Friday, November 30, 2007

Where's the Humanity?

One of my loyal readers recently passed word that my blog has "lost its humanity" & I need to post about Mia @ least once a week. OK. I'm not sure how a blog looses its humanity but I'll post more about Mia. I really think that was a line he used to land his new corporate gig & it worked so he's waving it around like a red flag.
Almost all the neighbors had put up their lights so Amber was on me to get ours up. I got them out & plugged them in in the garage to look for blown bulbs. How about blown strands? I ended up throwing away 4 strands & buying new. We went with the multi color lights this season.

We did have 2 strands from the old group that worked. They fade from blue to white so I put them up around the door. This way Mia can see the "pretty lights", her words, from the living room.
How did I get those lights up there you ask? With a big long pole thats how. My neighbor was so impressed he rushed off to Target to get the same set up.

Mia has been very fascinated with pictures lately. She carries them around & will tell you who is in the picture. These happen to be all of her. She carries around 4 of me boating saying "daddie, daddie" very cute.
This pic was so cute I had to post it twice.
Mia & her guard doggie Lacy.
Mia & her horsie Lacy. I can't get over all that Lacy lets Mia get away with.
Mia & Lucky. He's still not a big Mia fan but he is slowly warming up to her now that he sees she's here to stay. That & he's figured out shes good for free snacks.

There a little bit of Humanity just for JP.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

WOW! National Championship screwing before the race even starts

Well In the back of my mind I knew it was going to happen but I didn't think they would really do it. Front row for 35-39 is almost all KC natives. The reigning national champ doesn't even have a call up. I bet they fix that. If we line up by bib numbers, which we are supposed to, I'm 3rd row(since I have a feeling there will be more call ups). So much for by registration. Just like State last year. Line up all the KC guys on the front, everyone else behind. What the hell did I stay up till midnight for? Would have been easier to move to KC. Hell I race almost exclusively there now anyway.

All athletes will be staged based on when they registered for the event.
Registration and Day of Staging Protocol:
Age Category National Championships
**Residence in the KC metro area Somehow they deleted this bit of trivia.
1. Top 10 in order of 2006 National championships
2. Recent former National Cross Champions
3. Medalist from younger category 2006
4. By order of registration

Sandbagger's Unite

This is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Talking about calling you out:


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

16 days & 3 races to go

CX season has flown by. Only 16 more days & 3 races to go till Nationals. Last check had my age group @ 160 entries. That's insane. I'm glad I got a good grid spot. I'm starting to wind things down on the training front. Today was one of my last hard practices. Just need to sharpen the pencil with some good racing. Not much more I can do to make my legs go faster. I'm cutting out the running in an effort to keep my legs under me. Tomorrow will probably be my last barrier workout. Training on the cross bike just beats you up too much. I've had enough bruises this year to color my whole body blue. Sunday I'm off to Boss Cross in KC. Should be a good time with lots of hard racing with Nationals so close. Next weekend is State CX & the long term forecast shows snow. What a way to spend my BDay wknd freezing in the snow racing Cross.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jingle Bell CX Video

Found this video of the Elite Men @ Jingle Cross. Gives you an idea of how hard the run ups were.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quick Iowa Day 2 update

Much better 2nd day. Had a front row start spot. Got a great start. Hung out in the lead group till 2 go. Then stuck my head up my butt & got in no mans land by myself in third. Almost caught 2nd @ the line. Ended up 3rd for the day. Managed to get paid for both days. Good money for a Master's race. Today's run up was harder than yesterdays if that's possible. Screwed up my PSI in my front tire (20psi) spot on in the rear (28 psi) Yesterday I got it right on both @ 28psi. Spaced the front one when I got ready today. Felt like I was riding around on a slow leaker the whole race. Made the fast downhill scary since I kept thinking I was going to roll my tire off. Very tired from drive so will post pics & more later.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Jingle Cross Day 1

Day went ok. Didn't get a good start. Call ups were based on registration so I was on the third row which I traded up to get on the 2nd row. Fast start which saw me chasing from the get go.
Was 10th going into the first barriers.
By the end of the first lap I'd moved up to the lead group of 3. Lots of running & climbing on this course & I used it to move up. Eventually got my self free & sat in 2nd for a couple of laps solo.

Call the cops I know this run up is against the law.
Technical slick downhill right after the run up. Very sketchy.
Lappers were supposed to be pulled but they weren't. I had one crash me & take me out of contention for 2nd. I regrouped & grabbed on to 3rd place. Couldn't come around at the finish. Rolled across the line in 4th or so I thought. A snafu with the results showed me as DNF. After talking to a lot of officials & the race director I got placed back in the results. They hand scored the results. I was placed by 3 of the 4 officials. They made the results off the list I wasn't on, DOH! I may not get payed out though since they started handing out the money before I got my situation taken care off. Supposedly tomorrow they are going to "make things right" & pay me out.
Horner's not so PRO with the seat clamp.
Wells' White Dugast's. Bad ass! He didn't race on them since they are dry course tires.

Well's won by a ton. Enough so he was jumping a burm & doing cross ups. I have it on video & will post them when I get back to Missouri. Horner 2nd, Bjorn Selander out sprinted Schoutan for 3rd(last to 3rd). Butthead finally got some UCI points with a massive charge from the very back of the grid to place 9th.


We made it to Iowa late last night, about 11pm. Crazy drive. 6.5 hours of road after different road. If you set the directions down for more than 30 min you were lost. At one point the directions had us on some back road which we missed because someone had stole the damn sign. Pretty cold here, 25 degrees with a feels like of 18, brrrrr. High today is supposed to be 41. There is snow on the ground so I got my wish; a snowy muddy race. I'll try & post some pics of Wells' White Dugast tires. I go off today @ 11:15 with the geezers. Very SORE this AM from the Turkey Trot. Not so sure it was a good idea to run so hard. Luckily the giant run up is tomorrow & not today or I'd be screwed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Trot 2007

There was a boat load of people(4000+) out this AM to brave the 28 degree weather. With the wind chill it felt like 20. Wish I had those shorts of TM's. Saw a bunch of people out that you normally only see on bikes, Greek, Stokes (He got 3rd in his age group), Patrick A&B. Accomplished the sub 20. Ran 18:45 by my watch. "Official" time will be a little faster because of the chip timing, it took me a few seconds to hit the "actual start line". Not my fastest 5k but pretty happy with it since I haven't ran a 5k race since last Turkey Trot. Even splits too 5:53,6:08,6:08, for a 6:02 avg. Avg HR was 170 with my max @ 180. That's only about 1000 calories. Guess I'll have to skip a few courses @ dinner.(I know TM & Skip will love that). Off to get my feed on. Hopefully my legs don't seize up on me this afternoon starting to feel that soreness creeping in.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CX Punk Rock Click

Ticket to Belgium?

Someone want to buy me a ticket to Belgium in January?







Men (1943 and older) 30’ 10.03hr

Women (1958 and older) 20’ 10.02hr

Women (1959-1968) 25’ 10.01hr

Women (1969-1978) 30’ 10.00hr

Men (1944-1948) 30’ 11.02hr

Men (1949-1953) 30’ 11.01hr

Men (1954-1958) 30’ 11.00hr

Men (1959-1963) 40’ 12.00hr

Men (1964-1968) 40’ 13.00hr

Men (1969-1973) 40’ 14.00hr

Men (1974-1978) 40’ 15.00hr

Turkey Day Eve

It's almost time to get our eat on for the Feast of 07. I saw on the news the average Turkey Day dinner consists of 5000 calories. That's nuts! Two days calories in one sitting. My appetite is finally back, but I'm going to try & resist to much temptation so I'm not weighed down this weekend in Iowa. It's going to be hard with this already sitting on the counter.
That's homemade by my talented wife. Oreo cookie crust cheesecake with a caramel nut topping. I gained a pound taking the picture. Oh well thanks to the sickness I'm down to a svelte 150, a pound or two probably won't kill me. I'll have to run extra hard at the Turkey Trot to burn some extra calories. I might be burning them to stay warm. Forecast is for COLD, luckily they took the rain out.

Iowa is a go by the way. (EDIT Found this link) Hotel room booked, race entered. Amber & I leave out Friday afternoon for a quick 7 hour drive. Mia is staying home with her Nana & Poppa Top. I don't expect much on Saturday but pain. It will take a few laps to blow the cob webs out of the legs after a 2 week lay off. Hopefully I can get a good start & hang in till my legs come around. Race pays 10 deep so that's all I shooting for on day 1. Day 2 I hope my legs will have found me & I can go for a top 5. I'll try & post a few updates while at the hotel. The forecast for Iowa doesn't look too bad, mid 40's. I was hoping for a little mud or even some snow. I guess dry is good since it will keep Amber out of the pits. She didn't seem too excited about washing bikes in 40 degree weather.

Happy Feast to everyone & happy Black Friday. Which starts at 4 am this year. When is enough enough? Poor cashiers.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The bag of salad diet

If you need to loose 10 lbs in less than 24 hours then you need the bag of salad diet. After exhaustive testing Amber & I both agree there is no better way to loose that much weight that quickly. Granted it has its downfalls. Mostly in the form of explosive diarrhea & projectile vomiting. But if you want to shed the pounds those are the prices you pay. An added side bonus is that it cuts down on your grocery bill because you will be unable to eat for over 24 hours. Are you hooked? Then head on down to your local grocer & pick up a bag of salad. Odds are you won't get the bag with the special diet prize in it. Fortunately we did & got to dump those pesky extra pounds. Now I won't need to ask if my skin suit makes me look fat, since it will now be baggy. I enjoyed this diet so much I hope I never have to go through it again. Who could have thought one could vomit that much without having alcohol involved?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bike Fit

Some of you have heard me talking about my "56 cm CX' bike that isn't a 56. Turns out it's a 54 cm. No big deal they say down size for CX anyway. What frustrated me was how much effort I put into trying to make my pit bike match my race bike. The measurements are close but not exact. I keep tweaking so by Nationals I might have them dialed. I did stumble on this on another site which linked to Park bike fit. A nice article with a chart. Having a bunch of bikes this is going to be handy. I have been tossing the idea around of making a jig to simplify matters for myself. I hear Eddy Merckx had one.

Need a trailer? I hear they are great for parties.

Hope Green Beans is alright. He attacked a car & lost.

This is my recovery week, thank God! Not been on the bike or my feet for that matter since Saturday. I suppose I'll get out today for an easy spin on the SS'er. I've been riding it at least once a week. This winter I plan on getting in quite a few Kilometers on it. I even have a Fixie conversion planned for it. It will be Uber Ghetto so I'll share it when done.

Next Thursday is the 13Th Annual Turkey Trot 5k. This year will be my 6Th year in a row. It's become quite the outing for my family. My whole family including in-laws do it now. I was going to try & break my personnel best Turkey Trot(17:29 in 2003). But Jingle Cross is 2 days later so I'll just float it & try & break 20 min. I'm less than 30 days from Nationals so need to focus on the bike not the run.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mr. Means Bed & Breakfast

Saturday Cale, TM,& I headed up for the spectacle that is the Columbia Intergalactic Planetary World Cross Championships. We knew it was going to be an interesting weekend of Crossing when we made it 50 feet out of the parking lot @ TM's place o bidness when we had to turn around so he could close the door on his truck. A mind is a beautiful thing to waste. After that minor set back we were on our way full of excitement to race in the cycling Mecca of BOCOMO. You hear about it but words just can't describe how honored one feels to have them allow you to join them in racing in their town. A mind blowing honor.
On the way up it dawned on us that Mizzou was having a home game @ the same time as the race. We wondered about how good an idea this was but later we'd find out first hand. Not so great it turns out. Traffic SUCKED!!!!!! to put it lightly. We probably could have parked in Springfield & rode up faster than traffic was moving on Stadium. It almost caused a bladder emergency. After finding the race. Let me tell you this was no small feat since they hid the course. Sneaky. If you can't beat the SPR Armada hide the course from them. After a few phone calls & some cryptic directions we find it.
A1 Course without a doubt. Thumbs Up. Though in my opinion it would have been better run in the other direction. But still a fine course. The start was a cluster & I got pushed off in the first corner so I had to do some quick thinking to make up places to get over the barrier. Most of that involved taking a sketchy line & jamming my peddle into my calf. But it worked & I was in the front group. For about twenty minute I was in a front group of 4 waiting for Butthead to get off the ground & chase back on. Just as I was ready to throw down the most viscous attack the BOCOMO had ever saw BAM my F'ing chain broke. Ah the luck. Columbia wouldn't have known what hit them. Plus it would have been embarrassing for them if an outsider rode off & made them look bad. Oh well I got to do some spectating. Cale rode well to hold up our honor coming in 4th, TM got 8thish, though if he'd been on tubbies could have gotten 7th. If your not racing Tubulurs your not racing cross.

The scene in Colombia is probably the best in the Big MO. Two Thumbs up. After the race & a quick fix on my useless chain we headed out for a spin of the local trails with Fish. Now we got to see the brilliance behind having a race the same day as a D1 Football game. Beer. It was every where. These kids no how to tail gate & have no problem sharing it with you. Fish also took us by a tailgate party to get us a little grub & a beer. Damn nice of him.

After the spin & a 40 min sit in gridlock we made it to the Mr. Mean's Bed & Breakfast. 6 Thumbs up accommodation's. I've crashed @ a lot of peoples houses for races but have never been emailed a menu before. The food. Where do I start?

Ronald himself couldn't have done better. McThumbs up! The first course started when we walked in the door. Then each course afterwards came in 2 hour waves mixed in with more beer. That man knows how to host. In fact I think he should write a book on proper bike racer hosting. The world would be a better place for it. I mean the man jumped on his bike @ 9pm to ride to the store to get Ice Cream & Cool Whip for the Cobbler he had just whipped up. I'm truly scared to weigh myself.

Mr. Means provides more than just a couch & a place to shower after a race. Its a full service hostel as well as a full service late night bike shop.

Cale says when I'm in town to kill Columbian's I always stay @ Mr. Means Bed & Breakfast.

3 more thumbs up for breakfast & coffee. Because what would a B&B be (3b's) without its breakfast. In this case Belgian waffles & a bottomless pot of coffee. Not no instant either the real deal. Unfortunately because of a freak accident @ home we had to bail on more coffee & the drive to Lawrence to race again. In worked out since I deep down wanted to start my recovery week a day early anyway. TM I hope all is well & if I can do anything let me know. Maybe a half pipe @ your house as a welcome home gift?

Friday, November 09, 2007

CX Mag Review

Last weekend at Riverside CX Fest they were handing out copies of the First Cyclocross Magazine like it was toilet paper. I've had a chance to read it cover to cover & its pretty good. I know your saying a magazine just for Cross? Why not its a niche sport that needs a niche mag. A subscription will cost you &12 for 4 issues. Not too bad.

The Fall issue had interviews (in depth) with Katie Compton & Jonathan Page. They share some training & set up secrets. That's info we weekend warriors are looking for. I spend a lot of time looking at World Cup pics trying to figure out what the Pros are running. Getting it straight from the horses mouth is nice.

My favorite section is the Bike Hacker. Being one I can appreciate this info. They tell you how to run Campy Ergo levers with a Shimano Dérailleur. Supposedly it works great & is crazy light. Look for it on a bike of mine in the near future. I could read a whole magazine on nothing but bike hacks & set up ideas.

They have good coverage of Interbike from a cross perspective. All the new cross goodies coming to a LBS near you.

The mag could use more color but I understand it being a start up & cash is probably tight. All in all I think its worth a read & a look at all the great photos it has. If you can find it get it. I'm guessing though ordering a subscription is the best route. Ask nice & I might even share my copy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

That's a couple of guys

This is a casual Wednesday Practice Cross race in Boulder. Holy Crap that's a bigger field than I've seen in some races this year.

Mud & Cowbells Posts on these Wednesday outings. I wish we could get 5 guys to show up to a weekly session.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Workspace

Here you go Mike a run down of my "garage bike shop". I have just about every thing do do what a bike shop can. Eventually I plan on adding frame tools & facing tools to my arsenal. The one thing I would add more of is outlets. My garage lacks them in a big way but I'm working on them.

One day I'm going to add a drill press & a mini lathe/mill combo.If I had one of these I'd never need to buy small parts again, I'd just make them. I haven't bought a headset spacer in awhile. For that matter I made my own SS conversion kits. The possibilities are endless.

To save space I made a slide show with captions to show how I have everything set up. I can work on just about anything here.

Tired; so very, very tired

That about sums it up for last week. I could have slept 28 hours a day & it still wouldn't have been enough. The Double Double put me in the bottom of the well. I had to cut practices short & worse yet skip some completely. I guess my patch worked because I did pretty well this weekend by Jim's standards.

Right now I'm in day 2 of my two day rest program. I figured I'd better rest up a little so I could get in two quality practices instead of 3 or 4 really crappy ones. Besides I'm pretty sore from my warm up crash on Sunday. I guess I hit the deck harder than I thought because I'm really sore on my right side. Oh well News Flash Cross leaves you Bruised & tired.

I should be ready to get back on the horse tomorrow to get ready to start taking my man sized beatings this weekend. Double dose Columbia & Lawrence. Another Butthead beating oh boy! At least Tilford is in New Zealand so I won't suffer that humiliation.

USAC Racer
Cyclo-cross Cat 2 That's right its official. Damn, that sucks.

I'm bringing back "Tough". I raced with this bad boy this weekend, that was my key to success. I intimidated everyone into submission. Unfortunately I have a job interview this week & I don't think they'll appreciate "Tough" as much as I do so it must go. Shame too I really like it, though Amber hates it.
It's November & I mowed my yard yesterday. Crazy weather. My rose bush is so heavy with roses I had to stake it up to keep it from falling over. Sounds like fall is finally here though with a dip in temps. Although it's supposed to be warm again this weekend. Glad I got that long sleeve skin suit.

Mia has a double ear infection. Poor kid. She's a trooper, you would never know she's sick except for the coughing. That and the loss of sleep lately. Every night around 3am she's waking up. Last two night's I haven't been able to go back to sleep. Hopefully the antibiotics will cure her & keep Amber & me from getting sick.

Mike stay tuned post on my work bench/bike room is coming just for you. Its a doozy too. 30+ pics all for you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Riverside Cross Fest Day 2

Day 2 saw me being the first loser. The big fat 2nd place, bridesmaid. Damn bunny hopping barriers. I screwed up & killed any chances I had of winning early on. One of those days. Took a low speed crash warming up. Got a horrible start. Pulled my front brake cable hanger the first lap. Desperately needed a bike change. Couldn't change the bike or risk loosing the lead group I was in. Got to make a ton of mistakes on the course because of no front brake. I use it a ton since I normally load up the front wheel, which put me off my game and got in my head. On the final lap I had got away with the hopper. He had been gapping me at the barriers & I'd catch back on by the sand pit just before the finish. I took a bad line through the sand & got to watch first finish without getting to test out my sprint. Wrong tire pressure as well. Was at 39 psi should have been about 30-32, better yet should have been using Challenge Grifo Dries. Oh well that's a lot of excuses but I suck. Not the way I wanted to finish my last 3's race. Will post more later all for now.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Riverside Cross Festival Day 1

Just a quick update. Course was a little different from last year, but still had the "horse shoe by the river." It was ridable this year as long as you didn't stall out on the steps that had been cut in. I got a pretty good start & was a able to ride the sand the first time through. I took the lead going into the horseshoe since I figured there would be some carnage. There was. I got a little gap. Since this is a power riders course I decided to try & build on my gap. I made it stick. Soloed for of the 5.5 laps to win the 3's. I'll post pics as soon as I find some on line. All for now. Need to rest up for tomorrows race which will be my last race as a 3.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

National Organized Begging Day aka Candy Day

That great tradition where parents dress up their kids before they are old enough to know what Halloween is to get candy. We saw so many parents hauling around babies in costumes last night. Guess where that candy is going? Same place Mia's is; into her parents mouths. Amber & I took Mia out to a few houses to trick or treat. We didn't want to overdo it on the first go around. After all we have years & years of this left.
Mia is still a little shaky with steps. Notice the bag? Its bigger than her, more candy for me that way.
The family pre trick or treat.

Mia got a mini pumpkin from her nana.
Score! more candy for me. That house had Twix bars. Yummy.
We made a stop by Amber's Aunt Penny's house. We got the fat hook up here. Penny made Mia a special package of candy.
Just too cute. The fairy wings had to go to allow the sweater to be worn though.
We stopped by to see how Tigger was doing.
He wouldn't share any of his candy with me. Something about being to big to trick or treat. I told him that's what Mia's for. She's my cover. Still wouldn't hook me up.
Michael is Mia's "Boyfriend" . Mia there will be no riding in cars with boys while I'm around!
Please don't eat too much candy & drive. That's one tired kid. Made it about 400 meters before passing out in the back of the car on the way home.