Monday, September 28, 2009

Destat Series Race #1

"It is weird how well you can be going one week and how bad it feels the next." Steve Tilford

That just about somes up Diamond BlackFan for me. More later......

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CX Porn

The Only White on a CX bike should be the Tires. Challenge Yummies. Oh how I'd love to have a set of these!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hermann Cross Under the Lights

CX Season has started with a BANG! Probably hardest race of the year is race numero uno. I hooked a ride up with the Bolivar boys so I got to enjoy Hermann for 5.5 hours before I raced. Any of you that follow me on Twitter or Face book know this from the 4 million updates. All in all a great race, great atmoshphere.

Jeff Yielding did a great job setting up the course. A grass crit plain & simple. If I would have wrote this yesterday I would have had a different opinion but after thinking on it another 24 hrs I've decided short lap grass crits are probably the future of grassroots CX. Why would a 3:00 min lap be the future you ask? Excitement for the fans plain & simple. They get to see the racers 19x in the case of the Cat 1/2 race. That's a lot of entertainment value.

The highlight of the course had to be the stairs. Not the full blown misery fest that has been used in the past. Just half way up to the beer tent. The folks in the beer tent went all out & should be commended. Every lap was something different. I had beer poured on me one lap. Sparklers lit on several. Constant screaming, yelling, & yes cowbells. The fans at the top were great. The fans on the back section by the tennis courts were great too. They camped out next to a wicked cool flowing grass section offering beer hand ups.

With a goal of staying on the lead lap I passed on beer hand ups this year. Focus is what I had to do. I got a horrible start & pissed away my 2nd row call up & paid for it for 4 laps. Once things thinned out I was able to grab back some time & worked myself in to a good group picking off fast starters. I wish I would have gotten a better start since I felt really good the whole race. I took a sprint for 12th & just barely stayed on the lead lap. Mission accomplished. Take that Mr. Johnson!

Tire selection was Challenge Grifo 32's @ 30psi. I did a lap or two warming up on the Grifo File treads but decided to switch to knobs for the race for the extra traction coming out of all the grass turns.
I stole this pic from TK's blog. Figured it was fitting since I rode with him for 15 laps. Notice my cool cx gloves? I got the idea from Tim Johnson.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet Your Promoter Part 2

Here is part two of my Meet your Promoter Interview series. Today's subject is Jeff Yielding. He puts on the wildly popular Hermann Cross Under the Lights Cyclocross Race & the Missouri State Cyclcross Championships. Hermann isn't exactly East Coast Missouri but its is close enough for me.

On to the interview:

What was your first CX race & what did you race it on? A true CX rig or MTB?

It was in Iowa back in 2005. I converted a hybrid bike my wife had into a cross bike. Heavy as it gets but it was good enough for 5 races I did that year. I got the CX bug then and raced more in 2006 with the same bike with a few minor upgrades here and there. I was not in Missouri racing the Bubba Cross series, by the end of the year I was hooked.

What was the first race you promoted?

It was the Finchford Road Race in Iowa. I was introduced to bike racing from a good friend of mine, John Adamson who races for the Bike Tech Racing team. He helped me learn the ropes of bike racing as a Cat 5 and Cat 4 and how to promote a bike race.

What made you decide to promote? I mean it is the most inglorious/thankless part of racing?

Once I moved to Hermann, settled in and began to see what this town had to offer cyclist, I had to find a way to get the word out. The roads here are awesome, so many hills to ride and traffic is low. Plus when you’re done riding for the day, kick back and enjoy the restaurants, wineries and shops. The MO State Cross event promotion in Hermann just happened by chance, glad it did as the City Park has been a great place to host this race. Super long course with lots of unique elements. From there I began to add races like the Tour of Hermann, Bearcat cross, Hermann Cross Under the lights and I have plans for a 26 mile Time Trial next year. I would not say it’s thankless at all, I get a lot of emails, blog posts and personal thanks day of the event for the effort. I appreciate that everyone enjoys the races and makes the trip to Hermann, the city does too. Hermann is such a great place, I want all to know about it and it’s my way of giving back to the community I live in.

Tubular or Clincher? Favorite Tire?

Made the switch to Tubular in January of this year, Challenge Fango, could not be more happy with the result. The set up is awesome!

Current CX Rig? Pit Bike?

Ridley Cross Wind, love this bike! No pit bike, just tires.

Geared or SS? If Geared 9 or 10? If SS Favorite Gear set up?

Geared, single chain ring in front (42) with a 12x25 in the back. I think that is the set up?

How does it feel to borrow my State jersey for this season?

Ha! You’re going to have to come get it from me in December.

Current Team?

Dogfish Apparel

I know you upgraded to 2's last season. What made you decide to move up?

I wanted to race the Elite race at Nationals last year and go through the upgrade points process before I moved from the Bubba Cross series B races to A. Not often do you get the chance to race with the best.

East Coast racing in Missouri is mostly still using the A/B/C cats versus the West coast using the USCF Cat's. What your feeling on this?

I’ve gone with USAC categories for my events with an added beginner men and women class to help foster new riders to this awesome sport. I prefer the categories, my guess we all will begin to move that direction.

Should there be a State wide CX Series?

I don’t see it happening. Many racers either race the KC events or the STL events. Not many get to both and if you’re not competing against racers in the series it may not mean much to the rider.

What do you think about 35+ Master's Categories?

I’ll be racing 40+ next year, so I like it for this year!

Favorite CX Brake Set up?

Spooky breaks with TRP pads.

Carbon Wheels?

You bet, Easton EC 90 aero. Love them!

Are you a mudder? ie prefer racing in the mud?

Hate to clean the bike after a mud race but a few here and there are cool.

Dream CX Dinner companions?

Anyone who wants to give me good training and racing advice.

What was the best piece of cx training advice you ever got?

Got a good one this weekend, get into a small gear before a hill climb so not to lose any momentum. I tend to try and power up the hill.

What would you tell someone interested in promoting a CX race?

Give me a call or email, I’ll be happy to share what I know.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet Your Promoter

Who are bigger CX Dorks than Promoters? I mean they love CX so much they actually put on races for the rest of us to go to. Its a thankless job. As part of a two part series I'm interviewing promoters from either side of the state. Call it East meets West of Missouri/Kansas CX.

First up is Chris Locke mostly since he replied first. Chris promotes my favorite series the Destad Series in & around Kansas City. Why is it my favorite? I'm biased since I won the Master's Category last year. My opinions aside Chris puts on a great series of races. I've seen him out there beating the heck out of stakes & then turning around & racing SSCX. He's a CRAZY man! Chris' love of CX rivals mine for sure.

On with the Questions:
What was your first CX race & what did you race it on?
A true CX rig or MTB?

A: My first CX race was back in 1999 at the Lawrence River Trails. I had just moved here from Florida and only owned a mountain bike. Course used some single track back then so I actually did really well – podium finish.

What was the first race you promoted?

A: CrossLogic Cyclocross Challenge. E.H. Young Riverfront Park in Parkville, Missouri was the venue. I can still remember the famous boat ramp section that we put in. Good times for sure.

What made you decide to promote? I mean it is the most inglorious/thankless part of racing?

A: The Kansas City area did not have much of a cross presence and I wanted to give something back to cycling/racing. I thought I could do a good job and was willing to put in the work to create an event.

Why promote an entire series? is it your love of pounding stakes?

A: I think it comes from all those years racing motocross. There were really no stand alone events just a season long series. I enjoyed being apart of a series and working toward earning a championship. It was like one big family and I enjoyed traveling around and competing against the best riders in a region. I have tried to get a series going here in the Midwest for nearly 8 years. No one wanted to really join in (I don’t think anyone really likes me J). Several years ago John Lefler (Nebraska), liked the idea of a regional series also. We formed the Mid-America Cross Cup series. It was success with events in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. Buy me a beer one day and I will tell you what happened with that…. I carried on with the De Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas Series and hope one day to bring back a regional series on a larger scale.

Tubular or Clincher? Favorite Tire?

A: Clincher (only because I promote races and don’t make they cash needed for tubularJ). I love the Ritchey ExcaVader – hooks up well in a variety of conditions. You can also run a low psi which we all know is very important in cross.

Current CX Rig? Pit Bike?

A: I can not begin to count the number of different bikes I have owned. I currently have a Colnago and a older Kona. Pit bike this year will be a Haro Mary SS. You might see me on a custom Ti frame before the season ends.

Geared or SS? SS Favorite Gear set up? Do you even have a geared cx bike anymore?

A: Both, but I enjoy SS mostly. The Colnago basically collects dust. I usually run around a 40 x 18. The old knees are not like they used to be and I spin a lot now.

Why do you like racing SSCX?

A: I guess it carried over from riding single speed off-road. I just enjoy simple things. Nothing simpler that just one gear. All you have to worry about is pedaling and having fun. I especially like SS in the mud.

Current Team?

A: Cow Town Cycling Team.

What do you think about sandbagger's?

A: They suck! And you all know who you are……everyone wants to do well and have a chance at winning. It is human nature. Some just take it too far at the expense of good sportsman ship.

East Coast racing in Missouri is mostly still using the A/B/C cats versus the West coast using the USCF Cat's. What your feeling on this?

A: Heck, I think we should all just line up and have a mass start. Like old school triathlons and larger mountain bike races. Forget the ability levels and just have age-groups. You would not have any sandbaggers then J…..Actually I am all for the USCF categories. I never liked the idea of self ability levels like A,B,C.

Should there be a State wide CX Series?

A: I have always wanted a regional series myself, but a state series is also a good idea. To really grow cross and attract sponsors we need larger events that can bring in more participants.

What do you think about 35+ Master's Categories?

A: I have mixed feeling about Master’s. For the most part the top master’s are Cat 1 / 2 ‘s (or should be if they ever upgraded) and should be racing with the Elites. Some do, some don’t. I wish some would race in the Elite/Open division and give some of the newer masters a chance at doing well. This is why I added the Master’s Cat 4 division last year….As Jeff Foxworthy might say “if you are a master racer and always find yourself on top of the podium, you might be a sandbagger”
Edit: I resemble this remark.ScottyD

Favorite CX Brake Set up?

A: I use just normal brake levers w/ cantilevers. I will most likely retire if I ever use those top mounted levers.

Carbon Wheels?

A: Hell no.

Are you a mudder? ie prefer racing in the mud?

A: I can not believe you asked me that. Did you see the results for this year’s Bone Bender or Black Locust? Mud for sure. Nothing like a good old fashion muddy event.

Dream CX Dinner companions?

A: I personally just enjoy a nice dinner with my wife Carolynn.

What was the best piece of cx training advice you ever got?

A: Intervals until you puke.

What would you tell someone interested in promoting a CX race?

A: I would start by thanking them. As a promoter you very seldom get even a simple Thank you! Be prepared to put in a lot of hours if you want to do a good job. Just designing a good course take a lot of time.

If I put a CX race on in Springfield would you come? Not going to happen but an interesting hypothetical.

A: Yes I would. Hey, we can work on building that regional series up.

Favorite race you don't promote?

A: Any one with mud.

Thanks to Chris for answering my questions & I owe you several beers for sure! Stay tuned for part two from the East Side Promoter Jeff Yielding.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An update in more than 140 characters

I've taken to Twitter & Facebook for that matter for my life updates. Now I have a smart phone I can use Twitter to update both @ same time & it makes it easier for me. Now I need to find a mobile blogging app & I'll start blogging a little more often.

Work Sucks right now! We've cut back to 3 days a week. Part time job hunt starts this week. More time to train =more fitness. Less work= less $$. Less$$ + more fitness= stuck at home not racing. I'm sitting on some good legs right now. Trained more this week than I have in just about any week this year.

My CX season is now cut back to 5 races. Since I won the Masters overall last year I get to race the DeStad series for free. I guess 5 races is better than zero races. That also means no Hermann CX under the lights next Saturday. My season will be starting @ the end of September. Going to race the open cat in those 5 races & hopefully will place in enough to cover my State CX entry. Definitely motivation to race faster I guess. No race winnings, no state.

Just have to write this season off as a life lesson & do something about getting in a better situation with work. Hopefully the economy will pick up soon.