Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sedalia Crit & Otterville Road Race... big posts are back!

Hey Gang,

Status update: Totally stoked after a great weekend of bike racing in central Missouri.

This was my first year at these races but i already cant wait to go back... and i didn't even do that well.

Saturday evening was the Sedalia Crit. For a rectangle course it was really fun and the long steady uphill finish made it that much harder. Being located in the historic downtown area put it over the top. I thought this was a really well organized and top notch local event.

I entered the 3/4 instead of the 4/5 and was feeling confident on the start line. Then i looked over to see Erik Finks lined up and thought to myself "oh, this could be hard". Then i realized i haven't raced my road bike since the Tour of Lawrence (not even the tuesday night crits... they were cancelled) and thought to myself "oh, this could be hard". Then 20 minutes later i was drifting off the back of the pack and thought to myself "that was hard".

But i wasent that disappointed. I basically have no talent what so ever so i cant just show up to a 3/4 crit and expect to do well. I need to be racing somewhat frequently so that my body is used to it. Still, even with getting dropped i still had a blast. The first 15 minutes were good, then i started to yo-yo but for 3 laps was able to use the corners to catch back on. I'd get gapped on a long strait-away but then hall a** around the corner and catch back on, then repeat. Eventually i couldn't catch back on anymore and rode a few laps solo, then was pulled.

Sitting in my lawn chair watching the rest of the races on a perfect late summer night was a little slice of heaven.

The Otterville road race is located in Otterville, MO (population 476) about 15 miles east of Sedalia. 48 miles over rolling hills. I thought the course was totally awesome.

After my all to brief appearance in the previous nights 3/4 race i opted for the 4/5 race at Otterville. I think it was the right decision.

The nutshell version of this race is that i was feeling great but got horrible cramps with about 5 miles to go and even though I reached the bottom of the final hill with the peleton I was already toast. I gave it everything I had on this final climb but halfway up i came to almost a complete stop, my legs would just not work. It's a shame because i really think i would have crushed that hill. Seriously.

The good news is that i'm feeling strong. I took some pulls during the race, helped chase down an earlier break, and was at or near the front for a large portion of the race. The highlight has to be when my teammate Kenny had a mechanical (apparently his front derailleur fell off) and came to a stop right in front of me. I managed to swerve into the grass at the last second and then back onto the road, narrowly avoiding him and somehow barely losing any speed. it was king of like a scene from that movie Days of Thunder where Tom Cruise (me, or course. Scientology rocks by the way) is hauling a** and then all the sudden from out of the pack in front him emerges a car rolling side ways into his lane. Thankfully he possesses amazing skillz and avoids disaster while living to fight another day.

I'm a bad ass.

So the results from the weekend suck but I throughly enjoyed all my time on the bike and am very excited to see what will happen in the next few months.

Like my friend said after the Otterville race, "that was the first cross race of the year"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bike MS... I'm riding for Kate

Hey everybody,

The Bike MS (aka the MS150) is coming up and yours truly will be taking part. It should be fun and I'm looking forward to finally riding a 100 miles in one push. That will be quite the accomplishment for this former couch potato. However all the personal goals and accomplishments were recently put into perspective when my teammate and friend, James Taylor, told me that his wife, Kate Taylor, had been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. James is a great guy and while I've only met Kate a few times, she seems wonderful, even more so now that she's a brand new mom! So I'm riding for Kate. Lots of folks in this world have a tough road to travel, I only hope that my small gesture can help make a difference. Please take a quick moment to read Kate's message and if you're feeling generous click here to donate.

And smile, life is precious.


My name is Kate Taylor. I'm 35 and a brand new mom. I also have multiple sclerosis. After several years of vague symptoms, I was finally diagnosed through an MRI in the fall of 2009. I immediately started injections which I was told later would not help my particular brand of MS which is primary progressive. This means that I will have an accumulation of disability with no remission periods. On the bright side however, it could happen very slowly. The most frightening part of MS is the uncertainty...all the "what ifs". Right now, there is no cure and those of us with this disease are in a constant battle to simply manage the symptoms and desperately try to slow the progression with treatments available.

My baby is almost 4 months old now and I can't deny that I am afraid what effect my MS will have on her life. Finding a cure for MS isn't for just the patients. It's for our kids, our families and all the people that love us. Your donation, however large or small, puts us one step closer to a cure.

To donate, click here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spoke Pony at Swope... Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

I raced the Spoke Pony 3/6 at Swope on Saturday, it was a lot of fun.

I hadn't raced in forever and i hadn't raced mountian bikes in really forever so it was nice to get back out there.

For the past two weeks i've been riding swope as much as possible, especially when i learned the race loop went the opposite direction than i'm used to... all that riding helped.


Lap 1

Holy sh*t these rocks are slippery, i guess thats what happens when it rains the day before. I'm glad i skipped the pre-riding because it might of pshcyed me out. Im also glad i slotted into the seemingly perfect spot after the short uphill paved road start. I barely got held up in traffic but someone right behing me must of held everyone up because after 5 minutes on the singletrack there was nobody behind me. Eat a clif shot and some beef jerky.

Lap 2

Holy sh*t these rocks are still slippery. Be cautious and know you've got the V8 Interceptor Mad Max wheels to carry you thru to the finish. You'll be fine. Whoops, bad line = endo down a hill. Even Max crashes occasionally. Am i okay, yes, i think, on we go. Man, that was probably an awesome crash to witness. I wish i was Jdoug. He saw it, plus his 6 hr pace seems to be faster than my 3 hr pace. Eat a Clif shot and some beef jerky.

Lap 3

Starting to cramp, ass starting to hurt, but at least the rocks are less slippery. Man, my ass hurts, and i better stop and stretch. Thank god i've got this camel-back, all roadies should wear camelbacks during mountain bike races, i crashed twice at the Warsaw race just fiddling with my bottle. Max would totally use a camel-back. These sections are drying out so maybe i can ride them, oh wait, fatigue is setting in so maybe not. Eat a Clif shot and some beef jerky.

Lap 4

My ass is killing me, i can barely sit down. Maybe that's adding to the extremem cramping in my legs becasue im having to using them double time just to lift my butt off the seat. Where did i hide that coke, by the tree near the start / finish, there it is... ahhhhh, sweet relief. Maybe i can make this my fastest lap yet... ha, who am i kidding... i'm dying. But i should be dying, i'm about to ride 4 laps at swope when the most i've ever done is two. And really, dying is too strong of a word, i have some power left but not being able to sit is killing me. I'll just stay out of the saddle as much as possible. ohhh, Here comes 8 pin, dismount, walk it, survive, continue. The finish is close now, i just passed the dead hooker, wait, is that Ricky Skaggs with a beer hand up? It is! I'm crossing the line triumphantly with a cold beer in hand, wow!

And to top things off i finished 2nd in the 30-39 category!!!

Now, let's keep this in perspective. At least two guys who would have beat me had mechanicals and didn't finish (i had no mechanicals, maybe my bike has more life in it than i think) plus the turnout was not huge, but still... my age group had 18 starters and i beat all but one. I'll take it.

Then i went home and put all sorts of creams and ointments on my ass, next time i'll be sure to use more shammy butter and a better saddle. No matter though, i turned on the tube to find Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on AMC.

Life is good.

*Thanks to Justin and Bike Source at 95th and Mission for the tune up on Friday afternoon. Like usual i waited till the last minute but they totally accommodated me and it made a huge difference. Britton from Volker was tending to his new born baby boy so i decided to give him the day off.

*Thanks to everyone who made the race happen, i had a great time and it was because of your hard work.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs was at Swope tonight, did you catch him? He showed me some good lines.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

X at Swope

X, the gf, was thinking about doing the Spoke Pony mtn bike race at Swope this Saturday so we headed out there yesterday afternoon to do some pre-riding. She's never ridden any of the hard sections of Swope... so i was a littler nervous. Plus she's only ridden her mtn bike on mtn bike trails about 8 times... so i was a little nervous.

Swope is hard, i think.

I figured that after riding it she wouldn't want to race. I was wrong, kind of.

Long story short, she was doing great and we were almost thru all the hard stuff when she fell and thought her elbow was broken. I quick trip to the ER concluded that nothing was broken, thank god, and she could get back to kicking ass on a regular basis. Well, maybe she needs to baby her sore elbow for a bit so i seriously doubt she'll be racing at swope on Saturday, but she'll be kicking ass again very soon.

With a little more practice she could handle a race at swope no problem. I was surprised at how quickly she picked it up. Maybe she's got the natural skills required to be a good mtn biker, maybe her 29'r makes it easier to get around at swope, maybe it's awesome.

She does have some trouble shifting, which i find hilarious, but i guess if your brand new to mtn bikes and never use those type of shifters it would take some getting used to.

Mountain bikes rule, see y'all Saturday. I feel confident enough out there... but three hours of racing the swope trails is going to kick my a**. If i can clear 8 pin just once without putting a foot down i'll be a thrilled, but i'm fully prepared not to be thrilled.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Big mountain bike day today

Broadway cafe, Volker bicycles, swope park trails, Blue river trails, Sonic Spectrum on the radio. Good day today.

I finally got in a big mtn bike ride, although only about 35% of it was on a mtn bike trail. I'll have to do something about that. My new thing is timing myself at Swope. I can't describe exactly what my loop is, but it's pretty much all of it. Today was something like 53 minutes, but i was riding "casual" and know i can go much faster. We'll see what happens at the spoke pony race this weekend. I have a feeling spoke pony could be the swan song for my mtn bike. She's dying. It's sad.

I also rode the 'highline' trail at Blue River. I love it, but it's a little overgrown. Blue river seems to be more of a winter trail.

You cant beat passing thru the Mad Max apocalypse zone on Blue River road between Swope and the Blue River trails, it's weird in there.

I put in close to 4 hours of riding today... my ass was killing me! Seriously, it was like never before. Maybe my next bike should be a full suspension. Nah, that sounds too easy. I like to make it as hard as possible to go fast. Which is probably why im not that bothered by the fact that my back disc break is constantly rubbing. It's not bad, but it's there. If i ever get a mtn bike that functions properly it's going to be like pedaling a cloud dipped in olive oil.