Sunday, January 4, 2009

Year End and CX Wrap-up

Now that the cycling season is over, I figured that I would take the time to reflect on a very fun year of racing. I met a lot of new friends and I am looking forward to hanging out and racing in 2009!!

Lake Orion HS Series
The year started out with some fun Winter/Spring races at LOHS. Steve Kinley did a great job working with the school to put on these races as fund raisers for the Athletic Department at LOHS. We raced one winter race in about 6" of snow... it was brutal, but fun!! We were almost taken out by some snowmobiles at one point! LOHS put on 3 other races in the spring and Mark Terrian (Biscuit) and I battled it out in the sport 35+ class... unfortunate for me Biscuit took the series.

Fun Promotions Endurance Series - 6/12 Hours of Addison Oaks
My friend and teammate Jeremy Clark talked me into this one. He really wanted to do it and was having a hard time finding someone to do the 6hr 2-man with him in the open sport class. I was free that weekend so I volunteered. Laurie was at my parents in Ohio, so I drug the kids to the race and they played/assisted Jan Mack with the water bottles. This race had to be one of the highlights of the year for me as I went into the race with few expectations and left with my first MTB win!!

I had every intention to concentrate on this series, but as fate would have it... it started out bad! I had been sick the first part of April and ended up with a less than stellar performance at Yankee. This was followed up by a DNF at the Fort due to a guy cutting me off during a pass that ended up with me going over the bars and breaking my glasses. This ended up being expensive since I now concluded that I needed to have contacts in order to not have this issue again. I ended up with only 4 races due to conflicts during the year, which put me out of the points chase. I finished strong with a 3rd place finish at Addison Oaks.

Tailwind USAC MTB Series
I originally wasn't going to concentrate on this series (Read above), but after a couple decent finishes I had a chance to be top 3 in the sport 35-39 class. These races are close to home making it easy to show up and race and be home the same day, not to meantion that the races are held on trails that I am familiar with. Of the 6 races I completed in this series, the 2 that stand out for me was my 3rd overall at the Brighton stage race after a horrible Torn Shirt TT and my 3rd place finish at Stony. I ended up 3rd overall in my class in this series which I was very excited about since this is my first full year racing and only my 2nd year riding.

Cycling Saddleman Hines Drive TT
I really enjoy the speed of my road bike, so I decided to try one of these Hines TT races. I signed up my tank of a road bike in the Eddie Merckx class (No Aero bike class). I had one mechanical issue all year and this just happened to be the race that it happened at. My saddle was not level, so I adjusted it the night before the race. I also ride with my saddle all the way forward on the post (This is an important bit of info). After my warm-up and almost missing my start time, I was off. At first I didn't notice, but as the race went on, I felt like I was really reaching for the bars. I realized very quickly that my saddle had moved all the way back and was slightly loose. This really hindered my ability to put the power down and did not allow me to be able to reach the drops. I finished mid pack and still had fun. I am looking forward to tackling this race again next year!!

Tailwind Cyclocross Series
I went into cyclocross because it looked like a good time... and I was right! It can be very painful at the time, but the racing is awesome! You can usually see the guy ahead of you most of the race and finishing sprints are common. This type of racing really showed a weakness of mine... I have a hard time going hard for 30 min staight. I am much better at pacing myself for 1-2 hrs. I had a solid season racing on my MTB finishing 5th overall in the C-men class. I am looking forward to racing CX next year on a CX specific bike.

At this point in the season I was starting to get worn down. After wrecking bad last year at Iceman, I was looking to redeem myself! After getting into the sand at the beginning and loosing track of the lead pack, I just raced my race. When it was all said and done... Iceman ended up being the highlight of the year. I finish under the elusive 2 hr mark with a 1:57:44 time and podiumed taking the 5th spot in the 34-36 Sport Men class!

With 23 races under my belt in 2008... I am very excited about get back at it for the 2009 Season!!

Happy New Year!!


Lori said...

Hi! I have been wondering when you were going to post next! It sounds like you had a great year racing. It was fun to read all about your races. Can't wait to see what happens in 2009!

noslo said...

Hey Tom,

Congrats on a successful 2008 - here's to racing 'cross with you in '09!