My sleddogs

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Monday, March 21, 2011

races #'s 2 and 3, Forest Park

Yesterday was the Forest Park. I entered the Masters and CAT 3's races. I was a little skeptical that my legs wouldn't hold up since I moved a bunch of stuff into our new place over the weekend, but thought I couldn't miss an opportunity to gain some fitness.

The first race was the Masters. I think there was anywhere from 30-50 guys in it. The race was pretty smooth. I chased down a few breaks and tried to catch another group of two up the road. I got caught in no mans land and realized my legs didn't have overdrive so I gave up the chase and fell back into the group. About 2/3's through the race there was several guys up the road a bit. A couple guys jumped and another groups was slowly starting to form. At this point I found myself in front leading our the main group only to watch a few guys jump to catch the few up the road. I saw that Denny was one of the guys that jumped so I held off and just held my ground allowing the group to form. It was at that point the lead break formed. I was relegated to the second group. I think by the end of it we widdled our group down to about 10. One guy jumped before the last corner and I thought he would take our sprint. I was about third or fourth wheel and as we sprinted towards the finish we caught that guy and I ended up getting second out of the field sprint.

The CAT 3 race was right after the Masters. I got one cool down lap before lining up for the 3's. I changed water bottles, but had no gels. I forgot them all in the car. The goal for this race was to just have a respectable finish and get more racing in the legs. I would also try to help my teammates in any way I could having just done the masters race. The only problem was that we didn't communicate anything to anybody and had no idea who was doing what. We basically had no gameplan, well, at least that I knew about. We also had several new faces that I never raced with before. The Dogfish representation was by far the most talented I've ever seen in a CAT 3 race. We had a mix of everthing, sprinters, all-arounders, workers, you name it. This race had at least 50 guys in it. I was a nice sized field and not too shabby for an early season race. The race finally settled after about 20 minutes and I was able to get into a rythm. I started to position myself on the last few laps to get towards the front. I thought the best line would be to stay on the outside on the turn heading into the headwind. I seemed to be getting boxed in on the inside. Well, that was the wrong decision. On the last lap a couple guys bumped and they were swerving from left to right. Finally, the guy absolutely lost it and turned right in front of me. I had nothing to do, but T-bone him. Fortunately for me he broke my fall and I was unscathed, just a chip taken off the paint. I was back on my bike in a matter of seconds, but long enough that the group was out of sight. I checked my bike, jumped back on, and rode to the finish. That's when it got a little embarrassing. After I crossed the line I looked down to check my bike and when I looked up I nailed the curb and fell into the grass. I played it off as best I could, but still pretty embarrassing.

All in all it was a good day. Afterwards I drove to Kansas City and then straight into work.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

2011 season begins......Froze toes

It's been a while since I've updated this. Since December I've started working and commuting to Kansas City. I finished off the 2010 season with the Missouri State Cyclocross Championships where I got 2nd place in the 35+ Masters. I then took a month off the bike until early January where I hit the trainer pretty hard. With the winter being what it was this year I spent all my training indoors on the trainer, except for the bikejoring with the dogs. That hardly counts as training though.

I hadn't had good starts to the last two seasons, but mainly because I stopped after Gateway Cup and did little winter training. This year racing cross I hoped to take my season deeper and have a little less time off the bike. With that being said, Froze Toes was this past Sunday so I figured on getting a headstart on the season. It was also my first ride outdoors for 2011.

My racing age is 40 this year(that doesn't sound right!), but here in Missouri most masters fields start with 40+ for some reason. Anyways, Denny talked me into doing the Masters race. It's a smaller field with less riders then the CAT 3/4 field so I figured I'd get a better workout since this is what it's all about this early in the season. I had to park pretty far from the start so I had to go back to my car and when I rode back the Masters field was rolling out. I guess I timed it just perfect. I only knew it was the masters because I saw Denny in it. With only 20 or so guys I was able to make it to the front pretty easily. Klages from Bigshark started out at a decent pace for the first few miles before we mixed it up a bit alternating pulls. A few breaks tried to get away, but none ever did. I had just taken a pretty good pull and then an attack went, Denny was in it so I didn't chase. The everyone else started to chase it down and I had to jump on. That one really hurt, but I was able to latch on and recover for a bit. About midway through the CAT 3/4 field was smokin' up our rear so they neutralized us and let them pass. Upon our restart we finally got our shit together. We soon came to the rollers and I went to front and started to drill it the best I could. Then more breaks tried to go. Denny tried one, but no one went with him and he dangled out front for a mile or two. He was finally swallowed up and the another guy went. He got a pretty decent gap and then Sherkat from Mack went, then I followed. Nobody else went and before we knew it we had a sizeable gap. I actually looked back and thought with the three of us and all the rollers we had a chance to stay away. That is until we caught the CAT 3/4 field again and came to a crawl because we couldn't go around. They finally let us pass, but at that point we were caught and we were all together again. We took our small group to the finish and the sprint seemed to start from about a mile out for some reason. My legs were toast at that point and I was only able to muster up a 10th place. Denny was able to get sixth. I was satisfied with my performance in the race considering it was my first actual ride outdoors since early December.