Sunday, September 28, 2008

Diamond Blackfan Cross

Not too sure how to write this one up. I've got to say that I'm still totally out of sync when it comes to getting prepared to race. All season I've been showing up to races unprepared and today was no exception. Today's problem started with a malfunctioning Air pump that would not work with my wheels. Yea, I knew about it a few days ago but forgot to do anything about it. So I rolled out to race with my tires just a bit low on air pressure. After a crappy start Cam and I were dicing with each other and moving up through the field. Unfortunately I tried my best inside/outside move on Cam and my squishy tires gave out and I slid into him. Once we got tangled up I ended up going over the top of both Cam and his bike. Hard crash........I'm trying to get Cam to answer me that he's ok before I ride off, but I'm starting to freak as I'm getting no answer. Finally he answers and then it's time to clean up my yard sale before get back into the race.

So now I'm back in the race and catching people and just as I'm all most at the back of the group the chain falls off. In the space of the next few laps it falls off 6-7 times, hell I lost track. Finally if falls off and somehow gets past the chain keeper without moving it, time to go for a little jog. So I get to the pit, take a nice long drink, and take off on the spare bike. Imagine this... the tires have more pressure and the bike handles much better! Now it's only a few laps more to go so I kept going and manage to catch a few other guys who have blown or crashed. I never did check to see where I finished but it really doesn't matter.

Today was a learning experience for sure. The fitness is OK but should get better before the next race in a couple of weeks. I all ready went to the shop to get the parts to fix the chain issues and the pump.

A few really cool things from today:

Jonas wanted to try out the cross course, very fun to ride with him on the course (it's unfortunate that his bike is 10 pounds heavier than my cross bike)

The number of riders in attendance, I knew there were a ton of riders in all the categories and heard they had around 200 riders.

A new venue to race. Good course in a park close to home.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This morning I finally finished dinking around with my bikes.
This sculpture is pretty cool. Not too often you see see TT bikes like this. Come out to the race tomorrow and see it for yourself! I went out and tested out the bikes and it's a good thing I did, lot's of little adjustments to do.
Eli got lucky to play early before it got hot. His team is really playing well and beat the other team 11- zip. Sometimes you feel sorry for the other little guys.
Later in the day Jonas played his game. I was hot just sitting in a chair on the sidelines. He played the whole 1st half and was fried. We tried to rehydrate him at halftime but he was baked. I should of brought a couple GU packs to jump start him for the 2nd half. Oh well..he's a trooper and the team played to a 1-1 tie.

Tomorrow Eli has a noon game and then it's dad's turn to give it a go. First cross race of the year for me, should be amusing for sure.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yesterday I managed to finish off my cross bikes. A few changes are still in store, but other than actually riding them before the race to get the bugs out, I'm done. Today I built up Bill M's bike. Scott frame with a Red group, very nice. I also saw a really nice, and very light (16lb) Ridley in the shop as well. It's going to be a bike show at the cross race this Sunday.

And you thought only screwball Nebraskans wore these on football Saturdays. Nope, my son can find one in Kansas and even though we are true Husker fans I've all ways found this hat somewhat embarrassing.
Yea, it's that time of the year, time for my family to figure out how to put that many candles on my birthday cobbler. Yes...I said cobbler. Berry cobbler, and it's awesome! You can see the numbers, that puts me in the 50-55 group at next years cross nationals. Isn't it weird that age group athletes get excited as they get older and become the young guy in the group again. Just think, every five years you start over again. Of course the herd gets a little thin after a while.:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1st cross race, 4 days, Bikes ready 0

I'm not ready but I am getting closer. I should be done tomorrow as long as I don't get too busy and work gets in the way. My guess is that I'll get them done by Saturday and break them in by pre-riding Sundays race course. We shall see, I may just go ride MTB's tomorrow morning since the shop doesn't open till' noon.
So close......and yet so far......

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last MTB race of the Season

Capitol City Classic
Lincoln, NE

Promoted by Lincoln Industries

Well......we pulled it off, or I should say Troy pulled it off. After taking over leadership of the team at short notice, Troy worked his butt of as a first time promoter to run a fine event. We didn't have any problems and the event went off with out a hitch. Everybody in attendance was happy and had a great time! I also have to give a shout out to all of the guys on the team who pulled together and made it happen, couldn't of done it without ya!

Now for the race...... since I was working/racing the event I was up bright and surly at 5:30am to get out to the venue and help set-up. Tents, tables, computers, ect......check, all up and running. The Beginners and Kids races go off and finish and then it's time to put on the kit and get ready!

We have an awesome start set up for these races, 1 mile of gravel road before you drop into the single track. Before the start Coach KB told me to do two things in the race, 1. Be conservative, it's hot out there, 2. Don't Crash. OK, I can do that I thought as we rolled off to the start.

Off we go and I slot in to draft behind 4 or 5 fast guys before the 1st turn. Sweet...I've got a good spot on the train as we fly into the first turn. Then it happens.......well, I'm not too sure what happened but down I went. Sorry Coach, 1 down and now the conservative approach went out the window as now I'm chasing to try and get back on the train. For 6 of the 8 laps I was on and off the train. The reasons were many to get gapped off and every time I got back on I thought I was set, but it was not to be. The last time I got back on I saw Darrin jump hard off the front of the group and the wheels came off the train including my little caboose. All of that chasing had me sliding into damage control for the last two laps. I held on for 5th Expert overall and 2nd in the Expert 35+. Not too shabby!

So now it's offically time to start thinkinig cross. I stuck around in Lincoln Sunday and rode some of the cross courses the guys have been practicing on. Good stuff!

The tubies just keep on rolling in, get your's done now while I'm on a roll!

Sounds like the cross race last weekend was lot's of fun and lot's of pain, just like a good cross race should be! Speaking of pain........I just saw a video of this weeks course here in KC. I'm still just a bit dizzy but I think I get it. Might have to try and get a bike ready to ride this week so I can pre-ride before the weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cross for most, MTB for me

Here's what I plan on doing this weekend. My team, Midwest Wheelmasters, is putting on a MTB race in Lincoln, NE Saturday. I'll be heading up to help out and sneak in a race before the season ends. I'm not too sure about my form at the moment. I started riding this week after a 2 week break and I feel slow. Could it be the fumes in my body from gluing cross tires oozing out of my toes and sticking my wheels to the ground? Could be, but what I do know is that after 3 days of riding my legs are a bit tweaked.

But not a tweaked as they would be if I headed to Hermann for the cross race Saturday night. It would be really cool to race cross at night but running up that many steps would cripple me for the rest of the season. Good luck to those making the trip!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Time for Cross and I'm sniffing glue

I think this picture tells the story. I've got a bit of work to do gluing up some knobby tires for cross. It's kind of nice getting to check out all of the different tires that people have chosen for their weapons of choice. We have Dugast, Challenge, and Tufo's at he moment. Who knows what will roll through the door tomorrow. Today I got two sets done and 2 more sets are just about ready to go. One more round of glue and I'll have my pile cut in half. I have 2 sets to glue for myself and maybe, just maybe, I'll get them done before the first race here in KC.
Maybe I should of saved some of the treats that a Mr. Smith brought the mechanics yesterday and used it for energy today. Let's see, we started the day with coffee, then Mr. Smith brought in a pound of licorice and a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans. You should of seen the crew ripping around the shop the rest of the day. Nothing like being hopped up on sugar and caffeine!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cross Nationals Sign up........must sleep..............

So now that I'm attempting to stay awake for another 2 hours I found this old picture of Shadd at Jingle Cross 06. It's a tough day when you bleed but mud and blood, that's cross.

Hmmmmmm 12:01 am. Why can't they make it 12:01 in the pm so we can all get some sleep. Oh well....I'll get it done and that should be all the motivation I need to get riding. I really have not been on the bike much since Gateway Cup. I decided to take a 2 week rest before I started to get ready for cross but after the first week I was ready to ride. Then the monsoon hit, so much for riding. Then I read Cam Chambers blog and he made me feel like a sissy for not getting off my butt. I did use the time to get the road bike ready to sell and look into something to ride this winter. The parts are all ordered for the cross bikes and should be in this week so I might even have a bike to race by the first race in KC.

Here's something for your amusement. We took the kids to a indoor pool today for a birthday party for one of Eli's classmates. All was going well until the life guards started making everybody get out of the pool. So as Nancy's walking past another parent she asks what's going on...and he replies, "there's a baby Ruth in the pool!"

Try to remember the scene from Caddyshack.

In this case it more like M&M's in the pool instead of a Baby Ruth and I can honestly say that it would suck to be a lifeguard in that situation. So with the pool shut down for about a hour we decided to exit stage left and go home to disinfect. Funny....the pool reopened as we were leaving and everybody jumped in just like nothing happened. I'm not sure if they close down the pool for so long to cycle the water or to let people who were there leave and a new group come in.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Don't mess with the F.O.G. / Rain again........

Around the shop he's known as FOG (or f###ing old guy, fast old guy, ect....), and as a wrench at the shop he's a bit territorial. Just don't leave your old skanky coffee cup on his bench for him to find in the morning or it will end up here.

Don't say I didn't warn ya!

Did I mention that all this rain is once again threatening a MTB race. As it stands there's a pretty good chance that Saturday's race in Nebraska will be a rain out. Hmmmmm what to do....I'm packed to go, but I don't want to make the drive and have them call it off . I see many phone calls in my future.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday KC Crit, Final Points

Due to the crash and our scorekeeper attending to Nick we did not get the last 3 places in the sprint. No points this week. This is it......the final standings.

Tuesday KC Crit Final Standings
  1. Shadd Smith 100
  2. David Hedjuk 46
  3. Joe Schmalz 27
  4. Jeremy Pych 27
  5. Bill Marshall 25
  6. Tom Price 25
  7. Cam Chambers 17
  8. Phil Gronniger 16
  9. Adam Mills 14
  10. Brian Jensen 8
  11. Steve Tilford 7
  12. Graham Aldrich 7
  13. Phil Mann 5
  14. Jeff Seese 5
  15. Chris Hall 4
  16. Jeff Winkler 3
  17. Adam Lang 3
  18. Nick Coil 2
  19. Jeff Schroeder 2
  20. John Shipman 2
  21. Mike Palitto 2
  22. Kurt Mulebach 1
  23. Bill Stolte 1
  24. Mark Cole 1
  25. John Palman 1
  26. Chris Wallace 1
  27. Andy Lucas 1
  28. Paul Fancher 1

Tuesday KC Crit, Final Night

Tonight was the final night for the KC Crit. A little bigger field showed up to race but it would prove to be a different race than usual. First of all, more than a few of the regulars were looking a bit ragged from last nights Tour of Missouri festivities. Stuff of legends I'm sure. Second, it's the end of the season and most of the crew are getting ready for cross. So the race ended up being pretty mellow. Not that it was easy, far from it. Just not the same attack after attack that we usually have. Coming into the end of the race a break that was off for a long time was getting reeled back in with 2 laps to go. Just before 1 to go a crash took down Nick Coil. That pretty much ended the race. I think there was still a sprint with Shadd and Joe taking the first two places. Chris was attending to Joe so we have no idea who got the last 3 places. So no points in the final week but that's ok, nobody was going to catch the King of the KC Crit, Shadd Smith who more than doubled the 2nd place riders points.

Shadd and his girly crown, yes, you could be the lucky guy to get these next year. he is with the real deal. The King of KC Crown.

I'll post final points next and then we'll do it all over again next year!

Hmmmmmmmmm points series for cross leading into Nationals? I'm thinking 6-8 races in Oct - Nov. More on that in the next post.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tour of MO Day 1

Today the Tour of Missouri hit KC and what a great day it was! Sure, the weather was crappy, cold and wet, but the crowd still came out to see both races. I do love seeing the races but I also have a good time just hanging out with everybody. I should of taken some pictures of Cam and Sean working the Mavic wheel pit for the women's race. But the best picture would of been when I saw Scott in the back seat of the Kelly Benefits car near the end of the race.

I did get a picture of Brooke Miller rolling through after she won the woman's race. I'm not sure where Kelly finished but it was a tough field so just finishing was a victory.

This picture doesn't do the sprint in the men's race justice. It didn't look like the leadout trains really developed so it was chaos as the sprint started. Once it did, those guys were flying to the line.

So much fun, makes me want to go to Jeff City Friday and race. I'll have to think about that one.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

OK.....Now it's time for cross!

Now that the last TT is out of the way and there are just a few MTB races to do I guess it's time to think cross. I've got to take stock and see what I need to order to get the bikes in shape.

This one isn't mine but it's pretty close....and it's 16.75 lbs! How many weeks before cross starts?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesda Night Crit Rained out!

Yea.....I know, what a bunch of sissies. A little rain shouldn't stop a crit but this week was a little different. Scott and I showed up a half hour before the start just as the rain really started to get heavy. Looking around and there were only two other cars with cyclists huddled in them. By 6:30 the rain had stopped and there were 6 or 7 guys hanging around waiting to see if we would race. Chris decide to call the race when there were so few racers and no, as in zero, corner marshals. Oh well, I was too tired to race anyway. So now there is only one TUESDAY NIGHT CRIT left. Be there to see the season champion crowned.

Tomorrow is the last Gardner TT so I'm planning to give it a try. Levi rode a good TT to win a stage yesterday so be like Levi and give it a try.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gateway Cup: Day 3 -4, Excuse me, How many to go?

The title of this entry about sums up what I should of done at the end of yesterdays race.
Before I get into that I've got to post this picture of me racing yesterday on the Loop. Nancy took a nice picture so I thought I'd use it.

So let's start with Day 3, The Giro. I rode over from the hotel since we were so close and Nancy took the boys to the Science center. I usually get warmed up on a trainer so this change in routine left me a little cold at the line. Once I got warmed up during the race I went prime hunting. The 1st and 2nd tries I ended up leading out Dave Hedjuk from the 360 team. That's ok, he's a KC guy and later in the race I got it right for a $50.00 prime. Just when I was thinking Dave owed me for the lead outs he came by on the bell lap and pulled his teammate Paul and I to the front for the sprint. I think Dave was 4th, I was 6th, and Paul was 7th. Nice!

Monday, The Loop Crit: I should be happy with this race but the end result just bums me out. Once again we started with around 150 guys so staying at the front was a priority. I knew from the gun that I was tired and the legs felt bad. I thought I'd go for some early primes and then hope for the best at the end. That's pretty much how it played out as I got 3 primes for $75.00 and just got beat for a $50.00. Problem was every time I got a prime it took longer to recover I would get shuffled back even more. I got lucky a few times and got back to the front as a crash happened just behind me. So the bell rings with 5 to go......and the crashing really begins. It's bump and run at the front and it seems like I'm skirting the edges of the pile every lap.

Now here's the bummer part, with all of the crashing I lost track of how many laps there are to go. It seems like everybody in the crowd has a cowbell and it's so loud you can't hear the bell for the last lap from the crowd noise. So I'm killing myself to stay up front when the field pegs it up the back side of the course. Entering the last turn there's a hesitation in the field so I go as hard as I can thinking if I can get a good gap I can get a good finish. But I look back and DOH........nobody else is's one to go and I'm done. Looking back on it I should of kept going and tried to go the extra lap but I just sat up and finished the race.

So I'm feeling like a doofus for taking off a lap early and I roll up to the TREK/HRRC guys and Steve Tilford looks at me with a big smile and says"you went a lap early didn't ya". Yep, that's a hard one to admit but with everybody watching pretty hard to explain away. So I'm purging my soal and ending the road season on a good note. It was my best Gateway Cup ever and I came out without a scratch on my bike or body, can't complain about that.