Friday, October 31, 2008

Soul Time

Drumroll and I both have our new SS Soul Cycle's en route. They should hit the proverbial loading dock on Wednesday. Keep and eye out for the builds. I plan to document the process. What good would Bikemas time be if there were no pictures of the kids? When we're done, "Ours will go to 11." Sadly, I'll still be about a 7 out of 10, but that's no reason to have a lame bike.

In the meantime, here's a picture of some other dude's Dillinger SS 29er.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Race Report -- Park Ave / Camp Arrowhead CX - Sun Oct 26, 2008

So I ventured out to the Park Ave CX race in Pittsford -- similar course to last year w/a few modifications.

Lap 1: A bit surprised at the start, no real countdown, just an electronic "woop" from a megaphone. Cruised into the first turn (a sweeping 180 on slick pavement w/puddles) in about third position & heard the sound of "bike meets pavement" carnage behind. Settling in after the first few turns, I noted the leaders slowly starting to come back as they met the red zone and it told them to back it down.

Lap 2: Noted one of my main rivals moving up behind me. Soon it's me and "rival" slugging it out in front w/the third place guy slowly getting gapped -- everything looking cool -- shaping up to be another Drumroll and rival battle within the battle. Only difference this time is that instead of a top 5 or 10, this time it might be for a win.

Lap 3: Rival puts in a sharp dig but then slips out on an off camber & now I have a slight gap out front. Now in the lead, my seat seems to wobble and even before I finish my prayer to the mud gods that it hang on for a few more laps, I reach down and grabbed it before it fell to the ground a few turns from the finish. I was, well yes, bummed & pissed. I tossed the seat at the finish (standing up) and not really sure if I should quit or keep riding.

Laps 4-6: I was dejected and let up for a bit but kept riding with recurring thoughts of "be very, very, careful" and "EXIT ONLY". Also had a moment of striking clarity as I was about to remount after my first run up without the seat. The little brain (you know, the one down there who almost always is focused on "something" else) spoke up in a very serious tone and said "hey dude, you have no seat and that could hurt me and/or my friends here" .... so with my modified remount technique (i.e., slow & careful) I carried on. On last lap I decided I did not want to get passed anymore by one of those damn "seat" guys. In the end, didn't get passed on the last lap, no injuries or mishaps to any "sensitive parts", and ended up finishing on the lead lap. What a freaking great sport this is eh?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Syracuse Grand Prix

The race went well for me today. Great weather (if you like sunny and cool for CX as opposed to rainy and cool with a 90% chance of mud), great course, decent turnout, and a lot of fan support. My old lady and I have friends in town this weekend and I just returned from a business trip to Dirty Jersey yesterday afternoon, so it wasn't an ideal build up, but 99% of us all have a long list of excuses beyond average genetics. Got home yesterday, took the dogs out quick, hit the trainer for an hour, hit the showers, our friends showed up, drank a bottle of Shiraz, headed out for sushi, drank another bottle of wine, came home, drank a Duvel and decided to see if I could get enough sleep to offset my sins. The race was only a half hour away which was a nice change, but that left me with a lot of spare time this morning with an equal ratio of extra nerves. I made blueberry pancakes for 5 too kill some time. Headed out early to watch the masters race and heckle some friends and teammates. Got in a decent warmup for once and got a decent start. The course was great and there was plenty of time to sprint for the start. I'm not sure why so many CX races force you to make a 180 after a 30 yard sprint, but Eddie and the crew at the Onondaga Cycling Club know what they're doing after a bunch of years. The course was fast with some twisty's, a nice double barrier, a few nice straits, a great mud pit to keep it interesting, more twisty off camber stuff, including a 45 degree off camber that was really cool, and a sandy run up followed by a fast sweeping down hill.

In addition to having friends in town, my parents and in-laws came to the race. No pressure there. It's great to have people cheering for you, but as I've mentioned previously, a smack down between my buddy "Bob" and I was in the works. I got a better start than him for once and thought I might be able to hold him off, but I took a digger on a right hand off camber and got run over by a guy named Turbo that was right on my wheel. We jumped back up and I had to unfreeze my front brake. Bob and a few other guys were pretty close behind, so we got caught. Bob, Turbo and I were able to drop everyone else, but then Turbo, a local TT record holder, pretty much rode away from us leaving Bob and I together yet again. I led Bob around for a couple of laps and then he made a move and got by me. I decided we weren't going to catch a TT guy named Turbo (also Bob's teammate) so I sat on his wheel for the last two laps trying to decide what to do. I thought about trying to attack a couple of times, but I don't think there's any way he was going to let me get away. I decided my best bet was to let him lead me into the barrier before the sandy run up, and make my move there. I just edged him out to the top of the hill, nailed the remount and took off like I stole Sven Nys bike. Bob didn't get clipped in right away, and I was able to barely get away. We actually finished on the lead lap which was very cool. Most of the CNY CX races run an Open Men format, so it isn't unusual to get lapped by a dude like Dan Timmerman or Justin Lindine. Thankfully they weren't in attendance, so ultimately that's really how we stayed on the lead lap, but cool none the less.

I'm off next weekend, so the next smackdown will be at the State Championships. Bob and I won't be the champions of anything, but the race within the race will be interesting for sure.

For now, I'm just going to bask in the glow of the Ommegang Witte that Drumroll gave me for gas money last weekend. Cheers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Soul Lotta Love

It's bikemastime here at the Drumroll house. A new, sexy, sweet Soul Cycles ss Dilinger 29er will be here in a matter of days. I can hardly wait and think about it constantly. It's a sad statement about adulthood that this is about as close as I can come to feeling like a kid again at Christmas. I think about the jolly ol' guy himself (UPS aClaus) pulling up the drive with his truck full of goodies -- y'all can have your 8 tiny reindeer, that UPS truck probably has about 240 horses and can hold a heck of a lot more than a sleigh. And the best part, I didn't even have to be a good boy, I could just be my ol' SOB dick of myself as long as I had the blessing of the credit god Visa.

Anyway, for those uninitated, here's how the new bike thing goes down .....

Drummroll: Hey hon, I just ordered another bike today.
Ms. Drummroll: That's great dear, where you putting it? There's no more room in the garage.
Drummroll: I'll make room, just like last time.
Ms. Drummroll: How many's that now ... five?
Drummroll: ummm, actually six ... not counting the Cannondale frame.
Ms. Drummroll: So what's so special about this one that you just HAD to have it? I hope at least it's a pretty color.
Drummroll: Oh, it's a sweet retro blue color and it's a 29er single speed, a Soul Cycles Dillinger, it's sweet.
Ms. Drummroll: Like I said, what's so special about this one that you just HAD to have it?
Drummroll: Well I can do some single speed 'cross races on it and some ss mtn. biking and maybe even commute to work on it.
Ms. Drummroll: What's a single speed and why didn't you just get a 28er or 27er instead?
Drummroll: There's only one gear, you can't shift and it's less stuff to have to maintain.
Ms. Drummroll: Why would you only want one gear? What if you have to go up a hill?
Drummroll: You pedal hard or get off and try to run up.
Ms. Drummroll: Ha, ... I've seen you run mean walk up ... Why not use your other mtn. bike and just not shift it? Sounds kinda dumb to me.
Drummroll: Umm, well, umm ....isn't Idol or some Dance thing on TV that you're missing?

Who's Your "Bob?"

Everyone needs a Bob. Your Bob could be a Dave, a Julie, a Bernard or a Sven, but we all need one. When it's late and dark and I don't feel like training, I wonder if Bob rode today and hop on the trainer. If I'm supposed to do 4-5 hill repeats, I do the 5th because of Bob. It's not that I dislike Bob, on the contrary, we're good friends and often training partners, but when it's time to race . . .

No one likes losing, or even worse than losing not even being competitive against your arch rival, er uh friend. I'm not sure how many extra miles I've logged or hills I've climbed because of Bob, but it's a lot I'm sure. Probably an extra day per week at least.

So if you don't have a Bob, go get one. Lance had Jan, although I doubt they shared training rides or swapped cyclo-cross DVD's. Tom had Jerry, Jerry had Newman, and Newman had . . . well Newman had no one, that's why he was a loser.

If you get better, you can even replace your Bob, although unless he gets hit by a bus I won't be upgrading any time soon. Worst case, you could even downgrade. The point is to have someone else to keep you motivated when the rest of life might get in the way. Motivation can come in the form of bike porn forwards, an e-mail recapping that days training session, smack talk about an upcoming race, or a close finish in a recent race.

When it's all said and done, you may have a front seat to his back seat in the next race or vise versa, but a close win or a close loss are almost equally motivating. This weekend will be the Syracuse Grand Prix. Hopefully it comes down to a sprint.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cobbs Hill CX

Raced Cobb Hill yesterday. Tough technical course. I got there early and rode a couple of laps before the Masters race started. It was clear to me that I was in trouble, but it was going to be a fun course none the less.

It started with a decent open stretch that allowed for a fast start. Seems like most of the races I've done this season haven't had a long start, so there hasn't been much time to get to the front. After that there was a 180, a flat stretch and a quick left into the woods. Dismount, jump a log, onto some very narrow single track that had people all over the place, another 180 that had me over the handlebars on the first lap, more narrow "rock lined" singletrack that had my teammate doing his best Superman impression on the first lap, then an open flat section, very serious uphill on gravel and then grass, a nice twisty decent, a few turns around trees, over a nice set of double barriers and back to a brief pavent section around the start/finish.

Not a great course for me, but it was a lot of fun and I didn't struggle as much as some of the guys out there. I did struggle more than 21 guys, because I think I was in 22nd place.

It was Africa hot out there and pretty dusty. I couldn't build up enough spit to actually swallow for the first 4 laps. I was a rolling Orbit Gum commerical. Dirty Mouth? Luckily one of my teammates decided to offer some water handups and I got in a couple of swigs mid race.

My teammate Greg took third in the Masters race after lining up in the very back row. Clearly the course suited him. More importantly he won some cash money. He tried to give it to me for gas money, but I wouldn't take it. I did agree to take a 4 pack of Ommegang Witte. I didn't need cash, but I did need ale.

All in all a great race and a good way to keep the legs moving before the Syracuse Grand Prix. That course definitely suits me, not in a win it kind of way, just better for a dude with bad singletrack skills. So if I can keep both pedals on my bike this year it should be a lot of fun.

Hmmm . . . .

Never thought I'd start a blog, but I think it's time that CNY CX had a blog. The goal will be to avoid sounding like a douche bag. Let me know how that works out.