Friday, January 17, 2014

Boulder Baby

Monday Casey and I took ETSU and King College's bikes over to Sheedz at Brevard, NC for the long drive the Brevard Tornadoes would have to get all of our bikes to Denver. It's not a trip to Brevard unless you hit the cheap Chinese buffet. I think Casey consumed 6 plates of food. I don't know where he puts it.

Boulder! What a great trip this year! Early Wednesday morning Austin takes me over to our regional airport in the tri-cities for a ride on a crop duster to Charlotte. I met Casey at 4:30am and boarded the turbo prop at 5:30then after a quick de-icing we were on our way to Colorado and collegiate nats. Peeps think I'm crazy because I love riding turbo props. Small plane, 2 big ass engines? It's like being on a carnival ride.

After landing in Charlotte we hopped a bigger jet for the 3+hr ride to Denver...

We landed, hung out for 2 hours, Joe landed, we picked him and his bike up and off to the race course! We hung out for several hours and got dinner before checking into our hotel. We decided to stay 9 miles south at Louisville, Co to save money. We were able to save nearly $500 by staying away from Boulder!

On the way to the hotel we needed several adult beverages. We found this place called Hazels Beverage World... it didn't disappoint!

 I got a 6 pack of samples and tried a few beers I haven't had before.... just a couple shown.

We were on a tight budget because we're a club organization and not a varsity team. So we didn't get to visit many of the nice eateries in Boulder. Enter sad face here

 I love Colorado! If i was to live anyplace else this is where it would be. I love me some Rockies.

 After getting settled in we had to build bikes. Casey had 2 as well as Joe. We found a bike service called Pro Bike Express. Chandler and Wes took great care of us and the bikes. It was nice leaving the bikes at the course to be washed and gone over each day while we were taking care of other things. Super great service!!!

 This is the beer list from a local restaurant in Boulder...pathetic.

The free breakfast was not bad. Fresh eggs and sausage with all the trimmings. Waffles and pastries topped everything off. It made the trip easier and less expensive. The Milligan crew stayed at a place that served them dinner every evening also, they scored best on the food.

 There was plenty to do at nats. Casey never wore pants the whole time there. A couple of days it was frigid cold too and the wind gusted one day to 50 mph blowing some jr kid over while he was racing.

 Free haircuts? The local talent was out in force for sure. Casey and Kaysee sport the event shirt sold by one of the vendors.

The place was packed on Sunday for the final races of the day. Thousands came to Valmont Bike Park to watch the days events unfold.

Casey above and Joe below rode their hearts out for great finishes. Casey would have had a better finish but a first turn crash resulting in a flying superman move over Tim's, from Mars Hill, bike when Tim crashed.

The course was a hard packed, mostly dry, fast race track. Joe said there was NO place to rest.

After 6 laps Joe, below, managed to hold onto 3rd place well ahead of the 4th place Furman rider. I didn't think Joe was ever farther back than 5th for the whole race. It was our first podium in CX in only three short years of trying! The thing I'm most proud of is that we are a club and beat several teams that have lots of money in scholarships tied up in their riders. Go ETSU! When I first took over the ETSU program we only competed in Mountain Biking and it was mostly gravity only. We've came a long way in 4 years. We now compete in MTB, Road, BMX and CX. Success? I think so. I hope I can take this resume' and use it to secure a coaching job at a college cycling program soon. I graduate in May!

Here's a quick iPhone vid of the Pro Start Sunday...........

This is how you ride stairs. PERIOD! smooth!

See... Casey is always eating. Here we were slamming  a couple of breakfast burritos from a vendor that stayed in the same hotel as ourselves. When we were leaving late Sunday the dude gave us a full pan of everything to eat. It would easily have made 10 burritos! I had about 2 polish sausages from it while Casey devoured at least half of it. Delicious !!

Another beautiful sunset on the course Friday.

Shimano.... The best neutral race support bar none! These guys are a class act and we get to see them at all the big races. Shimano you guys rock! Oh you ask about Sram? yea they were there fixing their broken junk... yea that's right those hydro's that were recalled. If you didn't get yours replaced at Nats dont worry they'll have yours for ya in April. Enter hashtag #fail here.

As we look back after a successful season of collegiate CX racing. Goodbye Boulder, we'll miss you!

Most all photo creds go to MamaJ!

I couldn't leave this out! While we were riding high in the skies at 3am Justin was still partying it up at the after party. I made a bet with him via text to see if he could keep it up until we landed in Charlotte at 6am eastern. He said he almost made it. Kaysee and the King team were walking through the Denver Airport when they saw Justin sacked out waiting on his flight back to SC. She snapped a quick cell pic and sent it to me. Good try my man!

It was a great trip. I will go as far as calling it a mini-vacay. Lots of homies from the Volunteer state attended and many peeps that we only get to see at the races so it was good times. I9 was there with support for their customers. Drew and little wife Rachael are awesome. We get to see them again this weekend at Asheville NC for the last episode of NCCX. Everyone is anxious to see what the course will be like as a precursor for CX16 Nats! I could go on and on with everything that happened but I think I'll save some for later...

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

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