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, 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'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?