One of my favorite cross events of the year is the Hermann Cross series in Hermann, MO. Last year was my first CX experience and my first Hermann CX series experience. I placed 8th on Saturday and unfortunately didnt get to attend Sundays race due to family being in town. This year however I plan on racing both the Masters 35+ and the Mens 3/4 race. Who knows maybe I'll take home a series jersey! Go check out the site and register!
Posted by Joshua in Technology on June 13, 2012
I've been doing a lot of research in this area lately. I came across this today and it just reiterates the fact that mobile computing along with cloud computing is going to drastically shape how we view IT and interact with one another in the next 5 years not to mention the convergence of devices that could shift from smartphones and tablets to being more of something you wear rather then put in your pocket or briefcase, projects like Google's Project Glass come to mind. Projects like that are game changers in my mind, its an exciting time to be living in the information age. The next revolution may even shift from information to technology and converge into BioTech.
Courtesy of: Engine Yard
I decided (for fun) to participate in the Mesa Lost Valley Luau Mountain Bike race as a Cat 3 (beginner level). The challenge was to do one lap in Lost Valley within 60 minutes, the first one across the line after the loop wins the race. Below is a description of what Lost Valley is and a little about the trail, I'd probably rate it as a intermediate level course.
The name comes from the bootleggers who once made use of the area, getting lost among the numerous hollows. It was also near the site of an ammunition works and uranium processing plant which necessitated the cleanup that lies under the large mound on Hwy. 94. Now, the trail is a 10.5 mile loop with a mixture of double and singletrack punctuated with old homesteads, rock formations, natural springs, and a waterfall crossing. The gravel/doubletrack sections are fairly flat, with the exception of 2 big climbs. The singletrack sections are super flowy and will reward you with great views and better riding. Trail surface varies from dirt to rock throughout the trail, and drains very well, except in the flats of the lower creek bottom.
As we lined up, I thought about what I planned on doing sure, this was going to be a fun race for me, but I'm also realistic and know I can be pretty competitive when put in a race type situation. I decided to take some advice from a mountain bike friend, Mike and just try and be one of the first guys on the single track portion of the race. This would depend on my ability to out power the other racers down and back up the double track portion of the race before the single track begins. Once the whistle blew, I ended up starting around the middle front of the group. I didnt really like this position so I jumped up to the front and started hammering down to the first turn down the hill. Unfortunately this little jump, cost me a lot of energy and I ended up suffering when I had to climb back up the hill. Even so, I managed to be the 3rd person turning into the single track only allowing 2 people to pass me on the climb. Once in the single track portion of the race, I will be honest, I really dont have a lot of saddle time on my mountain bike, so I lack some basic single track skills. That being said, I do have an entire Cyclocross season under my belt so I'm not "brand" new to this sort of riding.
Once I was on the single track, I started recovering from the climb, some of the single track was downhill, so this helped! I also recently put some disc brakes on my 26'er so I could actually stop again another plus, however I still managed to let two riders pass me. Both of these guys had single speed bikes and I could hear them closing in on my tail. After I let them pass I settled in on their wheel until I wrecked on a switchback turn. It had rained a few days prior so the trail was fairly wet and muddy in some areas still, not to mention all the slick rocks on the course. After the wreck I never saw those two guys again, but I could hear some riders behind me gaining on me. This is when I decided no more braking, I'm going all out and whatever happens, happens! That being said - I actually wrecked one more time on a creek crossing, again slick rocks, come to think of it - I wreck here almost all the time so this isnt anything new. Half of that is mental, the other half is probably a bit lack of some skill on the mountain bike and being in the right gear. After hammering through the last part of the first single track area, I created a huge gap on my tail chasers and continued to hammer down the double track passing a few marathon racers who started before us. I finally entered into the last single track loop before the finish and began to relax a little and even caught some air on few little bumps. I think this part of the is probably the most fun, it has some really tight turns, its mostly downhill and has a nice "get wet" creek crossing near the end followed by one final hop up and over a tree trunk.
I ended up finishing 5th overall in the mens Cat 3 and 1st in my age group (30-39). All in all, a great day, met some new people and will definitely do it again!
Well my first weekend of criterium racing kicked off this past week. On Saturday I had the Carondelet Park Criterium, followed up with a Sunday race at Forest Park called The Great Forest Park Bicycle Race. Both were very well organized as always by Big Shark Bicycle Co.
Before I start on the recap of the race and how I felt, I really have higher expectations for coming in the top 10 and even 5 in some races. I have really put a lot of time on the bike this winter, after road season ended in early September, I switched right into Cyclocross and had a really great time not to mention I sustained a lot of my fitness going into winter training. My winter training consisted mainly of two 3 hour long gravel rides on Wednesdays and Thursdays evenings as well as indoor training on my trainer doing a Trainerroad + Sufferfest video combo. Followed up with a final week long training trip to Phoenix with some of my riding pals. So I feel pretty good right now, I have a great base and my tempo and interval training indoors has paid off.
So today we did the big McDowell mountain ride, which consisted of roughly 100 miles, including a consistent grade of 2% for straight 9 miles. Part of our group went down to Bartlet lake once we reached the ranger station, however that would have been an additional 28 miles and roughly 4k more feet of climbing. As I had barely any legs left and felt like the group was always waiting on me to catch up I decided to go down to Seven Springs, which was only an additional 2k feet of climbing. I actually ended up recovering during that seven springs route before we headed back to the condo, but from the stories from other riders in our group the Bartlet lake climb was rough, desolate and HOT. I'm happy with my choices, maybe next time I will venture into no-mans land!
Summary of ride - link to data:
4600 ft of climbing
5.51 hours of saddle time
A few pics: