Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Ride of 2007

Was with the "East Siders" today. Gary picked me up in his new ride and we were off to meet Chris, Pete, David, Jim and some of the gang. Ray was there riding his fixie....nice.
I love going on these, 'cause I have no worries....just ride and have fun.

After the main ride was done, David wanted to know if anyone wanted to go another 1/2 hour....sure. Some debate seems like David is not the best with estimated time/distance and we would have been on another Bataan Death March if we would have done his route. A compromise was made and we hit the extra 30 minutes right as we approached Gary's car.
1:44:25 ride time, 29.3 miles, 17 avg mph, 1480 feet of climbing & 38'F avg temp.

Total ride time for '07 - 176 hrs (excluding the time I did on the Edge 305*)
Total miles for '07 - 3147 (excluding the miles I did on the Edge 305*)

It was a great ride to end 2007.

Here's to everyone having a great 2008.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Das Year in Review

2007...another one bites the dust.
I'll keep this mostly on biking...I guess it started when I didn't join the Spin Race team (which are a bunch of great guys) when Greg contacted me during the 2006 'Cross Nationals in Providence, RI. I wanted to see what positive things I could help do if I was to be the SnakeBite Racing team President. The jury is still out on that I'm sure.

Gary & I trained together and entered the season in pretty good shape. It was great having him as a friend and training partner. The trip to Tampa and the riding we did was great, Miller Chill beer....hmmmmmmm.

I switched out my Specialized Allez Pro race bike to a Titus Modena; I didn't have the $ to get what I really wanted, but the Titus worked out great as a bike I could train on comfortability and still have great performance for racing on.

RATL will always have great memories of SBR CAT 4s working together as a team to help control the race. John and Gary both won a race, Ray was fantastic, but what stood out was that it was a team effort.

Westlake's late start (May vs April?) was big news and we didn't know for sure if Chris was even going to put it on for sure. The series did happen and it was a fun and very well put on event. Thanks for everything and doing the Zipp demo day!

I live in Brecksville and every year I look forward to racing in the Chip Race and every year weird stuff happens; this year I was sick as a dog and did 2 laps b/f DNF'ing. Someday.

Another disappointment was the Chagrin Falls Grand Prix. I bailed due to the course being wet/slick. It didn't stop Gary from having a great race & avoiding a near wipe out that I got on film. It must have been my front tire that I loaned him. :-)

The Troy Classic Crit Race is in my home town and Gary, Jason & I (Jim N too) went down to see how we could do. What I thought was going to be my worst race of the season was almost my best. However it was Gary's worst and he took a terrible fall that shook me up and by the time the race started back up we only had two laps to go and I messed up a great opportunity to finish where I wanted. Unknown to me, Gary had been hauled away in "the meat wagon"; my mom had ridden with him (she's an RN). So right after the race I hurried to the hospital. Gary was OK....pretty banged up though.

The MS150 ride was something....the trip out was great. Thank gawd we had a ride back home the next day in those terrible conditions.

The Valley City Race we put on was another success. Thanks to Linda for doing a great job running it and for the rain holding off until the final race was done. How cool was it watching Paul Martin wearing his red-white-n-blue National Champs jersey?

Somewhere in there was a trip to the West Coast and a visit at the ADT Velodrome; that was a gas riding in the 'drome!

Shortly after that (it seemed) was a trip to InterBike in Vegas. It was a working trip for the Velodrome and for SBR, but Anna & I did get to see the 'Cross race and the Crit race. That and meeting Tom Ritchey, Bob Roll and some great people that work in the business. Dick Brink has done much to help out Fast Track Cycling & SBR. Thanks!

I'll take the claim for it even if it's not true for setting up Gary & Sadie (Satan). I may have lost a training partner but it's fantastic to see them doing so well together.

Hey, it was almost cyclocross season by now & I felt like I had a chance to end the season on a positive note. Other than some strange sights, the season started out very well and kept looking good for me. Bottom line is that I need to be just a little focused on training and not peaking too soon during the season. My earlier blogs tell the story....congrats to Gary for a great season.

It seems that this year I was more pre-occupied with my responsibilities of being president of SBR than just "riding my bike". I'd like to thank my best buddy Donny for all his help with SBR (there were others too); I had no idea how much "fun" it was and what he had to go through when he was president of Windchill.

Add to that being on/off/on/off/on with the Velodrome (and Anna).....too much on my mind and not enough miles on my legs. The progress on the Velodrome is going great and there be REAL track racing in Cleveland soon.

Thanks to David S, Dr. John, Gary, Jim N, Eric and many members on the SBR team for helping out this year. Thanks to Brett, Brent, Ray, Bill M, Bill B., John B,. Tom F., Dick B., Greg (spin), Sherman....many others that helped make this a great year.

Special thanks for my son (he's not into riding) for putting up with me taking him to watch many of the races. (he does love to swim though)
Thank you Anna.....

So, no regrets for 2007, but what I'd like to see for 2008?
- SBR operating smoother and more people involved/communicating
- SBR U23 program "making a difference"
- Having me in better shape for the start of the season and working out smarter; maybe even getting some kind of coaching?
- peaking 3 times during the road/cross season; 'cross season will be a focus and maybe 'cross NATS or at least doing more of the UCI races.
- keeping my knees healthy....

It was a great year and I'm looking forward to an even better 2008.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Thanks for Reading,

An early ride

I was to meet up with Brett this morning at 8am in Brecksville to do a ride with him and some buddies of his.....seems his alarm forgot to do the job and he got a bit of a late start.....nbd. It did get me out of bed this morning. We ended up meeting at Rockside and Canal rode up to see that all of his buds were on MTB bikes and were going to do some urban Ti 'cross baby wasn't rigged up for it so I rode back to the meeting spot for the Sunday morning Spin Group ride where I had seen my roadie buds; John B, Tom F, and the usual suspects from Spin that I have ridden with a bunch.
We rode through my "turf" of the metro parks in the Brecksville area and at about the 1.5 hour mark for the day I turned off and headed home. A good (cold) morning of riding. Thanks for getting me out, Brett!

Got home after a couple of hours and 30 miles later, I'm back at the house and going out with Anna & my son to give Cookie a good walk/run. Oh, to be that happy! Oh, wait a minute, I am!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 28, 2007

A new toy

Camera that is....a NIKON D40X with a 18-55mm and a VR 70-300mm lens. I've been taking some photos with it and will post some soon, or just go to my flickr.

I love it.

A Year End review soon.....really.

Thanks for Reading,

Saturday, December 22, 2007

on the road again

we had some "warm" weather today & what was going to be an early afternoon ride turned into a evening/night ride. I had wanted to get fenders for the Ritchey Ti 'cross bike and use it for days like today....high 40's and wet roads. I went to Bike Authority where Mike & Sean hooked me up with some fenders. Home I go and realize that the fenders will not fit my Ritchey (or any other bike I have) due to no eyelets or provisions on the fork for the included mounting hardware. Damn. I'm thinking of taking the whole bike back with me to make sure I get the right set of fenders and while I'm at it see if they can swap out the 46 salsa big ring for the Ritchey 50 tooth since 'cross season is over. Back to Bike Authority I go and Rudy says "no problem" he has the same fork as I do and will rig up the fenders to fit and take care of the ring in about an hour so I should be able to get my ride on. Needless to say, Rudy did a great job on the fenders, changed out the ring and I'm off. GREAT JOB GUYS!
I finally get my stuff together and leave the house at 4:52 PM with lights on 'cause it will be dark soon. It was a great ride; tunes on the ipod, no traffic and a full moon to boot. Got 21 miles in and am happy with the fenders. I should be able to have my act together for a ride tomorrow....then get ready for Christmas!

Happy Holidays end of year review will be out soon.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 14, 2007

SBR for 2008

The picture is from our new member team meeting at the Bike Authority on the 3rd.

The budget is done, membership dues figured out, sponsors all(most) finished and just the kit order and final design to be completed.


Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Copley CX Race #2

The last race of the season for me....or should I say "the final insult". It was true cyclocross weather with another great layout and put on perfectly by Team Lake Effect.

Stick a fork in me....I'm done. I came in second overall for the series and third that day. Thank you Donny for the great trophy and to Lake Effect for a real nice awards ceremony and plaque (made from one of the barriers - cool). Seems that the first place winner had such a commanding lead on me and the others that once he found out he didn't have to race that day, he didn't.

Tip of the hat to Richard O'Meara and Todd Palmer....we battled it out and at the end Richard gapped both Todd and I and in the sprint on the road to gap Todd hung on my wheel and then sprinted by me for the 2nd place.

I regret that while Gary peaked at the end, my last two races had me going the other way. It would have been a blast if Gary & I could have worked together during the races.

I'm happy with the progress that I made from last year to this year and with a somewhat structured training program for next year I should make more improvements. We will see. :-)

Thanks for all of the cyclocrossers that came out that day for a great end of the season race. For those going on to race at the Nationals in KC this week, good luck and I'll be thinking of you. No nats for me this year.

Pictures that Donny took of the B/C race and that I took of the A's on up now on my Flickr account.

I'll do an End of The Year Review soon with fave photos.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

BA 'cross at Copley #1

"Forgive me father for I have sinned, for I had not ridden my bike or trained for over a week".....let's just say that I paid in spades for committing those sins at the race. Gary gives a great description of the mud feast so I'll cut right to the chase on this.

I knew this was going to hurt and hurt bad, but I figured that I was going to take my medicine like a man and grunt this one out. Gary & I started close to each other and I actually got a pretty good start and when Gary came up to me and said we need to get on the lead group, I was like "no duh, dude, I'm trying"....actually he rode a fantastic race and I wish I could have hung right with him. We would have had a good time practicing some "team tactics" but my whole mind set was going to be get in a decent position and hang on for dear life. This is not a good course layout for me, it really showcases a "power type of rider" and after a week off I didn't have any zip in the legs. Maybe I shouldn't have gone on that 1hr plus ride on Saturday with Gary & Satan? Nah, I don't think that helped/hurt me.
So I maintain position and keep Gary in sight but can't close up to him and didn't realize that he was on Eddie and trying to help me out. Damn. So I'm going through a slow death and Julie comes up and I figure that this could be a good thing so she and I go back-n-forth for awhile trading positions, trying to put the hurt on each other, and at the little section of single track heading back up to the start finish before going on the muddy windy section she opens up a gap that I have no answer for. So the rest of the race becomes a time trial and trying to keep the number 3 & 4 place masters guys off of me so that at least I can keep my 2nd overall. The good news is I didn't fall, have any mechanicals and was able to fight off Mikes to keep things status quo.
Not what I wanted, but was glad I only lost two "overall B group" positions where I normally finish. Big congrats to Gary & Julie for a great race and hopefully I can be in the thick of it this weekend.

Big, Big thanks for Donny coming out, shooting photos, doing more cow bell, horn and yelling for me and the team....thanks Brent Evans for yelling "go surfer boy" at every lap....SBR team really supports each other during these 'cross races and it's really cool and helps.

No stats on this one.....too demoralizing to read.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I was worried about catching a wave earlier this week, now I'm worried about catching a cold from this weather! Rode today with Gary & Sadie....'cross tomorrow will be a real joy; it's snowing now! Woot!


Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I did on Vacation.....

besides get fat and slow....
Surfed enough yesterday that I'm actually sore from it and was doing it in a red tide so my throat is sore from the crap in the water that I swallowed from numerous wipes outs. But I had a great time even if I'm a kook. Aaron & I had fun in the pool and yes I went down the water slide....:-)
Today was touring the Kennedy Space Center....another long, but fun day.

More hanging out tomorrow and then flying back to warm, sunny Ohio!

I can't wait to race this weekend, then the team meeting is at the Bike Authority on the 3rd.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, November 26, 2007

In Another World......

I can't believe the difference....I'm sitting on the balcony of the 11th floor of the hotel over looking the beach here in Daytona reading the results of the 'cross race held Saturday. Congrats to Gary (9th), Sadie (1st woman C), John E (3rd) and the "focused Death Ray". I'm bummed I didn't get to race, but it does look like I'll be able to get some surfing in. This trip is my parent's treat for my son and I came along to get a chance to spend some quality time with him. It's been real nice so far. Busch Gardens & Lowery Zoo in Tampa earlier and the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow.
I just turned another year older; thanks Brenda & Jen for remembering that I'm an old fart. :-)
Pictures and more later.....

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Fields 'Cross Race

Well, after riding the A's last week at the Spin Race and then eating brats & drinking beer this week on a business trip.....the thought of riding A's didn't have the same appeal to me. That and Anna was watching my boy (who is NOT into racing) so it was the B's Master Race for me.
Ray gives nice description of the A's race. The start was kinda weird, we started at the bottom of the big climb; Gary, the Miranda girls, Sadie & I made up the B's & C's with the B's starting b/f the C's.
The start was just b/f the big climb/run up & I'm in the second row with Julie and Gary and off we go! I have worked on my "run up" with my bike position carry and it really helped today....compared to last week anything would have been better! I started at the top in great shape....sitting top ten. Tony was having issues with his bike but recovered, I ended up behind Bruce and'll have to forgive me, much of the race is a blur. I ended catching Bruce, sitting on Bruce's wheel to see how he was doing and then after awhile when Craig came around, I went around Bruce hearing him say some disparaging remark about the situation. So it was Craig and I; Craig's lines were not that great and me like dummy kept following them until I'd get in front of him but he'd come back and then he bif'd causing me to stop and I flat out got dropped by him then. Bummer. So I found myself in "no man's" land for the rest of the race. The infamous decent I was cleaning and feeling pretty cocky about it...until the third lap when I went just a tad off the line and ended up going down hard enough that I swear my teeth hurt and worst of all my $10K right knee that was worked on 1.5 years ago. Just a muscle issue so I'm not getting off and hoping the sucker would loosen up a bit and not have everyone go flying by me. I took it pretty easy the rest of that lap and part way into the 2nd to last lap and then noticed that Bruce and my buddy Gary were gaining big time on me. Sh*t!
It was the bell lap then and time to go, go, go! Going through the woods safety while they continued to gain on me and then out of the woods and it was like I'mmmmmm BAAAACK! I felt good enough to get it the gas and go on the grassy flats, through the muddy corner the next straight away, sharp righty....I felt good. Over the small log and into the field and looking back, I had spread the
Onto the pavement, got some mud in my eye, great. Then the last run up the big hill, and somebody tries to climb it makes it and then falls over at the top as I run by him, remount and am gone. So I'm going through everything am all I am thinking is to clean the dang descent and then I'll have the final little run up. I get my line set up and then move off to the center just a bit and wham, I'm down and by now there is a group of people watching from the finish line area and every time someone goes down the woooooos & ahhhhhhs can be heard. I get up, straighten my helmet and glasses and down I go. I look around as I cross the field and it looks like I'm still OK gap wise, but they have gained on me again. At the last run up I go as hard as I can, remount at the top, go throught the first turn and see that I'm "home free". NICE!
I ended up getting 2nd masters and time wise 7th overall for the B's.
I'm sore as heck right now, but the hot tub and a good night's sleep should help.
No Polar info yet, but I'll add that and some photos I took of the A's later. I just opened my flickr site, so three races so far are on there.

Nice job John (3rd), Gary (9th), Sadie (3rd women C's) and to all of the crew today!
Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a last nice day?

I'm on the height riders yahoo group so I get e-mails of upcoming ride etc. Our resident female pro roadie Brooke had posted about doing a 2-3 hr ride (base/fun) for yesterday. The day kept looking better and better and knowing that I was going to spend the next 3 days in Sheboygan, WI......I figured that with weather this nice, damn the torpedos, I'm going for a ride!!!
I met Mark, Dick Brink & Brooke and off we went.
What can I say, great weather, great scenery, great conversation, just a great 36 mile ride ride!
Thanks Brooke, Dick and Mark!

Thanks for Reading,

Monday, November 12, 2007

'Cross Your Heart & Hope to DIE Race

It seems like it been a long time since my last race(s), the UCI (fun) and then Orrville (ack). I have been lucky so far this season with fewer hours and low weight hasn't shot up like it did last season.
It was the first sanctioned race Spin Bike shop has put on; their infamous Weds night training series are a great way to get ready for the season. After Gary had talked me into riding As....actually, I was wanting to do the As at some point this year; the 'bagging seems to have gotten pretty bad......'nuf said. Anywho....we sign up for the As early and pre-ride the course. Gary gives a pretty good description of it; it's a tough course that as Greg (from Spin) had set up and as he says "maybe we went a little over board in the layout of it". Actually, it is one of the best ones I have been on. Plus, REAL 'cross weather.....40's and damp/muddy conditions.
The race starts with ALL of the SnakeBite Racers doing the As; Gary, John, David & I. We were missing a few of the regulars...which is too bad. So I'm towards the back with Gary; this race will be 1 hour of survival and I'll leave the holeshot for the Paul Martins/Matt Weeks/Dr John/David S/Brent Evans/Brett Davis' of the world.
At the ditch/S turns through the trees there is a big jam up with people all over the place; PM had flatted there I had found out later as would many others. So Gary & I are doing pretty well, not last place and we have a pretty good tempo going. I'm thinking that this will not be too bad having Gary to race with/against and maybe, just maybe, we can keep PM from lapping us.....that would be like winning the dang thing for me. So we are going through the course, thinking I could pull this thing off.....then the hill run up.....what a b-tch. Gary & I make it through that with out losing much ground and we swap positions and I get in front to lead the second lap for us. I'm going through the S turns through the trees; I had tried riding it, running part of it/all of it, nothing seemed to be a good combination to get through it, and I see Brett Davis in front of, I can get on Brett's wheel and have him show me some good lines! We get to the parking lot and I realize that I can't see Gary right behind me.....what the......? Well, I stay on Brett's wheel, any body that MTBs like him will be riding better lines than I would be doing I reasoned plus I felt like I'd do well matching his pace. He pulled me around for a lap and then heading into the first log crossing who do I see in a hoodie but it's GARY....WTF are you doing Gary I'm thinking to myself? After the S turns and through the trees (this was quickly becoming my least favorite part of the course) Brett was pulling through said "hi" to his family and entered the section next to the river and started gaping me. I catch him at the barriers and figured that it was my turn to pull through. That went on for another lap I think and now Andy was in front of me and I figured that Brett & I could bridge up to him and have a good race on our hands. After passing through the pit row, I yelled for Brett to come up and help me with the lines again. I would gain ground on Andy just to take a stupid line and lose the gain I had made. I forget when it happened, but I looked back and dang it, no Brett! Well, Mark L. had joined Andy & I and we kept it together for awhile, but at the hill run up (more like a crawl up by now) he motored by me and for awhile it looked as though Andy & he were going to drop my sorry butt. Mark ended up dropping both of us and it was back to me chasing Andy. About that time the Paul Martin train is coming up om me....dang it, I'm getting lapped already? Gary calls out that PM had a flat and is chasing back up....whew, bummer for him but good that I'm not lapped yet.
The people at the race were fantastic; cheering us on and delighting in our suffering. Thanks to everyone that stuck around to cheer me really helped. Dan, Bart (I missed sitting on your wheel, big boy!), Bill & Tony, John & Kevin to name some nice folks. I did want to get off my bike and kill Gary a couple of times though..... :-)
So the lap cards are counting down 5-4-3 and the end is in sight, I haven't been lapped and I haven't had a mechanical or a wipe out; I am starting to cramp really bad to the point I'm walking "funny" up the run up just to try to keep from cramping up/pulling my thigh muscles. So I'm keeping Andy in sight and the first three places comes by us It's the bell lap (FINALLY) and I see Brent Evans coming up. I yell at him to go, he gets by me at the S turn through the trees and then falls down right before the cat tails.....I go by him and ask if he's OK...he's back up and by me at the parking lot. Andy has a good gap on me, I'm trying not to seize up and finish. Then, after the big log crossing (for the last freaking time I think to myself) I see Andy screwing around with his bike...I hope it's nothing serious but hey, I'm by him and am going to try to gap him. Though the barriers and I hear people cheering him on...damn, he's right behind me; I dig down and start working harder and my legs are acting like they will seize, so I just try to keep the pace as fast as I can and Andy gets me after the technical section past the pit row and I'm bumming but keeping the gap reasonable. Up the f'ing hill and it's looking like I'm not going to be able to make up the gap. I go as hard as I can through the remaining sections, barely miss the fence in the ball field, come through the music stand area, Andy looks around to make sure he has enough and has me....I'm through the finish and see how long I've been out.....1:18:34.0! That's good for a 17th out of 23 starters (4 DNFs). Two of the DNFs were riding "with" me....I guess that old "stick in the spokes" trick really works after all! :-)
Dr John comes across in 10th (the last money spot - congrats) with David not far behind him.
As for me; I didn't finish last and "only" got lapped by four people. Somewhere between the 3rd and 6th lap I lost 1 mph avg speed, but picked up .5 mph during my last two laps. I'm bummed about the cramping but happy with my race other than that. The course was laid out in such a way that I never seemed to be "thinking too much", I was focused on my lines and working hard. At was a bit too long time wise, but Spin did a fantastic job putting on this race and I hope they do it again and that even more people show up for this great race.

Thanks for the pictures, Gary & for the Birthday girl, Anna (and Cookie) coming out to brave the elements and cheer me on.

Thanks for Reading,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What a difference a day makes....Orrville 'cross

Wow.....I got a big slice of humble pie today. So much for my conditioning level and HUGE props to the people that can race back to back days.
Congrats to Gary for a great race today (4th, I think). Check out Gary flying through the barriers in the first two shots! Thanks for the pictures, Anna.

OK; Gary, Sadie,the Miranda girls, Anna (wearing a cutter's kit) & I (David S. too) all showed up in orange-n-blue with a heavy representation of Orrville folks. The course was....uh, lots of grass, one set of barriers, no run ups, a couple of rollers, some turns through trees and a 20 meter or so section of single track. Not very technical and did I say LONG stretches of grass? It's windy, cool and for the first time this season feels like cyclocross weather. I'm thinking that this is my workout and to check to see where I am conditioning wise after racing the UCI race yesterday.
Anna is racing Cs and does well in getting 2nd women's. The B race is ready to go; Gary is in the front row along with Tony and I'm in the second next to Julie. The start is sounded and off we go for the hole shot; Tony almost wipes out, I look up and it's just a stark guy, Gary & I going into the first turn....nice! We are heading for the barriers in great shape and I start feeling like suddenly I don't have any go in the legs....what the heck? Gary looks back & I yell at him just to go and close down the gap on the guy and the race for me is basically over. Sure, I give it everything, but there is just nothing really left so I just try to keep fighting and do the best I can. Wow, the best was really bad. I get passed by almost everyone; I tell Julie to kick some a$$ as she goes by me and she says to hang in there....I finally hang onto an orrville and summit guy and just hang on and hope the pain will stop soon. This goes on for like forever it seems and just when I think my legs have finally gotten back to me we cross the line and I swear they say 4 laps to go....there are no lap cards, but the time show 32*t, no way there are 4 laps to go...I almost get off my bike and stop right there. I work through that and right before single track, the Orrville guy almost wipes out huge but saves it...I pass him (and yell way to save it man!)and figure to try to gap the guys. I find out that next lap is the bell lap so I'm going to see if I can't try to do something positive today. I'm leading and hit the barriers hard keep the gap, hit the road section still in front and enter the trees. Instead of going through the pine tree section carefully, I go hard and then suddenly the bike is no longer under me and I'm bouncing off of the ground like a rag doll. I'm on my back and I remember looking up at the sky....gee, what a pretty sky....oh sh*t, I'm supposed to be racing! I start to get back up and the summitt guy has caught and passed me and the orrville guy is much for my nice gap I had built up and now I'm looking at a 100 & 50 meter gap. Damn. My bell has been rung and I adjust my helmet and want to get back on these guys again. Needless to say I can't make up the gap and finally the pain and suffering is over. The Summitt & Orrville guys I was with did a great job and I'm glad I pulled it together enough to ride with them.
Thanks for reading,

UCI 'crossing at Louisville

2.2 miles long, some mud, lots of sand, a cool "fly over", fast pros to watch and for me 58 guys in my grouping to race with. That's what I'm talking about.
I had combined a business trip with wanting to try at least one of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross UCI races. Louisville is like 5.5 hours away and I had ridden the course a year ago and wanted to see how different it would be. That and after riding at the Nats last year in Providence, I wanted to see what the difference would be between the two.
The classification had changed; I'm a CAT 4 for UCI races which at 30 minutes long (I thought) would be like racing Cs or beginner which I wasn't happy about but it was too late to CAT up.
Jeff Craft, Brent Evans & Ernesto Marenchin were the other folks from Cleveland that made the trip. All of them are doing the double; I'm happy with one day of Louisville and hitting Orrville today. Speaking of...I gotta get going....more words/photos later.
So it's dark as heck when I get to the course at 7:20AM. I'm next to a cool guy from CO (Robby Schweiss) that's going to be racing with me and we chat while both of us start getting ready. Why in the heck I didn't bring my trainer to warm up on is beyond me; I gotta get more systematic in my prep for racing.
I take 2 laps to warm up and check out the course. It's in great shape, which surprises me due to all of the rain they have had.
The race call ups have started and I'm in the 4th row and I'm feeling pretty good; people are still screwing around with their numbers and then finally the whistle and we are seems like thing are going in slow motion and nobody wants the hole shot so I shoot around and find myself sitting in th top 6-8 at the turn and thinking that this is pretty cool. It's pretty hairy up to the sharp "S" turn for the first barriers and then a straight away into some sharp turns through a 20 meter or so loose sand trap that is ridable but tough and then through some more sand. We get into one of the grass straights and that's where I lose a couple of spots trying to jamb through the grass some sharp turns and then back on the long straight of grass through a bumpy section and then into some more turns. Some pavement, more sand, some off camber short climbs and then under the fly over a sharp turn and then up the fly over (steps up, a short spot on top to remount and then a quick drop back down - COOL) drop down and then another straight grass section, hit the road and past the start/stop and lap one is history. I get into the pit area b/f the loose sand trap and the race director is yelling out positions..."11", damn, am I in 11th? NICE, I'm thinking and now let's hold onto and see about moving up. I enter the sand with full intentions of riding through it again and a dab and have to dismount, damn. Back on, through the next sand and I don't even want to see what my HR is doing right now. Back on the grass LONG straight and I'm getting passed by what seems like the entire field. Crap, crap crap! I'm going like crazy and look up and it's not that bad, the lead group has gapped me but there are around 6 or so in my group battling it out. This second lap is hurting me bad and I'm hoping to get through what I know is my "bad lap" and fight like heck for the next lap. By now there are three of us elbow to elbow, gapping one and fighting back the gap and attacking. We get to the start finish and it's the damn bell lap! OK, I am thinking waaaaaay too much about everything....where should I attack? What part of the course am I on and should I mark these guys and wait till when to go? I know my weakness is on the damn grass and and the railroad tie run up so I'll sit in and wait for an opening. The guy from WI has been strong but wipes out on the off camber quick climb and takes us down with him but the guy from WVA & I get moving quicker so I'm sitting 2nd, then we are going through some tight turns and I jump out front lead through some more turns and promptly screw up the approach to the railroad tie run up and the other two pass me. Sh*t. I get back on them the WI guys leaves me an opening and I'm behind the WVA guy going into a sand barrier and he goes down taking me with him. Crap, Crap, Crap! WI guy blows by us, we get back on it and start going into the fly by for the last time, don't screw this up I'm thinking (like tripping) and make it up but I'm chasing now and the two have opened up a gap and I'm having a hard time closing it down and I'm running out of time. I look back, see no one and see if I can't get one of them, but nada. I cross the line behind them hoping I'm still in the top 20 after the terrible second lap. I actually finished 17th and looking at my data, didn't slow down in my second lap, but wasn't able to respond when the six guys got past me. I should have attacked in the technical sections; better to screw up your self than have someone else take you down.
So, I head back to the Hotel, wash up and head back to watch Jeff Craft race (4th in Masters! NICE!) then Ernie & Brent with the elites. Saw Chris Horner ride and come in 10th I believe. It was well worth the drive. There is no way we couldn't put on a race like that in Cleveland. Something to think about.

Thanks for Reading,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cross'n at Lakewood Park

I love what a week of low/no activity can do to you. Attended a trade show, ate/drank and got a few miles stupid back was sore going into the race and the training time was just about non-existent. Great.
This course is a technical, tough but big fun race. If you like sand, this would be your nirvana. I am determined to just go out and race a good race.
Anna & I (and Cookie) show up just about on time...we actually beat Gary and Satan, er Sadie there. David & John (masters) were going to ride the As; Gary, Tom K, Ian & I the Bs (Masters for me) with Anna & Sadie riding Cs.
Speaking of sand...the amount of sand-bagging is amazing...a "tip of the hat" to the Spin Bike Shop team for having all but two of their riders riding with the As instead of just trying to place high in the Bs for the "glory". What a concept.
Anyway; John & Ray give great course description so I'll let you read about the track layout from them.
I ride two warm up laps...this is going to be something else....a new definition in pain. At the end of the warm ups, I am late again in lining up...dang, I gotta stop doing this crap. The field is huge - 36 people with 19 Cs lined up behind us. Off we go and I get pretty good position, in the top 10 and then get jambed in the amphitheatre....but I'm feeling pretty good and not stressed about it. I nail the decent after the climb (yes I climbed it) and stay in good contact. One guy misses the sharp turn and cuts off the course a bit....something he would do more than once (NBD). Going through the sand next to the water I don't even try to ride it, remount and ride through the next stretch of sand....the next interesting thing that happens is at the log crossing in the next long sand area....someone (ed?) tries to bunny it and falls down like a sack of potatoes....I almost laughed. There was no way I was going to try that; last year I bunnied it every time clean, but it was moved to a different spot that didn't make sense to try it. I remember Ray coming up and staying on his wheel for awhile....getting encouragement from folks really helped but I was not going to stay with Ray....he has too big of an engine for me, but I knew he was hating the sand. Brian Lennon comes around me and I gave some him encouragement; he was looking really smooth and strong. I think this is just his second year? My race becomes a group of three; Jason (Stark) & Nate...Gary charges hard up & catches up to Then I hear this sound and it sounds like I've broken a spoke...damn....I look down, no the front is fine, no the back is fine....uh, OK? Then silence. Jeese, Gary suffers a wrapped around the front hub flag and he has to stop, pull it out and by the time he gets going again the "train has left the station". What a tough break. The rest of the race is Nate, Jason & I fighting it out; Nate & I run up the hill (ok...crawl up for me), Jason gaps us, I make up the gap and pass him on the two down hills and into the death spiral with David & John rooting me on, then Nate pulls past and he runs through the sand stretch while Jason & I ride it and make up the gap, then off we go. It was great riding with those guys in that dog fight that we had going on. I am staying with them and trying to save something for the bell lap AND trying not to make a stupid mistake. The bell lap comes, I lose a big gap to them on the climb, close it up a bit on the downhills and almost rejoin them in the death spiral...we catch up to Ian...I am tempted to yell at Ian to block for me so I can get back on.
:-) (don't worry I didn't but I did ask John & David why they didn't block as they were warming up and they replied something about I should get them on my own)
Well, I'm still in good position & for some reason I still can't figure out, I decide to "run" the entire sand section next to the water and promptly kill ANY chance of getting back on them. NICE.
We've got a big gap on anyone behind us so I push as hard as I can, but not to the point of wiping out. I finish 5th in the Masters B group, and what would have been 17th overall. With the pace of some of the B racers (7)....half of the A racers would have finished behind them. I was a good 10-25 seconds per lap slower than the winning pace in the B group. So I'm OK with the just to get my back feeling better and get in some hours......
Congrats to Anna for coming in 1st in the woman's C race. She rode well & hasn't even been training, must be nice. :-)
Thanks for reading,

Friday, October 12, 2007

close call

so i'm trying to squeeze in quick rides while i'm here in Atlanta on business for a convention. getting up at 5:30am and riding for 45+ minutes each day in the dark.
well, this morning i'm riding and a lincoln decidesto turn in front of me; i lock up thebrakes skidding and was breakingso hard, i ended up endo'ing over the bars but missing the car. unreal.
at least the guy stopped to see if i was ok....i am, couple of small scraps,sore knee and back but "perfect' otherwise. cut my workout short, came back to the hotel. i'm sitting in my booth at the convection thinking how lucky i am.
hopefully, the ride latertonight will go better.....back to the show and work.

thanks for reading,

Thursday, October 4, 2007

long time no.......

I'll be posting a BA 'cross race, the wonderful world of InterBike '07 (and the 'cross and crit race held there), SnakeBite Racing Team stuff and having a friend visit from the U.A.E.

Yes, I've been a busy boy.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

interbike madness

I'm at the airport now waiting on the red-eye back to c-land.It's been a busy, crazy, 4 nights, three days. I've been bust'n butt for SBR and Fast Track.
On the plus side; Anna & I get to meet Bob Roll, Tom Ritchey and other industry leaders/personalities.
Saw some tasty bikes, Crank Bros new MTB wheelset....
Ernie chasing Trebon, guys drinking beers on the run up....yes all that and more at the UCI cyclocross. I wouldn't have lasted a lap with those guys.
I did get out and ride the Ritchey Ti to the Crit race; pre-rode the course with the Pro women (Cheerwine did the coolest lead-out with two laps to go)and watched some great racing that night too. Chipo was there, Neal Brown from RIDER raced...spoke with Neal the next day; he said the pace was unreal. The Pros finished the night.
After the last day at the convention I had some of my favorite beverages at The Hofbrahaus.......