Friday, July 31, 2009

Stony Creek TT

Last weekend, was the Stony Creek TT. Man how I am missing the Tailwind TT series. The reason I like TT's so much is the more I race, the more I am realizing I like to go as hard as I possibly can, I just want to do it in a short amount of time. Like a cyclocross race! Stony is about all that is left of the original series (at least this year with the economy) and now it is entirely apart of the MMBA CPS series with Tailwind's help. So with that in mind, I am not in the CPS points race, so this race really didn't mean much for me other than to go have a good time and get in a good TT race with a good size field. But I also wanted to mix things up a bit and decided to do it on my Cyclocross pit bike. Nothing like a little early CX training - right?

When I took off I felt great! I was burning up the flat grassy section right before you enter the single track. Got to the first river crossing, dismounted trotted through the creek and back on the saddle. Yeah! Just like a real CX race! Then it was through the pines into the double track and I thought, I am rocking this bike today! Then came the "Roller Coaster". This is when I realized that my choice of bikes may not have been the best idea. I felt every rock, root, and bump. The little 1 inch tires were squirmy in the corners and not forgiving on the steep descents. I could not tell you how many times I could hear the rear rim bottom out on rocks or roots. And I would just wait for the pssssss sound to come after. But it never did. I still rode smart and limited my risk through the single track so that I would make it out in one piece. Even though riding the CX bike through the single track was brutal and sketchy, it was a blast at the same time! And the effort can only improve my bike handling skills for the coming months. After the single track was complete, it was time for the 2nd river crossing. I dismounted early and put the bike on my shoulder and began to run over the huge tree that crossed the trail and then through the small creek. I did not preride the course this year and failed to remember that there was a decent size section of single track before the actual 2nd creek crossing. So thinking it was only a few yards, I continued to run with my bike on my shoulder down the single track. I was starting to lose so huge chunks of time and then realized This was not the best method. I put the bike back down and rode to the creek. By this time, I had already ran off 1/2 the single track. Oh well. I ran through the creek jumped on my bike and pushed as hard as I could all the way back to the finish line. I managed to take 7th place out of 14 racers, and put up a 56 min lap. Not bad on a 'cross bike!

On another note, Nolan raced his 2nd MTB race and this time it was 12 miles long! He did a great job and climbed like a billy goat and descended like a rock. He challenged himself the whole way by making it up hills that he was never able to complete, and going down hills he would have walked in the past. As a result, he took home 3rd place for his 2nd race in a row! But the Osgood racing doesn't stop there, My 3 year old daughter Makenna tore it up in the kids race. Just like her big brother, she is starting young and dialing in her skills early. I am sure I will be writing about her results very soon.

My favorite results for the day -

Jason Melecosky - Taking 5th without hardly racing this year. This is why we call you OX.
Jim Goerlich - 1st Place in sport SS! Way to go Jim.
Joe Gilbert - 2nd place like a diesel engine week after week!
Tom and Shawn -- WOW! This is becoming a great battle to watch. And to think, we still have CX season ahead of us....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nolan's first USAC Race!

In his ripe old age of 7, my son Nolan completed his first official USAC XC Mountain bike race at Big-M ski/mtb trails in the Manistee National forest. In addition to completing the race, he was also able to stand on the 3rd step of the podium! I'm sure getting that first taste of the podium will make him hungry for more, as he already has his sights on the Stony Creek TT this weekend.

Leading up to the race, he was very excited and looking forward to going "up North" for a quick weekend get away, and a chance for him to not only do his first "Big People" race, but also ride his bike in a trail that he has never been on before. As we lined up he made sure I was ready and behind him. The whistle blew and we took off. He was setting a good pace through the first part of the fast single track and then he discovered sand. A small crash from locking up the brakes and he was up and ready for the next challenge. We made sure to yield to all the other racers by allowing them to pass. And I was impressed with Nolan for always listening for other racers coming up behind him, and then looking for the best option to get out of their way. And after most of the riders passed, he would yell out encouragement to them, like "your doing good", "keep going", or my favorite, "these hills hurt". I think we can all learn a little trail etiquette from a 7 year old. I was also impressed with his desire to try and clean all the climbs. He did very well and a few of them I could not believe he actually made it to the top! He descended very well also. Always looking for the best line and making sure his speed was in control.

As we made our way down the last hill and into the final straight, the crowd was full of cheer. And like a true racer, he found some more energy deep inside from the response of the crowd and managed to make a big push for the line sprinting all the way home. Way to go buddy!

As for my race, I give myself a C. I put out better times than last year (except for the last lap in which I crashed near the finish and then coasted home). But I felt a little flat of the climbs and flats. My bike handling is rasor sharp right now, so I hope as I get stronger, my results will improve. This is a quick base 3 for me as I ramp up for CX season. But I really need to work on my power and riding near my threshold. I finished 8th out of 9th.

Notables and congrats --

Tom and Shawn -- You guys just keep getting better and better. See you both at the big boy starting line soon.
JB -- Looking rock solid. You look like your on par with your CX training.
Brain -- Taking 4th on someone else's bike. But at least it was a good bike (Way to go plastic!)
Brad -- The human hamster. Thanks for handing it to me on the last lap.
Mike Wizzz.... -- 1st in elite! Look forward to seeing you tear up the CX courses again this year.