Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I know I've lost a few pedal strokes on hills over the years, but my sprinting has become somewhat of a joke. I'm gonna try to do something about that over the next several weeks to see what happens.
Tonight's group ride was absolutely brutal. I was running late and noticed them leaving when I showed up. I wasn't sure if they were the slow group or the fast group, so I jumped out of my car, took my bike off the rack and started my chase. Turns out it was the slow group. I caught them and went by because I wanted to get some hill work in. We do this nasty hill that has a 17% slope every week. I went to the top fast, turned around and did it again. I was completely spent when the fast group caught up.
Turns out, the fast group isn't racing this weekend so they decided to go a bit longer than normal. I wasn't very prepared with only one small waterbottle full, but what the hell, give it a shot right? Marc and Pete went up the road and got a gap on the rest of us over some small up hills, then down a steep one before this long uphill drag to our next wait point. I spotted them up the hill ahead of me and decided I'd try to catch them. I laid down a pretty fast tempo and did manage to catch them near the top and kept going to the wait point. I felt damn good about that catch, but it took a lot out of me.
The rest of the ride after that was basically just hanging on for dear life. No water in my bottle. At one point, a guy behind us took a shortcut through a field on his Pinarello Paris to try and catch up. That was funny. At another point heading down some steep hills I cooked my brakes and almost didn't make the curve at the bottom. Fun!
Anyway, the last hill of the night did me in. Marc, Clark and Pete got a gap on me and kept it until the finish. Those guys are freakin strong riders. I was good up until that point but just couldn't take any more. Overall, a great night of riding. Cold beer time now. :)
Not only that, but some of my relatives recently moved back to France from Singapore and live within minutes of where the Grand Depart in Brest takes place. Oh how I wish I could be there to enjoy the racing with my nephews Yanni and Yves. Pierre/Vel? Please take the boys to see a bit of racing. Never know what might spark the interest in one of them. Could be the next Bernard Hinault, or
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I will blame the influence of Pez for the Negroni fixation this week. I gotta say, they are a nice way to end a day. Not to mention, after riding hard they are quite refreshing.
Anyway. 2 hours riding, fairly easy. Tomorrow is another hard day.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Relatively easy ride tomorrow before another hard day Thursday. Have fun out there!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
My dad got to come to the race which was a rare treat for me. He used to race bikes until he broke his hip in a bad spill at a 50miler we were in quite a few years back. He can still ride, but has hung up the shorts for now. My brother Tony, along with Chris and his wife got to come watch also. I had some high expectations with so many people watching. Anyway, on to the race.
The course started with a lot of level and downhill for the first 5 miles or so before turning left up a short very bumpy hill, then up and down false flats, up a little rise, then down again before the left turn up the big hill to the finishing straight. I had a feeling the race would start out fairly slow because of that hill and sure enough it did, which was nice since I didn't have much of a warm-up beforehand.
There were attacks going up the road all the time, but nothing looked serious. They would get maybe 100 yards up the road and just dangle there until it was time to reel them in again. I stayed up near the front and took a few pulls to try and keep the pace up. It seemed to me that the same 3 or 4 guys did most of the work up there, which led me to believe they'd be the same guys there at the end. There's a huge disparity of fitness in Cat 4/5 races.
The pack surprisingly stayed pretty well together the first lap and the second until we got to the hill where it pretty much blew up, leaving me and about 9 other guys to fight for the finish. I was looking for my feed-zone water being held by my sister-in-law, but she moved on up the road a bit from where I saw her the lap before. I was totally out of water and got a bit behind looking for her. I had to sprint to catch back up to the front group myself. Slowly, guys started reeling us in and the group got back up to 15 for the final push up the hill to the finish. I felt pretty strong and was liking my chances at this point. 3 guys attacked on the small hill on the back straight and actually got a fairly big lead. I was getting seriously worried now and decided, along with a few others that it was time and we started flying towards the finish with attack after attack going up the road, trying to bridge up the front 3. Each time we got a bit closer. Finally at the bottom of the hill, perfect timing, we made the catch and went around them. With my luck, a guy in front of me lost his chain downshifting for the hill and slowed me down. That kinda sucked but it wasn't a game breaker. I got around him, but the gap to the front 3 was opened up to about 10 yards at this point. I did manage to maintain 4th until the top of the hill. That's when my pathetic sprint took over, getting edged out at the line by 3 more riders, all of us getting Same Time. I ended up 7th overall, 3rd in Cat V. Not too bad but I can't help thinking what could've been if I had played that last mile or two smarter. Yeah Yeah, broken record, No Excuses!
Bloomsburg Town Park Criterium: For the heck of it, I entered today's 15 mile Cat V criterium in Bloomsburg, got a double flat on the 10th lap, race over. DNF. But it was a beautiful day and the girls played hard on the biggest jungle gym I've ever seen. My dad and I watched the Pro race with 5 laps to go, and the peloton together, I made my prediction it would be the Rite-Aid guy taking the sprint. Sure enough he did. He was a monster out there. Good Call!
And One More Thing: Thank you organizers of the road race for not insulting us CAT IV/V people with some lame 20k road race. 42 miles with some hills is a huge step in the right direction. Thanks!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Now if Rock Racing can up the ante and make the jump across the Atlantic. Dunno about them though, they still seem a bit dysfunctional to me.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Tomorrow's an easy day with a few jumps to loosen up the legs. I hope there's something there for this weekend's race. We'll see.
Still though, going ape on the tour organizers isn't so nice, but ranting on the country, that's something else. I mean, it's Switzerland, they're neutral after all. Well, unless you count hiding Nazi blood money and Govt. backed trading of nuclear secrets to known terrorist sponsoring states.
Update 2: Today Robbie says he loves Switzerland, Fabian isn't convinced.
I would get in so much trouble with the neighbors if I had this thing. Funny how he set his tom-toms so flat when he played in those days.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Funny Quote Today - Taken from Gore's Endorsement Party for Obama:
...Obama stoked lasting Democratic anger over the 2000 outcome when he recognized Gore as "the winner of the popular vote for president."
"You remember that," Obama said as the crowd of 20,000 erupted in raucous applause...
Wait a second Barry, didn't Hillary just beat you in the popular vote? My oh my what a short memory you have. Or more likely, you're just plain stupid. Correction, you see your voters as stupid.
It looks like we won't have to be looking at the Team HighRoad kit after the start of this year's Tour de France. The Columbia Sportswear Company has picked up sponsorship of the team for the next several years. With the team's successes in 2008, I would say it's a no brainer for Columbia. Way to go everyone involved in the organization!
I hate to say it, but I think I'm actually gonna miss that cheesy looking highroad logo.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
There's always tomorrow I guess. On a more important note,... Happy Father's Day Dad, and to all the dad's out there!
I was watching the Tour de Georgia online and wanted to do some research on Team Astana. That's when I found out they were running a contest on their website. What they wanted was for people to guess Astana's elapsed time in the TTT on the Road Atlanta Race Course. Well, I happen to be a car racing fan and know that Road Atlanta has some pretty nasty little hills. Time's are not going to be "that" fast. They set it up to be a 10 mile TTT. Ofcourse, Astana has one of the world's best time trial riders in Levi Leipheimer. The way he completely crushed everyone in the last time trial of last year's Tour de France proved that. But this is a team time trial, he'll have be dragging some asses around the course.
Anyway, my guess was that they'd do it in 19:40:12. They ended up crossing the line at 19:40:27. I was less than 1/5th of a second off! I kinda figured I had a good chance with that guess.
Sure enough, they emailed me the next day to congratulate me. I wasn't exactly sure what they were going to send but I'm pretty happy with the stuff I received in the mail earlier this week. It included signed player cards from the riders in the Tour de Georgia, player cards from the rest of the team, A signed issue of Velo News with Levi's picture on the cover. I bike number card from this year's Three Days of de Panne. Aaron Kemp's to be exact, and an Astana rubber band to hold them all together. Pretty Cool! Especially for just guessing a ttt time.
I'm going to take all this to a friend on my club who owns a framing business to see if he can make it into something nice for my office wall. I'm not really a memorabilia collector, but now I might just start.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A few days after the rest of my bicycle racing season is decimated by some scoundrel named David Butterworth, my new team kit comes in the mail.
On a slightly more positive note, The Team Astana Swag I won during the Tour de Georgia is here. I'll try and post some pics of everything when I get a chance.
Winning is not easy no matter who you are, so when your teammate wins it's gotta be a happy time. We get this a lot in cycling, but I never get tired of seeing it. Way to go George, and High Road!
On a positive note, it will give me more time to spend with them in the evenings.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I got home, changed into a pair of 20+ year old cycling shorts, with real chamois, that were so worn out and thin I had to wear shorts over them to cover spots. All my other shorts were to be washed and they were all I had left. It was tough going out there but I did manage to get in a couple hours of riding, and actually everything started feeling better by the end. Everything except my ass that is.
Those shorts have to go.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Everyone was talking about Red Roses. I can't get away from the damn thing. Though I bet it adds a few watts to my non-existent power meter every time I hear it.
Wooohooooo! I gotta say, the chair looks cool, I'm ridin in style now!
Ok, OK! let me start over,...
I'm going to give my Left Nut of the Week this week to something that doesn't even exist it seems. This week's left nut is being given to:
- A Cat 5 road race of more than 25 miles
- Has a hill over 7ft high
- Has a field of over 30
- Doesn't cost more than 82 Countries' total GDP to enter
- Is no more than 2 hours drive from home
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I think it's time to take the kids to a movie.
David S. Butterworth
Red Rose Races.com, Inc.
This bums me out. They had what seemed like an incredible thing going on up there. I hope they can work something out, but it doesn't look good. Great Courses and Great Racing close to home.
Oh Well. If it doesn't make sense financially, they shouldn't do it. Gotta start looking for some races now to finish up my season.
UPDATE: For some reason, this issue is beginning to rub me the wrong way. Now, I know there are costs of doing business and we shouldn't do things for free, especially with the amount of time involved in running such a venture. But,... something smells fishy about this whole thing. Maybe not, but I'm disappointed they couldn't keep this thing going. If they were having problems, they should have posted something on the site, or something. There's a lot of racers in the area that counted on having such quality things going on in their backyard. Maybe more people could've "volunteered" their time? Sorta like we did with Bike Jam. I dunno, I'm just thinking out loud.
I noticed something about my riding. After a day off, Sunday in this case, I can go really hard for two days. On the second day of two hard days I feel really slow for the first bit but get feeling better and better as the ride progresses. After two hard days like that I'm pretty burnt, so I'll take it easy today with a slightly harder group ride tomorrow.
Bikereg says Rapho is canceled this weekend. What's up with that? Looks like I won't be racing unless I can find another one somewhere.
10 Minutes after we got done with the ride, the Rain came pouring down in buckets. Perfect timing.
Monday, June 02, 2008
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