Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crusty v. Me...

Well Crusty made the trip up from KC with quite a bit of drama, but that is his tale to tell. Bike building ensued Friday (the Edge CX Fork is AMAZING), so it was game on for Saturday - there has been much trash talking on both ends for the first meet up of the year. We made the trip to Madison Saturday morning, unloaded and got our game faces on. I wasted my front row call up with another poor start and had to fight some traffic to catch up to Crusty. After a couple of laps I had reeled him in and gave him some words, but he wasn't having it so I pushed on. A few more laps rolled by, 5 to go I couldn't believe it. It was hot and mentally I fell apart - AGAIN! MWI teammate Dr. Gigglie caught on after a trip to the pit and I tried to stay on his wheel and failed as another friend was closing in on us. Rolled in for 14th, fairly disappointing, but at least it's 1-0 in my favor over Crusty. I am not clear on the sequence of events but he slid out on an off camber and changed bikes, but that's racing - maybe he needs to brush up on his handling skills before the rematch in 3 weeks down in KC :)

Sunday brought another day with a similar outcome - Crusty raced 3's started fast. lost his fancy saddle and had to switch bikes again. The good Dr. handed ti to me again as mental problems continue to plauge me this season!

It was awesome to see pros from far and wide at a local race. Once again Michael Mueller
amazed me with his Euro smoothness! So quite and perfect. The brothers LaLonde were out there killing it for the local sponsor. My wife was called to action to assist with Jonathan Baker's ankle meets chain ring incident. Todd Wells and Jonathan Page and an epic battle on Sunday - Todd almost had him, I always like watching Todd race! Best of all was a weekend at the races chillin' with the homies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fortune Cookie Wisdom...

Call it Karma, coincidence, or what have you but here is my fortune from lunch

To guarantee success, act as if it were impossible to fail.

With round one of Crusty v. Endo looming this weekend and my confidence level slightly diminished after racing in Michigan this was just I needed.  You see I tend to hold something back when I race, for what I have no idea.  I find it hard to push into the blurry eyed, snot dripping, drooling from the mouth zone when racing instead always holding something in reserve never risking it all in the moment.  I have been in the red zone many times - doing intervals, Wednesday Night practice, but very seldom when it matters most.  With bragging rights on the line Saturday I am committed to pushing myself and finding the place inside where my inner demons dwell and kicking their ass.

...here is to racing and holding nothing back.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Double Cross

Watched lots of guys roll tires
Watched JP fiddle with his loose saddle, have it fall off, keep riding, do the run-up, and try to remount sans saddle.
Saw lots of racers overcome by the weather.
Crashes everywhere.
Witnessed quiet perfection in the barriers.

Oh yeah I raced 35+, but that's another story...

Marko's a righty

Coming in HOT!

Lots of rolled tubulars on this off -camber downhill turn!

tomorrow is another day.

KTR Double Cross Day One...

Jonathan Page killed it today with over a minute lead on Mike Mueller in second and a charging Mike Garrigan in third, and Marko LaLonde finishing a solid fourth. Awesome course waay too hot for cross season well into the 80's

Every time Michael Mueller went through the barriers all you heard was his feet, no bike noise, and just feet kicking when he went to re-mount! It was cool!

First Photo dump - the pit shot of Jonathan is right after is saddle fell off and he road to the pit without.

More after dinner....

...CX Season is finally here

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cross Nationals...

Stayed up late like everyone else last night to register for Cross Nationals. I forgot to renew my license beforehand and wasn't allowed to complete my registration! Crap! But after jumping through the hoops at USA Cycling I went back to the registration page and was allowed to finish up from where I left off. Sweet. Apparently there was a system crash or glitch at USAC (nah that couldn't happen could it) that locked a bunch of people out.

On a different note how about Jonathan Page going to
Chequamegon MTB race and killing it - way more interesting than what happened at the 12Hours of Snowmass!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday Miss and Out...

This is what happens when some track racers organize a training race. You get a miss and out at Estabrook Park. The first week showing was a little light, but some good racers from Pegasus were in the mix. It was decided that we would go with a double elimination format to keep the race a little bit longer. After a parade lap to let everyone dial in the course it was game on. Cale led the first lap, I came around for the second lap hoping to make a split in the group and mix it up. Well it split into two guys from Pegasus and myself. Outnumbered I stayed on the front keeping the tempo up to force them to want it if they were going to attack. After a lap or so of this Jason went for it, but Cale jumped on his wheel then I closed the gap to Cale and recovered for a half lap. I went back to the front coming through the finish notching up the tempo again. Kept it up and could hear the hard breathing behind me - just what I wanted. Then Jason dropped a chain in the barriers so I ramped it up a notch to make him suffer getting back on when he finally made it back I was poised for an attack but it never came. I stayed on the front riding tempo until it was just the three of us left. I continued to ramp up the pace dropping Jason and it was down to Cale and myself. Cale and I agreed on one to go for the win. When we came back around to the pavement section I put the power to the pedals gaped Cale then held it all the way to the line. Good times.

What a difference a week can make! I felt like crap last week and this week I was on tempo cruise control. The build up to the KTR Michigan races and JP Cross is looking good.

...enjoy the small victories.

Cross Needs v.2...

So second on the list of things you need for cross season is the Craftsman Power Inflator. Last year at Cross Nationals there were a few of these floating around the pro pit and most of us mechanics in the pits were more interested in this little gadget than all the bikes. What makes it so special you ask. Well first off you have to do a little mod to make it more useful - cut off the bad multi use head and replace it with a nice presta head from Silca and a ziptie.

Since getting one of these right after National the only time I use a floor pump anymore is at the shop. Road, MTB, and cross tires are handled with ease. Yep 120 psi in your road tires - no problem. But the cool thing is the digital gauge with auto shut-off. You can plug in a tire pressure up to 40 psi pull the trigger and the inflator will shut off when the desired pressure is reached. The digital pressure gauge is as accurate as any floor pump gauge I have seen and the whole thing runs off a Craftsman 19.2 v battery. The inflator does not come with a battery so if you don't already own any Craftsman cordless product you will have to buy a battery and charger. Sears is perpetually having a sale in the tool department and battery packs and charges are often included. So on your way home zip on by your local Sears and pick one up or when you are finished reading blogs pop over here and order one up.

...enjoy your gadgets.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mmmm brakes...

So I posted a couple of days ago about these making me feel fast, well they do, but more importantly they are AWESOME. The TRP Euro X Mag brake is well worth breaking open the piggy bank. They are a breeze to set up thanks to the improved Inplace adjustable brake posts and the integrated barrel adjuster. You can see the adjuster and if you look at the end of the brake post you can see a fitting for a 4mm hex wrench to adjust the toe in on the pads. That trick little adjuster solves one of the largest complaints with this style of brake, no need to lug out the adjustable wrench and bend your brake arms.

So beyond the "White Sex" good looks and blinging Gold accents, these brakes are the real deal. Great modulation, more than enough power for a cross brake, mud clearance, and an easy set up - " If you have the means I highly recommend picking some up." Yes they are expensive and yes they are only brakes but come on you know you have $2000+ carbon wheels for cross whats a couple of bills for some HOT brakes?

So how do they compare. I had some Pauls Neo-Retros/Touring Cantis they were nice but I didn't blink at selling them off, they were a little bit finicky in setting up and I personally never liked the CNC look. Last year both bikes had the IRD CAFAMs, nice brakes, good power, okay mud clearance, functional but not exciting. (I still have a set on the B bike - until I can sell some plasma for another set of TRPs)

But in the end when your covered in mud and all smiles does it really matter? I just wish the season would start so I could stop spending money on my upgradeitis.

...ride what makes you happy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rain Chilled Recovery...

Ahhhh late summer rain showers! 60 degrees and raining perfect weather for a recovery ride. 1 hour of easy spinning in the rain to wash away two bad days on the bike. Just what I needed - cleansing for the body and mind. Clear out the self doubt that clouds the mind and make the legs heavy.

A clean bike is a fast bike...

... a clean mind is a fast body.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Makes me feel fast...

So yeah I spent a small fortune on some brakes for the race rig. But you know what the first time I hopped on my bike after they were installed I felt faster. Call it crazy, but a lot of this game is mental and they make me feel fast. Wanna know something else that makes me feel fast...

LeBam makes me feel fast. In her eyes I am the fastest Daddy on two wheels. How can I feel slow when she is cheering so loud - did I mention she has a cowbell collection.

Talking "smack" to this guy makes me feel fast too.

Whatever it takes. I always struggle with the mental capacity of racing, especially the self worth aspect. This year I am focusing on feeling fast, surrounding myself with positive people and thoughts. I deserve that front row starting spot, the podium, the blinky light and bar tape prizes, I have worked hard and am ready to rip it up!

...What make you feel fast? Surround yourself in fast, what ever that may be for you - new kit, brakes, tires, wheels, lucky base layer, pre-race ritual, new socks every race - it's all good, if you feel fast then half the battle is over.