Repeat at the Berryman!

Posted on 7:33 AM by Schottler

Like I said earlier, I have been stressing about this race since I finished last year. I was a nervous wreck leading up to it, even dragging Green Beans in to it by driving me around before we left to track down the UPS truck to get the bibs I needed (did not find him.) This strapped on to the front of my bike didn't help the stress level:

As predicted, more horsepower showed up this year. Toeing the line was Steve Tilford, Bill Stolte, Garth Prosser, Scott Henry, Jeff Winkler, Eric Pirtle, Brad Huff, Devin Clark, Mike Best, Dwayne Goscinski, Cale McAninch, Ploch, all the usual local fast guys, and many others... 250 total to be exact. I had a giant bullseye strapped to my back. The start of the race began with an M-80 just a few feet from us, then began the 4 mileish gravel section, mostly climbing, to a section of double track through the woods. The promoters made the start MUCH more interesting this year with a $50 prime to the first one in the single track. Attack after attack, with most of the leaders gauging how I was responding to the accelerations. The pace was fast, but I was able to chase down attacks and stay right in the first 3. Tilford and Scott battled it out for the prime, I didn't contend, I was more than happy to let them pull me in to the woods and save some energy. At this time we were left with a group of 4; Tilford, Scott, Bill, and myself. Once we got into the singletrack it was down to Tilford, Scott, and myself, with no one else in sight.

Scott had a huge motor, he was drilling the climbs, and I was starting to hurt. Thankfully I was able to make up time, recover, and use less energy through the single track and on the descents. All 3 of us were together coming through checkpoint 1 and 2, at 21 miles in. Maybe 4 or 5 miles after the second checkpoint, Tilford flatted. It was now down to Scott and myself. Pace seemed to have picked up at this point and I was trying to figure out what I should do. I tried attacking through the single track, but I ended up going so fast I was shooting past the corners and taking unnecessary risks on the descents, hardly putting any time on him. I came to the conclusion that Scott and I were pretty equally matched, but with different strengths. I couldn't climb as well as him, however I could flow through the single track and descend more quickly. I let him go on one of the climbs and fell back about 15 seconds. This way I could ride my own race, not his, which saved myself tons of energy. All the way to checkpoint 3 we yo-yo'd back and forth.

At checkpoint 3 I was on his wheel again and it was all gravel/road to checkpoint 4. We decided to trade 15-20 second pulls. We were flying, easily averaging over 20. Coming into to Berryman campground, checkpoint 4, we both grabbed water/snacks and took off together. I downed some more electrolyte capsules, a banana, and water bottles 5 and 6 of the day. The next check was the finish and it was becoming obvious it would come down to a sprint finish.

I took a pull after checkpoint 4 and brought the speed way up and nearly killed myself on a technical section that consisted of a drop and some huge rocks, but somehow kept it upright. That was my last attempt of trying to get away. The rest of the race we stayed together and I was able to stay somewhat comfortable on the climbs and comfortable on the flats and through the single track.

The last 4 or 5 miles of the race was gravel all the way to the finish. We still took pulls, but somehow my pulls ended up being after the climbs, which left me no time to recover. Through the last long gravel descent and into the flat finish area I was pulling, Scott was happy to get a draft in the head/cross wind. We slowed way down... just waiting for one of us to do something. We both attacked at the same time through a loose sand section, neither of us got anywhere. All that was left was a flat straight and 90 degree left turn to the finish. Our pace nearly came down to a crawl, with me on the front and Scott getting a small draft... both of us waiting for the perfect time to hit it. The left turn was coming up and time was running out. I accelerated hard, gave it everything I had, and took a sharp inside line to the finish straight and was able to hold it by about half a bike length. I won the effing Berryman for the 2nd year in a row! The record I set last year was completely shattered, I finished in 4:14.41, 25 minutes faster... 25 MINUTES! Here is a picture of the finishing corner, little 2 wheel drift action in the gravel. Photo stolen from Steve Tilfords blog.

The inside line to the finish is how I won, it caught Scott by surprise and he had no time to get around me. I got lucky, again. I also just learned that Scott raced for Trek/VW and has a pretty impressive racing resume... it really is an awesome experience to be able to battle with him and Tilford all day long, I never thought I would ever be able to do that... it's something I won't ever forget. Here is a photo of the top 10 this year, stolen from Mike Best, who is the only person to finish top 10 all 3 years... great way to represent BOCOMO!

The weekend was amazing, weather was perfect, got to hang out with good friends, drank free beer and ate free food. Beans again helped me win by making his secret amazing breakfast. Also a big thanks to Donovan Evans for giving me a set of replacement Time pedals. John and Donovan also sat at the Berryman campground checkpoint all day doing bottle/food handups, HUGE thanks! Ryan and Scott again put on a top notch event, I couldn't ask for more. I can't complain about the payout either:

Bubba #1 and Berryman Prep

Posted on 8:10 AM by Schottler

The 10 race Bubba CX series started off Saturday night. The A race started at 10PM, which has been my bedtime lately. I was way surprised to see how many people showed up, there were well over 200 people there total, which is awesome. Probably about 30 or so in the A race.

The race started with Butthead giving me a rundown of what's going to happen and what to do. It started way slow in the first 2 long straights, much different than what I've been accustomed too in KC. I really wanted to go ape shit like usual, but taking Buttheads advice and not aware of how my SI would react to the race, I held back. Johnson came by and said "let's go", so I followed. We eventually got away with Devin Clark, The Hub, and opened up a gap. I pulled a bit, Josh pulled a bit, and Devin pulled a bit, then took a funny line through a dark part of the course and Josh rolled his front tubular, again. It was then down to Devin and myself, with the gap growing bigger. I attacked through a technical part of the course and heard something happen behind me, I think Devin flatted or some other mechanical. So the rest of the race I turned on cruise control to keep a 20-30 second lead for the win. The best news was I had no pain, anywhere. This was the first CX race I didn't have my back/SI hurt, a big deal to me. All thanks to Dr. Curt at Focus on Health Chiropractic, as well as drugs.

Sunday I had to work my roommates shift, since he's at Collegiate Nationals, so I went for a 4 hour gravel ride into the night. I was going to replace the rear spoke on my mtb wheel from Burnin', but I discovered another broken spoke, which is 3 in about a month. Deciding not to risk it, I rebuilt the wheel with new double butted spokes, brass nipples, new tire, tubeless double layered rim strip, and a new valve core. New chain is going on today as well as a thorough cleaning.

The Berryman Epic is next weekend, a race that I've been stressing out about since I crossed the finish line in 1st last year 10 seconds ahead of Tilford. It's a big money race that almost makes the time and effort I put into training and racing worth it financially. However, it's not just about the money, it's considered the 'big race' of the year in Missouri, and I have to retain my title. My fitness is a lot better than last year, my back/SI pain is temporarily gone, and my handling/racing skills have been improved significantly. I am excited, but ready for it to be over so I can just worry about CX.


Posted on 9:19 AM by Schottler

Last years race with Butthead, Green Beans, and myself vs. DRJ was close. It came down to me going out for a 2nd night lap with a 20 minute lead. My chain broke, I had no tools, and then my lights went out. We finished 3rd. I had a small grudge this year.

This years team changed to Mike Best, Green Beans, and myself. It came down to a close battle the whole day with DRJ again. Everyone was riding well, Ploch was rocking a single speed all day because he can't seem to keep derailleurs attached to his bike. My cortisone shot didn't take effect yet, so I was in pain the whole day.

I went out 2nd after Mike, who had a strong first lap. I wasn't too smooth at the start of the lap, but still wanted a new record as this was the best chance of getting it with a traffic free course. 3 miles in, I broke a rear spoke through a technical rock section, but I kept going and let it dangle in my gears. Shortly after, my SI joint flamed up, great. Thankfully this course had a number of sections where I could stretch my back to get a few seconds of relief. Shortly after the spoke and SI explosions, I got in a good rhythm. First lap finished in a time of 58.47, beating the old record by 1 minute and 12 seconds. Mission 1 accomplished.

Lap 2 I still felt strong but managed to have one of the most violent crashes I have ever had in a race. Through a fast flowy section at about mile 8, I was cruising at probably 20 mph when my left pedal grabbed a small stump and my bike came to a complete stop. I however, did not. I flipped over the bars, landing on my head and shoulder. Then I saw my bike go flipping through the air about 10 feet above me, landing on it's wheels nicely in the woods. I laid on the ground cussing for about a minute staring at the daytime stars, waiting for some adrenaline to wear off and make sure I didn't break anything. Nothing was broken, so I got up and kept going. A little sore for the crash, I finished the lap at about 1:01. At the finish I checked the destruction. My helmet was cracked to hell, my left Time Attac Carbon pedal was cracked on the side and through the body, and my cleat ripped out of my shoe. I haven't ever seen that, but I am definitely lucky, that could have turned out MUCH worse.

Lap 3 I felt great, pain was starting to disappear and the course was faster than ever. A few stupid mistakes, but still a fast lap of 1:00.08.

Lap 4 was my night lap, lap 11 for the team, the last of the race. It was down to me again. I was stupid worried about flatting or breaking something and ruining it all for the team again. I think the time gap was only about 6 minutes or so, so I didn't feel comfortable about just turning on cruise control to the finish. If I were to flat, the race would be too close, so I thought it would be good to at least put on a few more minutes just in case. The lap was perfect, no mistakes, I took all technical sections and descents slow and easy, picked perfect lines everywhere, and hammered where it was safe. The lap was finished in 1:03.59. Two Disappearing Panda's and a Confused Opposum win the 'Wicked Fast' category. Mission 2 accomplished.

Mike Best was putting in some strong times and was even able to stuff 6 fig newtons in his mouth while racing. Green Beans took over my bad luck with 2 flats. However, we wouldn't have been able to win without his cooking. I eat better camping with Beans than I do sitting in my apartment.

I won the fastest day lap (new course record) and night lap of the race, all 3 day laps were the fastest of the day.

Doc Update

Posted on 8:21 AM by Schottler

This time I decided to see another doctor all on my own, without the BOCOMO peloton calling me one by one. The aggravation and pain from last weekend sent me over the edge with an ongoing power reduction injury. Through recommendation by Dan Miller, I went and saw his orthopaedic sports doctor about my SI joint. The results were consistent with another doctor, physical therapist, and Dr. Curt. Nothing major is wrong causing the pain, which I was starting to doubt over the past weeks... but thankfully I am still relatively healthy.

I was told the anterior pelvic tilt, among other things related to this, is causing the SI joint/low back pain. 3 options were given to me; Continue what I am doing with pain, cortisone injection to relieve pain for the rest of the season, or PRP injection to promote healing and fixing the issue. I told the doctor I want to finish the rest of this season without pain as long as I won't cause any damage. He recommended to just get the cortisone injection right now, so I did. It will take a few days to have an effect, but will last a few months. PRP injection would probably be most helpful for long term, but pain is increased for about a week, and takes about 3 weeks to notice any change. I have had people tell me cortisone injection is a 'stupid' idea... but it is put in a very limited movement area, which won't tear itself apart like in a knee or shoulder. But ideally, the cortisone will eliminate the pain I am feeling in my SI joint/low back. If it works, I should be back on my A game shortly.

The plan he gave me was to continue the PT work I am doing (stretching, exercises, etc.) and come back to see him in 2 months. Once the season is over, we will look into PRP injection to help the SI joint and surrounding tendons. This will also be the best time for me to hit the gym hard to help strengthen the weaker muscles causing the imbalance. I will also take Jeff Winkler's suggestion and start yoga for flexibility. Hopefully all of this will fix the issue and keep me healthy in the long run.

I was given the green light to race Burnin at the mf'ing Bluff tomorrow. I am doing the 12 hour team with Green Beans and Mike Best. I am looking for a new course record. I did the fastest lap last year of 1:02.30 on a slow muddy course with a bike and wheel size I've never ridden. If I can keep my back together, 59.59 should be beatable.

But here is a picture that will bring a smile to anyone's face:

Boss Cross #1 & 2

Posted on 5:06 PM by Schottler

Drove up to KC for the Boss Cross series in Riverside. The course was very fast, flat, and a ton of fun... probably going to be one of the best of the year. Huge open field, about 27 people with a lot of horsepower. I started 2nd row and managed to get into about 5th by the first corner. Ended up in the lead group the most of the race, at first with Tilford (Tradewind), Tom Price (KCCX), Jeff Winkler (KCCX), and Brian Jensen (Tradewind.) Crashes and bike mishaps brought the lead group down to Tom, Brian, and I. I was pretty comfortable in the group and hung out waiting for Butthead to catch up to us. I decided to attack Brian coming into a technical sand/turn/hill section and hit the gas hard. This eventually dropped Tom and put a small gap on Jensen. My legs felt great and I was pretty pumped to hold on the gas and go. After maybe 2 laps of this with about 2 laps to go the effort/running blew my SI up bad. My sand/barrier runs turned into walks, the pain in my right hip was becoming excruciating... but my legs still felt great, unfortunately there wasn't anything left to push against. Brian closed the small gap I built and passed me. Then much to my surprise Winkler comes flying by me, I saw him on lap 3 or so standing on the side of the course fixing his bike. He was at least a minute behind me at one point of the race, very impressive. Butthead also caught me and I tried to sit on his wheel the rest of the race. I finished 4th with Winkler taking a well earned win, followed by Brian Jensen and Butthead.

Day 2 was more frustrating with my SI blowing up on lap 2. I was forced to ride at about 60% effort with no high end power, trying to stretch every 15 seconds or so. I was riding with Bill Marshall (KCCX) most of the race, he took advantage of my injury as much as possible, attacking out of corners to try and lose me, which I expected. Pretty much the whole race I was trying to ride as smooth as possible with consistant power to keep some inflammation down. I waited till the last lap to really suffer and hit the gas hard to hold on to 5th spot. I was surprised to see how much ground I made up on the last lap, nearly catching Tom Price at the finish. Most of my family came to watch this race, I wish I could have ridden like I should.

I am not a happy camper right now, very aggravated. We have worked on so many possible weakness' resulting in this injury, but it keeps coming back. I am getting an X-Ray taken on Monday to see if there is something physically wrong with the SI area that is causing the inflammation. This may be followed by an MRI and hopefully a Cortisone injection to temporarily end the pain. It's hard to estimate how long it will last, but from what I have read, 3 days to 3 months. I will completely lose my mind if I have to suffer through this every other race this season, I came way too close today.