Monday, July 30, 2007


I had a good ride after work today. It was finally a nice day. No rain all day. Hallelujah! On the schedule for today was the "On Bike Strength" workout. Low HR, low RPM, big gear, etc. I actually really like doing this workout. I have always had a high RPM cadence. But the weird thing is while doing this workout I can maintain or exceed my normal speed and maintain a lower HR. However, I do feel the burn in my legs and that can only last for so long before I have to lighten the load. I think I will try to push a bigger gear at the next crit and see how it goes. I saw a few cool animals out in the fields today that I snapped pictures of.

Tomorrow I am off to Virginia for a few meetings and a bit of golf. I will be back Thursday evening. Have a good week.

The damn fence got is in the way, but I think this may be a Wildebeest.

I have no idea what this is. Cyclistrick?


Hot out today.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

What is it With Pick-up Trucks?

I took a solo ride today and have never gotten harrassed more in my life by rednecks. I had at least 5 separate hillbillies in their POS pick-up trucks yell something at me as I was riding down the road. Why is it always a pick-up? I usually never get harrassed. It could have been because I was wearing my Lone Star Beer jersey. Who knows, but it was exhausting because I was getting poured on at the same time. I would love to catch up with one of these motherfuckers at a stop light.

The Tour today was fabulous. Hats off to Levi for killing himself trying to land the yellow jersey. Hats off to Contador as well for doing what he had to to stay in yellow. It is all but in the books now.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Holy Deja Vu Batman

Today was race day. I was pumped up. It rained during the day but dried up a bit just as I was leaving work at 4pm to head to the track. When I pulled in to the track, the gates were locked. I pulled over behind a few other cars that were waiting to go through and looked up and saw the sky was getting blacker. Then it started to pour. FUCK! Someone showed up to open the gate and we went in and parked. I sat there and watched the track get totally soaked and covered in puddles. I walked over to registration and they said that the official would make the call as to cancel or not when they arrived. The offical arrived and didn't even get out of their car before calling the race off. This is the second Thursday race in a row where this has happened to me. It was a good call both times, but shit! I haven't raced since July 1. I am itching to go. Oh well.

I watched The Bug push his truck around the big circle of rooms in our house last night. He seemed to be pushing the truck faster than the norm and did not tire after his usual 2 laps and was able to maintain his speed for 3 laps. I suspect doping. He claims to be a clean sportsman.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who Gives a FU@K

Vino tests positive for a transfusion. That's great. Just fucking great. There are no more heroes, folks. I can't even get my mind around it at this point so I am done talking about it.

My new favorite show is - "Scott Baio is 45 and Single." I had no idea this guy was so cool (by cool I mean a dick). It is good for lots of laughs. You heard it here first.

I am racing this Thursday if the weather holds out. How is the weather today? Raining as usual. I feel like I am on Candid Camera and people laugh every time I go into a swearing fit because it is raining again.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Le (The) Tour

I was the first to count Michael Rasmussen (The Chicken) out. I stated that after the time trial, we would not hear from him again. I have to admit, I underestimated him. He dug deep today to ride the best time trial of his career. He is a minute up on 2nd place and the Tour is heading to the Pyrenees tomorrow. I honestly think that he has a good shot a riding into Paris in yellow. And speaking of inspirational, how about Vino throwing it down? I think he made two statements today: 1) That he isn't going to give up. 2) A statement to Kloden that he is the stud of Astana, like it or not.

I think we are going to see some controversy on Discovery with Contador in 3rd place. Should he still be expected to ride for Levi when he is clearly in better form in the mountains? Personally, I would like to see Contador be given the go-ahead by Discovery to ride his own race in the Pyrenees.

To me, this has been the best Tour in years. There have been some inspirational moments. How about the win by Juan Mauricio Soler from Barloworld in Stage 9? That dude won't be forgotten soon. How about Robbie McEwen weaving his way through the peleton after crashing and taking a convincing win in Stage 1? There has even been inspiration without victory. How about the break yesterday in Stage 12 by Fredrigo and Txurruka that got caught with 800m to go? Did you see Txurruka's face with 2km to go? He was in agony but still flogging it as hard as he could trying to stay away. I can't wait until tomorrow.

As for me, I had a pretty uneventful ride today and got rained on a bit. I went to Lowe's to get salt and bleach so I could recharge my water treatment system. Fun fun. I also went to the grocery to buy the new Power Bar nutrition "system." I figured I would give it a try since it is cheap compared to some of the others on the market which to me are SOOO overpriced. I have used the gels and bars before like everyone, but never the recovery drink. The Cytomax I was using did ok. It just tasted like shit. We shall see.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Today was my first day back on the bike in 8 days and my first day working out in 5 days. It felt about as expected - lousy. I think I am still going through detox from the abuse I put my body through in Nevada.

I looked at the plan today and it said "Hard Flat Intervals." Hmm. Yeah, I didn't think that was a good idea on my first day back. So, I decided it would be best just to take a ride today. I felt slow and fat and bloated and weak for the first part of the ride. I started to feel better toward the end. Such is life when you go on a weekend bender.

I got back from Las Vegas last night and have to head to CT tomorrow. I return on Friday. These past two weeks have just sucked for travel, but it eases up in August and September.

My next race will be the Thursday night crit next week. I am looking forward to it.

Hard Flat Intervals where I live are difficult. They call it the Texas Hill Country for a reason. Do you see any flat land here?

Or here?

Or here? This is typical of all the roads around here. Up and down. Not big hills, but all rolling.

I am gonna barf!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Downtime in Nevada

I had a few decent (as good as can be expected) fitness room workouts in SoCal. When I got to my hotel in Laughlin, NV, I discovered that they did not have a fitness center. After a bit of panic and some browsing, I found a fitness center in the adjoining town. Then I started to think about it and said - FUCK IT! I decided to do what people do when they are in Laughlin - have fun. We went to the river all day on Saturday. Our distributor has a new Centurion ski boat. We had a blast. We didn't do any skiing. We pulled into a cove and anchored by a bunch of other boats. I then preceded to drink enough beer to give the entire Pro Tour a hangover. I had a blast. We went back to the hotel to clean up and then grabbed a quick bite to eat. Then to the casino floor where I was able to eek out a meager $160 winning at Roulette. Better than loosing for sure.

This morning we drove up to Vegas and are staying at the Luxor. They want $25 to use the spa/fitness center here. Easy decision for me - FUCK NO. I will get back to training when I get home on Tuesday. It will be about 5 days since I did anything, but oh well. A little time off will be good for my brain I think.

I have been watching clips of the tour. It sounds like I have missed some real carnage. A lot of people are getting injured and the crashes are plenty.

Have a good week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nothing Happening

Here is what is up with me:

1) I am in SoCal for work and will be here until Friday. I will then spend the weekend in Laughlin and Vegas (for work) and will fly to Chicago on Monday morning for a meeting and then will fly back to Austin on Monday night.

2) I decided not to do either of the races that I was considering last weekend so I could spend some time with The Bug and my wife before leaving for my trip.

3) I just got back from an interval workout in my hotel fitness room. I can't begin to tell you how much it sucked because it was on a LifeCycle. Have you ever tried to do high HR intervals on a LifeCycle?

4) I am sad that I am missing Tour coverage. My hotel does not have Versus. Anyone have any suggestions on how I can get feeds online?

5) It seems to have finally quit raining in Texas. Just in time for me to leave town. I can't really complain about the SoCal weather though. It is fabulous as always.

6) I am selling one of my bikes to a guy at work (the Leader) that I built up with some Ultegra stuff I had. I was thinking of using the proceeds to buy some tubular racing wheels. Who out there races tubulars? Are they worth having??

Friday, July 06, 2007


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Being True

This is my first season of racing and my first year of working with a coach. Over the past 4 months I have come to a conclusion - training is damn hard. There is a difference between just putting in miles with buddies and actually training. Being true to your training is not easy to do. Also, unless you focus on what you are to do, a training session can morph into just another ride. Being true to your training and committing to the workout is what you have to do to improve. I am realizing that as I see improvement in myself.

I am also finding that as the intensity ratchets up it is important to monitor your nutrition and liquids. Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were rough for me because I let myself get a bit dehydrated after the race on Sunday and a hard interval session on Monday. I took yesterday off and "super hydrated." I feel a hell of a lot better now.

I left work at 4:30pm today with the bike on the Scion and dressed in team kit bound for the Thursday Night Crit. I got to the track to find the gate locked. It had stormed in South Austin all day and the track was soaked. They decided to cancel the races for safety. Keep in mind the track has 10 corners in 0.8 miles. I checked the web site before I left but it appears I missed their cancellation posting by a few minutes. Figures.

Monday, July 02, 2007

July Challenge Race in San Antonio

On Sunday I did the first stage of the July Challenge Race in San Antonio. The race is a three race series that will be run the next two Sundays.

The race was to start at 8am, so I headed out at about 4:50 for San Antonio. I got to the course which was run around a large business park driveway at around 6:50. Registration opened at 7am. I could tell when registering that the race was not going to be well organized. How should I pin on my number? "I am not sure." Where is the start line? "I think it is down the road to the right." Not a good sign. They began telling everyone to pin the numbers on the left side. I pinned mine on in fine fashion. When we got to the start line, they told everyone to pin their numbers on the right side. So, everyone stood there at the line in their bibs repinning their numbers. Total BS. Oh, and the race was supposed to be 30 miles but was cut to 25 miles due to getting started 20 minutes late. OYE!

I was racing in the Cat. 5 race which was also run with the 45+ men (regardless of category). The course would be a 5 mile loop that was basically a 2.5 mile loop that doubled back on itself with two 180s. So, you would leave from the start line and go 2.5 miles to a barrier which was back at the start line and make a 180 and head back to the start line and make a 180, etc. etc. The flyer said there would be a small climb in the course. The climb turned out to be about 1/2 mile of decent grade, so not exactly what I expected, but it was a good course.

The race started off pretty fast and after 1 lap the HR was up, but I was feeling pretty good. My estimate of the field was about 25 total people including maybe five 45+. One was a 14 year old boy who seemed to be some sort of cycling prodigy. The group stayed together for most of the second lap but on the climb, we lost a few people. On the second lap a break of two people went off the front. One was a 45+ I was told and the other was a Cat. 5. They got about 200 meters on the pack, but it didn't seem like anyone was interested in chasing them. On the third lap I chatted with my coach who was doing the 45+ race. He is from the San Antonio area and knew most of the 45+ guys. I said, "Two guys got away." He said, "See that guy in the pink? He is going to go shortly. If you want a free ride to the break, get on his wheel." About 2/3 the way through the third lap, I moved up to the front of the group and was driving a decent pace. Out of the corner of my right eye, I saw Mr. Pink 45+ (who turned out to be a Cat. 1) streak by with two in tow including the 14 year old prodigy. I flogged it, but couldn't quite make it to the chase so I backed off. Dude caught me by surprise. I should have been paying more attention. The 14 year old prodigy couldn't hang and was back with the group quickly. On the 4th lap, we saw that the two chasers had caught the break. So now there was a break of 4 up the road about 300 meters which included two 45+. On the climb on the 4th lap the main group pushed the pace a bit harder, but I could tell nobody was interested in catching the break. As most of you know, Cat. 5 racing tends to be unorganized and at times is more about survival than strategy. As we headed back to the start for the 5th lap, we saw the break coming out of the 180 and they still had about 300 meters. It looked like I would be racing for no better than 3rd. On the last lap, the pace on the climb was not as fast as the lap before which confirmed my belief that the break would stick. My brain was now working on my finish strategy. The sprint to the finish line was about 1/4 mile up hill after a left turn from a downhill section. This wasn't good for me because I am not great going uphill just yet. So, I would have to put myself in a good position before the turn, meaning I would have to attack on the downhill. As we came to the top of the downhill, to my surprise, my coach took off. I jumped quickly and was 4th wheel. He didn't sustain his attack and coming fast on my right side was a tall rider in orange kit. I decided to go, but I waited too long. The plan was to come into the left turn 1st in the chase group, but I hit the corner in 3rd. I got out of the saddle and gassed it. I got passed by about 9 people, had too much gear, and was about to blow. I shifted, sat back down, put my head down and gave it all I had. I was able to re-pass 2 of the 9 and finished pretty strong. I have seen no results yet, but I am guessing I was about 9th or 10th place in the Cat. 5. As I came through the line, I was sure I was going to puke. That last 1/4 mile was as hard as I have pushed myself this year. About 100 yards past the finish I was able to convert the urge to puke into a giant belch which the 14 year old prodigy thought was pretty funny.

Feedback from my coach was good. He said I am super smooth. He did pick up on one thing that I know I have a problem with. That is drinking smoothly while racing. I have to practice getting my bottle out while continuing to pedal smoothly. Now I have the knee flying out and I have to stop pedaling for a second which is totally suboptimal. I need to practice getting my bottle with my left hand because I like to have my right hand on the bars for any situations that require braking.

Overall, it was a good race. I am encouraged because I see a lot of upside for my racing. While continuing to lose weight, I am still about 35 pounds above my ideal racing weight. My training program is also set up to be in race shape in August. Technically, I am not even supposed to be racing yet. We shall see.

The Fort and the Scion. Can you think of an odder combination?

An early break in the P/1/2 race. Kristian House of Navigators is at the front of the chase.

I barely made it back from my ride tonight before this showed up. It appears we will have more of the same for the rest of the week.