The Gravel Rouser 09 has come and gone...here are a few photos from bikbfat.com and full results can be found at Athens Bicycle I had a great time riding and racing with the gang from Appalachia but now it's back to reality....and more reality....but before reality comes fantasy! Plus I hear the new bikes are on their way real soon!
Next post from the warmth of my old stomping grounds...
Today was the final stage of the GRC 09! Luckily Andrea did not have to work Monday so we were able to stay in Athens an extra day, race, and enjoy the amazing weather. More time with mom and dad is always good, plus we had a lot of leftovers to polish off for dinner. Rosco wanted to keep killing the Kong in the the fenced backyard too.
We raced some of the best singletrack in the Midwest...It was the first time I linked all the local trails together for one big loop. I knew most of the sections of trail, but wasn't exactly sure where they connected. With about 5 miles to go I flatted and Pete "Fresh Legs" Kostes took off. 4 guys passed me, but I was able to make it back for a 3rd place sprint finish.
Next on the list of things to do is find a job! I think it's really close to happening, just a few more small details to iron out....
check out www.bikebfat.com for pictures and www.athensbicycle.com for results
That was the theme during the epic at Lake Hope today. Beautiful weather greated the largest Gravel Rouser field ever as we rolled out of Athens towards Lake Hope. We witnessed some classic growling dogs and some red neck local flare on the way to the race course as we roused the gravel for the XC race of the year.
After close to 2 hoursin the saddle we lined up and we were off....I sat second wheel on a brutal first climb to the top of the ridge and when I saw the leader botch a corner I took the lead. I was followed closely by local favorite Ryan Curtis who had just missed out on the victory Thursday night. I slowly gapped him, but continually was getting lost. I had to wait for him a couple times just to make sure I was on track, and at one point in time stood in the middle of the trail for a while completely clueless....Ryan caught me and I thought it might be a good idea to follow the local for a while....soon after he took a wrong turn that took us close to 15 minutes out of the way! Needless to say I didn't win the 50 minute long race after a 15 minute delay! I had a blast though....as we screamed back down the trail we noticed close to 15 other riders had taken the same wrong turn including Andrea who was leading the womens race!
Either way it was a blast and great to be back on some awesome mountain bike trails. We ended up with close to 55 miles off-road! Tomorrow is another 20 mile mtb race, but not sure if we are driving home or not???
After the race we had some bbq'd pork sandwiches with the Athens Bicycle / Gravel Rouser crew and then went home to watch the NCAA Wrestling Championships....this came up in conversation while watching the heavyweights!!!!!!
2009 season has officially started...yes that's right it's Gravel Rouser time. Andrea and I made the drive down to celebrate Christmas with my parents for the weekend! We arrived today just in time for the 6th annual GRC! Tonights stage was an Athens Bicycle Urban Assault Super D style.....
It was like a page out of the euro cross scenes course creation. Start on a fast street, cut through an alley, turn back 90 degree onto a sidewalk, left down a huge set of steps, a couple s turns, a run up, a long straight away and another shortcut through a backyard to the finish. With the huge crowds I almost felt like I was back in the motherland!
I think the locals are pulling for me to lose! Each year they make the course more and more difficult for the out of towners!
I borrowed my dads Fuel 98....Andrea raced too but got lost in someones back yard and ended up at the start instead of the finish! She is two for two now in stacking it up during the TT pre-ride at the Gravel Rouser...oops skills a little rusty after a long Wisco winter.
2009 plans are in full swing....Gravel Rouser,WCA Road, Joe Martin, WORS, Triple Crown, WCA CX, Cross....lots of options, lots, of training, new sponsors and the original sponsors who have been through the thick and thin. I thought I better recap 08, before moving on....
Many goals were accomplished, dreams fulfilled, and victories achieved. It started off a little slow though...the purchase of a new house in March of 08, didn't have me flying early in the season. Lots of flat tires didn't help the mental attitude. Midway through the mtb season I gave up on the dream and switched focus to another dream of cyclocross and competing in the motherland. I have been racing cross since 97, but many times on a mountain bike. I have always loved the short intense effort. So being mentally fresh at the beginning of cross season was huge. I traveled to MI for the double cross and landed my first UCI podium on the second day. From their things snowballed into an opportunity to race in Europe, a long time goal. With some forced rest in the middle of cross season I was fresh enough in Europe to have solid results and earn a spot on the WORLDS Team. This of course was the highlight of my season and I would love to go back and do it again with my gained experience.
I am so lucky to have the sponsors I do, and to have all the people who supported me with donations for my Euro Cross experience. I ended up spending about $1700 of my own money to make it 2X to Europe! Without everyone's support it would have been way more expensive and I would not have been able to do it....now I'll have it with me forever so thanks again for a great 2008 season! Looking forward to '09
I bailed out of going to Eagle River because the rain that turned to ice last Thursday night / Friday morning. Figured it would be best to stay home, do the breakfast ride, and some home improvement projects. I didn't want to go up to the anvil trails and bail out on my skis and re-injure the finger that I broke. Andrea bailed out 2 times on the breakfast ride! I didn't bail at all. I was riding the old Merlin! I think I could hop on that thing and do a World Cup MTB race I'm so comfortable with the geometry!
After the ride Saturday morning we decided to have some real fun and scrape layers and layers of what is most likely lead based paint from our register covers! It was almost as fun as scraping the tile & tar off of the hardwood floor in the bathroom. 3 down 3 to go....then we have to paint, sand the molding and mitre the quarter round. We also did a few other energy saving home improvement projects over the weekend. Easiest of which was insulating the hot water heater and pipes which rest on our frigid basement. We walked through Home Depot Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. Everyday we came up with 10 more projects that needed to be done!
On a good note official training for the 2009 season started today! Therefore home improvement projects must stop! I always start official training with a recovery day! So this morning was Yoga and a few push-ups and sit-ups. I'm happy my home improvement project season was a short one this year. This year I am taking less time off the bike than in the last 6 seasons....we'll see what happens.
I don't have my mountain bikes and road bike yet this season as I am waiting for a few sponsorhip deals to click. So the riding will be on the Merlin for a while. I would ride the Blue cross bikes, but have a hard time justifying riding a full Dura-Ace bike with Easton tubulars in the middle of snow storm through 2 inches of salt on the roads.
I am going to be hosting an end of season re-cap / beer drinking festival at the Highland House in Sheboygan this Thursday Night at 5:30pm. All are welcome, I will show a few photos from the European cross scene and maybe share a few secrets & sacrifices, a few stories, answer a few q's, and say a few thank you's to all who donated and my sponsors.