Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kringle Booty 2013

Kringle Cross takes place at Hales Corners park. The course doesn't change much, but they seem to add more course on every year. The crazy thing about this year's race was the high 50's temp, and 1.20 inches of rain we got that day. Oh yeah, and the tornado warnings. The races still happened though, which made for the muddiest wettest race I have ever done.

Prior to the race I had been sick with a nasty cold for almost two weeks. (I'm just now getting it out of my system altogether almost a month after it started.) I felt pretty good though, had the bikes dialed in (including fresh metallic pads on the disc bike), and liked my chances in the mud. At the start I pushed forward too much and the rear wheel spun in the mud. I picked a good line though and was 4th wheel going into the first corner.

After a 1/4 lap it was Chad, Al, and me with a little gap. Al slid out in a corner and I let him get up and back bike on his bike before we headed up the greasy hill. It didn't take long for him to get back on Chad's wheel and pass him, but I was slower on the hill. And that was it. The rest of race we stayed in that order.

At one point, Andy, who was behind me 10-20 seconds said I could ease up because he wasn't going to catch me. So the last lap I did back off a little, only to see that with a 1/4 lap left Andy was trying to catch me! I had to hustle a bit for the last 200 meters just to make sure he wasn't close enough to be in contention.

Check Out Eric's view of the race.

Booty Cross

This was my first time making it to Madison for this race. And true to Wisconsin weather, it was a 180 from the previous week. Windchill had us in the low teens for temp and the ground was frozen. Accept where the sun was beating down and the previous races made the corners nice and greasy. I don't really know of anyone that has this course as their favorite, but I know more than a handful who don't like it. Mainly because a giant hill is the center feature and we went up it 4 times per lap. I don't think the hill is really what makes it hard for people though. It is the technical difficulty of the race. There is very little flow in the course. Almost none really. So riders can't really get faster with each lap as they learn the course. If I do this race again, it will be to support the team (Magnus) for putting the race together.

That being said., I had a horrible start and let a bunch of guys get in front of me before the first climb. I took a cruddy line that was clear of people and passed about 4 guys on the first climb. I did a lot of work and was just off the front 5 when we got to the short, nearly vertical, frozen dirt run-up. I took a reeeeaally bad line up it and almost fell 3 times while numerous guys passed me. I worked hard to get in front of them again our 4th time up the hill. Then, after Eric slid out in a corner, I worked up to 4th but by then the front 3 had a good gap.

I got passed by one guy the second lap (he took 2nd eventually) and then stayed in 5th the rest of the race. I did go down once when I over corrected a turn and let Eric back on my wheel. I thought for sure he was going to pass me the second last lap, but I was able to hold him off. Check out his video below of the first and last laps. You can see me just out of reach for him the whole last lap.

State is the last race on the agenda for me. It's a week and half away and looks like it may be in the 30's with snow on the ground. Should be fun, we have had a wonderful array of cross weather in WI this year!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Washington Park and Estabrook

Work has been busy and this week our household has been in the trenches battling a cold, so the race reports haven't been a top priority. I find myself with a bit of time between appointments so I'll fill you in on the haps.

Two weeks ago was Washington Park. It 's the costume race. I love the course. I never race well there. This year was no exception, but it was still a lot of fun. Especially because I dressed up as Maciej.
Thanks to Joe Curtes for the photos
I could blame the broken spoke hitting my rotor or my poor diet choices for the cramps, but I think it was the twins on my back.

As an aside, I think the Velo Trocadaro guys are running the state champs too. If you guys haven't got a course yet, do it at Washington Park, but backwards. That would be a super hard course, even without babies strapped to my back.

Last week was Estabrook, and due to some construction the promoters were forced to make some course changes. The changes were awesome! The course had better flow and more variety. For this race I made sure to actually eat, and eat better. I even warmed up and did some course recon with different tire set-ups (like a real bike racer!).

I felt and raced probably the best I have all year. No mechanicals, no cramps, and no spending the whole race in no-man's land. I was in the mix and kept the pace going for most the race. After the first lap I lost two spots but throughout the race I caught three more guys.

Mike dangled in front of me the whole race. With a couple of laps left I started to make up some time on him but then two guys wiped out on the steep climb right in front of me. Mike was gone. I got a hard fought 6th place.

There are things I could have done better and I think I am just now coming into my fitness (or maybe Jake is right, I should be warming up to race). We will see how this cold fares this Saturday. 

As for Clutch Corner, no one got the disc as Washington Park because I forgot about it. I mean, I forgot totally about the boombox being there. Luckily, the park is about 5 minutes from my place so I was able to recover it (this is also why I lock it to a tree). At Estabrook the CD went to Travis again because he led a Junior around for the whole race and then out sprinted him for the win (this isn't your normal junior). Honorable mention goes to Alex who somehow put his hand into his front wheel and cut his palm, but rode the rest of the race strong.

Washington Park
  1. (Notes From The Trial Of) La Curandera:  Blast Tyrant
  2. Smoke Banshee: Pure Rock Fury
  3. Profits Of Doom: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
  4. Ghost: Blast Tyrant
  5. You Can't Stop Progress: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
  6. Profits Of Doom               : Blast Tyrant
  7. Big News II: Clutch
  8. 10001110101: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
  9. Wishbone: The Elephant Riders
  10. Crackerjack:  The Elephant Riders
  11. King Of Arizona: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
  12. Army Of Bono: Blast Tyrant
  13. When Vegans Attack: From Beale St. To Oblivion
  14. Impetus: Live At The Googolplex
  15. Bottoms Up, Socrates: Pitchfork & Lost Needles
  16. Eight Times Over Miss October: The Elephant Riders
  17. Subtle Hustle: Blast Tyrant
  18. Animal Farm: Clutch
  19. Earthworm: Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes & Undeniable Truths
  20. 12 Oz. Epilogue: Live At The Googolplex
  21. Who Wants To Rock?: Live At The Googolplex

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  2. Ship Of Gold: The Elephant Riders
  3. A Shogun Named Marcus:  Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes & Undeniable Truths
  4. 10001110101: Full Fathom Five
  5. Rock & Roll Outlaw: Clutch
  6. Opossum Minister: From Beale St. To Oblivion
  7. Cypress Grove: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
  8. Escape From The Prison Planet: Live At The Googolplex
  9. The Dragonfly: Full Fathom Five
  10. Big News II: Live At The Googolplex
  11. Black Umbrella: From Beale St. To Oblivion
  12. Spacegrass (Live): Pure Rock Fury
  13. One Eye Dollar: From Beale St. To Oblivion
  14. Tim Sult Vs. The Greys: Clutch
  15. Struck Down: Strange Cousins From The West
  16. Land Of Pleasant Living: Robot Hive / Exodus
  17. Ship of Gold (West Virginia): Slow Hole to China: Rare & Rereleased