Thursday, December 31, 2009

taking a small step back


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Originally uploaded by beatnik440
I am officially done with my travels for the year! But not for the remaining three hours of the decade, but most likely until spring break. Training will become more consistent along with less frequent racing and hopefully in your case, more frequent blogging. And more wattage training!

I now have three days to recover (and maybe race once!) and rest up before the real world hits again Monday: waking up at 5:30 again, scheduled training, and that school thing. Recently I have been giving each bike it's own little cleanup: frame lust to each bike, SQUIRT bike lube along with some smoothed out shifting, a few new cables here and there, garmin set-up on each bike, wheels set up with road tires or single-speeded, maybe even fixed. And fenders, got keep the paint on the frames this winter along with some other generally maintenanced things. And protect those $1500 hubs...

So, this is generally the post where you write all your race results and what you did right and wrong. But, I'll save that boredom for tomorrow. I'd like to just say a generally thank you for everyone who helped me out this season especially my family. I'll be sure to keep pushing for an even better 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

spoiled


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Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
no words needed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

one gear is better than none

Finally finished up the single speed cross bike this past week. Purchased yet another Surly Single-ator since none of my geared Cannondales have horizontal dropouts, go figure. This will be a solid training bike for the winter being easy to clean, easy to work, hard to pedal. Kept the single 36t with Salsa chainguards up front with a variety of cogs in the rear (ordered) but only had two real wide single cogs, an 18t or 20t. So I set up a fast wheelset, my grifo XS file tread tires with the 18t (what I used this weekend) and my Michelin mud2s with the 20t.
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Also have been working out a simpler rear brake holder/ mud prevention system. Since I commonly run 'nearly gone' rear brakes for preference, I need it too work all the time. So I am making a homemade mud blocker out of some cable protection and a presta valve cap. I'll post up how it comes out and works later.
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Hardesty Park #1

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More good legs Sunday at Hardesty Park, but much less action actually during the race. Maybe rest can do you good!

With a small number in the B race, I figured I would try to lead at least at the opening portion to avoid the slick corners behind folks. And that's what I did, grabbed the wholeshot and made everyone follow the singlespeeder around for a mellow, non-crashing first lap.

A group of five developed the next lap when I opened things up. They all had gears and drafting ability so I made sure to really push it in the slower stuff where my 36-18 was actually under 100rpm. This would have been a good race to use the garmin because I was sure free of lactate acid averaging I would assume 85rpm throughout the whole race. That's a whole bunch for a snowy cross race.

I took on the challenge of being out front but wanted to keep some consistent lap times so I kept jumping out of corners even with a large lead. Kept it rubber side down the whole race and got my first SS cross victory! Not for long though, as I think I might give the A's a shot in two weeks on my geared Cannondale. Good bye chances of riding at the front!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Infirmary Mound

This race was a big time shoulda, coulda, woulda kinda race. I again signed up for the B field with redemption on my mind from nationals a whole 8 days previous and alum creek 78 days ago. I will post up some pics of my fresh single speed later in the week, but I have the 1x1 setup with a 36t front, and either an 18/20t for the rear. I chose the 18t which was with my file treads and it was about the only thing that worked out perfect today.

Anyway, race time came and I felt pretty good but really couldn't warm up the legs too much with my gear so the first two laps were tough. But coming the third lap, I turned it on, and attacked on a run-up, the last one I could really run. Got a good gap, 15+ seconds, then managed to blow it on the forth lap. The run-ups got too slick and I had to shuffle up with my bike sideways suitcased. Not quite as fast as a full shoulder sprint.

With that 'drill', combined with a few untimely slow crashes and tape-grabs-by-the-prowhite-handlebartape. I soon found myself sitting in third about twenty seconds from the front. And with only half a lap left it was pretty much done.

Third place it had to be on the day. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. At least I got to tryout the new SS and use the good fitness I guess I still had leftover from Nationals. Great course too, great course for single speed also. Thanks to veloarts for the great picture.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

cyklokraus fotographi

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I haven't posted too many links to my photos of late so here is:
BOUGHTON FARMS
CROSS NATS DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
CAP CITY #7
WINTER CYCLOCROSS SERIES #1

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Also found a sweet new site called veloarts which some photographers were at the recent Cap City races. Check that out HERE. And here is some other random shots from Bend.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Cross Nationals Day 2

So here I finally was. Nationals. The big dance.

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I had a good warmup, got to take a whopping 1 lap pre-ride three hours before my race but then rode the trainer for like an hour since the course is never open at nationals. I had to guess on a tire pressure, guess on tires, basically guessing how the race will go! I ended up borrowing a front TUFO CUBUS from a friend we were staying with and it worked pretty darn good for the whole two laps I used it.

That's why you shouldn't do one day races and expect results. I have that message on replay in my brain forever... This post could go on days of the big plans to the suffering defeat. But I'll save your eyes from my white backdrop and just get to the point.

I put it all together and had it all on the line for this race. Luckily, I talked to my coach earlier and made sure I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket and do one big peak for cyclocross. Instead the last three weeks I tapered, and the rest of the season I kept solid training that wouldn't kill me for the local weekend racing scene. But, that worked out well so I honestly was not so worried about NATZ results. Just wanted to have fun.

Start was dumb. Julie pre-reged me really early and they told me I had dibs on 14th, a perfect second row. But I ended up getting pushed back in positions to the end of the 3rd row set. Oh well, that's why you shouldn't do one day races.

The two guys left and right of me had great surges but the guys I was behind didn't. It's like a broken record cyclocross excuse, "I had my foot down for twenty seconds after the front row started." It wasn't that dramatic, but enough to lose positions in the first elbow flying corner. The first lap was so Aggressive, with a capital A. I got put down about three times when I wasn't going down. Everyone wanted every single position including me. But after five first lap crashes by myself alone, I gradually was making my way into the top 20, my generally goal. And then, we all know how the story ends.

Cross Nationals Day 1


Once again I find myself typing up race reports the day before the next race. I guess this has honestly been the only serious free time I have had lately. But now since school is out for two weeks, I'll be more consistent writing in the blog and getting done bike projects (the best inventions ever are coming)

Back to reality. Thursday I had the wonderful option of racing the B U29 race in Bend. And I completely regret it. I got a solid last row start position of about 5.5 rows of 8 racers, so almost 50 total in the race. I somehow managed a great first corner nearly snapping the farthest lane's tape but escaping the bottleneck. And I started hearing 'top 20' cheers. I am guessing 20+ places gained in the first corner alone.

But my job wasn't to win this race. I wanted to open up the legs, see the course, and have some fun. But I wasn't having fun crashing my brains out. So I rode one lap hard and on the ground mainly, a second lap equally as slow, and two more laps easier just trying to judge how much energy I could use where. I had the legs, I just didn't know how to use them.

So, with one to go, I pulled the plug. I was quite tired from traveling the previous day and crashing didn't seem to help my performance the next day. That decesion was simple. Lucky Number #333. My luck only runs out in 9 places. At least of the rest of the day was cool.

Monday, December 14, 2009

the big let-down

No file treads, no luck this weekend. Gonna put up real write ups later but brought home two DNF's from BEND. Was racing really hard then broke my chain in the real race and wanted to strangle myself in it. Luckily, it was eaten by my rear derailleur and no suffocating ensued. Planning to make it up and put the hurt singlespeed-style this weekend at CC#7 and WTC#1. Let the anger out. The loooong walk back to the start/finish. Thinking 3224 kilometers for this?!?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boughton Farms

I guess I still need to write something on this weekend before I race this weekend. My race went personally very uneventful bu it wasn't that way for the 15 rear derailleurs ripped to shreds. A solid start and I went into the single track second behind Probikes #2. I then took over for like a quarter of a lap and Probikes #1 then attacked. He was gone. By the second lap, the race was pretty done. PB #1 had like a minute gap. And me and PB #2 rode together for the rest of the race for second. Current places 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th then ripped their derailleurs so there was an enormous gap after me and PB #2. So I got 3rd and won the series. Sadly, not very eventful. But at least I got the overall, the overall goal, even without the overall win.

Here are a few more sweet shots by Julies new D5000.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ohio State Champs

John Bryan hosted the cross champs this year at one of the coolest flat parks in Ohio. Last year this was my all time favorite course but this year it honestly was no where near as cool. And they removed a set of log / barriers that I practiced for... for 1.5 hours thanksgiving morning. You know, ones you can ride right up to, on-off, remount quickly and then hit the next one with a foot clipped in all in about 50 yards. Back to the race, I pre-rode for about an hour Saturday at the park finding fast lines and opening up the legs. Hit the start really warm (unlike the rest of the juniors) since I KNOW juniors start fast and did the whole attack fifty yards in thing. That is what the first picture is of from Jeff Jakucyk. I had like a five second gap going into the second corner, cool. The first lap I went so hard. I wanted to put an end to racer's thoughts of me cracking quick. So I made sure they couldn't see me. 10, 20, 30, 40 seconds and by the third and final lap (30 minute race) everyone was telling to me to slow down. In the end, I really didn't slow down but settled down and went a lot smoother and won by about 40 seconds. But the top 4 places IN MY AG were within 1 MINUTE of each other. Yep, it was real close. Once more for the wanna-be-sven-nys-poser-aka-me. My cooldown consisted of racing the cat 3 open race. I had another good second row start and made the front group of twelve. Rode the singletrack real fast and then followed some guy too tight into a 180*. He shot up some KENDA supplied tape into my front/wheel/shoe bike. Since our family doesn't do well with strong tape this year, I slowly picked out every piece as I am guessing 15-20 or so folks quickly passed. Even this great shot by Julie doesn't do it's justice. I am super bad (this is what I should work on) getting going after something dumb like that happens. I wanted to pull over but Derek W rolled past and I jumped on his train and he towed me through the field. I dropped off his pace after 3.5 laps of torture and wound up 22nd of 45 in the open division. I should have scored top 10, honestly. I could write another whole post on how the team did. So I probably will tomorrow on the site. Check it. Thanks again to Jeff Jakucyk (and julie) for not blocking the save as function on your great photos. I really need to pay you especially since your so nice Jeff. And HERE are my photos of the elite masters and elites.