventually made a gap on me which I would never close. It was really close though, great job to whoever you are dude!!!

Coming into the last couple laps, I see G-Wiz getting ready to lap all of us. I knew that this meant that I was on his lap, I just did not know he was on his last lap. So.... Finishing out what I thought was going to be one more lap, another guy I don't know had pulled himself up to us and got in front of me and took third. When he was sprinting by me, I thought, easy trigger, your a long way out from putting in an attack. Ooops, turn right, race over, 4th place. Owe well...

That was a blast!!! Can't wait till next week!!

Britton and the Colavita boys put on one heck of a race, they always do! Huge thank you for all your hard work!!!

Manions Blog

Rogers Pictures

Results Here

Pre Jr's race... Before she hated all of us!! Hahahah..
These Three pics are Rogers... Thank you!!!
Mr Stiches

While your here, go to the top right and vote. I am curious to everyone's opinion....

Friday, September 27, 2013

The season is finally upon us!!!

After having my GoPro for over a year, I decided to actually use it. So I thought I might actually learn how to.

Here is our local cross course, just shot it to play around with the camera. Its boring, but your not working on Friday afternoon anyway.

Had to add music to disguise the horrible sound that is my breaks...

See ya this weekend!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

For Sale: Specialized Crux Disc CX, 56

Here is my sweet 56 Specialized Crux Disc Cross Rig, S -1 bike.  $1,900 obo.

What is S -1 you ask?

Velominati (http://www.velominati.com) Rule # 12 – The correct number of bikes to own is n+1
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, there correct number is n + 1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s -1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

Built it up and raced it last year. I am upgrading to a carbon frame and need to let it go even though I had dreams of converting it to a sweet single speed racing machine.

Cross bikes are rad! You can do about anything on them, I raced cross and ride gravel with it. But you can also take it on single-track (with zero rock gardens) if you want to. I have my 3rd best strava lap on a single-track at home with this very bike.

Anyway, frame is 1.5 years old and all components are less than a year old. I built it for racing cyclocross (and looking awesome with the white cable housing!) and have it about as light as you can get it without going full carbon everything ($$$$$). When I put my carbon tubluars on it, it’s just a shade over 17lbs. It weighed in at 19 with a cup of stans in each wheel (without pedals).

I raced last season with it. I only ride the bike in the fall/winter (cross season). It gets cleaned up and sits all spring and summer. It is used, so It does have some cosmetic scratches, etc, but it’s a very, very sound bike and will treat you well.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Frame: Specialized Crux Disc – 56 Geometry can be found here: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/archive/2012/crux/cruxcompdiscapex#geometry

Wheelset: Stans ZTR Arch 29er (rims & hubs) - http://www.notubes.com/ZTR-Arch-EX-29er-Stock-Wheelset-P918.aspx
Tires: Specized Captians Tubless (rear tread is ½ done, but still has life in it) works great on the Stans rim. http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/road-tires/cyclocross-tires/captain-cx-pro

Drive Train - Shimano Ultegra 6700 Groupset – Shifters, Front and Rear Derailleur, Crank 175 front chainring 46-36t, Rear Cassette (Shimano 105) 11-28t.

                Front rotor 160, Rear rotor 140

Bar: Bontrager RL Ergo 31.8mm/40cm – tape lizard skin http://bontrager.com/model/09167

Saddle/Seatpost: Selle Sam Marco Bilanciata & FSA SL-K Carbon

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cross Course is Ready to Rocks and Rolls!

Marked and mowed the Cross course this weekend up behind Corby Pond (corby south). Just in time for it to rain and not use it!

Was kind of a pain to mow with my little mower. I name him the noisy cricket!

Here is the basic course layout. For whatever reason I can't get it to post right side up and am not going to mess with it anymore. Parking is on the left.  North is facing right, make since??

Click here to go to google maps to find out where the field is if you don't already know.

I am going to put together some CVC pipe barriers. Just pick um up when your done and put them in the bushes in the tree island so people wont mess with them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gravel Soul Searching..

It had been a while since I have done any sort of gravel riding. Went to visit my bro-in-law near Columbia and went exploring..
Shameless selfie
Sun rising.
Instagram edit, pretty cool tool

Katy Trail
Interesting grain silo or whatever (I'm city folk)
Cool little tunnel around Roachport, MO
It wasn't Colorado but its still fun getting off the beaten path. I love exploring new roads on a bike, doesn't get much better.

Here is a good one for you. copy and paste it to something you can see often. you won't regret it. 

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for 

adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with 

new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to 

have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a 

new and different sun. " ― Jon KrakauerInto the Wild