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?