Monthly Archives: October 2010

Packing for nothing….

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I was supposed to be driving to the airport to fly to LA in a few hours, but now it looks like I’m staying home this weekend. There isn’t a specific reason. Lots of things. I weighed all the positives and negatives and it just got too lopsided towards the later. And Catherine’s main sponsor (work) had some other ideas, so it wasn’t good for her either. I do need to train some and the two days of travel would be the exact opposite of that. Plus, cyclocross at 90 something degrees didn’t seem like it would be so much fun.

Trudi has to take the BMC car she drove back from Pro Road Nationals to the airport this afternoon, to give it to Ian (mechanic), so he can drive it to Boulder to measure Taylor Phinney’s bikes. I wonder if he knows that Taylor is in Australia, at Road World Road Championships and Davis is in Scotland, at the World Parkinson’s Congress. I guess he’ll make due.

So, racing here, locally, I guess. I can go to KC and do a couple races or Omaha and do the same. I’d like to ride to KC and then race both days, but since I haven’t recovered since last weekend when I did that, it might not be such a good idea. We’ll see.

Wasted a couple hours last night putting two 'cross bikes and 3 sets of wheels into this bag.

They wanted out to get some air, so I let them.

I was worried about having a spare dropout for one of my cross bikes, then realized I had one on my keychain. It would work in a bind.

BMC Team car storage.

Bike Racing

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Guess I’m driving over to KC for a local cyclocross later this afternoon. It is near perfect weather for that. Ian (BMC) mechanic didn’t make it to KC until after 11pm, so he’s here and heading to Boulder later this morning.

Tomorrow is another local race, but there is also a 100 mile gravel road ride in Lawrence. I did that last year and is going to be very had to miss. And, I plan being partially crippled after the race today. I guess there is a bunch of running through long sand pits. I hate sand. It just jacks up your drive train and makes the rest of the race unenjoyable because it’s in your shoes.

The woman’s finish at the Worlds is pretty good. Click her to watch it. I like the Flemish. Seems like Nicole Cooke and Judith Arndt kind of blew it. They had a big enough gap and screwed around just long enough not to get on the podium. And the Swedish girl, Emma Johansson got pretty unlucky running into the crowd. She probably should have won in a perfect world. Marianne Vos had to go when she did. She didn’t do anything wrong. She had to go from way out if she wanted to win. She enabled the Italian, Giorgia Bronzini to win. Good exciting finish.

Okay. Better get packing. Hope everyone’s weather is as nice as it is here in Kansas.

2 Cyclocross Races…2 DNF’s

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Today went better than last week. I rode nearly 1/2 the race today. That is a 15 minute improvement from last weekend.

Got to make this short. I’m riding a 100 mile gravel road ride/adventure at the wee hours tomorrow. Supposed to nearly freeze tonight, so it might be pretty chilly starting out.

Anyway, I raced in Kansas City at the Boss Cross #1. The course was great. Lots of off-camber corners. Enough open riding. Sand, but not bad. I started just okay. I kind of chopped Tom Price (KCCX) for the hole shot for the first tricky corner. Sorry Tom. I rode at the front for the first lap and half. I realized early on that I didn’t have enough pressure in my tires. The speed was pretty fast and they were folding over in virtually every corner. Coming onto a pavement stretch off a curb, my front tire completely folded over and I started sliding. I thought I’d saved it, but I slid into a micro cone and then fell. It wasn’t too bad. I only lost 15 seconds or so.

I chased back on in less than a lap. There were 5 of us in the front. Tom and Jeff Winkler, KCCX, Brian Jensen, Tradewind team mate and Jonathan Schottler, Big Shark. I recovered okay, but didn’t feel great. Going through the sand the next lap, I was following Jeff Winkler. You needed a bunch of speed to clean the sand riding. Jeff accelerated and I followed. Then he decided to run and stepped off his bike. His front wheel twisted and he high-sided. I plowed into him from behind and flipped over the bars. My hamstring then cramped. Our bikes were all tangled and I just let Jeff figure that out.

I got going before Jeff, but knew it wasn’t going to be good. I rode a lap or so with Josh Johnson, winner last week, and then waited up for Bill Stolte. I started feeling better and we started going faster compared to the leaders. There were only three left in the front. We were gaining on the front, but the next lap on the fast dismount, my left leg was done. Jeff Winkler was coming back and I thought Bill should just ride with him.

I was done. I did so much damage to my hamstring last weekend, that I wasn’t going to add to that. I probably shouldn’t have started, but thought that I’d be alright. Guess I was wrong. Jeff rode up to the front and beat Brian by a few seconds. I think Josh finished 3rd, followed by Jonathan and Tom Price rounded out the top 5.

Anyway, I don’t think it is good racing again tomorrow. So, 100 miles on gravel. We’ll see how that goes. I might wear my helmet cam to show how beautiful Kansas is this time of the year.

Leading into the sandpit.

Catherine over the uphill runup. Her legs are looking pretty buff.

Me, sort of, doing the same runup. Not so buff.

105 miles on gravel

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Yesterday I finally made a good choice. Riding a long gravel ride instead of cyclocross racing. There is no way I could have had as much fun racing cross as I did riding all day on new roads on gravel. It was a blast. The 8 am start in Lawrence was the only drag of the day, but you know how that goes, after you’re up early, it doesn’t really matter.

It was cold at the start, but the day eventually turned beautiful. Mid 60’s and hardly any wind (for Kansas). Who’d think that Kansas is hilly? I was even surprised how hilly it was. Like crazy hilly. I need to ask one of the guys with a Garmin, but other than the last 3 miles, it rolled all the time. Some of the climbs are nearly 20% grade. There are not many paved roads that direction from Topeka, so it is kind of uncharted territory for me.

Joe Gatti’s wife Melody met us up int Oskaloosa with a pickup truck full of food. It was great sitting in the main square, hanging in the sun.

It didn’t get any flatter on the way home. Eventually it got down to just 7 of us. Catherine had been whining the whole day, but was finally coming around after 5 hours. Cycling is such a cool sport because you can eventually ride into “form” during a single ride. Dan Hughes, cycling czar of Lawrence, kept his testosterone under control too most of the ride, so it didn’t go too crazy.

I got better the whole day too. It is nice feeling the best of the whole ride at the finish. It took us nearly 6 hours for the 105 miles, which isn’t even 18mph, but we weren’t going slow. I wore a helmet cam and got the first few hours of the ride on video. It might take a while to get to that. Maybe not.

I’m not sure what’s on schedule for next weekend. I need to start addressing my leg situation or my cyclocross season is going to be short lived.

The hills never stopped.

Low water creek crossing.


Catherine on the Kansas River levee coming back into Lawrence.

The map above is interactive. You can click on elevation change to see how undulating the route was.

Cats Everywhere

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I spent most of the day yesterday down at the building I roofed last winter messing with windows, ect. I knew there were a new batch of kittens down there, but had put off trying to catch them because I wasn’t going to be around. I might of waited too long. One of the kittens is outside and seems to be virtually a feral cat. But, the other two are now safely in my back bathroom.

There is a scrawny black one and a feisty white and gray one. Both boys. The black one was kind of sickly and hasn’t grown up much. We took them to the vet yesterday and they were a mess. Ear mites, worms, so many flea bites that they were bleeding. Man, the life of a feral kitten isn’t that great. They are both scaredy cats. Which is understandable since no humans have touched them since they were born.

And it just so happens that City of Topeka last week passed a new animal control ordinance that is essentially a catch and release program for feral cats. When a feral cat is caught, they spay or neuter it and then clip it’s ear to show that it has be “processed”. I obviously haven’t been so good on catching and releasing the mother cat. It is pretty elusive. I think I’ll try to catch the other outside kitten today and see if it can be tamed. I’m going to get bit for sure. I hate that.

Our vet, Bryan Stancliffe, DVM, happily holding the kittens.

Scaredy cats for sure.

On top of their new cat box in the bathroom.

Our cat, Naomi, laying in the sun with the neighbor's Ocelot cat.

I watched them for 10 minutes and they were fine, but when I approached, they went into there cat war positions.