Thursday, November 29, 2007

It ain't big, but it hurt

now that is a clean fissure, looks like super glue would do it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh No Mr Fibula

When I landed on that railroad tie at the bottom of the stairs, past experience told me it wasn't just soft tissue. Something broke. 30 minutes from home and down a dirt trail. ... shook it off and saddled up for the slow pain peddle home. still had to pick up my daughter before driving myself to Kaiser. the walk to the emergency room wasn't pretty. suspicions confirmed, the fractured fibula didn't seem to need casting. all I wanted was a wrap and a cane and go. tried to escape twice, caught both times.
now are crutches better than a cane? they make you look more hurt than debilitated, but canes you can collect in a basket at the front with your umbrellas.
Well, there goes the season. If it matters, worlds are still a possibility.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh no

4 weeks to nationals and still haven't found the right set of race wheels and the ones I have are so full of mud even a power washer can't get them clean. well, keep showing up and maybe your luck will change is the cowboy lore.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


All that rain drained and dried quickly for the Prunedale race. It made a bit it tacky, though sand drains fast and the warmer than home temps(shortsleeves) loosened it up again. One can never really trust those seed grain rounders on the ball field.
So, it was a Strawberry-fest, and a great race at that with the Madman Myall digging deep and blasting by in the final few meters. He can really gather it when he needs. Some how he gets speed out of those legs... figure some guys get that twist. The field was a good size and it seemed everyone had lots of stories on the big Monterey opener.

Great race to all the fellows who showed, cool new course Keith, and Rod thanks for the finish!

See ya at the Wednesday Vegas-baby after bedtime race.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rain, Rain, here to stay!

What a storming start to the new cross season. Caly got rain, and it's dry and warm in motherland of cross, Belgium. There season is kicking in full steam. What I would pay to spend a month there. Well, you can bet it is going to be hot in Vegas, even at 9 at night. Now that will be an elite race, and will be happy just to get a chance to race, thanks Anthony.
But tomorrow is a day with my master and berry brethren in Prunedale.
Wonder how the snow was for those who went to Northstar today. Here we just had fun getting an early season soaking on the roads of Woodside. See ya tomorrow.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Forget those file treads

Well, those snake skin treads caught up with me today, as I was able to jump away from Josh and Howy with just under 2 to go. Minutes earlier, thinking how will it brake apart, not wanting any kind of sprint. Then, was able to open up a gap through the sand and by the top of the stairs had some room,... that is when the attempt to go a bit faster in those ball bearing turns, I slipped so quickly, like street shoes on ice... WHAM, that hurt, then my chain came off and that gave them the gap, ... when I gathered things and got going again, was able to close it down with just under one to go and thought, it was still possible....WHAM, AGAIN those darn file treads are history,... thought they would improve my skills, maybe, but they are wearing holes in my hips and knockin' me off the top step. Someone else can master them. Great race to Josh and Howy and all else out there...if you want to try those file treads, I'll bring them to the next race for anyone to use.... I am treadin' up....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dirt Cross Sandbagging

Well, the cross season started, dirt cross that is, and the new promoter did a stellar job in setting up a challenging par-course for the venue he has and a good production. Not many are interested in showing in this blazing heat and "so early" in our very short cross season, was good fun anyhow.

Usually the quality of racing and racer improves as the season goes along, and with nationals (only) 14 weeks away, it is a short season for most. That makes peaking a fine art in cross, and it seems, those that win, do it well.

Local races vary in popularity and competition.. the quality of racing is generally very good. The USGP races offer some real tough competition, traveling restricts many of the players, although this is true in any sport, at any level. Nationals draws the best US competitors, as in all events, it is broken out every 5 years, worlds are the same. Heck, if you go mtb racing, they automatically put you in age categories, unless you race pro or semi-pro. On the road, a lot of fellow never upgrade when they can or ride age groupings as soon as they are able. Few of us have had the opportunity to make a living as an athlete, let alone the capability. As one matures, make the choices to enjoy yourself as well as challenge yourself. Like Pietro said, "I hope they enjoyed the ride, I did"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday, the day after

Well, I did not need a pill for this one. It was great to be able to relax for the first time in a long time, it is about time, the bike stayed in the car. It was pay back time to my French buddy, that was a bad draw… of course over here, if your anyone, there is a following and you are takin’ care of. No matter, he was not to upset when I fell asleep after he was lapped on the third lap, and they pulled him. Cedric, super guy!
The races continued all day, not finishing till almost 6pm. Believe it, the average times were all pretty close. Boy, they love their sport here in Europe. There were not a lot of Americans here, a Mike Patrick finished 9th in the 35s race at noon. Contrary to what so many think, no one hates ‘you’. This was a great Championship event, and “I’ll be back”.
So after all the fun and games, the place deserted, and here I am with a gratis cabin for the week, but there are too many places to go. to stay cooped on this hill side. Won’t be riding many of those famous col’s on a mt bike, but will drive them and take in some sites, Looks like this is probably the only real down time I might manage before Anthony flicks the switch on cross season…. Let’s see,…. that starts, for those hard core e mailers, in about two weeks, give me four, so I can rest up and work on my start.

Thanks for all the support, and remember,…. sandpaper all the carbon metal contact points and special grease for that carbon on carbon slippage, because a mechanical is worse than a fall (if you don’t mind the site of blood).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Its done, use a scram derailleur

Saturday – World’s

Had some trouble sleeping last night, but when the call came at 7am, I was dead to the world. No rolling over, 3 hours to race start. Mixed a fruit muesli bowl and was actually hungry. Packed and headed out. Stopped at the cafeteria for a java and the gal offered me a roll. Jumped into the car and headed to the mountain…. Figured to stop below the hill and warm up on the flats for 20-30minutes and finish up on the mountain. Found a good parking place, not my usual,… looks like those Italians got the last spot, but found an even better one.
A neighbor had a pump that his wife was happy to lone, but he was a bit upset, and quickly grabbed it away—yes, took a few pound out. Ran into Cedric and he said he would hand up a bottle… so my worries were gone… the warm up went well and I felt ready. Had a front row start (guess I won’t get that back next year). Then managed to easily roll off the front at the start, the Italian stallion began to gallop away, and no one was very close behind as we hit the descending road to the single track. Figured hordes would be roaring by, but that did not happen. I felt pretty good. Went into the single track 2nd with Silvano just ahead and felt pretty good about my skills on this patch.
In the middle of the woods section, is a short road section and this is when two fellows came up to me, but they seemed to be pushing the climbs a bit to hard so early, so they went around wheel to wheel, and kept them in site. Did not want to overcook it on all these tough climbs right away. Having them in site Rob Anderson, last years champ, came up and he was working very hard and he pushed by me and I followed. We hit some more single track and as much as I respect Rob, he struggles on the descents and being behind him at this stage was slowing, even when we hit the run up, he was slow to get on his bike and I even gave him a push as was trying to get going again on a much to steep section. I waited a few more steps, for a flatter spot and mounted, …here was a very steep switch back section to a short steep climb. We crested on a narrow trail with a drain ditch on one side and a 2 foot berm on the other, this lead to a nasty whoop-de-doo, across the road, with a tricky entry onto a steep gravel road. This where Rob slowed, so I went around him, but he jumped me just before another series of switchbacks, so gave him some room as these were steep and sharp (which ones weren’t on this course). After came the feed/tech zone, which next lap because my stop. This wide flat, 20 meters leads to the last switchback climb. we could still see the other 2, but Silvano was gone. Turns out he cramped, was caught and must of dropped out. The descent off this last climb, gave me an opportunity to pass Rob, as he had the drag shoot out for these high speed sweepers, the first two on gravel and last on grass, but they were easy to make fast., the last, 180ed back up the grassy hill and rose then dropped towards the finish. Was able to put a good gap into Rob,.. but this is when my problems began. I could not get into the very very valuable and necessary little ring. After the finish, the wide track in front of the lodges snaked up and around till it doubled back through some trees and down a flight of stairs…look out for the steel fencing, s turns into a sharp drop and a hanging single track, only for a moment and then 180 onto the descending fire road of mixed large gravel, roots boulder and trenches. This is where my front derailleur took over.. not being able to get in my big ring, I could not keep my speed up to stay clear of Rob, who I did not want to follow into the long single track section, where I knew I could pick up some time. Spinning as hard as I could, I thought I had it, but he jumped by me at last minute, I scolded him, that he would be faster to follow me. Not completely sure, I gave him some extra room and he took advantage and he opened it up. Now I began to sink, realizing my front drailleur was not working at all. Pick a ring, that is what you get. Things were alright till we hit the up and down and the run up, where I got off early and reached down to put it in the small ring. Thinking this was it, race over, I carried on because of all the fans yelling!!! Can’t stop now….rode on to the feed zone, asking for mechanical help, they said that was just up the way…Cedric ran with me and tried to help figure out what had happened.. a young Belgium helped too. I knew it by his colors he was champion. I began to give up hope and said so… he said, NO!, you must finish…I knew he was right. They figured out that the derailleur had slipped down and was blocked by the chain stay and was now jammed. (this is an issued to be worked out)… They said you must go and off I went… many people had passed me and I quickly went by 5 or 6 guys. I was still stuck spinning the tiny ring the whole rest of the race, but figured this was better than jumping off and on the bike, ... managed to pass several more riders.
On the final lap, a bunch of different people yelled I was in 5th, turns out the guy in front of me was. I closed to him but didn’t quite catch before the line.
I was exhausted after the race and I had made many friends. Happy with what turned out, as this is what can happen. Rob finished 3rd, an Italian 2nd and a Swiss won. I managed 6th, but content in knowing I had a real chance to win. You bet “I’ll be back”.

Friday, August 17, 2007

count down to blast off


Well, almost got kicked out of my Pen’sion, as the tour bus arrived, that just about stole my room, after a rapid am departure from sleeping past wake-up. Made it to Preloup for an easy roll around and one lap on the course. There is no way keeping it under AR on this parcourse with the steep climbs and nasty switchbacks.
Ran into the current World Champ, Rob Anderson, and he had lots of details on the competition and tomorrows start.
When I flicked on the tv, there was coverage of the race,.. no wonder these guys keep asking me if I’m a pro, …even the frighten Italians did not know what to think, as I tried to befriend them in four languages, sorry Italian isn’t one of them. Anthony’s design team really makes a difference
Spent a long while speaking with the Frenchman Cedric Emery, he was beautifully representing Specialized in their factory kit and Sworks machine …looks like he needs a new carbon one. The Irish had a great interest in the carbon marathon frame, wondering if it was as good as the Sworks, I guaranteed them, Nic had a secret formula into making it the best.
Funny thing, the downhillers are more detailed about their bikes ,..lots of suds and boxes of different spray lube, looks like they are getting all the tv time too.
Spent the remainder of the afternoon driving to the top of the Col d’Allos,… I think they just widened the goat trail to accommodate cars, the trip was well worth it, with a view and unbelievable world opening.

Tomorrow is race day, 10am… lord knows what will happen. My only worries are tire pressure and enough water,… yah right!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Set your clocks

What a drive to Barcelonnette and the ski site of Parloup where the event is being held. The roads whine like snakes and are as narrow as the waists of the pretty French girls. The cool thing is there are none of those obnoxious Bot dots. One corner was so tight to the overhanging cliff I thought I was spelunking. The short 70k drive from Gap on this labyrinth, took 90 minutes. All fun, nothing flat, up and down, with views to paint.

The little town of Barcelonnette is right out of Mexico with hip-wide streets and humming with folks, so I elected that was not the place to stay and went back towards Gap 25k, to a place I spotted on the way. This is the Ubaye river gorge, and a summer hangout for families and rafting this section of river. Kids are running around everywhere, loud disco music, foosball, a swimming pool and a cool summer breeze…. Oh, not to mention me, sitting alone tapping away, nerd like. The rooms are euro standard small, but not here for the accommodations.

No dude, you’re here to race your mtb bike, so whats’ up with the track at Praloup for the worlds? Well I was worried going into this that it would be nasty technical like last year in Canada, so trained to up those skills…. The start list alone for my wheezer group is over a page.. the Canok , said his 35+ group has 120 starters, ouch . But these Frenchies couldn’t even get us on the ski hill for this event, guess those wired DHers really rate. The track is really cool and very hard and tricky, but it reminds me more of riding Skegg’s. there are some nasty switchbacks, both climbing and dropping. Tons of fast single track through the forest.
Technically, natz were harder, but the climbing is steeper with one section that is too tricky to ride, but that only lasts 10 meters
Gosh, glad I got here a couple days early, cause the moved the race day up. That may leave time for that side trip.

Did some good laps today, a couple extra, to see where the tired takes effect, tomorrow with have to be easy for Saturday race. Should get the front line with last years third. Don’t know if the ruler of the class is here, the Ity, but last years winner and a lot of other talent, you can bet, is here for the fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Well, made it to France and into the Alpes. The last bit of the drive was at night to Gap. The Alpes are layers of mountains, not a place for ocean people. Booked this hotel, but not so sure I’ll last ,…though the receptionist is exceptional and speaks perfect English.

They changed the start time to a day earlier….. and we jump on our starting grids. GEEE

Great competitors can always adapt, maybe it will screw up everyone else.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Take Off

Finally!!! getting on the plane to the Alps (via frankfurt/geneva)

By Thursday, ridin' some hard ass Euro Mtb tracks, looking forward to see what they have on the menu..... could not be more ready for this one, just hopin' for a good ride and some smiles.

love ya all.................................

Monday, August 13, 2007

Post toasty

Just not a lot of juice to write much of anything with the wife and daughter, that job thing and two wheeling around to stay ready,... be ready. Wife cleaned up this weekend at the MCC horse show on someone elses fancy steed, champion - 2 wins, 2 seconds,... hard to keep up,... Kate was making her first fortunes dabbling in entrepreneurialship by selling any kind of good or service. she even dressed up and faked a British accent to get some more free product to turnaround and sell. I say, look out, she is only nine, course she had a 10 year old partner.
Tuesday pm flight to Frankfurt.....
Packing is never easy, so I figured gettin' it out of the way.... keep it light, 35lbs bag (love those wheels, thanks Specialized) and 50lbs bike bag.... that is just one nasty fast Specialized marathon that my man Nic made right!!
did a final tune up at Demo, amd that place rocks! and some roots, but lots of trees,.. and like the fellow said, "to bad that down hill can't go on for ever".... well, it is the best vertical around, not all this Skegg's crisscrossing bunk,... don't get me wrong, Skegg's is number uno, especially at 20 minutes away. it is kinda like goin' powder skiing in the middle of a weekday afternoon.

my best to everyone, and congrats to all the Strawberry success!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

off to France

Call me crazy, and they have for years. Figured the least I could do to challenge myself this summer is to journey to France and face the toughest MTB riders in Praloup, France at the mst world championships. After winning the Nationals 2 years running on two distinctly different courses in a dominating fashion, and then slashing my way last year to a bronze at mtb worlds, it only came naturally to elect to go duke-it-out with the Euro-trash.
You can bet I am scared. God himself may descend from the clouds to line up at the start, but I have always figured I was racing myself and not the others who have lashed me with insults over the years. So, as always, if it is a good ride, it will be a happy day and if there is a podium, it will be a glorious day.
I wish all those competing good luck!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007



California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville California and Specialized of Morgan Hill California are teaming up for the 2007-08 U.S. Cyclocross season, and expanding their highly successful program from last year. In 2007-2008 Three Elite Men including Worlds U23 team member Chance Noble, 2 time 30+ National Champion Justin Robinson, and Specialized Product Manager Andy Jacques-Maynes. Three Elite Women’s riders featuring 2-time Collegiate National Champion Melodie Metzger, 2005 U.S. National 30+ silver medalist Josie Beggs and nationally ranked road racer Shelley Olds.
All Six Elite athletes will be riding the super light Specialized S-Works Carbon Tricross Bicycles powered by SRAM Force.
In addition to the Six Elite athletes, three masters will be rounding out the squad. They include 2006 World Masters Silver Medalist, 2 time U.S. Silver Medalist Henry Kramer, 2-time National Champion and 2006 Bronze Medalist Todd Hoefer, ,and top 10 National Championship finisher Gannon Myall.
In addition the sponsorship provided by California Giant Berry Farms and Specialized the team welcomes returning sponsors; Weyerhaeuser Paper Company, SRAM, Crank Brothers pedals, Squadra Team wear, TRP/Techtro and Clif Bar. Several other agricultural industry sponsors will also be featured and recognized as the season begins in the fall.
Beginning in October, the team will tackle a full Northern California schedule of races, the six Crank Brothers U.S Grand Prix races, CrossVegas as well as the National Cyclocross Championships in Kansas City, KS.
Watch for exciting results from the California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized Cyclocross team as the racing season begins. For more information on team activities or individual rider profiles, please contact Anthony Gallino or log onto
California Giant Berry Farms, one of the nation’s largest grower-shippers of fresh strawberries, has sponsored a cycling team for over six years and is proud to contribute to the health of American consumers by providing an abundant, healthy & delicious product. The company is committed to supporting cycling and other organizations that send positive messages about the importance of combining diet and exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.
2007-08 Roster
Andy Jacques-Maynes Capitola, CA
Chance Noble Camarillo, CA
Justin Robinson Santa Cruz, CA
Josie Beggs Capitola, CA
Melodie Metzger Berkeley, CA
Shelley Olds Saratoga, CA
Gannon Myall Lafayette, CA
Henry Kramer Menlo Park, CA
Todd Hoefer Watsonville, CA

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Clear skies at Mt Snow's mud slid

Mt Snow rocks.... and roots

Mt Snow was all that everyone said it would be and more.... the kicker was if it were wet, came to be. Take all the rocks and roots you have ever seen on a trail, cover them with mud and place them like tiles on a fall line "trail", more like a a shoot or couloir in skiing, and ride down it in a fully amped race situation,,, oh, don't forget 150 plus riders that started in front of us youngins', choking the lines.
Man was I scared!!, not of the others, but that nasty fun course. One of these days I'll learn to ride this stuff.
Guess I kinda knew what I was doing, cause legendary east coaster P. Curley was 5:30 behind in 2nd and the next locals 3rd and 4th were a whopping 30 minutes back, but that was the kinda course it was. Adam Craig crushed the elites by over 5 minutes.
stay tuned , more to come

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Off to see the......

roots and mud for fast descending and hard climbing in the jolly Green Mountains of Vermont! Yes. The only funny news is that my roommate is a long time east/west rival of a past era, P Curly. He better hope he snores, cause I hear I do,... or doesn't mine some wine at dinner and strong coffee in the morning. Otherwise, the nationals at Mt Snow and looking wet. Should make for a great showdown for all!
Congratulations to the west coast success at Natz!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

he ain't old, yet

Well, finishing second to this guy was not that bad after all.
Great job Ned! sure hope you're racin cross again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Buffed then battered

Yah, that CCCX par-course was an awesome buffed high speed single track. Long enough to feel like a mtb race and short, smooth and fast enough to feel like cross,... and no dismounts or glop. We lined up to race the semi-pro event. Rod announced that the cash prize was for first only. When Barry Wicks slid into the front row, we knew the race was gonna be for 2nd. We stayed with him for the first lap and a half, but he quickly disappeared and left three of us swapping leads in a half hearted chase. To our credit,(it looked like he was just cruising), we kept him within a couple of minutes. At one point, when he crossed back towards us, I yelled, "wait up Barry", Ha, funny guy!... Larry, Jason, and I had a fun race, .... on the last lap we attacked each other. It was the kind of course that unless you were hands and feet stronger then the rest (B Wicks),you had no place to escape.... So, once you were in your grouping, it was a matter of making the right play at the end. On the last lap we attacked each other. Jason lead us up the hill and over, then I attacked with no success, then Larry broke free and I was able to bridge and wait for an opening near the finish to attack again for a narrow escape to the line for 2nd. Yah, Barry won, but ya know, if I had won, people would figure I was taking something,... but as often as I screw up, no way.

Battered on Sunday to come

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dirty Weekend

...and that ain't yard work, though the grass is really getting long, I keep raising the height on the mower, but the grass just keeps growing... guess my secret treatment worked again this winter.
...well, anyway, as much as I crave road racing, skills dictate dirt racing as a necessary detachment,... so this weekend is all about fat tire speed. gotta have a little prep before going to the super tech world of Mt Snow, Vt.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Berkeley RR, P/!/2

Doin' a P/1/2 RR is like chinese water torture. it slowly wears ya down till ya don't have nothin left. it not so bad when it starts, but as it ends, ya wanta yell "uncle".

yah. I finished, but there is little grace left at the end of this kinda race.

see ya on the single track.

racing the bike is fun cause it is hard, not racing your bike is hard cause it is fun.
and on Monday, it is hard to decide which fun is more fun. Henri

Saturday, May 12, 2007

U23 cross champ wins another on the road

Lars Boom
, how could you not win with a name like that, takes another road victory. Is he switchin over to the dryer side of skinny tyres?

Just like Franzoi drops his road deal with Lampre to fulltime cross it.

We are all so confusid, in this warm weather.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

92 bottles of beer

92 miles really, and that is all that is left of the Berkeley RR. Glad to see some master bros in there for the pain. Just a few to many Strawberries, so I'll stay home and muck it up this weekend with some single track on those awesome new s-work all condition tires, they grip the trail like it were paved! next weekend, it will be a mtb feast, with cccx and napa on which to gorge. Mt Hambone?... painful fun, especially if you do the round trip back up calaveras.
Have fun....

Monday, April 30, 2007

Elliott, at 45, still rocks the house

160 starter, dirt and broken roads, and the sheriff makes the split and takes the gallop. maybe he'll show up for a few cross races, too.

Dirt Dog, Oh no Mr Super D

Figured i need to start prep'ing for the defence of the stars and stripes due up in Vermont in July, this weekend, Santa Ynez. Sure didn't need tarmac to bake down there, melted a couple of times in those grass fields ...... So, some crazy idea came to me that doing SuperD would be a good healthy mix and add to the fun at Natz ("what for?" said Mark Noble, no kidding). With lots of trepidation, even until the start.... it began with a 6 beep countdown and the ugliest example of how to take the first off camber corner... well, that was motivation and the yell of my name, to get me sprinting hard and flying down the first cross hill single track descent... if ya want'ta go fast, don't touch the breaks ... but look out for the launching rollers just before the narrow bend... if ya get to much air ... off the trail you go and down the hill... and maybe not upright. being not real good at these high speed 2 wheel dirt meneuvers ... i was scrubbing tons of speed in the not so banked 180s.... S turning at the bottom creekbed run, then shooting a straight line to the flats, ..not all on purpose, spooking the last of the fans. I headed into the pedal section, and saw I was catching 2 guys in front of me, winding out and back and slamming the rocky dry creek bottom, sprinted for a 180 and the line. All that in just 6 minutes, pretty fun,..dangerous?!!! and a 2nd place in the 40+. not bad first try for a skinny tyre boy, who likes dirt. but it wrecked my real chances for the next day and the event I really came for.

Was it the waiting around till 7 at night to start, or the 3 hours of XC course pre ride, or all the different warm ups for the delayed super d, that sucked the needed mojo outa my legs (head) to stay with the socal "legend" (?) KK (kevin kettler)? ... oh yeh, he gave me a lots of his history too. funny thing was, at the line, as the defending champ, no mention, OK. He and I sprinted away at the first rise, but he had no interest in helping, making short pulls and then sitting up, he said nothing. guess he wanted to solo.. not knowing much about dirt tactics and figuring with all the open climbing, the guy with the best legs would take it. ... for a 50's expert race mid season, he was a bit too steely, ...couldn't get a word out of him, and he wouldn't work... boy I was in trouble, ... and so on the back of the course, I found out how bad my leg were from yesterday's over work,.. when kk attacked up the dirt road climbmy legs wouldn't respond ... he got around 5 or 6 guys and began to open up a gap as we bombed down another high speed single track. you had to pass where there was no room, sometimes shoving uys out of the way...... the gap seemed like it got pretty big, but I must'ta closed it some near the end when motivated by the line nearing, cause at the finish it was just ~30".
learned some lesson this weekend about the mtb scene that will help as it comes closer to Natzs, things are a lot different back east and Mt snow is known as the most technical is the US... couldn't be a lot trickier than SunPeaks worlds par-course.
But I'll have to say, going downhill fast has its' appeal.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Enjoy blister black tarmac

All you asphault slaves, enjoy the weekend baking on the tarmac, while I snort dirt with the counterculture mountain weanies. Can you say super D, let alone describe what it is , a bit easier than explaining the TdF to an SC fan... " Ah, what is this team thing anyway. "Well, really that only works with the top pros or in master racing if you buy all the riders."
It is gonna be warm even in Santa Ynez, break out the short sleeves and the stars and bars.
Till later, goedeavond!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Don't do this

This was once a spectacular Pecan tree(Carya illinoensis). One of the two most impressive ones which I had seen in all of the local counties. Now some one has gone and destroyed it. Criminal! Well, both the owner of the tree and the one who butchered it are to blame. If I were in Belgium or France, it might seem they knew what they were doing, but here it is just plain stupid and cruel. It was a really cool tree and it will never be right again. It will be a constant reminder of what is right about nature and wrong about man.
Heck, might as well cut it up for lumber now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Beware of Furry Friend, Tuck

Remember how cool it was to play with caterpillars when we were kids.... Well, don't touch this one, he is a tussock moth. See that fur, looks like the bristles on a brush and it is just like the fiber in fiberglass. Yuck! It makes you itch like crazy and break out in hives... chicken pox style. smoosch it, squish it and if they get thick as carpets, like at my house, call us and we will nuke 'em with all kinds of neat stuff.
Happy Spring

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Birth day, upgrade?

Fifty one year ago today I was born, wow... seems like yesterday I was a kid in school, though I don't remember much very clearly. made me kinda think yesterday, as my slow reactions left me in the laughing group, why I was racing with all these kids, but that is the way it has always been in cylcing for me. it was a good day, cause I did some yow-mans work to put the teams best candidate in the front group.... when I sighed some relief, the best of the rest took off to be part of the race. Wente always makes for a great race, cause the route is so fun with its' twisting descents and green hills.
Enjoy today, tomorrow maybe even more exciting!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sea Otter RR - C-Walker breaks legs

Well, CW countered his own move when he got caught with JBoyer takin the ride, nobody in the small group of 8 choose to follow, knowing what danger lerked on CW's wheel, he has done it for years, likes ridin alone and can. LBlout powered the chase, with unstoppable work by CWire and WStetina. I helped for a couple of laps till my legs advised better if I want to stand a chance of seeing the line with these guys. JB kept his distance just at the back, allowing the chase to do what it could, we can all learn from that gesture. The ever present visual was his inevitable move with fresh legs. CW and LB looked the strongest and WS was hanging tough, he really had some great form. Second to last time through the feed, the break sputtered and JB attacked, CW was glued to his wheel and they rocketed away. LB looked around as WS gamed me a bit and then jumped up to him.... they took off up the road to link up with LB. WS stayed with LB for most of the last lap as I bummed some food to keep from going cross eyed. oh yah, it is dinner time about now. I could of walked up the finish hill faster, looking over my shoulder sure at this crawl some one would catch me,... nope made it and with load of time.... collapsed on the line, my legs were so sore

No sense DQing LB for his great ride, I remember getting 4th there one year and they gave the place to this other guy. Ran into him the next week at Wards F and asked where he finished, 4th he said,..."what, no way, I won that group sprint." He said "ya, they always get it messed up". Glad I won that day!

Friday, April 13, 2007

See Potter has a magic wand

Boy, that was the toughest race I did in the longest time, and I thought I was getting fit enought to really road race. that break on thursday ripped my legs off... barely made it to the finish for fifth, and luckily with lots of time to spare, as I collapsed Fignon style. but seemed to be ok to race the circuit the next day and sqweezed out a seventh, sure am glad got away from the gaggle and that sprint would of been really embarrassing. looks like sprinting is still out, so attacking will have to be in.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


was that the most unbelievalbel RdV!!!!!!!!!! the way Ballan put it down on the Muur.. and then drove it all the way to the line,... led out Hostefor 2k, held off the chargers and then clip Leif on the line!.... WOW is that a peak or What. how about that drag race to line for 10k... that s some kinda bike race! and these guys are the fastest in the World. I'm blown... gonna watch that last bit a few times and wish the coverage was better.. send me the feed or maybe just Ballan's vitamin pack... boy Hostey is hatin' life,.... glad I got a real job or what is left of it.
Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

is this your dope, I mean blood

these guys really want a yellow jersey. I"ve got a couple of old velo promo t shirts in my closet that are yellowing.

the goods


Get out the fire extinguisher and put out the red hot Olaf. He coasted to the win at one of the toughest and most fun road races in NorCal. That descent screams! Someone tried to tell me they hated this race, but I quickly road away.... Go home buddy. Missed all the fun with a locked rear brake, thank the MAN not on the downhill or else might get a DanSmith style scar. It ended up being due to a lever slip... started to hate scram, now I love it again. ChrisD diagnosed it in two seconds... and gave me the fix, just before he heads to Roubaix to make sure his, best in the world crankset smokes em....
Lot of guys, as usual had problems, but this race is classic and fantastic, but ya gotta be fit to enjoy it. The last of the herd rumbled in.
Many many thanks to a great team move and player, Pablo Serna, he gave me his wheel on the first climb, WOW... how luches is that,.... glad it was a front, cause he's campy. I wanted to reward him and launch Nitro, but as luck has had it at this race, there was more to come after reconnecting and charging. Nitro road great again, but it's hard to hold off the 'Olaf Expres' right now. Well, good news might be he won't be at SeaPotter, and just to be different it is 30+ and 40+...OK. Not to mention the most expensive race in the known universe. why is that?..... cause they can?
Levi used it for training? WOW! this is a TdF caliber course. Guess my favorite race RdV ain't tough enough,.... no that belongs to Georgie, and he is busted up....... Go NorCal!!!!!


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Easter and RdV at the same time

If you believe in God and like bike racing, there could not be a greater weekend then this one. Had my birthday on easter a few times, but was to young to realize how special it could be. But the Ronde and easter on the same same day, it has happened before, but this is now and I can feel the earth shaking. Pickin' a winner would be a betting mans game, but big Tom Boonen is a safe one, PvPG a long shot, Bettini a fan fav or Cancellara odds on. My pick is Jens Voight, even money.

Boonen says "Ik lig niet wakker van derde Ronde op rij"

Monday, April 2, 2007

Brisbane the pain

Lots of racin' around Caly this weekend and we can all meet up in the foothills for a great ride around Milton Saturday.

You won't suffer from dizzy spells for goin' round and round like ya had to this weekend, but can't speculate on the wind though the sun should brown ya'.


Feire Wins again

Feire strongest, wins sprint with lots of help from Boogerd.
Uitslag Brabantse Pijl

This is cookin' up to be an exciting weekend!!! RdV

Friday, March 30, 2007

My wife went out of town for the weekend and this showed up at the front door. Help!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tornado Tom rides Specialize to 7th win

Boonen klopt Eeckhout in spurt Dwars door Vlaanderen

Tom Boonen gaat in E3-Prijs op zoek naar record

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hanford Crit

Hold the presses, If there is more than one strawberry in a bunch is it a basket, a batch, a bushel or a bunch. No,... it is a clam shell, or a flat, if there are enough. Well, we were good, but we were kinda' flat. The new SLO contingent rocked,... the rules of the road are about to change!! The mst race went well... we got in some breaks, powered the field and set up guys for the final sprint. The 'payne man, showed his huge potential, stoaking a 3rd place field finish, with the danger man crowding his heals. The rest of the clam shell clan pushed everyone through. Most were pooped and headed home, while Gannon and I hung for the whistling Pro race that when finished, we fell off our bikes. coach Ron and Connie cheered from the fence as Keith M. managed the winning break of 10 for a 5th place. The foraging of the last 10 spots got a bit dodgy for all but the youngins and claim jumpers, we wilely in no break, coasted to the line.

A solid day, a super weekend and to boot, my family missed me, job well done. Henri

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Orosi RR

Super road course through the foothills on narrowing windy roads with tons of steady meandering climbs challenged with steeps. The desert was the banking fast curvey descents. It was team play again, but no milk duds... to much climbing?, come on. Safegay and Spiddle ruled with cordinated efforts to match. Strawberry, had a team,.. an addition 'nitro Nick Theobald rocked. Pulling the race. With one more player we're there, cool!!!
OH, the big news, is 'speedy' is still on fire. He lit it up at the end with hardman, to go 1,2. It sure was fun flying in a break with those guys on lap one. Missed out on the move on the last lap, got stuck doin' work to catch. But we were smiles at the end, thinkin' ahead.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Zamora RR

This is a pretty cool race course and set up with lots of road. A huge 35+ field. It was cool for a Strawberry, 'cause we had are bitty team there, workin like pros. No real result, but we linked up nicely going through the last lap, just like old times, to set up a sprint to have the madman lose a wheel..... Shucks! The tree man battled for the KOM with some tiny colombian climber.... gosh, there could of been a donut hole for 2nd place. a break got its' beehind caught at the line, but Safegay huh Paulsen blew away at 500m for a zip-up finish with monster Mick storming in for 2nd. He's the driver. The rest hooked and guttered to the line for a fast freaky finish. It was fun, chocolate milk anyone.

next weekend no tell motel, a RR and Crit in lovely Tulare county!


Monday, March 12, 2007

CVC, a classic it was

Great race weekend, with somethin' for everyone. Each day a different guy laided the smack down, but Olaf sure took it to the streets on Sunday to deserve that win!!! Mick and Hutch put up a good fight, but the Safestrap boys had control. and like Towle said, one of the finest comebacks of all time! Once again TT'in is golden on the short walks home where there is no hidin' from the wind. It's late,.. gotta' go......

RR. this was a great par course, the real reason for showing, but I will have to say the crit was the most fun I have had in a while and that is kinda' scary. it had a beautiful stair step climb on winding narrow country roads. it did not seem that hard, but it was, cause the 2nd time up a couple of accellerations blew the group to bits. the usuals went up the road,.. Olaf, Martini, hutch, worthington... and us strangelers scratched our way back, but by then the real had gone down, the fastest gun in the west, quick draw Olaf, ripped up the road with the pocket rocket Worthington. and we thought our little group was saved with a quick catch after some yelling to organize the group (an organized chase is a rare bird here abouts').... the road had some great descents and only a bit of cross wind, so it was easy to do little while 'monster Mick, 'rockin Rob and 'hardman Hutch did the brunt of the chasing. the gap did not close till the last 5k, when we took it down from 1;35 to under :30. but 'quick draw took the booty. the 14 chasers grunted to the line as the Safestraps freshened up the sprint. .....more to come

TT, oh no, 8 miles straight and flat, then a couple of speed bumps and 8 more miles of a few raises and a couple of curves. The run along the river for a few was refreshing. I sure hope someone thinks this is cool, now I know why I love cross, it is always exciting. Ok, so not all of us can crank these things, but the 'monster did' in blazing style with the 'hardman' close behind. Looks like this really got quick draw steaming, as he "called them out" for Sundays crit.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Smelling RR

This is a traditional first race of the year for a lot of riders. It is a flat one, so everyone shows. Climbers are never afraid of flat courses, but sprinters are afraid of hills.... what's in them thar' hills? Don't know, but clunking up a narrow windy road seems more fun than groveling in the gutter... though I chose to do both and enjoy... or at lease have lots of stories to tell at the end.

Three strawberries rose early to make the festivities. the Danger Man, Pablo and me, Henri. It was great weather, cool and not to much wind. The 35 field has gotten very organized and strong. It is well organized from the stand point of a few teams able to control the race. Safeway and Spine got control early and half way through the race, Hutch and Olaf V shot off the front with one EMC guy in tow. Now that is a very lethal combo, near unstoppable, as both those teams were and are always well represented. Now.... who can chase that down, well there were a couple of teams in strong enough numbers to chase and still have reserves, but that never happened. So the race was left to the suicide men. Strawberry, being fresh off the vine, could not sacrifice much. So if ya' wanted to score today ya better screw in your tiger eye and giddy up off the front. There was a last lap break of a couple of tough guys, that did not get caught. Very near the end, K Carpenter drove the pace so hard that it sling shot a small group that D Martin drove into the gutter to propel his time trail to the finish. P Sarna made a studdly solo effort with 5k to go only to be rushed at the 1 k mark. There was a mild pimping sprint for the remaining spots by the pouting field.
Things were just tough enough that only one third of the starting 100+ riders finished and most seemed to be shedding tears about how hard it had been on the dusty plains of Central California.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One Two Three

One, Two, Three at the finish...One, Two, Three on Sierra Rd. Photos
Check out a few photos from this years trip to the motherland.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pine FlatsRR

There is nothing flat about this race, not even the parking area is level, but it has a great peaceful view of a giant reservoir and in the stunning Sierra foothills with creek lined California Sycamores and Oaks, strewn with granite boulders.
Once again team play was determinate in the outcome. The CVC team took complete control of the front of the race and chased In a well controlled manner, knowing the terrain well, they managed the chase to pro perfection. I congratulated all of them and asked if they had a good propect in what was now looking like the winning break.
There was some seriously hard riding by the usual big men of the mst 35 gang. An amazing bridge effort for the win by Sfwy D Martin, looking strong as ever. T Gaver has his old form, as he went with DM to the front group. The last 15 miles headed back into the rolling foothills and finished on a couple of stiff climbs to the finish. What was left of the main group blew to bits with a hard tempo by a super Spine.
This is a great road course and it is too bad more are not attracted to it.
See ya at Smelling.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Crosser's on the Road? So early.......

Cantua Creek Road Race

The weather was perfect and the wind very light, so the course was pleasnt enough for and out and back. Large 4/5 fields and lots of old guys.

This is a lesson in good team play. Just 3 teams with 2 member each were able to control and dominate the race. Granted they were some of the strongest guys there. With a small field and many guys unwilling to work, Spine, Safeway and Morgan Stanley put anyone else under pressure till the 3 were off the front. It certainly was a fine piece of riding by Jeff Paulson to go clear and by Clint T Gaver and Shawn Oliver to chase hm down at the perfect time after the group had slip and then came back together. I was hoping to have some teammates to work with today and fresher legs, then another team could have been part of the party.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Training in the rain and havin fun

Hope ya'all havin fun in the wet weather the past weekend, we sure did. But it has warmed up now!!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Muddy Strawberry in Wilrijk

Thick with glop though bouqueted and trophied in Wilrijk, a burb of Antwerp.
Congratulations to JP, Danny and Ann for great rides!! We struck the silver mine this year!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Eddy's Volvo

We tried to drive this car away from the RdV museum, but it started a riot. Luckily we had enough Strawberries to give everybody.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

Flyin' home, sweet home

Flying is a blast. You can go from here to there in an instant. It is just what happens in between that makes it exciting.
So, be smart when you fly and call ahead to make sure your plane is on time, and double check just before ya leave to the airport.
Well, this is a tail of the Kit cat that shared breakfast with me in Mechelen at the Woolsack. It leaped at the door, like a Jack Russell trying to get itself inside. Then, Kit politely sat in the chair next to me, not asking for food, only to chat.
Meanwhile, United is called and the plane is an hour and a half delayed. So, I asked the operator, " that means I show up two hours before flight time, “yes sir”.
OK, a couple more laps around town, sniffing all the bakeries, …no, no you can’t have any of those.
Had to pack the bikes in the light of some old courthouse last night, beautiful job, and loaded the duffle to a perfect sausage. Ready to go. And off to the airport. Turn in the car and work the balancing act of big bags to the counter. The red wheel bag calling out, $$$$. Wheeled around the check-in to find United shut down. What!, flashbacks to Argentina. Circling again, found their other desk. “ Oh no Mr Kramer, its to late to check in, your plane was going to leave in 15 minutes.” ….?…. Yes, but it is two hours late, and I am here two hours before the rescheduled departure?? ....Oh, but, but… well lets see. OK, is that your bike and wheel bag,.. here is your boarding pass. How did the race go?, she asked. Good!, thank you. WOW! Did a couple of back flips to celebrate the event.
Still two hours to departure, ...oh and that layover at Dulles and missed flight, rebooked. Who picks me up at the airport now?
To the gate, to the gate, to the gate, to wait.
Boarding now, ...oh no they caught the wheel bag ,..but I am sure I saw them load it. "No, Mr Kramer we need to ask you some questions. …Uh oh. Who packed your bags?" Nobody but me would of wanted to pack the two bikes and all that other stuff, that weighs who knows how much. Oh I see, you here for the championships? …how did it go,…congratulations,… have a nice flight. Double WOW!
Didn’t know they served ice cream in ‘economy’, …nice meal. Time for a movie. Boy that was a bad one. Five more hours to kill, …lets watch another crummy movie.
Phew, made my connection. Sure is easier running through airports when you are fit. Bikes were a little to heavy to make it, soooo, they will just have to wait .
All the best, Henri

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday, its Race Day!!

Don't matter to these fellows, Mol was just another race, so what if they gave away a rainbow jersey. Well, to bad the champ in my bracket did not show today. This was way tougher a race! So many of the same faces that shared of themselves over the last five years were here.
Wilrijk ( say it three times correctly), has become a heck of race. It is hard. Steep little hills and lots of thick Belgium mud, wears ya down quickly. And that it did. Snaking up and down those hills through the trees and then plunging into the fields of mud, left little rest time.
Got away with Mertens right at the start, but countered him on the second lap and was able to pull away. Rode the last four out of six laps off the front building a good cushion and needed it. Things fell apart a bit with two laps to go and that got really scarey. The track became more slippery, and it was obvious my tire pressure was too high, slipping on every tight corner. The idea of going to the pit to grab a bike with brakes that were marginal at best was not an option. Coaching refocused the effort and cruised to victory.
By the end of the race my bike looked like a wheat gin at harvest time. All the kids were laughing. But the gals threw kisses, upon seeing the bouquet of roses, that signaled the winner.
The promoters over here have really stepped it up. I was interviewed after the race, lots of pictures, got to kiss a cute girl, wore a winners green jersey (you can't take it to America, they kept laughing), got a cool trophy, and a cash prize. I told them, if they had Giant Strawberries here, I'd move to Belgium.
It took hours to wash my two bikes myself, but there were hot showers, where they don't care if you make a mess with your mud. So now I'm goin' to pop the balloon and pack my bikes... I am not sure those wheels are worth the extra $120, so the ticket guy may get a big tip, sorry Andy ...and head back to lovely California to my beautiful wife and daugher. But, I swear, on all the unpatched tubes in my garage, that one day, I will return and race a full season ...for the love of cross and God, both are worth praying for!!

All the best and lots of thanks for the help and encouragement, Henri

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Belgium shares the love

Even the Belgiums got it on the air fast with a little love for all.

Ronald De Scheemaeker, nationaal kampioen masters C, trok de regenboogtrui aan in de categorie (1953-1957). Hij reed solo naar de zege. De Amerikan Henry Kramer werd tweede en de Brabantse veldritcoach Daniel Van Oosterwijck was goed voor brons.

Surely, they forgot to mention powered by Strawberies on a Specialized machine.

Can't retire yet

Well, I was dreaming about that SD job at Strawberry, but I guess it will have to wait. A Silver medal ain't all bad, see'in as they scored the winner and I with the same time. He got a front row call up, and I at the back without the 'hole shot',... Had to ride through some ugly traffic. Belgie managed to escape the sand first, while I fought my way off the beachhead in seventh spot and moving into second at the start of the next lap. Flying by guys, wonder what race they were doing. It is a very short race, 30', and with two laps to go, I figured, unless he had some real problems, it was goin' be tough to catch. I rode a great race, with few mistakes, but was foiled in the early stages from a poor spot and no clear opening. Even the officail's good luck wishes didn't part the seas. Boy, it is great racing here.

So, thanks CalGiant Strawberry and Specialized, but it looks like you'll have to keep me in shorts and bikes for a couple years till I get one of those jerseys. It was real cool to stand next to "Ron" when he pulled it on.

All the best. I'll try an give ya a more detailed report if you'all can stomach the details.

Thanks again!!! Henri

Thursday, January 18, 2007


The wind was notorious today. Even the Strawberries were blow off their stems

Things were blowing sideways, branches, trees, trucks. So after the drive from Brugge to Turnhout for a hotel. Hustling over to the Mol venue was like arriving at a ghost town...deserted. Figured, even on a rest day, needed to brave the weather and it was not all bad. As luck has it, ran into all sorts of boys from state side. Not much had changed on the par-course, the sand was everywhere and as fast as always.

All the best for some rest, Henri

Now here is a Christmas tree

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Belgium weather returns

It moved in with a vengence. Lady luck has had the weather great till now with blue skies. Today the wind began to howl and heard it is gonna be worse tomorrow, and the rain stated to come down in sheets. Fortunately went training this morning. Out of Brugge for two days. Found this great hotel right in downtown last year, the owner is a stand up. Trains playing poker with three other guys while on stationaries.
Rode to the beach to get some sand work and had miles of dunes to myself, with an obnoxious 30mph crosswind. Paced a scooter on the way out for about 15k and the guy would of paced me to Paris if I wanted. Then, as per ususal, I rode in circles, trying to find my way back. When I did, it was pounding the flat cross wind bikeway along the canal, the most direct routes for two whell in these parts, as the storm worsened.
Tomorrow, head over to Mol, to some new digs, will miss Phillip's place here in medievall Brugge.
All the Best, Henri

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Its rainy, it must be Belgium

The weather turned normal for here with some rain and only a few peaks at the sun. The TdV museum was pretty cool. I'll have to learn Dutch if I want to rea the picture book. Wandered the roads out of Oudenaarde, following the TdV route and climbing some more burgs, and that was enough.

On a more serious side, what are they doing to these trees?

Monday, January 15, 2007


Found it, hidden in the trees. It's steep, who said its short. Try riding down it. Will check out the TdV museum in the morning, and hunt down a couple more burgs ( not to hard now)
All the best, Henri

Sunday, January 14, 2007

3#rd times a charm?

1/14/2007 Today, turned out how I hoped and planned, with the win. There was no way I was sitting back and playing cookie with those two mugs. So, I set out to go the pace and be the front. At the whistle, with a weaving line, where there was lots of banging. The start was down a long paved straight into a sweeping narrowed 180 left turn, curbing (ramped), to the snaked grass section and one set of barriers. This is the same track, a few improved variables, was run the past 4 years. So, as the corner began, back about seven and knowing the front, I powered a smooth outside inside line and swept the corner clean to the front, and rode away from the group. At the first turn on the field there was ten seconds. That margin never narrowed.
The track was fast, with lots of straights. The traffic came quickly, but luck allowed for fast easy smooth passing. My gap grew every lap, all the way to the finish.
The course had several challenging pieces. A 30 meter mud section that I ran the first lap because of traffic, rode best center then to the right then left. A ditch, that had a riding line, always seemed jammed with slogging mudders, so running came naturally, albeit one of 8 laps. A tricky narrow trail along a stream, had a sharp left rise with a notorious root, but luck had it clear every pass to ride it clean. The one disappointment, and I feel badly for the others, is missing the podium call ( and picture). I am hoping my Belgium friends forgive quickly.
Today was a blessed day, thank you!
Well, in a couple of days, we’ll go look at the sands of Mol and ready for the main event.
Oh, the weather was unbelievable!! Blue skies, low 50s.
“Is this California”, I exclaimed.
All the best, Henri
/Users/henry/Pictures/iPhoto Library,iBook/Originals/2007/Belgie 07/DSCN1468.JPG

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Don't forgt to show up

13/1 Alarm clock - church bells rang for a half hour till I rolled out of bed. Figured... rise and shine, if I had any chance of making start time in Schriek. Needed to find the car before the police, and puzzle one bike together in public view in Mechelen town square. Oh, how's about that breakfast they spoke so highly. GET GO'IN SAILOR!!
Well, circled Schriek and remembered a few streets... feelin' kinda' local... pulled into a farm yard next to Gert, Sven, Wim and Francois. Choose to walk over and see if there was still time to race. Everything looked a bit snazzier than 4 years ago, and it was all that much better. Tried to notice who was warming up, when Howie and Ted pulled aside and said " suit up Kramer, we're racing in 30 minutes," OK!
Kitted and reg'ed in 15 and managed half a lap, figured I was not in to much trouble since the three groups were 30s, 40s and 50s...and everyone knows my age. I recognized a couple of faces, but this wasnew age grouping over here, so some of the slower ( I mean faster guys were out of luck). Fortunately, I ate a few fresh Strawberries for breakfast and built my Specialized carbon cross bikefor this one.
The start was easy, I pushed my way to the front while three of us rode away. The pace was not gut wrenching like Nor-Cal, but this is Belgium and it can play out way different on this flat windy track, not much deep mud today. I made a move to get to 2nd wheel, but the varmint did not want to give it and I quickly found out why. Von Oostervijk did not want to challenge Merten, but I wanted to follow for a few laps to settle in nad then attack. The traffic got horrendous and the gaps opened up quickly. This was my undoing as gaps took longer to close as we caught more and more riders from the earlier groups.
And so, the finish ended as it started, Mertens, VonO and Kramer. A podium shot, a trophy and a prize. Cross heaven!
This was a great send off for the up swing to Mol. Not all the key player were in this event, as many race on the other side of Belgy this weekend and else where. Tomorrow will be a more open track with more lanes and I plan on getting a full lap in for warm up!!
Left the camera in my bag a usual.
All the best, Henri

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tripper over

1/11/07 Well, the trip began as the usual HK adventure…. $125 for the bike!! Hey, can’t you stuff those extra wheels in the jumbo bag, says the very cool checkmen. Of course, HK gives it a go, and believe this, the guy appreciated the effort so much that he said, No charge. Yippee, now to repack the mess upon the floor. Hurry before they change their minds. Sorry, no upgrade Mr K. Ten hours to London, start counting.

Safe in London, making the long corridor walks to the connection. There is only one neat stack of bins for the next security being handed out one by one, quickly filled by the anxious one in line before you have even removed your shoes. Not to worry as the curt British politeness has managed the impediment.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ned shares the love

The folks in Durango even know how to spell HKs name, and I guess I am movin' to Watsonville soon. Thanks CalGiant!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

going the distance for NORCAL

last state side encounter

last CCCX endevour before going to face the serious men of cross in Belgie. there were some super efforts out there. good course, great ride, solid effort for a win. only part of the intent, as keeping on the gas was the mission with risking a result, but it came any who who. now the chores begin with packing and packing and, oh, packing the bikes, extra wheels what else. tools, tubes, cleats. thanks Anthony!! can't carry any Strawberries. HK

Thursday, January 4, 2007

the last of the season

for most the cross season has ended. it is in full swing in the motherland. a trip this time of year can be an uplifting experience, as fitness moves into a fine tuned slipscreen. a trip there will enhance the reality of mud slogging. stay tuned.