Sunday, Sunday, Sunday…

Sunday was the last race in the De Stad Cross Cup / Kansas State Cyclocross Championships held on the campus of St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, KS.  Side note, you may have read about St. Mary’s College lately, last season their mens basketball program has refused to play with a female officiating their games. You could have not asked for a nicer day in November for a race, it was a bit brisk early on in the day but by mid afternoon it had warmed up enough to shed a few layers, it’s always tricky to figure out just how to dress this time of the season. Plus the weather can be completely different when you leave Kansas City and arrive in Leavenworth.   

The course was unique thanks to the layout of St Mary’s campus; tree lined brick roads, ponds full of dsc01005geese, “The Mound of Mercy” a big dirt run up thanks to ongoing construction, a unique and maddening corkscrew maze near the grave yard, there’s something you don’t see at most races, on the far side of the course.  And enough leaves on the ground to make you feel your in an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard (it could be in the middle of summer and the roads of Hazzard County were always coverd in leaves). It was a relatively short course and was fast too.  It offered something to make the most jaded crosser happy.   I now understand why they keep using this venue year after year.

Things could have been a little better in the Mens 4 race, my first row start got me out in front with a few guys but I quickly fell a few places towards the back as soon as we left the brick street.  I did my best to keep up with the leaders but I just didn’t seem to have the legs to keep up their pace, typical for me.  As always I find myself in a no-mans land between the leaders in front and the stragglers in back.  It becomes difficult to judge just where you stand after a few laps when the field tends to stretch out and what pace you need to keep.  I’d pass guys on the bricks and then they would catch me on the off chamber areas, I really need to work on that. You play your strengths and try to hang on in areas where your not as comfortable.  Due to some stupid choices during the race I fell back a bit farther than I would have liked and finished further back than I’d like to admit.  Some races you just don’t have it. I did do better than the Chiefs, god they suck.


Black Sheep climbs the "Mound of Mercy"


My second race, Mens Masters 35+ B was much better.  Again, I got a good start, and hung with the leaders longer than usual.  Then I had some issues with physics and gravity, finding myself on my ass taking a turn to fast and having my back wheel slide out from under me.  That probably cost me a few spots, I caught a few who passed me while I was laying there in the grass like an idiot.  I just didn’t have enough time to catch the guys I had my eye on earlier in the race.  It really sucks when you feel really good, your legs feel strong aren’t cramping up, your lungs aren’t on fire and you go and crash.  I was hoping to finish in the top 10 again, earning enough points to break into the top 5 in series points. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and I ended up 6th in points.  It’s frustrating to be so close but have it go a different way, but that’s how cyclocross can be, an unloving brutal bitch.  But I wouldn’t want it to be any other way, it’s hard, and it wouldn’t be any fun if it was easy.

No need for a pitty party, there are plenty of races left on the schedule this season.  Plus I’m not a Kansas resident and wouldn’t have been crowned champion even if I had won.  Yet another reason to dislike Kansas.

We need to get Roger some new music, I can’t take the disco crap he keeps playing any longer. Please make it stop!!!



Hippies & Halloween

So much for the plans many of us made this week.  With Halloween (by the way, the best holiday of the year) falling on a Friday and two races scheduled for this weekend, many of us choose to go out Friday night and celebrate Halloween with friends and have a good time, sleep off our hangovers on Saturday, skipping Boss Cross I at Tiffany Springs Park.  Feeling refreshed no longer reeking of booze and candy corn then race Sunday at the Sunflower Cyclocross Race at Clinton Lake State Park.  It’s difficult enough to get one’s lazy ass out of bed the morning of any race, but compounding Halloween on top of that is just too much to take.  ‘Cross can be miserable enough but racing with a hangover isn’t any fun, trust me.

Come to find out the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has put a hold on all special events at Clinton Lake State Park for the rest of the year, and likely into 2009, (only days before the scheduled cyclocross race). This affects the cyclocross race planned for Sunday. All special events (even those held on paved areas) have been put on hold “to allow the park grounds to sufficiently recover from the Wakarusa Music Festival”.  Stupid hippies!  Who knew jam bands are bad for the environment?

This is the lamest excuse I’ve heard in a long time. The Wakarusa Music Festival was in early June, nearly six months ago.  Plus they have had many other events at Clinton Lake since, a few triathlons, and the Chris Cross International Cyclocross Race in early October.  The park and grounds looked fine, races have little impact on the grounds especially since it has been dry, it’s difficult to tell anything has ever happened a few days after the event.  If you had come to Chris Cross you would have never know that there was a huge music festival was held there several months ago.   If they were concerned about the state of their grounds post festival you would think they would deny access soon after the festival, not six months later. 

Maybe having a weekend off isn’t such a bad idea.  The Smithville races really took it out of me, four races in two days was exhausting and took several days for the aches and pains to go away.  Neither the Sunflower race or Boss Cross I are a part of the De Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas Series so if we miss these races it will not affect our series points.  Somehow I’ve managed to rack up enough points to find myself 6th in the Masters Mens 35+ B group, cat 4 isn’t quite as impressive, 63rd but it’s a much bigger group.

There should be no excuse to have a bad day at the Veterans Cross next weekend in Leavenworth KS. 

Hopefully the Black Sheep in Charlotte have a bit more discipline and not spend their weekend drinking beer and eating leftover fun sized candy bars while dressed in ridiculous costumes.

NCCX race #4, Lenior Cyclocross is in Lenior, NC, Sunday Nov 2.  

Good luck guys, Cartel power!!