27, December 2007 (finally...)

Where do I even start? This past week has been filled with emotion swings, listlessness, chats
between me and myself, and there's also been this cloud thing following me around. I suppose all
of it has been self-induced, even though it's very real. The Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team left
for Kansas two weeks ago, raced, had great results, made awesome memories, and then came
home. That seems like so long ago now atmo*. So as each day passed and I became increasingly
aware that I haven't posted about the National Championships, it seemed harder and harder to
jump-start my enthusiasm. I mean - all my pals knew that I was in a funkatation situation, and I
believe some of the Post 'Cross Traumatic Stress Disorder was also affecting them, but it really
is up to me to take care of all the team email spam-a-thons and send out the weekly communiques,
and I was letting it all lapse. And then, finally, I got a much needed one of
these. I said to myself,
"Self. What kind of mamby-pamby excuse parcel are you tapping into so that all the stuff that
needs to be put out in cyberspace is delayed because of this emotion stuff? Snap the eff out of
And I did. Of all the catalysts that came to me in the form of motivation, few were as strong as
this one. I figure that if Brooke O can run the team meeting while lactating, there should be no
reason that I can't type and reminisce for the folks that follow our travails all through the 'cross
season. (That was an excuse to use travails in a sentence atmo). So here I am and the following
collection of 1s and 0s will be all about what's happened these past few weeks of the season.
For starters...

I was remiss a few weeks ago when I neglected to add some links to two films that pal
Jacob Fetty
and Jon Hamblen
made when they took the trip north to race with us at the Grenogue/Wissihikon
UCI weekend. Click
here and then here to see how we all comport ourselves on a routine road trip
to the MAC states. These two won't be mistaken for the Coen Brothers any time soon, but that
doesn't mean you shouldn't spam the links around once you've watched the clips 5-10 times each.

Blatant commercial message section starts here:
Pal Dennis Smith has a new 'cross-centric calendar available and you cansee it at this
link. I
am proud to report that it contains not one, but three images of Atmoistas at play. Hover over the
pages to enlarge the pics and you'll see me and the Issimo making memories at the expense of
our MAC rivals. Cool, huh?!! Please order many calendars.
2) Pal Michael Kirk maintains an RScentric page of all the pics he's shot while we are on the road
in the MAC states. Click
here to view. Please bookmark this link and return to it often, especially if
you're a team sponsor looking to buy images for the 2008 product catalog that's being planned. The
RS 'Cross Team shakes its moneymaker for over 18 straight weeks, and much of it is captured by
Michael. Let one of us be your next poster child.
Here's but one suggested serving.
3) Pal Richard Sachs (sic) has once again printed hooded sweatshirts with the official team
graphics. Click
here to see one in action. I have these in stock now, so contact me directly if you
are interested. I'll reply with prices, etcetera asap.
4) Pals Alie and Amy got caught on celluloid whilst at the Natz. There's a great article at the Pedal
Pushers online site. Scroll down
here to view the image. I have combed the internet and found that
the shooter is a Larry Rosa from Norcal.He pasted a few extra images
here. Contact Larry through
his website if you're interested in using these pictures.
Blatant commercial shet officially done.

One of the many, many cool things about the National Championships is that we get to congregate
and race against many of the same people whose names regularly appear in VeloNews and who
help keep the 'cross game in the public's radar. For example, on one evening we ran into multiple
National Champion Steve Tilford, currently crowned National Champion Tim Johnson, famed
announcer Dave Towles, former National Collegiate Champion Jed Schneider, all-world UCI official
Phil Miller, and East Coast 'cross terror Rebecca Wellons and pal Ward Solar. Who needs Access
Hollywood when you can beinches away from these stars?!

I guess I should mention the racing, huh. Our team had a spectacular weekend. The conditions
were kinda' sorta' brutal, but all racers had to endure, so the playing field was incredibly even atmo.
While we neverhad the mudfest that characterized a Portland or a Napa, the snow and cold
weather made the frozen ruts the story of the weekend. Atmo whoever crashed the least had the
best chance of a good finish. For us, the racing began on the Saturday with Pookums in the 35+
race and me in the 55+race (Data point: Hey I am not 55 yet). I believe that this day's conditions
were a bit harsher than Sunday's, and Matt and I made the best of it. My feeling was that Pook was
there for the win, not just a good result. He began two hours before me, so I had the chance to see
the start and first several laps. Matt got the hole shot and led the race for at least the first lap, and
remained at the front throughout. A split occurred late in the race, and when I saw the results, Matt
was 7th. Considering the competition and the course conditions, and that any corner or rut can
affect the race, a 7th on that course and on that day was a victory for us. For the Pookums
Supporters Club, click here and see a video showing Pook nail the start on the far outside line. In
my race it was a bit of a clusterfkuc with three fields on the course simultaneously. I had a decent
start and miraculously passed many leftovers from the 50+ race who were in my way, and I never
fell off until the end of lap two. I think they gave my field the true 45 minute race that was planned,
and by the 40 minute mark, I was near fatigued and making too many steering errors. I had the
feeling that all the credits I earned up until lap 4 were beginning to get cashed in as one rider after
another, but as you can see here, the officials gave me a 13th. I have no idea how this happened;
so many bodies were all over the course by the race's end. But since my goal was a top ten, I'll
take whatever I can get. I didn't have the same good fortune to get caught on film as Matt, but if I
did it would look like this.

The following day, it was the main event. The Women's and Men's Elite races would go off starting
at noon. Alie and Amy were first, and then Jon, Justin, and Matt (again) were at 1:30. There must
have been 120 females on the line at something-or-other to twelve, and while it speaks to the
growing popularity of 'cross, it all can wreak havoc at the start of any race. So while Amy (who had
a call-up as a result of many late season UCI points) had the start of her life, Alie found herself in
some major league traffic and found strangers and other people's wheels tangled in hers in just the
first fifty feet. (Editor's note: Bwaaaaaaaaaa. It's simply not fair, and this is the perfect time to paste
in a link that regards just this kind of confusion when the stakes are high and the body count even
higher. On behalf of pals Eric and Brooke, please click here and read the petition). [Rant] [/Rant].
So, as I was saying, the Issimo killed the start and never was less than top 12 as the women raced
the course. At times Amy was as high as sixth place and I was confident that she'd get a great
result from all this. With the bell lap behind her and barely a km to go, she was still in a mix of
competitors fighting for seventh. I lost track of what was where with whom when they went through
a wooded area, and coming out of it onto the pavement, the Issimo sprinted to ninth place, improving
on her 2005 result by one place. Forza Amy, and forza Alie too, because I know you would have
taken your late season form to a top twenty. But such is life, and bumpin' is bikin' as they say. For
all you A Team fans,click here to see Amy at the first turn, and click here to see Alie once she met
me at the pits later in the day. Okay - I admit it. I'm being silly.

In the Men's race, it was once again a clusterfkuc of bodies from all overthe lower 48. Luckily for
us, Justin and Jon had enough UCI points to get call-ups to the front two rows, making their starts
more to the safe side. If i recall, Matt was near to them in row 3. The funny thing is, when you put
150+ adrenaline charged males on a start grid with only a small stripof pavement before the first
turn, anything can happen. Take a look here at 3-5 seconds and see Jon play tonsil hockey with a
local photographer's long upper body. Sick, huh. And have a look here and see Justin meet the
ground at the 25 second mark. We can't use any excuses because everyone had the same muck
to ride through, but luck was not on our side in this race, with both fellows understandably dropping
out late in the event.To his credit, Matt persevered and finished in the mid 30s. All in all, the RS
'Cross Team
showed extremely well at the venue and I was proud to be part of all this.

Long awaited for picture section starts here:
Amy did the mother lode of work during the KC trip and here gallery lives here. For my part, I have
been a mining fool and have added about three dozen (or more) images to my Flickr site. Click here
to view. For images that I could not mine, I have these links:
Amy -
Justin -
Matt -
Atmo -

So here's the deal - I don't know who reads these missives but I hope that most have made it until
here. Normally I email these to several open CC fields, and then about six BCC fields, and then
ultimately all typos are found, and corrected, and the text moves over to the team blog located
here. When I realized it was time to post, I had no mindset to be typing this much or pasting in all
sorts of wacky links. I hope you've enjoyed the news. The Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team had
an extremely successful 2007 season and it's been a pleasure making memories with them and
sharing it with all of you.

In a week or so I will post again and let the riders speak for themselves about what the season has
meant for them, and I'll also have news about sponsorship changes and opportunities for 2008.

I'll leave off with one anecdote. The sadness that some of us felt as the last few weeks descended
upon us was driven home a few Sundays ago when Alie and I were talking about how fast it all
goes. To console ourselves, I told Alie that the racing may end but the season never does. All of
us, Alie, Amy, Alicia, Brian, Dave, Justin, Jon, Matt, Moocher, and myself live for the racing
and the seasons, but most of all for the chance to play, travel, text, drink, race, and make memories
with each other week in and week out all autumn long.

Thanks for reading.
*according to my opinion
Thank you for your interest and support.
The Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team is sponsored by RGM Watches,
Rex Chiu, Radix Group LLC, Ozell, Stankus Architects Associates, as
well as by Cane Creek, Crank Brothers, Rudy Project, Oval Concepts,
Challenge, VergeSport, Selle San Marco, JB Custom Paint, Nelly's Deli,
and The Wheatmarket
NATZ PICS (2006)
TEAM PICS (2006)
TEAM PICS (2005)

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