Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Boulder CX

So I mention perfect weather and then this happens!  Andrea just got home from her ride and its now pouring down rain and maybe just on the plus side of 50 degrees.

Luckily for me I just got home from the Boulder UCI CX weekend and I'm pretty tired from pulling an all night drive across I-80 and I'm not riding today.  Maybe just some yoga, some tea, and some Red Bull Rampage!  WOW - those guys are crazy.

So yeah, time to reflect on the first UCI cross weekend of the year.  Chloe had just stayed at our house for the Sheboygan WORS race and offered to return the favor and let me crash at her parents.  Billy Jones had offered the space in the Sprinter van for bikes to drive out and me to drive back.  So a one way ticket was all it took.  Karl was pumped to lend a hand, get out of town and tag teamed the weekend with Mike Teff who was wrenching for the contingent of juniors who were out representing the ISCorp-Intelligentsia Team.

It was the first time I had been back to Boulder since Andrea and I lived in Niwot for a short 3 or 4 month spell back in 2002.  It was pretty much how I remembered it, but a lot more developed.

I was so stoked for Chloe - 2nd both days racing for Amy D!

Day One's race was out at the Boulder Reservoir where I remember racing back in 02.  The race course was a little different, but we still got to do same time on the sandy beach as well as plenty of corners.  I had a pretty good start, but was not nearly aggressive enough thru the first 4 corners.  At the same time if you were aggressive you were likely to crash on the loose pea gravel over hard pack terrain.  I eventually settled in a group that was racing for 16th place, but with 3 riders just in front of us 13th was within grasp.  I finished 19th....not very exciting.

Day 2 - I was ready to give it a little more gas.  I went out for a morning spin to loosen the legs and preview the course at Valmont.  Pretty technical and definitely no hiding or drafting like the day before.  I had another great start, but wasn't aggressive enough again.  I also really struggled at the 5-10 minute mark in the race which didn't really allow me to latch on to the back of the group.  Again I found myself racing around 16th - 17th position with a group of 3 which included Tristan just a few seconds up.  For a few laps I was close to bridging, but just didn't have that extra 2%.  I finished 17th..slightly better but nowhere near what I'm capable of...the last lap was a little exciting battling with 3 others and trying to sprint with a bunch of fish net in my cassette???  Hope that stuffs not a factor in Jan at Nationals.

I was finally feeling comfy on the bikes and was starting to have fun ripping the corners.  I loved the disc brakes....so much confidence and reliability especially on the steep descents of the Valmont course.  The new HED wheels were solid...With a little more time on the bikes and some quality training at home from now until Louisville I think I'll be back in the top 10 soon!

The drive home was brutal....straight from the race course to the back of the sprinter van.  Thru the middle of the night.  17 hours later and I was totally wasted and back in Sheboygan.

Always good to see first light after driving thru the night.

Best Time of The Year

I love riding in the fall.  I love racing in the fall.  Leaves changing colors, the smells, the sights, and the perfect temps....you really can't beat it....

Baggies = FUN at Cascade Mtn
So after China I needed a break.  I took the week off of the bike, but couldn't pass up the WORS race.  I really wanted to go just to support Andrea, but the weather was perfect and I figured it wouldn't hurt to check out the new race course.  I didn't really race, but just went out and had some fun on my bike!

After the Cascade WORS race I was feeling refreshed and ready to log some miles, but I couldn't get it out of my head that some of the best MTB time was right NOW!  So I went north to the UP and pedaled around with some TREK guys.  It was a blast.  We ripped a Tues Night ride on the South Trails(one mandatory night ride per year!).  Wed I think I put in 9 hours of chamois time!  Testing bikes, hitting jumps, and best of all got a secret tour of the North Shore MQT Trails which I had heard so much about thanks to Phil and Cooper.  It was so much fun...so much in fact that even a day after 5-6 hours of pedal time I still had enough gas for one more guided tour of all the best and brand new stuff in Ishpeming.  It was truly a great 3 days on the bike in the UP!

View from the top of MQT Mountain

A day of rest and then a weekend of racing.  First up was Saturday on the cross bikes with the MWI crew down in MKE.  Racing for cupcakes is always fun!  Just before the race the skies opened up and we had the first muddy cross race of the season.  Tristan smoked me....I need to get my cross fit dialed and more time on my bikes.

First muddy cross race of the year!

Log Jump in Sheboygan

Sunday was the Sheboygan WORS race.  I haven't done the race in a long time.  Maybe 5 or 6 years.  It was pretty sweet to go and race in front of the home crowd!  Cole and I had an awesome battle, probably the best of the year.  On the last lap I think we had something like 4 lead changes.  There was mud, wet roots, singletrack...all what a hard MTB should be like....in the end Cole beat me, but definitely one of the best races of the year.

Andrea finished the year on a high note and was 3rd and an impressive 4th at the Sheboygan race with stiff competition.  She was 4th in the series.  Very Proud Husband!  I finished up the WORS series in 2nd.

Andrea killed it all season long!

Thanks to XTR Photo for all the great shots throughout the season!