Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comin' Down the Pipe

I can't believe it's actually Little 500 weekend already. That means it's almost time for some real road racin' to kick off around these parts. I think this is the least I've ever traveled for bike racing in March and April. I like it. Tomorrow is the Women's Little 500 and my girls shot at a(nother) ring. It looks like rain off and on all weekend and in the Delta Gamma pit, we're hoping for a dirty day of bike racin'. The hay is is the barn, as they say, and we're ready to give it a go.

I did a couple races last weekend. They went ok. Saturday I got in a break of 14 with 4 Texas Roadhouse, 5 Marian University kids, Erik Hamilton, Tom Cox and a couple others. It was a good time, but I forgot how hard it can be when you're racing solo. It's definitely a good workout and a good refresher course on how to race your bike. I feel like racing with 7 teammates all the time can make you soft. Well I ended up 3rd on Saturday and got to split 105 dollars with only me! Woohoo!

Sunday was a similar crit/ circut race with a similar field. I jokingly attacked from the gun while screaming about "starting this thing like a cyclocross race" and was soon brought back to the group, probably for acting like an idiot. Well as punishment for my stupidity, the move that countered mine was the break that stuck. Bummer. With 5 guys up the road, I got into a chase group with Erik Hamilton with Alex Wiesler sitting on/ working just enough to keep us away from the field. Well when our chase formed we were 45 seconds down on the break, and we actually pulled it all the way back to 8 seconds and it was looking like we might join up just in time for the finish. However, as we were about to catch them, they lapped the field. Sure enough, all their teammates in the field upped the pack and they rode away from us again. I ended up getting 8th place and a pretty good workout. My legs felt like trash, but I was surprised to see some decent power numbers from the weekend.

I've been on the grind for Cyclocross sponsorship the last few weeks and it's actually not looking too bad. Spooky Bikes in going to come through for me again and hook a brother up. I don't know why, but they treat me pretty darn well. Hopefully I'll have all my stuff sorted out earlier this year, instead of building my bike two days before the first UCI race.

Joe Martin is 2 week from yesterday. I'm excited to do this whole block of races that I had to miss because of mono last year. It looks like we're going to send a full squad to JM and even have a house to stay in all week. That's a far cry from paying for a hotel room by myself like I did 2 years ago.

Hopefully on by the time my next update comes around I'll have some good pictures of my DG's winning Little 5.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doing the Bull Dance, Feeling the Flow.

I felt like writing something on the blog, so here we are.

Have you lost anything lately?  Cell phone, GPS,  sunglasses, a snake? If so, I've probably found it one the side of the road in the last week or so. Seriously, I found a fully functional Garmin NUVI on the road last week and this week I've already found 2 cell phones and three pairs of sunglasses.  None of the phones or glasses were keepers, but the GPS is money. I actually gave it to my brother to make up for being a mean older sibling.  As for the snakes, been seeing like 5 a day. The majority are dead, but I've seen some fatties that were still alive and scheming to eat me.

I've been scouring the racing websites for something good for this weekend, but there really isn't much worth traveling for. There are 2 crits within an hour drive of Bloomington this weekend, but I don't really want to waste 2 good training days on 1 hour crits. The solution, ride to the race and get a ride home. The race on Sat. is going to be about 50-55 miles to get there and then tack on a 75min crit at the end and it should be a good training day. We'll see how the legs feel on Sunday morning before I decide if I'm gonna do the same thing again.

With Little 500 coming up next weekend, I'll have the next two weekends at home, and that will be nice. I'm trying to save some of my "travel bullets" for later in the year, because if I don't, by the time cross rolls around i'm sure I'll be needing all the mental strength i can muster to deal with the full-on cx schedule.

A couple more weeks of training around here and then it'll be full time racing and recovering in-between. 

Alright, I'm outta here. The blogging energy I was feeling earlier is dying out, so I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where to begin? I'd really like to just jump to this weekends developments, but I owe you few readers an update from 2 weeks ago and the Marian University crit too. Here is the race report I wrote for the team website...

"The race was a crit/ circuit race hosted by Marian University in Indianapolis.
The day consisted of a full morning of collegiate racing and then USA
Cycling sanctioned races in the afternoon. Chris Uberti and Greg
Christian said that they’d be making the trip down and were planning
on doubling up. Well, as I rolled up to the course, the Collegiate Men’s
A’s race was about half way through and what do I see but Chris off
the front in a 2-man group and Greg slaving away solo trying to chase
him down. I was thinking maybe they’d take it easy and save a little for the USAC Crit coming up, but I was wrong. Chris won and Greg got 3rd.

When we all met up at the line for the second race they said I might
be on my own for a bit while they catch their breath, which was
understandable. The USAC crit had a pretty nice turnout of 60-70
riders. It felt nice to be in the group again and testing out freshly
glued Easton EC90’s. They felt pretty awesome and miles faster than
the heavy 32 hole training wheels I’ve been on for the last few
months. Well the attacks started flying early and often and with the
high winds I figured I better make sure I was at the front to keep an
eye on things. Although they were on their second race of the day,
Chris and Greg were doing their part to give us a presence at the
front. After only a few laps of the 1 mile course I bridged to a group
off the front and as I was getting there the group was splitting and
so I went through the fragments and with a handful of strong guys. We
worked well together for a while and cemented our gap. Once I had a
chance to look around I saw that all the decent teams were represented
in out group of 5, but that we had 2 pretty good sprinters in the
group. I started taking it easier so that I didn’t bury myself just so
I could get beat in the end by the faster finishers.

Soon, the good news came that Chris was bridging up with Jake
Rytlewski of Kenda Pro Cycling. This was music to my ears and so I
started skipping pulls and sitting on in hopes that Chris could get
across quickly. When Chris arrived with 3 to go that gave us 2 of
7 and Kenda 2 of 7, with Kenda having the fastest finisher in the
group. It got pretty tactical in the last few laps and everyone was
looking at everyone else to make the move. In the windy section about
800 meters out, Greg Strock from Texas Roadhouse attacked and we
looked at the PRO’s and they looked at us. Finally someone went and
chaos ensued. Chris was gassed from his days work and I didn’t play
the sprint very well either and the Texas Roadhouse rider held us all
off. The best that we could manage was 5th for me and 6th for Chris.
Definitely not what we were looking for from that situation, but
luckily it’s a long season and our communication will be better in the

So that bring us to the racing from last weekend, Hillsboro-Roubaix. This is the 2nd time that I've done this race and I really look forward to it over the winter. It's honestly not really anything special but it gets 125 rider fields every year and if you ask me, I think it's just because it has "Roubaix" in the name. Regardless, it's a good early season fitness test and it seems to be pretty selective considering there's hardly a hill on the course.

We were slated to do three, 29 mile laps of a new, more twisty course. It was was more windy that the previous year and I thought it might split the race up a little earlier as a result. In the pre-race meeting Kirk told us to stay up front because he was thinking the same thing. I'm always a little paranoid of getting caught behind a split and being taken out of a race for lack of concentration, so I tend to overcompensate and really really ride at the front and maybe fight for position at times when it really isn't as crucial. Well I was really on my toes for the first two laps and I might as well have been tail-gunning the whole time because the racing was slow, boring, and almost non-existent. It maybe got hard for a few seconds here or there, but I couldn't believe how big the field was when we were going through the start/finish at the beginning of the last lap. Well the "racing" that didn't happen on the first two laps was made up for on the last one. I'm not really sure if the wind actually picked up or I'm just imagining that, but either way we were racing in the gutter and racing hard. At one point I was seriously suffering at the edge of the road, hoping to catch a sliver of draft while simultaneously praying for a right turn so I could catch a break. Once we turned and had a more favorable wind, I looked around and saw that the field had gone from about 100 down to about 30. That's more like it. With some more gutter racing and crosswinds on the run back into town it was looking like a small group might break off to fight for the win, but it wasn't to be.

We assembled at the front on the last trip up the hill about a kilometer out. And when I say we, I mean Kirk and Greg. I'm so damn glad those guys are on my team. Together they took care of Chris over that last K and dropped him off right on the doorstep. Chris took a few hard pedal strokes out of the saddle and won by a handful of bike lengths. Noah Singer and I tagged on to the back of the train and were able to take 3rd and 4th on the day. A Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist 1,3,4 in out first race with the new squad. Now I understand that this wasn't Paris-Roubaix or anything, but having success like that as a team was one of the most fun days I can remember at a bike race.

Chris looking like he's just won another bike race with Noah on the right with his hand up and me behind John Grant with my hand up celebrating as well.

Unfortunately I don't have much good racing to do the next few weeks, so I'm just going to be trying to hit the training hard so I can be ready for the big block coming in May and June. We've got some new races on the schedule that should be a nice step up for the squad. I'm getting pretty excited, but my girls gotta win the Little 500 first.