Sunday, February 24, 2013

Street Cred Stage 3 Re-cap. Urban Cross

(This happened 8 days ago)


With those words, yelled emphatically 12 inches from my ear by a pink clad Chris-go, i set off trying to win stage 3 of Street Cred. It was the Urban cross race. I would be unsuccessful in winning but successful in having an amazing time pedaling my bicycle. You never know when it's all going to come together.

I thought to myself, 'What!?!?, the race is on... shit'. Five seconds earlier i was leisurely finishing the neutral lap, at almost the very end of the line, some 25 yards back from the front which was sure to include fellow overall contender danger men Jesse and the smoker on the fixie. We'll call him the man with no name but only because i haven't bothered to introduce myself. He seems cool. But i digress... so the race is on and im basically in last. Perhaps if i had paid attention to the pre race instructions i would have knows we were starting so suddenly. but i didnt.


So we're racing.

Am i still wearing my back pack? yes. Shit. Do i still have 50 psi in each tire, yes. Shit. did it snow last night and turn this course into a muddy mess, yes. Awesome. 50 psi be damned! This might be the best cross race i do all year. No time to worry about starting at the back, wearing a backpack or riding with too much pressure. Actually, all things considered (including the venue)... im in my element. Time to go forward as fast as possible.

During the next 45 minutes i would lose a battle with a fat bike, resulting in me crashing on a sidewalk, lose a battle with a bunch of vines, resulting in me crashing in a grassy alley, win a battle with my backpack resulting in the sweetest on bike backpack toss onto a pile of 2x4's ever seen... plus i would ride over a pile of potatoes (multiple times, that's a lot of potatoes), narrowly avoid hitting a cop car, narrowly avoid hitting a regular car (how come none of the numerous spectators were looking out for cars, jerks. I better get some damn photos of myself as consolation), ride from last into second place, lose second place, regain second place and in doing so put an extra place between me and the man with no name, keep pedaling despite seemingly everyone around me getting flats (okay it was only two people, not everyone), expertly negotiate an ever changing used tire barrier, constantly ask how many laps were left only to be met with blank stares or smart-ass remarks, and finally, after 45 of the best minutes I've spent in a while, i would cross the line in 2nd place.

i just couldn't catch Britton but i buried myself trying.

The west bottoms is made for cross and getting 1/2 inch of snow the night before made for an unforgettable experience.

Thanks to everyone for making it happen.

One stage to go and i think i have a shot at the title.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Last Nights Explosion and Fire on the Plaza

I live at 51st terr and wornall. About 3/4 of a mile from JJ's restaurant, the one that blew up last night around 6pm. I was at home and felt the blast. For a few seconds i stopped what i was doing, it felt like someone ran into our house with a car. When nothing else happened i went back to washing dishes, assuming my neighbor below had dropped something.

X called me soon after that to say she was working late. That was at 6:02 pm. Maybe 30 minutes later i turned on the tv to see live coverage of the fire raging at JJ's restaurant. After 10 minutes of watching the tv i jumped on my bike and headed to the plaza but before walking out the door i talked to my downstairs neighbor. Her husband works at Graham and Dunn (also on the plaza) so i wanted to see if he was okay. She said he was fine but that she used to work at JJ's and she was trying to get in touch with old co-workers to make sure they were okay.

In that instant it really hit home that this was my neighborhood.

There was nothing to do once i got down there except take it all in and pray everyone was alright. Unfortunately we now know thats not the case as the news is reporting that one person has died.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Street Cred Stages 1 & 2 recap

So far so good, two stages of Kansas City's alley cat stage race have come and gone and I've attended both. It's a miracle! two more to go, if i make both of those i fully expect to explode into a joyous mushroom cloud of candy and rainbows.


Stage one was a scavenger hunt type race. Michael and his better half Erica did an amazing job setting it up. the race started and finished at Volker Bicycles at 18th and Wyandotte and they had scouted out 10 different bits of graffiti in the vicinity. Each rider was given a piece of paper with addresses on one side and pictures of the graffiti on the other. However each picture had a blank spot which you were required to fill in, as in drawing, once you found it. that's how you proved you were there. 

Despite Taking the most indirect route between stops 4 thru 8 i managed to finish 5th. I might get bumped up a little due to both the quality of my drawings (said in my best 'my name is Simon' voice) and the lack of quality of other peoples drawings.

If any streetcred officials are reading this im lobbying that the top 3 drawings get moved up one spot and the the bottom three get moved down one spot.

afterwards we passed around bottles of boons farm and 24 hours later i had a head cold for 3 days.

Plus my camera broke so these are the only photos i got. 

Moving on...

Stage two was a hill race. I believe these are sometimes called a 'dirty dozen' although we only did 6 hills. The premise: ride slowly in a group to a hill and then race to the top, then re-group and ride slowly to the next hill and repeate. This is perhaps the ideal race for me since climbing is my least worst skill on a bicycle, next to looking good at a red light.

Unfortunately i was delayed by a crashed teamate who required assistance so i missed the first hill. Over the next 5 hills i managed to finish 2nd, 3rd, last (due to dropped chain), 3rd and 2nd. It was a ton of fun.

Im not sure of the points system becasue i dont think the officials are sure of the points system but i've got to be sitting pretty good.

Afterwards we drank boons and budweiser and high life in the shawod of the former FBI building.

Ride bikes with your friends!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 1 of Street Cred Alley Cred tomorrow!!! (plus bonus pictures of last wednesday)

I've been slack, how could i not have mentioned sooner that Day 1 of Street Cred is tomorrow!


I will be there.

And this year it's free! Tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day so i really hope you come out and support the Cred by pedaling your bicycle around Kansas City and then getting free beer and hugs afterwards. Now lets have a little fun (and hopefully get your competitive juices flowing) and take a trip down memory lane. Click each stage to relive all the glorious details.

My street cred history.

I was new on the scene. Might have broken my wrist during the crit. Felt pretty cool.
time trial
Stage 2 - Crit
Stage 3 - Cross
Stage 4 - Stairs

Hitting my stride as far as taking nothing seriously except bike riding, and not even that really. Won the cross race and shone like a golden god while doing it.
Stage 1 - Alley Cat
Stage 2 - Cross
Stage 3 - Crit
Stage 4 - Riddle Race

totally lost my stride of taking nothing seriously and only did one of the races. Weak.
Pre race hype
More pre race hype
Crit race - not sure which stage (no pictures)

Who knows what the future holds but if i can do even 2 of the races it will be a f*cking miracle.

Here's to miracles!

And now, finally, here are the bonus pictures from last Wednesday. Is anyone even reading this frigin blog?