Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WORS wrap up

Finally, a long season done! And I'm already looking forward to next year. That my seem like contradictory statements, but that's how I feel.Overall, I had a great year. I had a goal of finishing the year on the podium again, and I met that with a 2nd in the Sport 50-54 category. While I'm pleased with how I did, there is definitely room for improvement.I had some great races, some good and a couple that I would like to have a "do over". I had races where I felt like my bike and I were one. The force must have been with me! I had races where I wanted to leave my bike out on the course somewhere. I raced in sun, rain, hot and cold. I raced ten out of the twelve races, plus the short track and super D at Subaru Cup. I brought home a medal in 6 of those races. First and second in my age group weren't decided until the last race. That's competitive!The main thing is that I had a blast! I made some new friends and totally enjoyed myself. I know where I need to focus my off season work to try and improve for next year.I want to thank everyone who raced the series this year. And everyone who is involved in keeping this going year after year. It makes for a very busy and tiring racing season, but I wouldn't change it for anything.Now, maybe for some 'cross before the end of the year.
Photo of Sport Male 50-54 That's me on the left, along with Todd Fletcher in first and Jim Feuerstein in third. Thanks to Melissa Kennedy for the photo!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rested and ready? I hope!

I've had a great week of riding this week. Plus I'm getting back in the swing of pushing some weights around at the gym, albeit very light weights! I'm feeling rested and ready to go, even a little antsy. The weather has been phenomenal and should hold through the weekend. The upcoming race in Sheboygan, the Wigwam MTB Challenge, is shaping up just like last year. I need a solid race, actually I need to pull out a great race. Can I do it? I'll let you know in a couple days.

Monday, October 3, 2011

WORS #11-Bear Paw Rock and Roll-Mud Fest

Well, that is one race I'm glad is over with. And I survived! Not the worst conditions I've ever raced in, but pretty damn close!
It was a bad sign for Sunday's race when I spent my bike commute back to Plover Saturday afternoon in the rain. The drive up to Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Resort was through hit and miss showers. I was hoping I might get lucky and the rain might hold off but I knew better. That's the bad thing about having a phone with a weather app!
The Citizen racers lined up and the minute Don let out his fist GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! the skies opened up. Of course I was standing on the highest point on the course, without an umbrella, so I could get some shots of my wife and her team mates. So I was soaked before my race even began.
The rain quit for a while during the Citizen race and while I warmed up. Maybe, just maybe, I might get lucky. I knew it would be muddy, but if it held off raining, it wouldn't be TOO bad.
I lined up for the start of my Sport wave and BS'd with some of the other racers in my age group. I knew that Jim was going to go balls out at the start and fly up the opening climb. Todd would probably go by me on that climb too. After that it would be a race to the first single track section. And that's just how it played out. I couldn't even see Jim when I got to the top of the first climb. Todd had a little gap on me too. Now, to play catch up. I stayed on Todd's wheel through most of the first lap. I just couldn't get up enough speed to pass him. The single track was like trying to ride through grease, as were some of the more open sections. It was rideable, but definitely a little sketchy. Todd put a little bit of a gap on me and I just settled in to a good pace, hoping I would catch him on in the single track on lap two. As for Jim, I had no idea how far in front he was. 
It worked out just like I thought. I caught Todd part way through lap two and finally picked it up and made my pass. I felt good and kept the pace up. That's when the rain started again. And the course got even muddier! But, I kept pushing. When I passed Todd I yelled that we should work to try and catch Jim. He gave me a kind of odd look but didn't say anything. I thought maybe the mud, rain and tough course was just taking it's toll.
I pushed as hard as I could, trying to catch Jim. Where the hell was he? We both figured that he would lead out on the hill and then I'd catch up in the single track. I just figured he was having a great race. But, I thought I would at least get a glimpse of him.
I pushed hard through lap three and the rain kept coming. My only comforting thought was everyone else was putting up with the same conditions. And, the Elite class would have it even worse. My hat is off to those guys! The really had some awful conditions to race in. Anyway, I kept trying to catch my elusive quarry. But, no luck. I felt good but just couldn't reel him in. I finished in a spray of mud and rain and headed off to at least try and clean up and dry off.
When I checked the results, I was first in my age group!? What the #@!! I told my wife, "that can't be right. I never caught Jim! There must be a mistake." Todd came up and I asked him, "what happened to Jim?"
He said he crashed on the switchbacks in the first single track. That would explain the weird look when I said we should try to catch him! All that time I had been pushing hard to catch someone who wasn't really in front of me. But, it worked. It kept me pushing.
Results-1st in Sport-50-54 and 30th overall. And now 1st overall in 50-54 for the WORS series. Two points separating Todd and me with one race to go. I know what I have to do. Time to put up or shut up!
Hearty congratulations to everyone who raced at Bear Paw this year. Tough conditions and a tough course. A really big salute to the Elites. They put up with rain the entire race and still put in some great times! Way to go guys-and ladies!!
Sheboygan this Sunday. Hoping for a good result. Going to have fun no matter what!
Finished-muddy but happy!
More later. Gotta go............