Quick and Dirty

Hey sicko, get your mind out of the gutter. This is about bike racing. And some other stuff.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Yar! I got the first place necklace today!

I started today out thinking I'd be racing for 2nd place- I did a lap with the newly healed but still lightning fast AJM before our race and got to hear a little about his 2(!) top five finishes last weekend at Starcrossed. However, the Rock Lobster numbers were not in his favor and with the likes of Dave Wyandt and Aron O'dell on my side I was figuring we could hopefully make things tough for him.

The course was... interesting. I went out last night and spent some time with Brian the promoter trying to help him do the most with what he had to work with... Todays course wasn't totally to my liking, but Brian took some critical suggestions to heart and made a pretty raceable track for us. White's Hill school is on a small patch of land and although there are some good features for a cross course, but it's pretty tight and there are some very awkward spots that can't be avoided in order to use all the land at his disposal. Although there were a lot of places that spectators had to walk across the course, there were some vigilant marshalls who did their job well and to my knowledge there were no collisions as a result.

After a bit of joking around with Casey at the start (ok guys, there's not a safe part to this course and it's early in the season so just take it easy... oh, and by the way, $500 for the winner...) Casey tooted his whistle and off we went. I knew that after the wide open grassy start there was a very tight spot before the first tricky off-camber so I went out hard. I got to the off camber first and rode it clean as I heard a few curses and the sound of tires loosing traction so I gassed it.

Soon enough, I was out front with a pretty sizable gap to Andy who was being shadowed by Dave and Aron. This is a nice way to start things off- I didn't kill myself, but I was riding easily around the technical parts. I think I was out there for 4 laps till Andy brought me back. I was glad he didn't attack me too hard right then and it was managable to ride with him. We rode around for a few laps while the cheers went a bit like: "Go Andy, Go Santa Claus!". Don't worry, I will soon disassemble my beard, and you'll all be sorry!

We rode till 2 to go and Dave made an attack that seemed to stick. I rode on Andy's wheel till we got to the technical parts where I'd pass him so I could slow things down for Dave. My hope was to let Dave get a gap, then attack Andy when Dave was clear. Dave dropped his chain as he went over a barrier though, and we caught him as he was remounting his bike.

Here was where I felt the pressure of the race again... I was pretty happy to let Dave get the win and then try for second. Now it was my turn to try and I figured that Andy would unleash his fury at any time. As we approached the soccer fields, I knew that I had to lay it down. Incredibly (to me) this worked and I arrived at the far side of the field in front of Andy still! I knew that from this point to the finish it would be very hard for Andy to pass me. He tried, but I was ready and it didn't happen. I didn't crash and sealed the deal for my 3rd win this year. I was genuinely thrilled to put my hands up for this one!

It was really fun to win a race like this when I didn't think I could. I'm happy with my fitness and I'm enjoying the new experience of getting to try for the win each weekend. I had a great time racing with my teammate Dave Wyandt, we work well together and I think we can both have some more wins this year. There was a lot of excited spectators and kids at this race who seemed to really enjoy the spectacle.

I hope I can try for the win again tomorrow at CCCX. I believe The Clown (Wicks) will be in attendance so if I'm lucky he'll have a bad day like Andy had today... although he'll probably still win even if he does.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ha! If nothing else, I can write about building bikes and getting beat at cyclocross!

This was a nice day at the races. The first CCCX race, fair weather, just about everybody from my Rock Lobster team, the swiggboss horn- as good as it gets.

Best of all: Barb won her first cyclocross race since her mystery illness. This was a big victory for me too, since I put her bike together and glued her tires last night. As the mechanic, I'd like to make sure everyone knows that even though no one will care (mechanics usually only get credit for mishaps, as you probably know...). Anyway, she rode great so that was cool.

My race went pretty well too. I sat on teammate Aaron O'dell's wheel for the first lap (thanks dude!) and bided my time to see what Justin Robinson would do. Unfortunately, my other teammate Dave Wyandt tried to hop a barrier and had a crash on this lap. Justin decided to race on lap 2, and we were away.

He and I rode together for another couple laps till I had a dab in a corner as he was on the front. This is how races like this are won and lost, so I was pissed as Justin made a gap. I stayed as steady as I could and continued making my laps on the course till I was able to make contact with him again. This was good, and I managed to try and attack a couple times once I got back on. Justin is a very tough rider, and it was very difficult for me to strike a balance between making things hard for him and getting to the end of the race.

As we reached 3 to go, I could see Dave Wyandt catching back up to us so I tried to get in the front and slow Justin and I's pace. He caught on with 2 to go and things were starting to look good for us- Dave seemed ready to attack and still able to race after his big effort.

With 2 to go, Dave and I both took turns throwing out some attacks and making Justin chase. As we got into the last lap, Dave was in front, I was second with Justin on my wheel. I was trying to let Dave do his thing and keep Justin in check when sure enough- Dave ate shit trying to hop the same barrier that took him down on lap 1. I rode hard although my legs were feeling crampy and let Justin pass me before the critical runup; my plan was to sprint him on the pavement. As we came off the last set of barriers, I knew the finishing pavement was too long... It was a mistake to let him sprint first, I didn't have a chance.

So, 2nd for me, 3rd for Dave and 4th for O'dell (I think). 3 in the top 5 is good for our team and Rob Evans (http://web.mac.com/robevans1/ODHBikes/Podcast/Archive.html) was 6th so we had a presence. I enjoyed racing for the win and I'm happy with my fitness (and the 2nd place cash, thanks Rod and Keith!), and I was glad to make Justin suffer. Hopefully I can beat him this year- if I can do it once a season I know I'm doing something right. The Rock Lobster team was looking pretty solid throughout the day's races and I think the Boss (and other sponsors) must be proud of the turnout today.

Next weekend should be pretty wicked, we've got 2 good races on the calendar one of which is in my back yard (Lion of Fairfax). I'm looking forward to that and the party at Cameron's house (come one, come all!) as well as the next installment of CCCX.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Alright that does it!

I'm gonna write some blogz.

It's cross season, and I'm glad to be back at it. I took a bit of hiatus and didn't do a single race this summer. This left me lots of time to pursue other interests (when you don't race, you get to have other interests).

I've had some fun over the last few weeks at the LARPD races, the DFL in GG park and at the Sacramento race yesterday. I'll be at just about every race on the Nor Cal calendar- I'm only going to travel to the USGP races in OR and nationals for the elite and 30-34 races. Otherwise, I'm staying local.

I'm gonna try and write about stuff other than bike racing, but there will probably be lots about that too. You can expect to see more pictures of the cat, plus other way more interesting stuff.

Tune in, more to come soon...