Sunday, December 02, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I haven't been writing on here much, mostly because I haven't been racing much. The Boulder UCI races were fun, I felt great, but that was good enough for placing in the 40's and getting lapped EARLY. Oh well, what can you do when Trebon is lapping into the top 20?
My big news is that next year I will be riding with the Rio Grande - Jose Cuervo team. It should be a great fit as I know most of the guys, work for the sponsor and have the same goals as the rest of the team. More to come on this later.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My parents were here a couple weeks ago and saw me race at Interlocken in Boulder and in Evergreen the next day. I didn't have great races either day, and Sunday was snowing and freezing cold.
Last weekend I did a ride with my DU kids on Saturday morning, then rode in their homecoming parade in the afternoon. Sunday was the race at the Boulder Reservoir which is always one of my favorites. It went alright, with me finishing 12th and making 45 bucks hopping barriers. Barrier hopping has become quite lucrative for me lately, hopefully there is an opportunity at the UCI races this weekend.
That's about all. I opted out of the Wednesday Worlds ride in Boulder this morning and stayed warm in my bed. That drive is starting to get to me. I'm off for a run right now to make up for missing a good workout. I wish there was a good ride like that in Denver. Oh well, thanks for checking in, enjoy your days.
Oh yeah, if anyone has pictures from this past weekend at the Res, I would love to see them. There were a few photographers around the course, but I have no idea who they were.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Goes out to The Good, The Bad, and The Nerdy for bringing home the gold at the Red Bull Soap Box Derby in Providence, RI this weekend. I was hoping to be able to make the trips with the nerds, but was unable to, and it looks like I was the one who really missed out. All the hard work, lack of dates, and overabundance of pimples has finally paid off.
On a side note, I went 5th and 4th on Saturday and Sunday respectively in Gunnison this weekend. Awesome courses, great weather (for my races) and small fields led to some good racing for me. Hopefully I'll be finishing this high up next weekend on the Front Range.
That's all for now, thanks for checking in.
Friday, October 12, 2007
So I used to pull this mean prank on UNC group rides. Whenever I was on the front and saw any roadkill (which was plentiful in Weld County) I would slow up, allowing the person behind me to get real close, head straight for the squirrel or whatever was dead on the road, and hop over the dead animal at the last second. This would cause whoever was behind me, usually Brian, to run right through the dead creature. This was always funny, I'd laugh, we'd carry on with our ride.
So. As I mentioned earlier, the barrier hopping paid off on Saturday, but Sunday was a different story. I started strong, too strong. I won the holeshot, lead for a little bit, settled in back a few spots and then continued to drop back as the race went on. The legs that were there the day before decided not to show up, and I kept losing spots as the race went on. With 3 to go, I was told I would get a 2 second bonus for ever successful bunny hop, so I decided to try my luck at the 4 pack of logs next to the pits. On that lap I made it over, just barely, got cocky and hit it with more speed the next lap.
This time, instead of making it through the barrier section, I hopped the first one, plowed into the second, flipped straight over my bars, and landed face and shoulder first on top of the third. It rang my chimes pretty good, but I got up and finished without losing any places, although I did run the barrier section on the final lap, then quickly left with my tail between my legs.
Back to the Karma. Sometimes the bunny hop pays off, literally and figuratively, but other times it bites you in the ass. Hopefully I was simply paying off my debt to anyone who has had a run in with roadkill, and it will be smooth sailing from here on out. We'll see how this weekend plays out.
I'm off to Gunnison for another pair of BCR Cross races so wish me luck.
Thanks for checking in.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
DU group ride at 9:00. I only went an hour so I could get up to Frisco for the first of two cross races up there this weekend. The course was good, nice mix of road and dirt with a little grass. I could have used a little more grass, but what can ya do, this is Colorado and I guess we don't really race on grass anymore.
There were a few barrier sections, two of which utilized logs from the front of parking spots, they were sitting on top of other short logs that supported each end, like Lincoln Logs I guess. Anyway, the first barrier was a real wooden one, on an uphill in woodchips. I hopped it in warm-ups, but after climbing up to it in the race I had visions of crashing like I did in Littleton, so I opted to get off and run. Then we climbed more on pavement, pavement descent (wierd) and then some loose twisty stuff, down to a tight LOOSE turn around some bleachers (which I almost ate a few times), then 4 log barriers really close together. I couldn't get my timing right through these until the last few laps, then a little more tight twisty stuff, a little grass, then a 90 degree left hander into a log barrier at the bottom of a small rise. This is where the excitement of my race happened.
I started top ten, moved up over the first couple laps, into 3rd by the end of lap 2. I was hopping that single log barrier, and it was right in front of Dave and there was a little crowd gathered around it. The crowd started getting into me hopping the log, so I think I got bigger cheers than the leaders. The crowd started handing out money, so I started grabbing it. In the end I walked away 6th or 7th after fading on the climbs, but 55 dollars richer. Boo Ya.
I'm off for round two. Thanks for the pics Greg.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
-Went to Boise for a week with Jami to visit her sister and brother-in-law. Her parents also flew in from Seattle for the weekend. We all had a lot of fun.
-I did a local cross race out there on Saturday. It was right up there in the top 5 best courses I've ever raced. I had so much fun that I almost forgot about the way my stomach and head felt after the late night we had the night before. I still managed a 2nd place, results are here under schedules. There were a couple barriers I could hop which always makes the racing that much more fun.
-Watched the Rockies finish off the regular season in the best possible fashion they could have. We were at a bar just down the street and the whole place was on their feet, screaming the entire 13th inning. I'm just starting to get my voice back.
-I'm now working a lot this week, hopefully I'll make a ton of cash, we'll just have to see.
-This weekend is a set of races in Frisco, CO. I think I had a decent race there last year, hopefully luck will be on my side this weekend as well.
-I'm going to go ride right now with Eric Moore, the cyclocross phenomenon from the University of Denver.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Two flats on Saturday in Colorado Springs.
Sunday, (today) was in Littleton, and I just sucked. No power, stacked it up 3 times trying to hop stuff I shouldn't have. On the bright side, I should have some Grade A pictures on the way from Joe over at PelotonPhoto.
Thanks for checking in.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Things started well with me taking 3rd wheel through the first corner. By the time people were done taking stupid risks and plowing into the barricades as well as each other, I had drifted to 8th or so. I picked off a couple guys, got passed by one, and picked up another place or two due to mechanicals in front of me. I ended 6th, which isn't winning, but I feel like it's a solid start to the season. Last year in the first race I SUCKED and was lapped with like 3 laps to go. Felt good to be lapping people this year.
The course had a couple cool parts, one really short steep run up, a single barrier followed directly by a large hump that you went up and over with a little left turn. I was able to bunny hop the barrier and hold a ton of speed over the top and down the back side, almost too much speed. I passed a guy who had dismounted, and passed him on the outside over the hump, I almost didn't make the corner and came close to testing out the large pad that was strapped to a tree trunk on the side of the course. It was sweet to hear the little crowd standing around the barrier react. There was also an uphill double barrier that I sucked on pretty bad. I think I had 3 bad remounts on it in 11 laps. I definitely know what I need to work on.
If passing the dude as I hopped the barrier and bumped shoulders with him was the "highlight" of my race, then kicking the second barrier in the double set and landing face first in front of a crowd of people was definitely the "lowlight."
Overall I'm happy, not content, but happy. There is still room to improve, but some specific training and the next two months of racing will hopefully fill in those holes. Now it's time to get to work. Thanks for checking in.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Other than that there hasn't been a lot going on. I've been a little lazy recently, but things are starting to turn around this week. I'm headed to Steamboat for a wedding this weekend, so there probably won't be much riding, but I'm planning on doing some running up there since cross is now knocking at the door.
My schedule is still up in the air. I'd like to do Cross Vegas, but it's not looking very realistic right now. I'd love to do some of the Gran Prix's, but with their exclusion of Colorado this year, I don't believe my pockets are deep enough to get there. I will however, be doing the three UCI races here in Colorado, as well as Nationals in Kansas this winter.
I suppose it's about time to dial in my schedule as it looks to be a busy fall of travel and racing. I will be headed to the Red Bull Soap Box Derby in Providence, RI in the middle of October. This does fall right in the middle of the season, but I made the commitment to support The Good, The Bad, and The Nerdy a long time ago.
Right now I think it's time to go get on that new cross bike and do some hard efforts. I was going to do the cross ride in Boulder this morning, but I still don't have mountain shoes, and clipping in with my road shoes and mountain cleats has proven to be harder than I thought it would be. If anyone would like to donate some cash for a new pair of shoes, let me know, I'd be glad to put your sticker all over my bike!
Speaking of stickers, my friend Scotty Boy, Scooter Louis, Wenzel finally made it home from a five and a half month stint in Belgium. He's got a lot of great euro-racing stories, as well as some sweet stickers that he shared with me. Those of you who know me well, know what a sticker feign I am.
Great, I just spilled coffee on my shirt.
I just realized I haven't updated since I officially moved to Denver. I know this is web log is supposed to be about bike racing, but it's mine so I'll write what I want.
I got back from Superweek and settled in a little bit. Things have been going great so far. My new roomate Kari (that's Kari above) and I have been having a lot of fun, and I'm really enjoying living in the city. I'll never be one to talk down about Greeley, I had a lot of fun there, and made some long lasting friendships, but this is just a nice change. I love that I can walk or ride my bike basically everywhere I have to go, and it's usually faster and easier to do than it would be to drive. Work is still just 10 minutes away by bike, and riding in traffic has gotten to be more fun than scary, which makes the commute that much better.
My girlfriend Jami (that's Jami above, I look a little... tired) graduated from nursing school and her parents and siblings came out for a week to celebrate. We went to the ceremony then had a little party in Greeley, then spent another crazy night in Denver, then I got to go spend another night with them, a little more low-key this time at a condo in Vail. The next weekend we headed east back to my old stomping grounds of Yankton, South Dakota, for the nationally observed Riverboat Days holiday weekend. Most of my friends from home were there, so Jami got to see the environment that I'm a product of, and why I am the way that I am.
Now that the crazy weekends have hopefully come to a close, I'm getting pretty excited for cross. I'm not planning on coming out with any huge bang, but like the past couple years, I hope to continue getting stronger through state championships and hopefully I can pull of a decent ride at nationals.
On one last note, I'd like to wish Mr. Evan "E-Strong" "The Sandman" "The Sandstorm" Sandstrom a happy 21st birthday. It was a long time coming (21 years), but now that it's here you better enjoy it, just not too much. I think we might have the next Cat. 4 Colorado State Cyclocross Champion in our midst. I hear great things come from people who start off racing The Squirrely Surly.
That's all I've got folks, thanks for checking in.
P.S. My friend Eric got a Wii and Tiger Woods 2008. It's probably the funnest video game I've ever played and I SMOKED Eric in Match Play and Stroke Play last night. Three under baby, whoop whoop!
What did you do to get ready for cross today?
cyclocross, cyclo-cross, veldrijden
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The racing ended well, with a 33rd at the Downers Ave race. I skipped sunday, and spent yesterday with my parents. It was good to spend a little more time with them, my mom and I made it out for a ride on their tandem in the morning. She just sits on the back and chats, but keeps pushing harder and harder until I tell her we're going to coast. There are some big hills on the way home from the bike path, and I just thought we'd drop it into the granny gear and take our time. I ended up having to upshift at least two or three times because she would spin the gear out, and I would find myself doing no work at all. Here she is pushing me up the hills, but won't do the ride alone because she doesn't want to cross 57th street? Doesn't make much sense.
In the afternoon my dad and I played 9 holes of golf at the course right by our house. We alternated shots, which was a lot of fun, even if it seemed like we were trying to make it as hard on each other as possible. (I tried to chip onto a green, ended up hitting the ball at about a 90 degree angle to where I was aiming. Hit it right into a sand trap. My dads shot out of the sand cleared the green, so I got another chance to chip on and actually did that time.)
Now I'm on my way back to Colorado. Unfortunately Nebraska hasn't gotten any more interesting in the past month. My mom packed me a lunch, as well as sent a ton of cookies and special k bars with me. I was born over 23 years ago, and she was the first person I met. I've been very close to her ever since, she probably knows me better than anyone, yet still she sends boxes of really good junk food with me and actually expects me to share it with my roomate and girlfriend when I get home. Does she really expect me to sit next to this box of cookies for 9 hours and not touch it? Sometimes I feel like she doesn't know me at all.
Well, I should get back to driving, I wouldn't want to miss something exciting. Thanks for checking in.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The rain lasted 15-20 laps, and then it started to dry up. The relief was only momentary as the skies soon opened up, and it started to rain with some fury. I made it 3 more laps, but realized quickly that the braking performance of my carbon wheels and cork pads was getting worse by the second. There was a downhill corner and I was grabbing 2 fistfuls of brake coming into it and picking up speed all the way through. After the 3rd time through, feeling the 2 wheels drift as I slid through the corner, I decided enough was enough.
Last night in Kenosha was a boring race. 100 laps around a 1km, rectangular, 4 corner course. The course was pancake flat, with a headwind along one of the longer stretches, and therefore a tailwind on the other long section. The race would bunch up into the headwind, curb to curb, string out through the two following corners, stay strung out down the tailwind section and through the next corners, and then bunch up through the headwind section again. Somehow a group snuck away and quickly put a lap into the field. I unfortunately was in the middle of the pack trying to figure out how to move up without just jamming my bike into small holes in the field like everyone else was doing. I seriously spent about 70 laps trying to figure out the best place to move up, and finally just went up alongside the group on the tailwind section. It felt like a really big waste of energy, but it was the only place I could gain positions.
The last 10 laps were just carnage with people taking dumb risks and stacking it up all the way around the course. I stayed out of the wreckage, but only managed a 51st place. WHOO HOO!
Tonight is the "Great Downer Avenue Bike Race" and I guess it's a pretty big deal. 12,000 spectators, rumors of a $4,000 prime, 200 riders. Should be fun. I thought people were taking stupid lines, and unnecessary risks last night, it frightens me to think about what tonight has in store. I'd love to try and get off the front, we'll see what happens. There are probably 199 other people thinking the same thing right now.
Thanks for checking.
Oh yeah, if you work in any sort of retail industry where you deal with customers on a regular basis, remember, most people don't like it when you talk to your fellow employees like the customers aren't even there. They must have the "B team" on a Panera today. A kid that was on break just sat in my regular seat and talked to the kids behind the counter and bragged about how long he was on break for the past 30 minutes. He complained about how his feet hurt, he didn't like his job, he was annoyed with how slow it was, etc. and the people behind the counter just talked right back like it was no big deal. Meanwhile, customers continued to line up waiting to get their orders taken. Good work guys, good work.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Last night was a crit in Cedarburg, the closest race so far to my host house. Good 4 corner course with a slight rise between corners 1 and 2, with a small sharp kick right before the corner, then long false flat decent into corner 3, more downhill into corner 4, and a long false flat uphill finish.
I was aggressive as I could be the first 20 minutes. I must have covered 3 attacks and instigated 2 in the course of 5 laps. I was really hoping I could get into the break for once, but it wasn't to be. The break did go while I was being active at the front, but I missed it and got shut down trying to go across. I decided then to rest for a minute and see if I could try again later, but as soon as I began to sit up, my legs got heavier and heavier. It seems I dug myself a pretty deep hole, and I was hurting just trying to sit in.
I realized halfway through last night's race that I was telling myself I was hurting a lot more than I really was, and I was losing the mental battle a lot worse than I was losing the physical race. I decided I'd keep resting, but I wasn't out of it for the finish. I felt better and better, and made a couple split second, smart moves, that got me to the front with 10 laps to go. I guess I was pretty lucky to do that as things got awfully dicey and aggressive with about 8 or 9 laps to go, and I was right up in the thick of it. I managed to stay toward the front even with all the swarming and shifts that were happening at the front end of the race. With 2 laps to go things really heated up, elbows getting thrown all over, people touching wheels and chopping each other in almost every corner.
Coming into the last corner I saw more aggressive riding than I think I've ever witnessed first hand, and as scared as I was I just kept focused on the wheel in front of me, and trying to hold my own line the best I could. I got around a couple people in the sprint, but also had a person or two come around me. With a small break up the road, and the big sprint just in front of me I finished up in 20th place. Good enough to get in the money for once.
It's funny to feel so excited about a 20th place, but I think I'm more excited that for once I held my own and overcame my own negativity that's been holding me back in these longer races. I'm really motivated now for the 4 more nights of racing out here, and especially for some local races when I get home. Bannock Street Criterium is my new "home" race, and I guess Rocky Mounts always throws an awesome barbeque party for the Niwot Criterium so hopefully I can pull off some good results for these end of the season races. After that it looks like a pair of crits up in the mountains, (Dillion and Copper Mountain I believe) and then it's time for cyclocross. Maybe it's just the 5 cups of coffee I've had today, or the extra energy from knowing I'm not racing tonight, but I feel like I'm catching a second or even third wind for the end of the season, I sure hope it continues to blow through cross nats.
Thanks for checking in, I need to go find a place to publish this from, it seems like my hour has expired at this cafe.
Okay, back to my Panera Bread hotspot. On one last note, everybody has opinions about all the recent doping busts at the tour. Guilty or not, (they probably are) the only thing I know is that for me, I'd rather be finishing 20th place in a little known race in WI and doing it clean, rather than standing atop a podium knowing that I broke every rule to get there, and I couldn't have done what I did without artificial help. I suppose you get the mentality that everyone is doing it, so you have to do it to beat them, but really you aren't beating anyone, you're just joining them in their tainted race.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Today is the Tour of Holy Hill Road Race. Hopefully it goes better than the last road race we did. Right now I've got a full french press, and "Throw some D's" so loud my car is shaking, so the day is at least starting off right.
I used to think about immature things, you know like, do you love me? Do you want me? Are you gonna call me like you said you would? Is this really your real phone number? WAIT A MINUTE ............!
Thanks for checking in.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
It's really a cool building in an awesome location. It opens out toward Lake Michigan, so the views out of the building are almost as cool as some of the sights inside. Unfortunately it was about 55 degrees inside and I didn't think to bring a snowsuit to Wisconsin in the summer, so I froze.
This has always been one of my favorite paintings and I had no idea it was there until I walked around a corner and there it was. A very nice surprise I guess.
Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect by Claude Monet
Now I'm killing time at a new coffee shop near downtown. I just had a Sid Delicious sandwich, (most of the food is named after musicians). Tomorrow is another 100k crit. It'll be better than last night because I can't feel much worse. I wasn't into racing last night. My legs didn't feel like racing, my head didn't feel like racing, so I didn't race very long. Instead I caught the end of a little league game that was next to where we parked. I think it was more enjoyable at the moment than the race would have been.
Time to start acting and thinking like a bike racer again though. Too much negativity for me the past couple days. I always thought people were just whiners when they go to Europe and can't perform because of the setting they live in. Only now am I starting to get an idea what it's like to be somewhere less than ideal and still try to perform your best. It's not been working for me, so it's time for some changes.
That's all for now, if you're in Milwaukee, check out Roast Coffee Company on Locust and Maryland. Cool place, free internet. Boo ya. Thanks for checking in.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I moved from last to first in the chase in a couple laps between 4 to go and 2 to go, but was overtaken by the inevitable swarm, and finished the day off in 37th, probably 25th? in the field sprint, not that you can really call 25 "in" the sprint.
Tonight is another 100k crit. It's a longer drive, so I thought about taking it off, but I think I'll do this one, skip Saturday, race Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, skip Green Bay on Wednesday, and try to knock out the final 4 days of racing on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That's the plan anyway we'll see how it plays out.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, tomorrow I'll go exploring on my day off, there are bound to be some pictures from that. That's really all I've got for now, thanks for checking in.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday night it was my fault. I didn't eat in the afternoon, ate a ton just before the race, factor in heat and humidity, I got to find out what stomach cramps feel like during a race. I was fine at the back, but every time I wanted to move up, my stomach would turn to knots and I would start burping stuff up.
Yesterday, Wednesday, I don't even want to talk about. They made a huge deal about centerline rule, which I'm happy to follow. Some people will look to see where the ref is, then attack across the line if they are out of sight of the ref, I don't. I try to follow the rules as much as possible, and if I ever find myself on the wrong side of the line, I'm definitely not advancing my position, and I get back as soon as possible.
I got disqualified for crossing the centerline on a road that didn't even have the centerline marked. I was following the wheel in front of me, as well as half the field, but the ref rode up and said "263, 148, you're out of the race." Was 148, Richard England of Priority Health was 263. After we had a few choice words with the moto ref, he threatened to DQ us from more than just yesterday's race, so following the advice of Karl Menzies who was also DQ'd we drifted to the back and followed the neutral support for a lap. I'd had enough so I went home. Menzies followed the back of the race the entire 160k I believe, taunting them for going so slow the entire time.
Enough about racing, tonight will be a different story. Look to Menzies and England to ride aggressively all night.
The real reason of this post is to let me newest, currently biggest, pet peeve out of the bag.
Now I'm quite guilty of not shaving for a few days and letting myself get a little scruffy, but in my defense, I only have 8-10 whiskers on my face, so letting it grow isn't a big deal. Now the kid that just ordered a cinnamon roll at the panera bread I'm sitting at has a full face of "scruff," but it's neatly manicured around the edges and sculpted just perfectly.
That really bothers me. There is a guy racing out here that I've noticed is the worst case. The scruff never gets longer, always that "I haven't shaved in 5 days because I don't care how I look" length, and the edges are always razor sharp. This leads me to believe he's shaving his neck, and sculpting his sideburns daily to keep things perfect, and apparently trimming the "trendy scruff" to keep if from getting bushy. ugghh. Really gets me angry. I should just get over it, but I don't want to so I won't.
Thanks for checking in.
P.S. Guy at the counter turned around and his 6 inch rat tail is even less stylish than his trimmed facial hair.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
After I left my coffee shop here in Brown Deer, I drove into Milwaukee. I just drove around a little, as I'd left my bike at my host house, and couldn't explore as I had in Chicago. I was trying to find a bike shop, had the address, was on the street, and must have driven it 5 times when I decided to park and walk. I found the address, but it was in the middle of a park. I called the phone number I had and the kid said they were located 100 blocks north, and about 10 miles west of where I was. I decided I'd go to a different bike shop that could list their address correctly in the yellow pages.
I found the shop, Crank Daddy's, probably the dumbest name I've heard, and their employees lived up to the name. The first girl didn't know what a tubular tire was, then the boy that helped me, told me straight away that they didn't have Tufo Tubular Tape. Luckily the manager overheard this and cleared things up. They did have the tape, it was about 2 feet from the kid, so I left with everything I needed.
I'm not sure if I mentioned that I flatted about 20 laps into the race the first night in Beverly Hills? Anyway, I did. I was shocked as well to find out that all it takes is a little drywall screw to puncture a tubular.
I really lucked out in that it came out the sidewall about a millimeter from the carbon rim. The was it is, I had to replace the tire, where I could have been replacing a carbon rim. Thanks again Scott. You now have 2 new tires.
Back to shopping yesterday. I spent the next hour trying to find a hardware store to get some acetone. Finally found a Lowes and got my acetone.
I ended up walking around Lowes for probably 45 minutes. I've always known I was pretty simple minded, but only recently have I realized the walking through a home improvement store and test driving drills and hammers is about the best therapy I can find when I get tense.
It's only been a few days since I left Sioux Falls, but I get tired of never knowing where stuff is, then I get frustrated and it just a downward spiral from there. If you ever need anything at a Walgreens or a Family Dollar, you should come to Milwaukee. I drove by at least 3 of each last night, and 5 of those stores were on the same street.
Anyway, enough crabbing. I got to make myself some Lavazza coffee this morning and I finally found a comfy place to hang out with free WiFi. Thanks to Andy Couch for the Panera Bread tip. It turns out I have the couches all to myself, although a friendly Lutheran Pastor sat down with me and traded life stories for about an hour. He was a nice old man, and gave me his card so we can keep in touch.
Tonight is 90k on a 2.3 mile lap. Someone really needs to inform these race promoters about units of measure. They measure all of our race distances in kilometers, which is great, I'm used to riding in kilometers, but then they measure all the courses in miles, talk about average speed in mph, and just make it confusing all around. Sunday night, we raced a 0.9 mile loop. We were supposed to do a 100k crit. They had us do 75 laps. Bear with me here. 0.9 mile loop x 75 laps = 67.5 miles. 67.5 miles x 1km/.62miles = 108.87km. Something doesn't make sense, and I blame their refusal to standardize units of measure. As Uncle Al's brother's bumper sticker was going to say "Honk 10 times if you love the metric system!"
Alright, I'm going to go get ready to race. Thanks for checking in.
Monday, July 16, 2007
I drove by my Ferrari/Maserati dealership for the last time. My Maserati does 185, but the Ferrari, that's the fast one.
As soon as I got downtown I ditched the most inefficient and cumbersome means of exploring a new city...
...and I traded it out for the best way to experience a place you've never been.
I headed straight to the lake, rode down the bike path to the museums and headed out toward the observatory for a good view of the lake...
...and a decent view of the city.
From there, I rode north along the lake, bouncing back and forth between the bike path and Lakeshore Dr. until I hit the locks at the mouth of the Chicago River.
I turned and headed up the "Riverwalk" bike path that led back into downtown. Beautiful.
It turns out I wasn't the only person that decided to explore by bike. I couldn't believe the number of people I saw on bikes, especially the new Electra Amsterdams. Then I noticed this place and realized where a lot of them were coming from. They also had these two and four person bike-car things for rent. I saw lots of families riding them, they looked like fun.
I picture Mark Chase living in a place like this someday. Note the boat parking underneath.
After exploring I decided to eat and get on my way to my race in Bensonville. I really wanted some thick crust Chicago Style pizza, so I rode around for a while and thought I had a place picked out, when a little corner pub/restaurant appeared called Bosses. It had murals of Al Capone all over, a garage door that opened to a cool little patio on the sidewalk, and looked like the perfect place.
I sat down and ordered a coke and pizza and 15 minutes later was treated to a Totinos Party Pizza served directly on the cardboard it came on. Not even a plate. I laughed it off, ate it, and went on my way.
The course last night was a 0.9 mile, 6 corner lap that we did 75 times. That's 450 corners according to my math. The race started off pretty fast, and I tried to be aggressive but it wasn't to be. About halfway through I found myself surfing the back just as I hate to do. I tried to stay up toward the front, but the races don't stay fast enough through the corners, so everyone swarms and dives into the corners 10 wide. I usually end up losing about 15 positions every time this happens.
I guess I just need to keep working on acclimatizing to this style of racing. The last 20 laps or so, I found the wheel and followed it a lot. Perfect, big draft, no big accelerations, and I know he won't go down in a corner, everyone else could, but I think he'd clear his own path.
A break went sometime when I was at the back. I was going to try and jump with 4 or 5 to go, but the field basically split with 7 to go, and I was in the back. We just rolled in together, but not before at least one more big wreck in the last corner. Nothing like stacking it up racing for 50th place. Good work.
After the race I drove up to Milwaukee where I am now. I found the wheel to follow on I-94, and made it here about half an hour faster than I should have. I'm taking today off hoping that three hard days followed by some rest will help the form start to come around.
Man, that was long. Thanks for checking in.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Highlights from last night.
Here are a couple of the houses that lined last night's course.
You like the V.I.P. seating in the front lawn? I did.
Another day, another 100k crit. Tonight went a lot better than last night. The course was basically pancake flat, with four corners and fairly wide roads. I felt a lot more like myself today and finished towards the front half of the main group. I tested my legs a little, and went for a points sprint and and $100 dollar prime. I took third in the points sprint and second in the prime, which basically equates to me getting nothing for my efforts, but 5 sprint points and a little more confidence in my fitness.
The last five laps were FAST and SKETCHY. If there is one thing I really need to work on, it's being more aggressive and fighting harder for corners, and I realize that there is no better place to work on that than out here.
Man, I just had to walk up and get the cord for my computer. My legs are less than fresh right now, but the three flights of stairs I had to trek up didn't help at all either. I'd like to give a huge thanks to the Sigfusson's here in Hinsdale, IL. Andy Sig goes to DU and trains with the cycling team a little as he's a varsity swimmer and an outstanding triathlete. I sent an email to the DU team to see if anyone knew of a place I could stay in Chicago for a couple nights. Andy wrote back within maybe an hour offering me his parents house. I talked to his mom who told me that they would be out of town, but the house was mine. It's a beautiful, very large, house in a very nice neighborhood and it's all mine for the weekend. I finally found the basement today as well as the 60in. TV that I'll be watching the tour on tonight.
Well, I think I'm getting tired because I totally lost my next thought. On a final note, the lady in line in front of me at Subway asked her husband what BMT stood for. He didn't know, thought it had something to do with a subway. I felt like a genius when I get to step in and explain what it meant. I'll leave you with this, why is the Subway employee considered the sandwich artist when I am the one who designs the masterpiece, they simply assemble it for me? Thanks for checking in.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I felt decent warming up and the course was great for me. I didn't expect the race to start with a bang, but I wasn't surprised when it happened. Maybe it's my lack of form right now, but the race seemed every bit as aggressive and fast as a 90 minute "Boulder" crit.
A big break went early, 16 guys I think. They put a lap into us within the first 30 miles, and then the race got really hard. I was doing a decent job of riding toward the front, but when the break came back around, the speed went up and everyone wanted a top 20 spot. I hung on as well as I could, but came off with 2.5 laps to go.
I didn't feel great, but I guess I felt as good as I expected I would, a little self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. On the bright side, I do expect to feel better everyday, so hopefully that psychology lesson will work to my advantage even if I did let it work against me today.
The best part of the race today was the crowds. Families and their friends lined almost the entire course. They all had parties in their yards, and most of them yelled really loud. After the race one family even pulled me aside and fed me, offered me beer and wine, congratulated me, and just sat and shot the breeze for a while. I hope all the races will be like that. There was even a big beer garden and stuff with a band on one side of the course.
I made it to my host house without any problems, but that's a whole story in and of itself. Hopefully I can unwind a little and get to sleep, these late starts mess with my sleep a little.
Also, I'd like to personally thank Dave Towle for having the decency and the brains never to tell the Lance Armstrong cancer story for 15 laps in the middle of a race. I'm not sure what the announcer was thinking, or what got him started, but we got the WHOLE story. It's hard to race when you get all choked up like that.
Thanks for checking in. I'm going to watch Boonen win a stage and then hit the sack.
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I didn't have anything to keep me in IA this morning, so I set off fairly early, leaving myself PLENTY of time to get here.
I did a little exploring along the way, but still made it to the race course with 4 hours to spare.
I have my computer with me, so I was going to do an update with some pictures from my drive, and the neighborhood we're going to be racing in tonight, but internet at Starbucks is 10 bucks a day, so I figured pictures can wait.
This neighborhood is awesome, and the course looks to be perfectly suited to me if I've got good form. Unfortunately, I'm just coming off a solid block or R&R, so I might not be too sharp tonight. If anything could coax me into riding better than I should, I think this venue might do it. There is a huge expo area set up with like V.I.P. Seating along the road with cocktail tables with white table clothes, as well as a big announcers booth, etc. Basically it looks like a real race venue, (unlike Coal Miners Classic, I still feel sorry for you Dave).
There is a significant rise on the back of the course, a few hundred meters long, that'll get old on the later laps I'm sure, and the decent seems narrow and fast with a sharp 90• corner at the bottom. It'll be interesting, but that goes without saying. I'll try to get an update out tonight or tomorrow in the a.m. filling everyone in on how this plays out.
Thanks for checking in and wish me luck, I'll need it.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I rolled into town on July 2nd, and was surprised to see all the local businesses greeting me on their signs and billboards. I only got a couple pictures, but I can assure you there were a lot more. Unfortunately most of the other signs said Sgt. before my name, then had the wrong last name after Corey. Anyway, it was a warm welcome nonetheless.
I spent a few quality days in Yankton over the 4th, and survived this year without any stiches. We did all the great Yankton summer activities, boating, wakeboarding, sandboarding, camping on the island, partying at a storage shed (that was a new one for me) as well as running through large water spouts.
I always love coming back home, but I don't think I could survive a full week of it anymore. It's hard to believe that we used to do that for a full summer. I'm in Sioux Falls now with my parents relaxing and getting a couple of good days of training in before I head out to Superweek.
Mark running through the water. (It was really late)
I may or may not have pushed Kristin through the "fountain" with me.
Fireworks from the island.
Sand couch surrounding out fire.
Our fire got really big after a wood gathering contest.
The timeless wakeboarding/sunset picture.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I felt flat from the gun.
I started toward the back and had trouble moving up. It took at least a few laps to get the the front, and once there I had trouble holding position. I went with a couple moves and then tried to initiate something, but my legs said no. Soon I was back to the rear of the race, and spent quite a while there. Stupid. I managed to move back up a little in the final laps and snuck inside the top 15, but all around it was a less than sub-par performance all around.
I did get to test drive the pool at my new apartment. It's going to be really nice. It was a little chilly last night, which felt great, but I have a feeling that on a hot afternoon it'll be perfect. I need to be careful or I might lose these tan lines.
Thanks for checking in. Here is a picture from City Park a few weeks ago.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I'm just getting to Denver and it's 101 degrees. This could be a hot race, even at 5:30.
Just passed a sign for KS107.5. It said, "Beyonce lives here... So does Snoop Dogg.". I wonder how Jay Z feels about that?
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I haven't done this race before, but it looks to be fast and aggressive, 50 minutes on a 1k lap with 6 corners I think. I'm going to try and hit up the pool at my new apartment in Denver afterwards so that should be fun. It's been HOT lately, so the pool could be just the ticket.
I need to start moving soon, but I'm dreading it more and more with every passing day. I'm super excited to get to Denver, but moving is going to be miserable. I have a lot of junk, and worst of all, I think I'm going to have to throw away most of the stuff from my "fun drawer." If anyone wants two years worth of glasses lenses, old keys, happy meal toys, string, wrestling headgear, darts, and other cool stuff, let me know. It'll be free to a good home.
Alright, I'm gonna get. Thanks for checking in.
P.S. USA Cycling approved my Cat. 1 upgrade this week. I just sent off an email to the ACA, so I'll hopefully have that soon too.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Sunday was the City Park Crit. I decided that since I would try to be aggressive early rather than waiting for the race to happen around me. That planned turned into a few laps alone off the front, then when some people finally joined me, they started attacking each other and I was too gassed to go with. The race winning move of Dirk Friel and Colby Pierce went then, and I went back to the group. The two of them ended up lapping the field, and I ended up 15th in the sprint with a little group of 4 or 5 up up the road, but behind the break, that was leading out the main group. It always gets confusing when you get lapped. Hopefully it doesn't happen again too soon.
I did the Tuesday night training races in Golden, which turned out to be a blast. I went out to get a hard effort in, and I think I got one. I once again tried to be as aggressive as I could, joining a little break after the first of many primes, and then sprinting for a few primes as well as attacking through the prime sprints. In the end it came down to a bunch kick, so I went for it. I felt much better in the sprint than I ever have, and managed to pull of a second place after Jonathon Garcia just rode away from me.
Today was the Rist Canyon Road Race in Ft. Collins. It sucked, I sucked, it's over, I don't really want to talk about it.
What I do want to talk about however is drafting behind a wheel car in an ACA race. To my knowledge it's not allowed, so I stayed off the bumper. A couple guys I was dropped with apparently didn't agree, so they took the ride, trying to pace back onto the field. WE WERE GOING UP RIST CANYON, are you guys idiots? Really, is it worth cheating to get a draft when you're grinding your way up a 12 mile climb almost grannied out? I rode with them for a minute, but once I realized they were blatantly sitting on this bumper I just dropped off and rode alone. I ended up beating at least one of the guys, who apparently never did get back on. Anyway, I suppose it's not a big deal, but it doesn't take much to irritate me on a climb like that. Dang, they hit that climb soooo hard. I heard the lead group crested it in under 40 minutes. That's fast.
On to shorter and better things. New Belgium Crit is tomorrow. I like this course, but had bad luck there with a flat and no wheels last year. I won't make the same mistake again. Wish me luck, it should be a fun race. One more thing, I put a new chain and cassette on my bike last night! Holy crap, it feels like a brand new bike. It's funny how you forget how nice it is to have a bike that shifts when you want it to. Alright, that's all, thanks for checking in.
Friday, June 01, 2007
I picked my parents up at DIA Friday morning, and we had a very nice drive down to Durango. My dad had the flu, so I suppose the drive wasn't super nice for him, but we made it by late afternoon.
I had time for a little ride, and then headed to registration. Now I hadn't gotten preregistered in time, but I was hoping I could transfer this guy's registration who couldn't make it, but the promoter said absolutely not. I was pretty pissed, but tried everything I could think of, but no one would budge. I was still registered for the crit on Sunday though, just not the actual "Iron Horse Road Race."
Instead of racing Saturday, we drove up to Silverton and hung out for a while. My dad got to meet the one and only Dave Towle, as well as watch Phil Zajicek win the race in a dominating fashion, as well as watch Ned finish his 100th Iron Horse, still a solid 3rd place. I sure hope I'm doing that when I'm 52.
Sunday morning we went out to eat with some of the DU kids, watched some kids races, cruiser races, and the earlier categories before my 5:15 start. It feels weird starting that late, I never know what to do with myself all day.
The race went alright, I felt like I could do some real work the first half, covering a couple moves and trying to initiate some stuff, but NOTHING was getting away from this field. with 20 minutes to go Chris Wherry launched a real attack. Not that I could have covered it if I was completely fresh and rested, but I had just helped pull back a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory rider and had nothing when Wherry hit out. He opened it up to about 20 seconds and we managed to keep it right there the rest of the race.
I tried to help pull him back, but there comes a point when you're riding alone in a race and a USPRO champ is off the front, and you just have to realize it's not coming back, and I'm not trying to get it back for anyone else, so setting tempo is basically pointless. I wish at times like those that I had the option of trying to go across to him, but that form isn't here yet.
I pulled an idiot move and on the last lap I didn't jump on the back stretch when Anthony Colby attacked and I let a little gap open up. With two fast corners and a downhill finish, there was no closing the gap once it opened, but I managed to hold on to 5th ahead of the rest of the field.
I'll get some pictures up soon, that's the best part about having parents at the race. Right now I need to get to work. Thanks for checking in.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
North Boulder Park Crit was an excellent crit course with 6 90 degree corners stuffed into a .7 mile lap with narrow roads and tight technical sections. I made the front group and finished 19th out of 21 finishers. Not so hot, but considering there were over 80 starters, I was please with myself. I did manage to crash myself, but luckily didn't take anyone else with me. I took a little flyer with a lap and a half to go, thinking they might let a nobody dangle for just long enough to sneak away since the race winning break of 2 was already gone, but no dice. The pack rolled right on by and I had nothing in the sprint.
Here I am picking my bike up off the pavement after my little mishap.
Saturday night was a ton of fun celebrating a successful season with the DU team, although it put a kink in my plans for a strong finish at the Coal Miners Classic Crit in Louisville. 50 minutes into the race I decided I was done. I never like DNF's but they happen sometimes I guess.
This coming weekend is Iron Horse in Durango. My parents are coming out to watch and hang out which will be awesome. I love the courses down there so it should be a fun weekend. I'm afraid there are going to be like 10 guys in the Pro 1,2 road race since pre-registration sold out. We'll see when we get there I guess. I luckily landed a spot through a guy that I coach, otherwise it would have been a long trip for a crit. It's time to start getting ready for work this afternoon. Thanks for checking in.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The Gila was a success I suppose. I was struggling a little with confidence going into it, but it's nice to find out that I'm ahead of where I was last year, and that I can at least hang with the folks in my category. I found one picture from the week, hopefully more will come through with time.
This is of Stage 4, the crit in downtown Silver City. In the front is Allen Krughoff from Rio Grande, next is Brad White (Einstein's) who went on to have an absolutely amazing ride on Sunday, taking close to four minutes out of the field, and finishing the tour same time on G.C. as Taylor Phinney. After 5 hard days of racing, it didn't even come down to seconds, they had to resort to stage placings and Brad's winning the crit and final stage put him in pink. He looked pretty happy riding back to Silver City with a new pink jersey on.
I'm off the bike this week, which I think will be good. I went for a run this morning, but somehow forgot that unlike riding, you can't slam a cup of espresso, and eat a breakfast right before you head out the door to run. I almost made a mess of myself, but made it home just in time.
Thursday morning I head out to go to Collegiate Nationals in Lawrence, Kansas. I think it'll be a fun trip, and the way some of the guys rode this weekend, I think we have a good chance of some good rides there. That's all for now, thanks for checking in, and I'll post more pictures as I find them. If you know where any are, please let me know as I'm quite vain.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
I must have spent like 10 minutes pinning numbers on this morning, and I only ended up gaining 31 seconds over the group. The worst part about it, is that I didn't realize TWO of the guys in the break were actually ahead of me in GC, so I gained 31 seconds on the guys farther up, but not the ones I really have a chance of beating. Oh well, 6 seconds off of 9th place now, and it all really means nothing going into tomorrows road race. I love the crit course here, and the wind today made it spectacularly hard. 4th is actually the worst finish I've had here, after taking 2nd in the Cat 4 race in 2004, and 2nd in the Cat 3 race in 2006. The climbs are steep and punchy, just how I like, and the descent is fast, with a super fast, but wide 90 degree corner at the bottom, so you can really lay into it.
Tomorrow's road race won't be so fun for me. LOTS of up and down on the profile, and the thought of 102 miles gets my anxiety flowing. Should be a fun stage though, it'll be interesting to see how the legs hold up after 4 hard days. Hopefully mine will be better than everyone else's.
It looks like I'll be hanging around Silver City for another night after the race tomorrow. I guess it makes more sense than packing up, driving somewhere and setting up camp all over again, and there is no way I'm driving home in one shot. It was fun last year, (McSurf and Turf Deluxes) but I don't think I'd enjoy it as much alone, and with a much later departure time. Thanks for checking in, I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.
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Friday, May 04, 2007
Results are up, I was 6th, which I knew, lost a minute some to the guys who won today, but still managed to catapult myself up the GC to 10th overall. I think I'm 5:31 back on the lead. I know I won't win this race, but I'd love to hang onto top ten, or better that. We'll see how it plays out. If you're in Silver City tomorrow, look for me at the back of the crit trying to rest.
Here we go, wish me luck. I forgot to mention yesterday that I finished 9 minutes off the lead, so now it's time to focus on stage wins, and possibly moving up a little in G.C. Today will either be really good or really bad. Thanks for checking in.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Today's stage was tough on me. The break rolled away really early, and the group just decided to let it roll. They gained time on us quick, a minute every five miles, then all of the sudden it jumped to 6 minutes, then I even heard 11:30 at the last feed zone. I hear it came down to around 7 minute at the base of the climb but still, race is over. Especially since Taylor Phinney was in the break, and he had an amazing TT yesterday.
I rode the final climb a lot smarter than last year, still lost a few minutes to the guys I went into it with. I stuck to my plan though, stayed with the group over the first pitch, doing anything I had to to stay with, spun across the flats before the final ascent, and once we hit that grade, I just put my head down, and focused on riding my own tempo. I finished the climb a spot or two ahead of where I went into it, so I guess my plan worked, just wish I was 10 pounds lighter when the pitch hits 19%.
On a sad note, I went to Subway the first day I was in town and must say, that place has gone way downhill since we were here last year. I stood in line for a good 15-20 minutes, only to find out they were out of EVERYTHING. No honey oat bread, no lettuce, no spinach, no cucumbers, no onions, no banana peppers, and the dude making my sandwich gave me like 2 slices of tomato on a foot long. Seriously, if I can't get anything but tomato and green peppers, you'd think he would at least load it up. Moral of the story, I haven't been back. I've actually been cooking all my own food here at camp. It's a lot easier than loading up and going somewhere, although it makes for less fun stories of Silver City.
Man, I just read through my archives from when I was here last year, and I think I had a lot more to say then. Oh well, I'm alright with being boring. I'm just hoping for good legs and then maybe I'll have some stories to tell after the race.
Maybe I'll get a picture of the tourists from the Netherlands that are camped in our area. The dude always wears short shorts, and a spandex shirt. I guess my description is horrible, but it makes me laugh to look at him. Ha ha. Thanks for checking in, sorry if you read all this... It sucked.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
The weather cleared up, although I believe it was a little windier than last year. My start wasn't until 2:35.30, so I got to kick it around the camp site all morning, drink a full french press, and relax. It started raining again just as I showed up at the TT course, but blew over before I started. Ian Burnett was my 30 second man, just as last year, and since he won it last year, I figured he would be a good rabbit to chase. I held his pace about halfway up the first climb and he then started to creep away. I kept him in my sights, but just focused on getting into my own groove and riding my own race. I felt pretty good I guess, it's a TT so I always feel like I'm about to die. I felt solid the whole way out, although struggled through the roller section by the turn around, but was able to set a nice tempo on the steep climb on the way back, and gave everything I had left on the four mile descent to the finish.
39.25, good enough for 18th place, but 2.56 down on the leader. He won by over a minute, and Taylor Phinney got second even running Junior gears I heard. I didn't know they made them do that even in TT's. Lame. I spun my 55x11 on the way back, I couldn't imagine what would happen with a 52x13 or whatever those kids have to ride. That's all for now, I'm gonna pin my numbers on and hit the sack. Thanks for checking in.
There is an awful picture for you. I woke up to rain this morning, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I love riding in the rain, TT's are even more fun when the weather is miserable. On the other hand, I'm living in a tent right now and I'm totally relying on nature to dry things out for me, as well as give me a place to eat and hang out all day. This tent could get pretty small by 1:00pm when I have to leave for me TT. So far it's pretty off and on, so I'm hoping whatever it is, it'll just blow over.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
This here is my kitchen, it's where I eat, hang out, read, "surf the net" that's right, wireless internet here at my RV park.
This is the front door of my tent. It is where I enter and exit. It also works as a mudroom. I keep my shoes out here.
The backdoor is a messy area, although it works out well. I use this area as a clothes closet as well as a pantry. This way I can access all my clothes, and food, from both inside or outside the tent and it's all out of the rain.
All in all, it's a pretty nice set-up.
I got in another lap of the TT course this afternoon. I ran into the Einstein's Bagels team out on course and it sounds like they're staying in a repo'd meth house or something that smells like cat urine. I think I'll take my RV park.