Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Wow, snow in Seattle. It pretty much sucks when it snows here because this area just does not use the tools necessary to make the roads safe or even driveable. We ended up getting about a foot of snow over a few days, and I'm glad I'm not riding my bike any more, because I would be super annoyed if I were trying to get miles in.

I ended up running 10 miles on Saturday, it was awesome.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Season over...finally..and Dinseyland too.

I am really glad CX is over, I was getting sick of the monotony of riding my bike. Moving up to cat. 2 didn't exactly make things any easier either. The last race was Dec. 1st, which was also the last day I rode my bike. It may be a while before I ride it again for a couple reason. Snow, ice, and the fact that I started running again. I kind of missed it. I sure would like to try to run a sub 3:00 marathon. I know I have the capability to do it, I just need to put the effort in, which has never been one of my problems. We'll see...I've only been running 2 weeks.

I did go to Disneyland also. It was a great trip. My parents met my wife and son there, what a great place to visit although the air quality was horrendous. It is so nice to be able to spend time with everyone and not have to worry about anything else except relaxing, having fun, and spending time with family. It doesn't get much better than that. Thanks guys.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's been awhile...

Yep. Utah came and went. The riding there was unbelievable. If I lived there I would probably sell all my road bikes and just ride in the dirt. Seriously, what a great place to ride a mountain bike.

The race itself was pretty fun - and the mountain at the Sundance resort are spectacular- Although I would have liked a little longer course as it was only 8 miles long or so. My legs throughout the day were pretty good, but my hands were a mess by the end of it. I kept trying to shake them out, but they still continued to tighten. I ended up 6th on the day out of 27 in the 12 hour solo class. Not too bad for my debut, but I learned a ton on this day and think that I can go considerably faster in the next one. I was lucky enough to have an experienced pit crew as well.

CX season came and is almost over already. I started off mediocre with a 5th. Then had a horrible day and got 17th as my back fell apart (it was sore before the race from doing way too much yoga - seriously! On the Wii even. How embarrassing is that?). Then I figured some things out and got a 2nd, followed that up with a win, and now race the 1/2 race. Good times there. First one I got 10th, but it was really technical which I think helped me. Second one I was 15th as the pace was more than I could handle. 3rd race my bike broke. Piece of crap that I never work on, maybe I should start soon, I just don't have the time to train, let alone work on my bike.

I will pass 3000 miles commuting this week. That's kind of a cool milestone. And I only started to consistently ride to work in mid-April, otherwise I would like to believe that 500 was obtainable.

Not much else going on right now. The strike is over. Work really sucks. My family is pretty damn awesome. I'm going to Disneyland in 2 weeks. Good times!

Friday, September 5, 2008

One week to Utah

One week to the 12 hour race in Utah. I'm surprised that I'm still ridinig well. I experienced a little bit of burn out, but now I think the race is close enough to get me through the last weekend of real riding before I knock it down a notch. I've averaged about 260 miles per week for the last 10 weeks - I should be ready.

The weather for Park City is looking good with a high of 70 and a low in the mid-40's - and sunny. It will probably be pretty cold for the start and also as the race winds down. I'll just have to make sure I dress warm enough, especially at the end when my body is going to be a mess. Hopefully I can squeak out a top 5 - I think I would be happy with that. But regardless of where I finish I anticipate that it will be a fun time on the bike. And it will be good to just hang out with the boys and get away for a couple days.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

CX Team Training Camp

Wow! I forgot how much I hate CX when there is about 5 minuets left to go in a race.

It was a good day. I woke up pretty early and rode the mountain bike for a couple hours at St. Edward before heading over to Marymoor for the team CX camp. I don't know the trails that well though, a little bit, but it all looks the same to me. CX camp started at 0930 so I only had a couple hours to ride.

Got to Marymoor and there was a crazy amount of people there for the dog show. I called Phil who leading the training camp to figure out how to get in the velodrome. Finally got there and was greeted by about 15 teammates, not too bad of a turnout. We did a bunch of drills. Got a pep talk for the newbies and also to get a refresher for the vets. I must have done the barriers 100 times this day. And the temperature reached 90 with only a few wispy clouds to offer a slight reprieve. We then ended the day with a team race.

Phil started fast early but flatted on the 2nd lap. Since he is a regular finisher in the top 5 in Masters 1-2 I waited until he caught up after getting his other bike. Randy and I traded the lead for a while but I was trying to save something for Phil. Sure enough he came through and I promptly let him lead for a while. I would say we were going at about 90-95% of race speed. It definitely hurt, but if someone attacked I think the pace could have gone up a bit. I'm glad no one did. Arron was riding extremely well for his first day on a CX bike. In the end it was a 3 up sprint for the line, with Phil giving pointers on the last lap. It was lots of fun and a great introduction to the season. And I was pretty spent at the end of this "mock" race.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 21st

Happy birthday to my brother! You would be 39 today. I often wonder if you would still have all your hair. I know you'd still be in shape, you'd probably be racing bikes too. I miss you a lot! You still inspire me and I'd do anything to see you just one more time. It's hard to believe so many years have passed. I really wish you could meet your nephew, Mikey is pretty damn awesome!

Roslyn Mountain Bike festival

Somehow I forgot to write this one up. Oh well. I got 2nd. Not too bad, tough climbing. Dusty and loose course, hardly any rocks. It was fun for sure.

Monday, August 18, 2008

North Shore 8/17

Thank you Wade and Chistina!!! You guys are awesome. Thanks for the bottles during the race. I can't believe I drank 4 full bottles in a race that was a bit less than 60 miles!Here's a clif notes version of the race.

Small field - 22 riders or so. 2 years ago cat. 3 was 8 riders, so with the reschedule they still did pretty well. This is an awesome course, not sure why people don't go up here yet they will drive to Mason Lake for a flat course in rain. Maybe people don't like hills...

7 laps - about 56 miles w. 4000 feet of climbing.

Lap 1 - attack on hill, solo for 5 miles, suck ass on next hill, get caught and think to myself, "Holy crap! I'm hurting already." Winning move of 2 people goes when I get caught.

Lap 2 - sit in and chill, follow a couple moves, nothing works yet though.

Lap 3 - attack, drag fat ass up to other accelerations - get caught eventually.

Lap 4 - attack, get caught.

Lap 5 - sit in, attack at end of lap, it finally sticks w/ 3 others

Lap 6 - catch 1 from break, only 1 left but he is gone! Work togeter OK.

Lap 7 - Nick and a couple others bridge to us - Now we're a group of 7 w/ 1 guy off front, he wins by about a minute and a half - impressive! Hagens guy attacks w/ 4 miles to go - gets 2nd, I'm not chasing anything anymore, neither does anyone else. Another guys attacks at the bottom of last climb, he weighs about 100 pounds - I'm not chasing him, I'm feeling whooped, no one else chases either. So we are a group of 5 heading into the 12-14% uphill sprint racing for 4th. I actually recover OK, feel good in the sprint and get 5th. Nick gets 8th. Good job Nick!The field was shattered. I'm not sure how many people finished, maybe 12 or 14? It was 1 and 2 people coming in so it was kind of hard to tell. Great course and overall a good time.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Greenwater race

Wow! I actually won a race. It's been about 8 months since I last accomplished this goal. Now I can say i won a race every year for the past 6 years or so if I include some triathlon and duathlon races as well.

There is always something new that you can try or learn or rekindle a long lost interest in that makes you feel like a kid again. And for me it's riding in the dirt. Some of you know that when I was in my early 20's (10 + years ago) I was a crappy professional motocross racer, and I didn't think there was anything that could match the adrenaline of sailing a 100 foot jump or charging into the first corner w/ 39 other knuckleheads - elbow to elbow at a high rate of speed while trying to hold the throttle on for a nanosecond longer than anyone else. Well, I'm older, my hair that I have left is now a more normal color (does gray count as normal?), but I still listen to punk rock and love to play in the dirt.

Greenwater was a really cool race, and not just because I won. It started off perfectly for me as I was 2nd behind my teammate TMT going into the woods. I don't like to lead early because I have a tendency to go too hard too soon and burn out. So I followed TMT up the first single track climb that kept going up and up, then it was followed by some fun little single track switchback downhill. Then it opened up a little bit and we got to the bottom of a hill and the banner was broken and no one knew where to go. We kind of stopped and asked one another if anyone knew the right way to go. I had ridden this part earlier in the morning during the Sport race so I decided right was the correct way to go. Someone snuck in front of me (perfect!) and led but he was going pretty slow. It was fairly full of tree roots and very bumpy in this section, I passed him and we ended up on a short fire road section for about 200 yards. Someone snuck in front of me again (sweet!) and I followed him into the next single track section which turned out to be really short. We were then on the long climb which was anywhere from 4-6 miles, depending on who you asked. I followed the lead dude (from Sega I think) and the pace was fairly easy, I could feel the pack coming up from behind so I moved over and didn't really attack per se - but slowly upped the pace. I was then alone but I could see everyone behind me but no one looked too eager to jump ahead and join me. So I tried to keep a steady / hard but comfortable pace up the climb because I figured someone would catch me on the climb. Another 1/2 mile passes and Perry Roper and Matt Lynch catch me. I know these guys are both podium finishers in nationals so I just figured I would key off of them as for pace. I tried not to draft off them though as that's kind of shady as they are in their own race - and so I am. So anyway, to make a long and boring story a little more concise, I stayed about 20-30 feet behind Perry up the last 3 or so miles of the climb. A couple times I passed him but he shot right in front of me as I don't think he liked that much. Matt Lynch attacked with a mile left to climb but Perry didn't respond. We also caught some Open class guy at the top and he yielded to us before the crazy ass descent started, but not before yelling...

"I hope you guys can descend!" Well, I can on a road bike. So I moved over after a few switchbacks and tried to keep up with this dude for as long as I could. And then I wadded myself on a tricky little section. I didn't fall off the bike, but we (me and the bike) got tangled and I hit the wall of the trail, cut my shin and got a charley horse on my quad. Cool! Now I'm bleeding so I must be a real mountain biker! And the open class dude was gone so I just tried to go as fast as I could on the descent without losing any more blood! Man! That was so much fun. I was riding pretty aggressively because I DID NOT want to get caught from behind. I rode around the bumpy ass stuff on the bottom as fast as I could, kind of banzai'd the creek crossing without really picking a line, skirted up the the hill out of the water and kept charging. My legs were feeling pretty good- that's a good sign. Then I finished the little loop (but not without popping a wheelie for the drunk campers that were yelling "Pop a Wheelie!" all day long, and when you did they would scream and yell - it was so much fun!) and finished one lap and I saw lots of blue and black and heard my name yelled out a bunch! That was so cool! Thanks guys!

The course kind of meandered around the flats and then I noticed I was on the familiar trail again. I wasn't too sure how I got there. And then I was on the logging road climb again and all I could think of was a bear or a cougar ripping me off my bike and eating me for lunch. I had one Hammer Gel left and I think it was raspberry or something like that. That might work for a bear, but the cougar would have some fun shredding me like a BBQ pro sandwich. So that was my inspiration climbing the long climb the second time. And being able to lock out your forks is so cool! Thanks Bruce for teaching me that a couple races ago. I am so naive. When I got to the top of the climb I caught the same Open guy as the lap before and just rode with him for the last 200 yards or so to the descent, no sense in passing him before the free fall down the mountain. This time I made it down with no incidents and only a 1/2 dozen or so ""Oh shit!" incidents. But each one made the smile on my face bigger. I really cannot get over how much fun riding in the dirt is. With my background on MX bikes I should have assumed it would be, but still...mountain biking seriously is so much fun! Everyone should do it. C'mon!

Back on the flat bottom stuff I started making stupid mistakes though. I hit something in the middle of a little corner that popped my front end up in the air mid-lean. Yea, I crashed there and got another little raspberry on my other side. But I still had a smile on my face! I jumped back on my bike like a CX race and continued mashing gears until the finish. I ended up winning by 2 minutes or so. But I guarantee you if I would have finished 15th the smile on my face would have been just as big. This was awesome! Each course of the last 3 races I did were all fairly unique and were all so much fun. But Greenwater with the tacky dirt, fun descent, and the logging road climb (made me feel like I was on High Rock!) was probably tops. Not too mention the crazy airplane that was taking off and landing on some strip of pavement in the middle of the mountains.

And congrats to TMT for winning the title! We are going to have a lot of fun next year!

Monday, August 4, 2008

375 miles this week...

...and what I really want right now is one of those giant Apple Fritters from Tulley's that we have at work. Man! That would hit the spot. I've actually been thinking about them for the past week. But I will do my best to fight it off once again.

Wow. I rode a lot this past week. I think I may have impressed myself in the process. And my feet and crotch are a bit sore as well, and some tendons in my ankle are sore, but it shouldn't be a big deal. I just have to make sure I recover well and will just do a short speedwork session on Wednesday and continue to ride to work everyday. I should be OK. But it was a great week to ride the bike. Although some of the morning commutes were pretty cold (46 one morning) I think I only got rained on for about 3 miles. And we need the rain, so I'm not going to complain - I'll save that for January when I'm only riding 500 miles per month, of which 400 will be in rain.

I did have quite a few calls out on the road though. I would like to think that none of them were caused by me also. I had quite a few cars, and also a semi pull out in front of me. Am I than invisible? I guess that's a rhetorical question. Otherwise I would not have to be so vigilant on the road. It is dangerous as hell out there and I have to remember to never forget that (elegant prose, eh?). I'm sure once that happens I will be a hood ornament. I try to be as nice as possible to motorists as they can kill me anytime they feel the need and probably will get nothing more than a fine and have to go to traffic school or something like that. Not to mention all that junk with the Critical Mass (or Ass) people pissing off motorists. They are just as bad as all the other idiots out there fighting a cause and creating friction instead of cohesion. What the hell did I just say? I've been living in Seattle too long. I sound like such a wuss.

Saturday was a 165 mile ride. I rode pretty much everywhere. Started on Seattle Hill Road, through Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Arlington, Stanwood, loop of Camano, Arlington, Granite Falls, Snohomish and home! A link of the ride is here:


Not too much climbing but it was still good. Thanks to a Wade and Aaron for riding with me for parts of the ride. You guys made the ride much more enjoyable.

I also did the High Rock climb in 17:15, a ways off my best of 16:35, but for this time of year I'm still going pretty good. I wasn't going that great in the beginning of the year, but only started getting consistent mileage in mid-April. I sure am having fun on my bike this year though!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kids Bike Rodeo

Yesterday I went to a bike rodeo put on by a local city. They had the fire and police personel running everything and I was pretty disappointed to say the least. They were giving helmets away to the kids which I think is awesome. No, I did not take a helemt, my kid already has a good one that fits correctly. I would assume that most bike racers' kids have well fitting helmets. The people working there bike rodeo failed to place the helmet on the kids correctly. There were lots of kids with the helmets on the back of their heads, chin straps 2 inches below the chin, needless to say the helmet will not be offering much protection when one of these kids eat shit on the sidewalk.

Afterword was a bike parade and all the little tikes on their trikes and training wheel bikes did a lap of the park, it was fun and cute. And then had ice cream after as well, I only stole 1/2 my kids dessert, but it was almost dinner time so I didn't want him to spoil his dinner.

It is cold out today, I should have known as it was 58 on my pedal into work this morning, which is way warmer than it has been. When it's 68 or 70 at 0430 I worry how warm it will be, so I kinda like when it's cold in the morning, chances are that means it will be cool enough to sleep at night.

Anyway...have a good weekend.

Friday means weekend options

I really hate when I cannot decide where I want to ride this weekend. Or even what bike. Should I ride the mountain bike for a few hours? Should I ride a road ride? Should I do the Silvana race? Should I sit on my ass and do nothing?

I was thinking about riding to Silvana and then doing the race and then riding home - that would be about 100 miles or so. But it is really flat. I cannot emphasize enough how flat that course is. Not really the kid of course I like. Not a real good strength building workout at all either. I will probably skip this unless one of my teammates talk me into it, but I don't think they are into this one either. Too bad the Gig Harbor race isn't closer, I did it the on year and really liked the course. And the Carnation Course is crap. I hate to bag on any of the courses around here, as we are losing races, or at least all the good races (Snohomish), so instead I'll just say I appreciate the fact that there is a road race option this weekend and skip it instead.

I really do not know many trails around here so I cannot just go and ride my mountain bike. Japanese Gulch I know a little bit, but a lot of it is really overgrown. I'm sure I'll just ride the road bike, there is something to be said for being able to ride out my front door and be on some of the best bike roads in all of Snohomish County.

I would really like to ride Bellingham though. The trails I rode last weekend were awesome. 6 laps at race speed was pretty tough, but it was a really fun ride despite the suffering.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Padden mtn. bike race

I don't know why more road dorks don't venture into the wild more often. Avoid burnout, learn great bike handling skills, and enjoy bike racing with way less ego / attitude than on the road. It's a great scene. Plus you will meet so many of your teammates that you never knew you had. Seriously, Bicycle Centers is EVERYWHERE in the dirt world.

I showed up early because my kid was racing the kids race. And I also got to see Randy Marrs clean house in the beginner class. Apprently Randy was getting ready for CX season by dismounting some of the trickier descents. He still won easily though. I was glad to see him there, as I've been trying to talk him into it since I did my first race at Seatac earlier this year.

My kid raced his Trek Trikester, it's an awesome machine but weighs a ton, 31 + pounds anyway. I love riding that thing although it's a lot for a 3 year old to pedal. Good thing we can ride double if need be - I can stand on the platform while he pedals my fat ass around. Can I add those miles to my training log? He had fun but bitched about his race being too short, but wants to do it again.

I also got to see the Sport classes and Open Women. Beth was haulin' ass around the course and was workin' hard, yet still managed to say hi and smile. I saw Christy Berg and cheered for her, but she has no idea who the hell I am. I'll have to introduce myself one of these days. Aaron and Bruce (ignored me) were flying around the course, and I know all managed to end up with top 5's. Well done everyone. You guys all rule and make riding bikes so much fun.

My race started off in the most retarded fashion. All 3 expert classes and the open/pro started at the same time and funneled into a turn wide enough for about 3 bikes. I have no idea what place I came through in but passed a buttload of people on the climb that felt like it went forever and ever. It was brutal! And I was going to have to do that climb 6 times. F*&%!!! Then the downhill thing, all I have to say is I'm getting better. I held up a few people and pulled over in the one of the switchbacks. Then followed them down the hill. Much better for me. These downhills were pretty technical from a predominantly road geek's perspective. Cross is riding around on a grassy field, it is nothing like this stuff. I know people that would have been afraid to walk a lot of that stuff.

Anyway, lap 2 sucked as well. Then lap 3 I started to get into a rhythym. I rode with Todd Tucker for a bit, then we got separated and was by myself for a long time. I passed a handful of people each time up the stupid friggin climb. Then tried to recover while going downhill as fast as I could without trying to look too much like a roadie.

Lap 6 and Todd was with me again. We rode to the top together and he skirted by and disappeared down the hill. I passed a couple more people but had no idea if they were even in my class. I ended up 4th, Todd was 2nd.This race was pretty damn hard though. It probably sticks out as the 2nd hardest race I've ever done (# 1 was Gig Harbor 2 years ago).

But it was so much fun and so satisfying too.I don't know why more of the road racers won't give it a try - you have no idea what you are missing. There are 2 more races left, and I have an extra bike if anyone wants to give it a try. It is seriously so much fun.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 4th

July 4th is always a crappy time of year for me. While most people are out celebrating, blowing crap up, drinking beer and generally having a good time I'm thinking about my brother who died on July 4th, 1993. This sucks so bad. I still cannot find the words to convey my feelings. I'm still pissed off. I still miss him terribly. And I still wonder why the hell it had to happen. Who the $#%^# decided it was some God's plan to take my brother away anyway? Yes, there is still some anger here.

It is so hard to be away from my mom and dad during this time of the year. I always feel so helpless living 2600 miles away during this time. I know there isn't much I can do, but I could still be there and give my mom and dad a hug and let them know how much I miss him too. I do miss you Ron, 15 years later I still can hear your voice. I can still picture your smile. And as brothers can only do to brothes, you can still piss me off. You were so full of promise, so full of life, I would give anything to spend one more day with you. And yes, I still look up to you for inspiration, and you will always be my big brother. I miss you so bad. And I love you so much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My kid

Yea, my kid is awesome. I know all parents say that, but at age 3 he is at that magical age where he still thinks I'm cool. And After basically not seeing him almost 4 days because of the Elkhorn stage race we have been basically glued together all week. It's been awesome! He's getting pretty good pedaling his Trek trikester in anticipation of his first race in 2 week in B'ham. Whacks the crap out of the baseball when I pitch to him, and nehaves pretty good. I'm already dreading 4 days away from him in September when I go to Utah for a 12 hour mountain bike race.

Elkhorn in a nutshell

I was going to do some elaborate write up, but screw that! This is more than sufficient so job my memory in case I forget about the race.

Elkhorn was so much fun. And we all survived with no crashes. I'll let everyone else tell their own details as they saw them, but here's a quick overview.

Christina did awesome! This girl is a stud! You should have seen her sitting in w/ the cat. 1 and 2 girls in the crit! Everyone there was so proud of her!

Nick did pretty good for his first 3 race. And I think he learned a lot in one weekend, but he still needs to learn how to take a leak while he is riding. He wasted so much time by having to stop to go, and then spent way too much energy chasing back on for 10 miles.

Randy did want Randy does best, getting some decent results with a limited fitness base in one of the hardest races in the northwest. He dug deep!

I thought I rode OK overall as well. And would have had a decent GC place if not for a flat tire with no wheel car in sight on stage 1. I flatted with about 10 miles to go, no wheel car anywhere. I eventually bummed a wheel off a passing car, lost lots of time and ended up 54th on the stage. Stage One hates me, I always get a bad result there. Stage 2 - 10 mile TT - I was 26th. not too bad out of nearly 100 dudes.Stage 3 crit - I sat in and didn't lose any time. I hate crits. Rain came and they stopped the race after about 20 minutes of 28 mph laps. Fine with me. It rained in the girls race before us and there was about a 9 or 10 girl crash.Stage 4 - we went slow!!!!! Yippee! The first climb there was a good tempo, the group was down to about 40, then we sat up and everyone was back on. Repeat for climbs 2 and 3. The last climb which is about 8 miles was never real brutal. Just a high tempo that shed a lot of dudes, me included. I still thought I rode well, I did the climb in 32 minutes I think, it was mostly 39 x 18 climbing (I'm not much of a spinner though), occasionally in the 19 or 21 cog. Toward the end though I couldn't keep my cadence up - I was fried! I had to keep standing and sprinting to keep my tempo. I ended up 28th, lost almost 3 1/2 minutes on the lead group. That's what I get for being a fat ass.But it overall it was a great weekend, I cannot begin to explain what a great event this was. Plus we all rode about 250 miles in 3 days with lots and lots of climbing. If I could only find a race like this in early April I would have a good year of racing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Elkorn Stage 1

Best Trainer DVD's to pedal to

In no Particular Order, although I like the music ones the best. If only Pennywise would come out with a live DVD.

Bad Religion - Live at the Palladium - good stuff from a bunch of old punk rockers with insightful lyrics and sing along choruses.

face to face - The Only Goodbye - "1,2, 1,2,3,4...you don't know what you wanna be, you're never gonna amount to much of anything" and so it goes. Too bad they quit, although they are sort of back together. These guys kick ass!

Both Prefontaine movies - Pre was a Stud! Sort of like Merckx in his day, it's hard not to have respect for someone with so much character and determination, and oh yea, he had a few decent results as well.

Miracle - USA Hockey Wins Gold in 1980. Man! the glory years of the Olympics before they became commercialized and ruined by professionalism. This one gets me fired up everytime I see Eruzione score the go ahead goal.

The Tour de France DVD's - Nothing like watching a bunch of druggies on bikes pedaling up mountains. It still inspires me anyway even though I watch it with a bit of anger and disgust. But hey, who I am to judge them? Maybe if I took some drugs I could make a living on a bike?

The Simpsons - Season (any # will do) - perfect for a recovery ride, laugh your ass off and you barely notice the minutes ticking by

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Elkhorn - Day 0

I wonder how many posts were written about this race in the past couple days on the various blog sites around the web...well...here's another.

The drive there

I got out of work an hour early and met a teammate at my house. We loaded up and got the helloutadodge as fast as we could. We were hoping to get there before dark to get a little blood in the legs by spinning around town before dark. After 6 hours in the car we would be ready for that for sure!

The drive there was pretty uneventful. I got to stop at Perkins to get some pancakes. Good stuff. Why do they not have them on the west side of the mountains? I just don't get it. Every time I drive through Ellensburg I have to have them, or Ritzville, or C d'A, ID as well. Or wherever I know where a Perkins is.

My teammate is a police officer for his occupation. So when he played Grand Theft Auto (Vice City) on the PSP for 3 hours it was funny as hell to listen to. There is something sinister to a cop laughing his ass off as he mows down people on the sidewalk in a Ferrari while listening to Run DMC. It was great entertainment and helped pass the 396 miles of driving to Baker City.

We go there at about 815, only to stand in line forever getting our room key to our hotel. Frustrating! Day light was going fast. My legs needed a spin. And of course I had to pee. A natural hat trick of minor annoyances. We finally got our key, ran to the car and got a couple of things (like a helmet) and rode to check-in to get our numbers. I didn't even use cycling shoes, and yet somehow I survived. Anyway, we made it w/ a few minutes to spare. And we saw our other 2 teammates that were there walking down the street on our way to the school. That was funny!

After that a late dinner and then tried to get some sleep hoping it wasn't going to be crazy hot the next day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I hate driving to work

...but I had to today. Right after work we're heading out to Baker City for Elkhorn. I gotta meet someone at my house and then we are leaving ASAP, so I couldn't ride. Which sucks. I think I've driven to work 2 days in the past 35 work days. I get so used to waking up and pedaling that when I don't it feels weird. I feel wasteful. Lazy. Dirty? I don't know but the rest of my day feels really off-kilter. I'm sure I will get home late on Sunday from Baker City and after racing a couple hundred miles it might be tough to get up at 415 so I can pedal to work. I hope I can manage it somehow though.

Last week's commuting really sucked though. 4! Four! Quatro! 4! Flat! Tires! What a bunch of crap. How hard is it for the cities to clean up their roads. I know bike lanes are just the catchall for the detritus of the roads - but it seems to me that if someone put in some effort to clean the roads a difference could be made. But this is the USA, home of the greedy, fat, and lazy (just to generalize). And whenever I call or send an email everyone blames the town, or city, or county, or state, or the Moon for all the road problems, but it's not in their jurisdiction. So annoying! I'm sure that is costs more in bike maintenance to pedal to work, but I would much rather give my money to the local bike shop than some crazy rich oil dude.

As for Elkhorn, we'll see how my fat ass get up those mountains. I generally get a couple hundred miles per week on the bike, but about 65% of those miles are commuting miles. Not to mention I'm getting over bronchitis. There you have! Those are all my excuses before I even start. Talk (or type) about setting oneself up for failure! It should be fun though, I'll be happy with a top 40 or so. Last time I was 8th on GC in cat. 4, 2 years ago.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's June already

Wow. Time sure is flying, and so the season has as well. I'm not flying, but I don't even really care anymore. I'll just do what i can do for as long as I can do it. That's what a teammate says and now I am going to jump on that bandwagon as well.

I've done some races but haven't has anything to show for it on the pavement. I'm getting kind of bummed on the whole road race scene. A lot of arrogance, tactics, and basicallya negative vibe. I'm just doing this to have fun, and way too many people take it way to serious. I just bought a carbon fiber hard tail mountain bike, and considering I finished in the top 10 in Expert in my 1st ever mountain bike race I think I may have found my niche. I did grow up racing motorcycles though, and even had an AMA professional license way back in 1997. Wow. A long time ago. I'm getting old.

Anyway, road races. Yep. I did some. I did Long Branch. Negative Racing. Not fun. Actually got away once with a Hagens Dude. Then we got neutrailized as we were catching the woman's finish. Not sure what that was about.

Did Ravensdale in Masters A/B and barely missed the top 10. Felt really good there and covered a ton of breaks, initiated a couple others but nothing that would stick for longer than 3-4 miles. Missed one break at the end because I had a mental lapse, but still, for not doing speedwork I rode well.

Then there was Wenatchee. I sucked ass. Not sure if it was the heat, or what? But never during this weekend did I feel strong on my bike. The TT was mediocre, and I always suck at those until I do a few in a year, so I wasn't too worried. The crit was ridiculous. I tip toed around the course trying not to get killed by the holes in the road or other riders crashing because of the said holes. After a couple people got hauled away in an ambulance I bagged it. This was an omnium after all. And the RR was horrible. We were going so slow up the climbs, and I sucked so bad. I did a lap and called it a day. I've been trying to forget that day after since.

Also did a 24 hour mountain bike relay race in Spokane. Perhaps this was the most fun I've ever had on a bike. It was a great scene. Lots of Bicycle Centers teammates there. Everyone was there to have fun and rarely did I have to sit and listen to someone talk about watts, heart rate, training plans, millimeter adjustments to seat angles. Everyone was just having fun and playing in the dirt. It was awesome! And we won too. But I would have had just as much fun if we came in last. And my lap times were always in the top 5 of the 140 or so people on the course at any given time. My fitness does still exist.

Training hasn't been going all that great though. My son got sick, therefor I got sick. I did the Masters state champs race and thought I was OK, only to feel more sick the day after that. Then I had a hellacious week of commuting by bike with flat tires, blown out sidewalls because of road debris. 5 mile walks home in the rain and 45 degrees (in June!!!!).

The bottom line is that I sure have been enjoying my time on my bike this year. I'm still not in great road racing shape, and I'm sure that will be evident at Elkhorn, but who cares? I will enjoy the weekend of being with friends and riding my bike. And after that I will be playing in the dirt in the remainder of the indie series on a mountain bike. The weather is due to improve as well. Can Al Gore be that wrong?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April - a couple races under my belt

Well, I did a few races so far this year - although I don't have any results to show for it, I did get a 3rd in cat.3 in a TT, but I wasn't real excited about my time.

At Vance Creek I ended up working for a teammate, it was fun, but then he ended up cramping during the last 1/2 lap and I ended up dropping him. That was a bummer. I think I could have gotten a top 5 if I would have ridden for myself. But then again, I didn't think I would be that good during the race considering I haven't been riding much. I haven't ridden 80 miles in a couple months, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to do so much work to bring a break back. I didn't have much at the finish, but I did a ton of work for the last 40 miles, so I was happy with my day's work. Next time though I will most likely ride for myself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Race season under way

Well, the first race has come and gone and it wasn't too bad, I still have yet to do a road race though but I should take care of that this weekend. Training is going fairly well, and I got a couple 250 mile weeks in in a row, which for a lot of people that might not be much but for me it is. Not a lot as in physically hard, but a lot in terms of 13 hours on my bike in one week.

I even did the High Rock climb in 18:30 or so, which I'm happy with for a couple reasons:
1. I wasn't going 100%
2. I already did 55 miles and 3500 feet of hard climbing

Hopefully come May I'm doing that climb in the 16:30 range.

I lost 5 pounds, at least I'm under 170 again. I don't think that it's from my eating habits though, I'm sure it has a lot more to do with some steady miles. I even did some speedwork once last week, that ought to help boost the internal fat burner. Speedwork should be fairly consistent now so with the increase in mileage and if I actually eat well the pounds should come off. It will help once I can begin doing speedwork on the race bike as well. I don't know really what the deal is, but it sure is hard to do speedwork on the rain bike.

Oh well, gotta go.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Northwest Airlines Sucks

I guess there is a reason why everyone calls it "NorthWorst" Airlines. It really does suck. The planes are old, the people are crabby (I would be too if I had to work there), and thr flights are hardly ever on time.

I've been burned by that airline one time too many, which was once but it was enough for me. I will gladly pay more moneyto fly on another airline, which is a huge bummer since from Seattle I can get direct flight to quite a few places I have friends.

The last time I flew on this sorry excuse for an airline it was a nightmare. I was flying with my wife and 2 year old son. We got to SeaTac in plenty of time for a 0630 flight. Looked at the reader board, of course it says everything is on time. Cool. We got on the plane, I'm in the middle between my wife and son. He's chilling in his car seat. She's chilling in her's, and I'm squished in the middle. Whatever, it's only 4 1/2 hours. Let's go and get this over with. It's now time to go. Oops. Psyche! We have a short dealy to check something on the plane. The plane has been sitting here since we showed up, why the hell haven't they checked it before? Anyway, almost 2 hours later we are still sitting in the plane and haven't moved. Finally, they let us off the plane. but then no one is in the airport to let us off the jetway. And once we do get out we learn they cancel our flight. Too make a long story short, we ended up flying on another airline, NorthWorst lost all our luggage, and we got to our destination 9 hours late. Awesome! I actually got my son's stroller a few weeks later with one of the wheels bent at a 45 degree angle and about as muddy as you would expect it to be if it were dragged behind a farmer's plow.

Northwest Airlines never offered an apology, actually they never did a damn thing. When we arrived at our destination all the NorthWorst offices were closed up since it was so late. My son was a trooper though, he's only flown across the country 3 times and probably just assumes it's a pain in the ass, which it is.

The next time I flew though it was juts him and I and we were on Delta Airlines and the people were nice and everything was on time. hopefully that just wasn't luck.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Holy Crap! I got on the scale the other day and I am huge! I need to lose at least 10 pounds before I have any chance of getting up the hills with the other cat. 3 dudes. How did this happen? Holidays, a cookie here, pop tarts there, peanut butter and jelly instead of Tuna, work a weekend and someone brings in some donuts, here's a Tully's card, thanks for your help (which means a donut as I don't drink coffee). It all adds up. And it sure did. Now I'm on a crash diet, well, not crash exactly, but I am on a diet and I need to behave and stick to it for a while and see if I can shed some pounds. But now a weekend is here and that means with plans the next couple nights I will be eating out as well. Hopefully i can find a decent choice for dinner even if it means I have to eat something that is not all that great. How about something fat free and taste free to go with my water.

I have increased my mileage a bit since cyclocross season, which I didn't really train for anyway. But the weather has totally sucked ass the past week and a half. Last week I got in 200 miles but was dragging on my last ride of the week and actually cut my ride short as I was just beat. Maybe there is something to eating right and getting sleep in order to recover? As I haven't been doing either. The 3-6 hours of sleep per night is just not cutting it. I need to try and get some more somehow. not sure how that is going to happen though. I felt like crap at work yesterday and tried to take a nap during lunch. That never work real well but at least I got rest.

I know on Januay 1st I told myself that I was going to train and eat better and all that stuff as I kicked my training into "real training" and not just riding around because I can't ever think of anything better to do. Well, now it's the 2nd week of February and I really need to give myself a swift kick and get a move on with the diet and I think with more sleep the motivation will com back. Sometimes though it just seems like more work than play with everything else in life. Not like the good ole days when I did Ironman triathlons as was able to train 20 hours per week and not have to worry about much else besides work 40 hours per week. Sometimes getting older and adding responsibilities makes things a pain in the butt, and achieving your goals makes things so much harder. Hopefully they can be somewhat realized as the year progresses. Or at least I hope to come close enough to them that it makes me want to come back for more.

We'll see. Right now I am 173 pounds. The heaviest I have ever been in my whole life. Hopefully I will be 163 by TST and Walla Walla and 160 by Elkhorn. We'll see.

I think as the weather improves my weight will as well. but this is Seattle, and I can't wait for the weather to get better as well.

And one more thing, please! Where are all the street cleaning machines? I'm sick of riding my bike on sand!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I hate cars and most people who drive them

Last night while riding I came close to getting drilled by a car, waayyyy too close! Close enough that I just said "Screw it" and went straight home. Sometimes I just don't need this. Nearly everyone I ride with has been hit by a car, and this is one club I'm not very eager to join.

I don't know how I can make myself any more visible. I'm positive that I am more visible at night than I am in the daytime. I have multiple tail lights, multiple head lights; I wear a reflective pullover that is bright enough to be seen from the moon. What the hell else can I do to become visible?

And everytime I have a close call the driver is of the same demographic (Sorry Mom!) - but it's a woman probably about 55 - 60. I remember when I was in high school we did this study on the aging (ageing?) driver and the coorelation between age and accidents. I don't remember much of the details (this was 15 years ago) but I do remember seeing an obvious problem with the system. Nothing much has changed either. People get old, they get slow and their vision is less concise. And they also see less detail - and to a driver most bike riders are barely a detail.

And another thing that pisses me off is that if I get hit it will be viewed by the general public (and if I generalize all of them then I will say they are all couch potato beer drinkling lethargic slobs that are so lazy that - never mind - I could go on forever here) as another stupid bike rider in the road when he shouldn't have been. Why is always the bike riders fault? Is it always a motorcycle rider's fault when someone pulls out in from of him? Hell no! Then why is a bike rider's fault when someone drills them from behind or pulls in my way?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cold but dry- better than rain

Pedal, Pedal, pedal. My friend used to yell that at his kid while he raced BMX some years back. To this day it makes me laugh because what the hell else are you going to say? Every little league dad had to feel useful in some way.

Last week kind of sucked in terms of mileage. I think I rode about 160 miles. Not very good at all. But that will happen when I get conned into working the weekend. Hopefully I can go another 3 months while avaoiding it. I was able to go three whole days without starting my car, that's a bonus. Riding my bike to work is junk miles though. It's hard to go real fast or even feel like going fast when you have a backpack on - esp. when it's 24 degrees and 5 am on a Monday. Junk miles are better than no miles.

This week is going a bit better so far. And no work planned for the weekend either so I should be able to get in about 120 miles between Saturday and Sunday, which will make for about 225 miles this week - about as good as I can get. I'll probably ride the first 1/2 on Sunday with the team and then break off to find some elevation (unless it's cold enough to snow). Pretty soon I'll be doing all my miles alone as the season gets closer and the training get more intense.

My bike team is brainwashed though. It's scary. One person has tons and tons of experience (including national) and for the most part he pulls the strings and his little marionettes do what he says. I know he just wants to helps...and his intentions are only good...but...still

Thursday, January 17, 2008

1/17/08 -being a dad and pedaling

The new season is fast approaching as I try to shed a few pounds ( I just ate a doughnut - damn those Tully's cards at work). At least I'm riding more though. I even got in 98 miles this past Saturday - and felt pretty good too. It was a bonus to have a tailwind the last 15 miles or so, I actually felt like I was in shape cruising along at 25-26 mph 4 1/2 hours into my ride.

I sure will be happy when winter is over, or at the very least we get more light. I despise the trainer and will do anything I can to avoid it - including risking my life riding around the roads of Snohomish at night. And I'll ride the Centenniel trail also, although I don't like doing that alone as I have a somewhat unwarranted phobia of cougars and bears. I think I've done 2 "rides" on the trainer so far this year - I guess I do got stuck on it once per week - that's not too bad really.

Between work and being a dad it makes it harder to get the miles in. My son, who is 3, is starting to ask to come on my rides. The other day he asked me to put him in the trailer before I left on a 5+ hour ride. I don't think he would enjoy it after a while, the weather sucks, I'm not going to pull a trailer on the road with a kid in it - and I don't know. I feel bad though - it's like this HUGE dichotmy of being a dad and being a bike racer. So anyway, I try to balance it the best I can but man...it can be hard to make everyone (wife, son, my legs) happy. I learned how to do it for the most part, I just have to skip a couple hours of sleep per night every now and again. That's not a huge price to pay for some happiness. As long as I don't get sick - then no one is happy - then I try to pull it off. Besides, it's not too hard to get 3 or 4 hours of sleep one night per week. And every once in a while I'll just skip a night and get lots of things done (besides pedaling).

Anyway, tonight I hope to get in 60-65 miles, 35 of which will be on the trail. I will avoid trails at all costs in the daylight, I do not believe they are for bike racers, but for families. But at night time I don't think I'll have to worry about the safety of a small child or oet as I pedal down the trail at 20 mph. Nor do I have to worry about cars. Just cougars (unlikely), bears (aren't they hibernating - Yogi never made it to Christmas), coyotes (?), and rabbits (probably the most dangerous as they always dart in front of you.