Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend of cross

Last weekend was a tough one to sitting on the couch injured. The 3 days of Jingle Cross was going on in Iowa City IA, a race I have not missed ever since I started racing cross. If there was ever a cross race where a party broke out, this would be it. I think it's got a little bit of a Tulsa Tough vibe going, especially on Friday night. As a racer the courses are different than anything else we race on all year. Tight turns, long straights, plenty of technical bits, and of course, the climb up Mt. Krumpet. I love the weekend but this year I was stuck at home trying to get updates via Twitter. I've definitely gotten spoiled watching euro cross races on the internet and the US races on Cycling Dirt!

We had Mark, Matt, Abby, and Issac racing for TREK CXC and they all had great rides during the weekend. Mark took the win in the 35+ race on Saturday while Matt got the 35+ win on Sunday. Issac and Abby both rode in the Elite races all weekend and pulled off a top 10 in one race and were top 20 in the rest.There were a few other Omaha-Lincoln-KC folks there who had great results as well. Tough seeing the all the media about the cross family being there and missing out.

Great seeing Matt win a big race with Jill and Ruby there. 

Mark got the win in the 35+ race on Saturday. He rode the Elite race the other days.

I just like this picture of Matt

Kenny took 2 wins in the 45+, good to see and it gives be a good idea of where I would of placed.

Mark on the slog up Mt. Krumpet. Yes, it really does start down by the barn at the bottom of the picture.

you don't see this very often in a cross race

The downhill has to be my favorite part of the courses, it really is as steep as it looks.

I also watched the Super Prestige Gavere race this weekend. I think the men's race has become more interesting this year as Sven Nys has taken a lot longer to get to the front group and then battle for the win. Kind of the same tactic that Jeremy Powers is using this year in his races. Both riders seem to get OK starts and just roll around in the top 15 for a few laps and eventually they get to the front of the race in the last 3 laps. Usually they win but once in a while they don't. I think it makes people think they should be more patient in races but I see a problem in that. Maybe it's just me but spotting the fastest guys in the field 30 seconds is usually a bad deal.  It may be easy to roll with the lead group but to make up the 30 seconds is incredibly  hard. It seems like Jeremy Powers was had this same plan on day 3 of Jingle Cross. The only problem is that Tim Johnson got a gap that Jeremy couldn't close. Tim wins with Jeremy 2nd. interesting to watch these races and see how each riders tactics work for them.

Not too much new to report on the injury, still no weight bearing for 3-4 weeks. I can take off the boot and work on range of motion exercises.  It's a good start on toad to recovery.
Photo credits: VELO, mrs mod, mrshigh5, anybody else I forgot.........

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just hanging out

How time flies when you are sitting on the couch. Or.....maybe just the opposite, I can't tell. It seems like forever ago that I had surgery but reality is, it's only been a little over 2 weeks. Overall the pain is decreasing as the days go by and I'm getting closer to actually sleeping through the night. One of the biggest challenges aside from being on crutches is getting cleaned up. It took awhile  but we figured out a way to get me in the shower without killing myself. I' m finally getting some flexibility out of my knee so I can see what's going on with my ankle. In all honesty I really didn't think this surgery was that big of a deal but it began to sink in once I was able to see that side of my ankle.

So at this point I'm couch surfing all day just waiting to go see the doctor on Friday afternoon. I'm more than a little curious as to what we do next. I know I have 6-8 weeks before I can put any weight on my leg so it's more a question of how and when do I start physical therapy.
I had no idea 

Sand issues in Louisville

Mark at Nebraska State Championships

Katie in Louisville

Logan in St.Louis

Ben had a good race in St.Louis

That's all I've got at the moment, just have to see where we are after the doctors visit Friday.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cross is over .......for me

I was watching the race today from Belgium and it was great! The course was so unique it was kind of a learning process for me. One of these days I'll get across the pond and do a few races and maybe Masters Worlds.

This was from the first race of the year, Hermann Cross, Won the 50+ both days

That was a pretty relaxed event and after hitting few of the bigger events The TREK CXC crew was on a roll. With our next big travel block looming Mark and I had figured out a schedule that would get all of the teams equipment from Omaha, to St.Louis, to Louisville, and back to Omaha in about 10 days.

It was all going according to plan until I crashed in a low speed corner at the Gateway Cup Cross race in St.Louis. I can't count how many times I've crashed harder, going way faster.But this time it was different, as soon as I hit the ground I knew I was hurt. From my knee to my toes it hurt and it hurt bad. As I was laying there I could see the odd angle that my ankle was sitting. Now I've broken a few bones in my life but I could tell this was different. Adding to an obvious ankle/Tibia issues there was the fact that my right knee is my bad knee. Good or bad, I'm not sure at this point but if it was my other knee I would be having a knee operation as well. Since everything got twisted my bad knee still moves, just a added a few different grinding noises.

Everybody wants to know, how did I manage to do this much damage in such a slow speed crash? Here's what I think happened. It was 2 laps to go in my race when I  rolled into section where there was a short, steep, downhill followed by a sharp 180 turn. I think that my front wheel started washing out and then caught, sending me highside over the bars. Then next thing I remember is lying on the bround in incredible pain, pain from my knee to my toes.

I won't go into the details of the ambulance ride or the 9 hrs I spent in the emergency room. i will say that the ER crew kept me pretty busy most of that time.

pins, plates, and screws

This sucked when they put it back into place, glad I was out

Post Opp pictures, plenty of new hardware

Bad part of crashing when you are out of town is finding a way home. Having surgery the next day helped move things along. We were very fortunate that Mark and I were only on the first leg of our trip. 3.5 hrs and Nancy could come and save me.

I really do need to say Thank You to so many people for their good wishes, and offers to help. It means so much to know there is community out there that is looking out for each other.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Providence and beyond

Since the last post I went to a few cross races, one of them being the biggest, baddest race I've ever been to. Mark and I loaded up the Sprinter van and made the trek to the Providence Cyclocross Festival. Providence RI is a long way to go for a race but it was one of the best races I've ever been to. It wasn't just just one part of the race but the crowd, the course, expo, food, and so much more makes this a race that's worth the drive. I wish I had pictures but as ususal I was just too busy to see much more than our tent and the pit. That's ok, we had good results with Katie getting 3rd and 2nd in her return to racing, Mark was 3rd and 1st, and I was 8th and 5th. Matt and Issac both rode to top 20 places after starting way back in the field. It was all good until the drive home, it was smooth sailing but 22 hrs in the car is a long trip.

That brings me to this week. After another less than stellar training week I decided to do the Cross out Cancer race. I'm sticking with the plan that my coach has cooked up to save my knee. We decided that racing the shorter Masters race is easier on my knee so I'm doing that race and then riding 1-2 hrs after the race. So far its worked out, my knee is feeling pretty good. Today's race went ok, I won the the Masters 45+ race but more importantly I had a good training weekend.

So I have 2 more weeks of training before the next road trip. Time to get on it.

Ellen won close to home

Katie got a big one in Boulder

Bright future for this kid

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Catching up

Seems like it gets harder and harder to find the time to write anything on the blog these days. for a time I wrote in the evenings but the boys need my computer to do homework most nights. Mornings are definitely not a good time with the rush to get the kids off to school. So there you have it, but I'm working on finding some time to get this blog updated.

So here we go, the last post was about the criterium races we did in Nebraska. Since then there was Gateway Cup in St Louis with the Think Finance/Trek Stores team. Overall it was a good series of races for me. Doing the Pro 1-2 races all ways gives me a good indication of where my form is going into cross. Unfortunately the fact that I only did 7 races this summer really started to show in the third of four races. Oh well, good for the fitness in any case. Kind of a bitter sweet end to the road season as it was the end of my time on the team. Racing with the guys on the Think Finance Trek Stores team was great and I loved every minute of it but it's time to move on and give a younger guy a chance.

After a 2 week break it was time for the Cyclocross season to begin. I started the season off with the Dogfish Cross in Hermann Mo. As a 2 day race it's a good way to start off the season and check on fitness. As usual I was a little behind on the equipment department and was still on last years bikes. No worries there, just pulled the bike off the wall and races them. Won the 50+ race both days and felt like I was riding ok.

The following weekend was pretty big for the TREK CXC Team as the race was held on the TREK Factory grounds. A tough week prior to the race for Mark, Matt, and I left us pretty exhausted going into the weekend but we recovered to have some great rides. Mark won both of the 35+ races while Matt was 5th and 3rd in the same race. I ended up with a 5th and 2nd in the 45+ race, The rest of the CXC crew pulled off some great finishes and overall it was a great showing at our home race.

This weekend is a off week before we head out for the Providence Cyclocross Festival in Providence,RI. Pretty excited to go out east and race. So here's a few pictures from the last few months.

Jeremy Powers at the TREK CXC Cup

Mark battling back from a bad start on Day 2

There's a new Sheriff in Town!

Marks Day 1 podium

Pre-riding the climb

Family trip to Sporting KC game

Mark and Joe teaching at the Source Endurance Cyclocross Clinic

Yes, we are parents of a band geek! Actually I really love the Marching band  so I think its pretty cool.

Podium shot from Hermann Cross

I just like this shot from Saturday nights Hermann cross under the lights.

Ok, this was long but now I'm caught up.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Seems weird to actually do a blog post again after such a long time. The last post was after the Tulsa Tough weekend and it was actually the last race that I did. Injuries, illness, and an incredibly busy shop has kept me at home trying to train. That brings me to this weekend where I'm up in Omaha doing a couple of Criteriums with the team. Last night we did the Arrows to Aerospace Twilight Criterium in Belleview Ne. Overall the race went well for the team, Nick made it into the break and ended up winning while Zach took the field sprint for 2nd. Adam took 6th for the final paying spot.

Podium shot of the boys

Joe got a ride with the Hincapie Development Team for the Tour of Utah.

Today we are just hanging out at our host house and waiting for our 7:15pm start time.
Hopefully tonights race will go as well for the team .

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tulsa Tough

Tulsa Tough, 3 days of fun in the sun in Tulsa Oklahoma. Every year I head down to do the races and every year it hurts. Not the bad kind of hurt but the hurt you get from riding a hard as you can go. It seems like I go into the weekend with questionable fitness and I get my answer pretty quick on Friday night. Racing the Cat 1-2 race with 5 other teammates is fun but it comes with the burden of knowing you will be working to help your teammate win. Our guy was Shadd since most of these races come down to a field sprint and he’s our best sprinter.
So here we go: Tulsa Tough Day 1 Blue Dome Crit
As usual the sun is going down as we are getting ready to race but the temp is still up there. The field was full with a waiting list so we lined up with 140 guys ready to rip it up. I made the decision to pass on much of a warm up for a better start position and it worked, front row! From there the race went pretty fast, speeds were up with an average speed of 28.7mph for the race, and the crashes came every few laps. I’m not sure what the deal was with all the crashes, the course was good. It seems that guys were super aggressive trying to hold their position in the field and causing tons of bumping and diving in the turns. In any case the race went well for the team Logan did a killer leadout with 3 to go and got Shadd to the last lap on the front. In the sprint Shadd was a close 2nd to Michal Sheehan of Elbowz Racing. The whole team rode well and came away with all our skin.

Day 2: Brady District Crit
Another race that starts at dusk and ends in the dark. I really do love night time crits, I’m not sure why but  its fun to blast around the course with 100 other guys. This course has a little bigger hill in it and at race time the wind was strong on the downhill side of the course. The battle for position was hard as ususal but the team kept Shadd at the front of the race. With 14 laps to go I followed a Elbowz rider across to a group that was off the front of the pack. Felt good when we started, was totally cross eyed when we got there, and slid back in the pack as the pace slowed. The only problem with slipping back in the pack was that it quickly became impossible to move up. I guess it was because of the hill or the wind but the field bunched up curb to curb and that was the way it went to the end the race. Once again it was a field sprint where Shadd finished 11th.

Day 3: Riverfront Crit
By far, the Riverfront course is the hardest race of the weekend. Flat on the start/finish straight and then up Crybaby hill, another hill and then the big downhill to the finish straight. I knew this was going to be a hard one for me. I usually race Masters on Sat/Sun and the 1-2 race was really pushing me to my limits. We had a plan as a team to protect Shadd as best we could and protect his 3rd overall in the GC.  The race ended about half way for me. With an ill shifting bike and dead legs I decided to pull the plug and call it a day. The rest of the team rode well and Shadd pulled out a 10th place to secure 3rd overall.
For me Tulsa Tough went about as well as I could hope. My last injection into my knee was just the Wednesday before the weekend and with shots the previous 2 weeks training was a little slow. At this point its time to train and get ready for the Tour of Lawrence. The rest of the team is currently racing The Nature Valley Grand Prix. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I decided to get my road season started and headed to the Tour de Grove this weekend. I skipped out on the Friday night race and stuck around KC and worked. So Saturday morning I packed up the van and headed out with Garrik and Ben from the Velotech team for St.Louis. After a pretty easy 4 hr drive we arrived at the venue and got ready to race. This year the course changed due to construction and what was a pretty fun 7 turn course turned into a 3 turn triangle. Not nearly as much fun and made for some pretty negative racing. I decided to do the 2-3 race instead of the Masters race in hope of getting a little bit harder workout. I not sure how that worked out as the race was pretty sketchy and at one point there were 3 crashes on one lap. Overall I rode pretty much like I thought I would. In the hour long race I stayed at the front for about 45 minutes before I started to get tired. Then it got progressively harder to accelerate out of the turns and hold position. In the end I have no idea where I finished out of the 135 starters but that's ok, I still have an issue with my leg  from cross that I need to figure out.

So today is day 2, The Dutchtown Grand Prix. Today's course is much more interesting with a few more turns and a short, steep climb to the finish. Last year I struggled here so today should be interesting.

Zach watching his girlfriend Whitney race.
 Congratulations to Whitney for getting signed  on to the Colivita  Pro Team

A few of the Think!Finance guys on the line for the Pro-1 race
In the Pro-1 race the guys rode well and were setting Zach up for the sprint when he flatted and ended his hope for a good finish.

Photo's: Kevin McRee, Cyclingdirt

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I'm Back......

Where have I been? Kind of in the land of the lost. After my last post I thought I was ready to get back to training and racing my bike. Little did I know that events would come and go to conspire to keep me off my bike. Now as we approach April 1 I have hope that its time to get going. Of course,monday it looks like a rain/snow mix so who knows. I guess racing for 12 months took more of a toll on me than I thought so I'm in no rush to to train/ race.

Since I'm doing the solo dad thing this weekend I'll probably watch the Tour of Flanders tomorrow morning before church.

Colton is having a killer spring for the Think!Finance Trek Stores team with a couple of wins.

Did a family ski trip to Steamboat for Spring Break. Fresh snow everyday was awesome

In early March we went to the Supercross race in St.Louis. First time for the family and they loved it 

Of course the big story for March was the weather, cold, snow, and rain all month long. I guess if I was in a different frame of mind I would of gotten out on the bike but that's not where I am. Maybe April will be different. At least the Tue Crit is starting up and that's a good place to start.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Post Worlds-Pre Season

Not too much to write about since Cross Worlds. I have a planned rest going on that's supposed to last until March. It may take a few more days to get started due to the Supercross race in St.Louis but I'll be getting back in the training mode soon enough. With all of the snow the past week riding outside has been pretty much impossible anyway. At least the boys and I have been busy playing in the snow. Of course it seems like everybody else is pre season training mode and for some the road season has begun.

Lynn from Podum Insight is back working again with the Cal Giant boys.

Joe and the Elbowz guys won 2 races last weekend.

Zach got 2nd on day one for the new Think Finance Pb Trek Stores team

The boys and I built 2 igloos connected by a 30 ft tunnel. No shortage of snow in KC

Shadd and I managed to get out on the road between snow storms

Carly helped out with the fort building
Hopefully the snow will slow down and we can get out on the road more in the near future.