I decide mid Friday (day before Louisville CX) that I am ready to voluntarily upgrade from the 4's to 3's. I am not totally sure of my decision so I email the BSV CX group for advice. In the end, I decide to upgrade. I complete the upgrade form and send it off to Jon Tarkington and Yvonne at the ACA. I receive an email Friday night with my temporary license and I am super stoked. One thing I should mention is that I have not been on the bike for almost 6 weeks. I wake up Saturday morning and am already thinking of my strategy for the race. I decide to ride from Boulder to the race for a good warm-up. I do a quick once over on the bike, add some stans to the tubes, and off I go. I feel really good on the way to Louisville and am thinking about the race the entire ride. I miss the turn for 76th and end up riding to Lafayette and back track to the rec center. I arrive at 1:45, just in time to see the women start and chill out for a bit. I do a few laps on the course and am quickly reminded how demanding this sport is. The bike feels good, air pressure seems about right, and the shifting feels smooth. I speak to Dani Wanner (New BSV CX Racer) and her family about her first cross race for a bit after the womens race. Her brother mentions to me how today was his first race and that he dropped his chain a few times. I show him how I am running a single up front with a third eye and have never dropped a chain with my setup. I even go so far as to say that the setup is bomber. Little did I know that I would soon be eating my words. Fast forward to the start because I am starting to ramble....I line up at the start line and am ready to roll. I am pretty nervous, but this is typical of me every time I race. I see some familiar faces from last year and some BSV riders, Bill Teasdale, Peter Shaffer, and Matt Lohrentz. I feel at home now and am ready to suffer. The gun goes off and the racers are ripping down the long stretch of gravel. I am mid pack and start to pull my way up. I am feeling good and am ready for the sand pit. Run the sand on the first lap and roll up the hill and pull away. I manage to complete two laps before things start falling apart. I pass two guys as I start to descend down the rough and bumpy section after the finish. I make it through the corner almost to the flat grass when I lose my chain. I am shocked am remember commenting on my bomber setup. Not so bomber today, oh well. I quickly fix my chain and am off trying to make up time. I don't lose too much time. Less than 5 minutes later, I lose my chain again. I am starting to worry now and lose more time. It's funny how quickly people pass you when you pull over to fix a chain. I still tell myself not to worry as it won't happen again. I blast through the sand and am heading down hill on the off camber section right before the steep, short climb. I lose all traction as I turn into the hill and go down pretty hard. As I go down, I manage to land on my brake caliper and push it under the wheel as well as tangle my chain beyond belief. I get up and quickly try to fix everything as fast as I can. At this point I know I am doomed. Quitting crosses my mind and I think about it for a moment...I am ok with quitting today. My mind scans back to my first cross race and I remind myself that I have never dropped out of a race. Then I remember the quote: "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." I get back on the bike and go for it. I can't quit, it's not me. I will battle until I am a bloody mess. I say this to myself as I pass the lap counter and think to myself..."are you kidding me????????" I finish the race. Not what I anticipated for my debut Cat 3 race, but still a ton of fun. Better luck next time eh???? I guess it's good to have all the bad stuff happen in one race. Until next time...hup hup!!!!!
Thanks to all who came out to cheer at the race and hand out water.....it means a ton!!! Also, props to Jim Heuck for taking and posting all of the excellent pics from the race. Please check out his site at:
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hey Gang! Turkey Dave reporting in from the field.
Now Bill's already posted some of the cyclocross goodness had on Sunday up in Breckenridge. Mad props to Blue Sky Velo for being the highest represented team up there by the way !!!!
So with the new schedule this year, there's a wide range of times for people to race.
This is a report of the 2nd shift.
My ribs were sore so I was there to support Michelle who was racing pretty late in the day. Just by pure accident I put my singlespeed on the car - you know - to pre-ride the course with M., to help her out. Its not like there was also a singlespeed class going off with the 3's late in the afternoon or anything.
I know, most of you are saying, "come on Dave cut to the "Harden the #!@!# up" part already!"
So, no sooner had we been debriefed by some of the some 1st shift gang, with battle stories told.... when the skies opened up and it started dumping rain! The temp dropped immediately.
Its funny, at times like those, looking around we saw two types of people, those scattering for cover ........ and those with big sh*t eating grins on their faces. I have to admit I fall into the latter category.
Game on !!
First up was Michelle. She may have had a quick bout of being a 'run and hider', but that soon melted away into perma-grin, she got her share of the sweet mud action. It rained hard at times, and the course started getting slick!~ I'm super proud of her, she rocked today and was loving it... her mad skillz helped out in the slick conditions.
Ryan was there Representin' the 4's
What better way to break in a brand-spankin new bike hmmmm?
Needless to say. After standing in the rain, smiling, taking pix, and generally getting good and soaked and cold.... I just couldn't head home... Ribs be damned, I embrocated and went for it. It was a blast, the kind of mud that reminded me of why riding bikes is so cool. There werent many of us 1X's, so they just started us with the 3's. My competition was some uber racing dude, some "mountain bike guy" who was fresh in from the SS WC in Durango, and "flannel-wearing-I have a hang over guy". "Things are looking up".
I was dying a slow death up the long hill and subsequent return to the warming hut, but in true fashion the 'party hill' had a nice selection of loud-mouths (who seemed to be in 'good spirits' and 'well-lubricated' )- they kept me motivated. The more they yelled the more I grinded up that hill. Awesome!!
Kid in a candy store
Welp, thats it for now. It was nice to experience a little bit of fall, get good and cold, and generally revel in the CX aura again. (We didn't know it would follow us down the front -range, I promise)
Monday, September 21, 2009
When we arrived in Breck the temps were in the 40's. That meant two things -- embrocation and long-sleeve skinsuits. After getting suited up, we headed out for some warm up time on the course, and then over to the start area. Pale Power got his front row call up, Kevin A. turned his down, Hollywood stuffed himself in the middle, and I set up in the back. Now being in the back is certainly not ideal, but on a positive note, you're most likely going to go forward in the race, which is preferred to the alternative.
The start of the race took us through a section of about four inches deep of wood chips with barely one rideable line. Apparently wood chips are the new sand traps. This would typically be a good place to move up, but it was risky to got off the main line. Thankfully we got through it without incident and it was game on.
Here's the start. Nope, can't see me.
Photo courtesy of Mrs. WeberHollywood missed a turn early on and was in chase mode for most of the race. I was able to move up and latched onto a group with Pale Power and Dave Weber from Rocky Mounts. After about a lap, we were starting to get some company from behind, so I went to the front and upped the pace.
Dave and I sucking Pale's wheel.
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Weber
I was able to create a nice gap between myself and the rest of the group, but eventually Dave Weber made his move and started to bridge up to me.
Dave finally caught me and we rode together for a lap or so, but he was able to create a small gap with his superior technical riding skills that I could not close back down. Meanwhile the rest of the boys were settled into their own group battles.
Hollywood getting it done.
Crit Master getting a draft.Photo courtesy of Susan Prietro
All and all the Blue Sky Nation did a good job representing. Full results are posted here.
Labels: Blue Sky Velo
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I also did the Buffalo Classic last Sunday and it was my first century. I really want to encourage anyone who has ever thought about doing a century ride to go for it! I am not a particularly strong or fast rider, so I wasn't 100% sure I would be able to ride 100 miles in a day, but I set a goal to do and it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy for me, but I honestly think anyone who sets this as a goal can do it. Especially with the great support from fellow BSVers!
Start of the ride:
My Top 3 Reasons to Ride a Century:
1. You can say "Yeah, I've done a century" and feel cool
2. It makes most other regular training rides you do feel easy and short in comparison
3. Free food all day!!
For me, training involved doing several much shorter rides (20-30 miles) as well as 60 miles as part of the Venus de Miles ride two weeks before. I did a combination of relatively flat rides and rides with hills (I live in North Boulder, so did lots of rides up to Jamestown and up Old Stage Road). But I was probably never doing more than 2-3 rides a week. And never more than an average of about 15 miles per hour.
So, I figured the century was doable, but would probably take me about 8 hours, and it did. That included stops at the many rest stops along the way -- I started just after 7am and finished just after 3pm. As someone doing a century for the first time, it helped to just think of it as four 25-mile rides. I knew I could do a 25-mile ride and feel fine, so I just told myself it was like stringing a few of those together. And the rest stops really do make a difference - it's not like you are getting on your bike and not getting off for 100 miles/8 hours. Also, riding with so many other people and having all the rest stops helps to distract you from the fact that you are riding for so many hours - it's not like just going out and riding 100 miles all by yourself.
It was also fun to ride with other people from Blue Sky. A group of us met up at the start (all people I just met that morning, except for my husband Kevin) and rode together sporting our spiffy matching kits. It was fun to ride as part of a pack. Of course, when I say "rode together," for me that meant starting out with everyone for the first several miles, and then falling behind because a) I am not good at drafting because it makes me nervous to be so close to someone else and b) I really am pretty slow. At one point a fellow BSVer (Brad, I think) came up behind me and put a hand on my back and pushed me along for a bit to help me keep up. That was awesome, but unfortunately he wasn't ready to commit to that level of support for the remaining 90 miles. So I rode alone for most of the ride, but when I'd get to each rest stop there would be BSVers waving me in with smiles and encouraging words, which helped a lot.
The other funny thing about doing a century is that somehow you feel totally justified to eat a ton of random food all day. I'm a little embarrassed to write this all down, but here's at least some of what I ate at the various rest stops: bagel with Nutella, bagel with cheese, banana with Nutella, Ritz crackers, Wheat Thins, Oreos, a Rice Krispie treat, chocolate cake, brownie, chocolate chip cookie, and last but not least, pizza and BBQ chicken (seriously). Hmmm...maybe that is why I was so slow.... ;)
I'm really glad I did it and encourage anyone else out there who is more of a beginner rider like I am to give it a shot. You'll be glad you did!
- Becca Bracy Knight
Monday, September 14, 2009
I had heard many good things about CU's Buffalo Bicycle Classic Century ride (including a Blue Sky Velo report last year), so I decided to give it a try.
I did the ride with some co-workers but caught up with some of the Blue Sky Velo crew at the start, and a few times during the ride:
I'm the one in this picture who is ill-prepared for the 50 degree temperature at the 7 AM start!
I think Eric and team must have passed me ten times during the ride but they always cheerfully offered me the chance to latch on!
The weather was chilly and overcast at the beginning but the sun did come out, and the event mostly lucked out in dodging the rain on Saturday, and some more on Sunday evening.
I thought the race was well-organized, especially at the busy intersections of CO-66 and US-34 in Loveland. And, medical crews quickly got to the scene of an accident early in the ride near the intersection of St. Vrain Road and 75th Street, where a rider went off the road.
The rest stops were well-equipped with volunteers, food and drink including my favorite - Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches! The one complaint commonly heard was with the shortage of porta-potties (and long lines) on the outgoing Hygiene stop but hopefully they can address that next year.
The post-race ceremony offered more food, beer, and sunshine:
I'd recommend this ride for anyone thinking about a century, especially since it's in our backyard and it's easy to train on the course.
-- Peter Schow
The Civil War battle of Asheville, Biking to Britain, Bike portage as a sport and life with the Spot part deux.
I admit it. I am woefully behind in my blogging. I was looking over my photos from this summer and found that there was so much that I did that I didn't bring all my adoring fans (okay the bored masses goofing off at their jobs) up to speed on. I feel like Britney, keeping you, the loving paparazzi, at bay while I hide out with my small, nearly unclothed children smoking alone in my backyard.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The BSV CX riders were out in full force today at the VeloCX course. How many people out there can say 'I rode my CX bike inside a building!' Here are a few pics from the Men/Women Cat. 4 races.
Looks like Andy won after his competitor did an endo down the ramp...
Super fun day! Can't wait for more to come. - MV