Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two in a row...

Today's weather proved to be challenging, looking for a break in the rain to get out for a few hours. The radar showed nothing and the hourly forecast looked good from 11 - 4, however it was raining most of the time.

I had to make a parts run to SMC for a preload cap for some XT cranks for my Niner One9 singlespeed project. I also had to return a headset removal tool that I borrowed to strip the Jet9 for the recall process. I kitted up with knee warmers, a hat, and a vest which I quickly removed even though it was still raining.

I felt surprisingly fresh on the bike, after yesterday's cross race. It seems that wouldn't last all that long. I got to SMC with about 10 minutes before closing, enjoyed a quick latte and an Emmaus Bakery donut, (very tasty). I grabbed my part and headed to Yozell's to pick up a tool to fix the lousy water bottle cage bolts on my Cannondale 29'er.

A quick bottle refill and I was off, starting to feel the previous days effort and the almost 30 miles of riding. It was a mostly uneventful ride home with what seemed like every road went uphill. There was an interesting thing that happened, I was riding up the road and there was a kid maybe 12 or 13 years old walking a fairly large black lab. I didn't feel like being chased, and wasn't sure if I should announce myself and be chased or just try to sneak by safely undetected. I chose the latter option, so I shifted into the big ring before approaching the dog & kid. As I passed them the dog tried to chase and must have had the leash wrapped around the kid, and down he went on the slippery road. I probably looked funny, but sucked for the kid (and I did feel kinda bad) but I'm sure it was the smarter choice for me having not to be chased on a slick wet road.

I hit up some dirt/gravel roads on the way home, and some slick climbs so steep I almost couldn't keep traction. I definitely was pretty cooked by this point, so it was kinda hard to recover from. Well this concludes my weekend off from work, and it was really nice having two days off in a row. Back to work tomorrow, and I hope to be able to figure out my schedule in order to ride FSX, we shall see.


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Mandatory monthly update prompted by VeganRob and Bill Strickland. Rob's ready to stop visiting, and Bill only uses me for my links :)

First cross race of my season was today - Whirlybird Cross at ByrnAthyn college near Philly. The weather couldn't be more perfect, 60's partly cloudy with a breeze. I rolled up to the event around 9:30 to get prepared for the 11am "B" race.

I got to cheer on some peeps in the C race, while warming up trying to figure out tire pressures for my recently acquired tubular wheelset. I settled on somewhere around 30'ish on my floor pump gauge, this would prove to be a little high in the front and low in the rear. I kept feeling like the rear tire was flat and rolling a bit too much.

I got to the start line with about 10 minutes to spare, hooked up with Matt Allyn and Ryan of Flanders and Jamie Harris. We were admiring the FU pit bike that Ryan was racing while waiting for call ups. Ryan and Kremer got a callup, leaving the rest of us to fight it out for some prime start line real estate.

Matt Allyn, PropaneJamie, Gunnar, and I all had some pretty good position near the front. I commented on Gunnar getting ready to trackstand until the whistle and crashing the field, well he didn't crash the field by somebody did - Plunkett unfortunately got slowed up in this crash. Apparently someone broke their ankle at the start, and someone else broke their femur on the C race.

I had a decent start probably top 20ish, though losing some places quickly. I chased Matt Allyn most of the race catching up to him in the corners, and getting dropped on the flats - man that dude has some power. I also tried staying with PropaneJamie when he passed me, no such luck there either. Matt had about a 20-30 second gap, which I tried very hard to close put couldn't get anywhere, until he rolled a tubie and grabbed a pit wheel. We rode the last half lap together and he crashed in the gravel, lost his chain and I passed him.

I finished 31st of 60 or so riders, with Matt right behind me - though he was riding REALLY strong and would've probably placed top 20 with no mechanical issues. It was a very fun race, great course, great people and perfect conditions. I stayed to cheer/heckle all my friends, Erica took the W in the elite womens race, X2 killed it in her first elite cross race!

Yozell won the elite mens race (damn that family is fast) Stephan got 2nd just ahead of Bahnson. The elite races were a lot of fun to watch, how fast and smooth these guys are. They seem to gain speed when it comes to the barriers.

I should have some pics to share from Anthony @ soon. I hope to get some more cross racin' next weekend at the Hillbilly Hustle.