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.


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.

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 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
  • 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.