Saturday, February 28, 2009

Me want FOOOOOOOD! (30 rock)

This morning i was set to go do my first group ride with team 540 Cycling. I thought about riding the extra 20 miles down to meet them but i didn't want to risk the chance of being obliterated and subsequently embarrassed at my inability to hang on to a moderate pace. So i drove...good choice.

I got up early to switch my tires from my fixie over to my road bike, and do a bit of other bike maintenance, of which all i got done was the tires. I was running late so i grabbed some food (poptarts and a cliff bar) and two liters of water and rolled out.

It was cold out and i was late, half dressed, and slightly unprepared. great start and a great impression. So i hurried up and we set off. Unfortunately i left my cliff bar in the car and all i had eaten was the poptarts. great. So about 30 miles into the ride i started to get tired and eventually i cracked. i struggled desperately the last 12-14 miles. It also didn't help that due to the streamline thinness of my new saddle, that i was sitting about 2 or 3 inches too low and my pedal stroke felt like doing intense squats the whole time.

Besides the poptarts and a post ride bowl of cereal, i didn't eat anything till about 4. so i crashed and felt horrible. i ate again around 6 and now i feel fine.

Also, i just bought an ipod (shuffle). my commutes will become slightly more entertaining.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New stuff

I had a ton of people pop by here looking for blogs/pictures from the Snowball. If you still are then here are some links to a few photo pages:

Well i had one of the worst rides of my life last night. I figured i would go out and do a longer ride after work. Unfortunately i didn't get out of here until 530. I went a new way, which apparently included a 2-3 mile dirt road. Not to mention on my ride in i got a flat which means my back tire was half full because my CO2 pump wasn't working right. Also, my light decided to die mid-ride, right as it was getting really dark. Oh, my new seat rubbed my inner thigh raw. and finally, the temp dropped about 15 degrees after the sun went down and i was dressed super light. I also cut the ride 10 miles shorter and skipped the climb i was heading to go do...i still got in 30 but it wasn't fun.

oh and my computer is broken and so i have only a general idea of my pace and performance. YES!

Well despite the bad ride, i was still happy. But my thigh is still raw and that seat still sucks, so during my lunch break i took my buddy's truck over to the shop and bought a Specialized Toupe. its a sweet seat. They run about $160. I've put so much money into my new road bike within a week.

Also, it looks like there is a team i can join. 540 cycling. Emailed the guy today and it sounds great. they have a cool kit to boot.

This weekend I'm going to skip the Trade Zone Series and be down trying to climb Mt Weather for the first time. hopefully not alone. we'll see.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Snowball Crit #1 (2nd)

I had my first race yesterday (Sunday). I was really nervous considering its my first real race. The weather was just how i like it, shitty. Wet, cold (high 30's-low 40's), and dirty (sand, silt, dirt everywhere). I think i heard the word "cyclocross" about 15 times from all the conversations going on around me.
I had a ton of advice from all the cycling friends i have including my dad. Most of that advice was "stay calm/stay up front/don't crash/don't do anything till later in the race", so on lap 2 i took off on the front, mostly because the group was cruising at a slow speed and i wanted to see what would happen. They chased me down like i was a naked woman, and not only that but kept that pace up. I did everything i could to hang on which i did. I worked my way up and then with 8 laps to go chased down a guy with 4 other guys and all of a sudden we had a little gap on the group and i tried to organize a break but we couldn't get it together quick enough and the group caught the back of us. I tried to get another break to go with a couple other guys but we couldn't hold that either. So with 2 laps to go i found a nice spot on the inside near the front and waited. Last lap at the line, one of the stronger guys came blowing through on my left and i grabbed his wheel, and we strung out the group. I yelled at him to let me pull through, and soon we had a gap on the group, he pulled through again into the last turn and we both sprinted which i took and then a guy pulled around my wheel...i didn't know he was there. So i took 2nd. i was happy.

(going to warm up.)
(the start-where's waldo?)
(2nd lap-on the outside)
(mid race)
(2 laps to go-the winner is on the left with the red helmet)
(Me and 3rd place, a nice guy)

It was a super fun experience. i would have thought it was fun even finishing mid-pack. I'm looking forward to more.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gears are for....

Well my nervousness was justified. I had a miserable ride last night on my new bike. So many adjustments to be made. I recommend not making your first journey on a new bike be in the dark and during rush hour traffic in NOVA. The worst possible combo.

anyway with out further adu, the new bike-
(the reason for the lights is for commuting purposes and are merely temporary)
At this point i'm hoping to just do decent at the race on sunday. no expectations.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My bike has arrived at the shop, been built, exchanged some parts (like the crank), added Look KeO Sprint pedals, and had a jog around the parking lot.

As excited as i am to venture forth in the cycling world once more on a geared bike, i find myself thinking...gears suck. But, maybe I'm just scared of them. I have grown to love the simplicity of the mantra "pedal faster", being that its the only way to accelerate on a fixed gear bike. Tonight will be my first trip out on my new ride and though its a short route from the shop back to my home, and i am nervous.

I am also nervous about the race in 3 days. I am in good shape despite falling down the stairs last Friday and severely spraining my ankle. As a result i lost out on my high mileage day (Saturday) and took the following day off too to let it heal before i tried riding on it. Monday i did a relaxed ride around town being that i had the day off. it felt OK. Though until this morning i had been noticing it's inflicting pain during the pedaling hours. Even though i am in decent shape, I've been feeling weak and my rides have been good indicators of such, i only hope that goes away soon along with the constantly swollen ankle.

pictures of my new bike soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Christmas again!

Last night i bought my bike!

I am so freaking excited! i had to buy a few new parts like pedals and a crank set (because the one that came on it is "compact") , but other than that I'm set. The first race is a week and a half away. I get so freaking nervous every time i think about it. I am fairly sure I'll vomit the day of the race, i it did nearly before every soccer game and every XC/track event ( i say nearly because i think it actually only happened once or twice, but it felt like i was every time).

Since switching my rear cog from a 16 to a 15 I've been turning out much better times and avg's. That really is a confidence booster. I hope i do really well in my race next Sunday.

Monday, February 9, 2009

46x15 and a "whiny" performance

My wife and i hung around at my inlaws last night so i could catch the performance by Radiohead on TV. i couldn't care any less for the Grammy's than i already do, but with the prospect of a performance by Radiohead and MIA left me glued to the screen enduring painful acts by The Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesny, and other country acts. The credibility of the Grammy's is bankrupt and somehow manages each year to lose even more integrity with Best New Artist Noms like: Adele, Duffy (who for a while i thought was Hillary Duff trying a new gig), Jonas Brothers, amongst others, while completely ignoring acts like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and the Smashing Pumpkins v2.0 (j/k, just to clarify). And while i doubt 90% of that audience and American population know who Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver are, it still stands to say that either of those bands deserves at the very least a nomination, and against that competition, a win.
Yet this year there was some justification...Radiohead winning Best Album of the Year. Daft Punk winning dance album, The Mars Volta in all their insanity got nominated for one and won, Coldplay beat out Metallica for best "rock" album...that's got to hurt, and of course the Radiohead performance, which to me would be worth sitting through that entire God-awful show again. My mother in law leans over during their performance and asks "Now, whats so good about them?" to which i was in such shock all i could manage to say was "Because they are the best band in the world", my wife uttered something more reasonable but i believe it fell on deaf ears.
I also heard from a friend that someone had mentioned the entire show being "good" save the Radiohead portion which they found "whiny"...and if i had that said to me, i might have blacked out, only to have awaken with bloodied fists and a corpse laying dead in front of me.

Saturday i worked at the bike shop and due to all the nasty winter weather i needed to replace parts of my drive chain, particularly the 3/32 chain that was stretched out like a bankrupt whore. I wanted to switch to a realistically more durable chain, so i got a 1/2x1/8 w/o hollow pins...which i think weighs a solid 2 lbs. Also, i had to change the rear cog to a 1/8 type and so i switched from 16t to 15t making my hills just that much harder. i think for my a while my performance on my bike might come off as "whiny".