Just got back from a weekend up in Iowa City. Things went just OK and better today, which was pretty epic. Here are a few photos before I post. In a side note, Iowa might be the worst state in the country to drive in during the winter. I’ve driven a fair amount in my lifetime and I haven’t ran into much weather as bad as what seems to be the norm in Iowa. Today wasn’t the worst I’ve seen, but we were on ice and black ice for 150 miles. 100’s of cars off the road. Half our group baled at the Marriott in Des Moines. I don’t do that. But it is nearly 3am now, so who was smarter?
I’m in this one. Only fell once the whole weekend though. There are a bunch of better crash videos from Jingle Cross at Youtube.com.
The Trek Store of Kansas City and Sram are having a party during Cyclocross Nationals in Kansas City. It is from 7:30-10pm (whenever), Friday, December 12th. There will be some food and beer. Feel free to come on by and say hi to me and some of the other Trek sponsored riders.
Trek Bicycle Store of Kansas City
10412 Shawnee Mission Pkwy
Shawnee, KS 66203
Friday December 12th
Free Food and Drinks
It’s already started. Everyone keeps telling me how great it is that the Nationals are so close to where I live. It’s not that simple. Time becomes the big restraint. Yesterday I was in KC for nearly 9 hours. Today much longer. Then the weekend. I’m not complaining, mind you, but as a rider, it kind of wears on your mind.
The course was kind of slick for the B race yesterday. Riding later in the afternoon it had firmed up some, but still had some technical corners. Driving back last night, it started raining. I’m not sure how much it rained at the course, but it is not going to be dry for the races this afternoon. It is sunny and is supposed to be in the lower 40’s, but that isn’t going to do it. It should be alright for me. I’m usually pretty good in those conditions.
Better get back in to KC. Race update later, after the race, after the party.
Today was the 1st race of two for me this weekend, the Master’s race. I’ve kind of been nervous about this for a better part of a week. Not sure what that is all about. I usually don’t stress about things out of my control. Anyway, it’s going to be a busy weekend. It was good to get today over with. I won again. The course changed up a ton hour by hour today. It was slick and tricky earlier and it got dryer and dryer throughout the afternoon. By the time we raced, there was no technical part of the course and the ground was a wet sponge. You had to pedal the descents, no rest. The officials held us on the line pretty long, like 30 minutes. I have to remember that the starts in Master’s events are much slower than the Elite race. Anyway, my plan was to ride pretty much as fast as I could to the top of the climb, 1/2 lap and then see where I was. I was a long ways ahead. So far, that I didn’t have to kill myself the rest of the race. But, Mark Noble who finished 2nd, rode a good race and kept me honest somewhat. My lungs are abit torched now. Went to another “social function” tonight and got home pretty late. Washed the bikes after midnight of course. OK. Enough. Pictures from the last bit below.
I’ve said many times that I’d rather be riding good and have a bad result than to be riding bad and have a good result. It’s not about the results. It’s about having done everything correctly to be able to attain a result. But, I’m having a bit of a hard time coming to terms with yesterday’s race.
I finished 18th. The course did not suit my abilities. It wasn’t horrible, but it was pretty much a hard packed circuit race. Very, very non-technical. But, that was just a product of the weather. It had been pretty technical the previous days, but it dried up and got super smooth and very “easy”. It was a complete power race.
I didn’t have real aspirations to win. That was going to be a stretch. But, I thought I could finish somewhere between 5-10th. I missed my pedal at the start. It’s a simple as that. I was buried immediately. It was such a simple mistake that put me in a situation I couldn’t recover from. The race was over for me after one lap. I had been behind 3 major pile-ups that split the field into small groups. And I needed to be in the front group from the gun if I was going to have any chance to finish somewhere I would be happy with.
I lost most of the motivation I had pretty early. After watching a big group of 10 ride up the hill I knew the day wasn’t going to be good. I did nothing but cruise for most of the race. But, I eventually got some motivation back and got riding pretty good. That is the only good thing I have to say about my ride for the day. It wasn’t like last year when I flatted 4 tires. That was only partially my fault. This was totally my fault. It’s too bad that it had to happen at Nationals in KC. I had the form to have a good race on a course that I thought wasn’t good for me under the conditions.
Despite the disappointment, I did have some fun. I saw a rider nearly try to mount his bike without his front wheel, after a crash . If I would have waited 5 more seconds behind a crash, I would have gotten to witness Jonathan Baker punch Adam Meyerson in the face. I did witness from the interior of the course of how fanatic cyclo-x fans are. And, I got the pleasure to race in front of a bunch of friends locally at the National Championships. Pretty special. And a million more memories that would take forever to write.
So, I can’t complain too much about the weekend. There are not too many things I can think of that I would of rather have been doing.
I’ve been a little lax on updating this since the season is over, I guess. I’ve been going through some sort of funk since racing Nationals last weekend. It’s mostly mental. Completely. I’m not sure what it is all about. Cyclo-X is a funny sport. I love it. But it is frustrating at times. And many of those times come when it is the most important. At least when it seems the most important.
I’ve been trying to catch up with stuff I put off the last few months. So, I called Dr. Franklin, my ENT guy. Long story short, tomorrow, the 26th, I’m having surgery on my sinus problem, in Topeka. It should clear up a bunch of problems I’ve had historically. At least that is the plan. I’m a little nervous about the general anesthesia. Last time I did that I didn’t wake up for a long time. I’ve got a cycling friend, Jeff Unruh overseeing it, so it should be fine.
Yesterday nite we drove up to Chicago for Christmas. As usual, the roads in Iowa were crazy bad. Cars everywhere off the interstate, pointing and laying in different directions. 30 degrees and raining. Great for driving, if you like driving on ice. When we got here, it is definitely winter. Plows everywhere. I had to shovel until 3am just to park the car in the drive. I didn’t mind. I hadn’t exercised and I like shoveling snow. I’ve always liked it. It’s kind of like mowing grass. Or roofing a house with shingles. It is rewarding seeing your progress and predicting your finish time. And the payoff is in efficiency. Anyway, it seems right to be somewhere with snow on Christmas Day. I’ve spent a couple in California training and it seems so much wrong.
So, running in the morning when I wake up. There are usually a bunch of geese on the golf course, but probably not this year since the water is all frozen. Then Christmas stuff and to the airport by 9 to fly back to Kansas City to arrive at 11 something. Drive to Topeka. Then surgery. It seems like a rush. Good time to lose some weight I guess.
I’ve already got a urge to race again. At least ride a bunch. That is a good thing. I kind of always have that urge, but this year it seems stronger or something. Might ski abit through the New Year and head South for some warmer riding conditions if everything goes well. Seems like those are the best ways to figure out life quandaries. Alright. Merry Christmas!