Thursday, June 28, 2007


I crashed on Sunday and it was no fun. I didn't even get to the dirt before it happened. I was only on the bike a measley 7 minutes before I hit the concrete like a sack of concrete. Three of us were tooling along the sidewalk on the way to the trail when this concrete light pole jumped out in front of me. Then his buddy the fire hydrant jumped out of the bushes on the other side of the sidewalk. I was barely able to remove myself from the bike and dive inbetween them.

Yes, that is yellow paint from the hydrant on my derailleur.

So yeah, I tacoed my front wheel, scratched up one of my new SUNLINE bolt-on grips, and got a few bruises and this lovely gash, but I'm relatively ok.

Well, since there was still 1-1/2 hrs of light left and I have another bike, we bent my wheel back enough so I could wobble home and then I headed out again on my own for an hour or so.

Good times, good times.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I have to say that Firestone was incredible. Considering the torturous races I’ve had there for the last 2 years, having not only a good race but a GREAT one was far beyond my expectations.

The sweltering heat that greeted me when I arrived at the venue on Saturday didn’t make me very optimistic, though. Neither did the musical-chairs-like switching of the course length. 2 Laps? 1 ¾? 1 ½? Vineyard loop? Team Lame Bear again proved its near-worthlessness at putting on a smooth race weekend.

Waiting till later and leisurely pre-riding in the cool evening put me in a great night-before race mood, though. A mid-course phone call to Greg and directions from Matt was a huge help as well. Then I kicked back and ate dinner outdoors under the stars with James and Rod, and then we and Roger, Vanessa & Chris turned in for the night.

Race morning saw me up and running around trying to find out how many laps I was ACTUALLY supposed to race, but to no avail. The registration tent directed me to the start line, the start line was busy starting the Beginners and Sports, and when I finally found someone they told me to go back to the registration tent. Brilliant. None of the other racers were aware or seemed too concerned with my issue, and unfortunately it bit the Semi-Pros in the ass. Team Lame Bear didn’t have anyone up at the fork in the trail for the ¾ lap, and they went sailing by and had to come back and repass people they had already overtaken. Ouch. Luckily we were after them and it had been sorted out by the time we got there.

Anyway, the new course was great. The start thru the vineyard, although dusty, gave a nice warm-up before we hit that first nasty climb. The usually gnarly foot-deep creek run was bone dry and pitifully easy. I don’t know if it really was, or if I just felt great, but the normally bumpy cow trail course didn’t beat up on me like it usually does. They also carved some superfun new singletrack into the hillside. Well, as suprising to me as it was to the rest of the Backbone crew, I was able to speed around the course like a goat on amphetamines. 3 or 4 of us in my category kept fighting back and forth and passing and repassing each other on the ups and downs. I was finally able to put screws on those guys, though, and set my sites on The Bear Valley Bikes jersey I could see ahead of me who I knew was in my class. I inched slowly closer to him over the second half of the second lap. I finally caught up to him in the trees on the last leg of the course, but that’s when he started turning up the heat. I don’t know if he knew I was back there or not, but he was certainly making it tough. I lost a couple bike lengths on him and struggled to close the gap. I finally did, though, and was right on his rear tire as we rolled into the gravel gully near the finish. He hesitated halfway up the other side and I decided to make my move. I cranked up around him on his right, but I as I slowed down to dive into the last left-hand corner I half expected him to repass me on my right. As I righted myself I sprinted with everything I had left and came across ahead of him. SWEET. I took him by .47 seconds to come in 7th out of 21. What a rush.

I have to give props to my team and everyone who cheered me on for the motivation, it really helped.


Well, the first race of the season didn’t quite go how I would have liked. After waking up on time (don’t laugh) and spinning out my “before breakfast” 30 min warm-up, I proceeded to eat my oatmeal and prepare to leave. And that was about the extent of the “on-timeyness.” As so many of you know, and those of you who don’t have probably heard, I have an issue with arriving anywhere at a predetermined time. Making a long story short, after stopping at the ATM to get money for parking I got on the freeway at 9:23. Arriving at Bonelli at 10:05, I crammed down a banana and a bottle of Cytomax as I skirted through registration, said hi to everyone at Chris’s elaborate twin booths of death, and suited up for my 11:00 start.

That’s the end of the detailed version that I started, so here’s the recap from what I recall:
After the start it took less than 2 minutes before my category had left me in the dust. The exposed fireroad climb on the back side I remember being especially torturous, and I don’t know if it was good bad when Chrissie Bono’s smiling face went by me at high speed. How I beat anyone I don’t know, but I DID beat Brant and one of the Possibilities guys. Go figure.

Well, on Monday I woke up with a sore throat and ended up sick for another 3 weeks, so definitely the combo of just being sick with the extreme toll a race puts on me was bad. I ended up missing the Nova National race and Sea Otter recovering.