Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Slow week

Yea!!!! night time cross! Wish we could do more night races in cross or on the road.

Zach McDonald giving the euro crowds a little taste of how to finish a race.
So it's been a little slow the past week or so. Christmas to New Years has just been a time to hang out with the kids and get a few projects done around the house. Next week the boys go back to school and I go back to the shop a little more. It also means that I can get back on the bike a bit. Time to start focusing on the road season and actually start training.

We had our annual trip to our friends music store after a fun dinner at Ponaks. Pretty fun to watch the kids as well as the adults attempt to play instruments. Check out Midwestern Musical Company some time, it's not your usual music store, it's much more.

Christmas Cookie time! Once again we made way too many cookies. Santa just about had too many cookies to get up the chimney.

Santa brought JoBro another Nerf Gun and a billion more darts to shoot at his brother.

Of all the Christmas lights that I saw this year this has to be my favorite. The one house is absolutely covered in lights every year so the neighbors simply went with "DITTO". Gotta love it!
Next up, New Years!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Back in the Woods

The last few days have been really warm for this time in December so a few of us have been hitting the trails. Sure feels good to be back on the MTB for a change. I really hope we get a chance to race off road this year. It really comes down to the road racing schedule and weather. With any luck I can find a race that will qualify me to go to Nationals. I'm thinking Cross and MTB Nationals will be major goals this year. I think I'll skip Masters Road Nats since I can't do the drive to Bend OR again.

Oh no!!!!!!!! Somebodies wagon overturned! That's what you get for drunk driving your wagon on the trails.

The trails at Minor Park are in great shape right now. Pretty dry and fast. The trail guys were out and did some maintenance work to the trails that made them much better. Thanks guys!
What next? More time on the trails and a tour of KC/Lawrence on road bikes. I need to ride around and spend some gift certificates that have been around for a while. What better way to get in a ride than visit some other shops and spend some money.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time off, It's Christmas Break

The final concert for the JoBro's Brass Choir was last Friday at Crown Center. This was the end of a whirlwind week of concerts that led to the big one in the end. Wish I would of taken a video as they sounded really good. Pretty amazing how good a bunch of 6th graders can sound.

JoBro playing the Trombone!

It's also cookie time. We started baking a few days ago and have a few more types to bake before Santa arrives.
Yea, it's true. I did actually get back on the bike today. First ride since Cross Nationals. A couple of hours in the woods does the body some good.

Joe at his first World Cup of the year!
Can't forget about the crew over at Eurocross camp. Joe, Cody, Zac, and Ryan. On top of that our pals Meridith and Lyne are over in Belgium as well. You can check out the action at PodiumInsight or Eurocross Camp to get the latest scoop.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Concert time!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cross wrap-up

How to sum up the 2010 Cross season? For me it's really hard to put into words. The season started pretty well and I was fit. The first race pretty much set the tone for the season. That was the race where I got 3rd in a 2 lap race, and we nearly lost the trailer and all of our equipment to a flood. That race was a warm up for the first USGP in Madison. Here I won on the first day but noticed some knee swelling after the race. Day 2 in Madison came and I didn't have the legs that I had the 1st day and the knee was much worse. The season continued on the same pattern, a good day followed by a bad day, over and over. Endless doctors visits that included draining my knee and a CAT scan of my head definitely were low spots. Through it all the team and myself continued to hit the planned races and get good results. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Sometimes things go wrong and you just have to deal with it. The goals for the season were pretty lofty and I came close to reaching them. All of this just provides me with more desire to hit it hard and try again next year.

So the cross season is over for me. There are 4 more races locally but I need to give my body some time to heal. On top of the physical issues I don't think I can mentally get myself going after a pressure packed end of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing how Joe, Meridith, and the rest of the crew from the US do in Europe during the next month. So that's a wrap for me in cross. Funny how one season ends and I'm all ready looking forward to the Road/MTB season.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Too tired to post

Got a little hardware this year. USGP 2nd overall with 2 wins. 5th 50-54 US National Championships.

Prototype K-Edge just in time for Nationals. Very nice!
Got the photos downloaded but I'm too tired to come up with a post. Maybe tomorrow..........

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just made it back in

Just made it back in to KC. Yea!!!! Time to go to bed

Getting closer, Welcome to Kansas!

Last time going up!

good mornimg from Wyoming!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Packing the trailer, let the Jenga game begin.

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Race Day at Nationals

Adam passing in the water hole by the pit.

Looking at the weather report yesterday we knew that the odds were against us to have decent conditions. The report said 29 degrees overnight with a 100 percent chance of snow/rain. What we got when we woke up was rain and temps near freezing.

What we got was this. Lot's of sloppy cement type mud!

I got up at 5am to get some food in me and get all of the bikes and other equipment loaded in to the Sprinter. Race time was 8:30am and when we got to the venue it was raining/snowing. I opted to ride the trainer instead of going out on the course since I rode it after the last race of the previous day. The course itself had 2 completely different faces. On one side it was like the moon, volcanic type soil that was sloppy mud on top and hard underneath, pretty fast surface. The other half was on grass that sunk 3 inches as you rode over it, only to spring back up until the next time by, power sapping just like quicksand.

Back to the race...... Sitting on the line and it's still raining, and it's cold. I had a front row starting position due to last years 4th place so at least I controlled my destiny going into the mud. I got a good start and was in the top 5 in the first lap. About half way through the first lap I had some kind of breathing problem and had to just crawl through the power section. I have no idea what happened but I about quit because I started thinking I was having a heart attack. But once I got out of the power section and onto the paved finishing straight I started feeling better. I'm not sure how many places I lost but I'm sure I was out of the top 10. For the rest of the race I had a good lap followed by a fair lap. Mid way through the race I had a good lap and managed to get back up into the top 5. I could see 4th and was closing but just ran out of time. 5th on the day was a step down from last year when I was really looking to move up at least a step into the top 3. Looking back at all of the illnesses and injuries that I've suffered through this year I guess 5th doesn't look too bad. Steve won my race pretty easy which is no surprise. I hope he's able to keep that form and score a win at Masters Worlds!

Masters 50-54 podium.
This little run up was rideable but I decided to just run it every time. Seemed to be the best option at the time.

The giant puddle at the bottom of the stairs. There is actually a platform under the water before the first step. They tried to pump the water out but it just kept filling up. By the way, I hate running steps. I lost a ton of time by single stepping it but it's better than hobbling around for a week.
I have a ton of pictures that I'll have to put into a album that can be viewed. That's a wrap for tonight Two more races to deal with tomorrow and then it will be time to hit the road. The Elite race will be fun to watch tomorrow. The course doesn't really favor any type of rider so I think it's a toss up as to who's going to win. I'll be working in the pit, wish I could watch it on the internet so I could see all the action, but all I'll see is when they blow by the pit twice a lap.
So that's it from Bend, I'll have a recap of Nationals when I get back!

Friday, December 10, 2010

TT Day today, Mechanics Dinner

The water on the course was getting pretty deep by time the last race of the day started. There are a few of these on, in, and around the pit. They were incredibly cold during the B races and with more rain and melting snow they get bigger every day.

Had to take a picture of this guys rig. He called it a dog powered bike and it's pretty sweet.

Meridith and I discussing the course. She was out recording the course with Cody's GoPro camera. The Cal Giant crew do a good job with the cameras shooting video's for Facebook, ect.......

Ned Overend crushed in the 55+ race yesterday. I wonder who had the most National Champion titles. Ned or Steve Tilford?

This is a good photo that shows the course conditions. Mud, snow, and standing water. Brrrrr......
Last night Bill, Lyne, and I went over to the Rapha/Focus Team house for a mechanics dinner. That's right, Mechanics and Team Directors only, no riders. Good food and great people made for a memorable night. Pretty fun to hang out with the people that you see/work with every week at all the races.
The man himself, Mr. Dallas.
So today is the TT for Shadd, Adam, and Brad. I'm skipping the TT to try to save the legs for tomorrows race. I have a automatic call up for the front row due to last years 4th place finish and my legs don't feel that great anyway.
Time to get rolling. The first TT for our guys and we have to get bikes, gear, trainers, ect.....ready. It sucks having to get equipment to 2 different venues at then right time when you are dealing with 11 different riders. What a logistical nightmare! Can't wait for tomorrow when nearly all of us race.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Photos of the Killer B-s from PodiumInsight

While we were waiting for the podium ceremony we saw Cody Kaiser from the Cal Giant/Specialized crew heading for the flyover. As a first year U-23 rider he loves having fun on a bike and has some mad skills so I started yelling at him to jump the transition on the flyover. Sure enough he hit the gas and made his first attempt. The ground is super soft before you hit the ramp and it's tough to get the speed but by his next attempt he made it. A bit later when we were chatting with Lyne from PodiumInsight Cody came by and we got him to do it again for photos. Danny Summerhill from the Garmin team was there so they both went over and started jumping it. Pretty fun to watch and if conditions get better I bet a ton of people will try to make it.

This is a great shot of Troy with the TREK Store logo on it. It's amazing what Lyne can do with photos to really make the colors pop.

The end of the cross season is near, only one more race to go and it can't come soon enough. It's not that I'm not having fun, or that I'm burnt out. At this point, with all the injuries that I've had I really never got a chance to follow a training plan like last year and it's starting to show. The strain shows in the picture above and that was just the B race. Now that I got my big crash out of the way I'm hoping that I'll have a clean race on Saturday. By the way, 8:30am start, rain/snow is in the forecast, and the overnight temps are supposed to be around 29 degrees.

I'll leave you with this, another course preview from the Cal Giant/Specialized kids. This one is day 2 at the Portland USGP.

THe day of the killer B-s!

Today is the first day of actual racing at the National Championships. Out at the TT course riders were racing to set the start order in their races while the B races went off ot the main venue. To those of you who don't know the B races are separated by age groups, 10-29, 30-39, 40+, and open to any category. The reality is that the B races serve a number of purposes. 1 it allows the promoter to find any problems before the Championship events. 2, it allows people who don't want to do the Championship races a chance to race the course, and 3, to allows riders to get out on the course and try it at race speed.

So today I did the 40+ B race, for me it's good to get out and try out the course and open up the legs. Unlike last year both Troy and I got called up on the front row. Last year we were in the back row of over 100 guys. Bill told me that there was a really fast guy in the race who was lined up halfway back in the field. We were off at the sound of the gun and I got a good start and was leading coming out of the first turn. About half way through the first lap the fast guy caught me and started pulling away. With the slick, icy conditions I was trying to be careful and not get injured before next Saturdays race. So as the race progressed the leader and myself maintained our gaps and I felt that I could maintain 2nd to the finish. With a few laps to go I thought I could start to pull back the leader and started to pick up the pace. Didn't take long for me to hit a corner that was ice covered and very slick. The wheels slid out and down I went. I picked up my bike and got going with twisted bars, a torn up knee, and a very sore forearm. For the last 2 laps I was still going OK with a arm that really hurt. Unable to pull on the bars, or really grip them 3 place ended up catching me with 1 lap to go. That's how it ended up, 3rd place is no to bad considering I really wasn't planning on racing due to the Icy conditions

Adam scored a 3rd place in the 30+ race.

We have the best parking spot this year by far. The course crosses right in front of us and we can see quite a bit.

Tough conditions in the AM ment that the races were delayed an hour to let the ice melt.

Time for bed........ Day off tomorrow as we don't have anybody raceing or at the TT course.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Delayed at the races due to ice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bend: Pre-Ride day

Loaded up the crew and headed for the course to pre-ride the course. What we found was a half marked course with quite a bit of heavy snow. We did a few laps and found the course pretty much the same as last year with the addition of a few longer straights.

Same stairs as last year but with the changes in the course they come really close to the finish this year.

The flyover is different than any other one that we have done this year. It is actually a ride over on both sides. Usually we have to run up on one side and ride down the other. This one is actually on a downhill slope and if it drys up it would be pretty easy to jump over the center portion and land on the downhill side. This is going to be pretty fun.

It warmed up this morning so we got out the power washer and cleaned up the Sprinter and trailer. As the day wore on the temps continued to rise and our rig got just a dirty all over again. At least we got a chance to drop the trailer later in the day at the venue. We scored a prime parking place right next to the course and it's going to be really nice.

Dean really went to extreme measures just to get a new robe today. He crashed pre-riding the course and ended up going to the hospital. Once the x-rays were done we found out that he had broken 3 ribs and had a broken shoulder. What a bummer!!!!!
Tomorrow is the first day of racing and it all starts with the B races. I signed up but I'm not sure if I'm up to doing it. It's definitely going to be a race time decision.

Happyness is a clean rig. Time to go ride the course.

Making the move to Bend, OR

Today was pretty much a day off for the whole team. We were debating weather we should head for Bend and after talking to our hosts Kelly and Bill, we decide we should hit the road by late afternoon instead of Tuesday. But first things first. Kelly had a massage therapist coming over and Bill and Joe decided to have some work done as well. The rest of us decided to go for a spin once Bill was done with his massage. It was incredibly nice on Portland and we enjoyed a hour or so spin around downtown before heading back to the house. After a quick pack job we were off for Bend.

Rolling along the river just spinning along.

This bridge is super cool. It's a double decker where one direction of traffic goes on top, the other on the bottom.

The view going up today. It was really scenic until we got to higher elevations and everything was covered in snow. I wanted to take a few more pic's once we got over the pass but it got dark and foggy on the way down . Oh well, we made it safe and sound and now we are hanging out in Bend at our new digs. There is snow on the ground just like last year but the local weather guy is calling for warming trend for the next few days. Hope it's true because he also talked about rain.

Tomorrow we are heading out to check out both the TT course and the race course and then pick up our numbers. Time to start prepping bikes as the racing starts Wednesday.

I'll have pictures of the courses tomorrow as the courses are set and we can train on them.