Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm back, sorry for the break.

Skate skiing at 10,000ft. Yeah, it's the real McCoy.

As you can see, I was one of the only people out there.

I think I could get used to this.

Allez was glad to see me. She's in heat so she wears little kid's underwear which looks hilarious. I wonder where Matt got a bunch of little kid's underwear.

I went to Edwards and stayed with Matt Koch and Jeremy Gross. I got to go ski at the nordic center on top of Beaver Creek resort. Skate skiing was a blast, I haven't done it in a year, and forgot how hard it was. My arms are still killing me. I also got to guest star on their local broomball game. I was nervous at first, but I managed to help them maintain a scoreless season. After the game, we went to the sponsor's (a bar) and hung out for a while. Little Matt got a girls number, which not only made me proud, but also blew me away. I actually lost a bet to myself.

I drove back Thursday, worked Friday night and Saturday morning, and that's about it. I guess there's been a little riding thrown in there too, as well as some shivering and complaining about the cold.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Roller Party!

I was going to take today off and hope for some outdoor riding the rest of the week. The at about 3 I decided that I'm getting out of town for a few days after work tomorrow, so there will definitely be no riding tomorrow. This left me with a long solo roller ride, so to help pass the time I rented a couple DVD's of Six Feet Under and invited a few guys from the UNC team over to share in the misery. I hoped on around 5, Brian got here at 5:30, and then Dana joined us at 6:15. We managed to keep things going until 8, so we all got pretty decent rides in.

Last night I rode off the rollers and stacked it up in the middle of my living room all alone. I stood up a little too fast and went right off the front of the rollers. I was relieved that no one was here to see it, but after Brian did the same thing in front of Dana and I tonight, I felt bad that I didn't have to deal with the embarrassment that I could see running through his body.

I saw a new roller trick on the online a few days ago and had to give it a whirl. I managed to successfully do a couple 1 minute intervals without ever really going down, although I did have to put a foot down once.

I know the video is a little dark, but you can make out what's going on. Sorry about Dana's harry chest, it's not his fault. That's all I've got, thanks for checking in.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's Over.

I finally finished The Da Vinci Code. The past few days I haven't been able to persuade myself into reading it, but the break did help me log a few hours on the rollers. Anyway, my book review goes a little like this...

Don't waste your time, maybe just watch the movie.

That's all I've got for now. My bed is calling and the sooner I get to sleep, the sooner I can get up and ride my trainer again! I think tomorrow I might have a date with the cross bike and snow covered dirt roads. We'll just have to see.

P.S. I patched my favorite jeans again tonight. Sooner or later I'm just going to have to throw in the towel, but after tonight, it's looking like that day will be later rather than sooner.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Be Safe, Lock Your Doors, Carry Mace, etc.

Last night was good. I made some decent cash (enough to buy groceries for a week today) as well as had a blast with a bunch of co-workers afterwards. The after-party thing needs to stop, although it was a ton of fun, but the cash thing can continue to flow.

OK, the point of this update. In the past two days Scott's brother Kevin got mugged at gunpoint in St. Louis, Eric Boyce stumbled upon a someone stealing something out of his car in Fort Collins, a fight ensued and the guy left without the bike he'd parked behind Eric's car, and finally my friend Paige got chased down a dark alley on her way to her car after a party last night in Minneapolis. Moral of the story, watch your back, people are strange and apparently evil as a whole. Luckily all three of my friends are safe. It makes you wonder how often this kind of crap happens, and where people ever got it into their heads that this kind of stuff is acceptable behavior.

I'm off to work again. On a lighter note, I got my old bolo tie back. Whose pumped? I'm pumped. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Computer

My dad gave me his old laptop just after Christmas since he got a new one (thanks dad), so I'm no longer constrained to my desk. I'm at the library right now, I got a letter that I had a book overdue and they were going to charge me $80 if I didn't return it. The only problem was, I already had returned it... before the due date. I rode over here, and sure enough, it was restocked right where it should have been on the shelf. I'll be taking it down to the desk shortly. I hope they don't try and charge me a late fee, because I think it would be about $15 by now.

Other than that, I got Firefox all set up on here, and I'm slowly educating myself to the world of RSS feeds. I think I like it. You know what else I like, my new hat.

I should head home and shower before I work tonight. I didn't ride today, which is lame, but I got off my bike at 10 last night and couldn't talk myself into getting onto it as soon as I woke up this morning. It's actually pretty nice out right now, but of course the forecast shows snow showers tomorrow and Sunday. Maybe my new hat will get me out the door even in a flurry.

I'll leave you with one of my Mom's Christmas presents for my Dad. She hired an aerial photographer to take pictures of our place in Yankton, and since I got the computer, I got a bunch of old pictures too. Maybe I'll spice up my updates with random pictures from time to time. Although it may be debated by some, I still take a large amount of credit for the retaining walls along the drive and below the house.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

White Gold.

So, I was content with my earlier update, until I got off my bike this evening, surfed the few regular websites I look at, and realized, "these people are sitting at home, hitting the refresh button over and over, waiting for an update from me, and what do I give them? A few lines and a generic title with one crappy picture of my mouse trap powered book holder?" It was then that I decided I'd write some more.

I delayed riding about as long as I could today. I finally climbed on just after "The Office" ended, so I got to watch the musical "Scrubs," and then "30 Rock?" is that the name? Anyway, they were both entertaining and an hour ticked by without too much agony. I then switched it up, exchanged the TV for the book, and read a few more chapters of The Da Vinci Code. I like it less and less as it goes on, maybe it's just my attitude. In the end, I only rode two hours. I hope it gets nice out, so I can make up some time this weekend.

So... What goes through my head during these extended trainer sessions? Different athletes are fueled by different motivators. Some play and then replay in their minds, past or future races that they won, almost won, or are going to win. Others daydream of the success and fame their sport will someday bring them. I'm sure there are a million different things going through a million different athletes minds. What's on my mind when I'm stuck indoors?


The same thing that's on my mind when I ride outside. I dream up these lavish scenarios of decadent feasts, piles of food. Pancakes, or burritos. Omeletes, and burgers. I dream of bigger and better ways to replace the calories I've been ticking off throughout my ride. Usually I could gain a few pounds after a century if I followed through with all my mid-ride ideas. What do I usually eat when I'm done? Typically I drink a glass of sugar-milk (recovery secret, cats out of the bag) and eat a grapefruit as I crash on my couch, or head for the shower. All the mid-ride dreams of overindulgence pass, only to come back and haunt me around 9 or 10 every night.

Now that we're on the food topic, where should we go? Easy... Cream Cheese. I've been accused of being a fanatic, and I believe it's a correct assumption. I put this stuff on everything. Not unlike Mr. Average Joe Cyclist, I dabble in the peanut butter from time to time, but honestly, the cream cheese has almost fully excluded the JIF from my arsenal of accoutrements. I put it on everything. Pizza, in spaghetti sauce, bagels (of course), sandwiches and wraps, Grilled Cream Cheese sandwiches dipped in marinara, CC and Jelly sandwiches, in macaroni, on pancakes, and, as I discovered tonight...

Celery sticks.

Speaking of celery, who out there has ever tried it steamed? Well I did, and it's not too bad.

Speaking of steamed vegetables, I got a rice steamer a few days ago that has a vegetable tray on top that will simultaneously steam my vegetables as it cooks the rice. I made some a couple days ago and it was awesome as well as awesomely easy. I marinated some chicken in a Lemon Pepper sauce and had the rice and vegetables with that.

Lemons. I mysteriously found a bunch of lemons, limes, and grapefruits in the bottom of my fridge and wasn't sure what to do with them. The grapefruits were easy as I'm experienced in grapefruit eating. So experienced in fact that if eating a grapefruit in the bathtub (or any body of water for that matter) I can eat the fruit, leaving the rind as a boat to float around me. Anyway, I was stumped with what to do with the lemons as there were quite a few. I squeezed some on the chicken/rice/vegetable meal. That was good, but I still had 3 and 7/8 lemons remaining in my possession. I started squeezing a little in every glass of water that I drink, and I find that not only does it hide the taste of Greeley's water, it makes me want to drink more water because it's like a "special" drink.

Lemon water, I made some at work today because I was parched after drinking a french press of coffee at home, then a cup of Rio coffee.

French press, I think I've drank an entire french press every morning for breakfast since I've been back in Greeley after Christmas. I should probably cut back a little.

Breakfast, I've been alternating my breakfasts between the usual yogurt with granola and hard boiled eggs with toast. I really like the hard boiled eggs, because I can cook a week's breakfasts in just 12-15 minutes. I try to throw some fruit in there too, but I'm out of banana's.

Banana's. I've eaten plenty of banana's with peanut butter on them, maybe it's time I try one with cream cheese?

I think I'll keep a jar of peanut butter around after all.

Day 11

I'm getting tired of the whole day number title thing, yet I can't seem to think of any catchy/interesting/witty titles for these dull updates.

I had my first shift at the Rio this morning. A girl called while I was on my trainer last night and asked if I'd cover her morning bus shift. It wasn't too bad, I remember now that mornings are easy, everyone comes in at once, and everyone leaves at once. One table hung out until 2:45 (we close for the afternoon @ 2:00), so that definitely delayed me getting home.

Now I'm thinking I'll sit around and possible eat a little, and then try to do a solid 3 hours inside. It's still cold and windy outside, so I'm stuck indoors. I've been splitting things up, doing two-a-days which helps, but I wasn't feeling it at 8:00 this morning. I guess if I'm going to be working many days I'll have to get used to it.

I've been riding the trainer so I can read while I ride.

It's not so bad, although I think I should still ride the rollers a little here and there to try and round out my not-so-perfect pedal stroke. Back to reading on the trainer. I'm finally catching up with the masses and reading The Da Vinci Code. If you've read Angels and Demons, don't bother reading this one, or vice versa (same story, different settings). The writing is definitely not the greatest, but the page and a half chapters seem to make the time go by and take my mind off of the fact that I've ridden more inside than I have outside this winter. Unfortunately two days into the book, it's almost done, so I'll have to find something else to read. Welp, that's all I've got, thanks for checking in.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day 8

3 hours on the trainer. Warm weather couldn't come fast enough. Do any of you remember those days during the summer when you didn't want to go outside or do anything because it was so hot? Well, I do and I'm never going to forgive myself.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Day 5

I broke down and rode the trainer today, something I was hoping I could avoid all winter. I can handle the snow and ice outside, it actually adds a little stimulation and excitement to riding outside, but what I can't do is this 3 degrees above zero crap. I just decided that I'm ready for winter to be over. I know the cold will make me a grittier racer, but when it gets this cold, I'm just going to turn into a fatter racer.

I worked all day yesterday, then went on a little cleaning spree. I managed to clean and organize my entire apartment, including all the closets in just under 4 hours. I went out for a little bit with Scott and Ray after that, but I don't think I'll be showing my face at the Cactus Canyon for a long time, hopefully never again. Man that place sucks. I always forget how lame it is until I get back the next time. Oh well. This afternoon I sewed a huge patch onto some jeans that I'd blown out this fall. They were my favorite pants and I'm glad to have them back, although I'm sure they've got a limited number of bend overs and squats in them before that large slit in the rear reappears.

The forecast looks like it should be getting warmer by the middle of next week, so I just need to figure out how to survive the trainer until then. I borrowed Steve's Kreitler rollers, so hopefully that'll help the time pass. I did some one legged intervals on them tonight, that's interesting to say the least. Hopefully someday I'll be able to do it no handed like the dude on YouTube. Alright, I'm out, thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Day 3

Today started off awesome, Scott and I met up and went exploring and even managed to find a new road that was smooth and significantly lacking in the car department. The way out was great and the first couple hours flew by. Then the sun went under, the wind seemed to pick up, and moods as well as blood sugars soon dropped.

An hour or so later, spirits were high again after we stopped by the Kersey gas station, indulged in one of my personal guilty pleasures (cream cheese muffin) and warm water. I got a solid three and a half hours in today and felt really good overall. My bike however didn't fare so well. By hour three, there were icicles everywhere, and my front wheel spray had frozen so thick under the fork, that my tire was rubbing on it. Luckily I had found a screwdriver on the ground earlier in the ride so I was able to clean it right out.

In another stroke of genius, I rode off the road, and was just barely able to pull the my bike out of the ditch.

In other news, I'm now officially an employee of the Rio Grande Mexican restaurant her in Greeley. As some of you long time readers may already know, I worked there a while back, but I'm now back on board. It looks like I'll be working Friday nights and Saturday mornings as well as any other shifts I'm able to pick up during the week.

That's all for now, thanks for checking in.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Day 1

Man, I can't believe how worked over I feel from just 2 and a half hours. I'm hoping it's only because of the last three weeks of gluttony and laziness, but if not, this could be a long year. Riding today was awesome. It felt really good to get out and do something for a change. I've been complaining about all this snow, but I could take a full winter of days like today. I rode my cross bike and hit up the famous semi-classic GAG (Greeley-Ault-Greeley) since it's one of my favorite base rides. The highways were wet, but I took a big detour on the way back and hit up an hour or so of dirt roads that were PERFECT. The snow was packed hard and wasn't wet at all like the blacktop. Tomorrow I'm gonna try and sneak an early ride in before work, but I'll try to get my camera charged up before then so I can something more interesting to look at on here. That's all for now, thanks for checking in.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Look back on 2006.

The 2006 season started a little late for me. After a rough winter in my head, I dreaded coming back to Colorado after winter break, and didn't start riding until almost February.

I ended up having a great winter though, the training was good, weather was awesome, and I started having a lot of fun here at school. I met a bunch of new people in Greeley, and have made some lasting friendships, and some that weren't so lasting. The weather for riding was awesome in Colorado last winter, and I spent a lot of time in the mountains EARLY in the year. The best part of riding in the mountains in the pancakes.

My season started with a bang at the CU Crit on March 18th. I ended up 2nd after pulling back a break so my one-time teammate would have a chance for the win. Things didn't work out for him, so I punched it and gapped everyone except for a CU kid affectionately known as fat-ass. The highlight of that day was definitely getting my picture with Tyler Hamilton. Thanks again Kari Mello.

If you look close you can see Dave Towle in the corner.

The rest of the collegiate season went better than expected. I never managed to win a collegiate race, but came close a time or two. My favorite races would have to be the Fruita Loops Crit hosted by Mesa State, and the Fort Lewis Circuit Race. I ended up riding in a break with 4 FLC kids at the Fruita race, taking 3rd out of the bunch, and my result at the FLC home race wasn't great, but it was the first time I felt good climbing, in my life. I felt like I was able to push the pace a little here and there, and had a lot of fun, not half as much as the ride home though.

Moving on.

I managed to pick up a couple wins early as a Cat. 3 at the Koppenburg Road Race, and the Boulder Roubaix. I went to The Tour of the Gila with high expectations, but instead was treated to the Mogollon climb, and then a head cold. I still felt like I did a great race, and rode my way into the top ten with a 2nd in the crit and 7th on the Gila Monster Stage.

After the Gila I upgraded and got a slap in the face with a 90 minute Coal Miner's Classic Crit in 90 degree weather won by none other than Greg Henderson. I got throttled, but actually gained a little confidence with a late race effort to bring a couple guys back in the last lap.

After that was the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango. The road race was stupid hard, as my climbing legs had long since left me by this time, and I suffered pretty bad to finish at the back of the pack. The next day though was the downtown crit, and was probably the best race of my life. I covered the front early thinking it was a good course for a break to get away, but it never stuck, and I'd wasted a lot of energy, so I soon found myself surfing the back. I tried to relax for a few laps, with a plan of moving up with 5 to go, and seeing what I could make happen in the last two laps. I made it to the front when I wanted to, actually a little early, as I was 3rd wheel with one lap to go. As we came through the start finish, the two guys, Troy Wells and Eric Ransom, did the bike throw and sat up thinking we were done. I had followed their wheels and had a little gap as we headed up the hill the last lap, I was confused, but not enough to sit up with less than a lap to go. I buried it, and barely held my gap through the lap to take my first Pro 1,2 win. It felt good, really good, and to do it in Durango, with Dave Towle on the mic, my mom in the crowd, and racing against a bunch of people I respect and admire, only made it feel better.

After that my season wound down for a while. I did my own thing, rode my mountain bike a bit, and got my single speed cross bike out as much as I could. I had planned to do a bunch of collegiate mountain bike stuff this fall, but after only a weekend, I switched it up and got onto the cross bike. My form this fall felt crappy, only a couple times did I feel like I was going well, luckily it happened toward the end of the year and nationals was a lot of fun and I had a decent collegiate race there ending up 15th.

The biggest thing that stands out to me this season was the overwhelming amount of support I felt from all kinds of people. I had more people coming to watch me race, wishing me luck, or congratulating me, than I could believe. I want everyone of you reading this to know that all of your support really does mean a lot to me.

First off, Scott Wenzel was there, right alongside me through most of the season.

Nat Ross and Dave Towle. I just met Nat this fall, through Dave actually, but really enjoyed racing with him, or having him on the sidelines doing the announcing thing. I've known who Dave was for quite some time, but really got to know him this spring after the UNC home race. He's an awesome guy, and is exactly what the sport of cycling needs to continue to grow and prosper here in the states. His energy and enthusiasm are unmatched, as well as his character.

Steve Opp. Steve gave me a job when I really needed one this summer, and has always been super flexible with my schedule to allow me to pursue what it is I want to do. He even made it out to a cross race this fall, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of him at the races next fall.

Matt Koch got to be a really good friend throughout the season last spring, always had coke and cold water on hand when I rode through Estes Park this summer, and let us take over his condo for a weekend when the racing took us to Summit County. Thanks Matt (and Allez).

Evan Sandstrom - E Strong. Probably one of the most photogenic people I know, but also always willing to lend a helping hand, or yell "grip it and rip it" or "get some" from the side of any race, anywhere, anytime.

Brian Amstutz, who I met through cycling, but have continued to hang out with probably more than anyone else on here. I'm pretty sure he'll one day kill me, but I do enjoy our discussions or lack thereof on my porch stairs.

Ambrette. Some of the people on here are getting a little more credit than they deserve, but I don't think I could ever relay how much support Ambrette has given me this year, or how much I've appreciated every bit of it.

Lastly, a huge thanks to my parents that have given me more opportunities in the past 22 years than many people get in a lifetime. I know I'm no model child, and I know I've put you through a lot, but thanks for everything you've done for me.

I know I've missed more people than I've put on here, but ANYONE who has taken the time from their day to read this drivel has my thanks and gratitude. I owe you all one. 2007 looks to be very different than 2006. I won't be doing any collegiate racing for one, but I hope to take another step in the direction of my ultimate goal. I've never admitted it before, never even to myself, but I've finally realized I want to be a professional cyclist, and I'm going to be one someday. I know there is still a lot of road ahead of me, but I've set my sights on a goal, so the only person who can come between me and that goal now is myself. It took some life changes to help me realize this, but I've never felt more focused and directed as I do now. I know it's a long shot, but wish me luck and continue to give me your support if you can. Thanks for everything.

P.S. I need another job, any ideas?