Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why Buck Hill Races Rule!

Here are some pics from Dana ( capturing our family fun during and after the race. Thanks for sharing Dana!
Ok so it doesn't look like I am having fun, but I think this is right after I put the hammer down=)
Tegan and I having fun
Jen Fisher keeping the big man fed
Tegan and Uncle Ben

Tegan cracking/bonking at the end of the night (1.5 hours past his normal bedtime)

Mom is there to save the day

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Buck #3 and Estes Park

Buck Hill number 3 saw the normal crew plus my brother Ben shooting it out. After a good lead out by Paul, I laid it down a bit on the hill traverses. I opened up a gap and just rode my own race from then on. It was great to get my first win of the year, but I am still waiting on that snap in the legs.

Immediately after the race, Ben and I headed down to Des Moines to rendezvous with my parents. After a short stint of shut eye, we got going to Estes Park CO early the next morning to attend one of my good friend's wedding. Lucky for us, the wedding wasn't until 4 on Saturday.
You will never guess what Ben and I did to fill the time=) Devils Backbone in Loveland definitely lived up to its name...we didn't have a camera, but here is a pic I found of one of the climbs. Technical, rocky climbing is probably my favorite thing to do on a mountain bike. There was no shortage of this at the Backbone.
The wedding was in a scenic little church in the shadow of Long's Peak and Meeker Mt.

And the reception was at the hotel that inspired Steven King to write the Shining...No JOKE!
Before heading home I got out on a really fun hike with my brother Brad...we hoofed it pretty hard up to Deer Mountains Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Oh, and the new team kits are in....with NEW colors. I am really happy about that because all my chamois and skin suits are pretty shelled=)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update from Ben in Wisco

For those that don't know, my brother Ben is living in Madison this summer before heading out to grad school in Albany, NY. Given that (and gas prices), he will be riding more WORS that MNSCS this summer.
Here is his update from this weekend:
Race at Lake Geneva went pretty well, I rode with the Lalondes for a few laps before I wussed out and got dropped. I rode the last 2 laps solely with Tristan S. I crashed really freakin hard on the 4th lap and he passed me. Due to pain and lap traffic I was unable to catch him and ended up 4th. The course was super fun. It brought back memories of old Buck Hill; it was at a ski hill with about the same length of climbs and with some fun singletrack. The singletrack was fairly twisty, flowy and technical with some short punchy climbs sort of like Buck Hill. The ST also brought back memories of Welch in some places. All in all the best WORS course I have yet to ride.

Monday, May 19, 2008

CORC and VR Training Camp

This weekend was a blast! The first annual VeloRochester training camp was held up in Cable Wisco at Charly's cabin (SamO and Paul were invited to come as celebrity guests when the VR turnout was lower than expected). The cabin is literally 1/2 mile from Telemark and the Camba Trail system starts in his back yard (he rents it out weekly for super cheap if you are interested).
Cable Off Road Classic was on the agenda for Sat morning. I didn't really feel fully recovered after Buck on Thursday night, but I figured I would give'r and see what happens. The start was not as crazy as Cheq because it had a "selection" hill...Cool! I hit the singletrack in 4th behind Doug, Paul, and Jesrin. Doug and Paul started to get a gap so I went around Jesrin. I started to pull them back, but then I went off trail in a spot where the leaves were thick and I couldn't tell which way to go. Oops! Jesrin caught me by the time I got back on the trail. We soon hit an open section. From then on it was another tough solo effort, and I knew it would be almost impossible to catch Paul and Doug if they worked together. I didn't see ANYONE for the next hour (other than trail officials) until about 4 miles left when I started to catch Doug. Paul had put the hammer down and pulled away for the win... a deserved win for sure! I never caught Doug and ended up 3rd.
My comments on the course: one of the most fun courses I have done, and definitely the best point to point I have done. The singletrack was stellar and that is what keeps me coming out to races.
After the race, we biked 3 miles back to Charly's as a cool down. We planned to ride again later in the day, but storms derailed our plans. Instead, we just cooked dinner twice and at almost everything=) We followed that with a camp fire that got a little hot.
Sunday we took an epic ride that saw us hitting the Ojibewe (SP?) loop and then some Rock Lake trails. Again, all the singletrack was awesome. We rolled home with a few last hard pulls on road back to the cabin.
Racing so far: the race season started for me 10 days ago and is already 4 races old. The starts so far have been pretty painful (more than normal) for me. I am still waiting for the extra kick in the legs...I haven't had it yet this year. I think warm (or even average) weather and a few more races will help.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Buck #2

Another sufferfest is over and I got dropped again. Paul was riding very well and dropped me on the third pavement climb. We had a big gap to the rest of the field already so I just cruised it on in for second about 20-30 seconds back. SamO put in another solid ride followed by Fisher, Eric Thompson, and Luke Nelson.

All in all, I wouldn't say that I felt bad or good last night (in the race), but I sure had a fun time chasing Tegan around after the race...he really gets me going every time he does his little squat-knee-bend dance w/ the head bob=)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dana's wonderful work: I couldn't resist

Some of the pics of the mud pit were so funny that I couldnt' resist another post:

A fish (Fisher) in the mud
How deep? Deep!

Going for a swim
All these great pics were provided by Dana Schoppe.

Monday, May 12, 2008

#2 at MNSCS #1

Flat does not equal fact, most of us agreed after the race that often flat can equal harder. I am referring to the lack of climbing out at MNSCS #1, as it is a fast twisty course that offers no respite. Throw in a bunch of really fast guys and you get suffering of the toughest kind.
Oh, and my knee felt fine. It didn't hurt at all to pedal, but it still hurts a little with any twisting motion. I guess I must have sprained it a little on Thurs.
The race:
Paul led out the prologue with Hollywood, myself, Doug, and the rest of the field in tow. I was very comfortably following and managed to follow Paul and Doug into the single track. The MORC guys (race organizers) always do a good job of finding a way to start the race w/out creating a total cluster even given the the lack of a selection climb. After a few minutes, Paul started to pop a little. He let me go around him and I pulled in Doug who was on a self described "should be illegal on this course" rigid superfly=) I hung on for the first lap and fell 10 seconds back through the second. Then I sunk my tire in the big mud pit and had to dismount OTB. At that point, I knew he would be tough to catch because the gap jumped to 40 seconds. Paul, SamO, and EricO were all riding strong in a pack behind me so I tried to keep the gas on. Given the 20-30 mph head wind on some of the open sections, I knew it would be hard to hold them off. Doug was riding superbly again and was not to be caught. I ended up soloing it home for second.

Lessons for the day:
1. Ride my own race if possible - Compared to last year where I/we were stuck in a pack of riders, this was much better. I got to ride my own just wasn't good enough for the win.
2. Hydrate more - I started to cramp on the last 2 laps because I didn't drink enough on the first two....drink, drink, drink.

BTW, pics posted are from Skinny Ski
Next up is Buck Thurs and Cable Off Road Classic/ Velo Rochester Training camp this weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Buck number one, race number one, not won

Well finally I had an opportunity to race last night. A hot field was present w/ Doug, Sam, Paul, Chris, Tom, and at least half of the MNSCS expert field. Up to the race, I was feeling ok, but I cracked my knee REALLY hard on a tree in warm ups when my front tire washed out. It was in the same area that my brother almost died (not really) in a wicked crash two years ago. Anyway, it was stupid and my fault that I was talking rather than paying attention.
I had to pretty much continuously pedal up to the race so the knee wouldn't freeze up (and it did after the race), so sorry to those who thought I was being ant-social. I did get a few hello's in, but I would have rather been chatting than pedaling.

The race was hard. Doug attacked on the first pavement climb. I caught him, but he was flying. The guy is straight-up super fit and winning almost all the spring road races right now.
After I let up a little, SamO eventually caught me. I was ok w/ that because Fisher warned me that he has some serious climbing legs right now. On the last lap, I took the reigns and rode pavement and the twisty stuff a little quicker getting a gap. That is how it ended. Doug up about 50 seconds on me, and Sam 30 seconds or less behind me. Paul was coming on super strong at the end but never quite got us. Fisher had a great race considering he has been sick for 2 straight weeks.

This morning I awoke to the norm: my son begging to come wrestle on the bed. I obliged. It hurts badly to walk, but that will probably only be affecting my out of the saddle pedaling...I hope. It should be a lot better by Sunday, fingers crossed, which is MNSCS #1 (on Mothers day??? come on...there are 2 weekends open after it).

Well it was great to see everyone again...I look forward to the rest of the year.