Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taking the suck show on the road

Yesterday I was in Vermont to race. I signed up for both the 1/2/3 Masters and the 3' figuring if I was going to drive 7 hours round trip I'd make it worthwhile. In the masters I didn't technically get lapped because I was never passed, but I did get whistled off with 1 to go because they didn't want to wait around for me and the leaders were only about 20-30 seconds back. Pretty lame that that counts as lapped. I made sure I'd suck real bad by going down on a pile of sharp rocks on a hard left-hander at the bottom of a high-speed hill. I now have a hole in my hip. I lined up for the 3's immediately after the masters debacle. I'll sum it up by saying I took the gentelman's DNF by riding into the pits with 2 to go and getting out of the way of the guys who hadn't lost the desire to race.

Right now, I am simply just not good.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In case you were wondering

You cannot miss most of your intense workouts over the course of the past month and actually do well in a cross race. Lets hope a couple days of opening things up this week make this Saturday suck less... I'm somewhat doubtful.

Monday, September 21, 2009

For the sake of posting

Not a whole lot going on, but I figured I'd keep you all from thinking/hoping I'd given up on this. Didn't race this weekend... too many conflicts. Boys won by a ton on Sunday and the oldest had another 50 yard TD run. Left side of the line was like a brick wall with his brother over there :) Didn't get to ride Sunday because I was rebuilding the drivetrain on my road bike... somehow managed to shred/bend 3 teeth on the 53 on Sunday. Must be the massive wattage... yah, that's it. Vermont this coming weekend. Can't wait!!! I'll put some more rambling up here if I think of any before the weekend. Bet you're glad you stopped by.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The balance between aggressive and reckless

DNF'ing yesterday doesn't really bother me so much because I asked for it. What is grating on me a little though is the guy who yelled at me for being (what I thought was) aggressive. After a terrible start and a guy laying down in front of me, I was way back in the crowd and trying to fight forward. We hit the barriers on lap 1 in heavy traffic and the expected happened... there was a bottleneck. The way it was set up, it was a slow approach to the barriers, then 10 feet after there was a u-turn, then a very short flat before you had to go up a steep-ish little hill in the woods that was pretty loose and chewed up. It was the type of setup that made you think... do I do a quick remount and get going before the hill? Do I just run the whole thing? How does it change in traffic? A teammate had mentioned to me before the race that he just ran it in traffic because it was faster so that was my plan. So we get to the hill and I'm running and, predictably, someone who had tried to ride it failed and it caused a pileup.

When pileups like this happen, especially early in a race, I'll admit to being the jerk who tries to squeeze around the side, push by people, or just generally do whatever short of whacking someone with my bike to move forward and not just stand there waiting for people to get out of the way. If I bobbled in the middle of a hill or turn and 3 guys ran me over, I expect it and my fault for sucking. So when our well intentioned or poor planning racers stacked it up on the hill and I was already in full run, I first yelled "C'mon move!", then tried to squeeze around the left side and I'm sure I bumped at least one person. At this point some guy yells at me "Easy big man, you're going to kill someone!" And this is what's bugging me. IMHO, I wasn't throwing elbows or making lots of contact, but I was definitely being aggressive and, last time I checked, this was a race where the goal was to finish quickly and ahead of other people.

So who was right and who was wrong? There's probably no way to find out and maybe it doesn't matter. It still has me wondering though where the balance is... When you squeeze your way onto the front row between two guys who barely left enough space, you get a little heckling, but you're positioning yourself well. When you squeeze a guy in a corner with your elbows out you're racing Euro-style and protecting your position. So when you try to bull rush around the side of a pileup have you crossed the line and now you're a toolbag? Maybe it's a circumstance of the fact that when I do it, there's a whole shitload of arms, legs, and bike pushing through there. Sorry folks, can't apologize for the genetics. I dunno... maybe I did cross the line and bumped the guy with my bike. Seems to be price of admission to me seeing that I remember tire burn in some weird places from shouldered bikes being carried by the guys near me. I'm actually surprised at this point if I don't come home from a race with a reminder that I was there.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shouldn't have bothered

You can't go out for your best friend's bachelor party until 2:45 a.m., then get up at 6:15 to go coach youth football, and legitimately expect a bike race later in the day to go well. Terrible godawful start which just put me in a position for all sorts of BS starting with the guy who laid his bike down in front of me in turn 1. Rode off the course after 2.5 laps and went home where I probably should have been in the first place.

Maybe I'll get my shit together before driving 4 hours to Vermont.

Oh, and nice work by RMM who killed it and took home second.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Todd is a Sadist

Todd: Ok guys and gals, we're going to do a 2 lap race.
note that a 2 lap race is short enough that you'll ride so hard you want to throw up

after 5 minute or so break

Todd: Ok, 2.5 lap race now kids

yes, 2.5 laps is still short enough to enter the self-hatred zone

after 5 minute or so break

Todd: Ok, 1 lap race now... 1 lap folks

Yah, I'm sure I can hang with Manny Goguen... that's a good plan... oh wait, I don't feel so good

after 5 minute or so break

Todd: Ok, 2 laps everybody...

You get the picture...

And yes, it was really damn fun.

Monday, September 07, 2009

He could... Go... All... The... Way...

My boys make me proud. Saturday's opener was a good solid beating put on by the Hudson Junior Mitey Mites Team 1 (yes, we have almost 40 7 and 8 year olds who play). Here's a link to some vids including my oldest breaking one for 40+ yards. I'll tell ya though, being on the sidelines is stressful... going to have to work on that.

And yes, I'm filling the racing void with kid stories right now. Starting Wednesday with the MRC Training Series it's on. Can't wait! See you there.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Oh yah, it's football season

With apologies for crappy cell phone pic...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Talent Skips a Generation

Alternate title: To Be Young and Fearless