Friday, November 17, 2006

CX Bonanza

Early in the a.m. on 11/11 my riding buddy Jason and I packed our junk into the "Black Pearl", a sleek black machine worth over ONE THOUSAND dollars!

...and struck out for that famous (infamous?) hotbed of cyclocross: Bakersfield.
As any reader in the know can tell you, in the world of 'cross it pretty much goes, Belgium and then Bakersfield. Probably in that order. Maybe the other way around.
As we pulled up to the race it started to sprinkle and we thought we might have what they call "weather". If you are from southern california you may be unfamiliar with the term, however I assure you it is not a technical term and can be found in a regular dictionary.
Unfortunately it was just enough of a sprinkle to get Jason and me excited about the prospect of "weather" but not enough to actually keep the dust down.
We suited up, signed up, warmed up and then lined up before it all went down.
Apparently, in Bakersfield it is traditional to call only the first 4 riders in the series to the line. Jason and I didn't realize that or we would've tried to line up somewhere besides the extreme back of the field. Luckily though, it didn't seem to slow down "J-Lo". The course was fast and rolling with a nice run up and "J-Money" crushed it for a super strong 6th place and a cash prize. I finished in 11th and although I was out of the money it worked in my favor because for some strange reason Jason felt obliged to spend some of his winnings on our travel costs.
That night many of the racers met at a restaurant to have dinner and celebrate the anniversary of the birthday of an icon of so-cal cx. I don't know when she was actually born but we celebrated the anniversary of that day. I think it's some kind of tradition.
I ordered the salmon surprise and Jason ordered the sausage tortellini surprise. We were both surprised when our food came because there was hardly any of it.
After dinner Jason and I went for a second dinner and bought superglue that he used to try and fix his Tufo tubular tire for a couple of hours before giving up.
Bright and early the next morning Jason went for round two with his tire and I went down to check out the breakfast included in our stay at the Best (?) Western.
What I found was that they were all out of breakfast. I asked the staff if they were bringing any more food and was told "I don't think so... let me check... no." after which I concluded that the free breakfast ends at 8:30 in the morning on sundays?!! Hmmm...
After Jason and I found food and our way to the start line the race went off without a hitch. It was a fast course again and although it did have a run up some riders (myself included), (me, me, me, me), (me), were able to ride it.
Jason finished in 7th, one spot back from yesterday and being the pillar of consistency that I am I finished 11th. Again.
After that it was just a matter of pausing for a sandwich and to gaze in wonder at Jasons unibrow of dust.

...and then we drove home.

Losing (my mind) weight.

Losing weight is the hardest part of training for me. I don't mind riding the miles, but I am pretty sure my eating habits are better suited to a sport where athletes need to "bulk-up" and it's a compliment if someone tells you "you look huge!"

This is Bu!!$#!t. I'm not even sure if this is real food. Where's the meat and potatos? I want a full belly!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pre-race festivities, Twister and Love is in the air

It's the "off season". I know it's the off season because I let friends have a party at my place the night before a cyclocross race. I can do that because I don't feel any pressure to perform. At the race not at sex I mean... nevermind.
Even though I went to bed early I still know what went on. It's not that I have some extraordinary powers of perception that are fully functioning even in sleep, no. I have a digital camera, and this is what I found on it when I awoke:

The girls played Twister...

The boys... encouraged them...

There was a stripper.

Meanwhile I slept through it all. When I woke up in the morning there were people sleeping on the floor and on my couch. I quietly gathered my gear up and crept out the door. The race was in Ventura and I was carpooling with Jason and Dan Lowetz in Jason's car, the "Black Pearl". The Black Pearl is a sweet machine, easily capable of carrying the three of us to the race in style. She has springs in the rear but no shocks so it's an extra plush ride.

She comes equipped with fully functioning windshield wipers but wiper fluid must be applied by hand. I can only assume that's because they don't make wiper fluid squirters that can cover the vast expanse of the Black Pearls windshield. Eventually technology will catch up. Maybe. I am pretty sure she can parallel park herself, if not I think Jason is getting it installed.
We got to the race just in time to warm up. Dan handed off bottles to Jason and I while we raced. The course stayed at sea level the whole time and was super choppy. It was certain doom to let off the gas and all the bumping left me with a back ache but I finished in 10th which was cool and Jason was in the top 8 which meant cash-money.
As soon as our race ended Dan started his race and Jason and I cheered/heckled him. He finished in 2nd.
Afterwards we got a pint and a sandwich and headed home.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dry Spell

Hey all! It's been kind of a long dry spell for the old Blog.
My wife Brooke and I have moved into a new place and after 5 hours on the phone with our dsl provider they have determined that the reason we haven't had 'net access and also the reason we will continue to not have it is due to a computer "glitch". I think that's some kind of technical word.
I am currently poaching time on my riding buddy Hectors computer. Don't tell him.
A lot has happened since the last entry and some of it deserves it's own entry and will get it, although it will seem somewhat out of order.
Last week I did about 25 hours of training rides and topped it off with a cx race in Ventura where I rode well and got a top 10 finish.
There will be plenty of mileage this week too.
La Ruta finished last sunday and and seemed to be an intense race. It is a race I am really jonesing to do! On the second to last day Jeremiah Bishop had what you could mildly call a "mis-hap" Yeah. Jeremiah is one of the nicest athletes around and also a world class rider. After what was apparently a spectacular crash he toughed it out for a second place finish in the stage. Heal quick J.B.