Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Peak Season # 1

To dream the impossible dream.......yeah, I know it's corny but this day was really unique as me, the hopeless cyclocross clutz had the perfect day and won the 45 B catagory race with team mate John Fritz coming in 9th. Better look now-it's not likely to ever happen again ! What will happen again is the team's dominance of the local scene, even in the last few weeks of the season. With much of the squad staying home on the cloudy,rainy day Scott and Alex still put on a clinic going 1&2 distancing themselves in the first lap from the field never to be caught. The field was led and energetically tortured by A.K. who almost got third, being narrowly outsprinted by former multiple national champ Don Myrah. Dean Poshard returned to racing after injury and held on for 13th place. Stella went for the single speed race and finished 7th, beating a few of the area's gearless greats. Courtney and Scott held up top ten finishes in the 35 B group going 4th and 8th ,with our mechanic on his day off racing for the first time in how many years ? Ryan finished his 4 laps in 24th. Brett Lambert overcame a slow start to make his way to the front in the 45 A group but was outpowered at the line by an on form Norm Kreiss. Frank Kalcic raced in a blinding fast 35 A group to finish 14th. All in all , it was a good day for the team and the first really rainy race of the season....at least for the A's and single speeds.

Monday, December 15, 2008

CCCX #6 Ft. Ord.

On a cloudy rainy day at the campground course the team brought 14 riders......when the day was done 9 of the team had medals and several series leads were concolodated. I get the feeling that this team is running the show at CCCX for the most part, even with many of our folks opting out of these late season events. There were great battles all day starting with Brett Lambert and Mark Abele in the 45 A group, Stella Carey and Karen Brems in the womens elite, Sean Coffey and Erik Thunstrom in the single speeds and the inter team drag race between Josh Snead and Aaron Odell. One of the best rides of the day was Alex Work who sailed the barriers and rode to a solid 4th in the mens elite, well clear of any challengers. Scott Chapin rode to third , solidifying his current lead in the overall and guarantee of no worse than second at the end of the series. Josh's win was # 9 for the season and Odell's second place will vault him onto a podium spot at the end of what has been a difficult season. Scott Calley, Courtney Grossman and Billy hall all got on the podium and two of the three are leading thier respective catagories. With a 5th place, the swiggboss might get that elusive GC podium afterall.........you never know. Stella Carey looks to have an unassailable lead in the womens elite . It ain't over 'till its over but it might be over for some of the other teams already.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Seeing Stars

Sarah Kerlin: Rock Lobster's own brand new Womens Masters 35-39 National Champion!
More news, stories and pictures from nationals as soon as a better internet connection is aquired.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pilarcitos final

Yeah, I got to hang with Santa....not some fake Santa but a real fake Santa. The next morning the cold gloomy skies of Coyote point hosted the Pilarcitos final and a chance for the team to put its stamp on the bay area 'cross scene one more time. First on the podium was Scott Cally, 5th in the 45 B catagory. Second was Brett Lambert, almost taking out the overall in the series in the 45 A group. Next was the trio of Josh Snead, Aaron Odell and Scott Chapin in the mens elite going 1,2,3 on the day and in the series as well. Josh didn't need to finish better than 10th on the day but went out hard and soloed to an impressive victory. Alex Work did well to finish 7th on the day and stay in the money. Aaron Kereluk was slowed by a destroyed rear tire but still had enough points to be in the money and make the photo group. In the womens elite race Stella fought to try to take the overall lead back from Kathleen Hannon but it was Kathleen's day as she had her best race of the year. Stella was still very strong finishing 3rd on the day, 2nd in the series and holding off Sarah Bamburger to keep her place on the G.C. . Courtney Grossman kept his top 10 position in the G.C. finishing 7th on the day. The team cookies from Lisa were gone before the end of the event and the stoly on ice nearly won us the team prize.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pilarcitos in S.F.

This was a special weekend, Golden Gate park and a visit from the founding father of the team, Simon Vickers. Simon isn't riding as much but he still managed to be near the front for an hour in the single speed A group spending much of the race with Sean Coffey.

Aaron Odell, Scott Chapin and series leader Josh Snead looked to be in control of the mens A field until some jittery joe guy came blasting by. I haven't heard the name Chris Jones but I guess he's on of the top riders in the U.S. . Once Jones was off the front it was our team and Justin Robinson chasing. A crash and a bike change took Josh back a ways but he roder up to finish 6th and protected his lead in the series finishing behind Scott in 5th who rode a solid race. Aaron Odell battled Robinson fiercely but as the two wound through traffic Justin got away for the 2nd while Odell got the bronze medal and continued his ascent in the overall. Alex Work and Aaron Kereluk were in the top 20 , Alex having numerous bike issues along the way.In the women's A field Sarah got a good start and immediately put the pressure on the local field. Stella got held up at the first turn and had to battle through much of the field to place 4th ahead of series leader Sarah Bamburger. Only Kathleen Hannon stands between Stella and the final Red jersey. In the masters 35 A race we had Matt Jordan, Frank Kalcic, Evan Adams and Tim Watson. Tim rode a solid race to finish in the top 20 and Frank had one of his best finishes since moving up from the B's. Brett Lambert showed real power riding at the front in the 45 A group, eventually finishing 3rd . Tom Fox was not too far behind.Scott Calley and I had a large field in the 45 B group to deal with but we both got in the top 20. Courtney Grossman did the same in the 35 B group.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here's Billy Hall who dosen't get mentioned much but has been crushing the single speed B group all season on his way to 2nd. He leads the overall by a large margin.
All blue on the elite podium, HRS and Cal Giant.Sean Coffey, our man at Easton rode to a top-10 place in the A single speed catagory race. Here's Dean Poshard at the top of the runup.

The man in blue is Courtney Grossman on his way to 2nd in the 35-B group which he leads overall.

Snead off the front in the elite men's race. Josh would fight a valiant battle with Justin Robinson that ended up with Justin getting the district jersey and Josh getting his second silver medal while moving back up the standings in the overall.

Here's the elite mens start with HRS/Rock Lobster garnering about half the callups.

A rare glimpse of swigboss fighting to limit the losses after yet another stupid mistake at a critical moment early in the race....nobody said it was supposed to be easy ! Luckily, Scott Calley made the podium in the 45 B event to keep the team presence near the top of that group.

Stella in full flight on her way to second place in the women's A race. She would race her single speed in the A event immediatly following this demanding race.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 2 mud

IMG_2054, originally uploaded by ryandudek.

Sarah in Day 2 mud.

Thanks for flickin Ryan.

The only spot on USGP course without 4 inches of mud

IMG_2115, originally uploaded by ryandudek.

Sarah racing back east for USGP. Looks like nasty conditions in the mud.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alex wins his first A race

With so many of our guys at the front it's kind of tough for any of the locals to win a race. There were four of the team for the first two laps but Alex and Josh got tangled up and the resulting damage to Josh's bike saw him have to make an early exit. From then on it was Odell, Buckethead and Alex work.......wait, Alex ? Not only could he ride at the front he won the race.....good thing as I had 25 cents riding on his win. Next time Alex, give Josh a little room and hold your hands up at the line when you come across.....it's more festive. So it was 1-2-3 with AK finshing 6th and Dean Poshard coming back from injury finishing on this hot dry afternoon.

Here's Stella finishing up for second on the day but piling on more points in her overall lead. No podium shot for Stella, just a wave to the gals up there while she races by on her single speed.

It's all HRS blue at the front today.

And mostly HRS blue on the podium.

And they said that it couldn't be done....the swiggboss himself with a puzzled look : " Is this me getting a 4th place medal and too many strawberries ?" To be honest, I still do not believe it myself....first podium spot in seven plus seasons of 'cross.

The 45 A group was handled by Steve Gile and his vicious sprint, along with Brett Lambert continuing his medal run at 5th. Courtney Grossman got a 4th in the 35 B group and has lead that class.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rock Lobster: Foreign Diplomat

I went to Canadia and all I won was a Canadian check for $53. oh, and $25 canadian cash.

So, my fellow teammates, I didn't get my UCI point. But I did get to go to an authentic Beer Store, to have my hands and feet freeze in the cool Ontario breeze, to race some seriously slick and intensely steep courses, and overall to rep for Rock Lobster with a smile and a "yeah, eh!"

Day 1 was a giant slip-n-slide, only I had a skinsuit on, not a swimsuit, and I was somehow supposed to keep a bicycle under me the whole time. I started from a crappy next-to-the-last-row position. In the first corner off the leadout, a rider slid out and caused the field to splinter. The next five or six corners were no better and by the midpoint of the lap the leaders already probably had over thirty seconds on me. The rest of the race really is a blur of trying to stay upright.

I would spend a long time trying to catch a rider, then catch them and then fall loosing all the ground I may have made up. The race was slow and there was quite a bit of running. I got lapped with one to go and that was the end. I am disappointed with 27th. I should have been way more aggresssive on the start and through the first lap, gotten in the next group and then created distance on the guys behind me. In reality, during the race, with people falling all over, my self included, and starting so far back, it is much easier said than done.

Day 2 was drier, faster, safer, and completely insane. If you took the world's smallest ski hill and tried to cram a UCI length course on the runs, this is what you'd get- up and down and up and up and down and around and up some more. The gun fired and I dug through the start group as best I could before the first turn. Kept it turned up to 11 and worked around riders though out the first lap. I rode up the hill cleanly, but not too hard and then kept the dirt caked rubber down on the downhill. Julie gave me a count and put me at 20th or so passing the pit.

And as the laps came down, I kept the pressure on. The slick corners made it so if you raced smart and conserved knowing too fast meant washing out, you had the energy to lay it down when it mattered. With two to go, I put in a hot lap, or whatever was left to make up a hot lap to try to separate myself from the couple of guys trailing me. Powered over the line and charged through the barriers. Rode through the uphill sections strong and took the downhills clean. It was the move to make. At this point, I had no idea of my placing, but felt really good. I was just racing for myself and a strong finish. And I turned out finishing in 18th, just three places out of the points.

So, that's My International Racing Adventure. The legs are coming around, I'm getting stronger while others are fading. And caving to our better judgement, I didn't respond to the boarder patrol when asked "Do you have anything to declare?" that "America is AWESOME!" Picture from here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Chicago Win- Ben Popper

Campton Cross, home turf, my third attempt at winning a Chicago Cross Cup series race. (The first attempt the car died on the way there. The second attempt I rode two laps on flat tires and took second.) I was looking forward to some hometown cheer and hopefully my first win of the year.

I lined up in the second row after the top 10 for the series were called up. Tried to pick a good wheel to follow, right behind Killjoy MTB teammate Kevin Klug. The front row launched just before the whistle, a false start if I have ever seen one, but I had a good jump and it didn't matter so much. I pushed my way to the thrid spot, maybe a little too aggressive, but I wanted to be up front into the woods and the first barrier.

Scott McLaughlin (SRAM) and Brian Conant (Pony Shop) were in front of me and almost like they wanted to give me the line I wanted, I slipped past them on the left. First through the barrier and to the top of the hill, I had started to separate from the group.

Kept it clean for the remainder of the lap. On the line I had probably about five seconds. As I rode through, the race promoter was yelling that there was a $50 prime for the winner of the second lap. I had the lead and figured I could spend every ounce of energy I had to win that second lap and still come away from the race with some cash, so I laid it all down. Came through the line next time to win the lap and double the gap.

I had definitely pushed it a little too hard on that lap and spent the third trying to get my head back into a steady and clean pace. I washed out in one wood chipped roller coaster turn and practically cart-wheeled over one of the ditches. I wasn't going to win the race falling over. I needed to keep the rubber side down.

Ben P going for the win, originally uploaded by hfpedersen.

For the rest of the race, I kept the gap above 12 seconds as the guys behind me kept trading places trying to jump up to me. I crossed the line with a healthy gap to second place, it felt good to win. Photo by Helge

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pilarcitos II

Keanu rolls while Odell drinks, the bucketman defends and Snead rolls away.

Stella gets a new jersey and keeps the series lead with the team.

Josh gets win # 7 for the season and extends his lead in the series while Scott climbs up the standings with a solid third place ride.

HRS/ Rock lobster on the podium again.

Snead savoring the moment, another Pilarcitos win coming in solo again. Schaweeet. In a day of a lot of suffering ( Alex Works half lap foot race for a tire inflation and Steven Itano's hard fall to the concrete on lap one ) the team showed how it rolls...and rolls and rolls.