Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Congrats to my coach Brian Conant who took 6th on both Saturday and Sunday in the 35+.
Ben Popper took 24th on Saturday 26th on Sunday in the Elite, staying on the lead lap.
Devon Haskell took 9th on both Saturday and Sunday in the women's elite.
Greg Heck took 25th on Saturday and 29th on Sunday in the Men's 2-3s.
And, results are up, Pony Shop did alright at Bartlett:
30+: Lou 6th, Mark 9th
40+: Brian R. 3rd
1,2,3s: Luca 4th, Aspen 7th
Women's 4: Carolyn 9th
4as: Jack with the win!! Cliff 10th and Scott 24th.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The course. Windy. I can't remember the last time I rode in so much wind. ABD did a great job with this course, ran reverse of last year. Wide start line into an easy right and then really narrowed into a sharp left and sharp right. Straight into a single barrier run-up, opposite direction of last year. Two woods/wood chip sections. Wood chips always look more stable than they feel. Some nice pavement sections, including one loooong stretch of pavement where you got back onto the grass, full speed. On the backside of the course, a three barrier run-around, down, jump, up, jump, down, jump then ride up, down and through the long finishing straight. That was a mouthful!
This course was hard and fast, no recovery... any... where. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it was windy.
The start. I did 3 or 4 laps at different speeds. Then I did about 5 starts to test the corners. Finally, I did the single barrier run-up about 10 times back to back to see what the best line on the climb after would be and to stay warm.
Had a good, not great start. I just wanted to stay out of trouble. I hit the top of the run-up in traffic, jumped on but then had to jump off and run as the turn and hill back up was clogged. On the first section of pavement I can count from Boundy in first back to me and I'm in 10th or so. Not bad.
This photo is just after the start. Tim Boundy is to the right, Brian R. on the left. Roman is just hitting the barrier and I am just dismounting. What a great shot.
The race. So, once again, just settle in. Find the sections I can go fast on and ride smooth as I can. That, though, is often easier said than done. I pass a few guys. As I'm working my way through the 30+ I can see Mike from xXx ahead. He's my target. I could never get his wheel. I'd get close and then I'd mess up a turn and have to brake. I always underestimate the effort required to re-accelerate after screwing up a turn. Smooth, Jim smooth.
With 2 to go I see Jim from Turin coming behind me and he's gaining. I get the bell lap and I'm not lapped. That's good: one of my goals is to stay on the lead lap. Turin's coming. Every time we turn I look over my shoulder, he's there. Not on me, but there. Lou and some of the 30+ who finished are yelling at me as we hit the last and longest pavement section to catch the rider in front of me, who I thought was a 30+ rider, but was in fact another 40+ rider that I had lost track of. So, I'm out of the saddle and in the drops, clicking through gears. I had Strout's voice in my head from last year saying you've got to be first into an obstacle, so I'm thinking if I hit the barrier running thing at the bottom, Turin can't get me. So I pass the rider ahead of me into the grass and I was first into the barriers. After the barriers, out fo the saddle, sprint for the line.
The result. 7th. Some problems with the results, so only 1-10 were finalized.
Stuck around and watched the 3s, women's 1-3 and some of the Men's 1-3 and then had to go.
Photos: Velosnaps, of course.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Go to Pony Shop Cross for Jack's spectacular endo!
Partial results are up, there seems to be a problem with the 1,2,3s and the 4as.
Pony Shop did pretty well both at the race and so far in the series:
30+ Lou 3rd, Mark 8th
40+ Brian R. 3rd, Me 7th, Roman 11th
Women's 4: Carloyn 17th.
After our race and once the results were final, we ate lunch and then watched the other races. It's always more fun yelling at the top of your lungs for everyone racing to go faster after you've finished your race.
Elora had more fun jumping up and down on teh moon walk thing. At 2:30 she had had it and it was time to go.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The course. Very, very nice. A bit of a narrow start then right into, as Elora would say "the bump bumpy Mc bumpertons." Nice technical turns, then into a single barrier with a creek jump. Some more technical turns, then onto pavement, hairpin, back the other way on the pavement, right hander onto the grass, cruise around and into the sandpit. Rideable. Out of the pit, around some more then some nice click-up-through-the gears power sections. Around, double barriers up-hill run-up and around to the start.
I did my warm-up with 36 psi and crashed hard in one of the corners before the pavement. So I took a few pds. out. Definitely the lowest I've raced on yet.
The start. Call ups. 4th. Get a good spot. Have some difficulty getting back clipped in, can't get my left in. With 30 secs to go, switch to my right foot clipped in first, instead of my left. God damn egg beaters. I am seriously considering pitching these things. But I digress. Calm down Jim... Riders GO! Left foot takes me 3 pedal strokes to clip in. I fall back to about 15th or so. Roman got the hole shot. SWEET!
O.k. not so bad, don't panic. I can move up. Just stay up, pass when I can.
The race. Settle in a groove, no, my groove. Straight, brake, turn, accelerate, repeat. First 2 times through the sand I was good, but got knocked down by other riders. That's racing. Get up, get the bike, run. The run-up was fine and a good place to pass. The rest of the time through the sand was fine, strong, just pedal. I'm just trying to move up when I can. I can see 30 and 40+ riders ahead so I just focused on catching up to the next one in front of me, passing, repeat.
Eventually I settled in with a Mack rider and with 3 to go (I think) we rode together. Lombardo from the 30+ came around us at the start line with 2 to go, so now we only had 1 to go. I yelled up to the Mack rider that we should try to stay with him. He asked if we still had 2 to go and I said no, we all finish with him so we both gunned it. An ABD rider was just in front of us. When you think you have 2 to go and then there's only 1... what do you have to lose: full gas. Coming up to the sand I wanted a clear line so I came around Mack and hit it hard. We're gaining on ABD as we come into the straighter and faster parts of the course. We hit the pavement and ABD is right in front of us, Mack on my wheel. As we approach the barriers I hear a voice yelling behind me "Go Jim, get him on the run-up, you can catch him!" The voice does not stop all the way through the barriers and down to the finishing straight. I catch ABD at the top of the run-up, pass on the remount and hold through the last turn and get out of the saddle and sprint with everything my legs have left. Finish ahead of ABD and Mack and then a few dry heaves to confirm that everything I had was left on course.
I later found out the voice was Lou who had made it up to us on his last lap.
Tire pressure must have been fine since I didn't wash out and I could feel the rear rim on some of the roots, although I was a bit tentative in some of the turns after crashing on the warmup.
The result. 7th. I was 5th, but after talking with some of the other racers, that didn't seem right. We did kind of group protest and I got moved down 2. No worries.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
ROAD CLOSURE INFO FOR CARPENTERSVILLE
For those travelling on Rt. 31, it will be closed to through traffic on the day of the race between Route 72 (Higgens) and Route 62 (Algonquin Road). This means you may still be able to get through, but it may take a while. If you detour to Rt 25 , turn West (light) on Lake Marion Rd in Carpentersville, left on L.W. Besinger Dr, and a right on Maple Ave. Maple will take you directly to Carpenter Park.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Given how absolutely horrible I felt on Sunday, I'm just happy I finished and I didn't get lapped by any of the 40+ finishers.
No ride yesterday, rest day. Today was a new day, a chance to recommit. On deck: 5 x 4 minute V02 max and then 5 minutes at LT. 5:30 a.m. was dark as dark can be. Thanks to Roman i know have a helmet light which worked really well. The wind was stiff out of the NE. I hit the 5 x 4s hard and then just to prove to myself that I could i did 10 minutes instead of 5 at LT. A solid hour and 40 minutes left me looking forward to this week's race, Carpenter's Park, an old venue for the series, but a new venue for me.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Lou, 2nd and Mark, 9th in the 30+
Roman, 4th in the 40+
Brian Conant, 2nd and Luca 4th(I think) in the 1-2s
Cliff, Jack and Scott in the 4a race that looked to be under the worst conditions of the day.
Devon in the 3s.
Carolyn in the women's 4s.
Let's keep the top 10s rolling in!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So, we talked about cross, of course, and us riding the same bike and that the Pony Shop has a cross only team. He seemed pretty impressed by that and signed a poster just for the shop.
Although Cannondale wasn't in attendance, a fact I find to be disappointing and lame, we did find TJ's bike at the Fizik booth.
Nice to have your intials be part of the bike model.
Roman, showing his cross form.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Woke up this morning after a solid almost 9 hours of sleep. Feel much better than yesterday, but the house was cold. Didn't ride because it's Wednesday and we've got practice tonight. Feels like Fall is here!
DeKalb in 4 days. Rumor has it this course should be hard and alot of fun.