Monday, March 29, 2010

Stealth Bike

Had a good looking bike in my shop this evening. A Cervelo Soloist in anodized black. Whole thing is either anodized alu black or 3k carbon.

This black beauty belongs to my buddy JR. He's a top level amateur triathlete in my area, and a good friend.

So this evening I took some time to trim the steerer down. I also trued up his wheels and adjusted the brakes........ Last year, I installed some KCNC brakes, a KCNC cassette and the Neuvation tubular carbon wheels. A very nice setup.

Anyway, I think its a good lookin ride.....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Double Competition Day....

I started racing in 1991. First on mountainbikes, then on the road, and finally cyclocross as well. I even did some duathlons back then, but usually I stuck to the riding portion and let someone else cover the run. When it really comes down to it, I hate running.

I understand why people enjoy it. They get the same feeling from it that a cyclist gets from riding his or her bike. However, I don't personally get that feeling when running - really I usually only feel pain.

So this weekend, I did two events, and amazingly they both include both running and cycling - The 2010 Wolfman Duathlon and the Tour De Cross #4.

For the Wolfman, my goal was to beat my run time from last year. While I really did poorly in the event, I did manage to beat last year's run time of 36 mins. I'm guessing I ran it in approx 31 mins. I really enjoyed the finish, as the entire team ran on to the course to finish with me. Very cool.

I was really proud of the team as we won approx 25% of the hardware - 3 category wins and one 2nd place for the mixed pair trophy.

After going home, getting some lunch and some dry clothes, I headed to Olive Branch for the last race of the Tour De Cross Cyclocross series.

I was tired when I got there, but I really did not realize how tired I was. Spectators told me that both myself and Billy W. (the other guy who did both events) went from blazing fast at the start to an absolute crawl at the first barrier. I finished the race and only managed to go over the bars one time.......

The series was really enjoyable! I hope more people come out to race it in the future editions. My dismount and remount skills increased substantially. My fitness increased somewhat. Mostly I had a good time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tour De Cross Race #3 - Real Cross Weather!

The Tour De Cross #3 Cyclocross race was today. This race series has been at an unusual time of the year for cyclocross, and as a result, we've had some unusual cyclocross weather.......

First race was warm and dry. Warm might not go far enough.... Rarely have I had sweat pour from my brain bucket after a cross race, but at that one, I did......

Second race was relatively warm, and only a little muddy. Kinda like an early season race.

Third race was real cyclocross racing..... We took the start line with the rain having just stopped. The temperature was a whopping 40 degrees..... and the course was an absolute swamp!
This really seemed more like a classic cyclocross race. Corners were sketchy, water standing all over the place. On the first lap (right after this picture was taken), I managed to take that little near 180 turn and lay it down. The following roll in the mud, or maybe it was a slide, really took the piss out of me. At that point, I realized quickly I'd take nothing but DFL, so I backed it down one notch and simply finished the race.

Is there anything wrong with that? Yeah, I did not kill myself out there. But then again, there were 5 people in the race, and I was in fifth. Maybe that really was not the way 'cross should be ridden, but today I guess I did not have much more than that in me.

I started the race without any 'cross in my tank, and very little cyclo. By the end, I was empty on both counts.

Next week is going to be a real tough one - a duathlon in the morning and a 'cross race in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tour De Cross Race # 2

What amazes me more about European cyclocross races is not that they race in the conditions they race, it is that the fans come out in those conditions. Frankly, 'cross is about mud and cold for the riders. But the fans standing in the mud and the cold still blows me away.

Today, we took on the wet and the rain and the mud in the Tour De Cross race #2. Brian the organizer had re-organized the course to be even more interesting than last time. Lap times during the first race were in the 3 minute range, whereas the laps in this race were in the 5 minute range to start, and came down to the 4 minute range by the end.

For me, I found that I'm really starting to get my mounts/dismounts down. I'm no Nys or Stybar, but I definitely have improved my technique significantly. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about my fitness.... I'm still an overweight backmarker.....

Again, this race was really a lot of fun. I stink at cross, but I love it all the same.

I'm looking forward to next week's race!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tour De Cross Race #1

Well, I missed most of the 09-10 cyclocross season...... All my intents and preparations (which were not really that much) were swept away last fall as I headed to work overseas for a long work trip. My hope was/is that the trip would be good for my career. That remains to be seen, but I know I benefitted from it.....

Back to cyclocross, I really wanted to get in a few races this season. The truth is that I'm a pretty bad cyclocross racer. While I was a 'cross a holic way before it was something popular in the US, I'm still an overweight, undertrained rider.

While I felt like my mounts/dismounts were finally starting to come around at the Mid-South championships, I still took nearly DFL.....

Fast forward to today, and I finally got to get out and race some 'cross. A good guy named Brian is putting on a full 4 race series this spring and the first race was a lot of fun. Five riders made up the entire field, but the course was certainly challenging, if a little unusual.

The course itself was 1/2 mile long and involved countless 180's, and eleven barriers --- ELEVEN Barriers!!!!!!

I got a killer start and beat everyone pretty strongly out of the gate, but that was extremely short lived.... I continued on and dismounted for every barrier. Soon thereafter, someone knocked the cross-tie barriers 90 degrees over, which made them just low enough to hop instead of dismount. OK, it made four of the eleven hoppable.

With hopping the barriers, I began to pull away again a little from my buddy Matt who was about to lap me on his first ever bike race - Someone please remind me to get my less in-shape friends involved in cycling instead of the thin muscled friends with 40 bpm resting heart rates.

In the end, I put on 16 or so laps and had a lot of fun. I took 4th place and lapped the 5th place rider 3 times.