Monday, November 30, 2009

Jingle Cross 2009

Made the trip to Iowa City for the 3 days of Jingle Cross last weekend. I was a little worried about the night race on Friday just because of the races history of mud and cold temps. Luckily we arrived Friday with warm temps and a reasonable amount of mud. I was one of the first races to go off so the course wasn't too chewed up for me, but later in the night the ground turned to peanut butter in many places. That's when the rear derailleur's started popping, the theory was that the pea gravel was getting picked up by the muddy tires and then jamming the chain in the der. I heard there 10+ broken ders in the 2-3 race alone. The KCCX crew were lucky to have Bill in the pits to take bike changes. Clean bikes every lap or so kept the gravel where it should be and we had no mechanical issues.

Alex on the monster run up, another stellar weekend!

The monster run up from Saturday. The picture only shows half of it and it's so muddy you sunk in over your ankles.

What goes up must come down. The lower section of Saturdays decent. We had to run/ride up this Friday and Sunday.

D2 in the barriers before another slip& slide area.

Heading for the top of Mt. Krumpit, it was a long, long, run Friday night.
Today was about as crazy as it gets. Got home late last night, and had today to get ready to head west tomorrow. Have to say thanks to Matt and Troy for getting the Sprinter and Trailer to the drop off point tonight. Your turnaround time was shorter than mine.
Look for updates from the road as the final cross push begins for the KCCX crew.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Alex 1st, tom 1st, elite next

Alex winning the 2-3 race on Saturday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

On the road again!!! Jingle Cross here be come!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Whoops.....must of hit a patch of bad gravity....

Troy found this picture of me out in the blogosphere. Go figure, someone was in just the right place to snap a shot of me flopping around on the ground like a fish out of water. Oh well.......if you don't crash once in a while, you're not going fast enough! Then again, you can't win laying on the ground. Hmmmmmm....... there has to be some kind of balance there somewhere........

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lincoln Cross Weekend Recap

As usual the Lincoln Cross weekend was a blast! It's great to see the Lincoln cycling community come together to support a race both on and off the bike. Troy K was the organizer and a big THANK YOU goes out to him for making it happen. Got to town Friday afternoon to find the crew over halfway done setting up the course. We hopped on it and got the rest done by 2pm. Plenty of time to pre-ride and work out the kinks.

Saturday came and the crew arrived early to set up the tents and make a final course check. I decided do the masters 40+ race this week and get some data for coach Adam by using my PowerTap wheels. After a decent start I got into the lead only to somehow crash going over the barriers. Not a bad crash but it did tear up the scar tissue on my knee that was left over from the Gateway Cup crash. It didn't hurt that much but I think I was more bummed that it was torn up again. I should buy stock in Band-Aids. I had to put out quite an effort to catch Steve S. and an even harder effort to get away from him. After that the gap seemed to stay the same for the rest of the race. I ended up winning with Steve S. 2nd and Andy L. 3rd.

Right after the race a rider from KC came up to me needing some work on his bike. Nate and I both attacked his bike but it ended up being a shifter issue. We decided that he should ride my spare bike in his race. Not an easy feat, different bike, SRAM instead of Shimano, but he did well, I believe he was 5th in his race, Well done Ty!

Sunday I had a day off from racing so I worked on the course and got to hang out with the kids. Pinky had a great time riding the course but decided that he needed a bit more practice before he tries racing.

KB and I decided that his son was all most the same size as I am and, at 14 can fit on my bike with no adjustments. So we put him on my spare bike for the Jr's race. Just like Ty on Saturday Noah had about 10 minutes to get used to the bike. Imagine going from a MTB to a cross bike with SRAM shifters and Challenge tubies. The end result, 5th overall in the 4's race and 1st Junior. Pretty impressive ride for the new State Champion.

What a weekend, great weather, a good, rowdy crowd on Hooligan Hill, and the most riders ever, gotta love the Lincoln Cross Weekend!

I have some video to post once I figure out how to move it from my camera. For now you will just have to look at the photos here.

Couple of weekends of cross left. Jingle Cross, Portland USGP, and Nationals. The push
is on!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Overnight Security

Hooligan Hill overnight guard

Papa Dan

Dan entering the Chutt, (that's chute to those of us that can spell)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tent City

Plenty of tents at the Start/Finish area


Dean busted out the thermal Source Endurance kit for the Singlespeed race.

Hooligan Hill is just warming up

The Hooligans are just beginning to arrive.

Alex E.

Alex was ripping it up until he crashed in a off camber turn and banged his knee.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pre-riding the Lincoln Cross Course

On top of Hooligan Hill, pre-ride had a lap at 1.4 miles, with 5 or 6 min laps. It's going to be fun, a good mix of hills and flats with tons of turns thrown in. Two days of racing, don't miss it!

Hooligan Hill is ready, are you?

Course complete, it's dry and fast with a few changes from last year.

Off to Lincoln

Foggy on the way to Lincoln. Course report later in the day. Congrats to Joe on Euro cross camp!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whoops......where did that pole come from?

I just couldn't pass this one up! Chris shouldn't feel too bad about his crash, a few other Pro's went down within 10 feet of this spot. Not too surprising considering we were riding the tape all day long.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lincoln Cross report from Troy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Lincoln CX report...
Lincoln CX just a few days out...

Weather-wise, we've had it good here in Lincoln! Monday, just an hour to the South of us, they got 5 inches of snow. We got nothing. I can't even remember when the last time we had rain, like a couple weeks ago at least.

Saw the pictures from Leavenworth on Sunday...wet, sloppy, & cool. It is November & this is cyclocross.

We've done our recon & the Pioneers course is going to be as sweet as always. With the lack of precip & me mowing it tight with the big mower from work it'll be fast & fun! Some new twists on Hooligan Hill are going to be great.

Weekend weather outlook, perfect.


Looking good, I'll be heading out Friday morning to help set up the course. It's gonna be good!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One goal down + a few Mercer Pic's

When I made the decision to go to some of the USGP races I set a few goals to shoot for during the series. This was one of them, getting on the podium. I've got to thank my coach Adam, last week I was really doubting my fitness and he helped me to realize that I was really better off than I thought. Looks like he was right and the plan is working.

The Elite Mens start. This was only 50ft off the start line and they were all ready flying.

By time the Elite Womens race went off the course was starting to get a line in some places.

All the big guns on the front row and ready to rip!

Logan and Joe buried somewhere in the middle of the grid, a tough place to start. At least they surrounded the U-23 series leader.

The battle at the front of the womens race was fun to watch.

Meridith was 3rd again. Awesome result, I bet she would be battling for the lead if she could start inside the top 15.

Fun in Lincoln this weekend, cross for us, K-State VS Nebraska in football, good times for sure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On the way home

Chris found the CMT music store at the Nashville airport. Can you say Taylor Swift.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

USGP Mercer Cup, Day 2

Today the rain stopped falling and the sun actually came out. On top of that it had to be at least 60 degrees when we walked outside in the morning. Good news considering the muddy course. Not much help for Chris and I in the earlier races but it was going to be fast later.

I raced first and I have to give a big thank you to the crew from SRAM. I handed them a mangled rear der and they handed me a new one for free. Then I had to scramble to get my bike fixed in time for my race. Got it done with just enough time to ride around the outside of the course and check out the changes. Today Bill got me set up with a neutral support bike from SRAM that had my spare pedals on it, no riding with bmx pedals today if I had a mechanical.

Yesterday I got a great start and came off the pavement 3rd, today I came off the pavement in the top 15 but after throwing a few elbows, and jamming up the inside of a few turns I found myself in the top 3. We started to pull away from the group and and soon it was down to 2 of us. I could tell I was faster in quite a few places but the other guy was riding a few parts of the course where I was running. We were trading the lead back and forth up until the last lap where I got a little gap that I held until the finish. Hopefully I'll have some photos later.

Chris was up next. He got a good start and was running in the top 5 until a course stake grabbed his handlebars and down he went. That put him way back in 8th with a huge gap to close. He rode hard to get back up to fifth by the end. He's definitely back on track, he was going as fast as the guys up front.

Logan and Joe were next in the Elite race. Bill decide to help in the pits today as we just wern't sure what was going to happen after all the pit action we had yesterday. Turned out that the course was mushy but pretty darn fast. It looked a lot like the nationals course last year. Both of our guys didn't have the best of races, they rode hard but it just wasn't their day.

I'm beat, back home week Lincoln for cross!

yea, chris 5th, me 1st

Saturday, November 14, 2009

USGP Mercer Cup NJ

If you looked at the picture below you would think that I didn't finish the race. Here's the story.......... I got a great start and was in a group of 5 that got a huge separation from the group in 2 laps. Just before the pit I hear a huge crunch and my rear wheel locked up. Not good, I look down to see my derailleur wrapped around my rear wheel. Since we are traveling by plane I don't have a spare bike, and since Chris is racing the race after mine Bill was helping him. No pit bike or person to work the pit. Not a big deal, we are really here for Logan, Joe, and Chris anyway. Back to the race, threw my bike on my shoulder and ran to the pit, hopped on a SRAM Support bike and got going. Only one problem, it has flat pedals! I had no idea what place I was in so I kept racing hoping to stay in the points. So for 4 laps I rode a super muddy course trying to keep my feet on the pedals. After the race I hoped that I stayed in the top 15 or so. I was stunned to see that I got 7th! Overall I felt pretty good so I just wonder what could of been. In the Jrs race Chris was 14th as the mud just got deeper. As you can see in the picture above the Women's elite racing while we got set up for the Elite race. Meridith got the most aggressive rider award for coming from way back to finish 3rd, Pretty darn impressive. Then she was in the pit for the men's Elite race working for her team riders. This is definitely a team sport in many ways. As far as the Elite race goes..... I just don't have much to report. I was so busy that I never got a chance to see any of the race. I guess Trebon won with Johnson 2nd.

We had Joe and Logan in the Elite race. Bill decided that it would be best if he sat this one out as it was going to be tough to keep clean bikes under Joe and Logan every half lap. He was right, it was all that we could do to have the bikes ready for them with 3 of us working the pit.

I'm tired and we still need to do laundry. More tomorrow.

running in 5th, then this happened.

Friday, November 13, 2009

we made it.....

Halfway there, in Nashville waiting for the plane top reload. Took an extra 20 min on the plane as Philly was backed up.

Got into Philly a little late and then had to go through renting cars. Logan was delayed so Bill stayed behind and waited for him while Chris, Joe, and I drove on to Trenton. Very windy in Trenton but no rain while we were driving. Tonight while we were eating it started misting and the wind is still blowing. Looks like it will be a mudder tomorrow but nobody really knows. I think I'm the 3rd race of the day so I'm hoping that it won't get too chopped up before I race.

At this point the bikes are built, everybody has been fed, and now it's time to relax.

More update through the day tomorrow.

On our way to Trenton

On the way to the USGP, KC airport early in the am.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More tubies! Come on out to the TREK Store tonight 6-9 for the KCCX Fundraiser. Wow, I've got too much to do to get ready to leave tomorrow. At least I went out and got some good rain pants for the weekend. Looks like it's going to be a muddy one.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Busy Week

So much to do, so little time.........

Tires to be glued........

5th Grade band concert......

Pinky's solo.......

Pretty darn proud of himself, no mistakes!
Busy week, Monday: Cub Scouts and trip to the mall to find some goofy toy that all the kids have at school, and my kids have none. Of course you can only get them at the mall, they cost 25 cents, and are found in a gum ball dispenser. Spent a half hour looking for the dumb dispenser only to have the person at the information desk tell us they don't have them there. Then, like a beacon in the sky, we see the top of some dispensers as we are heading out the door. Could it be, maybe, YES, we found them! YEAaaaaaaaaaaa dad's a hero! Phew, that was a close one.

Tuesday: Today was the band concert, felt kinda like a dead concert after sniffing glue all day, see above.

Wednesday: Inventory day at the shop, said I would help before I found out they are going to start at 6AM! Up at 5 to ride there and be on time. Ummmm honey, do you think you can take the kids to school today............

Thursday: VERY IMPORTANT DAY! KCCX FUNDRAISER AT THE TREK STORE. Before that I've got to get my bike and everything else packed and ready to go...........

Friday: 8am flight to Trenton for the USGP. Look for updates all weekend. I'll try to send pic's during the day and then steal Bill or Joe's computer at night for updates.

Darn, forgot to add the stuff on the honeydo list and my daily chores.......oh well, might as well go to bed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pic's from the weekend

I'll have to take some time to digest the races this weekend before I can write about it. Pretty bummed about my riding lately, in fact, I don't even know where I finished either day. Fun to have the Lincoln crew in the house for the weekend though, good times. More tomorrow.......

On top of entertaining the crowd today by bunny hopping the barriers, Nate brought Pinky a new shirt from his shop in Lincoln. Do you think he likes it?

This one is for Nate........cuz.... well just because! The Monkey Wrench, Midwest Cycling, KCCX/Verge tent.

My only picture from the GP HPT. Still love racing at night!
More tomorrow and don't forget about the KCCX Fundraiser Thursday Nov.12th at the TREK Store.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Riding with the Kids

Worked on this little 24"Redline today for Will. SRAM Force, TRP brakes, a Bontrager carbon post, pretty light.

Wish SRAM still made this tape!

Banner day for Curly, he finally learned to ride his bike! Yea...........

Having fun with the Marshall clan. The big boys practiced cross while the little ones both learned to ride solo. Hope the warm weather lasts so we can get in some more practice.

You can never start too early with barrier practice!

Cross at night tomorrow in Topeka, good times for sure. The Lincoln crew is making a weekend of it and hanging at our place. Not much time to play after racing late Saturday and then early the next morning. No's going to be fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Note From Curtis Martell

As many of you know it's been a uphill battle to get racing back into Clinton State Park and last week Curtis got us back in there for a awesome cross race. Now due to the actions of some folks, racing in the park could again be in jeapordy. Maybe it wasn't someone from the race, maybe it was someone who was used to rolling through the unmanned gate and not paying, we will never know. Just think before you speak. The lady collecting the money doesn't set the policy, she just collects the cash.

Read on.....


I received the following email from the Park Director at Clinton Lake State Park:


I just talked to the lady working the entrance station Sunday morning. I noted on your race flier that you informed the registrants that they would have to purchase a motor vehicle permit. Apparently a lot of them didn't read it.....because a lot of them gave her enough grief about it that she was still in tears this morning.

I know you aren't responsible for the attitude or conduct of every participant.....but I thought you may want to add a little after race comment concerning the matter to your web-site. You might want to let your patrons know this is the kind of stuff that's at the top of the list in my making a decision whether or not to allow subsequent events. I felt like I made a good faith effort in supporting the endeavor by allowing the group to use a "closed campground" for the event. I felt like the lady whom worked the booth gave of herself.....working an extra shift to accommodate your patrons and was soundly abused for her efforts.

Enough said.

Curtis Martell
Free State Racing Team

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Midweek report

Not too much new so far this week, Mathgeek is working hard getting ready for her test this Friday. I'm attempting to hold down the fort while she's busy. Other than that, I'm playing catchup with house projects that got put on the back burner during the summer.

Got this bike in this week, the TREK Belleville. Pretty sweet, total commuter. Beefy racks, generator lights, and a 3sp internal hub. To top it all off it's reasonably priced. Thinking that we might even get one for those last minute grocery store trips that you have to do when you have kids.

Took this picture around 2:00am last night. Yes....2am! My dogs are old and they are wearing us out! Couldn't help thinking that it would of been a great night to be out on the mtb. That full moon was bright!

This weekend is another double up weekend, GP HPT and Vets Cross. Both are good races at great venues, don't miss out! The following week the KCCX / VERGE Team is off to the USGP in Trenton, NJ. Somewhere in there is the team fundraiser at the TREK Store. More on that in the next post.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend wrap

Yea, like," it's a wrap", not like a "weekend rap". I can't sing and I got no rhythm. Oh yea, back to the weekend. After a week of rainy weather and too many trips to the shop in the van I was ready to get out to the races this weekend. A month ago the plan was to go to Boulder this weekend but as we got closer I could tell it wasn't going to happen. Mathgeek has a big actuarial exam coming up this week and needed to study. Time to suck it up and be a single dad for a week. Saturday arrived and Mathgeek took off to study. I hung out at the house during the morning with the boys and 2 of their buddies. Then I got to hop on the bike and haul out to Pinky's last soccer game of the year. I ended up with an hour ride and Pinky's team won their first game of the year, Yeaaaaaaaaa. Back home and it was time for Halloween.

After a few hours of walking around we went back to some friends house for a little party before heading home.

Sunday arrived bright and surly for the boys and I. We loaded up the van and headed out for Sunflower Cross. It's always a little bit scary to go race and let them hang out by themselves and I hate giving the speech about what to do if I don't come around for a few laps. No worries today as I was not going to take any chances especially in the gravel corners that they always have on this course. I rode the PowerTap wheels today with Challenge Fango clincher tires. I was a little low on pressure but they were AMAZING. I switched bikes late in the race and rode the Grifo Tubies and even though they were a little high on pressure but were good as well. Since I had the kids I rode the Masters 45+ race as it was only 40 minutes compared to the hour for the Open race. It's going to be interesting to see what the power data tells Coach Adam. Anyway I ended up winning the Masters race and the kids didn't kill each other, life is good!

Wink ripping it through the rollers. I love this section of the course.

Shadd was looking good in the Open race.

Pinky took this pic of me, pretty good for a 10 yr old.