Archive for November, 2010

Three More Cross Races in the Bag

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 by bencycles

Looks like I blinked. Three more cross races in the books. Hot damn. Last weekend was a double up with the Dirt Club Cross race in Los Olivos Saturday and then Convert Cross in Ventura Sunday.

We packed the Prius with bikes and gear and kid and jackets for the 4 hours of driving in torrential rain to the venue. I was excited to have a truly muddy course. We don’t get that much in these parts. I was also a little nervous to have a truly muddy course. We don’t get that… right.

But it was not to be and soon after arriving, the clouds bowed to the pressure of sunny skies and the mud dried to perfect hero dirt by the start of my race. The turn out was a little low, maybe the rain scared a few off, which is a shame because the course was sweet.

Nonetheless, it was fun racing and I was feeling good to take the win. As I’m sure DJ Lancerock would say: “Racing bikes is… Awesome!”

Then it was time for my mini mechanic to clean the bikes for the next day.

Day two, Convert Cross. No rain but it was cooold in the shade. Musta been like 50, or something. Man, I love winter in SoCal, I’m so soft.  A bigger turn out and another stellar course had me working hard, but man was I feeling good again! I love these late-season peaks.

I got a little frisky and tried jumping some stairs. Oops.. I swear other guys made it look easy.

It was a pretty strong field and I was spending a lot of time either trying to close gaps or looking over my shoulder. I love the desperation. Won again! Whoop whoop.

Then yesterday was the District Championships at the Turkey Trot race in Glendale. Another really good course with perfect dirt conditions and cool temps, my favorite.

My start was rad!

And we quickly had a group of 4 or 5 working hard and building a gap. I tried to race smart, taking some hard pulls but trying to conserve too. Man, I gotta do some homework with my barrier skills, though. It’s definitely a weak point for me. I’m as graceful as a drunk giraffe. I can  fake it well enough if the right people are in the wrong place, but when it’s a strong group and everyone’s on the ball, well, I’ll leave it at that.

I attacked with two ta go and gapped off one rider but still had two other strong guys and we stayed together to the end. I got gapped at the barriers and couldn’t close it back down at the line  – ended up second which was good enough for a silver medal at the California District Championships. Sweet!

On that note, this is my 3rd year racing cross, and first truly full season (broken arm season 1, MIA most of season 2) and man has it been fun. Fucking hard, but fun. Racing every weekend is a lot different than racing every other weekend. I feel like I am starting to get a little rhythm instead of just frantic desperation and I’m stoked to refine some mad skillz for next fall.

And to do that, I got a new coach who’s already showing how I can get faster:

What could go wrong?

Even More Cross!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 by bencycles

Every week another weekend comes. Strange, that. So much cross.

What’s better than dressing up for Halloween?
Halloween 2010

Dressing up for cross of course.

The Spooky Cross night race is one of my favorite courses of the whole season.  And while my form might have been pure shyte for my “real” race, I have to say my costume was fully legit for the costume race.

Have you ever tried racing cross with aero bars? It’s kinda hard…

Especially when you can’t see.

…but so much fun.

The next race was put on by my team, Celo Pacific. One of the best parts about getting the course ready is spending the night on the beach to “guard” the course the day before the race. It was a bit hectic getting us all packed. Well, mostly getting me packed. I swear my 3-year-old is more organized. Once we got out there, though, it was a lot of fun.

And while it was wet and muddy during set up

the course dried out the next day and was awesome for the race.

It’s one of my favorite courses of the season. I’ll admit I need to work on my cross skills a bit, but this race is a fast power course and my old roadie roots came in handy to help me win my race! Sweet!

Well, the very next weekend, I pretty much got my ass handed to me at Griffith Park up in LA. I guess some times you get roses and some times you get the shit kicked out of you…

My start was freaking awesome as evidenced by my sweet hole shot. Take that suckas!  But alas, it was not to be and I think by the second lap I was riding backwards.

Such is the yin and the yang of the zen crosser.

Next stop; Long Beach. Sweet bumpy Long Beach. I love this course. Fun, interesting, and so bumpy on the backside. I tried to make a move with 3 ta go but it was more like a slap with a damp washcloth than a crush with a hammer. It was good enough for 3rd on the day. A podium spot is a podium spot after all, and it was a fun day out.

Well, that leaves cross season more than half done. If I blink too long, another weekend will be here.