Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's a tangled web we weave, (pause) Corey.

Well, I didn't pull off the double, but I'm still happy with today's race. I had a horrible starting position. Last row on a narrow fast uphill start. When we got to the bottleneck when the path left the cement and hit a sharp "S" curve, I honestly think I could have stopped and drank a cup of coffee waiting for everyone in front of me to get through. I started moving up quickly after the first lap. I caught and passed Bryce, a kid I know from collegiate racing, and then crashed right in front of him going into a loose sharp right hand corner. He rode over my bike, but I hopped right up and got back on his wheel. I ended up passing him and moving up farther and farther until I settled into about 11th position. I passed one guy through the feed zone, and then on the last lap I passed an Al's Barbershop rider and moved up into 9th. I was chasing another Al's rider and thought I could get him before the finish, but I guess I let it all hang out, a little too far. I lost it in a right handed bend and slid on my left leg and knee right back into 10th position.

I still thought I had a chance to get back into at least 9th if not up into 8th, so I tried not to let the crash get to me, and I hammered out the rest of the lap, only to lose it in one of the last sharp corners. This time I knocked my rear wheel hard enough that it was like riding with my rear brake completely squeezed, and my handlebars were at at least a 45 degree angle to straight. I limped it in and got passed by the guy I'd passed in the feed zone to finish in 11th. I went into the race hoping for a top 15 finish and I guess I accomplished that, but the top 10 was so close that I can't help but wish I'd have at least held onto the 9th that I was sitting in. Oh well, that's racing, right? I took a chance and it didn't pay off. A very very wise man once told me, "It's a tangled web we weave, Corey, you have to be willing to risk losing in order to win." I guess in the battle for top ten, I risked losing and I lost. Overall I'm very pleased with how the upgrade went. I really feel like this is where I should be racing, and I have plenty of room for improvement.

Once again I had an amazing photographer making sure I had plenty of images of myself to sit here and look at all night. Carly Simon would be proud. It's a rough life handing up bottles and taking pictures, so I think this burger was well deserved.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

See, I don't lose ALL the time.

I won today! It had been a long while since I've pulled off a "W" and let me tell you, it felt good. I'm going to make the leap tomorrow from Cat. 4 to Cat. 3, so we'll see if the success continues. I'd like to formally thank Mr. Scott Louis Wenzel for his 4 weekends of selfless soigneur work. It makes a huge difference to have someone to keep me company, hand up bottles, make sure my spare wheels make it to the pits, and most importantly provide me with plenty of pictures and videos.

Also, thanks to Chris Lighthiser for making it out to see the race today. I won a truing stand at a collegiate mountain bike race once, and sold it on eBay for like 60 bucks, but next to that, today's race had the biggest payout I've ever gotten. I ended up leaving with 24 bottles of Great Divide Brewery beer. I sent Chris home with a 6 pack and donated the rest to the folks at the bike shop. I hope everyone enjoys. We'll see how tomorrow goes, I'll try to update after tomorrow's race and let everyone know how it went. Mike and Jen are coming to watch, so hopefully I can put on a good show.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

End of an era.

One of the best feelings in the world is meeting someone new and making a new friend. Unfortunately, oftentimes we have to say goodbye to these friends, only with friends we usually aren't saying goodbye for good. Right now I feel like I'm saying goodbye to one of the best friends I've had these past three years. This isn't the sort of goodbye that you could substitute with a "see ya later," or "call me when you get a chance." This is more of a "it's been real, have a good one." OK, I'm just selling a bike, but in the past three years we've really been through a lot. This is the first road bike I ever owned, did my first long rides on, entered my first road race, won my first road race, had my first bad crashes, and rode my first century. I commuted, and traveled on this bike. I rode it in Colorado, South Dakota, New Mexico, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. I trained in my dorm, friends apartments, my apartments, my house in South Dakota, my grandparents house, a condo in Vail, even once in my girlfriend's apartment. I've ridden this bike in the sun, in the rain, snow, sleet, hail once or twice, snowy mountain roads, freezing rainy decents, windy smelly roads, and through humidity so high it felt like you'd have to chew the air. On the saddle of this bike I've made friends, lost friends, worked for people, worked for my own cause, attacked pelotons, chased down break-aways, led out teamates, taken leadouts from teamates, watched people break bones, and watched the skin being torn from my own body parts. I slept with the handlebars of this bike a foot from my head, and slept with the bike hanging over my head. I've broken parts, and replaced parts, upgraded parts, and put better colored parts all over it. Tonight (or 7 days from now when the ebay auction ends) I say goodbye to a faithful companion.

OK, enough with the cheesiness. I'm in the process of buying a new frame and fork. I'm not disclosing just what it will be yet, or what it will look like, but I'll keep you all informed and tell you when the time is right. Also, if any of you are in the market for a 56cm Trek 5200 frameset, OCLV 120 frame and OCLV 110 fork with aluminum steerer, check out my link to my ebay auctions. The Chris King headset is not being sold with the bike, but I believe it will also be for sale, so if you're looking for a red 1 1/8" Chris King No-Threadset, I have one for sale. I do have an old Cane Creek S2 headset that I would be willing to include with the bike for an extra 10 bucks. I think that's all for now. Here are some pictures of some of my fonder memories of this bike.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sorry for the hiatus.

I guess I took a week off? I'm back now though. My mom was here all weekend so I wasn't searching for something to do like usual. I'm gonna make this short and sweet. Saturday was Veloswap. I got a hat for free. Sunday was a cross race in Boulder. I got 5th. Note the flipped up visor in the picture. Yesterday I took my mom to the airport, saw the vice presidents motorcade then came home and crashed on the couch. That's all the excitement I've had. Maybe I'll write more later or tomorrow.

P.S. If anyone knows why there was an ambulance with flashing lights in the middle of that motorcade, I'm curious.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The past few days.

Once again it's Monday and I don't feel like I had a weekend. The memorial ride for Noah on Saturday was awesome. Obviously it was a little somber at first, but the mood perked up as the ride went on. There were around 150 people in attendence, and it was quite a site when we rolled out of Boulder in a double paceline that stretched about a block or two. The coolest thing was to see how much RM blue was in attendence and to be able to ride with them at the front. We cruised out HWY 36 from Boulder towards Lyons and the group split with some of the slower riders heading back to RM headquarters and then the rest of us continuing on to HWY 66, and back to Boulder on some of Noah's favorite dirt roads.

Sunday's Cyclocross race was a bust. The course was cool, really fast, almost all on the bike. I was sitting in 3rd after the start through the first run up. Passed one guy over the barriers and hopped back on only to snap my SLR saddle on the remount and finish out the next two laps on the seat rails. I moved between 3rd and 2nd position for the first two laps, only to pass a guy on the inside, lose all traction from my front tire, only to get back on and realize I lost the traction because the tire was going flat. On the long false flat gradual climb to the Start/Finish I realized the rear was flatting too. So... after only two laps I called it quits. I can think of a few ways I would have rather spent $20 and a half tank of gas, but oh well. I made it home in time to go for a ride with Scott.

Today I got a solid 3 hours in on the bike and I felt great. I also managed to wash all my dishes and clean my kitchen. Hopefully tomorrow I'll finish cleaning the place, and get my cross bike running again. I'd like to thank Scott for being a trooper and allowing me to bogart his 42 tooth chainring for the past two weeks. I'll get it back to you tomorrow. It's done a fine job.

That's all for now. No great pictures from the weekend, but if you are all still up for some more reading check out this article about Will Calcote. I ran cross country with Will in middle school, wierd.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Noah Rubright

I went to a funeral today for a fellow Rocky Mount. Noah Rubright died on October 1st while on a vacation in Italy with his wife and friend/teamate Jerome Contro as well as his wife. As far as I know, Noah fell, evidently struck his head, was rushed to surgery, had some complications and died in Rome. I was by no means close friends with Noah, but I have ridden with him a number of times. He gave me the first impression of a very kind, approachable person, and he maintained that same image well. It's quite an eye opener to go to a funeral of someone who seemed like one of the guys, not that I'm ever OK at a funeral, but it's a little easier to grasp the fact that someone's parent or grandparent has died. I haven't been to many funerals, but this is the first time I went because I was a friend or aquaintance of the deceased. I hate the fact that his own parents had to go to their son's funeral. Noah's mother read a religious card that they had found in her father's belongings after he died. Noah had read it at his funeral (Noah's grandpa), then also at her brother's funeral (Noah's uncle). I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to stand up there and speak at one of your children's funerals. I don't think there was a dry eye in the church when she left the pulpit, and listening to Jerome read a statement that Noah's father had written, but didn't think he could read at the service, sent the rest of the church over the edge. Bobby from Rocky Mounts (one of the owners) had a bunch of nice things to say that seemed to lighten the mood a little bit and even got people laughing. I hope at my funeral people are laughing more than they are crying. I've done plenty of dumb stuff that's laugh-worthy thus far, and I'm hoping I'll be around for quite some time, so I'm sure there will be a loooonnggg list of stupid stuff I've done that you can all laugh at. I learned that Noah had an appreciation for everything european and was actually in the process of becoming a CIA operative. Tomorrow there is a memorial ride leaving from the Rocky Mounts headquarters at 10:15am that I will be attending. The ride is supposed to start at 10:00, but the email said it will be leaving about 15 minutes late in honor of Noah's lack of punctuality, looks like we had more in common than I even knew. Well, I guess that's all I have for today. Noah, I hope, as your wife said, you're enjoying driving your Maserati, riding your Colnago, eating fried chicken and chocolate and finally hitting the high notes on your silver trumpet. May the road be smooth, your pedals be light, and the climbs be neverending. I know you will be missed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I have 374 nipples.

I've had a couple of pretty uneventful days. Yesterday Scott and I went and rode Pinewood (a 20 minute climb near Carter Lake). Scott needed to do some testing and I decided I'd just go see how fast I could climb it. I felt pretty good, although I went out a little too hard not knowing what was coming. Oh well, the descent was a blast so we decided to climb it again, although there was no trying to go hard up it again. The second time down was even better. I passed an SUV and hit 80kph somewhere in the process. We were going to do a lap of the Carter Lake race course, but decided against it. I did however climb the backside of Carter Lake and hit 96 kph on the descent. I remembered that was a fast descent, so I wanted to see how fast I could go down it. I haven't climbed a hill just to see how fast I could get going since I put my first computer on my Trek 830 Mt. Track and hit 32 miles per hour going down 23rd street in front of Jon Zachers house, but that had to have been 5th or 6th grade.

Today I rode to the Roubaix, and adjusted my front derailleur, then rode to iBike and oiled my chain. I met Scott there so I followed him home and then we finally went for a ride. I had 25 minutes ride time before I started my ride. We did a little loop ending back at the Breadboard for a cup of coffee. Scott flatted as we were parting ways so I sat around and let him use my pump, but that's the last time. It's time he grow up and find some training tires for the winter because I REFUSE to sit around all day watching him change tubes (although I scored a tube out of the deal last time, maybe I should quit whining?). I headed into the shop tonight to clean my road bike since I've actually been riding it lately and I figured out why that stupid front derailleur wouldn't shift. The housing was exploded into the shifter and for some reason that was affecting the way it functioned. Maybe it's time I put a new cableset on my bike since I now have one red shift housing, one black, and brake housing that was once red, but has now faded to a pinkish color that looks awful. On top of this my bottle cages have faded to a bright orange, and my once red SLR is developing black edges that make it look like garbage. If I ever get the idea to go all out adding a bunch of color to my bike again, it'll be black next time. Oh well, live and learn right? Plus the red housing looked so cool on Saturn's bikes! Ha.

Alright, I need to get to studying rather than rambling on here. If you can't tell there was no point to this update other than to put off reviewing for my Algebra test tomorrow. Wish me luck. Looks like the race this Sunday will be a little less technical. I suppose that's a good and bad thing for me. I'm off to study.

P.S. Only two of them are living.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The storm has passed.

It was raining on Sunday morning when I woke up, and it finally quit sometime last night. It was fun to race cross in the rain, but then it just started getting old. I really wanted to ride yesterday because my legs felt horrible from Sunday, but after stepping outside I decided I didn't want to ride that bad. Luckily today was 100% nicer and other than being a little frigid, it was perfect weather to ride in. I got home from class at 11:30, and took my time getting ready so as you can imagine when Scott got here at 1:00 I had cleaned my glasses and possibly changed socks. He entertained himself on my computer while I got ready and we headed out for the semi-classic GAG (Greeley-Ault-Greeley). It felt great to get out and stretch the legs on the bike.

We stopped briefly in Ault to reminisce past runnings of the event. I like this ride number one because of the breathtaking scenery which is quite obvious in the photo above, but also because the dogs are all nice. They run to the side of the road only to stop and watch you ride by. It's pretty funny, but I don't know that I've ever been chased by a mean dog within a 10k radius of Ault. On the way home we did a little bike lunge as well as flat-land aero tuck practice. After a cup of coffee at the Breadboard and a visit to iBike, we headed our own separate ways and I'm not sure about Scott, but I shivered the 15 blocks across town. Overall the ride was pretty uneventful, but that's OK. I hope everyone else had as great a day as I did. I leave you with a parting shot, and a lesson that you should all take to heart. Even if the weather looks good when you leave, it's always important to prepare for the worst.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The first of many.

I woke up this morning and shortly after found out that it was raining along the front range. I couldn't have been happier since it's my understanding that a cross race just isn't a cross race without crummy weather. As you can tell I was pretty happy. I met Scott Wenzel and Mark Cooper in the International Bike parking lot and we headed off to Boulder. Upon arrival I realized just how tough this race was going to be. The course consisted of about half on sand and the other half mixed between gravel, dirt, and pavement. Since all the sand was along the beach, parts of the course were even muddy and wet.

Overall I liked the way it looked, there was a really long, uphill run-up and that scared me a little, but what can you do? The race started and I instantly found myself in 3rd, then 2nd, and on the second lap I closed the gap to the leader. It was a kid from Durango that I've raced mountain bikes (and road) against since I was a freshman. I've kind've gotten to know him over the years, and we're usually close to the same fitness although I seem to beat him on the road, and he beats me on the dirt. I figured I'd try to play with his head a little so I caught my breath the best I could and in the freshest, non-panting voice I said, "Hey Bryce, how have you been?" He responded a little flustered and I could tell he was breathing hard. I expected him to get nervous, what I didn't expect was for him to pull over at the next dismount and tell me to pass him. I didn't expect him to do this, but I took advantage of the situation. I led for most of that lap, only to get passed on the next lap through the second long sandy part. The sand was really tough for me, but by the end of the race I felt 100% better riding through it than I did the first few laps.

I floundered in the sand the next few laps and lost a couple more positions. A fellow Rocky Mounts racer rode the sand next to me one lap yelling at me telling me what to do and how to handle the sand better. Although I expected this to annoy me in a very extreme way, it didn't, it actually helped me a ton. What did annoy me was him running the run up with me, making me to run it faster. You see sometimes you can only run so fast and I was at that point. By the time I got back on my bike I was totally cross-eye with my tongue hanging out. The run-up was really hard and it got much harder every lap.

By the end, as one of Scott's video's shows, I could barely get my bike over the barrier. I guess the leader of my race got pulled because he was actually a Cat 3 that started with the 4's and didn't know it. He must have felt like a rockstar leading those 3 or 4 laps, only to find out he wasn't in his race. The last two laps things started to click a little in the sand and I made up one position in the final sandpit and held onto it for the finish. Overall to race hurt as bad as anything I've ever done on a bike. I don't know if I should say it hurt worse than anything I've done because I tend to say that every time I finish a race, but it was quite painful, the kind've effort that leaves you feeling queezy for an hour or so afterward. I ended up in 3rd so I shouldn't complain. I was really hoping for a win, but being my first race I still have a lot to learn. I wasted a lot of energy around the course today that I should've put toward riding faster rather than zig-zagging through the sand, or trying not to tip over on my dismounts. Next race will be a different story. I also should've started a little slower, had I hung with the 3 that got kicked out of our race I would've had a solid lead once he was gone. Oh well, you learn something everyday right? That brings me to my next point.

What I learned this weekend:

#1 If you eat 5 clif bars, get on your bike and get sick, it's not because you didn't eat enough, especially if there was some secret Ramen in there earlier in the morning.

#2 Don't offer to drive someone home thinking they'll refuse since it's an hour and a half out of your way, they just may take you up on it.

#3 ALWAYS wear undergarments to the doctor, even if you think you may have to take them off later.

#4 I'm okay with myself being a Hillary Duff fan.

#5 The iPod Nano may be the coolest thing apple has come out with.

#6 When wheelbuilding, if at first you don't succeed, give up, you'll only waste more time and get more frustrated.

#7 Stalkers are more creepy than they are flattering.

#8 Don't jerk the wheel of your car to scare the passengers if they have a higher tolerance for near death experiences than you do.

#9 Cross racing hurts, but it's fun.

#10 All the ducks are swimming in the water. Falda-ralda-ralda falda-ralda-ralda.

P.S. I'd like to personally congratulate Justin Williamson on all he accomplished this weekend. After completing a nearly inhuman feat, he still has the strength to update his site for the first real time since last spring. Thanks Prospect S.D. you're a real inspiration to us all.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Golden Gate Grind

Today was the CU mountain bike race in Golden Gate State Park west of Golden. The festivities started off with a Time Trial at about 10:30am. This equates to about a 7am departure from Greeley which is never fun, but coupled with a 6am wake up call from the driver telling you he won't be attending, the morning started off on the wrong foot. After picking up some much needed coffee and the two passengers in my car (Evan, and Scotty Boy) we headed south to the land of Coor's beer and engineering students. The time trial went off without a hitch, the course was good for me, fairly technical uphill and wide open loose downhill. I felt like there were needles in my lungs the whole time (I later learned this might have had something to do with the 8000 vertical feet that separated me from sea level). Since I was going uphill so slow, I kind've lost motivation for the cross country that was to start as soon as the last riders were done with the TT. Regardless of the way I felt, the race started, and I had no choice but to try and hang with the leaders as long as possible. I hung tight for the first short lap, but as soon as we headed out for the long lap everything went down the toilet. My legs turned off and my lungs almost blew up. I had to walk almost all of the steep technical stuff, and couldn't seem to recover at all. I knew this would pose a problem since the downhill starts with probably the gnarliest stretch I've ever raced. Just as I suspected I entered this section of rocks, roots, strategically placed 2-3 foot stepdowns, and switchbacks with a horrible case of the noodle arms. I couldn't steer my bike for anything, and I think I hit most every rock on the way down. By the time I came out of the really bad stuff I was starting to feel decent, put on a good chase through the whole creekside downhill, and managed to pick off a few of the slower decenders making as big of splashes as possible all the while through the countless creek crossings. I held my place after that and I was super surprised to hear the official say 5th as I crossed the line. I rode into the parking lot amazed only to get knocked totally off my feet when Scott told me I got 2nd in the TT. That's my highest place in any race, of any kind since short track in Nathrop two years ago.

After the race I treated myself to a large Chipotle burrito, a white trash mocha, and entirely too many king sized candy bars. Needless to say I'm starving now and I feel like garbage. I think it's time for a midnight meal and then off to bed. Somehow I need to find racing legs again by tomorrow at 12:25 for the first cross race of my life. I'll be racing Cat 4 since that is what my license says and I'm not feeling too olympic to begin with after today's effort. Scott, Mark, and possibly Mike will be watching the mayhem unfold at the Boulder Res. so hopefully if nothing else we'll have some great race photography for tomorrow's update.

One last note of importance, I recently found out that I am an "Ashlee Owner." Like it or not it's a part of my life, so if anyone knows what can be done to fix this please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks to all you loyal readers, I hope you haven't been sitting there hitting the refresh button for too long waiting for this update.


Friday, October 07, 2005

New York Subway

Shouldn't this guy be a little more concerned? He looks like he's just standing there eating a ham sandwich. I guess I just wouldn't feel too comfortable walking around in plain clothes next to a bunch of guys in haz mat suits.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I hope he doesn't throw too much money at them.

Dutch rider to attempt hour record...without saddle

In the Masochistic Cycling Feats Dept., news has filtered through to us that a 50 year-old Dutchman will attempt to break the World Hour Record for riding without a saddle (or a seatpost). Maas van Beek, a former tandem pilot of Jan Mulder, will attempt to better the mark of 45.848 km set by none other than Fausto Coppi on the track in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, on Saturday, October 8. He's doing it for a good cause: to raise money for the Polar van de Donck foundation, which helps children in Africa who have AIDS.

Van Beek has been averaging 43 km/h during training, and says that it's quite possible to hold a position out of the saddle for three hours, provided the muscles are used to it. He'll be using a bike with a massive 68 x 11 gear and 205 mm cranks, but no particular aerodynamic equipment.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fall is upon us.

Here is a picture from my ride in Nederland last Friday afternoon. It started getting cold finally today. I had a class this morning, but made it home with plenty of time to drink coffee and check my eBay stuff at least 500 times to see if the price had gone up before Scott got here at noon. We screwed around on my computer for a good half hour before we actually headed out on our ride. Scott informed me that the wind was blowing about 10 mph out of the north, but once we got into the country it didn't take long to realize Scott was being a bit optimistic. After mashing granny gears into the wind at 17kph for what seemed like forever, we headed east where I proceded to put the wood to Scott and made him work a little. Once we turned to the south things got real interesting real quick. Evidently we are both capable of catching a little wind because before long we were cruising along at 65kph. I think the tailwind had a little to do with it, but it felt cool. Scott came around me and I had nothing since I was already spinning my 53x12 with all I had. We sat up and spun into Greeley on 18th before making the typical tour of bike shops in town.

I had class tonight and it was as boring as it could possibly have been. Tomorrow is class, a physical, possibly a mountain or cross ride, then more class at 5:15. I kinda like the cold, but I'm going to have to turn my heater on soon. It was freezing in here when I woke up this morning and that makes it really hard to get out of bed. My eBay stuff did sell tonight and I got good money for most of it. A handlebar that I almost threw out when I moved sold for 46 dollars so I can't complain there. Hopefully I got enough to pay for my new cross gear and entries for the rest of the fall. I'm having some trouble finding a 42t chainring so if anyone has any idea where I could get one that would be awesome. (Scott, I know you have one, maybe I could borrow it for a weekened? there could be an incentive involved). I'll leave you with something that kept Scott and I off our bikes for a half hour. It's only a few seconds long but I think I could watch it all day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Things I've Learned This Week 2.

#1 Nederland can be a really long ways away depending on who you're riding with.

#2 Phone card companies lie.

#3 Some people will always put themselves first, others need to learn to do it themselves sometimes.

#4 Michelin tires suck.

#5 It would take approximately 2 afternoons to read all of Dan Schmatz's archives.

#6 Being tired sucks.

#7 Colorado is awesome in the fall.

#8 Kayaks aren't made for people with arms my size.

#9 Don't agree to buy something without first discussing price, at least don't wait 6 months to talk money.

#10 Fried chicken and mountain biking don't get along.

#11 Some people can be complete jerks, and once they forget about it, they think everyone else has.

#12 Laguna Beach is staged.

#13 DVD's can evidently dissapear (i.e. PRO).

#14 People will pay extreme amounts for stuff that says Lance Armstong or XTR on it.

#15 The sign said, "Long haired freaky people need not apply."

That's all for right now, sorry my updates have been lacking this week. I wanted to keep the AIDS one on the top for a while, plus I really haven't done much since mid last week. I started getting really tired and have been sleeping non-stop for a week or so now. I'm starting to feel better, but I have a huge gaping wound on the inside of my cheek and I think it's been getting me down. I'll keep my mouth shut a little longer and hopefully we'll be running on all cylinders by the weekend. First cross race and I'm pretty excited. Forecast calls for T-storms, cross your fingers for rain!