Monday, December 23, 2013

Carolina Dreamin'

NCCX is definitely one of my favorite trips of the year.  Its always a good excuse to make a trip to Athens and visit mom and dad, its an awesome drive thru the mountains of VA and TN, and the racing is top notch...even more so this year.

The last couple of years there has only been a handful of fast guys showing up in Hendersonville.  Shriver, Frattini, Berden, myself, and Kerry Werner...this year the level of competition increased quite a bit.

I still managed a number 8 call up both days and it was pretty nice to be in the front row.  With a fast up hill paved start followed by 3 or 4 muddy off camber sections and some tricky U turns it was important to get out early and avoid the carnage.

 Day 1 was a wet and cold battle.  The entire race I was following between 5-10 seconds behind Zach McD and we were slowly moving up.  By the last lap we had caught Yannick and were within striking distance of Kerry W in 4th position, but my buddy was shutting down.  It seemed my feet and hands were blocks of ice.  At the 1:00 mark we still had a lap to go and it was that extra 10 minutes that put me over the top.  I yelled for mom to turn the heat on in the car as I went out for my last lap.  I finished up pre-hypothermic and experienced the shakes for about 15 minutes while my core temps tried to increase.  Problem was at the same time my core was warming so was the embro on my legs and I started to get that uncomfortable warm feeling.  Soon it felt as if somebody was holding a match to my was classically painful.  I finished 7th.  Huge thanks to Andy Swartz for ruling the pits for me.  He jumped in head first and it was like we had been working together for years.  Wouldn't have been able to finish without him.

Day 2 - I was fatigued...the course was getting heavy.  Not nearly as wet as the day before, but after staying up till midnight working on bikes I was not feeling rested.  Instead of proper warm up I was searching for help in the pits knowing again it would be a day that disc brakes pads would go fast.
Luckily a Cane Creek employee jumped in and saved the day.  A slow start due to lack of warm up but then after a few adjustments I started going forward.  The gaps were huge but by the end of the race 8th - 11th position were in a tight battle.  I ended up 10th.

That pretty much wrapped up my CX season.  With extreme conditions in WI making training unbearable, lots of travel time coming up for the holidays and an early start to my season I have called it a year.

After NC I traveled back to Athens, home, and now I'm back in Athens again for Christmas.  Next stop Tucson!  Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Been a little while since I've updated the blog.  Its been cold!  Too cold to blog?  Not really, but I'll go with that excuse for now.  I'm currently in Athens, OH at Mom and Dad's house half way down to the NCCX.

I'm pretty pumped because its twice as warm here as in Sheboygan.  Its 4 home and 11 here!  Woohoo.   Needless to say I'm getting pretty excited to be headed to Tucson soon.  The race in Hendersonville will be the last of the 2013 season....unless I just happen to squeeze in one more in Chicago on the 21st of Dec.

2 mile run!
First though...a recap of a bunch of local races.  It started with the Turkey Trot!  A few days after Jingle Cross and I was pretty smashed still.  Very little motivation to go training in frigid temps.  So I laced up the tennies at went for a 1.25 miles run.  Figured if I could do that I could do the Turkey Trot!  Mission Accomplished!  2 miles in and feeling good about eating lots of food and watching football the rest of the day!  Too bad the Packers stunk.  I finished up the day with a sweet night ride 'The Turkey Hurl' in super slippery conditions working on the skills.

By the time Saturday rolled around I got motivated!  Who knows why but I went with it....3 hours of jamming all within 4 miles of home?  Again who knows why?  But it was fun...

After watching the video again I realized that it was Saturdays morning viewing of the Koksijde WC that got me motivated!

Sunday I did the first of three local races.  Isaac Neff proceeded to smash me at the Booty Cross in Madison, maybe I was tired from the 3 hour jam session, maybe I wasn't 100% motivated, but it didn't really make a difference.  Even if I was on my A game the day belonged to Isaac.
Norge Ski Jump in Background

The next weekend was the Norge CX down in IL.  What an awesome course!  It was a little warmer too which helped.  Technical, Off-Camber, with some good climbs and some good descents.  Reminded me of a course you would find in Belgium.  I scored the W.

The motivation from the W set me up for one good training day and just enough fitness to grab a little revenge.  Isaac and I battled it out again at the State CX Championship this past weekend in brutally cold conditions and with 1/4 lap to go I attacked him on an off camber descent just before a tricky corner and the only climb on the course.  It was just enough to get a 2 seconds gap and hold it till the finish.  I think it was my first State CX title in WI!
Early in the race trading pulls with Isaac.  Must have been the bikes!