Sunday, March 30, 2008

Day 4

50 mile circut race today. 9 laps, with a decent climb through the start/finish and first couple miles of each lap. I once again went off the front a couple times early and gave a weak attempt at a time bonus sprint on lap 3. Just after the start/ finish on lap 6 I blow out the side wall of my 125 mile old rear tubie. If you're keeping track I got 25mi out of the front and 125mi out of the rear. I mean what's the deal? Anyway, after the slowest wheel change in bike racing history, I am back chasing. I chased for about half the way up the 2 mile climb, then the wheel car comes up and lets me hold on while they take me over the top. On the descent, I chased back through a few follow cars and a couple moto's and was back in the race. Ryan flatted int the same place on the next lap and also got a bit of help and rejoined the field. On the last lap it was clear it was going to be a field sprint, so I got on the leadout of the team who had the yellow jersey, and Baumann was on my wheel. It was pretty windy so we were echeloned across the road a bit. Something happened at the front and sent everyone swerving, the next thing I know, my face is scraping along the road and people are running over/into me. This all happened inside 1 mi to go. I get up and check myself, no broken bones, but plenty of other broken stuff. Here's a list:

Force Shifters
Front Tubular Tire (that's 2 in one day)
New Shoes
Rear Ksyrium (That belonged to some other dude)
Shreaded Jersey
Shreaded Bibs

If the picture were better you could see all the holes, to which I have matching holes in my skin.

Sweet huh?

On top of all that I lost the most skin I've ever lost in my life. I sat in the ambulance as they took scissors and cut off all the flaps of skin I had hanging off parts of my body.

So all in all I think this was the least successful 3 days of racing I've had in my life. Don't you worry though, I'll be just fine for Redlands.

Tomorrow I have a big day of tracking down and replacing bike parts, in order to get the bike rideable for Redlands. Hopefully I'll have some more positive updates in the near future.

P.S. Ryan and Phil ended up 4th and 5th on GC and made some skrilla.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Arizona Day 3

Today started out with a 6AM wake up and a hotel breakfast buffet. It was pretty decent, However, I didn't realize breakfast wouldn't be the last time I saw those potatoes.

We got to the race plenty early and got all kitted and rolled out for a bit of a warm up. On the way back in, Phil flatted and we got him another wheel, but it was just a training wheel, so we went back to fix the flat on his race wheel, but our guy who was going to be in the feed zone for us had already left with the car. So we bummed a tube and started to fix it, and the field starts to roll out to the staging area down the road, without us. In the rush somehow the tube got pinched and blew up in Baumann's ear. So Phil just decided to ride the training wheel and deal with it. We caught the group and all was well.

The race started on a 4 mile climb with a time bonus at the top. Baumann took off an got the time bonus and was the virtual yellow jersey. I followed a few moves and felt ok for a while. Once we had been racing for about 45 min, I started eating gels. Thats when it all went south. I couldn't keep anything down. I was puking up water, gel, and anything else I put in my mouth. I retreated to the back to just try to get through it. Fast Forward 70 miles, and I'm still chilling at the back of the race. I tried to move up to the front to do something at the end, I didn't really have anything, but followed a few wheels and got 10th on the day. I'm still pretty pissed about how the trip has started out for me, but I think the legs are coming. Tomorrow is a 50 mile circut race with some good climbing, so it should set up well for me. Baumann is in 3rd on GC and Phil is in 9th. I'll be working for Ryan tomorrow to try to get up the road and eat up some of those Time Bonus'.

I've got a few pictures from the trip, but you're going to have to deal with the iphone camera, because those are the only ones I can get to upload. Sooo...

Some mountains and Wal-Mart

More Scenery

Our Team Car...Seriously

A little vom on the bike...

A little something for Andy Messer

Friday, March 28, 2008

Arizona- Days 1and 2

The original plan for the trip out to Phoenix was for me to arrive at 2:30 on wednesday and do a ride with some openers to get the "travel legs" feeling to go away. Well after about 4+ hours of delays and missed connecting flights, I arrived in Phoenix... on a different plane than my clothes and bike. I panicked around the airport after none of it showed up at the claim and the were able to help me track it down. Not the start I was looking for. I took the shuttle to Baumann's host house and got the bike built up. It made it unscathed, but I didn't get my openers in. The last time I didn't get my openers in before a race, I ended up languishing at the back of a crit and puking on myself...

Today was a 5k prologue and I could tell from the second I threw a leg over it wasn't going to be a fast one. Whatever, I rolled it and got smoked. I was one of probably less than 5 guys who weren't running the full aero set up. We're talking TT bikes, disks, Aero helmets, skinsuits. The whole deal. I don't think it would have helped me much, but my stock road bike couldn't have been too fast either. I'm over it. Tomorrow is an 80 some mile RR with some decent climbing every lap. Should be fun.

This little race trip has been pretty interesting so far. One of our guys is Phil Gaimon. He's riding for Fiordifriuta this year, and he has some interesting facts about him, like the fact that he was Georgia State Yo-Yo champion when he has younger. He had a Yo-Yo sponsor, who hooked him up with free 80 dollar yo-yo's. He was also nationally ranked a computer game called Counter Strike. Also on the way to dinner tonight he yelled at some chick and asked her if he could "put a
baby in her?" She didn't have much to say to that. So that's a little info about one of the dudes in the crew for this week.

Alright this is getting seriously long. The computer I'm using won't let me upload my pictures I've taken, so I'll try to work on that. Blogs without pictures suck.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The West Coast is the Best Coast...

...Or so I'd imagine.

2 more sleeps, and a stop in Tucson till I'll be throwin' this bad boy up.

I need to brush up on my gang colors so I don't wear the wrong kit while I'm out riding my low-rider bike through LA.

Today I went out for a little cruise on the whip and decided to head south. As I was rolling out of town it started to hail pretty hard, right on my face pretty much. Sucked. So I was looking for some shelter and I decided to take the road bike, off-roading. In Bloomington there is this trail that used to be a railroad, but is now just this trail thing. It's like 50% dirt, 50% gravel, and 100% rad.

Rails To Trails

While on the trails, I realized that it looks a little bit like another famous cycling spot.

Paris- Roubaix's Arenberg Forrest

I mean, kind of.

The rain/hail/sleet that was coming down made the trail a bit nasty, and got my bike pretty dirty. But thta's fine when you have your own personal mechanic...

Not really, that's Andy Messer. I stopped by his house to wash it myself and he just started washing it for me. You should get yourself an Andy Messer.

Anyway, I have a seriously busy day of crap to do tomorrow. Like gluing tubulars, packing bikes in bike boxes, shaving my legs, I don't know... lots of serious stuff though.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

One Last Effort

Since the day I found out I might be doing Redlands, I've been crushing myself on the bike, trying to get ready. Well that's been going on for about 4 weeks now, and I'm pretty tired, but I feel like I've done some good work that should show up in the way of form in the next few weeks. With John Meyers in town for spring break, I gave him a holler about a possible ride, because I knew he'd make sure I got a good workout in.

The start of the ride went as I figured, hard from the go. We rolled a pretty cool loop with a good bit of climbing and never really let up. I think JM set a new 3 hour record for avg watts for him, and since I'm fairly new to the whole power thing, I set some pretty good ones for myself. We did the first 3 hours hard, came back to town and bonked around and then rolled out for a little less than an hour to spin the legs.

Now as I bombard you with numbers, remember that I weigh 142lbs. So these number may not blow you away. but I was pretty happy about it.

Now I know numbers don't get you results, but I just like to use them to gauge how I'm going. Sorry for being lame, but here are some stats:

Ride Time: 3:53
3500 KJ
Avg Power: 268w
Norm Power: 303w

Best 60 min Avg (Not Norm): 300w
Avg for first 3hrs (Not Norm): 278w

JM was a beast. I think he ended up averaging something like 320 for the first 3 hrs... thats just stupid. He kept almost dropping me on the back side of every climb when he would crush it down the other side. The last 30 min of the first 3 hrs we hardly talked and our conversation was mostly reduced to primal grunts. It was exactly what I needed to do before I start to recover a bit before Arizona and California next week.

I'll try to be a good blogger and document the happenings of my trip next week too.

On another note: My girls Little 500 team had qualifications today, and qual'd 2nd. Pretty stellar, but we still have another step to go.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What Happens in Oxvegas, Stays in Oxvegas.

After some questionable decision making last night, we managed to peel ourselves off the floor and couches around Chris and Kim's apartment for a tour of the Oxford back roads, courtesy of Mr. Ryan Gamm. Despite the fact most of us would have rather been napping, the ride was pretty awesome. They have some cool narrow farm roads and they're pretty car-free to boot. I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet the riding was in that area. JP was manning my camera, so here are a few of the shots from the day.

Also, the girls team I coach just got back from their spring break training trip, and had a box of cookies waiting for me in my apt. when I got home. Score! They know I'm really a fat kit trapped in this skinny body! I'm surprised they don't hate me considering one of the days workouts made them puke (that was my only real goal for the trip).

that is all.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Are You Serious?

So we made the 30 minute or so ride out to the race course today, and Gamm came bombing out of his apartment complex to join us for for the roll out. The field wasn't very big, and we had 4 guys, so we were pretty much running the show as a team... for a while. The attacks were flying for the first few minutes and we put someone in every one of them. Soon Chris got away with one other guy and got a gap of a minute or so. Me, Mike and Isaac were covering the moves back in the pack, and soon everyone was gone but a group of 7 of us, and we had 3 of the 7. Good numbers you would think. We rode a good race as a team and we had it under control.

After 3 of 5 laps, Isaac flatted. Now we were down to 2, plus 1 in the break. Still good shape. End of lap 3, I get bitten by the flat snake. So now it's just Mike in the chase group, and Chris up the road. Back at the car Isaac and I discuss our disappointment, and not long after Chris comes back with a rear flat. Unbelievable! 75% of the squad has now flatted out. Chris and his compatriot had 2.5 min on the pack. The guy he was with solo'd in for the win. The field sprinted for 2nd, and Mike took 3rd on the day. Pretty disappointing considering what we were looking at an hour before.

I got a grand total of 1/2 of a ride out of my new tubulars. That is seriously lame.

P.S. You guys notice this is post number 2 for the day? EPIC!


Did you guys see the 3rd stage of Tirreno-Adriatico? Holy balls! The pain faces on cyclingnews are wicked. I guess that's what a 20% grade will do to you.

If I could just make some faces like that, I bet I'd be radder.

Timmy Duggan with the bike carry. How often do you see that in a real race?

Not so fast now, huh boys?

Petacchi looks like a 50 year old woman pushing her bike in the Hilly Hundred.

Sorry for stealing all of your pictures Cyclingnews.

Back to the real world.

We chillin' at Chris' house in Oxvegas (thanks Gamm), and waiting to roll out to the race. It's not lookin so hot outside, hella fog, and rain in the forecast. Hopefully I can make some Cancellara-esqe pain faces today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Official

Our composite team got into Redlands, yeah that Redlands. I'm pretty pumped to get the opportunity to throw it down in such a cool race. The list of the past winners in pretty ridiculous, but it's going to be awesome experience. The composite team looks something like this:

Ryan Baumann
Alex Sharon
Jon Chodroff
Sheldon Deeny
Phil Gaimon

There are some pretty heavy hitters on that list, it should be pretty rad. Only a few more weeks to get some hella good form.

Speaking of form... it appears I'm starting to get some of that, or so says the powermeter. Today I did a 20 minute treshhold test and it went pretty decent, a lot better than I though it would go. I don't want to throw around the actuall numbers, because I'm not going to be that guy. They were the best I've ever thrown down, by far.

So on top of finding out that we got in to Redlands, and crushing my 20 min test, it was the nicest day of the year so far. I got to bust out my pastey white legs and the Johnson and Johnson's, and get the 08 tan lines started.

Tomorrow we're off to Oxford, OH to do some racing and a little catching up the some homies. Too bad it's the start of their spring break, because I've heard Miami of OH isn't hurting in the Hot Sorority Girl category.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Slight Improvement

So we got the new kits today and they are pretty sick. I mean, I like the ones from last year that looked like a 7th grade girl made them in Home Ec. class, but I feel like Champion Systems did it a bit better. The white leg warmers are a bit over the top, so dont plan on seeing those babies out too much, but the rest of the kits seem pretty tolerable.

Well I though we were about to turn the corner to some better weather, but then today we started getting a lot more snow. So it's back to the trainer for me. It's cool, I love it.

I also have some pretty cool racing stuff going on right now. There are a couple big stage races that it looks like I'll be heading out to Cali to do to towards the end of March/ start of April. I should have some more details once it's all O-fficial.

One of my new sets of Reynolds KOM's came in today too, so I took em' down to the shop to see how much they weighed in at...

1030g Pretty Gnar-Gnar

I was supposed to be going to do some RR tomorrow, but it got cancelled. Now I'm race-less and all the teammates are out of town doing the collegiate races. Looks like i'll be rockin' it solo this weekend.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Arnold Cycling Challenge

So my only real goal for this weekend was to get a sweet pic with The Govenator, and I failed miserably. I was hoping Arnold would be there shaking hands and kissing babies, but he was all business, or so I hear. I was warming up on the trainer pretty close to the Start/Finish and stage area, keeping my eyes peeled for Arnold, but I had to take care of my pre-race business. By the time I came back out, Arnold had already come and gone. I guess he rolled up with massive entourage, with 5 cars. Somehow I managed to miss the whole deal, teary-eyed I took the start-line.

The race had another good turnout, lots of teams were well represented. Roadhouse ran the show again, Kirk Albers went off the front early and some other dudes joined him. Fast Forward an hour and there were 5 guys scattered off the front, and I was trying to find a good wheel for the sprint. I pulled some slippery moves with 2 corners to go and got to a good spot, but the pace wasn't quite high enough, so some guys came up the side and I ended up coming in 6th in the field sprint and 11th on the day. Lameness. The knee felt good all weekend, it was just nice to be out mixin' it up again.

32 hole Wheels- Since It Is Classic's Time

First Exposure to Nutella

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Your Mom Goes to College

Traveled to the first race weekend of the year today, the car was gettin mad MPG's... like 30+ for the drive. That's pretty crucial considering I filled up @ 3.50 a gallon! Now I'm posted up at Chris' parents house in Westchester, OH. His mom made brownies and cookies and they have the official team recovery drink in the fridge, Bud Heavy. Free housing, free food, good bike racin', 50 degree weather. Life is good.

As for the race, I didn't know what to expect, but the field was like 70 dudes or so. I was a little jumpy since it was my first race of the year, so I was pretty active for the first half of the race. A break went with 2 laps to go, we did some work but the gap wasn't coming down much. Texas Roadhouse has a ton of dudes there and pretty much ran the show. Coming to the last corner, the break was about 50 meters up the road and I was sitting on the end of the Roadhouse leadout, on Josh Carters wheel. Not a bad spot but the sprint blew up and someone said I ended up 5th or 6th in the field sprint. Whatever, kept it upright and felt pretty good. I was pretty pleased at the way the rest of the boys rode today too. Big money crit tomorrow. We'll see how that one goes...

The roommates were at Depauw today for the collegiate rr. Word is that the whole pack got relegated for breaking the yellow line rule, so no one scored any points. Ohh collegiate racing...