Monday, February 17, 2014

TEAM CAMP RECAP: Gateway Harley-Davidson/ TREK

   Just waking up after an evening flight home from the 4 day GHD Team Camp in Austin, TX. A camp that consisted of a good day of testing followed up with a good 11 hours of riding in two days, left me sleeping hard last night and hoping this mornings cup of coffee will get me through what most certainly will be a long day.

   Day 1 of our glorious training camp mostly consisted of evening arrivals and me flying in earlier then my teammates and taking full advantage by knocking out a serious homework session before what was sure to be a busy 72 hours ahead. After bike builds, everyone got to start interacting with one another and begin to settle into the house. All the guys quickly began to click with one another and the oh so crucial team bonding began. I don't think it was more than 10 or 20 minutes after arriving at the house, that the pranks and jokes began.

Inline image 1   After a good nights sleep, a big breakfast, and one too many cups of coffee, we all set off on day 2, which meant off to Kevin Livingston's amazing "Pedal Hard Training" facility in Austin, where we all threw down some killer testing and blood samples to see where the bodies were at in this fine month of February. Once that was luckily done and dusted, we made the drive back to the team house for a team meeting and dinner, but not before we filled our bodies with coffee and cafe goods from the one and only Juan Pelota coffee shop.

   Day 3 was nice and big! We crushed 6 plus hours on the bike with the company of the VooDoo race team and basically rode a lot of miles and ate a lot of food. Oh, and we may or may not have gotten lost, we were never certain as to where we were due to the rolling hills and many trees, causing us to depend heavily on our leader/ tour guide/ host houser/ Ex-bad-ass-World-Tour-Pro, Mr. Livingston. The night was full of eating, laughter, eating, Billiards, dessert, and of course, SLEEP!

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Inline image 2   Day 4, was our final day. On tap was another big ride in the morning in which we of course threw down at all the City Limit signs and hilltoppers. I mean, come on, one simply does not leave a state without stealing at least one KOM. Once we arrived back at the house, it was quick to bike packing and a few more good meetings before we all set off back to our lives. After what was a relatively easy airport check in experience, we all found some amazing BBQ (a must/ certainty while in Austin), before jumping on the plane and going our different ways. 

   I now have a few days here before the start of the VOS Stage race and the rest of my season. I will be throwing up race and travel recaps throughout the year. Make sure that you like Gateway Harley-Davidson/ TREK on Twitter and Facebook for all the daily goodness and live race updates at the big races! 

TREK___TREKMIDWEST__GATEWAY HARLEY-DAVIDSON, SRAM, Renaissance Financial, Barfly, Capo Cycling ApparelESI GripsSPYPedal Hard Training CenterHoney StingerSkratch LabsTrek Bicycle/Bontrager, and Trek Midwest for the 2014 season. With Jim SchneiderKevin Livingston,Chris CreedCameron RexJosh JohnsonRudyard Peterson, and Don Dennis Rmz.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Greatest Seven Days of The Year

     The last race of my season had finally arrived. I swear it was just yesterday I was racing CrossVegas and just like that, I’m flying to Madison, Wisconsin for what was sure to be a very frozen, cold, and AWESOME cyclocross race. I was fortunate enough to stay at the great Boynton’s house for the weekend where they couldn’t have been more kind and fun. With no stress from lodging, flights, or racing form, it was on!

    I was in Madison for 4 days and did 5 or 6 rides, only 2 of those rides were outside. For once I couldn't have been more happy to ride the trainer. The course was super sloppy and icey which was actually my strong point as far as courses go, so I was stoked to get this race on!

    The morning of the race I hopped on the trainer for a bit to open up the legs and get my mind focused. With warm muscles and coffee flowing in my veins, I was more than ready to few the hour of pain that is cyclocross. My call up was just behind mid pack start, but in a race like this, it did not matter all that much. What was the hardest thing was racing with only one bike in the worst of conditions. With this in mind, I knew I had to go as hard as I could for the first lap to get up front before my bike packed with mud and turned into a single speed eventually going from 16- 35+ lbs (this actually happened). The race when just as I planned and at the halfway point I had already moved up to the top 10 and was feeling great. In all honesty, I had never felt better in a race than I did here, but I did highly underestimate the bike gaining so much weight an all of a sudden it turned into me racing CX with a downhill bike. 

    I was able to hold onto 12th or 13th and for once after a bike race my arms hurt more than my legs. I couldn’t be more happier with my fitness and was able to learn few things... like ice can turn into mud which results into needing 2 bike. I blame this one on me being raised in Arizona!

    After I got back home from nationals, I took a few days off before heading to Bootleg Canyon to remember how to ride a mountain bike again. By the end of the weekends I was feels super flowy and couldn’t wait to be coming back... maybe for the Bootleg Enduro in March? We will see, but for now I will be taking another week of before what is sure to be a killer mountain bike season... hopefully not literally.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Three Weekends of Mud, Sweat, and Pain.

    The month of December has consisted of cyclocross, rain, and travel. Its one thing to race back to back weekends, but when you combine last row starts and sloppy/ sluggish mud, you get me, a exhausted college student who is tired of washing the mud off his bike. Which of course brings us to the second weekend of cross in Bend, Oregon.
    There is a handful of races that have it all, and Bend is one of them. The course always has some awesome techy lines filled with amazing spectators that have to contemplate between a cold beer or a hot coffee. The town of Bend itself is worth the trip. If you love the outdoors its pretty much like disneyland. To top it all off, Oregon is the place of my really... my awesome family is from Portland!     

Thursday morning at a very early 3am, I woke up and headed to the airport to catch a flight to Oregon on a plane that couldn’t fit under a freeway overpass.... It was a very very small plane and shouldn’t be legal!!! Anyways, once we made it to the race I built the bike and shredded what was a very techy CX course. Day one of racing was super harsh. Started dead last and had to move up in the most gnarly spots. This worked well till I hit the deck a few times while passing guys on the outside of turns. Was stoked yet frustrated. The next day was the same story with a dead last start and gnarly passing, but this time it worked in my favor. Moved up 30 plus spots and finished on the lead lap from a dead row start which made for a satisfying finish.

   After a week with the Oregon family eating a ton of holiday food, it was time to go do some work at the last AZ cross races ending with the AZ CX state champs. Once again, Saturday consisted of the sticky mud that I was getting too familiar with. After the first lap of the race, I realized the winner was going to be the one who didn’t crash and was able to ride all the tech sections. Somehow, this person was me. Being being able to switch bikes and ride the course perfectly set me up perfect for the win. The new BH RX Team doesn't just have new amazing geometry, but with the lower BB, it stays cleaner and less bogged up. This is due to the mud that is being thrown off the front wheel to hit the lower down tube instead of in the fork/ front brake calipers. If you can only have one CX bike for the season, the BH RX Team is your bike!

    Finally, the AZ State Champs. The course was somewhat punchy, but consisted of the deep wet grass that made power output crucial. I tried hopping the barriers and was actually successful, but on one of my last practice hops, I hit sideways and bent my rear der hanger. This caused some panic and raise in heart rate, but luckily we were all good one the race started. The first few laps allowed me to get into a breakaway with another guy. We hit it hard and then settled in to a medium pace the rest of the race. The course was so brutal it wasn’t even in our mind to race each other, rather to just survive the course. In the last few laps we started to attack one another to see who was the stronger guys. I found I was quite fast threw the run ups and made my move there on the last lap. I knew I was feeling strong and just kept laying down whatever power I had left till the end. Unfortunately, the guy shot around me in the last corner and kept this bike length gap to the finish. A thousand of different situations played out in my head, but no matter what other things I could have done in the race, I couldn’t change what already happened. 

    After three weeks of brutal racing, it’s nice to be home for a few weeks of building leading up to the CX nationals in Wisconsin where I am hoping it will be unseasonably warm and not frozen. Whatever the weather and course brings, I am certain I will bring some great form and excitement to race my heart out. In the meanwhile, I am going to enjoy this 65 degrees and sunny in this amazing Arizona weather!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The Journey

    Last Thursday and Friday can basically be summed up with three words, study, pack, and recover. My first finals of college were underway as well as getting ready for what was sure to be an amazing rainy weekend in LA. After I knocked out some finals and was dialed for the weekend, we then make the nice 6 hour drive to LA where we found ourselves unable to pre ride the course. It was so caked in mud that we could literally not ride for more than a half minute or so without having to scrape of ten pounds of mud from our bikes. 

     After a short pre ride, we headed to our killer hotel. We were staying at the JW Marriott on d-town right by LA Live where there was always something going down. The next morning we shared the elevator with the head coach of the LA Galaxy on our way to grab some coffee, only to then find ourselves getting distracted while passing by the outside ice skating girls that were totally checking us skinny cycling guys out. After a day of chilling at the hotel, it was off to the races.

Day 1

    It was pouring rain and I couldn’t have been happier. I don’t know if it’s because I have ridin in sandy trails growing up in AZ, but I always do well in the muddy rain. I lined up about mid pack and was ready to rock. The gun went off and before I knew it I was pinned up against the fence on the right side due to someone tipping over on the start.... REALLY?!?! So after being 10 seconds down before I even crossed the start line, I went all out to make up for lost ground. After an hour of muddy bikes and eyes, I ended up on the podium in U23 and about mid pack overall. Given the day, I was 
pretty stoked on the outcome.
Day 2  

    1 o’clock the next day, we were at it again. After finishing the race at 9:30pm and going to bed after midnight the day prior, we all were feeling a tad sore. I took some Hammer RaceCaps and then hit the rollers for a long spin to open up the legs, and before I knew it, I was ready for an hour of pain once again. This time I got a much better start. It seemed like I was the only one to not bonk during the race considering I dropped/ passed about 10 guys half way threw the race. The end of the race consisted of me battling for a top 3 in U23 only to finish just off in 4th. Just didn’t quite have the finishing kick, but the form has really come along. I then jumped in the car after the race and made the 6 hour drive home, of course being fueled by a little in and out burger on the way. Now, its home for a few days before I fly out to Bend for the last USGP. Let do it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Local CX Weekend

Finally, I'm home for a weekend that also consisted of some awesome local CX racing. AZ cyclocross is a great way for me to work on my weaknesses due to the fact that they are always on super fast grass and have a ton of straight aways. Being able to throw down the power is crucial here.

    The weekend started off at HammerFest CX night race. There was tons of spectators and the course was killer. These are basically the two key ingredients to any good Cross race. I lined up front row and got the whole shot. This was a must because it allowed me to be first into the sand section and ride the whole thing, giving me a instant gap. After the first lap, it was four of us in the lead. Of course our fastest AZ pro roadie threw down some massive watts on one of the flat sections and we just couldn’t match it. The race was down to 3 guys for 2nd and it was so on! 

    My legs were feeling super open and ready for this hour of pain due to a new warm up routine my coach Jim and I went over a few days before the race. I have to say, working with CTS this season has truly been amazing. Solid coaching gives confidence to a rider, and confidence produces results.

    The whole race was filled with 180 degree corner crashes, throwing elbows, and pain. In the last few corners I had a second or two gap when I hit the ground hard. I jumped back up and hauled ass to catched 2nd only to pass him after he slid out a few corners later, go figure. It was one of those races that I just rode smart and it resulted in an awesome second place.

    The next day consisted of a very fast and powerful track. This meant I had to play a more tactical game and save it for the last few laps. I railed every tech section to get a few seconds gap, then held my own on the flats. With 3 to go, an attacked was thrown down that I just didn’t have enough left in the tank to cover right on the spot. I was able to keep the gap at about 10-13 seconds by hopping the barriers and hitting every line and corner faster than I had all day. Unfortunately, this still meant second place. Man was it nice to be racing at the front of the race again. Racing the USGP meant that you are fighting for a top 30 after starting in the 60s. This totally made me even more hungry for the next USGP in Bend!

Great weekend of racing and training! Few more weeks of local cross races and interval days before heading to LACX and the USGP again. Lets do it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spooky Cross

    A quick 5 hour drive from my house and I arrived at Pomona, California for Spooky Cross. This is one of those races you can always expect to have an awesome course and an awesome experience. The hardest thing this weekend brings to the table is that you race at 8:30pm the first night, then you are quickly racing again at 4pm the next day. Your body isn’t used to racing the same time you are usually getting ready for bed.

    Personally, I have never been great at night races. It may be the fact that in Arizona you get up at the crack of dawn to ride and beat the heat, but either way, I knew I was going to give it whatever I had. I threw down a serious warm up to get my legs nice and open from a day spent in the car and settling in. I lined up second row and was ready to rock for and hour. Heart was gaining beats, and I was gaining nerves, but I took a few calming breaths and before I knew it, we we all sprinting like there was mad dog behind us. The first few laps were the worst, I had a great start, yet I was losing a place or two every few minutes. After the first lap and a half or so, my legs kicked in and so did I. I rode the rest of the race better than I have ridden any race in my life and made back some serious ground eventually finishing in 17th or 18th. I was in the money as well as taking 2nd in the U23 category. This really showed me how well my legs were coming along from all the harsh training.

    After a solid night of sleep, I was ready to do it all again. Second days of racing always sets my legs up for optimal performance and I was ready to do some work. The course didn’t change all that much, and the barriers were still very much hop-able which gave me the small advantage yet again. This year I have developed and been provided with many advantages over the competition that results in me always feeling great no matter what the day. My new 1X10 set up with my amazing Rotor Rings allows me to never drop a chain, lighten up my bike, and have the most efficient and powerful pedal stroke form the Rotor Ring which in the end, clears my head of any worries. On top of this, I’m riding my new BH RX team, with the addition of it’s new geometry, allows me to throw down the power along with shredding the corners even faster.

    I brought awesome legs to the second day of racing. I was top five in the start, but due to a crash in front of me, I was quickly sent to the back. Luckily, my legs were still ready to go and I fought all the way back to 16th or 17th place and 2nd in U23 again. I was thrilled with how the racing is going and am so ready for the biggest races ahead. Up next is the LACX races, USGP in Oregon, CX Natz, and hopefully World Champs. Now, it’s time to go home and hit up a serious block of training provided by CTS’s Jim Lehman to set me up even better for the races ahead!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


And Cross is Here

    The season has started off quite busy with recovering from injury, college classes, and enjoying a little time home from a long season of racing. The first few weeks back to from a 2 week break was super ruff. I felt like I lost a ton of fitness and was feeling off on the bike. After about 2 weeks, a drastic change occurred overnight. I headed off to one of the weekly crits, after getting dropped in the last 2, I all of a sudden found myself breaking away from the field. I was riding stronger than I had all year long. With CrossVegas a week away and my form coming back, I couldn’t wait for the season to start. I wanted to get one super fun and chill race in before the travel started again, so three days before Vegas, I raced a 50 mile single speed race that left me toasted. Unfortunately, this resulted in crappy legs for Vegas and me lasting only 3 laps. Not the ideal way to start the season! But my head was in the right place, and I had a blast. 

    This gave me a few weeks at home till the USGP in Fort Collins. I also received all my goodies from my sponsors and it was like Christmas. With two new amazing BH RX CX bikes, Hammer Nutrition that gets be dialed, and all new Rotor Rings that will give me that extra edge in each pedals stroke.  After putting in some very hard training weeks, I was dialed. The Fort Collins course was so techy, muddy, and punchy, perfect for me. I started in the last few rows in a field of 100 people, so my day pretty much consisted of moving up. Great practice on pacing and pushing myself in the elevation. At the end of the day I moved up quite nicely and was ready to do all again.

    Day two was a dramatic change that consisted of warm weather, and cement like dirt. Along with a little better call up, I also brought some amazing legs to race. The first lap was filled with traffic that I was somehow flying by. I was coming threw the last corner on the first lap when I nailed the ground out of nowhere. I jumped back up and threw my chain back on only to also notice that my tire had come unglued. To top it off, I had just passed the pit, which meant my day was over. Super bummer that my race ended so early with such great legs on tap, but luckily the CX season is long and awesome. After the race we hit up the amazing Tokyo Joes and ate some serious food, and of course we followed it up with a little post race FroYo!

Hammer Nutrition