Back From Helena Montana

Hello from Missoula Montana. There is a heavy snow advisory today for the mountains and it is becoming ever apparent that I better get out my skis. The sun is not up yet but the skies are getting dark blue. Dawn is eminent. My back aches and I am slowly getting things going this morning and I am on the verge of becoming late for work. I must blog!

The car is not even unpacked yet and that will probably get done around noon. I rolled back into town last night from Helena. I immediately grabbed a Double Haul and sat down to enjoy a evening of Sunday Night Football. I did not move all night. So now here I am after a nights rest ready to spill the beans on yesterday’s events.

I arrived a little early so I ran into town to enjoy one of my favorite things in life. A Starbucks coffee (hey no one has coffee like theirs … well maybe Bernices Bakery) and a blueberry scone. I don’t know what is in the coffee and scone but I can tell you this; I am now officially unbeaten in the Cyclocross scene using this form of taste bud entertainment.

Sunday the 12th was in the 40s in Helena Montana but the wind was threatening to make it brutal. As I walked Marcy around the course to get her input on the terrain Centennial Park was brutal. Marcy approved the course and I signed up for the masters race.

I did around 6 warm up laps and the center piece of this course was a section called “The Spiral of Death” (click to see pic ). The SOD is a spiral where you ride 360 degrees in a circle into the center. In the center is a barrier. You jump that and ride back around 360 degrees back out of the spiral. I think it was pretty cool but a little confusing at first. Almost an optical illusion.

The rest of the course was pretty fast except for the sections heading west into the wind. The triple barriers were on the fastest part of the course so a dismount at full speed could be rather scary.

There were 2 run up sections which made me jump for joy. I love the run up! The first one had a barrier so trying to ride it would not work. This was a small run up. Before the second run up there was an off camber section that could cause a wipe out if one did not stay on line. The second run up was interesting. You approach it at high speed and must dismount after a little riser but before a sand pit. Then scramble up the steepest run up of the year.

As the Mens A came around we lined up for the Masters Race. A minute after the last straggler we started our race. The pace was pushed right off the bat. When we arrived at the SOD we were already catching the Mens A group. I stayed din 2nd place.

As we came out of the SOD I decided to clock in. I took off on a strong pace and quickly broke away. Throughout the race I continued to increase my lead.

My goal was to catch all the Mens A group and i did catch two. In the end I caught all but four of the top group. And that was it … I won my third Montana Cyclocross Series Race.

Next week is the last race of the season here in Missoula Montana. Come out and see me race! I better go now and read my emails.

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