Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 Year in Review and "Bling-Bling!"

I can't believe 2010 is almost over. And what a year it has been. looking back I very satisfied with my results, plan, and progress as I have advanced through the Expert mountain bike racing and Masters 35+ Cyclocross ranks.

I improved my mountain bike racing performance by nailing my goal of reaching the podium at least 3 times in the USAC XC series. In fact between the gear class and single speed class in the MMBA CPS, and USAC I reached the podium 5 times. The year before I only reached it once. And to top the mountain bike season off, I turned out my best Iceman ever by taking 3rd place in All men 35!

As for Cyclocross. This was my main focus. And it would be my first year stepping up into the Masters 35+ ranks. I have to say I was very pleased as I quickly adapted to the faster pace, of the Masters class, and started to become a legitimate podium threat week after week. I finished with 5 podium spots. Topping 4th place 2 times as my highest finishes. I missed my goal of finishing 5th overall by 3 points. And if I did not have a mechanical which ended up as a DNF at the State Championships, I feel I would have accomplished this goal.

So this is one of my toughest and best racing years to date. And I did it with a Powertap, and 6 hours a week following the Chris Carmichael "Time Crunched Training Plan". I stuck to my plan and it worked.

Looking forward to 2011. I am hoping for more improvement. I will probably stick with a similar plan but with some alterations to address some weaknesses. I am also getting really hungry for "W"! I could start to taste it again at the end of the CX season, so it is just adding fuel to the fire. As the season approaches, I am sure this will push me even harder during my training and racing to try and make it happen. So hang on tight. Were going for another ride!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Not what I had in mind

The Season came to an end today for cyclocross. The MI State CX State Championship held at Springfield Oaks was the place it would all happen. I was feeling good, and the legs were still strong for one more chance. But I guess it was not meant to be. On the pre-ride, right before the start, my rear shifter would not click down into my harder gears? I checked and checked this stuff time and time again leading up to the race, and never had an issue. It would catch some of the time but not every time. So lining up I started to get this mechanical issue in my head. I told my buddy Lee to go to the pits and make sure my bike was ready because I was not sure what was going on. I had a good strong start, sitting around 5th into the crazy section of the course, but once we hit the pavement, I tried to shift down and nothing. I instantly went back to about last place. I was finally about to get a few gears to go. I made it to the pit and had a super clean and fast bike change, but I also had a set of Grifos on the pit bike instead of the Rhinos I was using for more traction on my race bike. I was pissed and mentally out of it. I made it up to a few guys, but then started making stupid mistakes. After I blew through the course tape a 2nd time because I missed my turn, I decided it was not meant to be. I took my first ever CX DNF.

But boy did I have an awesome year for Cyclocross... My first year as a Masters racer, I stepped up onto the podium 5 out of 9 times! I learned a lot about racing, training, and myself. To think in 2006 I finished the series overall in the C-class with 9 points total, to racing in one of the faster cyclocross classes in the state, and to be a podium threat on top of it makes me proud of what I have done this year and over the past few years.

Now it is time for a little rest. And focus on the plan for next year. Stay tuned for a 2010 recap in the coming days.