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 Craig....you'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 gap....cool.
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 miles...my 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 me.....cool, 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 on...it 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 1:18:34....it 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,