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.