Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Race Report: KissCross, Holland, MI

Thanksgiving tradition for many Michiganders, like myself, begins with watching the Lions lose, followed by eating way too much, freezing in the woods waiting for that trophy buck, and getting a Christmas tree. This year may have started another Thanksgiving weekend tradition... Cyclocross!

Michigan has a decent cx series dubbed Kiss Cross, and their finale was held this past weekend in Holland, MI. Cross weather finally arrived, about a day too soon, for fair weather fans like myself. I was actually getting used to the 60-degree weekend weather we've seen so far in October and November. I was hoping for a couple of more unseasonably warm weekends to end the season. Welcome to cross weather! Rain! Mud! Wind! Mud! Cold! Mud!... and more Mud!

Fortunately, the entire course was not a quicksand-type terrain. Unfortunately, however, these sections consisted of running up stairs...

I started and finished in nearly the same spot, coming in 12th/51. Not a lot of passing going on. I was passed by someone trudging through the muddiest spot, while I was actually riding it. Maybe he had the better strategy...

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Even though the November weather and true cx conditions finally showed up, and I actually had to race in long sleeves, I still managed to have a ton of fun. Looking forward to Montrose this weekend and hopefully one last bit of pre-cx-season weather...


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breaking! News: Back Racing Cx!

Lots of fun this weekend at Indian Lakes Resort for the CCC race!!! Capt. Tony was there both days as well representing BBVP. Tony and I took turns yelling, cheering, and jeering for each other during our races. The encouragement helped me to keep focus and keep pressing. That's what the team is all about! Thanks Tony!

Fortunately I was able to start racing again this season, although cautiously, after having a surgically repaired clavicle. Witnessing Rich's break didn't help the psyche either. I was eagerly anticipating racing again, but in the first few races I couldn't help but sit at the back (almost literally) until the pack thinned out before making any moves to pass. I was overly cautious not to spill again and get re-injured.

A certain amount of aggression and fearlessness is necessary for success in racing, yet I was easily giving positions away to stay upright. Little-by-little, after a few more races, my confidence has come back and this weekend I was going to do my best to suppress any anxiety about wrecking and race aggressively from the whistle. Although I still lost positions at the start both days, I held on, battled, and settled in the top third instead of near the back. Once the field was thinned-out, I was able to pick up several more spots both days and finished 13th and 16th out of 80+ respectively for the weekend. Although still no where near the podium, those finishes feel a lot better than the feelings from a month ago in Carpentersville sitting in 84th place ahead of only one rider on the first lap.
Maybe the best thing that happened this weekend was wiping out... Yes, wiping out can be a good thing! I took a turn too hot and lost it, spilling onto my "injured" side. I had done what I was fearing! Another trip to the emergency room? Surgery? Time off the bike? Again?!? I got up, after losing a position of course, got back on and finished. Shoulder in tact. Only a small scrape and bruise on the knee. It's good to be back!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

BBVP Happenings

First off I wanted to thank everyone that came out and raced in the Day Ryan Woods, were hoping that all of you had a good time. We are already looking forward to putting on next year’s race, with some slight changes to the course. To hopefully add some more challenges to test your Cyclocross racing skills.

Just to bring everyone up to speed From the BBVP Team. We have started to put together next year’s team roster. We are hoping to have 4 riders racing in the Cat/123 & Masters 123 races, along with our newer riders in the Cat 4/5. Last year we demonstrated that we have the ability to race well on all levels of the local race seen. So the plan is to capitalize on our achievements, and raise the bar for next year.

We will be having our next team meeting on December 2nd, if you are interested in the team come on out and see what’s going on. The meeting will be at 6pm at the Beverly Bike Shop.