Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oregon Trail

Half was through my first trip to Oregon, the jury is still out on how I feel about this supposed bike capitol of Amurica. The trip so far has had pretty unusual weather for this area. For the last 3 or 4 days in Portland, the high temps have been below freezing and I don't know if I've seen a cloud since we got here last Friday. Not really sure what I prefer, sub-freezing and dry or kinda cold and wet. Either way, the course conditions were very un-Portland. Virtually no mud all weekend and as a sign of the apocalypse, a bunch of people were actually running file-treads on Sunday of the USGP. Insanity.

The story for my racing continues to be the same since I came back a couple weeks ago. Just no where near the legs that I had before. Saturday was an extraordinary case of no legs and a poor result, "and that's all I have to say about that." I did still have a pretty good time racing with so many fans out to cheer me on. It was also nice to see some familiar faces all the way out here in Oregon. So thanks to all you guys who helped me get through that long day on the bike.

Sunday was a new day and I tried to go out there with a positive mindset, even though I haven't had much success of late. I just keep telling myself that there is just as good of a chance that I'll have good legs like the "old days" as there is that I'll have bad legs again. Well, Sunday was a definite step forward. I didn't get a result to write home about, losing out on a sprint for 19th, but for the first time in a while I felt like I was racing and not just trying to stop a life raft from sinking. Although I feel like I'm still a long way from what I'm capable of, or where I was pre decimated collar bone, I look down the list of people who finished in front of me and I don't really see too many people who I'm embarrassed to finish behind, those were quality fields.

After the GP's we killed some time in Portland with a few cool rides/ coffee shop tours. We met up with THE cyclocross Portlander, Molly Cameron for a little ride around the eastern hills of "PDX". The riding and scenery is pretty amazing, I think it would be an awesome place to do some training in the summer, but as far as winter riding goes... give me Bloomington. We made the trek down here to Bend yesterday with a cool drive through the Cascade range and a trip to Mt. Hood. Bend has a handful of inches of snow and it looks like it's going to lead to come crazy conditions for my race on Sunday. Think KC Nats 07, with more snow and a little colder temps. Can't wait.

The course is open for some pre-riding today at noon, so I'm out of here.

You can find some good course condition previews here:

Podium Insight

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jingle Cross Report

Not much to speak of on the results side of things from Jingle Cross, but the weekend was about as good as it could have been considering I was creepin'.

Anywho, my dad decided to come out to the races with me and it turned out to be almost necessary to have someone working the pits for you, so that was nice. Plus it was some quality time with him away from work. He learned the ropes of pitting pretty quickly and seemed to be enjoying it. The only problem was that he was tied to the pits all race and couldn't do his usual sprinting around the course yelling for me like you may have witnessed before.

So about the racing. Friday I ripped my rear derailleur off a long way from a spare bike and so I DNF'd.

Saturday we spent all morning at Lowes and the local bike shop Geoff's Bike and Ski, trying to get my other bike working again. Long story, but with some handy mechanic work, we got it up and "functioning" with a whopping 30 minutes to spare. Yeah that's right, I got to the race 30 min before the start. Never done that in a cross race before. So I got kitted, guessed on a tire pressure and tried to guess what would be around each corner for the first lap. It didn't really matter in the end because I went pretty slow and was a non-factor in the race.

Sunday we took our sweet time in the hotel and ate a nice breakfast and rolled to the course plenty early, but non of that really mattered because I had shit for legs again. Not really sure why, but it was more than an inconvenience all weekend. It was quite apparent that was was going nowhere fast and really wanted to save myself the embarrassment and drop out, but I really needed the workout anyway, so I kept trying and kept going backwards. I do want to give a huge thank you to Brian and all the guys from Geoff's Bike and Ski for getting a massive cheering block together for me on Sunday. After all that time we spent together working on my bike on Saturday, we became pals and so Brian told his pals that he and I were now pals and before I knew it I had an embarrassingly large gallery running with me and following my slow ass all over that course, causing a scene and slapping my but on the regular. It was pretty crazy that I went to Iowa knowing no one other than a few of my competitors and my dad, and by Sunday had a mob of about 30 people yelling for me. Thanks a lot guys! You made a pretty miserable day on the bike a whole lot better!

Next update will be coming from Portland. See ya out there!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jingle Cross Roomate Anyone?

Alright, now that my plans for Jingle Cross have changed about 7 times, it looks like I will be heading up to the races solo. I'm really hoping to not have to cover all of these espenses by myself, so is there anyone out there with some floor space in their hotel or someone who is also looking to split hotle costs?

Leave a comment on here or email me at knapprd@gmail if you've got any leads!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NCGP Day 2

Day 1

Day 2

As great as the weather was on Saturday, it was equally nasty for Sunday's race. Low 40's and raining. Pretty crossy weather, but it was miserable for every second before the race and every second after the race was over. However, while the racing was going on, it really wasn't terrible.

Things were going pretty much the same as day 1 about half of a lap into the race. I was camped out on the back of the leaders, hoping to follow them around for a while. Well we hit a long pavement section and I tried to shift down into my 11t cog on my cassette and instead over-shifted it and got the chain wedged between the cassette and the frame, so I couldn't pedal. Really the only way to solve this problem is get off and take the wheel out. I wasn't too terribly far from the pits where I had a back up bike waiting, so I decided I'd just run and get my other bike. After running for about 20 seconds I realized that I needed this bike because it was the only one with mud tires on it. So I stopped and took the wheel out and got the chain fixed. By that time I was literally in last place.

I thought about dropping out because I was so frustrated, but decided I needed the workout either way, so I put my head down and tried to see how far up I could get. With about 3 laps to go I made it up to a small group racing for 5th place, which was a lot better than I thought I could do. I tried to recover in that group, but my legs were pretty crispy. Then the chain got jammed again trying to shift down into the 11t on the same section of road the very next lap. I guess I'm an idiot for trying that again. I jumped off and fixed it, then just avoided the bottom of the cassette for the rest of the race.

Now back in 13th place or so, I tried to claw my way back up to the group I was with, but was out of gas. I managed to make it back to 10th place and snag 1 whopping UCI point on the day. I wasn't really pleased with the end result, but the sensations were good and I felt like I could actually race my bike, where as Saturday I felt like I was just riding around getting in the way. Hopefully my racing legs will continue to migrate towards me this weekend in Iowa and hopefully they'll be fully within my grasp for Oregon after that.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

North Carolina Grand Prix

I know all 3 of my blog readers have greatly missed them, but long no more, my race reports are back!

So I'm down here in Hendersonville, NC, just a little south of Ashville for my first races since breaking my collarbone 6 weeks ago. Andy and I drove down yesterday to get some time on the course. The drive was pretty scenic and was pretty stress free until we got rerouted because half of a mountain fell on the road about an hour from Ashville. So we had to back-track and take some tiny little roads just to get here right before dark. We hammered out a few laps and then the two of us had a special little evening at a plce called Applebees... you may have heard of it.

Today I choked down my hotel breakfast and headed to the course around 10, which is a bit earlier than usual, but this weekend the UCI races are not the last races of the day and our's started at 1:30. That's going to be great tomorrow though when we have to pack up and drive home. I don't know why more promoters don't do it like this.

To the racing!... I have number 3 for the weekend so I got a nice starting spot/ start, but I knew well before the start that my legs weren't on my side today. During the pre-ride laps I was constantly trying to convince myself my legs felt ok or that they'd be fine. Well I got the start I wanted and hopped on the back of the lead group and let them tow me around the really roadie friendly course. It actually reminds me a lot of CrossVegas. So I was in the lead group of 5 for the first few laps, but I knew that I was comin unglued soon. I popped off and pretty much spent the remainder of the race going backwards. It wasn't a spectacular explosion on my part, but I just really didn't have it in the legs today. I had hoped for more, but I'm not really surprised that my legs weren't great. I tried to train to get myself ready, but doing intervals and racing are pretty different. I ended up 9th on the day, but let 3 dudes pass me in the last 2 laps. I think I should be quite a bit better tomorrow, with that initial shock out of the way. I'd really like to get up into the top 5 tomorrow. It's supposed to rain a lot, so it should be good practice for Oregon in a few weeks.

There were some Cyclingnews reporters there today, so if some photos pop up, I'll throw them up on here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recovery Trail

I feel like I start every blog post theses days with "I know it's been a while" or something similar, so I'll spare you guys this time. I just haven't really been leading the most exciting life of late (or ever).

It was quite enjoyable seeing how "the other half" lives with no bike races to occupy my weekends and not much training for a few weeks, I was able to act like a regular-ass dude and have a few beers, or a few more than usual, do some tailgating, sleep in on Saturdays, actually hang out with my girlfriend somewhere other than a bike race on a weekend... and it was fun. With that said though, I've been getting the itch pretty bad recently to pin a number and it looks like thats an itch I'm going to get to scratch next weekend. I'm cleared to go, so I'm going down to North Carolina next weekend for 2 smaller C2 races. I've been training pretty hard the last 2-3 weeks, so I'm hoping I won't embarass myself. As long as I don't break my arm off down there, I plan on hitting Jingle Cross, Portland for the final USGP's and then Bend for Nats. So anyway, that's where bike racing is right now.

While I was off though, I picked up a bit of a drinking problem. Ya see, it's these White Russian things. A friend of mine, turned me on to them and so I decided to pick up the ingredients one night at the store, and it was all downhill from there. Now I'm not saying I have a drinking problem (thats what they all say....) They just taste so good. I don't even care if there is booze in them or not, I'd eat a White Russian Popsicle! So I'm trying to cut back on those things for a while. Moderation.

This weekend is going to be my last racing free weekend until after cross nats, so I'm going to enjoy it and probably even take my cross bike off-road for the first time since I broke the c-bone 5 weeks ago. I didn't need no stinking Dr's to tell me I was better though, I've been giving myself the weekly Bunny-Hop Test. The first test didn't go so well and I almost had to pull over and cry, but they've gotten to the point where I'm back to my old hoppin' skill level with no pain, so I figured that must mean I'm good to go. Luckilly the Doc concurs. The Bunny-Hop Test... it's Science.

Alright, thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I didn't race this weekend


Although I'm not going to be pinning a number for a few weekend, I did find myself at a 'cross race this weekend, it was my (and Andy's) race, BloomingCross. We've been working on this race for a handful of months now and it actually went off this weekend, with relatively few catastrophes.

BloomingCross was part of the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series and it was both of our first endeavours into the world of race promotion. It had it's annoying times leading up to the race, but I think it was well worth it hearing all the feedback on race day. Some people were skeptical of our course and the layout, but I think everyone was pleasantly surprised with the venue and from what I heard from the racers, it was the hardest venue many of these guys and gals had ever raced. Kinda makes me glad I was gimping around the sidelines instead of kitted up. We had picture perfect Fall conditions with nothing but sun and temps in the mid 50's. It was an awesome day across the board.

I want to share a conversation I had with one of the Red Zone Cycling junior riders from the area.

Red Zone Jr.- Do you get paid?

Me- Not to race my bike, nope.

Red Zone Jr.- Why not? You ride with like Troy Wells and Parbo and those guys and they get paid. You Should get on a new team.

Me- Yeah, well... what team should I get on then?

Red Zone Jr.- That 9 Ball team!

Me- Well can you get me on that team?

Red Zone Jr.- Yeah, I know Jeremy Powers, He helps me with my homework when he comes to Louisville.

Me- Alright you tell him that you know someone who wants to be on his team. You let me know what he has to say.
If only 12 year olds were running cross teams... I'd be a P-R-O.

So this weekend is the USGP in Louisville as well as the Hilly Hundred here in Bloomington. Since I can't ride the Hilly or Race the GP, I think I'm still going to go down and watch in Louisville. Hopefully I can fully embrace this whole spectator thing and try to enjoy watching my peers suffer while I sip on a Micro Brew. Doesn't really sound that difficult.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this thing will return to its normal race report form sooner rather than later.

One last thing. A huge thank you to all those people who helped make BloomingCross happen. All the riders who showed up to help break in the course, the volunteers, the parents, the girlfriends, the wives,the sponsors,the announcers, the tear down crew, the staking and taping crew, 2 Wheel Sports, everyone who helped us make up for our lack of organization... THANK YOU! We'll be back next year to do it bigger and better!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's taken me a few days to get the motivation to write an update from this weekend, because we all know I sure haven't been busy riding... Well lets talk about the good stuff first. Friday was an absolute mudfest, probably the muddiest race I've ever done. I got the 4th call up spot after J Pow, Trebon and Parbo. That was pretty choice. Front and center start spots sure didn't hurt my chances all weekend. So back to the mud... I started well and just steadily made enough mistakes to drop myself all the way back to 11th. I just didn't have the power to make up for my infinite bobbles and spills. Not really what I was looking for, but I wasn't crushed to be outside the points on such a tough day.

Saturday the new course was much more dry and fast. The same front start spot slotted me into the front of the race nicely. Soon I found myself in a group with Parbo, Brian Matter and Troy Wells racing for 4th-7th place. I was suffering like crazy trying to hold on, but it wasn't to be. Troy attacked with just under 3 to go and I shot out the back of the group. Lucky for me I had hung on long enough that I had a nice gap over the group chasing us and I was able to hang on for 7th on the day.

Sunday I woke with pretty sore legs, but I'm sure everyone was in the same boat. Didn't quite have the legs to make the B-Matter/ Marko Lalonde group that was dangling about 15 seconds up the road all day, instead I found myself in a group racing for 8th-11th. Mike was part of this group for a good while and was riding well until his mishap over the barriers. I made lots of mistakes in the sand and at various other points around the course, but kept clawing my way back to that group. We were all together coming into the long, slow, uphill, grassy drag to the finish. I was sitting in the back of the group and hit it with about 200m to go. The guy 2nd wheel let the wheel in front of him go and so the guy on the front was probably out of reach, but I was coming around and after I got half way around the first guy he decided to swing left and put his bars into the middle of my bike mid sprint and take me out... so I ate it hard. I remember thinking I couldn't believe I was getting chopped in a sprint in a cross race and that I wasn't gonna get any points.

I know you cant see much from that video, but Erik Hamilton's girl friend, Caitlin has a frame by frame of the whole thing.

One of the better shots:

Once I hit the deck, I heard the trademark crack of the collarbone. I knew I had popped it and popped it pretty good. I dragged my corpse across the line for 11th so that I could at least get my share of that $9200 purse. It was (is) pretty displaced and I thought might even be a compound fracture. Good thing it wasn't because I'm not really down with blood and stuff.

So now I don't know whats going on. Not sure if I'm getting surgery or just going to let it heal. Last time I broke my c-bone I was back racing again in 4 weeks. That was a less severe break, but I still think my body is a pretty good healer. I've gotta go back to see the doc in about 10 days to see how things are going and make a final decision. In the mean time I'm taking calcium supplements and drinking 2 litres of milk a day. I've already heard a few murmurs that people think I won't be back this cross season, well sorry peeps, I'll most certainly be back racing this cross season. At very worst, I'll be back for the final USGP and Nats in Oregon.

Thanks so much for all the people who have called, messaged and tweeted and all that stuff, to say they're thinking about me or wishing me a speedy recovery. I really appreciate it, because it's not really the easiest task right now to stay optimistic about things. Like I said though, I'll be back "asap as possible".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tour De Louisville OVCX #2

This weekend was a nice chance to sleep in my own bed on the weekend and do some cross racing close(ish) to home. As you may or may not know, Lauren got a cross bike recently and has been riding it pretty regularly and coming out to Cross Worlds every Wednesday, so this weekend she took the next step and pinned her first number in a cross race. She was nervous because of the uncertainty of a discipline she had such little experience, but she ended up having a very nice debut. She got 4th place out of 15 or so, but the real victory was that she had cross cough when she was done and had tried so hard to catch the girls in front of her that she fell over and fighting back the puke as soon as she crossed the finish line. Ya can't teach goin that hard. Well done Laur.

That being said, I'm thinking about trying to convince her to quit so I don't have to get up so early to get her to her races, since she is one of the first of the day and I'm normally the last one.

I was a little worried before the race because last year this course abused me and I had my worst OVCX finish of the year. I just couldn't get it and was creepin' all day. Anyway, I was hoping for more this time around. Since after an "order of registration" call-up put me in the back, Aaron Hawkins kindly offered up his front row spot for me. Thanks brother!

I went into the first corner 3rd wheel behind Andy and another guy, but didn't like the congestion and wanted to get out front so I could avoid the cluster-f that always seems to ensue on the first lap. I hit it hard on the first section and started to draw out a gap with Mitchell Kersting. I wasn't really paying attention, but just knew I wanted to have a few people in the race as possible. Soon Mitchell had given me a handful of bike lengths. Since we had just finished the first lap I wasn't sure if I wanted to go it alone for basically the whole hour, but I figured I would stay on the gas and see what happened. My gap grew to a comfortable margin where I wasn't killing myself the entire time and I could just hold it steady until the end.

With 4 or 5 laps to go Kim Chartier gave me a gap to catch Chris and put a lap on him. Now Chris and I are boys and what not, but I know if he were given the chance to do anything demoralizing to me back in out little 5 days, I know he'd have taken full advantage, so I did.

Blood in the water

That being said, Cross is a little on the back burner for Chris this season since he's also training for a trail marathon. He still managed to pull of his best OVCX result with a 14th. Makin it into the money.

It was a nice little Sunday and a fun change of pace to be the one running along side Lauren yelling at her for once. She also seems to have the "Stop telling me to go harder, this is all I've got", glare down pretty well.

This weekend is probably my favorite Cross weekend of the year with the 3 UCI's around Cincinnati. We'll all be piling into the Chartier's crib for the long weekend. Can't wait.

Check out Tom Moran's website for more pictures from OVCX #2

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Planet Bike Cup USGP #1 and #2

Here comes another blog entry from my phone so bear with me. We are driving back from Madison, WI after the first round of the USGP's. Zach, Andy and I drove up on friday afternoon to check out the courses as usual and get settle into the hotel for the weekend. My personal soigneur Lauren had to stay home this weekend because of sorority obligations... Anyway. We were staying at the oh so luxurios Super 8, along with half the other bike racers in town for the weekend.

Saturday I didn't race until 3 so I had time to sleep in and still get plenty of time on the course to dial in tires and tire pressures. I went with my semi slicks and they were money all day. My lingering 1 UCI point from last season (my most recent points kick in next week) got me a 3rd row starting spot and I got a good start from there.
I wasn't really sure where I was riding, but there were lots of big name guys around and I was setteling in nicely. Before I knew it my group was scooping up guys like Troy Wells and Barry Wicks. Believe it or not, we dropped Barry and we came to the last technical section with Marko Lalonde, Brian Matter, Tristan Schouten, Troy Wells and Myself. We were sprinting for 11th place in a freaking C1 race. I jumped to try to be first to the tough section. Marko beat me to it so I was second We pretty much went bleed through your eyes hard for the last 60 seconds of the race and we came to the line exactly how we went into the woods. That gave me 12th on the day and another 6 UCI points. That was a whole lot better than I thought I could do at a C1 race with a small handfull of euro pros to boot.

Today was day number 2 and it was just a C2 race, so points only went 10 deep. Once again I had plenty of time to preride and mess with tires beforehand, but it didn't matter much because it started raining right before our race started.

I got to staging and saw that I was the only one riding an all around challenge griffo. Everyone had their super muddy race tire, the Dugast Rhino. I had some rhinos handy, so I went and swapped wheels. The only problem was I hadn't ridden them at all since the sun had been shining all day. So I guessed on a tire pressure, banking on the rain to continue and it to get soft. Well I guessed low, waaay too low... And it stopped raining once we were on the grid.

I knew I was going to be hurting for grip, but this was pathetic. If you've ever tried to corner on a flat tire then you know the feeling I was dealing with every tiem I tried to corner with any speed. Since I was getting gapped out of every corner it was a lost cause trying to stay with decent groups. I just kept going backwards. It all boils down to making a stupid decision on my part, but I just didn't know what was better; the right tired at the wrong pressure or the wronf tires at the right pressure. Not totally sure, but I think I ended up 22nd.

I'm still really pleased with the weekend because I finally made the group that I've been wanting to make. It's really motivating to ride at the front of a big race like this and I think it has helped me set some new goals for myself, something I struggel with doing. I really appreciate all the nice texts, emails and calls from everyone the last few weekends. It was cool to hear that I was far enough up yesterday that they were following me on's live updates.
This weekend there aren't any UCI's within a reasonable distance, so I'll be heading to Louisville to do the OVCX. Then its the Triple UCI weekend in Cincinatti after that. It will be nice to have some light travel days the next few weekends.

I have a few pictures from the weekend and hopefully I find some more and I'll get them up on here sometime this weekend. Until then, thanks for reading.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Charm City Cross UCI C2

After Saturdays race we drove down to Baltimore and got our hotel in the ghetto. Strangely enough didn't say anything about about the fact that our arrangements were located in the hood. Oh well, I was going to sleep like a rock anywhere. I spent the evening eating pizza and trying to see if I could get my sliced Challenge Griffo to hold air... GREAT SUCCESS!

In the AM, Lauren and I headed down to a not so ghetto area of Baltimore, called Inner Harbor. Lots of cool boats, restaurants, light houses and all sorts of things like that. It just so happened the Red Sox were playing the Orioles that afternoon, which would have been cool to check out, but I had some racing to do. After some breakfast out on the awesome little dock, we headed up the Druid Hill Park for the Charm City Cross. I wanted to get plenty of laps in on that tire to see if it would still hold up underneath me. It was holding like a champ, so I decided I was going to run that tire/wheel combo since it was a bit dry, dusty and slippery at times.

It's amazing how your expectations can change in a few hours. My whole goal for the weekend was to get at least 1 UCI point to secure a decent starting spot for this whole year. Well now after some minor success and a whole lot of what coulda been talk I was nervous again, but because I wanted to race at the front and try to get on the podium. No more of that 10th place and 1 UCI point nonsense. These guys are actually human and now I was actually believing that I CAN race with them.

Same second row starting spot in pretty much the same exact field. I got a little better start and didn't have to work as hard to find the guys I wanted to be racing with. This course was quite a bit harder and with a lot more getting off the bike and running. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't run unless I'm being chased, I'm practically allergic to it. The running sections made it pretty tough on me, but everyone was suffering it seemed. The front group had basically the same make up as the day before, but Frattini crashed early and it took him a bit to get back up there. I went a whole lot deeper to stay in the front group on day 2, but it the group kept steadily shrinking.

Coming through the start/finish I head the bell and looked up and couldn't believe that it was actually THE bell. I didn't even realize that the race was almost over. Frattini was off the front and gone at this point, but Myerson and former Canadian National CX champ Mike Garrigan were only a few seconds up the road. I didn't want to make the effort to drag myself, Ryan Dewald and Wes Schempf across to them and then get last out of the 5 of us, but we also didn't have time to play games with Tyler Wren chasing hard by himself. Plus, he had been so fast all day on the uphill road section leading to the finish, that I didn't want to let him into the sprint. Decisions decisions... Well we didn't quite make it across to Myerson and Garrigan, but Wren didn't catch us either. I opened up my sprint as soon as we hit the pavement and got a nice gap and was able to ride across for 4th place and 12 fatty UCI Points. No I didn't get to stand on the podium, but this was the ride that I had wanted to put together and I was pretty jazzed up about it. Hopefully finally turning the corner and racing at that next level with some of the guys I was able to race with this weekend will lead to some more good finishes in the big races this

I don't know what that face says, but it's the one I was making as soon as I climbed off my bike. Pain? Surprise? Fear? Who knows, but I can tell you that I was pretty pumped.

Off to Madison, WI this weekend for the first 2 USGP's of the year. Thanks for readin'!

Nittany Lion Cross UCI C2

With the Tailwind UCI cross races falling off the schedule for this season I had to try to find some other UCI races to do so that I could scoop up some early season points.

Lauren and I headed out to Eastern PA for Nittainy Loin Cross, a C2 near Philly. We made sure to get out there early enough to get some laps in at the course before the sun went down. It was mostly grass with a few sections back in the woods. I was feeling pretty comfortable about things when I went to bed that night.

I was pretty nervous before the race on Saturday because this weekend could potentially have been one of my few chances in the first half of the season, to score some points with some bigger USGPs and other decent sized UCI's on the horizon. I ended up with a second row call up since there were about 15 or so guys there with UCI points. My plan was to play it conservative and keep it upright and hopefully make a good group.

I got an average start and went pretty hard for the first lap to get on the back of a group with some good guys driving it. Soon I found myself in a group with the favorites, hanging out on the back just letting them do the work. We all stayed together for the most part until Davide Frattini attacked us and was gone. This split the group for a few laps while we all tried to chase, but it eventually came back together with 6 of us racing for 2nd-7th places. With just over 2 to go I came down a little drop off and almost lost the front wheel and nearly ended up on my face. I checked to see what the deal was, and the front tire had gone flat. I went from a pretty comfortable spot, to trying not to freak out because all those points were riding away from me. I rode it to the pits where my bike was unmanned and ghost rode my damaged whip off into the distance and executed a nice spin move with my back-up bike and headed back out to try to catch the group. 2 laps wasn't enough to catch them with Tyler Wren driving the group. I was able to stay away from Wes Schempf who got uncomfortably close in 8th. So 7th on the day was good for 6 UCI points and my best result in a UCI race, but I could help but think of what could have been if I got the chance to sprint for 2nd with those guys.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Little Somethin'...

...about where my 'cross frames are coming from. Courtesy of Justin Spinelli of Svelte Cycles.

Spooky Bikes Tour

With some encouragement from Steve at BikeReg, Mickey was kind enough to hook me up with 2 Green Anodized Spooky Supertouch frames for this season. They're in the mail now, so look for a write up soon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm ALIVE...

...and I have the INTERNET!

Coming back down Mt. Elbert

My Colorado trip has come and gone and I didn't perish. I'm back in Bloomington, trying to settle back into the real world and catch up on the things I neglected for the last week.

The trip was awesome. The hiking and climbing was harder than expected and the views were crazy, the pictures just can't relay the size and vastness of the mountains and valleys out there. Distances that look like they are a few hundred meters turn out to be closer to a few miles than meters. We didn't get to bag as many summits as we had hoped because of bad weather on some of the days, but it was still an awesome experience, we even went whitewater rafting one day to give our legs a recovery day.

Me coming down the side of Mt. Belford

Mt. Belford summit in the middle, from just above the treeline, still a few hours away.

My Dad and I on the summit of Belford

My Shower/Laundry Room

That's a small sample of the pictures from the week. I'm waiting on my brother to put the rest up on Flickr.

It was an awesome experience with lots of amazing views, but I also missed my bike by the end of the week. Now I'm back at it, trying to get my body in cyclocross mode. I'm still waiting on my frames to get here, so I can't really do much yet. All my friends are out doing cx worlds and all that bull, while I'm stuck on the skinny tires. Soon.

Since I headed straight from the Marion NRC race last Saturday, out to Colorado, I didn't get a chance to do my race write up. So here goes... It was a new, way more technical course this year with something like 10 corners. It was quite possibly the most critty crit of the year. I had pretty good legs and was able to hang out at the front most of the race. The whiplash effect was in full-on if you drifted too far back. A Colavita guy was solo from a long way out and he stuck it and soloed to the win. Once we hit 10 laps to go, the field got pretty antsy. With only 4 or 5 guys from the pro squads, the finale wasn't very organized. Lots of fighting and chopping in the corners. The was a crash almost every other corner for each of the last 5 laps. I was just wincing and trying to thread the needle through the carnage. With 3 to go a crash at the front made a nice gap for 5 more guys to get off the front. They also stayed away and so now we were stuck sprinting for 6th. I took some risks and fought for decent position going into the last lap. I dodged a crash with 2 corners to go and kept it upright through the last corner, which is apparently an achievement. I ended up 6th in the sprint which put me in 11th on the day. A decent result, but it would have been a lot better if all those guys hadn't been up the road.

I'm off to a friends wedding this weekend and hopefully I can find a bike race to do or something. I've still got the itch.

Hopefully my next post will be showing you guys my fully built cross bikes.

Thanks for reading

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yo, yo! I'm still alive and kickin, I've just had some other bull going on that has been keeping me away from the internets. I have done a few races, moved to a new home (just across Bloomington) and discovery the best way to clean a kit.

Races... hmm. Well I didn't update after this race, but it was in Glencoe, IL a few weeks ago and it didn't actually rain on us, but it rained right before our race, so the end result was the same. I felt like trash. I hid. I sprinted. I got 8th. Whooopeee...

Next up we had the Mass Ave Crit in Indy. A cool location on a less cool course. Panther showed up, but we we forgot our balls, legs and brains and rode around making fools out of ourselves for an hour and got nothing in the way of results. We all made just enough money to cover trip to Subway (with 3 cookies). Afterwards we headed up to Lafayette to stay at Derek, Greg and Chris' house at Purdue. We prepped for Crit Nats by taking a 100 mile trek around Purdue's campus at the demand of Derek. I spent the whole time thinking how superior IU is to Purdue.

We woke early, pounded a few chocolate doughnuts and hit the road for Downers. Most of us decided on our white shorts since it was crit nats and all. I had a pretty good pre-race race and ended up in the 2nd row at the start line. No wasted effort to get to the front and it was a good thing I was there. About 10 minutes into the proceedings it started monsooning on us. I was at the front when it started and it was great. All the crazies were pinned in the back and too scared to take the risks to move up and I was able to ride pretty easily without much jumping or sprinting out of the corners or fighting to hold my position. After sufficiently soiling my pearly white trousers, it started clearing up and I knew we were going to have a sketchy finale. With less water on the roads people were more daring with their maneuvers and it got tough to stay in good position. A break slipped off with less than 10 to go and Paul bridged to it with Kirk Ablers. I don't know if Paul has gone off the front in one race this year without Kirk following him. Anyway, the break stuck and we were fighting for 5th in the field sprint. I risked my life and avoided the carnage to end up in 16th place, my best result at Downers, but certainly nothing to write home about. The real story was up the road where Justin England attacked and Paul went after him, but came up just a little short. With Paul on the podium, it was a nice result for our team. You always want to win, but that ain't bad.

This weekend I'm heading to the Marion Classic NRC race on Saturday and then leaving for my hiking trip in Colorado on Sunday. Marion could be my final road race of the year, kinda depressing. Hopefully I can go out with a bang and pop off a nice result. If I become bear food and never update this thing again... You stay classy San Diego.