Monday, November 07, 2005

Louisville Sluggin'

Saturday's race was cancelled/postponed due to rain and snow which seems pretty lame to me, but I guess they didn't ask for my opinion. They did however call me on my cell phone to tell me it was cancelled. I wasn't registered or anything. I guess when you tear stuff up like I did last time I raced the Schwab Boss of Cross series, you're automatically upgraded to "pretty big deal" status. Anyway, I don't need to float my own boat anymore (I've been doing plenty of that lately). Instead of racing on Saturday my former teamate Mikeal Olson came up to ride some bikes around Greeley with Scott and I. We ended up wasting away the entire day riding and working on bikes, but at 6:30 we were leaving the bike shop and Scott happened to hop on the shop manager, Mark Cooper's cyclocross bike. For some reason unknown to me, Scott's eyes lit up and for the first time since I've known him, Scott decided he wanted to be a cross racer. Mark told him to go for it, so we all stood around and watched him do some dismounts and mounts in the parking lot in sandals. Scott, Mikeal, and I had a sleepover at my apartment, then picked Mark up in the morning and took him to Louisville with us.

The course was pretty cool, but also really hard. There was a steep technical decent with a bunch of ruts and stuff toward teh bottom, a wierd dismount over a stream into a steep run-up, a fast crushed rock loop, two very steep off camber corners, another rough decent into a 180 degree turn and single barrier run-up, a fast road section before a rough singletrack section into an incredibly steep climb with two barriers just after the top, back downhill, into a road climb around a tight 180 into a sand volleyball court and road to the finish. I was pretty nervous warming up on the course, but I watched Scott and he was doing fine so I knew I had little to worry about. Scotty Boy pulled off a great race for his first cross experience, not to mention the first time he's attempted a dismount or remount in the past 2 years, and the first race effort he's done since July. He finished midpack in a Cat 4 field of 76, so make sure and pat him on the back if you see him this week.

I ended up with a decent start, about 12th or 15th, and just concentrated on staying calm, and moving up slowly. I really didn't have to work to get around anyone, because I would pass them all over the barriers, or the technical climb. I ran the sandpit every lap except for one, but I guess Scott was riding it like a pro the whole race. With about four laps to go, I found myself in 4th with a big gap up to third. I just rode a steady tempo and tried not to blow my wad closing the gap or I'd have nothing to get around him when that time came. I caught the guy with two laps to go and just rode his wheel for a lap and a half noting where he was fast and slow on the course. I decided to try and get in front of him before the steep climb with barriers at the top because I knew I could ride that section faster than him. I attacked him on the road section just after the single barrier and I think the gap just kept growing. After I got up the climb I knew I had him beat, but it was still a super hard quarter or half mile to the finish. I crossed the line 3rd in my second Cat. 3 race so I was pretty pumped, but man it hurt, for quite some time. Since both Scott and I were racing we left Mikeal up to taking pictures and movies. He got some pretty cool moives, but unfortunately no pictures for the website. I found a couple online, but none of Scott, so if you want to see proof that he actually did race a cross bike, you'll have to ask him to see a video, or check the ACA website for results. I hurt today, my neck and back are killing me, I think I might ride an hour or so just to loosen up a bit. That's all for now. If anyone knows where else to get pictures, let me know, I always see cameras out on the course, but I don't know who they are or where to contact them.


Anonymous said...

Apparently you didn't read your pro manual. Rule 48 - Don't get off your bike if you don't know how to get back on, even if it means you have to ride thru sand.
The Wattage Cottage

Anonymous said...

"You're so probably think that race was about you..."
from a fan in SD

mikael said...

My pictures didnt turn out at all of you and Scott? I thought I took like atleast 10 pictures from the race and about 5 to 10 movies, my bad i thought i was doing it right.

Anonymous said...

Congrats man. Although I really don't understand cats completely I am guessing it is like a heap. It sounds like you are moving up really fast. I would be happy if I could just finish one of those courses without having a heart attack.