Thursday, October 21, 2010

WTF? Tour de Faso

The dude kicks my butt on nearly a weekly basis and now he gets his own race?

Preparations for the big show: Tour du Faso

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shoulda Seen This A Comin From a Mile Away


A mile away your ask?  More like from miles away.  Actually Drummroll predicted this one rather well about 6 weeks ago when his work schedule started to fill up rather quickly.  He explained at the time that he'd suck it up and do his job but that travelling like this tends to end up with him getting sick.  So let's recap shall we?  Since the last week of Sept, he's been seeing alot of steering wheel and airport time:  Kokomo, IN, an unplanned stayover in Charlotte, Chicago, Bethlehem, PA and Uncasville, CT.  And still got to a CX event every weekend as well as help put on the CX @ Brewery Ommegang event.  The wheels started to come off somewhere near Bethlehem, PA last week when his throat caught on fire and that all to familiar feeling of general "ick".  By the time he got to CT, he was shivering under the covers at 7:30 at night knowing all too well that racing Syracuse was probably not in the cards.  He got home Thurs eve and was at the doc Fri am and got a Rx for Azithromycin.   As of today, he's hoping he's turning the corner but still has a nasty cough.  The boy's also getting a bit stir crazy and probably about one more f-bomb or other off-color inuendo away from Ms. Drumroll putting a pillow over his face when he next  falls asleep.  And what adds insult to the matter is that his recover beverage consumption has only been in the form of shots ... of NyQuil.  No Ommegang in almost 2 weeks!  Not the mid-CX season break he wanted but look out, he might actually come into his best form of the year for all the local December CX races. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How's the upgrade treating you?

I've been asked that a lot lately. I thought I'd put up a quick post to answer the question. If you judge based on results, the upgrade has been an unmitigated failure. If you compare my results and times against the people I was racing with last year, things are far less bleak.

In short, the 1/2/3 races are fast. Holding my own in a 3/4 race wasn't always easy, but sometimes it was. Holding my own in a 1/2/3 race is never easy. Not getting lapped by Justin Lindine is never easy. In fact I don't think I've even achieved that to date. Guys like Lindine, Cory Burns, Al Donahue, Wayne Bray and Dan Staffo are simply riding at another level. It's doubtful that I'll ever get to mix it up with them, but I do intend on holding my own or at least not embarrassing myself. To bend my mind around the fact that some of them might get lapped by pro's is mind boggling.

I was admittedly discouraged after my first few races. At this point I've come to grips with the fact that I was pack fill a few years ago and I still loved CX. I'm pack fill again and I still love CX. Sunday was a particularly dark day for me. I didn't want to race and nearly made a U-turn on the Thruway. I started the race very passively and got caught behind a crash. I quickly found myself in last place, and if it wasn't for a few friends cheering for me, I might have rolled into the pits, grabbed my wheels and headed for the car. I've never quit a CX race, but I was close. After a few laps though I started realizing that the Full Moon Vista folks had turned the Cobb's Hill course into a legitimate and sweet CX course. I didn't get to race there last year, but this year's course was a huge improvement over what I had seen two years ago. It took us a few years to dial in the Ommegang course, so I get that it can take some time to dial in a new course. It also helped that the race announcer kept calling out my name and Ommegang/Syracuse Bicycle every lap. He was also calling out a few of the local riders that I was starting to pick off. At that point I had no choice but to enjoy the suffering.

After the race, Wayne B. told me I was a head case. I had to agree. Getting to a Cat 2 was a lot of work and holding my own will be a lot of work. I'll no longer start my races like a wuss, and since my form is coming around, hopefully I'll see more of the middle of the pack and less of the back. Either way, it's CX season and there will be beer so it's all good.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Get Your Ath to the Canal Path

Just a simple suggestion ... get to the Erie Canal towpath and ride the canal.  Maybe I'm biased or jaded (well yes, probably both amongst numerous other character flaws) but riding the canal as the leaves are turning is the best.  I love the crunch of the leaves and the scenery.  You absolutely cannot go wrong with putting in an easy hour or two just cruising the flats on your EZ day.   And even if you need to spice things up, you can pop up into Green Lakes or even Poolsbrook for some harder efforts or bike handling challenges.  CX bikes are probably the best alternative for the experienced cycling dork but a MTB is not a bad alternative either.  You might swing the road rig but you're taking a risk and you'll wanna make sure you have some wider tires and be diligent to miss the little things that can cause a flat. 

In the end, just get there on your EZ ride night.  The towpath is a little gem for the cyclo-dork so make sure you're getting in on it.