Friday, February 29, 2008


I get to find out exactly how out of shape I am

I get to regret not being able to ride all week in the sun, but enjoy riding in the rain

I get to race for the first time with my new team

And last but certainly not least I get to drown my sorrows in cold beer and cured meats.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rise of the Machines?

I'm not making this up, the UK in the process of upgrading their military satellites with £3.6bn project called "Skynet."

I for one, am not looking forward to being shot by some self aware robot. Thanks a lot UK. You were already in the doghouse for warm beer, Cockney accents, and the extra "i" you ruin the word aluminum with, but bringing about the extermination of the human race at the hands of hordes of evil robots with glowing red eyes is just plain mean.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Disclaimer: I actually wrote this on the flight home from LA, but haven’t gotten around to posting it until now because I’m a worthless sack of flesh.

Not only have I not updated my blog in ages but it has been forever since I did an installment of “by the numbers.” Both errors that I intend to correct now.

National Track Championships by the Numbers.

Number of Marymoor representatives: 9
Number of medals won: One (bronze)
Seconds away from silver: <1
Percentage of pros on the gold and silver squads: 100
Percentage of pros on our team pursuit squad: 25
Percentage of pros that got dropped in our team pursuit: 100
Number of hours spent in horrendous pain from food poisoning: ~12
Months until I will want to eat sushi again: undefined
Number of times I crashed in the Madison: 1
Number of laps completed before crashing: 0.25
Ratio of my speed:traction speed through banking while crashing: <1
% of last year’s Madison championship team that I took out: 50
Level of chagrin on scale of 1-10: 13

Enough by the numbers. How about a little game I like to call highlight lowlight

Highlight: Getting to race on the only indoor track in the states. It’s smooth, it’s wood, it’s beautiful, it’s an amazing track.
Lowlight: It’s in LA. I officially hate LA. Within our first 24 hours in LA we noticed the following. Numerous (lost count) ads for “breast augs” and other plastic surgery on the radio, the ability to drive for two hours in search of food and find nothing but 24 hour Donuts, $0.99 stores, nasty tacos, and fast food hamburgers. Finally we found an Asian restaurant of some indeterminate variety and when as we were going in the following conversation took place.

Guy standing outside putting on makeup (GSOPOM):
You’re here for….

Me: …Food?

(GSOPOM): …The movie

Me: No…just food

(GSOPOM): We’re shooting a movie, would you like to be in the movie?

Me: We don’t want to be in a movie we want food (it’s9:30 at this point and Wes and I are very hungry)

(GSOPOM): You don’t want to be in a movie (look of total lack of understanding shining through layers of foundation and highlights)

(backs away slowly and ends up having a cheeseburger at In N Out.

Ok, no more highlight lowlight, how about highlight, high-ER light
Highlight: Track racing is over and Wes, Jen, Kenny, and Heidi and I are all out getting drunk on cheap beer, foosball, Pacman, and flip cup with a bunch of college kids.
High-ER light: Drunk Kenny drunk dialing Friedman. It went a little something like this

Drunk Kenny (DK):
MIKE! How you doin?

Man I Krashed Earlier (MIKE): mmm….mm.m….mmm (I can’t actually hear what he says)

DK: You’re in bed?!? Are you touching yourself? Stop touching yourself, get out here and drink

MIKE: … long pause …

DK: …Mike…you there?

MIKE: mmmm….mmmmm….mmmmm…..

Yeah, my madison partner says he’s sorry that he crashed you out.

That's it for now, maybe I'll update this again before 6 months go by.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The quick update, I am in Minneapolis racing with Kelley Benefit Strategies/Medifast. How I ended up here is a bit convoluted, so I'm just not going to say that it all worked out well.

**Wednesday Evening, June 20th**

It's just after the first stage and we're back in the loft drinking high life listening to the latest album by the Blue Scholars, waiting our respective turn to take a shower in the European style bathtub. You know the kind...the one that is 3 feet long by two feet wide and you have to bathe yourself while sitting cross legged Indian style. The topic of conversation moves quickly away from racing and towards...fake breasts. I'm not entirely certain how we got here, but it may have something to do with the fact that two doors down from our loft is "Sinners" and just beyond that lies "Sex World." Regardless, our soigneur Larry offers Johnny 10 million dollars if he will get a set of implants for a year, one B cup, and one DD. This is of course contingent upon Larry winning the Powerball, but slight details like that are ignored. Those who don't have to race tomorrow (and Johnny) are on the way out to the bars, and I am hitting the sack.

**Thursday morning**

My results for the first stage were far from impressive. I'm not happy with them, but I'm not unhappy either. I was middle of the pack for most all of the race. I had a brief bit of excitement when 20 minutes into the race I came down on my saddle hard tilting the nose down at a ~45 degree angle. I had to ride that way for 15 minutes until I got stuck behind a crash and was able to stop by the pit and get it fixed. I spent the rest of the race similarly middle to trailing edge of the pack until about 5 to go when there was a crash in front of me that split the front group off. I'm guessing I finished about 30 seconds down, but can't say for certain. Considering crits aren't my strongest discipline and this one had some turns described as "barely legal" I'm OK with how it turned out. I'm just glad that it didn't rain. It was threatening throughout, and we had plenty of crashes even though it was bone dry.

Today is the first road race. It's known for brutal cross winds that shatter the field. Last year it blew up 8 miles in and never came back together. I'm going to try to get up front and do what I can to get my wind blocking butt in a favorable position for my teammates. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

As Andrew pointed out it is the one year anniversary of my blog's coma. Seems like as good a day as any to update the tired thing. I'm not sure anyone even checks anymore, but given that I'm currently struggling not to scream at the "all representatives are currently busy voice" that I've heard ~ 15 times thus far, I haven't got much better to do. I'm in the middle of canceling my non-refundable ticket to Nature Valley after that plan completely collapsed. Bummer, but shit happens. On the bright side my ticket was non-refundable and now I'll get to be in town for the meeting on the 20th that I was eager to be absent for.


What's new...I'm worthless at updating my blog, my end of April slump showed up despite best efforts and intentions (as evidenced by lackluster performances at Walla Walla, longbranch, and Enumclaw), but on the bright side, Paris Hilton is in jail (I wish that I could say that I was ignoring it completely, but I'm not-so-secretly enjoying it).

Sweet sweet tears

I didn't race Ballard because I'm a big fat rain weeny when it comes to crits. Instead I sat on the sidelines, drank beer, and heckled people. Actually the only person that I really heckled was Harry, one of our cat threes, but it was fun. The weekend before was Ravensdale and we had what I'm convinced has been Wines' best team performance since I joined. It was the 9th race in the 10 race series that is the Washington Cup. Since I was in the leaders jersey and Tubbs was in second there was very little chance that HB would let a break with me get anywhere so I mostly sat in for the race while my teammates covered the breaks (normally my job to try and make the break). An early move went with Campbell, Hone, and Ian Mensher. It seemed like a long way to go for only three guys so I wasn't too worried. They came back not too far into the race. The next notable move was started by Nathan (have fun on the East Coast, deserter) Schneipp bridged up to him, then a couple more groups bridged up with Andrew sitting on one of them. Soon there was a group of 8 up the road with two BRI, two Garage, two HB, and Two Wines guys. With no one putting in a concerted chase effort the gap continued to grow until the finish. Andrew won from the break and Jason took third. Ian Mensher (who was in the first break as well) took second after spending pretty much the entire race off the front. I took the field sprint for 8th and clinched the Washington Cup (by my calculations...I don't have official word, but I think that I have more than 100 points on 2nd with one race to go).

I was really glad to see Andrew get his first win, Tubbs called Andrew as the winner with one lap to go when we were talking about who was in the break. Too bad he couldn't zip up his Jersey for Amara.

Zip up your jersey, dork

I like the course out there but if you are paying $30 per person for a race then I would expect more than $60 and a piece of donated Microsoft software for first place. Joe Holmes charges $30 for Blackberry but hands out $5,000 for the pro 1/2's at Blackberry. None of us are doing it for the money, but that's just getting a bit silly. Heck I won $60 at the track the other day, it was $15 entry, and I didn't even win (I'm not particularly good at the track just yet...working on it though). Done with my mini-rant.

Well I'm done with the Northwest Airlines refund hotline, and as I suspected, no refund for my ticket just credit towards a future ticket purchase minus a $50-$100 gouging...oops, I mean service charge.

Just got another call as I was typing that sentance, it looks like while the original plans fell through, I might be guest riding with Priority Health. I don't know what is going on, I'm dizzy. I'll post again when I figure out wtf I am doing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I raced like butt this weekend. Not only did I race like butt, but I raced like dumb-ass, sub-normal donkey butt. Racing poorly is one thing but making stupid errors, that just aint right. Saturday was TST and I was the entire WOW contingent. I didn't make it with the lead group of 12 or so over the KOM hill, but they weren't too far ahead. Over the next hill and the rollers that followed I was chasing or attacking with some help chasing from Galen. Everyone else had a man up in the break so was sitting. Finally I managed to attack up the side and get off without towing the entire pack of ~25 riders behind me, and I bridged up to the lead group of 12. That was no easy task as two riders had attacked from that group so they were trying to get away and the remaining 10 were chasing. The fact that I managed to bridge up to the lead group is nice and all but here is where my sub-normal donkey IQ came into play. I thought that we were on the part of the race where it was mostly rollers and descent to the finish, but about 10 meters after I caught the lead pack we turned and headed up Dewatto (sp?), the final climb. I had completely biffed my location on the course and as soon as I saw that hill I knew my race was over. I had dug a pretty big hole for myself bridging up to the lead group and had nothing left to get up the hill. The lead group walked away, then the pack behind caught me and rolled right on through.


I'm done pulling, want a turn?

Sunday was the Seward Spring opener (crit). Early on my legs were a little heavy, but I made a couple moves, followed a few more, but nothing that developed. Halfway through the race I saw Chad Nichols getting ready to attack up the hill so I jumped on his wheel and we went flying up the hill. Coming around the hairpin at the top of the hill I started pedaling too soon and clipped a pedal. I'm not 100% certain what went down after that (other than me that is). I skitched and it felt like I was going to hold it up for a split second but then no way, I was down. Next thing I know, I'm on the ground and someone is rolling over the top of me (Joe Holmes I believe). I get up and my tire has rolled off of the rim, and though I didn't notice it until after the race, I had cracked the rim in two places as well. Completely my fault and completely avoidable. Many apologies to Joe for attempting to break his elbow for a third time. I heard someone say that he was well but I didn't hear it from his mouth. Hope that it's true.

Walla Walla will be better next weekend, but it will have to be better without a rear race wheel.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Tell me why...
I don't like Mondays. Actually on second thought, I'll tell you. I didn't get to race this weekend because I promised I wouldn't race Boat Street if it rained. Now I'm all pissed off that I made that promise because I HATE NOT RACING!!!

In addition to being mad at myself for not racing, I can't find my ipod so I have no music on my commute, the first two busses that went by this morning had full bike racks, so I had to wait, when I finally did get to work I realized I forgot to pack a shirt, it's going to be a bitch of a head wind on the way home, and the work is piling up about 10 times faster than it is getting done.

Fortunately I do keep a spare shirt in my locker just in case I forget to bring one in (like I did today), unfortunately it is the free 787 Hawaiian shirt that the company gave out to a bunch of people. It's somewhat hideous and absurdly huge. I know that I'm fat for a bike racer, but fat for a bike racer is emaciated for a desk-jockey engineer, and these shirts are sized for desk-jockeys. It's like a damn moo-moo.

I don't like moo-moos, and even if I did like wearing them, I would expect to have some kind of beverage that has lots of alcohol, big chunks of fruit and a little umbrella while I was wearing them.

Stay tuned for an announcement on my birthday party later this month. You're invited.

Monday, April 02, 2007

This weekend can be summed up by saying I had decent results in somewhat dull races.

Saturday was the North Shore Circuit race put on by Western. There weren't many people interested in getting up in time for an 8:00 AM start, so we were left with a field of 30-ish starters. The course was an 8 mile loop with a decent sized uphill on the front side, and one on the back. On the first lap we were neutral up the front side, but on the backside hill Tom Peterson, Nathan Smith and Lang Reynolds attacked. They built a gap that looked to be growing so when we came back to the hill on the front side I bridged up. Saying "I bridged up" is a lot easier than the actual bridging, then when I got up there I looked around and noticed that each of them was probably 50-55 pounds lighter than me. That was my first indication that it wasn't going to be a fun day for me. A couple of laps later Lang flatted. We started to wait for him because we had a follow car but the follow car quickly cam zooming up to us with no Lang in tow and informed us that they had no wheels with them. Ooops.

Apparently the pack never really mounted a chase effort because the three of us proceeded to put about a minute/lap into the field. At the base of the backside climb, halfway through lap six our follow car zoomed up to tell us that we had six to six and a half minutes on the pack when Peterson attacked. I had been on the front and just pulling off so it hurt a lot to accelerate up to him on the climb. I caught him and Nathan just over the crest and sat in for most of the descent. I knew that the skinny kids were going to keep picking on fatty and figured I may as well sit in and last as long as I could. Nathan attacked near the bottom of the front side hill and Tom let him go. I say "Tom let him go" because he had a choice in the matter, me...not-so-much. Besides Tom knew what I knew which was that he could wait for Nathan to build up a gap then drop me on the climb and bridge up to Nathan and that's exactly what happened. At this point I had 6 and a half minutes on the field a power meter and two laps to go. I figured stick it at threshold and I should be able to TT into the finish just fine. I did that for half a lap when the follow car dropped back to me at the base of the backside climb and told me that they had shortened the race by a lap so I had half a lap to go instead of a lap and a half. I was in no position to complain. I had seen that Tom dropped Nathan on the backside climb but was too far back to put up any kind of chase with half a lap and both climbs to go. I took the remainder pretty easy figuring I wasn't going to catch Nathan or Tom and the pack wasn't going to catch me. That's how it turned out, Peterson 1st, Nathan 2nd, and me 3rd. Lang obviously managed to get a wheel and chase back on because he finished fourth with Michael Murdin right on his heels for fifth. The two of them had a good gap on the field sprint which got bungled courtesy of the race promoter who pulled his car into the final 200 meters not 15 seconds before the field sprint. Glad to see that college education in action. Everyone managed to sprint around it no harm done, but still.

Second most entertaining moment of the day (the first being the above mentioned race promoter field sprint debacle) was when the 4/5's came around after the first lap and one of them repeatedly yells "I need a Heed Bottle, I NEED A HEED BOTTLE."

How exactly do you need a feed in a 40 mile race and expect to get it in the section where everyone is going 35 mph downhill?

No matter.

Sunday was the third and final in the Tour de Dung series. I went into it with the series lead and I wanted to leave with the series lead. Early on Peterson attacks and dangles for a bit waiting for someone to bridge up. Tubbs actually came up to me and said what do you say we just let him go? I said, "fine by me." So my guys didn't chase, his guys didn't chase, nobody chased. We went really slow. It was pretty boring. It would have been more interesting with more teams, but we had minimal numbers from Axley and First Rate, no one from Garage (they had to run the race and were short on volunteers), Zoka, or The Valley, and less Hagens Berman guys than I'm used to seeing. Of the ones that did show up, there were three guys that I wasn't going to let get up the road without me (Jake McArthur, Lang Reynolds, and Ian Tubbs), and they weren't going to let me get up the road without them. I tried several times, they tried several times, but for the most part we just plodded along. There were a fair number of attacks from individuals that weren't a threat to the overall, and Lang in particular did a lot of chasing in the last lap or so to bring them back (where's the Axley support for Mr. Boots?). In the end Peterson won by something absurd (15 minutes plus or minus) John O'donnell went off the front for second and Higgy off the front for third. I took the field sprint for fourth on the day and first place in the overall.

Earlier in the day our Morgan on or Cat 4 women's team took their race, my race bike from last year won the cat 4/5 race (I suppose that Geoff Casey did a pretty good job riding it...) and Suz Weldon won the women's 1/2/3 race.

Friday, March 30, 2007


That was for Martha.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here is the short version:



Before I get into the details, lets go over the stupid shit that I managed to do this weekend.

  1. Back to back 60 mile breakaways
  2. Celebrating Saturdays win by going to the sketchiest bar in the area
  3. Taking a bottle with me on Sunday that had been mixed a week and a half ago and had grown sea monkeys
  4. Drinking said bottle
  5. Getting all excited about my new PT SL hub that I had laced into my Zipp and then installing a harness that doesn't work

Saturday was pretty miserable weather, but being a big fatass horrible weather tends to be comparatively good to me, so I can't complain. The course was four laps with one decent size hill and one about half that. After the neutral rollout we went into the false flat through the finish and up the first hill. Lang Reynolds set a strong tempo up it but there weren't any attacks until we hit the rolling flats down the backside of the climb. There they started launching fairly regularly, but a group of four with Kyle Valenta (CMG in Oregon) Mick Walsh, Rich McClung, and Shawn Ongers (I think) made it off somewhere on the back stretch. Nothing too exciting happened over the smaller hill, and we finished up the first lap with The Garage doing some good chasing. Coming into the false flat a little over a K to the start of the second lap the pack slowed down with Andy Luhn hanging off the front. I jumped up to him and we started rotating through. Going through the finish line the officials said the break had 40 seconds on us.
The Break
As I came around the corner at the bottom of this picture I thought I saw the last wheel going around the corner they are on now. So when I got to the hill I drilled it.
The Bridge
It would have been nice to see how many watts it takes to push that belly up the hill, but like I said, I had installed a harness that didn't work. Speaking of that belly, Hey Pruitt, can I reserve a LARGE jersey for next time? I got a medium at Market Street, and all that was left at independence valley was a small. As Andrew would say "It jiggles." You should have seen Pat Stanko's face on the ferry ride home after Sequim when I demonstrated my girth by busting the stomach out. It was equal parts abject terror and unequivocal glee. I didn't know such a combination was
possible, but he managed to pull it off.

I lumbered to the top of the hill and caught the break just over the crest (they held up at the top when it became obvious I was going to make it). The five of us started working together but we lost Shawn in the rollers on the backside of the course. Coming into the second Hill Mick was looking pretty gassed and had been sitting on for a couple of miles, he popped off on the climb. I would say that I hate to see Mick get flicked, but then I remember what he did to me in Wenatchee last year and I stop feeling bad. The rest of the day Kyle, Rich and I worked together and for the most part stayed out of sight of the pack. There was one wide open stretch of farmland on the backside where we could see the lights of the peloton behind us before we ducked back into the trees, but that was the only section where I saw chasers. The only notable event was when we passed a guy walking four of his dogs and they tried to eat Rich. He was sitting in third at the time and they gave us all a good little scare. Kyle and I managed to roll through it without slowing down much, but Rich got a little stuck. He made it out unscathed and we were waiting safely up the road for him. On the last lap with maybe two miles to go Rich curses a little and says he's got a flat. We didn't have a follow car so he had no chance of getting a wheel change which really sucked because he definitely deserved a sprint finish for all the work he had put in. Instead he just rolled in the last two miles on the rim and still managed to stay ahead of the chasers. What a beast.
The Break
Kyle and I rolled into the last couple of K at a pretty easy pace without any messing about or cat and mouse until a K to go. There we kept it fairly even or a little staggered until the 200 meter sign (which looked a lot more like 120 meters, but whatever). I jumped maybe 20 meters after the 200 to go and came across in first.

In the women's race Tricia Bailey and Sirikit Valentin came in first and third respectively, and Todd Bandy won the Masters A/B race. Go Wines of Washington.
It was particularly special for me to win a race that supports the Multiple Sclerosis Society given that both my mom and my aunt have MS. So many thanks to Group Health and Erik Anderson for putting on a great race that supports a great cause.

That night it was off to Leny's Tavern where my friend Mike was celebrating his birthday with 30 or 40 of his closest buddies. Truly impressive/frightening statistic of the night. They put in a thirteen hour shift and closed the bar down. There was some big time intoxication going down. I managed to get away with only 3 beers and a shot of tequila which, believe me, is getting away easy with this group.

Sunday was Tour de Dung number 2 and after one lap I was once again was in a break with 60 miles to go. It started off with three Hagens Berman riders, Rob Campbell, Nathan, Higgie, and myself. For the first lap or two Campbell was doing the Campbell in a break thing. I would explain what that is, but if you've been in a break with him before you already know, and if you haven't...well I'd hate to ruin the surprise. Two of the HB boys flatted out leaving Pat Stanko as the sole HB representative in the break and Nathan broke a spoke. Why he broke a spoke I can't imagine, I thought heavyweights were supposed to break spokes, not the lightweights. You been eating too many Krispy Kremes Nathan? After that we were done with the stupid mechanicals, I wish they hadn't happened, but that's how it goes I suppose. We had as much as 2:30 on the field and as little as 1:00 with two to go, but we managed to almost stay away the whole day.

I say almost because with 3 or 4 k to go a group of three including Kenny, Lang, and a guy named Jake McArthur who I don't know but who is now sitting second in the Tour de Dung standings, bridged across to us. As soon as they caught us Kenny and Rob started barking at each other while Lang kept on rolling and turned it into an attack. With Rob and Kenny just sitting on the back we stopped chasing and Lang opened up a gap. Finally they agreed to pull through and with one rotation we brought it down to a gap of maybe 50 meters. Then they stopped pulling through again. This is where sprinters completely baffle me. Both of them have engines plenty big enough to have pulled through one more time and had they done so, I'm certain we would have caught Lang, but they would rather stare at each other and watch first place roll away. As someone who is far more likely to win in a break than in a field sprint I guess I can only say cheers to that, and good move Lang.
The three that bridged took first through third while I trickled in for fourth. It was extra painfull. I had been done with 2 laps to go REALLY done with one to go and completly fried with 200 meters to go. Ugggh.

All around a good weekend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ack, work is crazy, no time for a full report so y'all get stuck with the dinky version this week. Mason on Saturday was wet and poorly attended. There was an unrealized attempt to make it "Work for Mick" (St Paddie's) day, but no one told Mick and he dropped back to pace one of his teammates back onto the pack. So we never really put the plan into action. Sorry OAD, but the thought was there. I was all kinds of disaster that race, I forgot food, one of my bottles, and my shoes. I had to borrow shoes and cleats from Michael Klisch (One of our Cat 3's with big feet), and a pedal wrench and 8mm hex wrench from Amara's dad because of course the Dura Ace pedals I normally use won't accept a pedal wrench, and the Campy ones that I borrowed won't accept a hex wrench. Can't we all just get along?

The Michael squared break got away pretty early (Emde & Murdin) and stayed out for almost the whole race. I flatted just before the last lap and called it a day. Then I went to my little sister's 14th birthday party and watched her and her friends try to tie maraschino cherry stems into knots with their tongues. My dad, my step mom and I made quick work of a couple bottles of wine.

Sunday: Market street/Ravensdale. Round three of the Washington cup. I like the course though I would have liked it more dry. There were a few good moves through the race but nothing that stuck.

There was a bit of entertainment between The Axley and HB squads when Pruitt was off the front with Higgins. Not certain what was going on but it looked like one of the HB guys was getting mad at one of the Axley boys cause they were disrupting HB's chase effort. I didn't hear the entire encounter but I saw HB grab onto Axley's jersey, force him to the left and then he stopped pedaling so that Axley was in effect pushing him up the hill that we were on. I didn't hear or see the whole encounter, I just moved to the right in case they decided to literally throw down.

I attacked halfway through the last lap but got caught just at the 1k to go sign. I think it might have ended up different of I had had someone else with me, but who knows. I know that the pack was working hard to catch me so I suppose that's a small consolation. I managed to give one last surge in order to hang in there for 7th. That one hurt. I heard my move described as both ballsy, and stupid. Each seems reasonably accurate.

I'm still hanging onto the Washington cup Jersey by the thinnest of thin margins, 5 points over Darth Tubbs and 15 over Mr. Campbell. Looks like it could end up being an interesting series. It also looks like I'm going to have to learn how to sprint if I want any chance of taking the cup home. Unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Oh yeah, .nathan. called me fat in the parking lot. I couldn't argue with him.

P.S. Hey Ross; the video at the finish line had your numbers obstructed by one of the riders from the masters field that we sprinted into but I made sure that they had you correctly placed. 1 down, 29 to go.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's frickin Wednesday and I still haven't got anything posted on Mason number two and Tour de Dung number one. I'm lame, but I'm going to blame Boeing.

Pruitt's prediction of a cold and wet Mason Lake was a week early. We got the nasty weather this time around. The first excitement of the day came when Pruitt attacked the neutral rollout. I'm not certain if he was trying to stay warm, channeling the spirit of Johnny "but I was just following the lead car" Sundt or if the concept of neutral rollout just eludes him. Whatever the reason he distributes fine eyewear and he gave me a tee-shirt so I'm willing to forgive all wrongdoings, even Ronde-Ohop.

Not long into the race a break of nine formed with Tom Peterson (Team Argyle), Ross Spero (Hagens Berman), Ben Rhodes (Recycled), Michael Emde (Axley), I thought his name is Nick but I can't remember (# 25 from First Rate), and myself. We were cruising pretty well until about halfway through the race when I flatted my rear tire. Our gap at the time was about 2:30 and the wheel car was behind the pack. So I sat back, had a few sips of water, ate a cliff bar, had some more water, fiddled with my helmet, and after what seemed like a lot longer than two and a half minutes got the follow car to stop and give me a wheel. Then I had to chase back onto the pack which took a good little while as the wheel change while greatly appreciated was less than speedy. So I chased back on (with the help of my team who dropped back to help pace me up), was in the pack for a while, then bridged up to Galen (Recycled) and Shawn (Axley). Once I caught up with them we chased down the second half of the original break that I was in. Apparently not long after I flatted Peterson drilled it and shredded the break. Emde later told me that his HR never fell below 180 after Tom got on the front. The first half was waaaaaaay out in front of us. Long story short, after lots and lots of chasing all day long my group got caught. The leaders finished an eon in front of us, but a small group of three including Jason from my team got off the front with 3 or 4 miles to go. I was covering people that were trying to bridge up, and the three of them stayed away. When it came to the field sprint for 8th or 9th, I tried to go but my legs just laughed at me as Tubbs walked away. I had chased or been in the break almost the entire day and was pretty darn cooked.


Heading out there was interesting. A touch windy would be a huge understatement. In fact Joe almost had quite the incident crossing the hood canal bridge. The crosswind was so strong that half his fork popped out of the tray. Fortunately it didn't fly off and they were able to pull over and fix it. Thankfully the course itself was substantially less windy and even had some sun peeking through at points. Three cheers for the rain shadow.

Shortly into the race Ben from Recycled and Mike Hone from HB formed a break. Ben is strong, and Mike will bury himself to make a move work, but Ben was in the break all day Saturday, and a two man break is very hard to make work over a course as flat and windy as Sequim. There were quite a few attempts to bridge up to the break, but the pack didn't seem very interested in letting anything go. I tried once early on but quickly realized that after chasing all day Saturday I was going to have to budget my efforts at Sequim. So for the first half of the race I mostly sat in. The pack would surge a lot sometimes getting very close to catching the break, and then slowing down enough for them to build up a good gap again. Halfway through the race there was an Axley rider that looked like he was going to make the bridge work, and I saw a decent opportunity to jump up to him and join the break. I got away from the pack but not without Nick Clayville from HB. I caught up to the Axley rider with Nick in tow (he had Mike up the road and no reason to pull through yet). Just before we caught Mike and Ben, Mike blew up fairly spectacularly. He had been in the break a good long time, probably saw Nick and sat up. Ben was with us for about a lap but eventually he dropped off as well. I was pretty happy with the break, The Axley guy (whose name I forgot because I suck) was plenty strong, and Nick is a horse. I remember a very impressive win that he had at Market Street last year. He was in a four man break for a long time, and then he was solo for (I think) the entire final lap. With two to go we had a solid minute and a half gap, but when Ben dropped back to the pack they started turning the screws. I hear that Peterson was rallying the troops and even got Zoka (who had all of two people in the race) to get up to the front and take pulls. They brought the gap down by a minute in one lap and caught us a little over half way through the last lap. Attacks started going as soon as they caught us, but none got very far that close to the finish. Michael Murdin had a move that was looking pretty dangerous with a mile or two to go, but he got reeled in somewhere in the final 1000 meters.
Sprinting for the line

I lined up behind Joe and Chad from my team more than a little worried that my legs would pull the same stunt they had at mason. Fortunately they didn't, I got a lead out that left me less than 100 meters to sprint (good given that I didn't have a lot of juice left) and I managed to cross the line first. I didn't realize that we had caught Murdin, so at first I didn't realize I had won.
Sprinting for the line
In another brilliant maneuver I didn't know that I had more than a bike length on second and busted out the wholly unnecessary bike throw for the line.

I get a nice round D- for situational awareness on that one.

Sunday was a great day for our entire team. One of our cat 5's, Mike Schwindeller (whose last name is almost as prone to getting mangled as my own), won the 4/5 race. Mark Hinman, who upgraded from 4 to 3 last year, won his first race as a three, and Amy Schmid picked up her first win as a cat 3 in the womens 123 race. Way to go Wines of Washington.

For more photos including Mark's win check out Fred Soo's photography.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Flames everywhere.

Flames on the new bikes, flames on last week's post, the world is engulfed. If you haven't been keeping up to date on my blog (like me) here's the quick rundown. Anonymous doesn't like me.

Or in his own words

"I've never raced against you until this wknd - I'm not impressed. In the closing efforts of Mason 1, one of your mates yelled "All you Jamie!" (or something of the sort) as a prompt for you to throw down a solo effort as you left the pack in your wake - for 4th place mind you. Were you disappointed when you had your d*ck knocked in the dirt *after* you looked at me, said "Oh. Hey, I guess that's me." and then tried to "take off"? Dude please, we ate you up like a stack of hotcakes. Sure, you're trying *not* to come into the season hot, but don't mouth off like you're some crazy superstar. Just shut your cakehole, ride your bike and stop being a punkass. Flames on the frames? Pah-lease."

How can I sleep at night knowing that anonymous doesn't like me? Well to be fair, I just found out this morning so I haven't had a chance for it to disturb my sleep yet. I guess I don't read my blog very often so I tend to get behind on the comments.

Now I know so time to catch up. Russell Cree was kind enough to rush to my defense/deflect the blame to Michael Pruitt. Now I know that a major thesis statement of last week's post was
Michael Pruitt = Source of all evil
but upon further reflection, that may have been ever so slightly exaggerated. That and I'm sorry to say, but Anonymous is on your team Russell. Towards the end of the last lap (maybe two miles to go) I was up towards the front with a whole mob of Hagens Berman riders, Anonymous included. We were hangin' out, havin' a good time on the front so I introduced myself. I figure I know most of the HB guys, but not this one, I might as well get his name. Then I promptly forgot it. Anonymous shouldn't feel bad that I forgot his name, it usually takes me a few tries to remember someone's name unless they are

a.) female and
b.) hot

Don't be upset anonymous, It's not you, it's me.

We've established that I can't remember his name...not Ian, not Anton, not Adrian, not Alfredo, not Todd, not Sam (who is a much better draft than Todd), whatever. It doesn't particularly matter. But as I was saying, I'm in the unwise position of the front of the pack with a couple miles to go, I've just introduced myself to Anonymous and one of my teammates behind the mob of HB riders is yelling for me to go. This is when I roll my eyes and in the most sarcastic, I'm not looking forward to this at all, voice that I can muster say "I guess that's me." Apparently either I need to work on my 'dripping with sarcasm' voice or anonymous needs to brush up on his English comprehension, because "I guess that's me" really doesn't qualify as "mouthing off like some crazy superstar."

As I was saying, I don't particularly relish the idea of a two mile lead out, and even if I did I wouldn't want to lead out the wrong team (mob of HB riders on my wheel). so I'm clunkin' along on the front trying to get off of the front but none of the HB boys are interested. My team is clamoring for us to pick up the pace when Ian McKissick goes blowing by on the left side. No reaction from the HB boys, so I jumped and chased after him figuring that if HB didn't seem to have any interest in letting me off of the front I could at least make them chase me instead of dragging them to the line. I did, they did, they caught me (as expected), the field sprint followed, and Wes from my team took 2nd (5th) wile Jason took 5th (8th). So we missed the break which is too bad, but had a decent field sprint. Big congrats to Lang for the win, he is looking strong this year.

Not so confidential to Anonymous;

like you said, you've never raced with me until this weekend. I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but it's difficult. Let me try to explain, you see it's Mason Lake. Sure, everyone is trying to win, but nobody really cares, and I'd rather chat with people than put on my angry man race face. Before I introduced myself to you I was talking with Anton about his engagement, I was chatting with Ian M about the ToC, I was chatting with Ian T about getting a PT SL laced into his Zipps (I'm totally doing it) I was chatting with Rob and Derrick about the (lack of) new Bob's Bicycle team kits, I was chatting with Harm about how his new Rubicon outfit makes him look like a pumpkin. I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that I talk a lot, and if you ask around you'll find that it's not trash talk, it's *just* talk. I like to get to know the people that I race with, to be friendly with them.

If that isn't sufficient reason to convince you not to flame my blog, I'll point this out. This blog was originally started as a way for my non-cycling friends and family to figure out what I do every weekend. In other words, my little brother and sister read this blog (she's still in middle school), my parents read this blog, my grandparents read this blog.

So next time that you want to talk about having my "d*ck knocked in the dirt" how about you do it to my face?

Monday, February 26, 2007

It's been a while since I've posted. Mostly cause I'm a lazy bastard, but also because...let's just leave it at I'm lazy. It's been a bunch of months since I last posted but everything is pretty much the same as it was then. If I'm not at work trying not to laugh at the latest proposed schedule then I'm on my bike. Racing has started again though and that has provided the impetus to jump start the blog.

Saturday I made the mistake of allowing Pruitt to talk me into doing Ronde Ohop. Don't let his 'I'm a nice friendly father of two sunglasses rep' exterior fool you. That man is responsible for all that is evil in the world. Ronde Ohop in particular. If I cut straight to the chase I got a rather unimpressive ninth out of twenty-odd starters. Now comes the part of the post where I make excuses for why I didn't win. Little known fact, but in addition to that 30 points required to upgrade from a cat 2 to a cat 1 thing, the only other requirement for becoming a cat one is that you solemnly swear to provide at least three excuses...pardon me three reasons, three explanations for why you didn't win any given race.

Without further ado,

1.) The sun was in my eyes.
2.) Kenny was there and his hair gives him magical powers.
3.) I got boxed in in the final sprint.

OK, there's my three, but given that it was cloudy and rainy all day, the sun in my eyes excuse doesn't hold much water. Also, Kenny wasn't there, and I don't think that any group had more than two finishers by the end, the whole boxed in at the sprint thing isn't going to fly either. On the bright side, I did have a few mechanicals. After lap three of 20 I couldn't get into my big ring, and I had to stop twice to fix my brakes (the first time after rolling straight through turn one despite having my levers pulled all the way to the bar). I know, I know, what kind of a sissy wants to slow down in a race; the idea is to go faster. Generally that's true but when turn one is at the end of a downhill and takes you through a big pile of gravel and mud it's a good idea to shed a little speed. After getting gapped off when I couldn't stop, I kinda lost my motivation a bit and just rolled the last half (that's bike racer lingo for I turned into a little bitch).

I thought that last season I peaked a bit early. I was doing well up through Walla Walla (late April), and then I wasn't able to put together any good results until the Lake Washington Velo series (late summer), and that was more luck than fitness anyway. The luck being Todd Herriott saying hey, you want to win this one? Let me drag you around the course for 8 laps and then lead you out into your pathetic slow motion sprint. I of course said that sounds nice, and then proceeded to suffer like a dog as he dragged my big butt around the course. This was compounded by the fact that my big butt is a solid foot above his little one so my lower calf got a nice draft but the rest of me was SOL. That and Todd puts out 500 watts before he starts to sweat.
Jamie fall down go boom
I also started racing the track which provided valuable entertainment to everyone in the stands

I've intentionally tried to avoid coming into the early season too hot again, and judging by Ohop I'm doing a fine job of going slow. We'll see how going from my 105 equipped, fully fendered rain bike that won't shift or stop on a bumpy muddy dirt trail to my brand spankin' new Dura Ace decked out Madone (sans fenders) on an actual road works out. I'm guessing I'll still be slower than I want to, but in theory I want to be slower than I want to right now.

That makes my head hurt.

And remember, Michael Pruitt is the source of all the evil in the world. Anton (the Pleasure) Jackson and Todd (the Punisher) Herriott realized this before I did and have started the pre-season with a bout of psychological warfare by emailing him with tales of how they are planning to crush his body and spirit this season. Pruitt counters by questioning what a man who garnered 12th place at the US Pro national championships last year is doing talking trash to a 36 year old father of two that trains two hours a week, and what a man who refers to himself as 'The Pleasure' is doing...wait--who refers to themselves as "The Pleasure?"


See you fools at Mason next week.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Saturday was the Ballard crit, and to my great joy the sun was shining and the weather was beautiful. After a morning of mudding up holes and cracks before I paint my soon to be new bedroom I rolled down to Ballard in time to catch the finish of the women's race. My teammate Trish won it which is pretty frickin awesome given that she just started racing this season, and already has her first win since upgrading just a few weeks back.

As for my race, I didn't do quite so well. I don't think that I raced a bad race, but I'm not at all confident that I raced a good race. Early on, maybe fifteen minutes in I put in a little attack off the front, but I was solo so there was no real hope of staying away. Fortunately, one lap into my little attack the prime bell rang and I was able to stay off the front to take that fairly easily. Unfortunately that was probably my highlight for the evening. I put in a few other attacks that didn't really go anywhere, chased back a break or two, and all around raced a little below my potential. In the last third of the race the flat backstretch was prone to a lot of surges making it substantially more difficult to just get up front and stay up front. Especially if (like me) you are a sissy in turn three and don't like bombing along the inside and then chopping people in the corner. With five minutes to go I had myself in pretty terrible position. I managed to get myself up into 10th or 15th position on the last lap just before turn one, but between turns one and two the pack caught Johnny Sundt who had been off the front and was going backwards fast. I ended up right behind him and hemmed in on both sides. I lost position and momentum and didn't have the time to make it up. Ooops.

Ended up 15th with energy to spare. Overall a decent effort, fun and all that, but I need to work on my positioning and willingness to take more risks through the corners.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Slow month for racing. I ditched out on Enumclaw (hence the no update), and the only racing I've done in the past couple of weeks has been last night (Tuesday) down at PR, and the monthly drunken midnight race around Greenlake.

The monthly drunken midnight race lived up to its name in all ways. I started the evening with critical mass followed by several hours of struggling heroically to remember my highschool French. My Uncle's girlfriend (French) had her family in town and they speak very little English, so between mouthfulls of fondue and wine I was doing my best to communicate. Either I didn't do too badly or I was a lot more drunk than I thought. Either way, after that I rolled over to my friends Riain and Heather's, house had a beer with them. It ended up being a very French evening as Heather had her friend from France visiting. At ten till midnight I hopped on the fixie and met up for the race. I wasn't intending on winning, but I saw that the prize for first was a bottle of Makers Mark. Can't say no to that.

Didn't do so hot in the track stand or ghost racing (running your bike to the start line and giving it a mighty shove to see whose bike rolls the farthest before crashing)competitions. Lee trashed me in the track stand, and I was second to last in the ghost race, but I still get to keep the trophy for the month and have a nice bottle of bourbon sitting at home. The next day Henry said "my girlfriend told me I was there last night but I've got no recollection." 'Bout sums it up...

Last night was point a lap down at Pacific Raceways. I had never done that one before, it's fun. We had some fast guys down there. Richter was there (congrats go out to him for landing a new contract after the Monex debacle--wishing him luck in Europe over the next couple of months), Hone had a couple of teammates this week in Tubbs and Pleasure Jackson, and there were a bunch of other fast dudes as well. I rounded up six points by taking three laps fairly early but then only managed one more second place for a total of seven. On the last lap Richter and a couple of guys attacked and I chased them down thinking that Dave had more points than he did. He had been up front for a lot of the laps, but I didn't realize that he was giving the sprints away. Any-who, I spent it reeling them back in and Mike...well I forget his last name, but Mike somebody (used to race for BRI, number 85 at PR) took the final sprint and three more points bringing his total from six to nine. Seven was good enough for second for the evening.

All in all a fun night. Unfortunately at the bottom of the track before the finishing stretch Ian Tubbs ended up doing some off roading... through the turn... on the sand... fast. Not a good combination. I heard him sliding out behind me and he managed to just about save it but his front wheel ran into someone's rear wheel as he came back onto the pavement. It looks like he got a nice big patch of road rash, but was otherwise OK. I hope that doesn't put a sour taste in his mout for PR (just remember to take that turn a touch wider next time).

I'm feeling recharged though maybe a touch over-rested (fat), but I'll get some hard workouts in over the next week and a half, maybe do an alleycat or two, then I'm looking forward to Ballard. My race starts at 7:30 PM on the 10th and it's a great one to watch. Do a good weather dance then come out and watch.

Friday, May 19, 2006

All right JERKS I'm updating my blog. You would think that I would get a little bit of slack given the whipping I just received and the ginormous pile of work that I still have sitting on my desk...err inbox. Stupid email.

So first a Gila wrap up. The TT had come pretty big hills and I did pretty crappy. I was hanging tough on the way out on the uphills but was just getting whored on the downhills. The gearing wasn't nearly enough and I'm not a real big fan of trying to TT on my road bike. Ian McKisick is really on form though, he got 10th overall in a pretty darn strong field. I got a lot slower than that.

Stage two I got popped pretty early on the final climb then I was in an echelon with a couple other guys when the dude in front of me slams on his breaks and violently swerves a foot and a half to his left (a gross overreaction to a gust of wind that nudged the dude in front of him slightly to the left) sticking his skewer into my front wheel and ripping the spokes out of the rim. I finished up the race on a new rim and rolled home.

Stage three didn't have any really big climbs, but enough good sized ones to put the hurt on. Especially when Toyota United got on the front and put everyone in the gutter. That sucked. I managed to get over everything with the main group and was up near the front as it turned onto the main highway (roughly three miles to go). From this point on strong cross winds, lots of attacks tough to hang in and move up. Owen Gue did a really good job of staying up front but I let myself fall back. With a mile to go a the whole field was single file and guttered. We were on the shoulder of the highway which was covered in debris and the Target Training guy in front of me hit a rather large chunk of wood, flatted, and went straight into the guard rail. He and his bike hit the rail hard then flew over it and hit the ground badly. I finished with the pack 7 seconds down on the leaders. Target Training broke his femur. Shitty. Gue finished top ten and Sam DNF'd after spending most of the day off the front solo. Brave effort for sure, but it killed him.

Stage four was the crit. The three remaining climber types (Owen, Andy, and Evan) were planning to let the crit roll pretty easy and sit in on the pack while J-mo and I knew that we didn't stand much of a chance going up the Gila monster on day five. I was in some attacks early that went nowhere, as was Owen. J-mo put in a couple, but none of us were in groups that stayed out long and no primes to show for it. With six laps to go I started working my way towards the front and made it up to the top 10 or 15 with about four laps to go but I stuck myself on the inside of turn three while I was trying to reintegrate into the pack. I wasn't getting let in then felt myself getting elbowed into the curb. I had to slam on the brakes just in time to see Wherry go around and another 80% of the field behind him. If you're going to get served may as well be by a national champion. After losing position I just finished in the back of the pack. Owen snagged another top ten which was good work on his part.

Stage five sent you up and over the "Gila Monster" (after 50 something miles), out to a turn around, and then back up and over but with another 30 or so miles to the finish. I was climbing with the pack until 2 miles from the summit when I cracked. Shortly thereafter our team car rolled by and my teammate J-mo (who had pulled off at the first feed zone) yelled "See you in the next feed zone?" I said yes, rolled there nice and easy, and abandoned.

In short I had a lot of fun learned a lot and got my ass thoroughly kicked. I am guessing that a climbing race at altitude in the desert isn't the best NRC event for a fat kid (comparatively) from sea level in the Northwest. Word.

Last weekend I went to the Washington state omnium out in Wenatchee. Did terribly in the TT and couldn't figure out why until I was taking off my rear wheel. My brake had been rubbing the entire time and I felt like a total choad. Ian McKissick won with a new course record and a very impressive time.

Going into the crit I was just angry. I knew that my GC hopes were down the tubes so I just wanted to try and be aggressive in the crit grab a few primes and come away with something. While Jason, Wes and I were warming up on our trainers right next to turn one this portly late thirties to early 40's woman walks up to me and in a voice that is half southern drawl, and half white trash says

"Mah friends dared me tuh pinch yer butt."

and with that she pinched it once then took her big ol' meat hook and full on grabbed it a second time and shuffle/ran/waddled away giggling. I was laughing hysterically, Jason was thanking the lord that it hadn't happened to him and Wes was wondering aloud why his butt hadn't been molested.

The race started and immediately Wes and someone else were off the front. They got a bit of a gap and Ian Tubbs went up to chase them down. I sat on his wheel then when we started to get close Dave rang the bell for a prime. I jumped from Ian's wheel at turn 4 and was able to take the prime and keep rolling it into an attack. I spent a few laps off by myself but the two Ian's (Tubbs and McKissick) bridged up to me. We built up a good gap, quickly but I was more interested in Primes than making the break work. I took my pulls when it was my turn but finishing position didn't really mean much to me so I wasn't selling it to try and make the break work. Long story short I got two or three more primes while the three of us were off the front before we were chased down by the pack (and when I say the pack I mean Kenny Williams for the most part). After we were caught I picked up a few more primes bringing my total to six of the first six primes. Not a bad percentage. After that there was no more glory for me. I hung in there and was reasonably aggressive for the rest of the race but didn't create an opportunity to contest the rest of the primes or a good finishing position. I took eighth and was happy walking away with $150 and some random merchandise (some recovery gunk, a hat, a cycling computer, a shirt, and an I.O.U. for a couple of tires).

In the road race...I didn't do so well. I've been typing for quite a while now and don't particularly want to go into it, but sufficed to say that with ~10 miles to go once I had gone over the big climb twice and was once again on the flats I cramped up so badly that I had to stop and get off the bike.

Not once,

not twice

but three times. I had enough liquid but I think I just lost too many salts and my body was not a happy camper. I promised Mick Walsh that he would make my blog for hauling my butt most of the way up the climb the second time (until I got dropped at the top), but I 'm too lazy to give a full account.

This coming weekend I'm doing Enum-scratch, but I'm not too optimistic. Not feeling the least bit fresh these days, but we shall see how it goes. I shall let you know (hopefully in a more timely manner).

Monday, May 01, 2006

As I write this I am sitting in a coffee shop sans internet connection so it won’t actually be posted until this is all old news. None the less, typing I am and typing I shall continue to do. The prologue is about an hour and forty five minutes from beginning. It’s 2.8 miles total starting in downtown Bisbee. When I say downtown you need to take that with a grain of salt. Apparently Bisbee was a mining town but the mine shut down in the 60’s. It’s up in the mountains a solid 5,000+ feet above sea level nestled in between some peaks. Apparently when the mine shut down people left en mass. Some hippies stumbled upon the town and bought up all the property dirt cheap. It’s a very cute little town.

But back to the cycling. From downtown we ascend through the town for a little under two miles. It isn’t terribly steep, but it’s definitely up. With about a mile to go the route leaves town and becomes decidedly steeper until it ends at the summit. Right now, and likely when we start, there is quite the nasty headwind the entire way up. Should make it interesting. I’m not sure how I’ll fare but my strategy is go hard for the first two thirds then go a lot harder for the last bit. Get to the top and fall over gasping.

So far we’ve had one adventure. On the way to the grocery store this morning we were pulling into the parking lot when suddenly there was a TT bike hanging off the side of the car. Due to space constraints I didn’t bring my TT bike so I was fairly confident that it wasn’t mine. From the back seat I hear Justin Morgan say “I guess I should have zip tied that.” No real harm done, but it was extra funny given that J-mo and Andrew Fischer had just been reassuring Andrew McDirmid that Broadmark cycling was held together by Zip ties and they had never lost a bike.

**Three hour time lapse**

Well we’re done with the prologue and at our host housing. Jeffrey (our team manager) and his girlfriend Laurie are cooking up what smells like a fantastic dinner which is very good news. It means that I can look forward to a good meal and try to forget about the prologue because the prologue sucked. I have no idea what the times are I just know mine wasn’t very good. I’ll find out how I did relative to the rest tomorrow. Yuck.

The host housing that we’re staying in is this great adobe style house just outside Bisbee. I haven’t met our host or her Great Dane yet, but apparently he has a habit of peeing on peoples beds and belongings. So far I’m very happy here, I’m just hoping to avoid waking up to a Great Dane Golden shower.

**Two day time lapse**

Well, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that I got my suck out of the way, the bad news is that I sucked. Prologue, as mentioned above, was relatively booty. Stage one wasn’t bad for the majority of the race. Andrew Fischer, Justin Morgan, and I were doing a good job of making every break. At the first sprint I led out my teammate to and we took second and third (time bonuses). Andrew made a break that we all did a good job of marking the chase groups. Then at the end I positioned myself stupidly behind a group of people that got gapped and I couldn’t close.

While I was warming up for the TT I flatted twice. I gave up on my disc and begged a training wheel off of one of the Velo Bela girls. My TT was unimpressive to say the least. Justin Morgan on the other hand put out a blazing time that was good enough for 3rd.

In the final stage we had a long descent then at the bottom a break went off. I moved up to try and bridge, but halfway there my front derailleur cable slipped and I was stuck in my small chain ring. Stuck in my small chain ring with ~80 miles to go. Just before the final climb I totally cracked. I had spent so much time and energy spinning my legs off trying to stay with the pack on the flats and downhill stretches that I was completely done. I DNF’d.

So that was at the same time the biggest race I have been to and the worst I have performed. I expect that there will be more competition at bigger races and I might not do as well, but I know I definitively underperformed. Some of it was bad luck, but some of it was just stupidity on my part. I am going to take that, learn from it, and do better at Gila.

The plan from here on out is three fold

Step one: Pull head out of ass
Step two: Get bike fixed
Step three: Do well at Gila

Steps one and two have theoretically been completed, but will have to wait until step three for confirmation on that. I’ll update when I can.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Looking forward to Walla Walla I had arranged everything. I had a carpool lined up, host housing lined up, the bikes were ready to go, I was all set. Except I forgot to register. It was three days past the deadline, the TT start times were posted andI was SOL. I tried calling Steve Rapp to get an exception (despite the web site clearly stating No late registrations. No day-of-race registrations. No exceptions.). Steve stuck to his guns and I was SOL with no-one to blame but myself.

I really hate that, it's so much more satisfying to blame someone else. As a last ditch effort I emailed Gina Kavesh and asked her to appeal to Steve on my behalf. She agreed to but By Thursday evening I hadn't heard anything. I was in an exceptionally bitter mood over my stupidity so after riding ~55 miles I raced Seward. I don't really plan on doing Seward much this year so I just went for the first couple of primes (got 'em) and tried to keep it together for a sprint finish (didn't manage that, Richter and someone got away to take first and second). Rode home that night with a stiff knee and blown legs from that and the prior weeks training. Next day at work I get an email me telling me I'm in for Walla Walla. I'm psyched that I get to race this weekend but further pissed for trashing my legs the night before.

That's OK but now I have to get ahold of Angelo to make sure that I've still got a ride, get a bunch of work off my desk, attend this SNAFU emergency meeting, then bike from Everett back home to Seattle and pack everything. Sweet.

Well it all got done one way or another and Saturday I was in Waitsburg warming up for the TT. My first run with my new (to me) disk wheel. The course was out and back 5.3 miles total. Slightly uphill on the way out with a light head wind and the opposite on the way back. I knew that the way back would be fast no matter what I did so I front ended the piece substantially. I had made a fake attempt to mess with Ian's TT. My teammate Angelo was Ian's 30 second man so I wrote "IAN pass me on the LEFT!" on his race number. I figured if Ian was laughing hard enough it might throw his game off.

At the turn around I was feeling pretty blown but the wind and the slight hill made a huge difference. After a few pedal strokes I was in the 55-11 and cruising. The legs were loaded but I was rolling and the finish line arrived quickly. It was a very solo effort as I was the last one off and my 30 second man (Russell Stevenson) never showed. I saw my minute man at the turnaround, but that was it. Finished with no idea how I had done then went and snagged some pancakes and eggs for breakfast. The funny thing was while I was eating I was chatting with Ian Tubbs and Andrew McDirmid about how good/bad the TT had felt and the three of us made up the top three. I thought that I had done mediocre at best given the way my legs felt but I won, just goes to show, never believe what your body is telling you. Your body lies--punish it.

The road race was another story altogether. Anton summed it up before the race when he rolled up to me and said "I don't envy your position at all." Yea...

The "neutral" rollout was defined as the lead car going 18 miles an hour up a 3k climb. I don't know what world 18mph uphill is neutral on but the leadcar just walked away from us. Well the lead car and Johnny Sundt. Classic Johnny just sitting on the bumper, he couldn't have gotten any closer if they had a roller on there. It was pretty funny. Over the top the lead car finally made Johnny wait (after the neutral rollout which seemed wrong, but whatever). Hone then put in his obligatory early attack. He was off for a while but it was all back together for the first real time up the finishing climb. There the wheels started to come off. Ian didn't make the initial group over the top as people were sprinting for the KOM points. I was working with Emde, Sundt, and Richter to try and hold him off, but Ian isn't the kind of guy that you drop on a fast downhill. He fought back on and when we got onto the backstretch the attacks started. They didn't stop until the race was over. On the last lap Ian and Emde got away and stayed away. The field was down to just over 10 people, at least three of them were Broadmark riders, I'm out of water, and cramping. Almost enough to make you want to curl up in a corner and die. Fortunately for me there are no corners in Eastern Washington, just lots of rolling hills, and I was too dehydrated and tired to curl up and die. On the final climb Sam Johnson went off the front while Anton and Andrew set a slower pace up front. My legs were seizing up and I didn't have the juice to go chase him. He finished 21 seconds ahead of me, fortunately I had 24 on him from the TT.

Heading into the crit Ian and Emde were untouchable in first and second respectively but I was a very vulnerable third. Fourth and Fifth place were Sam Johnson and Andrew Mcdirmid, 3 and 13 seconds behind me respectively. With two, two-second time bonus primes and 10, 5, and 3 second bonuses for first second and third anything was possible. Despite an inauspicious start (massive blowout on my rear wheel in lap two or three), I had a really good race. Before the crit Johnny had some really good advice for me. He told me to bring the fight to Broadmark, don't wait for them to do it to you. That strategy wouldn't have worked if it was only me doing it, but what was left of the other teams realized that if we all didn't work to put Broadmark on the defensive they were going to own us again like they did in the road race. In the crit I made a conscious effort to attack Broadmark just after they had reeled someone in, particularly when it was Andrew or Sam who had done the work. Johnny was right, everyone started keying in on it and Broadmark was suddenly on the defensive. Don't get me wrong, Broadmark had a good race with Anton collecting more primes than anyone else but they were definitely knocked onto their heels a bit and it felt good to see the tables turned. There were a couple of times late in the race were I let Broadmark put me in a bad position. I had won the first two second time bonus, just out-sprinting Sam for it and then turning that into an attack as I saw that he was pretty gassed from the effort and wanting to make him work to get back on. Fortunately enough the next time around they rang the bell for a $20 prime and I was able to stay off the front to collect that too. When the second time prime came around I was caught resting in the back when Sam managed to get off in a break of three without me noticing. Bad race awareness on my part. He took the time prime and the three were in danger of opening up a big gap. Two guys from the Garage were working on the front but they were getting tired and the gap was growing. I got Angelo to go up front and help out. He put in a blowout effort for half a lap and coming into the start finish stretch I made my move to bridge up. I managed to do so without pulling anyone along with me, but Broadmark quickly chased us down now that I was with the lead group. That was fine by me, I just wanted to make sure that every time that I was working they were too. No free rides.

The second time that I let myself get into trouble was at the end of the race (somewhere around 5 or 8 laps to go) when Andrew McDirmid, Johnny Sundt and a third rider were off the front. I made my move with four laps to go (again on the start finish stretch which now had not just a head wind, but a brutally strong head wind). Once again I was (through a fortuitous combination of luck and skill) able to get off solo. It took me an entire lap to bridge up to the break, but I made it. When I arrived people started to sit up and Johnny attacked. The third unknown rider said "I'm not working with that guy" and dropped back and I sat on Andrew's wheel as he chased Johnny down. With two to go it was Andrew, Johnny and myself. Andrew and I traded pulls and coming into the last lap Broadmark had finally started to chase us back in the main pack but we still had a pretty good gap. I was feeling pretty strong so I pulled most of the last lap not really caring if I got 1st, 2nd, or 3rd just so long as Sam didn't and Andrew didn't finish with a time gap on me. Coming into the last corner I had a little gap on Andrew so I started my sprint long and had a good gap on him coming into the final straight away with it's wicked head wind. Unwilling to blow it at the last second I kept the hands on the bar and waited until I was actually crossing the line for a victory salute.

Final GC standings were pretty much the way they were before the crit, but I walked away with my first crit win. Afterwards Johnny came up to me and said "Look at you, you just won a crit."

My response was (and is) yea...go figure.

WOO-HOO, I won!
As it turns out I was a little excited by my victory. Hence the yell.

So two stage wins and third GC. I would have obviously liked to do better in the GC, but given the caliber of the Broadmark riders coming after me in the road race and the limited support that I had that was about as good as I could have reasonably expected. Next week I'll be racing with some of those guys (as a guest rider on Broadmark's elite squad) down at Bisbee and Gila. It will be nice to work with them for a change.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday night at Pacific Raceways.

Tuesday night was the second PR this year, counterclockwise down the fire escape. I attacked from the start just like last week, but unlike last week it was just for fun. After staying away solo the entire time last week I didn't particularly expect them to let me go this time. Besides, the races are pretty short down there early in the year, may as well make sure that everyone gets a good workout. The pack did not disappoint. They chased me down in just under a lap. There were a bunch of attacks throughout the evening and I went with at least half of them, but nothing was sticking. For the first prime there was a lot of energy as the pack seemed pretty excited at the possibility of winning the Oh Boy Oberto polo shirt that was up for grabs. I went to lead out Joe and was laying down a really aggressive pace around the bend coming into the closing 200 meters with him on my wheel when I heard him yell "go for it." We had opened up a sizeable gap on the peloton and Joe let me take the prime since I had opened up the gap. For the second prime it was pretty similar to the first except replace Joe with Andrew and stick Richter on his wheel. As I was sprinting for the line trying to lead Andrew out, I hear Andrew telling me to go for it and see him drop off. I barely managed to hold off a charging Richter who didn't appear to immediately notice that Andrew had let a gap open. As we crossed the line he was a little pissed at us for our "tactics." I explained that I didn't think Andrew was sweeping and he was just gassed.

Unbeknownst to me the second prime also marked two laps to go and the next time around was the bell lap. I was sitting pretty far back but Byron pulled me up to the front with Joe on my wheel. Down the Fire Escape there was a recycled guy and a BRI guy off the front but Jon Ryan and got up to the front and put in a good pull to start reeling them in (after a little pushing with Johnny Sundt). We hit the climb 20-25 people back and finished it about ten people back. At the top Andrew came up and worked his way onto my wheel in front of Joe. With three or four hundred to go I started ramping it up passing the 5 or six guys left in front of me. I kept amping the pace up and Andrew was feeling a little gassed and didn't have the juice to come around me. Joe was waiting for Andrew to go and waited too long. Richter, who had jumped onto Joe's wheel as we rolled past, read it well jumping with ~75 meters to go. Joe jumped late only 50 meters from the line and Andrew and I rolled in for third and fourth respectively. I'm not certain who took fifth but they were a ways back from the front four. After the sprint I went up and congratulated Richter on the win and was happy to see that he agreed Andrew hadn't been sweeping in that second prime. Never good to walk away from a race with people pissed, especially a training race.

Overall a pretty good night, I was riding aggressive, took both primes and we took second, third, and fourth place. We should have walked away with the win too, but weren't firing on all cylinders. No big deal, it's PR and that's what it is for. Practice.

PR standings (I think)
Me in first with 11 points
Dave and Joe tied for second with 8
Andrew in third with 5
Pruit and whoever took fifth last night tied for fifth with 1