Friday, October 31, 2008

RMR Questions

I have two big questions for RMR tomorrow. First, is my health. I've been under the weather this week and only did a little riding last night and today. Who knows how my body will respond to a hard effort. I could be recovered, rested and ready to rip or I could blow a lap in and go really slow. We'll see. I never know how good or bad my legs are until a lap or two in.

The second question is what will the course be like? Last year, the course was surprisingly fun. Team Rico and I broke off from the Specialized lunch ride today for some recon at RMR. Due to new structures and parked trailers and trucks, last year's exact course isn't possible. So, we'll see what Marek and the troops come up with. What would be really cool is to use part of the MX track. Hopefully, the streak of good courses will continue.

I guess the good news about missing Boulder is I didn't travel that far to wonder if I'm sick.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boulder - Not

I'm a detail oriented, analytical kind of guy. When it comes to races, I sweat the small stuff and try to be completely prepared. I register early, pre-plan all the logistics, get everything laid out well in advance and generally worry if I've forgotten anything important. Tanner and I decided some time ago that we were going to do at least one big out of state race prior to Nationals this year. We picked the Boulder weekend and have been all excited about it. There's no junior category for Tanner's age, so he was going to race in his adult category. He submitted an upgrade request to move to cat 3 for cross that was recently approved. Therefore, we was going to race in the big, fast cat 3 field.

Only one small problem. I just didn't get around to registering us until tonight. Turns out the cat 3 field limit has been reached for one of the two races and is closed. In addition, the races are ACA races not USA Cycling races, so you have to buy an ACA one day licence. The fine print in the registration states that all one day ACA licence holders will be staged at the back of the fields. Accordingly, we decided 7 hours of driving one way for Tanner to do one race from the back of a large field just wasn't worth the time and money. So much for being prepared all the time.

Know of any other good races outside of Utah? Portland doesn't work because it's the week before Nationals and we can't take that much time off from work and school in a two week period. Maybe something will come up.

I did my Redneck impersonation again yesterday. Made one last attempt at deer hunting with my bow. Check out my Redneck setup complete with camo bow, camo tripod and spotting scope. I had my camo hat on backward as I looked through the scope. It was impressive. It was a normal hunting experience for me. Looked at lots of animals, took some good pictures and no animals were harmed. I kind of like it best that way.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fort B

Another beautiful fall day at the races. While it wasn't "cross weather", I must admit I like it. No post race uncontrollable shivering, no spraying off clothes in the driveway when I get home and no 4 hour bike cleaning/repair. I'm sure we'll get plenty of that later, but for now, I'll take the warm and dry.

It was a good day at the races for the Cottles. The race course was another fast one and tactics played a role again. In fact, my average speed was faster than last week. Tanner drove the lead group of 7 in the B's most of the race. On the last lap, he took an aggressive line over a log while in the lead and managed to end up on the ground. He fought back to finish 6th in the sprint. It's goods times watching him race.

I had my best race of the year to finish 3rd. I made the lead group of 4 but got gaped in the last grass section just before the finish. I was able to drive the pace in the early laps and hang on later. It was fun to mix it up with the fast guys.

The best part of the race was JoAnn took the day off and came with us. She got to see both of her boys battling at the front of their races. All in all, a very good day.

Here's some of JoAnn's pictures. Not surprisingly, their mostly of me and Tanner.

More logs to bunny hop this week.

The B's had their biggest turn out yet with almost 60 riders.
T and I are off to Boulder next week. We're going to try mixing it up in a big race. Should be fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm on a break at the annual Easton sales meeting with our reps. We roll out all our new arrows and accessories for them and get ready for the new season. Lots of hunting stories and discussion about the economy. Hunting is a bit recession-resistant, but the credit crunch is definitely effecting our dealers.

We're meeting in Ogden at the new Eccles Center. It's really nice and good to be back in Ogden. I'm looking forward to racing here Saturday at Fort B. It's one of my favorite venues.

We're off to the new Warren Miller ski movie tonight. It means ski season will be here soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flying Dog

I went into work early yesterday so I could ride Flying Dog with Chris and Tanner in the evening. Good choice.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fast Crossing

We had a beautiful fall day in Ogden today. The new venue at the Weber County Fair Grounds was top notch and resulted in very fast racing. It was the most road-like cross racing I've ever done and a nice change. Tactics and drafting played a big part. I made the initial split with McKone and Sam, but didn't last long and ended up in the chase group of 4 to 8 depending on the lap. The field was loaded with fast old guys, so I was pleased with my eventual 5th place finish. If only I could have hung on to the lead two for a little longer....... My HR download showed I was at or above threshold 45 minutes of the race. Ouch.

Tanner had another great race and finished a very close 2nd. He got gaped in the last dirt section of the last lap by a local Pro MTB racer. I was proud of him. With a course so road-like, he did well. There was a lead group of ten plus that eventually whittled down to 4. They stayed together until the last couple of laps when T and the winner got a gap and held it.

Chris and Bart were off the front of the A's again. Bart bunny-hopped the big log stack to win. Those guys are fast. Eric dropped a chain, but battled back for 6th. Ben finished I think 7th in my group in his 2nd cross race. Impressive. Greg was right with me until a crash took him out. Bummer.

We took lots of pictures. Here's some of the best.

Some pro packing of the Element. 4 bikes, spare wheels, canopy and trainer.

The big B field. T's up there somewhere.
Tanner and his 3 breakaway mates.
My mad bunny-hopping skills.
Bob and his new bike looking a little concerned about the big logs.
Jens just looks fast.

Catching a ride on the A-train.

Chris and Bart.

Finally, its was good to have some of the local family at the race. Thanks guys. The encouragement helps.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Going Home

Heading back to my home town tomorrow to race in Ogden. I'm not sure my legs feels very fast this week, but I'm looking forward to the venue. It's always nice to go home.

Speaking of going home, my daughters came home last night from USU for fall break. As a parent, it's comforting to have all three kids home at the same time. It should be a nice weekend of racing and wedding planning. Looks like Erin's moving her wedding up to January. I've already discovered my roll is to write checks and stay out of the way.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Interval Fun

I needed to do threshold intervals today, but wasn't too excited about doing them on the road bike alone at lunch. So Tanner and I quickly laid out a cross course at the elementary school behind our house after work. We were able to make a 3 minute lap with lots of grass, barriers, off camber and a short run-up. For intervals, we basically did a couple 15 minute races. It was hard, but fun. Much better and more motivational than my normal road workout watching my bike computer's stop watch move very slowly as I suffer.

It was also good to get in a little skill work. I can't go to the cross clinic at Sugarhouse this week, so time on the grass is good.

I finally discovered today. Some interesting comments from the big man on his blog and some good pictures.

Finally, was Gerosteiner just handing out CERA at the breakfast table. So much for a fundamental change for the better in the Euro race culture.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Big Boys of Cross

Today got off to a good start by watching the live webcast of the 1st Super Prestige cyclocross race this morning on I'm a little rusty with my Flemish, but I got the gist of the proceedings. The course was dry and fast and the racing good. All is right in the world as Sven Nys easily won a three up sprint with Vantornout and Albert (Sven is 5 for 5 on the season). It was really interesting to watch the entire race and see how the racing unfolds at the highest level. There was some tactics, but it's still basically dill it from the start and hang on.

The course looked like a blast to ride. 90% grass with lots of turns, some elevation change, a deep sand pit and a couple of stair run ups. The more I see Euro cross courses, the more Heber fits the bill. I think this week's venue in Ogden has potential to be very good. The cross race Eric's helping to put on in Magna will have a very Euro-like course.

Yesterday's snow showed up today. To be honest, I'm glad it held off. I didn't have to clean my bikes at all and I had no mechanical issues. Looks like this week will be warm and dry. I guess that's OK. I'm sure we'll have plenty opportunities to battle in the mud later this year.

On a non-cycling note, I'm looking forward to having the family all together this weekend. It's fall break at USU, so the girls will be home. It's always good to have all of us together.

Finally, it's good bike racing keeps me fit. I'm going to need to work until I'm 75. My 401k is down 31.5% this year. Compared to some others I know, I'd doing rather well. It will all come back, but not anytime soon. After large crashes, the market has historically stayed a Bear market for years. In fact, there's some research that suggests the market has more falling to do. The Price Earnings ratio of the entire market is below its historical average, but no where near historical lows. Not good news. However, if you had some serious cash, now is the time to invest. Currently, 1 in 10 stocks have a market value LESS than the company's cash on hand. Craziness.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Heber Cross

Turns out I posted my Heber Cross rambling on by mistake. I'm still not thinking clearly after today's effort. Check it out there. Lots of pictures and tales of Tanner's 2nd big win.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Tanner's begging for readers on his blog so he'll have more than me to prove he's cooler. I'll use his apparent coolness to draw people to my blog. Here's a look at what becoming a bike racer and physically maturing a bit can do to a teen aged body.

Tanner October 2006 in one of his 1st cross races.
Tanner October 2007 in his first serious year of cross racing.

Tanner last week. He seems to have turned into a real bike racer.

Looks like Saturday will be another mud slinging race. I like it during the race, but I not looking forward to the clean up afterward. I just finished cleaning all the equipment from last week. In addition, I'm already cold just thinking about the post race shivers. I must be getting old. The horse race track at Heber get REALLY muddy, so bring all your power. At least I'll get to break out the Dugast mud tires.

Thinking about bike racing has been a good diversion to the meltdown of the financial markets. The academic in me is fascinated by the whole thing, but the pain ordinary people will feel for years is real. There's lots of blame to go around and it all boils down to greed. In fact, greed it is not good.

Even with all our economic problems, live is pretty good and I can't complain. Family, friends and doing some good in the world are what really matters.

Monday, October 06, 2008

No Surprise Here

Stefan Schumacher's tour samples were re-tested and came up positive for the new version of EPO. I guess a career journeyman really can't smoke the world TT champion twice in the same tour. Piepoli was also caught. I wonder who is next?

Tanner and I had a great ride tonight sprinting for traffic signs. At least I can still out sprint him even if he can drop me without effort on any hill greater than 1%. Small victories keep me motivated.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Proud Papa

The Utah cross season got off to a great start yesterday. We had true cross weather, a nice venue, a very good turn out and some good racing. I got to play the proud parent as Tanner had a breakout race to win the men's B in dominate fashion. He led up the start hill, opened a gap and never looked back. He did an impressive solo TT to build a lead of nearly a minute. Even with a last lap crash, he won by nearly 45 seconds. The best news was he did this in a solid B field with some very good riders.

I was running around the course taking pictures and yelling encouragement. I was telling anyone who would listen that was my son out there throwing down. I was happier than if I would have won and really proud of Tanner's effort. He's worked hard to improve and it will be fun to watch him this season.

Some other observations for yesterday's race:
  • Even with a cold, steady rain all day, the turnout was really good. The fields were big and the spectators vocal. I'll have to ask Matt, but I would guess it was a record number of racers.
  • Cross in Utah has grown substantially in the few years I've raced. My first year, it was very low key and no one took it too seriously. Yesterday, our team, Revolution, Timpanogus Cyclery, Mona Vie, Bighams, Canyon and others had full compounds set up with canopy's, trainers and team support. Pretty cool.
  • Porcupine / Specialized had a record 10 racers. Chris and Eric went 2nd and 4th in the A's, DH, Sohm and Kevin were in the battle, Ben was 5th in the 35+ A in his first cross race while Greg, Mitch and I were in the mix. The best part was just having my bros around and sharing the experience. Much more fun than flying solo.
  • Fox was handling out money lap and blasting the Techno. He keeps things interesting.
  • I had a good race but lost some places with mechanical issues. The most entertaining was slowly losing my brakes as the sandy mud wore away my brake pads. I was sitting 6th closing on Ben with 2 laps to go. Unfortunately, I had basically no brakes at that point and was forced to go off the course and lay it down in the grass at the bottom of the fast downhill to stop. I had no chance of making the corner. I'm sure it looked really funny. The crash and the resulting last lap bike change, cost me a couple of positions.
  • I'm now 3 for 3 races with machanicals requiring bike changes. Maybe next week will be clean.
  • The 35+ A is much faster this year with some familiar faces joining the cross wars. It's great to have more guys and it makes me go faster.
  • I've got to get some better wet weather gear to watch Tanner. I seem to forget that standing in the rain gets you very wet.
  • I followed Bart's advice and got some neoprene gloves (Specialized now has a 3mm neoprene model). They are great. My hands stayed warm and the grip was very good.
  • Steve Warsocki wins for the best cowbell. It sounded like a bell in a church tower. Good stuff.

Here's a couple of pictures. See Tanner's blog for lots more.

Tanner off on his own putting the hurt on.

Dave launching Chris up the start hill.
Warming up in the Porculized Compound.
I had my pain face on at the top of hill each lap.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's Raining

It's raining here at my office. It's looking like cross weather is finally here. Good thing the racing starts for real tomorrow. If I can avoid flatting another tubular, it will all be good. I'm looking forward to a good time.

Our team has 10 guys registered to race. Tanner in the B's, 4 of us in the 35+ A's and 5 in the A's. Bob's right, Porcupine / Specialized is becoming a dirt team.

I rode into work yesterday morning for the first time in a while. It was really nice. I enjoy the clam of morning rides. Two highlights. First, a minivan full of high school girls pulled up next to me at a stop light and commented on my legs and uh, rear end. All I could do is laugh as I wondered what they'd think if they knew the youngest of my 3 children is their age. Second, I witnessed a lady start her day in a bad way. She pulled onto 4800 West in her Accura with her expessive bag on the roof. It feel down the side of the car and under her rear wheel. The bad blew and the contents went flying. Sad but kind of funny to see.

Finally, the real race season is here!