Below are photos of a small kitten I found in the middle of of a country road a few months back on a training ride. She rode 15 miles back to my house in my jersey. She is a trooper. She’s had some eye issues. Monday she had to get one taken out. It barely fazed her. Anyway, first person to email me with the correct kitten’s name I’ll send something good/bike related. (Hint-Something to do with her eyes.) Anyone that has been to my house is disqualified. That’s the only rule. Good Luck.
I finally feel a bit better. I got a couple long (70+ miles) windy, rides in. Fall is definitely upon us here in Kansas. That usually means a bunch of wind. I usually love the wind, it makes you stronger, but sometimes it doesn’t blow exactly like you expect. Or from the direction your expecting it. But, if you’re a cyclist from Kansas and you don’t embrace the wind, your life isn’t going to be very enjoyable.
I did a small cyclocross clinic the past couple days. It is amazing how much better riders can get in such a small time period. So I’ve come to the opinion that at least once ever couple weeks/every week most of us should go over to a local course and go through the moves. And practice on aspects that you already feel comfortable with. Try to do this with some other riders. Helping other guys get better makes you think about how you do it and how to do it more efficiently.
There is a local race at the Nationals venue in Kansas City this weekend. I haven’t raced the past two weekends, so it should be a reality check once again. I’ll let you know how the course looks. Other than that, I plan to get in some long rides while the weather holds. Hopefully the wind keeps blowing.
The word pioneer describes the life of Gary Penman. A friend, one that I admired, died yesterday. He made a dramatic impact on my life. And I’m just one of the thousands/tens of thousands of people that he did this to. He single handedly created/built his surroundings to his liking. And, he allowed anyone that came to Northern Wisconsin the luxury to enjoy the fruits of his labors.
I can’t say I really knew Gary all that well. But well enough to know I liked him alot. Something eclectic made him tick. And this was what made him special. He recreated the town of Seeley, Wisconsin. And, built the Sawmill Saloon. This is a place that hundreds of World Class athletes have been to. A place that is a gathering point and melting pot not found elsewhere. This is a place where Elite athletes-cyclists/skiers/skaters, etc. drink beer and eat pizza with loggers and snowmobilers. He did this on his own. I believe for his own quiet entertainment.
There are too many stories and memories to try to relate how Gary bettered so many lives. Below is a link to an article that probably says it better than I. Please click on it and read about his life. We should all strive to live a life as such to be so admired. I will miss having the knowledge that he is up in Northern Wisconsin creating. But feel free to go to Seeley and be awed by one man’s work.
I should be on the East coast racing the two UCI ‘cross races there, but instead, am sitting here in Topeka with a sucking chest cold. Probably just fall allergies, but I’m a horrible sick person during the season. And, I have a tendency to not get over these things too quick, so it really weighs on my psyche. There are a couple local ‘cross races that I’ll go and watch. I don’t mind watching local races, but am not into watching bigger races that I think I should be racing. Kind of weird. So, back to the drawing board with fitness. It is hard not to just lose fitness all fall until ‘cross Nationals in December. That is why it is so important not to get sick much later than now. There just isn’t enough time to recover. Sometimes there isn’t enough good weather, either. That is two strikes that are almost always thrown. So, the message here is, don’t do anything stupid the next couple months to get sick. OK. That’s all the energy I have for now.
I love this list from Velonews! They just keep slashing the names off the results sheet after the fact. It kind of reminds me of a conversation going on while I was sitting up in Purgatory (ski resort outside Durango) in the early 90’s, waiting out a huge thunderstorm before a downhill. The downhillers were talking about how marijuana was being added to the drug control list. A past, unnamed here, World Champion piped in that “if that is the case, they’re gonna have to throw out everyone in the top 20”. Might just be appropriate now.
Back at home. Nearly 4 am. 13th place again today. Not what I was hoping for, but exactly what I deserved. I rode mediocre. Not sure why. Thought I might have a good day. Guess not. But, I’m not dwelling on it. Some things are pretty hard to figure. I’m blaming it on the heat right now. It was in the upper 80’s. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by more than a degree or two. Troy Wells said something on the line like-“fun, fun – cyclo-x at 90 degrees.”
The course was great. Alot of terrain changes and elevation. Dusty because it hadn’t rained this year in Cincinnati. But, good, none the less. About 60 guys lined up for the Elite Men’s start. Pretty good turnout. Jeremy Powers won for the 3rd day in a row. Jerimiah Bishop was 2nd again. Broke his chain in the sprint for 1st and had to run to the line I guess. Troy Wells rode super and stayed in contention until the last lap and finished 3rd.
If I had been just a bit better early on I would of been racing for 9-11th. That is the best it could of been. That doesn’t thrill me much. But, that is the way it was. I started OK and pretty much destroyed my lungs the 1st lap. From then on it was nearly survival. Every once in a while I thought I was going to get going good, but that feeling never stayed around very long. I went all the was back to 17th and clawed my way back into the top 15 point mix. I fell on the last lap by augering my pedal into the ground in a corner. Bent my rear hanger pretty good and had to ride the last lap in either an 11-12-13 in the back. It didn’t really matter. I passed one guy and got to ride in easy. 4 UCI points for the weekend. Lots of suffering for not much return. But, it was still fun.
OK. Going to bed. Pictures later today.
Day 2 done. Things went better today for the Kansas gang, but the results won’t reflect that. The course is awesome. A much different course from yesterday. It flowed much better with a U-turn through a sand pit and some other well thought out sections.
The start is on a grass field with the barriers pretty within the first 30 seconds. It was just as hot as yesterday, mid 80’s. I got an OK start and was 5th or so over the barriers. There was a huge crash 100 meters from the line and it split up the field pretty good. I kind of faded a bit towards the end of the first lap, start of the second lap and ended up riding with Marko LaLonde in 9th and 10th for a couple laps. He was going good pulling the whole time. About half way through the race just before he was going to catch the group going for 6-8th I flatted. I instantly went under the tape having no desire to try to play catch up for UCI points. Tomorrow is a UCI C1 race with double points 15 places deep, and anyway it would of been a stretch to get any points today without a monumental effort. I think Marko ended up riding up to finishing 6th. Pretty good race.
Catherine was riding better, but had a chain issue that made her frequent the pit enough that she lost all motivation to race. Bill was pretty much on the same schedule. He has been into the pit more the last two days than any other rider by far I’d guess. I think he has quite properly it figured out now— hopefully.
Jeremy Powers schooled everyone as Katie Compton did in the women’s race. Georgia Gould flatted, ran half a lap and still ended up riding up to 6th. Jerimah Bishop finished 2nd, Barry Wicks 3rd, etc. Pretty much the same 5 as yesterday.
So, we had to hunt down a new chain for Catherine’s bike, glue a new tire on my rear wheel and stick Bill’s spare bike away in the depths of the van where it won’t be needed for the rest of the year hopefully.