Monday, October 18, 2010

Creek-less Cross

Thanks to Kevin and all the fine gents at Chagrin River Cycling for putting on a well run race.

The course was very much different. Not saying that in a bad way by any means. There was supposed to be a deadly climb / run-up and then an equally deadly descent, but I think too many people were scared and / or bitch and moaned until it was changed.

Instead we had a super technical course full of a million twists and turns. Some greasy double track and a little gravel added a bit of power areas to the course. It was unusual, but I think that's what made it very very fun.

I finally got a skinsuit, so I'm an official cyclocross dude now. I had to prove myself and show that my gut was really just belly breathing.

The lemans start was sano. Elbows were flying people tripping over each other, the whole nine yards. Some dude in town from California asked: "You guys don't start every race this way... do you...?" Welcome to Ohio dude. Jungle cross.

I didn't get a half bad start, which is nuts as I've ran about ten feet total my entire life.

Weeks got off the front, and I played the doting teammate trying to hold the man, the myth, the legend, Paul Martin off as long as I could. I was actually surprised. I was able to duke it out with Paul for probably 6 or so of the 11 laps (a wild guess to make me sound cool and because I was too gassed to see lap cards.)

After he decided he was done playing around, Paul ripped my legs off and moved up to Matt. Time for me to bridge back up.

I worked my ass off getting back up and had the gap down to maybe five seconds when I forgot every bit of techincal ability I had and washed out on a fucking acorn or something. Damnit.

It was going to be tough to move back up and I had Ernie fresh of a 24 hour race and a cross race the day before, on my tail.

Made good progress to move back up, and fell on like the easiest part of the day. A 2 mph little tight chicane thing. I think was just so gassed that my center of balance got goofy and I just fell. So dumb.

I got back up from that pretty easily and luckily was able to fight Ernie off for third place.

Third behind Paul and Weeks is first in my book. I'll take it.

UCI3 craziness

Long overdue for a write up on this. The Cincy UCI3 weekend has came and went. Big weekend for me, and it worked out pretty well.



After last year's muddy shitshow, the conditions and course on Friday were a large change of pace. The course was extremely hilly, very bumpy, and full of twists and turns. A drivers course with very few areas to really recover.

Due to my ninja computer skills I was able to procure a front row start. I was going to use this to my advantage and blow the race apart as soon as possible.

Ray Smith took the holeshot with me planted on his wheel. I bid my time and made a pass when the course allowed. Now time to attack!

Attack I did; I ended up opening up perhaps a 30 second gap and was feeling good, aside from the oppressive heat.

Life was fine and dandy until 29er crew rider Travis Mullen made it up to me. He seemed in better shape than me, and pretty much towed me around the course. To say he was smooth was an understatement, he would flow through the turns as I washed out and rode my brakes. For the last few laps I held on for deal life as he gapped me out of the turns and I had to really work to get back on. With two to go, it finally became enough. Travis got away. I was all by my lonesome

On the bell lap, I thought I might be able to close the gap on him, but a lapped rider miss interpreted my RIDER BACK for FALL IN FRONT OF ME. So that pretty much ended the chase. Travis got me by 20 seconds. 2nd place. Thanks bro.

Nonetheless pumped on my result and I didn't die of heat stroke, so life is good.


Java Johnny's was awesome last year, and the course was pretty much the same this year. The exception being the double sandpit was replaced by two tight 180s through the sand.

The race started the same as Friday. Ray leading it out and me blowing the race apart as soon as possible. After everyone settled in, myself, Jason and two Red Zone juniors got away.

The race then began to be a battle of attrition. The redzone juniors ganged up on us and would attack and then counter relentlessly. Whenever Jason or I would get away, they'd bring us back. It wasn't looking good, so I wanted to sit on the front and control the pace. I got to show my cyclocross skillz by dismounting on the driveside and taking the quick way around the sand every time and that helped to tire people out and buy me a little gap.

So after lap after lap of being attacked into the ground, one of the attacks shook Jason, so it was the two Red Zone dudes and I. I was liking my chances as they were both seeming super tired and I was opening up a reasonable gap out of turns.

On the two little humps before the paved second, dude number 2, who sat in most of the time attacked. It caught be by enough surprise. I laid it all on the line to close the 2ish bike length gap he had on me before we got to the pavement, but I couldn't.

So sprint time it was. I was able to get about a bike length away, but it wasn't in the cards. Outsprinted by a 16-year old. Haha at me.


I was out for blood on Sunday. The course was way wide open and sort of a power rider's course. Not my style, but no biggie.

What do you know, the 16-year-old dude proved he wasn't a fluke and ripped everyone's legs off.

But before that, I once more tried to blow the race apart. I hauled through the start finish and through the sandpit and got a group of 5 off he front with me eventually.

It was all about staying smooth and not crashing and conserving energy on many of the wide open areas through the course. It was 90ish degrees and I was dying.

Everything was going fine and dandy until youngman attacked right before the sandpit. I wasn't in the best position and foolishly instead of chasing, I figured we'd reel him back in. Nope.

Jason, Travis and I were together with someone maybe 10 seconds behind. It was way too hot and I was way too tired to make anything happen, so I hung on to Jason and Travis for dear life.

I finally started getting into my groove and enjoying the course a bit more. I planned on sitting in until the uphill finishing straight and making my move there after getting nice and rested up.

The course had other plans as I ate a tremendous amount of shit on the swooping left before the descent / right hand turn of death.

See ya later second and third place. Hello fighting life and limb for fourth.

I was able to recover quickly enough and rolled across the line comfortably enough in fourth, close enough to second and third to watch Jason take the sprint finish from Travis. Atta boy.

I never want to race cyclocross in the heat again.

The end.