Posted on 1:18 PM by Schottler
I've been extremely busy lately with school, the last week and a half have felt like a month. I went to Minneapolis for a week to learn how to use a finite element analysis simulation software for my research. It is very powerful, difficult to learn, and will most likely take over the next 4 years of my life.
I raced Hermann CX Under the Lights the weekend before last, I think everyone has read about what happened already. I started 22nd place on the 3rd row, moved to 5th spot after the start sprint into the first turn behind 4 KCCX guys. Rain and lightning started. I moved to the front after half a lap, crashed, back in 5th. Bell rang after the 1st lap. People were running into each other and crashing, I kept moving up. I managed to make it to the front a little past half way through the lap, didn't fall ove, then sprinted to the finish. I "won" the shortest cross race ever. Sunday was canceled due to the whole course being underwater.
I headed to Minneapolis Sunday for school, got to stay in a sweet hotel in downtown. School payed for the rental car, gas, food, hotel, and my class... and I talked them into letting me get an SUV so I can take my CX bikes.
Monday I went to a Twins game, almost caught a home run ball. Maybe would have been closer if I didn't run away from it.
Tuesday I found a weekly CX race about 15 minutes from my hotel, I got there in time after my class. I didn't get to ride Monday and my legs felt like bricks from sitting in the car for 11 hours and 2 solid days of sitting in a class. The course wasn't very fast or long, but at least I got to get some CX practice in. I rode around the whole race with a kid named Jordan Cullen, who's racing for the Clif Bar Development Team this year, he was super strong. I couldn't get him off my wheel the whole race, then I slide out with about 3 corners to go and couldn't get back around by the finish, so I took 2nd.
The rest of the week was very difficult to ride, I got to see what it's like to live in a big city, work nearly an hour away from 8-5, deal with traffic, and be far away from "real" riding. I managed to commute back from our class, about 25 miles away, twice that week (rained most of the time we were there.) Google directions for bikes was pretty accurate, however I managed to get pretty lost the first time. Our class was south east of St. Paul, so I had to ride to and through St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis. However, most of the ride was on bike paths, which cover the entire region. Some of the scenery was awesome, and a lot of the areas had separate paths for bikes and walkers.
Overall the trip was great. Another person from my office and myself were the only ones in the class, so they took us out to nice restaurants for lunch every day, and then we went out to other nice restaurants for dinner to spend all the allocated food funding for the week. I learned too much, ate too much, and didn't ride enough.
I got back Saturday night at about 10pm after an 11 hour drive, went to sleep, then got up and drove 2 hours to KC to race some cross. My back/SI joint were not agreeing with me, this seems to get bad when I take too much time off the bike. This plus a week of hardly any riding made me not expect much out of the race. A strong field showed up on a pretty difficult course on the side of a hill. At the start I was sitting about 3rd position behind Tilford and Shad Smith. I sat there waiting for Butthead to catch up to us, which he did, quickly. Tilford pulled himself out due to hamstring cramping and it was left with Buttface, Shad, and I. Buttheadface attacked and I sat on Shad's wheel waiting for a response. Nothing. I couldn't chase my own teammate so I hung out, building a huge lead on the rest of the field. My back was blown up completely but I still had enough legs to hang on. I made an error and lost Shad's wheel for about a lap, but caught back up on the last lap. At the finish I sprinted for 2nd spot behind Facebutt. Shad apparently didn't know it was the last lap... which still confuses me.
My original plan included USGP #1 in Madison, however UPS sucks. They wouldn't accept my rommates signature for a package containing my birth certificate, which needed to be faxed to USAC to confirm USA residency for my UCI Elite license.