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Friday, December 24, 2010

La Florida

Florida makes me smile.  There's fried shrimp while looking at the St. John's River, sandhill cranes in the back yard, the Tuesday-Thursday ride in Gainesville, and family.

Here is the final standings for the UTCX Masters 45+:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

We are on the ground in Florida.  I'm home.  I know because I sat under a red maple this morning in my sister's back yard.  I looked up at the fall's lingering colors.  I listened to a cardinal, a mocking bird, and a blue jay.  The temperature is nearly 50 and the humidity is thick.  It's all so familiar, ingrained, and infused.  I have to get back here on a full time basis.  This afternoon I may even get to ride after we get to the lake house.  I want to see the trees, the sand hill cranes, and the lakes.  I want to breath it all in to my soul.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Sign

I was cleaning up my computer a little this afternoon, deleting a bunch of files, and came across this:

For a moment or two, I felt a bit of remorse.  Or nostalgia, perhaps.  And then it went away.  Now, I'm going to put it in the trash can and empty the trash can.  Done.  Never again, that's a promise.

What Did The Course Look Like?

It looked like this, but of course, I was going much much faster.  This video is from the Men's C race.  Thanks, Matt.

Utah Cyclcocross, race no. 11 from matt bradley on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Podium Today!

I saved my best for last at today's final UTCX race.  I bit the bullet.  I let it all fly.  On the first lap I got over my usual mental hurdle and kept up with the top five guys.  They had a gap, but I closed it.  Normally, I let them ride away as I settle into my own controlled pace.  Not today.  On the first climb I went hard and moved up a few spots.  On the second lap I hit the first and second climbs hard again and moved into second place, right in front of Daren C., the series points leader, Dr. Cross, this year's 45+ Utah State Champion, and Tim B.  Tim's brother Steve was off the front.  Then, I went too fast into an off-camber down-hill pavement-to-grass turn, hitting the ground so hard that I lost my breath and all feeling in my left arm.  Daren, the Doctor, and Tim went right around me and had a gap as I remounted and started pedaling.  I chased hard, attacked the hills like a fixed gear freak, battled all three guys (Daren especially) and moved back into second place by the third lap.  For the next three laps, there I stayed.  I saw Steve at one point, moving to within about 20 seconds, but he went hard and held a good gap for the rest of the race.  I finished second, about 25 seconds in front of Tim.

So, my fixed gear cyclocross season is over.  I will probably finish fifth in the points race with only seven races (your best eight races count).  I am pretty happy with my efforts.  On Tuesday, I'm going home.  I'm looking forward to long rides with warm feet and no snow on the ground.  I can't wait to paddle a black water stream, or to sit in some enchanted north Florida forest and listen to the voices of familiar trees.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Chance

I just had to get in some time on the bicycle today.  At noon it was 10 degrees.  So, I waited until 2pm when it warmed up to 13 degrees.  The sun was out and I did  2 cold laps and 4 hot laps at the fairgrounds.

Saturday is the last UTCX race of the season, here:

And, it's double points.  Like a fool, yesterday I signed up for the 45+ race and the singlespeed race.  I'll be on the fixed gear for both.  Time to bite the bullet.  Time to let it all fly.  Here is the weather forecast.  True cold, wet, soaked to the bone cross weather.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back On The Horse

I finally got back on the bike yesterday.  Paul V. and I rode to the top of Sardine Summit, at about 6,000 feet in elevation.  It was my first long ride in many months and I bonked hard on the way home.

Saturday is the last UTCX race.  I could move up if I do well.  But, you can't do well when you stop training for 8 days.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Long Drive

I made it back to Utah last night.  Like the drive north, the roads over the mountains were packed with blowing snow and ice, but I survived.  Yesterday was a 17 hour day.  Today, my training schedule resumes.  You know, the hard-assed racer-dude set-in-stone training schedule, that today calls for tempo and three sets of stair step intervals.  Realistically, I might at least stand up and walk the dog at some point.  I've been off the bike since last Saturday.  No need to rush things.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Montana Bound

I am headed out today for the Big Sky.  Looks like that sky will be full of clouds and snow.  I have over 30 cameras to check, two to remove, and two to install.  I should be back by Thursday.  It looks like another week with no training.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Race Report

I finished 5th in today's race.  Not so good, considering last week.  I did not have that mental edge today.  On the first lap I watched 1st - 4th ride away.  Then, I missed a turn.  Dumb.  So, I stayed in fifth all day.  But, it's all good.  Even with a perfect race, I think I would only have moved up one place.

I Know That Dude!

And, at 1:07, you get to see my famous fixed gear cyclocross dismount.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The guy that refuses to put a bicycle on a trainer and spin like a caged squirrel while staring at the wall, has a hard time staying in shape during cyclocross season.  That person is me.  I'm just not going to do it.  So, it's time to go for a ride.  I've not been on the bike since my podium finish on Saturday.  There's over a foot of snow on the ground, and yesterday morning it was -8 degrees F.  Here is a picture:

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