Tag Archives: #cx

Monday Volunteer and Race Report

It was a busy weekend of meeting new strangers and spending time with family and friends. I was asked by my daughters if I wanted to help with some volunteering at a local organization called Uplift KC. They bring food and supplies to the homeless of Kansas City. Seeing how we just purchased a house that had a bunch of clothes that was left behind. This was perfect timing. Below is a picture of some of the girls filling little bags of aspirin. I had the pleasure of doing some of the heavy lifting. This is what happens when you are perceived to be in good shape and look like you can lift a sack of 50lb potatoes with out much of a struggle. No, there were no potatoes to lift. Just moving boxes from here to there. To some this may seem trivial but they are some of the things that are needed to keep the operation moving. You can not always be on the front line. The support role is a huge void that always needs filled. Uplift was doing a great job in organizing, keeping the place looking great and taking care of our homeless population. I have seen the vans around town handing out food and clothes. I didn’t realize that they are a pretty lean operation and currently have 3 vans. I met several of the ladies there and promised that I will be back with more supplies and help with any heavy lifting they need. Find an organization near you and and go meet some pretty cool strangers. You never know where it will take you.

After volunteering I headed out to help re-build a deck with Tom G and Alain. Tom and I have known each other for some time, all of our kids went to school together and he and his wife are awesome. Alain is one of our contractors and has been in the states for about a year. He is originally from Cameroon, when he got to Kansas City I worked with him to get all of his stuff together and some medical help. He also stayed with me for a few months. I am also helping him send a container over to Africa and we will be going there in February to receive it. That will be a fun blog to write. Below is Tom, Alain and I. these are very good men that I completely trust and have faith in. If I was ever to need anything at anytime, I know they would be there.

Sunday, was race day and it was the category state championship race. I was, once again going to do two races. The 40+ master and the single speed race. I had Volker bikes put together a single speed out of my pit bike. This race was put on by 360 racing and is always a great race in Lawrence KS. In the masters race there is a very strong racer that I am always chasing. His name is Damian Almanza and he has beat me 8 out of the last 8 races:) Actually, Make that 9. Yes, once again he took the top step of the podium. I did get to hang out with him after the race. It was nice to get to know him a little better. I have to admit, I was feeling him out on his road race interest. I would love to have an athlete like him on our road race team.  I also got to race with Mark, Kyle and Kenny with KCBC. Of course I got to hang with Marco, Haley, Maryanne and Clymer. It is so much fun hanging out at a race and getting to know everyone. 26752824599_240759b7f4_z.jpg

My favorite youth to watch. This is Franklin. Watch out for this kid on the pro tour!


Below is a pic of Damian and I. Every time I see Jesse getting ready to take a picture I try to strike a pose:) This was my super hero pose. It was tough not to laugh.


Just before my second race I got to get into some compression equipment. There is a new Cryo salon in Lawrence. Thank you Optimal wellness and cryo spa 


Here is after the race at the pig in Lawrence with Clymer and Maryanne. I think Clymer should ask her out:) They seem to be having a good conversation.

More suffering:) So I finished 5th and 7th. I will be re-gearing the single speed soon.  My quads still hurt.

Thanks for reading and remember. Every friend you have today was once a stranger! So, go out and meet new strangers.

Monday Race Report (Veterans Day, Go Army!)

When serving in any branch of the U.S. Military, trust and loyalty are vital to accomplish every mission. You must trust your command to make the right decision and your fellow soldiers to have your back when you are put in harms way and everyone has to do their part so that no one is injured or killed. You must also be loyal to your command and fellow soldiers or this could erode trust. In the civilian world it is not generally a life or death situation. But trust and loyalty are extremely important.

I open with this because it is Veterans Day and KCBC racing did a group ride on Saturday and I got to witness some of the same comradery I enjoyed while serving in the Army. These are a bunch of guys that love to ride and support their fellow rider. Below is a picture of Mark Horn, I would say that Mark is the General and he takes on the leadership of the team. I have always had great respect for Mark since I got to know him as I coached his son in soccer (in my opinion his son is the best HS keeper in KC). Mark does a great job in rallying the troops and he truly gets excited for you when you share your ride or race stories with him. Mark also will light you up like a drill sergeant if you do something that he feels is dangerous while racing or riding in a group. He will also bust your chops if you are on another team and you make a tactical mistake. I got to see this first hand and it almost resulted in a fight. I knew at that moment, when I got off my bike to stand by Mark and go to battle, that this was the team I needed to be on. For all I know, he may have been the one in the wrong. That didn’t matter, I was still ready to have his back. That is what a good leader instills in his troops.

20171111_1109232085490016.jpgThe General giving direction.

Sunday, The Keen Wealth Classic. This race is the KS CX State Championship for age group. So, the goal was to stay upright and finish in the top 30%. So, that didn’t exactly work out because of a flat in the final lap. Although, I did finish 6th out of 14 and 3rd in my age group. I also gave the single speed race a shot and ended up placing 3rd and really enjoying the single speed. Below are the pictures of the the podiums and race pics.



I got to hang out with so many friends on Sunday. It was a great time. That seems to happen when you are at the race at 9am and leave at 5pm. It’s a full day of work:) The picture above is of Kyle and I. Kyle is on the team that I race road with. KCBC had several racers at this event. It was great to see everyone they are all is so helpful. Mark was encouraging me to power up a hill and sprint out of the corner as he let up a little to slow the person that was trying to catch me. Shawn was in the pit telling me to go go go and catch a wheel. Kenny was my rabbit and my goal was to catch him. 38375135961_a005b7775b_o.jpg

So, last week I mentioned Clymer (aka Lantern Rouge). Above is a photo of him and I after the race with Jesse Miguel taking the selfie. Clymer is new to the area and I can tell he will be a strong rider once he gets his race legs back. Not to mention he seems to be an all around nice guy. Jesse is takes so many great photos. If you get a chance, visit his Flicker page. 38375316421_7b15b02eaa_k.jpg

General Horn giving the troops a pep talk after the race:)

37661241984_1441ee4793_k.jpgMiss Haley taking 1st yet again!

Thanks for reading that race report. Do what you love and meet as many strangers as you can along the way.


Monday Race Report 11/6/2017

The Boulevard Cup 2017 was a bit chilly and windy but didn’t keep away the cyclocross fanatics. I swear if it was muddy or snowy there would be more racers out just to prove that they are tougher than their competition, myself included.

Below is a picture of me as i was dismounting before a run up and torqued my right knee. It was the same knee I whacked with my peddle just before the race began:(24348499218_b0467026fa_z.jpg

Oh, and yes that is a new kit I am wearing. It is the”defenders of Freedom” jersey. The knee was fine. I just needed some ice and rest and all was well. Here is a better pic of the full kit. 26424392689_f98a7e94af_z.jpg

It was a great course and I got to hang out once again with some really awesome athletes. Here is a pic of Dr. Rob. He also races with the U.S. Military team and was racing the 50+ masters race. He and I went to lunch after the race to catch up. He did the BWR training ride with me in San Diego last year and totally hooked me up when I got sick. Such a great guy. I look forward to hanging out more with him. He is a strong gravel rider and a beast on the road.26424396199_102df644f2_z.jpg

Of course no race would be the same if I didn’t get a picture with Maryanne. I like hanging out with her. Such a great demeanor. It will be my goal to get a pic with her after every race:) She says that if a guy ask her out on a date she always says yes. I think that is the best way to know what you like and don’t like. Good for you MM!37491961834_4c179286c2_z.jpg

I also ran into a new racer from Maryland. I met him about 3 weeks ago at the Joules Cross race. His name is Clymer and he came out to race after being out of it for several years. I was proud of that dude! He just showed up and we started talking. That is the whole point of my blog. Meeting new strangers, right? Sorry, no pics of Clymer.

As always, go out and make some new strangers. Thank you for reading.

Oh, I almost forgot. I finished 10th out of 20. I did have fun though!

Race Report Colavita Cup 2017

Another great weekend for racing. The cross season is in full swing and everyone was ready for another tough CX course.

The race took place a bit east of downtown Kansas City, MO at Blue Valley Park. Saturday races started at noon and continued until 5pm. This course was both a little technical and had some climbing in it. Overall it was such a fun course to navigate and all the people were great. As usual, I met several of the 300+ riders, families and friends that came out over the weekend. As I always say, every friend you have today was once a stranger. So, this weekend was no different and I got to hang out with people that I really wanted to get to know a little better. Some of those people were Marianne, Marco, Haley, Steven, Alex, Britton, Brett and several of the youth cyclist. The Kansas City Cycling community is, for the most part, a tight knit group and everyone seems to get along. I’m sure there are some feathers ruffled and feeling get hurt. But, from my perspective it is a family.

It was nice to sit and have a conversation with Marianne this weekend. Marianne and I share the same cycling coach. I always try to get a picture of us to send to him. She is very insightful and introspective person. This was the first time we actually sat and chatted about something other than cycling:)  When we did talk cycling, she said how do you think it feels to be a kid out there racing on the same course as the adults. I thought about that and we talked about how there really is not another sport that allows children to compete against adults like this. That is why I love cycling. It can bring together people of all ages. Kinda like the youngsters Marco and Haley. I knew I liked these two from the minute I met them last year. they are so much fun and really seem to have such a great outlook on life. These two are going to be exciting to watch. I know as they get stronger as cyclist they will stay the same beautiful people.

Marianne and Haley battling it out
Having way to much fun

Below is a picture Finn, this kiddo is possibly the friendliest and most respectful 12 year old I have ever met, and as a middle school soccer coach I have met many a 12 year old. Finn was my hero this weekend! I know his dad was proud of him too. He beat 26 other men and women in the cat 4/5 race on Sunday. Taking first place is spectacular, but being humble at 12 is much more impressive. If only we could bottle this guys humility.


The picture below is of Britton, he is the race promoter and runs Volker Bikes. I didn’t get to talk with Britton much as he is always moving:) I can tell he is a great father and although he likes to give people shit about their bikes, he does care about his cycling community. I really don’t know how to best describe him. I feel that Britton would give you the shirt off his back and the next time he sees you wearing the shirt that HE gave you, he will tell you how bad it looks and you should get a new one. I enjoy his honesty and how he can say so much in so few words. Also, I don’t think I ever heard him say goodbye, see you later or piss off. I look forward to never figuring him out.


I thought about changing the featured image but it is my blog so piss off:) Thanks for reading and please talk to someone today that you normally would just pass by. You never know the impact you may have.

A special than you to Roger Harrison for his pictures. If you want to see some cool pics goto rogers flicker page.

Cannon Ball Run Race Report (Coffee Stranger)

After 12 hours on the road, from Houston, to get to Kansas City to handle some business. I am in KC for about 3 hours then I head north to Mason City Iowa for a cyclo-cross race. For a total of 17 hours on the road out of 24. So, not the best way to start a race weekend. Not to mention, I did not ride a bike since last Sunday. Trudging through water for 13 hours is exercise right?

Prior to arriving in Mason city at 8pm my Air bnb host Crystal sent me a text asking if I wanted spaghetti or chicken with spaghetti squash. Since I only eat fish I was happy with the squash with butter and garlic. I thought it may have been a bit assumptive but, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed right? She actually made it and it was amazing. Man did I pick the right house. Not that there were a plethora to choose from. Crystal and I hit it off and as I ate we talked and hung out then finished watching a movie. It was very comfortable and she made me feel at home. Air bnb strangers are some of the best to meet.

This was the first CX of the year and I wanted to see how I stacked up against the Masters 45+. The course was awesome and very technical. I finished 9th out of 15, beating 4 guys that were higher ranked. I was 1st in the Cat 4.  After the race I sent a text to Crystal that I would return soon. Of course she asked if I was hungry. Once again, not turning that down:) Her friend had caught some crapi and thought that would be outstanding. When I returned Crystal helped with my laundry and we made dinner together. At this point, this is what I call a race wife:) It is a phrase I heard when I rode across Iowa 5 years ago. It is a person who takes care of the basic needs. A race husband is similar, but they generally take care of bikes, tent set up, you know more of the heavy lifting:) It is primitive yes, but it is very much an effective relationship and most needs are met from both sides. By the way I am an exceptional race/ride husband and father.

Sundays race time was at 12pm and I got to the course at 8:30am to ride around and just test out the course again. The direction changed and it was a bit more technical. after my pre-ride I rode over to a coffee shop that was near by. I sat down to finish the Harvey blog and have a veggie burrito and coffee. As I sat there writing an man came in and ordered a latte with soy milk and sat at the table next to me. I was pretty sure that once I finished writing I would look up and start a conversation. Just before I finished he sneezed, I said bless you and that was a perfect time to end my writing and indulge in my second favorite hobby, meeting strangers. He asked if I was racing and I said yes and I did yesterday too. His name was Garen and he went on to explain how he went over yesterday to race and after getting on the course and getting to the top of the flyover, which is a wooden structure you walk up and then ride down the other side. It is very steep and I even questioned riding down it, he backed out and went home. I have to give him credit for admitting that. Most men are to proud and would never mention it. We spoke a bit more about the course and cycling. I can tell he really wanted to do it. So, I encouraged him to go get his bike and I would lower his tire pressure and ride the course with him. I am both affable and manipulative but only for a positive outcome for all involved. So, Garrett went back to his house to get his bike and I prepared for the race near my truck. I was surprised when he showed up and actually had tires that would do pretty well on this course. I dropped his tire pressure and had him ride around in the grass with me. Not to bad for a virgin racing in the 65+ category:)  We rode the course a bit and on a steep hill I told him to use his rear brakes mostly.  Well, he grabbed his front brake and slid out. I asked if he was hurt he said no and then asked which one was the rear break? I laughed and said the one on the right and rode ahead. I was a bit concerned for his safety at this point and thought that if he raced today he might incur an injury. so, I let up a bit on the talking him into racing and went on to do some dismount and whole shot work. Just before our race I had enough time to ride the course. I lined up and here comes Jarrett. I look over and asked if he signed up. He turned a bit and showed me his number on his right side. I told him to be safe and said a quick prayer:) If he died in the race then at least I gave him the permission slip to enter into cycling heaven. I had lapped him twice so he had to of finished 4 laps. When I went through the finish line I half expected to see Jerry sitting on the side drinking one of the free Sierra Nevadas. But, he was no where to be found. Did he go home? surely not! After a few minutes I see his rainbow Campagnolo kit out in the distance. I filled a cup of water to douse him with and grabbed a beer to open to celebrate his victory!!! I was super proud to see him finish. I have to say, I have seen some good riders stop in the middle of a race because it is just to taxing. But not Terry, he was all in and not at all a quitter.

So many strangers this weekend. Remember, every friend you have today was once a stranger.

Gary and I


Charlie came down from WI
This lil guy challenged me to a race