Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's been a busy week.

It's been a busy week at the home front. It seems like all I've done is go from one doctors office to another. First, last Friday JoBro had to go in for Pinkeye. Not that big of a deal but by Monday it wasn't going away quick enough for the school nurse. So Tuesday morning we were off to have it checked out. We got done with that and then it was time for me to go to have my knee checked out. After that I figured I would go for a MTB ride with Bill to spin the legs out. We rolled out to Minor Park with a huge tailwind and started hitting the dirt.

Then my phone from mom, that's not good. After a bit of frustrating phone tag I finally find out that JoBro smacked his face on a pole and broke off a tooth. The school nurse said he was in pain and needed to be picked up asap. Mom's 30 min away and I'm in the middle of the woods. We decided mom could pick him up and I needed to head for home. So Bill and I headed out of the woods. So here we are, bombing down the Highline Trail, with me focusing on getting home instead of the trail. It didn't take long for me to high side on a log and fall about 5 ft down off the side of the trail. Ouch, that one hurt and it even snapped the buckle off my shoe!
We finally hit the road and absolutely killed ourselves into the wind to get home. After all that effort I get home to find JoBro messing with the dog and barely feeling any pain. Off to the dentist and got the tooth fixed. Phew, what a day!

Wednesday brought the Boy Scout Halloween Party and I am so happy I didn't get called on to be turned into a mummy!

Curly decided to be a Rubik's Cube for Halloween this year. Quick and easy to make, love it.

Forgot about this pic from last weeks USGP. We had a great spot to check out the action and we were super close to the pit.

All the team mechanics lined up in the pits waiting for the Elite race to start. Those are all spare bikes and in this race the riders could take water hand ups in the pit as well. It was total chaos the whole race.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

USGP Louisville

Sunday was a better day, 3rd!

I'm finally getting around to a post on the races. I really have a mixed bag of emotions on how the races went. In reality I should be happy that I got to ride at all as it just wasn't looking good in the days leading up to the race. After 2 weeks of minimal training I attempted the Tulsa weekend only to DNF 2 of the 3 races due to knee pain. After a few visits to my normal doc I got in to see a orthopaedic doc last Monday who drained 90cc of fluid off the knee. It felt much better but I was still off the bike the rest of the week. Now with 3 weeks of minimal riding, much less training, I was heading for the USGP. But before I did that I decided to go ahead and change bike frames and a few components. Never mind that I wouldn't be able to ride the bikes before the race weekend. Lets see.....a jacked up knee, no training, and brand new say that I was a bit nervous before pre-riding the course Friday would of been a bit of an understatement. To add to the pressure I was still in the USGP leaders jersey!

Friday the pre ride went fine but I was a little worried about gearing. The course had some climbing but the biggest problem was the 4 running sections. That was not going to make the knee happy.
Saturday the race came around and I hoped for the best. I got a good start and was leading the first lap but soon it was apparent that I just didn't have the legs I had hoped for. Mentally I was blown from being passed by a number of riders and by the end I really thought that I had just barely managed to stay in the top 20. To my surprise I ended up 9th and still got some points for the series standings. I did lose the leaders jersey but even though the legs were bad the knee really held up pretty well.

Sunday rolled around and as you can see I managed to get on the podium with a 3rd place. I knew Mike was going to spay the champaign and he got us good.
In the race I again got a good start with series leader Mike McShane on my wheel. We got a gap and started pulling away from the chasers in the first few laps. On the 4th lap Mike attacked on one of the climbs and when I went to respond I felt the strain in my knee and that was it. He got a gap and I blew both mentally and physically. With a few laps left to race I tried to get it together and hang onto 2nd but 2 chasers caught me with 2 laps to go. A quick attack got it down to two of us and the race was on. Unfortunately, I bobbled on a climb near the finish and the other rider got away for 2nd.
A bit of a bummer but I'll take 3rd and the points that go with it. The battle for the overall series really got jumbled in the top 5 but I'm now in 2nd with 4 races to go. I'll need lot's of luck to overcome the points gap but you never know what's going to happen.

Brad hitting one of climbs.
Joe said that this course resemble some of the courses that he rode while he was in Europe. I'm sure that's what they were shooting for since the World Championships will be in Louisville in 2013. With the January date I'm sure they won't have to contend with the dust that we had last weekend.

Joe and Cody ripping through one of the sand pits. This one was on a hill and was rideable. It didn't take much to end up on your head and quite a few did. This sand was fun but the other one was just brutal, long, deep, and unridable except for the pro's.

There were 2 climbs like this on the course as well as another shorter, steeper climb. It's a steep as it looks, I ran a 39x26 and it was still tough.

J-pow in the sand. If Sundays winner of the Pro race is that out of shape you know there was carnage in the other races.
Photo's by Lyne of PodiumInsight. She hung out with us a bit and as usual seemed quite amused by the boys in the KCCX crew. You should check out her website, she has a unique perspective on the races and gives you information that you won't find on other sites.
So that was last weekend. Today's visit to the Orthopaedic Surgeon gave me more options on what to do with my knee. Replacement is an option but not a good one. There are some things that can be done to make it last longer. I'll probably get it scoped after cross season to remove stuff floating around in the joint and get a lube job. Fun huh..... might have to start bunny hopping the barriers so I don't have to get off my bike! Of course that might lead to some other type of surgery. Just check out the picture at the top of the blog to see what happens when you miss!

USGP was rough on some people

Brad post race. Nice lawn, I'm not sure what it is but it's not grass.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

USGP Derby Cup Day 1

Meridith coming off the Green Monster.

More from the Womens Elite race.

The Womens winner, Georgia Gould.

Rough day for the KCCX Crew today. I started off the day with a rather sub par day. Not too surprising considering the knee injury but even then I just didn't have the legs. In the 35+ race Bill suffered as well, but on a bright note Shadd came from the very back to finish 4th. If he can pull that off again tomorrow he could be front row in Ft. Collins. In the Elite race Joe and Brad both raced hard in dust so bad they couldn't see anything for most of the race. In the end I think Joe was 6th in the U-23 race and Brad may have been in the top 30. The course is pretty short and only 16 of the original 69 starters even finished on the lead lap.

Tomorrow is Day 2 and we can only hope for better results. It's going to be interesting to see what they do to change the course. No matter what they do the dust is going to be a factor again. Time for a little more treatment for the knee.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

BLVD Cup Cross

Found a few pics from Saturdays New Kids Cross race in Tulsa. That run up is part of the problems at today's BLVD Cup race. Warming up I actually felt pretty good, the legs were good and I felt pretty loose. I was wearing a elastic knee brace on my bum knee to warm up just like the past 2 days and it was OK, a little sore getting off the bike, but OK. It was all looking good until race time when I took off the brace. I hopped on my bike and started to ride to the start and my knee really hurt. I thought I could ride through it but it wasn't looking good. The start went pretty good and I was in good position near the front of the field. The KCCX crew had a plan and I played my part but that was about as far as I got. The first time through the barriers I knew my day was done but I stuck it out for another lap just to make sure.
So that was it, I scored my 2ND DNF out of the 3 races I did this weekend. On a positive note Shadd and Wink got away clean and went 1-2 while Bill came in 7th. With any luck I can get my appointment moved up and make a visit to a knee specialist @ KCOI. The next USGP is next weekend and right now I need a miracle. Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!

New kids Cross

The New Kids Cross race, Day 2 in Tulsa, OK. This course was promised to be a totally different type of course than the night before and it was. We went from fine silty dirt with plenty of rocks to grass, gravel roads, and bike paths. Fridays course was compared to a mountain bike short track course with all the turns and today's course was more of a road race, long straights a sweeping turns, no bike handling required.

Going into the race I was less than excited. The bum knee, Friday nights DNF, and the course was just not that great for me. I a few concerns with the knee as well. The course had a barrier right in front a short, steep little run up combined with these 3 ginormous barriers. I knew I was going to have to go slow there.

With the horsepower in Tulsa this weekend it was critical that you were in the front two rows at the start. Friday night I wasn't and I watched a few people crash right at the start. In this race I went to make my last trip to the bathroom and when I came out my knee got all out of wack and it took a few minutes to get it settled down and get to the line. This did not help my start position at all. Last row with the 3's, this was going to suck.

So we get started and I moved up quite a bit. I could see Bill, Wink, Andrew, and the Tradewind guys all ahead of me in a big group. I got up to the group but the effort to get the saw me get gapped off. At this point I just about quit but I figured I could just ride around at a good pace for fitness. Bill was coming off the main group and waited for me to try to work together. For some reason it got me going and soon I could see that we were catching the main group ahead of us. About the time I was getting close Andrew hit the gas and blew the group apart and I started to pass riders from the group. With 2 laps to go I caught up to Steve and passed him for 4th. With Steve on my wheel it didn't take long for me to realize that I had a rear tire going down fast. Lucky for me that Trudy was there and noticed, she rallied the troops and Teammate Matt and Bill from Tradewind had my spare bike ready for me just in the nick of time. Thanks to everybody on that one! Took off with a lap and a half to go but I had lost 2 positions and they were too far ahead to catch. Kind of a bummer, 6th but I'll take it. I pretty much walked up the run up and barriers every lap so that's a good result.

The KCCX Team had a good day, Wink was 3rd, I was 6th, Will was 8th, and Bill 10th. Bill and I both got flats in the last 2 laps so results could of been a little better but 4 in the top 10 is pretty darn good.

Curly made the trip to Tulsa with the big boys. I'm sure he learned a few new words and creative ways to use them. Oh well, it's not like he didn't know them before!

Yep, those barriers were that tall! tough to get my knee to bend that far.

We had the setup this weekend. Pretty sweet having the trailer and not stuffing everything into a few cars.

Our week stock got pretty depleted after Friday night. We loaned out a bunch of wheels that ended up coming back flat. No wheels to left loan out on Saturday.
Today is the last day of the three day race weekend. We are back in KC for the Boulevard Cup race. Nice to be home but this has never been a great race course for me. But who knows what the course will be like this year. Maybe they will put a few turns in it and add a bit of bike handling into the mix. We shall see.......

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ruts & Guts Cross

Last nights race was a bit different than any other race that we've don't this year. The course was a little bit like riding on the moon. Deep silty dirt with random sharp rocks hidden all over. Not much of a race for me, I'm battling a knee injury so the plan was to be careful and not make it worse going into next weeks USGP in Louisville. After a a terrible start I was trying to make up time and tried to bunny hop a single barrier that they had made out of rock. That didn't go so well and over the bars I went. I was top 2o, now I was dead last. Got the chain back on and got going, got back into the top 20 and then the chain came off again, and again, and again. Somewhere in there I crashed as well. Things just were not going so well and I finally decided to pull the plug and quit. No sense in doing more damage to the knee and I was so far back I figured it was better to save some energy for today.

Shadd, Wink, and Bill all had great races. I don't have the results but Shadd was 2nd and Wink was in the top 1o. Some other Kansas riders had great results as Katherine won the Women's race and Bill Stolte won the Masters. In the Elite race Steve was 5th and Andrew was 6th.

I heard that we are leaving the moon and heading for a totally different type of course for today's race. It should be interesting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cross out Cancer, a day at the races

Shadd and Joe hopping the barriers.

It's been kind of an interesting week leading up to today's cross race. My coach had me scheduled for a rest week and I actually did rest. Even better is that short rides allowed me to take care of a few house projects that were left over from the great flood of June. Good timing for sure as I also got to spend a bit more time with the family as well. Only problem with the rest week is that my coach also said that I might be a little "flat" in the race. That would be the least of my problems as I managed to hurt my knee during my "easy" week as well.

The course, well it was interesting. All courses are different but this one really rough and the course marking was sometimes difficult to follow as well. The short barriers were a plus as you could bunny hop them but, the low hanging branch that took Andrew out of the race was a problem. It smashed his helmet and on one of the three times I hit it it dented mine as well. Of well, it is what it is and for a first time event it wasn't that bad.

Started the day running solo with the boys again. They were great, we were on time and under control all day. First up was the Juniors race for JoBro. For a little guy the course definitely took it's toll. Two crashes didn't help but he got up and finished and that's awesome. He still loves cross and will be ready for his next race.

As for my race, I would have to say that coach was right, I was pretty flat. After a good start I was running 2nd or 3rd to my KCCX teammates but I had to slow it down for a while and recover. I could see Josh J catching me and it took him a while, but he did eventually catch me. I let him go and just tried to hold the gap over the guys behind me. With 2 laps to go I tried to gas it a little and catch Josh and I got close, but managed to crash in a slick turn. That was it and for the last lap and a half I just cruised to the finish. 4th place, not too bad for a kind of rough day on the bike. KCCX took 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th. I had to leave and didn't look at the results to see where Luke finished.

Chasing Josh over the short barriers.

While I was watching the Jrs race I heard a couple of familiar voices and turned around to see Mom & Dad Wallace. Reminded me that we really miss having Chris around this year. Maybe he'll settle into college life this year and make a comeback next season. Have to say thanks for the handups as well, it was a hot one out there today!

If all this wasn't enough we loaded up pretty quick after the race and headed out to Heritage for a 4pm soccer game. I'm glad I made sure JoBro ate some food between his bike race and the soccer game. He played well and his team won 7-0.

Next week I'm off to Tulsa and then the following week it's the USGP in Louisville.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sand pit troubles

The sand pit at Boss Cross #2 went the opposite direction from Saturday and that ment carnage in the sand. Why you might ask, speed, lot's of speed. A short sand pit with deep sand means if you hit it fast enough you can make it to the other side. In fact, you could hit it fast enough that it was more of a problem getting stopped. For some people the sand caused a few more problems........

Photo's thanks to Jon Peck.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boss Cross Day 2

Wink was the man again today!
Today started off a little bit easier since we didn't have a soccer game and we could sleep in. Got there about the same time as yesterday and got JoBro ready to race. The Jrs race was pretty fun to watch as JoBro wanted to race someone and he got his wish. That is until he crashed in the sand down by the river. Of course I was all over the place cheering him on. It was really fun to watch and I am just amazed that he rode that well for his first 2 races ever.
Today's race course was a little bit different but it was again fun and fast. I got a good start and Bill, Wink, and I were on the front going into the first turn. It stayed in that order for most of the first lap until we hit the sand section down by the river. Wink and I both jumped around Bill as we could both ride the sand. It was tricky to ride the sand but fast coming out. Wink made it through clean but I bobbled near the end of the sand and nearly hit the deck. It was chaos in the sand as I'm sideways on the course, Wink is riding away , and everybody is sprinting to get around me. Second to seventh or eighth in 20ft is not the way you want to start the race. If it would of worked Wink and I would of been gone. As it was, Wink rode away and I was in trouble. Somehow in the sand scrum my shifter or rear der got all messed up and wouldn't shift. I managed to get it to move enough to get me into a decent gear to finish the lap but it was time to the pit as soon as possible.
It's nice when the team is traveling to some of the bigger races as we have riders in different races so we all ways have someone working the pit. Today, we were all in the same race so I had to stop, drop the first bike on the ground, grab the backup bike off the rack, and get going. I have to say thanks to Dave Pitt. He was standing in the pit when I changed bikes and he spent most of the race telling me that I could change bikes if I needed to. It was tempting, I had too little air in the tires on the back up bike and the tires were rolling a little, but that was better than the jacked up shifting on the original bike. Anyway, back to the race.
So I got rolling and quickly got by a few guys and I could see Bill and Jeff from Big Shark up ahead of me. It took a few laps, but I finally got up to them and when I did I decided to ride the sand again and try and get a gap. This time I rode it clean and got a gap. Little did I know that Jeff was having some back problems but it didn't matter, he was still going fast and I needed hold the gap. In the last few laps it seemed like I opened up the gap a little bit more until I eased up on the last lap. Jeff really put in an effort but I was watching and made sure that I could maintain enough of a gap to finish 4th.
Overall it was a good weekend. I'm happy with my results and the team did awesome as well. Today we were 1st, 4th, 6th, and I need to check results to see where Luke ended up. Even better is that the JoBro and Wi3 raced both days. JoBro even asked when the next race is at dinner tonight! So that would be next weekend, I think it's a Saturday event and then no racing on Sunday. Sounds like a good day to hit River Trails with the family!

This sand pit was a blast! You could hit it with tons of speed. The only problem, getting stopped at the other end!
Got to say thanks to the promoters, officials, and volunteers who made this possible. We had a great time at one of my favorite venues!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It was a long day, Boss Cross #1

So much going on today. Up at 6:00am to get ready for a 8:00am soccer game. After spending a fair amount of time last night packing the van for the soccer game and Boss Cross the kids knew I was serious. They did a great job getting up and being ready to go and we were off. If you have ever been to Heritage Soccer Complex in the boondocks of southern KC you know that it can be really cold out there. At 8am it was cold. By 8:10 I couldn't feel my hands. The rest was a cold, cold blur. By 9:15 we were out of there and trying to warm up on the drive to the race. Since we had to pass pretty close to home we decided to stop off for more warm clothes and more coffee for dad.

So we get to the venue for Boss Cross and start unloading. As we are getting set up Bill is getting Wi3 ready to pre-ride before his race and JoBro tells me that he wants to race. I brought all of his stuff but figured he would be too tired to race. So I hustled to get him signed up and in a kit to ride. JoBro was lucky that Bill had a few extra kid sized VERGE items to keep him warm.
As race time arrives for the Jrs race I keep checking on Curly who is in the van totally focused on his DS. For a change that actually works for me as he will stay there while I watch JoBro race. Before the start I asked him if he was nervous and then realized that I was probably more nervous than he was. You see, this was the first cross race ever for JoBro and Wi3. The race started and the boys rode pretty well. JoBro went over the bars near the end of the race in the sand but jumped back up and got going right away. Best part of it all is that once it was over he said that he wanted to do it again. In fact he threw his kit back on and we rode a few cool down laps after my race was over.

The boys after the finish. Notice JoBro's bars and levers. That was a pretty good crash!

Check out Wink in the Boss
Cross leaders jersey! He had to have the comeback of the day. From the front to the back and then back to the front to win! WOW!

I tried to ride the sand a few times but it really was faster to run it. But I hate to run so I figured I would give it a try. I guess I made it about half of the times I tried.
In the race I got a good start and nearing the first turn I started getting bumped hard by someones elbow. A quick glance and I saw that is was Tilford. Not much sense fighting for position before the first turn so I made some space and off he went. A few guys got by in the first few straightaways which was perfect as I needed a few guys to draft going into the wind. For most of the race I was leading or in the top 3 until I decided to crash trying to go around a lapped rider. I should of waited but instead I changed my line and down I went. That moved me back and I was riding with Josh Johnson when I saw Wink catching us. I backed off the pace for a bit until Josh started pulling but by then Wink was with us. It didn't take long for Wink to attack and away he went. A few laps later I crashed again and lost Josh's wheel for good. So the last few laps I just rode at a steady pace to end up 5th. Not too bad following a really tough training week. Tomorrow should be interesting.

I got these photos from Keith Walberg. The guy has a great eye and has produced some great cross movies with Gizmo.
Boss Cross #2 tomorrow. More fun, more pain!