Sunday, December 30, 2012

Strangely Familiar

We never took the opportunity last year to really enjoy what winter we had. The problem was that down here in Massachusetts, we never really got a winter. One storm was really all that we got, in January, and then it was clear, dry and above average temperature wise. This is what got me started on the riding stream that I will hopefully finish up tomorrow, pedaling a bicycle every day of the entire year.

Anyhow, this year the weather has turned of recent to be much more traditional. In Maine we received a good amount of snow on top of what was already a respectable base. Cathy and I used to absolutely love snowmobiling. We got into it partially because of the Seib's and spent a bunch of time riding with them early on. Later, Cathy and I latched onto doing fairly epic days of riding. We would regularly leave our house in Maine at 6AM with sleds loaded in the trailer and hear to Errol, NH, the start point of our ride. By shortly after 7AM would would be in Errol unloading and suiting up for a long day of riding. Often the temperature at that point would be well below zero and where we were going, the Canadian border and back, it wouldn't really warm up despite the sun coming up.

We became very accustomed to doing more than 200 miles in a day, which may not sound like a lot but consider that average speed with stops to regroup and make sure we were together at intersections in NH were about 30mph and the parts of ME we rode, they were significantly slower than that. A 250 mile day could be 8 or 9 hours on the sled, in sub-zero air temperatures plus the windchill. Lets just say it gave you a new appreciation for being chilled to the bone. I remember a night ride with Don from ME to Evan's Notch that we started after dark with a -15 degree air temperature. No idea how cold it was at elevation at 9PM or so but I remember my hands being frozen solid and thinking that if anything happens, we may be done. Sleds are enablers, allowing unprepared people to get in well over their heads. I came to learn that and had a different respect for them. I always assume that we may have to hike 10 (or many more) miles through the snow, so we dress accordingly with gear that can handle that.

The years of big miles lost some of their luster, partially due to gas prices going really high, partially due to me having my fill of having my core frozen but also because wasting resources like that just seemed wrong. Add in the fact that we got really serious about bike racing and we broke up with snowmobiling. We never sold the sleds though, the brand new ones that we had purchased at great expense in 2006. They were top of the line 2007 Ski-Doo 600 SDI (Semi-Direct Injection) Renegades, which are high performance long/wide deep-lugged track models designed to go off trail. They also got very good mileage for the day due to the 600 SDI engine. They are awesome rigs for sure and the second set of Rev platform machines we had owned. Unfortunately, these never saw the use their predecessors did. In fact, all last year they only left the trailer once for a brief loop around the lawn and even the year before they were only use a few short times.

This past Friday we (I) decided we were going to get some use from them. I began preparing the trailer first, which included cutting off a rusted lock from the tongue, dislodging the trailer jack and lubing the axle bearings, which I hoped were still OK. Then prep the sleds, shove the snow so I could get the trailer out and then register the sleds. The latter ended up being a nightmare but we finally found a place that could handle the request. Lastly, we hooked up and prepared to go. Unfortunately the connector for the trailer lights wasn't lighting just right, or at all. Off to the auto-parts store for a new adapter and harness, then home to wire it in in hopes that it fixed the issue. After much cursing and frozen hands the lights came on. We headed to to gas station to fuel up and trailered off to Grafton Notch for what we hoped to be better conditions. We suited, unhitched the sleds from the trailer and I went to back them out only to realize we'd left the digital keys for the sleds at home. Pack back up and head home, grab the keys and drive back to the lot, luckily only 12 miles away. It was now 5PM.

Ill prepared is what we were. I'll blame it on being out of practice. We made the best though and headed out through the trails of Newry and up toward Grafton Notch. The trails were still very early season and most water was still open. Though they had a decent amount of snow, the rocky, rough and not fully frozen trails had not filled in yet, let alone been groomed. It's December and I know the drill. We were delighted that when we reached the state trail about 8 miles in, the groomer had been out packing the ample snow they had had. The state trail is a major route, funded directly by the state of Maine as a major corridor trail and is thus, a much better trail surface. In fact most of it could be considered road-bed. Doesn't take much to make that smooth, especially is yahoos have not been out ripping it up. Did I mention that I don't really care for most sledders, especially as someone who used to groom trails?

Some of my fondest winter memories are on the sleds. I grew up adoring them as a kid from northern Vermont and in my early youth was able to ride my father's old Ski-Doo in the back field. Beyond that and despite the fascination, I never really had one until much later in life, when Cathy and I got the place in Maine, at which point I plunged in like so many things. Compensating I guess. We went so many places and covered so much ground. We found three different antler sheds from moose, which we still have. We used to carry birdseed to feed the nearly tame Gray Jays who would land on your hand to eat, in the absolute back-woods of Pittsburg, NH. Of recent the mode for the memories has changed, transforming from sleds to bikes or skis or snowshoes.

We had a great time and went until we didn't feel like going any longer, rather than going until we were done. There is a distinction you know. It was fun and we could have done more. This left us in the hope that when conditions get better a bit later in the season, we can do some more riding. A pleasant change from the norm I must add. Maybe there is still some room left for the sleds though. Will see.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Arrives

It seems that winter has finally arrived, at least up north. We were greeted at our place in Maine but 4" of crusty snow and a mound of frozen hard-pack at the end of our driveway. The first task after unloading the truck full of gear and cats was to attack the mess in the driveway. It had been a long time since we had to clear snow. Fortunately after about 15 minutes of tugging on the starter rope and one elbow smashed into the door frame, the old snowblower sprang to life. Much wrestling ensued to clear the crusty stuff only after much chipping with a spade to loosen and break the snow up into chunks that the blower could deal with.

After that chore was finished we headed for the brewery for cheap beer night, then back home for dinner on the grill. The following day we awoke to a raging snowstorm, one that would continue through most of the day. Many more trips with the snowblower to clear the drive as the storm racked up about 10-12" of fresh powder. This was going to make biking really difficult. It wasn't the roads and dealing with the snow and ice on the bike that concerned me. It was simply the traffic, snowplows and fact that I had no business being on the roads during a storm like this. Why ride in that stuff in the first place? Just trying to finish out the year and keep the streak going. Only a few days left and I can't stop now.

Once the drive was cleared, at least temporarily, during the heart of the storm, we decided to go snowshoe. Though the idea of the Eyebrow trail in Grafton Notch was appealing, driving there in the storm and then dealing with that trail in those conditions could be perilous. We therefore decided to do the much closer and easier Mount Will trail. This is a hike that we have done many times both in the summer and winter. We decided though to do it in reverse, counterclockwise, which we had never done before.

The hike was mostly uneventful and we broke trail as expected in the storm's new fallen snow. At elevation the snow was deep and drifted making the trail tough to follow in places. Some of the steep ascents were difficult with the snow and limited traction as were some of the descents. The trail is close to Bethel and Sunday River and directly off from Routes 2 and 26 yet when you get out into the woods, you seem very remote. The whole loop is barely three miles but took us a couple of hours moving along at a good steady pace. The snowfall was heavy through most of the hike but began to taper a bit as we neared the bottom. Another good hike. Too bad it wasn't the Eyebrow trail as that has a bit more bite to it, but still enough to remind me of the inevitable blisters I get on my heel from snowshoeing.

  Back home I was faced with the biking dilemma still. Noting that traffic was light, save the plow trucks, I cautiously dressed and heading out to try and do a very small loop on our road and a couple of other small offshoots. The roads were a mix of packed snow, ice and not quite packed over ice. This made for great going that was really fast, until you got into some snow that couldn't support the tires and broke apart, revealing the ice below. You were then presented with a neat front wheel skid. As long as you didn't fight it and try and turn, your momentum would continue in a forward course and you would stay upright. Still a very neat challenge to deal with.

The roads up here, as in many places, are not all that great either. Thus they tend to hump up in the middle and slope wildly to the edge, or worse, have a trough worn in the surface from the continual heavy loads running the same path. They had also had the wings out on the plow trucks, pushing the snow back out into the shoulder and beyond. This made it nearly impossible to discern where the road ended. Some times that was good as you got a nice flat dirt shoulder. Some times there was no shoulder, just snow plowed flat to give the appearance of solid purchase. Regardless, it was good stuff. I never strayed more than a mile from the house but did a bunch of out and backs and loops.

This was enough to constitute a ride and keep the streak alive while not getting killed or having someone else run off the road trying to avoid me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Passed

I can not believe that another Christmas has come and gone. The approach is always the same, cluttered, frenzied and inconceivably dragged out yet when the runway comes into sight, the final descent is over in the blink of an eye. It happens the same every year. For us, the final surge to the end of the cyclocross racing season compounds this, as the weeks tick by up to the final local event, only a week or so before Christmas. Of course I realize that it wouldn't matter if it were cyclocross, school or church holiday events, the frenzied retail season at work or just trying to the get the Christmas shopping and holiday festivities in order, the time escapes everyone.I guess that is the common theme here, time running away from us.

This year we did basically the same that we have done the past couple of years, that being to visit my folks on Christmas Eve and then be home for Christmas day itself. Cathy's folks head to Florida for part of the winter so had left not long after our Thanksgiving. They came to visit us the weekend after Thanksgiving and we had a nice, early Christmas with them. We even went and picked out a Christmas tree together, which was very nice. Christmas Eve with my family was nice as well. The weather was good for travel and we just went up and back that day, which makes for a fair amount of driving but also makes it all easier to manage. It was good to see everyone and visit if for only a brief time. We even made it back home with time to go out for a brisk night ride to take in some of the lights around town.

Christmas Day arrived with us groggy from the previous day and sluggish to get out of bed. It is infrequent that we have no plans and no place to be, so lounged in comfort of sleeping late. Finally we arose, as much because the cats were ready for breakfast and thus on a tear as anything. Cathy made banana pancakes and sausage and we listened to Christmas music, a staple at our house since Thanksgiving.

Eventually we made our way to the couch and started in on the gifts to each other. It was a good year for both of us and we each received some wonderful presents. I gave Cathy some sporting gear, as always, some new slippers and redundant pants, as well as a new anniversary ring. No, it isn't our anniversary but I wanted to give her something special that would help to let her know how much I appreciate everything that she does for me and how she is what keeps me going every day. Well, mostly her, but the kittens help as well.

She gave me an incredible new Cannondale Scalpel mountain bike (with the help of Chris) which I can't wait to try out. She also gave me a picture book that she had made from the year's adventures. This was possibly the most touching gift that I have ever received and it meant a lot to me. Cathy had actually done an online version of the same thing for our 10th anniversary a couple years back. It is also very special to me, as is she.

The tradition as it has come to be is for Cathy and I to do a mountain bike ride on Christmas Day. Luckily the weather would have us be able to continue that tradition for another year. We went in and rode the PR for a couple of hours. Conditions were pretty good and there were the remains of the dusting of snow that we got overnight. The temperature had crept above freezing though so the precious white blanket of snow was quickly melting away. The important thing though was that we were out doing that which we like to do, together, celebrating the day. Cathy had the reindeer antlers on her helmet which prompted smiles and friendly greetings from many we passed along the way. Everyone seemed nicer and friendlier, if only for the day.

As the day wrapped up we watched the final run of A Christmas Story, which strangely enough, has come to mark the end of another Christmas. I'm always sad to see it go because I love the season so much. It was a great season and has been a great year in so many ways. Thankfully I have my gift from my wife by which to remember it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone and safe and happy holiday season. 

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World (as we know it)

Well, I was expecting more, what with all of the hype. Once again, nothing. Another supposed doomsday comes and goes and we are still here. I guess the day isn't over yet, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

That isn't really the point here, 2012/12/21, no, the end I am referring to is the end of the race season. I know that it is an inevitable close to every year but this year it seemed more abrupt. I think that it is because the cyclocross race season was so long and rapid-fire. We were racing straight, every weekend and running training sessions every week since Labor Day. That is a pretty solid stretch of time to be on. In hindsight, I can't believe that I pulled it off. That has certainly never happened before. Maybe 2012 was a year of becoming wiser in my old age.

Last weekend was the cap to the New England cyclocross season with the New England Regional Cyclocross Championships which were held in Fitchburg, MA. Cathy and I have done this event since its inception. For me it has tended to be the final nail in my coffin. I would hit the event and in truth, the latter part of the season, tired and weak. My past performance at the Regionals was always well below my capacity and it always seemed to put a bit of a sour note on the season.

This year was different. I'd changed my training plan in the latter part of the season and instead of giving in to the chronic fatigue and easing up, I pushed through and stepped the intensity back up for one final block. This worked pretty well and I managed to connect on most of the weekends that mattered. The one failure was in timing. I started the block too late and didn't get as much of a benefit from it at Sterling as I'd hoped for. Part of that was mental also in that I hate that course and venue and went into it partially defeated. By the next weekend the tides had turned and I was ready to go. The weekend after that saw a cold and rainy day for Ice Weasels. Nothing worked for me that day and I floundered, though I worked really hard. The next day I doubled at DAS Beaver, which by the way was an excellent race, and was really feeling the effects of the prior day.

That had me a little concerned. I was also worried about the Regionals course, a course that is dead flat and has very little in the way of technical features. This type of course doesn't usually suit me well as I tend to have best luck on a more technical course. Add to that the fact that the current regional champion, Sam M., had been a constant nemesis all season and this course was tailor made for him and I was concerned. Mark G. had also mentioned earlier that he was targeting the event as well and I knew that there were a bunch of other tough guys who would be looking for blood. The only saving grace was that Paul R. decided not to do the 45+ race. I actually have mixed feelings about that since nobody wants to be the winner by default. Paul and I had some good battles, though this course would have been more suited to him. Still, I would welcome another chance to go.

I got in a good week of race prep and the conditions for the race last Saturday were excellent. As it turned out, Sam was unable to race due to an injury, though we still had a solid field line up at the start. I got a good warmup and was feeling pretty confident. My plan was to hang for a while and then try and get away and stay away, which I realized would be tough on that particular course, but I didn't want to deal with a sprint. The way the start worked, we went into the sand fairly early in the lap, which I knew would be a choke point. First in, first out, hopefully with some room.

The whistle blew a Geoff M. drilled it hard. I settled onto his wheel and then everything went red. That old familiar feeling where I stopped thinking and just reacted with pure adrenaline. Not always a wise move but one that seems to take hold of me frequently. I went to the front and road as hard as I could. Quickly a gap opened, small, but some room. It held around to the sand and I got through it quickly and cleanly. Unfortunately for the everyone else, that sand became a bottle-neck and I got a big chunk of time on the field. From there I spent the next couple of laps continuing to race as hard as I could to stay away and build some time in the bank. I never managed to run it out very far but I was able to hold it and ride smooth and steady to the finish. Literally, beyond maintaining and riding cleanly, the entire race outcome transpired for me in the first three minutes. Not exciting to match possibly but I can tell you from experience, nerve racking for me because as we all know, there is a big difference between being in the lead and finishing in the lead. That day I was lucky and managed to hold it.

I've never won a jersey before and must admit, I was really happy. It had been a big goal of mine this season and it was a huge weight off my shoulders to actually get it. It has been an incredible season for me, one the dreams literally are made of. I'm very pleased that it all came together, despite some issues mid season. There are still things that I'm disappointed about but by and large, I have nothing about which to complain. I truly recognize and am thankful for my good fortune.

Unfortunately, my buddy Mark G. got tangled up in the finish melee and went down hard, requiring medical assistance. Mark is a tough guy and didn't let on to exactly how bad the injury was. He re-broke his wrist, dislodging (really ripping apart) the titanium plate that was holding his wrist together from a previous injury.

The group of 45+ masters men pulled together to get Mark's son Greg and daughter Lizzy away and ready for their races later in the day, while Mark took a trip to the hospital in the ambulance. Looking after the kids was way more stressful than racing I found. Not having kids myself and not wanting to mess up probably has something to do with that. We all managed fine and just before their race their mom arrived to save the day.

 Cathy had an absolutely incredible race. The course was perfect for her and she raced flawlessly all day, beating people that she has never beaten before. The finish came down to a sprint between her and one of best friends and nemesis' Michele S. Much yelling on my part helped spur her to dig really deep at the end and hold off the charge. Her efforts were rewarded with a podium spot finishing only seconds behind Katina, a SSCX nemesis of hers and NY resident, and Lori who races in the Elite class. It was a very good day for our team indeed. Much better in fact than what would eventually transpire on Sunday in the SSCX race, but that is a story for another day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Man, I wish I could make up my mind. One minute I'm ready to sign up for the adventure and make the trip to the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships in Madison, WI the 2nd week of January but then the next minute I balk. Really it's the whole logical aspect that has me in fits, what with getting us, four bikes and all of the gear out there, in the winter. It isn't exactly just down the road either. Add to that the USAC ranking would have me way way out of contention for anything and there is more indecision.

Still, anything could happen. If by chance there was snow, good things could happen as I've done pretty well in the snow in the past. Of course, there could be feet of snow, which would change things a bit. My fitness is still pretty good and if ever I'm going to go, this may be the time.

I don't know. I have until 11:59PM tonight to decide before the entry fee increases a bunch. Guess I'll see how cross practice goes tonight and decide later. Yea, that's it, why do now what you can put off until later :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Twenty-Two More

There are twenty-one days left in 2012 and I need twenty-two more bike rides in order to fulfill the streak of pedaling a bicycle every day this year. Can't believe that it's almost over, both the year and the streak.

I must say though that riding every days helps give context to the scope of a calendar year. It's a bit of a beast all told, though at the same time it flies by so quickly. The days just seem to melt together into a wash that encompasses the weeks and then the months as they tick by. You never get them back regardless of how hard you may try to recapture those bits of nostalgia.

I find it particularly evident at this time of year, the holidays. We watch the old holiday specials hoping to recapture the sense of wonder, anticipation and pure joy that we (hopefully) had as children at the holidays. Though we at times may come close it's never really the same. Those times are past and we are on to the present.

Rather than try and live in the past, I try and live for the day, choosing to believe that we are defined less by what we were and more about what are currently. You are only as good as the last thing you did is a notion that haunts me regularly. It helps keep me grounded and motivated to keep reaching, and works for me.

With the end of each year, my goal is to have every single one be the best one ever. The truth is that this is less a cumulative tally of the year and more a declaration of resolve and defiance, that each day, month and year is precious to me and I understand that. Simply told, for each that we see the end of, we should be grateful. Every day we can smile or pedal our bicycles or be with someone that we love is another win in our race against time. Another day where we can exclaim at least to ourselves if not to the world, that this one was the best one ever.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Back in the Saddle

 Well, I guess I've never really been out of the bike saddle, at least not so far this year. Yep, that's right, the streak is still going. Every day this year (and the final few days of last) I have pedaled a bicycle in some manner shape or form. No, that doesn't mean that all of the rides were outdoors and no they were not all hammer/training rides. Some were on rollers in the basement, and many were easy recovery spins that only lasted a half hour, but according to my definition that is still riding a bicycle. Anyhow, this is more about getting back in the saddle in terms of race reports. I've fallen down on that front for sure.

Let's start with last weekend. It was final stop on the Shimano New England Cyclocross race series with the two day NBX event at Goddard Park in Warwick, RI. Unfortunately there isn't an actual series for anyone but the pro's but the events all tend to attract big fields and solid competition, though not all of the fastest guys unfortunately. Hopefully next year these events will once again be part of a bigger series for us old folks as well. Some skip some of these events or race in a younger or more aggressive field as training. You can only race those who show up though.

Historically I have had really good results at these events, partially due to the former but also in part due to the coursed that the series is comprised of. They tend to be the more interesting and more technical, in short suiting my skill set a little better. I struggle with grass crits where you lay down huge power for an extended period, corner, lay down more power, eventually corner, etc. Courses like Sterling or Catamount are my nemesis. I just can't seem to get on top of them.

It has been a few years since we made it down to this event. One thing or another has come up and we just didn't make it. The last time I was there, back in 2009, I had one of my best weekends ever finishing 9th one day in the stacked 35+ masters field and capping what until now was my best season ever with multiple top tens in the category. At that point in time the field included no less than three National champions and was crazy deep with talent so I was stoked.

Going into the race weekend this year I was cautiously optimistic. Frankly I know that anything can happen and I must admit that I'd been feeling a little bit beat the past few weeks. The recovery between weekends just hadn't been as effective as I'd hoped and my plan to increase the load recently to try and curtail the late season slide I seem to have hadn't paid well at Sterling the week prior. That said, I was rocking the freshly minted (literally arrived Thursday) team kits for me new team (of one). Yes, that's right, after riding with NEBC for my entire (current) cycling life I finally made a switch. Chris at the Bikeway Source broke down and designed a kit and ordered it up a couple months back. I finally had them in my hand and thus, on my back so didn't want to disappoint.

Saturday was cold, really cold, with light snow and given that we were right on the water, it felt even colder. The snow did made it bearable however. I'd watched Cathy have a great ride, doing super well while trying to get a warmup in. I hurriedly got her bike out of the pit and mine in and scrambled to the start line. Luckily I got the pole position in cal-ups thanks to an optimistic ranking. Immediately sized up the competition to see the obvious threats, some obvious and some less so. This venue was traditionally about finesse and I had some folks with tons of experience with finesse lined up right next to me and on my wheel. I made the decision then and there that this was going to be an MTB race and I was going to try and get away early.

At the whistle I had one of my better starts in what have become a string of good starts, getting the hole shot. Mark G. surged past and I clamped onto his wheel. As we positioned for the transition off the pavement I jumped to the front and hit the gas. I knew that the sharp off-camber hairpin corner in the field at the far end of the course would be crucial. The idea was to be first in first out and open a gap. I figured that if I could go really hard for a lap I may be able to pry open a gap. It worked and by the log barriers I had some room to work with.

Riding clean and hard I hit the beach run in full stride. Though I don't run, I can run and the short hard efforts seem to suit me well, typically allowing me to outpace many. I do especially well with steep climbs. This helped for sure and by the time I reached the top of the climb after the beach and rounded the corner around the tree, I knew that I was in good shape. I could see a small group behind with Mark driving hard with Bob B. in tow. Another lap of that same hard effort and I had enough room to take a breath. From there it was about conservation and riding cleanly. In the back of my mind I told myself to stay strong but remember day two and try and have something left. I got lucky and rode cleanly having no issues and managing to retain the gap on a hard charging field led by Mark.

Sunday saw another cool day, though not nearly as bad as the day before. Where Saturday was marked by snow Sunday was marked by fog. The air was damp and cool and the damp sea fog made wearing glasses impossible. Later in the week I noted that the fog was also quite salty as bare metal  corroded or had dried salt on it. Cathy's race didn't go quite as well as she missed he call-up and had to start back a bit. She battled her way forward though making good progress and having a solid finish despite.

For me day two brought a few more players out to play. I could tell immediately that it wasn't going to be an easy day on the bike, despite feeling pretty good It would be a tale of strategy. For me strategy is a take best left untold, though I'm getting better. Off the line I had another good start but Corner Cycles Geoff M. and Sam M. were playing for keeps. Geoff came by me and pushed really hard, switching off with Sam to lift the frenzied pace. Immediately I decided on a simple plan that even I should be able to stick to; follow the guy in the lead but don't be the guy in the lead unless you have to. This lasted for the better part of the first two laps with digs coming from Geoff, Sam, Mark G. and Don S., the group that had managed to distance themselves from the field. There was some mayhem and some sketchy moves abounding as the group jockeyed for position and some crazy fast sand runs and hard attacks. I took a couple of digs but mostly just followed and dogged the leader. That was primarily Sam who as usual, is most comfortable driving.

My attack plan was to taunt him from behind and make him alternate his tempo and go harder than he wanted. This entailed riding up beside him just before or after each corner making him push a little harder to stay in front.  On the third lap this tactic finally paid off when Sam gassed himself a bit on a climb. I sensed it was a good time and attacked hard managing to pry some room. From there I was never able to let up and spent the next few laps digging as deep as I could to maintain the small bit of space I'd clawed out. Luck was again with me and everything held together through the finish with Sam and Mark only seconds behind me.

This was a great weekend and a wonderful venue. In retrospect I think that this is probably one of the best in New England. The folks at NBX did an awesome job with the course and with all details. Unfortunately, the season is almost over, for which I am pretty sad but what a season it has been. I'm not certain why I've been so fortunate but I really do appreciate it. I just hope that I can give some of that good fortune back. Hopefully the enthusiasm is imparted on others and hopefully the weekly practices we do are as helpful for others as they are for me.  

Monday, December 03, 2012

Ladies in the Mist

It has been some time since I've posted much of anything. Pretty busy as usual. Lots of racing as always plus the holidays added in coupled with the living hell that has become my job and there you have it. Not much time to be creative. Hopefully I can get things straightened out so I can get back on top of things. After all, I have like half a dozen race reports outstanding which I'm sure that everyone is just dying to see.

I lucked out yesterday though at day 2 of the NBX cyclocross race weekend in Warwick, RI, to a degree. The early races were held in a thick fog that made for some very interesting photographic shots. Unfortunately I didn't have the good camera but made do with what I had. The results were not as dramatic as I'd hoped but still helped aid the composition.

Here are a block of shots that I snagged from the women's category 3/4 race.  Most of them are of friendly faces and good folks that we know.