Monday, November 30, 2009

Jingle Rockin' Good Time

How do I walk away of 3 days of running through ankle deep mud in 40 degree, temperatures, with full body aches, but still have a smile on my face???

I think stuff like this helps....

Anyway Day 3 of Jingle Cross was another battle between the midwest guys. This time it was Marko, Tristan, Dave H. and Jake Wells, all battling for the 3rd spot on the podium. There was a slight chance 2nd place was coming back to us, but his effort during the first 1/4 of the race was too big to bring back.....

One of my favorite parts of Jingle Cross is the huge variations in minute your are suffering like a dog going 2 mph up Mt. Krumpit....the next you aer closing a gap at 30+ mph down the start stretch....ouch

Ended up 5th on the day and was pretty happy. All of us were pretty strong in the chase group, and Marko earned his Podium spot for sure.

All in all Jingle Cross has been the best weekend of cross season so far this season...and for one reason(not the bikini race)....the Superfans....It truly sounded like Belgium at the top of Mt. Krumpit!!!!! Huge props to the Jingle Cross Rock crew for rounding up the racous spectators.(no spectators in the photo because we weren't even close to the was a long brutally hard run up)

Another huge THANKS goes out to Mike and the MY WIFE INC team for being the best pit crew of the season and keeping the Norcross' looking clean!!!! Thanks team.

Now it's time to rest up.....and get ready for Euroland! It's going to be an expensive trip , so I'm gathering up some goodies and going to get an ebay auction going. The Matter Supporter Gear Grinder T's are almost ready. I also have a couple bikes for sale. Or if your just having a great day and feeling generous, I am excepting donations via paypal(upper right corner of blog!)

Thanks again for reading.....stay tuned for some Belgian style preparation w/ a Sheboygan twist!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jingle Cross Day 2

Much better today....didn't get the holeshot and I think I had a little more gas on the brutal run up on lap 1.....ended up in the chase group with Tristan, and Marko.....half way through the race we caught Ryan Iddings and the battle for the top 5 was on.

Marko crashed with 3 laps to go descending Mt. Krumpit.....Tristan started killing it with 2 to go and all I could do was hang on....stayed in good position and rode smooth lines....on the last lap we were dropping Iddings as Marko was quickly closing the gap. Marko ran out of time in catching us even though he got pretty close....Tristan finished 2nd and I was 3rd.

Happy to be on the UCI podium for the 2nd weekend in a row.

Photos soon...

Friday, November 27, 2009

T-Day & Jingle Cross

I'm a travelin' again....after a little bout with food poisoning at Mom and Dad's (barfing and the shits for about 12 hours) I headed back home Wed just in time for Chicago rush hour traffic jam.

Thursday was a good day watching the Packers win and having a good dinner with Andrea and her family.

Friday was on the road again down to Jingle Cross....if you live in the midwest and want to watch a good cross race this is the one! Tons of Superfans.....and tonight we raced under lights. Unfortunately things weren't going my way...a crash on the descent and some cramping in the hammies.....but I got the holeshot! I think I finished 8th or 9th...ouch...not what I was hoping for....that's why there is always tomorrow in bike until then time to go clean mud off my bikes and do some hotel room laundry....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Belgium here I come!

I'm going back to Belgium! I wonder how many Ham & Cheese Sandwiches I'm going to eat this year? I'll try to get a Ham & Cheese meter going on the blog! I am pumped to be going back again and can't wait to be heckled by the Belgie superfans!

I don't have dates or plane tickets nailed down quite yet, but it'll roughly be 2 weeks and 6-8 races. You can check out the schedule at

Team Gear Grinder is working on some new and improved Matter Supporter T-Shirts and planning a huge cyclocross party fundraiser on the weekend prior to departure.

I wonder if it's going to be muddy over there this year, or if we are going to be racing on frozen ground....either way I'm ready to rock!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Day 2 of the NCCX was a whole new ball game. After some killer mexican food with team Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and a little college football Saturday night I was ready for day 2 Sunday in NC. With rain in the forecast I was ready to swap over to the EC90 Aeros and get the Norcross a little dirty!

We arrived to the race 2 hours prior to start and I was able to get 2 full laps on the course before the women raced(props to team Planet Bike for crushing the womens field both days). This was key in dialing in tire pressure and finding the good lines, before the course was completely destroyed from the constant 40 degree rain. I spent a good amount of time on the trainer and did one more recon lap just after the womens race. A quick change into a fresh (dry)Gear Grinder skinsuit, socks, shoes, and gloves kept me nice and warm during the calls ups.

We started and Frattini got the holeshot, but I passed hime before the first off camber muddy corner. Shriver and Jake Wells soon made there way up and Shriver was once again drilling the end of lap one there was a bobble at the top of the wall and Frattini had a gap. Shriver jumped, but didn't have the legs to go across. Jake and I soon reeled him in and by the end of lap 2 had gapped him. Frattini was 10 seconds up as Jake and I attacked each other/worked together for the next 4 laps. With 3 laps to go my hands and feet started losing sensations, but we were in a heated battle and I knew if Frattini had one bobble we would be racing for top spot on the podium. With 2 to go I almost lost it on an easy corner and Jake hurt me a little, but I bridged on the wooded climb.
I noticed I was riding the off camber section a little fast than him so on the last lap I made sure I led through that section and into the wall. I relly let it rip figuring if I crash I'm still on the podium, but if I nail the line I get 2nd. I nailed it.... After the race it was a little rough, but I survived and I'm now in Athens, OH with Mom and Dad all cleaned up...
The Blue's rode awesome in the mud and the new geometry is amazing for handling in the greasy conditions. It might have a little something to do with the super stiff Eastons too....or maybe the Rhynos with the perfect tire pressure.....either way the motivation is growing for the remainder of the cross season!

Thanks to all who cheered in the rain and thanks to the NCCX crew for putting on a great race.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

North Carolina Podium

After a great visit with Grandma and one last stop to check out Jamestown and the history of John Smith and Pocahontas it was time to head south to the UCI in North Carolina.

A short race report goes like this....

Took the holeshot(that's my shadow)! After a few laps the lead group of 4 was formed. Frattini, Shriver, J. Wells, and myself. We all tried a little something, but nothing was going early on. The course was awesome, but overall very fast! With 2 to go Shriver countered Frattini move and mad the race. Shriver was opening the gap while Jake and I were playing a little cat and mouse and trying to catch Frattini. The gap was only 10 seconds but we couldn't close.

With 1k to go I attacked and got a small gap....up the last steep climb I still had a few seconds and then Jake rolled a tire and I cruised in 4 or 5 seconds behind Frattini for 3rd!

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow so that might shake some things up.... until tomorrow

ps... Huge thanks to Janet and the NCCX crew for the host housing and the great race!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Colonial Williamsburg

Made the drive to Williamsburg VA after the subpar performance in New Jersey on day 2.

Long story short I rode the first 3/4 of the race in 45th position with 10psi too much in my tires....let some air out with 4 laps to go and finished 27th...

After the race it was back to Brooklyn for Sunday night football and some homemade Indian food....mmmmm

Monday morning we were on the road again heading down the east coast to visit my Grandma...I haven't been to her house in a long time....I spent an entire month here when I was 10 and it was awesome!

We spent the day in Colonial Williamsburg brushing up on the history of the good ol' USA! I think tomorrow we will go check out Jamestown and the Nina Pinta and Santa Maria...

Some photos from the old days.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dirty Jersey

Quick update from Mercer Cup USGP...

I was feeling pretty blown out and not motivated after 2 days in the car. Luckily I started feeling much better a lap into the race. I started in the middle of the 3rd row and was pretty far back after lap 1. I started to find my legs on the 2nd lap and started passing guys. I was riding with Carl Decker again, and Adam Craig. Bikes were weighing in at 30+ lbs after a half lap of mud and grass. Luckily Andrea was in the pits for me killing it....

Long story short I finished up 18th behind Decker and ahead just ahead of Marko. I found a little motivation though and think tomorrow will go much better...

until's time for some nutella and oats

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Iceman (until next year)

That was the fireworks on the last climb.......

Now its time to load up the Hyundai again, hit the east coast, race some cross, and visit some family...stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Iceman (the bike)

A huge thanks goes out to the fellas at Trek and my good buddy JR for letting me use the dream bike set up for Iceman.

I rocked a 2010 Elite 9.9. It was without a doubt the fastest, stiffest, and lightest bike I have ever ridden. I didn't officially weight the bike, but I'm guessing in the 16lb range as it was only slightly heavier than my cross bikes.
I opted for a fully rigid 26 inch race bike. Bontrager X Lite Switchblade Fork & X Lite wheels with Bontrager XR1 tires. Bontrager XR1 tires where the only tire on the mens podium at the Iceman!
A XTR drivetrain and of course 4ti Crank Brothers pedals were being pushed on by some super light weight Pearl Izumi shoes....
The Bell Volt helmet along with the Oakley Radars w/ Photochromic lens kept my eyes and head straight in the blinding setting sunshine.
All and all it was a pretty sweet set up and I wouldn't change a thing if i had to do it all over.....except I would win of course!

Monday, November 09, 2009


What a weekend! Iceman has to be my favorite stop of the Triple Crown....the most Superfans, the fastest racing, and the toughest competition. This was my 15th Iceman!

We started off as we always do loading up the Hyundai friday morning for the long drive up and over Lake Michigan. We picked up Tristan and were on the road earlier than last year...right? Every year we leave earlier, but for some reason it always gets dark before we finish our warm up ride. The bike was great, the trail was in top notch condition, and I was ready to rock....

We hit registration, saw old friends, had some dinner, and finished off the night with a little ice cream with my dad.

Saturday morning was a little breakfast and then a short drive to Kalkaska in the afternoon for the race. It must have been the warmest Iceman to date....

The call up was odd as a bunch of roadies were called to the line and the US National MTB Champ was not....

The start was smooth for me at the front of the race, but someone went down and the not so good noise of metal and carbon scraping against the concrete, along with tires exploding, had me happy I was at the front. I filed into the woods in about 5th wheel.

Tristan made the first move after Simonson was pulling...I sat up and started blocking...midwest on the was fun....

A couple miles later after the Tornado singltrack Tristan and JHK took 2 hard pulls and the gap opened. The 2009 Iceman was down to 6 men. JHK, Sam, Carl Dekker, Mike A, Tristan, and Myself. I attacked multiple times only to be marked by the duo on the 29ers. I gave it one really hard effort just before the Vasa Trail, but JHK shut me down. I was starting to feel the efforts, the pace was slowing and I think all 6 of us were hurting....

With 3 miles to go I started to get the twinges in the right quad. Not good....
I positioned myself good up the Ice Breaker climb and was stuck like glue on JHK's wheel. He gapped me by 1 second out of the final singletrack and had a little more punch up the wood chip climb. Sam caught me by the top jumped in front of me and opened up the gap. Once he started ramping it up again there was no way I was coming around him through the campground maze.

I'm a little bummed to lose out on the double triple, but I raced aggressive and only missed out by 12 seconds. But, at the same time this is my 4th podium in a row at the Iceman...and 2 outta 3 ain't bad. JHK said it best, "I just wanted to make sure you were the only "one" to ever win the triple crown!"

Andrea capped off an awesome season with a 16th in the pro womens race....I think the womens field was even deeper than the mens. She was really strong the entire season and I'm really proud of her...I think shes going to come back even stronger next year.

The best part of the Iceman is always seeing the old familiar faces...after the race I hung with Mesko, Precthl, Buermans, my old soccer coach Dennis Massey, Bernie Smith gave me a newpaper clipping from many stories, so many good memories.....

Thanks to all who have supported along the way...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Iceman (quick)

A quick update before this mornings Omlette run....

3rd place yesterday. It's hard to race the Iceman with a big X on your back....especially when its the dude in the stars and stripes chasing down evey attempt you make.

JHK 1st
Sam Schultz
Carl Decker
Mike Anderson

Andrea finished 16th in the toughest midwest field of the year.

All in all a sweet weekend though hanging with the ol' MI homies....full update later