Quick and Dirty

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

OK, we're back.

I've been pretty busy just lately what with getting a cold, a new job, training, racing, you know... Stuff. I'm putting some fancy- schmantzy bikes together at a shop in the Marina district in SF called Bikenut. It's a nice shop that has been in business for about 7 months, it seems like a good fit for me. It's pretty part time, and I can skip work to race, etc. so I think it's good.

I had a rugged cold last week, but it's passed. I think the rainy crit from last weekend in Stockton was the last straw so I was pretty much homebound for a couple days. I'm better now. I'm going to Tulsa this weekend for 3 days of racing with my teammates Christian, Jamiel and Rob. Rob's girlfriend Shellie is coming along as well, she's the one who hit the gas off the start at the Stockton crit and stayed away for the whole race and the win in one of her first p/1/2 races! Jamiel has been riding great lately, he won the Modesto crit last weekend and got 3rd yesterday so I think we're looking good for Tulsa.

Barb seems to be getting better, we rode for 3 hours the other day. She's still pretty tired from any riding (and working!) but generally she's improving. Cyclocross is just around the corner!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cat's Swill and Berkeley Kills

Yes! A really fun weekend of racing! Cat's Hill is one of my favorite races, I had a good time this year and came 9th in the big boys race. My teammate Christian Kearny was 8th, he was off in the chasing break and he did really well to hang in there and rip it. We all rode at the front once he was away, and I had a nice attack on the hill as Wolberg and Ben J-M lapped the group and I jumped on with them to get a good gap with 5 laps to go. The race was neutralized when a rider crashed badly on the descent in the main bunch.

I was told today that the crash occured because he wasn't holding on to his handlebars well enough and when he hit a bump he lost his grip. People, use your thumbs will you? None of this "I once saw a pro ride this way in the tour day france" bullshit where you just hang your hands over the bars or hold the shift cables either. It's STUPID. It will only end in tears. It never makes you faster so it's not worth doing.

Anyway, after a few laps of puttering along waiting for the carnage to be swept away, and watching Ben getting a beer feed from OV (hey, that's fucking BEER!) they did a really good job of restarting the race and I held on to my spot with no trouble for the coveted top 10 position. The beer must have worked because Ben won it pretty easily. If I'd felt talky and set a goal for myself before the race, top 10 is probably what I'd have wished for so I'm quite pleased.

Afterwards, we all had fun at the official Cat's Swill afterparty at Rob, Aaron and Shelly's house. Many heads were in attendance, it was sweet! Kegs, bbq, herb smoke wafting through the crowd, the whole deal. I wasn't able to stay for nearly long enough but I'm sure it got epic. I ended up bailing out pretty quickly after getting a burrito downtown so I could get ready for todays road race.

But today- Oh, god. I had a hard time getting everything organized and falling asleep last night, so when the alarm went off this am, I was not feeling too perky. I made it to the race, got my # pinned and got my bottles in the feed zone. I had pockets full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, waffles and gel flasks with honey/water mix since I didn't have any modern, prepackaged bike racing food at home. The race went off, and in like the first 3 minutes a breakaway group formed with my teammate Jesse/Andy Mendonca-donc in it. I was feeling none too snappy so I just sat on Wolbergs wheel to see how far he'd let it go. They got about 1:45 on us till Wolberg decides to go to the front and just put the hammer down. I stayed on over the first few climbs, but I popped off through the feed zone. Dang, sawed off on the first lap! Oh well, I got mine yesterday.

'Twas a good weekend, and I'm glad it's behind me! There will be plenty of sweet battle tales from this one, I've no doubt.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

OK, sorry for no posts.

We're slackers.

Anyway, I was totally planning on doing a report from last weeks Madera stage race, but the whole ordeal was so bothersome and tiring that I've just been putting it off. So here's all you need to know.

-Big Red totally broke down on the way to the first stage on friday. We were in Turdlock, and we rented a 29' diesel Uhaul truck. We made it to the race, barely. We all rode horrible TT's, except Dennis who raced in sandals since he forgot his shoes in Big Red. He set the course record for racing in sandals.

-Since we didn't have Big Red, we had to get a motel room. Dennis was our ambassador to the teenage front desk girls. He did some sweet talking to get us a non smoking room. This also got us a phone call to the room to see if we wanted to join the girls for a swim in the pool. I've never heard of motel employees calling guests to see if they want to hang out, so this was a first. We never did get to go swimming with the girls, but it did result in a lot of talk about Aaron "taking one for the team".

-I missed the start of the second TT by around 30 seconds, and about 3 pedal strokes into my race I was stung on the forehead by a bee. I think I had a pretty bad time. I've still never seen any results from this race so I don't really know.

-In the crit we had some seriously poorr communications within our team regarding our plan for the race. This resulted in Christian getting in the winning move and putting 45 seconds into the group which included our GC guy, Jesse. This little prank cost him 3rd place overall. It was a learning experience.

-We ate at a very swanky italian restaurant which had a guy playing accordian and everything. I ate about 3/4 of my meal before realizing that my pasta had meat sauce. Yuck.

-In the road race, we all rode pretty well really. Jesse didn't loose any time and maintained 4th place, and we all pretty much did our jobs. I was able to race 85 miles in the heat and not get cramps, which is pretty much a first for me. It seemed like a pretty easy race actually.

-It was really nice to get home. I hate Madera, Chowchilla, the central valley and meat sauce. I'm very lucky to be on a team that can work together to overcome adversity. Well, we didn't exactly overcome it, but we had some laughs. Actually it was a pretty expensive weekend and we totally took it in the shorts.

Oh well, there's a parking lot crit tomorrow and I've got some cool new wheels so I'm amped. And next weekend- Cat's Swill!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

this gives me the creeps

For those of you who thought the last picture was a bit creepy.