Friday, September 24, 2010

Rebuttal Friday

This was has been an entertaining blog recently...

It started out as entertainment and harmless, but the author took it too far earlier in the week with some slander that would only potentially be funny at the bar with the best of friends.  Since then, public appology was given to Katsu and anyone offended.  While you one can't take back what has already been said, hopefully it'll be worth reading again...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

King's CX Weekend

Day 1

Mike F and I made arrangements to race both days on the retired golf course near King's Island just northeast of Cincnatti starting with a 7:30am departure on Saturday.  It turns out, Mike isn't the most reliable navigator and we pulled into a golf course neighborhood about an hour before his start.  Sure it was a golf cousrse with King's in the name, but not the one we were after!  After backtracking about ten minutes we were set.  Mike got checked in, I got his wheels swapped and pit wheels delivered while he made a few adjustments and warmed up. 

I didn't get to really check out the course before he raced, but could tell it was hard, dry and fast.  Off the line, Mike had a good start going from third row to fifth or sixth only to get caught up behind a guy in the sand and the same guy again going over the bars on some off camber in the first lap.  He recovered well, but 'caught behind crashes' was the recurring theme of the day.  He held on for eigth in an open field of about fifteen.

My race didn't start until 1:15, so there was still time to eat, kit up and warm up.  Everything felt right - relaxed, rested, and ready to roll.  I've not been very good at pre-registering early, so my call-up was supposed to be third row, but I found a slot in the second.  On the line, I was barely nervous, heart rate settled close to a hundred and all 20 Open, 20 35+ers, and 15 45+ers waited for the whistle.  Starting has always been better for me than the middle laps, so I quickly found myself in the front 5, even leading for part of the first lap.  I felt really good, especially compared to the previous weekend racing sick! 

A couple laps in, one guy had gone off the front of our group, but for the most part four of us were within 10 seconds or so of each other.  There were parts of the course where I'd pull through and parts where I felt like I was dying and barely hanging on.  Strangely those areas weren't all technical or all power.  With two to go, our group had spread out a little and had a comfortable gap on the next guy, Chauncey I think?  The guy in the lead had faded a bit, but held on for the win.  I rolled in for 4th in the Open with one of the Masters guys just in front of me as well.  Very content after a season of ultra endurance and no intensity!!

My uncle set us up with a place to stay, then his parking pass for Saturday night and Octoberfest in Zinzinatti.  Of course a couple good beers needed to be tasted and some German food devoured.  Not the best prerace food, but life has to be a balance! 

Sunday morning was more relaxed - sleeping in until 8 and still getting to the venue an hour and 20 minutes before the first race is pretty damned sweet!  The fields were about double the size from Saturday and Mike rolled in for 9th in the Cat 4 open behind a handful of really fast kids, yes 7 of the top 8 were 18 or under!!  Crazy!! 

My callup was supposed to be third row, but again I was able to squeeze up to the front row and planned to take the holeshot.  Starting is usually a forte and my race strategy basically involved killing myself for a couple laps, hoping that someone came with me and then hang on as long as possible - the theory was that the mind stops listening to the pain as much when you make the front group!  My bike had other plans - the whistle blew and my chain popped off the inside!  Somehow I didn't panic, I just pushed the shifter to big ring, turned the chain on and rode off in the middle of the pack - probably around 20th.  By the time we hit the lap line I'd sprinted back to top 5, but left the chain in big ring for fear of another drop.  I held on for a couple laps, but then the 46/26 gear started to take it's toll.  I wasn't able to spin up any of the punchy climbs and could feel the legs getting heavy as I faded back to 6th with 7 and 8 hot on my wheel.  Sam D and another guy came by and I tried to hop on, but was fading hard.  Finally I said hell with it and went back to the small ring.  By the last lap my legs were coming back to life and I pulled back within 7 seconds of Sam, though that may have been in response to Beckman riding strong right behind me.  Rolled in for 8th of about 40 and not as happy about it as Saturday, but with the chain issue I'll take it!

The rest of the afternoon was spent cheering and catching up with Columbus guys.  All in all, great weekend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pre King's Report

Apparently having a good start to the season and making it through a field separating crash makes me a sandbagger... funny!

Sick before race day

Last weekend was the start of CX 2010 and as of Friday morning it looked to be delayed for me.  A combination of allergies, dusty hot laps on Wednesday, and maybe a sinus infection left me in bed or on the couch most of Friday and planning to skip Saturday's AppleCross.  But, after getting a few meds in the system and some sleep I packed up and went to "spectate" (with my bike to check out the course).

Around noon, I was able to breath normally and decided what the hell?  I already paid, maybe a race will help clear out the system and while I never felt good, it was fun and I was able to hold onto 5th of 11 in my first Cat 3 race.

Starting line - Saturday

Sunday I felt better but still not well and was able to sprint for fourth only to hit a hole, turn the bars in the stem and take fifth that then changed to fourth after USAC relegated Nick's sprint because his number was pinned on the wrong side.  Silly if you ask me after the conversation they had at the start, but whatever.  It goes down as a fifth in my book.  Other than a dropped chain three times on the run up in the last lap, it was a solid race.

Holeshot on Sunday - Prize = 6 pack of RooibieRed Tea

Riding out of the pond on Sunday

Chasing Nick B on Sunday.

Bob's Red Mill with the help of Rogue Racing put on a great pair of races at a great new venue!  Hopefully they'll be added to the OVCX series next year!

By Wednesday things were looking up and plans were in place for King's CX Weekend just north of Cinci... new post coming soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Barefoot running and cooler weather

Tuesday has become the day I run... barefoot.  Or at least in "barefoot shoes".  So far I've just worked up to a little over two miles, but no knee issues and steady cardio workouts are good things.  I'm not sure about running on pavement, but who'd want to do that anyway with trails out the front door?

The weather felt almost 'cross like in the 'Ville this weekend with overnight lows in the 40's just to jump back to the 90s this week.  Fingers crossed for cooler trends for CX weekends starting Saturday!

Tonight will be the maiden voyage of my new Planet X 50s with Challenge Griffo's glued up!  Curious to see if tubulars are worth all the hype they've been getting.  Either way, they look bad ass!
BikeA - Felt F15x with Planet X 50s
Also, in an attempt to organize the garage, I've decided it's time to let my first road bike go.  Here's a pictures and a link to the craigslist post.
For Sale - Columbus Alpine size 56 with Shimano 105 group ($500)