Friday, December 31, 2010

Retro Jersey Day!

I thought it would be fun to go retro for the last fun race of the year at Kings.

I made a commemorative collector card based on the 1987 Topps Baseball cards and the Coors Cycling team cards.

Refuel on some Cycling Media

The winter is a time to recharge with long relaxing rides or time on the trainer — sometimes I commute less and end up needing something to read on the bus. So here are some interesting things I found to watch, read or listen to:

I was on YouTube getting my retro cycling fix when I saw the video above. I am a huge Claude Lelouch fan and I count his film "Un Homme et Une Femme" as one of my all-time favorite movies. I also knew of Jørgen Loth (of "Stars and Watercarriers" and "Sunday in Hell" fame) from his art film "Die Perfekte Manneske."

A book that has influenced this blog is Tim Krabbé's, "The Rider." It's the stream of conscious journey through a cyclist's mind during the course of a race. I like the numbering system he uses for his races and have adopted here.

Interesting cycling comic, Paul Francis

The Ride is a new magazine from the UK, some back versions can be downloaded as PDFs. Very cool, designy and hip with diverse collections from different cycling disciplines.

The new Joe Parkin book is another peek into the career of a talented cyclist who rarely had good luck. Parkin's "Come and Gone" is his second book that focuses on his off-road career. Parkin is an entertaining writer and I really feel bad that things rarely went his way.

The Bike Snob book is a hoot, it will have you laughing. The Bike Snob is very talented at bringing fresh thinking or another take on cycling topics and the book is beautifully and artistically illustrated.

The Gaurdian Bike Podcast is free on iTunes — and is an interesting view into cycling in the UK. They usually have an interesting range of stories and typically produce 1 podcast per month.

I was a VeloCast fan for the past year. A couple of Scots with a well-research podcast who are also free on iTunes, unfortunately they have ceased podcasting for the moment.

I urge everyone to follow the Giro and the Vuelta on the UK EuroSport if they can. Sean Kelly and Dave Harmon are wonderfully entertaining. I dig Harmon's use of French terms sprinkled in with a Dandy Brit demeanor.

Cool Video on Jens Voigt, that guy is the dog's bullocks:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bike Commuter Tip #74: Leave some clothes at the office

Your backpack will weigh a bit less, and perhaps you'll come into your office to find your friends have had a game of dress up!

Dreaming of Winter Rides with Homies

From 2009 Cycling Yearbook

Some fun ride ideas for winter and spring training:
1. Meet up with my Columbus homies to reenact the Frankenbike race at Scioto Trail State Park
2. Hop to Rabbit Hash with the Bellantes, would be lovely in Spring
3. Hang out with the Vrotskos on some sweet Hoosier backroads or trails
4. Do a lap of the Northern Liberties with Phil Noble
5. Sloppy gravel base miles in the Shawnee Forest near Portsmouth
6. Explore Northern Kentucky with Team Hungry
7. Can't wait for our Team Donovan Training Camp in Austin/New Orleans

Friday, December 24, 2010

Make Your New Year's Resolution a Lifestyle Choice

This is a great story of a Grandmother who faced life-ending circumstances and chose a fun, active lifestyle to prevent another heart attack. It goes to show that it is never too late.

When I turned 30 I was sitting in a Paris café eating a delicious, indulgent dessert. I realized that if I wanted to come back and live in France after I retire that perhaps I wouldn't get to eat these desserts. I was a smoker and obese, I'm not exaggerating, I was over 30% body fat and I ran out of breath tying my shoes. I would likely have diabetes since it runs on both sides of my family. And what if I wouldn't get to retirement? Being obese I was at higher risk of heart disease.

So I decided turned my life around. I found ways to make exercise fun, I found if I didn't put too much pressure on myself at first that I would improve with persistence. It was a thrill to go out and run farther and faster with each workout.

If anyone reading this wants to pursue a more active lifestyle feel free to contact me with any questions. I would be happy to give any advice and even set up novice running and/or cycling training plans to get you on your way.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It would be fun to see my teammates Nate & Mitch crush me up each one of these hills. It's fun to see the roadies who just fall over trying to climb out of the saddle — that's why I spend a lot of my early season climbing in the saddle, so I don't slide out on roots in a mountain bike race.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Racing Year in Review

I love looking back at the year, I did so many different types of racing that the year felt longer because nothing got old. Every year I like to do a look at my numbers because I grew up a Baseball fan and that is a sport of stats.

Last Winter I ran like a maniac — I would head out into the snow and cold, hitting the trails in Ault Park and Indian Hill. Basically I went out and had fun and come race day I somehow ran much faster than expected, knocking 7 minutes off my previous record and beating my personal bests for the 5k and 10k while running uphill!

15k Time:1:06:53
Overall Pace:7:12
10k Split: 44:27
5k Split: 22:06

Over the course of the year I fit a hand full of these "one day classics" for the dirt into my calendar. These races can be real tests of one's will and some of the races feature 10,000 feet of climbing. I began training for these in the spring, when wet conditions made riding off-road a rarity. My 8th place at Cohutta was so unexpected and I was so blown away and proud of that result. The same with my 3rd place at John Bryan, never thought I would podium in any mountain bike race.

AVG PLACE: 11th (8, 36, 3, 6, 4th)
TOP 10: 4 races
TOP 10%: 2
TOP 25%: 2
TOP 50%: 1
AVG DISTANCE: 64.8 miles
AVG TIME: 4:02:36
AVG SPEED: 16.03 mph/25.79 kph (I think my Frankenbike race was pretty fast, but typically I go 10-12mph)

Mountain biking is kind of my baseball season, I feel like one of the Boys of Summer — outside doing battle when the temperature are in the 90s. This was my first year racing Expert, which is the highest regional classification. I still feel like a rookie out there and I really battled every race not to be last place. But persistence paid off and I ended up 3rd in the CORA race series.

AVG PLACE: 11th (12, 23, 6, 4th)
TOP 10: 2 races
TOP 50%: 1
AVG DISTANCE: 27.25 miles
AVG TIME: 2:30:12
AVG SPEED: 10.89 mph/17.52 kph

Cyclocross is a beautiful sport that I look forward to every Autumn. Each weekend is a day trip around the Ohio Valley spent hanging with friends. This is also my first year racing Elite in Men's cyclocross. Same as in mountain biking, some races I would struggle not to be last place. Persistence also paid off and I ended up tying for 10th Overall in the OVCX.

RACES: 12 Elite Races (9 in OVCX)
TOP 10: 4 races
TOP 50%: 1 race
AVG SPEED: 16.44 mph/25.46 kph (races where speed was recorded)

RACES: 4 UCI Cyclocross Races (Cat 2/3)
AVG PLACE: 59th (22, 34, 94, 84th)
TOP 50%: 2

I didn't know if I could finish Cohutta and I finished 8th, that was like Christmas morning. The same with my Hear Mini run. Getting 3rd in the 6 Hours of John Bryan and in the Kings CX TT series made me happy that I have a little motor in my legs that can hammer pretty well.

Low Points
I didn't share this with many people but I felt pretty bad after Mohican. My result in Cohutta inflated my ego a bit and I trained really hard for Mohican. I was riding with teammates that ended up top 20, but somehow I fell apart. I felt ashamed that my legs failed me. Another low point was a really bad crash in a paceline on rainy railroad tracks, I was so ashamed of my riding that it tooks months for me to ride with other people. And lastly I felt pretty low during cross season after bad results in Louisville and Bloomington, I got burnt out and nearly ended my season! I feel like these examples could be cured if I focus on the quality of my bike-handling.

In Summation
It's interesting to look back on the results. I think I am going to have to work hard on intensity this year to get stronger at cross country mountain biking and cyclocross. However, perhaps in a few years I will focus on endurance events for a season or two. I could also focus on time trials sometime in the future.

2010 BioWheels/Reece-Campbell Racing
37 Races; 1 Run, 2 Crits, 5 MTB, 5 Endurance, 7 OffRoad TT and 17 CX

2009 Trek Store of Cincinnati
25 Races; 1 Road, 1 Endurance, 2 Runs, 4 MTB and 17 CX

2008 Unattached
8 CX Races

Friday, December 17, 2010

Race #70, The Scioto Mud Slides

I didn't get to race CapCity in Columbus much this year and I really missed my friends and the culture. But since the last OVCX race I got really sick and barely touched my bike. I was kind of done, but at the same time I didn't know what to do with myself. Have you seen that scene in "Apocalypse Now" where Martin Sheen is missing the war, gets drunk in his hotel room and does kung fu on a mirror in his tighty whities? I was getting there.

So teammate Scott, fellow CapCity devotee, and I made the dangerous trek on wintry, snow-covered roads about two and a half hours north. It was stupid but worth it. Three snow races in one season, I'm starting to tell the differences in the quality of the snow as well as the soil that the unfrozen December ground turns into various goops. This one had to have been the coldest so far, the mud turning into ice once it hit our bodies and our bikes. The Lobdell course is a crusher. It has three tiers: you climb (or run up), climb and climb some more, then you fly down the other side. Well, in the mud and snow we slid!

My start wasn't so hot, but I kept trying to claw my way up whenever I could. I felt like crap, this was my hardest effort in a week and my body wasn't happy with me. I kept my eye on the front and would try to count what place I was in. I was in 8th place when a couple of strong riders schooled me on the uphills. I thought I was a climber, but not today. After a couple of laps their bikes succumbed to the conditions and I was able to claw my way up into seventh. Mike O and Spencer were crushin' me, breathin down my neck.

I took every risk I could, on the descents I let go of the brakes, however I did cautiously keep a foot out just in case, and I felt like I was really flying down those mud slides! Eventually I couldn't pull in Mason who was ahead of me, and unfortunately Spencer slipped in a corner and lost some time. I think I let off the gas because I felt like crap. It was amazing, you put in a tough effort and the next thing you know your lungs were turning inside out. Eventually I got lapped by the leader and I called it a day a lap early. I ended up 7th, one place out of the money for the 4th time this year! The guys up front whooped me.

It was nice seeing my Columbus friends, too bad it was so cold we couldn't talk a while. Scott and I didn't know how bad the roads would get so we started driving back, but after a half hour we pulled off and grabbed a enormous burger at Thurmans. I wish I invited the Farmers and Layne, but I bet it was a bit out of their way. It was great riding with Scott, someone new to chew their ear. This was only the 2nd race I have ever gone to WITHOUT Bjet, weird!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ready to Suffer? How about a Mount Adams CX race?

This video I found on YouTube inspired a truly horrible idea.

Team RoadRash to File Bankruptcy

I'm looking at some of the equipment and parts I need to buy for next year and I am about to faint.

• New Team Kits (paid with my sweet race reimbursements!)
• Pay to overhaul my ancient Powertap 2.0 for smarter training
• New Helmut
• New MTB Shoes (after 3 years of CX and MTB!)
• New CX Pedals?
• New MTB Tires
• Have to overhaul my mountain bike and see if anything is worn out
• Have to overhaul my CX bike and see if anything is worn out
• New Tubular tires for CX next year
• New right shifter for CX bike.
• Maybe it's time for a new derailleur on the CX bike too
• New saddle bag that could fit a 29er tube with some room for tools too.

I think I will scale back racing next year, focusing on CORA and the closest OVCX races along with only Mohican, and perhaps the 6 Hours of John Bryan and Versailles. Maybe just about 16 races instead of 30 per year.

Will "Ink" myself to prevent going into the Red Ink.
So in short I will gladly take a sponsors' money and tattoo your logo on my face, arms, neck and legs. Hurry, premium spaces are going fast!

P.S. You can even tattoo your logo on my "frame pump" (if you know what I mean), which I will gladly display whilst taking "naturals" rolling along in the long distance mountain bike races.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Epic Ending to 2010

A few inches of snow blanketed the MidWest and it made for 2 incredible races with sloppy off-camber sections and slimy run ups. After the races our bikes and ourselves were covered in a mixture of ice and mud.

Saturday was a real battle. I was thinking that not many people would be there but 2 full collegiate teams showed up with 30 starters in the Elite field. It was a real battle of attrition, many riders succumbing to the greasy turns. I tried to keep it safe and power certain sections where I could. There was a crazy hill section that was so sloppy. I had a decent race, but I was pulled early due to the 80% rule. I felt a little peeved because it was a local race and I had two riders only 10 seconds ahead of me. It turns out I was 16th and perhaps I could have placed into the coveted money spots. But I was very close to being in the top 50% of the race, which I haven't been very close to before.

Sunday was hell. I woke up and nearly decided to not go. I was really sick and had a temperature. The day and the race was a blur. But somehow I did okay. I ended up not being last place, and not getting lapped. But I felt like death afterwards. I had a fever and started getting sick at dinner! What an idiot.

But I did it for a reason. With the last race being double points I was able to slip in and tie with Ryan Knapp for 10th place in the OVCX Elite Category!

I've been feeling a bit bummed the last few days. I'm not sure if it's lack of sunshine, just recovering from that bug or the cyclocross season ending. Last year I rode my bike through the holidays to ward off extra pounds but I haven't had the desire to get back in the saddle.

Perhaps I'll do the CapCity finale this weekend — I was looking forward to it a few weeks ago but now I feel like I'm phoning it in. 33 races this year and even though I love the Lobdell course it is over 2 hours away. We'll see, it will be lovely to see my Columbus friends just before Christmas. Last year I had the benefit of a lot more momentum going into the holidays.

A special thanks to Dion Easthouse for the gorgeous photography and an early Christmas present: a nice, big bottle of Chimay.


Obviously I'm not in it for the money. But in my first year as an Elite cyclist the money spot has eluded me. If I finish 6th or 7th it turns out they are only paying 3 to 5 spots deep. At the Gun Club I battled and lost for the last money spot. Usually I'm not even close, I'm just trying to not be DFL and get lapped. At Infirmary Mound my desperate attempt to enter the "elite club" of the paid cyclists failed due to my clumsy eagerness and a flatting tire.

At Lexington's Promotion Cross on November 21st I had a hell of a day. Unfortunately a lot of my friends had bad days. It was a technical course, one where I pre-rode and didn't know how I could possibly turn any of these corners with speed. So Mitch's voice rang in my head and I decided to keep it upright. I showed up at the line and there were only 15, so no pressure! Perhaps I felt more free.

The start was crazy and in the melee my friends Rob, Chris and Chewning had mechanicals or were wrapped up in tape. Another guy felt bad and actually pulled over and laid down! So halfway into the race I was clawing my way up. Chewning was chasing me and this guy I couldn't catch. I finally caught the one rider and attacked him on this uphill power section where on previous laps I saw he wasn't as strong. I pretty much assumed Chewning was going to come and spank me, but I felt I should make it a game. He really drove to crush it and eventually I even caught another rider.

I ended up in 9th! My payout equalled my race fee so I split even! That's better than most of the time!

On a side note I also got 16th at the St. Mary's Child Center race in Fort Harrison, IN. That was 3 races where I placed 16th! I guess I better get 1% faster next year.

Above is one of the best photos ever taken of me. I actually look halfway pro, and I owe a thanks to Dion Easthouse.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Autumn Crossing from CinéCinnati on Vimeo.

Man, I love Autumn. And I really love cyclocross. Glad the two go so well together.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bjet is my shining star! She got 2nd in the Ohio State Cyclocross Championship! It was a cold day, but a pretty sunset.

I slid in the mud on my first lap, crashed on the left side. I guess that loosened my skewer and my wheel nearly fell off on the third lap! I'm really glad I avoided disaster, but sad I lost a few placed I couldn't get back. It was a tough race, every time I looked at my heart rate monitor it was 10 beats higher than typical.

I'm really having fun now and sad that the season is almost over. On a side note, another quick but lovely visit to Yellow Springs. I really love it there, perhaps we'll work a short stay up there into our vacation schedule.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Better Dust Off The Passport!

I would kill to go an a fun trip like this! A super cool CX stage race in Deutschland? Ja Bitte! Part of me would love to get in a EuroTrip in the next couple of years. Maybe this will coincide with faster legs, better skills, fatter wallet and a UCI license.

CRITICAL FILM from e r t z u i ° film on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Local Homies Representin' in U.S. CX Rankings

I'm super proud of Bjet and teammate Gerry! There's only two local guys on the list, and most of the top local females made the list. Amanda would be there too but she's been battling an illness all Autumn (she seems to have recovered and flew to a second place last weekend).

Nikki is kickin ass in all the GPs, it's great to see her doing so well this year. She seems even more consistent than in years past, and that's with coming back from being hit by a motorist!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Race #65: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

It was nice to go back to CapCity, it felt a little like home. So many good memories. The tough thing with this year is being the headliner. I'm warming up when my friends are racing and all my friends are drinking beer when I'm racing. But this race I tried to entertain once again.

Had a slightly better start than usual. And after about a lap or two I finally started warming up and felt like I was working my way up the field. I had the sensation that my rear tire was low but everyone said it was okay. I caught up to teammate Phil, homies J-izzah Karew and Jake. They guys already raced, cause they usually tear my legs off! So I got all Belgian and attacked the group immediately thinking Phil could sit in if the other guys respond to my attack. I was barely holding them off for a lap when I saw Sam "The Kid" ahead of me.

So I gassed it for a lap trying to catch the Kid. I got greedy and I was really hungry for places and working my way into the money, all the while trying to ignore the sensation that I was riding a low tire. So I caught the Kid and he was on my wheel, maybe I was a bit gassed but on a rooty quick uphill climb my rear wheel just slid out from under me! I accidently fell in front of Sam like a total loser.

So at the top of the hill I wasted a minute pulling my derailleur out of my spokes and getting my chain back on. I kind of wanted to cry! All that work for nothing and I was losing my spots!

I yelled "PIT BIKE!" when I passed Joe and Mitch. I wanted Bridget's 29er she had waiting in the pit, but I was handed Excaliber! Joe's Independant Fabrication custom steel CX bike with sick Zipp wheels. I had to quickly remember how to use SRAM shifters and I kept looking down because the Zipps sound crazy loud and badass when you are riding. I had to keep it pretty chill because I was more on top his bike and I was tentative in the corners, but perhaps thats the best way to ride a bike that costs more than the down payment on my house!

Thanks to Joe I got race my entire race, got some spots back and could go home feeling satisfied with my race. Still a bit ticked I soiled my race with a crash, but I think I was racing against time and by the end of the race my tire would have been completely flat. The next day I replaced the tube and found the culprit, a thorn went through my tire and punctured the tube.

Lap times
1 7:04
2 7:02
3 6:53
4 6:49
5 7:54 (Crash! Mechanical!)
6 7:30 (Pit Stop! Sweet IndieFab goodness handed to me)
7 7:09
8 7:55 (Drats! Lapped by Ryan the Super Pro, finish a lap down)

Cincinnati's Little Portland District

Last Friday Jenny the Jamis and I cruised around on a sunny lunchtime ride and I ended up at 5th and Race, a parking lot that on some days is transformed into Cincinnati's newest lunchtime dining district.

The N'Awlins Po Boy truck smelled divine, but the line was so long I opted for a nice and toasty brick-oven pesto pizza. I also fueled up with a lemonade from the Pretzel man. I've also had Señor Roy's taco truck, which was nice and delicious and muy authentico. I have yet to try Café de Wheels, which I heard have some killer burgers.

I get all nostalgic for past vacations to Portland and Austin. These trucks travel around but I think they end up there every Friday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cross is a picnic after some good coaching!

I was feeling pretty low after Bloomington and the GP. I was nervous about my move to Elite and I was starting to wonder if I made a mistake. I was starting to not have fun.

So the night before Storm the Greens I met up with my patron Mitch at Kings for some opening of the legs. He noticed I get all sketched out around other riders so he told me to chill, keep the rubber side down and work on being a foiler by coming back late in the race and poaching spots.

Race #57 Slow Birdie but back on par!
So my starts are so slow. I need to get some fast-twitch muscles someday! It's like I have a bungie on my back. Anyway, I held on at the start, trying to stay glued to the last wheel. Mitch was coaching me to keep it cool. It worked out and on lap 2 I attacked two riders and made a gap. Somewhere I passed a couple more! Goal #1 a success, out of last place! Unfortunately in the middle of the race my brakes began to mysteriously rub, so I had to jump off for a sec and worked that out. I lost one spot to a LWC rider, but he was pretty full of steam and going to hunt me down anyway. So lap number 8 I look back and I see the Bob's Red Mill Grain Train chugging along. I had to gun it so they wouldn't gobble me up, and I succeeded in Goal #2, I didn't get lapped! After that I just did a victory lap! I sprinted in to the finish to the cheers of my friends, kind of funny since I was so slow! But hey, no slip ups! Mitch's advice got me back on track!

Lap Time Speed
1 6:56.456 25.069
2 6:51.509 25.370
3 7:00.513 24.827
4 6:57.906 24.982
5 7:15.384 23.979
6 7:08.893 24.342
7 7:11.096 24.217
8 7:07.241 24.436
9 7:21.751 23.633
AVG Speed = 24.46 kph

Race #58 Picnic in the Mud
I had a blast going out and pre-riding the course with friends all week. The Gun Club is so scenic and such a unique venue.

A couple years ago my friends and family came out and we had a picnic in the mud. The day before I went down to Findlay Market and picked up a bunch of local ingredients straight from the farmers. Finally got my hands on some incredible Blue Oven bread. I also picked up some aged goat milk Houtz cheese from Blue Jacket Dairy in Bellefountaine. Great cheese, bread, beer and wine are their own religions and I worship at the alter. I had such a blast shopping down there, and I woke up early Sunday morning to make a vegan Apple Tarte Tatin, which I call the Parisienne Powerbar. It's basically an upside down apple tart that is perfectly suited to consuming about an hour before your race. I also made a vegetarian broccoli and cheese quiche. A hearty source of recovery protein post-race.

So to the racing! I lined up at the start with the same strategy as Louisville. But that all changed when two rider collided in front of me and I found myself endo-ing over the top of them. I got up and gunned it to get back in the race. I had to make a risky pass here and there, one was to get around a rider who couldn't corner worth a darn. I accidently blocked my homie Travis in a couple corners cause I thought it was that guy trying to get back around me.

Eventually I made it into a small group with Christopher Chartier and Samuel "The Kid" Dobrozsi. All of us excelled at certain parts of the course but no one could really pull away. Here and there one of of would attack but a bone-headed move in a corner would cause the attacker to be pulled back.

My friends were awesome! There were so many people cheering all over the course, and the three of us were battling for the last money spot. It was so fun to hear all their cheers and sometimes someone would say something funny to crack me up. My team homies were in the woods and I rode the creek crossing and the steep hill after just to make them happy!

It was there that the real drama happened on the last lap. The Kid got dropped and Christopher rode the creek and hill so smooth and clean I thought for a second he was Sven Nys! It was simply beautiful, and I think my dropped jaw slowed me down! He got a 10 second gap I couldn't pull back, and Chartier got the money.

Oh well! I was close! Best cross race of the year so far! Simply a blast!

Another crazy thing is sometime during the race I twisted my ankle but didn't feel it until I quit. Gotta love adrenaline!

Lap Time
1 0:07:39
2 0:07:35
3 0:07:41
4 0:07:55
5 0:07:50
6 0:07:53
7 0:07:47
8 0:07:38
AVG Speed = 26.47 kph

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Voting in Spandex

I've been working late a lot lately and my hours on the bike have been suffering. So after work I did some intervals on the commute home, did a beautiful ride up to Alms Park, took the road bike a short trail and then hit the polls. Yes, in my kit. It's called multitasking and although others don't oggle my Blackberry they can see my twig and berries. You're welcome.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jimmy Fumbles!

I'm halfway through and I have a lot less momentum than last year. Actually I feel like the Bengals of cyclocross! But part of this is from the learning curve of pushing myself to new levels. I think pro sports teams call this "restructuring." Early in the year I had a a lot of momentum and I was on the fence about racing 3's or Elite. In all reality I would only finish in the top 15 and possibly 10 of the 3's, but I was really excited about pushing myself for an hour. I also have to take a step back and realize that this is my third year racing and I am racing Elite. Wow, and in my short time as a cyclocross racer I have really had a lot of luck and last year was a dream year with 2 wins and tons of top 10s.

Harbin MTB TTs, great workouts, totally got steamed killing myself in 90 degree weather for 45 minutes.
Kings CX TTs, great workouts, showed promise on a couple nights

Jimmy's Season:
Kings Cat 3 Race: Fumbled and fell, finished 15th.
Kings Elite Race: Having fun battling for 22nd place, then cramped and DFL'ed!
Shawnee Elite Race: Best race so far, battled with another guy and lost for 7th out of 13, but had tons of fun.
UCI 3 Devou Cat 2/3: battled through 50 racers to get 2nd
UCI 3 Harbin Cat 2/3: headache at the start, came around halfway for 34th.
Bloomington Elite Race: blew up on lap 2 and started crashing and ended up DFL...
Derby City 1 Cat 2/3: lost somewhere in the back of the race, pulled with 3 laps to go.
Derby City 2 Cat 2/3: went out and really fought, had a great couple of laps but still pulled.

The Derby City USGP was tough because I really stunk it up the first day and I felt I really let myself down. I actually was pretty upset and had nightmares about the money I was wasting racing. But I learned and really pushed myself on day 2.

The course was pretty cool, I really loved the wooded section — it makes for very challenging racing and great spectating. It's always great to watch the pros kick ass too.

I'm super proud of super Bjet for racing hard and hangin' with the pro women despite drawing 2 bad numbers in the lottery. I think she started last each day and had to ride her way through some women with lesser technical abilities.

Cycling Dirt's Coverage of Bjet at the Derby City Cup

My morning moment of zen. Stopping to stretch in Cincinnati's beautiful parks while enjoying some coffee. I love bike commuting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Race #60: Race of the Falling Jimmys

Bloomingcross 2010 from CinéCinnati on Vimeo.

Nate and I shot some quick clips of my favorite homies like Jroo, Opie, Bjet, the Farrels, the Virotsko clan, and some BioBuds. Awesome post race interview by me... The race was so fast I was gassed. I meant to say I popped so I tried to rail some corners to catch up but I couldn't corner with a head full of hot blood and ending up getting "front rad" and slammed into the ground a few times. The last time I ended up dropping my chain and getting chain suck... There is always next week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Races #57 & 58: Back of the Line Mister!

UCI3 #1: Darkhorse Racing's Cyclo*Stampede
I was dreading this race. The weekend before I sprained my right calf muscle and thought I wasn't going to be able to race. But thanks to some great therapy from Dr Yost and Dr Brodeur from Norwood Chiropractic and an easy rest week I felt miraculously recovered! I was still scared of a re-injury so I woke up early and bike commuted to the race with leg warmers and compression socks on to get my legs flushed and warmed-up.

Totally didn't hear my call up on the starting line! My name was announced earlier than I thought and I ended up back row and that was fine. I was a little scared to push that right calf. So we set off in a whirlwind of buzzing nobby tires on asphalt. I got stuck behind a pile up at the end of the first off-camber section but I stayed calm and just kept pedaling keeping my nose clear of wrecks.

Well, it was a tough course and everybody was suffering. But I still found it quite fun and my legs actually felt great so I started passing! I probably started in 70-sumthin place and by the end of the last lap I was fighting for 21st. But I pushed my luck trying to keep my speed up and slid out in a dusty corner. I lost the spot to the guy just behind me but kept it together to come in 22nd. I had a really blast and was pretty disappointed in another bad start but excited about my strong finish.

So I helped out at a course crossing for the pro races and spent the next two hours with my jaw dropped watching how it is really done. Bjet crushed it in a tough field of Women. She looked really strong on the hilly course. Blown away Trebon popped Jpow on the uphill run and was impressed with the Tree Farm finishing 1 & 2.

UCI3 #3 United Dairy Farmers BioWheels Harbin Park Worlds
I felt horrible after not getting much sleep helping set up the race course. My head was pounding and I didn't feel like racing. I was still proud to be part of one of the largest and most well-run Cat 1 UCI races in the mid-west. It's like being a wedding planner for the dreams of a thousand weekend warriors!

On the startline I lined up but immediately felt like picking my bike up and walking to the side and waving goodbye to everyone. But I said "shut up headache" and went off in another blur of motion with over 150 racers. It was another day where I started from the back line.

But today was worse than Friday, I pretty much kept going backwards for a few laps. I tried to accomplish little goals to keep me going: ride the uphill sandpit, ride the roots, sprint through the sand. This is kind of cheesy but the fans really push me to excel beyond what I thought I could do. Just know there are people screaming at me kept me motivated and I wanted to entertain them. Thanks to Jdog Roosen the Mountain Biking Queen and superglam sunglass homie Ryan for keeping me going. I felt lame sucking in front of them during the first few laps! The good blood flowed to my brain and I finally woke up! I started passing again. You can tell from my lap times that I woke up halfway through the race: 02:44 (prologue), 9:36, 9:29, 9:14, 9:02, and 9:08.

At the end I caught up with teammate Mott Sauce and he glued his wheel to mine and we finished strong. We came in 34th and 35th. Glad I raced! It was hard to see my main man Nate lose a potential win with a mechanical. That guy is going to crush it this year! Teammate Jaden also raced well. He also had a mechanical on Friday, I see him doing really well in the 3's this year.

Another day watching the pros. Teammate Gerry "Ole Chappy" battled for a strong finish in the Women's field with Bjet behind her. Can't wait to post the video I shot of the pro races.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bjet and I had a nice Wedding Anniversary. We both took a lovely Autumn day off of work. We went out for a long cyclocross soul ride to Riverside Park outside Loveland and a few other parks on the way back. Hit up Sugar for a cupcake refuel and later we headed out for a gluttonous evening of wine, beer, bourbon, mussels, quail confit, snails, frog legs, a lobster blt and truffle fries. At least we burned a ton of calories earlier that day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Race #56: Battle of the Minds

And I lost. But I'll get to that later.

Bridget and I were sad to miss the second race of the OVCX season, so we headed to Louisville a week early to keep our form sharp and race in the Shawnee Cross. This was an interesting course with some long slightly uphill grinders (into a headwind) and real ginourmous downed trees for barriers, 3 of them! I really dig it cause it's like old school Cross, back to the roots.

My pre-ride was disastrous. I found every hole on the course and bobbled every remount. I was on the starting line feeling like I was wasting my money racing that day. The gun went off and I stunk it up and fell immediately backwards. The ladies started with us and I ended up jumping on Nikki's wheel just to keep myself from pulling over and crying for stinking so bad. I told myself to chill out, sit in and see what I can do.

About lap two we connected with a group of 3 or 4 riders. I sat there and bided my time for that sweet uphill into the headwind. We came around the corner and I ATTACKED! It felt wonderful to get some momentum. By the end of the section I looked back and no one was able to respond and I opened up about a 8 second gap. So I continued to push. I got one guy here, another there, another there until I caught up with a guy named John on the Papa Johns Team.

I was behind him on this off-camber section just before the finish line. I just stomped it! I caught up and went past into the pavement. Only this guy was different that the others — he was stuck to my wheel like glue. So I pulled for a lap, let him past and I decided to suck his wheel like a total jerk until that last off-camber on the last lap.

He knew what I was thinking too. So he began to slow. I kept looking back seeing another guy closing the gap to us. Sit in and hope to win in a sprint or take up the lead and hope I don't get too tired? I took up the lead. But I pushed it really hard trying to drop him to no avail. He ended up passing me on the final log barriers. I was gassed enough that I let a 8 second gap open after the barriers when I bobbled just a bit under the pressure. On the line I was able to bring it back to just a few seconds but I blew the opportunity to attempt to grind it out with a really long sprint.

I kept my lap times with my Timex and they were approximately 5:33, 5:15, 5:18, 5:13, 5:21, 5:19, 5:16, 5:17, 5:15, 5:22, 5:12! My last lap was the fastest, feeling a bit better about my fitness for the hour. I love races like this that test your will and your mind, hopefully my season will have a bit more of this!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New sexy skinsuit and white bar tape helps Jimmy cyclocross over logs all day long! Mmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kicking off Cross Season

Race #49: Misery Loves Company
I kind of felt like the first race might be a bit of a let down. Everyone is nervous, maybe some mechanical things would occur to some, the fields are massive. I was right. It was a tough race and a lot of my friends had a rough day — with crashes or catastrophic mechanical failures.

It started just after the gun went off. The rider in front of me slowed to a halt as his rear wheel cam out of the dropouts! I lost a decent starting position. So I sped off trying to regain spots. Probably on the second lap I went flying into a turn. It was a bad idea — the grass evaporated into dust in the draught-like conditions and I ended up skidding across the ground. I smashed my head and ripped a ton of skin off my elbow. To make matters worse a Masters rider crashed into me doing a somersault. I felt really bad about making someone wreck, I hate to be THAT guy.

At the end of the race I tried to be a good teammate and help Brian bridge up to a the next rider, but we didn't really match skills very well. I was too strong in the power sections but I cornered like crap and got in Brian's way in the technical sections.

My full lap times were 7:55.6 (crash?), 7:37.8, 7:29.0, 7:28.5, 7:35.9, 7:42.8. I wish I were more consistent. You can see where riding the sandpit probably wore me down in later laps.

Race #50: Battling for Water
I decided to race a second race and give the Kings' Elite race a try. I love the notion of racing for an hour and I wanted to see how I would fair. Unfortunately I drank too much coffee that morning, making me somewhat "diuretic" and dehydrated. I was already parched at the starting line of the Cat 3 race, now I was seeing double. I did okay. I stayed attached at the start and attacked some tough parts of the course and got ahead. In the past my second race usually meant I got dropped and ended up suffering for the next hour.

Everything was going well. I was battling with Katsu for 22nd place (out of 30 starters) and trying to close the gap on 21st when my legs began to cramp and I started riding backwards. I clipped the barriers going over and ended up feeling a huge cramp in my leg so I pulled in the pit and ended up downing 2 full bottles of water! I resisted the urge to DNF and headed back out just to make sure I kept some points for later in the series. I ended up 27th, I'll take it...

My full lap times were 7:31.0, 7:36.0, 7:35.4, 7:47.0, 7:46.7, 11:23.7 (cramps and water break), 9:29.8 (trying not to cramp). Not too bad for a second race.

But I hope I can get some better results this season.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Bjet and I rode down to Oktoberfest to open our legs the night before the first big cross race. There is only one thing that makes lederhosen look cool to the average American, and that is a guy wandering through the crowd in spandex. People openly laughed at me. Geez.

Before our epic ride we fuelled ourselves on macaroons from Frieda's. The dark chocolate, hazelnut and mocha flavors are magnifique!

Between the macaroons, pretzel and weißbier I feel pretty much ready for tomorrow! I think this is how Jan Ulrich used to train!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dirt Double

This was quite a tough weekend. I was hoping my mountain biking season would have been over weeks ago but a rain-delay and Bjet and Marty were doing the longer race gave me the idea to crush myself one last weekend. I also was inspired by Jacques Anquetil's incredible feat known as "Le Double." The main difference between Anquetil and I is that he actually won both events.

I was only off the mountain bike for a week or two but it was a tough reminder that maybe I really need to work on my handling skills. I feel I work so hard and waste my energy by handling inefficiently. At the end of the weekend I felt like a losing boxer on the ropes — every little knock, fall, bobble and peddle strike took their toll on my body.

Race #48: 6 Hours of D.I.N.O. at Versailles
At the last minute I kind of realized I really didn't want to do this race. I was cranky and the lame Le Mans start (where we had to take off a wheel or seat post) really p.o'ed me. But it took off the pressure.

Lap 1: 1:06:50
Actually my first lap was magical, for the first time this year I felt no pressure and kind of had that surfer's high. I was having a wonderful lap until the end, where I dropped my chain going into one of the rocky creek crossings. These dudes started yelling at me and killed my buzz. Bobbled again going over the water fall. Bridget caught me at the end and I was in a bad mood! Poor loser Jimmy!

Lap 2: 1:05:14
Rocking with Bjet, we took turns on the front. This was a tough race for our team TT because I was stronger on the hills and Bridge was better on the descents. Nate caught us at the end of this lap and I ended up bobbling every descent and lost a bunch of time to Bridget. She actually crashed looking back trying to figure out how I disappeared...

Lap 3: 1:07:41
I ended up catching and leaving Bridget to kill the climbs. I actually hammered this lap and took a few minute pit stop at the end of it.

Lap 4: 1:06:34
Eberything started to hurt a little. Actually started reconsider Caesar's the next day.

Lap 5: 1:12:30
This lap stunk! I actually stopped to refuel at one point (thinking I was going to have to do another lap). On top of it my lame saddle bag un-velcro'ed three times on technical sections! Why didn't I just jam it in my pocket? Really could feel the lack of calories on this lap...

I was totally surprised to be finished, I thought I was going out again. I stopped at the end and Charlie and Nate yelled at me to finish. I was glad I didn't have to do another. I was pooped and totally in awe of all the 12 and 24 hour racers. I was lucky that even though I came in way after Nate I was still in fourth, and Charlie was in second! Sweet!

Jimmy Vs. Versailles Trails
12.33 mph, 30 miles, 02:26:00 (07.25.2010 DINO/CORA Race)
11.16 mph, 63 miles, 05:38:49 (09.11.2010 6 Hour Race)
10.67 mph, 40 miles, 03:45:00 (07.31.2010 Training ride with Bjet and Charlie)

Race # 49: Caesar Creek
I didn't have a ton of speed, and maybe my style was a bit off but I actually had a bit of fun in the race. There were some tough parts and I kind of treated it like a cyclocross skills test. I tried to go fast but threw out the anchor!

It's embarrassing to cross the finish line as they start the podiums! Ouch.

Jimmy Vs. Caesar Creek Trails
8.70 mph, 19.5 miles,02:14:30 (08.23.2009 Caesar Creek Race)
8.22 mph, 28.5 miles, 03:28:00 (09.12.2010 Caesar Creek Race)
6.95 mph, 34.5 miles, 04:58:00 (04.11.2010 5 Hour Training Ride)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad Case of Zabel-itis

This year I am always the bridesmaid and never the bride! Or in this case, I'm rollin' Zabel-style. Towards the end of his career Zabel would be wearing the green jersey without winning a stage. I guess it could be frustrating but I have to just laugh and feel pretty lucky that I end up near the sharp-end of the race/pack. I never expected any of this, I just love to ride a bike and sometimes I love to punish myself by riding hard. But mainly it's just a blast to go out and make friends and wail on each other.

Tonight's Kingswood CX TT was one of those nights where I could have got a win but I mucked it up and got the consolation prize. My fitness is pretty good, but my first lap was a total stinker and I actually flew through tape a couple times and derailled myself! I got to the end of the race and all the other racers I thought were my main competition had worse luck than me. I sat there thinking, "wow, my first first place of the year!" But a younger rider Sam rode like a madman and claimed the top spot by 20 seconds. I feel good losing to someone starting their career and I hope things only get better for him! I ended up getting second place a second time in the series and third overall.

I like Cory's props from his write up that I posted above.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Race #50: FrankenBike50, A Race for Men

When I saw this race posted on the CapCity website my mouth started watering. A 50 mile cyclocross adventure! It sounded treacherous and visions of classic Tour de France danced in my head. I saw men wearing goggles and leather helmets donning extra tires wrapped around their torsos. This will be my Roubaix, my Strade Bianchi, my Ronde.

I think everyone was nervous and eager to see how their fitness is heading into cyclocross season. The start was fast, the racers wanted to get the hole shot. There was about a mile or two of a gradual asphalt climb, and a group was hammering on the front. I was really happy to be up there and I tried to chill and stay out of the wind. But a small group attacked and the guys on the front of the group were being left out in the wind a bit too long so I hopped up there and bridged the group to the leaders.

I was still on the front as we headed onto a loose gravel road and I made a stupid mistake of making my turn too late and too fast and slid out, right at the base of a climb! So I grabbed the bike and started running up the hill losing a ton of spaces. Chewning from Team Hungry was with me and we attacked the first long climb with much bravado! We clawed and clawed our way up, and a few times my legs nearly gave up but Michael wouldn't let me give up. We eventually closed the gap and were with the two leaders!

I ended up getting the hole shot on the first trail descent. Man it was hairy and loose! Rock and sticks everywhere on a crazy ATV path. I was holding the breaks the entire time, because if you let off you might go too fast for the cross brakes to save you. At the bottom another rider and I hit the first road section. We looked back and we were alone, we lost Michael and another rider to that crazy downhill!

My new companion, Jeff, and I would end up spending most of the race together. We would share pulls on the road, wait for each other at aid stations and were all together chivalrous and true sportsmen, Why make an enemy with 35 miles to go? In some ways I knew I was in trouble and the win would most likely not be mine. I was rocking a 1x9, a 39 on front with a 12-25. Not enough meat for a sprint, and not easy enough for the long climbs. At one point we were having a Sunday ride on some single track and I think we dallied and lost a little time. Only at this point were we joined by another rider going into Aid Station 2, but another crazy downhill and Jeff and I were alone again.

The day, the scenery and the fire roads and trails were really beautiful! So much fun. We were getting close to the end, we finished a long hike-a-bike and we were going down a truly fun and fast trail. It was here the day went pear-shaped. We were going so fast we missed a turn. We lost a lot of time on the bottom of the hill because we were very confused, and we ended up riding and walking through this gnarly creek bed of loose shale. We finally found Aid Station 3, only to discover that we lost about 8 places and ten minutes... Going into this race I had a small hope that I could pull out a win, and now my hope was lost. I just said "c'est la vie." Jeff took off, and my gears and my broken heart prevented me from attacking this next climb.

There were 2 riders about 30 seconds ahead, Jeff bridged and dropped them in no time. But it took me most of the climb to reel them in. All in all, losing spots actually forced me to push even harder late in the race and I am thankful for this late effort. I was really killing myself up these last hills and on the flats. My HR was easily 160s -170s and my legs were cramping. I saw my friend Layne going into the final single track descent, and despite stopping to help another cyclist, he closed the gap to me rocking his sweet 29er. We rode into the finish together and I was so out of gas I couldn't accept his invitations to sprint around him! It's so fun to see all my CapCity friends again!

Once again Andy from CapCity put on a great event and the trails and roads were so scenic and epic, they made me fall in love with Ohio again. I can't wait to go out there and train this winter and spring!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

There is no love in war and cyclocross

UCI3 2009: A Cyclocross War In Cincinnati from CinéCinnati on Vimeo.

Finally finished editing video from last year's UCI3. I really wanted it to have a mood that felt like the event. That mud race was insane! I was inspired a bit by Raging Bull, by the footage of Pele from Once in a Lifetime and of course by all those old Jorgen Løth movies like Stars and Watercarriers.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Legs Up!

I'm taking a pre-Cross season break. The mountain bike season (which I was hoping would be over, but a couple rain delays have prolonged) was rather tough with some pretty bad crashes. I slightly re-injured my left shoulder and I might have a small fracture in my left hand after a 15 mph collision with a tree at the 6 Hours of John Bryan. A couple weeks later I crashed on downhill rock garden smashing my knee — which was still bruised and swollen two weeks later. That same knee has been feeling rather tender — and overall I have had some rather bad sensations in my legs. Thankfully Norwood Chiropractic is bringing new life into my hamstrings and hip flexors that were as solid as concrete.

Thursday I had a rather lovely recovery commute to work. I stopped and watched the sun rising over the lush Ohio River Valley.

It's odd not to fit a bunch of riding into the weekend. I'm not touching a bike at all until Wednesday. But I had time to enjoy the rather inventive night time Team Time Trial in the opening stage of this year's Vuelta. Very cool, and Sevilla looked lovely. Wish I were there!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A couple of great nights of cross practice! Harbin on Wednesday and the Kings TT Thursday night — where the uphill and off-camber sandpits are keeping me on my toes! Feeling really good, hopefully I'll be a bit faster this year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rockin' the retro kit tonight! Gettin race-faced left and right cause I look like a crazy Fred.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Racing into 'Cross Fitness

Last year at this time I was racing less and using tools like the PowerTap to test myself and get ready for cross season. This year I am racing much more — and in some ways I am stronger, some ways I am weaker. I need to work on my accelerations/sprints/starts because I am really lacking there.

Race #38: Clawing My Way Out of the Cellar
I was very embarrassed to come in last place at East Fork, and this race I didn't want to let it happen again. I got off to an ok start at the beginning, but once the trail went farther than my pre-ride I ended up sucking it big time. There was a rocky technical section with cliffs, waterfalls and creek crossings — and I had some insomnia the night before and I started riding backwards... Five experts dudes passed me, then all these sport guys passed me! I was really sucking. Finally this guy passed me, and I could tell I was better than him and I got pissed off and started riding my legs off! I think I ended up passing four guys back (although some had to DNF eventually). Versailles is cool, there are some nice power sections. I was very excited to still average 12.3 mph and not to be in last, until I looked at the results and I was last in my age group (but all ages started at the same time, so am I not last?)…

Wednesday Night Cross Worlds
Did some battle with Mitch, but he took it easy on me because he rolled his tubular. The crowd was a little small — I actually came in first twice, but only because of Mitch's bad luck.

Race #42: The Running Man
I went to my first Kingswood TT. I opened up my kit bag and no shoes! So I had to do the TT wearing my running shoes. Everytime I caught air over a bump I prayed to God my feet would find the pedals before my balls hit the seat! I still got fourth! I had a heart rate monitor and I had that thing nailed at 167 - 171 hbpm for the first two laps. Next week I want to be more consistent with my lap times, I hate when I get slower! Lap 1 was 13:59, Lap 2 14:54, and Lap 3 was 15:08 for a total time of 44:01.

Race #43: Showing my butthole on TVMy mountain bike race at E/I got off to a bad start. My friend's wedding the night before left me a little stuffed and hung over! Before the race started my kit got caught on my saddle and tore a hole in the seat, and I think the local public access TV was there filming the race. I hope I looked good and didn't show too much to make the TV show R rated!

The race start was a little rough but I eventually started attacking all the hills and trying to use my cross fitness to crush the first half of every lap. Plus Bjet and I were together for a second but she crashed in a rocky creek bed. I made sure she was okay but she slowed a little after that. I ended up gaining some spots and did lose any! Whoa!

I was totally blown away by my results, I was very consistent every lap. I would use parts of the course to attack and parts to recover (winding sections of trees and downhills). My lap times were: 29:36, 29:09, 29:14 and 29:47! I came in 6th place! This was the best cross-country mountain bike race I have ever had! Last year I came in 9th in sport only averaging 10.65 mph — this year I topped that by averaging 12.48 mph.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How do you say Mud in Japanese?

Looks like a cool movie. I found it by looking for CX art here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Over the Hill and Through the Woods against the Clock We Go!

Bridget has always been a big fan of the Harbin Park MTB TTs so I thought it would make a great series for me to improve my MTB skills. And girls like guys with skills...

Week 2/Race #35–The Vomit Comet
I met Nate up at BioWheels but all these customers came in and we left the store really late. We thought, f' it, we'll just show up and ride the trails. But we get there, see all the people starting there TTs and they were nice enough to let us race. But no warm up. I got cyclocross puketastic on the first lap, redlining Mount Mutha. I think I got 24'sumthin" on the first lap. Here and there it was tough to carry speed because some corners were a bit slick because it rained a few days before. I blew up and lost all my piss and vinegar. I focused on being efficient but added a couple of minutes to my second lap. Every second does count! There were four riders within 30 seconds of me, mostly in front of me. I ended up being 6th place with 50:32, my splits were 24:31 on the first lap and 26:01 on the second.

Week 5/Race #37 — Rookie in the Corners
Man, I cam out of the gate riding like a total loser. I was extremely inefficient in the corners. I swear I could hear my 30 second man breathing down my neck. Tthey are so many power sections before Mount Muther F*ck*r that I have to ease off so I don't blow up. And I did blow, I think I looked at a rock funny while climbing that wall and I came off my bike! But I ran up CX style and got back on and did my first lap in 23:57. I think I opened up some air behind me. After I blow I work on being more efficient in the turns and keeping my wits about me. And it worked, I turned in a 23:53 second lap for a 47:50 total. There were four riders within 10 seconds of each other, and you wonder if I could have been faster without that bobble. I only averaged about 10 miles per hour...

Week 6/Race #39 — Dialed In!
I was psyched about my last lap at the John Byran race and I really tried to bring a more aggressive leaning into corner constantly pedaling riding style to this last TT. My pre-ride was miserable, but I used Nate's pump and I think my tires were low — making my riding sluggish and bogged down. I went out hard again, constantly on the verge of blowing up. After Mount Mother the rest of each lap is usually pretty miserable! I ended up catching one rider who also rode John Bryan, and then a second on the climb at the end of the lap. I think having that rider there was a big carrot to push me to go faster and I turned in a 23:10 lap! I wanted to power away so I didn't chill and didn't drink, and I think I paid later. All the power sections before Mt Mutha blew me up a bit, and I bobbled and had to run the hill while my left leg cramped. Ugh. But I recovered and caught a third rider! That second lap was a decent 23:49 for a total time of 46:59, nipping under the 47" mark. I might have been second fastest on the night averaging about 10.7 miles per hour.

I was really happy to be improving and love having this TT as a nice tool to gauge fitness and skill. Between my three times I averaged 48:26 per lap at about 10.4 miles per hour. Hopefully I can go faster next year!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Race #44: I found myself somewhere between the trees

My goal for this year's 6 Hours of John Bryan were:
1) Prove to myself that I am getting better as a mountain biker a.k.a. get my lap times down
2) Beat last year's time, even minus the long breaks I took
3) Break that Top Ten (I was 11th last year)
4) Training race for Versailles 12 Hour (This is a big maybe, doubt I have the heart/legs to do it)
6) Tune up "the motor" for cross

But going into this race I have had "bad sensations" in my legs all week. I over trained last weekend, just because I was having fun. Maybe the extreme heat made me dehydrated during these workouts, turning my legs into ripping shreds of beef jerky... You could play the guitar solo to "Misirlou" on my hip flexor tendon — it is so tight!

The race started with a "Le Mans" style start. Even though I typically stink at these I love them because it shuffles up the field pretty well and it doesn't rely upon when you register, how many points you have or how sharp your elbows are:

LAP 1: 0:59:33
Like I said, I had a bad start. But I found Bridget's wheel, I was about 1 rider behind her, and she was doing a great job pacing us through the tight twistys. On the wider access roads she was making killer passes, and I kept finding myself two riders behind her. The second time we did this little pass dance I found myself behind a very slow rider and she was gone. Plus I took this weird slow wrong turn and lost about 6 places!

LAP 2: 0:57:32
So second lap I set out to find my beloved. I ended up riding with this LionHearts kid in the beginning of the lap — that kid was really fast! No slouch! And he was having a blast on the bike, bouncin and bunnyhoppin everything. I eventually found Bridget and we rode together for about 2 laps. We are a great compliment to each other, I follow her wheel on the more technical parts and I get in front and hammer à la Spartacus.

LAP 3: 0:59:17
Jeff Cyrus rode with us for a second — he called us roadies and took off! He was flying! And Gary Lunsford was looking incredible, he was crouched down and pedaling through every turn like a fluid dirt-fueled monster! Unfortunately just after this my impression of a downhill slalom skier went pear-shaped and I was going too fast through a turn, clipped my right handle bar on a sappling which sent my left handlebar into a big tree. I punched the tree with my left hand, flew forward and smashed my left shoulder! Oh well, we got back up and I just tried to ignore the throbbing pain.

PIT STOP: ABOUT 0:06:00ish

LAP 4: 0:59:04
There came a dark point on lap 4. Bridget froze her Camelback and it hadn't thawed, so she was out of water. She stopped at an emergency aid station and I said I would peddle ahead slowly. Well, I didn't see her after a few minutes and my mind kept thinking about my goals. A) Race for myself and try to get 7 laps in or B) continue to pace with Bridget and push her to a podium position? I chose option A after a few more minutes... I'm a heartless bastard.

LAP 5: 0:59:05 & LAP 6 0:59:27
These laps got super hazy. I think I was kind of gassed. I would ride hard, then take it easy through the twistier sections in case I had momentary lapse of judgement and crash again. I was really hoping lap 5 would be faster so I could phone in lap 6 and still make the time cut. Somewhere in here I got passed by the legend Gunnar Shogren, it was kind of having Pete Townshend smash your guitar or Picasso paint over one of your paintings. Demoralizing but BADASS! Eyeing my computer I realized I had to time trial the last 4 or 5 miles of my 6th lap. I barely made it in according to the clock, but I DID IT, onto lap 7!

PIT STOP: ABOUT 0:04:00ish

LAP 7: 0:56:27 (give or take)
I refueled and took off. Something clicked this lap. I got lower on the bike, leaning and pedaling through every turn! I finally got that "surfer's moment" where everything flows and you feel at one with the bike and the trail. I really crushed this lap, and this made the difference. I am glad I just didn't go out there just to do it.

Without knowing it, I pedaled my way onto the first podium of my mountain biking "career!" And I am so happy my parents were there to see it. Super cool! And I crushed my 2009 performance, riding my first 6 laps nearly 25 minutes faster!

2010 Stats
3rd out of 32, 7 Laps, 80.5 Miles, 7:00:25 Total Time, about 6:50 of total riding time, avg 11.78 mph

as compared to 2009 Stats
11th out of 28, 6 Laps, 69 Miles, 6:51:40, Total Time, about 6:10 of total riding time, avg 11.19 mph

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Contre Le Montre, Le Commute à Vitesse

This is dorky but sometimes to get into race fitness by time trialing my commute to work. I find it is almost the time of a cross race. I used to do it a lot more last year, but then I had less training hours because of a busy schedule so I would push intensity.

I was running late this morning and I set a blistering pace! On my 23 lb. steel Jamis Quest no less!

Commute from Madisonville via Fairfax Bike Trail, Erie Hill, Down Delta, Riverside Drive, up Eggleston, over 9th and down Race.
9.8 Miles of EcoRace Luv.

Big Ring Throwdown this mornin'


On Aluminum Cross Bike

Friday, July 23, 2010

Contre le Montre

If you overheard me speaking French you would think that I am against a small town in Switzerland, but what I mean is the race against the clock. Since Mohican I haven't done a good job of following a specific plan in my training. Here and there I have been doing sprints, but no 10, 20, 30 or 60 minute powertests. Today I got a bit bored so I thought I would do some intervals against the clock — so I can track my progress thoughout the rest of the year.

Finding Form on Kuglar Mill
Last year I did a series of PowerTests on Kuglar Mill. Bridget developed this workout with her Coach Bill Pryor. I shortened my time trial course this year (last year I would race to the stop sign, perhaps a safety issue!). I have attached a diagram of my attempts this year.

It was so hot today, the heat index in the upper-90s, but I held on without throwing up and set two times that smashed my previous efforts! I ended up riding my new course in 6:23 averaging 16.4 mph.

Jimmy's Hour Record
Well it was so hot out that I decided to take refuge on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, but that can be quite a boring ride. Since it was a Friday afternoon I knew it wouldn't be too crowded so I thought I would attempt my own personal dorky hour record. I was inspired by the old Eddy Merckx movie in the velodrome.

So I barreled along, hoping to find some form for cross. I ended up riding 21.15 miles in one hour (with stop signs and the occasional passing of slower cyclists). It's okay, I'll take it. I think I can do better, we'll see!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Race #40: Une Trés Vite Lanterne Rouge

I decided to step it up this year and try and race with the big boys. I've been doing all these endurance MTB events and it seemed silly just to ride a couple laps. I wanted to race Expert and focus mainly on the Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance race series.

I looked at last year's results, figured out their average speed and crossed my fingers. My last ride at East Fork was about 27 miles and took me roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes. I just didn't want to be embarrassingly slow. So I set my bike computer to show AVG MHP and hoped that I could maintain 11.5 mph (the speed of last year's lanterne rouge).

Well, I brought my best but it wasn't good enough! Man, the start was fast (I rode 4 hours the day before, and didn't get to warm up enough) and I had nothing going onto the trail. The top 5 of the Expert Vet race plus Betsy Shogrun caught me in Phase 1 of the trail! But suddenly I picked up my tempo and kept that last guy from Vet in sight.

I looked down half way through the first lap and my average speed was mid-13s! For the rest of the race I bled some speed, and the last lap the heat got to me and I started to cramp a little. But depending upon the actual distance I ended up average 12.7-13mph! Whoa. I ended up finishing 2:07:53, nearly 40 minutes faster than my last training ride of a similar distance at East Fork!

This is was my little engine is used to doing:
Approximate Average Speeds in Previous MTB Rides
11.4mph (04.25.2010 Big Frog 65 with tons of fire roads)
10.9mph (04.07.2010 Riding Austin's Walnut Creek trails on CX bike)
10.6mph (09.13.2009 England-Idlewild Race)
9.98mph (07.04.2010 East Fork Ride with Bjet)
8.97mph (06.05.2010 Mohican 65)
8.75mph (01.30.2010 Chilly Sat Mornin Beatdown at East Fork)
8.17mph (08.23.2009 Caesar Creek Race)

Even though I came in last place I am still really proud of my performance and surprised myself at what I could pull off!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rocky Mountain High

Life has been kicking me in the teeth lately. Mainly just working really hard, training too much and not resting enough. Doing a lot of overtime without getting my 6-8 hours of sleep to keep me sane. I'm not even joking, I was on the verge of wigging out from a panic attack.

THAT'S WHAT VACATIONS ARE FOR! I really needed it. It was so great to head out to Colorado with Bridget's family and be reminded of what's important in life (Family, Love, Babies, Beer, Da Earth, Trails, Sunshine, La Copa Mundial, in no particular order).

1) Trail run of terror with Bjet! We were running in WestCliffe, CO at about 8,000 ft on these small mountains. We got about a quarter mile up the trail when I saw this thing walking on all fours. It was a teen brown bear. Bridget tried to throw her arms up and roar, but the bear kind of laughed at her and got bored.
2) ATV with Bro-in-Law's Dad. I bet that guy can really throw down on some technical shit. I was scared shitless the thing would roll. I drove so slow that I could have MTB'd it faster!
3) Trail Run and Hike with the Fam. We ran through this "Sound of Music" meadow. The hills are alive!
4) The family that bikes together stays together. Mountain Biked with Bjet and the Bro-in-Laws. Everyone kicked some ass! We climbed some singletrack switchbacks up Chris Mountain outside Pagosa Springs. Really fun!
5) Took a wrong turn and got lost in Martinez Canyon! Rode MTB solo one day. Lovely ride, it was late afternoon. Summited Chris Mountain again, and rode through some cattle pastures. Passed 2 herds and rode right through the middle of one! Scary! Saw 2 foxes, one white fox and the second was pretty tame and super cute!
6) Stayed in Gunnison for a night. Found out there was an MTB race in Crested Butte, the birthplace of mountain biking the next day! Such a tease. Would have loved to do it but not time!
7) Trail run on the Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass. It was so cool. You run along and suddenly you are overlooking the entire South Park Valley.

Dream Rides for the Future:
– Mountain bike the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango
– Do Ride the Rockies or Tour of Colorado someday. When I feel like suffering!
– Cross bike all over Pagosa Springs. Piedra and Four Mile roads offer some incredible scenery, CX bikes would be perfect!
– Ride Wolf Creek Pass outside of Pagosa. Nosebleed!
– Stay in Ouray and ride the Alpine Loop.
Fat Tire Bike Week in Crested Butte

Resources for cycling in Pagosa Springs:
– We rented bikes from Pedal and Powder and newly launched Trek dealer.
Pagosa Trails, rode out of Gate 5 area a lot
Pagosa Rides
Pagosa Cycling Tourist page

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Proof of Motorized Doping in Pro Peleton

If you get about a minute in I think it become pretty evident that Romain Feillu's bike is altered. There is something bizarre about his cadence. Call it a hunch.

By the way, got my new "Electronic Shifters" on order. They should be on the Paragon by my first Harbin Park TT.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If your head is down you might as well bop it!

I feel like my early season form has disappeared. This might end up being my theme song until I'm back to normal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Race #39: Sampson and Delilah?

I was working a lot this week but I really wanted to give the Crit a try again. Unfortunately I have been so busy I really haven't slept too much and my stress levels were red-lining. But I pushed myself to get to the race.

So the gun goes off and I have a good start. There are Preems for the first ten laps. At first I didn't care, but after a lap I was still up front so I thought I would try to reel this guy back in. Bad idea. I hammered on the front for a couple laps and on the uphill of my third lap I found myself pushing about 27-28 mph and running out of gas. I ended up throwing out the anchor and getting spat out the back. I kept the pack in sight for about two more laps and then they disappeared.

Every time I came around everyone was looking at me like I might be the leader, and I could see the pity in their eyes when they realized I was some dropped schmuck. So I pulled over and DNF'ed. I was so upset.

I went home and got a lovely ride in with Bjet. It turned my frown upside down. She blames my lack of sleep, but I can't help but notice that I haven't been riding as strong since I shaved off my EuroMullet....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Race #38: Band of Brothers

All the reasons why I came to BioWheels were completely cemented at this race. All my teammates are great people who will help you at the drop of the hat, push you to do your best through competition (I have been training my ass off to do the kit justice). At the last minute the bad luck I skirted in Cohutta caught up with me as my dry conditions tires were sliced by the Lord Himself (or is this good luck?). Nate hooked me up with better tires, brought up in the middle of the night by Mitch. They both stayed up with me trying to get them to seal.

It’s a little intimidating to know that you are slated to do battle against 223 other 100k open racers. Like Cohutta I had pushed myself to go out hard, thinking that if I could stay ahead the gaps behind me may buffer me from losing time and positions. My smarter teammates knew they should pace themselves and use the end of the race to pick off spots.

Unfortunately I began to cramp on the hike-a-bikes early. It was frustrating to feel early on that I wasn’t really racing but trying to survive. Maybe it was the humidity, the lack of easy places to drink or the two beers and the hot tub the day before — I wasn't feeling my best. I did have some moments of glory. I was with Amanda McKay when I rode a creek and climbed out of that bad boy like a real mountain biker. I was shredding some trail at about 14 mph (great for me) before and after checkpoint 1. I passed some people here that ended up finishing an hour behind me.

But the cramps came back and I slowed. I was with Charley Miller when his legs forced him to DNF after this crazy horse trail descent over 2x4s. I was climbing the next hill when I fell over and got a cramp so severe I laid on the ground for a moment! I nearly DNFed right there. But I saw Karwisch and he cheered me up and I soldiered on.

I have no idea what happened at the end of the race. I followed Karwisch to checkpoint 2 and caught Mitch there. I was a few minutes behind Mitch at checkpoint 3. They turned on the rocket packs while I threw out the anchor!

Talking about great teammates. Joe's shoe destructed so he had to DNF, and Nate's bike is too pretty to gunk up — so they came to aid station 3 to give us royal treatment!

I need to learn to shred some trail — I lost so much time in the final part of the race through the rock gardens. I crashed a handfull of times and I feel like a defeated boxer. I came in 36 out of 116 finishers (another 107 racers DNF'd or DNS'd). 7:14:50-sumthin. Lost a lot of time with little dabs and slips. But hey! I have progressed so much as a mountain biker. Those perfect races are few and far between.

Lessons learned:
– Perhaps use time off the bike to refuel. Should have been chugging on the early hike-a-bikes.
– Hey dummy, there is Heed at the Aid stations. At Cohutta I fiddled with Nuun tablets on climbs!
– Maybe not pre-open Clif bars before a muddy race. Gross.
– Don't over-train! I wanted to repeat my success at Cohutta.
– Learn more about the drive train so I maintain it during the race.
– Remember to stretch and pee on & off the bike if possible.
– Remember the First Aid kit! I am black, blue and bloody.

Side effects:
– Major chain ring wound in the back of my left leg. It got packed with mud.
– Shaved a lot of skin off one of my knuckles, also got packed with mud, yuck.
– I'm worried I swallowed some nasty mud. I have had minor IBS since the race, maybe I'll go to the doc!
– My back is killing, better go to Sophie at Norwood Chiropractic ASAP!