Wednesday, December 30, 2009

stuck indoors

I'm not too big of a weenie but i haven't been on my bike outside in about 3 weeks. I got a new trainer, plopped it in front of a TV in my storage room with a big stereo, turned a fan on and the lights off, and haven't really stopped since. hours go by watching dumb action movies, i save movies i actually want to watch for when i'm off the bike. But really am desiring to get outside no matter the temperature, but the main reason for all the indoor riding is that i'm sick of looking like a short-circuiting Christmas tree and still almost getting hit by a car, truck, semi, ambulance, etc.

This past weekend, which would be the only time i get outdoors was monopalized by Family and expectations (and a tad bit of laziness) and the weekend before i was stuck inside due to massive amounts of snow. Hopefully this weekend will be different. Right now i'm in "ride bike at all costs" mode, so shouldn't be too big a deal. Team ride on friday, planned ride with team mate on saturday, ride with buddy on sunday. Possibly ride tomorrow for an hour depending on work schedule, all of which would be outdoors. nice change of pace.

I hope winter ends soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Slow riding

I figured out the other day why i've been so slow...besides out of shape.

I put on an old set of wheels for the off season because they are heavier, cheaper($), and more durable. But, what i didn't know was that my rear wheel's axle was too tight. i had realized my rear wheel didn't spin very effectively, but i'm lazy and just kept on. My buddy at the bike shop said he'd take a look at it for me, so i brought him chipotle and my bike. Later he said it was all fixed and that it was spinning because it was too tight. He greased everything and got it working properly.

Hopefully riding will be a little "easier" now. I heard a quote about mechanics saying, "if you think something is wrong, it probably is".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dishwashing Gloves...w/o finger brushes

Last winter season i learned a couple very important lessons.

1.Fenders rule (see image)
2.Riding in the rain longer than 45mins in temps below 50 is brutally painful, but fenders help.

I learned both of these from a friend's brother and telling him i know better despite his riding a bike as long i've probably been alive. or at least close to it.
I also told my wife last winter season, "remind me to ride outdoors even in the brutally cold rain, rather than on the rollers."

So last week, as you may know, was a very wet week. Beyond the stinging pain of very cold wetness on the body, i love the conditions...messy, wet, cold. Really, its just how cold my hands get when they are sopping wet and directly in the wind. I've seen the specialized Scuba gloves (not really scuba gloves, but its what they look like), but they are ridiculously expensive and i dont have an amazing discount anymore. So while shopping around the IKEA discount area for craft projects (yes crafts...or art if that sounds better), and i saw a basket full of black rubber dishwashing gloves for 79 cents a pair. They reminded me of the super expensive Specialized pair, but for a 150th of the price (or something like that). They are super thin but big enough to allow to fit a pair of winter gloves underneathe, keeping my hands both dry and warm. I got to try them out a few times last week, making the cold wet rides much more enjoyable, even at 6 or 7 am. light or dark.

79 cents. yes!

I ended up 4th in the MABRA BAR. I only had a small portion of my season as a CAT 4 so i think that's pretty good. I found out by email this morning that i missed out on a plaque. Bummer. A season of more near misses than Vee's, but i still (by my count) have 2 in the bank.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Updates

This blog is kind of pointless. a couple people i know just trashed theirs or are on their way to, which is completely understandable. I dont have anything relevant to say and i don't write very well, but yet i continue. so here goes more of irrelevant rambling.

Hiking-
Recently did a sunrise hike up Old Rag. Which included not going to bed due to the early nature of our departure. The hike was fun, sun rise was nice. It was a tad cold or i was a bit under dressed for sitting on a peak as short as it may be (3291 ft). Its the best we have around here for summit type of hiking. I'm going to go trail run it a few times here in the coming weeks. a solid 9 mile loop is good for a bit of running. yes, all you cyclist(ie Bert)...running.

Music-
Missed Saul William's visit to DC (again). If anyone is into good pop check out Head Automatica's album Propaganda or their earlier album Decadence know for its single Beating Heart Baby. Its good fun, catchy music. Their earlier album is good for a bit of dancing.

House-
My basement is finally done. and i'm enjoying it. still a lot 'o' bills to pay off.

Cycling-
I keep starting to put in miles only to be derailed by outside forces...Like a semi or the flu (h1n1). I have a solid commute worked out for the journey home in the dark. including a few miles of nice lightly traveled gravel roads (one of the dogs that always barks finally was loose last night and chased me...a little bit of extra fun). I'm working on a morning coffee ride, just need to find people who may be interested. Also, a once a week lunch ride; i have one taker. I'd do anything to ride in the daylight more than 30% of the week.

Movies-
Best couple movies i've seen lately- The Informant and Where the Wild Things Are. The Men Who Stare at Goats was a bit overdone. It played the quirky card a little too much without any sort of positive execution. The Informant is very very good. Best movie i've seen in a while.

What happens when you are the office prankster and ride a bike to work?
Old pictures. but i just found them. they are kind of funny.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Team

Starting to get things ready for next season, which includes for the majority, my mindset. It doesn't help that it was 43 degrees this morning and I've got a while till I'm feeling used to it being cold. I believe i dressed as if it was below 20, at least it would have been the case back in Jan/Feb.

So the real news and big news (for myself) is I'm switching teams from 540cycling to Haymarket. Everything is set in motion, and its a matter of getting new kits at this point, which thankfully my old team will buy off my old ones, despite a few being ravaged a tad by asphalt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Best Night Ever

Best Night Ever is what i was thinking sitting in the Trocadora in Philly with an old friend of mine watching the original line-up of Sunny Day Real Estate. Besides that i was receiving multiple texts about Brooks Laich and Ovie scoring 2 goals a piece in the Cap's opener against the Boston Bruins.
Also, right after the show i was going to south Philly to stay with another buddy of mine.

All in all, it was a great night. But i left my friend's place to go home at 1 am. it was a rough drive home.

Saul Williams will be at the Black Cat Nov 1. i also will be there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marland AT-Check!

First off i'll say the trip was a success, but not without a few issues. I'm breaking up the stories into 3rds not including the drive up and back.

Drive-Up:
I didn't know EXACTLY where i was going, because i somehow forgot to get directions to the drop-off and pick-up point. And with my wife following us in her car it makes it bit more stressful doing multiple u-turns in the middle of nowhere. Regardless we made it to Harper's Ferry to drop off Erich's car which we were hiking to, but it just happened to take about a hour and a half longer than it needed to.

1st third (15-16 miles):
We reached the trail head at the Pen-Mar border right at 11. We packed everything up and left a few unnecessary items and then left. We started 2 hours late which turned out to be a good thing. The first third of the trip was in total darkness and went really well except for going off trail a solid 10 times. That section of the AT isn't marked well and it was dark, so no surprises. The first casualty occurred towards the end of this portion when somehow my pack came unzipped and a few things fell out including food, fire kit, and the water filter. The food we found and after double checking we found the fire kit, and checked again, but hours later i realized the water pump was not in my pack. So someone now has a brand new Katadyn Water Filter Pump. bummer...

Around 5am i finally got wicked tired and Erich took over the lead. We were aiming for halfway at sunrise but we found some cliffs which we thought faced east and decided it would be nice to watch the sunrise and take a break. We stopped around 6:45 and completed nearly 16 miles and the next 4-5 miles were flat/slightly downhill. So far so good. We took a quick power nap, rubbed our feet, watched as the sky became lighter (there were clouds, so no sun).2nd third (15 miles):
This section started off terribly. I preface the next little bit with-we were sleep deprived.

So, getting started, we reconnected with the AT from our lookout and started to hike. Thinking that the city in the distance was Fredrick and that we watched the sunrise from the east, it seemed that we were hiking the wrong direction (North). I got Erich to hike back to the cliffs and we pondered how this could be. It would take too long to detail everything out and just how confused we were, but finally we looked and Erich's compass (for the 2nd time) and it said "west", which according to the map would be correct.
The whole "sunrise" happened behind us, being that we were facing west and "Fredrick" happened to be Hagerstown. Bummer. To further illustrate our sleep depravity, Erich trusted me over his GPS compass, which he had checked earlier before we got terribly confused.

It was a nice afternoon, speckled with brief showers that never were intense enough or long enough to get out the gortex until about mile 28 when the rain came down hard and was not showing signs of relenting like previous spurts. This continued the rest of the trip. Not too much else to say except every step hurt like hell until my feet finally went numb.

Before the rain had started we were starting to really feel the effects of the trip, the lack of sleep, and the mundane section of the AT.

3rd...third (14 miles):
I only have one picture from this section and it was immediately as we were starting.
It was raining and raining hard the rest of the trip, so the camera stayed put inside the dry pack of mine. Plus, at this point we were too exhausted to think about being jovial. Most sentences were littered with expletives and phrases like "shut up" and "i don't care" or "you're hallucinating".

In between the 2nd and 3rd sections, we took another power nap exactly where Erich is standing in that picture.

Walking was immensely painful and at this point in the trip there was no pep in our step, i remember saying "we are moving slow" and not being able to lift the pace.

The last sections of the hike was as follows- 4 humpty-humps (not big enough to be hills/climbs, but a noticeable elevation change), a 2 mile descent characterized by terribly awkward switchbacks, 3 miles along the river on the C&O Canal, and finally 2 miles of an incredible steep climb back to the car. We blazed up to the descent and then Erich cracked hard and the descent did him in. We hit the Canal road right at dark and made it to the car nearly 2 hours later. Finally arriving at 830 at the 7-11 we parked at.

Drive Home:
Long and characterized by me saying "are you ok to drive?" and passing out as i was saying i should drive.

Overall:
45+ miles-21 hours-1 Katadyn Water Pump
The trail was easily the worst and most boring section of AT i've done. I'm glad to have knocked it out quickly. The ridge was littered with large rocks, making walking a tricky mess in the dark, rain, and through exhaustion.

I'm looking forward to more but not all at once.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Hike

About 2 years ago i thought it would be a great idea to hike the Maryland section of the AT in 24 hours or less. I've heard of people trail running it, but due to my inability not to get injured running long distances (10+ miles) that option was excluded. So taking on a slower pace seemed reasonable and possible if i didn't mind hiking 8 or 9 hours through the dark.

This trip, i believe, will put me and my hiking buddy at about the same "completed" portions of the AT. I'd like to finish it sometime in the next decade, but this past winter's trip fell through, hiking in the summer is not an option, I'm married, and work full time. So i take it small sections, when i can during the winter. I make exceptions during fall/spring. But winter hiking is where its at.

Last fall instead of hiking a large portion of the AT i did 9 or 10 peaks in the Daks. My wife allows 1 big trip a year. This year I'm trading the AT again for the Daks because they are so much more fun and the conditions (during the winter) are more harsh, which i enjoy. So now the Daks are cutting into my completion rate, but its whatever...I'm having fun.

Tonight-meet up with a friend.
hit up chipotle.
drop off car at end point.
get dropped off at trailhead.
hike south.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Warm-up Hike

I did a little warm-up hike with some friends this past weekend. The reason i say "warm-up" is because i have a very extensive trip this Saturday. We left my house a bit late on Saturday afternoon and got to the parking lot around 5-515. On the trail by around 530, which is really late considering the distance and daylight.

Long story short...we never made it to the peak. we had about 600 more ft to go but we could see it. The reason we stopped is because those last 600 ft is a rock scramble and we didn't want to descend that in the dark.

Brad and Erich (Erich just got back form Iraq this past week.)

I love hiking...
Proof that Alissa went! This is where we stopped. (cell phone pic)

You can see the top up ahead of us, unfortunately...
Side note-forgot the headlamps. which made descending kind of difficult.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cycling Barriers

this may ruin my next racing season...
site

A little while back my wife and i bought a xbox 360. It is my first video game system ever. I still loathe video games (partially because they are addicting). I grew up not allowed to have video game systems. So when i purchased one, i played it non stop for 4 days...literally staying up till 4 am the first night. My wife was in Alabama visiting a friend and i was on a 2 week rest period from the bike, so i gorged on wasting time (and food and beer).

Since then, its slightly effected my motivation for cycling...go ride for a couple hours or go home and play Call of Duty? My inner self-hatred tells me most of the time i'm fat and slow, so i'll usually go ride, but still, its one more barricade to overcome, specially since we are approaching the cold hard winter. Which by the way, yesterday was miserable...low 60's in the mist/rain. Fenders help immensely. Dirt roads in rain = not a great idea...i kept reminding myself "i'm not in Paris-Roubaix, slow down, wrecking sucks".

Hopefully i dont have to permantly sell anything.

Oh, the reason we bought the xbox is
1.i love call of duty
2.wife loves the ever annoying Rock Band/Guitar Hero
3.Netflix streaming!

time to watch a doper win the vuelta...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

more of the same

more cold(er), more rain.

i've lost a bunch of weight over the last week or two, 5-7lbs of real weight (opposed to water weight). wasn't too hard. swap veggies and fruit for...pretty much everything. remain healthy and not too terribly hungry.

This next season i'd rather break the stereotype of a fat crit racer. I'm planning on honing in on as many road races as possible specifically the ones i skipped like Lost River and Page Valley. Poolesville, which was one of my favorites, will be the main goal i think of next season along with Fawn Grove Roubaix. I like Fawn Grove's course...short punchy climbs, a few gravel roads, "peleton" shattered through attrition. This year i'll have teammates to help me in poolesville though. No more- chasing a breakaway for 20 miles solo...between dragging the pack and being way off the front.

Also, Caps 1st preseason game is tonight against the Buffalo Sabers. GO CAPS!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

!!! w/pics

Went to see !!! (or Chik Chik Chik) to dance for a while. awesome show, but not quite as fun as LCD Soundsystem.

i hate "posing" for pics, but the wife doesn't mind.close to matching shirts and green tea bottles (w/out green tea in it)
Dave in typical form.
Warming up before the show.
Funny-Darryl=drunk Me=not. looks are deceiving

The sistersZach and Darryl's plan to hook up with chicks...hand them a note. 1-0. good results so far.

"you seem cool. hit me up on facebook. ******@yahoo.com"And the show hasn't even started yet.
And...how sweaty everyone is after dancing for a couple of hours

Monday, September 14, 2009

Every morning is painful

Literally every single day my boss is at work he listens to two annoying talk show hosts. I dont know the earlier one, but regardless they are both extremely irritating.

The "show" that's currently on now is the Glen Beck talk show. I've never loathed someone so much. If i didn't have headphones with Radiohead and Saul Williams on, i'd probably box my own ears just to numb the pain.

Glen Beck has hijacked Christianity and posed himself has the republican savior.

In other news one of my best friends is back from Iraq. He's coming over Thursday. Looks like screwdrivers all around. There will be one more missing liter bottle of vodka. shhh!

Friday, September 11, 2009

not again

Yes it is raining and in the 50's...given the high 50's, but regardless this isn't a good sign. I had planned on not riding today, so it works out well for me. I did plan on swimming and/or running to continue to try and get a bit more fit, but i flaked on swimming this morning and i'm pretty sure i wont go again. I hate chlorine that much. As for running, my legs are still kind of sore (hence the no riding...plus the taint needs a break), so i'd rather not waste my legs running and ruin any upcoming good cycling days.

In other (cycling) news. Ryder Hesjedal is doing awesome. great season.

**UPDATE** what did i say about Hesjedal!? yes...amazing. a stage win a couple hours after i posted that...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

finally

So i'm officially a CAT 3. no email notification or anything. i randomly logged into my usacycling account and saw my new status.

I dont know what took so long. i sent probably 5 emails with the correct format and then submitted via usacycling.org website. Then i got denied because i didn't list everything on the usacycling submission, so sent ANOTHER email saying "i've sent 5 emails with what you asked for" blah blah blah. and still no response. only to randomly log on and see everything is finally done.

i know they have to deal with the entire MABRA region but sending a quick email saying "processing" or something at least acknowledging my email would be nice, not to mention easy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

shaken not stirred

I got on the bike again today.

My neck is still killing me, as a sprained neck would. And im having continual headaches. If it keeps up i may get it checked out. I slammed my head pretty good. S-works helmets are getting expensive to keep on my head in proper condition.

In other news i had planned on switching teams for 2010 to Haymarket Bikes with the intentions of moving onto their elite team either at the end of next season or beginning of 2011. I even quit working at A-1 cycling, emailed my team, etc. But after more discussion with my teammates i decided to stay. I really like everyone on my team despite all being nearly twice my age. Which also makes for a lot of quick learning if i pay attention.

540 it is

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

up and down

i was going to post about how i've been riding hard the past few days and how great it feels. also, about how my basement is now mold free (which it is). But the more interesting story happened this morning on my commute into work and is why i spent all day at home on my couch like a potato.

Cruising into work this morning, about 2 miles from home, a semi turns slowly in front of me, which i think is awesome. he starts to get up to speed and inadvertently starts to pull away from me. Now, i have no computer on the fixie but i know with my gearing(46x15) when i start to max out my cadence i'm going at or around 40mph, which i was approaching max out, so for the story's sake we'll settle for being solid over 30mph. Anyhow, as he starts to pull away i thought, "no way is this dude getting away from me, there are train tracks ahead plus an intersection shortly after", both of which will keep his speed relatively slower. I glance down to dig deep to shorten the decent gap between myself and the tractor trailer and when i look up, it reminded me of a dream where you are falling fast towards the ground. The wall for a truck was approaching (or was i approaching it?) at mach speed (roughly over 30mph). I had maybe a split second to grab my sketchy brakes which did nothing as my front wheel immediately hit him, catapulting me head first into his truck doors.

Within a second i was on my feet dragging my bike out of the road and i lay immediately back down and close my eyes in pain. I lay there as a hispanic fellow jumps out of his pickup and looks at me like my guts were falling out "dude, are you ok?". I told him i was. Another lady comes running over "i got his license plate! I'm on the phone with 911!". Both of which were of no consequence to me since A). it was mostly my fault and B) I'm relatively ok. Regardless it was nice to know that someone would care to stop and take charge of the situation had it been a real hit and run..

Apparently as the story goes, the truck had quickly realized he missed his turn and jammed on the brakes, followed by "oh I'll just go up here and turn around". All the while I'm slamming into the back of him.

While i know it must sound weird that a semi could suddenly stop, but to go from pulling away from me to me flying into him, its the only way possible.

Anyhow, results are as follows-sprained neck, concussion, road rash, slightly untrue front wheel (the fixie is a tank!).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Bad, Unlucky and the End

The past few weeks have been a string of negative events.

Besides the usual of my house being F-ed up,
  • Car #2 broke down...
  • i tried to fix it and it got worse
  • Car #1 (2 years old) check engine light came on...failed ECM
So when looking at it, that's just 4 things, house, car#2 (x2), and car #1. But those are 3 very expensive things. We were getting by with the one car for a while, until i could figure the time to do something about car #2.

Yesterday seemed to peak my bad luck and turn over to the positive side. I found my SRAM chain on my primary form of transportation(the bike) was a recall. I only checked further into what chain i bought because my chain exploded when sprinting down a heavy traveled road during rush hour. I f-ed up my knee, but stayed up-right thankfully.

the positive turn of events followed shortly after
  • Car#2 was fixed by a friend for free. (easy fix. i made a simple mistake when i worked on it..)
  • Car #1 is still under a 80k miles or 8 year warranty (YES!)
  • House-so many issues but are slowly coming together thankfully.

I'm ready to get back on the bike and excited about it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Silly me

Arrogance got the best of me on Saturday. We had out last 540 series race @ Vint Hill. And since my wife left on Wednesday(till Sunday) to go visit a friend, my life has been a little less organized, typically consisting of not going to bed till 2 am at the earliest, being late for work, eating crap, etc. So with that said i hadn't planned on racing, mostly because I'm fried and partly because i applied for my CAT 3 (but its taking a year to get back?).

So after being up till 230 am on Friday and then getting up Saturday at 545, i decided what the hell, i might as well race. I've realized the silly mistakes I've been making that cause 2nd and 3rd places vs. 1st, so there is a grand chance i could get a win.

Silly me.

I also have yet to mention i stopped riding my bike earlier this week because i can't seem to go very far or very long and enjoy it at all. The plan was to not ride for 2 weeks and then hop back on very lightly till october.

Not riding + no sleep + slow legs = DNF

in a race that i shouldn't have a problem in. granted a breakaway went, and i got up to the front and burnt all my matches destroying myself only to flick the elbow...look back and see 2 NCVC guys waiting for me to burst so they can continue to soft pedal the pack for their 2 teammates in the break. F! that's depressing. i was later explained how to help counter this tactic which would have been good to know during the race.

Example:

All that to say, this is what i'm looking forward to next-

Aug 14-18 - Beach with Alissa
Sept 5th- !!! @ the blackcat in DC (Dance party!)
Sept ? - Hiking Pen-Mar to Harper's Ferry (42+ miles) in less than 24 hours.
Oct 1- Sunny Day Real Estate in Philly
Nov weekend- Hike AT through PA
Some cold weekend in Dec - hiking the AT in NOVA
1 week in Jan - Winter hiking trip in the Daks (via snowshoes...scratch the XC-ski idea)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dance Party Anyone?

!!!, also known as Chik Chik Chik, will be playing at the Black Cat in DC on Sept 5th. Tickets go on sale this evening at 5. Count me in.

After repeated attempts to mount the bike and ride fast only to feel an unbearable burn and tiredness in my legs, i've decided to take an extended period of rest, which includes beer, pizza, dairy products, etc. Also to help curb the unavoidable weight gain, i've jumped back into the pool. Which so far has just been painful.

In other news, my wife left the state on wednesday to go visit a friend till sunday. So far my life has been a little unorganized and messy. But like my rest from the bike, the time has been filled with pizza and beer.

Friday, July 31, 2009

"Kettle you're black!"

In response to Ricco's extension of his suspension he says,
"It's better I don't talk to avoid saying something bad. The rules almost don't exist in cycling."

A doper complaining about the "rules" not being followed? I hate pricks.

more idiocy from....Astarloza

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome back

Yesterday i was planning on skipping the Wednesday "worlds" ride out of Haymarket, i'm so glad i didnt. It started raining on my way home and my legs were feeling decent so i changed routes and headed over to the shop to suffer. I love riding in the rain, at least when it doesnt include hard fast corners. On top of that i knew that one of the heavy hitters is currently in Bend, OR at u23 nationals (and doing pretty well mind you).

The usual nonsense happened, Jared, Ryan, and Joe attacked on the hill. i try in vain to make it up to them, only to get stuck in no mans land. Soon after i'm joined by my 2 teammates having dropped the rest of the riders (kind of surprising when i noticed only 2 made it up to me). Kept rotating through. There is one hill that makes it appear you're gaining on who ever is ahead, but its very deceiving. I thought we were rotating through on the hill and i ended up gapping Larry off the back from Zach and i. Soon after Zach picks up the pace, having towed him up the climb and i'm gapped. then i realize he's trying to gap me. I pass him to roll through the sprint. We all regroup after waiting a bit before the loop.

On the loop, the pace is super high and leading into the town for the sprint, Larry was keeping the pace high with me on his wheel and then he popped a bit too early leaving me out in the wind with too far to sprint. Ryan pulls through to give Jared a perfect drop off spot and i try in vain to charge for the line but i just didnt have the pop last night and Jared's hard to over come like that.

Round two on the loop, Jared and Ryan get away midway, and i make in it for the group sprint.

Heading back to the shop, Chris some how got way up the road. Jared launched up to catch up to him and Larry tried to go too. I never saw Jared again that night. We eventually caught Larry on the uphill, before the long drag race down antioch rd.

**Note** Dont watch Jens Voight's wreck a few times and his hospital video and then go ride down fast descents on wet roads. It's all i could think of descending Waterfall road...hitting the deck at 40-45mph.

Zach sat up on the climb over waterfall, i presume to just go home since he lives out that way. So we were trucking down antioch and after Bryan put in a huge pull, i blow through really hard and once i'm cooked i pull off to see we were down to 3 riders (larry, ryan, and myself), which was kind of my plan. i wanted to shed Bryan for the sprint. With about 1k to go i skipped a pull to let Larry in. Ryan pulled off and sat behind me. Larry kept the pace nice and high. Once the sprint line was about 300m-400m to go i let out my sprint, which was way too far against someone like Ryan who can hold power for a bit. Luckily, he started to gain on me and that last internal gear clicked over and I held him off.


I'm glad i'm feeling a bit better. Its taking me longer to recover from races/hard rides. Sunday we are going out to skyline. should be fun.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My growing team

Despite the fact that 3 of my teammates are a few years shy from being twice my age, we are a pretty close group. Actually, even the age difference between the remaining teammate (Zach) is around a decade older than myself and another decade to the eldest 3 (we have a small team and yes i said "eldest").

Regardless, we all have fun.

After our first event 540 Development Race, which is geared towards Juniors, Women's 3/4, and Men's 4/5, we had some interest in Juniors racing under the 540 name. Reason being, is we had 2 juniors racing with 540 kits. Larry's and John's sons were both in the 11-14 Junior's race. Monday morning, i got an email saying that Larry's older son (13?) had been out on his bike training, doing about 15 miles each day.

Yesterday i got an email saying-
"Luke made himself a "disc" wheel so he can practice Time trials!!!!"
I believe Luke is 11? So that's pretty sick.

w/pictures-

Also, a quick look at Wes Anderson's new film The Fantastic Mr Fox. Yeah i'm pretty excited, even though its stop motion type film. I see no possible loss in quality despite the different medium.
And since we're on the topic of movies Terrence Malick's Tree of Life is slated for release sometime in 2010, despite already going through post-production...whatever, it will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NOVA Track Racing

Something that has been developing this year and looks to start in the spring full swing is a track series. Ben Williams from A-1 Cycling (Manassas) has been wanting to get things running but lacked the support to jump start it, despite having the OK from the speedway. Right now (nothing confirmed) 540 cycling may lend a hand. It would be in Manassas @ the Old Dominion Speedway, probably being run in a similar fashion to the series in Richmond.

Regardless if 540 is involved, i'll keep encouraging Ben and for certain if and when it starts, i'll guarantee i'll be racing too. If you aren't interested in Track for competition, then maybe a good way to get a sprint workout in each week to help with the cornicopia of flat, open, industrial park crits that MABRA has so many of.

Monday, July 27, 2009

2nd again

Got up at 430 to go finish setting everything up for the race. Unfortunately thats a grand total of 4.5 hours of sleep after having to stay up because i forgot to wash my any and all of my race kits. oops. great.

Anyway, set everything up, sat around, helped with stuff around the site. watch kids race. Then finally i had to go get ready.

Get ready and then we race...around and around and around. boring mostly. I decided maybe to put the hammer down and string things out a bit. and i do. i work with a few others and we pop some riders. We get down to a much smaller size group. last lap i move up to the front, wanting to be about 5th wheel into the corner. and a kid shoots up the outside (me on the inside). One other guy follows him and gaps because no one up front reacts. we roll through the corner and i have a nice 30-40 yards between the lead 2 guys and myself the front one dies (as expected) leaving the other fresh to sprint. I unleash my sprint and am gaining on him like he is soft pedaling but i ran out of road again. 36mph sprint up a 1% or so grade. over 1300 watts too. not too bad.

Ran out of road, my fault again. Looking forward to faster last laps of the 3's. less chance of something weird happening.
Typical podium pic right? 1st-YES! 2nd-pissed 3rd-"happy to be up here."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

?

From Velonews:

"Q: Can you tell us you’ve won clean and can you make a strong stand against doping?

AC: Like I’ve said, I am available 365 days to doping control. I am never with an excuse. I am always in favor of the anti-doping controls. It’s good for the sport, for cycling, which I love so much. I always pass the controls with a happy face and I will keep undergoing them."


What?! Didn't Ferrari say something like its not doping if you dont get caught?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Slowing Down

I want to ride my bike so bad but my legs say no.

I finally had a "hard" day on the bike this past wednesday, and my legs still feel sore/heavy. I got demolished on the group ride...granted it was a smaller group containing riders like DLP pro Steven Gordon, Joe D just coming back from his 9th place at X-C junior nationals, speedweek Jared Neiters , and JP. There were a few others, more at my level, but i was sucking so, i was the bottom of the barrel. Somewhere on our outerloop that we do twice before the rolling/hilly road back to town, Joe went. Jared and Steevo lined up like they were waiting to drag race each other up there. kind of odd but comical. They left us like we were sitting in a parking lot. JP went sometime and made it up easy. I think John went with Joe originally but was hanging off the back of that little group. Around about 3 or 4 miles before the sprint point we turned onto a road only to find that the front group, excluding John, had gotten pulled over by the police for taking a turn through a stop sign at 30+. awesome. I launched off my group to catch john who decided to take advantage and "win the sprint" by himself. I started to catch but he slowed my progress with about 100 yards to go. i stepped it up and thought i would just go ahead and empty myself out to catch. i was sitting well over 400 watts for the last 1-1.5 miles, slowly but surely catching John. which i eventually did, and then sat on until the "sprint" which i tip toed around him. After that it was game over for me. i limped home after hanging with the group for a little and then again after our re-group.

game over. and i thought it was in my head.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ready for some AT

I kind of mentally cracked about a week and a half ago. I would say i did physically, but i'm sure if i hadn't quit in my head i could maybe have continued. I was registered for Giro Di Coppi, but after multiple skipped workouts/rides i decided my legs just couldnt continue on at this pace. I cut all workouts last week and riding at all through the weekend, drank a whole bottle of wine(by myself) while playing Call of Duty with a buddy, ate lots of pizza, ate cheeseburgers, doorbell ditched my parent's house while slightly intoxicated, set off fireworks on their porch, slept a lot, ate a butter finger bar, etc.

So i've been goofing off a bit. I haven't been sleeping well or much. I close my eyes and see bikes, sprint finishes, threatening breakaway attempts, and hear the sounds of bikes crunching. Its all very stressful.

With that said i'm doing two more races for fun. I'm "technically" a point shy of my CAT 3 upgrade, because i "technically" didnt win Ride Sally Ride (yes, i'm still bitching about that). but i'm in the top 5 for MABRA BAR CAT 4 which is cool. I believe 3 or 4 of those have upgraded now, which i will too.

Hopefully after that i can turn off competitive cycling in my mind for a bit. Knock some more sections of the AT out with my hiking buddies Dan and Darryl. I'm planning a terrible idea of 42-45 miles straight (Harpers Ferry to PenMar) starting around 5 pm and hopefully ending the next morning around 8 or 9, in time for a large stack of pancakes or something. Also a venture back into winter hiking this Jan with Dan in the Daks via snowshoes (scratch the XC-ski idea).

Now a picture of dissapointment...CAT 4 Crit Championship...last 25-50m.

A Vee for a friend

My good pal Derek from r1v is taking a vacation at his family's place in OK. And like most self-indulged cyclists, he brought he bike with the intention of riding A LOT and possibly racing. Last night he did a local CAT 3/4 Crit and mopped up. He attacked from the gun staying solo for 8 laps when a lone rider bridged the 25 sec gap and 4 laps later popped leaving Derek alone again for 2 more laps when he decided he was a little tired of riding all by his lonesome and then drifted back to chill in the pack that was containing a fraction of the riders it was when the race started. Then a little later he burst forth once again, this time his brother-in-law in tow, who was popped shortly after and Derek was caught with 10 to go. A little bit later some other riders decided to further annihilate the dwindling pack with 2 to go and Derek went as well. Banking the final corner, Derek was sitting 2nd wheel and the lead rider let out his futile sprint while Derek sucked a wheel and soft pedaled behind him waiting till he finally popped, which he quickly did allowing Derek to spring forward, check over his shoulder once and cruise across the line 1st.

moron discovered.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/di-luca-positive-for-cera-in-giro

truly what a dope. As Radiohead put it...No Surprises.

Monday, July 13, 2009

So close...

I hate reading long race reports so here we go...

Hagerstown Crit Championships
Rain delay for no real reason. Went around in a circle a bunch of times with tons of gaps opening up all the time. dropped most of the field. lots of wrecks. blah blah blah. Last bend i was 5th wheel, and the guy up front shot off with a ton of power...no response from the front 4 and so i drilled it immediately up the inside, passing 1, 2, 3, and the 4th guy and i clipped handlebars inevitably turning his handlebars sideways. I gave it everything i had to catch the guy going for the glory...with a gap of 4o yards on a slight downhill. But i only got within a bike length. i've never been so disappointed in a race result.

I also wish the Peter Warner and i hadn't connected handlebars. i felt really bad. i went back to check on him and apologize. Not sure what to say or what to do about a situation like that. I'm not sure how i passed 3 guys on the same line and connected with the 4th one. I wish i could have taken it back. A gap was there and then it wasn't.

Dawg Days
around around around. i pretty much passed the time by staying out of trouble and making faces at the cameras my wife, mom, and friend's wife were holding. no breakaways were going to go with the way things were going. Last lap i got screwed on the inside through the first stretch and almost went down, and then the "move" went up the outside on the backstretch vs where i was which was the inside...again i'm out of position having to make up about 20 places. sitting about 20th at the top of the hill i open up my sprint and gap the field and almost catch 2nd place at the line, enough that i threw my bike.

another weekend of racing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One year

Last week marks my first full year back into cycling and i might as well say it was my first year ever considering how long i rode before and how long ago it was.

This time last year i was riding the 15 miles(total) back and forth to work and exhausted each way. I remember only riding 4 days a week because i was so sore. I was also 45lbs heavier. I'm skinnier now than when i was a veggie-trendy-hipster-rock-star-wannabe with 15lbs of crazy hair on my head.

My favorite cycling quote is from Greg Lemond "it doesn't get easier, you just get faster" or something like that.

In one year:
  • Made it from CAT 5 to CAT 3 (pending getting one more point...shouldn't be too hard)
  • Rode straight through winter including 2 sub zero mornings
  • Bought 3 bikes (Cannondale track bike, Giant TCR [sold], and Look something rather)
  • Rode my longest ride yet 80 something?
  • Joined my first team 540Cycling.com
  • Got my first win (Syns-Fit Crit)
  • Won a prime (Bryan Park Circuit Race)
  • Got a flat in a race (Bryan Park Circuit Race)
  • Did my first "stage-race"
  • Got a "call up" at a race (even though i wasn't there)
  • Was off the bike 3 days (only twice) and Off 2 days (Only a hand full of times)
  • Gave the bird to countless cars
  • Slapped a few windows in traffic
  • Wrecked in a race (Reston Grand Prix)
  • Got dropped in a race (Jeff Cup)
  • Made the wrong turn in a race (Fawn Grove Roubaix)
  • Brought my bike on its first vacation (Orlando, FL)
  • Was towed behind a dump truck down a major high traffic road at 40+ (awesome)
  • Beat Zach up Bull Run once (slaughtered by him every other time)
  • Found out that i'm a McFatty sprinter.
  • Rode 70+ miles on a fixed gear(46x16) on very hilly terrain. twice. and 50+ many many times.
As i only have a few more races for the season i'm thinking i'm light years ahead of where i was this time last year and i am really looking forward to next year. I won a 3-month free coaching service at a race so i'll use that come Jan or Feb and see if i can get a little extra insight. Having teammates that have been racing for 25+ years really helps though.

With that said, the TTT from the tour is on. Its the best part of the whole tour in my opinion. adios.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Karma

Post wrecking out of the 3/4 at the Reston GP. my buddy from r1v started to make fun of me. Later after calling him to find out his results from the 4 race, he explained his visit with karma.
I have that pic blown up on my background. And each time i lock my computer to get up and go walk around the office (which happens to be a lot), i laugh out loud. without fail, every single time. i wonder how long that will last.

pic thanks to Jim Wilson

P.S. that guy in the red forced him into the curb. not surprising in a race like that though.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reston Gp (3/4)

In short. i suffered through my first 3 race. was in the top 10 with 2 to go. had all 3 teammates around including Larry to lead me out and i wrecked.

Possibilities of why-
1.Tubular rolled of the rim when booking around that hard corner.
2.caught the edge of the rim
3.clipped the pedal on the pavement? dont think so.
4. out of ideas.

I'm pretty sure my front tubular rolled of the rim. I was assured that the tires and what not were in great working condition.

my teammate Larry salvaged 4th.

In the 4 race (which i wasn't present for) i got an introduction. wtf? called a sprinting phenom by the race announcer? (i will say this though, it makes my cuts hurt a little less)
pic thanks to Jim Wilson

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poolesville = FUN (field sprint for 6th)

That race was fun.

Wednesday i came down with a sinus infection...and a little bit a digestive problem. so i thought my chances at winning were shot so i figured aim top 10.

each lap was somewhere around 10 miles.

lap 1
slow boring. moved up. (lost 1 of 2 water bottles on the gravel section)

lap 2.
slow. got stuck on the front at the beginning. gunned it through the gravel section. 2 attacks went near the end. followed by me trying to bridge up.

lap 3
still trying to bridge but 1.wasn't able to shake the field and 2. wasn't able to make it all the way up to the chase.

i ended up bridging a guy to the chase (F!) then i red lined and sat in for a bit and then threw down a bigger attack. the chase group had a good lead on the field and i lost sight of the field, but the closest i got was about 20-30 yards off. that last little bit i couldn't close down despite later hearing from Martin that they were "waiting for me"...makes me feel a little worse. then later it was almost all brought back together but another team bridged two of their guys up plus 2 more guys instead and then turned their team's gear into neutral. so that means the 3 biggest teams in the field have guys up in the break and i'm left solo.

lap 4
tried in vain to chase more and more. rest. chase.rest.chase. but i heard 1:30 and gave up. not to mention still a lot of blocking going on. good for them...bad for me.

the end of lap 4 was a bit faster. hit the last corner with around 300m to go. with 200m to go a couple guys let out their sprint...i just sat on their wheel for a second and then let it rip. I let off a tad but a NCVC guy came running up the side so i had to pump it a bit further and i threw the bike for good measure.

so i got the field sprint for 6th. after being disappointed about not making the break i realized later i'd made my goal...still hacking nastiness up (and not from the race.)

Tomorrow is Reston GP with the 3/4 and 4 fields.

Oh and i was right Martin won.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunny Day is back!

That's right. Sunny Day Real Estate has reunited for another tour with all original members. The only that could have been better would be Fugazi getting back together.

Two dates i'm considering is:
9/27 in NYC (Dan, if you go, i will meet you there)
9/30 @ 930 Club (the date seems intentional)

**just got a text from Dan, its official i'm going to NYC 9/27 to see Sunny Day Real Estate

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saturday = Fun

This weekend is another triple race weekend for me and is looking to be one of my last weekends racing.

i have a few more races lined up, but i'm 3 points off my upgrade to 3, which i don't plan on sandbagging the 4's, i'd rather line up and probably get my ass kicked which would be the remainder of the season.

So for Saturday its the Poolsville Road Race, which apparently is a big deal since it features a mile of gravel road. I really love gravel roads. Most of my routes features a gravel section or the possibility to add one, in which most cases i take it.

I guess the only difference for this race will be a higher crash/flat probability, though despite hammering away on lots of gravel roads, nailing large potholes, and weird ripple sections i've avoided flats (due to gravel roads) and wrecks (but i have come close). I hope this weekend isn't a first for either of those.

I also heard that unlike the Fawn Grove Roubaix, the "gravel road" will be mostly compact dirt versus a pool of small rocks to sink into like sand which was the case at Fawn Grove. sick!

Monday, June 22, 2009

ToWC

Lets keep this quick-

Stage 1 RR (with hills...)
Felt like crap (didn't ride due to inoperable bike previous two days). Sat in the pack...was in the middle and looked behind and i was on the back because the "back" had been dropped after the first lap. 3rd lap my chain wrapped around the rear D. Dude in the mechanic van had me back on the bike like Mechov at the Giro. amazingly quick. eventually caught the group, but exhausted. got dropped. caught back on. next lap, got dropped. i figured this would be the trend the rest of the race, but unfortunately i wasn't able to catch on a 3rd time. The top 10 hammered it out. My legs finally came around (despite cramping), and i caught about 10-15 people on the last lap and limited my losses by 2:59. Too bad i went into the RR so terribly

State 2 ITT
With the legs opened up and feeling better, i was a bit confident. Had a nice warm up, got on the course and did my thing. i remembered why i liked TT's as a junior. Threw up in my mouth a couple times, and then once all over myself in the last 2 miles. avg around 307 for watts. time was 29:23 for 12 miles. First time riding in the TT position in 7-8 years. I'm looking forward to next year and doing more ITT's. 29:23 was good enough for 13th moving me up into 17th overall.

State 3 Crit
Felt tired. Sat in and suffered. handlebars ended up pointing at the ground after hitting a couple potholes on laps 3 and 5(?)...it was early in the race. Ref said no for the free lap. moved up with 2 to go. and again with 1 to go. Unfortunately for me and Peter Warner, he wrecked in the last corner. For me it caused a gap to open up costing me the win for the crit...i had to settle for 4th. the front 4th got a head start on the sprint and i only caught the 4th one. i hit 1300 watts in that sprint which is pretty avg for sprints now-a-days. Mind you, with jacked up handlebars to boot.

So with the previous goal of 15th overall. i JUST missed it ending 17th overall all thanks to bad legs/mechanicals on the first stage. next year...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Bike

While preparing for ToWC's TT last night i finally accepted that i bought a bike way too big. I've been pondering it for quite some time. Its amazing what a few cm's in the wrong direction does.

this is the new bike...mind you i only purchased the frame/fork so everything else i'm swapping over from my other bike and i'll be selling my frame/fork.
My teammate John sold it to me. Hopefully i can get it built before saturday...got to find the time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My first "Vee"!

i'm still proud.

http://www.vimeo.com/4233274

the end is all that really counts...

thats my wife in the corner with the white jacket jumping up and down...

What NOT winning looks like...

The grand look of confusion "I WON! wait...what?"

no i didn't get passed at the line. no chance for that to happen. But i didn't get the "win" due to a restart. i guess its only fair and considering the circumstances it didn't really matter.

at least i found this picture and still got 4th the second time around.

pciture thanks to Amy Jones

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Smart Start or Total

i just had an awesome start to my day...
  1. I woke up at 6 to go ride, felt like crap-tired from going to bed late every night and getting up at 6 every morning to go ride. Its the kind of tired where you fall asleep putting your socks on or for whatever reason you lay down on the living room floor after having put your helmet on and accidentally fall asleep for 10 mins. (i didnt do that this morning but still.)
  2. Kind of rainy out despite no actual precipitation (probably more of a positive thing, but wetness is still wet).
  3. Ride the 7 miles to work only to get a flat within the last mile (better the last mile than the 1st i suppose).
  4. After dropping off my stuff at work and changing the flat, I ride over to the road where i do my sprints. 1st sprint my chain slips and i slam my knee into my handlebars.
  5. felt like crap each and every sprint.
i got my whole workout in which is good.

It always seems to rain on Tuesday and i usually work at the shop tuesday nights so i get to ride in the rain to my real job 7 miles, then ride to the bike shop in the rain 2 miles away, and than at 9:00 at night ride home in the rain another 7 miles.

I like riding in the rain, but having to get geared up 2 extra times in dirty, wet clothes just to ride such a short distance sucks.

Now for breakfast i can't decide. Smart Start or Total.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ride Sally Ride (CAT 4)

Our race was called early, about halfway through... they called last lap. i won the sprint and thought we were going home after 10 miles of racing, but no. they called us back to the line.

great.

They posted 10 laps to go. Josh Flexman on the last lap made the move on the inside. i had to solo sprint from the last corner to MAYBE catch the 2 trying to contend with Josh. We also passed the guy on the breakaway attempt from earlier. I was 4th.

They gave me the prime for the initial "win". I also got points for 1st...so that's really what i wanted.

Still kind of disappointing, but 4th isn't bad and a prime and points for 1st.

**note-i'm now hearing that we get BOTH results. for i get results for 1st and 4th. sick.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Man, i love Chipotle

Did the Bryan Park Circuit race yesterday. It was my first CAT 4 race...not any different than any CAT 5 race i've been in. Not sure what to make of that.

They had prime's (free burrito @ Chipotle) every other lap for the middle part of the race. I went for the first one. got it. made a couple jokes with the guy i beat for it. To be honest it was a fairly boring race but fast enough (for me) that i wouldn't be able to get away and stay away, besides the fact i can fair pretty well in any sprint, so any 'fun' that could be had was well received.

6 laps to go i started sliding out in the turns. rear tire was flat. i panicked, yelled for my wife to grab my other wheels (not in the pit, but in the car...my costly mistake). too late though. pack made it around just before she got back. i said forget it...i got my free burrito, no reason to chase for 5 laps and finish dead last. I should have continued on the half flat tire another lap, my wife would have been back, i could have changed it out and been rolling again.

Dan Baur grabbed 7th, just in the points. thats awesome.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CAT 5 Lessons

#1 thing i learned as a CAT 5 (and as a married man) is to remember important dates/times. When it comes to cycling/racing i am referring to registering for races you want to race, because as most racers know that when you are a CAT 5 your group for larger, more important events fill up quickly...you have to plan, set aside time, be waiting patiently, clicking the refresh button over and over again.

Now as a CAT 4 its not as important...I'm the first one registered for upcoming races. i also program my phone now too.

i am lame.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rolling in FL

I got to my wife's grandparent's on Friday. My wife and i flew down to visit with her family for a few days (fri-wed). Luckily her parents and siblings were driving down so i was able to throw my bike on their car and meet it down here. To prevent any major tragedies (like missing a race or losing my only race bike) i gave them my fixed gear.

Florida is an awesome place to ride a fixed gear...at least compared to NoVa. I did a 75+ ride on Sunday out to titusville (or something) from Orlando and while i am in far better shape than i was back in Jan, it remains that it was MUCH easier than the 70 mile ride i did out past The Plains and back from my house. By the way, its fun riding a fixed gear for so long...not sure why. trance like.

Another bonus of FL so far has been the drivers. Besides the one fat lady in her truck honking at me while she was trying to pull into McD's and the moron who nearly ran into me and the car ahead of her at the light today, all the drivers have been lovely and given me lots'o'room. i think in NoVa i get honked at, called a fag, and a random other act of violence (ie swerved at, reaching out of windows, etc.) once a ride, which as a commuter and racer can equate to a MAX of 3x a day.

tomorrow is a sprint workout...at home i have difficulty finding a proper road to do these on (i like long, flat, straight sections to really exert the legs. I was also advised to use those for the best workout results). Where as here, I'm in no shortage of such roads...as a matter of fact everything is a long straight, flat road. i found myself staring just off my front wheel on my long ride to avoid mental suicide-constantly being able to see 5 miles ahead.

Oh yeah, went to Typhoon lagoon today and Epcot tomorrow. Typhoon Lagoon ruined my memory of the place. Things look drastically different 10-13 years later. I hope its not the same for Epcot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Season-1st half, 2nd half

I'm kind of hesitant to blog. i've noticed this thing appears a someone's blog list who is quite the popular rider around here. Its nice but i'm just a CAT 4 (and barely) and i dont think anyone cares what i have to say.

Anyhow. The 1st half of the race season has passed for me. I've achieved almost all my goals for the season too.
  • I've collected 1 win (goal) (Syns-Fit Crit).
  • I rode haymarket's Mt Weather ride (which i realize isn't much of a goal, but i set that goal after my 2nd month of riding, when the total 14 mile commute for the day was still a lot).
  • I've also made it from 5 to 4 in a half of a season (goal) with a total of 4 podiums (bonus).
  • Lost 40lbs.
  • Be apart of a winning breakaway [2nd and 3rd places for myself] (1st race at Snowball 10 sec gap on last lap, just rode off the front. Waynesboro does it count with 6 guys annihilate the entire field?)
2nd half season goals
  • Another win (maybe two)
  • CAT up to 3 (i've been told by my riding peers that it shouldn't be out of reach)
  • Top 15 at Tour of Washington County (worried about that TT)
  • Lose 5-10 more lbs. (i'm apparently building muscle now...so this may be difficult)
  • Be apart of 2 more winning breakaway's
  • Lead a teammate out for a win.
  • Top 3 at Hagerstown State Championship Crit (7/11)
  • Vint Hill Development Series Overall Winner (home court advantage).
A lot of more goals for the rest of the season but i think most of them are realistic. I dont know if i will be able to lead out a teammate for a win, my chances are limited to a few races being that they are all 3's basically and only one of which is a sprinter so i'd substitute that for wasting myself for one of them if it meant victory in a breakaway.

I've learned a ton through the first half of this year, mostly in my first 2 bigger races which resulted in poor results. I've also learned a ton doing the Wednesday Night Haymarket ride. Those guys are all so good, and i get a ton of advice post ride from different guys. Not to mention the experience i gain from riding at speeds and intensities much higher than any CAT 5 race.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Upgrade status

status=approved.

i didnt need 10 races after all.

i am a CAT 4. still lowly in ranks but i'm happy with my progress.

Also, quick story-went on a short, VERY slow ride today being a rest day and all. got about 3 or 4 miles away and caught a flat. bummer right? but not a big deal. except after i quickly got it changed and was about to be back on my way my CO2 cartridge failed...it was a dud. major bummer since i left my cell at home and i'm apparently not smart enough to carry more than one cartridge (i usually do but i've not yet replaced the one i used just the other day). ugh.

walked 3 or 4 miles home carrying my bike and shoes (i'd rather walk barefoot than in shoes with Look cleats).

CAPS WON!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Loss of style

So after a few "good jobs" from my team i receive a hoard of emails, also from my team informing me of my "loss of style"
It seems i left my commuting light on my bike. I noticed it when i was putting my bike back into my car, but obviously that was way too late.

its ok i don't think i really ever had style to begin with.

pic courtesy of Sam Hill

Bunny Hop and possible upgrade

pics by sam hill
The Bunny Hop Crit was very uneventful. Josh (cyclelife), Derek (route 1 velo) and myself led the first bunch of laps (not sure exactly how many). I did most of the pulls. I felt great and i wanted the tempo to be high. I contemplated trying to attack off the front and i thought since Josh and Derek were sitting right behind they could jump with me...but in the end i didn't have the balls to go for it. It may have worked seeing at the entire pack was strung out already.

Soon after i didn't feel like doing all the work anymore and let a couple other guys set the pace, which they did until about 2 laps to go. during which nothing happened except for a ton of almost wrecks, getting forced hard into the corner by a bunch of dive bombers, and a few nasty comments. one crazy guy sitting behind kept yelling at the top of his lungs with the utmost passion, "They are blocking! Those guys are getting away! Don't let them get away! HURRY!" i told him to shut it, seeing as no one was "blocking" and the guys "getting away" had been dropped and were about to get lapped.

With 1 to go i moved into position about 6th or 7th wheel right next to Josh Flexman and when we were approaching the last corner the guys at the front of the line decided not to keep pedaling causing a quick bunch up and some how i got stuck in the middle. Someone made a jump from behind and Josh caught on (for the win) and i squeezed my way out somehow and powered past everyone for 3rd.

After the race we all went to lunch.

I got home later and sent in my request for an upgrade from 5 to 4. I know i dont have 10 races yet but 4 podiums (including a win) should be enough...so says the guys from my team and they've been doing it a lot longer than i have.

Caps won on saturday! and play again tonight!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Waynesboro Grand Prix #1 (CAT 5)

95 degrees at the start.

the course-basically one long up hill and one long down hill with a tad bit of flat in between. everything in total= 1 mile.

at the whistle a few guys really jammed it and i grabbed on.

i noticed i felt like crap...repeat of the Jeff Cup race, type of feeling.

decided to do little to no pulling, and try and just hang on.

Did some pulling anyway.

fell of the back of the breakaway a couple of times.

caught back on. got dehydrated.

put in one stupid "attack" on the last lap...(i should have saved it.)

felt horrible.

led up the hill 200m from the finish.

got passed. hit the wheel of the eventual winner.

bike went sideways. caught the bike.

and managed 3rd place.

afterwards i wanted to crawl into a dark cold wet place and die.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday Night @ Haymarket

CYCLING
The guys from my team convinced me to show up at the Wednesday night training ride out of Haymarket. I thought i may be getting in over my head knowing some of the people that show up and that they are a much higher caliber group of riders.

I didn't regret it, on the contrary, i was very happy i went through with it. Its been a very long time since i rode in a group like that. I felt like i was 15 again, when i first started riding, very antsy. I would go as far as to say jumpy, a far cry from the smooth and fluid riders that populated the rest of the group.

But, i did my share of pulls, contended in their sprint sections, and made some (short lived & worthless) attacks. And I'm gaining a bit more confidence.

Another (super) short Crit on Sunday...i think 30 mins? geez that's short.

OH! and we got our new kits. they look sweet. pics shortly.

CAPS GAME
...bummer. way to ruin my evening.
Also, a good way to feel weird is to go to sit at the bar by yourself and eat a salad and potato with water.

HOUSE
I'm rebuilding the deck on Monday and Tuesday next week...ripping up the floor boards and putting in new ones. should be nice to have a real deck. AND they are going to start our basement this next week...THANK GOD.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Syns Fit CAT 5 race (1st!)

The race started off quick. Some of the evolution guys thought it wise to sprint from lap one...which lasted about a lap or two. It was pretty uneventful for a while. a few guys tried to go only to die soon after getting off the front or they would just hover about 3-5 seconds out in front.

About halfway through the race as we rolled up to the first corner, someone in the middle of the pack did something stupid and wrecked, causing a great number of riders to wreck as well. We went from 50(riders) to 25 quick. i got stuck behind the wreck and nearly wrapped up in it but i avoided and then chased to get back on...i didn't have to extend myself that much.

A lap or so after the wreck we were cruising fairly slow so i blew off the front and got a gap. Not only did i get a decent gap but i felt great. i asked the moto-ref if the guy up the road was getting lapped or on a breakaway, which it was the latter. I thought once i got to him maybe we could work together but he couldn't hang. I stayed away for a couple laps, but soon after i was slowly getting caught so i just sat up altogether and jumped back on near the front.

More people would put in an attack, again, only to die right off the front. That went on till the last lap. I was getting screwed in the corners because no one has the balls to lean a bike over, instead they grab their brakes.... So i was near the middle/back of the pack after turn 1 of 2 on the last lap. My only lane was up the gutter so i gunned it up the gutter inches from the curb, got about 6th wheel into the last corner. the front was fairly spread out and i thought my race was pretty much over...maybe a podium. So again i gunned it and to my own amazement started to pass everyone. i was quicklygaining places-5th, 4th, 3rd (podium!) 2nd, and then 1st by a bike length.