Quick and Dirty

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

Saturday, September 30, 2006

And so, the punishment begins.

First UCI race here in the Hamptons, it was pretty rough. I had an alright start, I tried not to kill myself and just stay steady for a few laps. I had a 2nd row call-up so I was pretty set up for success. I was solidly in the top 15 after the first 2 laps and I was in a decent group. There was a bit of back and forth with some fellows that were catching up, Troy Wells tried a hilarious pass on the steep switchbacks- he's staying with us and he and I were talking earlier about him trying something like that last year and getting sent into the tape, which I think was actually me... it was pretty sweet.

So, I was riding clean and having a bit of trouble with a kind of stomach ache that I was hoping would go away. Unfortunately, I totally bit the shit on an off camber bit just before the course came back to the pavement. It stunned me a bit and I got up and rode to the pits for a change so I didn't have to try and straighten my bars. I spent a lap trying to decide wether to keep racing- that was a mistake. I saw the promoter on the sidelines and asked how deep he was paying... 30 deep so I kept on riding... Simon came by me with a couple other guys and I wasn't really able to keep on so I tried to plug it up some and make it hard for the guys who were with him. I made at least one of those guys accellerate a couple extra times before I got broke off.

After that I resigned myself to some tough training and finished up the race in 21st. Got my entrance fee back, so that's good. I expect that tomorrow will be more of the same, but unfortunately it is a cat.2 and points only go 10 deep. I'm just determined to get some solid 1 hour races under my belt at this point and hopefully I'll be good next week... It's going to suck because they are doing call-ups based on points accumulated this year, so I'll likely be in the scrum with my elbows out. Oof.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cool, we made it!

Simon and I had a relatively smooth trip to NY. I did discover that you can talk on your cell phone till the plane is just about mooving and they can't tell. I had to re-reserve our car rental from the plane as we were just about to take off since I accidentally reserved it for 4pm, when we were actually ariving at about 11pm.

Once we got to NY, things went pretty smooth. In JFK airport there is an "airtrain" that you have to ride to get to the car rentals. Apparently there had been some kind of a bomb scare (someones backpack was probably sitting unclaimed somewhere in the airport) and part of the train's territory was not being accessed so there were TONS of people on there. It was pretty funny actually. We made some friends and got to expalin cyclocross a couple times.

As we hit the road in the rental car, the first song that came on the radio was Pantera's "5 minutes alone" which totally stoked us out. I burned some rubber and we got that bitch up to speed, I can assure you.

We got to the host housing around 2am, the place is awesome. We got some good sleep and now we're off to find some coffee and lunch since we just got up and it's noon, we must have missed breakfast.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Some last minute training, and I'm out.

I'll hit the road tomorrow- Simon and I are meeting at the airport for the start of our east coast campaign. My bikes are all set up with the sweet new Easton, Mavic, Chris King, Paul Components and Crank Brothers parts and we've got the new costumes and the crash-hats from Bell.

I've got 2 races under my belt and I think most of the components of cyclocross fitness are in place- I'm a little nervous that I don't have much in the way of high-end power or speed though. This has been the first season where I've stopped road racing in July (!) and just rested and prepared for cross. For the last 2 years I've been ripping at the start of the season but petered out in November. If things go right, I'll start to feel really fast in the next 2 weeks or so and I'll have a better time of keeping steady fitness throughout the whole season.

So with speed in mind, I spent 50 minutes behind the motorcycle last night with Tom Fox. Tom lives in Stinson and we motor-pace along highway 1 around Bolinas Lagoon. Tom and his son Bjorn have been racing and training with me for the last couple years and they've both gotten really quite good- Tom was 2nd the other day at CCCX in the B mens 35+ race and Bjorn had his first win in the 10-13 year old race! The moto is very good for forcing the high end fitness to develop and I think I was doing ok. Tom said we were going as fast as 40 mph at times and I rode in the 46x11 almost exclusively, so I'm happy with how it went. I'll go and do an easy couple hours that will include some transitions and jogging, etc. and hopefully I'll be ready for the Southampton races!

I have a feeling that these races are going to be really hard... it's the week before the first USGP races and it's the final chance for UCI points that will count for the first call-ups at Gloucester. I'm going to need some luck if I'm to snatch some of those!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

DJ Snead?

I don't know why Olaf V started calling me that, but I actually got some DJ turntables a few weeks back from my neighbors yardsale! $60 is what I payed for the turntables and mixer along with a big-ass case that they fit in. I bought about 30 records for $9 from her as well, a fine starter collection with lots of hip hop and old goofy records including Michael jackson "thriller", the soundtrack to "Shaft", some Isaac Hayes record, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and several others. It's wicked fun to play around with and I have them hooked up to a cassette recorder so I can make some sweet mix tapes.

Dang! I've been busy!

The cross season is upon us, and I think I'm ready for it. I've got both bikes all built up, about half the tires are glued and the legs are coming around. I'm getting excited for my trip to the east coast and I'm looking forward to to having some adventures with my teammate Simon Vickers. I've been staying super busy working at the bike shop and doing repairs at my house.

Raced the first race last weekend, in Folsom. It was a good opener for me, I did my best not to kill myself. Chris Mcgovern was there and he was looking pretty fit, we rode together for about the first 4 laps till I made some mistakes and he got his gap... After that I just rode around and got to remember what an hour of cyclocross feels like! It's always a shock- time just seems to stand still. I'll race tomorrow at the CCCX race. It should be fun, it's a nice course.

I'll leave on thursday for New York. I'm expecting these races to be a lot tougher than last year since it's the week before Gloucester and everyone want's to get some points before then, myself included. This is a fun race in a nice area- The Hamptons. I'll bring my computer and try to update the blog as I travel around. Promise.

Friday, September 08, 2006

AWW YEAH! Plane tickets secured...

I'm lining things up for an awesome cross season. I just bought the tickets for phase one of my year- 3 weeks on the east coast for a total of 6 UCI events. 2 races in Southampton NY, 2 in Glocester MA and 2 in New Gloucester ME. I'm especially excited for the Maine races- I grew up in Maine and I haven't been back in 5 years I think. I sure hope I'm fit and ready, I want to make the most of it! Things seem good with my training, but I'm still doing mostly base fitness type rides so I really haven't gotten to crack the throttle much. I'll have my chance soon enough, I think!

Tomorrow is the San Raphael crit. I'll be out there watching and cheering for my RHVilla teammates- and partying at Big Red of course! If you're reading this you're invited to stop by, it's gonna rock! Stop by the "team parking" area, we'll start there and see where the day takes us... Guaranteed spectacle.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Up early and ready to train!

It sure is nice when the first couple weeks are out of the way when starting back to training after takng a break. I was really feeling like a slug for a while there. I'm always anxious for cross season, but I was feeling really de-tuned a couple weeks ago and I'll admit that I was a little concerned! I think the 5 week rest is going to pay of for me this year, I've missed a lot of road races but cyclocross is going to ROCK!

Right now, the new bike is actually going a long way to stoking my motivation. It rides awesome, and I'm having a lot of fun getting used to it and getting to be friends with it. I'm feeling pretty tough now that I've got abs of steel too, I can bust out like 80 crunches and not feel like someone beat me up.

So I'm off to toil around in the fog for a while, looks like I'll be out for about 4 hrs. I'll bring Barb's small new digital camera and take some pictures maybe.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Aaaww, that is sooo cute...

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Bikes.

These new bikes are friggin' killer. Here's the first one, built up.

I'll build up the other one in a few weeks. I've put a few days in on this bike and it's really, really good. I love how it fits and it's a good blend of quick and stable. It's super solid to sprint on. With race wheels and Dugast tubulars this thing is going to slash throats.

What's new?!

Well, lots of stuff. I haven't raced since Vacaville, so I've been doing some other stuff. Took some time to cool the jets and put some hours in at work. Gotta stash some $$$ for cx season! I've been training all along, of course. Just in the last 3 weeks or so though I've really begun laying the groundwork for a hard season of cyclocross. All the lame stuff- core exercises, jogging (the horror!), the dreaded high knees.

But I've gotten to do a lot of really cool stuff too! Like riding the fixed gear, pedaling the hours away in the fog on the new cross bike and hopping around on a trials bike I got. Yep, the kind with the 20" wheels, hydraulic rim brakes, big fat bouncy rear tire and basically no seat. I think it has a 22tx19t drivetrain. Bashgaurd. It's super fun, maybe it'll help my hops over the barriers... maybe. I can hop it up some stuff and jump it around on the back wheel, it's fun. Makes you arms super sore.

I'm now officially working at Breaking Away Bicycles in Ross. It's been open for about a month and it's really fun! If you're riding through Marin, stop in and say hi. It's right across from Ross commons. I've always got a job or two going on here at the house too, drop me a line if you need a bike dialed in! I've got a pretty solid shop at my house. I'll overhaul Campy levers too, I'd like to start doing more of that since I can do 'em pretty quick now.

Barb and I went to Jamaica 2 weeks ago, it was incredible! We stayed at my road teams namesake, the Russel Hall Villa! I'll post a full report sometime soon, I promise.

I also got some DJ turntables and a mixer for $60.00 at my neighbor's yardsale. Mom totally sold them off while kid's at college- I got about 30 records for an additional $9! It's pretty fun making mix tapes and doing some bad scratching. Defitely sucks time.

That's the main stuff with me. Barb is still not really training and that's a drag. I'm pretty sad that she won't be coming to all the fun 'cross races with me this year, but she'll be back eventually.