Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things that happen in Bend should stay in Bend........except for this! Once again there is video proof that Bike racers can't dance. It helps if you know who the people are but it's still funny if you don't.

Still paying the price for the long road trip. Pretty travel weary and my honey do list is long.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

USGP Day 2

Sunday morning came with cold and clear conditions and we were pumped. Everybody on the team rode well Saturday and we felt like we could do it again. We were up early and at the venue to everything in place for the races. I was one of those early races so I was kitted up and ready to pre- ride the course between the first couple of races. There were only a few course changes so my hope was to check them out and get on the trainer to finish warming up. I got out a little late and before long I heard the announcer say the course was closed so it was back to the trainer until the race was over. Mark and I tried once that race ended but after a short time on course we were thrown off the course by an angry official. Turns out that OBRA(the local sanctioning body)has a rule that nobody can pre-ride the course once racing has begun for the day. I had no idea there was a rule since we had pre-rode on Saturday but it took a lengthy discussion to get them to let me race. Kind of hard to focus on warming up for your race when you are talking to race officials 30 minutes before the start. In the end it got sorted out and it was race time.

I got a decent start and once again got the lead before the technical part. Right away I knew that I had messed up on tire pressure. The course was a little bit faster than Saturday and my pressure was a little low. In fact it was low enough that I had to be careful no to bottom out the tire on the many rocks around the course. Now the issue was that I was in the lead but Bart Bowen was chasing and closing in. If I changed bikes right away he would catch me or I could try to stretch out the lead and then come out of the pit still in the lead. I tried to run but in the end I had to take a bike just as Bowen was catching me and that was it. Bowen had a 10 second lead as I exited the pit and I just didn't have the legs to close the gap. Other than getting taken down by a lapped rider the rest of the race was pretty uneventful. 2nd place, not too shabby.

The drive home was a 2 day marathon on the sprinter but it really was not too bad. Overall I think both Mark and I came through the trip in pretty good shape. Now it's time to focus on Nationals and Worlds.

I found a couple of videos of my 45+ races.

USGP Bend 45+ Day 1
USGP Bend Day 2
More pictures to come as I find them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

USGP Bend Day 1

Wow, what a great day for the Trek CXC crew. Two wins and a 3rd and 4th in the 35+ race as well.We woke up to cold and cloudy conditions for the first races of the day but it quickly started warming up as the day wore on. Course conditions were also changing with the warming temps. As the sun started popping out and the frozen ground started to thaw leaving a layer of mud on top of the frozen ground. Usually that would make for pretty challenging conditions but with the volcanic soil there was still traction.

In my race I got a pretty good start slotting in 3rd or 4th going into the first few turns. I decided to jump the leaders so I could lead into the technical wooded section. After the wooded section I had all ready established a 10 sec lead and that was it. The rest of the race I stretched out the lead a bit and could ease up the last few laps and hopefully saving something for today's race.
In the end I won by 30 seconds or so.

I got cleaned up and soon it was time for the 35+ race. We had 3 TrekCXC riders in the race so I was in the pit ready to go. Mark got a good start and after the first lap was in the lead with one other rider. Throughout the race they pulled out a lead and then with 2 laps to go Mark got away from the other rider. Our other 2 riders, Shannon Skerrit and Jesse Reints were right in the mix. At the finish Mark won with a good lead with Shannon 3rd and Jesse 4th.

Mark in the series leader Jersey

Finally got a Win

Katie's in Europe winning

Pretty artsy shot by Anders

Popping over the flyover

This is what happens when your tires don't fit through the gauge

The team area was rocking all day
So just about time to head out for day 2. Similar conditions to yesterday.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

USGP Bend, OR Pre-ride day

Here's a few pictures from today's pre-ride session plus a video from the Cliff Bar crew.

Got done with set up a little early so Mark and I walked the course.

Fast narrow sections in the woods

there are a couple of steep ride/run ups

Tod Wells is back this weekend
Found this picture on Cycling Dirt. Velonews is going to stream live coverage both days. Pro races only 
Nice video from the Cliff boys.
Should be an interesting day tomorrow. Cold but clear and not much mud. A little more technical course than in the past but there is still the slog in the grass by the brewery. Since Mark Legg isn't here I ended up with #1. Hope it's a good sign.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Traveling to Bend OR

Traveling to races can sometimes be a pain but usually I'm so amped to race that I have to remember to calm down just to make sure I don't get a ticket getting there. But this trip is a little different. In the past my trips to Bend have been a 30 hr straight through slog that totally drained the life out of me. So this year we went the opposite route and did the drive in two days. There is no doubt the easy pace of the two day drive is much more relaxing and today I'm sitting here totally fresh and ready to go. So today we are waiting for some of the other CXC riders to show up at the house and then it's off to the course to set up the Trek compound and pre-ride the course.

Um, yea, Mark's not texting......somewhere in Utah.

Somewhere in Idaho, pretty much looks like Utah

Got to the house just at sunset, pretty sweet place on top of the mountain.

The 2 hour time difference is wreaking havoc on our bodies. up at 4 every day!
Time to get rolling and get ready to head to the course.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jingle Cross

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I'm sitting here this morning with Mathgeek and Curly watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on tv. I've been trying to get a post done for Jingle Cross since last weekend but it was just not happening until today. With only 3 days at home between the USGP in Louisville and Jingle Cross nothing got done around the house. This week I paid the price for traveling so much and had to focus on family life. Good thing my coach had planned a mid season rest week.

What can I say about Jingle Cross that hasn't been said. 3 days of racing on craziest courses we do all year. The main feature is Mt. Krumpet, we go up it 2 different ways and of course, what goes up must come down. Then there is the part that I like, the technical turns through the barns. Overall the course is pretty balanced. The big difference this year was that for the 1st time the temperature was warm and there was no rain, snow, or mud.

Friday Day 1:

We got to the venue in plenty of time to set up our tents and pre-ride the course before race time. My race was one of the early races so darkness was not an issue. After a pretty easy training week I was a little worried I would be flat and that ended up being the case. After a good start it ended up with 3 of us in a battle for the win. I definitely had a advantage on the decent, my Garmin said I hit 28mph coming down. Unfortunately it could'nt overcome how slow I was running up the hill and I ended up 3rd.

Helen Wyman going up the ascent of Mt. Krumpet. We had to go up this both Friday and Sunday.
Saturday Day 2:
I'm still working on my new warm up routine and on this day it felt perfect. Got to the line and my legs felt great. I jumped into the lead from the start and got the King of the Mountain Prize for leading over the top of Mt. Krumpet on the first lap. Today we rode up the climb so I felt like I was on a good day. This is where the race went bad. The 35+ race started 1 minute before us and we were all ready going through the back end of the field. We hit the swiitchback downhill and some of the 35+ guys started crashing. I chose to go low and it was a huge mistake. One of the guys flipped over his bike and hit me on the way down. I went sailing over the bars catching my knee between the frame and the front wheel twisting my knee. On the way down I hit wooden post with my thigh, snapping it off at the ground. I wanted to get up, tried, but couldnt stand. Eventually my leg settled down unough to limp back to medical. The guys from the hospital cleaned up my wound and packed my knee in ice. I could only hope it settled down before Day 3.
Sunday Day 3:
After a night of ice and stretching I woke up feeling pretty good. Minimal swelling in the knee and leg. My warm up went well and I was ready to race. After another good start I got into the lead and began to strech it out to 15 seconds. Once again we had to run up Mt. Krumpet but this time we had to jump on the bike and ride the rest of the way to the top. After that there was the decent to the bottom. Unfortunately, the on the bike climbing and decent could not overcome my run/walk pace up the climb. Half way through the last lap I got caught and even though I felt like I could of put some time on the other rider through the technical section before the sprint, I really had no interest in battle that would ensue to do it. One hard crash was enough and it was going to take some agressive riding to make the pass. So it came down to a sprint and I just didn't have enough gas to get around him at the line.
Overall it was a good weekend. 3rd Friday, 2nd Sunday, and in contention for the win  both days. I feel like I had my best chance to win on saturday but that's racing. The weekend was a success for the whole TREK CXC gang as everybody had great rides.

Andrew had a few issues Friday night.
The winner of our 45+ race didnt show for the podium so Mike and I shared the top step. This guy is one of my favorite guys to race against. Great rider that impresses me everytime I see him. His son fast and heading to EuroCross camp soon. How he handles training and working with his son, and everything else insires me to do more with my boys.
Matt Shriver getting the holeshot in Sundays race.

Matt on the Log Roll. 6 wooden post less that a wheel lenght apart.

Mark racing the Elite race. We had to make sure he didn't score a UCI point or we was out for Masters Worlds. By far the most stressfull part of the weekend.

I saw this picture from a race in europe. They get them started young there.
Looks like it's back to training after todays Thanksgiving extravaganza. Time to start getting ready for the Final USGP weekend in Bend, OR.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Louisville USGP

Last weekend was the 5th and 6th race of the TREK USGP of Cyclocross series in Louisville KY. The regional part of the TREK CXC crew picked Joe and I up at the Independence store on Thursday and we headed off to Louisville. Friday we finished off the drive and got to the venue in plenty of time to set up our area and then pre-ride the course.

The course itself was much tougher than past races at this venue with more technical areas and long sand sections. Overall it was a pretty good course for me with a balance between the technical part on the hills and the long grassy straightaways. The real issue was going to be the long sand section and the 4 forced dismounts every lap.These are not your normal dismounts either. Just one set of barriers on the flat and then 1 set of railroad ties on a hillside and 1 set of rock barriers on the other. Then there are the stairs of the Green Monster flyover to contend with.

Saturdays race came and I made some changes to my warm up procedure before the race to see if it made a difference. With a 6th place I really cant tell if it helped or not. Sunday it was more of the same. I did get a good start and right away my teammate Mark got away with another rider and I was with another rider 5 seconds back. Half way through the 2nd lap I messed up in the long sand pit and lost a few seconds on the other rider, We got to the next road section and as the other rider went through the wind blew the metal fencing across the road blocking the course. At that point I had to sit there and wait for some spectators to run over and open up the course. By that time some chasing riders caught up to me and we were a group of riders fighting for 4th through 8th. The battle lasted the rest of the race and I was planning on attacking on the last lap. When we got to the place I wanted to attack I jumped, got a gap, and crashed on the up hill barrier section. With a half a lap to go the race was over and I ended up 8th.

Kind of a bummer. The results were not what I wanted but it was still a fun weekend. Hanging out with the TREK CXC crew is a good time and the weather was great.

Sundays chase group. fun to race with Tim and Mike again.

Jay, Mark, and Mark warming up. Mark had kind of a rough weekend but retained the Leaders jersey going into the final round.

It's true that Ryan Trebon is really tall but this picture makes his bike look like a kids bike.

Emily Batty came from Canada to race for TREK.

Matt Shriver on the Green Monster. Those steps are huge.
The TREK CXC compound. We had a great spot next to the flyover and really close to the pit.
Not much time to rest this week, store inventory on Wednesday and then Friday its off to the 3 days of Jingle Cross.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Colivita Cup / Zonhoven Superprestige Cross

Last weekend was a good one for cyclocross lovers. In the KC area we had the Colivita Cup/Boulevard Cup cross races and on the web was the Superprestige Zonhoven. My training plan had me racing the Colivita race on Saturday and training on Sunday. That worked out really well for me as I had a ton of stuff to get done around the house before the next round of race traveling begins. Since I'm such a slug in the morning I decide to race the masters race since it was the first race of the day. Best to get my butt moving early so I dont sit around drinking coffee all morning. I got to the venue and Britton and the rest of the Colivita/Volker crew set up a pretty fun course. Fast and flowy with a fair amount of climbing.

Once again the masters category was huge! The 40+ race went first and the 50+ 30 sec later. Steve from 360 took the hole shot and right away we ran into the rear end of the 40+ race. I put my old motocross skills to use and got through the lappers and into the lead by the end of the lap. From there on I tried to keep consistent laps and work on my cornering . Ended up winning the race and tried to get out of there quick. It never works, I just enjoy hanging out at the races and talking to everyone so it usually takes a while to leave. But I did get home early, by time to open race was starting I was home cleaning out the gutters and hanging Christmas lights. Got a lot done on a nice warm day.

Sunday we got up and had a nice breakfast of fruit and waffles and then settled down to watch the Superprestige race on the computer. If you missed it you missed a good one. The last lap had me holding my breath it was so exciting. I usually don't get that fired up watch a race on tv but the course was cool and the battle riveting. Below I have both video versions, the last lap and then the whole race.

This is the whole race
and this is the last lap version
Getting ready to hit the road again. The next round of the USGP series in Louisville this weekend and the following weekend is Jingle Cross. Louisville will be fun since we will be racing on the course that will be used for the Elite World Championships in February. Then theres Jingle Cross, 3 days of craziness that's all ways fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boss Cross 3 and KC Fun

Pretty fun weekend here in KC. Spent Saturday morning hanging out with the family and got a few things done around the house. Rolled out of the house just in time to arrive at the Riverside race venue and get a few laps in as a warm up. Got signed up and soon it was race time. I was terrible off the start but after a lap I ended up in 2nd place with Joe all ready pulling away. I knew Andrew was back there somewhere and no doubt he was charging to the front of the race. At that point I tried to run a steady pace and hold a gap over the chasers but sure enough Andrew was slowly catching me a little every lap. With 3 laps to go Andrew caught me and I planned to just ride with him to the end of the race but I bobbled on the barriers and gave him a gap. That was pretty much it, race over. Joe wan, Andrew 2nd, me third. Pretty happy with the race and how I rode. I had the Quark Power meter on my bike so it should be interesting to see what the data looks like.

After the race we headed down to the Plaza for the Water Fire Festival. Hours of dancers, music, and singing, and tons of FIRE! Pretty fun evening for the whole family.
Should be an interesting week for training. I have Cyclocross Specific Intervals on my workout schedule for the first time this year. I guess its time to get serious.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flatwater Cyclocross Weekend

So many choices of where to race last weekend, in fact, too many choices. There were races in Lincoln NE, Tulsa OK, Des Moines IA, or Kansas City. Looking at results from the races it appears that there were so many competing races that it diluted the fields at all the races. Not a good thing for the promoters.

My choice was to head to Lincoln Ne. Mathgeek had to study for a exam so needed to get the boys out of the house for the weekend. Whenever I travel out of town to race with the boys I've found it tough to focus on the races. Going into the weekend I was fighting a cold and since I had the boys I decided to do the masters race. It worked out pretty well. I could race before the kids got bored of being at the races and there wern't too many people out there early so I could keep track of what they were up to.

I have to say that I allways enjoy the the Pioneers Park venue and nothing beats coming back home to race. Seems like the weekend flies by and I never get a chance to see all the people that I want to see. Thanks to the Burke's for giving us a place to hang out and to John Lefler and the crew for putting on the race.

Jay running the barriers. 3rd on day 1

Curly was our photographer all weekend. I still have to figure out how to put some video on here.

Podium for the Masters Race. Won both days as Paul and Randall battled all weekend to fill out the podium.

Curly shot this picture, not too bad for a 10yr old!

Day 1 Open Podium

Nate the bunnyhopper in action
Fun weekend. Got to race, hang out with the boys, and see some friends. Only thing that would of made it better was it Mathgeek was there with us. Next time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SmartWool USGP Ft. Collins

Last weekend was the Smartwool USGP of Cyclocross in Ft. Collins. Joe and I drove out and met up with Nebraska crew on Friday afternoon. After a quick lunch we headed out to set up the TREK Camp and pre ride the course. Overall the course design was same as last year and it was just as bumpy and dry as it was then. There was some rain in the forecast but not much so we were thinking it was going to stay dry. Little did we know the the rain was on the way.

It rained some Friday evening and a bit more overnight. In the morning the course looked awesome. The rain had turned the dry moon dust into a tacky, solid course. I rode the course a few times between races and then rode the trainer before my race. During that time on the trainer the rain started again and only stopped just before my race. I rode over to the start area and not too much later we were in the grid getting ready to start. I looked over and saw Mark yelling something about tires. The race started and I soon found out what  Mark was saying. Going into the 2nd turn I found out that the rain had turned the course to a slimey, slippery mess. Not knowing that conditions had changed the first thing I did was crash. Wrong tires at the wrong pressure moved me from 3rd place to somewhere in the 20's. Here is where smart, experienced teammates come in handy. After the crash my bike was messed up from getting run over by half the field so I went into the pit for a bike change. Mark had changed my wheels to ones with Challenge Limus mud tires. Perfect tires and the right pressure and now I could ride. It was a battle but in the end I got up to 5th.My teammate Mark Legg continues to dominate the 45+ race and won again.

After my race I worked the pit for the 35+ race where Mark was 3rd and Matt was 18th.Then helped Mark Legg pit for Katie Compton's win. After that Joe was in the Elite Mens race. Whew, it got to be a long day!

Sunday dawned cool and sunny but it would soon warm up into a beautiful day. The USGP crew had made some changes to the course that were pretty fun. The mud was gone and the course was fast. From my warm up rides on the course I knew that I had some really good lines on the downhill and I was fast. I also knew that I was going to pay for my efforts the day before on the climbs. It was going to be critical to get a good start and hit the downhill section first so I was focused on a good start. Unfortunately I decided to test the theory that says 2 objects can not occupy the same spot at the same time. I was flying around the outside of the first left had sweeper and in prime position to take the lead in the tight right hand turn that follows. The only problem with my plan was that the lead rider saw me coming and chopped me into the wood poles on the inside of the turn. Naturally I lost that battle and down I went. The end result was just about the same as Saturdays race. Not quite as far back in the field and it only took a lap to bet back to the front of the race. At this point I was in 3rd right on the 2nd place riders wheel........until we started climbing. 2nd place just rode away and I knew it was going to be a battle to get a good finish. Flying down the downhills and crawling up the climbs allowed me to hold my position for most of the race but by the end I was fighting for 5th place with 2 other riders. It was close but  I managed to hang onto 5th while my teammate Mark won again.

The 35+ race was super exciting as Mark took the hole shot and built a good lead. As the race progressed his lead began to shrink and on the last lap it was down to 7 seconds. He won and Matt was 12th, in fact the TREK Cyclocross Collective had 4 riders in the top 16! Pretty happy the mud was gone as there were 2 of us working the pit for 4 riders. Next up was Katie and she again won with a substantial margin. The elite Mens race was was fun to watch while working for the 3 Trek riders in the race. Joe was out there having a blast on the downhill and just having fun.

I do love coming to Ft.Collins as the vibe is great and seeing our transplanted Nebraska/Kansas buddies is fun. So now I'm home and I guess I brought home a cold with me. Bummer but I'll get over it.

Mark has the leaders jersey in the 35 + race.

J Pow crushing the Elite field

LVB had a great weekend at the races. He led most of Saturdays race and ended up 5th. Then he rode hard for 2nd on Sunday. All while putting up with a house full of TREK guys. Thanks for putting us up!

Here's the TREK compound. Pretty fun being parked beside the big TREK tent.
Next up, heading for Lincoln to (hopefully) race. Have to see if I can shake this cold before then.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

360 Cup

What a crazy time its been since Gateway Cross Cup. The shop was super busy, and I was just fried from all the travel. Just like last year Mathgeek had the end of quarter starting that Friday so I was a single dad for the for the next week. I was all set to head up to Boss Cross but in the end it was best that I skipped the race. The following week the shop was super busy and my training sucked. Going into the 360 cup weekend I was a little worried about my fitness but I was really more interested in how JoBro was going to do in his first cross race of the year. Big changes for him this year. He grew a ton since last season so a new bike was in order. New shoes since his feet are now bigger than mine, and a switch from Shimano to SRAM. He got on his bike and didn't know how to shift it. To say I was a little distracted with him racing would be an understatement but I really didn't mind.

The crew from 360 Racing did a great job with their race. Quick, easy registration, a great course, and the one and only John Lefler announcing. Pro all the way. I did the 40+/50+ race since I had family in town for the weekend and oddly enough it went well. I'm still working through a gearing change from last year and I think I finally have it figured out. I ended up winning and felt pretty good in the process so that's a good sign for this weeks USGP races.

After my race JoBro went and even after a number of crashes he finished 3rd in his race. He had a great time and is ready to race again.

Helmets on for safety! Hats off to Steve and Andy for finishing 2nd and 3rd after working all day putting on the race.

Kind of wondered what Katie was riding since we have 2 of her bikes in KC.

The Nebraska boys continue to pick up podium spots.
JoBro in action. I still can't get over how big he looks on the bike. Shouldn't surprise me, he can wear my clothes now. Jup, that's my kit hes racing in.

Jobro is wondering how long it's going to take for him to get as fast as Christopher.
Just about time to head out for Ft. Collins for round 3-4 of the USGP of Cyclocross. Hoping for some mud to equalize to altitude advantage the Colorado boys have.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

USGP 1-2, Gateway Cup Cross

I'm pretty late getting this race report out. It's been kind of hectic ever since the build up for the first USGP started. Left KC on Thursday, drove to Madison on Friday, raced sat/sun and drove to Omaha Sunday night. Got back in the car early Monday morning and drove back to KC. Wednesday morning it was time to get back into the car and headed to St. Louis for the Gateway Cross Cup. Since it was such a late finish to the Elite race we opted to stay the night and drive back in the morning. With all the travel and trying to get some work done at the shop I was just a bit fried by this weekend.

As for the races, USGP #1 went pretty well. A fast dry course was similar to last year with a few more turns. Off the start I was up front and early on my teammate Mark Legg took off and was gone. I had a good battle with Jeff Weinert over 2nd place eventually ending up 3rd.

Day 2 didn't go quite so well. Once again Mark took off and was gone but this time there were 5 riders battling for 2nd thru 6th. It was a tactical battle the whole day and I tried to bust up the group a munber of times but in the end I was 6th. Not a bad weekend at all.

45+ podium Day 1

35+ podium

Tim Johnson on a dry, dusty course

Katie Compton hopping the boards

Jeff and I hopping the boards on Day 2
Gateway Cross Cup
Another early start had Joe and I heading for St. Louis for the Gateway Cross Cup. We arrived and quickly got a prime location for our pit. Teammate Mark Legg arrived and we got ready for our 40+/50+ race. Mark and I both got slow starts but soon we were on the front. Once Mark got to the front he slowly started pulling away from me. In the end Mark finished 1st in the 45+ race and I was 1st in the 50+.
Joe was the real trooper. He got up early to travel with me when I was a early race and he was the last race. I think there was 5 hours between our races. 9th place and some UCI points was the outcome for Joe's first race of the season.

50+ podium
Missed out on Boss Cross this weekend for a number of reasons. Kind of a bummer but I think I needed to reset.