Monday, October 22, 2012

From Hawaii to Hypothermia and back

Saturday morning Farmers Market followed by a 2.5 hour jam session on the bike.  Saturday 2:30 PM driving 2.5 hours to Stevens Point to the WORS banquet.  Back home at 1am.  Up at 7am and driving again to Sun Prairie for a Cyclocross clinic and a race.  Back home 12 hours later.  Funny how that is my relaxing weekend at home.  Racing, not sleeping enough and in the car 9+ hours.

I guess the previous 2 months were pretty chaotic if that seems like a chill relaxing at home weekend.  I'm not complaining though...I was having a blast!  The day after Gloucester I was flying home and the next morning I was up at 4am driving back to the MKE airport and headed towards Hawaii!  A nice break after the first 1/3 of the crosss season.

I hadn't seen my brother in 3+ years and he lives in Waikiki.  After some serious airplane time we arrived at went to the sweetest hole in the wall cabana style restaurant.  I had to go for some sushi right away and it didn't dissapoint.  For the next 4 days Andrea and I hung out with my parents and my brother and his wife hitting up lots of good restaurants, hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and for some real excitement we even got to interact with the Hawaii 5.0.

My parents left on Saturday and then Andrea and I went to the North Shore to explore a different part of the island for another 2 days.  Another hike, some shrimp trucks, a guided mtb tour(4 miles in 4 hours...ouch) and some surf spectating.  It all went pretty fast though and before I knew it we were on our way back home.

2 days later I had to make the mental switch from beach bum to USGP pro CX racer.  If you saw the results  you know I didn't make the switch.  I did everything possible to try to be prepared, but there is no way that after 8 days off the bike and a red-eye home from Hawaii that you can be ready to race a USGP.  I struggled bad on the first day.  The second day felt pretty similar until I had 2 laps under my belt.  Then I started going again.

The break hurt me for Ft. Collins, but I think it will be a good things in the last part of the season.  I came home from CO with motivation.  The weather in Sheboygan was crap.  I rode 3.5 hours Wed and then another 3.5 Thursday in 45 degrees and rain, my hands froze, my feet hurt and I knew I wasn't in Hawaii anymore.

Yesterday's race was pretty darn nice.  A perfect fall day and my first CX victory of the year.  My legs are coming back around and after another 10 days at home I should be ready for the next big push.

Monday, October 01, 2012

New England Cross

Just home from a successful trip to the East Coast.  I was born in Boston so its always cool to go back and check it out a bit.  Gloucester has to be one of the best longest running cross races in the US and I was happy to go out and do battle this year.

With the extra support from all my great sponsors I was able to travel to this race like a true pro.  My bikes and gear was loaded up Wed and my new mechanic Krazy Karl (also our mechanic for two 24 hour natinoal championship mtb victories) made the long drive out.  He picked me up Friday at the Boston airport and an hour later we were checking into the Inn Magnolia right on the Ocean.  Total New England style complete with a Dunkin Donuts right across the street.

It was so nice to be able to cruise to the airport, go through check in, and cruise off the plane without worrying about checked luggage our bikes.  This time I really lucked out.  I feel very fortunate, but I also feel like a lot of hard work has been done the last few years and it is rewarding to get the first class treatment.  At the race we were styling underneath a 8' x 8' Bontrager pop up tent and the bikes were shining after every lap thanks to Pro Gold Blast Off degreaser and lube.

We found a pretty cool restaraunt to calorie load in the night before the race.  The Cape Anne Brewery makes a mean burger!

Saturday I finished 9th another solid day for a C1 race.  After Madison I had a cold and was lucky to kick it quickly enough to come back and race fast.  I had a great start which helped a ton, but the lack of riding while fighting the cold had my legs not quite as sharp as the week prior.  One of these races I'll have great legs and a great start!

Day 2 was the first test in the mud.  My biggest problem was my brake pads.  One bike was great, the other not so great.  I started on the bike that was not so great and I lost a lot of time on the first 1.5 laps before I made it through the pits.  Good news though is once I got going I made up some serious ground.  From the 30's up to a 14th place finish.  Karl and I made some good progress working together and I know my fitness is there.

Time for a break after 8 weekends in a row of racing...