Tour de Tick, Syllamo Prep

Posted on 9:14 AM by Schottler

Tour de Tick was a good race, trails dried as well as the promoter said. I hit the woods in 2nd position (I don't like the hole shot). Somewhere within the 50 feet into the trail I nailed my crank on something, I had no idea what happened, but it was worse then I thought. A minute later my chain falls off, this has NEVER happened with the XX, weird. I was in last place. I managed to pass the field and chase down Dan Miller who built up a big lead in a short period of time. Dan got squirrely on a wet turn and I attacked. Turned on the cruise control and went around a corner and heard the familiar "pshhhhhhhh", great, a flat. 15 second later Dan comes around the same corner, prepared to make fun, and "pshhhhhhh", Dan flats. We fixed our flats together and 3 minutes later the expert field passes, followed by single speed and some sport field. These were super slow flat changes. I filled up my tire and saw my tube poking through, the godawful Schwalbe Racing Ralph slit open, 4 miles into it's life. I let some pressure out and hammered the rest of the lap, seeing if it would blow again. However I knew it was inevitable.

Didn't blow up, so I grabbed another tube and c02 at the start/finish and destroyed the second lap. About half way into the 3rd lap I was in first place again. "pshhhhhh" aaaand I'm flat. 2 minutes later I get passed by some expert guys and then Dan, who really wasn't very far back at all. I fixed my flat, stuck a gu in the tire to keep from blowing out. Then realized my chain rings were wobbling back and forth, rubbing into my chain stay... shit. They dug in a little and I decided that continuing pedaling would have been stupid and may possibly destroy my frame.

I DNF'ed. Dan Miller was super impressive, he fixed his flat and calmly (much smarter then my methods) passed the whole field and finished the race in 1st. He is getting seriously strong and will be one of the big competitors this season in all of the races... mountain, road, and cross. I think I see a lot of bocomo 1-2's this year.

70% chance of storms the day before and during Syllamo. I'll be throwing on some Continental Mountain King 2.2's for the race. They are beefy and supposedly good in the mud. My goal for this race was to get 1st and beat Eric Pirtle's record time of 4:28. But now with the conditions I don't think it's possible. As for the competitors, I see Jeff Winkler, Garth Prosser, and Dwayne Goscinski signed up. There may be some other fast guys that I don't know of, but as far as I know, these are who I need to keep an eye on. If I could put money on it, I'd throw it down on Winkler, but I've beat the odds before.

The Weekend: Pity Claps and Win #1

Posted on 5:19 PM by Schottler

I did two races this weekend, the Hermann criterium and the Bone Bender 3/6 hour MTB race in Smithville MO.

Trying something new this weekend, instead of my secret "openers" the day before my races, I decided to race a crit. It only lasts about an hour, but figured it was probably the best way to get my legs and cardio ready for a beating on Sunday. I drove down to Hermann, MO for an afternoon crit and try to help my teammates David Henderson and Ethan Froese. Dave was in 3rd position and Ethan in 6th, so I talked with them about what I can do help and our general race strategy. The field wasn't huge, only about 35 people, but everyone there was strong. If you haven't seen the course before, it has a big climb and a super fast and VERY sketchy decent.

We took off and the first 2 laps were pretty quick, coming into lap 3 at the top of the hill Zach Reed and Nick Coil attacked and went up the road and Ethan immediately said "go now Schottler" so I stood up and chased... hard. They were both working together in the break and were were riding away from the group. Reed saw me bridging up, about 5 bike lengths behind at this point, and dropped the hammer. At the top of the hill, after a lap at full effort in chase mode, I realized I couldn't do it. I looked back and saw the main group coming back and sat up and got in and tried to recover. Next lap on the decent, I hit a huge dip in the road and my bars spun down... shit. I kept it upright and didn't crash anyone out, but threw me off my game and I had to ride to the pit to get them straightened and tightened. Buddy, the USAC official said "sorry, no free lap, you are going to have to chase," which is what I expected to hear. I was in no mans land and my legs felt like poo. I knew I wasn't going to win, but still tried to put in a good effort to get ready for Sunday's race. I rode the hill the rest of the race way in the back, getting pity claps and cheers as I rode up, pretty humiliating, well actually silence is more humiliating, so thank you everyone that was cheering. Dave took 4th and Ethan took 9th, nice work guys, especially after the TT. I should also mention, which I didn't realize in the race, my shifter got turned in, which tightened my front brake and made it rub the entire race... didn't really need that handicap.

I woke up at 5am on Sunday to eat and drive to KC for the mountain race, rocking some new Rammstein. I've raced here before and had a good experience, so I thought I would come back and try it again. There were at least 300 people there, all ready for some single track. The start was Le Man's style, lay the bikes down and "run" to them. This was a huge cluster, I was on the front line and got pushed back to the 4th row by a bunch of dudes that knew they were going to win if they got into the single track first. I sprinted around a good number of people on the first paved section and had to battle and throw elbows to get into the single track at about 30th place.

I spent the whole first lap telling people to get out of my way, just knowing the leaders were getting bigger and bigger gaps as I was on a nice aerobic bike ride through the woods. I burnt a lot of matches sprinting past people through the grass and off the trail. It actually took some arguing to get around people, I was getting very agitated. Anyway, I finished the first 11.5 mile lap in about 5th position overall.

Lap 2 and 3 I was still in chase mode. I caught up to Jeff Winkler who was doing the 6 hour race and talked with him for a while. Most of the race I had no idea where any of the riders were, starting so far back and winding through the woods, and then starting to lap riders on the 2nd lap left me confused. Coming into the laps I asked the officials if anyone was in front of me and what the gaps were, no response, awesome. Volunteers at checkpoints and the people I was lapping were giving random guesses for time gaps, ranging from 3 minutes to 10 minutes. Apparently there was 1 guy up the path from me, Kent McNiell (finished 2009 Leadville in 13th place.) Kent drove down from Omaha to do this race, and I had no idea he was up there.

I was really only expecting to do 3 11.5 mile laps here in 3 hours, but at the end of lap 3 my time was 2:39... shit. Thankfully Andy Schutte was there and gave me a couple more gu's and Jim Davis (Team Seagal) handed me some bottles. During lap 4 I was on the edge of total meltdown, feeling my legs about to start cramping. I slowed down a bit after someone told me Kent was 7 minutes up, I couldn't make up 7 minutes, and I knew I had a healthy gap on the person behind me. I came through the finish, 4 laps, 46 miles, in a time of 3:35, averaging 12.8 mph on nearly all single track. Pretty fast pace for a mountain bike, I was the only person in my age group (34 & U) to do 4 laps, which had me win by over half an hour. I know that if I didn't spend the first 2 laps trying to chase down the leaders, and got to start with them, I would have won the overall in this race. Kent only finished 2 minutes ahead of me, rats. But he was in the 35 & up category, so I won my race. Yippee.

I came home with a bottle of wine and a nice payout for my efforts.

I was actually dead for about 15 minutes after this race: (Note seat bag is open... it did this magically, lost a tube, c02 dispenser, chain tool, and 2 chain links)

Still trying to decide what to race next weekend. It might be on the road both days, Tour of St. Louis. Or drive 4 hours for Tour De Tick, or drive 12 hours down to Georgia for a US Cup Pro XCT race and get some upgrade points.

Hillsboro Roubaix

Posted on 8:50 AM by Schottler

Most of the Bocomo peloton talked me into doing the Pro/1/2 87 mile road race in Hillsboro, IL. So I drove out there with two of my teammates, David Henderson and Ethan Froese, who are both VERY experienced road racers and good people to travel with.

120 people were preregistered for the this event, which is a way way bigger field then I have EVER raced with. My warm up consisted of riding to the wheel truck to drop off a spare set (which was full), so then back to the car, then to the starting line. Starting in the very back with Dave and Ethan. I was somewhat intimidated by all of the very fast looking people surrounding me, but was told that most of them really aren't that much far off from where I am. Anyway, we started off on our journey, which soon became a huge mess.

I wasn't exactly sure what everyone was trying to do, but it seemed like everyone was day dreaming of a victory as they continuously slammed on their brakes and flew off into ditches. Does this really happen in Pro/1/2 fields? Really??? This type of riding would NOT be tolerated in the bocomo peloton, Butthead would personally bitch slap everyone until they cried.

Pace wasn't easy, especially at the back of 120 people. Braking down hills and sprinting up hills and out of turns to not get gapped off. The whole course was like riding on Woody Proctor, lots of loose gravel, sharp turns, no yellow lines. Not ideal for a road race, but I didn't mind it that much. Ethan was the only one who got a water hand-up, but our guy didn't even see me coming into the last lap, good thing I brought a backup bottle, which emptied pretty quick.

Coming into the last lap, Dave and I started to move up the field. The field was still huge and I knew something was going to happen to split it apart, and I didn't want to be stuck at the back. With probably 20 miles to go the pace got insane. The race exploded apart, lots of groups forming, people falling out of the lead group like dying flies. Ethan bridged Dave and I up to a couple of groups and then I started pulling and managed to bridge up to the lead group, not knowing Dave was trying to sit on my wheel, getting put into the gutter. Right when I had the lead group a few bike lengths ahead of me (10-15 miles to go), my rear tire goes flat. I put my hand up, pull over, slam out my back wheel and looked for the wheel truck. There was no truck. Awesome. I waited 20 minutes for the cleanup truck to come by and pick me up, I sat in the bed for a nice relaxing ride back to the finish.

As for the teammates, Dan was one of the many that met a cone in the feed zone that you couldn't see (stupid and awful placement, especially with 120 people in a field with super small lanes). Ethan and Dave rode very well all day, but suffered from failed water hand-ups and cramped at the end of the race, right when it mattered. Overall, not the best day for CBC.

Unhealthy addiction to bike shit

Posted on 6:57 PM by Schottler

Someone needs to have an intervention with me sometime soon. I am more addicted to getting new bikes and new bike stuff than cookies. Luke helped me out again and hooked me up with a new 2010 Cannondale SuperSix HI-MOD Di2 road bike. Full electric Dura-Ace, carbon FSA components, Ksyrium Premium wheels, and some other goodies. 15.5 lbs out of the box, and this is one bike I am not going to change, there really isn't anything that needs to be replaced, except a longer stem. I was a full fledged Sram fan before I rode this stuff. Electric Dura-Ace is on a completely new level, buttons on the shifters instead of throwing a shifter, self adjusting front derailleur trim, no derailleur adjustments, PERFECT shifting. It is something you need to ride to appreciate, I never thought to highly of it while reading reviews, but it is amazing. I don't want to hear about charging batteries, you can go at least 1500 miles on one charge. I am 95% sure Butthead creamed his pants when he first saw this.

I built it last night and used the fit stick to set it up exactly the same as my Madone, didn't even get to test ride it because of the rain. So I took it out today on our Fayettenam group ride, which turned out being nearly 80 miles with some serious race efforts and dick swinging. Dave Henderson, Ethan, and I took some big pulls and eventually blew the group apart leaving only us and Dan Miller. Bike rides very well, better road feedback then the madone, slightly heavier, but VERY responsive. I'll need to ride it more to get better feedback... the Madone is amazing, but this is as well. Besides Musselman shifting my bike while we were riding, pushing me in a ditch, a good sunburn, and me riding off the road near big tree with a sweet recovery, it was a good ride.

Anyway, I have preregistered for Hillsboro Roubaix next Saturday, should be a good 87 mile Pro/1/2 race. Teammates Dave Henderson, Dan Miller, and Ethan Froese will be showing up, should be a good time. I have also preregistered for the Snake Alley Criterium, I have high hopes for myself at this race.... 1 big ass climb and a screaming descent.

My plan this season has somewhat changed from waiting for mountain races to not be cancelled, to racing on the road nearly every weekend. The ultimate plan is crit/road racing Saturday's and mountain racing Sunday's. Fitness should build up with consistent race efforts and get me ready to destroy the upcoming cross season (more new bikes, can't wait.)