Saturday, November 27, 2010

SCCX #1 and #2

November 21st and November 27th were two of the most anticipated races in the NJBA CX Cup, mostly because my team helps put them on with Skylands cycling. It's been a very similar course for both races with the only difference being that the barriers were put in different places. It was definitely a power course as there were some turns but extended pedaling sections that really helped open up some gaps.

For race #1 there was 5 people and it went pretty hard from the start with Bill Elliston from Van Dessel killing it off the front and letting the rest of us fight to not get lapped. The race was going well as my teammate BL and I were in 2nd and 3rd with us exchanging the lead where we excelled and with 3 to go he rolled his tubular off the rim and gave up the 2nd place to me. The gaps held and I rolled in for my 3rd cross podium. It was a great finish but I really didn't feel the mojo of the race as it was really hard and looking at the data later it showed how things were off. HR was not elevated like it usually was but I still did ok.

For race #2 it was a larger field as 8 racers lined up and I was almost dead last off the line. I picked my way through the field on the first lap to get as high as 3rd place but that's the best I would see. The guy in 4th and I were going back and forth for a few laps. One of the laps I took a bad line in the dreaded mud pit and lost all momentum. The gap opened that would stick for the remainder of the race. I finished 4th of 8 with a time that was 50 seconds slower than last week in much harder conditions. The data confirms that I was feeling a lot better this week as my HR was where it should be and just had a better time overall feeling the course.

One more weekend to go in the NJBA CX Cup as I'm sitting in 4th and with a little bit of luck and two good races I could be as high as 3rd. That would be pretty cool. Top 5 is no joke but aiming for that podium. We'll have to see what next week brings. The main focus is that I'm going to eat better this week and try to shed some excess Thanksgiving pounds as I feel like a heffer right now. If I feel totally unfulfilled after next weekend there is one more round of CX coming to the area in the form of the HVCX weekend the following weekend which could be fun. That would be the OFFICIAL end of my 2010 racing season and 2011 base would then commence...FINALLY!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


So a lot has been going on in my cycling world with everything from upgrades to recovery. I'm finally feeling a bit like my old self and albeit a few pounds heavier than mid summer race shape I feel I'm doing pretty well. I was 153 for the early season and right now I'm hovering around the 161 mark. Something the inevitably happens when the riding load goes from 13 hours to 6 and daylight goes from a lot to almost nonexistent. Also, it's been nice to slack a little on my diet. Really nice but base will be here soon and the pounds will shed. Damn right they will. I got down to I think 148 for an afternoon last winter and should be in the same range this winter with more power and more discipline in my arsenal.

Anyway for the updates - Sunday night was a great night. I went to the H2H awards dinner and received my series championship jersey. It was amazing! I worked so hard this past season and through so much with my blood clot that it is truly amazing looking back. When I was in the hospital I didn't know if I'd ever be back on the bike again. Somehow I bounced back to finish up well in the series. The series went like this 2nd, 1st, 4th, 1st, blood clot, 9th, 4th, 2nd and locked up the series. The 8th race I opted to do in the pro class and finished 10th of 12. How nuts is that. I get a little teary eyed when I see that in print. Holy crap.
So it was a crazy season and now I'm in part 2 of the 2010 season.

Now it's cyclocross time and it's exploding again. Or at least I feel like my heart is - in a good way of course. I did the 2/3/4 race at HPCX and had a good finish and I told myself that this season I want to up the ante and race 1/2/3's at the local races. The problem is by doing that race it would take forever to get enough points to upgrade to a 2. So what do I do. I use the CX conversion in the USAC rulebook and inquire about just upgrading to a 2. DENIED... Because I should be a 1. Huh...yes a 1. If I want to upgrade I can contact USAC in Colorado and have them do it because the regional reps cannot. Sent one email...BAM Cat 1 CX racer now. What did I get myself into? Really for the NJ CX Cup it doesn't matter but if I do other series oh boy. I'll be the red lantern...

Even with racing the cross A class locally it's been good as I haven't been DFL - yet. It's coming, but for race #1 at Hidden Valley I was 8th of 9 and Sunday at Greystone I was 3rd of 5. So not too bad so far. It's only going to help in the long run and hopefully it translates to more explosiveness in next years XC or endurance events.

So lots of good updates...more to come.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Greystone Crazy Cross Results

Today's race was at the Central Park of Morris at the old Greystone psychiatric center. It was a great venue and a really fun course. It was also one of the bumpiest courses I've encountered. The straightaways were murderous as the bumps just stole the momentum from the legs and made it hard to close gaps.

Anyway here's how the race went. It was a HUGE field...5 - yep - 5 of us toed the line. It was nice being able to pick whichever spot you wanted to take in the front row ;-) So we went off hot and my teammate BL took the lead with me followed by Troy, Martin, and Nick. BL and I were riding well together and Troy was right with us for most of the 1st lap. Towards the end Troy passed myself and BL and started to make us hurt. BL took a barrier funny and I passed while he was getting himself back together and I opened up a gap while chasing Troy. Troy was riding so smooth and fast that his gap was just opening more and more. That would go on the entire race.

So now it was the race between BL and I. I was riding well and taking the corners hard but I started to make mistakes. Low pedals caused me to slide out a bunch and happened too many times. I lost a bunch of ground. So I kept BL behind me for a few laps but he was rapidly approaching. Part of the other excuse was that my bike was shifting like craaaaaaaap. The one gear that I really needed to use was not there. It kept ghost shifting like mad which really bugged me. I wasn't going to be very competitive like that and unfortunately it went like that the rest of the race.

So BL passed me on lap 5 or so and we kept it together for a few laps exchanging the lead. He opened a gap on the road on a later lap and I chased hard to get back to his wheel. Almost flat out I was riding into a hard left hander when I tried to brake hard and late and totally ate it. Instantly I was on my side wondering what happened. I jumped up and the bike was ok but that was all I needed to lose contact. BL was riding really well and it was pretty much over by that point.

I looked ahead and Troy was killing it followed by a big gap to BL, then a big gap to me, then a big gap to Martin, and by this point we were catching up to lap Nick. So I figured at this point I was into a hard training race and just put down what I could and finished up a fairly solid race. I could have done without the mistakes and the ghost shifting but what can you do.

I finished 3rd of 5 and 30+ seconds behind BL and he was letting off the gas to save up for racing tomorrow. The good thing was that they paid 5 deep and there were only 5 of us so we all got paid. $40 bucks plus some nice swag was great. This wasn't including the $1 that I picked up from between the barriers...thanks Art! So all in all it was a pretty good day - especially the GIANT calzone I got for dinner on the way home. Next up SCCX #1 next Sunday. I want to put some hurting on this one!