Friday, October 29, 2010

Marilla 'Cross is tomorrow. Last year it was super technical on a cross bike. It was great (even though I was beaten by a mountain bike in the SS race, and almost beaten by another mountain bike who's rider I will not name.)

I hope it we get some rain tonight.

Wee! Everybody loves to go ass sliding!

A collision with the Dread Pirate Roberts (dressed as a cowboy) snapped the buckle off my shoe at the beginning of that race. A floppy shoe makes it pretty damn hard to control a fixed wheel. Good times.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little Washington 'Cross and Moraine Month of Mud ('10)

At Little Washington 'Cross, the single speed race was the first of the day. After I got to the Washington American Legion, I went out to do a lap of the course.

It was steep with lots of tight off-camber turns around trees. My bike was creaking horribly.

Back at the Grumbler, I started oiling and tightening every bolt I could find. It still was making noise. Then I stripped a chain ring bolt. Crap. I love making things worse when I'm fixing my bike.

Fortunately, Rob came to the rescue with a spare. I put the new bolt the creaking went away. Race time.

The Pfluger, Josh Matta and I started to gap the rest of the field pretty early. I got out front and attacked. The Pflug dropped his chain and I started to pull away.

I kicked the first barrier and launched my face into the dirt. Josh caught back up.

I pulled away from him and started to gap the rest of the field, but the Pflug was coming back.

He caught me with two laps to go, then at the start of the last lap, he dropped me. Damn. I finished 2nd.

I hung out for a few hours, unsure if I wanted to race again or not. Shortly before the start of the 1/2/3 race I decided that I should. I pulled the bar ends off my mountain bike and threw my jersey back on.

The fast people started going really fast. I felt like I was going to die. By the second lap, I was in last place and falling back.

I needed a new strategy.

I stopped at the top of steepest hill on the course, sat down with my friends, and started heckling. Since I still had a number pinned on, I had a rare opportunity. I didn't need to stay behind the tape.

On-course harassment:

Gunnar's age and feebleness made him an easy target.

I sat out a few laps, then when I was feeling powerful, I would re-enter the course and crush the old man with my superior riding ability.

Practicing my trademark over the bars dismount.

It's all about the style. When he saw my supreme gracefulness, Gunnar screamed "What a hack!"

I assume that "hack" was a compliment back when I was in diapers and he was racing pro.  

Showing a little skin as I float over the barriers:

And finally, the sprint to the finish:

Even though Gunnar was racing dirty and running me into the tape, I was still able to beat him at the line.


The next day, Don Powers and I got to Moraine super early to do a pre-ride lap. The lap took almost an hour, which was 30 minutes longer than we were expecting. We got back to the car with five minutes till race time, so when we sprinted off the line, it felt like we were already nine miles into the race.

Pre-riding is stupid.

I spun up to the front with Sam, Rob Spreng, and Evan, but when we hit the first hill they dropped me. I lost about 10 places on that opening climb. My legs weren't working.

Couch. Need couch now.

I caught and passed JPok before the end of the first lap, but I couldn't hold it. The climbs were too steep, and I was too tired.

I got complacent for a while, and Aaron passed me on a dirt road section. I was cool with it.

"Get out of the way you hack!" someone complimented me on the power line.

Not realizing who was coming up behind, I moved over to let him pass. Then I saw the blue and white jersey and realized that I had just made a grave mistake. Gunnar was about to beat me.

"Dude, leme get around you." I frantically said to Aaron.

"No." he said.

"Alright, fine." I said. I sprinted into a jagger bush on my right side and passed him. But I couldn't pass the other guy in front of us before the last down hill. Gunnar scampered away.

I cleaned the last climb and looked back for Aaron. Suddenly his tire lost traction. He had to get off and hike. I laughed at him and pedaled up to the finish. 3rd SS. Not my best work.

Friday, October 22, 2010

North Park Time Trial

The Month o' Mud set an attendance record last Sunday with 203 racers. Looks like mountain biking is getting more popular in Western PA.

Colleen came along and whined about how heavy her Karate Monkey is. It does weigh about 1/4 of her body weight, so maybe she's justified.

The race was a short 6 mile loop with racers starting at one minute intervals. Aaron figured the winning time would be under 30 minutes.

My start time was at 9:44, and Colleens was three hours later at 12:50. That's down side to having 203 riders at a time trial.

I sprint down a grassy hill to a tree, circle around it and start the climb up into the woods. Going as hard as I can, and it hurts.

Six minutes in I catch my first rider. I work though all the twists and turns and catch another guy. Try to get around them quickly. The seconds matter in such a short race.

I turn right on the expert loop and hit a super steep climb. I make it up, but I'm just barely turning over the pedals. At the top I hit it again. No time to slow down.

(breaking in the new goat kit. now I won't be so easy to keep track of in the woods. hooray)

My watch is at 28 something. Damn. I'm not going to make it in before the 30 mark. Head down and I'm spinning as fast across the flat section up top. Come on downhill. It's gotta be close.

Finally. I cross the road and do the last steep climb. Down the other side, skid around the big pile of roots, and up into the finish chute. Eh. That hurt. Had to be slow.

I stand around the finish line behind the laptop waiting for a time. The data is entered on the Excel spreadsheet. 31:06.

That's good enough for first in single speed, only about 20 seconds ahead of JPok. I tie for 2nd overall with Henry Spreng Jr. the Elder.

Most importantly, I finally crushed Gunnar. He may have been sick, riding a little fat boy bike with the brakes set up on the wrong sides, and not really racing me, but I'll take what I can get. Victory over the elderly!

We went off to do a little recovery lap of the park, and I was completely burnt. Apparently everybody else had a little gas left, because they were killing it.

Many hours later, Colleen did her lap. She rode well and took 3rd in sport women. That's good enough for a big $10 pay out. Very nice.

I keep telling her to paint that rigid fork a florescent color so that more people will notice it and give her kudos. After all, if you're doing something stupid, you better let everybody know it.

And now it's about time to start thinking about next year.

While I am making huge sums of money as a part time bike messenger, I still might need a little bit of extra funding for next year's race season.

Enter the first Official Knobby Meats Racing Conglomerate Fund Raiser. I'm gonna sell t-shirts Rad Racing style.

The prototype viking cat of destruction t:

Would it be better with a battle axe?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ABRA #1 + Month of Mud Grove City '10

The weekend before last, I did three 'cross races.

Last weekend, I wore a mustache.

Anyway, the races. On Saturday JR held the inaugural ABRA 'cross race. The course was short, flat, and all on the grass. It was a nice course for road type riders (fit people who can put down power for a long time.)

I did not fare well with my flat bars and disc brakes. The Pfluge and JPok crushed me in the SS race.

The 1/2/3 race went even worse. After Gunnar dropped me in the first 10 minutes, I stopped trying. I lost track of how many times Steevo lapped me.

But I did have one consolation.

At my lowest of lows, my most dejected, barely turning over the pedals, feeling worse and slower than I've ever felt, I lapped Don Powers.


The next day we went to the Grove City MoM race. I removed my flat bars and put on the trusty upside-down mustaches.

The course was technical, muddy, and flat-ish. It went slightly better.

I out-sprinted JPok at the line for 2nd in SS, but Evan Perrone got away early and took the win.

Last Wednesday, I started a job dodging Port Authority Buses and delivering envelopes by bicycle in Pittsburgh. It's not easy. I'm positive that the buses actively try crush everything that's smaller than they are (which is everything except buildings and blue whales.) More on that later.

*Don Powers will likely want me to mention that he did three races on Saturday, totaling something like 43 miles of riding in circles on a little field without water, which makes him the biggest meat head in the galaxy. He will also cite that as the reason I lapped him. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Crosby

Race report from the weekend in a bit.

I did a little review of my new Swobo Crosby over on the Speedgoat News Page. It's glorious. Viking Cat content guaranteed.