Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Manion's Cross

There is no better way to have fun on a bike than cyclocross. I heard somewhere that this sport was invented by pro roadies in Belgium a long time ago to help them stay in shape in the off season, but here in K.C. you will hear people say that they do road racing in the spring and summer to stay in shape for cross in fall and winter. This sport is huge here in Kansas City among many other places  in the U.S.. Lots of people say the colder and muddier the better. It also helps that there is usually free beer at most races. This will be my second full season of cross and although I am not all that charged about training I am excited about racing. There are races in this area pretty much every weekend until after the first of the year and the first ones were this past weekend. Manion's Cross is a race put on by my bicycle shop sponsor Volker bicycles of Kansas city. Two days of racing out on the hills of Manion's auction house. Cross is spectator friendly as the courses are usually between 1.5 miles and 2.5 miles long wrapping around the inside of a park, so if you sit in one spot of the course to watch you will have the racers pass by you multiple times in one race. So as you can imagine, it is more of a family atmosphere. This past weeked the wife and baby came out with me on Saturday and sat on a blanket to enjoy the fun and cheer dad on in his poor result do to my rear tire having a leak. I had to stop every lap in the wheel pit and pump up my tire. I knew I wasn't going to do well but I also didn't want to DNF(did not finish). Much to my surprise, I managed to finish 31st out of 34. I thought I was dead last. Sunday was a much better showing for me. I borrowed a teamates awesome "geared" bike with carbon tubulars. In my race I finished 17th out of  30. Middle of the pack is not bad at all for me considering it was a climbing mans course.   

Friday, September 2, 2011

Everybody Limbo

This weekend is Gateway Cup. 4 days of crit racing in St.Louis. I went to watch one race last year and loved the energy the town had for racing. Before this I didn't have a very positive opinion of St.Louis, but we had a great day off watching friends race and having lunch in the Italian district of town.  In the beginning of the season I had put Gateway Cup on my radar but to be honest I lost any interest in doing it weeks ago. It has been a long and hot summer and this past week I did something that I hadn't done in over a year. I took a week off of cycling. I have not been on a bike in 6 days. My right knee has been a little achey and I have not had much desire to ride either. This is the time of year where we are winding down road racing and starting to prepare for cyclo cross. Right now I am not excited about that either. I really don't like winter and I am not looking forward to the below 50 degree weather. Last winter seemed to last for ever. I did try to excite myself for winter by buying a compression long sleeve thermal base layer. I guess I will have to wait until the first cross race to really jump start my excitement. I am making plans to do the Tour de BBQ this year. This is the 3rd year of this ride and from what I hear it is only getting bigger and better. Last year they had Smash Mouth performing at the rap up party. I will be doing the 62 mile route and for those of you who don't know about the ride, the route is designed to go to all the BBQ joints that wished to participate. The first year had 7 stops with food being served at each and every location. All the big names are on the route like Gates, Arthur Bryants, Oklahoma Joe's, Jack Stacks............ this should be a lot of fun and well worth the trip if you are interested. Here is a link for more info.