Monday, October 31, 2011

Seattle Cyclocross - Enumclaw

If you like full-on mud and slimy bike handling, then you should not have missed this race. It was raining as we left the house and headed for Enumclaw and it was still raining as we drove into the fairgrounds parking lot. The grass was wet, the mud puddles were deep and the peanut butter mud was all around. I checked in at registration and then tried to get some warmth into my legs prior to the race. Soon enough we lined up and the whistle blew. The first several hundred yards of the race was wet grass followed by this steep slippery run up.

Here I am wading through the tar pits doing a little hike-a-bike. 

 Christie is showing us how to plow through the mud.

On a faster section.

After going through the slimy back portion of the course we headed back to the grassy section, then across barriers, various ditches, a straight section of watery grass/mud and through the middle of a barn. On the last lap, the fellow in front of me hollered "MOOOOOO" as we went through the barn and the sound echoed all around us.

As for my race, on the first lap I tried to find a good path around the course. On the second lap I found some areas where I could use my conditioning and do some passing. On the third lap I passed several in my group and as I crossed the finnish line they announced that I was fourth, an excellent result on this challenging course.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

MFG Magnuson CX

Early this morning, it was calm and beautiful at Magnuson Park in Seattle. 

Then all hell broke loose! 

Here comes the devil and his followers.

(On this photo, note the bike grip while crossing the barriers.)

Happy Halloween!

Then at the end of the day, the park was quiet and the locals returned.

The Magnuson CX was a good race for me. I got third place in the Cat 4 (55 and over age group), finishing 10 seconds behind the leader. The course had a lot of long flats, one technical section around a tennis court, and a nice gravel road up a hill. There were very few places to rest.....power on all the way. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wonderful conversation

On my way back from Speedy Reedy I stopped at the Starbucks at Leschi. I was at one of the outside tables when a couple rode their bikes up.  The fellow sat down at the table with me while his wife went inside to get drinks (his job was to watch the bikes). I found out he had taken two years of French and this past summer he and his wife traveled to Europe and rode their bikes over all of the major cols in the Pyrenees. Awesome! By the way, they were my age which means over 60.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In between storms

I enjoyed a cool and beautiful training ride around the south end of Lake Washington.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MFG Marymoor CX race

It rained most of the night so the Marymoor course was wet and deceptively slimy. I got an OK start and then kept a good pace to stay with my group. As we came upon the 45 year old back markers, I found it more difficult than normal to find passing lanes. The course had a narrow sweet spot at race pace. During the second lap just as I approached the turn into the center of the velodrome, two fellows went down in front of me and I lost time but managed to get around them without going down. However, later on that lap, on the back of the course, a racer went down right in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I went down on my left side and slid under the tape. It took me awhile to get up so lots of racers passed me. As I got rolling again to continue the race,  I checked to see if I had damaged my shoulder. Not the best way to finish a CX race but that is the luck of cyclocross. Fortunes will be different next race.

Wet stairs were a new feature for this course and you approached them from a tricky right hand corner and then after the stairs the terrain was slopping which made the remount more difficult.

Here is an example of a fall prior to the stairs. 

This picture shows the muddy trail and wet grass. Notice I've taken a soil sample with my left shoulder.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A little commute, a little fun

This afternoon I hopped on the Cervelo for a little commute to recover the car from the repair shop. When I got to the auto shop they said the car would not be ready until tomorrow. Well, no problem, I'll just double the miles for the day and ride home. I turned around and buzzed through traffic until I got to the Newport Hill and something wonderful happened.

As I started the climb, a mountain biker turned onto my street. When he made the turn he saw me and started going up the hill as fast as he could....GAME ON! He had about a 45 yard head start so I went up two gears and went full gas. I was reeling him in on the steep section and then as I passed him I said, "Hello". He responded, "my excuse is that my bike is heaver". I love catching mountain bikers on the road.

I immediately thought of Brendan who, being a Cat 2, can reel in and pass roadies during his daily commute on his mountain bike.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steilacoom CX

Steilacoom was a tiring race with two stiff climbs per lap. I gained positions on the flat grass and lost some time on the quick turns around the trees. I worked hard during the race and ended up getting 8th place. This year there are several new racers moving from the 45+ to the 55+ group who have pushed me down in the results.

Here is one fast lady who was pressing me from behind. Her technical skills are far better than mine.

It was a little wet and my wife said it was raining. During the race I did not even notice the rain.

This fellow can run the barriers with his eyes closed. Lots of fun. 

I still have not figured out why cyclocross is so much fun. The racers work really hard, many times the courses are challenging but we always come back for more. We race again next Sunday.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday in the rain

Het is donderdag, de dag voor een andere Nederlandse les. Wij hopen om te reizen naar Nederland voor fietsen en gezicht zien. Op een dag.

Monday, October 3, 2011

North Bend CX

Yesterday I raced the MFG North Bend CX and except for the bumpy grass, it was a great race. I got 6th place 1:07 out of first place. I put 22 psi in the tires which helped soften the bumps and provided added traction in the corners.

The course had lots of corners on wet grass. The farm venue was never used before so there were plenty of rough areas and a little elk/deer poo. MFG had a great turnout at this beautiful venue.

Here is the Cat 4 45+ group including two Bluerooster team members.

It got dark and rained for just a little while.