Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back at the real Villa on the Hilla...

Left St Louis at 7pm on Tues and made the 19.5 hour drive in almost exactly 24 hours... I always forget freakin huge upstate NY is... You get through Ohio and then PA pretty quick, hit NY and think you're home free... but you still have almost 500 miles before you hit western MA!!! It's pretty up there though. Mom and Pops had some food ready for me and then it was business time. 12 hours of uniterrupted sleep. I feel good now.

Tonight there is 90% chance of rain, which is good for fishing. Low pressure and darker than normal conditions usually get the fish eating. I'm going to cook my folks some dinner and then head down to the cape for the night. It's been too long, and in 2006 the fishing was sub-par when I made the trip so I am going to make up for it.

There is a CX race nearby on Sunday but my mom is having a cook out for me, so that's not going to happen. There is a CX practice next Wed which I am going to do though. I'm also going to heed the Master of Disaster, Josh J's advice and do some real CX workouts. Hopefully him and Nate will be chasing UCI points instead of the first Bubba race, but the rest of you + One Lappers better watch the funk out!

This is my bro and the Boss Hog.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hermann CX- Plus One Lap

I can't explain how awesome this event was. Jeff Yielding went over the top to make this a super rad atmosphere for the racers and spectators alike. I am so glad I did this race as it has stoked the fire of CX desire in my belly.

It was pretty awesome to line up with the fastest CX racers in the Midwest. By far the fastest CX race I have ever done and probably the most painful, I'm lucky it wasn't light out or there would have been some quality photos like the ones from my personal sufferfest at Faust Park last year. The call up was great and I was looking good in the new black Mesa CX team long sleeve skinsuit. Had it been a fashion show I would have been one step ahead, which is ironic, because the steps are just what killed me.

I didn't think I would have as hard a time as I did with the running sections but this course is over the top on the running tip and I wasn't prepared. Not that the outcome would have been too much different, but the suffering could have been quite a bit less had I added this race to my calendar back in July. Every time I would get off my bike my lower back would seize and my legs would give out for a step... It was hard not to quit but there were so many people out there on all sections of the course encouraging me and it made me to proud to quit. Unofficially I think I finished 20th out of about 50, but they only scored the top 12 riders as everyone else got lapped. I held Josh off until either 3 or 4 laps to go but he was charging through the lapped riders and crushing dreams and I was on the list. I can learn a lot from that guy and he's been nice enough to help me out. When he passed me I let up a little bit, green and not really knowing if I was supposed to stop or if they would tell me to stop... Nageltronic 5000 came up and we chatted and decided to ride it out for a couple more laps which was a blast. He got me on the stairs in the end and I found myself looking for that cold PBR which my boy Robert Metz delivered.

I was so motivated by people calling my name and cheering me on it was unreal. I was truly in pain and it wasn't the kind from going hard in a blazing fast race, but there was no way I was going to stop because I felt better every time someone yelled "go Breslin" or blasted me in the face with PBR. I don't know if everybody was getting the support I was, but if you were I'm sure you can relate to me saying that it made me feel like a total rock star, even as I was having my ass handed to me. The ass kicking has given me some serious motivation to take CX a little more seriously, maybe even run a little and jump on and off the bike a couple times.

Congratulations to my teammate and good friend Matt James for a solid 3rd place finish in the B race behind a total sand bagger and a very strong Mike Best. Obviously a huge pat on the back to my friends Josh and Nate for another stellar finish and keeping the STL on top over KC... I think were going to add another notch to the tally at the Burnin too... but I am sure that Elwell and Chambers aren't coming for the free PBR so it might not be too easy for my buddies on DRJ.

If anyone is interested I will be posting some salt water striped bass fishing reports and photos from back in Boston for the next couple weeks. I've decided to bring the CX bike instead of my mountain bike if that tells you anything. What would Sven do?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why I support the DQ


Baskin Robbins is really unhealthy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

where's my CX bike?

Damn, where is it?

I decided to go to Hermann today after trading a couple e-mails with Jeff Yielding... I am implementing a new racing rule for myself; if someone invites you to a invitation only race, you go. Jeff asked me in July but I thought I was already going to be back in Boston and politely declined. Luckily, he knows I ride the short bus and is still giving me a call up and preferred start. Thanks again Jeff! Call ups are about as PRO as you can get and being called up as the third highest ranked expert at Nationals still makes the hair on my arms stand up.

So today I hustled to get more fishing gear dialed in, get the new MESA skinsuits out to the A team and then I settled into gluing tires and getting the bike ready. I'm planning on jumping off and on once or twice tomorrow and Friday. My shoulder is going to be all jacked up come Sunday morning.

Lucky for me, the course flooded last week and is pretty wet. Nice thing about CX is I get to play in the mud and the GORC guys with the pillow covers over there heads will stop burning crosses and shit on my lawn. CX is a hard mans sport and the show must go on. What would Sven do?

The CX bike is looking good now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rhythm of Life

7 beats per second. Can you feel it?

I got on my bike yesterday for the first time in 4 days. Taking periodic breaks during the season has kept me fresh. My master plan only lead up to a little after Nationals and then I decided to take a mental break and just ride. Looking back, instead of taking a break I was riding strings of long mid-high paced mountain bike rides and the legs were starting to feel it. On top of that, the Hendricks Gin has really been flowing and the anxiety of my trip has made sleep rare. Bad combo.

Yesterday I got on my bike and cranked up some tunes on the RFT... Man it was good. The desire is back, fueled by dismounts, high intensity and thoughts of Sven Nys. With new found motivation comes the need to listen to some new good music to make my brain work a little bit harder, get those goosebumps every now and then.

Anyone that has a band that you don't think I might know about that brings some heat (happy-feel good heat, Wes!) leave me a message here. I'm on a mission. If you like Jazz funk you should check out this 70's band called Passport. The album is "Looking Thru." Rad.

Help a brother out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hindsight is 20/20

My confidence was pretty low as I am getting tired and my fitness is crying for a pre CX siesta, but I push it on, trying to achieve another goal and win the Midwest Fat Tire Series overall. Going into the Greensfelder race I figured that between Eric, Ryan, Rhines, Worstershire (the weaksauce variety), Ploch, Matthews, TK, Wes and my boy Drew catting up from sport, I was going to get totally waxed and a lack of sleep had left the eye of the tiger half closed.

Race day came and you never know who's out there warming up on the course. I figure if I flat it's a short walk and knowing that it was going to be a sport length expert race, at about 1.5 hours, there is no way I would rebound from a flat. I brought a CO2 and could only hope the Stans Race Day sealant would work.

As it turns out, the field isn't as tough as I thought it was going to be while tossing in turning in bed the night before. After lap one I see EP on the side of the trail and was sitting in second. Not to steal anyones thunder here, but looking at the results and considering how the Crankfest race went, I'm pretty sure that the 3-4 minutes it would have taken me to stick a tube in there would have been short enough to keep me in 3rd... Damn.

I was more pissed then I let on after the race but at this point I can look back with fond memories and be happy that:

1) It didn't happen when I attacked Cameron Chambers, Shadd Smith, Aaron Elwell, Mark Studnicki and Chris Ploch to take my first really big XC win at the Heartland Trumans Big Love race.

2) My confidence wasn't crushed by such a defeat when I passed my boy Andy Messer at the DINO AMBC race on the second to last lap. after battling with Brad Nelson for most of the race, to go on to win my first AMBC race and take the expert overall in a huge 70 person field.

3) If I had flatted on the last lap at Nationals, after fighting my way back up to a podium spot from 10 place I would have been truly devastated. With all my eggs in one basket for that race and then to get food poisoning 5 days before it, only to will myself up to a podium spot, was a very personally gratifying moment for me. The result wasn't my best, but to overcome what I did to get that result and to have Jen and my whole family there to see it is something I will never forget.

There, that makes me feel better already. 7 wins! And as I was telling my boy Drew, "i would have (had a decent finish), but i quit. the gin and tonics still tasted swell though, so i knew i quit while i was ahead." March is a long way away, don't stop till you get enough!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Missouri NORBA @ Greensfelder

If you think that only racing 1/2 of the race would mean a short report, you're wrong as usual. Maybe 1/2 as long.

I was worried about this race. I've been feeling the legs going stale after a long season and didn't want to get smoked by Team Armshaver. My next goal is to beat EP straight up. The more times I race him, the better my chances, but showing up at teh end of a long season when he is nice and rested isn't my idea of fun. I kept having to convince myself to race and almost pulled the plug after all that rain on Thursday, but when I heard Bobs report I figured I'd suck it up, take my licks and see where the form was at.

The race started as races do when EP is in attendance. Really f'ing fast. So fast that sometimes it actually takes some serious recovery just to get the legs to turn over because they are so loaded up...

That's how things started as EP and RP set off with me in tow and a group of 20 other riders chasing us down. RP pulled some kung fu over the bars shit and I was forced to ride off into the woods and watch EP open it up. For some reason it through me way off my game and RP took off without me and bridged up to his bro with gazelle like quickness. I was hitting trees with the back of my shoulders and de-railing it into the woods around the turns. Bob wasn't too far behind me before the climbing section, but when I looked over my shoulder at the top of the gravel road he was a good distance back.

The Thompson Twins opened up a 30 second or so gap on me halfway through the second lap and I was starting to think negative thoughts. I wanted to quit. But I convinced myself that finishing 3rd to two of the fastest dudes in the Midwest was worth fighting it out for and put my head down.

Chris came started to close on me but I was able to maintain a gap on the downhill and then open it up more on the climb. When I came through the start finish to see EP on the side yelling at me, I hate to admit that it was some serious motivation and the shit started to click. I was in 2cd behind RP and the legs were coming around. I focused and started to talk to myself as I sliced and diced the descent like a late night night Japanese knife infomercial. I was coming around and wasn't looking over my shoulder. Somehow I tricked myself into believing that I could catch RP and focused on plating the meal with hot sauce instead of letting the shit simmer on the back burner and get soft. Put the hot shit in my mouth and feel the fire! Chris was out of sight on the 180* sections where I did I have a chance to look.

I was feeling it and riding well. Right before the climb I jumped the log and remember two wheel sliding through the turn at 45* and the tire catching at the last possible second and popping out of the turn with speed, I must have leaned too far and caught one of the many sharp rocks. Exactly 3.5 laps into a 7 lap race, with the legs coming around, the scent of the rabbit pushing me on, and a decent gap on 3rd my race was over... a 1 cm gash in the sidewall.

I would never have caught Ryan, who was on fire, but was pretty confident that I would have been able to ride it out for a super respectable finish in a stacked field. It sucked. I knew it was going to be a short race and didn't bring a tube because 5 minutes in a tight race means suffering for no $$$ and it's too late in the season for me to suffer. I've suffered enough.

One more race before a pre-CX break, some serious fishing, CX training and my MTB season finale at Land Between the Lakes in the end of October and the fat lady is warming up backstage. I'm already thinking about focusing my efforts on making all the DINO series races instead of doing a couple big long weekend events all over the place.

Thanks to Bob and DRJ for putting on a great race and Jeremie for the rad photos. I love racing my bike. This season has made me really happy and am glad to have shared so many stories about pain trains, that one left hander that you could totally rail and kitties with all of you. Really. I love racing my bike.