14 December, 2014

Got shafted at State Cyclocross...

...but was still ite.
Saturday morning we were agog with sports. Truthfully just my middle daughter and me. My middle daughter plays 7th grade basketball and if the time works out, I was going to do my last cyclocross event of the season-the Colorado State Cyclocross Championships.
If you've never witnessed the spectacle that is called 7th grade girls basketball, it doesn't have a running clock, the refs call all the fouls, every 30 seconds there is a jump ball, and it's pretty much a full contact sport.  With that being said, it's still awesome watching my daughter get somewhat aggressive, taking shots, passing, and occasionally swatting a ball from an offensive player.
Fast forward to state cyclocross...
I get there late but manage to register.  I get on the course to warm up but my dumb arse gets busted for warming up during a race.  I wasn't being malicious, I pulled over when the racers came up, I know the preview flag was closed, yeah, I know that.  Before call ups the head ref called my name and busted me.  Told me I would line up dead last during the call ups for poaching the course.  Otherwise, I probably would've gotten a first row call up because I've been doing halfway good this season.
So, I says, to myself, "First of all, good job dumb-arse.  Now, that you're screwed from a decent poll position, where should you line up to get the best shot into the singletrack?"
The sprint is up a street, then a right hander over a ramp that's placed over the curb (yeah, homegrown but it does prevent pinch flats), then a lefty-loosey onto a screamer of an off-cambered downhill.  I know this because I previewed the course...
We're line up taking the whole lane and I line up right on the centerline.  I was seven rows back but my eyes (that were bigger than my sprinting muscles involved in sprinting) thought this would be good!
I says to myself, "When dickwad, aka the head referee, whistles us to go, I will hug the centerline and pass as many people on the leftside of the road as humanly possible because they're going to swarm right to lineup before the righthander."

Two minutes racers!
Bite me buddy, you just relegated me to last place!

One minute!
Nervous chatter dissipates and my drive side leg that's clicked in starts to toggle.

30 seconds!
You can hear a pin drop!

10 seconds!
I'm mentally counting down to anticipate the blowing of the whistle to jam my leg in my SPD!

The whistle goes, I luckily don't botch my SPD entry and I'm in the drops rocking the bike!  I think I pass the first two rows as we're sprinting up the hill!  Holee crap, we are close to each other going full tilt! We are elbows to arseholes inserting ourselves before the downhill.  Even though it turns right, it cuts left immediately downhill-like a two, 90° chicane.  I stay left and apex pass the people going right and keep my line and they line up behind me.  Now I've passed the bottom two-thirds of the peloton.  I am chugging in air like a frat boy chugs PBR with a beer bong.  Incidentally, I went to the University of Texas at Austin where that type of behavior is NOT tolerated.

A dude biffs it behind me on the off-cambered stuff, because I hear that sphincter clenching sound of organic mass hitting the deck with internal organs thunking on the endoskeleton complete with all leading side edges of the bike mechanically sounding off too.  Yikes!

Thank you sir, for slowing down my competitors.

Whoever designed the course was evil (aren't they all?) because there's this downhill off-cambered two-switchback portion that's super tight and to get through you have to go inside everybody as they negotiate this dusty, patchy, piece of cruelty.  People are running here, I ride and pass the runners as they remount.  Ah yeaugh, like the Jefferson said on their hit TV show, "I'ma moving on up!"

I catch a competitor/friend of mine and we're duking it out, exchanging leads, then he just flows away from me on the switchbacks.  Amazing.
Homey's about to pass me!

So now I just glue myself onto packs on the course.  At this point there isn't very many packs left because it's strung out.  I pass maybe three and get passed by one as it's the final lap? With about a kilometer left, there's a another chicane with a barriers and I can see the trio behind me.  I yell, "C'mon gentlemen!" so as to motivate our last two or so minutes of the season at anaerobic redline. They're still behind me as we hit the finishing sprint on the road.  Before the righthand u-turn in the road I drop it down three cogs.  The minute my rear tire's on pavement, my head's down and me and my bike are metronoming with all 3.25 cylinders firing!  They don't pass me but I almost pass the guy in front of me.
I finished 18th out of 40 some odd peeps.  Not bad for dead last I suppose.   Uncle Drew and my kids are out there yelling too.  I've gotten lucky with my new extended family y'all.  Feeling happy and Drew with his sly humor says, "Cheaters get bad call ups."  Thanks brah!
Now, I have this hacking cough from eating all this dust on a warm day in December in Colorado.  My Christmas break at school's about to begin and I am ready peeps!

28 September, 2014

Been awhile y'all (again)

Well, it's a been a strange and wondrous journey (my apologies to the author, Stephan Molnar-Fenton, who actually uses that phrase in his book about his adoption experience).  Strange in that I mean busy, that is--not fun!  I started my Master's program and it's pretty much sucking the life out of me but in a counter-intuitive way it's keeping me fairly focused as a kid who has ADD, hence the sabbatical on my blog.  Wondrous because as I continue on this destinationless journey I'm accompanied by Karen, my ass kicking kids, and our new poochie, Bianca, and I am thankful that it is indeed wondrous and a learning process for all involved in a kind, respectful sort-of-way.  I'm down with learning, okay, now onto cycling...

Been bitten by the cyclocrossing bug!  I owe my bug to my friends at Airborne, specifically Eric, my Ninja!  Last year, I tried really hard to race but had nothing but bad luck and callups so far back I was in a different zipcode.  It's not racing, it's more like expensive training.  This year though, after selling my house (the market was CRAZIZZLE, when I sold it!  In fact, Karen and Keb-moe and I were in Prescott, AZ for the Whiskey Off-road when my former student aka my real estate agent told me after 5 hours on the market we got an offer for $5k over!) and moving in with Karen to start our new life, coparenting with the 14 and under wrecking crew, starting my Master's, having my octogenarian Mom visit for 2.5 months, racing mountain bike marathon events and being a HS teacher brought about results on the CX endeavor.  It all started with Kickit Cross.  Amazing what a decent call up can do and an upgrade in the steed department, how that translates to an extension of the body as a machine that rolls with proficiency, no matter what the terrain or the weather throws at you (I say that now, I'm a fair weather kind of racer).  Advice is helpful too.  Wednesday's there is a weekly race and that race course is so loose and sketchy and anti-flowey, it makes me question my tires and my confidence in leaning.  There is a wee contact patch on a 700x34 cm tire as its velocity is always changing and the mass above said machine has to dynamically counter steer the center of balance while trying to put the evil smack down on the guy right in front of you!  I have no flow at the Wednesday nighters and it followed me to Kickit.  Jeff, my teammate said don't blow it on the first lap, there's enough places to pass on this course.  Sho' nuff, I was in the second row after callups and I can accelerate fairly decently so after they counted us down (Holy Crap my mind is racing when the referee says, "30 seconds!") and he blew the whistle.

Sand pit at Kickit, the guy on the far left eventually won it!
I practice clipping in my non-drive side when the whistle blows I'm in (my pedal) and rocking the drops on my carbon Bianchi for all its worth.  I line up sixth in the first lap and it pretty much stays like that until the last lap.  Kickit Cross was also the place of Colorado State Championships!  Crashed twice in the snow so I remember my disappointing past there.  In fact, Maura took a picture of me with my head down as a crossed the start/finsih line there last December.

My best position is third with a kilometer left and there is this fast, downhill, super patchy grass and hard pack soil bouncing me around (I put waay too much air in my tires) and my chain pops off!  I don't get off the bike but I try to finagle the chain back onto the chainring by playing with the derailleur as I coast downhill.  Two people pass me, but eventually, in the most untimely manner, the chain snicks back on the chainring.  I sprint like the dickens but the course is designed in such a way I can't get a power flow on for a pass without taking myself out as I chase (just in case I do).  I finish 5th and my teammate Jeff, 6th.  Dat's okay because I get decent callup points for my next two races!

3rd in Valmont and a DNF due to a flat at the Green Mtn CX.  This leads to redemption race this Sunday.

I'm going to go to bed soon, so in a nutshell
-I crashed Wednesday and road rashed my left elbow pretty good.
-I crashed at Cyclo-X re-abrading my abrasions.  Went to the EMT tent and they cleaned out the wounds good as I winced in pain!
-Karen was there so I raced as if I had a second set of legs and lungs.
-I finished sixth!  Probably because my teammate let me race on his tubulars.  My god those wheels are evil!