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  • Posted Feb 23, 2004

Bush Administration Conspiracy To Re-Direct Heat Rays From Mars Lander To Cause Massive Warming Trend!!!

Now that the temps are heating up and the snow is getting ugly, I'm leaning towards pulling out the Bok Choi (my cyclocross rig) for some gravel grinding fun. Why ruin a perfectly cleaned road rig with all the sand, salt and water that is on the road.

It's hard not to be continually geeked about cyclocross, especially when you get a gift like Donger's SIX-PAGE OPUS on 2003 Cyclocross Natz!

Marco

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Gunk, Goop, Slime and Slop:
The Magnificent Portland Mud Spectacular

A tale of the 2003 USCF Cyclo-cross Nationals in Portland, OR
By Jim Holmes

Although the rain had stopped by this time, the greasy wet mud from Saturday was replaced with a sticky, thick oatmeal mud. People couldn't even walk across the expo area any longer. I watched more than one rider fall over as they tried to ride across it. I like mud as much as anyone, but this is the one type I hate. It is fun to ride in but terrible to race in. Looking at in raw numbers, it takes probably 250 watts to simply go forward through the gunk. If a big rider is capable of producing around 400 watts, this leaves them 150 extra to go faster with. For a smaller rider capable of only 350 watts, you only get 100 watts. Since there are no real climbs and the speed is so slow, it basically means that only your raw power matters. And while I'd love it to be the case, fly weight climbers have never been known for raw power. But you never know what can happen in a cross race so I was stoked anyway.

About 40 min before start time, I was warming up and wandered over toward the start line to find it already about 3 deep. Apparently you are supposed to have you team cars and support crew bring trainers to warm-up on as you sit in position, holding your place on the line. Or for those less fortunate, it meant gambling between starting cold but in a good position or getting in a warm-up but starting at the back. One would think that after Saturday I would have learned but again I opted to be warmed up and ready to go…right beside Jake Steckman in the very back of the 160 rider field! Okay, I planned to be warmed up still got to the line 15 min before start and did not expect to be the last starting place. The crowds were screaming and a band was raging away right beside the start, we had no idea what the officials were saying, but it sure was exciting. At the start I was at least able to shoot up through the field about 30 places along the road. Then the fun began: mud, crashes, mud, more crashes, more mud!

For long stretches of the course it was so deep I couldn't apply enough power to go forward and it was faster to run the bike. Most of the other riders around were forced into the same tactic making for a strange sight. Riders as far as the eye could see, carrying and pushing their mud clogged bikes along the flats. And all around were tons of spectators screaming their lungs out! The run-up was definitely the highlight of the course. Some of the photos from the race show a dude wearing only pants, a gimp helmet, and carrying a large bottle of mystery fluid doing face first slides down the hill between races. During our race, the noise was deafening on the run-up and at one point a lady put her face right into my ear and screamed as hard as she could! For the next couple of minutes all I could hear was the ocean in my right ear. Very cool to have such enthusiasm and nice since we initially planned to head to the Pacific before realizing Portland is actually not close to the ocean at all. Unfortunately I was still really tired from Saturday, and Jonathan Page is really, really fast. After about 30 min he came flying past me as if I were just doing an easy warm-up instead of going flat out, and it was off the course and out of the way.

Once I recovered enough to see straight I began trying to make out how the front of the race was going down. I was very confused (probably due to fatigue) and couldn't determine why Todd Wells was having such a bad race. It looked like he was in 10-15th place and I'd been betting on he or Page to win it. Meanwhile, the last remaining Midwest guys were rapidly getting pulled and the field was down to only around 30 riders. Of those 30, it looked like many of them had been lapped by the end! The finish showed that in fact Page's racing all season in Belgium had definitely paid off big as he easily cruised to the win by about 1 minute over Todd Wells. And Wells had a huge gap on 3rd place. Quite an epic race.

As we tossed the muddy bikes and gear back into the car and headed for home I couldn't help but marvel at the whole experience. It had been both incredibly inspiring and rather disheartening. On one hand, it epitomized what cross was supposed to be in my mind: lots of mud, tough competitors, crazy fans, and most importantly tons of fun. On the other, I know it will be tough returning to race in the tiny Midwest races with fields of 15 riders on flat boring courses. It was troubling until I realized two very important messages from the weekend. Cool cross races don't happen only in Europe, US races can be huge and epic, and if we keep introducing people to the sport it can only gain momentum. Also the West Coast has cross racing down right. Cross is one of the most spectator friendly racing forms out there and it is as much a social event as it is a race. Those guys can make the event into a super competitive race and a giant party. If we can just find ways to show people how great cross can be, I think they would be hooked too.

Finally, thanks to everyone who helped out: Ted, Nick, Megan, all UW-Madison Cycling, and Kevin and his dad. And of course Shannon, for putting up with all the training, traveling, and racing time.

***

I edited this opus heavily. If you want a copy of the entire work, email me @ Marco or @ Donger.

***

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Website: www.quixotecycling.com In the top 50% of all non-pornographic websites! Which places us eighth overall.

Team Director: Donny Quixote

Team Roster:
· JJ "Go-Getter" Bailey- Cat 2 roadie, bad ass tri-guy. JJ is our teams' go-getter; all we need to do is tell him what to "go get". He took 24th at the World Triathlon Championships in 2004 and according to several ladies in tri-geek chat groups; JJ is the sexiest triathlete in the country!
· Cam "The Ninja" Kirkpatrick- Expert mtb'er. Cam took top honors for his age group at Chewamagon last year and snagged the omnium at the cornhusker states' Heartland Series. The Ninja's philosophy; Deliver a win or commit seppuku.
· Donny Quixote aka "DQ"- Cat 2 roadie, expert mtb'er. Likes to use cycling as a source of income to fund his Scrabble addiction. DQ placed 7th at the USCF Elite Track Championship Madison in 2002 and is looking to better that placing in the Pursuit for 2004.
· Collier "Tex Mex" Scholfield- Cat-3 / masters roadie. Off the bike he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet but don't let the hospitality of the southern drawl fool you, in a race he can be one of your worst nightmares.
· Lou Waugaman aka "Loucifer"- Cat 3 / masters roadie. Before becoming a full-time cycling nut Lou won several National Tae Kwon Do tournaments… you may beat the QCP-Trek team in a race but that can't compare to the beating Loucifer will give you afterward.
· Rob West aka "Ripped Rob"- Cat-3 /junior roadie. Why do they call him Ripped Rob? Because he's ripped fool! So look for Ripped Rob to rip apart some of the bigger junior races in the region this year.

Open Membership or Application/Invitation: QCP-Trek is a by-invitational-only team. Keep it small - keep it simple.

Team Sponsors: Quixote Cycling Programs, Trek, Oakley, and Michelin. We truly believe in our sponsors. Unlike a lot of teams and clubs, we're not out to get the best deal, we're out to use the best stuff. QCP-Trek believes in using our sponsors products and services because they are the best out there and frankly, if our sponsors weren't helping us out, we'd still be using their stuff.

Team Training: 24-7-365… what else?! QCP-Trek riders eat, sleep, drink, and dream cycling, thus we never stop training. It is a shame that one of the unwritten rules of team training in central Iowa is that you only train with your team. QCP-Trek riders will train with anyone, anywhere, anytime. One of the best ways for us to get better is by challenging others to get better. Essentially, our team training is never limited to our team.

Team Structure: It is very important to me to keep the QCP-Trek reputation and validity as high as possible. The team roster will never go over 12 people (for a solid and tight team you don't need any more than 12). With a smaller roster it is a lot easier to get the guys the support they deserve and the slices of benefit-cake at the end of the year are that much bigger. QCP-Trek riders only need to focus on what they want to. I take on nearly all of the teams' paperwork so my guys don't have to worry about anything except their training and racing.

I only ask my guys to do one thing; to train and race with passion. I steer clear of event promotions and sponsorship drives and focus on making sure the riders wearing my jersey are happy and stress-free. When you don't have any worries in your cycling life then cycling is that much more fun. And the boys on QCP-Trek exude a love for cycling which makes them all ambassadors to the sport. What can be better?

One of the ways we maintain our stature is that our jerseys will never be available to the public, it will never be sold in a bike shop or on-line… My guys have earned the right to wear the QCP-Trek jersey and by letting anyone have access to it demeans the work they've done and the spot they've earned.

Team Coach / Coaching Available: The two greatest things a coach can offer his athletes are structure and motivation. Now as a coach it is my intention to make my business, Quixote Cycling Programs, one of the most popular choices in the Midwest for cycle coaching. But the team is a separate entity from my business and I don't press my coaching on any QCP-Trek rider who doesn't want it.

Some people will perform well with me as their coach, some will perform well with someone else as their coach, and some will be able to provide their own structure and motivation and never need a coach. As far as QCP-Trek riders go, wherever they can find their structure and motivation to perform well for the team… more power to them. Whether it be with me or not.

I am happy to, and do, coach riders on rival teams. Some would see this as a conflict of interest but in the grand scheme of things, rivals are what make us better. When more people who have the proper structure and motivation the playing field is leveled, and the better the competition the sweeter the victory.

Team Goals for 2004: To race and to place! Because we have such passion for the sport, each QCP-Trek rider will compete in at least 20 races each year and one of those races is most likely a national championship of some kind. Since our sponsors have been really great to us (they've truly believed in our teams goals and aspirations) it's time for us to pay back. QCP-Trek is looking to fly the flag as much as possible and it shouldn't take us long before we become one of the top names in the Midwest.

What Makes the Team Click: No QCP-Trek rider is half-hearted when it comes to competitive cycling. We train a lot, we race a lot and we understand the commitment involved to becoming a great cyclist and an awesome sportsman. Everyone understands that cycling is a fabulous lifestyle… but only when it is fun. That's why we have all of our "team meetings" during training rides and we keep the politics of a race team where they belong; on other teams.

We push ourselves to do better. We challenge each other and we hold fast to the idea that the team is greater than any one person could be. At the beginning of the year, I talked to each of the QCP-Trek riders and they all told me the same thing, "I want to race as hard as I can for everyone on the team." With a commonality like that how can we go wrong?

What We're Going To Focus On: For 2004 the QCP-Trek team has the most diverse bunch possible. JJ will look to take on a handful of road races in preparation for the World Championship Triathlons. Cam is looking to be one of the top dogs in Midwest mountain biking. Collier and Lou will both be going to Masters Road Nationals and Ripped Rob will be at the top of his age group this year at Junior Road Nationals. I am aiming for Elite Track Nationals in September but will first throw down in as many regional road and mountain events as possible. So we got it covered like a peanut buttered bun. See you out there.

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Random Notes

SECRET MILES: Members of the DMOS/Mortgage Solutions team just got back from three days of training in the hills of Arkansas. QCP/Trek is taking a Quixotic team training camp in Arizona over spring break. The Cyclefarm/Iowa City crew is putting in 5-hour rides and heading to Colorado in a month. What does this mean? Obviously some legs are going to get ripped off at Kent Park and Altoona in five weeks.

SIZE SMALL PLEASE: If you want to get that pro-poseur stuff cheap, check out: http://www.theprosstuff.com

ZOMBIE SLUTS TURN ME ON: I still get misty when I play these guys on my Ipod. Their leader is a rockin' roadie, too: http://www.nil8.com

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