Friday, August 29, 2008

Cyclocross season is fast approaching it is time to get everything finally dialed in.  Chains, shifters, everything that wears on a bike wears 10x faster on a 'cx bike.  My absolute favorite is grip tape, which I seem to absolutely destroy.  

This year I'll have the luxury of a spare bike.  This is not only great for racing (mechanicals won't quite be such a downer if you have a spare bike) but also for training, by spreading the miles and wear onto two drivetrains instead of one.  In addition, I'm in the process of making the switch back to a set of tubular wheels for 'cross.  Back as a junior I had that great luxury, and I'm looking forward to them again.  This year I'll be running Challenge tires for the first time (back in the day all the only game in town was Tufo's...unless you went to Europe to pick up a pair of Dugasts).

So for these last few weeks before the season really starts it is important to keep all of your equipment maintained and dialed in, because before you know it we'll be lining up at the first KK race of the season in Grand Rapids.  Once it starts, it is a mad dash to December, with most of the weekends between now and then packed with at least one race.  Time and daylight for training will start to diminish, leaving time for bike maintenance at an all-time low.

Training for bike racing is always a bit funny to me because sometimes you don't know what you should have done until a few months after the fact.  You can always look back and think to yourself about what you would have changed during a certain training phase.  This year I'm in a whole new ball game with 60 min elite races.  My workouts have been going well but you never really know until you line up on any given weekend and slug it out for an hour.  These coming weeks before the first race therefore are left a bit up in the air as to what specifically to work on; you can only base your knowledge off of what limited you last year.  

Speaking of starting the season, the Ithaca GP is coming along nicely now.  I'm surprised that pre-registrations aren't over 20 yet (with the Enervit bonus), but it is still just under a month away.  Time for me to start finalizing staffing details for the day so I can watch the event go off (and maybe even race...).

School will be starting for kids on Tuesday.  This year Kristie has an air conditioned room!!!!  I'm very much mentally ready to get back into the swing of a regular schedule and teaching.

Can't wait to line up in a few weeks...'cross season is officially on us soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nys takes 9th

Top 10 in his olympic debut, the results on Cycling News.  Top American was Adam Craig, one lap down.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Sven N: ...Normally the season starts Erpe-Mere 14 sept, but I will start one week later in Neerpelt. But over the whole season I try to race I think 10 races less than last year because I see that the young riders are doing fewer races than me and I must try to be good at the end of the season also. So 30-35 races is enough for me in the winter now. For the last years we raced about 45 races in a season. That is a little bit too much. There’s no time for training anymore so you see that the condition is going a little bit down. It’s better to train a little bit and have some more rest so you can be good at the end of the season.

30-35 races??  WOW.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fort Custer MTB TT

Yesterday I drove down to Lansing and picked up Chris Gehrs, Kristie's cousin, for his first mtb race.  On the way down I saw an antiques store burning...

When we got to the race it was already getting warm and the air was dry.  Fort Custer was pretty sandy, which made it almost as slippery as last year's mud fest.  I ended up 2nd in the Expert 19-29 but with a time of 1:05 and change there is room for improvement.  Good to know what to focus on for the next few weeks until 'cross hits.  This TT is a great feeler for 'cross racing because of the mix of slow, technical areas with pitchy climbs followed by fast, flat sections.  Seems to mimic 'cross as best as possible except for the whole getting off your bike aspect.  

The highlight of my day, getting to lead the kids race around the woods for a mile:

Next race will be Kiss Cross's highland park in September!  Before you know it we'll be in the middle of November wondering where the time went.  Until then, time to get back on the bike.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kristie's Trek XO2 is on E-bay HERE.

Tomorrow is the Fort Custer MTB TT. Looking forward to heading down with Kristie's cousin, Chris Gehrs, for his first mtb race! I'll make a post tomorrow after the race.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well my first and last crit of the year is officially over without incident.  BTR this year was run in the opposite direction as last year.  Fortunately we raced early in the morning so this year was about 20 degrees cooler than last year's event.  

The race started off as any normal cat 4 race would go.  Not too much excitement except for the relatively wild sprint for the water bottles prime.  The $50 cash prime next went a bit more smoothly though.  About 30 minutes into the 40 + 2 lap event saw one of the WMCR riders get off of the front.  I decided to bridge the gap into the wind on the back of the course.

After the bridge we worked together for about a lap and a half before we were joined by another rider.  At that point the group decided it wasn't going to be our day and they picked up the pace.  Back into the middle of the pack I went to recover for the sprint.  The last lap went as well as can be expected.  I ended up 13th after having to brake in the last turn.  It was the typical sprint, slightly sketchy but at least nobody crashed.

Today the weather was nice and cool, which only gets me more excited for 'cx!

2 official registrants for the Ithaca GP...only 18 more spots to go until the Enervit bonus expires!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

So today is August 6 and I have been in 'cross mode since the middle of July. I guess that isn't 100% correct because I'm in 'cx mode about 2 weeks after the season is over in December. It doesn't take me long to start thinking of the pain and suffering that will be in the coming months.

This year will be quite different as I'll be moving back up to the A's where I left off as a junior. Granted a lot has changed since then. Back when I used to race there was no separate "masters" category, rather you raced in the A's 35+ or under 35. That made for some nice sized fields and as usual it wasn't the under 35's putting the majority of the hurt on everyone.

This year the Ithaca GP is taking a similar approach on getting the "elite" field back up to where it should be, numbers wise. Also, the fastest 35+'ers can probably hang in the top 10 of the Elite race anyway, if they can stretch their effort to a full 60 minutes. It'll be interesting to see what happens! Speaking of the race, this year's event is coming off pretty well now. Sponsorship items have been showing up at my doorstep and online registration will be opened up in the next two days. John Osgood put together a shirt for us, which will only be sold as pre-orders available through the race reg website. Check the Ithaca site for pics, as they'll be posted asap.

Last night I went for a ride with the Alma Tuesday group, which was nice for no other reason than I got to ride with a group. Mike Seaman, Napper, Randy, Sally, Jeremy, and I headed out but after about half way, Mike and I were the only ones left. Considering the fact that we had both done good interval rides earlier in the day, our hammer fest wasn't at 100% but it hurt nonetheless. It felt good putting it down in a two man TT for about 25 minutes. Mike is definitely pretty fast right now. Hopefully my speed and endurance will come into form like it did last year.

I don't think I've ever been as excited for a 'cross season as this one. Despite knowing that I'm jumping into a category in which my expectations aren't to win, I'm looking forward to being back up with the fast guys of MI. I figure I have a lot of experience that most people moving up don't exactly have, so maybe that'll put me 5 minutes ahead of the learning curve for anyone else moving up. Speaking of that, it'll be interesting to see how much things have changed this season with a few 'crossers leaving and a few coming up. I understand that Joel Budacki along with Jay Moncel are gone, but who is going to make the leap up to the A's? Jer Walker is back in town and won't take long to jump back to his former form. Will Cory Stang or Patrick Russell move up? Roger Bowser has shown some form on the road earlier this year. Will Tony the Giant Killer make a move? If Justin Todd wasn't taking 3rd place he was nipping at the top 5 all year. David Morrissey showed some late season form as well as Jim Hilditch.

Not to mention the busting categories of the C class should fill a nice Killer B field this year. It is exciting to see 'cx get bigger.

This weekend I'll be hacking it out at the BTR and then over to Fort Custer on the 17th to race in my all-time favorite MTB TT. Kiss Cross came out with their schedule so it looks like my first 'cx race will be on the 14th at Highland Park in G.R.

Back on the bike...