With what's left plenty to get done. Get closer to the next step, push Always more into focus until you're cross-eyed and drooling.


2 days left

It's not the number of angels on the head of a pin, Or the number of knobs on the tire. Even the number of studs in the tire is irrelevant. It's avoiding friction that offers the clearest path. The keys are in my pocket, in my head is the map, Remember last winter, forget last week.
This wasn't a particularly bad season. Obviously the one crash that broke my shoulder wasn't good but the other, my hips still look like an archipelago of scar tissue. Not all orderly like one of the strings of islands off the coast of Dubai, shaped like a palm tree or the flag of Cypress. Instead I have reminder of missed turns or ill-chosen lines and the idea that my skills aren't always where I would like them.
I like that for some reason, if it was easy would it be as fun? I think about points in races when the lap card reads higher rather than lower, knowing I have a lot more time before it stops. The smile (that at least was inside, maybe outside too) meant that I was able to stay in that place a while longer. The place that now because CX is over I won't be visiting until September.



Different ways to try to get to the same destination. Not really new, just a different vehicle, same place. The hurdles change year after year but the step is the same. Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming, up stream. Other times just lucky to tread water without going under.



2009 is almost in the rear view mirror, though I keep dwelling on the success' and failures. At this point racing is what gets me out on the bike when it's 15 degrees or gets me on the rollers when it's 0. Recovering from a broken shoulder took a lot more than the 6-8 weeks that was threatened. I'm still working on it. Oddly cross hurt less than cold commutes. 2 hard days of racing on the weekends was nothing compared to a 10 degree commute mid fall. Shitty recovery times at 40. Looking at 2010 I think the focus is going to be some longer training rides, the one long day I did with John was the highlight of the rides I did. Something about rolling along with good company for 6 hours made me want to possibly not do a few races in favor of a 5 hour day on the bike. Easily my longest ride in years; it left an impression. Some great races but not much can compare to 5-6 hours (or whatever it was) on great roads. So, I have a list of rides I need (want) to do next year. It's in pencil right now. Maybe make it a bit more permanent in the next few weeks. Little things to get me through to 2010 CX.



Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

Alternative tentacles

Aside from looking at pics and video of the big cross races there is plenty to be read right now. The bloggers are running off at the keyboard espousing thoughts on what failed (oddly more than what worked with the exception of mud and cowbells- who is almost always positive!) Me? I won't bore anyone with race reports, in depth equipment reviews-BTW my Ridley X-Fire killed it this year-and I know already what will be under me next year. The gather and hoarding will begin as soon as I purge the shit that is cluttering up my garage. I too dream of supple casings (no, not sausage) and well put together machines. But, for now other work takes the place of the bike. Too sketchy in a ski town to ride right now aside from the trails that are too soft if you don't have a Pugsley instead rollers and skis, ideally both.

Working around the gluttony that the holidays foster has me balancing the treats with the work and trying to stay a bit hungry, OCDs aside the caloric accountant has a bit of holiday. It's not even January. Plenty of time to do 3 hours on a bowl of oatmeal and a Mojo bar later in the winter. In the meantime I'll dive in and out of the light, try to push home a few efforts that need to appear and avoid the crowds. 9 pm grocery store visits and no crossing of Main St. for 2 weeks.


Simple enough

My last winter in the East I got into winter camping, not out of a love of being cold or to prepare myself for the next however many years of living at almost 10,000 feet but to get out and be alone. The solitude for someone who has ALWAYS been afraid of the dark (for no valid reason, mind you) was like a drug. I'd go off into the woods of a nearby state park or drive a little North to the AT and walk a bit and set up my sleeping bag and pad under a Rhododendron tree. My little trip into the woods happened a few times a month, the woods in the winter at night was far more appealing than sleeping in them in the summer. Having read My Side of the Mountain about 20 times as a kid I understood the appeal of being alone in the woods but I just lacked the fortitude that kid had. Also, having recently read Into the Wild I didn't want end up like that idiot. Short hike to a spot out of the wind, maybe bring a stove maybe not but just really to sleep and get the hell out of the way for 12 hours. Sometimes I'd wake up and make oatmeal while still laying in my bag, quietly starting the day at 20 degrees all around as the stove hissed up to boiling my water. Fully rejuvenated for a little while (at least) I'd get dressed and walk out, hoping that my car wasn't towed or broken into by the road. No iPod or cell phones, just a book usually and some noises in the woods. Simple enough.



Cleaner in the dark, longer nights can only go so far before the longer days come in. Whatever it is that gets me through the darker days makes the lighter ones better. Just push. Old miscues change today, but keep the machine on the ground.



This weekend is going to be easy. So far I have a few hours on the week, nothing serious; just days on ice and snow. It keeps my head calm, just pedal, pretty simple, I think. Maybe start to ski and run a bit but the snow sucks too much to really try to ski and the legs are shredded if I try and run. Simple solution, ride.



I'm a pussy. Flecha rides the Pyrenees in Winter on a road bike. I'm on the cross bike with a studded tire up front. A classics hardman. But this will get me out for 2 hours tomorrow regardless of the weather, I'll wear a helmet though. Photo ⓒ Timm KÖLLN


With winter not quite taking hold and Summer long gone, I need to do something else. The skis are almost ready, though without a pass I'll be poaching. Maybe just put the snowboard on my back and walk up the hill. easy enough.


I lasted 9 days. I think I knew it would be short of 2 weeks, the bike felt really good even though it was only 20 degrees and I was riding across the ice, it couldn't have felt better. We'll see what Mag Chloride does to me and the bike this winter. A dirt road effort is planned I think for next week, maybe even real singletrack. As I sank the front tire into the slush and slid around an iced corner I smiled, no more bullshit time off the bike, get busy with what's next. Nats was last weekend, I wasn't there, that won't happen again.



Not exactly an RV I would want but better than getting changed for a race in the front seat of my car. Except in a hoopty like this I'd be lucky to even make it to the venue. 2010 starts today. Enough break, it was almost 9 days!



I think today was either day 4 or day 5, whatever it was- I'm done with the break, I've forced my self to snack a little more, eat a bit more junk than I normally would, generally resist the training mindset. Instead of feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for being off the hook for a few days, I have rot gut from eating shitty food, dehydrated from being stupid, and generally ready to get back on the bike, skis, running shoes or whatever vehicle gets me to my Happy Place. If nothing else this has taught me to appreciate what I have set myself up to do. I twittered the other day how much I was enjoying dark chocolate peanut buttercups, I'm not alone, it's an OK vice, considering, but now they only succeed in turning my stomach, the instant gratification is gone, replaced by guilt and nausea. Maybe I'll find some new coffee to focus on, not much else is working. Any ideas? Heart? De la Paz? Stumptown? Any input on the options is appreciated.



I don't have a posse. I don't think I ever will. I do have good coffee and a lot of solitude today. A sleeping child offers a little too much. Too much time to let my mind wander, re think a lot of 2009. A few mistakes but a lot of moves put to right, put through the wringer a few, in the end of the 1st week of December I have the time to reflect and learn from the mistakes, draw on the success, build up.


Crystal Ball

I'm starting to look for a spot just like this. A place to ride, drift a little and pedal.
It already started, 2 days into my break and sure enough I'm waking up early looking to make my 1st espresso, hit the trails, or just kill time until the rest of the time zone wakes up. I'll get to about a week out of commission before I'll have to pull the plug, mount up the fenders and really begin 2010. It's ok, if it wasn't the beast would knaw at me for weeks until I capitulated. I need to do something, too many things playing over and over in my head, at least I can still not leave the house on weekends. That's always the nicest part of the break. Then it's just to pedal anyway.



I missed the call this year, not setting up a real mud/snow day set of tubulars. Yesterday combined with the Blue Sky Cup a month ago put to right why that was a mistake. On a borrowed clincher (first time racing them since September) I rolled the front tire on an off camber high speed section while off the front with the eventual Winner. I earned 9 months of motivation yesterday, Road, MTB again is all gravy leading up to cross. Time to take a little break and get outside on the other stuff, no need to push 2010 yet, just get my shit together and make sure I have it all dialed for the fall.



I wonder sometimes what it would be like to put it away for a while, no real regimen or pressure to put together results. Having never been a real "PRO" it's been easier to get through bad seasons, knowing I wasn't letting a sponsor down (one where I'm catching a check), sometimes though I think it's worse, inward pressure. Enjoying my expectations, Ari Gold would say "Manage your client's expectations" I'm my own client and worst critic. It gets hard to be happy with anything less than a stellar result. But that's not always a result that quantifies my effort or skill or commitment. Recently it's been less about results and more about the process, whatever it was; road, mtb or Cross. It wasn't always a work ethic, it was an escape but now it is about getting out to do the work, the process of maximizing my time. Not just "going for a ride" but making that ride count because of all of the things that are being put on hold so I can do it. the thought of not doing this and putting in the time wakes me up at night, the idea of not living my pseudo-institutional life is confusing. How else would I avoid that donut or that extra helping, what would I do to take up this block of time that makes my head quiet(er)? It's this process that I love and respect, getting out of it would only succeed in trying to get back in it. I really enjoy my life as it is. It puts a smile on my face as I get to pedal, no matter what is under me and what it is keeps me warm. Inside my little cocoon I get to move around enough, and maybe on Sunday I will go the Bakery. The last one is tomorrow, at least the one I have on my radar. For now. At least in the next week or two. Unless someone schedules more cyclo-cross meetings.



More evidence that on Sunday that I did in fact ride a bike outside. Right now it's -10 outside. I was on the rollers today.



As the lines are getting burned into the gravel shoulder, the path and the wind burns them into my face I hear the end of the season coming. Rumors of extra racing makes me wonder if I can renege on the promise I made mid suffer back in September. I don't know how many times you can lie to yourself and expect the body to respond in kind. I want to find out. Sort of a field of dreams thing, if you hold it we will come. Who wouldn't want to race through New Years? Extra motivation to skip the second helping of potatoes, one less slice of ham, more water instead of soda or beer. Suffer later in the year to make the break that much shorter, if I can't flog myself with 50 or 60 of my closest friends why even show up at the dinner table? Earn your surfeit.



I went to the happy place. It was all there beautiful and scenic, so clear the taste of blood in throat only made it better. Everytime I went deep the system answered- funny how good volume makes for good racing. Untangling the knots with one weekend left. Can't it be longer?

I like it

I think I look down a little too much. I'm always checking to see if my knee has a funky wobble or if I'm pedaling my pedal out of the crank arm. Or, just looking at legs turning over my gear. With the shine going it's even more distracting. In the race I do it too, luckily I was only dealing with Jon and had less to be aware of aside from his tempo. Oh, and trying to win a cross race. I like how the embro pools the dust/dirt on certain spots on my leg, like that's more in the wind or more sticky, whatever it is I think I like it. Cross is just better this year the lactic acid tastes better the legs feel better and the wheels turn in a newer rhythm I'd lost for a few years.


Getting around

Linard had a few good shots from Sunday, I like the pan action on this one. I am amazed at the pace this year, it didn't always mean that a bad start was lights out, that's changed this year. At least for me it's on the list to fix for next year.

Black Friday

Mid day tempo effort to get out when you are supposed to ride, not when you have to because of the laundry list of chores attacks the clock. Arriving at 9 p.m. and wondering where the day went. Pleasantly surprised that the weather and the roads allowed a fairly clean ride. Not like last Sunday, that was different.



I just watched this again. As if the motivation wasn't high enough. Now I want to ride to the Bakery. But will the OCD paranoia make me ride to the vegetable aisle instead. Getting back from the Turkey CX ride and I hit the fruit bowl before the candy bowl. The OCDs get in the way around the Holidays.


2 left

Somehow in the exhaustion of the last few days I found a bigger motivation to go well the last 2 weekends of the season. Fully knowing what is coming up I feel better and clearer-winter breaks and the work to begin on Xmas. 3 weeks of recovery and then it's all about the 2010 results. Tied inextricably to the first page. I want to not care so much about it and enjoy the process but the darkness inside the competitive side rears it's head each time.



I can't remember the last time I had to get up in the middle of the night to take Vitamin I. It must have hard yesterday to cause that. Meanwhile it's piling up. Later into fall and the earlier into winter get the window closes that much more. It's going to be tight getting to December 5th. I need to eschew the usual vices and get it together for the last two weekends of racing. Yesterday there wasn't any love, too many mistakes combined with a crappy start set up made for a suffer from the back. It was only on the last lap that I opened up and made a move without falling on my ass. Moved form somewhere near 10th or 11th to finish a more respectable 6th. Ties my worst result of the year.


Up or Down?

Trying to get out more for the head than the legs is challenging right now, if at all. Too many barriers, not the 40cm ones-those are easy! I want to get on the bike and go up-Loveland or Ute or Rist, I'd take anything I can get. To feel the vertical slide beneath my wheels, melt away my frozen distractions into a sweet pool of spring water.

Friday, really?

I don't know if I'm crisp or brittle right now. Nothing that can resemble proper rest to recover from the work. Riding on ice has the Hakkapelita on the front end to stave off the inevitable. Right now though with 3 weekends left I feel the stale creeping in as the other stress piles behind the levy.



It seems lately there are a lot more Jesus fish on cars, at least on the cars I'm seeing. Maybe this time of year or whatever it is but I keep seeing more of them. Hmmmm, I resist the urge to get a Darwin fish, that wouldn't do anything. I think it's better to just not do anything. I especially like the ones incorporated into Confederate flags, those are extra special, they say "Not only do I love Jesus, but I hate you if you disagree with me or my views on ANYTHING" I don't think Xenophobia is painful, at least outwardly.



Trying isn't enough. Sometimes the air gets let of your sails or like yesterday, out of the tire. A lot of snow and an almost assured-of good day of cross never came. Instead fixing a flat truck tire in a parking lot 40 minutes away from the race I was already going to be barely able to make. The alloy wheel bonded itself to the truck axle, fuck me, no luck until a kung fu kick freed it. Coffee, sandwich and back up the hill. Frustrated and out of the chance to go 3 in a row in the Boulder Series. Fucked.



Travis found the bag in the river, riding down the path he saw something near the edge and stopped to pick it up. It had washed down stream about a mile from where the accident happened. When he dropped it off on his way out of town I started doing a little research, the girl had been driving East on I-70 and lost control of the car, sliding off the road only to land in the river. Massive head injuries and months in a hospital left the bag forgotten. When I called the number in Denver the guy answering the phone couldn't be bothered. Maybe a husband sick of dealing with the wife cum vegetable? Or, perhaps just done; period. Maybe she died and this was going to be one more reminder of what was lost. Either way I drove the bag, stinky as hell, to the State Trooper Station in Silverthorne and left it there. It kind of smelled like death.



Over the years I have been riding (probably 25+, with regularity) I have worn a helmet most of that time. It's not that I made myself, it just seems right, when I have gone without it wasn't, well, right. Sure looking at the photos of the big guns wearing their hats all suave and Euro made me think about it but I'm just not that good, I can't handle the bike the way they can, consequently, I wrap it up.



I found out today that the beaver is the largest rodent in North America. I thought it would have been the Nutria but I'm wrong again. I saw Covey last night on my ride. Amazing, he's on some old roached Lemond with sweet wheels. He reminds me of an old Belgian hardman, torn jersey and shorts drilling it for 100km a day, while working full time. He's kind of mystery. I respect that. He's a fast motherfucker too.



The late fall sun skews everything, 70 degrees 50 miles away, 15 degrees when I leave. The numbers only confuse me into thinking I need more than I do. Don't get me wrong, the time is there, more than I should but less than the numbers add up to. Sneaking around icy patches and waiting for the mid day crisp that becomes a soggy undershirt when I overdress for the work. Always thinking it will add up to another good result, it's not that linear though, too many tangents between here and the finish line.



Slippery riding to work on an icy path and for the 2nd day in a row there is this woman walking her 2 Doberman Pinschers on the bike path, off leash just running around. She saw me a little earlier than yesterday and corraled them in time to have me pass safe(r). Opposite of the trip home last night when another dog owner was letting his 2 big dogs run free, I must have looked really fascinating because the dogs chased me for a few hundred yards with the guy not really doing shit. I try not to think of the path as just a bike path, but for fuck's sake get your goddam dogs on a leash if they chase ANYTHING!



Two days of racing and two totally different views of the race. No top step this weekend, the Sun didn't shine of this dog's ass this weekend. Some of the heaviest mud I've seen in years, bikes every half lap, that heavy. No legs when I needed to grind, and an untimely yard sale kept me out of the top 5. Today; dry, clear, tacky. Fast legs and faster racing offered a bit of redemption. One missed cue and 2nd chasing 1st, on the wrong end of the equation. Clean riding and a lot more traction kept the speed up, easily rolling in 2nd. Really fun high speed stuff today juxtaposed with heavy sloggy racing yesterday. Pics to follow.



I can wait for the Winter work on this stuff. Cross is too much fun.


The weather made the training indoors after Tuesday, not the ideal prep. We'll see what the weekend holds.



I look at my watch and wonder where the time went,
The evidence is there, I just don't always see it,
The miles are there in the aches and bruises.

Boulder CX #3

On Sunday we went to the beach, a lot different than the beach I was on Last Monday. This one had snow lingering and a steady chill across it. The course was the usual suffer made better with wet sand and some mud. Smiles! I went into the dark place a little earlier than I wanted but it all came out in the wash. Winning Sunday was more important than winning Saturday. For whatever reason I put more weight on a win in Boulder. Since the cold left at some point on Saturday night I feel like a 100 bucks. Here are a few stolen picks from David Webber.



I was sick all week, I spent 5 days at sea level, off the bike for 8 days. Pick one or pick the obvious answer-I just wasn't firing right. Good start, Keller doing his usual Good Shepherd thing to get us through the 1st lap and I felt OK, 2nd lap and things shifted a bit, I decided to lead a while and see how the skills were, the mud and my Fangos allowed me to get away a bit but I couldn't go deep. Phenicie bridged up and sat on a few laps before coming around with a 2 lap attack that I had only 1.5 laps to cover. POP! From there I had to recover from trying to cover and I realized we had left the bunch with a gap even in my slow-poking around the course nobody was coming across. Great course, hard as hell-I think.



It didn't seem too necessary to have a drawn out, proper fall. There was about a 2 week transitional period of chillier days but now it's winter. Every ride warrants the embro; without it the legs are locked the first 30 minutes instead of the first with 15 with it. There are no more rides without a jacket or at least a vest, and never with bare legs. Starting to plan a Wednesday Worlds visit, hit the Republic for weekday cx fun. The heart of cross season is now and oddly I feel pretty good.



You know when you sit down to eat your nice gentrified "Mexican" burrito you try to relax and get through the rest of your day and the burrito place you have chosen to spend about $8 at decided it would be kitschy to play Mexican pop music. Well, that's not what I want for my American burrito experience. I prefer to have whatever other shit on the stereo they play. If I wanted Mexican pop music then wouldn't I go to a proper lard-using, questionable meat serving hole in the wall that serves menudo on Tuesdays? I know I would. The concept of eating my pseudo Mexican food in an environment stretching toward authenticity unnerves me. Where do they think they are? The only thing whiter than the snow around here is the clientele, pathetic as that sounds who are they trying to fool? Again eat at a real Mexican place and roll the dice, I will next time.


New House

We are looking for a new house, we have outgrown the one we have. I was told that we are going to look at one tonight, there are 8 people living in this house, 2 parents and 6 kids, all 6 kids are home schooled by the mother. I asked if they were religious, when the reply was "Yes" I asked "Snakes or Roosters?" So, I'm not expecting to find any live rodents. Maybe an altar though.



For some reason things are quiet these days. Maybe it's the lack any real mishigas or the mishigas I'm going into this weekend (family trip) but the head is quiet. I'm still dealing with the usual shit, fear of the dark, fear of being slow, fear of peaking too soon, whatever it's all on the list. My shit is my shit. I'm listening closely to signs, raspy throat? Maybe go easier today. Achy knees? More embrocation in the right spots and make sure the cleats haven't slipped. All of the above are taken care of. Hmmm, what's going to fail? I had a borrowed wheel on Sunday didn't mesh entirely too well with my drivetrain, instead pf changing bikes I made do with the 3 or 4 gears I had. Too nervous to try the other bike though I knew (or thought I knew it was OK) but I rode the "A" bike because it was under me and working well enough. Who needs almost 20 gears? What I had was enough. 5 cross races this fall and I have 3 in the bag. Good start, not as good as 2006 but pretty good. 2 kids, job, life-- maybe that's the problem? There is no problem.



Evidence from yesterday, courtesy of 6degrees2slush. Good tires to match ok legs.


Boulder Cross #2

It was Boulder Cross Series #1 for me. My good rides last weekend gave me a front row call up, things only got smoother from there, no stress, just get in the pedals and goooooooooo. Clean start in the grass, I moved in behind 2 teammates, perfect. After the first stretch of grass and a little sidewalk into the barriers, the line opened to get to the front, take a little pull to see who was riding fast today, behind the field managed to relegate half of themselves on the lead in to the barriers, out clean myself with a group sitting 5 seconds back. This sprung everyone who was in the 1st 10-20, after that, I think there was a split. A 45 minute wet, slow, sloggy race, the little bit of snow had made the course a little icy in spots, a little wet in spots but overall just hard(er). Interlocken has been a good one for me, any time the track is harder I manage to go a bit better. The 5 second gap stayed there for a lap or two, I wasn't going into the red but just riding smooth to learn the lines and let the bike do its thing. Advice from the Boss in the pits gave me the confidence when the gap was sticking or when I'd eked out little more time. I only added to it, I think the techy cattle chutes and slower off camber sections made time, the Fango up front and Typhoon out back hooked up perfectly. Nice to get 3 in a row. Cross is beautiful!


Dirt on the road

Yin and yang, sort of, a stiff road bike on singletrack, kind of like grape jelly on sushi. Certainly out of place, hmmmm, not far from the rest of life until it all clicks.


2 for 4

Quieter days at altitude and smaller rides with a little more pain. A lot better this way, it is the second season after all, second only for the fact that it comes later in the year. Crispy mornings rushing through the different thermaclines, ducking into the next little valley hoping the sun heated it up a bit at 7.15 am. 16 degrees? OK, as long as the road isn't too icy.
Warm enough to roll through the work but not too cold to function. Empty the tank early in the week.
Then I saw a porcupine about the size of number 1 he was beautiful, big lumbering and yellowy brown. He smelled too, kind of a hippie BO smell, he just walking across the road looking for his dinner, slow, I want to move that slow this winter. I stopped to watch him a while even though I was mid effort. He kept his pace, didn't seem too interested in me wandering near by. He was just trying to get across the road. I tried to get a photo but it didn't come out. I wish I had a picture of his smell, that was impressive. I wondered if they had the skunk-spray ability, I know nothing about porcupines so I kept a 30-40 foot buffer. He went about his day and I went on my way soon to meet up with Smith as he was crossing the road going across Middle Flume, while I was rolling on the road bike. Pleasantries and cross chatter and I made my way home. 2 for 4 so far this year pretty good start.



One of the last times I rode West Ridge outside of a race it was so hot I had to stop and wring out my helmet and quiet the deafening echo of my heartbeat in my head. Riding the Ferrous (single) and the body English and stubbornness to not put a foot down or stop almost made me blackout. A 32:16 under me, not the best choice for that climb, but at the top I felt cleansed. Relieved of some weakness that had been lingering for some time, always better to try things the hard way. Like I said stubborn. Over the top the rigid fork and long descent again cleaned me a little more. The smile was sometimes hidden behind my gasping for air but it’s always there. I see the pictures from races and though I lack the Chris Horner/Ivan Basso smile-grimace I know I’m happy, always better to try to put out a good effort and appear smooth doing it, opposed to the bleeding out your eyes in a look of awful pain.

I hope glove design catches up to technology soon, there's no reason my gloves have to be that bulky. It wasn't that cold today (mid 20s) and my bulky Descente Wombat gloves were plenty warm but I could barely feel the bars. I like the subtle cush of the bartape and taper of the bar itself. There is little justification for near boxing gloves when it's in the 20s. I'm always searching for the ideal glove, any input would be welcomed. A comfortable low-loft glove that could go from 25-35 fahrenheit would be a staple. For now, it's usually too much or too little.


On terms

Good starts both days gave a fair shake at the front to almost everyone. The courses allowed for good passing, Saturday from the gun I was able to move up to 2nd before the first dirt stretch, knowing the wood chips potential to derail a race I thought the extra energy was well spent. Little bit of feeling out in the first 10 minutes sprung 3 of us to a bit of a gap. Good enough for the others to let us go. 2 against 1, what's the line "Shake and Bake?" Will Farrell can't carry a movie. Anyway, I made the most of the clean shot at the front to pull a few clear. Seeing if the 2 GMS sports were feeling the race to attack and sit I let the next few laps happen. The big road climb featured heavily both days, knowing I could attack here and then recover if it didn't work. I went a little bit harder leading into it and turned the screw the little bit of daylight grew with 2 to go, on the gas and mantra in my head "efficiency and focus" I went into the red and stayed there a while. Win #1 of fall 2009.
Sunday was a harder course, where Saturday let the race decide the race, Sunday's course was far harder. Some running and techy bits made for a different race. Calm and comfortable off the start and rolling 3rd into the long descent and the amazing leadout from MudandCowbells only cemented a great start. Greg missed a turn leaving me in 2nd with a clear shot if I wanted into the decisive run up, I felt like stretching the legs a bit so I ran faster than I needed to on the run. From there the front was Chris Phenicie and Jon Cariveau (who I heard won CrossVegas' industry race, nice!) I guess Jon was yo-yo-ing a bit, Chris and I got to business as we did on Saturday to separate from everyone else. If Jon made it to us he didn't come around and pull so I think he drifted near us. The road climb was on the opposite side of the course from the run up so I had 2 spots to really put in a sustained effort. Patience and good legs let me choose when to go, 2 times left on the road hill and I checked out. Jon got around Chris to roll through for 2nd.
I don't have any pictures yet from saturday but this is what Sunday looked like. Sunny and cool, I was all the way around the course, pushed and pulled clear to a point. Thanks to BCS for the support and 6degrees2slush for the picture. Seems like the engine is just getting going.


Frisco CX #1

The clicks were good today, synchronous to the point of, well I guess if I put it all down to good days, I was prepared. There's a million things you don't have control of, and almost a million things you can. I did. I came away with the 1st win of fall 2009. I won't bore with a race report, it was fast from go, whittled away the front to a sharp point, the arrow was straight to the line. Good day, more.



Ready to see where a broken shoulder and a good late summer left the legs, amen.


Excuses are always the same, thin and useless, kind of like a shitty chamois. I almost didn't ride yesterday when the snow was falling and the reward came in the form of a clear afternoon. The guilt would have been too much if the day was wasted. Especially in February when I'm back out there in the shit.



Today it was 17 degrees, with about a 15 mph headwind the whole way to work over frosted, iced, not yummy, slick path. It was beautiful, the tempo only slightly kept the body from shutting down. Even after 40 minutes I had chilled digits through booties and good lobster paws. The ice cream headache only made me look forward to winter rides. I don't think I got stronger today but I'll find out Saturday how pure the fuel is and what the purity pays.


I have a few vices. Cross of course being one of them, I don't know and never will know how much it has cost me, whether it's money, time, or pain. The key is the clean feeling I get after a race. Pure, unadulterated emptiness. If I finish a race with anything left, I cheated myself.



The season is getting going now. Bikes are just about dialed, at least the "A" bike is. The other is ready for whatever. The Second Season is First for more and more of us. I'd give it all for cross if I could. Why can't I?



I'm a little jealous of this horse. He has all he needs right there. His food? Check. His Coat? Check. What else would he need? I ride past him nearly everyday, at least twice and I'm envious of the simplicity he has that I don't. I've been clearing crap out for a while, getting rid of old parts, jerseys and bits that are clogging up the closet, attic and shed. I don't have a garage which I am OK with, more nooks and crannies to fill with extra stuff. eBay or giveaway, it doesn't matter to me. I just need to narrow the criteria for what gets to stay, and give that much more stuff walking papers.



I wouldn’t get called out like this clown who was probably riding a stupid fixed gear bike where he shouldn't be, but the point that there really are people like this makes me happy to not leave the house for days at a time (you might call them weekends) except to race or get more half and half. I wrap myself in my own little blanket, It keeps me warm.



Some times the pictures are clear whether it's the ones on the screens in my head or the ones I try to follow in a nice orderly linear path. This week was blurry all the way around. I only found clarity at the end of today, falling off my broken wagon and having the pictures in my head come into focus.


I am pandering here. This is the least common denominator.
Good day.


So appealing on many levels. Only embro to keep you cool on a day like this in a place like that.



Almost all of the winter gear is out, not much else to fish out of the bins. Listening to the snow bouncing off my helmet, the smile on my face keeps me warm. It echoes off the trees.



Some things are round,
Others have sharp edges,
I prefer the sharper side of things.
Much more black and white, less grey.


In it

The proper weather showed up a few hours later than I wished. This is good for the commute, racing in this is a hell of a lot easier when you train in it.


Chicken Dinner

I need to work on my starts a little bit. Saturday's was a good one, Sunday's start was piss -poor. Some of it within my control, some not. That's the difference between fighting for the win and fighting for the wrong end of the top 5.

a picture from Saturday

I stole this from six degrees to slush via 303cycling. This is Saturday.



The fact that America spends twice as much per person on healthcare as most European countries factors into whether or not I should have a snickers bar after my lunch ride draws an uncomfortable nexus between my fear of being fat and/or out of shape and the general state of my country. Should any of this concern me? I know that the line isn’t direct but I am a prisoner of my own thoughts. Can I do anything to fix these things in my head? Doubtful. Will a win this weekend change the chemical composition in my head to allay these fears? Perhaps for an hour, then it’s back to the obsession machine.



Sometimes it snowballs even while I'm asleep.

The 1000 tv screens wake me up even when they should be off,

This is one of those days, I'm not sleeping right now, I wish I was.

No nightmares, just a million thoughts on a thousand screens.


This is what my left leg looked like after 180 km last Wednesday, it was hard but I didn't feel crappy. I guess your first 150+ km day coming in September is about as good as you could get. I mean, I had all summer to ride and be fit. Now I stand around wondering when the other pain will become commonplace, is it this weekend or will it take a while. An hour at the limit instead of 6 hours wondering the limit is.


My all day jacket

I am shopping for a new rain jacket, the one or ones that I have all lost their water-resistant quality. It sucks, showers and I get soaked through, had a lot of that lately. Downpour? I might as well, jump in the river and be drier. There is a certain one that of course tops the list. Maybe next week.



I think if I ever was in a band I'd call it Brandenburg Gate,
We'd play a hard German post-punk style mixed with influence from TSOL, The Misfits and Interpol influenced rock. Songs about spies and love and suffering.


Outside looking out

I love when people say "I don't see gender, I just see people"
It's like saying "My heart is in the right place, but fuck I'm stupid."


I didn't know I knew that much, the real season is here,
The broken is gone and snowball is starting to roll.
Listen to the system, it's been going so long, it's here.
The vision is there, look thru the shit, pedal circles,
It's more efficient.


I had a moment of clarity yesterday, It was about 6.25 a.m. about the time where riding is OK, safe enough without real lights, maybe just a flasher to give the other road users a heads up. I didn't get hit though I didn't have a light it was more straight line than pinballing to get to the path for the work. As soon as I landed on the path it was safe(r) only moose and elk to deal with at that point, no slightly heavier motorized things to ruin my early morning. The clarity came in the form of a realization that I don't really enjoy unless I am recovering or still uncomfortable from something. If I'm not there I feel like I have left part of my day still on the table. I know for a lot of athletes the toil is the process, one comes to mind. He doesn't race, he used to, but instead he puts in mega-Ks all year, I bet he doubles me. He's also eccentric to the point of OCD, we all have our tics, mine are off the surface, sometimes quietly humming inside (mostly), other times popping up to fuel an after dark mtb training ride with a fading headlamp better suited to looking for your lost sock in the back of the closet.



This is what you get right now if you wait until it's too late to ride. Yeah, that's snow. It hurt the rain in the valley was so cold. I'm stronger now.



Holidays make me uncomfortable, something about them throws my rhythm off. I prefer the routine, it appeals to my affinity for institutional regimen. I'd almost prefer to work than have a random day off. Especially for something I didn't contribute to. Anyway, tomorrow is Bacon Day. Enjoy some for me.



I wonder if Sisyphus ever found enjoyment? I kind of enjoy the idea of constant work, the lack of variety is appealing in a way, push it up a never ending hill. Finished? Never.


1st Second Season

First organized effort of the Second Season is in the books. Little things show in the oddest places. Skills are there but not open enough to see how tank feels. I hope it all shakes out by the 19th. Freshness is there, after an abbreviated Summer of racing the tune is ringing in.



I have a twitch in my left leg, I wonder if the wiring is failing, maybe I shorted something out. The more I ignore it the less it doesn't go away. I try to stretch it out and get the muscles cleaned-more fuel maybe?