Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tour of Kansas City Criterium – Disastrous Day

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Yesterday was terrible.  It wasn’t horrible, it was just terrible.  I’m not sure where to start.  It is late, real late Sunday night, early Monday morning now.  The race was at 2:15 and it was 75 minutes, I guess.  That was nearly 12 hours ago.  Man, a lot can happen in 12 hours.

Brian Jensen called and decided he wanted to try to blow off some steam after his Dirty Kanza fiasco and we stopped in Lawrence to pick him up.  It was the first time he’s raced his road bike this year.

We got to the race and warmed up.  Then the race started.  Easy course around the stadiums where the Chiefs and Royals play.  No big hill, no tight corners, not really a course that I like that well.  The sprint was 500 meters downhill with a slight tail/crosswind.

I felt okay.  Pretty good actually.  It seemed like it was going to be a field sprint, but you never know.  I kept trying to get off the front, but it seemed like I was pretty marked.  At least it seemed that way to me.  Lots of guys chasing me and when they got on, they wouldn’t pull, even if I kept pulling for awhile to give them a break.  They always said they were working for someone else. Man, I hate that line.

Brian and Bill both got in a few moves, but they never went anywhere.  Then two guys got away with 4 or 5 laps to go.  I wasn’t going to chase them and no one else seemed to be too interested.  Then two laps to go and it started getting a little squirrely.  Faster and everyone trying to move up.

On the last lap, I planned to be as close to Lee Bumgarner.  The guy is the perfect lead out downhill.  He is big and powerful, like 2000 watt powerful.  I had talked to Garrick Valverde about him and said he should start his sprint on Lee.  I was floating behind Garrick and when Lee jumped to the left, Garrick lost his wheel.

Shadd Smith jumped to the right and around the last corner he jumped with Garrick on his wheel, then Brandon Krawczyk, 3rd from the day before, Lee, 2nd from Saturday, then me.  The two guys were right ahead and I was focused on staying on Lee.

Like I said earlier, it was downhill and a slight tailwind.  Garrick jumped by Shadd, then Brandon went and Lee got beside him.  I was still behind, hardly pedaling, still 200 meters from the finish.  I couldn’t believe it.  Still fresh with everyone in the wind in front of me.  Then disaster.

Someone on my right got into trouble, just when I started winding it up to get off my seat and sprint. Carnage.  From the left, someone came over into my rear derailleur and bam, done, no derailleur.  I was already going over 40 and just coasted the last 150 meters and still ended up 19th.

I guess there were a lot of guys on the ground.  It was a high speed fall.  I hoped everyone was okay.  I went to the car and Trudi came back and said that Bill was on the ground about 300 meters from the finish.  He’d crashed 3 laps to go.  I ran down there and he was sitting on the grass with a couple paramedics helping him.  I asked him what was wrong and he said he couldn’t breathe and his ribs on his back were killing him.

The ambulance came and they checked him out.  I talked to him some and decided to take him to the hospital ourselves.  I figured it would save the ambulance ride cost.  We went to a local hospital and it worked out amazingly.

We got him checked in and the doctor ordered x-rays.  They came back a collapsed lung and two broken ribs.  They called a pulmonary doctor and about 15 minutes later he came in wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  They guy had a small kit and pretty much poked a hole into Bill’s chest, stuck a tube into it and then vacuumed the air out from between his lungs and rib cage, I guess.  It took about 10 minutes.

They sent Bill back up for another x-ray, which was good, lung back, and then we got some pain killers and drove back to Topeka.  It took 4 hours, but he didn’t have to stay the night in the hospital and on Tuesday he has an appointment for another x-ray, and if that is good, the tube comes out and then it’s just the bad ribs for 6 weeks.

It was a very bad crash, but it could have been much worse.  He hit a curb at 90 degrees going around 40 and flipped over, but landed on thick grass.  There was a sidewalk just a couple meters further.

Brian is probably thinking about retiring from road racing again.  It was a super ugly last lap.  He didn’t fall, but most likely witnessed a ton of guys laying around.

I spent most the night trying to piece a  Di2 rear derailleur back together.  I have a couple Ultegra ones, that are toast, but finally just used JB weld and fixed my Dura Ace one.  I used a couple bolts from the Ultegra parts derailleurs too.

So, it is nearly 2 am and I am still planning on heading out to Vail tomorrow morning as early as I can get moving.  Maybe Trudi will drive some and I can sleep.  Kind of mentally spent from yesterday.  Bill can’t go to altitude with his collapsed lung issue.  Like he feels like it anyway.  Bad luck.

I have a Garmin and pair of Oakley glasses that were given to me after the crash at the finish.  If anyone out there knows who is missing either, just email me at Steve@SteveTilford.com.

Brian, me and Bill kind of close together.

Brian, me and Bill kind of close together.

About 200 meters from the finish.  I felt I was in great position and hadn't really taken much of a pedal stroke in a couple hundred meters.  Sprinting for me is about position.  This time it sucked big time though.

About 200 meters from the finish. I felt I was in great position and hadn’t really taken much of a pedal stroke in a couple hundred meters. Sprinting for me is about position. This time it sucked big time though.

Here's how I found Bill after the race.

Here’s how I found Bill after the race.

Transferring from the ambulance to my van.

Transferring from the ambulance to my van.

Sucking the air out from behind his lung.

Sucking the air out from behind his lung.

My Di2 puzzle.

My Di2 puzzle.

This will work for a while.

This will work for a while.

Results from yesterdays race.

Results from yesterdays race.

 

Waking up in Vail

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

Yesterday we got out of Topeka a little later than I was hoping, but still made it out to Coloroado in pretty good time.  We hit a little traffic in Denver, then again by Idaho Springs, but still got up to Silverthorne by 5.

I convinced Vincent to ride over to Vail with me, even though he already had 50 miles, partially in the rain, which is sort of normal for Colorado afternoons.

So, we got dressed really quick and headed out for the 2 hour ride over Vail Pass to Vail.  It was a super ride.

I was surprised how I felt.  I really didn’t notice the altitude much, which is really abnormal for me.  Vincent and I just talked most of the way, even though he put in a pretty big effort on the frontage road along the interstate in Vail.

We got to Vail just in time for dinner.  I’m staying with my friend Stacie from Louisville and they, Lisa, VIncent’s wife and Stacie made a super dinner.  I was thinking how perfect the timing was.

Anyway, waking up in the snow covered mountains is really nice.  I hope to get some of my allergy issues under control, plus ride my bike in some super cool places.  Vincent is talking about going down to Fruita to ride MTB in a couple days.

I think it is amazing how far you can get away from where you live so quickly.  We didn’t leave Topeka until 9:30 and were riding by 5.  It isn’t very long and it is really a different setting.

I talked to Bill yesterday and he is feeling better.  I think the pain pills are kicking in.  He didn’t sleep much the first night, but was breathing better.  He has an appointment this morning to get the tube taken out of his chest in Kansas City.  I guess I’ll hear what they say about when he can start riding.  I think it will be more the lungs than the ribs dictating that.  I know they are going to be cautious about his lung collapsing again.

Okay, we’re going to a free buffet for breakfast now.  I normally don’t like eating at buffets.  I’m not sure why that is.  I think it started one time I was at Disney in Florida.  These huge people were heaping their plates with 5 times as much food as they should have been eating.  It kind of grossed me out and ever since then, when I go to buffets I’m always just checking out what other people are eating and not just enjoying the meal.

 

Jack coming down to meet me.  I needed some Jack time.

Jack coming down to meet me. I needed some Jack time.

Vincent heading up to Vail Pass.

Vincent heading up to Vail Pass.

Heading down towards Vail, the lakes are still frozen.

Heading down towards Vail, the lakes are still frozen.

There are tons of snow up in the mountains here.

There are tons of snow up in the mountains here.

The view from the balconey this morning.

The view from the balconey this morning.

Back Country with Road Bike

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Yesterday’s ride turned into a crazy adventure.  I was up for an adventure.  I like riding with Vincent and haven’t seen him for a while.  He suggested we do a ride that I did last year, down to Midturn, the Red Cliff, up a gravel road to Shrine Pass, Vail Pass and then coast back down to Vail.

I said what chance to you think we’ll be able to ride that.  He said 90%.  I was thinking more like 40%, but I was okay with just seeing how it went.

It was pretty good for a while.  The ride to Red Cliff was nice.  Then you start climbing on a narrow gravel road beside a stream.  We were just talking and everything was good.  Like I said above, I’ve done this ride a couple times before on my road bike and it gets a little loose and steep towards the top.

We started running into some patches of snow on the road after a few miles.  Just short 20 meter sections, then we could ride again.  Then the sections got longer and eventually we had to walk.  The problem was that a bunch of snow mobiles had packed down the snow and it was melted everywhere but on the road.

It looked like it was going to clear up, maybe, then we got up to a sign that said Vail Pass 4 miles.  That was not good.  Walking in our road shoes on snow for 4 miles didn’t sound too fun.  And we’d already walked a lot through snow and trying to descend back through that was going to be very difficult.

So, we talked and decided to take a “short cut” and head over the ridge towards the interstate and the Vail bike path.  We started up towards the ridge, in mid-calf deep icy snow.  And it only got worse from there.  Eventually we were sinking into our crotches every once in a while.

This was serious and I mean serious bushwacking.  At the top, we could see the highway below and knew it was going to be steep in places going back down.  We were sort of walking, sliding down these deep snow ravines with our bikes.  You wouldn’t think it, but having our bikes with us really helped.  You could apply some pressure to the bike and many times that would stop you from your whole leg punching through and having to dig yourself out.

We came to a couple sheer cliffs and sort of just winged it, going in another direction to where it was the lowest.  We had to climb down one 30 foot section, using a pine tree to hold our bikes as we lowered ourselves.  Vincent sort of tossed his bike at this time.  I refused to hand him down my bike until he promised me he wasn’t going to throw it down into the snow.

I have to admit, but there were a few times that I was out of my comfort range.  That isn’t something I experience very often nowadays.  I was sort of relishing that feeling for some strange reason.  There was a real chance that it wasn’t going to turn out that great.

We finally got to the bottom and had to go across a small stream that was snow runoff.  Vincent went first and said the water wasn’t that cold.  I followed and realized that the water didn’t seem that cold because our legs were completely frozen.  I refused to put my bikes in the water, didn’t want my bearing wet, but it was iffy with the lack of foot feeling.

We then went back up a steep pitch and voilà, bike path.  We stripped down and stood on the hot asphalt and I couldn’t feel my lower legs and feet.  We stayed there for probably 20 minutes, laying on the hot asphalt and trying to warm up.  Our shins were toast, scraped raw from the icy snow.

The people riding by on the bike path always asked if we were good, which was nice.  We looked like we’d gone through a war.

Riding back down to Vail was amazingly good.  I didn’t put my socks back on and we pretty toasty warm the whole way.  It felt so good pedalling.  Whenever it flatted out, my legs were toast.

We only had 37 miles riding and walking, but we were out 5 1/2 hours.  I think we were doing the backcountry thing for about 2 hours.  It seemed much longer, but that was just the time not on the road.  We’d walked a bunch by then already.

I’m not that bad today.  And I sort of enjoyed yesterday, is a weird way.  I think the walking in the deep snow was exactly what my hip needed.  It has been babied enough and it is about time I start doing some other exercises other than pedalling around in circles.  This was pretty low impact and really strenuous.

Today we’re just going to do a normal road ride.  Maybe the Copper triangle or over to Frisco, around Lake Dillion and back to Vail.

It wasn't like this continually.  This only happened about once every 5-10 minutes.  It was sometimes pretty hard extracting myself.

It wasn’t like this continually. This only happened about once every 5-10 minutes. It was sometimes pretty hard extracting myself.

VIncent trying to use his bike to get his leg out.

VIncent trying to use his bike to get his leg out.

This is way steeper than the photo protrays.   Like steep enough it would be hard to walk down without snow.

This is way steeper than the photo protrays. Like steep enough it would be hard to walk down without snow.

Climbing down a pine tree with my bike.

Climbing down a pine tree with my bike.

Vincent forging the small stream.

Vincent forging the small stream.

Yardsale when we finally got to the bike path.

Yardsale when we finally got to the bike path.

My cogs were a little clogged with snow initially.

My cogs were a little clogged with snow initially.

 

Both my legs were scrapped pretty good.

Both my legs were scrapped pretty good.

MTB Adventure

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Kind of got behind this morning.  Trudi packed up and fLew to Chicago this morning for a niece’s high school graduation.  I spent the last couple hours trying to get my MTB bike working.  I never put a rear dérailleur on after I ripped it off a month ago. 

Vincent and I are now driving to the Buffalo Creek area to ride some of the Bailey Hundo course.  I’m not sure what I’m getting into.  Vincent is talking about taping an extra bottle to his frame for the ride. Sounds like it might be another adventure.  

I’m looking forward to getting a little lower in altitude.  Stayed in Silverthorn last night, which is less than a thousand feet higher than Vail.  I sure felt worse.  I don’t acclamate all that great.  

Okay. Enough of this posting on my phone when I should be soaking up my surroundings.  

  
My legs after the snow treading adventure.   They are like this all the way around. 

50 Miles of DG (Decomposed Granite) / GoPro Adventure Games?

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Yesterday was just fun.  Vincent and I drove from Silverthorn, Co over to near Conifer and rode some of the trails at Buffalo Creek.  There are some new ones, plus the already established trails.  They were all excellent.

I have only ridden my MTB bike a couple times this year.  Way back in February I did the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo on a team, then about a month ago I drove out to Lake Wilson, in Central Kansas, and proceeded to nearly destroy my bike.  So, this would be the 3rd time actually.

And it was fun.  We started at Reynolds Park and went directed up North Fork trail.  That wasn’t a good idea for warming up.  It is a few hundred meters of really steep trail.  I barely stayed on my bike, my arms were actually the weak link.  Then it got better.

I’m not exactly sure where we went.  We rode over to the Colorado Trail, Nice Kitty and some other great trails.  Much of the riding was through a burn area, really open and kind of sad, but beautiful too.  It looks like it burned a long time ago, but no trees seem to be growing back.  Wonder why that is?  Seems like there should be seeds in the ground and there has been a ton of rain.

Anyway, we ended up with nearly 50 miles and 5000 feet of climbing.  It took a little over 4 hours, but we weren’t setting any speed records.  I got a lot better letting my wheels drift.  That is the key on the loose stuff, feeling comfortable with your wheels drifting.   The only way to come out of corners fast is setting them up by drifting and rear brake.I only slid out on one switchback, so drew blood, which was expected. Towards the end, I felt almost like a “real mountain biker”.

So much so I think I might race the GoPro Mountain Games MTB cross country on Saturday in Vail.  I had no idea that this race was happening.  I’m pretty far removed from the National MTB scene.  Anyway, the last couple days in Vail, they’ve been moving in all these displays, sound stages, etc. for the GoPro Games.  There are supposed to be 60,000 people there on the weekend.

I thought about it and realize I won’t be competitive.  I would have been at altitude for 5 days, the exact number of days that I’m normally at my physical low from lack of oxygen.  Plus, I haven’t paid my dues off-road, so I can’t expect much.

But, I thought about it and decided that I’d rather be on the inside looking out and not watching from the other side of the barriers.   It is a special treat to be haulin‘ through Vail Village with 1000’s of screaming spectators.

Vail is my favorite place to race MTB.  I was 12th there at the 96 World Championships and have always enjoyed how the city treats athletes.  I don’t normally do very well at altitude, especially when I haven’t been there for at least a couple weeks, but what the heck, it really doesn’t matter.

TodayI hope to meet up with Brad Bingham, the welder of my Eriksen frames.  He and his girlfriend are heading over to Vail, from Steamboat Springs, to pre-ride the course early afternoon.  I would love to get at least a lap in with them.    I guess I’ll officially enter after that.   I’m trying to convince Vincent into racing too.  He’ll probably beat me.

I’m staying with Vincent in SIlverthorn now, but like I said above, am headed over to Vail.  I’ll probably just stay there tonight and then race late morning.  It is supposed to rain some today and tomorrow, so that might make it that much more entertaining.

Vincent climbing up the North Fork Trail.

Vincent climbing

up the North Fork Trail.

There are a lot of big rocks around here.

There are a lot of big rocks around here.

 

Panaromic view up at a trail junction.

Panaromic

view up at a trail junction.

They had this aid station set up at Buffalo Creek.  We put $5 into the can for a couple waters.

They had this aid station set up at Buffalo Creek. We put $5 into

the can for a couple waters.

There were selling water in a box, like boxed like milk, in Idaho Springs.

There were selling water in a box, like boxed like milk, in Idaho Springs.

 

This sign is on I-70.  I think it is witty.

This sign is on I-70. I think it is witty.

 

We saw this little girl a couple nights ago on this electric powered wheel thing.  She was excellent at it.  You just lean forward to go faster and lean back to slow down.

We saw this little girl a couple nights ago on this electric powered wheel thing. She was excellent at it. You just lean forward to go faster and lean back to slow down.

O

Nice Video of Alan McCormack and his Wheaties/Schwinn Bike

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I love Alan.  I truly enjoyed travelling around with him.  He was always so upbeat and fun.  Thomas Prehn, Alan and I took a long East Coast hit squad trip in a Honda one fall when we were all riding for Schwinn.  Alan kept playing a Sam Kinison tape over and over while Thomas was in the back trying to write articles for Bicycling Magazine.  It was hilarious.  Anyway, you’ll get some of Alan’s personality in this video.  I still have a brand new bike like this in my basement.

MTB Racing in the Rain???

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I’m writing this post on Friday night late.  I went ahead and signed up for the GoPro Mountain Games MTB race tomorrow at 11:45.    It should be interesting.

Right now, it is supposed to be raining most of the morning, until the start and through the race.   That should be interesting too.  I haven’t really ridden off-road on trails in the mud in a very long time.

Today VIncent and I messed around in Silverthorn doing chores.  We put a new lock in the front door and I mowed the whole yard.  It is a pretty big yard, like 2 acres.  I am pretty sore from that, even though it is good cross training.  Maybe good race prep?

Then we headed over to Vail and met up with Brad Bingham and his girlfriend, Hannah Williams.   Brad is awesome on a MTB bike and welds pretty great too.  Hannah finished 9th last year in the Pro women’s race and hasn’t been racing bikes very long, so she is only going to get better.

We rode 2 laps of a 7 mile course.  I was doggin‘ it up the first climb.  Actually, I was pretty slow the whole first lap.  This is, normally, 4 or 5 days into altitude where it catches up with me.  I really didn’t plan to race and haven’t been slowing down my activities, so what do I expect other than to be a tad tired.  It’s okay.  I’m doing it just for the race experience.

I usually don’t go to a race without preparing somewhat.  This is completely off the cuff.  I did put on some new tires, with more tread for the race, so I did something to prepare.  I’m riding 9 speed and old XTR.  I’ll probably be the only guy in the race on 9 speed, but I don’t really need another gear.

There are a lot of small ring climbing and then bumpy single track descending.  I was having a little trouble staying with Brad and Vincent on the descents, but definitely improved the 2nd lap.  I hope to get better even tomorrow.  I’m normally good when it’s a little slick out, but I haven’t done it in a while.

Okay, I’ll update this in the morning when the weather is closer.  I don’t mind the rain, but warming up in it will be a challenge.  The problem I’m going to have tomorrow is the start.  When I’m not used to the thin air, if I go too hard early, then I blow and it kills me for a while.  I really just need to start slow, way slower than I want to go, and ride into the race.  The problem is that the race is just 1:40 or so.  Not much time to make up lost ground.

I’m wandering again.  That’s it for now.

*20 minutes to start.  Down pouring rain. ☔️ And not warm. Another adventure.  

Pretty great swag bag.

Pretty great swag bag.


Vincent, Brad and Hannah on the climb.

Vincent, Brad and Hannah on the climb.


GoPro Dog 5K start.  These guys were getting pulled up the hill.  Winner in less than 19 minutes with a lot of elevation gain.  Pretty impressive.

GoPro Dog 5K start. These guys were getting pulled up the hill. Winner in less than 19 minutes with a lot of elevation gain. Pretty impressive.


This guy has hip dysplasia and needs a little cart to walk.

This guy has hip dysplasia and needs a little cart

to walk.
Stacie cooked an awesome dinner after the ride.

Stacie cooked an awesome dinner after the ride.


Here is Stacie with her new Giro ski helmet and goggles.  Both 1/2 price in the summer.

Here is Stacie with her new Giro ski helmet and goggles. Both 1/2 price in the summer.


Forecast for tomorrow.

Forecast for tomorrow.


No deadbolt or handle.

No deadbolt or handle.


New deadbolt and handle.  The deadbolt is connected to the Internet and you can program it to open from your phone.

New deadbolt and handle. The deadbolt is connected to the Internet and you can program it to open from your phone.


Part of the front yard  I mowed.  It is pretty rustic/primitive in places.  The Weedeater mower ran forever on a tank of gas.  I couldn't believe it.

Part of the front yard I

mowed. It is pretty rustic/primitive in places. The Weedeater mower ran forever on a tank of gas. I couldn’t believe it.