Thursday, December 31, 2009

My day at the races, cross'en out the old year!

The boys and I headed out to the Cross out the Old Year Cross race today to check out the action. I'm still on a bit of a break off the bike so I headed out to watch the Elite race, work the pit a bit, and play in the snow with the boys. It sure looked nice when we left but it sure was cold. The course looked like it melted a bit during the day and by time the Elite race went off it the temps were dropping. It didn't take long during the race for the bikes to ice over and by half way shifters and brakes no longer worked. Check out the ice and Shadd and Adam's bikes.

Nice pic of Shadd, just as he came into my camera's range I see his hand come up for a bike change! Uhhhhhhhh......all I could do is yell next time through. Whoops.

Of course the reason I was taking pictures at all was the fact that there was a woman down in the infield. No accident here, just remember it is New Years eve. I'm not naming names........lets just say they there were some folks that weren't feeling the cold.

Brian was rolling it today. Good course for a guy with a ton of power and Brian has a big motor.

Will got out for his first cross race today and rode well. Tough conditions for his first race, bet the next one will feel easy.

Shadd and Brian were off early.

TLove did the 3-4 race and ended up with a ice block for a bike in the end. Most people had pedals that would not work for most of the race.

T-love after his race, still smiling and having fun @ 20 degrees.

Pinky seems to be feeling the need for a snowball fight. He better start practicing cuz right now he's in big trouble!

Curly went for something a little easier to ride today.
So tonight's the big night, Happy New Years to everybody! See you all in the new year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pics from Euro camp

Looks like the boys are having fun in euroland. Check out the article about Chris on PodiumInsight. I'm a little slow putting the link up so you have to go down a bit to catch his interview. Tough to find pictures from the races but leave it to Joe to be wearing a Source Endurance shirt just at the right time. At least Cyclingnews is keeping up with what's happening at cross camp. There's a cross race tomorrow here in KC but since the kids are still on break I'll have to head out as a spectator. Maybe I'll get out for one of the last ones.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Playing in the snow and Fuzzy...........

Mathgeek was hoping for a white Christmas and did she ever get one. I heard that Kansas City has not had a Christmas with measurable snow in over 50 years. Well, this will be one for the record books, 8-9 inches of snow on the ground and drifting. Oh well, the kids are loving it since they were too little to enjoy snows like this when we were in Cleveland.

Yesterday Bill brought the Thing1 and Thing2 over for some sledding action on the hill across the street from our house. Good times......sledding in the fresh snow and then walk across the street for some hot chocolate.

Now if there is snow it's only natural that we would have to build a jump. Pinky has been getting better on his snowboard and he's actually figured out how to land the jump. I guess I'll have to get him out to some bigger hills so he can get in longer rides. We went out again today and after a while he looks over at me and asks, "when can we go to Colorado?" Wonder how much a real snowboard is going to cost me?

Yesterday was Will's first time on the snowboard and he was a natural. First time on the board and he went down the hill without falling. The jump was a bit more challenging but the kid has no fear, none. We might have to take a trip to Weston and see how they do at Snowtrails little hills.

Now for something totally different.
I know being a college student is rough, and sometime you take what you can get, but Fuzzy, Schlitz malt liquor and Adkins diet bars do not go together! Must be a new recovery method after a 2 hr ride.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Check out Joe on PodiumInsight

Lyne from PodiumInsight did a interview with Joe while were in Portland about cross and going to Europe. Read about it here. Lyne talked to Chris as well so look for that interview down the road. I wouldn't be surprised to see something about the antics of the KCCX crew while we were all staying at KB's house in Portland. She said something about taking notes on what was said but I guess a fair amount would have to be censored.

Two days till Christmas.............time to bake cookies for Santa!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The boys are back

Brad and Fuzzy in the house.

Nice ride today, got out before the weather gets bad with the rain/snow mix. It's been a long time since I worked a paceline on a road bike and it was fun! Gained a minute of daylight today so spring is on the way!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My last Cross Nationals post

Yea, I'm having a hard time letting what happened at Nationals go. I found some video of the crash at the start but it's not clear enough to see what really happened. I'm pretty sure I got hit from behind and by the way I flipped off the bike it's pretty likely.

Here's video Masters 50-54 start crash and then video of the stairs on the first lap. If you wait long enough on the stairs video you can see me do my best Shadd Smith impression on the rider next to me.

The stairs video makes me feel better. I had no idea I was that far back. As Tilford said after the race,"you may not of won nationals but you won't forget that ride." He's right.

So now it's time to refocus, The United Federation of Dirt Race calendar is up and I'm sure the road calendar will come out soon. Check out for more details. If you race mountain bike this is going to be awesome.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So long Sprinter....

I feel empty, the final leg of the Nationals trip. Drove up north and met Matt and Troy halfway to Lincoln and traded vehicles. Back to reality and the fact that Christmas is this week and I'm not ready. I did get in a few MTB rides and today got out on the road with the 360 guys for a couple of hours. It's going to be interesting to see what the weather brings us this week, snow, rain, cold......... whatever, bring it on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009 Cross Nationals Recap

OK, this is going to be a long one

Check out the photos from Portland and Bend

The photos that are linked are from the Portland USGP and Nationals. Pretty easy to pick them out, Portland has grass, Bend has dirt and snow.

Things got a little crazy since my last post so I'll have to catch up. I guess I left off with the USGP recap so I'll go from there. As the Elite men were racing at the USGP the temps were dropping..... fast, and then it got colder. In fact, a record cold snap hit the northwest and the highs were only in the teens with wind chills in the single digits. We decided to hang in Portland on Monday and then on Tuesday 3 of us would drive the 8 hour trip to get the trailer and the other 3 would get to make the 3 hour trip to Bend with Lyne. The trailer was fixed when we got there and then we had to go over 8 snow covered, 5000ft mountain passes to get to Bend. Again, just like Wyoming, it was beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

Phew......finally in Bend and at our rented house. This place was nice with a big garage to hold all of our bikes and assorted crap. We went out to get some food, our numbers, and check out the course on foot. The course was interesting, lot's of turns and fairly technical with the snow and ice.

Race Day #1: The Killer B's..... Interesting way to line up in the B's, by lottery. That means that they go by the last digit of your number. They draw an 8 and all the people who have the last digit of 8 in their number go to the line. Then they continue to draw...........and in my case my number was last. You got it, I am the last person in the last row of 150 or so riders. The race starts and I just sit there and wait for the riders ahead of me to get going. After that I just started passing people as fast as I could and all the time I could hear Bill giving me what place I was in, 60's, 30's, top 10, and then 5th? That one confused me, I had no idea who was leading but they said the leader was only 10 sec in front of me. I started looking and then the crashing started. In one lap I hit the deck 4 times and slid out 2 other times. This allowed the guy who eventually won to get past me but I had no idea at the time. The last 2 laps I got going again and stopped falling and again passed a bunch of people. At the finish Bill thought I was in the top 3 but nobody knew as they weren't pulling lapped riders and some guys were a number of laps down. In the end I was 3rd, and I guess at one point I was actually leading but had no idea. The race itself was fun and I knew I had good legs and a rest day before my masters race.
Speaking of rest, do you know how little rest a mechanic gets when the whole team is racing, very little. Here's the breakdown, up before anybody else, eat and load equipment in truck, drive to venue, unload truck and set up area, final check on bikes, check with riders during their warm ups for wheel and tire selection, air pressure, ect, race my race, work the pit for all other riders until the end of the day, breakdown pit, load van, drive back to house, unload van, clean and check over all bikes, eat and go to bed, repeat for 3 days. Now I'm not complaining, far from it. I love what I do, it's not a glamorous job but very satisfying to see the riders do well and the bikes work as they should. I should mention that I don't do this alone, Bill is the one that organizes what we do and we tag team most of the work.
Ok, the big one, Race #2 Masters 50-54 For me this is the best shot I have ever had at a National Championship. I'm riding well and the course is good for me. I'm in the 2nd row as the gun goes off and just 10 ft off the line the guy in front of me suddenly slows and I have to hit the brakes. Unfortunately the guy behind me doesn't check up and slams into me from behind. In fact he hit my bike so hard it pushes the brake inside the rim of the back wheel. Down I go and as I pick up my bike I find the rear tire is flat and it won't roll, the bars are twisted, so I throw it on my shoulder and start running. As luck would have it the pit is about 200 yards from the start so I ran the whole way to get my bike. By Trudy's account I was about 1:30 behind the pack when I got to the pit and took my bike and...............was totally gassed from running. It seemed like forever before I got going but I started passing people pretty quick. I was passing as many people as fast as I could and just like the B race Bill started telling me what place I was in, 60, 30, 15, 10, and then the chase was on. I could hear Trudy giving me time splits twice a lap as I started working my way through the top 10. On the last half of the final lap I got past 5th place and got within 7 sec of 3rd. 4th, not what I was hoping for but still not too bad considering what happened. I know I should be happy with 4 but for now I have a sense of unfinished business. The 1:30 lost at the start is about what the winner finished in front of me. But...........that's cross, things happen in every race and it's how you deal with them that can make or break you.
Overall the cross season was a great success for me. A couple of wins in the USGP series and a 2nd overall. A 3rd in the 40+B race and 4th in the Masters 50-54 race at Nationals and 3 straight wins at Jingle Cross. Thanks have to go out to Bill for putting me on the squad in a dual role of Mechanic/rider. It is truly awesome to be involved in such a dynamic program. Have to give a shout out to Jay, Kent, and Scott at Midwest Cycling/TREK Stores for allowing me to do what I do. Allowing me to use shop space to work on team bikes even though they don't sponsor the team is well beyond what other shops would do.
Special thanks go out to my coach, Adam Mills from Source Endurance. I've never used a coach before this season and at times I had my doubts about my program but I stuck with it. It's clear that the program that Adam made for me worked. As the last month rolled around you could see the peak coming and it definitely hit for Portland and Nationals. I can't wait for the road/mtb season to roll around to see what we can do there.
Oh yea, to all of you who followed along with our merry trip out west on Facebook, thanks for all the kind words.
So that's about it, cross is over except for a 3 local cross races and then start getting ready for the road/Mtb season. Between now and then it's time to hit the trails on the mtb.......see ya out there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Soooo close. Dropping Catherine off in Topeka and then home.

Good morning! We are now in Kansas! Delayed by a flat tire but rolling along.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The insanity of the pit before the elite race

Heading into Ogden UT

Rolling through western Oregon

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

KCCX rules in the pits! Todays results so far, Tom 4th, Jeff 11th, Chris 4th, U-23 next then 35-39.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Greetings from Bend. Another sunny 22 degree .

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

We have the set-up

Nationals pit setup. This sweet! A big THANK YOU has to go out to the Jay, Kent, and the whole crew at the TREK stores. The use of the Sprinter van and the Trailer have made this trip possible. We have had more people stop by to check out what we have and how we set it up. On top of that I could of sold a few sprinter vans to folks that have stopped by and asked questions. I can hardly wait for it to start with the snow, sleet, hail, and rain mix that we are supposed to get this weekend. Then our set-up will be even sweeter!

It was a lottery

30+ B's start......... So get this..... in the B races it wasn't line up by how you sign up, instead they used the last digit of your number and then randomly picked the number 1 - 0. So in the 40+ race Troy and I had the last digit of 5 and we sat there as they drew all of the other numbers. You got it, we were in the last row of 165 riders. Results are not up yet but I think Troy was in the top 30. As for me, after the start I had Bill in the pit telling me where I was and it went 60's, 30's, top 15, and all of the sudden I was top 5. About this time we were lapping riders like crazy and since I started so far back I had no idea who was actually leading. I got to the top 3 and immediately started crashing, 6 crashes or near crashes in one lap. I think I started to look for the leaders and lost my focus. After all the crashing I got focused again and caught the leaders only to get gapped off them by some lapped riders. So it ended with Bill thinking that I got 2nd but I was pretty sure there were 2 guys that got by me in my little crash fest. During Podium presentation I got called up for 2nd place but that may change to 3rd. Pretty pleased with how the legs felt today and hope they recover for Saturday's big race.

Tonight Brad and Alex arrived and Logan and Jeff arrive tomorrow. Tomorrow is pretty much
a off day for us, we only have Brad racing the singlespeed race and then I'll stick around for Troys race at 3:30.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm using Bill's computer during this trip so I can't download from my camera. I'll load up more from my phone tomorrow.

Off to bed.....

Drilllin for gold

This is how you pound stakes when it's this cold out. How cold is it? So cold that they had to drill holes in the ground for the stakes. They just broke when they tried to pound them in.

Shadd Smith wins the 30+ killer B's

Shadd Smith wins 30+ B race in Bend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

pre race prep

Trainer time for the KCCX crew before dinner. The Lincoln crew had their time this morning. Got to love having a 2 stall garage to play in. Tomorrow is the first day of racing on the Nationals course so it will be interesting to see how it holds up. It's going to stay below freezing so I'm hoping for no mud for a few days. We shall see.....

It's going to get messy if it gets warm. Forecast if for warmer temps going into the weekend. Of course there is also a good chance of rain, sleet, hail, and snow.

Hanging at REI by the course.

brrrrr....cold. Looks like a good course.

Good morning from Bend! Bike prep day today as it's too cold to ride outside. Right now it's -1 outside.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All the gear is here

We have 3 car garage in Bend. Good thing, that's a lot of bikes! Pretty sweet house that we have rented for the week. Tons of room and it's pretty close to the race course which makes it even better. It would be easy to ride o the course but it's cold here.......really cold, like tonight's low is going to be -10. I'm sure we will get out and ride the course tomorrow but it won't be for long. I was hoping for warmer weather to melt the snow but Adam brought up a good point. If it stays frozen there won't be any races run in the mud. Mud means ruts and when they refreeze overnight they are not fun to race on the next day. I'm just going to go with the flow and not worry about it. Guess I need to look at some bikes........... until tomorrow.

It was a long day

It was a long day, drove from sun up to sun down but we got everthing to Bend. Weird thing is that there was snow on a bunch of the passes but very little in the valleys between. There was no snow at all even in Redmond 5 mile from Bend. By time we got to the house there was 8 inches on the ground. Crazyness.

Pendleton to Bend

8 mountain passes over 4000ft on the drive to Bend today. The last few passes looked like this. Beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

The Trailer is fixed!

Got the trailer and rolling to Bend.

Mt Hood

Mt. Hood in the distance

It's getting colder

REI for warm stuff

Boys will be Boys

The boys room exploded!

It's Speedo!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Portland USGP recap

Where to far so good as far as my fitness goes. Today was a much different course than yesterday. Overnight the wind came up and destroyed much of the course and a fair number of tents. Wish I had a good picture of the Specialized trailer, their whole tent set-up was a mangled mess that was sitting on top of the trailer in the morning. It was much colder today and very windy all day. The course conditions were a weird mix, most of the course was hard and tacky but a few spots had moisture coming up that made them slick.

As for the race.......Got a great start and led going into the grass. This part of the course had a few long straightaways and one of them was into the wind so I slid into second behind a guy that was just flying. I felt like I could go pretty fast on the technical 2nd half of the course to took the lead and got a gap by the first time over the line. For most of the race I held a 10-15 second gap over 2nd place until I crashed in a slick off camber turn. This allowed the guy in 2nd to get close but as soon as I got going he bobbled and dropped his chain giving me a big lead going into the last lap. Going past the pit for the last lap Bill reminded me to back off the pace a bit and stay up and that's just what I did. 1st today and a 2nd yesterday feels pretty good and 2nd overall for the series is awesome.

Next it's off to Bend for Nationals but first we have a few days off. Tomorrow I hope to get out for a ride here in Portland where it's supposed to be around 30 degrees. I hear it's going to be in the teens with snow tomorrow in Bend. Sounds like we aren't the only ones thinking about hanging in Portland for a few days. The Cannondale crew and a few teams are thinking the same thing.

By the way, the KCCX crew is continuing to hang out with some cool photo journalists. In New Jersey in was Ben Ross, here it's Lyne Lamoureux from Podium Insight. She's staying at KB's house with us and it's pretty cool to see what she has to go through to cover a race. An added bonus is that we got to see all 600 pictures that she took just of Sundays races.

Ok, now I'm tired. Time to relax for a bit then off to bed.

On the motocross course, that's a steep drop off into some deep ruts.