Saturday, December 24, 2011

ANOTHER Year in Review?!?!

As I sit here on Christmas Eve in front of the fire with the whole house asleep, I think about how slow I was on today's two hour jaunt in 36 degree weather. Ah, to go back to those days in July... Alas, I am thinking back to some of my favorite things in 2011, my first with BBVP...

Seguin's voice in my head saying, "DON'T LOSE THAT WHEEL!" as I begin the last three laps of any crit.

Michigan Mike kicking @$$ this year on a borrowed bike.

The beautiful paint schemes on Rich's bikes.

Tom's meticulous record keeping and laid-back demeanor.

The Frankfort Flash joining up with us for 2012.

The two Pauls' undying support.

Bob's dedication to the team to make 2012 the best year for BBVP.

Getting killed in the A Races at Matteson, but the fact that I am now racing the A Races.

Tony always attacking second on the climbs on the Saturday rides.

Me actually thinking I can attack Tony first and keep away.

BBVP organizing and controlling SuperWeek races better than the "big" teams.

Crashing at Sherman Park, but not breaking my collar bone (like the guy I hit who went down in front of me).

Knowing that the guys on BBVP will still be my peeps after I get rid of my racing bug.

Happy New Year, and good luck to all in 2012!!!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Recommended Read: My Racing Thoughts

My Racing Thoughts: End of the Line: Edmond White took at Montrose Harbor on Sunday that sums up my day pretty well. I am the faceless, nameless, numberless body. I am the r...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Montrose Harbor: CX Illinois State Championship

Another great turnout for the final weekend of the ChiCrossCup at Montrose Harbor! A near capacity field of just under 100 4A riders lined up for the challenging course that had a little bit of everything... hills, technical sections, long straight-aways, and of course lots of sand and mud! Just as I have been gaining confidence and was ready for a great finish to end the year, I was humbled by the course and finished a disappointing 30th.

A few small things really got me out of rhythm, coupled with some strategic errors and a little bad luck reminded me quickly that I am still new to the sport. Between the mud and sand packing into my cleats, I had all kinds of problems clipping into my pedals after each remount. This problem got in my head as all I could think of was having to ride this way, rather than keeping focus on the race at hand. It took a while before I figured out an effective way to rap my shoes on the pedals, clearing just enough debris to clip in. Also on the first couple laps I attempted to ride sections that were simply beyond my abilities and lost positions to others that took a more conservative approach by running through the same sections. Over the middle of the race I was able to pick up a number of spots and was closing in on a top-20 finish. With about 1/2 lap to go I dropped the chain and lost close to 10 positions while trying to get it back on.

Whew! What a race! After having sometime to reflect, I am confident most of the errors and misfortune can be overcome with more experience. Although this is the race we would like to have our best performance, and I am disappointed with my finish, I can use it to measure where I am and where I need to be to compete with the riders on the front line. I am confident with an off-season of quality training, another year of experience, some CX-specific training, and learning from other more experienced riders on the team that expectations for next season will be high! I know I have a lot to learn, but that also means I have a lot of room for improvement! I'm exciting already for next season!