Chilly But Dry

Chilly but dry. That basically sums up today. It was the “but dry” part that got me out of bed before the crack of dawn for the weekly ‘cross training practice. Peeking out the bedroom window and seeing the frost but at least a dry road helped. But it was still chilly.

It was kind of cool to be blazing tracks through the frost-encrusted snow at 7 this morning. The beads of ice on my bike were kind of neat as well. Had an excellent training session with Marc and Steve. We played some follow the leader to get the blood flowing. I even did a stint at the front. (Looking forward to the day when I can drop the boys during follow the leader…) After some fun chasing each other around we dug out the flags. Well, actually Marc and Steve got the flags and set up some corners for us to practice. Turns out I was the lucky one with the correct tires for the morning – I didn’t slip out once! So a solid session of riding and learning. It is amazing what can be done in a focused hour and a bit on the bike (especially when it is cold).

So that was the morning session. Then late this afternoon after getting a bunch of work done, I hopped on my road bike for an endurance ride. The sun was shining but it was still rather cool out. But it was dry. I hooked up with local fast man Paul D. for part of my ride. After about 20 minutes or so sitting on Paul’s wheel I turned off and did my own thing. (Yeesh I hope I can ride as well as Paul when I’m his age. Pretty speedy for a 50 year old. Thanks Paul for letting me tag along!) I got in a smooth ride of just under two hours. Nice. Not a bad way to close off the afternoon.

Now, I’m just getting ready to make some tea and read the latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine. Yep, issue four is out. Got mine today (thanks Andrew). Lots of excellent articles in it – interviews with Ben Turner, Sven Nys, bike and gear reviews – this issue is jam-packed. There is an excellent series of articles on training the body for ‘cross – definitely worth a read. Can’t get enough of that yoga to keep the body limber. Anyway, if you haven’t picked up a copy of the mag – go do it. You won’t regret it. (Oh, and don’t forget to read my article…)

I made it out to the Ride with Rendall training session last night. Great to see some new faces as well as the “old-timers”. I was a bit late – due to some poor timing on my part. But I got in some decent practice on the high-speed uphill dismount run-up and cornering section. This is a skill set I really need to practice more. Part of my problem is I’m not very coordinated so when I shoulder the bike – crazy things happen. I bang my helmet. I whack my elbow. I trip. All of this impedes my running. Graceful I am not. Oh well, more practice. As my old taekwon-do coach used to say “Practice makes improvement”.

Racing at home this weekend. I had planned to go to Kentucky but the drive is just too far for us this year. Maybe next year, I can cash in some airline points and fly out. Sad to be missing the first US GP races, but I’ll be at New Jersey. Besides November is so full of travel it is making my head spin. And then there is December – can’t even talk about December – I just get too excited.

Good luck this weekend if you’re racing. If you’re not racing, I hope you can get out for some quality rides – enjoy the fall weather before winter rolls in. I’ll be at the Cycle-Smart races next weekend – can’t hardly wait.

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