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.


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.


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.


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...


Saturday, March 24, 2007


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

I woke up this AM hoping to see the race on, 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


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.


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.


Saturday, March 17, 2007


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.


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.


Friday, March 9, 2007


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


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.


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 and get a fix of the good stuff before work. Some fixes just cant be broke.