Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

USGP of Super

Have you ever noticed how often cyclist use the word Super? Like super frequently. Seriously though, keep your eyes and ears open, you'll be amazed.

So the first 2 rounds of the USGP were this weekend in Louisville, and after some late night promoter stalking on Friday night I was able to get myself into the races that I had forgotten to register for. Thanks to Steve Roszko and Mike Hewitt for helping a moron out.

Friday night finished gluing up a minty new set of 09 Zipp's with the new hubs. Pretty awesome. Thanks to the boys at Zipp for getting me dialed in time for this weekend. Sooo about that racing... Me, Lauren and Isaac headed down on Saturday morning early enough to get some good preriding in and not be too rushed. After a bit of rain on Friday and some early sun on Saturday, the course was pretty much perfect by our race at 3:00.

Mike and I got our call up for our few UCI points (or point) in the 3rd row, right behind some guy named Todd Wells or something like that. All I could think about was "I hope this bro doesn't miss his pedal on the start because I'm going through him!" Actually I was just hoping to not cause a pile up and embarrass myself. Well, avoided that and got an ok start, somewhere in the low 20's. It was quickly apparent why when I start at the back that I never see the front guys again... these guys killed it for the first 2 laps. I was seriously in the hurt box trying to hold onto a group with some Lalonde's and some other pretty quality guys. In the midst of my crosseyed-ness I missed my line in the deep sand pit and had to get off and run the second half of the pit. That was the end of my time in that group. I kept the gas on pretty well for the rest of the day, but ended up 28th. Not great, not the worst I could have done either and a whole lot better than my 60th place on day 1 last year.

Going into Sunday I was hoping for a little better legs and a little bit more clean riding in order to get my goal of top 20. Well we started in basically the same spot, but I found some nice holes and found myself just at the back of a train with the BIG BOYS. There was just one person between me and Tim Johnson, Barry Wicks and Trebon. And Believe me the pace reflected that. When I dismounted at the first barrier set, it felt like I was jumping out of a moving car and my feet could barely keep up with my body. Those bro's were rolling it. I managed to not Sven Niijs my face against the barriers and hold my position pretty well. About 3/4th of the way around the first lap, U23 leader Adam McGrath laid it down in front of me and I had to get off. Then when he got up we proceeded to dance like fools when you are trying to avoid someone in a hallway and you both keep moving the same direction until you run into each other. After we got ourselves untangled, the Bullet Train that was the front of the race that I was lightly tethered to was probably about 8 seconds up the road, but it may as well have been 8 minutes. They were gone. I was scooped up by a nice group racing for my goal of top 20, and I actually felt like I could handle the pace there and almost recover a bit at times. Welp, I got Sand Pitted again. Same thing as the day before, and I lost my group. Chased hard for the next lap, but wasn't really denting the gap. Next time through the pit, over the bars. My confidence in the sand had officially been murdered. I continued to try to catch people but I just didn't have it. With about 2 to go, I started to pick through some riders who had exploded and was able to pick up a couple free spots and finish in 25th place. I don't know how I finished better on Sunday, but I did. Oh well. Better than the 59th I got on day 2 last year...

I will leave you with 2 videos. The first one is from the USGP last year of me pummeling my man region on the top tube of my bike in the same sand pit that beat me up this year. I may have put this one on here before, so if you've seen it, deal with it.

Number two is a video of us going through the same sand pit this year (opposite direction). I'm the last guy the video shows coming through the sand pit (in white shoe covers of course)

That was actually one of the times it didn't make me look that stupid.

Sorry no pictures yet. Mark Zalewski is a hater.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Next Life

So as you may or may not know, in my previous life I was a golfer, and I'm currently in the process of planning my next life. This all started with my little camping trip a few weeks ago and reading "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" just threw some gasoline on the flame. To top it all off my brother, a recently retired bike racer himself, introduced me to the site The site is basically a guide to all of the 14,000+ peaks in Colorado, from how to get there, to what routes to take, to what you'll need supplies wise and even what time of year is best to summit these bad boys. A lot of them actually look surprisingly do-able, but there are some on there that will be a good ways down the road in my mountaineering career. I've also been spending a goof bit of time on after John Meyers opened my eyes to the sweet deals you can get on goods over there (I would link to it, but don't want you guys stealing my stuff...). I think we're going to cut our teeth on some Appalachian Trail hiking and camping before we head out West, but don't worry, I'll still be planning mountaineering adventures around my bike racing. I feel like I've got a lot left to do in this life.

Also, congrats to all of my friends who are soon to be O-fficial Pro-fessional bike racers. I'm sure you should start seeing some familiar names popping up once everyone's 09 rosters are released.

Hilly Hundred festivities start tomorrow. I hope I'm ready...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cincinnati UCI Weekend

I wasn't really sure what to expect this weekend because of my less than ideal training over the last few weeks, but I seemed to get a bit of everything over the 3 days. Here's a day by day rundown of how they went.

Friday Cyclo-stampede C2
I got an ok start and was riding in a group with the usual suspects, but in what seems to be a pretty regular occurrence, a crashed myself out of that group and into no-mans land. I rode there for a while before I had a tire going down so Pam and I did pretty nice, unrehearsed bike exchange. I got the new bike and rode around mentally checked out for a few laps and finished off the race in 27th place. Not so hot, but what I deserved after riding a mentally weak race.

Saturday Java Johny's C2
Saturday I got to the course plenty early and did lots of preriding to try to get tire pressure and my lines dialed before it was go time. I felt quite a bit better going into Saturday than I did about Friday's race. Another CrossVegas-esqe pile up happened about 20 feet off the start line and I got tangled for a bit and had to get off my bike and run through the carnage. I eventually made it back to the back of a reasonable group, but burnt a few too many matches making it there. I spent most of the day on damage control trying to hold on, but blew up in the last few laps and came in 24th, just inside the payout. I rode a good bit better Saturday, and was able to live with myself a little bit easier knowing that I didn't take any laps off mentally during this race.

Sunday Bio Wheels C1
I woke up feeling pretty wrecked from the two previous day's efforts, but it seemed that almost everyone was in the same boat. I did a good bit of preriding and the course seemed like it would suit me ok with a good amount of climbing and some semi technical areas. I played it a bit safe at the start and hung back trying to avoid the pile up that plagued me the day before. I found myself in a huge group that the front was about 15th place and it was probably 20 people deep, so if I blew out of that group any decent place was long gone. Luckily we got rid of some people and the group was down to about 3 or 4 of us pretty quickly. People came and went in the group, but I could seem to get away and up to the UCI points just up the road. Going into the last lap it was me, Dan Campbell, and some Cal Giant Strawberry's guy and the pace was getting pretty tough on me. They dropped me on the climb with about a half lap to go and I was able to ride in fairly easily for 20th spot. Not great, but I felt better about it than any of the other races of the weekend. I just need to get rolling a little better to get some more UCI points. I feel like it's coming though.

After Sunday's race we went back to Chris and Kim's for a shower and some food. We were so ready to go home, but we didn't realize how wrecked we would be after the long weekend and Lauren already bought tickets to a concert in Cincy. We were on the fence as to what to do with them, but we ended up going in for about an hour and then skipping out for Bloomington. We got home at around 1:00 AM and it was all we could do to stay awake on the drive. Overall it was an awesome weekend and just a preview to the good times to be had this weekend at the Hilly Hundred.

Sorry for the Ryan Knapp picture overload...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Traveling Again

So this blog post comes to you from the over-hyped and underwhelming city of Miami Flori-duh. If you've just started reading my blog for some unknown reason, you may think that that I'm kind of a big deal judging from all this traveling I've been doing. Bouncing around to some of the most clubbinest cities the US has to offer (Vegas, Bloomington, Miami...). You would be mistaken. I just prefer to get all of my traveling out of the way in one hectic week and a half period.

Anyway, with the USGP's in Loui-tuckey in a couple weeks and the triple UCI weekend in Cincinatti this weekend, I had to drag my cross bike with me so I could get some car dodging in. I actually found a decent little sidewalk type thing that runs along the ocean called the Broadwalk that gets me off the main roads and provides a little better scenery.

(that's right, sun's out gun's out)

I'm here on some for some business stuff. Yes I have a real job and no it's not as a bike racer. I just pose as one on the weekends. But the place we're staying is pretty lavish. Quite possibly the nicest place I've laid my head. So the ackward stares were plentiful as I rolled through the lobby all kitted up.

Last night we went on either a tiny cruise ship or a very large regular boat up the intercostal waterway for a few hours for some drinks and socialization. I just watched the Red Sox game.

I'm still trying to get over some leg soreness from my little mini camping trip I took last weekend. Myself and someone else went to the Deam Wilderness just south of Lake Monroe and did a 6.5 mile hike on the was into our lakeside camping spot and a 5 mile hike out with 40 or so pound packs with all of our stuff. If you're wondering why the way in was 6.5 and out was only 5, that's because I apparently can't read maps that well. Anyway, muscles I didn't even know I had were sore. Maybe not that extreme in your mind, but try it, I'll bet it hurts more than you'd think.

Getting pretty jazzed for this weekend and next weekend (UCI's and the Hilly Hundred). For that matter all of October should be pretty awesome.

OK I'm out.

P.S. If I can read at the 5th grade level on my plane ride home, be on the lookout for a book review of "Between a Rock and a Hard Place." It's the story of Aron Ralston, the guy who got his arm trapped by a falling rock while canyoneering and cut it off to free himself. It's been awesome so far, so I'll keep you posted.