Monday, January 2, 2012

Brief year in review.

2011 was hard and crazy. I started the year with a back injury sustained on a January training ride. At one point I seriously considered quitting bike racing because my back was so messed up. Dr. Noel Snodgrass at Portland Chiropractic spent months getting me back into good mental and physical shape.

Shortly after that was the Fixed Gear Classic in Blaine, MN in early June. Since we are real smart, we decided to drive. Well, Brent did most of the driving since i haven't really driven since i was 15. Two gnarly days in the car did wonders for my still if-y back. The racing was fun and we got to hang out with everybodies favorite six day racer Franco Marvulli. Dan Harm and I won the Madison and then a preposterous amount of pizza was consumed.
The next big race was the Tesstarosa Velodrome Challenge in San Jose. Always a hotly contested weekend with a lot of fast folks and this year was no exception. I managed to have some decent results aside from still being very behind on fitness and strength including 2nd in the points race behind Dan Holloway.

Next up was my home turf battle. The Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge. I was going through some crazy drama in my life and was having a hard time keeping my head on straight. I was able to block it out long enough win FINALLY win the points race just ahead of old man Jame Carney. I still don't have pictures from this race and we got rained out for the 2nd day. I was really hoping to double up with a scratch race win.

The next week was the always fast and fun Marymoor Grand Prix in Redmond, WA. Unfortunately some drama still had a stranglehold on my head and i didn't have much of a good time. Not even holding hands with Jame was making things much better. We finished 2nd in the madison to Kit Karzen and Holloway.

After Marymoor, there is a lull in big track races unless you can get out of the NW, so its time to throw a leg over a road bike and get you crit on! Now you may know that my Dolan road bike was stolen in Tasmania in late December and I had being logging all my road miles (and occational PIR) on my beloved Cannondale rain bike. So I the late summer I finally got my new custom TiCycles Fabrication road bike. The ultimate crit machine! It was a match to my track bike with big steel tubes, ultra stiff and designed my the mastermind, Dean Reed at Bike Central.
The first race I did was the Vancouver (WA) Crit. Every turn I was learning just how amazing my new ride was. The hard I pushed it the more it wanted. Admittedly I am still figuring out crits and road racing. The sprints are different and people pass you on both sides, and lets not even get into the shifting thing, but fun!

A couple weeks later, Mid-August, Brent and I went up to Olympia WA to do a 50 mile circuit race. Saw a lot of folks that I knew and endured more than a few "you know this isn't a track race" and " you own a bike with gears?" comments and then we we off. After spending 30 miles in a break, we are pulled back and I somehow miss the counter attack. 3 miles from the end the field is 40 seconds up the road and well represented team wise, aka it's not coming back. So instead of being bored, I drill it, channel my inner Cameron Meyer, and at 1k to go make it up solo. At this point it I take a few deep breaths, fake some people into sprinting early, grab a wheel, run that wheel up the left side and before i know it i think I have it in the bag. I almost post up (something I've never done in a road race) and then i see someone squeezing by on my left. Right, check both sides. It was a really close 2nd tho.

Now that I am getting slightly more comfortable on the road bike, it is time for the Portland Twilight Crit. Always fast and a little hairy with good crowds. I love a crowd. I waited a little late to position for the sprint and only ended up 9th, but cut a hole in someones shoe with my spokes when they hooked me at the line!
Next was the Giro di Portland, a fun and crazy 8 corner crit with 2 blocks of cobblestones. Just surviving it was a task and I won the field sprint for 4th.
The next day I left for a two week PA adventure. Dan and I got 2nd at the Madison Cup at T-Town.Then it was time for track nationals. Didn't have the best results but the "Fun Boyz" getting 3rd in the team pursuit was awesome.

This is the first winter that I am both injury free AND taking an off season. Getting strong and fit. Putting together an awesome team. 2012 is shaping up to be a good year.

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