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.