Thursday, November 30, 2006

The countdown begins...

Wanna race like a belgian? Train like a belgian!

We are now at t-minus 20 hrs and 30 mins to the 1st annual Luna Cycles Throwdown. We provide food and drinks (covering the spectrum of the Rockwell Hardness scale). Hope to see you there from 6 to 9ish.

2 days 'til the Burlington 'cross race. I've got my angry, how 'bout you?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

just a day...

Today was lost in a serious fog of ennui. I think I am taking the angry thing a little too seriously, I was just right on the edge of pissed most of the day. I need to just relax and go to my happy place...

Well I don't know about you, but this in no way is going to influence my tire choice for next season.

Thanks for the emails, I promise to send replies out when I have half a second. Don't forget the throwdown Friday night and Burlington 'cross race on Sunday. See you there!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Don't drive angry..."

You may remember that prior to the NCGP 'cross races, I said that hopefully we would see a return of the angry. Jeff told JB that he just didn't have that fire in the belly anymore. "You need to find angry Jack" is what Jeff's advice was.

When I first met Jack, the guy rode like he was bound and determined to make everyone pay for a lifetime's worth of misdeeds, but now he is much mellower due to some new found happiness. Now I don't want to rain on anyones happy little parade, but come on, it's 'cross - you've gotta have some anger - or else its just getting dirty and screwing up a nice bike.

Well my friends, I think it is safe to say that the anger has returned to the Luna cycles crew. And since most of you probably don't believe me I have a little evidence for ya:

Here you see Jeff putting the wood to the master's 35+ field from the gun. I suggest you hum "Eye of the Tiger" while looking at this one.

Shelly Welch gutting it out in a combined 3-4 field. The overnight shifter change made her even more ready for drilling it all the way to the podium.

Jack Brown balances the warm glow of happiness with just a little razor blade of mean. Burlington is so suited to this guy it ain't even funny...

Yes dear friends, even I got in on the act, but I can't take all the credit for such a good race weekend. Some credit is due to Big Jonny for the drunkcyclist sweatband and matching socks. Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can help get your mean-on started.

Alrighty then: the countdown continues with 3 days to go until the Luna Cycles Customer Appreciation Throwdown and 5 days until the return of nccyclocross at Burlington! Get your A game ready!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Another day, another dollah...

First day back "in the trenches" as Jeff would say. Not much to say about it. No warm greetings from the kids, no "we missed you Mr. Moore". Don't blame 'em, the feeling is sorta mutual... Day in, day out bored, disinterested, 14 year olds staring at you waiting to be entertained and all your giving 'em is education. Oh well, we'll all get back into the groove of things.

I missed Owen like crazy today. Kept looking at the clock thinking its feeding time or time to take him out for a walk downtown. Colleagues asked me how I liked my "maternity" leave. {sigh}

Now the only way to snap out of this funk is to think about the weekends festivities:

Exhibit A - the Luna Cycles 1st annual customer appreciation throwdown is Friday from 6-9ish pm. Bring your A game for this one kids, cause it is on like donkey kong... No excuses will be accepted! Let me know if your coming so we'll have enough food for everybody!

Exhibit B - 'cross returns after a weekend off! Burlington will host the 7th race of the 8 race series. Only 2 chances left to podium!

So, I finally cleared up a misunderstanding between Jeff and I. Mid-way through my race on Sunday at Hendersonville, I hear Jeff shout what sounded to me like "get your head out of your ass!" There is a really funny thing that happens when people are shouting at you during races. When your doing well, they shout really encouraging things like, "your riding perfect""; when you are in it, but not quite there, they shout things like "don't get comfortable!"; and then when your sucking they say "alright, good job" or "keep it up". Our crowd is a bit more - - spirited is the word. From the infamous shout of "rip his f---ing guts out" to "crush him", our cheers are definitely more instructive. So what I thought Jeff had said to me felt pretty much par for the course. Come to find out, what he really said was a bit more banal. "Get your head in the game!", was the true statement shouted at me. Either way, it was sound advice. So come this Sunday, I will keep my head out of some things and decidedly in others. Hopefully, that is the recipe for success.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Chris Harris, Luna Cycles meccanico agiunto, of Tallahassee, Fla for his correct answer to the 1987 worlds question. Visible in the picture (yes, I am enforcing the strict letter of the question. I'm a middle school teacher remember...) are Stephen Roche, Ireland, (the really happy guy), Moreno Argentin, Italia (forza azzurri!), Juan Fernandez, Espana (3rd in both 87 and 88), Sean "the cannibal" Kelly, Ireland, Steven Rooks (tall blond guy) and Teun Van Vliet, both in the orange colors of the Dutch national team.

Thanks for the entries, all 3 of you!

Well, back to work tomorrow. Whoo-hoo....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The worst kind of post

Kevin Carlisle, our 'cross friend from Morganton, got hit by a car Friday. I spoke with him and he said he has a lot of road rash and he is (understandably) pretty sore. Apparently, some asshat decided that they needed to turn directly in front of him, rather than wait 5 seconds and turn behind him. Please, please, please be careful out there. I know it is easy to feel safe, but remember they outweigh us by a significant amount. They scratch and dent, we break. Check out Kevin's 'cross blog. He has a lot of pictures up from Hendersonville. Let him know you're thinking about him. Heal quickly, Kevin!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Back to work...

The big feast has come and gone and now it's all about some leftovers. We went to our friends Tom and Lynda Lee to have the big meal with their families. Their son, Auguste, is about 7 months older than Owen, so it's like seeing the future when we are around him. Good to spend time with other people's families at the holidays to help you sort out that everybody's family is weird. That could be a new psychiatric revolution: just cart all your clients to your house for the holidays and show 'em, "see, we're screwed up too".

Got a good ride in with Jeff, A-Rod and Big E. Nice spin out 90. I turned around at Sand Mtn. so I could help out with the t-day baking. Golden cranked out a pumpkin pie and an apple pie that were so good they would make you want to slap your mother. I made sweet potato biscuits with orange-honey butter. We had dinner, Golden and I split a bottle of Chimay Cinq Cents, while the horde actually preferred Budweiser. What can you do....

All my time off has relaxed me to the point of nostalgia, when all I had to worry about was studying and riding my bike. I found this picture on and it definitely brought back memories. Campagnolo put this picture out as a huge poster, it was like 3ft. by 4ft. and I somehow managed to get a copy (and lose it in a move which makes my heart ache to this day). Stephen Roche had won everything that year: Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and then World's. He was the man that year. Of course, he really didn't do squat after that, but who cares. I was 17 and had been racing for like 2 years. I remember I felt physical pain if I didn't ride my bike every day. To say I was consumed was definitely an understatement. What is weird though, is that a lot of things have come in and out of my life; I've been obsessed and then nothing. But the bike has always been there, always holding my attention. I have no idea why. I go back to work Monday and I hope that I can hold on to some of the things I have found in myself these past three weeks taking care of Owen. The stress and angst of teaching can't dim the passions that make me who I am; I can't let it...

Alright, that's more than enough introspection, how about a trivia question? Be the first to name 3 other riders pictured in addition to Stephen Roche and I'll send you a Luna Cycles t-shirt. Email me using the contact me button. Send your address and shirt size!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Day Eve

Looks like we will be doing a little pre-turkey throwdown ride at 9am. Nothing like a Thanksgiving day ride to get you ready for the serious amount of eating that the day has in store for you. I think the one thing that cyclist's like almost as much as riding is eating.

When my parents first met Golden, she was still racing professionally and it was smack in the middle of the season. We went to Cuisine of India (or as our finnish roommate would say "cousin of indian"). Golden ate all of her meal, tried some of mine and then sat, vulture-like, watching my parents as they picked through their first indian meal. Finally, Golden said, "Are you going to finish that?" My parents sat wide-eyed as they watched my 5'1", 105 lb. girlfriend polish off the better part of 3 indian dinners. My Dad still says, "Man, that girl could eat!"

Well, tomorrow is that kind of day. Eat a lot, but know that you better earn it and burn it before you end up having to carry it around come springtime.

My little vacation as Mr. Mom is drawing to a close and I've gotta say I'm pretty bummed about it. I wish I could stay home with Owen and work at the bike shop and not have to deal with the stress of teaching. I have to admit though that every day I see something or hear something that I want to incorporate into my class. The only heartbreaking thing about it, is that I will be the only one in the class enthusiastic about it. I just got through watching "An Inconvenient Truth" and it was very good. It is clear, precise and while the numbers certainly veer to the hopeless, it ends on an up note that we can do some very simple things to make a difference. Check it out over in the links bar.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I need a spotter while I climb up on this soapbox...

One of the best things about going to races is the conversations you have with your teammates. I headed up to Pinehurst for state CX champs. with Double Down two weeks ago. After he argued with me about my CORRECT directions being different from what his super-crappy GPS said, we started talking about cars. Now DD drives a big Chevy Tahoe. I think it gets like 2 mpg or something crappy like that. DD was telling me that his dream vehicle is a Hummer. After I got through cussing/harassing this "dream", I started talking about alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids and such. Then DD had the most cogent insight: people will not buy electric vehicles because they lack the right "noise". Now, where I live, we have a varied assortment of big, out of shape, rednecks who think pushing an accelerator to make a car/truck go "VRRRROOOOOOOMMMM" really loud is some sort of secondary sexual display of male verility. It never ceases to amaze me how caught up we can get in how the stuff we own establishes who we are...

I am not perfect and I am not rabid, but as a science teacher and a semi-intelligent human, I am trying to recognize my small responsibility in the current global environmental problems that we now find ourselves embroiled in. This has been an attitude that Jeff and I have brought to the shop as well. Bike companies are an absolute nightmare of packaging and we have made a concerted effort to recycle as much of this waste, plus the glass that we seem to magically produce through the consumption of various frosty beverages and I gotta say, all that stuff adds up. During the summer, I was taking a full truck load of recyclables to the recycling center (outiside the city limits, thank you Lenoir city council) every weeks or so. We have also been purchasing NCgreenpower energy credits to offset our carbon output due to electricity consumption. It's a start at least...

When Owen came along, Golden and I did not want to contribute another crap load of disposable diapers to the landfill and so we did some research and decided to invest in a set of Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers. I was amazed at all of the "experienced" parents who said things to our face like: "Oh, that'll never last." Now let me explain, these aren't cloth square with diaper pins people. We have put men on the moon, a computer in the home and a phone in your pocket, but cloth diaper technology remains unchanged since the 18th century? Right... Anyway, the diapers work extremely well. At first, due to recurring cases of both monkey butt and baboon ass, we had to use the dreaded disposables. I should have just wrapped Owen up in money, it probably would have been cheaper and I wouldn't have felt so bad about throwing it away since it would biodegrade in a reasonable period of time. Now, with the exception of when he goes to bed, we use them exclusively. They are easy to use, you wash them in the washing machine and you don't feel like a wasteful ass when you use them.

Alright, enough ranting. I've been making some changes to this site and plan on doing more. I want to point out the contact me link in the About me box. Drop me a line and let me know what you think, even if you want to point out how I'm an idiot!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"I'm your huckleberry."

The word for the day boy's and girl's was SUPERCOLD. Hendersonville was a swirling wind refrigerator of frostiness that brought to mind well diggers and witch's lingerie. Jack Brown, Shelli, the grommet and I were all slated for a frosty 10 am start. I managed to crash during warm up again today, but no harm befell me.

Jack and I set off at the whistle. Decent starts for both of us. Nobody decided to be a tool and crash in the first g turn like yesterday and I found myself in about 5th or 6th spot going into the g up. That went smooth and I hung with that group for a little while, but the body suddenly realized that this was the second day IN A ROW of racing 'cross and decided to let me know how it felt. I hung in tough staying in the top 8 until I went around a turn on lap 2 and decided to see how wet the grass was with the entire right side of my body. A bunch of dudes passed me (thanks Howard for not running over my hand!) and I jumped back on the bike and took off in chase. I realized that my right shifter/brake lever was cocked in about 45 degrees, but decided to keep riding that way rather than lose more time. I knew Jack had passed me, so I had hope for a strong finish for somebody on the team. I chased and brought back some guys and then in the closing half of the last lap, I could see Jack and 2 or 3 other guys all clustered together. I bridged up close, but not enough. Jack finished 13th with me right behind in 14th.

Shelli got a replacement shifter last night and got to race with gears, so needless to say she felt redemption in the air. And redeem herself she did, sticking with her main rival until the close of the race and finishing a super strong 3rd in a mixed 3/4 women's field. I smell a category upgrade for next year...

Lastly, the grommet smoked the field placing an incredible 1st place in this his first weekend of 'cross racing. Today's gold matches the silver he earned yesterday. The sheer intimidation factor the kid brings to the line, coupled with the appearance that he might actually eat one of his competitors, could be the start of a fine 'cross career. Grom's mom weighed in by telling him he needed to stop riding "scared", leave it to a mom to cut through the crap and go straight for the heart of the matter. Yeah grom, do what your mom says...

The marquis event featured another Jeff Welch vs. Ed D. show down. Two new clowns were in the mix putting the screws to everybody and locking up 1st and 2nd place, but the overall series is still a tight race between the once and the future kings. Yesterday saw our hero bested by a mid race Ed D. surge (patent pending), but today was a different matter altogether as JW had managed to stoke his inner angry to a new level of intensity. From the gun, Jeff was pinning it to force the large lead group into a select few, so that business could be gotten down to. By mid race, Jeff and Ed were locked together until, with 3 laps to go, Ed surged hard. But not hard enough. For two and a half laps, Jeff slowly but surely pulled Ed back. Ed must have felt like someone had just walked over his grave as he nervously looked over his shoulder again and again. Jeff caught him in the grass before the barriers and ran by him through the barriers just to mess with him. Ed attacked one last time in the woods, but to no avail. Out of the woods, down the g turn, across the off camber, up the g up and down the final chute to the hairpin leading to the pavement straightaway, Jeff and Ed were locked together. But once tires touched pavement, Jeff unleashed a furious sprint and bested a tired looking Ed to the line by several bike lengths. Their finishes cancel each other out so neither of them has gained or lost ground in the series, and so, with 2 races left, a 20 point differential seperates Jeff from overall victory. This one is gonna be a nail biter...

This weekend was a great race at a great venue. Spectators were few, but rabid. I know we yelled our brains out for everybody on course. Howard even came down and let us bask in the glow of his megaphone. I think we need to get one of those...

Race pics coming soon!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A brief personal history

So, I got a hit tracker for this blog and noticed that I was getting link hits from an old friend, the gnome, at The gnome is a true flagstaffrican homeboy and one of the best riders I've been around. I have a story about his cycling prowess, but I need to give you some background first.

I did my first 'cross race in Flagstaff at Ft. Tuthill on the day after Halloween in '98 or '99. I think 4 of us showed up to race and then a few spectators showed up who were so hungover from all the Halloween festivities that standing up became a sort of side competition. I totally sucked, but I was hooked. The "series" never materialized that year. Jim "legs" Lehmann won the AZ state 'cross championships that year, I think like four people showed for that too.

The next year, I somehow took over running the northern AZ 'cross series. We did a total guerilla series, never bothering to secure any permission or permitting for the races. The races were advertised with a generic starting area, Late For The Train coffee shop. Everyone would ride to the coffee shop and then I would tell them where the race would take place and they would ride off to meet me there. The courses were pretty low budget and we had to get in and get out before we got caught. The rules were that if you were in last place then you had to pick up the barriers as you finished the last lap. You also had to drink a shot of Old Crow Whiskey (the cheapest whiskey I could find) if you lost. We started having 15 to 20 people showing up for each class. It was time to go legit-ish...

The next year, I got "permission" to run the series on the NAU campus. 6 races, 2 per weekend for three weekends. I would get up at the buttcrack of dawn and hammer stakes into frozen ground and run tape as the sun came up. I think we charged like 5 bucks for each category. The most memorable course feature was a super long, super steep run up called "the Crippler" that actually made Jeremy "Pounds of" Bounds vomit on one lap.

So the last race of the series came down to 2 riders in the A class battling it out for the overall: The Gnome and Pete "Creamy" Prebus. Right from the gun the gnome puts the wood to it and starts bunny hopping every barrier in sight. These were the regulation 16" high barriers and the dude was bunnyhopping the triple, the double and even the barrier I placed at the bottom of a steep grass berm to force riders to make it a run-up. He dropped creamy hard, but then all of a sudden, Creamy started bunnyhopping barriers for the first time ever. Now creamy had raced 'cross for as long as he'd been alive. When he was 13 or 14 he had been featured in a how-to video called "A taste of 'cross" (anybody got a copy?) showing how to run through the barriers. The dude was glass smooth dismounting and remounting, but the gnome had gotten the edge when he started bunnyhopping. When I talked to creamy at the end of the race he said that he figured he better learn how to bunnyhop the barriers or the race was lost. I'm sad to say that the gnome was not victorious that day, but he definitely made for a thrilling race.

I checked out and learned that the gnome is about to join my ever growing circle of friends who are new parents. Congratulations on the impending birth! I agree with the gnome that nobody can tell you what parenthood will be like, but I will add that it is the greatest thing that has happened to me and hope him the same experience.

Lastly, day one of Hendersonville:
Jeff Welch 4th place master's 35+
Shelly Welch 6th place Women's 3/4 (crashed warming up, so she busted it out singlespeed style!)
Me 4th place CX4, hell yeah I top fived! I gotta bottle of Chimay Grand Reserve to celebrate with too!

I'll update with race details after tomorrows fun!

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm starting to lose track of what day of the week it is. I love that...

Owen and I have gotten into a nice routine. We've been hanging out downtown and I am really struck by just how different it is than when we first moved here. It is so much more vibrant and I am still dumbstruck by the negative attitudes of some locals. I guess you either figure it out or you get left behind. Please make a visit to downtown merchants during your holiday shopping, you can only better our town by spending your money locally!

Don't forget to talk about bringing recycling back to Lenoir. Talk to anybody who will listen. The next step is to present this request to the county.

Well, Mr. Grumpy needs to go for a walk...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Photos from SandHELL!

Finally got a hold of some photos from the weekends festivities (Thanks Jeff and Shelly!). Owen is napping, so I actually have a chance to post during the day! The Overall standings are posted, so check 'em out at!

Last nights weather should make for some interesting course conditions in Hendersonville this weekend. Jeff and I have been debating the right setup for this weekend; it comes down to being ready for mud and slick grass (especially the G-up). If you can make it, this weekend's races are well worth the travel time to spectate! 2 days to go!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Get ready for Hendersonville!

Looks like there may be some moisture to go with the low temps expected for this weekend. Stay tuned for a Real Deal weather update in the coming days. Cold, mud, 'cross, what more could you ask for? How about video of Sven Nijs absolutely crushing the field in Pijnacker a few days ago? Check it out and get stoked for this weekend.

Let us all hope for a return of the angry this weekend!

"Hey, baby! Check me out in the Factory Pilots!"

This is a belated b-day present to Jeff. Happy 43rd! I remember when Factory Pilots were IT. Everybody wore them and believe it or not, they are still one of the best functional eye protectors for cycling. They didn't come off, they fit well and gave a huge field of vision. But they did make you look like a cylon or a bug, depending on your point of view.

Owen and I are training for the World Championships of Sitting Up, to be held right here in Lenoir on Thanksgiving Day. The kid is a natural and I can't overestimate the kids chances of overall victory. Look for a rainbow onesie in the kids future!

Mark this date down in a calendar, carve it in your arm or tattoo it backwards on your forehead: December 1st is the 1st annual Luna Cycles Customer Appreciation Par-tay! We will be serving light food and drinks (as heavy as you like), and we will be giving away prizes during the evening's trivia contest. Festivities are from 6 to 9 pm. Come by the shop for more details. RSVP to the shop if you get the chance, so we can have enough supplies!

PineHURT 'cross pics coming soon!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"...and the agony of defeat."

I remember when ABC's Wide World of Sports was the only game in town when it came to watching Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France. It always opened with that video montage and that voice over. I don't remember anything about the video for "the thrill of victory", but I have that image of the ski jumper eating it BIG TIME on the ski jump while they said "...and the agony of defeat." The NC State 'Cross Championships made me feel like a kindred spirit with that ski jumper guy.
The results:
Shelli Welch - 4th place Women's CX4- Shelli put in another solid performance today, keeping herself up at the head affairs in the overall series.

Jeff Welch - top ten Master's 35+ - some cracks appeared in the armor today as Jeff couldn't hold Ed D.'s wheel and lost a couple of spots to him. This will knock Jeff out of the series lead, but not out of contention.

Howard Hesterberg - 5th Master's 55+ - seems beer, maturity and a recent leg injury can't hold Howard down. Welcome back to the trenches Howard!

Ken Johnson - 6th Master's 45+ - another solid hurtfest for Ken. When I saw him with one lap to go, I swear his eyes were visibly crossed. Deep pain cave exploration...

Jack Brown - 7th Men's CX4 - Mr. consistency in the 4's, Jack is looking very solid. Watch him in the next four races.

Me - 22nd Men's CX4 - Great starts don't mean jacksh*t when you can't generate any power to the pedals.

Dave Brown - 28th Men's CX4 - Dave didn't let the sand scare him off of a solid ride.

Eric Winebarger - placing unknown - Big E gave it the whole time and still had the strength to cheer me on when we crossed paths on this twisty course. Thanks for the encouragement, Eric.

I'll get some pics and more details from everybody this week. A big THANKS to Howard, Marcus and the rest of the Sandhills Syndicate for putting on such an awesome event as usual! Howard: hope you enjoyed passing me today, 'cause it ain't happenin' again!

Remember 5 days to Hendersonville! If you can't race, come spectate and see some of the best 'crossers in the country since this is a UCI race weekend!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"220, 221; whatever it takes."

So today is Day 2 of my Mr. Mom experience. Golden went back to work yesterday and I am taking the next 3 weeks off to take care of Owen until my parents get moved in down the street. We didn't want Owen to have to go to daycare for a week and a half and my very supportive boss was up for me taking the time off to hang out with the little dangger. My biggest responsibility has been to get Owen to drink from a bottle. He has developed into quite the boob man (who among you can blame him?) and so yesterday was a bit rough. He finally got hungry enough to stop screaming and give the bottle a go. Today, there were no issues and he seems to breeze right through it. I am enjoying hanging out with him. We've gone running (more me than him really) and we have chewed on lots of stuffed animals (more him than me). I somehow managed a truly frightening reading of "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!" that brought him to tears in less than 4 pages, but other than that things are going well.

Today is Jeff's 43rd birthday, so if you drop by this week, wish him a happy b-day!

3 days to SandHELL!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Boone GRRRRRL'S race

Hey Shawn...
just to let you know that ended up with some good shots from Boone... of course, if SOMEONE would actually take out a camera and shoot some shots of OUR RACE, we would have MORE photos..

however, definitely captured all of the pain and agony with Jeff, a great shot of Howard and a few of Chuck and Jack. If you want more detail about my race for the Blog... to put it briefly, my inability to dismount led to my losing the lead on the first lap... (which involved rolling around in the caution tape at the top of the stairs (very pretty)... fell back to 4th place then overtook 3rd in the 2nd lap and held that position... however, due to obviously a lack of top-end (and still, the inability to actually clip in or out of my pedals) was unable to close up the 30-40 second odd gap that 2nd had on me. 1st Place finished an embarassing 1 minute ahead. Needless to say my activities for this week involve, Barrier practice, barrier practice, barrier practice! I intend on coming to Pinehurst ready to hurt, ready to hit a barrier if necessary, and ready to either get my mother f_in 1st place or die trying. End of story.

Shelli Welch, ladies and gentleman, telling it like it is. Get ready for PineHURT people!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Boone Town Throwdown Preliminary report

Two words: super-freakin' HARD! A long primarily grass course with rough, fast descents, a staircase run-up, a barrier section that smelled like poo and the neverending wall of doom climb. This was not a course to double up on, so no double category racing today.

The day started with Jeff leading the charge in the Master's 35+ race. The race was hard fought between Jeff, Ed D. and Boone's own Smart Tom. Ed launched a vicious attack that neither Jeff nor Smart Tom could answer. The two remained locked together, but could not reel in Ed D. A crash in a slippery hairpin on the final lap, took Smart Tom off the podium. Ed took the win, Jeff took 2nd. The pair seem to be heading towards a season long duel and only time will tell who will come out on top...

The rest of the races are lost to me in a hazy fog of pain. The men's cx 4 race: Big E and I flew the Sledgehammer flag and Ron came up for his 'cross debut. Start was chaotic with just a bit of the argy-bargy. I moved up hard on the opening pavement section and made a liberal interpretation of what constituted the course to move into 3rd wheel before the race moved back onto the field. Big E did some blocking and my group of 5 got a gap. I felt like I was turning myself inside out, but I stayed in the top 5 for the first lap and a half. The rest of my race memories are: I lost some spots, I passed some people, I had an inordinate amount of snot and drool streaming out of my face, I rode the wall of death all but one lap and I took my first top ten finish of the season by finishing up in tenth place.

Shelly Welch took the hole shot and lead the first lap of the women's cx 4 class. She faded a bit, but came in a solid 3rd place. I'll get more details from her about her race later.

This race definitely had the best 'cross atmosphere with tons of spectators, a DJ and lots of strong Belgian beer. Seems like a Belgian flair is taking the NC 'cross scene. Now we just need some frites, mayonnaise and trombones and we'll be in business!

Next week takes us to the State Championships in Southern Pines. Sure hope you like sand 'cause they got it to spare!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

and now for something completely different...

I realized just how much space I have been devoting to bike racing in this 'blog as of late and figured that something needed to be done about it. Halloween has come and gone and Owen is definitely happy about it. It took about 30 seconds for the super cute costume that we bought for his first Halloween to meet with his very loud disapproval. I guess that is a lesson learned for the new parents: it never works out the way you planned. Next year, Owen is going as a toddler...

Predictably, the bike shop has become a bit of a ghost town. It's nice to have things a little more relaxed. Yesterday, Jeff and I were betting on the next street lamp to come on in the parking lot. Whew, fun times....

Well, the work week is almost over, which means that there are only 3 days to the next 'cross race!!!!!!!! Ok, I'm a loser and this is all I've got to look forward to (besides a beautiful, devoted wife and cuter-than-hell son), but give me a break, it's too much fun not to get excited about it! Anyway, this weekend features an all new course in Boone. The real deal weather report is calling for a brisk 47 degrees on the line. Jeff will have some course beta and I'll post it tomorrow. We should be seeing a large turnout from the Sledgehammer Charlie's crew. Maybe J-mac will stop nursing his "injury" and put in an appearance?
linky: Boone 'Cross 411