Sunday, January 20, 2008

Racing? Heck no!

The low was in the teens last night and it never got above 28 today. Very glad I slept in rather then race. I ended up 9th of 15 yesterday. Not too shabby.

Bec and I went to an Open House for a house up the street that is for sale. The realtor is the lady that sold our house for her mom. After a brief tour of the house and some social banter, some other folks came in. All was fine, however the other folks were the family we bought our house from, including the old lady. Awkward. They were nice and we chatted it up a bit, but yuck.

In any event the house was nice but had a different layout then ours. They fixed a lot of stuff up, but left a few details undone and/or dirty. I nitpick I guess.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ice Race

It's another cyclocross race weekend in Columbia, TN. Same location as 2 weeks ago, but different courses from before. Saturday's race was brutal.

Start temperature was about 31 degrees, felt like 25 or so, probably felt colder (at 3:30 the weather said it was 27, felt like 21). It was awful.
There was a "puddle" on the course that was frozen. I rode through it on prinicipal. I chalked up the race as experience and to say I raced in freezing temps back when I was "young."
I got a better start then before, well I had several racers behind me going into the first corner rather then being too cautious and being dead last. Anyway, the course was completely on grass, back and forth in long straightaways. No mud, nothing technical, except a couple corners. Nothing bad. There was one spot were we rode uphill for 30m, had to jump off and cross those barriers they like to set up, and go uphill another 30m. After crossing the barriers and running 10m or so to a "flat" spot, I could get on the bike and grind up the hill. Then the fun began by riding around a curve and up a long hill. I didn't need to get off the bike and run up the hill, but it would have been faster I think. I was going about walking speed, like grandma walking speed.

I finished somewhere in the middle of the group, but was the highest placed rider in the race from my team (of 3 or 4). Results were posted at the site but they were wrong. The guy they had coming in second wasn't even there!! Anyway, we split up on the course pretty quick and for the last half of the race I had no one I could catch in front of me and no one behind me that could catch me unless I crashed or something. So no real motivation to go faster, but I couldn't go faster anyway. Scott = sloth.

After the race, I hacked up a lung and couldn't breathe for a minute or two. It was painful. Then we all got in our respective cars/trucks and cranked the heat for 10-15 min. After thawing out, we changed and swapped stories.
Upon getting home, I "washed" the bike. This of course involves of the use of water. I sprayed off the bike and was "drying" it and realized it had frozen!!! My chain was all icy. So I said "oh well" and took it inside and showered.

Bec took a lot of great picts today and Nick enjoyed the cyclists as always.

I'm in the orange long sleeve jersey in the middle, if you couldn't figure that out. The guy in front of me is wearing the usual Cumberland Transit jersey. I'm wearing a cycling vest (with old CT pattern) over my heavy warm gear rather than wear my short sleeve jersey with arm warmers, which is no where near warm enough for me. I wasn't too cold racing, so I chose my clothes appropriately. I was actually afraid I'd be too hot. I generate a lot of heat when racing.


Bec and the wife of a teammate screamed "smile," so I mustered a weak grin.

Hating life.

Glad it was over. Yes, that is a flaming Bass Pro hat. All I could find at the moment that was warm and dry.

There's a race Sunday, but I think I might stay home as I'm driving to Vicksburg Monday. I might be too wiped out to drive safely, so I may just sleep and stay warm.

I'm crazy. It is however a lot of fun, contrary to the faces I make.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Rest" weekend

Well I have been feeling a little under the weather the last few days, so I decided to sit around, read, sleep in (until 9:30 Saturday morning!!), and not do much. I didn't even work out Saturday! You know there's something wrong with me if I don't workout on a weekend day.

Bec and I went to the botanical gardens on Saturday afternoon and wandered around in the cold and saw some boring Faberge collection that they had. Anyway, I've attached some pictures from the gardens which would likely be a lot prettier when things are blooming. Maybe this is why admission is only $1 in Januray.

Instead of racing cyclocross this weekend since I was feeling like I got hit by a truck, we went and watched the state championship race on Sunday. Glad I didn't race since it was very muddy, incl lots of sharp turns in mud and a "mud hole" that was a waterfilled hole. Doesn't sound like much fun to me and of course I've never even practiced riding in that stuff. I took a lot of pictures of teammates suffering and here's a few.
Next weekend is planned races, but currently they are calling for snow showers Satuday with a high of 25 and Sunday morning the low will be 12 with a high of 35. Humm....maybe I'll stay inside instead. We'll see.
Random dude, not on my team, but a good shot.

Same random dude.

Very fast teammate.

He likes this racing stuff.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cyclocross Race Weekend!!!

I decided to punish myself with some cyclocross racing this weekend. Bec and I went to Columbia TN for races Sat and Sunday, we took Nick on Saturday and he loved it. He was quite a good boy and got a lot of love from my teammates.
On Saturday it was about 45 degrees with occassional drizzle and a bit of wind. The course was in mostly open fields, with few technical turns, but it was bumpy and there was one spot where we had to dismount, jump over some barriers, and run uphill for 15 yards or so. It was awful. Walking might have been fast than how I "ran" up the hill. The worst part is we all though we were on our last lap, so we were riding ourselves silly just to find out we had one more lap left. The leaders sprinted it out to the line, just to be told they had one more lap. I think I'd have given a piece of my mind to the officials for that. In the end, I lost 2 places on the last lap to finish 11th out of 21. I pretty much ran out of gas (well I got plenty of that after Bec made chili later), but my energy reserves went quick in lap 5. Quite happy with the results, plus I didn't crash!!

Sunday it was much hotter (60's) and I was sweating all over myself. This race included drops into the woods on single track used my mountain bikers and with rain yesterday, the trail was muddy and I was sliding through corners. I never fell, but thought I might a few times. I went into the woods 15th of 15, but finished 10th. I passed 2 teammates in the process. I had a blast in this race because I passed one teammate on this long paved uphill climb (3 of 4 laps) and he passed me on the mud in the woods every time. On the last lap I passed him again on the big hill, making it look easy apparently as I was told how much he hated me at that moment. It was all fun and once we got up the hill and voer the barriers I thought we were going to fight to the line. He ended up giving up (phe) and I was way closer to the next racer in front of me then I thought. I gave everything I had, including a very fast hurdling of the last set of barriers, but he held me off. If I had another half lap, I'd have
caught him. I was feeling good for being near death.
One cross race next weekend (state championship race), then 2 races in the following weekend in Columbia again. It is hard, but a lot of fun. Still not sure what is wrong with me.
Props to Bec for the killer shots of me (see here) and my teammates (seen elsewhere).
Before start on Saturday, bit nervous, bit cold.

Cool and confident at the start Sunday.


Sunday finish!
Jumping barrier.
Having fun??

Stopping to smile on Sunday?
Digging deep to hold my place on Saturday.