Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Surf City #2, 5th again.

Actually that's not true, I was fourth at the first Surf City, but the situation was similar as before. The Twins were there this time trying to confuse us by wearing each others skinsuits and Barry and Justin were large and in charge as usual. The Velo Bella events at Watsonville definitely bring the people out and the racers and the crowds are really good at this event. It is one of my favorite local course, even with the big run-up, I always enjoy this one. Being the Halloween race adds some fun as well and the costume atmosphere at this race should not be missed.

To get into the spirit, I decided that I should work the Vampire costume for the day. My hair was dyed black, and I put in my fangs. I opted to leave the cape off for the race as it might have gotten tangled in my bike at some point, not to mention the poor aerodynamics. After a bitchin' Jimi-esque Star Spangled Banner by the SwiggBoss himself, we hurtled onto the course. Big Justin Robinson set a blistering pace, followed by Wicks, the Twins and Myself. I heard a bit of a scuffle behind me but didn't dare turn to look as the front of the race was going instantly warp 8. I came into the first set of barriers way to hot and barely got my bike up in time, just clipping the rear wheel and sending it in an over the moon trajectory. Luckily I got all the light Easton shit on my bike and I could hang on to it and get it back under control.

When I finally chanced a look behind, I saw an enormous gap had opened up. It turns out my teammates Rob and Josh thought they could share the same patch of earth and their bikes became stuck together. Josh would have to run to the pit and swap bikes before starting his pursuit through the entire field. I was just trying to stick to the front of the race myself and was suprised when Barry rode the short, loose run up on the back side of the course. I think we all ran it as Barry accelerated away. I was busy trying to figure out what the hell just happened as the Twins closed the gap and me and Justin were left adrift of the front three. I got it together and started a chase but was no match for the pace at the front. Justin was a bit gassed and was content to recover for a while.

Midway through the race, I saw Snead making a comeback. Actually it was as I was exiting the "Maze" section which was a tricky spiral devised by Chapco. Snead was just entering it and appeared quite close, but was actually still about 30 seconds away. Nonetheless, I decided I would sit on Justin and not set pace but I would not try to block him mercilessly like I have done in the past. So Justin cruised along and Josh never made anymore headway, no doubt softened a bit from catching and dropping the entire field except for 5 of us. I rode on the front for a bit, trying to gauge how Justin was going and at the start of the last lap I ran through the planks really slow so he would be in front to block the wind for the remainder of the race.

I don't know what I was thinking really. As we hit the run up for the final time the Big Man drilled it and while I was running fast, probably matching him stride for stride, he was eating up bigger chunks of dirt with each step. At the top of the hill and with half a lap to go, he drilled it and it took a long time to close the gap. I could tell he was totally digging and I was happy that I was about to make contact right at the short runup that I was riding cleanly and Justin was bobbling a bit. On the last time up it, Justin ripped it and I totally botched it. My fate was sealed at that moment and I would finish just behind him in 5th spot.

As the weekend wrapped up I was also feeling the love for this team. Our sponsors have all been the greatest and I have seen a lot of other racers coming out of events with bike problems. Besides a couple of flat tires, my bikes have been running flawlessly, my Mavic wheels are still true despite my best efforts to bash them silly. The members of this team have all invested so much energy and enthusiasm and it is really snowballing. It is exciting to know that while our team is sweeping the podium at a race in Fairfax, Ca. we have Dave Wyandt on the east coast garnering UCI points. Next weekend Josh and myself will be racing in Boulder Co. at stops #3 and #4 of the Crank Bros USGrandPrix. We will be trying to hold it down for sure.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Surf City #2: Second Again...

I was really looking forward to today's race. Last year, when this race was a UCI race, I crashed before even finishing the first lap. A fractured and dislocated finger kept me from finishing the race. I knew that today's course was well-suited for me because I truly don't mind long run-ups, in fact I actually like them. I was also looking forward to the 3-up battle between Rachel, Sarah, and I since I hadn't raced Sarah since CCCX and I'd never raced against both of them in the same race.

Well, I hate to sound redundant, but I got a terrible start once again, despite a friendly gesture by Rachel who held a starting row spot for me after all the call-ups were done. Thanks Rachel. Clearly, I need to work on starts. I have come in second to Rachel now 3 times, all within 30 seconds of her. In all but one of those races, I spent an entire lap trying to close the gap she gets on me at the start of the race.

The whistle blows and I get positioned in about 6th through all the early technical sections. Meanwhile, Rachel and Sarah Kerlin are up the road drilling it. One by one, I move up in position until I am in 3rd, about 10 seconds behind Rachel and Sarah at the bottom of the long run-up. Just after the little riser after the run-up, I momentarily lost focus and pulled one of my ridiculous Shelley moves and caused myself a nasty crash. I honestly don't know what happened, but I found myself on the ground in the middle of the course tangled up in the course tape. Frustration was about to take me totally out of the game. I tried to get up and shake it off, but I was real close to being down and out. Luckily, Stella wasn't about to let that happen. She came up behind me and encouraged me to get back up and keep fighting. She waited for me to catch up to her and then drove it hard to close the gap to the two girls ahead of us. That was so awesome, Stella, thank you. I should have stayed with her a little while longer, but I got anxious and jumped ahead of her to try and catch the leaders.

Now I'm chasing solo. I get to the bottom of the run-up and I see Sarah running her bike when she should be riding it. She had a mechanical, (a broken chain), and was forced to run a long way back to the pits for a new bike. I was able to get around her on the climb and open up a 30 second gap that would hold steady for the next couple of laps. I never did catch Rachel and Sarah never caught back up to me. It was very unfortunate for the spectators that I blew it with my crash and Sarah had a mechanical. Had we stayed together, it would have been a very interesting race to watch play out.

Although I came in second again to Rachel, I was happy with the fact that the gap was closing and not increasing between Rachel and I. Sarah ended up finishing a minute back from me, which is also good news, because it means I was gaining time on her, instead of losing it.

Rest assured, I will not give up hope, I will learn from my mistakes, and I will keep battling for the win at every race. It's always fun racing with these girls and I love that the level of competition is so high. Thanks to Vella Bella for putting on such a great race. Shelley

Little Vid video

HRS Rocklobster Jeff Patton racing out of the Surf City Swirleeee at Surf City #2.
(sorry its fuzzy youtubes compression is a bear)

Fairfax Cross

A new dusty course was unveiled today in Fairfax, Ca and the team rolled up the north bay to check it out. I picked up my buddy Aaron Kereluk in soquel, packed the truck and drove to the summit of the santa cruz mountains enroute to Fairfax in Marin county. AK realized that he forgot two of the most important pieces to his race kit, Helmet and Shoes. So, we had to turn back down the mountain and retreive the forgotten gear. No problem, we still had plenty of time to get to the course and warm up. Actually, when we got to Fairfax it was really warm and by the end of the race I was cookin'. Darn hot for nearly November.

It was a beautiful day and the folks at the White Hill Elementry school did their best to design a fun course. It had a few weird areas, like the finish line on a 3 foot wide sidewalk and single track uphill that wove around trees and past a dead lawn mower, but for the first race these guys put on it was alright. Oh Yeh, this was a benefit for the White Hill school so it was just cool to be racing and helping them out by doing something I love to do.

Well, let's get down to the nitty gritty. Josh won, I was second, Ak was third and Hoopdy was fourth on his two speed bike. Shelley was second in her race behind homegirl Rachel Loyd, and Dan was second in the masters race. Swiggboss and Loren were not last. Great results and there were so many Rock Lobsters in attendance that we looked like the home team. Some legends of the Nor Cal mtb scene were there as well and they included the originator of mountain biking but I can't tell if that was Ross Schaffer or Paul Sadoff or Joe Breeze or Jackie Phelan. Doesn't really matter anyway does it?

Racing action went like this; Josh gets the hole shot and I let Cameron follow and ride on his wheel. Cam isn't holding pace so I come around him and Josh and I start to build a small gap. By the first obstacle, a small off camber up hill, we have a handful of seconds and keep stretching it for the majority of the race. It was great to be riding with Josh, taking turns setting pace and looking out for eachother until about 4 to go. Our gap was humongous at this point and we could see the battle behind us and it was almost all seafoam and blue. Cameron would get the wood put to him and Ak would ride most of the race alone in third. Hoopdy battled Phil Roberts and rode a wheelie across the line for 4th place. Nice podium sweep indeed.

At four to go Snead started attacking and got a little gap. I felt like I was closing but pretty soon I realized the little scrapper was getting away. I didn't have a lot snap at the end of the race and Josh rode really well during the last third. I really overheated and shut it down for the last half of the last lap and rolled in to finish in second as Snead cruised in alone probably half a minute ahead. I tried to earn some style points on the last two laps by jumping the barrier but it did nothing to affect the overall results.

Well it's time to head to Watsonville for the course with the best runup in mid cal cross racing. I know the Strap Maynes will be there and Barry could always show up so I anticipate a rapid race.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here is one for the sponsors....

Shelley in route to victory...Thanks to Farid A/VeloSol.com for the photos.

Monday, October 23, 2006

view from the back

What is it like at the back of the field? I'll tell you. It's dusty and people fall on you-or you fall on them. Anyway, it's no picnic as the half a dozen or so back runners are all determined not to finish last so it can be a real dogfight. The whistle blows and all you think is: Iv'e got to get ahead of so-and-so as this person usually has a stronger second half of the race and it is better to be ahead for now.....it certainly makes you feel better anyway. The first two laps are all about trying to maintain contact with the end of the field , something people at the back don't do for very long. After that it's just a test of one's ability to not make mistakes . How did my knee get bloody, you ask? First step is the third lap stumble over the barrier....left knee to the turf. Second step is the fifth lap "Hey, I think I'll try to cut this loose corner a little tighter......kabang, down on that knee again. The last lap and a half was a humiliating display of low-speed lethargy until the last 400 meters , most of it paved. I gave it a jolly good sprint even though 90% of the field was ahead of me and the two people behind me were too far back to see. This may all sound futile but the way I see it is that any race needs three groups: #1, the people at the front...they make it exciting and win the prizes. #2, the people in the middle, they make the people in the front even more impressive as they try in vain to match their speed. #3, the people at the back, because...well, somebody has to finish last and provide comedy relief. Cheers, swigboss.

Pilarcitos #2 2006

Not to take from Shellys amazing win yesterday, but I have captured some photos of the mens races:

See race reports:
Shelly chicks race report:

Brents eye of the Lyger

Josh and his renewed love for cross

Bloodiest knee goes to Paul-

Best almost teammates crash. Brent and Evan (dont know if you realized how close that was!)

Best win finish- Shelly! and worst camera phone shot.

Worst flat this year. - Larry Bullard

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pilarcitos #2: Chick's Race

Today, I had a horrible, I mean just horrible, start. I even got a call up and so I was all set to get a nice comfy start and settle into my race. It seemed like everyone but me got a perfect start today. So, I spent the entire first lap following wheels, braking, riding around crashes, and trying to close the gap to the leader, Rachel Lloyd, which was increasing every second.

Eventually, the dust settled and I found myself comfortably riding with my teammate Stella and Melodie Metzger close on my wheel. Rachel was in sight but about 25 seconds up the road. Into the second lap, I looked back after the first real technical section and I had a small gap on the two girls I was with. At this point though, my only concern was catching Rachel. I put my head down and chased for 2 laps until I came within striking distance of her.

Racing with Rachel is difficult for a number of reasons. First and foremost, she’s a legend, almost superhuman in her bike handling skills and physical capabilities. Second, she’s my teammate on the road. Basically, I have a ton of respect for Rachel and I try to learn from her as much as I can. So, when I found myself latched back onto her wheel, I had a decision to make. Should I attack now? Should I work with her and make the race more interesting and challenging, or should I just sit on? Based on the outcome of my last match up with Rachel, I decided attacking wasn’t a good choice if I wanted to go for the win. Last time I did that, she just countered and rode away from me. This was a power-course and there were a lot of windy, long, flat straight-aways where drafting was extremely beneficial. That chase was not easy either and when I did catch her, I definitely didn’t have it in me to attack. I decided to take my chances with a sprint finish rather than attack her with 3 laps to go and blow-up. Lazy? Maybe. But in my mind, good racing tactics. So, I sat on for the next two laps.

I’m going to quote Simon here because I think it’s very fitting. “You never know what's going to happen until you cross the finish line.” At the top of the only run-up section, Rachel dropped her chain. As I rode by her, I noticed that the chain would need some attending to and saw Rachel bend down to deal with it. This was it, the decisive moment. No other option than to step on it. I got some advice from the sidelines to hit the straight-aways hard and not to look back. That’s what I did. I came through the start/finish and heard the bell. I’ve never won a race before and certainly wasn’t imagining that today would be the day, but as I hammered through the last lap, I never saw Rachel again. Rob was telling me that I had a significant gap and that I should just take it easy. I was overwhelmed though, so I just kept hammering, but I tried to remind myself to be careful and poised. Thankfully, I made it to the finish line without making any mistakes and claimed my first elite cyclocross win!

Stella delivered a strong performance as always and came in just behind Rachel for third. Thanks for all the support from HRS/Rock Lobster on the sidelines and in the pits. It’s always an honor to race for and with you all. - Shelley

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Surf City #1

Howdy All, Simon here, and it's good to be back on the west coast and racing on local soil again. Actually, the soil is a bit dry and loose out here which makes for sketchy traction and slow cornering, at least for me. Some of the heavy hitters who show up for these "local races" don't seem to slow down for anything.

So the cast of characters this weekend consisted of the the Brothers Jacques-Maynes and Barry "the Clown" Wicks. Big Justin Robinson, John Funke and the rest of the central coast usuals were in attendance as well. HRS/Rock Lobster would field just 3 racers in the elite men's race and only one in the elite women's but still managed to make it's presence known. Some of the team were on sick, some were taking a rest week and still others were at locations far away chasing glory and UCI points.

My race would prove to be a strange one indeed. I had not ridden since the second USGP race in Gloucester, Ma. where I stunk it up something fierce. No race report needed there. I had horrible legs, started slow and suffered to thirtysomethingth place. As many of you may know, I have been in the process of moving out of my home and will be living out of my truck for the duration of the cross season. Needless to say, I have been hauling boxes more than hauling ass on the bike and cleaning floors more than cleaning sections of the course. In effect, I had no idea what kind of legs I would have for the weekends race.

I knew who was fast and decided to watch them and stay as close to them for as long as possible. I didn't really feel all that bad and figured if I went hard to stay with Wicks and the JM Twins, I would probably finish up in the top 4 or 5. This was the plan and from the start it was working well. I was sittng on for a lap until right when the pace was about to pick up and then I decided to lay down in the dust for half a second. Bad timing for sure and I jumped up and started chasing Andy JM and when I got within spitting distance of him I rode through a pile of plastic mesh which would disable my machine handily. It was as if Spiderman had fired his "webslinger" into my rear deraileur and cassette. As I tried to pedal through it, my brakes and wheel also became tangled and a couple of riders would roll past me. I tried to "de-web" my bike and continued on a bike which didn't want to stay in gear.

Our mechanic Ryan Bontrager is so on it. He saw that I was not with the group that I was with earlier and he ran to meet me with a new bike. For a first season race mechanic at a local event, his performance was amazing. Many cold Bronsons are coming his way before seasons end. I switched bikes and regained contact with the racers who passed me and did another change half a lap later, back onto my A bike which had been thouroghly de-webbed and was again in good working order. By the middle of the race I was back up with Justin and battling for 4th place.

This is where my race got wierd. Justin and I were in a no-man's land behind Andy JM and ahead of John Funke. I attacked him a couple of times and couldn't shake him. He was content to sit on and I realized I didn't want to tow him around, I couldn't drop him and we weren't going to catch Andy. So I sat up, and looking back I saw that John wasn't closing the gap. The last 3rd of the race we just rolled around. I was anticipating a sprint finale and wondering if I would be able to beat the big man in a two up finish. With half a lap remaining Justin attacked, I followed it and we rolled into the last technical sections of the course. As we were passing a lapped rider, I heard the sound of air escaping a pinched tire and was dissapointed to here Justin admit that he had flatted.

I pretty much coasted to the line. I descended slowly and in control, I rolled around the ball field, trotted up the run-up and rode in the small ring along the finishing straight and across the line. It was rather anti-climactic but not a bad result all things considered. It is 'cross after all and you never know what's going to happen until you cross the finish line.

So that's it for now, I am off to Bishop, Ca. for the weekend and when I get back I will be hitting you up for a couch to surf.


(photo by Mike Holzer)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Surf City #1 prelim info

Surf City #1 at Soquel high had some heavy hitters.
HRS-Rocklobster team had some good showings, here is some prelim info before the writeups come in.
Photo credit: Mike Holzer.

More Photos coming soon!

Men 45+B
15th Larry Bullard

Men 35+A
15th Tim Watson
37th Dan Harting (3 flats after chasing the 5th place spot forever he had to run the course a ton!)

Women 35+
4th Julie Brothers

Women A
Stella Carey

Men A
4th Simon Vikers (after sucking up some fun mesh from recent grass sodding.)
Single Speed
6th Brent Chapman (see brents blog for write up)
9th Stella Carey

Congrats to Snead!

Congrats to Josh on 9th place on Saturday back on the East Coast gettnig him some much desired UCI points!
DJ Snead (Josh) and T-wolf (Dave Wyandt) raced at the Verge Series in New Gloucester, ME on Sat and Sunday.
See DJ Sneads writeups.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

meanwhile, on the other coast......

Yes, we race out here in California,too. It ain't all about sushi bars and mineral water ,it's all about suffering in the dust and the heat.....save room for the bumps. In the early master's 45 plus race Larry and I did our best but wound up in the red caboose as both of us had minor mishaps. Needless to say, just finishing a race like this was a challenge as the bike felt like a jackhammer for 75% of the lap. The race was fast so we all got to do many bone-jarring denture-loosening laps of dry dusty hell. The bonus was being able to finish on the velodrome, a real treat,especially if it involved a sprint......in my case it did and I won it handily as the guy ahead of me was an old man on a mountian bike. Hey, it was good for me.......back to the meat of the race ( sorry, Josh-this isn't a vegan report) The mens A race went off and a super strong Mark Noble quickly went up the road and stayed there for the duration of the race. A chase group containing Mike Hernandez , John Funke,Cameron and Hoopdy kept close for much of the race while Aaron clawed his way through the field behind. At one point Hoopdy looked to be putting the rest of the group in trouble as he upped the pace. Cameron went backwards and was caught by Aaron . Aaron was looking good to bridge up to Hoopdy when he misstepped on a barrier and stepped on his front wheel, breaking a spoke. This was to cost him a few places but he finished in the top 10. Hoopdy was looking good until his chain came off and Mike Hernandez gapped him and a resurgent John Funke came past. Hoopdy still hung on for 4th and a podium spot. Evan Adams, Ben Dodge, Joe Walsh and Jeff Patton did well to finish this grueling hour. The Womens races were held last and the fields were enormous as every roadie within 100 miles decided to do a 'cross race. Stella and Shelley started up front with a big field containing Rachel Lloyd,a real powerhouse and dominant 'cross rider of the last decade. As expected Rachel led it out and pretty much got a gap on everybody, everyone except Shelley Olds. Stella got caught in a bit of traffic early on but rode past a number of riders to get within visual distance of the leading duo. Nursing a cold, Stella could not make up the distance to the firs two but stayed well ahead of everyone else to finish 3rd. Shelley rode a magnificent race and but wasn't quite up to countering a late surge from the far more experienced Lloyd .Nevertheless, these two have not missed a podium spot yet. Our pasta man Loren had a crash that immobilized his shifter and taco'd his rear wheel. It took awhile for Ryan and I to get him up and running but he finished his race. In the 35 plus men Tim Watson and Dan Harting had their season debuts and finished. Julie Brothers missed the podium by only two spots in the womens master catagory. That's all, folks!


Dual days racing.
My guts were done for, so I sat Sunday out.. probably a wise choice.

Simon and Josh got good start spots again today as I fought for front row placement for them again.
The race was again fast and furious. Simon had trouble early on while Josh found a good pocket of racers to hang with somewhere in the mid 20s. Well, as the second half of the race came round, Simon started finding his legs and he creeped back up with the guys he started with, passing Justin. Snead popped with 2 to go and really dug deep to hang on to any spot he could. On the final sprint Snead had legs on fire and road a brilliant sprint to keep off some impending action.

check back for the update. Heres a photo of J-Ro and Simon stealing the front row.

USGP #1 from a hungover chapster

Boston and Glouster is amazing!
Since the B's were sold out, I thought I might jump on the waiting list for the old grandpa race, the master A's, all along believing that I would never get a chance to race. Well as luck would have it after spending the evening at the local Essex pub drinking Pale Ale (I should know better than that stuff), I rolled in to meet some of the folks and sure enough I was on the list of 125 wankers due to hit the course. I didnt want to risk bringing my nice wheels if I wasn't assured a spot in the race which turned out to be a very very bad mistake.
The first lap started out fine, I started in the way way way back, I couldn't even tell the front guys jersey colors...
When we got to the dirt descent I made my way around a few dozen people and a little hump that seemed pretty easy to me gave me a bit of an edge over a few others.
Then we rounded the corner to a flat gravel road with a tailwind. All I heard around me was "Ca-chunk" the sound of chains moving to the big ring. I was spun out trying to hang on.. and I lost just about every single spot that I made up...
Into the first set of corners was like a crawl, it was brutal to be on the back of this race as the course was probably the fastest course I have ever been on with a smidgen of running each lap. Usually where you burn out a few riders. Not today. This was balls to the walls all out big ring racing.
Well, I had settled into what I thought was a good spot amongst a few other old fogies who were pulling me along good, when we hit a bump that was a bone jar... well my backup wheel is a White Industries Eno Eccentrics hub. Not the best thing to be running on a single speed but it works... that is until today when I hit that bump somehow the eccentric part turned and i dropped my freaking chain in the fastest section of the course. I took some brawn but I moved that wheel back a little where the rear brake barely missed the tire. I think it was one side of the hub just did not get cranked down hard enough. Race wheels next time. From there out it was a chase, I couldn't really get out of the saddle since my chain was loose.. I went as hard as I could only to blow hard.. and from there I just worked at keeping my pace to keep from getting lapped. But alas with 2 to go, I rounded one of the final corners and got passed by the leaders, making it my final lap. So I just hung on as long as I could staying out of the way. I think I beat 5 people.. haha probably more but not much more. I finished and felt like a hobbled horse ready to be sent to the glue factory as the pale ale was seeping through my skin.

Simon and Josh were great. The fast guys would be fast at this event. The course as I said was one of the fastest I have ever been on. Truly a road racer turned cross racers dream, Chris Horner was happy to be there I think.
It was hard to watch Simon and Josh not move forward, but it was clear that guys who they normally finish with were having just as bad a time.
After all that, we went out to a bring your own beer resturaunt which was amazing. Josh snarled cause they had such tasty Calimari! Nemo got a bowl of past under a huge pile of muscles and Scampi.. Oh and thats my Fotey..

Saturday, October 07, 2006

USGP #1 Gloucester, Ma.

Gloucester is no Mickey Mouseter, that is for fucking sure. Baby Luck would abandon me today as would my legs, appartently. This is as current a race report as one can get, Snead is in the shower and I am still wearing my chamois, listening to Slayer and waiting my turn to clean the dismay off my body.

Having Chappy out here was the one saving grace and he was great, saving us front row scrum spots so we could warm up as long as possible and start in a relatively good position, maybe 4th row. Right next to me was non other than Chris Horner and behind me was Tonkin. Both without points but sure to be moving ahead, so good wheels to jump on. Starts in a race like this are crazy, elbows are out, dudes are swerving across your wheel and you can't really see that far ahead of you. After half a lap the dust settles a bit and you look ahead and see that you are back about 50 guys from the front. I tried to follow both Horner and Tonkin but I got blasted off pretty quickly. I don't have a good excuse, I just couldn't get it going. I didn't feel really bad, just not fast at all. The race course is great and really caters to power riders, I couldn't muster the strength and had to experience my least favorite sensation: going backwards.

Snead and I rode near eachother for a bit of the race and things didn't get awful until I flatted the front with 4 to go. I was not super far from the pits and the sand section which was either a run or ride was on the way to the pits. I probably only lost 10 spots, but I got a great change from Chappy and then latched on to the end of the group. I rode really hard at this point, hoping I could get back up to the group that Josh was in but I never succeeded. I was spent and couldn't move up.

Coming into the final uphill sprint I was dust and could do nothing to defend my spot which was probably about a millionth. Josh finished a bit up the road, but we both felt pretty sucky at the end of the day. Chappy was great and I really appreciate him being there for us, he will be paid in beer. He also set me up with my new Tifosi shades so I will look pretty pimp for tommorow's sufferfest.

Ouch is the word for the day. I am off to the showers and hopefully I can have a Floyd Landis day tommorrow. Guess that means I will have to crack open a bottle of old No. 27 and some beers at the very least.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Southampton, # 2

Thanks to the good will of fellow 'crosser Matt "cyclo" Kraus, Josh and myself are chilling in Arlington, MA. We are crashing on the floor but best of all, our Rock Lobsters are happily stashed in the basement along with our bike boxes, spare wheels and miscellaneous gear. We are really lucky to have been taken in as we really didn't secure the housing for this week until sunday after the last race. Today we were taken on a sweet 2.5 hour loop that rolled through lush woods and wetlands and across a couple historic battle grounds. In the evening we rode the bus to Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA met with some of Josh's family and had a great home cooked meal, it sure was nice to have a salad.

Well I guess I should give a report about Southampton #2, which took place last Sunday. As you all know, I have no points and start in the back of the pack. By the time we hit the first hill, I looked back to see only 4 guys behind me. Not to worry, I decided to stick with my plan which is to sprint out of every corner and keep moving up as much as possible. The course had improved in my eyes because it rained steadily the night before. The off camber downhills became much more exciting and as the grass wore away it exposed a grid of plastic which was designed to keep the turf in place. Once wet, it excelled at dumping you on your ass. The yellow tape around the more exciting sections of the course would be up one lap, down the next and then up a lap later. At least the course marshalls had something to do all day.

I linked up with Wyandt early on and kind of waited for things to settle a bit before punching it. We started moving ahead, and I was hoping that some team work would happen. What really happened was that I felt really good and got really anxious to push hard. I put the hammer down and decided to wait for no one. I would catch a group and just keep rolling through. I passed a lot of dudes before I realed in Snead. We worked together for a while and started giving Ryan Leech the 1-2. It was perfect team work for a lap and a half and then, I got anxious again. I was really powering one section before the run-up and I thought I had the speed and power to pass Josh and apply some pressure that might have shed Ryan once and for all. I actually didn't and I snaked inside of Josh right at this little gully and stuffed him really bad. He rolled his front tire and while he was able to pop it back on to the rim, I really messed up his ride. Sorry, Snead.

For about 10 seconds I felt bad, but then I realized I still had to get on with the job at hand and I was still moving forward and applying the pressure. I was also a little low on pressure in the rear tire and was starting to get a bit loose as I picked up the pace and as I got a bit tired. I was really close to making contact with Matt Kraus when I did a complete 180 at speed and skidded about 20 feet looking at Ryan who was charging right at me. I didn't hit the deck but I lost my momentum and of course that was when Ryan attacked. I would spend the next 2 laps catching him. When I did, I attacked straight away and tried to ride him off my wheel again. He stuck and on the last lap he attacked me on the final section of single track and looked to have made the move to beat me. But you just never know what can happen and with two turns to go, Ryan stuffed his front wheel into a corner so hard that he tacoed it. I would slip right past him and roll safely to 11th place, my best result in a UCI race for sure. While I am psyched with my result, I realize that one or two mistakes cost me those few seconds that would have gotten me some points again.

So we will train and rest and take in some sights before the first round of the CrankBros US Grand Prix of Cyclocross in Gloucester, MA. next weekend. I will keep you posted.


Monday, October 02, 2006

CCCX #2: Chick's Race

I was a little disappointed with the turnout for the A's today. There were 7 of us on the line to start, including reigning champ of race #1 Sarah Kerlin, her teammate Ann Fitzsimmons and Lauren Constantini of Sycip, a chick I battled with many times last year.

The course was really loose and in my opinion pretty technical, but I'd done it before without crashing and so I figured I'd manage again this year. As usual, I got a terrible start. It was a long stretch of pavement leading up to a nasty, very sandy downhill into an off-camper left and over a big tree onto rough single track. I moved up to third wheel before the downhill behind Stella and Sarah, but everyone behind me attacked and swarmed us just before the downhill. Now I'm in last place and Stella and Sarah have already opened up a significant gap on the rest of the field. Luckily, after all the technical stuff there was a long straight away to make up some time and I was able to latch back on to the leaders.

Stella and I had talked a bit about strategy before the race and we were both disappointed with the result last week, so the plan was to tag team Sarah and if one of us got away with her, we would just sit on. We stayed together for the first 2 laps and coming through the start/finish with 3 to go I attacked. I got a gap thanks to Stella playing the team tactics just right and it took a while for Sarah to get back on my wheel but eventually she did.

Now it's just Sarah and I with 3 laps to go. I knew Stella wasn't far back so I sat on Sarah hoping Stella would catch up but she kept the pace high enough that we ended up staying away. Coming through with one lap to go, Rob yelled at me to sit on and wait for the sprint. Ideally, that would have been sweet and I might have been able to outsprint her at the end, but she attacked at every opportunity on the last lap. Her technique was so much cleaner than mine that she would be back on the bike 2 seconds faster than me at every transition and ultimately that's what cost me the race. I chased her down until the end, managing to cross the line a few seconds after she did, but it was very clear who the winner was.

In hindsight, I should have been throwing down attack after attack with 2 to go instead of sitting on so much. I also need to work much harder on my skills because frankly it's annoying not being able to clip-in and watching my opponent slip away. It was really fun battling with Sarah though and awesome to have such a strong teammate to work with and one that knows the sport so well. Had it not been for Stella's pre-race tips, I would have been in the dirt more than once. Had she not been sick, we would have been able to work Sarah a little bit harder and hopefully come up with the win. Next time...
Thanks for reading. -Shelley

CCCX HRS-RL photo links on Abbiorca

Sickly Stella pounding some pedals

Shelly cranking it out and applying some pain to the game

Battle Royal, Rocklobster vs. Velo Bella

Rona.. Winner of the ladies B's!

Larry B covering the Master B category

Swiggboss eating up the course and showing some tongue

Swiggboss fighting it out

Yo Jeff run boy run

Ben Dodge on a roll

Rob Hoopti

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I found this pic on Hernandos site a little shot of Hoopti and AK. Hoopti's face looks like the guy who went nutso in the movie "falling down"..... HAHA

stolen from http://vanderhoot.blogspot.com/

J.Sneads write up on Cross racing in NY

Josh Snead, Simon Vickers, and Twolf David Wyandt are all out on the East coast hunting down some UCI points.
Here is Josh Sneads write ups on his blog about that happenings going on there.

Ny Day #1

NY Day #2

Good job boys, the season is just starting and the fight for points is fierce.

I will be flying out Friday to Boston for the Glouster series to race my new Single Steed in the B's and get some serious pit time for Josh and Simon.