Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baldwin City Road Race

Today was the Baldwin City Road Race and the the sun rose to a clear and cool day. Scott and Tanya picked me up early and as much as I complained about it I'm glad I beat the line you see in the picture. The bad part is that that's only half of the line, the good part is that there were that many racers out for a great day of racing.
Today's plan was to drive out with Scott, race, and then ride home. I knew the wind was going to coming out of the north, the wrong direction but more on that later. Scott had to leave as soon as the race ended so we signed up for the Masters race. Little did we know it would be the largest field of the day at 40 riders. As we started and rolled out through the neutral zone I made note of the wind howling out of the Northwest at about 25mph. Once we passed the neutral zone that wind quickly made for a pretty negative race. Everybody was trying to hide from the wind and very few were pulling but you knew it would all change eventually once we hit the crosswind sections. On the 2nd lap Scott got off with 2 other guys and got quite a gap. They were out there for 2 laps before the 360 team put 5 guys on the front and started pulling them back. Then Phil Gronniger punched it and shot off the front. His first attack shredded the field and just as it looked like is was going to regroup a bit he punched it again. I bridged across both times and the second time we were away with a small group. Later that lap we picked up Scott and Pete from the early break and by the start of the last lap the break was down to 9 riders. The break was working pretty well until we got closer to the end of the race when people stopped taking pulls. Then it was cat and mouse until the last hill up to the finish. I tried to set a steady pace up the climb and ended up shelling everybody but Phil. He jumped 100m from the line and just didn't have the snap to jump up to him by the line.
Now for the ride home. Even with the wind I did it, I couldn't waste the opportunity to get in a long day on the bike. It actually wasn't that painful once I got past Gardner and I ended up getting in 102 miles. I think it's been at least 10 years since I rode a century. Can't see a repeat performance any time soon, but who knows what the next ride may bring.

This week's update

It's been a busy week and frankly I was just too pooped to post after Tuesday. So here we go: In the first picture we he have Jonas's Championship winning team. As the youngest kid on the team he sometimes struggled but overall it was a good learning experience with an awesome coach. This was last weekend but I had to throw it in because I forgot last week.

Now on to this week.......Wednesday was the hill ride. Another good hill ride that was made tougher with an appearance by our own Chris "fuzzy" Hall. Sure would be nice to go uphill that fast and make it look so easy. Ah youth, I guess we need to work him harder at the shop. Saturday was Eli's last t-ball game. He had a great time playing and learned a bit about baseball even though he spent most of his time kicking the dirt and making dust. After that we had a pool party to attend so once again I spent my day before a race getting roasted in the sun.
That brings me to this pic. For the last two weeks the kids have had swim lessons every night. Thursday was the last night and the kids were pretty excited. Jonas is pretty excited to move on to the next level. Eli improved greatly but didn't pass. As you can see he didn't mind as long he still got the candy. I guess it just means more pool time for dad before we sign him up for more lessons.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday KC Crit

Tuesday KC CRit Results
  1. Shadd Smith
  2. David Hedjuk
  3. Jeremy Pych
  4. Nick Coil
  5. Bill Marshall

Tuesday Crit Overall as of 6/24/08

  1. Shadd Smith 61
  2. David Hedjuk 27
  3. Joe Schmalz 25
  4. Cam Chambers 17
  5. Tom Price 16
  6. Adam Mills 14
  7. Bill Marshall 10
  8. Phil Gronniger 8
  9. Jeremy Pych 8
  10. Steve Tilford 7
  11. Graham Aldrich 7
  12. Phil Mann 5
  13. Brian Jensen 3
  14. Chris Hall 3
  15. Nick Coil 2
  16. Jeff Schroeder 2
  17. Mike Pallito 1
  18. Kurt Mulebach 1
  19. Bill Stolte 1
  20. Mark Cole 1

Tuesday Crit

Since I don't have any fresh pic's from tonight's crit I'll just post his one of our hometown girl Kelly Benjamin. She's on the top step of the podium at the AT&T Downtown Austin Crit last weekend. Pretty cool that she comes out and rides with us on Tuesday nights when she's in town.

As for tonight's race, it was fast and actually ended in a field sprint. I think that's a first for this year. Scott said we had a 27 mph average so plenty of speed work for the legs this week. Not too much else to say, I'm just a bit to banged up to do much and and a few of the other guys were suffering after last weekends MTB race as well.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Landahl Part 2 and Bad Gravity

This weekend we were back at Landahl Park for the final cross country race for the Heartland Series. I'll start with the good stuff, what a good look'in crew on the 45-49 podium. It was good to stand on the top step of the podium so now the goal is to stand on the podium for the Expert overall. That's going to be a tough one if we continue to have large fields stacked with fast guys from Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
This weeks course was totally different than the last course, much less singletrack, much more doubletrack. The course was fast, fast, fast, and I felt pretty good warming up. So we lined up and the horn sounded. Right away we were single file flying into the woods. By time we got to the first rocky climb 7 or 8 of us had gotten some separation from the field. For the first lap I just hung out on the back of the train led by Shadd Smith, with Cam, Dave, Aaron, Mark, and Chris. Going into the 2nd lap is where I ran into a patch of bad gravity. I'm sitting third in the train and somehow got caught leaning in rut and went down, nearly taking the rest of the group with me. It had to be bad gravity as I'm sure it wasn't pilot error! So for the next half a lap I chase and get back on to the train. Starting the 3rd lap I'm back on the train and it's all good, I feel good but I've got some bike issues. My seat is slipping and now the nose of the saddle is up my butt. A stout hand slap and it's back down with a mental note to sit in the center of the saddle. I also put some carbon bars on this week and even though the grips seemed to stick before the race it's not the case now. Seems they like to spin around until they push up against the shifters. Now my hands hit the shifters with every bump and dumps me into a smaller gear.
But it's all still good, I can deal with bike problems, and I'm still in the lead group. We hit the rocky climb on the 3rd lap and I screw up and get gapped a bit, no problem, just gas it a bit and BAM, down I go. I jump up and I'm ok, the bikes not.

The bars look like this.... and no matter how hard I tug on them they won't move back. So I figure with a lap and a half left maybe I can ride it out. About a half a lap later I'm blasting along when I hit a rock garden at speed and loose the front wheel. 3nd patch of bad gravity and this one hurts. I hate crashing on rocks! I shook it off and this time I decide to try to go fast enough to hold my position but not fall. I felt like I was going pretty fast and near the end of the last lap someone told I was catching someone. To my surprise Shadd had come back to me, he had stuck to the pace up front while I busy flopping around on the ground so I think I had the fresher legs. I managed to get past Shadd for 6th overall. I wish I had more to write about what happened up at the front of the race but you can't see much from ground level. Check out Cam or Mark's blogs for more race reports.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Crit

Tonight's crit was a bit different than every other Tuesday we've had this year, very little wind! I'm not sure if that's what made it feel fast but Scott said we averaged around 27 mph. That makes sense because the break didn't get away until late in the race and it was attack after attack until they did. Missed the break tonight, oh well, maybe next week.
Then there's Shadd, shown here winning by a huge margin.
And then the remnants of the field. Yep, I'm that tired. Scott was killing me on the way back to the shop.

Thanks to my camera person Amber Chambers. If it wasn't for here you'd be stuck with a picture of the group lining up every week!

Tuesday KC Crit 6/17/08

Tuesday KC Crit Results
  1. Shadd Smith
  2. Phil Gronniger
  3. David Hedjuk
  4. Joe Schmalz
  5. Mark Cole

Tuesday KC Crit Overall as of 6/17/08

  1. Shadd Smith 56
  2. Joe Schmalz 25
  3. David Hedjuk 23
  4. Cam Chambers 17
  5. Tom Price 16
  6. Adam Mills 14
  7. Bill Marshall 9
  8. Phil Gronniger 8
  9. Steve Tilford 7
  10. Graham Aldrich 7
  11. Phil Mann 5
  12. Jeremy Pych 5
  13. Brian Jensen 3
  14. Chris Hall 3
  15. Jeff Schroeder 2
  16. Mike Pallito 1
  17. Kurt Mulebach 1
  18. Bill Stolte 1
  19. Mark Cole 1

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day Weekend

Wow, that looks like it hurts! Adam's at the front of a long single file line at the Nature Valley GP. Sounds like some of the guys had a rough time and some were better. Our own Chris "Fuzzy" Hall hung in there to finish 57th overall, 5th best young rider, and 12th amature. Simply outstanding. I don't want to forget Bill Stolte who finished 76th, nice work Bill.

As for me, I skipped the Kansas Champs to hang out with my kids on Fathers Day. Saturday I got a decent ride in before Eli's game at 2pm. Sunday we were off to Lawrence to get brunch and ride River Trails with Jonas. Nancy and Eli were going to window shop while we rode. So we got brunch and drove to the trails just in time for the storm to blow in. We walked over to the trails before the rain and they were perfect! So close and yet so far. Drove through the pouring rain on the way home to find my roofer still working. Just a few small details and the roof will finally be done. The weather has been a pain and I don't know who will be happier when it's done, us or the roofers.
Anyhow, the sun came out and the roads dried so I went for a quick ride before Jonas had B-ball practice. Never saw the storm coming but man did it rain.

This week at a's tournament time for Jonas. Games Monday, then Friday and Saturday if they continue to win. Is it bad to want your kid's team to lose? That's only the first half of the bracket, the 2nd half starts the next Monday. At least Eli is down to two more games and no TOURNAMENT.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

TT before the Rain

It's Time Trial man!!!!!! Scott was ready to go and once again the weather was threatening. Today there were gale force winds on the out and back course just like last time. We had a huge tailwind on the way out and had to slug it out on the way back. Tough sledding for guys like me, good for the guys with power. Andy and Scott were good examples as they were fast.
Andy and his sweetie (sorry, I don't know her name) were both winners and their categories. Andy set the fastest time at 12:30, I had a 13:03, Scott rode a 13:04. Scott and I both lowered our times from the previous TT so the form is coming along.

Here's Scott showing Dean some love. Once again Dean ripped off a fast TT and then kept on going and did it again.
I hear he's going to Masters Nationals, and I bet there's a medal in his future.

Rain!!!!!! We finished the TT and headed back to the shop. Once we got there the tornado sirens went off and the skies looked scary. I boogied home and got in the garage just before the monsoon began. It's now a few hours later and it's still pouring and the flood warnings are up. Oh house is getting a new roof and it's half done. I'll be up all night looking for leaks, wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

KC Crit Results 6/10/08

Tuesday KC Crit Results 6/10/08
  1. Shadd Smith
  2. Cam Chambers
  3. Joe Schmalz
  4. Tom Price
  5. David Hedjuk

KC Crit Overall as of 6/10/08

  1. Shadd Smith 51
  2. Joe Schmalz 23
  3. David Hedjuk 20
  4. Cam Chambers 17
  5. Tom Price 16
  6. Adam Mills 14
  7. Bill Marshall 9
  8. Steve Tilford 7
  9. Graham Adrich 7
  10. Phil Mann 5
  11. Jeremy Pych 5
  12. Phil Gronniger 4
  13. Brian Jensen 3
  14. Chris Hall 3
  15. Jeff Schroeder 2
  16. Mike Palitto 1
  17. Kurt Mulebach 1
  18. Bill Stolte 1

Tuesday Nite Crit

Cam's got a new bike! Look how happy the Chamber's are and why not, Cam just got 2nd in the Tuesday KC Crit.
Interesting night at the crit. A stiff wind out of the south looked to make for some pretty negative racing. So we get started and pretty soon a break goes up the road and it's got some horsepower. I spotted it and bridged across but when I got there only a few of the 8 or so guys were pulling. I looked back and we had a pretty good gap and I thought we were gone. Alas.....too many passengers and not enough ponies. At one point Shadd rolled back to the baggage and said "you've got to be kidding", and off he went. So we got caught.
Now I know better to get shuffled too far back when the break gets caught and I only went back 10 places or so......but Cam and Shadd rolled off the front just as the groups came together and that was it. The rest of the race was spent just getting a workout and then my DUH moment came. I just finished pulling and went all the way to the end of the pack, yes, I was the last guy. Then as we are cresting the hill Chris yells "3 to go". Bummer, now I've got to get to the front. I punch it on the backside to get back into the top ten, 2 to go holding in the top ten, 1 to go kept from getting boxed in and find Joe's back wheel. He's getting a huge leadout and takes me all the way to the the start of the sprint. Joe's 3rd and I'm 4th, sweet, if only this was for money!
I cramped in Sunday's MTB race and now my legs are hurt even worse than they did when we started. Cramping is bad, but continuing to race with cramps tears your legs up even worse. If anyone has the answer to cramping in the MTB races Cam and I would love to hear them.
Speaking of Cam, check out the War Axe socks he's sporting. Pretty sweet. If you think the socks are cool wait till you see the frames and forks.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Landahl MTB

Sunday morning came early as I made my Scott and Liz leave in time to be at Landahl by 9:30am. We ended up getting a awesome parking spot and also got to do a few laps of the course. That's what I wanted to do so I could get used to the 29'er. The bike is awesome and I felt at home right away. The bike is snappy in the turns and even with the big wheels accelerates well out of the turns.
Course conditions were great and race time was nearing. Liz wore her pink shorts to make sure the boys knew who they were racing. Sully was ready to rip as well. I started on the front row but got a poor start and ended up somewhere in the top 10 going into the singletrack. That's where things get a little fuzzy. The fast guys are off and running, then there's me, and I have no idea what's behind me. Soon I see Kent on the side of the trail fixing a flat. By the 2nd lap I'm starting to cramp but holding my own but by the third lap I'm in damage control mode and just trying to finish. About then I move over and the Kent McNeil train comes through with 2 other riders on his wheel. Now it's lap 4 and Sully is catching me I just move over and let him go.
In the end Liz ended up 2nd in the women's race. I ended up 2nd in the 45+ race and 8th overall. Not too bad at all. The competition was tough and conditions were as well.
Am I a geek or what! The only guy to stick a team jersey on for the podium shot.
So you know you had a bad day when your bike ends up here! Scott crashed out today but we took his bike home with us. He's ok and his bike will be fine, this one, not so much.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Here we's Landahl!

As crazy as it seems we are going MTB racing tomorrow. I hope it's true and it's tacky trail conditions and not mud. I'll be breaking in a new Fisher Paragon tomorrow as well. Not only is the bike new but it will be the first ride/race on a 29'er. It will also be the first race sporting the Fisher 29'er Team Kit as well. Here's hoping for the best.
Here's the end of the Wednesday night Hill Ride. The last guys standing as it seems rolling back to the finish. Hot and windy made the ride hard but it's only going to get hotter.
Today was another two game Saturday. We thought it was the last game for Jonas. Little did we know there is a two weekend tournament.
With gas prices going up again we started to ride to the games. Roe park is pretty close and on the bike path so why not.

So now I've got to go pack and get ready for tomorrow. We will see if I made the right decision.
Road or MTB.........stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday crit and more new posts

So here I sit, posting all of the last few days events as it's pouring down rain outside. It's been about a week since my last posty so tonight I got caught up. Four posts later I'm down to tonight's crit.

We started the crit and the roads were dry, but the storms were brewing all around us. Lightning and thunder was close but looked to heading away. So we got started and after a few laps Shadd, Joe, and another guy were just off the front. I jumped up to them and away we went. I never looked back as I was staring at the wheel in front of me so I don't know how quickly the gap grew. Soon the rain started and I freaked out. It's the first rainy crit since last years crash and $10,000 worth of surgery on my hand, I didn't want to go through that again. On top of that I 'm didn't want to slow the break in the corners so I started to tailgun the break until I got comfortable. Shadd and Joe were nice enough to let me hang on until later in the race when I felt good enough to start pulling. In the end they let me win, thanks guys!

Now we can only hope that we get better weather the rest of the week. The MTB race Landahl looks doubtful at this point. State Champs down south? or big bucks at Tour of Winghaven in St. Louis? Hmmm what to do?

Tuesday KC Crit Results 6/3/08

Tuesday KC Crit results 6/3/08
  1. Tom Price
  2. Shadd Smith
  3. Joe Schmalz
  4. Bill Marshall
  5. Graham Aldrich

Tuesday KC Crit Overall Points as of 6/3/08

  1. Shadd Smith 46
  2. Joe Schmalz 20
  3. David Hedjuk 19
  4. Tom Price 14
  5. Adam Mills 14
  6. Cam Chambers 13
  7. Bill Marshall 9
  8. Steve Tilford 7
  9. Graham Aldrich 7
  10. Phil Mann 5
  11. Jeremy Pych 5
  12. Phil Gronniger 4
  13. Brian Jensen 3
  14. Chris Hall 3
  15. Jeff Schroeder 2
  16. Mike Pallito 1
  17. Kurt Mulebach 1
  18. Bill Stolte 1

Tulsa Tough "The Races"

It's hard to believe that Tulsa was the first Crit that I've done this year. Friday, what a way to start, 100 guys and it's going to get dark, well at least it won't get dark until I'm done. So the race went OK for me, went for some primes but just missed, and then ran out of steam in the end. Overall not too bad of a race and ended up 12Th in the end. After the race we had a great time watching the PRO races IN THE DARK! YEA!!!!!
Saturday: After the storm the races restarted and all of the amature races were shortened to get things back on schedule. It didn't help me as my legs were dead and either off the front or hanging at the back. Then I had a brain fart and screwed up the laps at the end of the race. Ended up 24th, paid 15.....duh.
Sunday: No race for me. Some of the races were cancelled after the storm due to damages to the area and a downed power line. They did manage to run some of the races later in the day so we stuck around to see the Women's PRO and Men's 1-2.

Pictures: A rare one of me, the PRO women dropping down the hill, the break in the women's race, and the Men's 1-2 on the downhill.

Tulsa Tough, "The Storms"

We went to Tulsa for the Tulsa Tough Crits and got a bit of a surprise from the weather. Friday night was good, nice and warm, just my kind of weather.
Saturday we woke up and we looked out to the North and it looked pretty iffy. So we went to the race course a few blocks away to sign up Jonas for the kids races. About then we saw the really dark clouds and lightning coming in and decided to run for the hotel.
Glad we did, gale force winds, hail, and heavy rain rolled in just as we got back. After an hour it was over and the racing went on. Sunday....this was the big one, storm that is. As we were getting ready to go to the race course it looked on the radar like a huge storm was about to hit, what to do.....we ended up hanging out at the hotel. Good thing as the storm was bad and there was so much damage that some of the races
cancelled. Check out the pictures. Jonas and Eli checking out the port-a-pottie. Bummer if you were in there! Bigger bummer was if you owned the car under the tree. That was right next to Sundays course. You know the race course is muddy when the promoter gets the Fire Department to come out and hose off the course.