Friday, December 21, 2007

Cyclocross Nationals Part 2

Brian feels the dragon's breath of the racer behind him.
Brian, charging up the steps!
Brian just having fun!
Start of the Mens 40-44 race. Let it snow!
Bill...getting it done. Am I done yet? This was before the wheels came off the wagon...urr I mean before his tire came off the rim.

Cyclocross Nationals Part 1

Rob on his single speedo! It was cold, well about 16 degrees. He rocked on the ice and mud ruts. Sorry my battery got too cold after a couple of shots of Rob, so I never even got a shot of Isaac. One guy out there was actually sporting a "speedo" but he wimped out after a lap.
TJ and Rob were the BEST! Here's TJ handing off a sparkling clean bike. Rob's right behind him catching the muddy bike. Thanks guys
I think Dan won his race, the officials were confused!
I really wasn't suffering. In fact it was the most fun I've ever had in a bike race!
Another shot of Dan, Giddy Up!

The weather and conditions were epic. And there was much rejoicing!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Know, It's Not Cyclocross.

I wish I was in Kansas City, I really do.

Never in my life did I think I would say that, come to think of it. Look where bike racing has brought me, folks. A native Coloradan actually wanting to go to Kansas. It's all downhill from here, I can tell. I'm going to start watching NASCAR, eating a lot of barbecue, and thinking wheat is the most beautiful skyline I've ever seen.

But I digress. Anyway, we sad folk left here in Boulder are still managing to ride bikes.

I decided to scope out Heil Ranch today, and see if burying the trail surface under snow makes it a better ride.

First I loaded the Tokyo Cop Car.

Scenery along the road to Heil.

Sadly, the snow on the trail was so deep and soft that there was no traction to be had. The studded Nokians are on the car, not the bike. Hmmm....are my priorities out of whack?

So I opted for some nearby dirt road riding instead, and stopped to do some Christmas shopping.

The roads are super nice, even on a cross bike, so if anyone wants to get out on Sunday, let me know! We can talk NASCAR all day.

By the way, Isaac forgot to mention it, but these fabulous wool pants are the hot new item for our team kit ensemble.

Good luck to everyone racing tomorrow -- open the proverbial can of Whoop Ass, because this is it for cyclocross until 2008. (Is anyone but me having trouble letting go?)


Epic Conditions at Nats

Friday's mud combined with overnight snow and cold turned the course into frozen ruts.

Dan F. applied his superior bike handling for a break through race finishing 34th. Bryan had a great race and Bill rolled his tubular on lap two just past the pits and had to run 3/4 of the course to the start area and was pulled. Epic day for all.

Single speeders Dave K., Isaac D., and Rob L. up tomorrow at 8am.

Day 3 = Snow + Cold + Wind

The snow, cold, and wind has arrived for day 3 of racing. Dan F. will be first up today in the Master Men's 35-39 race at 1p. Bryan and Bill will go in the Master Men's 40-44 race at 2p.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Nats Video




Blue Sky Velo on the Podium @ Nationals

Susan Prieto takes fifth place in the Master Women's 45-49 race!!!

Susan in the Mud

Mud Mud Mud and more MUD!

Potential recruit Lauren Rockin' the stairs.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Jr's practicing off-camber turn at Nats.

Pan view of course

Post Race Cool Down...

The KC course is AWESOME fun. A few decent climbs, one paved and two in the mud/snow/ice. Lots of off-camber, sketchy, one-foot-out, other-weighting-the-inside-pedal action on the downhills. Lots of slide back on the seat and pound out the power while maintaining traction on the uphills. Good times for sure.
After slogging through the mud in the Killer B's, we decided to take in a live action show at the KC zoo. We were bored and it was only $15 to get in, so we thought 'why not'?
It seemed pretty cool until a 12 foot crocodile popped into the scene and literally massacred this water yakabuffalo. The crowd went nuts, but it kinda freaked us out so we headed to the Granite City restaurant for an early dinner. Our own Rob Love showed up road weary and in need of a club soda and a house salad. From there things got a bit more freaky with our waiter Jeremy... chances are good tomorrow night will find us back with our girl Jade. :)

Day One in the Books!

Pre race jitters for Bryan

The course turned from ICE to Mud. Lots of Mud
Dan warming up
Bill slogging through the mud.
Bryan finishing strong.

Farrell 30th
Harwood 17th
Susan 7th
Teasdale 38th

The Racing is ON like DONKY Kong

Susan is first on the course today in the Women's B race. Holding steady in the top 10 on lap 1.

Susan in the barriers

Setting up BSV Nation. We need to learn some things from the guys from Delaware next door.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

KC Preview... ICE is nice.

Bill is REALLY paranoid about his number placement....
Bryan H. and Dan F. were done literally 30 minutes before Bill was...

In fact, as I type this at 11:38 local time, he's still pinning on his flippin' race numbers.
By the way, the course is like a moonscape-- a moonscape covered in a solid sheet of ice. It's really cold here, Jade was our waitress at Johnny Carino's tonight. I think she may show up to watch us race... By the way... Bill is STILL pinning on his numbers. I think he is OCD is a big way.
Tomorrow is going to ROCK hard. Good night to all.

Wednesday Course Conditions

Bryan Harwood has arrived in Kansas City and provides this first look at the National Cyclocross Championship course. Word is that it's COLD and a 2 inch sheet of ICE is covering everything.

Onward to Kansas City

Next up for the Blue Sky Velo cross team is the Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City. A total of 2,045 entries were received for the nearly 40 races that will take place between Thursday and Sunday, Dec. 13-16, and Blue Sky Velo will have seven folks taking it to the nations best. The weather looks to be shapping up for some EPIC conditions with recent snow, ice storms, and rain, with more cold temps and snow predicted for the weekend.

The Blue Sky Velo line up:

Mr. Pain Face himself will be lining up on Sunday in the Single Speed category. Fresh off his 4th place finish at the Colorado State Championships, look for Rob to be on top form. Word on the street has it that Rob has some new top secret tires being drop shipped directly to the venue.

Mr. Podium Boy has already ditched the mustache but is reported to be recovering from an untimely cold just in time to race in the Mens 30-39 B category on Thursday and take on some of nations best in the the Master Mens 35 - 39 category on Saturday. Dan will have his work cut out for him on Saturday as he will be lining up with the likes of former national champion Mark McCormack, mountain bike legend Travis Brown, and Boulder's own Brandon Dwight. Look for Dan to work his way through the largest field of the weekend at 171 racers.

Recently crowned Colorado State Champion, Susan Prieto, will be racing in the Womens B race on Thursday, the Master Womens 45-49 race on Friday, and the Elite Womens race on Sunday. Susan is determined not to get lapped by one of the worlds best cross racers, Katie Compton.

Mr. Pit Bike will be racing in the Mens B 40+ race on Thursday and the Master Mens 40-44 race on Saturday. Look for good things from Bryan as his form is on and he looks to have already used up all his bad bike ju ju.

Killer has got his game face ready as he slugs it out in the Single Speed Category on Sunday. Look for Dave to be throwing in down and taking names!

Mr. I Love Cross, I Hate Cross, I Love Cross, I Hate Cross (you get the picture) will also be lining up in the Single Speed category on Sunday. Look for Isaac to be taking out his frustration of the last couple of weeks out on some of the nations best SSers.

And yours truly will racing in the Mens B 40+ race on Thursday and the Master Mens 40-44 race on Saturday. My plan? Hold on to Harwood's wheel!

Thanks for reading and check back for daily updates, pictures, and video.

For more information about Nationals, check here and here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

cyclocross armageddon

Hey kids:

In case you haven't heard by now, the Blue Sky cyclocross effort is full tilt and right on.

This story includes, but is not limited to: the quest for propane and propane accessories, whipcream in a can and marshmallows, petrified bratwurst, frozen mustaches, psuedo-frostbite, old chub, whiskey, motocross berms, and oh yeah--bike racing.

Paul "Longman" captures the essence of beauty

Saturday December 8th, 4pm: snow starts to fall and the Blue Sky troops load TJ's suburban with all the necessary items for a cross race. Full-size BBQ? Check. 5 pounds of hormel chili? Check. 50 pounds of liquid propane? Check mate. Sometime in this snowy twilight hour I realize that i actually own a portable propane heater. where is that damn thing? we jump in the batmobile and head to storage, digging out an obscure looking device from a dark corner. then it's to home depot to get the proper regulator and fittings to hook this bad-boy up to a propane tank. we'll be basking in the tropics tomorrow! after about 3 miles logged walking around home depot, we set out across town for another hardware store, cursing our own stupidity for believing that home depot would actually have what we need. we score the fitting and head back to the shop. roads are snow-covered now, and darkness falls on our fair city.

alright, time to hook up the propane heater for a test run. damn! the fitting threads are the wrong pitch. fast forward an hour and i'm back from the store with the right fitting and the heater coil radiating heat throughout the shop.

Sunday December 9th, 9am: The rigs are packed with wool, lycra, and carhart. we head out to lyons to see what its all about--the day is sunny, but cold. at the venue, we meet up with some of the good guys from redstone and bma--dave, mike and the crew have a compound going, and we add to it with the BBQ, heater, tables, repair stands, tools, condiments, chili, and brats... the latter items freezing in their packages. TJ is on grill patrol as the first wave of racers takes off. Dan "mexi-stache" Farrell is rockin inside the top-ten--despite praying to the porcelain gods less than 24 hours prior. Jeremy, Kilmoyer, Jones, Horacio, Pete, Stark, Ron, and a host of other Blue Sky punkrockers race by the compound. we yell at them to go faster, and to some extent, they do.
Dan F, bringin the heat

Dave Jones, sweatin a pure stream of liquor

Bryan Harwood, makin it look easy

Horacio "the gazelle" Gutierrez

Pete Galt, high-steppin the Robo-Cop tights

Hollywood Duerksen cold-kickin it

Isaac "snow-camo-sram-hoods" Dancy

Marty "don't'heckle-me, i'm-racing" Caivano gettin' heckled by King mexi-stache

Pre-race fuel of champions

i walk the course. the foot of fresh snow has packed down nicely, but left little room to pass. the course is relatively flat, and i begin to hem and haw about the 39x16 gear and semi-knob tires i put on the singlespeed, but come to the conclusion that none of this technology seems to do a damn thing one way or the other, so i head back to the compound to warm up. by this time TJ has a decent following of disciples looking for hot-chocolate and whipcream handouts. Pam materializes some marshmallows and i take a shot of whipcream, and i'm well on my way to a healthy lunch. Bevans shoves a homebrew in my face. it's gonna be a good day.

I'm gettin with it, Kilmoyer is filling out the jumper nicely

The hands still work well enough to carry a bike

The pain-face. actually, who knows what kinda face this is? i'll blame it on the frostnip

Me in the foreground, Dave Jones getting all the alcohol back into his system in the background

the gun goes off on the singlespeed race, and twenty frozen twinkies head out to chase down the cat3's. the wide open start tapers quickly, and i tangle front wheels... bike is still up, for now. we blaze into the first woods section and up over the barriers into a sand/gravel run section. the sharp left around some playground equipment has bermed up motocross style. i square off the corner ricky carmichael style, boxing out some fools and pinging the rev limiter. 3 laps in, i start hearing an odd scraping sound from my front tire. some sort of branch or rock caught in the tread? i reach down on an open section and try to clean the tread, almost ripping off all my fingers. luckily, the cold has numbed all my extremities--including THE extremity. My brain comes to a few minutes later, realizing that this is a cyclocross tire, and nothing can be stuck in the tread for long. heading back down the back stretch toward the compound, i start yelling at the fellas for a front wheel. they seem to be yelling at me to move up, so i yell at them louder. they yell louder still. well, i'm comin' in hot, and those punx better have a wheel. i cruise into the pit, and Dan "my-mexi-stache-is-now-thawed-out-and-hardly-visible" Farrell is on POINT with a front wheel change. eat your heart out Mavic SSC. i burn out of pit lane and get the hot-rod up to speed. now that my front wheel isn't rubbing metal out of my fork blade every lap, i start picking off guys... and girls as it turns out. nice. the painface is on now. that spike energy drink that bob gave me on the line is hitting hard--i feel great but if we go to the instant replay it looks like i am having an anerysm. hell, maybe i am. i can't really tell, since my body has shut down all non-essential functions.

the bottom line: 4th place.

at anyrate, the main point of all this is: HUGE PROPS to all the people who made the trek to lyons and stood around in the snow and cold, those who took photos, those who raced, and most importantly, the families and support groups that help us keep it all together. without all the support were just a bunch of dorks in lycra. (hold on, i gotta go get a fresh box of kleenex).

seriously, I'm calling out TJ, BlueSky, Longman and Bobby, Chris Jeannie and wee-little Goffredo, Barrow, redstone Dave, and the man. Thanks everyone.

soon everyone on Bluesky will be wearing the insulated floral top.

Rob Love, over&out