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J-Pow’s Journal: Camp, ‘cross and a new nephew

  • By Jeremy Powers
  • Published Nov. 5, 2008
  • Updated Nov. 18, 2008 at 4:32 PM EDT
Uncle J-Pow gets to meet Christian.

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Since my last diary, I’ve driven to Connecticut, jumped a plane south to Louisville and then west to Boulder to race the hotbeds of cyclocross!

My trip to Connecticut didn’t involve racing, I had my cross’ bikes, they weren’t built, just were in my bike bag. The purpose of this trip on Friday was to see my sister who’s been uncomfortable lately, but in a good way. She’s been carrying some very nice luggage for the last nine months. I met my family at the hospital and got to meet my new nephew Christian for the first time. It was special because everything worked out. I was able to shift around flights, get in to see Sherri and Christian before everyone else, and make my flight to KY all in the same couple hour time span, no hiccups, which is big with traveling these days.

Kentucky was the first stop in the USGP of cross’. I didn’t know what to expect, I was battling a head cold from the previous week and was feeling pretty low on energy. In the back of my mind, I knew I could still go for the overall if I just kept it together and weathered the storm. It ended up being okay and got third both days and helped my teammate Tim win on Sunday! I left Louisville really satisfied and shot off to Boulder where my friend Phil Zijceck put me up for the week.

I planned a camp in Longmont, Colorado, with a local club: Blue Sky Velo. The guys were awesome about pushing the camp back a little and letting me recover throughout the week. This head cold had me in the box. I lost my voice and couldn’t express myself or change pitches in my voice, which was killing me. Meeting new people for the first time and sounding like some mobster from New York was ridiculous. I hit the infamous Boulder cross’ practice Wednesday morning and there had to be 50 people out, which stunned me. Some riders were even going to do the ride before work, just rippin’ legs at eight in the morning! It was awesome to see and be part of!

The Blue Sky Velo gang.

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We ended up having the clinic on Thursday. Somewhere around 20 people came out. We went over all the little things cross’ racing brings with it. It was fun and exactly the kind of thing I’ve wanted to do for the last couple years. If you’ve ever met me you know I like talking to people, telling tales from the races, and getting people the info to make their racing easier, that’s my jam. Bike racing is such a hard sport to conquer, no matter if I tell all the tips, equipment choices, and strategy in the world, its still going to be hard. So just being able to pass that knowledge off is what it’s all about. At the end of the day, we’re all out there going as hard as we can regardless of category and ability.

At the camp we went over everything: race starts, barriers, dismounting, running, sand sections, the list goes on. After the ride, we hit dinner and talked for a couple hours, gave away some gifts thanks to Crank Brothers and Jelly Belly, and headed out. I was really happy and grateful for the opportunity.

I did a nice spin on Friday morning and met up with the cyclocrossworld-cannondale crew and we got the hotel all set up, hit the sack, and got to the racing on Saturday!

The racing was awesome in Boulder, and it went well for us as a team on both sides of the country. My teammate Jamey stayed east and won both days in Massachusetts and Tim hit the podium both days and got the big win on Sunday!

Tim Johnson’s skills clinic.

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So the lesson to take from this entry is this, no matter how sick you are, how bad you crash or crappy you feel before your race, you can still pull off the podiums and the big win! As you see here, Timmy J was showing me some of the skills on this hotel bench before his win at Sunday’s race and I happened to have my camera.

So, no excuses!

Thanks for reading!

Jeremy Powers is a member of the Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale team.

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