Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkins for change

My Dad got busy with the cutlery and carved up these three pumpkins for Halloween. Holiday and political statement twofer! Don't forget to vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The enabler

So, in addition to this Sunday's Lenoir edition of the NC Cyclocross Series, Saturday sees race number 3 of the TN MSG Cross series hit Bristol, TN.  I had mentioned this to Golden last week and between you and me, she was less than thrilled at the prospect of a double race weekend,  and rightly so, I must add.  Too much goin on in a tightly packed weekend is hard with a two year-old running around in full effect.  So I let the idea drop of trying to do both.

Then up pops a text message this afternoon from none other than Hammer down Jack Brown asking if I was interested in hitting the race and jetting back here in time to do course setup on Saturday.  Damn you, Jack!  We'll have to wait and see how this bit of bedevilment turns out.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Now it's on like Donkey Kong

Alright boys and girls, this Sunday the NC Cyclocross series heads to our home turf of Lenoir and the always entertaining Rotary Soccer Complex 'cross course!  Never a dull moment, come check out the most exciting, painful and FUn half hour, 45 minutes and 1 hour of bicycle racing.  Experience the thrill of victory, the chills of hordes of bikes and bodies hurtling towards barriers in a ballet of chaos, and don't forget to bring your cowbells, drums, horns and hollering voices to cheer on every racer as they push themselves to the limit!

Go here to get a nice primer on cyclocross racing and spectating.  (*Caution - video does contain images of adults having a lot of fun doing things that may be deemed childish.  Please do not view videos if you have issues with adults having fun.  You've been warned.)

A little 'Cross Vegas for ya!
               
CrossVegas Cyclo-Cross 2008 from cyclofile.com on Vimeo.

Look close and you'll catch a glimpse of Jeff in the crowd (at least I think it's Jeff, I'm outside of the camera angle eating pizza and enjoying free beverages with the BMC guys)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hawksnest 'Crossfest preliminary results

Jeff pulls a Poulidor for the third straight masters 45 plus race. Big Jack Brown pulled off the W and I dug deep for sixth after some issues...

Heading to Hawksnest

videoCold and windy, shut your mouth!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Newsflash

Congratulations to Todd Braswell (Sledgehammer Charlie's/Luna Cycles) for his 27th place finish at Round 1 of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Louisville, KY!  We'll keep you posted about his results at Round 2 tomorrow!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hawksnest Crossfest

This weekend we hit the next venue in the NC Cyclocross Series at Hawksnest Ski area.  The weather right now is perfect: cold, rainy and generally classic 'cross conditions, but Sunday it is supposed to be sunny and warm.  Damn!  The live DJ, beer tent, "Kitty Box" sand pit, Black Cat burritos and Sledgehammer Charlie's chili will have to make up for the depressingly nice weather....

Get up the mountain for a great day of 'cross racing thanks to the Boone Bike crew.  First race starts at 10.  Be prepared for a party and all that that entails.  Some people have been known to have to sleep it off in the parking lot before being capable of driving...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finally home

Just got home from a looooong weekend of 'cross in Raleigh and Cary.  Two hard days of racing and lots of travel time have added up to me being on the verge of passing out.  The team was out in force both days and we are definitely starting to get some respect.

Saturday's course was all power and very little technical skill, so not my strong suit.  Jack and I made the front group, but I did way too much work and didn't have enough gas left when the moves happened at the end.  Jack got 4th and I got 6th.

Today's course was much more technical and was long and hard with lots of full gas sections.  Jack and I were 2nd and 3rd going into the barriers at the start.  I blew a pedal on the G turn descent, got hung up in the tape and then snagged my shorts on the saddle when I tried to jump off and run.  Went from the front group to deep in the pack in the blink of an eye.  I knew it was going to be a long day.  Drilled it and moved up to 8th and then at the end of the last lap got passed by two guys on the same team and just couldn't hang on.  Jack got 12th and I got 10th.  

Jeff had two solid 2nd places behind an unstoppable Randy Shields in the 45+ class.  Chris Behrman had some long days, but he will come back ready for a fight next weekend in Boone.  Bob "the Guru" Pugh rode strong both days, as did Howard Hesterberg.  Scott and Lara both rode hard and Lara bagged two podium spots this weekend.  Jeremiah Dyer smoked the Juniors field and then rode to 7th place in the CX 4's today.  Sonni rode strong both days and is racing better every race.  Charles Hicks was in attendance on Saturday, but other committments kept him out of the mix on Sunday.

All in all it was a great weekend, but I'm glad to be home.  Pics will be up soon.  Next stop: Boone on Sunday for the Crossfest at Hawksnest complete with DJ and beer tent!  See you there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Taking a lap!

video

First stop w Lowe's Motorspeedway

Friday at CECHS

Today, we are taking the sophomores to Lowe's Motorspeedway and Michael Waltrip's Race World as part of the Physics of NASCAR unit in Physical Science. Shea is our able bus driver and her husband Rich is joining us as a chaperone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Press Release

"Although I have never been a professional cyclist nor a member of the Pro Tour peloton, I have, after much careful consideration and after discussing it with my wife, child, two dogs, our cat, my neighbor and a guy who was jogging down the street, decided to come out of retirement.  Never before had I thought that even competing in the world's greatest cycling races was an obtainable goal for me, but now I know that with the right combination of above board medical technology and shadowy underworld pharmaceutical enhancement, I may one day stand on the podium of one of the Grand Tours.  I look forward to competing against Lance Armstrong, Alexander Vinokourov, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, and many other of the world's greatest cyclists."

- Shawn Moore, former washed up, never was pro cyclist announcing his "return" to the Pro Peloton

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sermon on the Dismount

This weekend, the 'cross season started in force with the first two races of the Mud, Sweat and Gears Cyclocross Series in Tennessee.  We carpooled together to get our very large group of riders there in as efficient a manner as possible.

The first race of Saturday was the CX4 race.  On the line they announced that a subscription to Cyclcross Magazine would be given as a holeshot award.  I thought to myself, "Well, looks like I'll be getting me a subscription..."  They said go, we took off and I got the holeshot with Max "Ghostface Killah" Dyer on my wheel.  As we went across the holeshot line, Max said, "You better let me read those when you're done."  We kept the throttle on and emerged at the end of the first lap with a lead group of 5, including Max, Jack Brown and me.  The perfect setup was in the cards for a Sledgehammer Charlie's/Luna Cycles win, but I came to grief on the 2nd lap with a couple of crashes and a mechanical.  Jack and Max were still in the group putting the pressure on, but there was less of an advantage.  Max crashed near the end of the last lap, but managed to power back to the lead group, but couldn't press the go button in time for the sprint.  Max got 3rd, Jack 4th and I limped across in 29th.

Jeff, Todd the Preacher and I all lined up for the next race, the Master's 35+.  We took off and I quickly evaluated the idiocy of me trying to race two races back to back and demurely pulled off the course shortly after the start.  Jack and Todd duked it out near the front with Todd finishing 3rd and Jeff finishing 6th.

Sonni Dyer raced the CX3 race and is plunging into his first full season of 'cross with a vengeance.  Once the nuances catch up with the motor, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.  His son, Jeremiah, took the Juniors race handily after finishing within the Top 5 of the CX4 race.  The kid is every bit the motor that the father is...

I spent most of last night positively visualizing how I would avenge my poor performance of Saturday.  My stated goal was to win the CX4 race on Sunday.  But the sermon on the dismount included much more than vengeance and wrath, as I would come to discover.  Jack and I toed the line, ready to make good on the promise of yesterday.  We again made the selection and found ourselves in the a lead group of 4 with the same two guys as Saturday.  A few bobbles here and there could not deter my motivation, and I hung tight in the group as Jack did the lion's share of work keeping the pace high enough to discourage anybody from getting antsy. 

I had literally dreamed of when and where I was going to attack to win the race, and I was fortunate enough to lay it down in exactly the way I had foreseen.  Attacking on the final paved climb, I gapped the group and drove hard into the grassy finishing dip and rise.  Just as I was about to stand up to make the final push to the line, my rear wheel shot up in the air and to the left as it bounced out of an unseen hole.  The gap closed.  I stood to sprint and again, my rear wheel shot up in the air out of another unseen hole and my two companions came around me.  I crossed the line in third, hand raised in a what-can-you-do? gesture as the final part of the sermon, humility, was writ large before me. 

Jack came in for another 4th place finish.  My hats off to him for all of his work to set me up.  I'm just sorry I couldn't pull it off.  Later, the guy who won the race came up to me and said, "Now I know that I won this weekend because of your bad luck.  I'll know that for next time."  That compliment was the saving grace of the race for me.  I don't think that most people have any idea how hard it is to win a race of any kind, let alone a bike race. 

Nicole Thomas drilled the Women's CX4 field, walking away with 1st place.   Jeff had a much better day in the Master's field, taking a hard won 3rd place.  Chris Thomas joined in the fun, landing himself in 11th.  Jeff then decide to enter the Pro,1,2 race, but a wrestling match with the course tape at the barriers tok him out in the first lap and he wasnt able to make up enough ground to make the race worthwhile.

All in all, not a bad opening weekend.  I have to admit that my two goals for the season were to finish Top 3 in a race and to win a race.  Now that I have two top three's out of 3 races, I find my expectations rising.  I've got to remind myself to just take things one race at a time...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Vino' returns

 
Alexander Vinokourov has confirmed his intention to return to the pro peloton.  He has stated that he will return to Astana, since the team was custom made for him. Now some might see a potential conflict with this plan given that Lance Armstrong will also be riding on the Astana team, but let me throw this idea your way.  The US and Kazakhstan are increasing their political ties, much to the dismay and consternation of Russia.  Condoleeza Rice stated today that Kazakhstan is free to be friends with whoever they want and that Russia needs to stop whining (or something to that effect).  Now, since the US has not had such good luck with infiltrating foreign governments through the front door (Hello Iraq and Afghanistan!), we are going to return to our old clandestine roots.  The CIA has cooked up this cockamamey Lance Armstron unretirement plan as a cover for his real mission to further US relations with Kazakhstan.  Now Vino' is a Kazakh, but look at the guy.  He's an ethnic Russian.  But the real story is that he is a highly trained Russian counterinsurgent who has been given the mission to kill Lance Armstrong.  Or he might just want to race bikes and kick ass.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Fall fabulosity

Fall is here, finally.  This is my favorite time of year along with Spring.  Cool mornings and evenings.  Warm midday.  It is the perfect time to be outside and especially to be on a bike.  My daydreams about riding are scattershot across the entire gamut of cycling.  Long, contemplative road rides.  Flying, flowing mountain bike rides through the woods.  Running errands on the town bike.  Slipping and sliding in the mud on the 'cross bike.  For me, now is the best time to ride.  I hope you'll get out there and have a good time, too.