Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Break - Colorado Bound

Up early and head to Chattanooga with Casey for the Tennessee State CX Championships. The state jerseys were to be awarded (not that I was in the running mind ya.) to the top riders in the state this day. Casey an I were doing great on time until we ran into this mess below. What is it with people and driving anymore? Forecast was for rain all day Friday and most of Saturday. Well it poured all day Friday the day before the race then let up and stopped late that night. More rain was in the forecast but it still had not hit us on our trip. Well at about the junction of 75 south and 40 west split... it started. We counted 5 accidents in less than 50 miles. One was a huge motor home off the road and up in the trees!

I thought I was going to be late for my masters class so I stopped at a Hardees for a bathroom break and grabbed a biscuit. Little did I know that the venue was not far away. We arrived with enough time to register, kit up and make one practice lap just before the start. It was a no warm up for me, as usual, so I didn't expect much for myself. I was on my trusty Air 9 Niner for the mudfest ahead. I get picked on for riding a mountain bike at most of my cross races but I don't mind, I've got thick skin and I can dish crap back better than most so it's a win-win for me. One heckler gave me props for climbing the run-up but said he took it back cuz I was on a Mtn Bike. Next lap I ripped him back for not racing and he left me alone for the rest of the race, that was too easy. I like getting heckled... its cross!

Bang and we're off. I get a kick out of riding most stuff that the cx bikes don't. I'm definitely not fast but I pride myself on NOT getting off the bike since I'm a slug. So, I bunny-hopped the barriers... every lap (I've seen & ridden bigger), I rode the greasy slick downhill section that some ran down and I rode every run-up on the course. It wasn't easy and I have to say that the off camber sections were the most difficult in my opinion. I ended up 13th out of 18 or so.

It was a filthy sloppy mess at that park. Thank goodness we were first. In my race it was more soup than tacky mud. When my bud Nolan finally got to race it was a tad more sticky and nasty. The mud made quick work on his stock organic pad material and after a couple of laps he was riding with no brakes. His strength and power, luckily, gave him over a half a minute lead over the 2nd place Corey. Corey is one of our local collegiate riders and rides for Virginia Intermont. Corey was able to close the gap to right behind Nolan since he didn't have any brakes left. Nolan almost had the thing in the bag but he dropped his bike on the last turn before the finish and Corey managed to get around for the win. Yep, luck plays a huge part sometimes. So, Nolan gave Corey a gift unintentionally of course.

I'm going to have to find a GF to take pics so I'll have some pics of me at these races! Well, probably not, it's not worth putting up with one. If mama J would have been there she'd have taken plenty. But unfortunately she was at the UCI in Hendersonville NC for Sat/Sun races.

Yep it was soupy slop at choo choo.

I got asked by a few peeps why I didn't go to the UCI races that weekend. Well they got hammered by the rain clouds as well on Saturday and Sunday's forecast was no rain. That meant one thing: peanut butter mud and I didn't wanna go through the trouble of cleaning up Saturday's bike mess just to do it all again 24 hrs later. Another reason for me is the class structure and that I'm a over-weight, outta shape masters rider that can't hang on in the 3's anymore. Our local MSG CX races have a masters class that really separates the guys with integrity from the lame ones, opps I'm probably not supposed to say stuff like that. Most USAC masters category's are 35's and 45's Masters 1/2/3 then a Masters 4/5. To be quite honest I don't think you should be racing ANY masters races until you are at least 40 years old. Psssttt, hear me USAC? Didn't think so. Our fearless leader at MSG adopted that trial lst year masters program that Wisconsin put in effect for road racing two yrs ago now and tweaked it a tad. We have a 35+ Elite 1/2/3 then we have a Masters 45+ 3/4/5 and a 55+ 3/4/5 and we're all ran together and scored separately. This way when the 45+/55+ 3/4/5 win a series overall we can bump them on up to a more competitive class (35+ Elite). Also, the masters riders that have integrity and want to challenge or push themselves can race the Masters Elite class at MSG. Then the ones that can't go to any race unless they have a good chance at winning can race the 3/4/5 Masters so they won't bruise their delicate little egos. After this race series I think I'll have another populated list for rider upgrades, yehaw.

We have a Christmas break this week so that we can spend time with family. Good food means more training to work it off though. I wish I had more discipline ya know?

So now what? There's one more local MSG race in Kingsport Jan 4th then a Pro Cx race the next day, 5th,  at the same location. Yep that's right we be getting ready for Nats in '16 hosting these ProCX series races. So we'll start working on setting up a course the week after Christmas then as soon as its over we're on a plane and headed to Boulder for almost a week. To be so slow I sure do get to travel so pro. The school is picking up the airfare and hotels. The club gets the rest. Collegiate racing, and managing, has it's perks. Last year I was a participant... this year I'm tech assistance for Corey and Joe.

I am going to take advantage of the situation while I'm out there though. Looks like Friday I'll be getting the skis out for a day on the slopes at one of the area resorts, woot woot. Then Saturday we'll get back to being all serious about racin'. Sunday Div II races early. We''ll get everything boxed back up after that and get cleaned up so that we can catch that red-eye back home. Yes free tickets and I can't complain even though I wanna about a red-eye flight. Then, Wednesday Spring classes start! Senior portfolio class is this semester and I'm really looking forward to it. Thought I'd add one of my pieces below with the before and after. It's Photoshop using displacement maps. I'll have to create a bunch more before the end of the semester for senior show.

LAter G...............

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