Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Elliot's Knob Sunday (was it really December?)

Sunday we met up with some old friends and some new ones for a nice long mountain bike ride in the beautiful mountains that surround us here in the valley. Since the last 10 weeks have been consumed by cross on the weekends, i was ready for a really long bike ride. My legs....not so much and my stomach even less. I did fine on all of the climbs, but let's just say it was quite a shock to the system to be turning the granny gear or close to it for the 4 mile fire road climb and then the grueling single track climbs up to knobs. I had the double whammy of not having ridden long climbs for a while and i had caught a stomach bug last week, so the GI system has been out of whack since. Now where did i put that children's tylenol???

Russell and i met up with Marshal, James, Sue, Jason, and Michele. I aparently didn't get the message because i brought a hardtail to a full suspension party. It wasn't that bad, i'm a big chicken on the super rocky stuff rear shock or not.

I brought along my camera and took a few shots of the group:

I told Jason to hop back on for the shot, he said "There is no shame in walking!!"

Gotta love the Valley

Monday, December 11, 2006

VACX Finals (Trial by Fire for the New Ride)

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day and much better than the weatherman said too. Sara, Katie and I drove over the mountain for the last cyclocross race of the season, the VACX Finals at Darden Town park in c'ville.

We actually had call-ups at this race. I was sitting in first in the series and they called up second place James Revere. I had my worst start ever, i was second or third to last by the end of the first straightaway. I just couldn't seem to clip in. I worked my way through the pack and by the end of the first lap, things had broken up into groups. There was a 45+ rider way off the front, then Rob Cook and Chris Scott follow by James Revere and me. James and swapped spots several times throughout the race, I couldn't shake him. Every time i thought i had a little distance on him, i would see his front wheel pop up on the side. At the end of each lap there was a steep grass hill, some folks were chosing to ride up it, i picked the running option. (My legs didn't seem to have much pop, so it was best not to force them to ride up that thing) My worst fear came true when i realized that the finish was going to come down to who could run up the hill the fastest. James was right on my wheel when we pulled on the last stretch of pavement before the monster. When we hit the hill he was about half a step behind me. About 5 steps from the top, i dug deep and put in a little extra umpf, hit the flat top and kept on running across the finish line. My first bike race that finished on foot. It was a tough fight for third place. I wrapped up first place in the VACX series 35+, woo-hoo. All that and a state championship too. Where is my Wheaties BOX!!! (got a jersey tho)

We hung around to watch the boys race the A and B race. (I got to play photographer again with Kevin's d-fitty) The B race had the usual suspects up in front, for a minute there i thought that Bill from Tripower had been sandbagging all year and was going to take the win, it was either that or Kevin and Bill were working on some team tactics, you sneaks. The group stayed close together until two laps to go, Kyle broke off the front with one other guy, Mark Russell was all alone in third and kevin and bill were a little ways back in 4th and 5th. Kyle ended up sprinting up the hill to take the win. Russell took third and held on to take the VACX series B win. Way to go Russell. (two l's)

Yesterday was the second ride (first CX) on the new bike. Very nice. It seemed a little harsh, but i think it was because i was running too much pressure and the ground was frozen. My new wheels held up too. This was only the second set that i have built, but i learned how to do it from Les so how could i go wrong.
Thanks for the pics Kev. Good luck at Nats.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Yeah....That's what i'm talking about!

Many Many Thanks to Les for Staying late to put the bike together. I'm looking forward to racing it on sunday.

Ain't she a Beaut!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Take your toughguy attitude and DNF

So I decided to roll up to Reston for the Capital Cross Classic. I know, what was i thinking, 5 hours of driving for a 45 minute race...but its cyclocross...Hell yes it's worth the drive!!!! The course was a lot of fun, some fast flat stuff, nice run up and a couple of good climbs. The ground was a little soft so as the race progressed, the corners got slicker. Mark actually went down on one of the first laps. I caught up to Mark on the second lap, told him to hop on and i would try to pull the train for a while. We passed quite a few people, Mark passed me with 2 to go, i passed him back at the start of the last lap, he came around me on the steep off camber downhill, but i passed him again on the steep grass climb. I knew after i passed him i had to try and get some distance. I tried, but shortly after hitting the home stretch on the pavement, Mark flew around me for 24th place. (note: this was a very fast group racing since anyone that didn't have an UCI license couldn't race in the elite men's field)
The funny part of the race was our new friend Bernie, mr. toughguy hardass bike racer. As i was coming up behind Mark on the second lap, i saw a guy jumping back on his bike on the left side of the course. He was heading out on to the course right in front of Mark. Mark yelled to him that he was on his right. The guy started yelling at mark something sarcastic and not very nice. He came back around Mark, but on the short steep mud hill, he slipped, Mark passed on the right and i was stuck behind him. I followed Bernie on to the grass portion of the course and started to pass him on the outside of one of the turns.
***Remember, this is B, mid pack***
Being the nice guy that i am, i let him know i was on his outside so we wouldn't collide. I got up even with him after the left turn, but on the right turn he totally cut me off. Almost clipping my wheel. I yelled to him "Nice Cut!" I caught up to him on the tight uphill right hander before the hurdles. I was on the inside of the turn and i had to push a little wide to keep my momentum. That is when my new freind started banging his bars into mine. Granted...this is racing and does happen, but we were way back in the field, and B is usually a friendly bunch. I yelled at Bernie "what the F are you doing???" he passed Mark and me after the hurdle and we followed him across the bridge. Mark looked over his shoulder at me with a look that said "what the heck is up with this guy" We passed him after the run-up and didn't see him again. It looks like he DNF'd. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. The moral of the story: it's just a race and it is supposed to be fun. Be considerate of your fellow racers, we are all weekend warriors and need to be healthy to work the next day. Don't be like those morons when you are driving that are completely oblivious to everyone else.

Friday, December 1, 2006

It's soooo Pretty....Just like ME!!!

hmmm....I wonder what it is???

It's just what i've always wanted!!!

Thanks for taking the pic's Taz (I can't believe i forgot the camera on such an important day)
Building it up next week.