Monday, November 21, 2011

My CX Race Routine

Remember to bring cash or you may have to grab money in the sandpit during the race.

I thought I would share a few notes, hopefully it could help others and this will serve as a good reminder for next year:

Before the Race:
1. Have your directions ready!
2. Pre-Reg if possible, hopefully this is cheaper and is less of a hassle on race day
3. Pack kit bag the night/day before (I always forget something in the morning!)
4. Have that bike nice and clean the day before too!

Morning Nutrition:
I make sure I eat a good breakfast. Perhaps it's oatmeal, fruit and juice. Maybe if I want some real protein I go overboard with a turkey bacon and egg sandwich. I take 1-2 pieces of fruit for snacking on the car ride. I also take something hearty like a sandwich or small meal to consume 3 hours before my race. I drink 32 oz of water on the trip, along with a warm-up bottle, maybe a race bottle, and a recovery drink. Just before my race I take a gel, I've been preferring ones with caffeine for heightened awareness.

I like to arrive 2 hours before the first race, but this is actually 3 hours before my race. So here's how I fill that time:
1. Get my number
2. Get it on the kit!
3. Put bike together, do it right the first time. I think one race this year I forgot to double check my skewer and brakes before taking it out of the car... It can cost you time in the race if something is off.
4. Course preview, start to warm up by getting out on the course and ride it at a relaxed pace.
5. More warm up, or walk the dog, watch how some riders approach technical sections of the course, whatever.
6. During the next open block of time I do hot laps of the course, getting to know what lines to take at speed.
7. During the last race before mine I will watch the start noticing if there are places you could get pinched or wrecks could happen. If I didn't get to before, scout the technical features and how the faster riders are approaching them (Is it better to should vs. suitcase, bunnyhop, or fall-over clumsily?).
8. I like to get on the trainer for half an hour. Warm up slow, and slowly get faster watching your heart rate. By the end hopefully you are up to 85% of your race heart rate, maintaining this at a high cadence for a minute or two. Jump off!
9. Get stuff in the pit!
10. Some short sprints if I have time.
11. Get to the start 5-10 before, stretch, double-check equipment.

1. Wheelsuck
2. Pass
3. Punch spectators who insult you in Flemish
4. Take all the hand-offs if you have time to spare (trick statement, you never have time to spare)
5. Win (I typically forget this step/other dudes with more skillz remember to do this)

1. I like to cool down by riding some more. Perhaps ride over to the pit and get your things.
2. Ride around or jump on the trainer for awhile to cool down. Even chat with other peeps in your race while you ride around the outside of the race course watching the next race.
3. Check results once they are posted (I just got burned NOT doing this!)
4. Pack up and don't forget anything!
5. Go eat with your friends, check out a cool local place and have a good time! Try local beer and sight see. Autumn is one of the nicest times of the year, might as well soak it in and turn race day into a day trip.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Belgian Convict

Euro mullet + faux-hawk + cross beard = trouble.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Race #110: Fan Love

It was the UCI Cincy3 weekend and all the big guns were in town. Thursday night I went to the Jpow and Chris Mayhew clinic. It was a nice refresher, I really need to work on my technique. So at one point we were practicing starts (my weakness) and I ended up having 1 good one -- I look over and I just a bike length behind Jpow. That was sweeeet, but it didn't last long.

So Saturday I was setting up and a couple started pre-riding the course. We started talking and exchanged names, she was Teresa and when I mentioned my name was James she asked if I were Jimmy Roadrash. I had to laugh, I started this nerdy blog as on online diary of my cycling adventures, something to print out and pull out to bore my children some day. I am always honored when people say they read it, I hope they are entertained. So I got to make a cycling friend and I got to root for her the next day.

The next day Matt's son Lucas asked for an autograph. I told him I wasn't a pro and I actually live just down the street. I was honored he still wanted my autograph, it was the first time someone wanted it! I got to sign Jimmy Roadrash next to all my heroes

I was so tired, I thought my race would go poorly. A few nights of sleep deprivation, tons of work stress, and a bunch of physical labor meant I was pretty tapped out! I had a killer headache and I just wanted to take a nap. I decided to race, but to miss the call-up and jump in the back row. I was dead last coming through in the start. But after a half lap I finally felt good again and started riding well. The course was really fun, very muddy and the grass was like a wet carpet. It was awesome to see a pro like Georgia Gould cheering for us! I felt pretty good, took killer lines and ended up 17th. I am very happy with that compared to last year.

Katie Compton the thrasher

This workout is pretty badass! Can be pretty tough, I would suggest to ease yourself into it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Upgrade me please!

I'm praying to Saint Christopher, La Madonna del Ghisallo, Eddie Merckx, Lance Armstrong, Superman and anyone who will listen to have USA cycling please approve my upgrade to a Cat 2. Third time is a charm?

I would like to upgrade my cyclocross license to a Category 2, a conversion based upon my Category 1 XC Mountain Bike license.

I have been racing Elite Cyclocross for the past 2 years with consistent finishes beating many other category 2 riders:
Ohio State Cyclocross Championship Day 1 MEN 35-39 10/22/2011 1 347.49
Lionheart CX Men A 9/10/2011 3 348.87
Ohio State Cyclocross Championship Day 2 Men 1/2/3 10/23/2011 10 317.01
John Bryan Cyclocross Classic Cat 1/2 10/2/2011 16 253.65
Cincy3 Harbin Park Cat 2/3 11/6/2011 17 271.00

I am one of the top ranked Cat 3's in Ohio and I would love to continue my career as a Cat 2.

Thank You,

I hope this works. I know some of the wording sounds "douchy" but I'm trying to sell myself. If I get this, I plan to get my UCI license, race in the Masters CX World Championships and train my little bottom off to race against the Pros in the USGPs and the UCI weekend. If I don't get this, I'll ask for a downgrade to Cat 4 and just sandbag until I win enough socks that I can retire.

Giving back

As a racer there are so many days I show up, throw down, hold out my hand for a prize then go home. Some racers make it a pretty selfish existence.

I love contributing for the greater good, giving back to a culture that I dearly love. Sometimes it's through free or discounted design work, sometimes it hands on labor at races.

A couple weeks ago Matt Bell and I hosted a fun cross race at Devou. It was so fun to sit back and watch others throw down, and to see the race money donated back into a permanent cyclocross course that will continue to make Cincy a cross powerhouse.

Last weekend I had a blast helping set up the Cincy3 Harbin Park race course. It's incredible to be part of a big C1 UCI event, and to see the international pros compete. I'm proud of Mitch and the BioWheels team for putting on such a top-notch event.

I would strongly urge everyone to volunteer whenever they can. I'm sure your local promoters would love any help they can get. It also makes me appreciate what goes into putting on a race. Plus, Bjet and I have been lucky enough to save $500 in race entries this year!