Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Smithville Cx Pics

Michael Yeager just before the double barriers

Thad Carson 'flying' on his new Blue carbon cx bike.

Chris Locke finally had the weather and the right amount of water in the lake to actually get a good 'beach' section in his race.  He has been trying to get 
 sand section out at Smithville since he started putting this race on...It turned out great.  It was an awesome feature to a really fun course to race on.  Even with bad legs.

 Mr. Winkler...Before he let all of his anger out on the course and the rest of us cx 'mortals'.  He was flying on Sunday.
 Me thru the first few turns of the race.  I was chasing back on to the front 8 or so after stacking up the group in the first turn of the race.  "sorry everybody"!!

 Jeff above, and Tyler below thru the sand section on the lake.
Some SlimenUndGrossen action shots from Heather Taylor.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Smithville Cx...great course, bad legs....damn!

    Iam at the fire station today.  Got a few minutes before me and my crewmates head out to do an annual night training.  We are gonna do some search and rescue in an old office complex and do some other cool trainig stuff.  This past weeks race was north of my house at Smithville Lake, which is about 25 miles north of Kansas City.  The Wheel Cyclery and Chris Locke put on a great race.  Even with a lot of locals out of town racing elsewhere, the fields were still pretty good size. 

I will post some pictures from some of the days action shortly that my wife took.  Her pics are still being edited and I will post them ASAP. 

I made the decision along with teammates Jeff and Ty to do the Open race.  A pretty good field lined up with a few missing regular faces who were in  Lousiville KY racing the USGP races.  THe big hitters on the day were Jeff Winkler and Brian Jensen.  21  of us started the race.  I camped out for a front row starting spot.  Maybe not my wisest decision on the day, which was followed by my decision to go for the 'hole-shot' with the sound of the officials whistle that started the race.  I was 2nd wheel behind Travis Donn of Ethos Racing into the 1 left hand turn entering a hard grassy 90 degree turn.   Within 20 feet of exiting the paved start, I slid out and stacked up a slew of guys behind me.  Was down only for a moment, recovering quickly and was back on the bike and chasing.  I think I may have gotten back on my back and back in line in maybe 7th or 8th wheel.   Not as bad as it could have been.   I spent the nest 11 laps laps trying to maintain some form of racing.  My legs were dead and I had no power what so ever.  3-4 guys beat me on Sunday that had never been close to me before.  Mid race i was already prepaing for a recovery week.  Not good thoughts to have mid-race.  Every portion of the race hurt.  I seemed to be going backwards the whole race.  No power in the pedals at all.  Really dissapointing but altogether unsuprising.  I have had some good races up until yesterday, so I should have and I do know that I can't maintain that good form for more than a feww weeks in a row.  In retrospect, I always struggle with a lull in form about this time anyway.

Really though, the writing was on the wall before the race began for me.  I was just beat and rundown from all the racing of the previous few weeks.  I could feel it coming midweek.  Legs and body just didn't seem to e recovering from a weekend of racing both days and my midweek hard race workout was not good either.  In retrospect I should have shut the intensity midweek down before it started.  Oh well.  I am prescribing 3 days off the bike this week with no race on the schedule.  I am at the halfway point in my cx season.  8 or 9 races to go.  The 2nd half of the season is more spread out though.  With a good rest week and another ramp up in training, I  hope to peek again come the Kansas State Cx Championships in Topeka on Decmber 5th.   I am working next Saturday, so I will miss the 3 round of the Boss CX series.  Thats a shame cuz I race those events for free this year, thanks to winning the 35+ Masters category last year.  No race on Sunday either, because the Dumbshit Deuchebag promoter that was suposed to put on a race that day, totally fropped the ball and screwed the Kansas City Cx community.

Oh well I need a break....some legs up on the coffe table for a few days and I will hit the the training hard again.  See yah next race!

p.s.  pics will follow shortly

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boulevard Cup, remarks and race recap(race weekend part 2)

    I have put off writing my race report from this past Sunday's Boulevard Cup and Wyandotte County Park, for a couple of reasons.  One, I can be lazy and procrastinate.  The 2nd reason has been for the sole purpose to calm down a little before I go spouting off from the 'hip'.  I made some comments about Sunday's cx course during pre-laps the day of, immediately after my race and even more comments to the same friend(s) within the last 24 hours.  So, I don't think my harsh opinions are going to subside....

    Let me say first, Mike Berning has put on a great event the last few years out at WYCO.  Now I admit, that the venue for racing I enjoy quite a bit.   However, I have never considered the race course that has been set up out there to be my favorite.  To be honest, it is my least favorite cx course of the year.  That is year after year, so it has been consistently the same.  Whatever.  There are many positives to the production that is the Boulevard race.  The food, beer, the venue for the people and racers, the people themselves and it is a beautiful park.  But the course setup for the race, year after year is continually a big disappointment.  Bar none, every year the course is extremely bland and void of any personality at all.  This years' course was no exception.  In fact, it might even have been worse.  This is a personal opinion, but I have got a similar view from at least a dozen other racers who were there who voiced similar opinions.  In defense of the course, I found 2 racers who liked it.  So go figure.  My issues with the course were a few, but simple things:
     1.  2/3rds of the course was unviewable  from the main gathering point of the spectators(food and beer area)
     2.  The course was an absolute disaster as far as markings and being staked.  People blowing thru high speed turns and off course because  cones and hats were laid down rather than using stakes.  On top of looking like a go-cart course from the Ozarks, the set-up(or lack thereof) looked like an after thought.
     3.  And what little grass was mowed, it wasn't even part of the final race course set-up.  At least get the mowers out there.  We aren't bailing hay.

Why on earth was 10 acres of land used for a course that could have been set up in 2 acres?   Why would you run the racers away from the spectators, the food, and the beverages so they can't see anyone race?  Its not a crit.   There were no goats in the goat pasture to view us racing on the west side of the road.  Yet, 2/3rds of the race was on that side in the 'goat' pasture.  Me and a friend can find a ATV and a snow plow and make a cx race possible with 10+ inches of snow on the ground in 3 days notice and mark and stake the course, but 2 months of beautiful perfect weather with multiple volunteers and that is the course that I paid money to race on.  Now if that is the only option, then I can accept that, but when promoters like Jeff Unruh can put out a 'Pro'-like product and Jeremy Haynes and Joe Fox up at Cycle City keep raising the bar....Then how long before the Boulevard Cup goes from the biggest fields of the season to the weakest.   Free beer and cookies are great, but I and many other racers want a quality course, a quality product to spend our hard earned money on.  And Sunday's race course wasn't quality. There are 20 races in the metro area and I can't do everyone.  Very few people can, so people have to make choices.  People can go race in Tulsa, Lincoln and Iowa.  The customers, thats what we as racers are, can choose to take our money and put it in a different product.  That is my less than 2 cents.

Enough of my rant, as I am sure I have offended many people reading my drivel.  Let me remind you though.  I am a paying customer, I have the right to bitch since I am forking over said money.  Try taking my criticism for what it is and make a better product... or don't, be offended and scoff at me and others who may want more.

To the race.  The goal after Saturday's hard effort in Topeka was to recover and get ready to chase the 360Racing master's train.  As I expected, the 360 crew showed up in force.  Hedjuk, Jenks, Songer, Lucas, Hammontree all showed up to race the 40+'A' race at 11:00am.  My inital goal was to get a front row start and get off the line without any issues.  Didn't need the 'hole shot', I didn't want to set the pace, but I wanted to settle into a 360 wheel and just try to stay smooth.  With a few random call-ups, 25 racers lined up for the 30+ race.  My 40+ group lined up immediately behind with 25 of us as well.  Then came 25 or so of the 50+guys.  There would the standard 30 second gap between age groups.  Again, something else for me to think about.  I didn't want to lose time or the 360 guys getting thru the slower riders, which would probably be at least 24 of the 25  thirty year old racers in the way at some point early in lap one.
    So with the official's  instructions and a word from our generous promoter we were ready for the  whistle.  The 30+ racers were off, and I was still not nervous, just anxious to get started.  I was trying to protect my Series60 overall lead.  30 seconds later, the whistle blew for my race.  Brendan Jenks of 360Racing immediately surged to the front and I settled into 2nd wheel as we raced down the long paved start headed for the left turn into the grass.  Bombing down a hill and headed towards a high speed 90 degree right hand turn, the racers had to scrub a bunch of speed because we came to the courses' first barrier.  A single barrier maybe 20 feet outside the 90 degree right hand turn.  Remounting, the racers pedaled a slight incline thru the long grass to a 180 degree turn-around.  Down the same slight hill and into a soft but fast left-hander.  The course traversed thru a ditch to another grassy field section where 2/3rds of the course was set-up.  Very non descript rollers and some high speed turns,  a couple with some off-camber slope to them but all in all, a boring section thru unmowed grass with lots of acorns to go thru and over.  After a series of turns, the course climbed up towards a sand volleyball pit that we went across the width of maybe 30 feet of sand.   This is actually where our lead group caught the majority of the 30+ racers.  all 5 of us in the lead group made it thru 'lapped' trafffic without being delayed too badly.   Our group reformed as we remounted and headed towards the road crossing.  Now the sand pit I elected to run every time, but it was ridable.  Not necassarily faster to ride it, but some chose to anyway.  Once thru the sand, the course crossed the main road to the east side of the course.  We went across the road and back on the grass heading north toward the food and beer area where the spectators were mostly watching the race from.  Some technical switch-back turns and a barrier section right after another series of 90 degree turns and the racers were remounting and heading towards the course only rear technical section of the 1.8 mile course.  This amounted to one long off-camber sweeping left hand turn a section of wooptys in a road-side ditch that led to a 120 degree bottleneck turn.  The course was now going back to the south to cross the road and back to the west side of the road for the last section of the course.  The west section was poorly marked and I found racers blowing thru cones and course hats in multiple turns on the back side of the course.  No stakes and tape thru some S-turns, so people were 'straitening' turns to their likeing in this protion of the race.  We headed north past the wheel pit and up the hill towards the road the racers got a couple of technical 90   degree turns in before we hit the road for the start/finish section.  Thru most of lap one, it was Jenks, Songer and me in the front group.  After a bad start, Lucas joined us only to lay it down in an acorn infested turn towards the end of lap one.  He rejoined us in the middle of in lap 2 again.  Their teammate David Hedjuk went blazing by all of us towards the halfway point of the first lap, charging on and leaving his teammates trying to avoid him as he almost wrecked them in the course of passing us.  So much for having to worry about any of the 360 team tactics...I guess Hedjuk had his own plans, that didn't include Steve, Andy or Brendan.  Thru the start/finish line on lap 2, I was on the 360 train but working really hard to stay there.  It was no problem staying in contact with the lead group thru the fast first 1/3rd of the lap, but once we reached the sandpit, the 360 guys gapped me a little there.  Crossing the road they had maybe a 5 bike length lead on me.  I got reattached at the 2nd set of barriers and stayed on thru the spectator section.   But, when the course was heading south towards the street crossing, i got gapped a little again.  I kept stretching the elastic, eventually it was gonna snap.  Crossing the pavement to the back part of the course, i got back on only to lose the wheel of Brendan when the course turned uphill towards the pit area.  So for the remainder of the race, I stayed tantalizingly close to the 360 group.  Their teammate Hedjuk was up the road from them, so they were racing for 2nd.  I desperately tried to get back to that threesome.  A couple of times they seemed to slow but I just couldn't close the gap any more than 10 seconds back.  With a lap and a half to go, Jenks fell off Songer and Lucas pace and now I was chasing Jenks for 4th.  I got to within 6 or 7 seconds of Brendan and at the sound of the 'Bell' lap, the race was on.  But he had more than me.  I should have made more of an effort early to stay with that front 3.  I just didn't have enough late to get up to Brendan.   I settled for 5th behind the 4 horseman of 360.  On a course i have never had much success on, in hindsite it was a decent result.  I held off my charging teammate Jeff Unruh who took 6th, and my time gaps back from the Songer/Lucas duo were under a minute on a very non technical course.   Definately a course that those guys have a distinct advantage over me.   They beat me by a couple of minutes last year at this race.

     So up next weekend is the Smithville Cx race up at Smithville Lake.  Going to race the Open race again.  Could be a really small turn-out this weekend because quite a few are headed to Louisville to race the USGP down there.  I need to plan ahead better and ,maybe I can be racing at one of those USGP weekends next year.

   See yah next time!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Weekend of Cross Racing(Part I)

     Another full weekend of racing came and went.  Both Saturday and Sunday had me dragging the wife and daughter out to random locations so i could feed my cyclocross addiction.  Saturdays race was in Topeka, KS.  Its' promoter was put on by Slimen teammate and friend Jeff Unruh.  Quinton's Cross was held at a local elementary school in Jeff's hometown of Topeka.  About a 55 minute drive for the Taylor clan.  This race was also the 2nd race in the 7 part series that Localcycling.com's Mark Thomas has put together called Series60 Cyclocross.  Now prior to the start of the current cx season, I had set a goal of Top 3 in this series in the Masters 'A' 40+ category.  The first race of this series was the KC Cup race put on by the 360Racing crew at Swope Park in late September.  There I finished 3rd.  So the goal of this weekend was to go as fast as possible and battle with the 2 or 3 big guns from the 360 team that happened to show up for Saturday and Sundays race.  Sunday's race would be part 3 of the Series60 located at Wyandotte County Park, the Boulevard Cup which was put on by the Boulevard/KCOI racing team.

    Saturday morning came not too early with a morning Starbucks run at 8:30 a.m. and we were blazing down I-70.  My wife would be pulling double duty, babysitting and photographer during my race.  It would probably be a race and run soon after with another race the next day.  Pulling up to the school parking lot at a quarter to 10, I was immediately impressed with the 'pro' look of the course.  The Tape and course marking looked right out of videos i have seen from USGP races that the big name pros show up too.  Kudos to Jeff and his fellow volunteers.  My only concern with the looks of the course we would be racing on was the big hill they set part of the course on.  I thought I had specifically told Jeff, "NO Hills".  Obviously, he didn't listen too me.   I was registered and had my kit on and was on the bike taking some warm-up laps a little after 10.  Race time was 11 a.m.  I didn't want a big warm-up.  I knew I was racing the next day, so no since and wasting energy.  I also was judging the lack of competitors that showed up for Saturdays' race.  It was gonna be a small field and I was already thinking of conserving energy during the race, because I knew Sunday's Boulevard Cup always gets the bigger more competitive fields.  Again, no sense and wasting the whole tank.  Especially since i have a limited one to begin with.  Warming up with friend and rival 360racing's Andy Lucas, we had a conversation on the very same subject.  A tentative plan was to not do the usual 'killer' cx start, and have me, Andy, Steve Songer(360racing) and my Slimen teammate Joe Houston set the pace that would create a gap early over the rest of the small field.  A hard but not killer tempo would do it.  Now the writing was on the wall.  The steep run-up hill was going to be the deciding factor in this race.  Joe and I were on the outside looking in with Andy and Steve having a big advantage over Joe and I, because they don't have extremely large, fat asses.  However, Joe and I would be willing to give it a go and give Steve and Andy a run at it.
     Line-up for the Master's race was at 10:45.  Joe and I got a front row start.  Jeff had created a runway for the start of the races that was wide enough for 20 racers across.  Fields were not that big, but I think we started maybe 8-10 across at the line.  With instructions from officials and a few words from our promoters, we were ready to race.  I just wanted to follow wheels and not kill myself for the 'holeshot'.  That is exactly what happened.  Lucas and Songer led it out, with me and Joe following close on their wheels.  Joe or I didn't have to dip into the 'red' to maintain contact and once we were thru the 200 meters of the start, we hit the first brief pavement section.  Songer and Lucas had a 4 or 5 length gap on the pavement, but once we hit back into the grass and took a couple of high speed technical turns, Joe and I were right back on their wheel.  A couple of 180 and 90 degree turns and we were bombing down a grass decline and racing thru an open field heading towards the northern most part of the course.  This fast grass field section took us thru an off camber high speed 90 degree turn around a tree and up hill a few feet before we leveled off and bombed towards another high speed but softer left hand turn that had the racers riding along a creek or ditch and racing towards a set of tennis courts.  A 90 degree left hand turn right before the tennis courts and we were grinding up a false flat to 90 degree right and now really going up a soft and thick grassy section along the length of the tennis courts.  200 meters or so along the tennis courts and the course pitched up and to to the left in a 180 turn and down a few feet to a 180 right hander that pitched back up again 30 meters or so into the first barrier section of the day.  The first set of barriers were set in the middle of an incline, and right after the 2nd of 2 barriers, the terrain pitched up even steeper for 5 more meters making the racers finish the climb shouldering their bike and turning right and remounting.  The top of this run-up was the entrance to the wheel pit.  Now going back to the 180 right and left hand turns before the barrier section, I somehow had a brain freeze.  I looked down briefly and suddenly i was in Songers' rear wheel. Now I just was rubbing tires, we never got tangled up.  However, I breifly panicked here, and was immedialtely steering of course and into the tape.  I went thru the first set of tape and into a stake and got my bike wrapped and tangled into more tape.  That was it.  Andy, Steve and Joe and the gap we had set at the start were gone.  10-15 seconds of getting untangled and the lead group was gone and i was getting passed by two more racers before i got going again.  I ran 30 meters to the barriers and up the run-up and remounting trying to desperately to get back up to speed and close down the gap to the leaders that I had created.  "F!@#".  A moments mental lapse and my race plans went to shit.   So now I was chasing.  Racing past the wheel pit and down a hill 200 meters into a technical section of the course that had the racers going thru a maze like set-up of looping 180 degree turns.  This section allowed the racers to ride right by their competitors that were a few seconds in front or in back of them.  In my haste to latch back onto the front 3, I once again found myself going off course into the tape and running thru and over a stake.  I literally impaled my shin on a course stake.  I removed splinters post race.  I lost no time during this incident but did fluster my self more and had to work really hard to not waste extra energy in the panic of getting or staying at speed.   This circular section led out and up towards the grinding steep 25 meter run-up.  To get to the run-up, the racers had to pedal uphill 50 meters to a right hand switch-back which continued uphill another 50 meters to another switch-back and turned back to the right.  From there, racers continued uphill another 50 meters towards the barrier at the base of the run-up.  I and the rest of  the racers were already grinding our way with no momentum, then we are forced off our bike only to try to pump our legs over a barrier and up a 60 degree pitch for maybe 20 meters to the top of this brutal run-up.  At the top, I was just about closed the gap to my teammate Joe.  Pedaling into a slow off camber 180 degree left and down towards a 90 degree right that had the racers bombing down and into a sweeping soft  right hander.  Carrying a ton of momentum, the course pitched uphill briefly and flattened out right by the edge of the parking lot.  From here you had to set yourself up for a steep off camber/downhill 180 degree left hand turn that transitioned at the bottom from grass to a concrete sidewalk.  I saw plenty of people wipe out on this seemingly harmless section in warm-ups.  Thru this little downhill turn, the racers were bombing downhill again into a sweeping off-camber right hand turn.  Again, if you took this right, you could carry tons of momentum back up the hill that had the racers pedaling by the pits for the 2nd time.  Turning right 90 degrees, the course headed back uphill towards the finish line.  One lap down and 6 to go.  I had now gotten within 10 seconds of Joe.
      I was able to finally close the gap to Joe coming back up the false flat along the tennis courts.  However, Joe's pace had dropped and he was unable to stay on my wheel once we were thru the first run-p/barrier section.  Bombing down the hill past the pits, I was on my own trying to reel in Andy Lucas, who had fallen off of his teammate, Steve's wheel.  On the big run-up on the 3rd lap, I caught Andy.  He was not doing well.  You could hear him struggling to breath.  I knew he was having asthma issues.  So now it was me in 2nd with Songer up the road.  I never really felt like i was going to catch.  Not unless he made a big mistake, so I kept at it for another couple of laps.  I could see that the gap behind me was growing.  Andy had drifted back and altogether disappeared.  So did Joe.  Noone else was in site with 3 laps to go.  A lap later I realized that both Joe and Andy had pulled out of the race.  Every time I slogged up that run-up with lead feet, I wanted to drop out too.  Somewhere along the way, Joe shouted a time gap to me that I was a minute and 25 back of Songer.  This was about the time 2 of the 50+ fastmen had bridged up to me.  Randall Crist from Lincoln, Nebraska and Paul Fancher of Localcycling.com caught me with maybe 3 or 4 laps to go.  I hopped on there wheel and took a ride until we hit the tennis court section.  This was where I lost Randall's wheel.  The slight climb thru the slow grass was the difference. Randall left both Paul and I behind.
     So Paul was my pace setter briefly, until we got to the climb up to and before the steep run-up.  Paul's smaller ass allows him to climb faster than me.  By the top of the run-up he had a 5 second gap.  For the next lap  that time gap stayed the same.  Paul seemed to be struggling as well.  Back around to the run-up I had gotten back in contact with him.  I realized that I would overtake on the technical maze section.  I actually gapped him by a couple of bike lengths and by the top of the run-up i had a couple of seconds on him.  Thru the fast downhill and the next 3 or 4 turns I had the 5 second gap.  Thru the pavement section just past the finish line at the start of the bell lap, I decided to put the hammer down to see if Paul would answer.  This was really unnecessary, because we are in different age groups.  But honestly, Paul is a guy that I really enjoy beating.  He has the personality of a stump, he tends to aggravate about all of the guys he races against, and he is the ultimate 'sandbagger'.  Even with my 30 second head start to the race, I really didn't want him to beat me to the line.  But as little as I really know Paul, I have ridden and raced him enough to know how little class he has and that  he would sprint his dying bedridden grandmother to the line.  So I needed a big enough gap going into the 100 meters to the line, because it was uphill to the finish.  Paul would have the advantage on me there.  So, I tried hard to extend my little gap on the fast flowy turn sections on the first third of the course.  The bells ringing indicating 'last lap' was my reminder how much I needed to 'kick' it if I wanted to get to the line before 'Mr.' Fancher.    I honestly thought I had him.  Still had a few seconds at the top of the run-up the last time thru.  Bombed the last few turns and thru the last right hand turn to the finish I peeked back to take a look and the gap was the same...maybe 3  or 4 seconds.  I got out of my saddle to power to the line, and hesitated.  Why waste anymore energy when I was still finishing 2nd wether the 'you-know-what' beat me to the line or not?  I had another race to compete in tomorrow anyway.  I was thinking about the series.  Andy had pulled out, the 2 guys who beat me at the KC Cup were no-shows for  today's race and Songer didn't race the master's at the KC Cup.  I would be the overall series leader and needed a good result tomorrow to hold that.  Screw it!  Let Paul beat his crippled cousin to the line if it made him feel better.  It didn't affect me and my race.  That's what happened.  I think Fancher nipped me at the finish line by maybe 3 or 4 inches.  Fuck it!   I was already thinking about tomorrows race and how that could play out.
     It was gonna be SlimenUndGrossen, me, Joe and Jeff racing the the whole of the 360Racing masters crew.  Hedjuk, Songer, Jenks, and Lucas would be gunning it for Sunday's race at the Boulevard cup.  I was already putting my game face on.  I wanted to be on the 360 train.  I needed to catch from the start to have a chance to fight with them to the finish.  Sunday was gonna be tough.  Fast Bastards!!
    So the Taylor crew packed up.  We didn't stick around for the rest of the day's races.  I needed food in my stomach and some compression socks on if I was gonna be competitive for the next day's race.  So Quinton's Cross was in the books.  A unimpressive 2nd place, but I had the lead thru 2 races of the Series60.  It was homeward bound to hang out with the family for the rest of the day.

Boulevard Cup report coming soon...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Something other than pictures...

Its' been a while.  Life intervenes and all that crap.  I am not a born writer so i need real motivation to bang away at the keyboard.  Hell, even cx season hasn't brought me to the keyboard.  Time is an issue too.  There doesn't seem to be enough of it in the day.  Access to my blog at work wasn't available until recently.  I can now type away at work on my blog, so maybe i will get to this thing a little more.

Cx  season thru Ovtober 10, 2010>  We are 5 races into cx season. Some good results.  Started my first Open/Big Boy race a couple of weekends ago.  I didn't embarass myself(except with that spelling).  1st race of season opened on Sept. 18 th at the KC Cup in Kansas City's Swope Park.  Finished 3rd in the Master's 'A' race 40+ age group to Brendan Jenks and some MTB stud from Texas.  Manions Cx was a week later. Tougher course not suiting my strengths(large hill,i.e. lots of climbing). I finished a respectable 8th out of 29 starters at the really tough Kansas City, Kansas layout.  I finished behind a group of fast masters' again in the 40+ race, so no shame in that 8th place.  The 3rd weekend of the season was at the Argosy Casino for the Boss Cx series.  I won the 35+ masters overall in this series last year.  The winner's prize was free entry into the Boss Cx races this year, so thats' 4 plus Boss Cx races for free this year.  Hooray!!.  The Boss Cx courses for October 2nd and 3rd were much more suited to my strengths.(i.e. lots of technical high and low-speed turns and flat with some technical sand ride/run section). And other than straining my groin on them, the high-speed barriers were to my advantage too.  So i decided the only way for me to get faster and to challenge some of my friends/fast guy arch rivals like Songer, Lucas, and Jenks is to get my rear kicked racing for 60 minutes with the Big Boys.  I finished 16 out of 28 starters on saturday.  By far the most competitve field i have ever lined up with.  Its amazing how big of a difference it is racing 40-45 minutes versus racing for 60+ minutes.  Sundays race was hard cuz the legs were trashed, but i grinded it out and finished 12th out of 22 starters.  Nothing to write home about, but competitive none the less in an intimidating field of racers both days.  Also racing for 2+ hrs in two days really kicked my ass as well.  I may not have been racing for a spot on the podium, but it still was a lot of fun racing.  The Boss Cx course layout really allowed for group racing and even road/crit like tactics.  Some drafting and pacing was possible.  On Jeremy's super fast design. Both days of racing had me riding and working with a couple of different opponents.  Which allowed me to pass other racers late in both days races.   I competed hard both days for those non-impressive 16th and 12th place results.  But i am as proud of those races as any race i have won in the past.  This past Sunday was the Cross out Cancer race at Shawnee Mission Park.  I lined up with the Open guys again,but was racing behind them because the promoters offered a new category.  The 2/3 categorey race has not been used in our area, but it was a really good field this past week.  My first thought was it would take away from the whole elite race, but both field were medium size for our area.  23 racers lined up for my 2/3 race, and it was a stacked field that i was going against.  I got the hole shot nd was into the back of the elite field by the 2 turn.  Jeff Yielding from Hermann , MO passed me late in lap one.  I spent the majority of the race banging shoulders and elbows with guys from the elite field like Tige, Briton, Mark Cole, Bergeman, and trying to hold off a charging Matt Baugher from Epic Cyling for 2nd.  Finished about 30 seconds back of winnr Jeff and maybe 20 seconds up on 3rd place Matt.  I think I am in favor of not having the 2/3 race coinside with the elite race.  Just have all those guys racing with eachother.  If you are going to have a 2/3 race at all, make it at the oppisite end of the schedule from the elite race.  Oh well...Thats a whole 'nother topic or discussion that i can address at another time.

I have got to get to work, so that is my brief cx report as of now.  I am gonna try to get more writing done on this blog thing.  But the pics are an easy way out.

See you at the next cx race!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cross Start...2010 cx season is is full swing!

The above pic courtesy of volunteer hero, Roger a.k.a. Lanterne Rouge.  All of these photos were taken October 10, 2010 at the Cross Out Cancer Cyclocross Race held at Shawnee Mission Park in Lenexa, KS.

The above  pics are courtesy of my great wife, Heather.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Recieved an email from a friend who called me out.......no problem admitting when i am wrong.  His email is located below my apology, which deals with the kcsandbagger blogs and some of the comments i made in response to a post about me and some comments made to me.  i figured i would post it here as a blanket apology to anyone who was offended by some off-color and angry words.


your point is well taken.  no, you were not lecturing too much.  with your email i began to reflect on some of my 'choice' words.  i do admit to the 'v' word, i dont remember any disparaging comments about homosexuals, but that doesn't mean my inappropriate rear-end didn't make any, and i am sure i used other inappropriate words.  so if you could forward this to anybody who you might feel like I may have insulted, i would appreciate it.  unfortunately, i did not take the initial post about me and the 2 previous guys who were called out as a joke.  i have and still do have a hard time taking 'grief' from someone i dont know or an anonymous person.  whatever.....no excuses.  yes, the blog has turned, at times, very insulting and mean spirited.  for the last few days i have stayed out of it, and those are my intentions.  i think i have made my feelings known(for good or bad):). and yes i believe i added fuel to their fire and obviously played into some peoples hands.  live and learn i guess. i gave them basically what they wanted and that pisses me off as well.  i am the only one to blame for that.  like i said, i have no intention of adding more fuel to their fire.  there are gonna be 'taylor haters' out there.  nothing i can do about it.  all that is important are the people i consider friends ad their opinions of me.  if those friends and family included are good with me, then i have nothing to worry about.  

i appreciate the email and the 'wake-up' call, mark.

so here goes....to anybody i have offended or insulted by my rash and immature words in responding to a 'tongue in cheek' blog, i sincerely apologize.  my sexist and insensitive comments were said out of anger and were out of line.  i hope the offended can forgive me, especially those i dont know well.  this is not the light i wanted to portray the Slimen or the Local cycling teams in, and for that i am truly sorry as well.

I am sorry for all the b.s. , mark and teresa.
again...please forward to all localcycling racers or anyone else you think needs to here my apology.

josh taylor 

From: mark@localcycling.com
To: byknfyr@hotmail.com
Subject: sandbaggerkc
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 17:33:23 -0600


Just got back from Europe and got to check out the SandbaggerKC drama. My initial reaction to the site (we saw the first couple of postings while we were in Belgium), was that it was kind of funny. The writing at first wasn’t bad for parody. BUT I think it devolved pretty quickly and got a lot more mean spirited. I think it was still intended to be tongue-in-cheek, just poorly executed.

I think most people are quite aware that you’re not a ‘sandbagger’. However, you really played into the hands of the site’s writer with your reaction. So did quite a few others. He (or more likely, they) poked you, got a reaction and ran with it. It kind of became a situation as if you had written in to Saturday Night Live about a sketch that beat up on some one you liked. Or wrote a letter to National Lampoon after they skewered something.  National Lampoon used to post ‘real’ letters from people they pissed off. It added to the comedy.

Parody isn’t real, and it’s usually better to ignore it if you don’t like it

The bottom line is that ‘Jackass’ style humor is popular for very short runs. You probably added 15 more minutes to the site’s life.

I originally was going to give the site a mention (not necessarily positive) on localcycling.com, but I’m probably going to hold off. I’m not squeamish, but I try to keep things semi-family friendly, and Sandbagger is rated ‘R’.

Another issue I’d like to mention is the rhetoric and language that gets tossed about.

Cycling has lots of ‘boys’ in the population. And sometimes our language (mine included) can be taken the wrong way by others.
A lot of folks toss out words like ‘gay’ and ‘pussy’ to bag on somebody. The problem is that there are some pretty cool folks around us ‘boys’ that might find that banter offensive. The Slimenundgrossen side of the team is made up of mostly males, but the localcycling.com squad has a more diverse makeup. There are straight and gay members of our team, women and men. We also have a Supporters Club that understands the ties between our two teams, and are planning on being more involved at races this next year.

We have members of the team that are gay and others that have vaginas. They probably agree with you that the blog author is an asshole. So maybe that’s a better choice?

I’m of the Charles Barkley camp that athletes aren’t role models, but at the same time, I think it benefits all to think about what kind of respect we earn/give as individuals.

I also know you’re a very good hearted individual and your choice of words probably reflects cultural insensitivity, not Josh’s insensitivity.

Hope that wasn’t too much lecture. I’m ready for some base miles, a little running and a good road season this year. My back is much improved. I’ve got some cool plans for the Wed. Hill Ride.


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Saturday, January 30, 2010

WOW!! This is Too Funny!!!

holy shit, Batman.....this is too funny!  check out this site cx babies blogsite.  Sounds like the 4's field will be getting a little competition.  Maybe we need to have promoters reinstate a clydesdale category for all the fattys out there that would rather whine than complain??  just an idea...

Monday, January 25, 2010

blog war and sandbagging B.S.

here is a response or a letter from Bill Marshall coming to defense of a couple of guys....namely me and Mark Cole of a b.s. blogsite of a fat noncompetitive  pussies calling supposed 'sandbaggers' out....

Thanks Bill.  Well said.  I could not come up with the words that you wrote, but it summed up my frustrated feelings over the jackass who 3 months belatedly called me out.

Here u go...wait...here is the jackasses blog that i am referring to....r5 or http://sandbaggerkc.blogspot.com/.  apparently this guy is the authority or the 'judge, jury and executioner' of calling out sandbaggers....without anyone knowing who he is.....F@#%ING PUSSY!

Below is what I posted on the Sandbagger blog site. Who the fuck is this pussy? Forward it to Mark Cole.

I have to say who ever started this joke of a blog has no clue what it actually takes to race at the next level or even at a Category 3 level for that matter.  Just because someone is winning a few local races doesn't justify calling them a sandbagger or needing to upgrade. For any Category 3 rider to upgrade they obviously need the required points but, they also need to display complete dominance at every single race they do. Winning every time and absolutely crushing the competition. Then, they should upgrade to a Category 2. Once that is done welcome to hell. It's an entirely different world of racing and training. Even at a local level it’s a whole new ball game and the roles are reversed unless the rider is a truly gifted athlete. I've read many comments about Josh Taylor or Mark Cole needing to upgrade because they are winning races left and right etc. Well, that's at a local level and they are doing quite well for themselves. But, if they (or any other local Cat 3 legend) were to race regionally or nationally they would get their asses handed to them. That is until they gained the valuable experience of racing at that level. Many local cyclist can't lead the lifestyle to gain that experience of doing UCI races, USGP's or traveling to Nationals every year. Have you ever thought of that? I know for a fact both of these riders work hard at training, racing, being parents and working full time jobs. Did you ever think that their commitments outside the sport don’t allow them to train and race at a higher level? Maybe their commitments outside the sport don’t allow them to even do so at a local level? All of those are factors for any cyclist who is going to upgrade to the next level. It takes no less than 15 hours a week of hardcore training just to compete locally at that level. Do you have the time to do that plus the outside commitments? The way I see it is your complaining about these guys needing to upgrade because you're personally tired of getting your teeth kicked in all of the time. Word from the wise and I've seen this a lot in the past 25 years or racing. Come out from behind the comfort of your keyboard, stop letting your fingers do the talking and let your bike racing do the talking. Until you can actually come out and compete toe-to-toe with your peers every weekend shut your pie hole, train your ass off and show them what you’re made of. Your comments make you out to be a coward and someone who isn’t willing to dedicate yourself to training and racing. One last thing... I find it amazing that anyone actually has the balls to post anything on a blog (positive or negative) without stating their real name. If you have something to say, say it openly and quit being a coward. What are you afraid of? Are you scared at the next race the entire cycling community will gang up you and drop you like a bad habit? I’m guessing so. Sack up and quit hiding behind your keyboards. BTW.... HTFU

Bill Marshall
Team Director/Founder
KCCX/VERGE Elite Cyclocross Team.

thanks bill!!