Thursday, December 27, 2007

Never Tease a Tiger

Never tease a Tiger
You will only do it once
The tiger will not like it
And you will become lunch.
Wednesday:

Pork Roast.
4lb roast, 4 golden potatoes, 5 large beets, 1 red onion, 1/2 bottle cabernet sauvignon, spices.

roast pork 20'@ 425, fat side up. have slices in the fat to let it open up.

glaze with a warmed mixture of honey, a little butter, paprika, pepper. roast another 15'

add the diced veggies (halve the potatoes, dice the rest), and the wine.

roast at 450 for 1hr or until done.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

winter

It's official, winter is now upon us. For roadies, that often means the end of the 'off season'. Some of you have been riding "base miles" since November, but for the rest, the quickly approaching 2008 road season means that around about January 1 is the right time to kick in some serious winter training. The best preparation for a 6 month race season is 8 weeks of long, slow miles, right? It's time to zip tie some fenders on and old frame, strap on a heart rate monitor lest you inadventently tip into the triple digits, step on a scale and substract 20 for your spring season target race weight. Since 2lbs a week is the max medically recommended weight loss rate, you're right on track to be a grand tour contender by the time the Giro comes on RAI TV. Let's ride, boys.

Well, the official start to the 2008 Base Training Season is the perfect time to indtroduce my new company, Cycleon, and lauch the inaugural product: HeaviCranks.

HeaviCranks are the product of the future, due to revolutionize base training for cyclists. You've all head of PowerCranks, which force you to pull up each leg individually to elimiate dead spots. You've heard of PoweTap, to train smart, and CyclingPeaks, to track it, and RotorRings, for greater efficiency, and Fixed Gears, for smooth strength, and MuscleTension intervals for quads of Steel. Now comes the next step in the evolution of your revolutions.

HeaviCranks combine the best of cycling wisdom, long slow base miles with winter strength work, so that you can perform at your peak at your races of choice. By providing resitance to your every motion, you train your legs to pull through a complete circle and deliver power efficiently to your rear wheel. By adding mass (an astounding 2kg, or just more than a new SRAM Red gruppo!) to your bike you train yourself to compensate for the extra grams so that when you switch to your road bike, you will fly up hills you will have found challenging in training. In face, HeaviCranks are so revolutionary that we were tempted to keep the secret to ourselves in order to secure a Professional Contract for the 2008 season. The opportunity to lead the way into the next generation of training tools was just too great to pass up, however, so we went ahead with the product launch.

For just $899 you too can own the training device of the future. The ContinuousDrag feature will provide you with the highest quality miles you can imagine. You will double the efficiency of your training time, all without having to ride harder or longer! Keep that HR low and your legs grinding. You will rule the Cat 3 sprint.

HeaviCranks - buy them now, before the competition does!




Coming soon, in fall of 2008, our next big step bike evolution revolution: Cycleon introduces the HeaviBike.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

water

Stupid rain. Stupid wind. The Sunday ride got cut to 2hrs as we dodged flying sticks, leaves, grit, rain, and all sorts of shrapnel in 25mph winds with gusts to 50. Then, it rained.

Riding = not fun. Hours = pathetic. Frustration = mounting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Close...

We put on the 2nd Fox Hollow 'cross race last Saturday, and I came close. In cyclo-cross, no less. There may only have been 9 guys, but I will take it.

Starting from the back of the pack, per usual, I found myself riding by everybody on the first climb of the course, which is good, because that means that when I laid out the hilly upper section the night before, I sure made it fit my strengths. Up, down, turn, up, down, turn, up,... .

Soon enough it was two of us on the front, with a couple more chasers just a few seconds back. I passed the Veloshop guy I was with, put a gap down, he closed it slowly through some corners, then I dialed it back. Stayed in front, we got caught by a Half Fast Velo who had been right there all along. A second Veloshop started to come up so I started punching it on the climbs, and could get a little gap, but not enough. Last lap, still on the front of the 3 man group, I kicked it on the bell and dropped the Veloshop at last. Half Fast glued to the wheel. Last two climbs, I could get a tiny gap and he threw it all down during the corners. Wheel to wheel. See the finish below and here. Over the barrier shoulder to shoulder, we knocked each other twice. Close.




The bike went up in the stand last night to fix the loose left crank which was discovered as I cleaned it after the race, which turned into hours of struggling and cursing, while discovering that the BB was indeed totally screwed, with the little inner bearing race on the left side firmly pressed over and onto the body of the crank spindle, impeding the removal of the crank from said bottom bracket, and thereby from the bike itself, while the BB was still threaded into the frame... I eventually managed to knock the crank just far enough out to get the bottom bracket tool over the mangled wreck and remove the whole shebang from the frame. The BB eventually came off the crank, as well. Now I have no bottom bracket.

Bummer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

So I'm beginning to think that my favorite 'cross strategy could use some revising. I pulled into the back of an 89 rider pack at Estacada - thinking that would be about the right place to be. But something is clicking with line choices, tire pressure, cornering skills, or something. So I rode by 68 in my field and some single speeders. I doubt I'll manage a good start place next weekend at the Crusade race in Hillsoboro, but I should probably at least give it a try.


Or not.


It's going to rain all week. Estacada was a little muddy, but mostly it was tacky, soft, and pretty clean. Not sloppy. Hillsoboro will be sloppy. Last year I fell over 3 times in 2 laps and whacked my hip and knee good enough to pull out. I biffed it on straight stretches, I biffed it trying to unclip for barriers, and I biffed it through a mudpile. Not a good time.



Now for something different. Here's a single picture to keep in mind any time you hear someone claim 'I/he/she/they are just naturally big boned'...


Yeah, that's some big belly bone right there, all right... next time, try and picture the skeleton inside the person, that really puts it in perspective. Your pelvis don't grow when you pack on the pounds, cleetus, so that ain't your hip you're feeling, that's your last 20 packs of cheetos.

Keep riding.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

the hurt

Saturday I finally bucked up and did another 'cross race. This one was a no brainer, since I was co-ordinating my team promoting it and I was a) there and b) racing for free. If you missed it (probably you did), the Fox Hollow Grand Prix course ruled. We threw in lots of off-camber grass, hard turns, short steep pitches, and one really, really long run-up.
Being well used to needing extra time to slow down and stumble over any remotely technical 'cross obstacles, I started at the back per usual but soon realized that most of the group was not really into going hard, so I kicked a little bit and went around a group then pegged it for about 2 laps... at which point I looked at my heart rate watch and saw 191, which explained why lunch seemed to making a re-appearance in my throat. The watch also delivered the interesting comment that I had, indeed, completed a full 7 minutes of the 50minute race.

This was bad news.

Worse, I had jumped up to 4th with Sami Fournier racing with us pretty much right on my wheel. Yes, she was wearing the stars and stripes. Yes, her bike was complete Dura-Ace. Yes, she was very smooth. Yes, I spent the whole race looking over my shoulder. I held on to the position - but it was pretty sketchy. By that, I mean I was sketchy. I may have way more power than a skinny little masters national champion, but I have way, way less skill. Still, I came out on top... 20 years, a Y chromozome, 40lbs, who knows how many watts... don't mean crap.

Chapeau, Sami, nice ride.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

October? What October? I have some vague fading dream of stumbling through a wood at midnight in the rain with 5 rounds in a .30-'06, a failing 3-led headlamp and a spinning compass, hands and elbows smelling like blood, and a sinking feeling that I wasn't alone... but I just can't place it anymore. The whiskey haze that I supressed whatever October was with is lifting and for some reason all my wool socks have gone missing and my ammo looks damp.

And then, suddenly, this:


I dug around the clothes bin and pull out some lycra. Arm-warmer. Jersey. Found a bike pump.


Found some dirt


Found out the Red Sox are turning into the new Yankees, and found out that in some parts of the world bike racing never really stops... maybe I'll get my hung-over hairy ass in a race number and start 2008 already. Is it time? I think maybe it is. Oh, my head... .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

tasty...

"breakfast" burrito

all your calories in one meal so you dont have to waste time with two others... mmm... tasty.

in other news, death rates from cancer in america are down.

i speculate that it's because people are dying of being fat, instead.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Time flies when you're not riding your bike. I think I can count on both fists the number of real 'rides' I've done in the last 4 weeks. It's good. The desire is coming back. I warrantied my '04 Fuji frame for a new one, '06 model this time, and switched all the parts off my red steel burley frame onto a gold steel burley frame, this one with larger diameter tubing and a sloping top tube. Why? Why not?

It's almost time to ride again. Get dusted at a few cross races, pile on some long distance rides to warm things up and halt the steady decline of fitness.

Or not.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

critical mass

Critical mass has been reached. My legs no longer itch. My stubby hair no longer gets caught on pant legs (altho corduroy is still more comfortable than jean, and flannel lined carharts are best of all).

It has been about 3 1/2 years since I have been this hairy. There were a few times when it seemed like a good idea to let it go, and I made a valiant attempt, but 5 days in to the regrowth the itching would start, and by day 7 or 8 I could no longer stand pulling on pants. Weakness overcame me. I gave in.

But no more. Critical mass has been reached at last. The poking, itching, scratching has given way to soft, gentle fuzz. My skin is now cushioned from clothing and insulated from the elements. For the first time since early '04, I have felt the wind against my legs while riding my bike. It was a gentle breeze.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

'cross time at last



The best time of year is here: September. Not only do I get to forget about turning a year older, but I get to pull out the best bike of the fleet and race on dirt in some warmish weather.

No computer, no powermeter, no tactics, no expectations, no nothing. Bike racing at it's best: strictly for fun.

Tuesday opened up the cross season with the Harlow short CX series - a twisty course with lots of loose pea-gravel, deep dust, some fast barriers, hard packed dirt, and ruts. I rode the whole thing in the drops, trying to remind myself to relax my death grip on the bars and I got kicked, bounced, and slid all over the course. Owch. With a nice 40' ride out there and back, plus some random riding around and cooling down, I got in a 2 1/2 hr ride. Not bad for a week day.

Saturday I made the drive to Portland with the woman for some "dirt crit" action. Running as a cross race, billed as a semi-criterium, Kruger's Kermesse involved a 1.6mile course essentially set up as two squares joining at a corner, which located the pit, the whole thing on a slope so there were some good gradual uphill drags and one fast descent to a left turn on to grass before the finish. I pulled up the the back of the pack for the start, which was both a blessing and a total curse. We started up a stretch of hardpack dirt and gravel road, then took a right turn onto a stretch of rutted dirt farm road that blew up such a cloud of dust that I litterally couldn't see the wheel in front of me, much less the ground. I ended up in some tilled up dirt of a field, off the road, and off the back. The section wasn't technical, and pretty fast if you could actually see where you were going. So I was about 50 yards behind the pack from the gun. That was the bad news. The good news was, I could now see where I was going.

So, I put the hammer down. And kept it down. A lap later I was in the pack quarter of the strung out pack. I kept it in the red for the first 4 laps, by which time I figured I was back up to about the middle, maybe a little behind. At this point I throttled back to merely 'hard' to avoid blowing up in the 45min race, and started really picking my way through guys who had started a bit too hard. With 20 min to go I was lapping more C riders who started behind us than catching B riders. With 15 min to go, everyone I could see in front of my was a C. I figured the B leaders had gotten a train going early and were gone, but I stood a good chance of actually having moved up to a respectable position. Two B riders that I caught on the last 2 laps stuck with my wheel but going into the bell I put the hammer down again and managed to drop one of them. The second came around me in the second to last turn and I pulled by him in the finishing stretch.

So I guess that I passed everyone I could pass, considering a small group of guys were motored off the front after the first lap and I was chasing the back. Could be worse. Actual finish? 7th. Passed 36 riders in the B's, lapped about 40 C's. Total chaos on the dirt. And a hell of a good time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Genetics.

Threshold: 370W
VO2 peak: 70.0ml/kg/min

I signed up for a physiology study at the U of O. After they turned up the ramp test to 490W I put my head down and got a lungful of my own spit from the mask. That pulled the plug on the test. Max? Donno. It couldn't have been far away. With the rules of keeping cadence between 60 and 80 and not standing, it made it interesting.

Let's see... if I loose 10lbs, I'm on par with the pro's... only I don't have 10lbs to loose... so it goes. If I lost the 10, I'd lose 30W or more. Damn genetics.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

again.

raise the driving age. i know thats a re-post but for fuck's sake, this kid was by my house.

and it just goes to show, in general, people are fucked. what the hell is wrong with us?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Who would have thought: I made my first money in a pro/1/2 race. It helps that it was a TT against 10 other 2's on a course I did this year already (Cascade)... but I'll take it. $40 for 3rd? Wow, this must be the big leagues now.

I wasn't going to do the Omnium's Saturday evening crit but ended up talked into it - where I watch capt'n OB take a sprint prime for a case of Black Butte Porter. He doesn't drink. So it was a good day.

The RR Sunday was anticlimatic - tho Adam Craig seemed intent on getting in some tempo workout and sporadically put the hammer down in the cross wind sections. That was amusing. The Captn' and I did our best to get away but CMG was sitting on everything for some reason, and it took a while before anything rolled away, and wasn't until lap 4 that we got in a move. OB managed to roll away with a couple of guys, including Craig, and I proceeded to sit on everything that moved to chase. Heading into the last lap my legs were finally blown, I tried going with Hosmer and Hamilton when they awoke from their slumber and decided to go chase 10th place, felt the rubber finally snap, and I did lap 7 with like 5 other guys at what was finally a reasonable pace, and called it a day.

In other news, I measured my '04 Fuji frame last week and found that the rear dropouts are shifted left about 3mm. So, my rear wheel doesn't and can't align with my front. It turns to the right just beautfully but kind of hesitates going left. Maybe that's why. Anyways, I have an RA# from Fuji to send it back and we'll see what they send me instead. Even if it's NOS, a new frame is a new bike, and I love new bikes.

Monday, August 13, 2007

fixin' to.... barf?

Yet another fixed gear crit. Or, if you prefer: Me, Richard, Gary, Les, and Lou Swing riding around in circles for a half hour. I won a beer, a buck, a bottle, and ten bucks to a muffin shop on prairie road. Not bad for an informal, yet OBRA sanctioned ride. I feel kind of silly doing something I would do for shits on any given weekday anyways, and getting BAR points for it... so it goes. Hanging out with nobody but 6 or 7 Paul's guys, a couple others from the local road scene, and we've got an oh-feecial race and everything. Rock and Roll.

This week, tho, the too-cool-for-school, hemmed up ladies' jeans wearing, no-helmet, 12inch-flat-bar no-brakes fixed-gear wanna-be-messenger art-school-dropout types stayed home. Or, more likely, strutted around Mcmennamin's bikes locked up outside with a ten pound chain, having ridden all of three miles from their room in a drafty dusty house on Broadway, so they can get shitfaced and make sure everyone sees them in their new black women's tightie's off the clearance rack at Sears, 'cause you know, trendy is defined by actually being seen, I mean, what good is it to stand apart if Joe Public doesn't know about it, right? So you better be loud and get some attention from all those squares, so you can feel all good inside about how square they all are, and how way too cool you are. Yeah, you're different all right. Strut it. Preen in public. Get that 'ol cycling cap at a good rakish angle, you devil, you. Yeah. You're anti establishment. You drink micro brew and won't listen to music by any artist who has more than 50 fans, 'cause that makes them a sellout. Yeah. Your bike is powered by smugness. Go, Rocky, go.

Get the fuck out.

Far be it from me to lash out on a whole group of people digging their own private little scene, because hey, that's sort of my MO as well, but I get a little anti when it comes to the poser bike scene. Bikes are a bunch of things, from everyday tools to racing weapons to pleasure toys, but I sure hate to see something as blatently utilitarian as a fixed gear get made into a fashion accessory. It's sort of like trying to mooch the real bike rider's (commuters, racers, enthusiasts, people who go for actual bike rides for fun) vibe to get some sort of better-than-tho stature out of it. I'd have a little more respect if there were full fenders, a rack, a trailer hitch, front and rear lights, and road grime in the drivetrain. I'd give a nod if these guys actually rode a bike in the winter when it's pissing down rain. I'd give props if these were a tool, or an exercise machine, or anything other than some sort of fucking fashion accessory. Sorry, bikes are a lot of things, including toys, health clubs, shopping carts, and tools, and for a lot of different reasons, but if you spend more time posing with your bike than riding it, you're the tool.

That's just what I think.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

MRT



It's been a bad week to be a pro cyclist. Arguably the most successful team in professional cyling over the last decade can't find a sponsor for next year, despite winning the Tour and putting another on the podium. The Kazakh juggernaught now has three positives from the last month, and no-one in the upper reaches of the sport's management is atually any closer to doing anything about it - tho the ASO-UCI screaming match seems to have quieted down a little bit like children throwing a temper tantrum finally hyperventillating and running out of air. Rest assured, after they get themselves under control, they will soon be back at it, flinging feces and screaming random obscenities.

Not only is man obviously descended from monkies, but some of us still are monkies.

I feel bad for monkies. Way to make them look bad.

Meanwhile, I finally got out and did the McKenzie River Trail yesterday, with Doug and Muyskyns. We rode up from the bottom until the Trail Bridge Reservoir, then turned around and came back. Somewhere around 4hrs, nice pace. And a sixer of Golden Stone amber ale awaited at the bottom. Mountain biking rocks. My skills even seemed to improve towards the end - I got going trying to rail all the turns and hit my pedals and cranks about 10 time in the last 15 minutes, occasionally knocking my feet off and once launching my rear wheel sideways, but the miracle of fat tires kept me upright and I swear, I didn't even crash. Who woulda thunk.

Keeping up the theme of avoiding road bikes this week, I am skipping both the Crawfish and the State Champs crit up in PDX this weekend. Not only is it a painful drive for an hour of racing, I just can't be convinced to give a damn. There's some wiley native rainbows in the upper reaches of the McKenzie, and I have a box of fresh flies ready to do some damage. I might pack in with a propane burner and a frying pan, and have me some fresh lunch on the river somewhere.

Sounds even better than riding...

Friday, August 10, 2007

things i learned

This I learned this week:


My cross bike is excellent. My skills are not.

My mountain bike can obscure that, but only on nice smooth trails like Ridgeline.

I can go faster on my cross bike, but safer on my mountain bike.

Blackberries are a good excuse for not riding a section that you are afraid of. Mmmm, tasty.

I really don't give a shit about my job anymore. Constant long days that are basically the new paradigm for the company are simply not attractive.

I can't wait for my Alaskan hunting adventure next month. In fact, I might go up early. Like, now.

When my woman is away, I have more chores to do. However, they don't take as long.

It is possible to make enough pizza on a Monday night to last for all meals, all week, and not get tired of pizza.

Do not eat pizza before a hard ride.

Beer is an excellent recovery drink.

The science channel rocks. When they go to commercial, I still have the military channel, the biography channel, the history channel, the history channel international, the discovery channel, HBOs, the food network, comedy central and the cartoon network. All evening and night long.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

55x11, 44x16

State TT: 4th. Eh. Course was long again, which was annoying. My ass still hurts.

So I followed that up with a 20 lap time trial in the new Monday fixed gear crit to ride away from 5 other dudes, spinning my 44x16 for all I was worth(gear restricted to 48x16, 21' rollout, which I am pretty sure everyone else had on), and took the victory. Yay.

And so begins the week of computerless riding. I'm skipping the crit, skipping the Thursday nighter, skipping all group rides. It's all about the cross bike, the mountain bike, and the fixie if I need skinny tires.

You see, the woman is out of town. I have 10 days of uninhibited riding ahead of me. After work, as long as I want. Weekends, wherever I want.

Tonight, tho, I'm going fishing.

It's not all about the bike.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aye-Caramba

Mayo too? I guess the "return to form" was too good to be true.

More training, less doping.



All quiet on the Oregon front.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

son of a ...

Ras-moo-sen fired and pulled from the tour. Rabobank had to have more dirt on him than just "he lied about his wherabouts". When you have a tour win locked up, it takes an impending positive dope test to yank the yellow jersey out and fire him. What are they not sharing?

I bought a ticket to France today. At this rate, they are going to need some volunteers to ride into Paris and finish this Tour. This could be my big break... I'll see you on the Champs Elysees.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

must be the wine

Am I drunk? Or all this shit really happening at the tour? Let's recap:

- Vino positive for blood transfusion
- Rasmussen in yellow, under a cloud
- Contador in white and 2nd, operation Puerto anyone?
- All Astana out, including 5th place Kloeden
- Sinkewitz already positive for testosterone, after having crashed out of the race

That's a bellyfull. I must have been drunk at 11am this morning when I read that shit. Man, I need to knock off the booze.

Seriously, tho. Cycling is messed up.

Or is it?

Think about it. If you've ever read "Rough Ride", "Breaking the Chain", or any of a half dozen books about cycling, or read the sports news at all in the last, oh, 20 years, you'll know drugs are around. Barry Bonds? How about the massive increase in NFL player's average weight and neck size while simultaneously lowering the 40yard sprint times drastically?

Come on.

The difference now is, people are getting caught. So the question is, what is everyone outraged at? That they cheated? Or that they got caught? I will argue that Vino testing positive is a good thing. He was likely cheating all along. He got busted. Good. Boot him out. Sinkin'wits the same. There were almost 200 riders starting the tour. Were 1% or more on drugs? 1% just got busted. Out of how many tests? 40? Good. The system is working.

Yes, it sucks to get the bad press for this sport. But, sponsors really need to realize that the outrage isn't that these guys got caught, but that they dared cheat to begin with, and that they weren't caught earlier. Kick them out. Give the rest a fair chance - and test like hell.

The whole process is still a stinking mess, but shit, at least something is getting done.

I will watch the tour tomorrow like always, glad that those guys got caught, glad that the race is a wee bit more fair, more ethical, and glad that the rest of the riders get a shot.

Evans just won the 1rst TT. Go Cadel.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

hometown throwdown

For the first time in about three years I wasn't racing a tandem at the co-motion crit, so I did the singles race. Single bike, that is. This year it's at the 'ol Tuesday night Greenhill crit course, instead of Creswell. Hometown advantage, right there.

So, of course, I attacked from the gun. From the line, actually. Technically, from about ten feet before the line.

Nick got on my wheel, I drilled it for a while, he drilled it for a while, we had a gap, and a couple laps later Mark and Greg came up and the four of us went around and lapped the pack in 16 laps out of 40. Don't mess with the boys from Eugene on our hometown course. Flat and windy, we know how to ride that.

We screwed around a bit for the next 20 odd laps, then it went a little faster, I went off at about 600m to go, it was too early, guys came around including Nick and Greg and I got 3rd. So it goes. There were more people off the front at that point so it was fun watching everyone else sprint for 8th.


The K-man was there but without the helmet cam. I am sad. He would have caught the booger on Greg's butt. Instead, there is only this to watch.

You are welcome.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

some folks are born, made to wear the flag...

oooo, that red white and blue.

generation chickenhawk


well shit. it's thursday night, i've got a glass of cognac chasing dinner and i only just realized that chef tony has been pitching his miracle blade and rock'n'chop at me for about two minutes. it's time to either turn off the boob tube or put this glass down. unlikely that i will do either.

the wind came out of my sails after sunday. with the season's goals over and done, i don't really feel much urge to keep going. the season won't end for me for a while - but a wee bit of a rest sounds really good. we've had a few days of rain and cool weather this week and the fixed gears and cross bikes looked really good. in fact, i had no desire to ride my road bike whatsoever. it's up in the stand waiting for a headset tune up. it's mid july - and i've been in full-on fall season mode (i.e. don't give a crap, anything but road riding).

the spark will return. probably right after this next glass.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

cascade redux

stage 1, TT: 9th
stage 2, crit: ? pack finish
stage 3, RR: 4th (finish up at sunrise lodge, mt bachelor, group of 15, 1 off the front)
stage 4, RR: 6th (circuit race @ tumalo state park, tough course, short climbs, pack sprint ~35 guys)
final GC: 7th.

so, according to the OBRA upgrade rules:
stage 3 = 5pts
stage 4 = 3pts
gc finish = 9pts

cascade: 17pts. elkhorn: 10pts. aquired from previous races: 12pts. my total: 39pts
required to upgrade from cat 3 to cat 2: 25pts (surpased on the basis on elkhorn and cascade alone)

the state TT will be my last cat 3 race. then, i get to be pack fodder once more. sweet.

i think it also means i can drink beer and start looking at my cross bike or my mountain bike, or my running shoes, or my fishing pole, or just about anything other than my damn road bike. season's goals - done. and so am i.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

cascade classic

I am wiped. It's hot out here in Bend.

I got 9th in the TT and sat in during the crit. I made the lead group today with 1 guy off the front - and attacked with 600m to go for 4th. I am exaughsted. A good night sleep and tomorrow's circuit race are all that are left.

More later

Thursday, July 12, 2007

...

The tour just got a whole lot more interesting. Vino lost gobs of time (by Tour standards). You know what this means? The good 'ol hyper-agressive Vino we all know and love will be back in the mountains trying to gain it all back. Assuming he isn't too hurt and can stick it out. But Kloeden cracking his coccyx (ass-bone?) on top of the Wino's time loss may not bode well for my Astana 1-2 predictions.

Cascade starts tomorrow for me. I'll have a pretty good idea of how I stand after the TT, and the GC will be sealed after the first road stage. Ready? Don't know yet. I'll know tomorrow morning. This race should be a lot harder than Elkhorn. I fully expect to be on my limits on the climbs. Hopefully those limits are high enough that I can hang... .

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Mo' Money.

Salem circuit race was pretty cool. A short hill with a quick rolling part at the top, right turn to a short descent to another right turn, flat tailwind section to the line. 1.9 miles, suits me to a T. Which is why I put the pressure on the first time up the hill (50min + 1 lap, ended up being 12 laps), and then attacked a short ways up it the second time. I got the prime for that lap, solo, then had Hulick bridge up and we got another prime, and some distance, dropped him after a few laps while a teammate of his and Mr. Hill (of Cherry Pie fame) came along, and we went the distance. I sucked the sprint to 2nd. Quite OK - but the $65 total was kind of nice. Considering how close to home it was, hey, it's a nice bonus. I think I'm buying Sushi with it tonight.

Tomorrow's tour stage: I don't think a break will stick. And since McEwen took a tumble, I think that opens up for Boonen to rock the stage. If I had to guess the rest of the podium, I'd put Hushovd 2nd, Zabel 3rd.

predictions

Pappa Kev-O and I have a running list of predictions going for the tour. I predicted Cancellara in the Prologue yesterday, while he called out Zabriskie - so now that I'm up 1-0 on him, here's a list of our respective predictions.

Pappa Kev-O says:


Prologue to Zabriskie
Stage 1 to Boonen
Jens Voigt gets a stage
Chris Horner gets swept up in the last 2k at least once, probably 2-3 times
Frenchman wears yellow: Sandy Casar's day has come

and for the overall:

Vino top 5 but off the podium due to agressive riding and blowing up
Kloeden's race to lose
Frank Schleck in the top 10
Boonen in Green
Rassmussen in Polka Dots
Levi in the hunt, but has a breakdown (mental or physical) and ends top 15, not top 5
Karpets a dark horse



G says:

Zabriskie gets 2nd in both TTs (maybe win the last one), but Cancellara will win the Prologue and the first TT.
Freire takes a stage early then retires due to his cyst
Hincapie doesn't do squat - he gets in a couple breaks then loses.
Jens Voigt rules a breakaway stage
Horner comes close twice
Two Italians get busted for doping
A Frenchman wins on the 14th of July
No Frenchman in top 10 on GC
Boonen gets 3 stages
McEwen gets 2 stages


overall:

1. Koeden, 2. Vino, 3. Evans, 4. Valverde, 5. Schleck.
Moreau wears yellow for a few days, then wears Polka Dots until he blow up and finishes in 15-20th on GC
Frank Schleck in the top 10 for sure, I put money on the top 5 tho.
Levi out of the top 5. I say better than 10th, but barely.
Zabriskie top 15
Boonen in Green
Pereiro won't even be close to being a factor

Friday, July 6, 2007

le grand depart

it's on. the year's greatest, most prestigious, most dramatic, longest sporting event starts at the crack of dawn tomorrow (west coast time). there's been drugs, trials, bizzare and sick behavior by the uci (fat guys who dont ride any more), the team managers (fat guys who use to dope) and the riders (skinny guys who may or may not dope), and all sorts of wild and crazy shite. but you know what? it's the tour. it's a spectacle. its entertainment. it's guys with more talent than i could dream of riding their asses off. it's what i pictutre when i attack a cat 3 race 50k from the finish on a big-ass hill into a headwind. and i will keep coming back. let the shit fly and the drama unwind after the damn race, but tomorrow morning, i will be up with a big mug of coffee, some breakfast, and a fat-ass grin.

it's july. it's le tour. it's on.

rock and roll, bitches.

Monday, July 2, 2007

paris and larry

Oh good lord, she's on Larry King.
"Why did you decide to come on this show"
"Cause, uh, I really like and respect you... I respect what you do..."
...
Then she describes lunches, visitor hours, the orange jumpsuit she wore, and the inmate bonding experience, showers... well, almost. It would be worth the pain if she did that.

You would think jail was a brand new invention, to listen to this crap.

Maybe next she'll get interviewed while she learns to wipe her butt.

"So tell me, was it a slow learning curve or did you pick it up really quick?"
"Well, I made a mess at first, but then I figured where my asshole was and that I needed to wipe there, like, uh, right over it, not just around it."
"How long does it take you to wipe your ass?"
"At first it look a long time, like, uh, almost an hour, and even then it wasn't totally, like, perfect, but now it's like less than a few minutes."


Terrible.


In other news, the state RR went alright. A massive break went the first time up Briggs hill, when all the pro's sprinted from the bottom all the way up. After that, it pretty much settled out, and after 3 laps there were a series of stragglers up in no-man's land trying to get something away, and the big break 12 minutes up the road. Right after the start of lap 4 (of 5), I attacked at the top of welder's hill, and after a few minutes bridged up to three guys up the road, we began catching people and soon there were 7 of us working well, rolling away, riding hard. We had, I would guess, 2-3 minutes on the pack at one point. Then Rubicon decided to pull it back and we got caught right at the base of Briggs for the last time up, 6 miles or less from the end. The writing was all over the wall and my race was done, so I pretty much pulled the plug, there wasn't a lot. Cruised in for a slow finish. Right at the 1k mark my left calf siezed up in a massive cramp, so I did a few hundred meters pedalling with my right leg only, then stretched it enough that I could cross the line.

Good times. I felt strong. Raced my bike. And it was much more interesting that sitting around waiting to sprint for middle of the pack.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

long week

There's something about sitting in a car for 7 hours after a stage race that really isn't condusive to recovery. I don't think my legs have ever been this tight. It's like having walnuts in the calves and hamstrings. Horrible.

Work has been less than ideal but I still managed to squeeze in a couple of quality rides. Monday was pure recovery, Tuesday was the crit. I felt surprisingly strong despite the tired legs - maybe that's a good thing. This morning I pounded the coffee early and hit the road on the TT bike for a good 90 minutes - something I've desperately needed to do. Getting some power back in the TT position is going to be important. I started off by re-setting my saddle to match my road bikes, as a starting point, then fiddling a little bit from there to try and put my torso in a similar angle to my hips and when I ride the drops on the road. As a result, I ended up with the aero extensions a bit further back, the saddle up higher, and the nose up a bit too. I managed to get rid of the IT band tighteness I felt at Elkhorn and got the quads back up and firing again in that position, and felt a solid bit more comfortable putting out the power by the end. Now I need to ride it and stop fiddling. I'm calling that dialed for the rest of the season.

State championship this weekend. I've never done the Senior race before, but since I missed my 3 race earlier due to a wedding, this is the chance. If I can hang in longer than most of the local 1/2's, that'll be a good start.

Monday, June 25, 2007

elkhorn, stg 4, the finale

A 12 man break went at mile 10. Those bastards. It guaranteed that there was no time for a pee break the entire stage. And peeing off the bike wasn't an option either, and we were either going uphill, or hammering downhill. The speed kept up enough that I didn't dare risk drifting too far off the back.

Sucks.

I think 84 guys started this race. We had about 40 left at the bottom of the last climb, a 12-13km haul up a steady 5% grade with switchbacks. The break had a 2min lead when we hit the hill. There were attacks and accelerations, with people starting to go backwards right away and when I saw the leader's jersey jump ahead I hit the gas and dug in to bridge a gap to that group. Pretty soon it was about 12-15 of us stringing out on the climb. I moved up as well as I could until about 4th wheel, and guys started coming off the group. By halfway up it was down to 4. We started catching reminants of the break. The climbing pace itself never felt too difficult, but one of the guys in my group kept putting in wicked accelerations trying to drop the race leader, which were getting seriously hard to follow. I came off at 1k to go, put it in the big ring and powered to the finish the best I could. 12th across the line, moved me up to 6th on GC.

Not bad for riding solo. The weekend really came down to 2 hard efforts: the TT, and the last climb. There were a few bursts here and there the rest of the time to get in a sheltered spot, but that's about it. Despite trying to conserve, the sheer distance and saddle time builds up enough fatigue that by the end, I was getting tired.

Hopefully I gained some good fitness from this race. Senior men's RR is Sunday, we'll see how long I can stay on. If Aaron Olson and Doug Ollerenshaw show up... it'll be interesting.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

elkhorn stg 2, 3

10th in the TT. The three guys ahead of me were all 2" or less away. ah.

Still, a couple of those ahead had been dropped yesterday, so i moved into 7th. 36" back.

The crit was a cruise. Some Joker leaned into someone in a corner, freaked, swung out the other way and took out about 5 or 6 guys. Some Idiot threw a half full water bottle away (like the 1/2lb is going to make a difference in a flat crit) and it rolled back into the field. Other than that, easy. I spent most of the race feeling like I could hold a conversation. I don't think I could have conserved any more energy.

So far, I've gone hard in the TT and short sections of the first stage. Remains to be seen how hard I can go tomorrow when it counts - conserving or no, there's probably 130 miles in my legs this weekend so far if I include the longish warmups. And there's three climbs before the finish climb - an 8 mile 5% beggar to cap off a 100 mile day.

Should be fun.

Friday, June 22, 2007

elkhorn, stg 1

85F, 82 miles supposedly (really 77 miles including several miles neutral rollout).

The first half was pretty much straight downhill into a headwind. Then, in the tiny town of Richland, we went around both city blocks and headed back the way we came.

Not exactly a scenery rich stage.

It was, however, windy. Tail turing to cross winds on the exposed sections. One five mile climb didnt destroy the field, tho it was reduced to about 30. I managed to sit mostly sheltered from the raging cross winds, and so my hardest 10 minutes on that hill averaged about 280W. Anyone caught in the wind was probably doing half again as much. I had a few short jumps to move up or get better shelter, thats about it. Mellow day. Hot. Tiring, but not stressful. I finished with the pack.

Stage highlights include:

- spotting a nice buck alongside the course duing the 40 mile coast to Richland
- people litterally stopping in the feedzone, dropping bottles everywhere
- some dude flipping his bike, in the feedzone, at about 15mph (i think he hit a bottle)
- poor fred meyer kid a rock half the size of my head, right in the middle of the field, endo'ed into broken shale and rock of the shoulder (hes ok and so is his bike)

other than that, really a pretty tame day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

oops.

I tried to wheel surf. I really did. But I somehow ended up off the front for 7 laps early in the race, with a Paul's, then several laps later bridged to another break and attacked them when they were getting reeled back in with about 25 to go, and after a lap with my head down and powermeter running out of digits I saw I had 3 more dudes on my wheel and we had a healthy gap. That was all she wrote. We drilled it, held off a hard-chasing pack, the fat lady started hollerin' with 10 to go and I bluffed it home. Pulled the last two laps to keep it moving so we wouldn't get caught while playing games, and sat up at about 200 with an empty tank. I went a little deeper and a little longer than planned, but that's how these things go. I get bored, I attack, I end up riding my tail off. Every time.

Two days super easy with some openers tomorrow, then it's go-time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

good times.

Crit tonight. A last tune-up for Elkhorn. I need the intensity but not a full balls-out hour-long crit's worth. So I think I'll have fun surfing the Hutch's train as they attack and chase each other, and try not to be too spend too much time off the front.

I don't usually do the whole link dump thing, but whatever:

real reason for helmets
UCI finally looses all sanity
rednecks should be shot
google car
google this
maybe they can DQ the whole relgious right

Monday, June 18, 2007

pain.

Amen.

So let's say you just got busted for a DUI and thanks to lawyer's fees and the rising price of PBR you're a little strapped for cash and need a new ride. So you buy a $79 full suspension Magna from your favorite retailer - WalMart. It was put together by some pimple-ridden Goon who raved about the advantages of 21 gears over 18... and how this bike don't need no air in the tires so you won't get flats. It's heaven on wheels.

Even this piece of shit Magna comes with an owner's manual. In English. But you toss that (real Men don't read the instructions). There's some silly warning tag hanging off those quick release thingies on the wheels. It's got some instructions on it, too. Toss that, it's an eyesore. Don't read it, again, 'cause you're a real man. And when you lock your bike up in front of the courthouse on Tuesday morning, you make sure to take the wheel off and lock it up next to the frame like the cool kids. When your parole sentence comes down and you get to wobble off home going against traffic in the bike lane, you slap that front wheel in and spin the lever thing good 'n snug. Not too snug, 'cause the wheel's got to come off again at 7-eleven in a mile or so.

And when that wheel falls off as your retarded ass eventually drops the bike off a curb and miraculously whack the wheel out of the lawyer tabs, and you crash, hurting no-one but yourself, because you were too dumb to read two or three different warning labels, signs, manuals, or spend two seconds computing the function of an elemental, two piece cam mechanism, well, that's just natural selection at work. That's why there's a big hard top tube between your legs - do it enough times and you won't be allowed to breed.

Unless, of course, you live in New Jersey. They believe in keeping people like you in the gene pool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

british invasion

You might happen to be riding around Eugene one of these evenings. You might run into some fast rides. You just might run into a fit looking, very freindly dude on a Bike Friday, who says things like "bloke" and "mate" and "smashing". His name is Rob, and quite appropriately, his last name is English. Ride the wheel.

I got in a break with a hutch's and Rob on the TR nighter and the Bloke pretty much tore our legs off. He would take 30mph pulls for a solid minute, let us fools do a through-and-off, and pull again. We did this for something like 12 miles.

But he was so damn nice about it... and he threw his hands in the air at the line as I detonated in 2nd, and laughed with joy as he did. Good on him. Anyone who thinks otherwise can lodge a protest with Sal along with a $15 deposit and get him DQed. He's the strongest guy in, around, or near town, bar none.

Now I hurt.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

extreme.

Whoa. Not cool. I'm not a fan of the nasty, but come on, what's truly wrong with people blowing off a little steam?

Remind me never to move to Iran.

I wonder if they would have shot paris hilton.

I wonder if we should have shot paris hilton.

Nah. That wouldn't make for as much good news.

I hope she makes another tape, and that it gets bootlegged and distrubuted in corner markets all over Iran. That would be amusing. Paris Hilton: the next Salaman Rushdie.

Monday, June 11, 2007

paris no longer dumb?

bogus! If that was an act, she could have had a real career in showbiz. But it wasn't. Once a dumb, spoiled blonde, always a dumb, spoiled blonde. Even after reality smacks you upside the head.

anyhow, this is pretty much my definition of beautiful:

watch it here

serious issue for making self examination

No joke - a line from a vendor communication the other day:

"But, we’re really pleasure that you point out the serious issue for us making self-examination."

Yes, self-examination is a serious issue. I hear it's goverment recommended in China. You know, in line with the whole one-child policy. Just don't be caught doing too much examination at work.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

paris back in!

yeah, late news. whatever. im still grinning.
why do i care or follow some sick overblown media hyped bull? i dont know. but somehow, its sick and fascinating, all at once.




no state RR for me this weekend. bummer. it's a perfect course for me. but, i got to watch my 22yr old cousing marry a 29yr old hottie in the lovely moutains of colorado. bastard. he's blind, too, and pretty much knocked that one out of the park. amazing.




Thursday, June 7, 2007

paris loose!

They let her out! damn. no showers with hardened criminals for her.

"The Post said she was seen crying as she cracked “under the pressure of prison,”"... I thought that was the whole point of prison? Can someone explain what exactly is wrong with having someone crack under the pressure of prison?

It makes a travesty of a mockery of a sham of the American justice system. And I had such high hopes.

Monday, June 4, 2007

weekend recap

saturday: three big climbs of wolf creek, from crow down to siuslaw river, and back again.
sunday: hwy 242 from the ranger station into sisters for lunch, and back.

weekend total: 7:30hrs, 223km (135mi), 3362m (11,000ft) climbing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

more stupid

Pro's are dicks. 1 and 2. Learn some modesty and be happy for a dude, even if it's a mistake. It'll all come out in the wash. Dicks.


That'll earn you twenty smacks on the head, and repeat "My shit stinks too" and "I will not be a dick" one hundred times.


In other news:



Record and white bar tape. Brand new white saddle, just to match. Hells yeah. And yes, that is a tail-light on the seat stay. I plan on being out late riding this, so purists can bite me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

...

Silverton cancelled because of a nasty wreck in the 4/5's that had guys still being stabilized on the pavement an hour later. Good lord. Keep the rubber side down.

Elkhorn is going to be my first road race in two months. That's going to be messed up. I'll have a bunch of thursday nighters and some crits under the belt... but still. No real gauge of fitness until Baker City. Could be trouble.

I went out and did the hillclimb tonight, for the first time all month, simply because I needed a real piece of data. Also, I really wanted to ride my carbon wheels. And I wore my TT helmet just for giggles. I justified it by saying that the first 0.9 miles are flat/flatish, which is more than 1/4 of the race. Good enough reason for me. The time wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, either, after a big weekend that included 90miles yesterday, with what seemed like killer headwind for most of it.

Actually, the real reason I'm bummed about not racing is that I don't get to ride my cool gear. I'll have to be a poser these next couple of weeks and ride the fancy stuff at the Thursday Night Worlds... just hope I don't flat.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stupid.

Well shit. Talk about uninspired. I've been slammed at work and desperately trying to cram in rides afterwards, I'm so fried when I get home I can barely process the GF's 'sex in the city' re-runs much less the day's news, rants, dope, or drivel. This is kinda not fun. There's some solace found in late-night bike rebuilds, but more often than not I end up with grease imbedded in my pores and no idea why Ultegra cranks have a narrower q-factor than FSA ISIS and now I can't get a good chain line some damned bike. That's why I have a whole garage full of those things, when I screw one up I can just ride a different one.

CNN (or was it NBC?) kindly spat out the Republican debates the other night - which in my fatigued haze cemented my determination to one day see myself in Congress for no other reason than to pass a single bill: we need a law against Stupid.

Driving while eating a big mac and talking on your cell phone? Guilty of stupid. $1,000 fine, smack on the back of the head.

Vegan parents raising babies on apple juice and soy milk? Guilty of stupid. Loose custody of the kid, take 8 semesters of nutrition classes, then receive 200 smacks on the head while repeating "Stupid, stupid, stupid"

Take drugs to win a bike race? Guilty of stupid. Receive smacks on the back of the head while repeating above mantra, until unconscious. Forfit all lycra and ride your bike in tennis shoes for one year.

You get the idea.

Italianophile.

Silverton this weekend will be my first race since the Roubaix last month. With my power meter still out for repair, and no racing, I have zero idea how relatively fit I am right now. This could be trouble. All the data and guesstimates that I have been able to gather make me think I'm pretty much levelling off as far as raw fitness is concerned. There's just no more time in the week I can take to keep adding on the hours. Now it's just a matter of making sure all the specificity is there, so really focus on getting my intervals in and on making all the group rides I can, and throwing down some intensity. At this point, easy miles are wasted miles unless I'm specifically resting up for something.

So it goes.

I stripped all the Ultegra off my red steel bike the other day and replaced it with a mix of Campy Record, my old FSA carbon cranks, Rival brakes, and a modified shimano cassette. Just for fun. I guess I've been feeling Italianophile recently. I like it. Actually, it raised a whole other set of questions since I think I was faster on it in the last couple of days than on my regular steed, and I think it might have to do with the crank length - switching back to 172.5 from 175mm. Usually I'm skeptical that would actually make a measureable difference, but it sure felt a lot snappier. I felt like I added a few rpms in any given gear. Maybe I'll race it this weekend for giggles, and see how it goes. Nice bike. All it needs is white bar tape and a white saddle, and it's set.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

the tools abide.

you know, i might just have to give up my pro bike racing news habit for a while. i mean, i spend a lot of time around the tool room at work, but nothing compares to the juice found over at the bike press rags these days. home depot's got nothing on these guys.

tyler: give it up already? doped a lot, he got caught a couple of time, career over. done. go learn the words "may i take your order?". learn to take your punishment like a whiny wh**e, instead of keeping up the whole "my evil twin doped my blood in the womb" routine.

tool.

landis may have to buy himself a new tie. yellow is looking less and less like his color.

greg drops a stinker - not just any stinker, but a big 'ol pipe clogger.
the proverbial fan spreads said dung like a pipe bomb.

wild. tools. wild tools.

i'm going to subscribe to "people", that has just got to be more serious than all this shit. the good news is, none of these jerks race bikes in oregon, so at the end of the day, who gives a damn? cruise on over to DC and forget about it.

it's late. i'm out of beer. i'm out.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What is tool in Italian?

And we have two Italian Tools leading the way. Que bella indeed.

Pettachi takes a stage, after a year of moping. Beautiful. Don't punch anything.

Di Luca pouts after his teammate grabs "his" jersey from him in the prologue. Note the coiffure, designer shades, poised pout. Get over it, tool-man.

I love italy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

All Hail the Tools.

Oh man. Grab a cold one, strap on your utility belt, lower your jeans below your asscrack, and start hammering some nails, 'cause it's officially Tool Time.

I'll start with the classy Italian tools (small, expensive, pretty, semi-functional)

Only attempted doping. "only"? So running away with the Giro by riding the best climbers in the world off your wheel, day after day, winning with the biggest gap in modern history, and turning from a straight climber into an all-rounder and a TT-machine, that's just explained by a few more hours on the bike? Right. First he breaks down, quits Discovery, can't handle his conscience (and probably his Mother), confesses, and now he back pedals by saying he hadn't actually doped, yet. Tool.

It's like how Millar used to talk big, now now where is he? Not winning the tour, for damned sure. Not even close to being in contention.


I will say, I'm just glad he copped to it, now they can throw the book at him. I love watching the pressure turn on and the dopers squirm like kids in the dentist's chair. Let them keep racing until they confess or test positive, (you know, let the governing bodies show some integrity in their Tool hunt), but then when they crack, kick them out and strip them of all wins and money for the last three years. That ought to be just.


Yes, there is justice in this world after all. Like Toolyer Hamilton's return to the bike in obscurity, and then getting left off the Giro start list. Sucks to be clean, huh Tyler?


Ah yes. Let us rejoice in the celebration of Tools.



Yes, the real world does actually apply for Tools, too. I bless Toolishness every day.

Another favorite: Paris Hilton is going to jail. She got a DUI, suspended lisence, was told by the judge to enroll in an alcohol education program but never did, was caught driving with her suspended lisence and made to sign an affadavit that she had, in fact, just been told by some very nice cops that she wasn't allowed to drive, then she did it again, in true Tool style, by speeding with her headlights off. That's strikes, 1, 2, and 3. Strike 4 is going to double her jail time if she doesn't show up like she's supposed to.

I hope they throw her in the kind of prison that would generate the sequel to her lovely first film - maybe this one could be called "45 nights in the slammer". I smell an ANV award.


What a great stinkin' week. All hail the Tools.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mulletude.

The winner of the Roubaix Best Mullet competition, with a very strong impersonation of the Boonen-mullet, quite appropriate given the title of the race:


Slightly blurry photo, from K-man. However, note the unruly tail-feathers strewn about the shoulders, accentuated by the snarl and curled lip. It looks a little better with the helmet off.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Result at last

I went out to the course at 7am to sweep corners, by 10 was in the Masters 40+ wheel car (i.e. my truck), 1:58 threw my clothes on in a panic as my race staged and 2:08 rolled out. 5 laps of ~22k.

What a race. Wind, rollers, enough that when people rode fast, everybody suffered. At the end of lap 4 of 5, hitting the gravel stretch for the second to last time, we took it at some decent speed and strung things out. Then the last climb up the hill immediately after for the start of lap 5 just detonated the field. By detonated, I mean destroyed, shattered, split, tore up, shredded. We had lost maybe 10 guys prior to that. I made a selection of 4 over the top of the hill. 2 more joined up right away and by the time we were 2 miles off the top of the hill we had a huge gap to the next little group. And I would guess the second group had a good gap to the third, etc. With 15k to go there was just no-one in sight behind. 2 therapeutics and 2 fred meyer, me, and one gentle lover. I tried taking short and easier pulls, hoping the legs wouldn't be totally fried when we got to the line. Therapeutic and FM each had one guy sitting on, so I figured I had to keep working and keep the pace up a little bit otherwise they were going to start attacking and counter attacking, and I would get screwed by having to try and follow all the moves. So I pulled, but not too much. Less than 1k out from the gravel I made a move that took Carson Miller with me and the others kind of looked at each other. We opened the gap, I got on his wheel, came around too early and really sucked at the sprint. He took it back. I was hurting. He did a great ride. I didn't expect to win the sprint but had to give it a go. It was close enough we both threw our bikes at the line. Altho it was more of a tired heave-ho than a real throw... .

See the duo on the dirt, here and more here

Good times. I can't wait for next year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Insert Wagner here

That's right. Three days to Roubaix.

Turn up the speakers. Arm the guns. Tighten your seatbelt. It's GO-time.


Walla Walla was a good test. I skipped the wet crit in favor of safeguarding my bones. It was a tough call to make, but I'm OK with it. I rode my way from the back to the front of the field on the finishing climb of the RR twice, first time to test my legs and the second time because I was an idiot. I had moved up to ~20th in the pack with 15k to go, then panicked and thought I had a flat. Hopped off the bike with the chain in the 11, realized it wasn't actually flat, then chased back on. So I had about 3k of rest before the 3k hill and started at the back again. Came across 24th 50" back. There was no reason I couldn't have been up with the front besides my own stupidity.

Still, the form is there. Now to work on the brain.

For those who give a damn any more:

Basso catching the Ullrich stink and here too

Maybe he cheated but the methods are bogus

Let's play Witch Hunt!

Justice

Bias

Even this guy tested positive once - back before the real testing began

They could very well all be on drugs - which is disgusting - but that doesn't justify the WADA, USADA, UCI and ASO methods, does it? Shouldn't the process be unimpeachable first and foremost? That's a basic element of a fair trial. You can't convict "because I'm sure he did it". That's a farce. If the process isn't clean the riders never will be.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Roubaix

Eugene Roubaix, that is. I went and rode Cantrell and Oak Hill yesterday, out and back. Took a series of pictures from the race direction (headed east). The whole gravel stretch is about a mile, the distance from the end of the gravel to the finish is 200-300m, the hill is maybe a half mile, quick and twisty (but safe, good pavement) descent, then you get back on Crow road and loop around again. Crow - Right on Petzold - Right on Central - Right on Cantrell, and that's it.

So here goes.


Start with an idyllic Oregon road...



Hmmmm....




Here we go....



All gravel, all straight





These guys had just finished work - yes, the whole road was steamrolled.

Pavement begins again right before the road rises up

Looking back

And 200, 300m ahead, after hitting pavement, there's the finish line (on that dark patch)

If it's not the last lap, then trade gravel for uphill

20mph my butt...

Over the top

Don't be deceived by the camera angle, that's a double digit percentage slope. Swing a right turn and then instantly snake into...

A left turn... get some major speed...
Don't screw this up, go left now, because right hits gravel again...

Sweep downhill and then there's a little kicker ahead

Only 80-100m but steep

Over the top of that, now there's a clean sweeping right turn again


And ahead is a stop sign, and turn right onto Crow road and be on your merry way around the course for another go

Monday, April 16, 2007

KV

Kings Valley didn't go so hot. It was a pretty easy ride around for 50some miles where I actually had the discipline to sit in for once, but on the finishing hill I didn't particularly have any pop. I looked at my power file afterwards - and basically it was a long medium paced training ride with no more than 2-3 minutes at a time going over threshold, and that only a few times. I came it to it with a TSB of 0 so maybe that teaches me a lesson. I'm starting Walla Walla next week with about +12, so we will see what the legs do.

It looks like maybe the weather will hold, too, so that would be good. I think the TT is basically like the back side of Lorane, maybe even shallower, around 1.5%, up and back. Ideal. We will see.

Sunday I got up ass-eary to watch Stuey win the real Roubaix, and was so damned tired that for once I bagged the heavy training ride and took off on my 'cross bike to scope out Cantrell. Freshly graveled, I popped a pinch flat on my second pass. I had about 100lbs of pressure in a 25mm, so I'll up that about 10lbs and ride it again and see what happens. With the way rain and traffic pushes the gravel off it should be in pretty ideal (read, tough but safe) condition in 2 weeks for the Eugene Roubaix. I'm stoked. I took the hill in my big ring (50t) no problems, tho it's a steep beggar near the top. That'll break things up pretty good. The race finishes on the false flat right after the gravel section, tho this one wont be either a real sprint or a mass gallop up some silly hill. It'll be people trickling in onesies and twosies. This might be one race that plays to my strengths, for once.

Fingers crossed. Hope the weather holds.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

and again

yeah... it went alright. i went faster. not fast enough, but it was a hell of a lot for comfortable. i maxed out the legs but i have a feeling max wasn't all that high. one of these days i'll come in to it rested. still, considering the riding, im quite ok with the performance. at least i didn't get beat by as many old men.

i saw last night that vonnegut passed. that's sad news. not that there is anything unusual or unexpected about an 84yr old moving on, but it's always a little sad when an icon like that passes. it's more because that's the end of their writing, the end of a vein.

so it goes.

Monday, April 9, 2007

long weekend

Exactly 72 miles both days. 9 hr weekend. Good stuff. Lots of climbing involved.

Today is rest and recovery. Tomorrow is another TT - the legs won't be primed for that (training hard on weekends is never going to result in a fast Tuesday ride), but they should be OK. I'm going to try and add some hard miles on to the TT ride afterwards, then recover three days with short rides (a few sprints Thursday instead of the short course World's), Kings Valley should see decent fitness with fresh legs. I'm shooting for a smart ride and strong finish.
Walla Walla is the next weekend, that's big goal. Eugene Roubaix comes the weekend after that - a slightly less lofty goal but still a target.

That's why I'm on the schedule of racing weekends, training hard monday and tuesday if possible, then recovering for the next race and training block. I'm pretty much expecting to be somewhat tired for Tuesday TTs.

That doesn't mean I don't think I can gun for the win. I got beat by an old man last week - and that shouldn't happen again.

It'll be an interesting couple of weeks.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

TT#1

I did a TT. It sucked. I rode slow. My butt hurt. I mashed the pedals instead of spinning because I needed to take weight off my ass. I was still slow.

Damnit.

Next week, it will be perfect. My legs will be good, my position will be good, I will have no excuses for not crushing all comers. So, I will crush all comers. Poor, poor beggars.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

mmm... tasty.

I cleared a big 'ol head full of snot this AM. That actually felt good - like I cleared out some crap that needed clearing, and maybe my body got all the junk moving around (and out). Maybe the shock of racing helped, who knows. The hot steam of my shower yesterday produced some interesting results, too.

That's not the "tasty" part, however. That came about as made a small bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast that, upon removal from the microwave, suddenly looked terribly unappetizing. Being loath to waste it, I got inspired and improvized some oatmeal pancakes that went down really, really well. Let's see:

3/4cup dry oatmeal microwaved in ~3/4 cup milk
stir in 2 tablespoons veggie oil
add another 1/2cup milk, cold
beat in 1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark rye flour
1 to 1-1/4 cup regular flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder

Adjust for batter consistency (it's gotta pour like regular pancake batter). Cook on hot griddle. Serve with butter and maple syrup. Makes ~ 8-9 pancakes.

I'm not ashamed to say that I ate them all.

G

Saturday, March 31, 2007

ice, ice baby.

Woke up feeling like crap, as I have all week, had some coffee, felt worse, watched tv and surfed the internet trying to forget that the Icebreaker crit was on today 2 miles from my house. At about 11 I threw on some real clothes and rode over to the course on my 'cross bike, and registered for the 2pm race. I had some serious doubts about actually riding it between feeling bad and the sky threatening to deluge the course. I rode home, had some tea, and watched more tv. At about 1 I started to kit up. I looked in the mirror and looked like hell.

I raced anyways. I didn't make the break that stuck, but got pretty animated trying to make something stick. It was one of those rides where I was either going to be sitting in or attacking, since I was solo from my team and there were a couple squads with 4-5 guys each, there really wasn't any point in doing anything else. No closing gaps unless it was an attempt to bridge, no riding or or around the front in that massive headwind unless I was getting ready to take off. Eventually I ended up sitting on in a small group of 6 or 7 between the pack and the 6 guys off the front, and rode away with about 500m to go, before the last corner, to comfortably cruise to 7th. Eh, it's ok. I had no zip all day. No spark. The watts were alright, but I felt like there was very definite lid on my power output. It was really windy and reasonably quick, the kind of race that should suit me well, but it was certainly no harder than the mid-summer crit series on that course. I just felt about capped at 80%, which is certainly tons better than I was earlier in the week. I figured that if I was in for an inch I was in for a mile, so I promptly took off after the race and rode around the lake for another 38 miles or so with a teammate who showed up to heckle.

At least I know I'm getting better! Still, no race for me tomorrow. I feel like I could sleep in all morning, so I think I will do just that.

G

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

love it.

even if youre not a fan of the show, thats some funny shiznit. at least, it is to me, and this is my blog.

Watts.

This month:

Best 5 sec = 950W
Best 1 min = 603W
Best 5 min = 432W
Best 20 min = 377W

weight = 73.5 kg

Up 6 W on the 20 min power in the last month or two, up 17W over last year on 5 min power. 1 min is about the same.

Sick.

Great, I'm sick. It dropped like a bomb. The winter bugs were avoided all season, and now I finally got mine. Friday, felt great. I woke up Saturday with a seriously dry throat and cotton in my ears, which sort of cleaned out with two cups of hot tea and lots of water. Then I rode wolf creek, because this was my one chance at a decent ride all weekend (and all week, for that matter). Monday was worse, I could hardly drag myself out of bed, and in fact I took most of the afternoon off from work and laid around the house watching c-span. Today, better, but still no chance of throwing a leg over a bike.

Racing this weekend looks iffy. I'll probably do the crit in town anyways, since I'm here, and if I feel decent I'll head right off for a long ride afterwards. The Sunday race up in Woodland is likely out. I'll either need the training miles, or be thrashed from Saturday because when I've been sick my recovery ability goes down the crapper. I'll ride anyways, but it won't be no race. I guess those boys will have to ride around waiting for the sprint, I guess I'll have to hurt their legs some other day.

The pisser of it all is, the lady is gone on a 10 day work trip. The weekend was somewhat blown between the swap meet and getting sick, and now this whole week is going, too. Usually when herself is gone is the time I get in the most and the best training miles, since I'm not overly concerned if I actually spend any time at home, or if I work a full day, ride 2 1/2 hrs and go fishing after work, get home in the dark, eat a little, and pass out. I get fit during those little trips. Not this one, tho. And I won't be able to catch up, either - "hi honey glad you're back but I'm doing 20 hrs this week and then I'm chasing steelhead" is probably not going to fly.

Ah well. It happens to us all. Maybe I'll have to pull the dreaded early morning rides next week to make up for lost time. I hate those... but they sure keep both of us happy...

G

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Freire

Gotta love that guy. And, Pettachi is a wiener.

I woke up this AM hoping to see the race on cycling.tv, but there was some mumbo jumbo about legal problems getting the rights to it. Great. Get my hopes up, then dash them. I'll have to watch the recap on versus tomorrow. Awesome.

Meanwhile the Spaniard is the MAN. He doesn't need a leadout train, he doesn't run away if the road has a bump in it, he just wins. In style. No-one has better tactical skill than Freire. I root for him every time. Italian sprinters can stay at home this year.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

recumbents

Are fast. Not as fast uphill as they are on the flat, and definitly faster in the hands of a very talented road racer, but still pretty fast. At least, the lightweight high-zoot ones are. The 9ft long steel contraptions with windscreens, tailsocks, ten pounds of gear and five pounds of lights piloted by bearded old men in day-glow yellow kit, not so fast. Rob English and a 18lb carbon bent, fast.

It was fast. It was steadier than normal, but having the whole field single file doing 30mph for long stretches is quite something. It was kind of like a motorpacing effort. I was pretty much drained after that. What a different kind of game.

When Rob gets on an upright, the pain will increase ten-fold. He will motor on all terrain, not just flat roads. That will be something. I can't wait.

G

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday night

is alright for a little tussling, too, as it turns out. Everyone is eager to get in a little training block since there's no racing this weekend. Good times.

I chased down the 'Ghetto ride' (i.e. Paul's guys and a few randoms) after getting out of work later than planned, having to shortcut over Chambers (which is a bitch) and TT down and out Spencer creek to catch them. From minute 10 until 30, when I caught them, avg power 319 normalized 338, average HR 175 (20W or so and 10bpm below Threshold). Then the fun started.

A couple of sprints, a couple of hills, a couple of grins between OB and me. We did good.

That was a nice little opener. We threw some punches, ducked some blows. But tomorrow is Thursday, and that's gonna be a barroom brawl.

Gimme a bottle and bring it on.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

bananas at last

I finished the damn race. 6 laps is 4 more than the total of the last two races, thanks to those flats. Awesome.

It wasn't particularly hard, yet there was no getting away for good, and came down to a sprint. A big break of guys who didn't quite have it got caught throughout the last lap and the last 6 came back to the pack like they were in reverse, with about 2mi to go. I was in decent position coming into the sprint but I must be all slow twitch, when I sprint hard I loose spots. I almost do better if I just sit in and try and hold position seated. Oh well. I rode hard in some parts to try and make it count but it wasn't going away. It was mostly a cruise, and I rode easily with the front even when they were drilling it uphill. So I guess that's good. It's a matter of working on the old sprint, and doing lots of stage races this year for the points. Anything that has a TT that counts.

Thursday nighter, Sheldon ride, here I come.

G

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Awesome.

The inaugural Thursday Nighter was awesome. Everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was fast, it was aggressive, it was warm, and it was fun. I rode hard. The TN isnt about waiting for the sprint, to me, it's about riding balls to the wall for 26.6 miles and getting fitter. Then emptying the tank in the last 1k for the sprint. Anyone who waits for the end... well... I won't say what I think of them let's say it starts with a P and goes with "cat". They're missing the whole point.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thursday Night's Alright for Fighting

Saw "300" last night. That was totally the best 2hrs and $8 I've spent in a long time. Awesome. Not that the plot or the dialogue had anything worth mentioning to them (I think they said either "Sparta" or "Spartan" at least 3-400 times), but damn, that was funny. Amazing visual. Beautiful graphic book brought to life. Best color control for effect, ever. Totally cool. Lots of fast-slow-fast motion fighting. Nice squishy noises. Great sex scene - fast - slow - moaning noise - fast - slow - moan... it was all I could do to keep from busting out laughing. Tall white men in jockstraps and huge pecs and abs fighting fully clothed, hidden Persians. 7 foot tall Xerxes, total fairy, tons of piercings, voice like James Earl Jones.

Brilliant. Makes me want to do slow motion battle with foreigners. If I can't do that, I guess I'll have to settle for bike racing.

Thursday nighter starts tomorrow.

Bring it ON. For SPARTA. No surrender, no retreat. Kill the Persians. Make a wall with their bodies. Laugh hysterically and pose for full dramatic effect. Wear jock strap and flex abs. That how you fight, men, that's how you fight.

G

Sunday, March 11, 2007

eff that

2nd flat in 2 races. This time due to grit and grim, regular 'ol flat, 1. Chased some, watched the women's race finish.

I did have a lovely time chasing. After I got a new wheel, I started catching dropped riders again, and dropping them. I came upon one particular dude, who shall remain nameless, except to say that his kit is green, its not CMG, he seems to have an affinity for getting dropped on the first lap of small races, and his nickname initials are SS. Oh, and he's not as 'super' as he would like to be.
So, Homeboy SS there is kind of lollygagging along and catches my wheel as I roll by, chasing. I'm riding hard tempo to see if the field is even still in sight. Dude rides the wheel for a bit, comes around me once with an air of unholy seriousness, pedals for a little and when the speed drops more than I'm willing to let it (after about 15sec of this) I simply ride around again and keep going. Mind you, we're doing laps around a lake, and we're rolling up to the short 200m finishing climb, finish line and officials at the top. SS gets himself dropped on the false flat leading to the climb. But, lo and behold, as I hit the climb with exactly the same effort I was holding before, Homeboy flies by me going ballistic up this hill, just to cross the line ahead of me (lap 2 of 5). Not trying to hold a wheel, not trying to get a ride around the lake, or work at all, he's going for looks at the finish line camera. Out of the saddle, legs like little pistons in a four-banger honda that's maxed out on the freeway. What's he posing for? Who knows. His little antics pissed me off something good, tho. OK, Dickwad, glad you like to show off. Now ride this wheel. He was out of sight behind me 3 miles later.
This is the same guy who rode through the finish line one time, off the back, and threw up his arms as if in victory. There's a picture of it on the web. He probably bought it. It's probably on his desk.
Every time I line up in a race with that guy, my very first goal will to make sure that his ass gets dropped. Throw up your arms next time and I'll be waiting, pointing and laughing.

But I digress. Resentment is unhealthy. Being furious at the rotten luck is unproductive. I am currently both.

Next week I'll be riding some training wheels with the toughest clinchers I have. Probably in 25mm. Then, I will go medieval on the field. I have two weeks of pent up pissedoffedness built up. Eff that race, I'm getting my money's worth next week.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

damn spaniards

I bet they were waiting for Ullrich to retire before announcing this. Rat Bastards.

CTL 72.5, ATL 74.5, TSB -2.4 = probably an average ride tomorrow. Good ride if I don't waste energy. Slow ramping right now due to work, but the time change is about to shift that. I'll be at 100 by the end of spring, easily, so that's good. Time will tell. Watts will predict, races will confirm.

G

Friday, March 9, 2007

bacon.

Buttermilk pancakes. Bacon. Coffee. Thats saturday's training ride.

Oh yeah, and maybe some openers on the bike. naaah....

Oh man. I drilled it for an hour over lunch Monday, did Hell on Greenhill Tuesday (5x3', 5x2', 5x1', 2' rest until the end, then it was 1' rest), did 20"sprint/1' recover x 30 Wednesday, did 1hr flat out group ride Thursday. Yeah, that'll get you in shape. Today, light cruise around town on the cross bike. Tomorrow, bacon. Sunday, race like hell.

Surprisingly, it works.

The time change should be good. The hours might start to come back up again, finally. Leaving the dark depths of winter, entering spring (with a chance at sun). Racing is on. I'm relatively fit and relatively light, considering usual winter weight. The bummer life has been averted for another year.

Ride on.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

round two.. coming soon.

Well, the legs are trashed again, so I must be doing something right. We will see how the lunch ride hammer fest goes today. Friday and Saturday will be honest to goodness no-effort rides, so I ought to be Ok for a second attempt at the Banana Belts this weekend. If no-one takes me out int he first lap it might even get interesting.

I've sealed up the tubular puncture with that tufo tire sealant stuff, its surprisingly effective, so maybe ill have given myself a little bit of a safety buffer in case I get another unexpected encounter with a chainring. Now I just have to re-glue the tire. In anticipation of the race season, I have two tires stretched and sitting on bare rims ready to glue (one lightly used and pre-glued, one new unglued tho that will change soon), I have two emergency spares inflated and ready to be packed along on a ride should I need one (with some wear, flat spots, or whatever that prevents their race use but not their backup use), and then a full dozen brand new tubies, in packaging, sitting quietly waiting their turn in the rotation in my garage. I figured I would get a pile and never be concerned if I would have a replacement tire ever again. Plus, it looks kind of cool to have all those sitting there.

Old School.

Link dump news of the weird and oddly funny, because it amuses me to do so:

CNN: Declared dead, elderly man makes comeback
Classic Onion: Bill O'Rights Bug

Monday, March 5, 2007

bananas

Some joker in my race took out someone's front wheel in the first lap of of 4, on a climb of all things, and I ran right into the back of it. Flat tire, rubbing brakes everywhere, unexplained noises out of my rear wheel, and when I got chasing again it was all over. Rode a lap and a half hard, put up some good power numbers but never got back to the group, then packed it in for a snack and my clinchers and rode the course backwards to cheer on my lady. Herself took 4th in a fast field sprint, and I cheered her all the way. So, not a wasted day by any means. Plus, it was sunny and warm.

Whatever.

The UCI and the Grand Tours seem to have sorted it out, at least for now, 5 days before Paris-Nice. Maybe someone finally woke up and smelled the bacon, and they decided to not be greedy and go halfsies on the profits from the sponsorships and TV ad opportunites. What good is taking a stand if the camera crews won't film your little shindig? You can bet there was a money deal behind it, 'cause none of those jokers are in it for the love of the sport. They're all so busy trying to corner the market in cycling sponsor money and ad revenue they almost make the team owners and directors look like innocent little puppy cats. It used to be directors would make their riders race so much they probably ate amphetamines for breakfast just to get back on the bike in the morning.

Riders used to be cattle to everyone, now they're up a step to some level of show horse, getting a nice little cattot for a job well done but someone else is picking up the door money and haggling the split with your trainer, so he can get you your pills to help you jump higher next time for all the fat money crowds. They'll even let some fool think they 'own' a share of the scam and get their company name displayed all over if you win, but just dont tell them about the dope cause their horse is clean, really, for sure. None of it is good for either the riders or the sport. Sad, really. I hope someday soon the riders will get to it and form a union with some teeth, and put some sort of end to this sordid mess.

The sick thing is, I'll still crawl out of bed to hit up cycling.tv and get a fix of the good stuff before work. Some fixes just cant be broke.

G