Sunday, September 30, 2007

Newton 'Cross Pictures

Whew! Two days of 'cross racing has left me drained. I'll post all of the gory details later. Until then, I posted a ton of pictures here to keep you busy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cross Weekend

This weekend Christy and I are headed to Newton for two days of 'cross racing, and two days of hanging out. My bike is ready, and I'm a ready as I'm gonna get. It should be fun. I hope it don't rain. But if it does, so what. It's 'cross after all.

I'm taking my good camera, so hopefully I'll come home with a few good shots.

Hmm . . . I just heard thunder . . . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gravel/Cross tomorrow

I plan on doing a couple of hours of gravel on my 'cross bike tomorrow afternoon if anyone is interested in joining me. I'll be at the north shelter at Ada Hayden at 4:00. All are welcome. If the mood strikes, we could ride by my place, grab my portable barriers, and do some 'cross racing/riding in McFarland.

It's gonna be a beautiful day! Don't miss it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Squirrel's Nest Time Trial

I went to Des Moines for Chris Maharry's time trial today. What a cool event this has become! There was donuts, coffee, sports drinks, gels, and ton of schwag. This year the event was held at Green wood park. It doesn't have same level of intrigue that Targhetto does, but the trails are pretty sweet. Those guys have been working hard.

Several team 14ers line up for the start.

Hansen was looking very alert today. Apparently he lost a couple of fingers in an industrial accident.

Pete, Rob, and Sterling.

I went out, rode the course, and had fun. Nothing I could do would put me at the front, and nothing I did would make a difference to the season's points.

A rare smile for the camera from me.

Bruce enjoys a pastry

Hmmm. This is an IQ test question. Can you spot the progression?

Answer: Shaved, hairy, shaved, hairy. I would have also accepted Old, younger, younger, youngest.

Maharry announces the winners, and there is a mad stroll for the prize table.

An excited crowd looks on.

Afterwards we met at Rassy for some food, tasty beverages, and an awards ceremony the the IMBCS. I got 4th place in Sport Open this season. How did I do that, you ask? By showing up at all of the races. It's just that simple. Sure I sucked at several (most) of them. But I was there. Things fell as they should, because in most races I couldn't catch the guys in from of me (Bruce Reese, Bruce Brown, and Kyle Williams). Kyle and I were neck and neck early in the season, but as he got better I got worse. Bruce Brown got me in every race expect one. I can remember being in front of Bruce Reese exactly twice . . . once at the start of the Sylvan Island, and once during the Iowa Games . . . both proud moments for me.

I was pleased to see that they recognized everyone that qualified for IMBCS points this year. I wasn't expecting that. Sadly, there weren't very many of us. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting Ready for 'Cross

I've spent the last few days making a few tweaks to my 'cross bike. Regular readers will remember that this is the bike that I won at last year's 'cross state championship, so the bike doesn't owe me anything.

I took off the stock fork and repaced it with a Winwood Dusty.
The stock fork was a heavy pig. The swap resulted in about a 3/4 pound weight savings.
I also replaced the stock chainring gearing with a 42 tooth Salsa single chainring, a Wetzikon outer chain guard (both from, and the stock chain watcher on the inside.
I never understood the stock Specialized gearing (34-48). That is just nuts. The 34 is mostly too weak for anything, and the 48 is way to strong (although it did work pretty well for gravel). But it would have sucked in a 'cross race. I could see having to jump from little to big ring several times each lap. I suppose Specialized is trying to be all things to all people, and all gearing to all people. It is much better now. I've ridden it for a few days in most types of conditions I'll see in a 'cross race, and I'm very happy with the result.
I also slapped on a Thomson Masterpiece seat post that I won in a race earlier this year. Sweet. The Thomson post feels like a feather compared to the stock (carbon) post. Alex said the carbon post might be carbon clad aluminum.
While I was snapping pictures, I took one of the top tube. The TriCross has a unique top tube shape that is much more comfortable when shouldering the bike during long run-ups. It is flat on the bottom. Really!
Overall the bike dropped more than a pound because of the upgrades, and is now under 20 pounds.
Now I just need to get a set of these, mounted on a set of these, and I'll be set. I'm going to be the slowest guy out there on a fast bike, but that's OK. It will still be a boat load of fun!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cycling Trifecta

I went out for a gravel ride with Bryan and Alex this afternoon. I took them out on some of my favorite gravel routes. It rocked. They rocked. I sucked. Oh, well.

I took a few pics. Bryan borrowed my Rig to see what this whole mountain biking thing was about:

Alex rockin' on the 'crosscheck.

Check it out! We got Bryan to ride a mountain bike on single track!

Alex descending on the 'crosscheck.

We did a couple of hours of gravel and single track. To complete the trifecta, we did a little pavement going back.

We are doing it again next Wednesday if you are interested.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nite Ridin' Report

Well, it almost worked out. Carney, Marc, myself, and a few others headed north through town and ended up at Ada Hayden, where we had to stop and fix a fixie (good thing we had a bike shop guy along). It was getting pretty dark, but we continued up Arrasmith trail. Carney and I were the only ones with lights, so we kinda herded the others along. We ended up in cul de sac hell. With this limited lights, we rode in cul de sac circles for a while. Several of the guys were on skinny tired fixies (not conducive to gravel), so we parted ways. I headed for home, and Carney was their beacon for the ride home. It was funny to watch them ride away. They were all like moths to his flame.

Tomorrow I am doing some 'cross bike gravel grinding with Bryan. We are leaving from the north shelter house at Ada Hayden at 4:00 and plan to be out for 2-3 hours. You are welcome to join us if you wish. And you don't have to be on a 'cross bike neither. Mountain bike, fixie, single speed, roadie, we don't care.

Night Ridin'

Carney and I are going to try to hijack the Fixie ride tonight. When they aren't paying attention, we are going to lead them off into the country for some gravel and trails. Bring your lights!. Carney won some new NiteRider lights at the Boone 24 and he is itching to use them.

If things go according to plan we might stop at my place for a bevvie or two.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sugar Bottom Root Fest

I made my first trip to Sugar Bottom today. The race was cancelled last year because of politics, so, this was my first chance to race here. The course is long, with 10 miles of twisty, tight singletrack. Mostly not too hilly, but really friggin rough, with lots and lots of exposed roots. People had told my that, and I thought I was prepared for it, but I had no idea. I think I've got a new least-favorite course on the IMBCS circuit.

Hansen showed up to race expert for the first time, and lined up between Jay Cam.

Most of the usual suspectes were here.

I tried to start off fast and stay in front of a few guys, but if I wasn't keeping pace with the guy in front of me, I'd let them by. After I'd let about 50 guys by, and was getting really tired of the friggin roots, I slowed down some and settled into a (slow) pace. Here's a tip - the roots don't hurt as much when you slow down, so that's what I did.

Here is my finish line picture:

Two laps - nearly three hours! That's a pretty long sport race. I think there were quite a few DNFs. Even the fast sport guys were in the 2:10 range.

Hansen relaxes after the race with a bevvie. Did you think he wouldn't have one?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Catchin Up

I'm finally caught up with my other duties, so here is the promised blog dump.

The Boone 24 pre-race meeting

At the starting line. Where are are their bikes?

Ron had a tounh time firing the starting gun.

Hansen stopped by to check out the fun.

Matt, Bruce, Rob, and Chris.

Rob taking a break by the light of the tiki torches.

Then bike world guys stop by to say hello.

Thad cuts the cheese.

Whatta ya trying to do? Kill me?

Hangin out at the Mercy campfire.

Team 14 tiki torches from the air. Things looked pretty fuzzy by this time.

Things looked much better in the morning. Bryan stopped by to see what he missed.

Next up was the Tuesday fixie ride with Cory, Marc, Emily, and some guy I didn't know.

We headed for a bridge in the middle of nowhere with some Guinness

After that Emily ended up in a heap on Lincoln way after trying to bunny hop a curb. Marc and I try to direct oncoming traffic, while she untangled.

Later we hit a pub down town. Good times.

Up tomorrow in the Sugar Bottom Scramble. Never been there. 'Bout time. Better go to Bed.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm Working on it!

I can't count the number of people that asked about my blog this weekend.

"Is everything OK?"
"Is there anything we can do?"
"Can we bring a covered dish to the wake?"

No, the blog is OK. I've got pictures from the Boone 24, and I will post them soon (although I expect most are dull and out of focus, 'cause that's how my weekend went). Big fun was had by all that attended.

There is some stuff going on, and that has to be at the top of my list right now. I'll keep you posted.