Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Good to be home, for just over 24 hours.

We made it home yesterday afternoon, and now I'm packing to beat a storm through the midwest. I want to get home before the weekend, so it looks like I'll be driving through the night and out of my way to get there.

Yesterday's travel was good, although I was a little under the weather after a weekend of racing and more importantly the Crank Brothers Aftermath post race party. The race on Sunday was good, a lot better than Saturday and somehow I ended up 15th. I was hanging with a group that could've put me into the top ten, but I lost contact on the last couple of laps. I finished strong and am happy with the way my season ended. The after party was a blast. There was a huge crowd that included, a few national champions (including a really tall one, and Dave Towle tearing apart the dance floor.

That's all I've got for now, check back for more later.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Travel and the Elite Men's race.

Well, we left Greeley at way too early Thursday morning after way too little sleep, but got to DIA and checked in without a problem. Just as I suspected, I had to pay $100 bucks to get my bike onto the plane. Since we were left with plenty of time, Ambrette and I headed to Que Bueno, the best burrito place around, and got a breakfast burrito, then headed to our gate and boarded shortly after. Then came the pilot over the intercom saying there would be a 20 minute delay so they could tighten a bolt on the landing gear. That's cool, I like landing gear that works. Then after 20 minutes, the pilot said they can't find a wrench and might have to fly one in from Atlanta. We went to the ticket counter and got set up on a different flight to Atlanta now instead of Cinncinati, but our flgiht wouldn't leave for another hour. Ambrette hobo-d up and slept on the floor, I read for a while and watched all the people from our old flight freaking out about the delayed/canceled flight.

We ended up getting to Providence at 10pm instead of 5pm, got our bags, but not my bike, and rented a car and set out to find James (our gracious host)'s house. We ate, found it, went to bed, expecting a call about my bike anytime after midnight. Still no call in the morning, so I called them. My bike was in Detroit, and would be arriving at 3:44. This is all great, but I was going to pre-ride the course on Friday, and do some openers since I hadn't touched the thing since Sunday's race. Instead, we walked around Brown University for a while, ate some lunch, we and walked around the course, headed back to the airport and my bike was actually there. For the next hour or two we tried to find the race hotel for registration/packet pickup, and finally after calling a few people, and walking in circles for far too long, we found it, and got my race info.

This morning I opted to sleep in, and pre-ride in the afternoon. We got to the course around noon, and I got a few solid laps on it while it was open this afternoon. I felt decent warming up, and even found a pile of Cyclo-Ops neutral trainers to warm up on. I staged 131st, in row 17, but still had every intention of nailing the whole-shot. Oddly enough, I didn't. I did move up well through the first lap. It was kinda fun weaving through the crowd for a lap or two. After that second lap though, I noticed a lot more guys coming by me, more than I was passing. I felt really blocked, and just couldn't dig that deep. I loved the course, but faded back and finished 81st.

On the way home, Ambrette and I raided the samples at Whole Foods. I thought we might get kicked out when I saw Ambrette doing shot after shot of the apple cider, but somehow we made it through the store unscathed. The goat/sheep cheese spread did throw me for a loop, but I recovered with a little gingerbread cake stuff. I wanted to shove a sock in the cheese ladies mouth and ask her if she knew that the cheese she just gave me tasted a lot like that, only worse. I refrained and instead, enjoyed the one flavor of Izze that they had in the store (my favorite, Pomegranate).

Now we're just hanging out, James had an office Christmas party to go to in Boston, so we have the place to ourselves. I think I'm gonna go read and crash early. Hopefully today's effort opened me up for tomorrow. The collegiate race looks to be a pretty stacked field though, so it'll be a tough one. I'll see what I can do to make something happen. Thanks to everyone for their words of good luck, and also to Tom Vincent for lining up an Orbea with SRAM and Zipps in case my bike didn't come in. Why couldn't Delta have just taken a little more time getting it here?

That's all for now, from the land of "We Got Worms" and "Billy in 4-C," thanks for checking in. Check back for photos after I get home.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

6:00AM Thursday.

We're leaving. Wish me luck. Not sure if I'll be updating from Providence, but I'll try my best. Look for race reports soon, hopefully they'll have small numbers in them. Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More State CX Pics.

Front row call-up. Boo Ya.

Barriers in a group.

Running alone, straight at the camera.

Flat tire.

Photos borrowed from Peloton Photo.

Who are those crazy cats?

Photos stolen from Spotted.


A 1998 Ford Mustang driven by Trevor Schultz, Gayville, collided with a 2005 GMC Denali driven by Jolene Williamson, Yankton, in the 100 block of East Third St. at 5:31 p.m. Monday. Estimated value of the damage to the vehicles was $596 and $100, respectively.

Monday, December 11, 2006

State Championships.

Mud, I have no confidence in this stuff, but seemed to ride it faster than the guys I was with.

Barriers in front of the Rocky Mounts cheering/barbeque section.

My first flat tire of the year.

Racing here in Colorado is over for the year. Two more races and I get a break. I think I'm ready for it. It's been getting harder and harder to get motivated to get out and ride the past couple weeks, and the fact that I've been riding alone doesn't help. Oh well, One more hard workout, and two races before it's all over.

Saturday was the State Championships. A top ten there was a goal for me all season, but didn't quite happen. I got a front row call-up which was awesome. They did call-ups based on BCR (Best Cyclocross Racer) points, so I had a great start, which was really important on the course. There was a small road climb, then straight to singletrack, which would have caused a huge bottleneck, and I'm sure it did, but I was in front of it. The singletrack turned to off camber slop, with some whoop type stuff filled with peanut butter mud in the troughs, more off-camber, and muck, barriers, then some road "S" turns through a parking lot, sloppy singletrack downhill to a mud field with huge whoops and mudpits, more barriers, and back to the road climb. I started top ten, but drifted back into 15th or so in the first few laps. The TIAA-Cref kids must have been playing a game to see who could lay it down in front of me the most times. I think I ran over or into one of them at least 3 times in those first couple laps, and coincidentally lost the group I really wanted to be in. For the first time this year, I was able to shake it off, ride my own race, and pick guys off. With 4 to go, I had caught and passed the group I wanted to be in, and was sitting 10th or 11th with a small chance of catching the group just up the road containing Katie Compton, the US woman's national champ, and if Saturday was any indicator of her form, I think she's got a great chance for a rainbow jersey in February. I probably wouldn't have caught them, but it became irrelevant when I flatted at the start of the singletrack with a lap and 3/4 to go. I rode the rim for 3/4 of a lap, losing positions the whole way to the pits. I got my wheel changed just as I heard Baker finish behind me, so the last lap was just sort of a tour of the course as I was the last person on it.

On a positive note, I didn't get lapped, even after riding a half speed lap. Since I was alone at the end, I tried hopping the barriers in front of the Rocky Mounts tent. I didn't make it, but I think if I would have practiced a little during warm-ups they would have been totally doable. Huge thanks to the guys in the tent though, the drunken rowdiness always makes it hurt a little less for a second or two. Those brats smelled good too, if I wouldn't have lost it immediately, I kind've wanted to get one handed up.

I took a History final this morning at 8:00, and my Art final is at 1:30. I should go study a little more, gotta get that architecture stuff down. Two more finals after today, then it's off to RI. I lost my coffee cup so I better go make some more. Enjoy your day, I know I'll be enjoying mine, after the Post-Traumatic Test Taking Disorder wears off. Those Art History tests can be upsetting, I think I just stared at a wall for an hour or two after the first one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pictures from Red Rocks #4.

Well, I'm sixth overall in the American Cycling Association Best All Around Cyclocrosser category going into the State Championships on Saturday. Hopefully I can hold onto that. There is a good chance I'll slip a spot or two, since some of the faster guys will be there, but we'll see. It's looking like it could be muddy, which might suck, or be fun, I still haven't decided.

I just got my first two Christmas presents of the year today. The Roubaix Bicycle Company gave me a 10speed Ultegra group, and my brother gave me some boots. I'm wearing the boots right now, thinking about the 10sp stuff. I was reminded today how much I like Christmas!

Wednesday I rode on campus at the football practice fields, so I could do a longer run up. The lap I made up sucked, and I've really lost motivation training now that everyone has moved on to base. Since I only got in 20 minutes of mediocre effort, I headed out for a run in the afternoon. I'm feeling more powerful running which should be good for Rhode Island if it's muddy like last year. Other than that, nothing too cool happening. Finals are next week, so this weekend will be all studying, after the race on Saturday that is. Right now I need to go take a movie back to the library, get my Surly ready for Saturday in case it's muddy, and write a recap of an Earth Science lecture on the Badlands of South Dakota.

Right after the single barrier.

Going up the STEEP little run.

Coming down the STEEP little run. I guess some guys rode this, but I still think it was faster and safer to run.

One of the frozen trails you could actually get some speed on, that is if you could absorb the bumps.

That course was fun, but it's too bad the photographer didn't get any bunny hopping pictures. Maybe there will be something I can hop this weekend? I hope so.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

200th Post!

So, I made it to 200 posts on this here blog. Everyone I know who hopped on the bandwagon in that first month back in 2005 have deleted theirs by now, some more than once. Sorry to see you all go, but I'm still around and I have no intentions of leaving. Anyway, thanks to everyone for reading. Over the last two years I've picked up a gaggle of regular readers, some of who I've lived with, others that I've been long time friends with, more that I've become friends with, and even some I've never met. Sorry the content is usually so lame, but it is what it is. That being said...

I got 10th today in Morrison. The race was on almost the same course as three weeks ago, with a few modifications. I like the course a lot, but it's hard with a fair amount of elevation gain each lap, some technical sections, and today, a lot of mud, snow, and ice. I had a great start, 4th across the start/finish, but quickly moved back. I jumped around between 8th, and 11th, but settled in to a comfortable position and got 10th. I was really hoping for more, but it wasn't there. I think the course was good prep for nationals coming up here in two weeks (if the course in RI is anything like it was last year), and I'm feeling more confident in the slippery stuff all the time. I think my work at the park this week paid off a lot, as I felt like I could carry some decent speed through some slick corners.

This week will probably be fairly busy with school wrapping up, but I think I'll be able to get through it. I'd like to send a big thanks to my lady friend Ambrette for freezing her tail off the past couple weeks to run around the courses and cheer for me. It's a huge help and I appreciate it. That's all for now. Thanks for checking in. I hope you look forward to the next 200 boring posts as much as I do. Sorry for the lack of photos this new blogger beta thing sucks.