Quick and Dirty

Hey sicko, get your mind out of the gutter. This is about bike racing. And some other stuff.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Ridin' wheelies!

Each week my friend Bjorn Fox comes over for a couple hours for bike repair lessons. He's 13 and if you've been out at Nor-Cal cx races you might have seen him racing the juniors, he has tons of hand-me-down uniforms and often races in an old Kelly team kit, and he's got red hair. We always have a pretty good time. We get his and his family's bikes dialed in and do other repairs that he wants to understand. He's got a pretty good grasp on a lot of basic and not-so-basic stuff and he can probably wrap handlebars better than you. So anyway, we got stuff mostly done the other day and went out to do a bit of test riding. I can't resist roosting a wheelie as a vital part of any test ride. So soon enough it turned into a step by step wheelie lesson! Bjorn really picked it up pretty quickly, he has the arm strength and coordination to get the basics pretty figured out. I got him on the right track for the important stuff- the rear brake is everything, don't try to do it out of the saddle, etc. It totally reminded me of being his age and whiling away the hours trying some new trick that I could almost, almost! do. He was able to get the front wheel up high enough to really feel the balance point, and figured out the most critical thing- if you just stab the rear brake the front wheel comes right down so you don't flip onto your back! I'm sure he'll end up on his back a few times anyway but that's part of the process. And he's 13 so he's still made of rubber. He was really excited that he could do it. My parting advice was to wait till he's got it totally mastered before he even tells anyone he can do it. On a bike, and in general, actions speak loudest!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm tired, and in no mood to type. So here's all you get this time.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The ol' Track Iron vs. The Rain

Today I got to toil around in the POURING rain on my fixed gear. It was windy too. But my legs felt good so I got to just go around smiling at people who I could tell were totally pissed to be caught in the rain. I was pretty cold when I was done, but I managed to get the prescribed hours in so I was pleased. I pretty much had enough rain on saturday, but oh well. At least there weren't any derailleur cables to foul up. Looks like more of the same for tomorrow. I think I can crank it on the trainer instead, sensibly. I'm starting to get excited for the Brisbane races this weekend, I won that circuit once when I was a cat3 and I'd sure like to do that again.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Orosi is a very hard NorCal race.

I think that course profile has to be among the toughest on the calendar. Add some cool rain and some wind and you've got yourself one hard bike race! People must know this, because there was only 30 or less starters in my P/1/2 race. Things staeyd pretty civil, I thought, for a lot of the lower part of the climb. But when the attacks started coming, it was on the steeper parts of the hill and that was quite painful. I managed to survive a few splits until we were down to about 10. My teammate Aaron O'dell and I popped off near the top and that was the end of that! Our teammate Jesse stayed with the next group ahead of us and ended up 6th, which is pretty amazing since his hip is still broken and he hasn't raced in about a month. Jesse=a bag of nails. Aaron and I rode tempo for the rest of that lap, and then slowed way down and kind of puttered for the rest of the second lap. We were joined late in the lap by our teammate Dennis, who was determined to finish. I was very cold though, and I went for the car. Aaron soldiered on with Dennis. I saw him coming back down to the finish, about 15 minutes later with blue lips and a clacking jaw- he too got the chill, but it got him bad. I helped get him back to the car which was about 6 miles away and he was having a pretty hard time! In the end he was fine, just a touch of the old hypothermia. Jesse was 6th and Dennis was 7th, good for them- that's a hard day in the rain! There were only 7 finishers anyway. All in all, it was pretty fun- the roads of this race were incredibly cool, it was an amazingly beautiful area and if it hadn't been raining I think it would have been a pretty awesome day. After the race we all met up in Fresno at a diner where we all powered some chow, and I got to see Dennis and Aaron have an ice cream eating contest which they both "won" (there are really no winners in an ice cream eating contest...). -j

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Put this in your pipe and smoke it...

The Kitty!

So, I'm sure everyone must really be anxious to see some pictures of our kitty! People who have met her will be thrilled, and those who haven't will probably want to come to our house to pet her. She's the nicest kitty I've ever met, and she has a poochy "flabber" belly from getting fixed long ago. It's NOT just because she's fat! Which she isn't! She also has no claws, which is kind of sad, but she can somehow still climb things and I've even seen her box other cats into submission. She doesn't try and scratch or bite, and if she does bite it's like a playful love bite that doesn't hurt. So, here she is! -j

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

tiny trails

An evening
+tiny trails
+some wine
= indoor wheelie contest

Oh, that was a tough little wednesday afternoon!

Originally, today would have been pretty fun. About 3 hours of riding around, meet up with the moto. 45 minutes of rolling along in the draft, then 10 minutes or so of just getting my legs rippied off. This is what I like to see on my training plan because although it hurts, the time passes quickly and it's more than just staring at the HRM. Behind the moto, you have to accellerate, move subtlly to follow the draft, feather brakes, accellerate again, and watch that rear tire! You get to feel fast and use big gears at a pace that can't really be experienced except at an NRC crit. And those final hard minutes are what gives you the true ability to dig deep when you're in the pain box! The cool thing about a couple weeks of this once a week turns you into a draft- demon and gives you the ability to stick to any wheel! In the days after pacing my legs always feel like they want to churn on the flats, so I can't wait to get a moto lined up in the coming weeks...

But today, I could not round up a derny or a cigar smoking pilot and so I had to resort to the plan-b workout which is pretty torturous. It goes kind of like- 10min. @ painful into 8min. of beyond painful into 5min. of intolerable, all done someplace flat and usually windy. This is followed by some rest and dryheaving, then 20 minutes of tempo. But once a minute I have to jump hard out of the saddle, so 20 hard jumps in there. Today, by the time I'd done this stuff I was at Stinson Beach which means I get to start climbing. I chose Panoramic as my exscape route and it was a slow and uncomfortable half hour to the top. When I got home I had a good solid 4.5 hours in the saddle.

My legs hurt when I woke up, but now they really hurt! I'll spend tomorrow on the couch, and do my race-prep on friday and then BANG-O I'll be ripping on saturday (hopefully...).

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Things to do with those dumb little extra brake levers...

Put 'em on your TT bike and use them once or twice a year, in an extra twisty time trial or a team TT...

And don't forget that old v-brake noodle so the cable moves smooth!

Racing in the wind can be fun!

That's what I did today, and it was fun in a difficult and painful kind of way. I have spent the day riding with the group on windy days at flat races and it sucks. When breaks go away, they usually stick and are never seen again. So, today I just started attacking as soon as the race started and hey, it worked! I got in a good break with my teammate Dennis Guikema and a few others. I felt really good, I maybe put in some efforts early on that were a little much but that's how it goes sometimes when you're not used to being fit. We should have been able to figure out a way to win, but we had to settle for second (him) and third (me). It was sweet, although the field was small and most of the pros were at San Dimas. But heck, it was a race! We were going pretty good, by the end we had about 8 minutes on the field. Today was my first time in the top 3 at a P/1/2 race, and I made some $$$ so that was good. Dennis won the silly King Of the Mountains points contest too, I only say it was silly because there really wasn't much of a mountain. So, I'm pretty happy with it- I feel better after pussing out last weekend, the training was perfect so I guess it was a good choice. -j

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Piercing Moment

My earlier post about riding outside was premature. That little ride did me in for two days. Today I tried acupuncture for the first time. It was an interesting experience all around. My boss, Tony, swears by Dr. You in San Francisco so that's where I went. Dr. You spent some time grilling me about my condition-low energy, constricted throat......, my lifestyle, eating and drinking habits etc. Then while laying on a table he put little needles into my legs, hands, arms, and lots of needles in my ears and neck. I was told to take a nap. You don't really feel the needles going in but you know they are there and that's a bit disconcerting. Twice a nurse came in and "adjusted" the needles. It felt like she twirled them deeper into my epidermis. This was also a bit disconcerting as one needle caused my leg to tingle. After an eternity and two adjustments I was done for the moment. Part of the treatment involves drinking potent rank teas. I was given three bags of herbs to boil into tea. Right now there is the smelliest pot of seed pods, dried banana peels, twigs, bark, slivered dinosaur bones and other unidentifiable plant matter boiling on the stove. Wish me luck in drinking that stuff.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Presenting the team RHVilla/Montano Velo special edition Rock Lobster!

Got the new frame today, and it is looking pretty ultimate! Easton Scandium front triangle, aluminum seat and chain stays- all business, no poofy cabrone fiber! The sizing is spot-on, Paul got it right- as usual! The bright white looks awesome with the black RL logos and team decals under the clear. I just wish it wasn't raining, I think I will probably just ride this thing on the rollers today...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Good News

Today was a breakthrough day in the fight against the evil Belgian Waffle Virus. I actually rode my bike outside for two entire hours!!! This might not seem like a lot to many of you but I haven't even felt like riding my bike for the last three weeks. It's the little things right now that make a difference.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Skippin' races...

So I bailed on the Central Valley Classic omnium race this weekend. I've had a pretty good time racing the last few weeks, but I saw the weather for this weekend and I just figured I'll train here at home instead of driving all the way to Fresno for that crazyness. My tough and manly RHVilla/ Montano Velo teammates went, and I'm still waiting to here how that all turned out. I do know that Christian flatted out of the circuit race in classic Christian style. I hope those guys finish up safe and sound.

Just because I didn't go down to the rainy sufferfest doesn't mean I don't have some seriously tired legs after these last few days! The last 4 days have included a rugged mix of fixed gear riding, TT workouts and a 5.5 hr solo ride in the wind yesterday with lots of painful accellerations on the hills. Today is more fixed gear, but easy for recovery. It's pretty yucky out though, I'll ride it on the rollers.

Enough boring training talk. This week is going to be like christmas for team RHVilla/ Montano Velo! I'll post pics of my new, custom, Scandium tubed wonder built by Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster later this week. These things are going to be super awesome, no cabrone fiber on these bad dogs. All business, stiff and light. Oh yes, nothing like a new rig! Team uniforms should show soon too. It's been quite a wait and our old kits are getting a bit scandalous- those guys are probably showing some cheeks in the rain! Uvex helmets and glasses should show soon too. We will go from rag-tag to euro-pro in a matter of days, I think this will help us get some results! Everyone is really looking fit so it shouldn't be long now.


Yes, it snowed on Coastal California the other day. It doesn't snow here, well maybe sometimes just a little. When it snows people say "I remember when it snowed back in '82, we all got the day off of second grade." Here it was again and it caused a massive crash on Hwy 101. I am happy to say that since I'm not really riding my bike right now I do not have to go out and suffer in the cold unless feelings of masochism become overwhelming.

Writing this blog seems silly right now because no one knows it exists and reads it. These entries are like notes falling out of your pocket that someone might stumble on and read or just land in a puddle and turn to mush never to be read.


Friday, March 10, 2006

The Beach

Found on the beach.


It took weeks to come up with a good name and now I suffer from writers block.