NOLA to Nats: 2014

I’m leaving for Austin today to attend the the 2015 cyclocross nationals and I thought that maybe I should finally put together that footage I shot LAST YEAR in Boulder. Enjoy!

Yeah You Ride-
Boedi

Bike Crossing Grand Prix and Race du Lac.

Stage race weekends are pretty fun. Get yourself out of town, fill up on road snacks, gamble with your constitution at strange restaurant locales, try and find enough sleep in strange hotel rooms and eventually, after all the cat juggling, go ride your bike! Here are some photos that from the Bike Crossing Grand Prix and Race du Lac that for whatever reason, have never made it onto the blog until now.

Keep Spinnin’
Yeah You Ride

NOLA to Nats: Part 3

With one day of racing in the books, we had to a chance to get out and explore a bit of Boulder by bike. Since my race season had officially ended, I was going to attempt to stick to base miles, but when you come from Swampy-Flatsville and there is a chance to go climb Really Big Hills, you break the rules. We ground our way up Sunshine Canyon on cold legs for two miles, gaining about 700ft. We were tired, our hearts were racing and it was cold in the shade, so we cut the climb a bit early and pointed it downhill, making our way west. It was a beautiful ride with views of rolling farm land and snow covered fields.

Continue reading “NOLA to Nats: Part 3”

NOLA to Nationals: Part 2

Waking up to snow dusted foothills and fresh mountain air definitely put a spring in our step on Tuesday as we went about getting everything together for the following busy race day. I was in search of some new tires as conditions looked to be either snowy or muddy, but certainly not dry. After a full season using second hand tires, I felt Nationals was a good excuse for an upgrade. A nice gentleman at Excel Sports Bikes helped me spend lots of money trying to get one more race out of my Crux after a season of beatings (I’m pretty convinced cyclocross was invented by the BIG BAD BIKE COMPANIES {or Tim Johnson} to get more money out of roadies in the off-season as ‘cross just destroys bikes). We then visited another cool shop, Boulder Cycle Sport and were hooked up with some info on local rides. Our last stop was a shop full of good vibes and cycling history: Vecchios. You could spend most of your day looking over the cycling artifacts, drool over the Moots bicycles and share jokes with the employees. Definitely worth checking out if you are ever in Boulder.

Continue reading “NOLA to Nationals: Part 2”

NOLA To Nationals: Part 1

Or, “From Bayou to Boulder”.

Yeah, cyclocross is that addicting. After a year of firsts (century, road race, shorn legs, helmet smash, see-clio-cross), I decided to hitch a ride with Wes and Rob and head to the hills for the USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals. Fresh off winning the #noob category of the Delta States Grand Prix and a possible cross-state sandbag victory at the Bamacross Championships, I was gunning for the big show, albiet, in a NON-CHAMPIONSHIP fashion. Wes, owner of a real steel single-speed was going to represent the Roulandrian Nation in the Single Speed Championships and Rob, recent Category 3 upgrade (see last post for details), was going to chase the stars and stripes in the Masters 30-34 Category. Needless to say, results expectations were low, but good times expectations were high. Conveniently enough, we would be stopping in Austin for a warm-up in the form of the Age-Based Texas State Championships.

Continue reading “NOLA To Nationals: Part 1”

DSGP – The Final Showdown

District Championships for the Delta States Grand Prix of Cyclocross will take place this Saturday, December 14, in Natchez, MS. Believe me when I say that this will be one of the most action packed, tension loaded, party prone weekends of the year. For nine weeks, the local hardmen/ladies of Louisiana and Mississippi have been brutally subjecting themselves to some really fantastic cyclocross racing. Saturday it all comes to a close as DSGP crowns its champions in their respective classes. One deserving racer will walk away from each category with a really bitchin’ leader jersey, and luck ain’t gonna have nothing to do with it. Boedi compiled some sweet footy of all the badassery the season has offered thus far, just to get everyone extra stoked for the titanic showdown that looms on the horizon.

Race Recap: Independence Day Classic

The thunder woke me around 7. Rain pelted the windows. No light came from around the curtains. In the bathroom, water dripped from a crack in the ceiling into the sink, a metronome counting out no particular time. “Shit.” I thought, “What a lovely day for bicycle racing.”

My phone lit the room like a slow bolt of lightining. A message from Robinson. “13 registered riders in the road race!” I replied, predicting the actual turnout would be exactly 0, citing the incipient fall of the sky itself as the primary cause. Boedi and Rob assured me this was nonsense and that the weather would change. So under great encouragement (which felt at the time more like great duress) from my teammates, I got my gear together and waited for Boedi to give me a lift to Rob’s place.

Now, Rob is from Texas, which means he eats Mexican food for breakfast. So, after chowing down on eggs, rice and quinoa on tortillas with lots of Cholula, my new favorite pre-ride meal, Rob handed me a mason jar of what looked like fresh goat blood. Disappointingly, it turned out to be beet juice. It did make me feel better, though, and I stopped being such a pessimistic twatwaffle. Resigned to our destiny, we waded out to the car and drove to Houma, precipitation persisting the entire way.

We met up with Stu at the Mariott and found the registration booth, which happened to be the front seat of an SUV and by this time the rain had died off. We had also received word the road race was cancelled due to massive disorganization, lack of police support, and poor course marking. The Cat 1,2,3 riders had set out, apparently taken a wrong turn, found themselves with lack of protection, off course, and had to be called back. So there would be no road race for the Cat 4,5 riders either. There would however be a criterium and a time trial, so all was not lost. At least it was not raining. At least we would ride. At least, back at home, the ceiling was just leaking into the sink.

Rob and I threw on our kits; matching Roulandrian Flag jerseys from Rouler and mismatched shorts. We got our bikes assembled and set out to warm up before the crit. We rode 50 meters along the parking lot, turned the corner of the hotel, and found all of the Cat 4,5 riders massed underneath an awning, next to finish line equipment and a race clock. The crit was about to begin. Stone cold, Rob and I took places at the back of the pack, and waited 4 seconds for the race to begin.

The crit went down like this:
Bang, zoom, straight to the corner. 20 minutes plus 10 laps. The course was a big square, with the last turn a bit tighter than the rest (ignore the geometric impossibility of that idea).
Start: From jump there was a breakaway. Rob worked with the lead pack to pull it back. The speed of the first 10 minutes felt like the highest of the whole race, as a result of chasing the break and driving home the message that nobody was going off the front solo.
Lap 3: 
I fell off the back early on, and fought to close a 10 meter gap from the lead pack for about 10 laps. I felt like a dweeb chasing after the pack and with such a gap, a tag-along turd. “Wait for me guys!”
Lap 20ish: 
Behind me, riders were getting pulled out the race as they were lapped. Ahead of me the speed of the pack began to flag a bit when it became apparent a breakaway was futile, and riders began to wait each other out. Robinson had made his way back towards the front. I was able to catch up to him and together we made our way into top positions.
6 Laps to Finish: Rob had been pulling for a while, and seemed to be getting tired. I pushed around him to take the pull before he could come unglued and let a wheelsucker slip by. For the remainder of the race he and I held the front.
Finish: Rob asks me at the very beginning “How are you doing?” “Huffing and puffing,” came my reply. Rob heard “I’m pumping.” Despite a complete communication breakdown it was tacitly agreed that changing positions was too risky and I would have to hammer it out in front until the final attack. It came just before the final turn, with Boyd, Robinson, and Breaux sprinting around me. I jumped to sprint after them. Rob and I both came into the final turn white hot, and had to feather the brakes to avoid slapping the curb. Fortunately the riders behind him were able to predict and ride the turn out safely. Unfortunately, behind me, Stanton came in too hot, maybe trying to pass in the final turn, and hit the wall behind me.
Results: Robinson Sudan takes 1st Place, Richard Carman takes 4th in the criterium. Our team wins. More detail available here.

Stu took us back to his place where we ate veggie sandwiches, drank more goat blood, and watched Le Tour on DVR. Stu confirmed my suspicion that he was a man of fine taste when he offered us La Croix in a bottle. I didn’t even know they came like that. Shortly later we headed out to the time trial.

What can really be said for a time trial?
It was muggy. Headwind out, much less tailwind back than one would have expected. Straight shot, 3.5 miles down the bayou, sharp 2 lane turnaround (literally turning around an orange traffic cone), and the same 3-and-a-half back. For some reason the finish was 200 meters before the start, which snuck up and killed my chance to sprint the finish. All in all, fairly uneventful.
Results: Robinson Sudan takes 2nd, Richard Carman takes 3rd, finish times 1 second apart. Smells like more winning to me.

Although we had come to do a road race on Saturday, being thrown headlong into my first crit was probably the best way it could have happened. Having made a pretty good showing the first day, we didn’t feel too inclined to come back for the same crit again at 930 AM. Instead we appeared at the Rouler party at Manhattanjack, still in our team kits, took advantage of the open bar and had a solid recovery meal of sausage salad and chocolate cookies with red wine.

Sparing a few minutes wandering around the parking lot, unable to find the registration-mobile, Robinson was really positive and in good spirits all day. Boedi was a champ for coming along to support, and shot some really great video and stills. Big ups to Stu for being such a great host and keeping us fueled and hydrated all day. It was a great weekend with you guys, thanks for everything. Our team wins.

Cheers,
Rich
Yeah You Ride

YYR On The Road: Austin, TX

This past weekend, Yeah You Ride went on a desert retreat with good friends from Semi-Tough Cycling Club. We rolled out of New Orleans, a caravan of hatchbacks, four men, five bikes, one chihuahua, all united in a quest for answers, thirsting for knowledge, and also Topo Chico mineral water.

Saturday began earlier than any day in my recent, albeit generally hazy, memory. While I can’t say with certainty what time we woke up, I do know that around 7:15 my brain turned on and I found myself in our new friend Jennine’s kitchen, wearing a Rouler kit and eating fried eggs with rice and quinoa on tortillas. One good cup of coffee and several trips to the bathroom later, we were clipping in cruising down South Congress towards downtown Austin.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “YYR On The Road: Austin, TX”