Tuesday, June 11, 2013

River City Bicycle Classic 2013 1/2/3’s Race Report

For the second year in a row I travelled over to the in-laws for the weekend and raced the River City Bicycle Classic.  Last year was the event’s inaugural running and with first year events, you’re never quite sure how they will turn out.  Well, it was a proper criterium with a great atmosphere.  The whole family had a good time, and though it was a hot day, I won the field sprint for last money spot – not too shabby.

This year the promoter jacked up the purse to $7k for the day so with the good start they had last year, I knew it was an event I had to attend this year.  All the things they did well last year were carried forward but this year they added more money, a beer garden, live music, and more spectators.  The kids did the children’s “race” and my boy made the local news.  Plus, the weather was 15-20 deg cooler so it was much more pleasant for spectating.  The grandparents walked the kids around the lake (looking for bears according to my son!) and had fun chasing ducks and bugs.

The 1/2/3 race had a larger and deeper field this year, most notably including hometown fast man Jonathan Jacob (ABG-Bissell-Giant).  The Louisville teams showed up Wayne/Clarksville Schwinn/others and of course TX Roadhouse brought a very fast contingent of masters.  Fortunately the pro development guys were at Tulsa.  Whew.

JJ attacked at the gun and we were off and running.  I admit I took a small pull at the front in pursuit of my friend but only to maintain position looking to bridge as I thought it was the move of the day.  Maurice (Korte/Bike Surgeon) told me to calm down and not crap myself because I was quite eager to join JJ.  (Thanks Mo!)  After 15-20 minutes the field reeled in JJ and little attacks and counters ensued.  I was involved in a fair number but once a little gap would open nobody wanted to do the work of pulling through to establish a real break.  This went on for the next 35 minutes.

JJ went to the front for the last 4 laps to keep the pace up.  It seemed the teams with 4-6 guys were unwilling to do the work of keeping the race organized at the front.  Perhaps it was inexperience, perhaps lack of fitness.  Anyway, TXRH and Clarksville set up leadout trains.  I inserted myself into the Clarksville train, which was a mistake.  It didn’t really go anywhere.  They didn’t put the effort in to get up the road, so I surfed for a bit and sprinted from too far back to take 7th.  TXRH took the top 3 spots.  It’s kind of a slap in the face.

Oh, and there were at least 4 crashes in the 1 corner that required driving your bike.  Turns out some of the guys in our field were unable to manage this one turn at speed without grabbing brake, striking pedals, or otherwise looking like cat 5’s in their first race.  It was pretty lame to have to chase back up to a lead group a few times but shame on me for being behind the Team Squirrel p/b Sketchers riders.

This season hasn’t gone too well for me and I wasn’t sure how Saturday would turn out.  I’ve eschewed the “rest week” concept this year since my volume has been so low.  Well, last week was a forced rest week with my business trip to Dallas for 4 days.  Turns out it’s what I needed as I had pretty good legs.  Unfortunately, I didn’t play my cards properly, since I would expect a podium with those legs.  C’est la vie.

Well, I’ve got one or maybe two more weekends of racing before calling it a year.  I think the last time I shut it down this early was my first cat 4 season (yes, I had 2) when I only raced like 6 times!  But the baby is coming soon and traveling all over on the weekends for bikes doesn’t really make sense.  This fall looks pretty busy on the work front (like crazy crazy busy), so between a new baby and work I doubt I will race CX much but we’ll see.  Next up: O’Fallon RR + Crit (State Championship RR)!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finally posting a race report…and a political confession…and calling people out for the IL State RR.

O'Fallon Cup Crit

This spring has moved quickly.  As opposed to this time last year when I was fighting to find form while traveling 50% for work, this year I’ve been fighting to find time to ride and race.  A promotion at work (yay more responsibility!) and more fun stuff with my kids (as they get older and can do more) means bike time gets squeezed.  C’est la vie.

Regardless, I have been able to race a pretty great schedule: Forest Park Crit, Hillsboro RR, VelotekGP Stage Race, Tour de CU, and 2/3 of MOPRO.  It’s been kind of a bummer year so far as I haven’t been a factor in any races.  I got to be part of a leadout train at the Velotek SR crit, but other than that, I’ve just been pack fill - at best.  It’s kind of a drag.

This past weekend was different.  At CU I held on for dear life, and at MOPRO (100+ fields) my legs started to come around (two top 20’s ain’t bad, but they ain’t good, either), so at the O’Fallon Cup Crit I got to race my bike.  Teammate BJ was very active early, attacking the field and going with moves.  Cat 3 supa-star Nick was covering JMac (Korte) on early moves, and I was following stuff towards the front since I got there late and didn’t get a good warm-up.  Plus, it was hot, and Frenchy’s body doesn’t like the hot.  I countered one of BJ’s moves and it formed that lap into the break of the day.  It also just so happened to be a Chipotle 10 burrito prime lap, so when the break was doing the “no you pull” thing, I jumped and scored $80 of burrito-ey goodness.  Considering the total purse for the 1/2/3s was $250, I say it wasn’t that bad of a choice.  

Well, that break cohesiveness (or lack thereof) continued.  I needed some rest but the attacks, counters, and gap closing (I was only really involved in the gap closing) tuckered me out pretty good.  Eventually the elastic snapped and the strongest guys rolled on.  Zack (Qdoba), Ben (Momentum), and I were left to ourselves.  Mike Bruzina (Gateway CC) was ahead of us chasing solo for the last 8 laps (+/-), while Justin (Korte), Edward + Josh (Gateway Harley-Davidson), and Jim (Dogfish) stayed away and hugged it out, I’m sure.  Zach pulled the plug and I dropped Ben, so I did 5 laps solo on the course before getting caught at the bell by JBock (Qdoba) towing BJ + Murphy (Quantum Mesa), Griffin (GHD), and ole Ben (Momentum) who had latched on.  They dropped me as they attacked into the final lap, racing for 6th place.  Sadly, Andy Lister (Wheelfast) also got some punches in by catching me in the last turn and I was powerless to answer.  At that point I was regretting jumping to get the burrito prime.  Actually I was regretting lots of things.

12th place.  I had to go about it in the hardest possible way.  Seriously.  I have the TT of a cat 5; solo for 5 laps was an eternity.  I’m really surprised the field didn’t catch me.  The upshot was two-fold: the burrito prime fed the team, and I was a factor in a race again.  Granted, it was a small local race, and I got dropped from the break like a stone, but it was racing nonetheless!!  The team worked well together, we just should have had a second man in the break, or maybe one who could pedal his bike a bit faster.  Hopefully this means my legs are coming around a little more and I’ll be able to see the pointy end of races again before I shut it down for the new baby.  That’s right, not too long and I’m calling it a season, but I get a new baby boy.  I’ll take that trade!

Next up: Rolla Crit 06/01, then a business trip, then the River City Bicycle Classic in Evansville, IN 06/08.


Surprising myself, I’m moving right in the political spectrum.  This is not so much due to any great productivity by the right side of the American political establishment – in fact, they seem to play the part of witless obstructionists with aplomb.  Neither is this a shift in response to mis-steps by the left (though they are legion).  But I find myself struggling with what some commentators have called a “Christian Secularism.”  You may be shaking your head at the moment, that sounds like identifying an “un-thing.”  Indeed, it is an un-thing that doesn’t really exist.  Notice this hot coldness, or this dark light spot?  It’s a binary state friends: girl or boy, 1 or 0, Christian or Secularist.  They be mutually exclusive yo.

This change comes about as I’ve continually found the Christian gospel to be real and the secularist gospel to be fake, and borrowing continually from Christian charity in order to sustain itself.  Its epistemology has long since failed (wasup postmodernism?!), and its social good shown to be a power play.  “Live and let live” is a farce and a lie.  I’ll soon be getting my court summons for saying boys and girls are not the same in the preceding paragraph.  Pretty sure that’s hate speech now-a-days!

IL State RR Predictions:

So we’re a month out from the other O’Fallon race, the O’Fallon Grand Prix.  It has the new designation of being an omnium!  I will of course skip the TT.  But enough about me, let’s talk about me.  Er, I mean, all the guys that are going to beat me in the O’Fallon RR, which is the IL State Championship contest.
Last year, to my utter shock, only one registered Illinoisan beat me at this race, and so my 8th place was good for a silver medal!  No doubt many have taken note of this aberration and will therefore target this race for state championship glory.  Now the list of riders stronger than I would be too long to post here, but these are the strong and crafty ones that represent my predictions for IL state RR champ:

  1. Jeff Schroetlin (Qdoba p/b Bushwhacker) – few are craftier than old Jeff, and the dude can roll.  He drove the break both days at Tour de CU while TXRH + Bissell-ABG-Giant basically had an attack contest which left us lowly 2’s gasping for air and dodging bullets for 70min/day.  If Jeff’s team shows up in force (and it has a lot of force if they all show up!) to support him, Jeff will be state champ. 
  2.  Axel Voitik (Sammy’s Elite Cycling Team) – Axel has come in from the wilderness of injury over the last few seasons to some seriously good form.  He also has a team that can play multiple cards in a break or sprint and works uncommonly well together.  If it comes to a sprint or a break Hogan, Dustin, Erik, Kyle, could help. 
  3.  Andrew Bates (Scarlet Fire) – SF’s lead man in the 1/2 fields this year has been racing aggressively at and off the front.  Packs a sprint too… 
  4.  Anthony Dust (Dogfish) –The current state RR champ.  Dust is a very strong sprinter, but lacks the cat 1 armada of a team he enjoyed last season.  If it comes down to a bunch sprint, he’s the best on this list though.

Dark Horses

  1.  Andy and Trevor Lister (Wheelfast) – They are both riding strong, and often forgotten.  I could see one sneaking away after a selection, or relay attacking some unfortunate who is with them.  
  2. Chris Curran (Bloomington) – He’s lurking.  You don’t know he’s there until it’s too late.
  3. The Old Guard (assorted) – will Enzo (Enzo’s) or Druber (ScarletFire) or Randy (xXx) teach the 20 and 30 somethings a lesson?  Let’s hope not.  We’d never hear the end of it.
  4. The Young Guns (assorted) – will Jake (xXx) get a signature win? Will the next big thing out of ISCorp stick a move?  Brian Ellison (Mitsubishi/Laser)?  Perhaps the future is now.

Excluded: Nick Ramirez (Texas Road House Cycling), David Reyes (Stan’s NoTubes), Brandon Feehery (Astellas Oncology), and Josh Carter (Predator Cycling) since I assume they’ll all be off at Nature Valley Grand Prix or some such.  Perhaps I’m wrong.  In which case – them too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September Cyclocross

Running the sand at Dogfish Hermann CX.
Photo Cred: Dan Singer.

Dogfish Hermann CX: I wasn’t as fit as I hoped, but I didn’t have any mechanicals.  Jeff Yeilding put a great course and well run event together.  My brother David hopped the train from KC to Hermann for the weekend, rode the 1 mile to the race course and joined me camping out Saturday after our races.  He did well in his first CX races.  We had lots of fun and I hope set the pattern for fun “brother’s CX weekends” in the future.  This weekend is a “DO NOT MISS” racing weekend.  

Manion’s CX Day 1: With the wife and kids out of town I jumped in the car and drove over to KC to see my rents.  I got to watch David win the Jrs race and then I finished in the top 10 of the Open Men’s race.  (PRO) Joe Schmalz cleaned up on the day.  BUT, unlike the last CX race against him, I did not get lapped.  That’s some real progress!  I was pleased with my result considering I only had 1 functioning brake (my own fault) and that really limited my ability to hit the downhill, dusty, switchbacks.

WTB LaVista CX: I showed up 30 min before this race and managed a decent finish (6th) in the Open race.  It was an encouraging day as some of the guys I gauge myself off of (Scott and Aaron) were both behind me.  They usually finish ahead of me!

Teammate BJ throwin down in the mud at Gateway CX Cup with Scott.
Photo Cred: Dan Singer.
Gateway Cross Cup: This was the CX season goal.  The timing was early enough that some road season fitness would still make me fast.  The course was a “grass crit” supposedly.  I registered early enough to get a start in the first 2 rows.  Things looked good until I got caught behind schedule at work with a project.  I showed up when everyone was already in the start grid!  I sprinted to the start (without checking tire pressure) and arrived just as they blew the whistle!  Marin and Mark let me jump in (I preregistered) and started chasing (with zero warmup – yay!).  I made contact with the pack at the big barriers, then completely biffed my remount.  I mean, thigh meets saddle then drop onto the rear wheel.  I take a deep breath and then do it again.  When I finally mount the dang bicycle the chain has fallen under the chain keeper.  Fight the chain for a minute and I completely switch gears mentally.   With some help from Jim Klages, I get the chain on and start chasing.  In the next couple laps my shifting gets gummed up with mud (it was super muddy) and then I flat my rear tubular.  Then I got pulled.  What an exciting story.

COMO Awesomo: Columbia, MO hosted a midstate CX race which provided an opportunity for David and I to race and my folks to see their grandkids.  David struggled with tired legs from soccer and finished near the back of the cat 4 men’s field.  Nonetheless, as a first year junior, I think he’s doing just fine.  I lined up in the open men’s with Dan Miller and Butthead.  BJ and I thought the plan would be to hold Butthead’s wheel as long as possible.  The first couple laps were good for me but I felt flat and lost contact with Dan and Josh.  I started bleeding (stop me if you’ve heard this one) but then rebounded at the end to finish 3rd.  Josh and several other guys DNF’d for various reasons.  I definitely had a hard time focusing throughout the entire 60 minutes, but that’s why I do this sport, to train that weakness.  BJ finished 4th and we both smoked our legs for the next day.

See, I was in fact racing for a few minutes...
Photo Cred: WTB Superprestige CX.
WTB Gordon Moore Park #1: After COMO I didn’t expect to be able to make it to GMP.  I’m glad I was able to – it is a fantastic venue.  We are very fortunate we get to race there.  WTB put together a great track for cyclocross.  I ran a rear tubular which I glued myself (first time I’ve ever glued a tubular).  Made the chase group selection until I caught my shifter on a stake and opened a gap to the other 5 dudes.  That was all she wrote as I checked out for a while.  Aaron and Clefcam were soon on my six and I was determined not to let Aaron attack me during the catch (like he did at Hermann!).  I slotted onto Clefcam’s wheel and soon realized that he was in the master’s class and might not race against Aaron, so I got on Aaron’s wheel and was starting to get ready for the 2nd wind.  Remounting after the barriers I snapped my chain and that was that.  I felt like I was driving the course well and I didn’t blow up, though the CoMo race hadn’t left me with fresh legs, I was ok.  But man is it rotten to end a race like that – instant death as it were.  Once again, the guys in my peer group (Aaron and Scott) finished top 6, so I think if I rode like I was going, I’d be solidly in the top ten.  

Veldrijden Columbia: After that really fun (but expensive!  Flatted tubie, broken chain, y'know, stuff...) block of cyclocross racing, I’m ready to put together the course for this weekend’s cross race in Columbia, IL.  I purposely have not replaced the chain on the CX bike so I would not put riding above race prep.  (I also took my road bike out of commission – the only way to assure I won’t ride.  Lol.)  After a few days of trimming back in the single track areas, I think the course is ready.  The city recently mowed and temps and precip are settling in to be just about perfect!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gateway Cup 2012 + End of the Road

Gateway Cup P/1/2s

Wow, what a crescendo to the road season!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, though I didn't get any noteworthy results.  The most noteworthy item was that I went 4 days without crashing (and without taking freelaps - jerks!) despite racing in the rain (and on Friday, in the dark).

I was going to write a big long writeup on each race and how I faught for positoin and then each day ended up near the back of the lead group.  But I think this conversation distills it fairly well:

Me: Yeah, so I was on Huff's wheel and looking for the move but trying to get ready for the sprint...
Coach: So were you still on Huff's wheel for the sprint or were you out of position for the sprint?
Me: Yeah, too far back.  But on Monday I was in decent position the last few laps till Huff said all the money was up the road.  That was a bummer since I didn't go with any of the moves which were still away.
Coach: So you never saw the front?
Me: Well, no.

lol.  It is tough racing with the big boys.  I think I got better each day, but I didn't really do much, just got comfortable in the pack at that level which is an important stepping stone for next year.

Kinda sums up my weekend.

Here's a bar cam video of the first couple laps on Friday night.  Whoever that jerk is who is clipped in at the start, well, I want to have words with him... Also, here's a blog post with several videos from the P/1/2 races.

Here are some other photos from the weekend:

Rollin with the pack at Benton Park (Monday).  Photo cred: Nikki Cyp
On PRO Chad Hartley's wheel at Benton Park. Photo Cred: Nikki Cyp
Looking like a racer in the rain at the Giro Della Montagna.  Man, felt great early and terrible late!  Photo Cred: Dan Singer

End of the Road (Season)

And just like that the road season is finished.  I'm itching for more but it's probably best its over.  I'm sure I'd burn myself out if the racing continued indefinitely.  I did get a pleasant surprise with the end of season rankings that USAC has started.  It says I'm the best cat 2 crit racer in IL.  While David Reyes (Bloomington) is clearly better (for instance he finished ahead of me 3 of 4 days at Gateway), the silly algorithm has me first.  Whatever.  Still kinda nice.

The thing about being "the best cat 2?"  There's a lot of cat 1s and PROs who are way better!

It's that time again Playas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MO State Crit Championships + My Secret Training Schedule

30+ Crit

I haven't competed frequently in masters categories yet, being only 30, masters hasn't been an option.  My cycling is (I hope) in its spring or summer, not Autumn, though that time will come.  This weekend was a departure though as the main target was the MO State criterium championship's 30+ Cat 1-4 race.  As a first year cat 2, my teammate BJ thought the 1/2 a more realistic goal for next year, so he set his sights on the 30+ prize.  Checking the startlist, we did not have a large field, so we brought our own in the form of 8 Quantum Mesa Cycles racers.  The boys worked together wonderfully.  We are at about 85% on tactics.  With 3 near podium sweeps this season, we are getting close.  Considering how young in the sport we are, it's reason for pride.  Well, we had the largest team by a factor of 4 I think, so we set about tiring rivals and keeping protected riders fresh.

Controlling the field.
Photo credit: Kelly Croy Patty.

Two of our riders who spent a lot of time off the front were Eric (5+ laps solo) and Chris ("fresh" off his state TT winning ride the day prior).  But everyone worked, and worked well.  I tried a move with Dr. Mark 20 min in but it didn't work.  Unfortunately we were primed right after being caught. Ouch.

With 8 laps to go the field was together save a trio just off the front.  I attacked the pack and went overtop of them into turn 5 (if you count the big sweeper around the capitol as turn 4).  Through the chicane I had a gap but no protected teammates on my wheel!  (It turns out that BJ got pinched in turn 5.). So decision time, sprinter, write that match off and go back to the field or cruise and wait for fellow passengers to join the pain train.  I chose the latter.  And it made all the difference.

After 2 laps solo (not a big deal to most, but it's me we're talking about here) and BJ is coming across with clean wheels.  It's a happy and painful sight since its time to go to work.  We drilled it for the next four laps, checking our 6 every corner and getting splits at the top of the course from other teammates.  As the laps counted down I knew we had it.  I was able to keep the speed up during my pulls and the gap was going out.  We took the last lap a little easier and posted up the last 100 metres.  A win is a special thing - even for the best they don't happen every day - but a state championship win is even sweeter.  To celebrate over the line with a teammate, the gameplan executed to the letter? Magnifique.  That is one of my happiest moments in cycling.

B.J. and I crossing the line.
Photo Credit: Kelly Croy Patty.
And yes, in case you're wondering, I was scolded by the officials for removing my hands from the bars while we posted up.  But what they didn't know until now is what my weekly training schedule looks like.  This is super secret, so don't tell anyone!

Mon: Rest/Spin
Tues: Post up Practice (3 sets x 5 reps x 100m, don't forget to zip up jersey)
Wed: Bib short tan line alignment (2 legs x 20reps)
Thur: bike throws (indoors on the trainer)
Fri: spin
Sat: race
Sun: race

Jeff City P/1/2s

The lure of the state title along with the central location (StL v KC) brought a healthy field for the big boy race.  I had a chat with Brad Huff (Jelly Belly pb Kenda) and picked his boy Austin (Mercy) for the win.

BJ and I lined up for round two with no expectations - we accomplished what we came for, now we'll get some motorpacing in.  And motorpacing it was!  I suffered like a dog.  Attacks went off the front quite frequently as GatewayHD, Dogfish, and Mercy threw down.  I'm very glad I was in the race as it woke me up to the speeds I'll be seeing the next three weeks.

Anyway, a field split happened.  I tried and failed to go across, then the field came back together (no thanks to pack fodder like me!). With five to go I moved up but only enough to see the field sprint get polished off by Devin while I picked guys off to the line, finishing 13th (payout 10 deep).  

It was fun to race with the Western MO/KS set, catch a PRO tip from Huff, and get put in the box.

After the race we all ate at this greasy pizza joint on the course.  It's not often I eat a double bacon double sausage pizza, but I think I earned it.  Now for another grueling week of training.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

State Line RR + The GEO + Cinema

State Line RR

My family vacation kicked off with a trip to KS to visit my folks and give the kids some grandparent time.  It doesn’t hurt that my parents have a few acres with a tractor, horses, cats, dogs, bees, and chickens.  It’s heaven on earth for my toddlers.  I just so happened to schedule the trip alongside one State Line RR, a 6.5 mi 9 lap affair that seemed like a circuit race more than a proper RR.  It was a well run event put on to benefit the local KCOI U20 Jrs team.

Lining up I had my eye on Andrew Coe (Mercy/Kuat), Andy Chocha (US Mil Cycling), and Brian West (Bikes to You).  There were 20 of us lined up in a 1/2/3 field.  I was an unknown to the others, which is always good.  Attacks started right away as Athletes Forward’s Josh Estes rolled off the front, discontent with an 18mph pace.  West was super active and Chocha seemed to enjoy chasing everything down.  Perhaps everybody was marking him as the big dog and therefore we just followed wheels?  About 3 laps in there was a promising break up the road so I bridged solo, kinda showing my cards to the field but I thought it was the break du jour.  It wasn’t.  We were caught by the top of the climb (there was a multitiered climb coming into the finish which didn’t tickle).  I was pretty pissed as I had burned a big match bridging.

Little groups kept forming off the front and nothing got too much time.  I followed wheels to the moves and took pulls but decisive moves didn’t come till lap 7 or 8.  I was in a break/field split rotating off the front. The field came back together and I sat up figuring it was “save it for the sprint” time.  Well, West and Andrew (Colavita) were not content with that arrangement and went again, gaining a solid 20 seconds on the field.  A group with 2 Athletes Forward, a United Healthcare (not PRO, a club), Spencer (Miami Velo?) got away and started working together.  Mercy chased a bit and I thought they would bring it back for a sprint for Coe.  I admit I was kind of sleeping at this point and I woke with a start when I saw Bowes (Mercy) next to me and the pace had slackened.  A quick glance up the road and Coe was in the 2nd group!  I asked Bowes if they pulled it back enough for Coe to bridge.  He confirmed.  I thanked him and then immediately burned a match to bridge.  I made it across clean and shared a little work.

At this point West had dropped Colavita and was out there solo while 5 or 6 of us were holding off the field.  Taking the hard right onto the finishing straight we hit the climb for the last time and I was poorly positioned at the back of the group and got gapped a bit.  Nice job Rookie!  Coe and an Athletes Forward racer also got dropped.  So I kept my head down and the pedals turning.  Fortunately for me the group started playing cat and mouse and I was able to catch back on.  Big mistake boys, you can't let this fat boy in sight of the cake!!  The finish was slightly uphill and I timed the sprint right to take second on the day.  West had enough time to post up and celebrate a little, which he certainly earned.  I was pleased with 2nd place as this was the first race in a month’s time.

State Line RR Part Deux

What’s cooler than hitting the podium of your race?  Seeing your little bro line up for his first RR!!

Homeboy hung tough and finished 7/20 in the Jr field running his 1x10 CX rig with road tires.  Not too shabby.  Considering he’s riding about once a week, and pumped about cycling, I’m excited as he begins to learn the sport.  We’ll see if this lasts, but in a few years time I wouldn’t mind racing with my bro!  I think the only thing better was what I witnessed in Mark and Hogan Sills racing as father and son a few years ago (till Hogan went off and got all swoll).  

The Great Egyptian Omnium

The GEO was a race I tried to get to last year and as one of my first cat 2 races the crit was going to be tough.  But a t-storm blew in and it was cancelled.  This year I added the RR but opted out on the TT.  With the family vacation coming to a close on the weekend, spending the entire day out in the heat with the toddlers was not going to happen.  Plus, I hate TTs.


The plan for the RR was to get BJ in a break.  Vandeven (Dogfish) was the big fish in the small pond of our 1/2/3 field.  Nick Chevalley (Gateway HD) attacked from the gun though in order to dispute that ranking.  Homeboy stayed away for the WIN!  So crazy.

Anyway, I felt like crap (maybe due to camping the night before?) and tried to keep the pace up at the front of the field and ensure BJ made the move du jour.  And when I say I felt like crap, I mean crap.  I believe the PROs say "blocked".  The legs just didn’t wake up during the first 2 laps.  But BJ did go up the road with Jim and then I could rest in the field as superman Jeremy Bock (Dogfish) (Oh btw, we’re distant relatives, so I think I get some cool points for that.) shepherded Ryan Wachter and kept the other cat 2’s in check.

Fast forward a bit and I take a wrong turn being stupid (Dan and Jeremy told the field to wait for me), and then Dan (Korte) gets away with Matt Pence (Gateway HD) and another 2 and I’m asleep in the field feeling sorry for myself.  Totally should have gone with Dan.  Anyway, I thought I should help my cat 3 teammates but they were cramping and I figured I would test my legs so I attacked a few k out and nobody chased, but I didn’t know that so I hurt myself a good bit and finished 10th.  Almost caught a guy who had been dropped from the 2nd or 3rd group on the road.  Oh well.  Happy that the legs felt better at the end of 80 hot miles than they did at the beginning!  BJ held tough and nabbed 6th place.


 It was hot, a little windy on the backside.  Nick Hand (my teammate!) got in a heroic early move which determined how the race would play out.  Gateway Harely-Davidson had to chase and I sat for the sprint.  I botched it and was bested by Dan Williams of Korte.  Just played my cards wrong.  Total bummer after BJ, Nick, and Mike did a bunch of work controlling the race and leading me out.  Not much is worse to the old sprinter ego than getting posted up on. 
Dan (Korte/Bike Surgeon) bested me in the sprint.
Photo cred: Rob Raguet-Schofield (who won the masters 4/5 like a boss).
So I think of the SoIL sprinters I’m at the bottom of the heap right now.  Grrrr.  Thanks Dust and DWill!!  Although, as my friends have pointed out, if you’re upset about finishing second in a crit you’ve got a pretty charmed life.  Indeed.

The GEO was a great weekend for our team, especially the cat 3 squad as they started the weekend with decent results in the RR and then just snowballed into greater success culminating in Keith "No Sweat"'s solo crit win clinching the omnium.  Super fun to watch.

The Artist + The Dark Knight Rises (Batman)

I watched these films with my wife in the past fortnight.  I recommend them both.  One of the two I found morally reprehensible, destructive to society, and encouraging vice.  The other I found thought provoking, well written, and while bordering on melodrama, completely apropos.  

Of course, the subtle evil was The Artist, and the better film for the soul was Batman.  What a world we live in.  The laziness and weakness of the titular artist was overlooked and his wife was made out to be a sort of villain, opposing his career and affair with Peppy.  Is not George responsible for driving his wife away by failing to love and care for her?  Ha!  The film praises the “easy” love of shirking one’s responsibility and falling in with a loose woman.  I’m sure that will last George.  Have fun with that.  What we need now more than ever is honorable men, not weak ones.  It was frustrating to watch and likely under the radar of most of its audience. At least he was a decent dancer.

Much could be said about the Dark Knight finale but there is too much to be said and this blog post has already gone on too long.  Besides, I think I need to see it again!