long time, no post

2010_1210, originally uploaded by solo_goat.

sorry for the long lapse of posting, took an extended break from it as i was taking some wind down time from the end of the year cross season and i just needed a little mental break of sorts.

cross season has wrapped up, sorry to have bailed on the last two pittsburgh area races but i was not feeling too swell and the weather here has been keeping me kind of cooped up.

new man cave trainer area is almost to a completion as it has been a work in progress for several weeks. seems that my obsessiveness for training went into ways to configure my trainer room as i thought and re-thought ways to make your trainer room set up perfectly. i usually hit up some hella long trainer rides during the winter as i am not a fan of wind chills below 20 degrees. at some point cold weather riding becomes just too dangerous with wind chills and cars really not looking for you.

first races of 2010 scheduled already, looking forward to them already - and the NUE 100 miler series is looking pretty awesome with some new additions.

some new sponsor updates will be upcoming in the next week or so, but my main sponsors of Speedgoat.com and Pivot Cycles will continue into the 2011 season.

with that, stay tuned for a few year end wrap up posts coming later this week and next.

sologoat out


3rd at Ohio Elite Cyclcross Championships

Having just wrapped up a long season of endurance mountain bike racing and a 5th place overall in the North East Ohio (NEO) cross series, I travelled south to Yellow Springs Ohio for the Ohio State cyclocross championships.

It was your typical cross course with lots of corners, one double barrier, two single barriers that were low and far enough apart to bunnyhop and one sand section. Rain earlier in the week made the course slower and softer then had been in previous days, but it also made some of the single track sections a little slick.

2010 Ohio State Cross Race (37)

Gun went off and I was sitting in the top 8 riders going full out and within one lap we pretty much gapped the rest of the field.

2010 Ohio State Cross Race (53)

Things stayed tight for awhile, and then gaps opened up as the pace went up at the front. I dropped from the main group, but kept them within site.

2010 Ohio State Cross Race (64)

A few laps later, a few more riders got by me, but I kept the pressure on by concentrating on the corners and jumping the single barriers on the backside of the course. I would catch and drop a few riders.

2010 Ohio State Cross Race (83)

With 4 laps to go, I was sitting in 8th spot overall, 3rd Ohio rider. This is usually the point where the race hurts the most and riders start making mistakes.

2 laps to go, I close the gap to the next two riders and one of them goes down in a tight 180 degree corner. I hammer out of it in search of the next rider and drop him immediately.

2010 Ohio State Cross Race (86)

1 lap to go, over the double barriers. The rider in front of me does not remount as fast as he had before and I press hard on the pedals to get in front of him before the single track section. I ride the section as fast as I could, jump the barriers and hit the 180 degree with enough speed to ride it in my big ring. Coming out of the next corner, I had at least a 5-10 second gap and I was closing in on 5th place overall.


I would cross the line 6th overall with 5th place not much more then 50 feet ahead of me - but I would finish up as the 3rd Ohio rider on the day which was a great way to wrap up the 2010 racing season.

sologoat out


3rd at kirtland park

DSC_0072, originally uploaded by Robert Sroka.

3rd today at the NEO cross race at kirtland park - another tough battle the week before the state cross race. offhand, i have a gut feeling that a cleveland rider is going to win states.

that wraps up the series for cleveland and put me in 4th overall after 10 races.

long write up tomorrow/tuesday.



2nd at blue sky or not - long version

the next to the last race of the NEO cross series went down yesterday and with all the rain the night before,i was expecting some mud.

course was mostly all grass with a few sections of sand and one steep run up - so the course was not too muddy at all.

no really long flat sections and a lot of slippy corners meant that roadie strength was not going to be a huge factor.

gun went off, cameron got the hole shot, i sat in about 5th'ish spot.

up the run up, through the sand and twisty's and two laps later, i was in small 3 man pack with paul and matt - jason was not far behind.

matt and paul were powering it good while i was concentrating on good cornering and dismounts/remounts. all of us, at some point, would good down in the slippy corners.

matt goes down and i take the lead for a few laps and it was about this time that i decided to run the small little section of two tight turns after the hill run-up as running was way faster.

matt catches back up, but a small gap back to paul has opened up and the laps were counting down.

matt gaps me and powers some of the corners and he has a very small gap over me with 2 to go, paul is charging from behind and he looks like he is building up steam. i concentrate on catching matt.

through the tight turns on the first section of twisty turns and into and over the double barries, and into the small climb before the hill run, i see paul catch his bike on the barriers and it almost flies over his head. chain off and who else knows what, paul has to stop to fix it. the gap back to paul grows.

i pedal on, concentrating on catching matt. i make up the gap in the conrners, he powers away.

1 lap to go and the gap to matt is holding steady, right around 5 seconds. paul is chasing, but the gap is too big to close with only a lap left.

i get within 5 seconds of matt, but he takes the win. i finish up 2nd on the day, paul rolls in 3rd.

yet another great day of duking it out cross style.

one more NEO race for the year this coming weekend, then training for 2011 starts up.

sologoat out


2nd at blue sky or not

full write up tomorrow - tough battle with paul and matt, 2nd at blue sky or not.

sologoat out


4th at Willoughby - longer version

next up in the NEO cross series, willoughby. course is the typical twisty turny stuff, with a huge log cross, some sand, a double barrier and one hell of a hike a bike followed up with a high speed decent.

throw a ton of mud and temps in the 40's and you have an awesome cross race.

i get a decent start, settling right in behind steve, matt and paul.


paul and matt take off in full flight on the first lap and battle it out first.


i would settle in for a long battle for 3rd with steve, but he would gap me in early and i was in a mad panic using all my cross corner tricks and lines (and a hell of a lot of hard pedaling) to bridge the gap.


with 3 laps to go, i finally catch him and attack him immediately on hella steep run up climb. down the backside, through the flats and then i realize he's right on my tail.


he counters my attack and opens up a small gap, but i keep him close.


on the last lap, he holds the gap, but lets up right at the very end. all out sprint to catch him in the last sand section, i hit the corner perfect and i don't have to scrub any speed allowing me to get up to his back wheel just in time for the last barriers.


over the barriers, mud in my shoes prevented the perfect clip in remount that i would needed to get past him - he beats me out for 3rd by about 2 feet.

another great race - 4th at the end of the day, but an awesome battle which was repeated for several places on the day.

sologoat out


4th at Willoughby

4th at Willoughby, full write up coming later today.

sologoat out


chagrin river cross - day 1 and 2

saturday - halloween costume day
with a possible 30 second penalty for not dressing for the occasion, everybody joined in on the holiday madness.

gun went off, elbows were flying. john got the hole shot, paul and steve were chasing.

2010 Chagrin River CX - Day 1 (7)

steve would eventually flat, and get second - paul would take the win.

2010 Chagrin River CX - Day 1 (4)

i settled into a battle with john for 3rd as he maintained about a 8 second gap for most of the race. didn't register until late into the race that my camo pants were digging into my gut and were causing me some major cramping that started about 15 minutes into the race.

2010 Chagrin River CX - Day 1 (11)

would end up 4th on the day.

gun went off and i had to snake around cameron coming in pretty hot into the first tunnel turn. i jumped in behind john and soon after steve and matt tangled up leaving me and john at the front.


steve would soon sneak by and so would paul - then late in the race, matt. they would finish 1, 2, 3.


so, john and i duked it out for the entire race.

i pulled at the start, the john pulled awhile. once matt was coming up, john slowed a little and i charged forward again.


matt would catch us and pull away, and i chased him.

in the closing laps, through the pine trees i was thinking that my arms were getting beat up by the constant jarring. and then i whack my head off a tree. ouch. john then pulls through.

hard efforts out of the corners, i stay on his wheel. in the grass field, john jumps, but slips. i wasn't ready for my attack yet, so i waited until the last little straight before the twisty's near the stream, then i jumped.


hit the corner into the pines so hard the rear end jumped up what felt like 2 feet. through the turns, into the grass, jumped on the pedals as hard as i could and got a small gap.

i would hold it to take 4th - not a win, but great racin'.

sologoat out


two 4th's

DSC_0222, originally uploaded by Flickr de Julie.

two cross races this weekend, two fourths. full write up's coming tonight.

sologoat out


NEO Cross Series - Cascade Cross

Next stop in the Northeast Ohio cross series was a new venue, the Cascade Cross in Elyria Ohio.

Upon arrival, one thing was obvious – there was going to be a lot of pain as the wall of climb right in that you would start on was hella steep. The A’s would climb all the way to the top, the last 20 feet being the steepest.

The course was typical, a double barrier, some wide twisty turns, then up the hella climb, a screaming downhill into some more fast turns, onto the road, up short climb to dismount over a log, some more twisty’s, more road, a few more turns, dismount for the double barriers and then through the start/finish.


Start would cut the first lap in half and shoot you straight through a field and right up the hella climb.

Gun went off, Cameron got the hole shot and all the rest followed. I was sitting in 6th on the screamer of a downhill. A few others got around me on the road section, and a few laps and hella climbs later, I was sitting in 4th, chasing down Jason.


Chase and chase, my gaps got closer to 3rd, as the gap to 5th place rider behind me grew.

2010 Cascade Cross (16)

Gearing was becoming increasing important on the hella climb and my compact gearing allowed me to carry my speed a little better up the climb. Eventually, I caught 4th with about 5 laps to go.

Jason and I duked it out. He would try to pull away, and then I would return the favor.

With 2 ½ laps to go, I ride beside him and tell him that we call a short term truce and take even pulls until the last lap.

2010 Cascade Cross (17)

On the last lap, Jason leads the beginning portions and onto the start of the hella climb. I put down an all out effort and open a gap. Down the climb, through some corners and a few minutes later, I pull off 3rd place.

Great new venue – hope it sticks around for the 2011 series.

sologoat out


dead legs and a twisty one

10/16/10 - physco cross in chicago
ah, just a mere 6 days after moab, i am racing again. not a good idea on paper or in my mind, but my heart was telling me to go. so i headed out towards the new home of speedgoat, chicago, on a late friday.

venue was great, the man-made run over and through obstacle was awesome, but the wind was nutty and my legs felt like rocks. had it my mind to go faster, but the legs were not there.

thanks for brendan carting me around for the day and hosting me for the night.

10/17/10 - NE ohio series - cross creek
with a small venue brings tight corners, no wind and no power straights. my legs were still feeling like rocks, but with so many corners, maybe i could fake it for a little bit.

this was a first ever for me, and brought same flashes of horror.

Cross Creek CX 2010 (3)

what the hell? a le mans style start in a cross race? somehow, i manage a good start, but john and matt sneak in front. paul is nowhere in sight.

Cross Creek CX 2010 (6)

i charge on, chasing and concentrating on the corners.

for two laps, i wonder what is going on behind me, things are still tight. eventually gaps creep out, but not in these starting laps.

my rear wheel gets tapped a few times.

Cross Creek CX 2010 (5)

ah, paul comes ripping around me and charges off towards the lead.

gaps grow, i chase. i stay close to the top 3, my power is there, but my legs are not feeling too snappy. i overshoot a corner and tape gets wrapped up on the back of my bike and somehow i don't break my hand as i reach back and grab the tape off and for a second, i stick my hand in my rear spokes. ouch.

Cross Creek CX 2010 (2)

laps come down, only a few more to go and gaps stretch out. i finish out the day in 4th, 7 days after moab.

Cross Creek CX 2010 (1)

next up - double cross weekend.

sologoat out


24 Hour Nationals


Race Course and Condition:
Moab, Utah. The land of rocks and sand. Rain early in the week before the race had left the typical dusty conditions padded down and perfect to ride, but the sun came out late on Thursday to dry up the course again by Saturday.

The course is a roughly 14.5 mile loop on mostly desert jeep trails that is packed with short little climbs, littered with rock sections with very little flat sections.

With a course this long, and in the desert, one has more to take into consideration as far as fuel and emergency trail side repairs go. Most 24 hour race courses take about 50 minutes to an hour, this lap easily takes over an hour and fifteen minutes late in the race.


The Start:
Saturday, noon. Seconds before the start, I realize I didn’t take my asthma medication and that I didn’t have anything covering my mouth to protect me from the dust I was getting ready to inhale during the Le Mans style running start.


The gun goes off, and a guy wearing a full gorilla suit takes the lead in the run, I get to my bike and make fast work up to the top 40 or so guys. Josh Tostado and Kelly Magelky are already in full flight.

Things soon clear out and I am making my way through traffic slowly but surely. Game plan was to ride steady, not max things out too early in the game.

Lap Two
I soon catch up to solo riders both wearing the same white kits. I pass them, they pass me. This goes on and on for several hours and laps. I decide to back off just a bit, let them go and save my full out effort for later.

7pm – 10pm
Things are going south for me real fast at this point. My legs and body feel great, but my asthma has kicked in full force and my stomach is not feeling that great and it is throwing my fuel plan way off. I stop in the pits, contemplate what is going on, take my asthma medication and have some coffee.


At around 8:30pm, I pit and contemplate stopping. I was about 2 minutes away from pulling the plug when everybody around me was telling me to go on despite me looking cross eyed. (They later tell me that they have seen me look a lot worse).

I pedal on through the lap, not feeling super duper great, but my condition is not getting worse, which seemed like a good thing at the time.


I stop in the pit again, put on some warm clothing, eat some food, drink some strong coffee and take some Pepto to settle my stomach.

Pushing on through the lap, I start feeling a lot better. I am concentrating more on my lines and thinking about the sunrise then I am about my stomach. Things seem to be getting better.

Night Laps
I focus on being fueled, not crashing my brains out on the rocks and making an effort in the early morning. Strong coffee and the thought of daylight and closure to the endurance season was my motivation to finish out the race.

I was now sitting in 11th spot, far back from the 5th spot I was battling for early in the race. I was thinking more about getting to the finish line then I was at a podium spot at this point.

Day Light:
I always love seeing the sun come up in the morning during a 24 hour race as it seems like the end is so near and it gives me an extra kick in my pedal stroke.


Passing through the pits I grab some food and a warmer vest. As I am leaving, I hear a random person in the pit say something to the effect of “he is really slowing down and loosing positions.” I was sitting in 9th at the time and to be honest, I don’t know if he was talking about me or not, but it sent a spark of rage through me. I was going to go all out for this. My lungs felt clear of the asthma and I felt good.

I am soon catching riders here and there, their plate numbers are low, so I know I am making up spots. I don’t make chit chat, I pedal as hard as I can past them and don't look back.


Last lap:
Going out for what I thought was my next to last lap, I was now up to 7th place, only 5 minutes behind 5th spot. I strip off my warm clothing, shout instructions to my pit crew and I am out of my tent and soon in a full sprint towards the first rocky climb of the day.

Just before I hit the climb, I catch 6th spot which happened to be one of the riders I was dooking it out with 22 hours earlier. With an all out effort, I sprint as far as I could all the way up the climb not allowing myself to look back until I got over the short climb. When I turned around, he was not in sight.

Continuing the same pace, I pedal on and soon catch his teammate for 5th. I waited for a section of little roller climbs and a clear section of trail. I jumped hard, pedaled through the short climbs and looked back 10 minutes later. Not in sight.

Full out effort at this point, I wanted my 5th spot to stick. Thinking I still had another lap to go, I was somewhat confused by all the happy screaming faces coming down pit row as I came near the start finish.


When I swiped my card for the last time they said “great job!” and I had to ask them twice if it was over as I was somewhat confused by fact that it was over.


Tough day on the bike. Would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed with my asthma situation hitting me so early putting a damper on a chance at a top 3, but happy at how things worked out at the end. 5th at 24 Hour Nationals.