Monday, November 29, 2010

cat 3 for life

Seriously though: white booties, too much or not enough?
Julie kicked things off right with a win in the 3/4 woman's race. After a few cat4 sets of races, I was up in the junior field along with Julie in the singlespeed. Then the course began to change for my first race, junior 15-16. The mud was a lot slicker than the two laps I took before my race, and the whole course was totally (texturally speaking) different than Saturday's preride. The freezing of the night before left the ground hard for the early woman race's, damp for the cat4's, slick for the cat4 master's, and downright wet for the junior/singlespeeds. It was weird but it was what we were all dealt. Then it started reversing this process leaving a sticky consistency for the cat3's, then a bit drier for the elites and elite masters. Not realizing this I had to dab about 53 times for a three lap race in the juniors. Mistakenly I think, they started the first wave of 17-18 year old juniors and singlespeeds, waited thirty seconds, then let the rest of us hundred juniors mass storm the course at once. This lead to some mass confusion/traffic so I jumped early knowing that when you lead first into the passing zones, it already starts to open gaps. After the first lap I had passed a dozen of the 15 singlespeeds, and all of the older juniors besides one. I then dropped the pace down a few notches and tried to stay upright. I managed to do that and caught but didn't pass all but one junior and two singlespeeds, which I was very alright considering. I quickly jumped the tape and made my way to staging for the cat3 race. This was a bit more important to me but having just won the race "I needed to win" I was pretty darn relaxed. I managed to swap transponders, have some dude rip my junior number off, drink a bottle, and let my legs harden to rocks all during staging. This is what happens when you combine cat3 open, cat3 35+, cat45+ all together when everyone and there brother is there to win so they do the 3's. And they all are called up individually by one dude. I got the wholeshot but got jumped going into the first grass turn. I let a few more pass and then said enough. My legs felt like bricks but I knew if I suffer hard for a lap or two they'll come around and I could still make the front group. Exactly as planned and perfectly executed I suffered with all my might battling like no tomorrow for two laps and attached myself to the winning lead group of six. The break was established, like pee-break established. Like the first five guys were talking about who was going to attack established. I sat in for two more laps letting one bike length gaps open into corners I knew I could recover faster through. I would let a bit open through the bunnyhop logs and recover in various spots, I felt smart. I sat on and I studied. I knew where and when to go but just blew it. Our group got 3 to go (of 7?) when I decided to try and move up. One fellow Indianian had about 5 seconds and I felt like bridging and then attacking. I went too fast into a sloppy "S" weave trying to jump past three guys (I was 6th wheel for the first four laps) and smacked against the soft ground. Both feet clipped in, rear wheel misaligned, I access the damage and spend the next fifteen seconds fooling around on the ground letting the group ride away. I guess I must have been on the edge more than I thought since I COULDN'T close the gap back and lost a few more spots. Ahhh... another year as a cat3.... In the end 11th overall (3 old (35+) guys beat me at the end, embarrassing...just yanking) 8th in the 3's Open, 4th Ohioan letting the podium slip by me with 200 meters to go NOT KNOWING.

This instantly started the next part of my day, Pit-Monkeying for the faster dude/dudettes I know. I yelled so much that I lost my voice for Monday. My dad and Jeff dueled for a bit and ended up 4th and 2nd 45+ to Brent. But Brent had Rhino's so that is basically 3 minutes a lap :) The elite open races seemed very tactical and relatively boring for two laps but then it got super serious and shed all but the very very best. I helped pit for Flecher and Johnny and watched a bunch of people's bikes so I had no time for cameras between all the mayhem. I'll probably write even more than this novel tomorrow with some more photos.

Monday, November 22, 2010

no luck this year

I almost missed writing Kirtland. But in reality, I should have skipped it. After a poor start, I felt pretty good for working on the course the past two days. I was on my teammate Jeff's wheel as he rode us up through into the top 15, his usual. On the first lap, we only got crashed twice and quickly jumped away without too much misery. The second lap though, I went a little hot into a turn with someone in front of me going not quite as fast. Me, trying my best to avoid them swung left into the tape and did my flip it out the tape of the handlebars trick. Except this time, a stake was there and got split in half and jammed into my bike. Broken brake pad, out of true front wheel, and both sides of my brakes shoved beneath my rim. I managed to break loose the brakes, open up the cable, and ride away in last, again. Man, everything happens to me so early in the race I always have to make my way up and I hate it. Seriously, what should I do different, get the hole-shot and get in everyone's way so I can have a clean first lap?

So I grabbed my pit bike and got back three places until the same turn next lap, this time I wasn't so lucky (ha) I wrapped my whole shifter in the tape and created a big superman over the bars and onto my shoulder. Breath knocked out but still in tact, I take a lap (like a crit, ya know) and gather my stuff together and jump back in with the Mac after his flat. He tows me around for a few laps until the leaders are coming up and my race is ending, and I pull to the side. Devastated I couldn't even get a finish, but I still got my forty minutes of racing in. Another day. States.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

za course

Click above for more detail than needed
We got about 75% of the course set up today and have the police patrolling every so often tonight hoping it will be together tomorrow morning. We showed them the permit and they were more than willing to help out, one even came a half hour after we talked to the first cop! I think boredom has set in as the weather has gotten colder and crime is going down with it. Gangsters get cold too ya know.

Anyway, the course is pretty sick-nasty awesome. There are a few new lines and some cooler downs added but all with sweeping turns to keep the speed up. That seemed to be the main issue today (besides running out of stakes after an hour) was trying to add as much time as we could to the course without adding too many slow turns or stairs that would make the course less fun After Ehrlinger finished his first hot lap in 5:28 we knew we needed to put in as much as possible and specifically Lynn, Nick, Bill, Julie, and Dad came through as always putting in another minute or so to the course. It seems to have a little less flow but at least we all won't be getting lapped right away, and Lynn will have a much easier time officiating. Plus, after 15 laps of a course, the flow probably sucks anyway. 10 or 11 sounds much more reasonable.

Notables:
Up Amphitheater with all three switchbacks included
2 sets of stairs like last year, one cleared side so ridable (pull off toe spikes for stairs, seriously I bet that is a three seconds a lap)
Long Soccer Field in the back added (old school one)
Double Pit entrance but single lane in and out..... not that bad though
Ground was tacky today, dry all around though, about the same as last year (predicted average speed for 'A' race winner, 22mph)
Less straight-away parallel to Marginal
1 Port-a-Pottie

Still up for tomorrow is trying to tape/flag (sadly flag) the amphitheater, doing one more lap with the leaf-blower to get all the glass for sure away, sweep up the steps, pop up the tents, and watching people smile on a fun but difficult course.
Quote from Dad::: 12 people and 6 hours later we had a 1 mile course!! Wow this race promotion stuff is hard.

Friday, November 19, 2010

kirtland weekend of awesome

One of the best cyclocross venues in the world is this weekend. Just off Marginal next to the Burke Lakefront airport landing strip, this is one of the most artistic parks for being in such a terrible neighborhood. The main features include an amphitheater and about 5 sets of FULL length staircases.

Stop by tomorrow if you want to see the course. We are starting around 10am and should hopefully done with the course by 2pm if not earlier. Pick up a few sticks or just ride a few laps, it should be fun.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Plymouth Cyclocross Festival

Friday night we traveled via aeroplane to Massachusetts to visit my grandma/aunt/uncle/cousins. It was a quick flight but we still didn't get in bed til midnight. I felt pretty crappy all Saturday morning and the race was nothing at all to write home about. But, the course was. It was one of the best courses I've ever ridden (I need a post on that) It had a solid amount of woods, grass, two-track, sand, everything.
Both days had a pretty legit descent in it with three 180°s and you were still flying down it.
Sunday I actually had a good race. I was in the 4th of 5 rows at the start but moved up into the top 10 early making some fun yet dangerous passes. I couldn't quite make it across much more since it was already strung out and I was hurting so soon. So for another two laps I rode/towed a big group of about 8 for the final 8 spots in the top 20. It was so fun until I got crashed two laps in a row in the sand pit. And get this it was the same guy, but me, being completely mind boggled after a tough climb (close to a minute?) didn't get around him and fell for it again. The rule is if you can't feel you can ride something 90% of the time, DON'T do it in the race, ESPECIALLY after you just bobbled it last lap. Why didn't I explain this to him earlier?
So I ended up getting popped by that big group with two to go and rode of the race by myself, catching the tail end of it when someone would crash on the euro descent.
It was a fun trip but I wish on Saturday I wouldn't have been hurting so much, then proceeding to sleep for 14 hours straight.
We all need to do some more east coast racing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

will. oughby.

These past few days have been some of the most productive I can ever remember. But, with production comes stress and busyness. LOTS of busyness it was, between double washing the bikes, working on my mom's bike too now, two chiropractic appointments, lots of homework, of course trying to hit all my workouts and packing for this weekend I have had very little time (and daylight) to get much else done including blogging. But finally today, everything was scaled down a bit, and I have a few hours to myself where my mind isn't going 200 miles an hour. Phew. In all honesty I can't really remember that much about the race this weekend. I guess my running skills were well below par as expected but not by THIS much. My toe spikes/shoes had no bite in them so each time I ran it was very "shuffly" and as the course got more torn up throughout the day I would guess about 1/4th of the course was being run, time wise that is...7 minute lap (for the faster guys) with AT LEAST a minute on the sled hill/ across the sled hill, another few seconds for that big log in the back, another 15 up the barrier steep up, then another 20+ for the 180°'s that were getting destroyed in the back. I was still having an ok time pedaling but would lose probably 30 seconds a lap to the group I should be in between those few spots, and that adds up quickly. Either way, I have no excuse for getting lapped with 4 to go. Or pulling off my glasses on lap 3 and not being able to see the rest of the race.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

part 2

I felt really tired getting up Sunday. Then I debated tire choice (Grfio vs. Files) all morning but in the end didn't ride a lap on the Grifo's but still raced them (and man was it a file tread course, too). Then I realized I had a slow leak in my front tire at the line but didn't swap it out. This is what happens when you're tired. You forget things, like how to ride fast.

The course was a touch drier and power-sucking, compared to a more slippy and sliding day on Saturday, making pure power much more needed. I did not have this pure power combined with my 10psi in front tire led to a crappy race. At least I had a good start and rode smooth (zero crashes!) In fact, Jeff Craft passed me at 28 minutes then I stayed near him til 35 minutes until I officially hit the wall and let another 4 people by. I should have switched bikes but I put in backwards and tangled into my dad's bike since there was little room in the pit. Plus I was not feeling too hot anyway.

Then I got lapped.