Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doug's a Champ

I'd pretty much sworn off blog posts. It's not that I don't like blogs or posting. I just don't seem to make the time. With all that goes on in normal life, writing a blog post seems to fall to the bottom of the list. Maybe I'll get inspired to write more often, maybe I won't. I compose many posts in my mind, but the execution is lacking.

The Utah Cyclocross State Championships were yesterday. We had plans of Cottle domination. Doug got it rolling and help off Dirk for the 55+ win. Not bad for his first season in the pain cave. He's gotten faster each week and could make some noise at Nationals.

The smiling Champion post race.

I got off to a good start in the 45+ and held a good gap for a couple laps. Steve Briley bridged to me and we worked together for a lap of so. Then I followed my '09 pattern of race mistakes and hit the ground in a low speed corner. I got tangled in the bike and Steve was gone. The funny part is I actually thought I had won for a minute. Steve's brother was racing the 35+ B in the same kit, on the same bike and is about the same size (kind of like me and Doug). When I got going after the fall, I could see who I thought was Steve ahead of me. I caught and passed him in a couple of laps and thought it was all good. Too bad it was Steve's brother. However, no excuses. Steve was going really well and I'm not sure I could have beaten him. I gave it my best effort and I'm happy with that.

It would have been nice to win though. Doug's son Brady did his first cross race of the year in Eugene and won the 30+ Masters. 3 Cottle wins would have been cool.

The State Cross swan song for Porcupine / Specialized turned out OK. A win from Doug, 2nd from Eric and me, top ten for Zane and just out of top ten for Tanner isn't a bad last championships. We need to send the team out in style at Nationals. Podiums for Eric, Doug and Tanner are not out of the question.

Here's my good start, not so good finish.

Tanner's plan was to work on a strong start to practice for Nationals. He got off the line well and hung in with the first chase group for a while. A flat, non-technical, fast, power course is not well suited to the boy but he managed a solid 12th.

I decided to give the 35+ race a go as well. I soon learned that my body doesn't respond well to a 2nd race, particularly with 3 hours in between. I was off the back early and eating lots of humble pie. Darrell and I had an epic battle of guys who raced the 45+ race earlier in the day and were hoping to not get lapped by Art. I did get lapped by 5 A's. Disappointing, I wanted to make it the entire season without getting lapped. However, I took the view that the race was a nice 60 minute threshold interval and gave it all I had.

Overall, the quality and quantity of racers has gone way up this year. Last year, in the 45's I just rolled off the front and rode alone for 45 minutes. This year, 5 guys were all pretty close and a guy I've never met, Briley, won. I talked with him after and he's a fireman with my neighbor and a good guy. He's doing OK for his first year of cross.

I'm also a big fan of the race venues Matt and Jon have been able to line up the last two years. They each their strengths and weaknesses, but I'd have to say Heber is my least favorite. Bumpy grass isn't that much fun and I'm not a fan of 180's right into closely spaced barriers. I think barriers should have some speed to them so that some skill pays a dividend. When everyone basically has to stop before the barriers, everyone pretty much goes the same slow speed through them.

Finally, it's official, I'm going to join the Revolution MTB crew next season (I know my decision on a team for next year has been keeping you up at night). I'm pretty excited actually. I'm buddies with many of the riders and the shop is a 5 minute ride from my house. Thanks Bob.

Tanner and Eric will be racing with Kuhl next year and Doug's weighing a couple invites from teams. Other than the 1/2's that went to Canyon, the other guys are undecided on next year. However it turns out, it will be strange to have all of us in different colors. Porculized has been a good gig.

One more thing. JoAnn has found a new hobby. Her friend has some horses in Dimple Dell that need to be ridden frequently. She's ridden the one below a few times now and loves it. Her friend says she's a natural. Must be all the country music she listens to.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Just Call me Crash

It's been quite a year for me. I was pretty much sick all summer and now I can't keep from crashing in cross. Saturday, I was in good position in the first chase group when I decided to see how far I could slide across the gravel. Turns out I made it about 30 feet. The good news is my injured wrist made it out OK. The bad news is my knee was bruised and sprained. I've been hobbling around all week and not doing much riding. Just when I was able to stop icing my wrist, I'm now icing my knee. After six weeks, I'm getting immune to cold.

I do think I'll be able to race Saturday. If my knee improves, I might even race the 45+ as well as the 35+. I've been planning to do a race with my big bro all year, but it just hasn't worked out.

I finally got my skins cut for my backcountry skis. I'm getting very excited to give it a go. I've been reading about avalanches all summer and realize I don't know jack. Thinking about the risk is a bit overwhelming, but I'm eager to learn. Fortunately, a number of knowledgeable backcountry skier have offered to teach me the ropes.

I finally signed up for Facebook this week. I generally avoid texting and social networking but so many of the cycling community are on Facebook, I decided to join in. Now if I just need to figure out how to use it. Looks like it could be a colossal time waster if you let it.

A highlight of this last weekend was an explosion in our pantry. A friend of JoAnn's gave her a jar with homemade apple pie filling in it. The idea is you just add the filling to a pie crust and you have a pie. A few days ago, Tanner and I heard this strange sound coming from the pantry but didn't investigate. Saturday night JoAnn heard a bang in the pantry and opened the door to discover the apple filling had been fermenting and the pressure blew the lid off the jar and the filling all over the pantry. A nice trick or treat surprise.