Sunday, September 24, 2006

First Stop Hell, Next Stop Hellyer

CCCX #1 went down today.

Simon puts the hurt onIt was baptism by fire today - I competed in my first real race since 2004 Districts and teammate Brian Rogers did his first race with the big boys. Adding fuel to the fire was...umm....heat - it was a fukin' scorcher out there. I sucked down two bottles warming up and another during the race thanks to Hans and Roaring Julie. So...I guess I have to be careful what I ask for - I wanted to finally have a trouble-free race to gauge my fitness - I got my trouble-free race allright, and wasn't really happy with what the gauge said.

Prunedale is always a tough course for me - hitting that hill at 0mph followed by the long false flat over the top was killing me, and I pretty much would spend the rest of each lap recovering and fearing the next ride up the hill. Ugh. Anyhow, race started I was dangling off the front group for a lap, but was totally maxed so I got gapped and plodded on until Cam caught me. We rode together but Cam was killing me and then Aaron Kereluk catches us. Aaron was riding well and hitting it hard and I pretty much hung on until 3 or so to go, when at least one piston stopped firing and I went into damage control. Some guy on an MTB named Jason caught me before 1 to go and I hung on to him for a while, but all the fight was gone so I just kind of tempo-ed in, a little dejected. Hernandez almost caught me at the finish, but I held the bastard off.

The A group is looking pretty deep this year - even without Wicks and the conspicuously absent J-M bros, it seems everyone is at it this year, except I hear Aaron O'Dell isn't really doing CX this year. Simon and Chris McGovern seem to be stepping up even a little more this year.

McGovern looks freaking badass this year. I saw him hitting it hard and even trying to drop Wicks. He might have had a shot if he didn't flat. Of course Barry won, and Simon was an impressive 2nd. Mark Noble got 3rd - the guy is 43 fer chissakes (I can't really whine about being over the hill with Noble around). Also, Justin was solid and Chance Noble is looking like more and more of a powerhouse every year.

The ride home was pretty long with 2 dejected Sycippers sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on 101. There was a little soul searching going on...

Anyhow, I gotta keep this in perspective - it's only September and I only got on the bike in July, so I definitely (hopefully?) have a ways to go. This was also a tough training week what with plenty of intervals and 2 sessions of what I call my puke-sprints. This next week is the hardest in my program and then it's on to a rest week and the REAL season. Look out boyz, I'm coming for you...ummm maybe.

On the last lap I also strained something in my upper back - which is an entirely new area of the spine for me. I got home and was trying to hide it from Fran but she noticed me wincing and got all bent out of shape at me, saying I'm too old for this crap. "Too old?", said I, "I just got my clock cleaned by a 43-year-old...oh yeah, and his 18-yr-old son."

Besides, she's the one that got me a new skateboard for my birthday.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I Think My 3 Year Old is on Drugs

Liam's words this morning, verbatim:

"Last night I dreamt that Marco jumped into the water and changed into a funny-looking blue frog. Under the water, all the fish looked like seahorses. Then, all the fishes jumped out of the water and started walking on the grass. Then the fish started eating fruit off all the trees. Then Marco jumped out of the water and changed back into a real dog. It was so crazy."

Marco is our beloved dog who died of cancer last year.

33.5 lbs of Butter!

Mmmmm I love the smell of new bike. Here's the insurance replacement for my loaded stolen Santa Cruz Heckler - a loaded Santa Cruz Nomad. Got a nice little ride up and down West Ridge w/ Dave before dusk yesterday - it was super sweet. VPP feels a little different out-of-the-saddle but ~6.5" front/rear makes it all worthwhile. Fun factor of 10.

DFL Numéro Deux

Jeepers that course was a bitch. I got there just in time to put on my (same old boring) dress and number, didn't see the course. Freaking hilly and bumpy-ass course and right away my chain starts skipping. Watched Cameron then Rich ride away as my cog skipped every 3rd pedal stroke, couldn't stand on it or it would skip more, so I basically tried to hold off everyone from behind, which I barely did - Rick Hunter almost caught me at the line. Next race hopefully the planets will align and I can start hammering again - I kind of want to see where my fitness is vis-a-vis other riders but I guess I'll have to wait. Probably better off anyhow, when it happens I'll only be left with one excuse: old age. Christ, I'm 38 tomorrow.

Didn't have any time for chillin' with the grrrls post-race. It was great to see Mattias out there on his shiny new steed!
My problem was an uber-stiff link which took like 20 minutes to loosen up.

Might try CCCX this weekend if I can get away. Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Boyz

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

DFL Numero Uno

DFL Urban Outlaw Cyclocross Race #1

Yes, it's that time of year again. This series is such a hoot I can't seem to stay away. Dylan and Ducky and crew are such great guys and the vibe is always fun, regardless of skyrocketing heartrates.

Last year DFL #1 was the first and last race of my season. This year, hopefully that won't be the case - a whole year off plus a healthy dose of Pilates may save my cx "career" yet.

Anyhow, the wife got some 48-hour bug that she passed to me yesterday. I've been feeling woozy all day and almost dozed off in a meeting today. Didn't feel much like riding hard tonight but thought I'd start the race to see what happened. Hung with Cameron and Simon for a lap and a half and had to let them go, I just couldn't push it. Rode with Rich Maile in 3rd until he cramped up and then Ginger (who looked FABULOUS in his long golden braids) caught me and I sat on his wheel until he dropped his chain. This was perfect since I didn't have to ride that hard to preserve my spot so I tempo-ed in for 3rd place - which will keep me high in the standings for next week when I'll be (hopefully) healthy again. I don't even feel that tired tonight, thank goodness. Even though I train right thru DFL (hella hard workout last night) I still like to give it my all if I can, get a good workout, and maybe even win it all again.

Was good to see all the folks out there again after such a long time off. I even noticed Barry Wicks was out there (but he didn't race). The course was really single-tracky and fun, and I liked that you could ride most of the it. Lapping riders on the ST was hard but everyone was cool. Bunny-hopping the big log was fun and good practice. I didn't enjoy the downhill run, though - a bit hard on the back. Not a whole lot of teammates in the race (Ron, Dennis sans dress!, Aaron) but a lot showed up to spectate (Hans, Brian, Jeremy Sycip, Erika, more?).

Never made it to Thrift Town this week, so I had to recycle an old dress from, jeepers, 4 years ago? This dress is the most functional dress ever - basically looks like a long floral lycra tank top on my long torso...but really I need some style so maybe this weekend I'll head over to the Mission.

Got home this evening and Liam pointed out to me that I was wearing a dress, which didn't seem to phase his 3 1/2 yr old mind, but only time will tell if there will be any long-term effects...