Monday, October 31, 2011

Washington Park Halloween CX

That's right, I am a lumber jack wearing jeggings. That was a surprisingly hot outfit to race in and the jeggings didn't slide onto the slide very well during remounts. But they looked good, right?

Last week I prefaced my race report by hoping it would be my worst race of the year. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Washington Park was worst(as in, I will not have a race that bad again this year!).

Cyclocross is as much mental as it is physical, so all of last week I kept telling myself I was just having bad allergies, and I can race through allergies. I kept telling myself that I had a really hard workout on Tuesday so it made sense that I was still achy and sore all over on Friday even though I had done everything I could to work the soreness out. It turns out that I cannot just psyche myself through being sick. And being sick was very evident on the first lap of the race.
I was having a hard time getting a deep breath since Thursday but I thought once I was racing I would be able to, as long as kept clearing the phlegm out of the way. It wasn't happening during the race. I had a bad start, but I was just off the first chase group, a group I should have been able to catch, but I couldn't close the gap. Instead, I felt like I moved backwards during most of the race. I couldn't drive my bike, no power, no leg speed.

I finished feeling pretty bad and it got worse as the night went on. All the plans changed for the weekend. Canceled Saturday night, and Sunday was just work and sleep instead of trying to make it to the Sheboygan race. One weird thing about not being able to produce anything on Saturday was that my legs weren't tired or sore at all on Sunday and usually they are the day after a cx race.

This week I need to keep resting and getting over this thing and start psyching up for Saturday. November is when I wanted to start getting some good results anyway, so maybe this forced rest will be a good thing.

Lauren got more great photos. The Doyne Park pics are up now too.

This picture of Mike is too awesome not to put up here!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Doyne Park Cx

Well, hopefully Doyne will be my worst cx race of the year. I had a decent start and was 5th of a five man lead group on the first lap. However, on the remount after the barriers my tubeless tire experiment officially failed and I burped a ton of air out of my rear. After that I couldn't take the corners as fast as the lead group anymore and slowly started to trail off.

I wasn't sure what to do about the tire, it was slowing me down, and in the off-chamber sections I was burping more air. I rode another lap on it and then on the trickiest off-chamber 180 turn it gave up the ghost. To this point I still hadn't lost any places. The My Wife Inc guys knew that section was a tire eater and so the pit was real close. I ran the 100 meters to the pit and got a new rear wheel.

My bike didn't cooperate though and the exchange was slow. My heart sank as groups of riders from my race as well as the P,1,2 passed by the pit while I was standing there. Two cx races in a row with flats. I knew when I got back on my bike that I was mentally out of the race. I kept riding, but I wasn't attacking until the last lap. And that was for practice more than anything else.

I went down in the same corner I flatted in 4 laps later and my leg locked up straight so I couldn't get out of the pedal. It was awkward to sort of limp-pull the bike up the hill. After that I had to watch for cramps when I got off the bike for the barriers. All in all, not a good race and a 7th place finish.

All of this is too bad because the course was sweet, the day was beautiful, and I was racing against a bunch of friends. Oh well, it just makes me more determined to get my tires figured out and race my butt off next weekend!

Lauren should have the pictures up soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011


The Flickr uploading app is not working very well for my phone. This the one pic that is somewhat visible from Beechwood and it isn't a very good picture to start with.

As always, it was super fun and I wish I could have spent more time there. Thanks to Mike and Joe and everyone else who helped put it together!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grafton Pumpkin CX and Cam-Rock CX

At Reconcile (the church where I am pastor) we have two worship services on Sundays. 10:30am and 6:30pm. So normally Sunday races are out for me. However, every 6 weeks we only have one service in order to encourage everyone who can make it, to worship together. That fell this weekend, so I was able to hit both races.


Both days were unseasonable hot, like in the mid to upper 70's, but beautifully sunny. The Grafton course was the same as it has been with a few improvements making it a little more of a bike handlers course. Plus they found water somehow.

Our field was a little small which was most likely due to it being the last WORS weekend and a USGP weekend. Our start was smooth and I was sitting 3rd wheel when we caught the tail end of the p,1,2 group. I thought our start was slow, but theirs must have been very slow. I think it was the second lap where I made a move on the hill and passed a bunch of people, putting me on the front of my race and a train of P,1,2 guys.



I stayed on the front for almost a lap and when we caught up to another rider Mike went around us both. I didn't move fast enough to catch his wheel and it was too late. Mike doesn't make a lot of mistakes and he won the race.

I ended up battling it out and going back and forth with Nathan (who had already raced that day!). I had him on the hill and just when I thought I was going to get him he cleaned a chicane better then me and was able to create a gap I couldn't close. I took 3rd.


I had never been to Cam-Rock before so I wasn't sure what to expect. We didn't get there until ten to 2pm and my race started at 2:45pm, so I had just enough time to register and warm-up. I got one preview lap in before we lined up for the start and I told Ron I was going to flat during the race. Cam-Rock has lots of roots and rocks that when hit at low pressure are sure to cause a pinch flat. I flatted my front tubular at practice this past week so I was rocking a clincher in front at 35psi. Great pressure for Grafton, not so great for Cam-Rock. But it was too late to find a pump.

The field was better this time with about 20 guys. I had another good start and was 2nd into the hole shot behind Ron.
I was feeling good and not really working, content to being on Ron's wheel. Two fellows hopped in front of us but there was no gap created. I was in a great spot. Then coming around a corner my front tire nearly rolls off. I had a flat.

I pulled over to the side, shouldered the bike and starting running to the pit which was about 400 meters away. Everyone passed me.

Thankfully Sram was there with neutral support so I was able to get a new wheel. But this was on the first, which is usually the fastest, lap of the race. So it was basically like giving the group a half lap head start. And with how fast and flat this course was, being in a group and catching a draft would be a huge advantage. It was a dirt crit, my Garmin said it was a little over 17 mile race. Alas, that was not my fate though. I got my new wheel (which was a little sketchy not knowing in the turns for a few laps), put my head down, and started chasing.


It was the hardest fought 8th place I can remember getting. I would catch guys and then they would hop on my wheel for a lap or two, but I was doing the work and pulling 95% of the time. It was definitely good training for future races and I am happy I stayed in the race mentally.

As usual, Lauren got some great photos!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cross the Domes

The first race for the Wisconsin Cyclocross Series is in the books. The boys at my wife inc put on a great race at the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee. The course was changed up from last year, rather than featuring a large hill as the decider, this year was a bike handler's course with some really crazy off-chamber turns.

After 7 days of rain we got a beautiful sunny day for the races. It was good to be back on the local scene and see faces that I haven't seen in a while. I lined up in the 35+ 1,2,3 with a few goals in mind, one of which is a better start. The p,1,2's took off and we rolled up to the line. I was near the outside in the second row. The whistle blew and I got clipped in and got a good start and this time I wasn't slowed down by anyone in the first corners.

I then worked my way up to Mike's wheel. I knew he would take fast lines and keep moving and I could learn from him.

I was on his wheel for a few laps and we worked our way into the p,1,2 field. Then I dove a corner a little better then he and I took the lead. I was going to pull for a while, but Mike dropped off a little. I worked my way up to a couple of guys and made a huge mistake.

Once I bridged, I stayed on their wheels too long. I should have been more aggressive and kept moving up by myself.

But I didn't. It was a lap or two later that Mike caught us again, and when he passed, it was just enough acceleration that I couldn't match it at the time. So he slowly pulled away.

The last couple of laps I spent racing against a p,1,2 racer. I made up some of the time on Mike and Joe, but I couldn't close it in the last two laps.

I ended up eighth for the day.

My fitness is coming around and the mental toughness is coming together too, but I still have a lot to learn about racing. Every time I race I learn something and it isn't just about being more fit.

Looking forward to next week!

Lauren got a ton of great photos. Right now it's just the p,1,2 and 35+ are up, but soon there will pics from 3's, the 45 and 55+ 1,2,3 and the women p,1,2.