Sunday, November 14, 2010

No Success But Great Courses o' Fun!

Some pros can ride sick and still do a great race.

Not me! The Saturday and Sunday races were both a lot of fun, but not so successful!

I traveled to Indian Hills for the ChiCrossCup race Saturday. These guys want to host a UCI race there some day. They're ready! It's a great venue with an excellent facility. The course should take advantage of some more of the off-camber little hills on the golf course, though. It needs some more technical challenges!

I never planned on going really hard Saturday, just hard enough to open the legs a bit for Sunday. I did have a chance to heckle Nikki Cyp and the officials, though! No idea where I finished, though, nor do I care!

And speaking of technical challenges, Paul Roltgen created a crazy course for Sun Prairie. Full of short punchy climbs, off-camber turns. Kind of felt like a BMX race in some respects. It was a blast. Another one of those courses where you wanted to race again.

But my legs fell off somewhere on the course. There was a small explosion and boom, they fell off, just one and half laps in! I used my hands to pedal the rest of the way...

My whole goal was to follow Greg Ferguson's wheel. I stuck behind Dave Eckel for too long, but when I passed Dave and tried to bridge to Greg's group, it wasn't happening! Boom!

So I limped around the course, having fun with it. But if someone had offered me a beer at the top of the hill, there's no doubt I would have stopped and shared it! I finished, somehow getting 7th out of 12 or so.

I'm hoping that with some active rest this week, a good training week, I'll be firing on all cylinders for Sunday's state championships. It would be nice to end with a bang and some really good legs.

Not a boom where my legs fall off.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Happening

Maybe I got a little something this season after all.

Roscoe and I traveled to Woodstock, Il for a ChiCrossCup race. We signed up for the 30 plus race, but neither of us felt terribly ambitious at the start.

Within 20 yards of the start, the chute narrowed. Guys were going to be pinched. Sure enough, a mountain bike dude was pinching me into Ross. I let off the gas and was now WAY back in the 65-rider field.

Since we were there to train and have some fun, we both were nicely relaxed. And since many Chicago racers use their brakes WAY TOO MUCH, we had fairly easy times moving up in the field. Riders also had issues with the short sand pit.

In the whirly section, Ross was just ahead of me so we said hello as we passed each other! I kept him in sight until the last lap when his big-ass motor had more juice than mine.

I passed a boatload of guys in the race, but I had no idea where I was in the field. So it was a pleasant surprise to check the results to see I was 14th! Ross finished 8th!

It was a great course today, lots of flow. EXCEPT for the two barrier sections, placed at dumb-ass parts of the course. You couldn't run over them, just kind of step over and keep moving. They totally disrupted the flow. The rest of the course, though, was awesome, full of fun little climbs and descents, and tight corners. 

I'm totally stoked tonight, even though my legs are dead. I rode completely within myself, rode hard, and just picked off guys one - sometimes three - at a time. There's hope for me. I keep wanting to sing "Ain't no truck big enough" but that's going to be bad karma or something.

Next week, Mike and Ross bring the mwi circus to Fort Collins. And since it's sponsored by Fat Tire Ale, I'd sure like to be there. But I'll head down to Hilton Island for the Chicago race, then to Sun Prairie for the next to last WCA race.

I'm not sure if you can call what I'm doing peaking, but I'm certainly coming into some form. I felt like a bike racer today.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I discovered my big gear today.

And although I still didn't feel good, I was much faster at Estabrook Park, the 8th WCA race of the series. Beat a couple of guys who are strong TTs on the road. But I don't think either one was feeling his best today. There's definite improvement.

I'm beginning to think Crusty and Herman were right in that the more races I have in my legs, the faster I'll get. And everyone else is starting to slow down after a long road or mountain bike season.

Maybe there's hope for me yet this year!

Last weekend, I had a good race at Washington Park on Saturday and a so-so race in Madison at Warner Park Sunday. Thanks to the city of Madison to let WCA hold a cross race for the first time in a city park!

I'm getting sad the season is already more than half over. There are only three WCA races left, another three Chicago races, and Jingle Cross in Iowa. That's it.

Can't wait for nationals to extend our season. Even if it is in the middle of the damn winter.