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