Sunday, March 2, 2014

March snow

Today is March 2nd as I look outside it's snowing like crazy. Normally that would bum me out but since I can't ride outside it's not so bad. We can you use the moisture around here anyway since Kansas City is still behind on precipitation for the year. Even though the weather is up and down the spring races have started both here and in Europe. I watched Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne Brussel Kuurne this weekend and the races were great. The streaming video quality was good and racing outstanding. After that I watched the Mellow Johhnys MTB race from Austin, TX. Unforunately that coverage was not so good but the commentary was pretty good. I know a few people racing but I only saw them a few times and I kinda bugged out after a while. I hope they get it together for the next race in a few weeks. In KC the Spring Fling went off Saturday before the weather went totally away. No snow but from the pictures I've seen it looks like it was really cold. Hopefully the weather will start to get better once we get past this block of cold weather.

Emily Batty at the Mellow Johnny's race. Cold was not a problem there, nearly 90 degrees. 

This is probably my favorite picture from the cross season. I think the moto berm action makes me wish I could ride that course.

The Bissel Develepoment Team at the start of their training Camp. Nice looking bikes and kits.

My friend Logan wrote a little something about bike racers on his blog. It's pretty good, you should read it. In gist of it is, as bike racers we are really all just a bunch of folks out riding bikes. Some are better at it than others but no matter how fast you are, there will come a point when someone will come along that is faster. What it takes to be the best involves so many factors that have to come together all at the same time. And that time never lasts that long. I know, I've been there in motocross and cycling. A time when you are fast, smooth, and nearly unbeatable. It's awesome, and then "poof", it's gone. As Logan said, the great ones figure it out. They are driven and they have the ability to simplify their lives to the basics and get the job done.

That's not my life and that's ok. I'm happy to compete with the guys my age and if I can hold my own in a Pro 1-2 field and help out my teammates that's even better. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Time really flies when your not on any type of training plan. It seems like yesterday that I was out in Boulder for Cross Nationals but it was really over a month ago. Between Nationals and now the weathers been a little rough, super cold with a fair amount of snow. Not that it mattered to me. I'm still not cleared to ride outside so I've been driving the van everywhere. Two more weeks until I see the Doc and see how the bones are looking. The last visit the breaks in the ankle bones were looking pretty good, the tibia, not so good. It's healing but it's a long slow process due to the location of the break and how it was broken. Until then I'll keep riding the trainer and trying to get more strength back.

In the past month I've been checking out how spring training camps have become the big thing for amature teams. I can see how it would work for the Pro's and some elite amature teams but for most of us it's more like having fun riding with your buddies at a cool location. Right about now I'd love to go just about anywhere that's warm.

The Velotek guys did a camp in Arkansas
Sven on the Boone

Tons of Pro's go to Arizona
Katie finishing off her season in Japan.

Eli got the chance to go to the Kansas State Capitol on be a legislative page for a day. Cool experience for the kids.

Had the joy to hang with Eli's 6th grade Valentines Day party. Since it's their last year in elementary school they got to have it in a bowling alley!

Love this video, so funny!

Well, Cyclocross season is officially over. Supercross, NHRA, and Nascar seasons have all started so at least I have something to watch while the weather is crappy. Now to get my legs back so I can do a little mtb/road racing this summer.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Cyclocross Nationals

Back when I got hurt at the end October I was so bummed that it ended my cross season. After the surgery and recovery I started physical therapy with the singular goal of being able to walk by Cross Nationals. Five weeks was not a lot of time but while my therapist practically laughed at my goal we went for it. While I was bummed that I couldn't ride I was determined to be there for the riders on the TREK Cyclocross Collective.

I was determined to be there but I really didn't have any idea how use full I would be or how well I would get around. Turns out that getting around the venue and getting around the house is just a bit different. Day one I figured out that even with the cane I wasn't going to be very mobile and the pit was a long way from from the trailer. Lucky for me we were working out the TREK Factory Racing MTB trailer and they had a pit bike. This bike was my savior, an old TREK folding bike that was perfect. Of course I was a little nervous about riding it since it would be the first time I rode outside since the crash but it worked out well.

In a weekend filled with highlights I do have to say that working with Matt Opperman (TREK Factory MTB mechanic) was a big one for me. Arriving pretty much empty handed I was pretty much worthless from a wrench perspective and Matt picked up the the wrenching duties. It was a little bit like going to school all week watching how he handled different situations with the bikes, riders, and various other people that thought they needed to be in the tent. Working the pit was much less stressfull with Matt there and Rafal, my pit partner from Masters Worlds was there as well. Since there wasn't much mud, pit duties were pretty easy and it was nice to catch up with rest of the other mechanics that work our travelling cross circuit.

The races went well for the team and we had riders on the podium nearly every day and Katie won her 10th title in a row. It was a great end to the season for most of us while Katie still has Worlds, Tokyo, and a few more races after that. As for me, I can't wait for cross to start again!

Hanging out in the pits with my ride

Mark on the stairs

Katie on the off camber

Katie nearing the top of the stairs, 24 steps in all

Yahoo, Katie ripping the dowhill

Working out the TREK Factory rig, way too cool

Mark and I working the pit with Matt's Boone

Ellen, 2nd U-23 and 12th overall in the Elites. At 18 yrs old this girl is the real deal.
So that's a wrap, Cross season is over and I see the road crew is all ready getting ready for the season. I'll be heading back to physical therapy and continue to work on getting my leg operating correctly. Hope to get back out on the road by March and start training again.

Have to say thanks to all the photographers at the races, I've lost track of who took all of these pictures for photo credits, so if you took em', thanks again and well done!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

It's been a while since I've posted and frankly there's just not too much going on. It took a few weeks but I slowly got more mobile as time went on. November rolled into December and all of the sudden it was nearly Christmas. I really didn't think about how much of a hassle being on crutches was going to be for Christmas shopping, it is a pain. Hard to carry much. We hung out in KC for Christmas and New Years and had a nice time with friends.

Cyclocross is still going at a fever pitch as Nationals is only a week away. The last race in KC is over so now its time for most people to taper. I'll be heading out to Boulder to help out the riders on the CXC  team. It's been a few months since I've been to a race so I'm pretty excited.

Of course I've been watching all the European cross races I can on the internet. Today it was doubly exciting as TREK unveiled the new Boone cyclocross bike. It was made even better when Katie and Sven both won their races.

The new Boone

Katie and Matt Discussing the new bike at the farm
I just like this picture of Mark in the pits

The annual Christmas Picture

Acting like they like each other

Don't forget, this weekend features Supercross Saturday night and World Cup Cross and Sunday!