Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kansas State Mountain Bike Championships, Eddie Vedder and Hitting the Deck!

It has been a busy week and half! I have raced a lot and have had some cool family things going on at the same time. Always difficult to balance it all out, but with great support that can be done! I thought i would just post some pictures that tell the story versus writing to much about each event. So read if you want or just enjoy the pictures if you want? Hope you all are enjoying your Summer on your bikes!

State Age Group Category Road Race:

Last, last Saturday I raced in the 30-39 Kansas State Age Group Road Race. This was a 52 mile event in Olsburg, KS. It was cool and raining that morning, but by the time the race got going, it was warming up and very windy! Imagine that, wind in a road race in Kansas? We had a small field of 10 of us, so the pace was never very high during the entire event. There were a few digs by me and a few others to get away into the wind on the first lap, but that was not happening. We waited until the final six miles of the first of 2 laps to get heated. We had one guy get away on the climbs and our group was dwindled down to 7 of us. We caught him during the headwind section. It was good effort on his part, but no way he was getting away from us with that headwind. I was marking one guy the rest of the race. After assessing everyone's climbing ability during the 1st lap, I knew that William Peters, the eventual winner was the strongest climber in the group. I have been riding better than years past on the climbs, but will never consider myself a climber. So, going into the final 6 miles, I marked his wheel. With 3 miles to go in the race, he went for it and I jumped on his wheel. We opened up a sizeable gap on the rest of the riders. We started rotating for the next few miles to make sure we stayed away and had 1st and 2nd in the bag. The last 1000 meters became a cat and mouse situation. I was on the far right of the road making sure the pace was high enough that 3rd place did not come up and spoil our day, but he was riding half up on my bike and protected by the crosswind. When I would slow, so would he, when we hit 200 meters, I accelerated for the line. We were fairly even until 100 meters to go, but the slightly uphill finish favored his strengths and he took the win by 2 bike lengths. Tough to lose that way, but happy to get the Silver Medal! So, the first podium of that weekend was in the books and I needed to quickly recover for the State Mountain Bike Championships on Sunday!

Kansas State Mountian Bike Championships:

This was a day that had been circled on my calendar all year! This was to be my last Category 2 Mountain Bike race and I really wanted to end that chapter with a State Title in that division. The day started out warmer than the day before, I knew that it was going to be much hotter racing the Mountain Bike in the woods than being out on the open road. It was forecasting a bit of rain, which caused the humidity to jump dramaticly from the day before. My teammate Gary Mapes stayed at my house the night before and we headed over to the venue at the Perry Lake Trails, in Perry, KS. I needed to get there early as I had not ridden those trails in awhile and wanted to make sure I was dialed in for the race. We made it over in good time and I took to the trail. I was feeling pretty good from the day before and knew that I would have enough in the tank for the race. As I went along the trail, it was a great course for me! Only one real technical section, other than that it was full on, full throttle type of course. That suites me just fine!
We lined up for the race. The entire 19-39 class lined up with us. I was reluctant to take the lead, so I settled into 2nd place behind the 19-29 year old class leader. He was setting a great tempo, so I just followed him with about 30 yards distance. I noticed after about a mile, we were all alone. I was actually surprised that this was the case? So, I just settled into the pace and thought that with 3 laps to go, riding this tempo was perfect. Then climbing one of the last hills, I saw him on the side of the trail with a mechanical issue! So, I guess it was my turn to set the pace and just go for it! I hit the accelerator and I was off, finished that first lap in 25 minutes and some change. Pretty solid lap! The second lap was similar, I was catching some lapped traffic, which always slows you down a bit, but kept on trucking! I wanted to make sure that I was far enough ahead that I could protect the State Championship title and then worry about the overall win for the day. There were 2 races going on in this race. The State Title and the Crocidile Rock overall win for the day. Entering the 3rd lap, I backed off just bit, the race from the day before was starting to catch up to me and it was getting pretty hot! With about 2 miles to go in the last lap, Clay Wells caught up to me. He has been riding well in this series this year. I think he has podiumed at each race? I know he was 3rd to me in St. Joe. Anyway, Clay is a solid Mountain Biker and i am fortunate that he is from Missouri. He got around me on the rocky section and I was able to stay within 20 seconds of him the rest of the race. Knowing that he was from Missouri and I was pretty cooked eased my mind. So, I ended the day 2nd in the race overall for Cat. 2, but i became the 1st Kansas Rider of the day and won the State Championship that I was searching for on the Mountain bike! It was was a great ending to an awesome weekend!

Eddie Vedder:

So, the State Mountain Bike Championship was on my 12 year Wedding Anniversary!! Yes, I needed to do some major sucking up for being able to race that entire weekend. But, I have a great and awesome wife! She is my biggest supporter and allows me to chase my Bike Life dreams. So this last Friday we headed over to St. Louis for a little time off and saw Eddie Vedder. She loves Pearl Jam and says that Eddie is the other love of her life! It was a great time getting away!

Tour of Lawrence and the 4th!

So short and sweet report on this one! I had a great race going on Sunday Nite. Just got done with a dig up front, faded back a bit to take a breather with 4 laps to go and then BOOM! I hit the deck as about 8 riders piled up in front of me. I landed on my head and left shoulder. Was concerned about the shoulder, the headache and dizziness. So, we headed off to the Hospital for some pictures and to make sure my marbles were still rolling around in my head. Thanks to Rod Ambelang for his help and friendship on Sunday and my Father in law for taking care of me post crash. Otherwise the weekend was great! We have friends in town from Denmark and had an awesome 4th of July party at the house. The picture of the kiddos was at the Olathe Fireworks display. Good times with great friends!

Hope you all enjoyed the 4th and are able to enjoy the weather and ride a bike! That is what I am looking forward to later this week after I get healed up a bit. Re-evaluating some of the racing calendar for the year. More on that on the next post!

Until then Enjoy your Bike Life and Go!

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