Sunday, September 25, 2011

Xilinx, cross racing wknd #3

Yesterday was a classic course for those of us that have been racing there for the past 5-6 years. Xilinx offers lots of mtb-y terrain, grass corners, some dirt singletrack, usually a downed tree to ride over, and a really nice start/finish straight on pavement. According to the standings, my accumulated 2011 points had me somewhere in the top 16, meaning I was going to get a call-up to be on the 2nd row. I slotted right in behind Tim Faia. The ACA official then gave us the 1min warning, then 30 secs, then 15. Next, however, instead of an emphatic whistle blow or a loud "Go," he kind of started us with a hushed Go. About 10 or so guys took off, but the rest of us stopped as many had eeked off the line before he really started us. We were assuming they would re-start us, but that never happened. So instead of applying pressure to the pedals and slotting in to the top 10 safely, I found myself way back in about 15th or 20th. I applied some power and tried advancing up along the left side of the pack. I managed to get back up to maybe 10th or so before the course left the pavement and was on the grass & dirt right before the downed tree. I was okay with where I was at this point, but I was not okay with how much energy I had spent to get up there! I soon settled into a pretty good group consisting of Pat Gallegos, Mark Wisner, Greg Keller, and a few laps in joined by fellow mtb'er Rob (bodybuilder) Batey, Jeff Wardell, and stud Dennis Farrell. Meanwhile, Mike Robson & Tim Faia were off the front and gone. We all knew our group was racing for 3rd and on. I settled in knowing I didn't want to do too much work until the last couple of laps. I was riding pretty well. Not great in the corners, but ok. I had just minutes before the race threw on my wheels with the new Specialized Tracer tubular tires. Not having ridden them before, I conservatively had a bit too much psi, but they still felt great leaned over, and the rolling resistance was a dramatic improvement over the Tufo Cubus I had been running. I was sitting in, biding my time, and due to the long laps, next thing you know I see 2 to go. Wisner was having some bike issues, so he fell back some after a couple trips to the pits. Then after the twisty descent on the gravel path, Jeff Wardell and Dennis Farrell both came by me and they were going pretty well. I latched on to their train, and we soon had a tiny gap of maybe 7-8 secs on the group behind me which now had dwindled down to just Keller, Wisner and Gallegos. I knew Wardell, Farrell & I were racing for 3rd, so I was hanging tough. Too tough, however, as I tasted some vomit coming up on two diff occassions. But I rode error-free, maintained some power, and approached the last corner before the hairpin left brought us back onto the pavement for the sprint to the finish. Sprints are always a blast, and I was psyched to have a shot at the final podium step. But, I had NOTHING left in my tank, and could only watch as Rob Batey & Dennis Farrel began their sprints and left me in the dust. They rolled through the line in 3rd & 4th, a couple secs ahead of me in 5th. Behind, 6th-8th rolled in about 5secs behind me.

Had someone told me the night before the race that I was going to end up 5th place at the Boulder Racing Xilinx course, I would have been pretty happy about that. However, mostly due to the botched start (from which i recovered pretty well), I can say now that 5th place doesn't feel quite as good. Ah well, it was a great warm day, and I was ecstatic to be racing in front of Helen's parents and my parents.

Patrick Gallegos had a GoPro or something on his bars, and shot some great footage. I come in the scene around 2:37, and am right in front of the camera until about 6:40 when I decide to make a pass.

Xilinx CX 35+ 09-24-11 from Patrick Gallegos on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


we had some VIP credentials. and they even gave Alina a beer ticket...I had to use it for her!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

bus stop

she was making a funny face since her dad was embarrassing her in front of her friends.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lookout Cross, cross race #1 of the season

Went really well, due to some late race misfortune to some other guys, I finished up in 3rd place on the podium. I'll take it!

Course was the usual affair down there next to the Lookout Mtn Youth Services Center (prison). This year though I didn't get the pleasure of being heckled by inmates, as we didn't use the stretch of road that is right adjacent to the prison boundary fence! Race started out well, I got a call up from last year, ended up 4th guy to the line, front row starting spot, since many of last year's top 10 guys weren't here at this race. Whistle blew, I found my pedal quickly and got the hole shot. Score! Knowing that 100yd effort in the thick grass cost me a match or two, i eased up on the throttle and let Faia come by, since that is what would happen anyways. Wasn't riding well in the corners, grabbing tons of brake, Keller yells at me take the corners wider. I agree, I was not cornering well. So I let Keller come by me after a bit, and settle into my own group consisting of Jeff Wardell, Frank Overton and Pat Gallegos. We were riding fairly consistently. I was dangling off the back of the group but always seemed to claw back before getting dropped. Then on the second the last lap, Wardell loses his chain on the loose, steep ride-up on back side of the course. I go around him, and never see him again, apparently bc he had to stop in for a bike change. As we enter the last lap, Frank leads through, with Pat and I right on his heels. Frank took a fall about 2min from the line, and I fortuitously chose a quicker line around him and was riding in 3rd place thanks to that silver platter. Pat didn't get around Frank as quickly and had to settle for 4th, though he was right on my heels the last couple of minutes of the race. I arrived a bit late so didn't get a chance to get on course. Just got a few practice starts down and that was it. Happy with the hole shot, rode a bit hard, had my usual mid-race fade, but then recovered well to ride hard and stay with (and win) my group for the last 2 laps. Great way to start the season!

here I am, dangling dangerously off the back of my group of 3-

final podium, with Tim Faia in 1st and Greg Keller in 2nd.

this is our little group coming through the line for the bell lap. Again, you can see me at the back of this group. Luckily by now we had a decent gap on the guys in 4th and 5th.

here i am hunched over, just before (or after) a little barf action at the finish line!

Thursday, September 08, 2011