Victoria, Canada, November 24, 2006
It has been a busy couple of months since my last update. Since the MTB World Champs back in August; I have done a couple laps of North America by car and plane. First my fiancée Keri and I got back up to the Northwest for the start of the wedding season, with good friend, Mr. Pinfold of Symmetrics Cycling, hooking up first in my hometown Courtenay. Then it was back to Chicago for another wedding, followed by that little bike show in Vegas, one of my favourite CX races, Starcrossed, and finally, on a full moon and our two year anniversary, we got married on October 7 in Victoria.
The wedding was a really fun party. Being so transient it is not often I get to see all my friends in one place. We married at a beautiful placed called Hatley Castle, also known as the mutant school from the X-Men movie. Keri did a wonderful job planning it all and I picked the beer.
After catching my breath from the wedding festivities I headed out to Philadelphia for Granoque and Wissahickon to try to score a few UCI Cyclo-cross points. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, I got beat down pretty good - I guess that is what happens when you don't get to ride much for a couple months. I did, however, have a lot of fun setting up our new sound system/heckling machine from Fender. You can mix in music, guitars, and heckle with the two included microphones. Tom McDaniel, organizer of Granoque, put Team Maxxis up at his house and we had a good time playing some ol' school skee ball.
I decided to keep racing when I got back to British Columbia because training takes too much energy at this time of year. Even though I didn't make it to bed, bath, and beyond, I did put together a pretty nice little weekend for myself watching Canucks' overtime win on Friday night, a BC Cross Championship on Saturday and a Cowboy Cross Island Series win on Sunday. It is great to see Cyclo-cross is starting to gain a little momentum north of the border.
I was trying to race myself into shape for the next weekend's trip to Boulder for USGP of Cyclo-cross rounds three and four and it didn't work too bad. My twelve UCI points from Granoque came in handy as there were over a hundred guys on the start line. I had varying success at the starts and was feeling like I had some fight in me after finishing fifth on Sunday. The weather was too nice for cross, which was okay, and the crowds were fantastic - so I hope we head back to Boulder again next year.
Next up was Canadian Nationals in Nanaimo; just up the island close to home. It was billed as Team Maxxis, Toulouse and I Versus Greg Reain, who has been focusing on cross in Europe for the last couple of years. Theoretically, we had a bit of an advantage, two against one. It didn't work out that way as Greg went off the front during the first lap, while Toulouse and I had a less than stellar start. I ended up chasing hard the whole race but, try as I might, never got any closer. Greg rode well and gets to represent the jersey in Europe. Toulouse and I will be fired up for next year's rematch.
After spending much of the next week procrastinating, sitting drinking some excellent espresso at Discovery Coffee, and looking out the window at the rain and wind, it was time for one last cross weekend for me in Seattle and Portland.
Day one in Seattle was dry, fast, and had the infamous 80m run-up at Steilacom. I finally got to start on the front row and got myself into the lead group. I managed to fake it for most of the race and somehow ended up in a sprint to the finish-line for third with Ben Jacques-Mayne. Maybe he was pissed from hearing people cheer "Go Andy", or maybe my new beard intimidated him but somehow I took out the sprint and got on the box.
I finally got to race in the mud during day two in Portland; I was kind of really hoping for one epic cross day and I got my wish. It was pretty darn nasty, but still pretty darn fun because you could ride it all. The legs were great and I made a charge in the second half to get up to second and oh so close to Timmy, who won. Racing in the mud sure is fun but clean up certainly isn't. I'm glad I was able to finish on a high in my last race of the season.
That's it, that's all. I am back in Victoria waiting for the itch to start training again. I have had enough time to shave my beard off and actually clean up around the condo.
I am on day four of no exercise already and I am getting close to cracking; that is unless it snows like is forecast on the weekend.
Until next time.