Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MNCX Champs

Hard to believe the warmest race of the day on saturday had an official starting temp of zero degrees. So with zero degrees and some hardened snow and ice to race on, we had our MN State cyclocross championship weekend set. I don't remember much of my race on satruday except falling off of the leaders after two laps and then by lap three Chris Smith catching up to me. He was riding strong and we would stay together the rest of the race. On the last lap on the straight before the sand pit, I managed to get around Chris for the last spot on the podium. I would like to say there was a great showing of fans/hecklers considering the conditions.

On Sunday we had a few inches of fresh snow and it was about 10 deg warmer, which felt great. I was in the 23-34 age group race. For the first few laps it was Josh Bauer, Fred Mills and myself riding together, and taking turns at the front. Thanks to the race volunteers we had a freshly raked sand pit before the race, which left no easy line. On maybe the 4th lap I think Josh didn't clear the sand and I was able to get a 10 second gap. I just kept the pace steady as I knew we still  had 7 laps to go. On the second to last lap some Canadian guy was making a push to catch on, I had to give it all I had for the last lap to hold him and Josh Bauer off for the win. Another good day of hecklers on the stairs with Dan Strese on the loud speaker telling me I still had 50 laps to go.. every lap.

The weekend turned out to be a great way to end my CX season, and surprisingly with all the snow and ice I didn't even crash. Now its time for an off season filled with fat bikes, friends, the river bottoms, canadian beer, and hot dogs cooked over a bonfire.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Down by the river

On Sunday Grant, Brendan and I went for a ride down at the MN river bottoms on fat bikes. It was supposed to rain, but we lucked out and stayed dry from above, although we did get a little muddy from Saturdays rain. This was my first venture on the fat bike since last March or April, whenever we got our last snow. I've been trying hold off riding it because I know the winter is long (hopefully not as long as last year) and I'll get plenty of time with my beargrease.  We rode from Sibley House, and found a couple sweet old cars from the 1950's that washed down there in a flood or something. We made it almost to the end of the river trail when Grant got a flat by a 1/2" wide stick. While we waited we drank a couple ham's in a can and then decided to turn back to make it before dark. Ended the ride with some free popcorn and not free beer at Lucky 13.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Barns and Donkeys

Enjoyed another great weekend of cyclcross at two different events. First race on Saturday was Red Barn at Erikson's Tree Farm in Shafer, MN. Having never raced this course I didn't know what to expect, I was told it was a good one. The temps were decent, in the high 40's and no rain, unlike last weekend. The race started pretty fast, I was sitting about 4th after the intial sprint. I worked my way up to 2nd wheel behind Kesha as he was going really good. Before I knew it I was down, my front tire slipped out on a fast corner. I uncrumpled myself and got up, straightend out my bars and made sure nothing was too messed up as 10 riders went flying by. As I battled my way back to some riders I past a man dressed in a all gold suit and another in jean shorts and aviator glasses who was dressed as Goose. With three laps to go I caught the chase group of 5 guys who seemed to be content riding together, so when I went by I went hard and got a gap that held to the end. Was happy afterwards with my 3rd place custom wooden medal and free pork sandwiches.
The second race was Donkey Cross out at the Ham Lake Baptist Camp. This course was mostly flat sandy/dirt trails back in the woods with one bumpy section that I don't think had any "good" lines. Everyone agreed this course was a lot like riding the MN river bottoms. I just wanted to make sure I didn't have any nice crashes like the day before. After the start, a barrier, and a couple off camber turns I was sitting 4th wheel again and wanted to feel out the pace for a bit. Once we got onto the second half of the first lap with some faster sweeping turns I went to the front and set my own pace, also wanted to stay out of trouble in the few technical sections. After a couple laps it was down to just myself and Jesse L. It stayed this way for about 4 or 5 laps. Jesse is a super strong rider, and I'm pretty sure he went undefeated this summer in any mountain bike race he showed up at. So with 3 laps to go he went by me on his single speed and put down some nice power, after about a half lap I had to let him go. I finished 2nd, maybe 25 seconds back with CJ coming in 3rd.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The place to be

Had two fun days of racing Green Acres CX this past weekend. Saturday the course was a little slick with some muddy spots here and there. The field was pretty strong and I found myself blown off the back of the leaders by about the halfway point, rode the rest of the race alone in 7th. Day two was a slightly modified course that included a steep muddy grass climb, some good off camber slopes, and a dark piney forest trail. On top of that it rained most of the day so the course was almost all mud. The wistle blew and we were off sprinting up the dirt road climb, and once we got onto the top corn field area there were a couple crashes in front of me with everyone trying to find the best line in the 4 inch deep mud ruts. As I was trying to find my rhythem in the mud, a fast wheel came by, it was Tonkin, so I jumped on and we started passing people. I stayed with him for about a lap or more, but got shed off as he was riding the mud and the corners much smoother with a little rear tire flick that I need to learn! Tonkin actually battled up to the leaders and ended 2nd on the day behind that one guy ET who has been undefeated in the MNCX scene this year, I ended up in 6th behind the same guys as day 1. Overall it was a great weekend of cross with friends and family. Can't wait for next weekend!

Friday, October 18, 2013

First Post

Quick recap of my season so far, 38 races, 6,400 miles, and 409 hours on the bike. Seven weeks of cross racing left with Green Acres on tap this weekend and then on to fatbike season where most rides include beverages from Canada. Just make sure you watch out for this guy when riding the MN river bottoms!