Monday, December 8, 2008


The season is over for me, Nationals is too far away, and it is time to take it easy. Yes I work hard and train hard for cross. You will never hear me at the start line making excuses. When I start a race I want to do well and I am well prepared.  I have developed a training program (with a huge help from Justin Wadsworth) that allows me to stay in shape 12 months a year, have huge amounts of fun riding my mountain bike and doing well in cross. But now it is time to rest a little, enjoy the holidays, and do some skiing.
The Grand Prix races in Portland were the best this year. The coursed fine tuned, not too wet but lots of mud. The last few times I have been out riding my bike I have run into Ryan Trebon. Probably the strongest cross racer in the USA. The first day he attacked a few times, let Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers attack him, but I think he was waiting for the last lap to put in one of his super speed attacks for the win. Instead he slipped and Tim Johnson just exploded to get out of reach. The second day he was having none of it. He went to the front and kept on the pressure until all of his rivals faded of the back. He just kept on charging. Impressive. It is great fun to cheer on someone you know,  and the more I know Ryan the more I appreciate him. I was in the pit for another pro. Chris Sheppard. The first day he needed nothing, the second he crashed on the first lap and we had his bike ready. I got it fixed but he didn't need it again. Nothing like being a help. Chris is a semi retired Canadian bike racer. He was suspended a few years after some EPO problems. Now he lives in Bend, is at COCC becoming a massage therapist. He can still race his bike though. 
My races went pretty good. I ended up second both days (the same as last year). Ron Strasser beat me both days. He owns me on those courses. The second day I gave it my all. I led for most of the first two laps. Then we hit this deep mud and my legs were done. I had to do everything I could to hold on to second. In fact I didn't know I was second until I got home.  I was thinking we would be done when I went through the finish line after 4 laps, and Splinter even said over the loud speaker that my race was over. But everyone around me kept on going (he didn't say anything to them) so I did the 5th painful lap. Eric from Seattle came around me at the finish and I was sure I was third. They gave me a third place plywood even. 
This is a philosophical dilemma. Am I just as happy with a second after the fact as I would have been if I had known at the time. I think so. The plywoods were the same size after all, different colors and numbers though. I think doing that fifth lap though was the most painful. 
The photos are of me in the mud, Renee Scott going great in the women's B race, the start of the Pro Men and my plywoods. I now have four plywoods. Thanks for reading. 

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