Great Results in September CX Racing

Some great results in early-season cyclocross racing. Paul Aldeguer got 11th and 12th 40+ both days at Manions and Ryan Kelley finished 15th in the Cat3s. Bill Jennings placed 4th in a tough 60+ field.

Paul Aldeguer at Manions

At Boss Cross in Riverside MO, Jennings placed second in the 60+, while Ryan Rochford made up some lost ground in the Cat4 field after an early crash and nearly won his race. It is one of the epic efforts of the season so far. Here is a link to that tumble which really put his Chamois Butt’r to the test. Keep your eye on the left side of the sand pit in the below video.

Here is his race report:

I have only raced 3 cyclocross races in my life (I think) and even though I did fairly well in all of them, I haven’t raced one this year and figured I might as well just race the 4’s again. I pre-rode the course a few times at about 10am, which was an hour and a half before my race started. The weather was pretty nice, calm winds, and a slight chill in the morning that warmed up significantly by race time. As I pre-rode, I ran the sand pit one way then rode it the other the first time through. After that, I decided to try riding both directions. I rode both sections fine, but didn’t have enough speed to get through since I was going slow for the pre-ride. I decided I would just ride the sand unless I was sitting mid-pack, like was possible on the first lap. If I was mid-pack on the first lap, I was going to run.

Fast forward to 11:30am, we line up for the start and I’m in the 2nd row of riders. There were probably between 20-30 guys lined up overall. The officials went over the rules, made sure everybody was there and right on time, the whistle blew. I clipped in pretty quick and accelerated pretty moderately. I could have pushed it much much harder, but my moderately hard start had me sitting 3rd, which is honestly right where I like to be to start a race. About 5-10 seconds into the race, there is a sweeping left 180-degree turn and then 30ish meters later is the first sand pit. Since I was sitting 3rd and was carrying a fair amount of speed, I decided I’d just ride it. I clicked down two gears to get my legs spinning fast for the eventual bogging down that would happen and sat back on my saddle to get my weight off my front wheel. Right at the edge of the first sand pit is a dirt ramp about the size of a speed-bump. I went over it with the front wheel no problem, but when my back wheel hit it, it sent my wheel instantly airborne with shocking velocity. This, I’m sure, was aided by the fact that it pointed my front wheel straight into the sand, creating a nice pivot point for the rear end to come up and over. It’s really pretty astonishing how fast it happened. I barely had enough time to get my hands out to catch myself. At this point, if you haven’t seen the video, I would recommend watching it. It’s the first link on the front page of or you can go directly to the youtube video at

To be perfectly honest, hitting the sand at 18mph doesn’t hurt much. What does hurt is hitting the sand, coming to a dead stop and then having the bike that is still attached to your feet swing around and punch you straight in the middle of the spine…while your face is buried in sand. Not only did the impact of the saddle hurt, but it completely knocked the wind out of me, which is why I was writhing around a bit and why I took so long to get up. Somehow my leg ended up through the main triangle of my bike, so I was a bit tangled in it, but I really didn’t care. I did notice the bike got pulled off of me by the guys who came over to help. As soon as I could breathe a bit, I tried to blow/spit all the sand out of my mouth and got up to get back on my bike. As I ran off with it, the guys told me my chain was off so I had to put my chain back on which normally takes a long time on that bike. Luckily it only took me a few seconds this time, which was fine since it gave me a little more recovery time. I hopped back on the bike and continued on my way…in last place.

The next two turns are pretty easy to navigate and then comes a more awkward right-hander which I promptly wiped out on. I told myself to calm the f@%* down and just try to get back in a rhythm of some sort. The barriers were the next main obstacle and I did fine on them, but did have a lot of back pain while running with my bike. After that was the same sand pit that I just ate it on, but going in the opposite direction. I don’t remember if I ran it or rode it on the first lap, but the rest of the race, I rode it every time. It’s kind of hard to convince yourself to do something that just nearly killed or paralyzed you, but I knew I could do it so I just went for it and it was fine. After this, I just kept the pedal down and went into CX TT mode, picking off riders one-by-one.

I never looked at the lap counter until 2 to go and I think I had leapfrogged into the top 7 or 8 by then, maybe even higher. I spent the previous few laps spending energy to get to the next group of riders in sight. As soon as I got there, I sat on for a couple minutes and recovered. Once I felt like they were going to slow, I jumped and started heading for the next little group up the course. Eventually it wasn’t groups up the road, but single riders. It took me a while to catch the guy in 4th or 5th place and once I did, I sat on him for a bit which I think pissed him off. Then when we were going up a short little uphill with a U-turn at the top, I decided to pass him there because he didn’t take it quick enough. There was a small amount of contact and rubbing of shoulders and he said “Really man?” I just said “Ohhh yeahhh,” and dropped the crap out of him. For the next minute or two, I kicked myself for not saying something wittier like “welcome to cyclocross” or whatever, but oh well. Those thoughts kept my mind off the burning legs and lungs. I passed one more guy right before the beginning of the final lap and was sitting in 3rd place behind the previous race winner and some guy on a single-speed mountain bike. The SS guy was my next target, but he was moving pretty quick.

It took me about half the lap to catch up to him, but I finally got on his wheel. The first place guy was too far ahead to catch so I was strictly racing for 2nd place at this point. I sat on the guy’s wheel for about 15 seconds and then I clipped a pedal going around a corner, letting a small gap go. I’m pretty sure he heard this and accelerated, but I was able to get back on his wheel pretty quickly. I spent the next minute or two sitting on his wheel and then we came around to where the start line was, which is a wide open grassy straightaway. He tried to accelerate pretty hard, but I was on his wheel easily. I was really nervous because the finish line was about 20 meters after the sand pit where I’d crashed before. This guy had been riding that sand pit pretty quickly (he’s the guy in first in the video) and I was really worried he was going to beat me in the sand pit while I ran it and he rode it. As soon as he stopped accelerating on the starting line straightaway, I jumped him hard to try to get a big gap going into the sand. As I went by, he turned and said “good race” and he couldn’t match my acceleration. I still needed to make it through the sand safely and I did. I remounted and hammered it to the line as best I could, finishing 2nd.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more satisfied with a 2nd place finish in my life…except maybe for Froze Toes this year, which was probably equally satisfying. After the race, my back was killing me. I pretty much couldn’t lift anything over 10-15 lbs and it was torturous just standing up. I couldn’t take full breaths and was pretty miserable, but I wasn’t paralyzed or dead so that was good. I watched James race, snapped some photos, and tried to help him out in the pit whenever necessary.

Today I am feeling lots better. I can lift somewhat heavy objects, like the horse-pill sized ibuprofen I’ve been taking. I’m mildly famous in the cx community for crashing like an idiot, and Joe Fox has offered me free entry to one of the next 2 Boss Cross races which is a really nice gesture. My fitness is not great and my lap times were only ok. I crashed hard. I didn’t win. Most importantly though, I had a really good time racing my bike. It’s hard to complain spending the day doing that.

Schleicher Takes Seventh at Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Vegas

A few of our team members have a background in triathlon, and compete throughout the season in this discipline as well as road, mountain and cross racing. We don’t usually report on tri events since we are primarily a road cycling team, but one superlative effort deserves special mention.

Shleicher on the bike portion

Rochelle Schleicher, who won three state championships on the road this year, recently competed in the World Ironman 70.3 Championships in Las Vegas. She finished in seventh place in her age division. Conditions were rough, and Rochelle was modest about her perfomance. “My time was slow (5 hrs and 51 min) but it was super hot and humid so everyone’s time was slow. Finished 7th in my age group and was very happy with that.”

That’s a long time to be working so hard in the desert

Awesome accomplishment to simply qualify for this event, let alone take seventh place. Watch out for Rochelle next year as she continues to dominate in the women’s 50+ events

Big D Gets Together for All-Team Ride with Keen Wealth Advisors

The team got together recently with representatives from our major sponsor, Keen Wealth Advisors for an easy all-team ride. It was a chance for all team members, new and veterans, to have a fun, easy-paced ride, and get to know our sponsor better.

Bill Keen, Founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, and Matt Wilson, Managing Director, joined team president Stephen Whalen and the rest of Big D for a fun ride through Shawnee

CEO, William T Keen and Managing Director, Matt Wilson joined us and had great things to say about our success this year. We look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.

Most of Big D showed up for the All-Team Sponsor Ride


Team Helps Out at Shawnee Bike Rodeo

Big D helped again with the Shawnee Bike Rodeo hosted by the Shawnee Rotary Club. This free event allowed the public to get their bikes safety inspected, and were checked off on a obstacle course. Riders were got a crash course on rules of the road and got fitted for a new helmet. Big D Cycling, sponsored by Keen Wealth Advisors, fitted more than 350 helmets for grade school-aged children this year. This was the third year Big D has been involved in this event.

Twan and Lee help find the right size helmet for these future racers

Keen Wealth Advisors and Founder/CEO William T Keen are proud to be part of this event through their sponsorship of the team.

Hawkins helps keep riders safe on the road

Look for Big D at more charity events next season.

Kelley Gets 2nd Overall at Dogfish Cross in Hermann

Cyclocross is in full swing and Ryan Kelley put the Big D stamp on the start of the season in a big way, with two high placings at Dogfish Cross in Hermann, Missouri. Not one to take the easy route, Kelley decided to make his racing a little more interesting, entering on a single-speed while the rest of the competition relied on a full complement of gearing. Here is his report:

So this year for CX I just planned to do it for a little off-season motivation, and decided to do single speed for the year. I prereged about a month ago, so I had a good starting position. Since it was my first time at SSCX I had no idea what kind of gearing to pick. My acceleration off the line was bad since I was running a 42×17 gearing. The course was flat and had a small technical section. The first day went really bad for me. I spent about 15 minutes practicing mounting and dismounting the Thursday before the race so I lost a ton of time on every remount. On top of it right off the bat someone crashed in front of me and I went right over him and got my bike tangled up with his, and a lap later I went down when I was pushing it too hard in a turn. Finally, after a lot of fighting, I moved up to 4th place and was in a battle for third. We were going into the triple section of low barriers when I was dismounting and I crashed, but was right back up and able to keep fighting for third place. I had trouble getting clipped back in, which caused a little gap to open, I spent the next straight away and caught back up with third place before the stairs. I passed third place and he stuck to my wheel. When we got to the sand pit he came around me and was in front getting out of the pit. Due to my SS gearing I couldn’t accelerate as fast as him so he was able to keep a second or two gap the last 200 yards or so until the finish line. I was happy with 4th considering how bad my remounting was, all of the crashes I was involved in and since I was on a SS.

Kelley gains some ground on the highly technical Hermann course

The second day went much better for me from the start. I still had the same poor acceleration from being on a SS and was about 10th going through the first set of barriers. On the second lap coming up to the barriers somehow my chain dropped on my singlespeed. On top of it my chain got sucked up into my bottom bracket area and I went from 4th place down to 15th. I rode out of my skin the next few laps and got back up to third place. We stayed together for about half a lap and I attacked him on the flat before the giant 60+ stair climb, I could see 2nd place in front of me but there just wasn’t enough of the race left to get back to him so I rode to conserve my podium finish. I ended up third for the race and second overall for the weekend. Was a nice change!

So I decided to go back to gears because I think it really held me back, but it did make the racing a lot of fun since it was just pedal as hard as you can all the time! But I took a lot away from the weekend and will really be practicing my basics before I race again this weekend.

Ryan wasn’t the only Big D rider competing in Hermann. In Saturday’s open race, James Summers placed 23rd in a very competitive field.

Special thanks to St. Louis photographer Dan Singer, who gave permission for use of the above image. See more of his incredible work here: