Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BASP and beyond

Well it's been a while for some posting so I'm trying to catch up ...

I've been taking the 2nd half of the season on day-to-day basis. Things started off OK for me early in the season but took a downturn when I ate it @ Laguna and sprained my thumb pretty bad. I will never make fun of hoop stars again after hearing about some sprained thumb injury... My training took a dive after that as I couldn't do my planned workouts.. No mt. biking or standing hill repeats...

The last 3 weeks has been tough but I had some good racing especially at Golden Gate Park... Saturday I rode over to the park and did about an hour riding on the course inc 5 "hot laps" I could have just kept riding it was so much fun... After a crappy start, I ended up jocking for position with Pat, Rick and Grant which made for some fun racing... The course was about as good as it could have gotten, given the lack of rain leading up to the weekend.

I ended up narrowly beating Grant in a finish sprint for 22nd place. About 5 min down but in no danger of getting lapped by a super strong field.. So, not great-- but an improvement non-the-less... Next on the List was.. BASP final @ Coyote PT.

Lovely day for a race in Golden Gate Park
Suffering through the barriers...
BASP#5- Coyote Pt.// Nate and I met up with Keith on Saturday to do some recon on the course. It seemed to work well last week and besides... it was fun! The weather was cool but sunny and the course was again--fun to just ride. The layout was the same given a few small changes and I thought it was an improvement in any case.
Nate Dogg...
After another bad start ( have to work on this a bit) I managed to move up a bit on the uphill "shoot" to the parking lot. Things were OK but I felt a little more worked than I wanted and as soon as we hit the sand I felt like I was in a bit of trouble.
After a few laps and loosing a few spots I regained some composure and started to pick the pace up. Things were OK for about 3 laps then I started feeling bad, specifically my lower back and neck. I could barley hang onto Kurt and Cesar (SS leaders) on the pavement! UGH!
On the bumpy downhill I was having a hard time and felt like a grandma on that decent. No confidence at all.... also the drop into the sand had me feeling like I would go OTB any second and my run speed in the sand felt slow. After some great recon laps the day before and the race @ GGP I was going backwards! Why, why, why.....?
BASP @ Coyote Pt. Final
I ended up placing 17th for the day holding off a few chasers and finished 17th overall in the series. Given the ups and downs of the last few weeks it was a uneventful end to the BASP series. My goal had been to at least place in the top 15 overall and in the $$. Maybe next year... Jesse and Gabe did a good job in the overall and Cody also did well in the B's so the team had some good results
So... this last Sunday was the 6th round of the series for CCCX. My efforts have been focused at doing the best I can in this series. I enjoy the courses and Rod, Keith and the rest of the crew do a great job. The Ft. Ord day camp is my favorite venue down there. With rain on the way the sand gets packed down and tacky, so it was sure to be a fast and wiley ride! And it was!
I was able to ride for a good hour on the course with just light sprinkles and had a great time. I would have been happy to just ride the course for another hour just for the hell of it. I was in 7th overall and thought they would do the top 10 call ups but they didn't and got a lame start position. Disappointed as I was, I managed to move up quite a bit, possibly into top 10, on the long start "hill" so all was not lost.
I had an OK first lap and tried to settle into a rhythm. after a lap or so I washed out my front wheel in a tricky turn and fell. Not bad just lost the gap I was building and I got passed by a few guys before I could get going again but kept on the wheels. A few turns later my front wheel was making a rubbing sound and I was concerned that the wheel shifted in the fork so I stopped to open/ close the skewer and straighten the wheel.... Quickly on my way, I started to make up some lost spots and I noticed I hadn't closed my skewer all the way! I started to look for a slow place on the course to quickly stop again to fix the skewer. I managed to do so and continued on...


Things were going well and I was slowly reeling in a few riders. I had made quite a few changes to my bike setup over the weekend and can say with confidence--it was the right thing to do. With about 3-4 laps to go I dropped my chain in the large dip before the double barriers near the parking area... :(

Aww man... I was doing well and had regained all the positions I lost earlier... I took a deep breath as Howie is yelling at me to gather myself together and I put the chain back on pretty fast. I think there was 2-3 laps left at this point and tried to stomp on it but I was starting to feel tired from all the hard efforts earlier. The lead SS chase group containing Keith and Jesse tacked on the back, came by me and I tried to hang on but in the end could not. I finished just behind them in 12th place just over 6 min down. That's not terrible for having to stop 4 times during the race, last one at a crucial moment (dropped chain.) I think I probley lost about 1+ minutes combined if not more.

Most important is the bike feels sooo much better. I moved my cleats, swapped the stem and raised the saddle. lots of small changes right before a race is not the best idea but I was desperate to address the problems nagging at me the last few weeks. My neck and shoulders didn't hurt at all and my back while feeling tired was not sore and I feel good today not sore and dis-jointed like previous 3 weekends..

We are getting down to the end of the season and I will do a few races to get stronger for the CCCX final which, will be the official end of my season. It's been a tough cross season and I am getting sick of driving... not racing however!

The road season is just around the corner and I will focus on doing well and achieving an upgrade to 2 this season. This year my main focus was off-road on the mtb and I achieved my goals. Which were--

(Top 3) in in the CCCX series-3rd overall Pro/expert single speed. I had some great battles with Howie and Cesar..

(Win) 1st plc Nor-Cal SS Expert Championship/ Team Bigfoot throws together a bunch of races for a series and I did well @ Napa Valley and CCCX rounds 4-5? I dropped out of Howell mtn with crazy cramps but feel good about the overall.

(Mountain Upgrade to Semi-Pro) -- Successful!

Holidaze are here.. Get out and ride!


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