Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bloomer Park CX #7

The 7th Tailwind cyclocross race took place today at Bloomer today in some very un-cross like weather.
This weekends weather makes up for all the rainy, wet cross races this year. This is the first time that I havent had to spend an hour cleaning my bike this entire season after a race. With temps probably in 50`s for the start of the C race it made for some great racing weather.
This year the course was set up quite a bit different than the previous 2 years. It featured 3 barrier sections, some pavement and some trails. It was one of the bigger courses this season, and I clocked a lap at about 1.8-1.9 miles. I must say I really liked the course set up today. It had a good mix of different terrain, and areas to ride.
This was also the first race for 3 of the guys on my team. Mike, Todd, and Jason all did really good at the race, and I hope that they can make it out to the race next weekend as well. John and Joe also did good at the race today. Team Sandbag had 6 racers going in the C race.

The race started out ok. I got a decent jump off the line, and was able to hang with the lead pack. The first set of barriers I had some problems clipping back into my pedals, and Todd was able to get around me. We rode pretty much the entire race together. We were never able to reconnect with the group in front of us. We were close after the second lap, but the third lap they got away.
I was able to put in some decent lap times, 8:30, 8:45?, 9:00, and 8:31. The third lap I kind of backed off a little, which I should not of done. But overall not bad times.

Just one more race left in the season, next weekend. I will be sad to see it end.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Munson Park CX # 6

The 6th race of the CX series was held sunday at Munson Park in Monroe. This was my first time doing this race. I have never been to Monroe before so it is always fun going somewhere new.
The plan for the day was to go out really hard out of the start and then maintain a fast, steady pace for the rest of the race. For the first 1/2 lap the plan was going good, but it quickly fell apart.
The course at Munson was mostly flat, with quite a bit of gravel trail, and big hill right in the middle. The hill featured a run up, and about 3 up and down sections all in a row. No time to catch your breath between climbs.
I started out fast and got up with the lead 5 guys. I was able to hang with them until after the mud/sand pit. I made a little progress in the pit and got around a couple of riders only to have them catch and pass me on the run up. After the first lap no one else passed me and I was able to get around a few of guys that dropped off of the lead pack.
The second lap I made a mistake on my mount after after the second set of barriers. I could not get my foot clipped back in for some reason and the guy that I was riding with was gone. I could not catch back up to him the entire race.
The last lap was pretty much me riding by myself trying to catch the guy in front of me, but no luck.
Another 10th place finish. This type of course did not play to my strong points, and I am suffering from a sinus infection. So hopefully I can make up for it at bloomer in two weeks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Iceman Cometh

Ahh redemption. This year at Iceman I made up for my horrible experience last year. I was able to cut 18 minutes from my time last year on a longer course.
Last year was my first time racing Iceman. I really didn’t know what to expect other than there was a lot of hills at the end of the race, and to watch out for all the sand. I was fine for about the first 11 miles of the race, then I bonked, hard. I am diabetic, so I have to make sure I keep my blood sugar levels up, otherwise, well it is not good. The mistake that I made last year was not putting any kind of energy drink in my hydrapack. I think I ate about 9 packages of gel last year, and by the time I got done with the race, I was about ready to puke. I have never felt so bad after a race. I had a lot of second thoughts on signing up and racing again this year, but I had a plan.
This year I ran a mix of perpetuem and heed in my hydrapack. Wow what a difference. I only ate about 3 packages of gel and felt really good for the entire race.
Tuesday night I was cleaning up my bike for the weekend, and found a crack in the frame! My baby! How could this happen?? I have had it for going on 5 years! I really didn’t have much of an option either race it, race my single speed or not race at all. So I decided to take my chances.
We got up to TC on Thursday night and headed out for a early Friday morning ride on the trail. There was about a inch of snow on the ground making the sand more like mud. My bike was not shifting at all. About 3 miles in I broke my chain, and we decided to head back to get my bike into a shop. I really could only use a few gears otherwise I would get a lot chain suck. Thanks to the guys at brick wheels in TC they got me right in, and put a new chain and cassette on. This took care of my shifting problems and the bike was good to go, except for the cracked swingarm.
Friday night about 20 of us from my team, friends, etc... had a good pasta dinner at toma? in TC. I usually don’t eat pasta, due to the high amount of carbs, so it was really good.
Saturday turned out to be a perfect day to race. My race started off with a snow shower, fitting for Iceman. I felt really good right out of the start. I took it easy and got warmed up, I didn’t really get much of a chance to ride around before the race. I always seem to run out of time before that race. For the most the part the race was uneventful. It really didn’t seem as bad as last year, but I think that was mostly due the Hammer Products that I was using this year. I remember getting to a few points on the trail and remembering how bad of shape I was in last year at that time, and thinking wow I am really feeling good. I finished the race in 2:27, I wanted to hit the 2:15 mark this year. I really trained a lot for the race over the last couple of months, but I took it easy at the start based on my bad memories of last year. Next year I expect to a lot better.
So now I get to figure out what I want to do about my bike. It sounds like Trek will replace it with something. Not really sure what I want yet. I really like my Klein, but 5 years and a lot of miles is pretty good I guess. That bike has taken me a lot of places over the years. I am sure I will hold on to the frame I couldn’t bring myself to through her away. Maybe a fuel, maybe something else we will see.