Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bumpy Bubba

Maybe the hardest race I have ever done, not so much from a fitness standpoint, but from the brutal course conditions. Not having done any interval training since June or so, the start actually felt fast to me which is rare. I've got a pretty good cruising speed right now, but no snap whatsoever and the hilly course was really hard for me. I was pretty happy with the way I raced, even though I had a very dark period about 4 laps in when I got separated from the front group and found myself very uncomfortable, not able to focus on anything other then my mouth. Basically, I felt as though I had eaten a big fistful of dust (literally) and couldn't focus on much else. Luckily, I was able to snag a bottle from the pits and go back to work.

The remainder of the race I found myself gaining on the 2cd group duo of Jay and Jeff, and then losing it when they saw me coming. I steadily put time into Dr. Mark so I knew I was staying consistent. With about 3 to go Jeff got gaped off of Jay and I thought for sure I was going to be able to catch him, but he saw me coming and made a strong effort to latch back onto Jay and make him work for 3rd.

I would guess they were about 30 seconds back from Josh and Dan, I was about the same behind them and Dr. Mark was a little more than that behind me. Watching Dan beat Josh was pretty awesome as he totally deserves it and the last two punchy climbs has his name written all over them. Congrats.

Double header this weekend then off to Moab to ride mountain bikes for a week! I guess I can consider it my belated CX base training.

Here are some great photos from Kim, Fickinger and Eville Mike- Thanks!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bubba at Buder #'s 1 & 2

#1- Night

I opted for the SS race because it sounded like fun and I thought I would still be home for my usually 9:30 bedtime. I figured that racing with my teammates would be fun and the SS race would be a slightly lower impact setting for my first go through the barriers of the season. Matt, Christopher and I talked about team tactics which basically involved getting off the front and working together, unfortunately, we didn't discuss what we would need to do if we had to work someone over.

The race started well and Christopher, Matt, Laberta, Dust and I got away. My first trip through the barriers I must have dismounted twenty feet before them and stutter stepped over both of them... time to do some skills practice. Things started happening fast and Dust crashed and Laberta had a mishap and fell off the pace. Matt and I were isolated for a short period of time but Dust showed he had some good legs and caught back up to us. Both Matt and I would put in some digs where we could, but couldn't really shake Dust much.

About halfway through the race I went to the front and told Matt to sit on Dusts wheel as I tried to ride Dust off my wheel where I could and hoped to wear him out a little. I knew that towing Dust to the line was an automatic loss but couldn't seem to figure out a way to let MJ know my intentions. With about 1.5 laps to go Matt rolled his tire and I was left on the front with Dust chilling on my wheel... not as planned. I decided to keep the pace high and attack through the twisty back section as I thought I might be able to gap him enough to make him work for it.

Flying into the home straight we started to hit lapped traffic and things got dicey. I was drilling it down the lat bumpy section of grass before the pavement and didn't think Dust was as close as he was. We hit the pavement, started to kick and ran into a rider crossing the line in the middle lane as we approached in full sprint. I came across the line, bars hooked with Dust, left pedal unclipped and front tire off the ground for the win.

#2- Day

I woke up hungover from watching Shottlers domination of the A race (Martin- I told you so)and enjoying a few to many delicious PBRizzles and Case asked me if I was going to race again. Oddly, I hadn't even thought about it but after we did some work around the house I figured I might as well.

I arrived to find that the track had changed dramatically and there was now a steep as climb... ouch. Warming up I was pretty much convinced I was going to vomit, but luckily didn't.

The race started and after Laberta made a wrong turn, Dust and I quickly found ourselves isolated off the front. It was hot, the hill was hard and I started to question how long I was going to last. I tried playing it smart and riding Dusts wheel, but somehow found myself with a decent gap about 2 laps in. I decided to lay it on the line and make him work for it until I came though the barriers, remounted and had dropped my chain. My twenty second lead turned into a 10 second chase and I tried to remain calm. I caught him pretty fast but it was a good effort and he responded by riding me off his wheel going into the steep hill, crushing the climb and opening up a healthy lead on me.

For the next lap or so I chased and tried to remain smooth which paid off when I caught him and put in a little extra effort on the hill, opening up a slight lead. From there it was a long 4 laps but I was in cruise control and committed to the move. I watched my lead grow considerably and rode a flawless race for SS win # 4 in a row.

I woke up yesterday morning and put gears back on my CX bike and am ready to start training for the 2010 CX season... Once again, my timing is a little off, but it should be fun.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burnin 2010

Burnin 2010, is there really much to say? Team Ride DMC wasn't wasting time with snappy inferior slogans or breaking extremities that don't pedal bikes. We at Ride DMC were watching Rocky and Apollo , Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral, the Karate kid and Johnny, Adam Vinatieri in winning the Snow Bowl in 2001 and Chariots of fire... you get the idea, we we're fired up. It wasn't until O-Face recommended watching Prefontaine at LA Times mile in 1973 and ironically, Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes in 1973 that I knew what we had to do; go to the front, stay there and rip peoples legs off. It wasn't as easy as our record shattering time looks on paper.

I was worried about getting in front of the traffic so I ran like an antelope and came through the smoke like Kurudas lights during a epic crescendo.

I was spinning furiously when I got swarmed by 5 fast dudes and ended up n the woods 6th. We pacelined it for awhile until the Alpine Shop rider and myself got slightly gapped off the pace and then we passed Dan who had flatted. In cruise control, I passed the AS rider and started to floss.

Things were going really well for a very short period of time. Through one of the rocky sections before the first big climb my chain slapped off and I slipped it back on, but not before the Alpine Shop rider passed me. I leapfrogged him on the first big climb and didn't think much of my chain popping off, as it had not caused me issues before.

For the next 10 miles just about anytime I was going fast (which was all the time) through the bumpy stuff that was too rocky to pedal though for fear of pulling a Schottler, I would drop my chain, slip it back on, remount and resume high speed riding. This happened no less than 10 times on the first lap alone. I came through with the fastest 1x1 class time of 1:03:xx, but wasted my legs sprinting the last 75 yards as my chain fell off on the last little dip at the top of the climb... I really would have like to have seen a clean lap time.

By the end of Matt James blistering lap two I think that we had commanded close to a 15 minute lead. Christopher struggled to acquire the fire on the next lap but kept us within field goal range and I set off on lap 4.

Russ had worked on my steed and claimed that the spring in the singleator had slipped out of place and bent, but he flipped it around and said I should be good to go.

My second lap was brutal. I don't know if it was the lack of cool down after lap 1, the heat or just a bad lap but I just wanted to quit. I was riding as hard as I could and my back was locking up to the point of severe pain. On a positive note, I only dropped my chain once and rolled through at a decent clip of just over 1:06. I told Russ I had heard some sort of "click" before it dropped but he told me there was nothing more he could do. After the lap I told the team I was only good for one more lap as my back was wrecked. It wasn't a nice conversation, not to mention the fact that Jerk from Team Segal rode by and gave me the double salute and told me to fuck off... Game on... Nico is to blame for the destruction I laid on his team after that.

By lap 4 we were maintaining a 15-20 minute lead and it was time to do work. I set off into some nicer temps. The "click" I had heard before the chain came off on lap two was the steel spring tearing through the aluminum on the inside of the singleator which meant I starting dropping my chain again. Conservatively, I would say I dropped my chain once a mile on my third lap but was feeling much better and highly motivated to make the other SS teams wish they hadn't raced.

Back at the campground after a 1:07 lap of so we were sitting pretty with a 22-23 minute lead. Christopher was a little down on himself so I tried to give him the clutch in the 4th quarter strong defense pep talk and a Red Bull Cola. We had our team analysts, Russ and Drew, working on the probability of 11 laps and the the chances our lead could diminish to the point we would have to race it out. Once again that Jenkem huffy jerk Nico rode by and called me names. Like Rocky telling Mick to cut him in the final scene of Rocky II, I asked Russ to do what he needed to do to keep me from stopping on the last lap and he went to work.

MJ had another super consistent blazing lap as the sun set and set Christopher up to be the hero. After a rough day where he battled sickness and never really got his legs under him, Christopher pulled through in the clutch and protected the lead which set his team up for record smashing destruction. My last lap was great as The Muscle had got my bike dialed, visions of belt buckles were dancing through my head and I was feeling light on the bike. I knew my lap time would be somewhere shy of 1:15 but was ready to double up if the team needed me to, after all, when your on a team you do what you have to do to win. I passed some people at the beach who told me it was around 8:30 so I knew it meant possible pain if I didn't hide out in the woods, but record setting is serious business and I'm a serious guy.

I rolled through at 8:45 and was told that we we're so far in the lead I didn't need to go for a parade lap and the celebration began... Man that fires me up!!!

The competition was very strong and pushed us all day long. I can definitely say that I have never been so wrecked from a race before and attribute it to that. It wasn't until I set off on my last lap that I was confident we we're going to win and am really impressed by all the strong racing. Rumor has it that Grotoff was giving the double salute to a baby fawn on the last lap when he crashed and was passed by Summer of 69... serves those jerks right!

Ride DMC had shattered the record by close to 35 minutes, Zach Brace posted the second fastest 12 hour time ever, Jen Goldstein crushed her previous record, Schottler completely shattered course records that weren't supposed to be broken and had INCREDIBLE lap averages and shiny buckles were strapped to belts. It was good and the carnie folks freaked.

Once again, none of this awesomeness would have happened without the clutchiest of the super clutchy clutchion. Thanks to John Farinella and Dave at PBR for really taking this event to epic proportions... Top notch, KID!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

29" S-Works HT

Oh my gosh, I'm going to have a hard time talking myself out of this one!

This bike is radical... period

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Midwest Single Speed Champion

Wow, what a lame blog I have here. This summer has been insanity with travels, wedding planning, my awesome wedding, my buddy Eddies awesome wedding and planning a trip to Italy in a few weeks.

Bike practice has been sporadic, even non-existent for periods of time, since the Show Me State Games. I was looking for something fun to fuel my motivation when I heard about the Midwest Single Speed Championship race. I prepared for it by putting together a ballzers S-Works 29" single speed thanks to Justin Neely-ballz, aka, Go Slow Gayness (the bike, not Justin). Then I came up with a pretty neat costume which included a custom painted helmet and practiced slapping Mable dog in the face with pork steaks so I could be sure to get a good clean shot in on Giovanni Fondolini when the festivities began. When all that was done I even managed to squeeze in a half an hour training ride on my new single steed which resulted in me getting super aggro as I couldn't keep the chain on for more than 5 minutes at a time. My fellow co-workers get very afraid when I get super aggro so they fed me cookies and took care of it, before I could sell it.

The night before the big race I poured myself a half a glass of Jameson which killed the bottle and went to bed semi-sober for the first night since my wedding bender began when Case and I met 3 years ago. I felt like my preparation was good and didn't lie awake worrying about anything the night before the race. Highly unusual behavior for me.

I showed up and started to talk the SS lingo with some characters and the common theme was "dude, are you really going to run a gear that big." Pre-riding I started to think they were right. I tried to enter the first timers class but was told there was just one class. Pissed off that there weren't 33 categories 3 places deep for the 99 entrants, I lined my ass up and insisted that the Team Seagal crew do the elephant walk with me to my bike during the Le Mans style start. They were more interested in centipedes, which confused me, so I ran.

This is when everything changed for me. I was on a bike and I was racing. I was hearing Trey rip loud and clear and my new bike was flossing like no other. Some dude from KC led the charge and I was riding with the Professor and his pet walrus. I was listening to his lecture closely until he urged me to pass, but I declined as I am the Jedi SS Knight and he is the Obi Wan Wizard. Slowly the Garrett was opening up a gap and when I asked the Wizard and the Walrus of his speed he replied "Very fast, now go" and I took off in pursuit.

It didn't take long before I caught Garrett and insisted on riding his wheel until he had a slight mishap and he too insisted that I pass. I spent the next few minutes looking for my shifters, wondering if the Professor was wrote the book on SS pacing and was going to teach my ass a hard first lesson, looking over my shoulder wondering when the wave of slow starters were going to consume me and thinking about blowing it all out too soon.

But then the music really got loud and I started riding very fast. I opened up a big gap on Garrett by the grassy field and figured I had about a minute or more after the first lap. I was finding my groove on the SS very easily and having a blast doing it. I was flossing and hearing sweet blistering solos that I really haven't heard during a race in a long time. I felt great. I stopped thinking about anything other then making my bike go fast and that I did.

Post race I realized that I rode three laps in almost exactly the same time, 33 minutes and change. I rode pretty much a flawless race at a speed which was fast for me on a geared bike at Lost Valley, something like 13+ mph. I think I like single speeds and twenty niners.

Post race was even more fun and Giovanni got lucky they weren't serving pork steaks. I ended up joining a SS speed team for the Burnin and acting like a real jerk, but I think SS'ers like that shit.

Thanks to team Red Wheel for putting on a kick ass race!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back on track

After a couple weeks off the bike and I feel good about riding again. I sold my PowerTap and am going to avoid making any strict training plans. I love the analytical side of cycling, but I'm a little bit obsessive compulsive and it eats me up mentally. I can't afford a coach and think this is best. To be honest, the last time I trained with power was in 2006 and I suffered some serious burn out. This year was a little different, but I was still feeling pretty down and found myself getting too heady with the numbers so screw it.

I spent the last three days on the mountain bike doing epic rides out in St Charles and enjoying the shit out of it even though I could feel my brain melting and my fitness could only get me through 2 hours before the pain curtain dropped. The music was loud.

Loosely, I'm going to ride lots up until September, maybe throw in a race or two for kicks and then see what the mountain bike calender looks like. After that I will probably start riding a little less but much harder to get ready for CX and hope that Shottler flats a lot, because that MO FO is going to be unstoppable. Congrats to him for claiming a step on the podium at Nationals!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lost Valley Luau- minus the roast pig

After taking a little flak from my elders, T.A and Rico, I'm trying not to complain so much or make up as many excuses. I'll do my best.

I've spent the last two races in a deep funk of suffering and resisting the urge to quit. Atypical for me. I haven't felt very competitive and surely didn't have the legs to be. I'm not implying that on a good day I would have won either of these races, Schottler is on fire, but I really felt like I wasn't able to stay in the mix at the front, where I have grown accustomed to be. I don't take that for granted, I work my ass off, make sacrifices (because I enjoy doing well) and plan out my season so I can go head to head with the fast dudes that always seem to be fast. I'm not as naturally gifted as a lot of the top guys I race with, so every bit of preparation helps.

Truthfully, I started planning for June racing in January and aside from not getting in quite as much base as I normally do, had what was my best block of training ever in April and early May. The timing was perfect as I generally am feeling best 6 weeks after some good training. But then things went horrible wrong. I spent 3 crucial weeks feeling sickness coming on, getting really sick and then getting my legs back under me. It took another week after that just to feel normal again. I stuck with the "less is more" plan and started to feel really good the couple weeks before the race. I skipped the Brown County race because I wasn't feeling great and didn't want the added stress of a travel weekend or the headiness if I got totally smoked. I wasn't doing any of the hard hill workouts or long hard efforts I normally do either, so I had no idea where I was at, but I felt good and was really excited to race.

Both races I found myself feeling great off the starts, which were almost easy, and then running out of gas about an hour in. I really wasn't enjoying it all that much and fighting off the urge to quit because of something Case said to me at one of the first races she saw me race. Not my usual self.

On the other hand I must admit that I find our local racing scene is becoming really fast and fun racing. So many guys really have seemed to reach or be within reach of higher levels of racing that make the racing way more fun. I know what mistakes I made this year and am already thinking about 2011, as I know my focus is about to shift to some fishing back east and then laying down some fat base for CX.

End complaining and excuses. Sorry Tom and Rico.