Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Report (8/30)

I made it out to the crit tonight after hopping myself up on pretzels, a tuna fish salad sandwich, and some sports drink. I got there early because the power went out in our office this afternoon, then the phones went down, so I decided it was a sign to get going. I warmed up on the track for about 20 minutes before the Cat 3/4 race got started and continued warming up sporadically while they raced. I did 3 or 4 laps before my race and arrived at the starting line in the second row and was mentally ready to race. Goals for the race: 1) Stay in my drops the entire race and not go back and forth from the hoods to the drops like I have been doing. 2) Win.

The race started off at an average race pace. Not crazy fast and not slow. After 3 laps there was a paceline about 20 people long and I was probably about 15th or so. Some people were falling off the back already. After a few more laps I decided to move up a bit. I moved up to around 8th or 10th and was feeling good. The pace picked up a bit and things were uneventful for a few more laps. We were lapping slower riders at this point. With about 5 to go I was still around 8th wheel and touched wheels with the guy in front of me. I damn near went down and it must have looked really sketchy because everyone said "nice save." With 3 to go the pace was picking up and I was marking my target. The guy I was watching won the previous two races and is super strong on the last lap and has a hell of a sprint. I was able to get on his wheel. With two to go we were coming around the sharp corner before the start/finish and I heard a bad crash behind me. I didn't look back because the pace was pretty high and the guys ahead weren't slowing. With 1 lap to go I was still in 8th or so and felt like I had the lungs and legs to win. The last lap pace was fast. I moved up to about 7th and as we were hammering toward the corner before the finish one of the guys ahead popped. He slowed and was right in the middle of the corner. The few ahead of me squeezed past and as I was coming through it was shutting down so I had to dart through the corner flatter than I wanted to. The fact that I was taking the corner at 30+ mph didn't make it easier. Long story short is I went way wide and a gap of a few yards opened and that is how I finished my sprint. I think I finished in 6th place. I still feel that physically I could have won, but I didn't put myself in a good position to win. The dude I marked won again - 3 in a row. He is tough. Goal 1 met. Goal 2 will have to wait until next week.

I will do one more Thursday crit next week and then it is off to Grand Rapids, MI to do the Priority Health Criterium and meet some bloggers. It should be a blast. Have a good Friday.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Since I have nothing to talk about today, here is some carnage for your pleasure.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Ride

I did a nice 2 1/2 hour ride today out in the hill country around Johnson City. To say it was hot is an understatement. It was 97 when I left the house at 3:30pm. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get an early ride in today when it was cooler. It was great to just get out and ride without having some sort of agenda. The plan is to get out early tomorrow to do some intervals. Those of you with young kids know that planning ahead is sometimes a complete waste of time. You just have to ride when you can. Have a good weekend.

Some of the recent flooding has done serious damage to the banks of the Pedernales River. It looks like a glacier came through here.

The little bridge that crosses the Pedernales River and the beginning of the climb out of the ravine.

This is one of my favorite roads to ride in the world. I only saw 3 cars on the whole length of the road which is 11 miles. Loose livestock means lots of cattle guards.

This is the reason I like the road. It twists and turns and rises and falls and is as peaceful as it gets.

One of the many sites along the way.

This is a typical site in my neighborhood. These damn deer are everywhere and all they do all day is munch on people's gardens and yards.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home of The Lip

I am in Louisville, KY, home of the Louisville Lip, or as most of you know him The Greatest of All Time. I depart for Austin on Tuesday evening. Work stuff.

Not much to report on really. I had good workouts on Friday and Saturday. I took today off to travel. I am going to take a post season/preseason break from the bike and am trying to determine when to do so. I have to think about what races I want to do next year blah blah. I will figure all of it out over the next month.

Here is a picture of me (on the raft) a few weeks back in Nevada. Good times.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where Did I Put That Snorkel?

Here we go again. The rain has arrived and looks like it will be staying for a few days. Tropical Storm Erin is twirling in the Gulf and dumping lots of rain on South Texas. Yup, you guessed it. The races tonight have already been cancelled. Siggghh.

We were supposed to go to Cincinnati this weekend to visit with my wife's family. She has been having a lot of contractions over the past few days and has just felt a bit off, so after talking to our doctor we decided to cancel the trip. Instead, we both decided to take a few days of vacation and just relax. So, I am sitting in a coffee shop having some drip coffee and watching it rain. Maybe I will dig First Blood out today for my once every 3 year viewing.

As for the racing scene, it looks like I will get to do 5 or 6 more races this year including the Priority Health Crit in Grand Rapids, MI and the Corpus Christi Criterium. I have had 4 races cancelled in the past month - three Thursday Nighters and the Bear Creek Criterium in Houston. All were cancelled due to rain or flooding. A bit of bad luck, but oh well. I will upgrade to Cat. 4 at the end of the year and hopefully hit it hard starting in February when the first TX races start. I will continue my weight loss efforts over the off-season. I have dropped 54 pounds so far and still have a way to go. I hope to start the 2008 season at my ideal weight which I think is around 150-155. We shall see.

The new little man is arriving the first week of November. I am getting excited to meet the next member of our family (which now consists of me, wife, Bug, Ender and Valentine). The Bug is getting more personality everyday. I really love that little boy. We went to the bike shop the other day and he was perched on the smallest bike in the shop and could touch the pedals. However, I think we are still 4-6 months away from when he can actually pedal it. Exciting times :)

The wife and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on Tuesday. We have had some rough patches, but I wouldn't change a thing. She is the best.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hell Hound

It was 99 degrees when I left for my ride tonight. Awesome! For some reason, it didn't seem quite that hot. I decided to only ride for an hour to avoid becoming buzzard food. So it was just me and the Retro Rocket and the cows and the goats and the Addax and the Wildebeest out on Fitzhugh Road.

The strangest thing happened to me tonight. I was spinning down the road and all of a sudden I heard the familiar commotion of a dog coming up fast behind me. I turned to see what looked to be a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Pitt Bull closing the gap fast. I could hear the heavy breathing and the claws clattering on the blacktop as he zeroed in on me. He looked like he wanted to whoop my ass good. And then it happened. He ran right past me without even looking over and just kept hauling ass right up the middle of the road. He kept going for about 1/8th mile until the intersection with the road I was turning on. He stopped, turned around and looked at me. I honestly think he was saying, "I just smoked your ass, brah."

I was reading Bicycling Magazine recently and saw an article by J. Vaughters on "How to Get Fast, blah blah." One interval workout that he recommended sounded like a bitch so I figured I would give it a try this weekend when I was supposed to be racing. Since no races were reasonable options, a ride with an interval workout would have to do. The workout is to go 10 seconds all out (600 - 1000 watts) followed by 20 seconds of moderate wattage (150 - 200 watts - no coasting!) over and over again for 10 minutes. I only lasted 5 minutes before I was seeing stars. What a muthafucker that workout is. However, one thing I can say for sure is that it is the best simulation for the last 2 or 3 minutes of a crit that I have encountered. Give it a try.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Report (8/9)

Last night was my first race in 5 weeks due to travel and race cancellations due to weather. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't have enough "Go Go" in my legs because it is hard to simulate race conditions in training.

First off, it was hot as hell. Mid 90s again. You didn't have to warm up to sweat, you just had to step out of your car. I went to register, got my gear in order, and did my warm-up while trying to get my mind around the suffering to come.

At the start I had a good clip-in and went into the first turn in about 4th place. From there, the race was fairly slow for the next few laps. I think people were worried about burning out in the heat. There were lots of mini attacks in the middle laps that went nowhere. With about 7 or 8 laps to go, the pack was pretty strung out with two people having about a 15 meter gap. I was in about 10th place at that point, but feeling good. By 5 laps to go, it was all back together. For some reason last night they didn't have lap cards, but instead were calling the laps out. I was having a hard time hearing and had to ask other riders what the official was saying. The pace picked up slightly with 3 and 2 to go. We came through on the bell lap (0.8 miles to go) and I was in about 5th place and feeling pretty good. I decided I was going to leave it all on the road if at all possible. Right after the first turn I jumped hard with about 0.7 miles to go and was able to open a small gap. I put my head down and went as hard a pace as I thought I could sustain to the line. With 0.4 miles to go I still had a gap. I heard someone yell at someone else behind me for cutting them off or something to that effect. At about 0.25 miles to go, my gap was gone and I was a hurting unit. I was in such a mental limbo that I made a mistake in the last corner. I didn't take it tight and someone came through on the inside and was gone. To be honest, even if I did take it tight I think he would have still beat me. I sprinted with all I had left to the line and saw a few riders in my peripheral vision on my left. I think they nipped me at the line. I haven't seen the results yet, but think I finished in 4th. (Update: Results post shows 5th; 2nd in Cat 5). All things considered, it was a good race. Next time I will wait a bit longer to jump on the last lap.

The Cat 3/4 race which is run just before my race.

Me getting mentally prepared while eating a Power Bar.

I am the second rider from the right in blue and white.

Cooling down and reflecting on my bad decision.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Shoooo is Hot Out There

When I left for my ride after work today it was 95 degrees, but for some reason it felt 10 degrees hotter. My ass was dragging out there on the road. I kept thinking that I had a low back tire because there was no way I should be going that slow with so much effort. The heat today was just draining.

Scott Baio is 45 and Single has been replaced by Flight of the Conchords as my new favorite show. For those of you who haven't seen it, you should. It is about two friends from New Zealand who are living in NYC and have a two man band with only one fan. It sounds strange, but it is all laughs.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Newbie Ride

Today I took my sister-in-law for her first real bike ride. Running is her game. She runs almost everyday. She just moved down to Texas from Mass. and is looking for a job. I asked her if she wanted to try biking. She said yes. So we went. We rented a bike for her at Bicycle Sport Shop and did a 20 mile route by my house. She did really really well. In fact, I think she could be a phenomenal biker. I will make it my mission in life now to see that she is. HA!

In other news, I spent Friday evening and most of Saturday afternoon cutting my big ass yard. I like having almost 2 acres except when it comes time to cut it. What a pain in the ass. Hopefully it will dry out in Texas and my yard will die. Then I won't have to cut it until March.

I watched the movie "300" last night. It was cheesed up for sure, but I enjoyed it. Those Spartans were bad asses. Can anyone tell me why King Xerxes is at least 11 feet tall in the movie?

Quien es mas macho?