2010 State Champion*

Some days things are just not meant to be, last Saturday afternoon for one.  It was the Kansas State Grass Track Championships in Lawrence, yes grass track, all the fun of track racing without the velodrome. Imagine a large flat filed with an oval shaved into the grass.  They say it was very common back in the day, but so was black and white television and you don’t see it any more either.

As is the case with track racing both in a velodrome and out here in some guys field you must ride a track bike, makes since.  Anyway, track bikes are fixed, if the back wheel is turning so are the cranks, no freewheel and no breaks.  If I had some tight girls jeans and a messenger bag I could fit right in with the hipster crowd, but I live in a very hilly city and the idea of a track bike outside of a track seems stupid to me. I know many people think they are the bee’s knees and great for training, but I don’t, I really enjoy coasting and not killing my knees.  Give me a bike with gears and breaks and I’m happy, technology marches on.   Plus the closest velodrome is in St. Louis, a bit of a drive.

Back to the race, and disappointment shortly there after.  I finally won a race, two races actually.  I finished first, and we will leave it at that.  I won the Mens 35-39 1K time trial, and the Mens 35-39 scratch race.  And I have absoutly nothing to show for my victories.  I don’t live in Kansas, nor do I want to live in Kansas so I’m unable to claim the title, “State Champion”, nor do I receive any such medal for winning my races.  I did get a lovely r5 t-shirt, and a jar of taint lubrication. This feat of athletic prowess was accomplished on a borrowed bike, I don’t own a fixed gear bike.  And I’m sure as hell not going to St Louis for the Missouri track championships, I would get destroyed.  However, I’m keeping those “championships” even though they are not technically mine.  I’m happy putting an asterisk next to those victories, it always worked for Roger Maris.

3008 California State Champion "winning" the 2010 KS Track Championship.*

It’s not often that I win races, in fact I haven’t won a race since i was 5 when I destroyed the field at the Belton (MO), Community Days Big Wheel races, I even got my photo in the paper.  I finished with a medal at mountain bike race earlier this spring, and I don’t even own a mountain bike, a ‘cross bike did an admrialble job going up against everyone’s mountain bikes (faster and lighter is the way to go if conditions are right).  It’s funny that I keep doing well in cycling events that I rarely ever take part in.

It was hot, surface of the sun hot.  It was almost 100 F even hotter if you factor in the heat index.  And going with the long sleeve skinsuit was probably not the best idea, but fashion trumps comfort if you ask me.  Do it it’s tightness it did help hold ziplock bags of ice on your neck and back as you were busy killing yourself spinning laps around the track as hard as you possibly could.  Fighting the urge to coast was a problem as well but I stayed on without getting flipped off the bike, I guess it’s something you get used to riding fixed.

Not in last.

It wasn’t just me who were disappointed, winning a race and having nothing but taint lubrication to show for our victories.  I am taking steps to rectify this matter, I don’t want to go into detail right this minute, but those of us who won but lived out of state will soon have something to show for our efforts.  Check back later in the week to see what steps have been taken.

Karma soon took hold of the venue, as soon as medals were awarded (some to people who didn’t finish first but lived in state) a hugh storm blew in, forcing everyone to huddle under a tent while watching everything that wasn’t tied down get destroyed, sorry Boulevard team, your tent is toast.

Post storm sky.

They saved the top of the tent, but the bottom is a goner.

Chris Cross International Cyclocross Race Makes You Jump





Every day is a good day for cyclocross but Sunday couldn’t have been nicer.  Warm but not hot (mid 70’s), overcast so people like me who wear a black kit don’t die from heat exhaustion.  

The overall field was a bit smaller than the Diamond Blackfan race two weeks ago, however there was a race in Topeka the night before, so I’m assuming many chose one but not two races over the weekend.  It’s a long enough drive to Lawrence and back (102 miles) but to drive back and forth to Topeka and Lawrence back to back was too much for me.  I can only take Kansas in small doses.

We interrupt this blog for a Kris Kross video. You didn’t think I’d let a Kris Kross reference slip by did you?  And now back to the blog.

It was a fast and very enjoyable course.  Lots of single track sections, much more than most courses, way too many gravel road sections though, it was a bit sketchy early before the line was formed. If you were to fall that would probably be the area where it would happen.  The two road sections were long enough for you to drop the hammer and gain some serious speed, even the grass sections which were long straight and mostly straight allowing you to keep some speed.   


Mens 4’s drew a large crowd, 60 racers plus a hand full single speeders who got added in.  It’s still early in the season and the weather is still nice which draws a ton of people who are trying cyclocross for the first time.  I guess you have to start somewhere, I know it wasn’t that long ago that I was out there with no clue what I had in front of me.  At least I knew better than to wear a sleeveless jersey and tennis shoes.

Black Sheep Cartel fielded only one racer, Chris Thomas and finished well enough, 39th of 60, nothing special, but better than last.  Small goals were reached; no wrecks, no blood, no mechanicals…  Mens Masters B 35+ drew a smaller field as to be expected, but like before they grouped in the Mens B 45+ 55+, Women’s cat 4, and Juniors to the mix to spice things up.  BSC’s Chris Thomas finished 15th despite cramping up running the barriers but still picking off 3 other riders on the paved home stretch.  Just put your head down and drop the hammer.

(I’m featured at 3:53, kicking ass at the barriers, look for the b/w checkerd jersey. The cameraman is referring to me when he says, “…there’s a pass, there’s a pass, go, go, go, sprint that out, sprint, big gear, just pound it…)

One bright spot about Lawrence, Free State Brewery, the brewery not the team with the same name.  If you’ve driven all the way there’s no good reason not to stop in and eat and drink some really good beer and watch Zeke hit on the waitresses.   It’s a long drive back to Kansas City and having a belly full of good food and beer is always nice.  Oh yeah, almost forgot, we hit the Cold Stone Creamery too, delicious!

Good times!







See you at the Boulevard Cup next Sunday at Wyandotte County Park.  You know, where they had the cyclocross national championships last December.