Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mo Racin'

It's been a month of more racing since I've posted anything. The most interesting race was CSI International, racing with 70 or 90 other racers was a great experience and a lot of fun.

The first day course featured a good long stretch followed by a very steep rooty run up. I had a descent start passed a lot of guys on the run up and then did a twisty section full of roots on the top portion of Look Park. I rode this section like shit every lap. Just couldn't get it at all. The bottom section and the up and down was fine.

I started row 8 so in the 60s and made it up to 36th.

Aly had a great race, starting in the 50s and made it up to 23rd overall, passing groups of riders each lap until she was sort of in no man's land on the last lap.

The second day I felt I had an even better start and rode well, no bobbles and had a hard, fast ride. It was harder to pass for me for some reason and I was around 29th but faded to 42 by the end.

Out of the month my best race was Parma, in Rochester. I just felt I had a really good ride.

In the middle of this I had a work problem to resolve that kept me off the bike to any great degree, this of course didn't help but I'm getting back in the groove a bit better now. I've been doing weights and some spin classes too, it's harder to put in hours on the bike this time of year.

The Romp in the Swamp this year was the muddiest race I've ever done. It took three washings to get the clothes clean.

All in all it's been a busy few weeks. I'm back developing the stuff I want to get done. I'm testing my virtual if/extract engine and re-writing some of the instructions to use less assemble and use higher level c code to be more portable and to get ride of as many endian issues as I can.

Coming up we have our first weekend off from racing since about September 11. So club rides and dinner out Saturday night and Club dinner on Sunday.

In terms of racing the next race is Albion / Angry Johnny's version on the 27th. I'm planning on giving it a real go in Master 2. My plan this year is to not really take any time off, but keep riding in some form or another and continue to do yoga and weights thru the winter months.

Anyway time for a ride in the dark and then weights at the Y.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Venue will stay course will change.

So I'm currently under the impression that the Venue for Nationals will stay the same but that the course will be changed using the "upper" section of the park, details to come apparently.

I still think parking will be a bit of a nightmare and this impacts people with young families and logistics but so be it.

I suppose I should have just quietly made my complaints about the course and venue, however, the "tech guide" was published as it was and that was the course. If I had heard on the quiet that the course was what it was, I would have quietly given my opinion. Since the information was out there, I e-mailed those who have some sort of say.

What is at issue is whether or not I want to go. There are a lot of options out there all of which we have fun at, and given last year and the logistics of parking and traffic etc, meh.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

No news is?

I'm not one of those people in the know or have an inside track as to information about Nationals, but given the time frame I'm not holding out much hope that any change will be made and that the venue will remain the same. We are less than a month away now so who knows. I'm likely going to give Nationals a pass if it remains the same. It doesn't make sense to pay $50 dollar premium to race on a $10 night time training course.

I'd suggest to people a boycott, but believe people should make up there own minds, but this is a sad state of affairs if this is the best we can offer the country.

I like a lot of the people we've met thru cross and always love to see people enjoying the sport and improving, working on their skills, having good days, bad days and just getting out and that is what it is all about. I'm not that good at cross, body type and aerobic capacity vs anaerobic it's not my thing. I'm better at longer road races. Certainly, that is where I had more success when in the Caribbean and certainly on the longer training rides. This all out for 45 mins doesn't suit my body type, but I love a lot of the people out there and really like the atmosphere. So I race against myself for the most part and have fun. The good thing is that technically I feel better on my bike than ever and have learned a lot.

I feel bad for a lot of people who were looking forward to Nationals. I hope it's not going to be a cluster fuck and it will likely be ok, but it's not worth 50 bucks for me and likely not worth the 950 for those traveling from other parts of the country.

In some ways I guess I should keep my mouth shut about things and I've contacted the proper channels, but nothing seems to be happening and well I don't like to keep things inside so, well there it is.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nationals Course

Late last week the park and course for the National Cross Championships was published and the course was looking pretty suspect and even worse the park was incredibly small and a parking nightmare. We decided stop by the park and look at the course and I was in shocked to learn that start was actually a downhill section with a 14 meter drop.

I took Aly's bike and Garmin and rode around the perimeter of the park. I did a little extra on top looking to see if there was some single track down the one side which added about 100 meters to my ride around the perimeter of the park. What I rode was on kilometer around but with the extra it was about 850 meters in total.

After getting home I realized that the start was in a parking lot and you would be going over a concrete curb at the end of the parking lot, descending down along a fence line with some scrub brush through a marshy area then along a fence line beside the soccer field. Then seemingly the course goes over the soccer field several times but the course map says that riders are not to ride over the soccer field.

The far side of the park has a play ground in the middle of it and there is a turn in the middle of the lower parking lot, which means that there will be no parking down there.

With the upper parking lot having only about 40 spots and twenty being taken up with RSVP parking and course etc, it's going to once again be a logistical nightmare just to attend never mind race.

I want to be wrong about this of course that it's not going to be a nightmare but given my experience and how I'm wired I know what is going to be at issue. I passed my concerns on to the OCA and CCA but I have not heard anything. I really would like to attend but feel that I can't really attend because I know what an ordeal it will be and for me the kicker is that I know how much it cost to fly from here to Edmonton to race Nationals. How can we ask others to do the same, to spend that money travel all the way to Toronto and this is the kind of course and venue we provide?

It's embarrassing.

I think the only option is to voice your concerns to the CCA or not show up and spend your dollars. I'm trying to do both.

Hill Billie Hustle

On Sunday it was time to do the Hustle. The HillBilly hustle up in Duntroon, near Collingwood. We drove up on Saturday night and got settled in the hotel. Went to bed and then was woken up nearly once or twice an hour until 4am.

I rode to the Nordic Center from the Holiday Inn for a warm up and then got my number sorted out and rode the course. I liked the course and found it a good challenge. I tried to ride over the three logs before the sharp short hill and found it faster to run up for me.

It was quite a bit colder than it had been in some days so I struggled with how to dress but figured it out. I was a bit late to the start, but things got going and I got up near the front fairly quickly.

I was on the new Nemesis with Rhinos just glued on and found them to be great, I wasn't having any handling issues. I followed for a bit and I didn't like the lines some of the other riders were taking, so I went to the front and pushed the pace. I was out front a bit but not getting the gaps that I really wanted.

I wasn't really breathing hard but my legs were a little flat, but I was still ok. With two laps to go the Team Chch rider put in an attack and I started to pick it up to follow when he dropped his chain. I pushed a bit, but again the legs were flat and then the breakfast wasn't really agreeing with me. I had to check up for a second to burp and almost puke, and that was all it took. I tried to close and got close heading into the single track, but couldn't close it enough, so I just rode in for third. Not really happy with how I felt.

Thanks to Lesley C for cheering me on and Rose! I was worried about Phil R, as he dnf'ed and said he didn't feel well.

Aly raced after and finished third. She struggled a bit with breathing as well, not breathing hard just lungs felt raw and wheezy. My legs were flat so perhaps I over did it during the week, or I just couldn't bring it all together.

I did some tempo riding tonight and felt really good, and really came to the realization that I wasn't really picking good gears so I tried to change gears less and just try to keep spinning more and keep the flow going.

In any case we headed out as soon as we could as we had planned to look at the park where Nationals were planned.

Good week of training...

After Rochester I wanted to ride a little more and get some harder training under my belt. I decided to head down to Emery Park with the Buffalo crew and did their night of training. The great part is that I was on the bike from 5pm to 8:30 and constantly riding. It was a lot of fun and variety, what a great park to train in and tons of grass, trails, road etc.

We did some intervals, then some skills then a 40 minute race and then I did a cool down ride with Lance and John after. I was starving at the end and splurged on a burger and fries and headed back home over the boarder.

Made for a long day but it was a nice variety.

Wednesday was another decent training session followed by intervals with the usual St. Catherines crew on Thursday. I rode to Burgoyne, did the intervals and rode home with my new Light system. I bought a Light and Motion vis 360 system and so far I'm really happy with it. It recharges via USB and it's very light and has a bright front light, two small yellow lights and flashing red and white lights on the rear, all mounted on the helmet.

Then it was just a matter of getting ready for the HillBillie Hustle.

Rochester weekend

Long time no update, but might as well get at it. We were up in the air as to what races to do, as we had Rochester Saturday, Sunday and Guelph on Sunday as part of the S-Cup series.

Long story short we decided to do both races in Rochester, the first day Aly had some of the women who would be racing in the UCI race so it was a good go for her. She rode to sixth and had a decent ride.

The next day she and Chris S, had a great race changing the lead a few times, each of them having a chain drop etc. Aly finished second and had a lot of fun racing. It was that whole thing of feeling like you have been in a race.

I ended up sixth both days, not sure how I really felt but it wasn't that great. I've felt faster and better in training so a little disappointed.

The good news is that Zander had fun in his ninja costume on Saturday and was interviewed by the race announcer on Sunday. I was just finishing up riding a section of the course and they were calling us over and Zander was answering questions about his career aspirations.

On the way over to the start though on Sunday I got stung bye a bee on my finger. Dang thing flew and got trapped underneath my glove and got me. My whole hand swelled up over the next couple of days.

In any case as mentioned it was fun.