18 9 / 2012
Everyone watch out. I’m in stealth mode this year. The pink bike has moved on within the family so you may THINK you see me, but you will be mistaken.
I’ve been practicing my beer / dollar grabs, upgraded to A’s and have been doing some secret training:
This year’s changes will include: bar-end shifters, hydraulic disc brakes, titanium, tubeless, and moving back to Shimano pedals (I’m over you Time ATAC).
07 5 / 2012
Spoiler: I won… I won $220 overall for the day and a sweet jersey that should arrive in the mail soon.
I went out on a great note to end the season of Chasing the Podium. I traveled down to Bakersfield with a contingent of Sheila Moon Racing racers. We arrived towards the end of the day of racing on Saturday, which was the SoCal Prestige series finals.
I pre-rode the course for one lap as it was set up - about a minute into my pre-ride I slid out on some wet grass and banged up my worse of the two knees. Initially I wasn’t sure if I would be able to race the next day but the pain subsided enough to continue pre-riding.
As the course was being reconfigured into the reverse direction for the next day of racing - the CACX Championships - I rode two laps on it. The berms and packed down lines were all wrong coming from the reverse direction but I at least got a good feel for the course layout, terrain and surfaces.
We went to a dinner organized by the SoCal cross crew at Lengthwise Brewing Company and had some beer. My long-time friend way back from the days of high school, Amy, showed up - She made the trek from Big Bear for the weekend to check out firsthand what I’ve been doing with my life the past 5 months.
After dinner we went back to the hotel with a growler full of Lengthwise Centennial Ale and relaxed in the hot tub for a bit. Right before going to the hot tub, someone asked “Where is Marko?”. Apparently we thought we had accounted for all of our party when splitting back into cars but we left him at the brewery playing Galaxian. He ended up getting a ride back with some of the Roaring Mice racers.
7am the next morning came quickly and we got ready to head to the race. I ate most of a mango, a banana and a vegan energy bar (I’m too lazy to go look at the brand I have) with a cup of tolerable coffee from the hotel machine. We stopped at Starbucks on our drive to the race and I had a 490 calorie slice of lemon pound cake (I purposefully found the most calorie dense object there so I could last until my 11:45am race without eating).
I was able to pre-ride the course one last time before just warming up on the road before my race. The lineup was a little awkward because there were three races staged up at once Master Men A 35+, Master Men A 45+, and then Men’s B - my race.
Once again, I used my strategy I have been using the entire season - getting the holeshot. I lead 90% of the first lap, drafted the guy that was in second the entire time, and then led the rest of the race as soon as we hit the dirt again on the second lap.
As I knew would happen, any steep section or run-up I suffered greatly. Halfway into the race my lower back started hurting from the lack of core work and training I have not been doing the entire season.
Throughout the entire race I wanted to slow down but I kept telling myself “YOU WANT THAT JERSEY”. I pushed through and at the last sprint I was able to keep my gap on the guy in second place.
After my race, there were 3 races before the Fourth Annual Bidart & Ablin Hill Climb Challenge. After about an hour of waiting around, I decided I wasn’t going to do the hill climb challenge because I would rather eat food and drink a beer. I watched the races, walked around the course and otherwise just relaxed.
Halfway through the last race of the day, I saw the end point of the hill climb challenge - the flag of Flanders - further up the hillside that I had imagined. I was changing out of my racing kit at the moment I noticed this and decided that, sure, why not do the challenge as it’s completely ridiculous… and the prize money had grown to $140.
As I lined up, a few other people showed up to participate, including my ex-teammate Krishna Dole who had just raced for an hour in the Elite race. As we were about to start, a spectator added another $20 to the prize pool bringing the grand total to $160.
Two hours before, I had scoped out the best approach up the hillside as well as tested out how far I should ride before just carrying my bike. This proved to be very beneficial as I got the holeshot (again) and just immediately started walking as I knew my heart rate - and everyone elses - would be spiked to the max from the 50-80% grade.
As we hit the steepest section that was covered in long, dried out grass and littered with gopher holes, Krishna seemed to be the only competition - a few feet behind me. I just started going straight for the flag and he seemed to zig-zag a tiny bit. With about 5-10 feet left before the flag, I saw Krishna out of the corner of my eye
Here’s the hill climb:
07 5 / 2012
10am breakfast: brown rice farina, spoonful of almond butter, banana, coffee
12pm lunch: I can’t remember this now, but I ate at noon.
Post Ride: Gu Recovery drink
Pre-ride: Took note of the fun and technical sections of the course. Practiced the remount at the top of the loose and dusty runup that dropped you right down into a left-hand berm.
Course: AWESOME. TECHNICAL. Great barrier setup - could speed into them before remounting and a VERY smooth baseball infield to remount on.
Things I did correct: Good starting position. At the first turn as I was being compressed between two riders off the front, I pulled out ahead to lead the first 3.5 laps. Rode out of the saddle in the mostly flat, choppy sections to add passive suspension to go faster.
Things I did wrong: Went off TOO hard and couldn’t recover. Did not have a good core strength built up as my lower back was about to cramp in the last few laps - especially at the runup and choppy sections where I was riding out of the saddle to add passive suspension.
11 12 / 2011
Lunch: 1/2 a Ritter Sport dark chocolate w/hazelnuts bar.
I put the tubular wheelset on (after getting high from all the acetone to remove the glue from the braking surface last night) and was glad I did today. The course was a bit rough and choppy with several technical sections.
Utilizing my callup from my second place result at the last race in Golden Gate Park, I got the holeshot which allowed me to stay out in front of the mess that 100 riders creates on the narrowing course. The first climb about 30 seconds into the race I was already regretting the 25ish mile “easy” road ride I did Saturday morning - after a 15 mile errands ride on the Big Dummy Friday - after an amazing 30 mile session at Annadel Thursday. I was worried that my legs wouldn’t have enough to keep me going the entire race, but my brain took over and I kept it up.
Using some roadie tactics, Fritz Wisor and I were pulling/drafting off each other for most of the race keeping a decent gap between 3/4/5 positions at times. On the last lap, the top 5 racers were all close going through the finish line area and I had a nice, brief shouldering/leaning session with the 12yr old in the race (he’s going to be an amazing racer in a few years when he gets more experience). After the barriers I was in 3rd position briefly until I passed up the second place guy by taking the bridge of sighs 3 stairs at a time and remounting well.
The remaining part of the last lap, I just stuck with Fritz until the last tiny straightaway right before the finish (4 turns remaining) and dropped every last ounce of wattage I had left in me to get out front.
After finishing, I tried to get some cooldown riding in, but Tom Simpson kept calling the top five to the podium so I only got a few minutes of riding in post race. Not able to see straight, I rode over to the podium and received my victory shot of Bulleit Bourbon from Murphy and give a proper hello to Carrie, Jeremy, Ezra, and Neil. “@jasonferrier says, “If I stop moving, I’m gonna puke,” shortly after his men’s B’s win.” - Photo by Carrie Cizauskas on Instagram
My chase for the Bay Area Super Prestige / Pilarcitos podium spot has ended. There are still many cyclocross races on my calendar until February - one every Sunday except December 25 and January 1. Keep an eye out for a pink blur at the Surf City races, CCCX Season Finale and the NorCal vs SoCal race.
26 11 / 2011
FINALLY glued my tires on my tubular wheelset yesterday.
Rear wheel weighs 1688g, front weighs 1255g with tires and cassette.
SRAM PG1050 11-28 cassette, black 32h Chris King Classic Cross hubset, Velocity Major Tom rims, DT Comp spokes, brass nipples.
If not the lightest setup, at least I’ll look good, right?
23 11 / 2011
Much New Belgium beer was drank. Shenanigans were had by most people (not including me).
Undesired conversion to single speed happened.
Knee issues returned the following day on a gentle ride from pushing too hard of a gear, so I skipped out on racing on Sunday in the B’s race.
Also, I’ve been noticing how (relatively) heavy my bike is when carrying it over barriers, so I am upgrading my seatpost from the HEAVY Paul seatpost (323g) to a Ritchey WCS post (201g) saving over 1/4 pound.
14 11 / 2011
I crashed. Twice.
At least I looked good.
17 10 / 2011
17 10 / 2011
I just got off the phone with Stan’s with two questions:
Q: I am about to setup my tubular and tubeless wheelsets for cross and all the things I have been reading about sealants is that they “last around 7 months”. Nobody says what happens after that. Does it turn solid? Do you just keep injecting more and more until it’s a solid donut?
A: Our sealant only leaves a small residue. Most of it evaporates.
Q: What conversion kit should I use to convert my Velocity A23 wheelset to tubeless? (23mm wide rim profile)?
A: The Plus Four Kit.
16 10 / 2011