Quick and Dirty

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

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More epic norcal action!

Well, I had another good weekend but there were some snags...

Yesterday was LARPD #? in Livemore. I showed up late and just put my slithersuit on and raced with no warmup or course inspection. Dang,11:30- I was pretty sure the race was supposed to go off at noon.

Anyway, I just bided my time and only attacked a couple times in the middle part of the race. I just tried to get warmed up for the first few. It was me, Henry Kramer and "mountain" Larry Hibbard off the front for most of the race; we were joined by Jason Rawles later on in the race after we'd dropped Larry. Anyway, on the last lap it was just me and Henry.

I out maneuvered him in the last few corners and I was set up perfectly after the final set of barriers for the last 180 before the very short finishing straight. Henry tried going inside just before this corner and I shut the door on him... we were leaning on each other a little because I kept my line and didn't back down... He was a little chapped after the race but we talked it over- he was acting cheeky and I just rode my way around that final turn. A decent win and a nice prep for today.

Today's Pilarcitos race at Candlestick was a great track on a beautiful day. The plan was to get away at the start with my teamamtes Dave Wyandt and Aron O'Dell and work together to beat Justin Robinson, who's riding well right now and is just ahead of Dave and I in the Pilarcitos series overall.

I was on time to the race today, but late to the start. After warming up, I took a piss and dropped off my jersey in the car, rolled on the suit and headed to the start. Whoa, everyone's lined up... no prob, I'm second callup, they'll let me in... As I'm walking my bike on its back wheel through the bunch the gun goes off... Oh, boy...

I was maybe 30 deep, maybe more. There seemed to be a lot of riders. I started getting wicked; dodging, yelling and flailing through the dust and mayhem. Somehow, by the end of the lap I was on Dave's wheel and we're sitting 5th and 6th. We move through a few more riders and begin clawing our way back up to Justin and Aron, the only one from our team to make the move. We make contact with Justin just as Aron gets a flat on the fastest part of the course... bye Aron...

The rest of the race was really tough for me, the first lap kicked my ass. I couldn't do much attacking, but Dave went away and I got in front of Justin and went slow for the tech parts of the track and let him chase on the straightaways.

This went on for a couple laps till Justin brought Dave back. We slowed after that for a while, but eventually Justin attacked and we stayed on him. Dave got another try or two in and eventually I started feeling alright again and went deep on the paved section. I went too hard- I was turning the 12t cog as fast as I could and I almost lost traction in the dirt section before the finish. I looked back to see a good gap, I was told I had 20 seconds! If this had been the last lap, I might have been able to hold it together but as it was- my eyes started rolling back in my head. I was caught again after a half a lap.

But I didn't go out the back door! I stayed on Justin and Dave and fought through to the last lap. I wanted to try and sprint with Justin and just not get dropped in that lap before the end. Didn't happen, I crashed in a corner and limped in for 3rd. Dave was 2nd. GAWDAMMIT! We got handled by Justin, I can't believe how close we got after our mishaps (Dave was behind an early crash). Very hard race for me, hardest this year. I think today might have been one of my fastest days ever, I feel very fit and I think I can beat Justin soon. Justin is a very good competitor and one of the most well rounded riders I know, I just want to beat him once this year!

Anyway, it was a great weekend and I'm glad I stayed local instead of going to the UCI race in L.A. Barb went there and was 2nd after Rachel Lloyd, so that's good. I saw lots of friends and got to chill at the Rock Lobster tent to watch the women. I brought my portable turntable so it was fun to play some records for everyone and swill some beer. My parents were out watching and my dad was taking pictures so they had a great time. Next weekend will be sweet, it's the Velo Bella Surf City Halloween race!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Barb and I racked up some 3rd place finishes this weekend...

Barb was in the Hamptons this weekend at dome UCI races and she did what she set out to do- get some UCI points and be at least 3rd after Lynn Bessette and Katie Compton. She did this yesterday and today, so I think it's safe to say she's back to her old ways! There's a report up on cyclingnews.com as well as some hot photo's like this one:


I raced at Pilarcitos #1 today and I raced ok, although I could feel the cold took a little out of me.

I managed to sneak up to the front line at the start, I knew there would be trouble with such a short bit of pavement before we went offroad. I pinned it at the start and kind of got the holeshot, although Cameron Falconer came around me as we hit the dirt. I sat on and just waited to see how things would shake out- with Andy J-M and Justin Robison in the race, I didn't have to wait long.

And came up and past me at soon enough and I jumped on his wheel and we were off. I was wondering a bit about my teammates Dave Wyandt and Aron Odell who were nowhere to be seen... They were hung up in the start and missed the train, it turns out. So Andy and I went around the track a couple times, I sat on and just tried not to get dropped as he lit it up every time we got to the pavement or a straightaway. I was pretty psyched to hang on, Andy was back to his old self and seemed faster than last week. After a few laps, Justin rode back up to us which I knew was a problem for me. I think this was about 20 minutes into the race. I wanted to attack right as he got to us, but Andy knows what to do and he kept it steady for a bit to let Justin catch his breath and wouldn't let me by.

Those two started giving me the 1-2 and it didn't feel like there was much I could do about it. Eventually Andy got away and Justin just kept me behind him and blocked. I would go around on the pavement and go as hard as I could till we got to the barriers and he would just go ripping by me before the twisty parts. There's a reason they call him "The Dancing Bear", that guy is murderous on foot.

I think I bobbled somewhere and Justin got his gap. If you give this guy an inch, he'll take a mile and he looked pretty commited to the last part of the race. I actually brought him back to within 10 seconds by the end, but I couldn't catch him. My legs were cramping a bit and I think this is where I was feeling kind of spent, maybe partly from the weeks illness.

Dave Wyandt rode up to 4th, behind me and would have caught me with another lap. He's riding really strong, soon enough I think Dave will have some wins. He hasn't had a clean race yet with mechanicals and crashes, so it's just a matter of time. O'dog was a bit behind him I think, but I don't think he was 5th. So, it was a decent day for the HRS/Rock Lobster team. It would have been a lot more fun if Dave and/or Aron had got up to the action so we could have had a bit more of a fair fight.

Unfortunately, Andy had a trip and fall after the race and broke his collarbone. He was jogging on the course (don't ask me...) and he fell in the barriers and either re-broke his collarbone or maybe broke his other one? I'm not totally sure but I felt really bad whe I heard this news from Josie... Andy was really bummed when he was leaving and I can still hardly believe this happened.

Aside from that, it was a great day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Yard sale sounds

I have spent a lot of time over this last year learning about vinyl records and record collecting. It turns out that Marin is like some kind of a frickin' gold mine for digging after records and I've gotten pretty hooked on searching for interesting music on vinyl.

I am a fiend for yardsales and most of my best finds have come on an early saturday morning. There are a ton of people every weekend trying to get rid of those old heavy records around here. I usually pay about $1 a record at the average yardsale, but today's haul came at $3 per.

I found a sale near my house on craigslist that I thought would yield an interesting collection. I could tell because the guy was selling vintage stereo equipment as well as tools and records. I showed up at 9, when he advertised his sale would start. I was pissed because there were already people rooting around, I try and respect the "no earlybirds" ads. However, none of these people were after records and he hadn't brought his music out.

I got the first try at looking through his collection and I came up with some really great finds, some of which appear to be pretty valuable. I love getting the first look at a collection!

I found several great Zappa albums, a few Talking Heads albums (including a 45 rpm 12" of 3 songs I've never heard and a limited edition clear vinyl of Speaking In Tongues). There was a lot of jazz and I picked out a few promising looking albums of that genre. I don't know a lot about jazz and I don't really know classical either, and there was a lot of classical in there as well.

The big finds of the day were a couple of bootleg recordings from the 70's: The Who "Decidedly Late Response" which is some live recordings from their 1973 north american tour and Van Morrison "Van the Man" which is a live recording from the Fillmore West in 1970. These are in very good condition and both are pretty valuable so I'm hoping to pay a good chunk of next month's rent with these.

I also found a great copy of Lightnin' Hopkins "Live at the Bird Lounge" and a wierd experimental recording from Sweden by Ralph Lundsten and Leo Nilson called "Elektronisk Musik" that appears to be fairly valuable as well.

I should take some pictures, some of these have really remarkable covers. Actually, I should take my camera to the yard sales- this guy had a bunch of really cool stuff. I don't know, people may actually have very little interest in hearing about this kind of thing... Oh well, it keeps me off the streets at least.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A cold got me.

Oh, it sucks to catch a cold when I'm feeling fast. Hopefully it will pass quickly, I'm looking forward to this weekend's Pilarcitos race.

While not training for the last few days I did some bike work. I like how this one came out, I have fun setting cross bikes up.

These Jagwire brake pads seem nice and look cool with the Paul brake.

I use a little hanger from the lower stem faceplate bolt for the front brake cable routing.

Those tires are Challenge Grifo 34's- pretty much the ultimate Nor-Cal sneaker- on some old Bontrager race-lite tubular wheels. Otherwise it's a solid Shimano bike, all Dura-Ace other than the cranks (47t/38 FSA chainrings) and 12-27 cassette which are Ultegra. Ritchey WCS seatpost, Easton EA-50 stem, Ritchey Pro 26.0 bar. Gnarly old Bontrager saddle.

I've glued 13 tires this week too.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Whoa, I didn't even race on sunday...

I was tired yesterday. I wanted to race and I think I would have probably gone along ok, but the drive back would have been tough. I went to sleep at 9 pm last night! It looks like Dave Wyandt basically held his own against Andy and Justin, but I wish I could have been there to even things out a bit.

Today was a great reminder of how nice my life is. I spent the day hanging out with Barb, pedaling around real slow and playing records. I also managed to coordinate some work type stuff and make a little money, which is always good. The weather was sweet and the sun felt great as we rode. How am I this lucky?

I'm looking at a week of scurrying around setting up cyclocross bikes and gluing tires. Barb is heading to the NY for some UCI action on thursday and her bikes/wheels/tires are nearing completion. I really need to break the camera out and start documenting some of the madness as it unfolds in my underground lair. There are some hot rigs rolling out of my garage lately!