Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ahhhh, Gackkkk

Damn I'm sick. Head throbbing/muscle aching/sleepy/spewing sick. Don't want to see or talk to anyone sick. Can't stand even looking at the dog with her waggy tail sick.

However I just waded through the gazillion comments over on G's site about cross fields and promotion and, surprisingly, the whole mud-slinging, off-camber excursus made me feel better.

Hey, I just want to say lids off to the promoters and the racers who bust their asses to make these events happen. I'm an old guy who used to be a little fast back in the day and who is trying to hang on to something by getting into this whole cross scene. I've been to four different races and venues this season, all well done and all different. Having done my fair share of "promotion" in some other contexts throughout my life I have a sense of the work involved in putting on these things.

Look at me. All touchy/feely. Maybe I'll just give myself a hug, go have some warm soup, and do another race in a couple of weeks or so.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thank You Joisy

I came to the clear realization this weekend that I need to pull the plug.

So in order to meet a new low level of Suck I managed to crash out of the race this weekend before the race even started. Below is my small contribution to the aesthetic of the New Jersey course--a knot in the course tape. Anyone ever failed a line sooooooooo miserably as to T-bone course tape? Course tape, as I understand it, is meant to parallel the course and maybe, just maybe, a racer might tangle a handlebar in it or skim it with a thigh.

Head straight through it? Freakin' A....

On my final warmup--feeling good by the way--I pushed my comfort level on a steep dropoff, lost my line through the roots, and bounced way off course at the bottom, through the tape, and into a variety of items that were not meant to come in contact with a bicycle on this day.

Yes, [bow to audience] Thank you very much for playing.

Other than this little detail, everything was peachy. Some pictures to prove it.

Done racing (if that's what this was?) for the year. I've cancelled plans for Farmington and Trenton. Time to practice and work out a few things. Kisses.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Need A Coach Like This

Posted by ergott over on Serotta. Same theories apply to cross racing, methinks.

Nascar Coach

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm not racing this weekend and so the only thing left to do is think. Think back on what's happened so far and where to go from here.

I've got plenty to work on out there on the cross courses, and it's this challenge that keeps me thinking and looking forward to the next race. Results on that list posted after the event have been poor, but I feel like I'm doing some things better this year and have more confidence. Hell, when it comes down to it I'm just really enjoying being out there--on the courses, at the venues.

Yesterday while driving to work I remembered a small moment at the Whitmore's race that was kind of cool. On Sunday I was standing at the first easy right turn in the course next to a guy who was, in hindsight, I'm sure at his first cross race. The men's elites where about to bust out of the gate.

The start was a wide pavement road on the slight downhill leading into this first easy right turn onto grass. Needless to say there was some serious burn unleashed on that opening straight.

So the men came flying down the road, hit the turn onto the grass, churned up a cloud of dust from the dry Long Island landscape, and thundered off.

I looked over at the guy next to me who appeared absolutely awe-struck, and he said, "Holy crap! Talk about a stampede!" He then ran off to get a glimpse of the field pounding each other through an open grass stretch.

At that moment I think he got it.

I'm not thundering through the courses. The sand and off-camber sections give me fits. Literally getting off this island and to the races is a major production. But it's beautiful. And it's cool. It's all cool. Just like Fonzie.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Gloucester Pics

Hooo boy, tired tonight. Back to "normal life" today, but feeling the fatigue of travel and an epic day in the sun this past Saturday. So I missed my start for the 9am race due to stupidity and a combination of bad judgement on distance from hotel to venue and an accident that slowed what little chance I had of making it in time. So for me it's all about the next year. Until then, here are some pics.

Big fields against a classic backdrop

Lots of free stuff all over the ground

Tape and big rocks rock

Zank never gave one thought to running

Serious style points here

Women Elites ready to go

Meg churning through the sand

Rubbing elbows with the stars

Elite Men in the front

Beautiful view off the back of the course

Monday, October 8, 2007

Best of Times/Worst of Times

Whitmore's Landscape Two Day UCI Cross Race

What a freakin' awesome weekend. It was so great to see an event of this caliber unfold on Long Island. Compared to the other big races along the East Coast, the crowds were way down (especially on Sunday). But that just made for a more intimate experience, especially in the parking lot where on Saturday Katie Compton parked next to me and on Sunday when the Kona boys were just a few cars down. We were all just kind of hanging out together simply because there weren't too many people to hang out with.

Obviously having so many big names there was extraordinary. Erwin Vervecken, Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks, Tim Johnson, and Jesse Anthony made other national champions and immensely talented riders look like the JV team.

For the women is was the Katie Compton show. What a HUGE engine on that rider. Lyne Bessette just couldn't stay with her. I hiked back into the woods to see those two going through some of the really tough soft, sandy turns that just ate me up earlier each day. Both had so much power to get through, but clearly Compton simply had more watts and would gain a little bit on each turn.

I've left any residual comments about my racing until the end on purpose. That course just killed me each day. It didn't help that I wasn't feeling great on the weekend either (with a low place on Saturday and a DNF/get sick debacle on Sunday). Nonetheless I learned a lot about myself, my training, and what I need to work on. Most of all I still had the best time. Really--THE BEST TIME! It all just kind of worked out well each day. I'd get my sucky performance over with early and then have the rest of the day to enjoy, mingle, and learn a few things from those who know how to do it. Awesome!

But two final shout outs of great importance:

1) Meg and JD rock the house big time. These two are fantastic people who I got to know a bit more this weekend at our dinner table Saturday night. That was a pleasure. And to Meg, who took the time to take pathetic me out on the course and drill home the best lines to take in all the tough sections. Thank you, Meg. I will learn!

2) My brother-in-law Todd, who flew out here from Cali and kicked some ass out on a tough course on a single-speed (expertly thrown together in true ghetto style, I might add, the night before). He torn apart the one other single-speeder in the field, and it was great sharing a course with him and seeing him ride off my wheel!

Looks like Gloucester next weekend....

Bunch of Whitmore's Pics

It was all about the cow.

The helmet I will never wear (and neither will you).

Some freaks ride really tall bikes.

Meg about to rock a clean dismount and climb the logs.

Bruno-Roy at the logs.

Alie Kenzer about to dismount.

Compton making it look easy on Day 1 (and Day 2, for that matter).

Bessette put in an awesome weekend for second both days.

This is what a World Champion's dad does.

Matt White in pain.

A bunch of talent.

Chris from Kreb Cycle putting in a great race.

They were together at the beginning...

Bruno-Roy showing that you don't need to run up that hill.

Bessette on a tough little pitch.

Kenzer setting up for the off-camber dive down the hill.

Small talk before the pain.

Thin and fast.

Wicks about to get the win in about an hour.

Monday, October 1, 2007


"Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?"

Beautiful sleeping weather here in the northeast, no? Cool, dry nights with just a hint of bite in the air. Throw open the windows and throw on an extra comforter and you can bury down into a blissful slumber, yes?

No wonder all of you are getting all your Top Tens and Hole Shots and I-Just-Finished-One-Or-Two-Spots-Behind-Lynes.

Happy, happy dreams for everyone, right?

Not me.

I hear screams.

Yep, it's them damn Screech Owls. Two of them. Every night. In the trees outside the bedroom window. Screaming, screaming, screaming.....