November 28, 2007
Howdy Friends. So much time has passed since my last report; there is almost too much to write about.
After my last entry, my mountain bike season seemed to be moving towards a nice finale. I was having a good couple of solid weeks of training at home before heading to World Champs in Scotland. I finished my last hard workout of the year and I was rolling home when my week of hell started.
First I decided to fall off my road bike at 50 kilometers per hour and rip my arm wide open; then I got to spend 8 hours in my sweaty chamois, in the emergency room. I got a bunch of internal stitches, external stitches, and was still left with a gaping hole.
I lay in bed for three days with a sausage shaped arm and then proceeded to get on a plane for Europe. The plane caught on fire, so we had to turn around, and I got to spend a night on marble floor in Toronto. I arrived in Scotland and of course no bags showed up for three days. To top it off the main highway was closed to Fort William so we had to take back roads and arrived at 3:30 am.
So worlds didn't go so well. My arm didn't heal enough to ride on the course until the evening before and for some reason I didn't have the legs on race day; don't know why?
Needless to say my highlights from Europe were the tourist activities after the racing, not the racing itself. I tried to race again the week after in Slovenia at World Cup Finals; I cracked hard on a really great mountain bike course and I hope we go back there sometime soon.
On the upside, Keri and I got to see Loch Ness, an old castle, had a quick five hour layover London trip, saw Vienna and "The Kiss", enjoyed Prague's sausage carts and beautiful sights, and brought home some Absinthe. I also did a lot of walking in Europe to get prepped for my first 'cross races in Seattle.
I decided to stop in Seattle on my way to Interbike to try to score some UCI 'cross points. Star-crossed, one of my favorite events, didn't go so well and I was a DNF after half a lap. However, on the upside I slammed four free beers on my way past the beer garden. I redeemed myself on day two of the weekend with an aggressive fourth place at the Rad Racing GP. I tried to drive my old VW bus aggressively to make it back to Victoria, too, but that didn't work out so well; border waits, missed ferries, and a 2:30 am arrival was a bit of a rubbish way to end the weekend.
After about 15 hours in Victoria it was straight off to Interbike for the annual gong trade show. It is always fun to see everyone after a long season when things are a little less serious. Highlights...well let's see? I managed to score a free chef's hat and apron from Fiz'ik after serving gelato out at "Dirt Demo"; I got to do a really fun bike race on Wednesday night at CrossVegas; then I used my prize money to try to help Wells pay for a US$500 bottle of Vodka. Then it was very fun watching Mr. Dik Cox try to down some of our Prague Absinthe at Kona's Buck-a-Bowl. I am still trying to recover from Twin Towers Tre-Boo- Hoo and Wicks Nuun tablet attack at bowling; Lemon-Lime is my favorite flavor but I don't recommend taking one in the lip at high speed.
After Interbike I had about five days to get back in shape for the Vuelta a Chihuahua; a seven-day stage race down in Mexico with my Symmetrics buddies. It was a really beautiful, well organized race and a nice way to end my year on the road. Christian Meier, aka Young Man, aka Christ, aka Kiki-bird, was hanging tough with all the Euros who showed up for a bit of an Operacion Puerto reunion; he finished off the tour in second. Everyone else rode well on some really epic and beautiful mountain days and finished off what was a great year for the team. Congrats to Svein [Tuft] for taking the UCI Americas tour and to the team taking for winning the UCI Americas Team Title.
The Pinks were in town when I got back to Albuquerque and I enjoyed getting out for my few annual rounds of golf with my father-in-law. The parents were also great for helping get a bunch of little projects around the house taken care of; thanks. Keri had also had gotten me a long awaited pro-sumer espresso set-up that I am really enjoying as the winter approaches. For our one year anniversary I got the pro-sumer espresso gear and she got a pro-sumer camera; we are going to have lots of great snapshots as well now.
I am back on to the cyclo-cross season now and we have some pretty sweet rigs from Litespeed all decked out with the latest gear including some sweet carbon Reynolds wheels. The first USGP was a little lack-luster so I decided to head up to Boulder to try to score some precious UCI points this past weekend. Chris Grealish and his crew put on some great events and I had some good fun hanging out with some old friends in the Republic. The races were hot, sandy, and had some raging winds blowing on some long straight stretches; perfect for Tre-Boo-Hoo to take a couple wins. I managed a couple decent finishes and will hopefully move up a bit in the rankings. While I was in town I decided it would be a good idea to go see Andy Pruitt and Todd Carver at the Sports Medicine Center for a 3D bike fit. We definitely made a few changes that I hope will be my secret weapon in 2008.
The winter is approaching very slowly in Albuquerque so the weather is perfect for exploring some of the great trails here. It is one of my favorite times of the year when I can just head out for an epic trail ride and not worry about my heart rate or where I am going.