For this past Christmas my whole family decided to travel down to Playa del Carmin, Mexico with the rest of my extended family. With school being let out on Friday the 19th we decided to leave the next day, Saturday. Our flight left at around noon, so we decided to leave the house around 9 to get there a good two hours ahead of time. When we checked the computers had kinda screwed up which put us in first class (for no extra charge). Of course, we weren't going to complain. After going through all the security and making a restroom stop we made our way over to the gate where we would meet up with the rest of the family which included: our Granparents-Greg and Joan Kuhns; the Kuhns family-Aunt Nancy, Uncle Jim, and cousins James, and Lindsey; The other Kuhns family-Uncle Hampden (who is an excellent ping-pong player), Aunt Sara, and their adopted kids, Kit and Niya; and the McCarthy family-Aunt Anne, Uncle Shawn, and cousins Will, Sam, and Alex. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the gate we found out that the flight was delayed a good hour. Fortunately for the Craddock family, we were able to get into the President's Club because of our first class tickets. After "chilling" in there for a while with my dad and brother we made our way back to the gate before the flight left. We then got on the flight and took off for our stay at the Petite Lafite. When we got Mexico everyone was able to get all of their luggage, so we then went outside to get in the taxi vans. On our way to the resort we ended up getting lost, but thankfully made it there in time for dinner. After getting everyone sorted out into their "cabanas" we found ourselves at the buffet picking up some delicious authentic Mexican food. In fear of writing the length of a novel I won't go into that much detail on the adventures that we went on. We did a bunch of things while we were their including: snorkeling on the coast of Cozumel, jumping off 50 foot dives into underground cenotes, snorkeling down an extremely long river, racing my brother down the same river, visiting ancient Mayan ruins, climbing up huge, 192 step Mayan Pyramids, jumping up the same pyramid to get in my "strength training" for the day, and just relaxing on the beach. To say the least, it was definitely one of the best family vacations I've had, and special thanks to G-Mom and G-Dad for helping put it all together and making it happen.
As for the cycling part of my blog....
The Sunday before the trip was another cyclocross race in the Woodlands. The course was fun and demanding. It started out in parking out lot where you would do a big U-turn. You would then take a sharp turn onto a sidewalk which would lead to the first off-road section. You would then have to jump over a set of barriers before you dive into the forest. This part was extremely technical before you come back out of the forest into a muddy straightaway. You would then go onto a technical grassy area before you climbed a short hill where you would ride along some soccer fields. The next major obstacle was a steep downhill with an extremely tight U-turn at the bottom. The rest of the course was pretty tough and technical before you made another U-turn with about 200 meters until the finish line. I decided to give another shot a the Men Open despite my disastrous attempt the previous week. I had a pretty bad start and entered the forest in 4th place. With the first two guys on Bike-Lane, they started some teamwork to let the first place guy, Kevin Koen, get a good gap. I then attacked when we got out of the woods to try and catch back up to Kevin. The other Bike-Lane guy, Nathan Winklemann, sat on my wheel while I tried my hardest to catch back up. I almost made it up to Kevin before we made it to the grassy section, but he opened up a big gap during the technical section. I then tried to recover as Nathan repeatedly attacked me. After about halfway through the race my legs gave up as I watched Nathan open up a huge gap. As I was trying to recover the GCCA guy who was in fourth passed me. I then rode at my own pace just trying to stay in fourth. As I started to recover I was able to up the pace, and had a reasonable gap on the fifth place rider. On the last lap the gap between the GCCA rider and me from around 15 seconds to 7 seconds. Thinking I could possibly catch him, I went to fast around the U-turn at the bottom of the steep hill and cashed. I quickly picked up my bike, and jumped back onto the crooked saddle. As I continued to ride as hard as I could I noticed that my brake levers were crooked as well. Nevertheless, I ended up finishing in fourth. After the race I met up with best friend, Alan Ting, so we could wander hopelessly around the Woodlands and eat Coldstone on the side of the road (inside joke....). This next weekend I have the State Championships CX race up in San Antonio where I plan on racing the Juniors on Saturday and the 3's on Sunday.
Happy New Years!!!