Friday, September 26, 2008

Vegas- Not the Bike Race

Our days out here have consisted of not sleeping, going to Interbike, and putting out the vibe at the pool. I have tried to document some of the happenings with the camera, but haven't done such an awesome job yet. I still have one more day to try to try to improve on my photog skillz. The picture above is from our room at the Hard Rock which over looks the ridiculous pool and faces the strip that's a few blocks away.

The Hard Rock keeps some Lambo's on hand just in case someone like me shows up and needs to sit in traffic in style.

The pool out here is sick. Once again, this is the view from our room, but this doesn't do it justice. I'll try to take some better pictures of the scene at the pool. It will be tough to get a good shot because I can hardly see the pool through all the D-Bags standing around it...

Fowler gettin' that money made in the Zipp booth. If he looks pretty important with that phone up to his head, it's because he is!

At a cheap $560, I'm sure I'll have a few pair of tthese very soon.

Tyler Hamilton, Rasaan Bahatti and Fred Rodriguez meeting with the big wigs at Ridley. Looks like Fuji is locked down as their bike sponsor just yet... (Michael Ball was just around the corner looking very important as well.)

These girls asked if they could get a picture with me... I said ok.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Vegas- The Bike Racing

When I touched down in Las Vegas I turned on my phone and had a text message from my boy Chris that it looked like Lance was going to be racing Cross Vegas with us. That was the point that it hit me how ridiculous this was going to be. This was the most stacked field I'll probably ever line up against. The Lance factor lead to some serious disorganization on the UCI's part, but I guess that's how it goes.

So the UCI said they were going to be calling us up by UCI points (mine haven't kicked in yet) and then order of registration. So I was no reason to jockey for position before the call ups, so I was just chillin'. Well they basically did UCI's and then Lance, and then let everyone swarm the startline. So I got stuck at the back, but that's how it goes. The gun went off and I pedaled once and then there was a nice pile up right in front of me. I was trying to get through it, stepping on dudes carbon wheels, riding on peoples backs, but I got hung up and watched the big guys ride away. I killed myself for a good bit and eventually joined the elite (maybe not so elite) group of riders who have suffered on the wheel of Lance Armstrong. The only thing was, I had killed myself to get to that spot, and he was just waiting for some open real estate. He took off and I didn't. I just kind of rode around not feeling so hot and was out of any good positions, so after my not so notable result was solidified, I started to try to have some fun with the crowd (which some said was 10,000 strong), by picking up the dollars they were hanging over the barriers and trying to throw some style over one of the jump-able sections of the course. The leaders came around and lapped my group with 1 to go, so I pulled over and waited to watch them finish. The atmosphere was so outrageous. I don't know if I'll ever do another race as cool as this one was. I don't really mind the not so hot finish, but was seriously fun. Any time that you get to line up with the current World Mountain Bike Champ and a 7 time Tour champ, and a few handfuls of the best pros in the world, it's for sure one to remember.

A big shout out to all of the people out there who were throwin' the singles and screaming for me every lap. I was suprised how many people I knew out there last night. There was a good crew from Bloomington, a bunch of industry types, and even Jackson and Mike Sayers were out there supporting. I actually checked results on Cyclingnews today, and they left me off the list. It was probably Mark Zalewski's doing... Anyway I would have been somewhere in the mid 40's, judging from the dudes I knew who finished around me.

If I feel like paying more money for another day's worth of internet here at the Hard Rock, I may throw down another blog post tomorrow about the rest of the trip and Interbike.

Why do are all the girls in Vegas COVERED in tattoo's (obviously including the "Tramp Stamp") and have a minimum of 4 piercings other than their ears?

Monday, September 22, 2008


So the first UCI races of the season have come and gone and came with some good and some bad. We'll save the best for last. As you may know, I wrecked out of the first race of the year last weekend after one lap... well I managed to do that again. I just didn't get enough time on the course to practice railing the corners, and once the race went full gas, I ate it, twice. The first one was going from grass to road and I hit some gravel and slid out, got a bit of road rash. The second one was a high speed body slam that ended my day (all in 8 minutes of racing don't forget). I rolled around on the ground for a bit, with some shoulder pain. I don't know whats wrong with it, it just hurts. My pinkey also got some damage. After the wreck it was kind of sideways, so I gave it a few tugs and it seemed to come back in line a bit. Now it's just purple. If worse comes to worst, I'll just cut if off. So yeah, DNF for day 1. 2 races, 2 laps. Not the start I was looking for to the season.

Day 2. Pretty similar course, but we got there 3+ hrs early so we had plenty of time to preride and dial in the bikes. Because I DNF'D the day before, I started last row. The start was pretty open so I moved up as far as my legs would let me. There was a decisive split that mike made it across and I was in the next group of about 5. We were 8th through 12th place. Eventually the group was down to just 3 of us for 8,9,10. I just needed a top 10 for some points. Late in the race I was running out of gas, and it looked like a group of 2 was catching us a bit, and I didn't want to have to sprint with them. I put in my last effort I had in my legs to stretch our gap back out over the last lap and a half or so. I lead it out into the last few corners and both of my guys attacked me, and I was dead. I rolled in at the back of my 3 man group in 10th, just behind mike and Steve Tilford who had just sprinted it out for 6th (Tilly got him by a wheel). So mike and I both got UCI points that we had been looking for. Isaac was super sick all weekend and basically just worked the pit for us and yelled motivation.

Post Race Pain Cave

I'm super pumped to get these points because it means call ups at the rest of the big races for the next 365 days. So going into the year, that was my first goal for cross, so now that I've got some points, I'll see what it's like to start at the front and set some new goals from there.

Other observations from the weekend. J. Page's mechanic was hilarious. When I was hanging out in the pit after I dropped out on day 1, Page lost his seat and came in for a bike change. Once he was gone his mechanic said (in his sweet euro accent) "It is OK he liiiikes it with no seat. He don't tell no one, but he is a little bit of the gay." Then he was having some tire pressure issues, where they were too soft and came back in for another bike change (you can do this when your smashing everyone like he did.) He mechanic said, "again, he liiike the bouncing" So he made life in the pit a more fun.

OK this is getting way too long, so I'm going to wrap it up with a few more pictures from the weekend.

J.Page alone. Surprising.

Sweet Swiss dude who jumped me at the end

Artsy Midwest Sunset Shot

Also, a big thanks to Zach Edwards for wrenching on my bikes for me this weekend, manning the camera and taking care of the pit duties!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Counting Down

The days are few before I peace out for Vegas. The start list just came out for the UCI Elite race, and it looks pretty robust. I like to look at start lists and pick out who I know I can beat for sure, well lets just say there aren't too many of those type guys registered for CrossVegas. In an email from the promoters, they wanted to remind up about "unauthorized drinking on the course" ... or Beer Hand-ups. Fowler had discussed beer hand-ups already and what the situation would have to be for me to take one... looks like none of that will be going down this time.

It works out well that were racing on Wednesday night, because that gives us the rest of the week to see the show and scare poeple at the pool with our wicked tan lines. We're staying at the Hard Rock, word is it's pretty decent. The itnereary looks something like this; Leave Indy @ 6:45AM Wed Arrive in Vegas at 7:45 local time. Maybe we'll hit up interbike for a bit, but hopefully we'll be able to get into the hotel at a decent hour so we can get a few hours of sleep before the race. Festivities at the race course start around 6 or so, with the Wheelers and Dealers CX race. Lou, the man behind my ticket to Interbike will be racing, so I'll be there supporting him for sure. My race starts at 9 Vegas time (midnight Bloomington time), so that is going to make for a seriously long day of travel and racing. Nothing a few dozen Red Bull can't take care of though. The course looks to be pretty roadie friendly, so maybe I can latch on to a group of BA's and hang on for a sweet result.

I've got a bit of business to take care of in Michigan before Vegas though, so I better not get ahead of myself. Must get 1 UCI point...

Here's the Cyclofile Video from CrossVegas last year.

I can't watch that too much or I get way too jacked up, way too early.

Those Cyclofile cross videos on youtube are great. Just search "cyclofile" and you'll get sweet videos from most of the big U.S. races, set to rad tunes.

Thanks for reading post #73,837,239,874 referencing my trip to Las Vegas

Monday, September 15, 2008


Coulda gone better... The turn out was awesome. The course was awesome. The weather was less than awesome. There were tornados in the area, supossedly there were 600,000 people in the greater Cincinnatti area without power, but we were cross racin'! Got a good start, and settled in behind Mike at the front to try to avoid the high winds. Mike was just smashing it and blowing the race apart. Soon the front group started to form nicely. As the winds continued to blow, stuff was flying everywhere, course marking stakes were flying like daggers, it was pretty crazy. Well as tree limbs and other garbage was getting blown out of the trees, they had people trying to keep it off the course. They had done pretty well, but managed to miss this vine that was dangling in the trail. I got clothes-lined in the mouth with this damn vine! Seriously. It nearly took my head off, and sent me for a good ride. It busted up my lip nicely, and knocked a couple teeth loose. The guy in front of me hit it and when it swung back, it unloaded nicly on my chops. So rolled around on the ground of a bit, and tried to make sure I atleast still had my teeth, barely. By the time I got my life back together, the front group I was in was 3/4 of a lap up and I wasn't feeling so hot, so I decided to call it a day and go ice my grill. There were lots of mechanical problem out of the course with guys getting the caution tape stuck in their cassettes. It was more like playing Mario Cart than racing cyclocross. Sweet either way.

We were loaded up and ready to smash faces, little did I know it was my face that would be smashed, litterally.

This weekend is the Detroit UCI weekend. Hopefully I my lip wont be so fat by then...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Gotta Ask Yourself...

If Uber-Sweet Todd Wells is still out making himself throw up during intervals, am I really pushing myself hard enough? I know it's been a few months since I puked on the bike. Here's to a truck load of vomiting in the cyclocross season!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Lance is coming back? I keep waiting for someone to say it's a joke, like the Cyclingnews April Fools jokes. How about his choice of media outlet...Vanity Fair Magazine? A little weird, but I guess that's what happens when you hook up with some Olsen Twins, and jog on beaches shirtless with Matthew McConaughey. How do I know about these celebrity escapades? No I don't subscribe to US Weekly, I have wandering eyes when I'm in the checkout line at the grocery store. Either way, I wish him the worst.

So the other day I was coming in from a ride and I was about to eat my pack of crackers I had been saving. I went to open them and and dropped the pack. No big deal. I flipped around and there was a car coming, I sat there waiting for him to pass so I could pick them up, he sees them and steers around them. Just when I thought it was clear, some bro comes whipping around the corner and pulverizes my peanut butter crackers. I think he did it on purpose. They were so mashed that there was no chance of revival. Probably one of the greatest disappointments of my life.

How about Cavendish at ToM? I bet he wins every stage. He's from the Isle of Man, how can he not?

Tomorrow is Wednesday Worlds. I'm not sure how many of them we have left for the year, but it can't be many. Since John Meyers moved to town in the middle of the summer, they haven't been the same, like a lot harder. I guess its probably good for us though, no more half assed Worlds. Still gotta get a few more hours on the CX bike before the season opening OVCX race this weekend. Gamm, if you're reading this, take it easy on us!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The UPS Man Smells Like Cyclocross

It's officially 'cross season for more reasons than one. The new kit and toys just arrived from the boys at, I'm riding the cross bike on more than the road bike, and I just busted out the first long sleve jersey ride in a few months. Jackson just dumped the cross schedule on me, and it looks pretty nice. Lots of technique practice and the hours aren't going to be too long. Today I rolled down to my usual cross practice spot on the south side of Bloomington. The park has a pretty big pool with slides and lots of fun stuff, well today it was full of dogs. They were having "Drool in the Pool." All the dog owners of Bloomington brought their K9's out for a dip and some socialization. I've really been wanting to buy a dog lately, but lets be honest, the life of a bike racer is not the life of a good pet owner. Maybe some day, like in 10 years or something.

The knee that had been bothering me is on the upswing, and if I'm smart about it, I may be able to find some decent cross form for the Michigan UCI's and Cross Vegas. Contract talk is all over the place, in the Pro Tour, and the Midwest JV leagues. Alderfer Bergen has some good stuff in the works, and the rumors are flying about which midwestern axe murderer is going to which squad for 09. I love it, can't wait to see who ends up where. Well there are tires to be Aquasealed, and since the roomates just bought a Wii, that may get put off for a while. With no pictures and a generally bad blog of late, I'm very impressed if you have made it this far into the entry.