Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Perhaps poker's just not your game..."

You just never know what is going to happen at a 'cross race, but apparently counting on Old Man Welch to pull off a W with style is not too far off the mark. He and Ed Dickenson duked it out on a long, tough course with lots of running and slippery sections. The end result was two in a row for Jeff in the Masters 35+ category.

After endoing and landing on my shoulder and back (while my bike tried to eat my left leg), I got back on and raced harder than I should have to finish 26th in the Masters category. Shaw Brown demanded a pee test after witnessing my solo pileup and resurgent ride after. I swear that the team doctor is just giving me vitamins...

Shelli Welch made it official: she is definitely the woman to watch in the B class as she finished 2nd this weekend. There is a win in her future before Thanksgiving, mark my words... Jenna "PS" Proffit debuted with a respectable 17th in a very large women's B field. The grin said it all though!

The CX 4 race saw 51 guys toe the line! As always in 'cross, the start was crucial as it went from a wide open straightaway to a singlefile path almost immediately. I got a good start and hit the first turn in 3rd, managing to avoid the inevitable bottleneck. I managed to finish 18th. Dave Brown kept out of trouble and finished an awesome 31st in his 'cross debut. Jack Brown, after a less than great start, pinch flatted and had to DNF due to the mechanical. The guy is going to be looking for revenge in Boone...
Thanks to everyone on the Sledgehammer Charlie's team for providing support during the races and good attitudes the rest of the time. Thanks to the out-of-nowhere 'cross hooligans (see picture) for heckling everything on two legs and two wheels coming up the run-up. Just wish I'd known about the beer handups...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cary preliminary race report

Tough course. Tough competition. Huge fields. Wind.

Jeff Welch - win #2 in the masters class (out of 43 starters), 16th in the pro, 1, 2 field (out of 31 starters)
Shelli Welch- 2nd place women's cx4's
Jenna Proffit- not last
Dave Brown - 31st men's cx4's (out of 51 starters)
Jack Brown - DNF cx4's (mechanical)
Shawn Moore - 26th masters, 18th cx4's

Tired. Sore. Homer sleep now...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Round 2: Cary

Owen aka Edward Sockhands
6 am Sunday is the roll out for the Cary 'cross race, round 2 of the NC Cyclocross series. Looks like a bigger turnout than at Salisbury is in the works. Double down and PS are going to make their debuts this weekend. Double down acquiesced after a few words of "encouragement". True, I had to insult his manhood to a horrendous degree, but in the end he thought this weekend would be a fine time to jump in the ring and see what happens. PS is excited, as always, and is looking to just "do a good ride". As soon as that girl figures it out, watch out! She and Shelli could end up being the terrors of the women's B class.

I don't know if my plan to race the master's and then race the 4's, like, 20 minutes later is a smart one, but I'm sticking to it (for now). It is welldigger's crack cold and raining to boot. The real deal weather forecast is calling for clearing tonight and WIND tomorrow. A-rod says bring your spinnaker to the group ride tomorrow...

Not much to say tonight. Finished another work week. Didn't lose my cool with any adolescents. Not bad. Teacher work day monday, so this weekend will be a little more relaxed. Bummer for the weekend will be the absence of the fam at the race sunday. Owen can't take that long of a trip in the car seat... can't say that I blame him on that one. Boone is next weekend, so he should be back out in his bear suit and ringing his cowbell! One thing that worries me though: he really likes being in the water. He gets really excited and kicks his legs and giggles a lot in the tub. Could I be raising a triathlete?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Salisbury 'cross pics

Salisbury Race results click for full results! Sledgehammer Charlie's storms to a 4th place team finish in the NC Cyclocross Series! Just wait 'til all of our injured reserves get activated!

The Pictures:
Jack Brown and Harrison
Shawn Moore
Shelly Welch
Big E
Chris Thomas

Monday, October 23, 2006

The king is dead. Long live the king!

Old man Welch pulled off the upset that I called for! In an awesome display of power and bike handling skills, Jeff tore the master's field apart and then performed delicate surgery to take apart Ed Dickenson. This marked the first defeat for Dickenson in over a year!
In other racing news: Jack Brown had a sparkling 'cross debut with a 6th place finish in the CX4 category. Shelli Welch beamed with joy as she finished 4th place in the women's CX4 and discovered her new favorite sport. Big E finished his first 'cross race, putting in a huge effort in less than great conditions. And Chris Thomas struck fear into the hearts of the 35+ group as his reputation preceeded him. Between him and Jeff, things could get pretty interesting this season...
I rode the master's race for training and then "showed 'em I was there" by holeshotting the CX4 start, but then faded to a mid-pack 24th place finish.
I'll post pictures when I get 'em. Next stop: CARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Belgian SuperPrestige Pro Cyclocross Race Oct. 8th 2006 1+ hour of coverage!
2006 Cyclocross World Championships (starts at the 19 min. mark of the video) 30+ minutes of coverage!

Friday, October 20, 2006

2 days...

Two days 'til the big throw down. Get prepared by downloading and filling out your registration form now, instead of having to do it on race day. Follow the link to get the USA Cycling standard athlete release form. For those of you looking to do two races per event: remember it is $15 for the first race and $5 for each additional race per event!
Snuck out for a training ride yesterday at the Aquatic center. Saw Troy and did a few laps with him. It felt good even after a day of work! See you saturday for practice and sunday for racing!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sat. Group ride time change

The Sat. group ride will move to 10am from the frosty 8am start we have been having. Please help spread the word!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The excitement grows

So, Jack and Heart attack Mark came in to the shop today talking about their coming 'cross debut this weekend. Talk of "I'm just hoping to survive" and "I just want to see what its like" flew through the air. Yeah, right. Ever ridden with guys that try to rip your legs off for fun and then smile at you like your all buddies sharing the same joke? They don't know the meaning of taking it easy. So come Sunday, when they belly up to the line, you better believe that it is gonna be on like donkey kong, my friends. KC (sans Sunshine Band) came in and got her bars re-wrapped and picked up her new helmet. She should be there Sunday. Pornstar came in tuesday, showing off some significant bruising from her fight to conquer the "corkscrew" during last weekends 'cross practice. She will be sitting out the Fall series, but look for big things from her this Winter Cup.
The question that is on everyone's mind is: can J-Dub repeat last weekend's performance and pull out a win at the NC 'Cross Series opener? The guy is coming on to form, so you never know what the shredder can do.
Finally, tip a glass to Double-Down as he sits in AZ learning how to drop laser guided triscuits to Afghani locals.

Another one bites the dust

By the way, it is 4 days until NC 'Cross season starts. Hope your ready, 'cause I know I'm not. A little Luna news: Doctor, Father, aging cycling phenom and all around good guy, J-Mac decided to give an entire middle school soccer team a little what for and ended up tearing his hamstring (see picture) just days before his cyclocross debut. The word on the street is that he was fouled, but we'll never know. J-Mac reports, "I scored the goal at least." That's the spirit...

Monday, October 16, 2006

6 days to go...

It is time to start whipping yourselves into a frenzy! NC 'Cross starts this weekend! Check out some video:
Starcrossed '03
Gloucester USGP Cyclocross '06
Check out how fast the freakin' start is!
Bunny hop barriers like a pro!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Johnson City lowdown

Alright, normally going to a race is a logistical problem to be tackled and experience teaches you the smoothest ways to deal with it. A baby really presents a new set of variables and we underestimated their effects. Needless to say, I arrived in Johnson City with about 20 minutes to register, dress, warm up and pre-ride the course! Not to worry though, it was plenty of time. The 4cx race started well enough, I found myself in third place at the start. In fact, I was wondering why everyone was going so slowly! At the end of the first lap I was still in third and I began to hear Bill Murray saying, "he's the Cinderalla boy, with the Cinderella story". And then Scotty started yelling from the engine room that he was giving her all she's got. 8 guys passed me in a big clump - BOOM! I had no power on the little grass climbing section and it showed. I was riding the off-camber really well and wonder upon wonders (after a few really ungraceful and completely unremarkable dismount/remount sections) I actually began going through the barriers better than ever. 5 laps, 14th place (out of about 40)... not bad. Then about 25 minutes later, the masters race. 7 laps of brutality. Again got a good start. Then the 2nd guy rolls his tubular in the corner, 3rd guy (J-Dub) hits him and stops, so that 4th guy (yours truly) can hit him from behind. We sort it out quickly and no harm is done. I fade towards the back of the middle while J-Dub charges off the front. I rode for training and J-Dub won the thing! Pretty sweet. Now I have two really angry grapefruits where my butt cheeks should be, Owen has windburn on his cheeks and Golden is worn out from the sheer effort of the trip. I think it's time for bed...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Impending doom

Saturday is about to jump up and slap me silly. The plan is to race the men's cat. 4 AND the master's 35+ 'cross races at Johnson City this weekend. 30 minutes in the pain cave (cat. 4 race), then like a 15-30 minute break (defib time) and then 45 minutes of deep pain cave exploration. I'm gonna need a safety line to find my way back out. This little jaunt is a sad attempt to try to shock my system into realizing that the season is now upon us. I am sooooooooooo not ready...
Oh well, can't stave off the inevitable. If all goes to plan, J-dub and I should still be able to make it back in time for 'cross practice! If not, think of me as you throw a leg over the barriers.
There is one HUGE positive to the race though: young Owen McCormick Moore will be attending his first bike race! The search is on for a size appropriate bell for him to ring along the course. It will be the first of many memories he will be able to recall on the podium when he wins his first world championship.......

Friday, October 06, 2006

Our grommet can beat up your grommet

This is Jacob, our new shop grommet. He is, hell I don't know, 7+ ft. tall and like 500 pounds of pure muscle. He plays football and has decided that cycling needs the athletic skills that he has to offer. He is also 17, which makes him a junior category cyclist. Jacob will be participating in the Luna Cycles winter 'cross campaign this season. I want to give you a mental image: Jacob lines up with all the other junior cyclists ( decidedly waifish and pigeon-chested lot ) at the start line. I'm gonna go with Jacob on the whole intimidation factor...
"So, what is a shop grommet?", you ask. The grommet (or grom) is the first step on that wonderful ladder to riches and fame that is the bike business. "Wow, how do I become a grommet?", you cry. Easy. Step one: hang around a bike shop until the owners start asking you to either leave or start dusting and sweeping. Step two: Continue to hang out at the aforementioned bike shop, but occasionally bring your bike with you and start asking for help fixing it. Step three: be willing to suffer harassment and hazing practices of loooooooooooooong time bike shop denizens. Follow these simple steps and be willing to not get paid for anything you do and you are well on your way to grommethood. "Why?", you now whimper. Well, the grommet is the first step in the long and arduous apprenticeship that takes earnest, good-natured young people and turns them into the subversive, misanthropic characters that inhabit the grease and rubber scented caverns of the true bike shop. The kind of shop where you feel like you've been let in on a secret about how to have more fun than most adults think is possible...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

new bike + bitter realizations = my 'cross season

The Good: I finally have gotten a super sweet 'cross bike. Jeff and I both got Redline Conquest Team scandium frames with Ritchey WCS carbon 'cross forks. My bike is now almost a pound and a half lighter and much smoother in the rough. Jeff keeps eyeing my bike and telling me to take good care of "his" pit bike. I am seriously gonna have to set him straight one of these days...

The Bad: I don't think that my 15 minute, one-way commute and one training ride a weekend training schedule is really working out for me. I think I'm gonna have to train more... heck, maybe I should start with actually training...

The Ugly: 3 weeks to the first 'cross race of the season. Color me sucky... I know that the Nemesis is eating miles like rice krispies. My only hope in helping with his dethronement this season is to get a great start and flying tackle him in the first turn and hope he dislocates something... not that I would actually do anything like that, mind you...