Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bike Transport to Nationals

The Porucpine / Specialized crew (Eric, Doug, Tanner and I) will have some room to transport bikes to Cross Nationals again this year. First come, first serve at $50 per bike. I'll be arriving Wed afternoon or evening and leaving after the Elite race on Sunday. Let me or Eric know.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Daper Down Pour

All is right in the Cross world for me again. My wrist allowed me to race after two weeks of no racing, it rained for Tanner and my race and I suffered as much as any race I've done. Life is good.

Doug had another solid outing with a very close 2nd in the 55+ and a good start in the 45+ before destroying a tire and running for half a lap to the pits.

Tanner and I always have fun warming up. It's was nice and dry prior to the start, however, I was riding through hail down to the start line. Felt like Belgium.

Tanner had his best race with a solid 8th in the A's. The run up felt like a walk up for me by the end.

Bryson decided to see if his helmet would work as a sled down the muddy hill. Apparently, it didn't work out so well.

Like father like son.

The pain face took a while to go away post race. I couldn't form words for several minutes.

The wet conditions were very cross-like. However it added a new level of nervousness to my race. My taped up wrist felt good while riding but a crash would have been very bad. Therefore, I was a little freaked out each time down the muddy hill and was very conservative. Fortunately, I managed to keep it upright.
On a less positive note, the Porcupine / Specialized team is gone for 2010. It's been a great run with great guys. Things just weren't lining up for next year, so I'm soon to be out of the team manager business. With the help of Eric and Glen, we almost pulled it off, but in the end it didn't happen. Maybe we'll be able to put something together for 2011. In the meantime, I'm not sure what I'll do for next year. Maybe I'll join the Brother's Glen Team Black. Tanner has something lined up so he'll racing on a different team than Dad for the first time. For me, I'm not going to worry about for awhile. There's too much cross racing left to do in the red skinsuit.
In all seriousness, thanks to all who have sponsored and race with Porcupine / Specialized. It was a great four years with lots of wins and lots of memories.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Cross Racing

Here's some random pictures of guys in red from Saturday's cross race in Heber and one picture for which I have no explanation.

Looks like I'm a go for this week's race in Draper. The wrist is feeling better and I'm completely impatient. Sprinting from a start puts the most pressure on my wrist so I might be the last guy up the hill the first time, but at least I'll be out there. Getting dropped on hills is something I'm pretty good at anyway.
I'll be re-opening the gluing factory in the basement this week. My Dugust mud tires were glued last year and I thought they'd be OK for another year. However, at least 3 people I know have rolled tires with year old glue this season, so I'll be pulling them off and regluing. As I was reminded today, the last thing I need is to roll a tire and crash on my hurt wrist.
Brother Doug was the family hero Saturday. He raced the 55+ and 45+ back to back with solid results in both. He's making me feel like a slacker. Maybe I'll try the double when I'm back to full strength. It would be cool to be in the same race with my big brother.
Finally, Eric and Ali put on a great show Saturday. Watching it unfold was a lot of fun. It turned out to be the most exciting finish to a cross race I've ever seen. Good stuff from two good guys.

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Watching

I got to watch the cross races last week. It was kind of fun to watch all the guys I normally battle. It's a much different perspective than actually in the race. Everyone went hard and was suffering as it should be. It's much easier to watch. However, it's also very frustrating.

Looks like the frustration will continue for another week. My wrist is coming along really well and is close to race worthy. I've been riding and it's holding up fine. If I could eliminate the risk of crashing and re-injuring it, I'd race tomorrow. However, I can't eliminate the risk so I'll give it another week. Doing intervals rather than racing is not much fun. At least the weather's been nice for road racing.

Speaking of frustration, registering for Nationals was a mess. I feel bad for Dirk that it all blew up on him, but I was among the unhappy campers. I eventually got in, but not nearly as fast as I hoped. Looks like I'll be racing some locals in the 40+ B race. For those of us who have no realistic chance in our Master's age group race, the B race is a blast. Kelly will be on the front row and will give me a good target to come after. Should be a great time.

Congrats to Chase for making it to the big time next year with Trek-Livestrong. He's had a great year and deserves to race with the big boys. I wish him the best.

Friday, October 09, 2009


I'm killing time until registration opens for Cyclocross Nationals in an hour and a half. I've done well in the registration race the last two years. I've gotten a 2nd row call up both years for my age group race and a 1st row for the B race last year. This year, I won't be 2nd row because the call up is based on race category (cat 1, cat 2, etc) and order of registration. Since I'm a cat 2 in cross, I'll be behind all the cat 1's. The change in the procedure is probably good. The guys with a chance to win are all probably cat 1's and should be up front.

I've also spent plenty of time waiting in doctor's office waiting rooms this week. I've been to an insta-care, an orthopedic surgeon, an MRI facility (I was sent to the wrong place) and the hospital (the correct place). The orthopedic surgeon's office had the best magazines.

In this process, I've had x-rays at two different offices and a CT scan. Most of this was precautionary because there's so many small bones in the wrist and the surgeon wanted to make sure there were no chips floating around. (I also think he was hoping to find something to remove surgically.) In the end, the process shows what's good and bad with our health care system. I was able to get high quality care quickly. I also ran up a substantial bill that me and my insurance company will be paying. Had I not had good insurance, it would have been a much different story.

In the end, the news was good on the wrist. There was a chip, but it remained attached to the bone. It appears that the chip won't cause problems, but only time will tell. So, I get a brace instead of a cast and just have to wait for the soft tissue to heal. I just have to take is slowly and do only as much as my wrist will take. At this point, my guess is I'll will miss 2 to 4 races. Probably the best outcome I could hope for. I was able to ride the cross bike on the road today, so I'm a much happier guy than a few days ago.

I'll be ringing a mean cowbell tomorrow.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Good and Not So Good

The 1st Utah Cross race is in the books. For the Cottle's, it was a day of good and not so good.

First, the good:
  • The turn our for the races was great and nearly all the fast racers were present and accounted for.
  • In only his 2nd cross race, my brother Doug won the 55+. Doug, Tanner and I have now all won at least one UTCX race. I'm sure Doug has more wins in him. Good job bro.
  • Tanner had a solid first race with the A's to finish 11th. He held his own and had a good time. He'll get better as he gains more race experience and gets better at tatics. For now, he just likes to go as hard as he can all the time, even if that means doing way too much work on the front of a group. However, I'd rather he be aggressive than just following wheels.
  • Eric had a great start to the season with a 2nd to Bart.
  • For the first time all year, I felt really good in a race and finished 6th in probably the best 35+ field in UTCX history. I was in a good battle for 4th through about 8th early then was with John Iltis the rest of the way. We worked well together then raced each other the last lap or so. He gaped me going into the infield the last time and I just couldn't get back to him. It was very hard, but super fun with John. It was a relief to be able to ride hard again.
  • After months of waiting, we were able to put the red skinsuits to proper use.

It's hard to miss us this year.

I have the required cross pain face on.

Now the not so good. In warm ups, I successfully bunny hopped the log on the South end of the course using an aggressive line on the far inside of the corner. I filed that fact away without any real plan to take the line during the race. The log is at it's highest on that line and the angle difficult. Here's a picture of Tanner running the log on this line during the race: (Ali, notice the socks.)
In the race, I got a good start and was in the top 3 coming into the log for the first time. For some unknown reason, I took the aggressive inside line and went for the bunny hop. As they say, "I missed it by that much" and performed a very stylist endo. I was up quickly and lost only a few spots and didn't think much of it. However, after the race my wrist began to hurt and was pretty uncomfortable by the time we made it home. No problem I thought, a little ice and Ibuprofen and I'll be good tomorrow.
Unfortunately, this morning brought a very swollen wrist that didn't want to move. A visit to Instacare this afternoon revealed a fracture to one of the small bones in my wrist. I need to visit an Ortho Doc to confirm, but it looks like anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks in a cast once the swelling goes down.
Not exactly the way I wanted to end a great day at the races. Hopefully, I'll be on the short end of the recovery timetable and only miss a few races. Looks like the trainer will be my friend for the foreseeable future.
I also re-learned what I've know for a long time. Planning what you're going to ride or not ride in a cross race and sticking to it is a good idea. Maybe ski season will not have the misadventures of the MTB and Cross season. I hope so.