Wednesday, September 29, 2010

End of Season Blues

You know how it is, one month you are riding high, feeling good, then you look down and see that the season is done. That sorta happened to me last week. There are races left, but I also took on the task of starting back to school this semester, and I am feeling the effects of English coming on quick. Paper after paper. Not that I have a problem writing or talking, and if all the assignments were bike related, check please on the 100!!. We all know though that is not how it goes, and the papers are sometimes on topics that lead me to believe that the proffesor is trying to stir the proverbial pot. I keep telling myself, "Just get thru it." but I tell you, I would rather do hill repeats at threshold.
So here I am on the last week in September, reflecting a bit, sulking a bit, and looking at the bike wondering if I want to ride or not. Reflecting is a good way to see where you were and find out where you want to be. One thing I found out about myself is that I was putting way too much pressure on myself in the past. This season, I stepped back from the team and raced for myself. This allowed me to look at the schedule, look at the budget and find out which races suited me, my style of racing and my budget. There were times when I may have scheduled a race, but financially something came up, and we could not go. What this taught me was that sometimes you just have to know when to say no, and go on about training and riding. I learned patience this year as well, being by myself made me think a lot about everything I did in races. It paid off early with a win in the Spring series, followed by another win in Columbia, sc. My biggest month was last month, and I had some of the best results I have posted to date since upgraded a couple of years back to race Pro 1-2.
Now looking into next season, I am back with the team, but the understanding that now I can better race with the guys knowing my strengths and also my weaknesses. Also knowing that I can only do what I can do, and no more.
Next season I hope that the Friday Night Fights will be back bigger and better, well at least better and more numerous, getting bigger is not always better in the american bicycle scene, and as long as we keep things affordable and fun, I think the future of the series is good.
Until next season....


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Part II

So, we get down to the area of the course, check into the Embassy Suites, right at the start line for the race, score! We are on the third floor, with a corner suite that has two beds, a fold out, fridge and two big TV's. Man we are set. We got all of our numbers the day before, thanks Ashley Trevisio for doing this for the people that signed up for both races, this was a bonus. While we sat there, we decided, this was a good time to get our frame numbers ready and our jersey numbers pinned on so that part would be finished and out of the way.
Chris had decided that it would be cool to go catch a movie, just to sit and chill out, get some laughs in and enjoy the rest of the day. With the bikes ready, we drove maybe 5 minutes to the movie theatre. We got sat down and watched "The Other Guys." Great movie and just what we needed to relax. I even got to throw my froglegs over the seat in front of me, since no one was in it.
Left there for supper which was right next door and then back to the hotel. We were in full chill mode by 8:30. Harkey and I were in one room watching TV while the others were watching the other TV. I told Chris that this was the first time that we were actually ready for the next day at a descent time, usually we are up until close to midnight, which makes for a hard early morning wake up. Not this time, and I think that was really key to success. We all sprang out of bed the next morning, and ate breakfast. The other guys caught up on football, I made some coffee, we had time to get ready and not rush.
The race started fast and furious, with a bad crash that got local man Cleve Blackwell, he is sore, and fortunately, nothing is broken.
A group got up the road, but Big George and Craig Lewis along with Frank Travesio and a rider from Fly "V" were on the front reeling it in. This was perfect, the work I had been doing up to this weekend had prepared me for a lined out fast paced run down. From there it was jump and follow, attack and move. Things happen fast. Four more guys get away and stick it to the end. Myself and John get in a group of about eight and split from the field. I take the last turn first and gun it, and I mean I gave it the gas! I went into full blown time trial mode, picking up speed. I hit the last hill of the day, standing to get every last gear inch I had. On the famous downhill, I continued to pedal as hard as I could, 53X11 to come across the line in 5th place, ahead of the small group. John got 11th, David pulled 30th and Nick on his first time, set his personal bar high with 33rd. A great day, with great friends and a great result. The only thing I could have asked better would have been to be four more place up the road!!

US 10K Classic

What can I say? This turned out to be the best result I have had to date in a large Pro field. I have raced this race four times now, the other three not so good times before, except for Chris getting third that year. I had always went fireball McFearson out of the gate and botch any attempt at a late move. Not this time. Something about this year has changed in me, patience has become more of a friend than before, and it has paid off.
The whole weekend started off really well. Stacie, Lindsey (Our niece) and I headed down to Anderson, SC for the Tour DeLaFrance criterium, from Swagger. This was going to be a big pro field as well, with $10,000 on the line, the start list grew all afternoon long. We got there early, since Jae Bowen was racing and I wanted to see how he would do. Jae and I are working with FasCatCoaching out of Colorado, and Rick Kattouf out of Greenville, FasCat takes care of the workouts, Rick is a guru with nutrition. Jae did well, he got away from the field for a while, but the field would not have it.
We started our race at 5:15, and it was warm, but not insane hot like it has been, so I was feeling good. Pre race nutrition was finished, and I was ready. The course was a four corner tight in some areas crit. The front stretch was fairly tight, since it rolled down mainstreet Anderson. I made a move, with Boyd and Joey Rosskopf, but that got nullified. So then I wanted to sit in and see how things panned out and make a late move. Things were going well, I was able to sit in, move up when I needed to and not use a lot of energy. With about eight laps to go, I take the line thru the first corner, and my chain goes crazy. I had hit one of the course monster manholes and it had bucked the bike, causing the chain to come off the front ring, and out of the rear derailler lower cage. I could not shift out of this one, I had to come to a complete stop to pull the chain back into the rear derailleur. I asked the official for a lap, but he said no dice, apparently this is not considered a mechanical, so my night was over. I was ticked, but I calmed down, and just took it for what it was.
I had met Chris, John, David and Nick to head down to Georgia, so I kissed my wife to make my way down.
We stayed with David's girlfriend's parents, which was nice. Quiet neighborhood, and her dad had a 427 Turbofire Vette, so I loved that. Next day we head out for an easy hour before driving on down to the hotel. What happens next has never happened before at this race....

Part II coming up next, stay tuned.