Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunday Ride in California

On Sunday I was fortunate enough to get to ride with some of the people whose blogs I read when I was out in N. Cali. The ride was a birthday ride for Velogirl. We met at a park in San Mateo for a 9am departure and logged a comfortable 37 miles at a casual pace. It was great to get to meet so many people in one day. Hopefully I can get out there to ride again soon.

CyclistRick who is still on crutches after his spectacular crash while attempting to jump the fountains at Caesars Palace on his commuter bike.

Lauren getting ready to roll. This is a COOL CHICK, folks.

One of the bike paths along the water. The area around San Mateo had bike paths everywhere. The people out there don't know how good they have it.

A regrouping stop. Holly, who is in the red kit in the foreground can throw down some serious speed.

Sarah, dispensing gourmet marshmallows.

Hans getting ready to cook me a Royale with Cheese.

The city of San Fransisco which was across the bay from the park.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday Ride in California

I still decided to go to California this past weekend for some riding despite the cancellation of the races that I had planned on doing. I picked up my rental bike when I arrived on Friday afternoon from Silicon Valley Cycling Center. The bike was a Look 585 with full Dura Ace and Ksyrium ES wheels. I suppose it would have to do. :)

Saturday I did the Woodside/Pascardero/San Gregorio/Tunitas Creek Coast Loop with Hans who is a friend of Velogirl. The ride started out in the town of Woodside which was not far from my hotel in San Mateo. Within a few miles of rolling roads we were at the foot of the first large climb of the day which was to the top of Old La Honda Road. The climb started at 400 feet in elevation when we turned right onto Old La Honda Road and ended at 1675 feet in elevation at the top of Old La Honda Road 3.4 miles later. I found my rhythm on the climb right at my LT and was able to climb it surprisingly well.

We descended for a bit and then stopped at the La Honda Fire Station and Store to refill our bottles. We then descended some more until we hit a short 1 mile climb of 600 feet in elevation on Pescadero Road. We rolled into Pescadero and refilled our bottles at the Pescadero Country Store. We then headed onto Stage Road and hit three small climbs in succession. The first two were about 300 vertical feet and the third was 400 vertical feet. We then rolled into San Gregorio and stopped for yet another bottle refill. We then hit Highway 1 on the coast and headed toward what would be the hardest climb of the day on Tunitas Creek Road.

The Tunitas Creek climb is 9 miles in length and began at an elevation of 65 feet and ended at an elevation of 2067 feet. The climb started off gradual, but there are 3 miles in the middle that are steep where most of the elevation was gained. Those 3 miles were a nut buster for sure, but I was able to get into a rhythm and plug away. The top 3 or 4 miles are gradual enough that you can climb relatively fast, but you still know you are climbing none the less. I felt great at the top and was happy with my climbing performance for the day.

The ride ended with a super fast decent down King's Mountain Road and back into Woodside. With a few small detours and getting lost once we ended up with 58 miles in the saddle and according to my calculations about 6500 feet of climbing. Hans was a great guide and hope that I can get out and ride with him again in the near future.

Hans in full climbing mode.

The Pescadero Country Store.

One of the sights on the Route 1 portion of the ride.

Tunitas Creek Road - Chris was here.

The top of the Tunitas Creek climb.

A view on the decent of King's Mountain Road. I am told that the tower like building in the upper right is on the Stanford University Campus.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July Challenge Series Circuit Race #2

I went to San Antonio for the second circuit race in the July Challenge Series. I had a plan for the race after my experience last weekend. The plan was to attack on the hill before the last turn, open a gap, and sprint to glorious victory.

My thoughts when the moment to attack came were: "NOW DUDE! Hey, I am not going as fast as I imagined I would be going. Hey! You fuckers are supposed to be getting dropped, so why are you right behind me??"

To make a long story short, I didn't get away. I spent it all attacking and ended up sprinting to 6th place. Disappointing in a way, but I am glad I executed my plan even if it didn't have the desired result.

I leave on Friday for Nor Cal to do some riding. The original plan was to do two days of racing, but one race was canceled and one was moved to September. Just bad luck in a way. But since I already had my ticket, I am still going to go to ride. Sunday Velogirl is planning a ride and barbeque for her birthday which should be fun. Word on the street is that she is getting 5 barrels of Miller High Life. Can you say keg stand?? Saturday is up in the air, but I am looking for a solid road ride. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Racing season is winding down here in TX. After this weekend, races are few and far between. I plan on maintaining fitness through September and then taking it easy for a month or so before I start my base training again.

Have a good week.

Here is #1 on "Top 5 Sprint Finish Crashes." Mario Cippolini gets put into the barriers in the 1994 Vuelta. The slow motion replay is brutal. Wear your helmets kiddies.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July Challenge Series Circuit Race

On Sunday I did the July Challenge Series Circuit Race in San Antonio. This is the second event in the series. I chose to skip the 40K TT last weekend so I could spare my delicate ego.

The Cat 4 race was fairly short at 30 miles with each lap being 2.5 miles. The field was small at around 30 racers. The race started off with 1 neutral lap behind a scooter which I still am not sure I get. After the scooter pulled off the race was on. The pace was moderate, but not killer. I knew who the 4 riders were who could potentially win the race and watched them throughout. There was a 1 mile hill on the course with a gentle grade. A few guys tried to create a break in the field on the hill a few times, but nothing really resulted from their efforts. With about 5 laps to go I moved to the front at the base of the hill and put in a good effort and found myself off the front by about 80 meters. I was disappointed that none of the stronger racers got on my wheel because I wasn't killing it and I think a good group could have easily stayed away. At the top of the climb I decided to let it come back together rather than try to stay away by myself for 13 miles. I am sure I wouldn't have been successful. On the last lap I started cramping in my calves which is a problem I have from time to time. I was able to get through the cramps by pushing my heels down on the pedals to stretch my calves out. About half way up the climb I unknotted and tried to get into position for the sprint. I was about 5th wheel coming out of the last corner. There was a racer ahead of me on the left moving fast and one ahead on the right with about 150 meters to the line. I was 3rd. I moved past the racer on the right and was closing the gap on the one on the left but knew I was probably going to run out of distance. Just before the line another racer came by on the left. I finished 3rd behind two guys from Team Hotel San Jose. The racer that won is from my hometown and is an up and comer. He is 17, or less that 1/2 my age. HA! He seems like a good kid with a bright future in the sport.

Here is #2 on "Top 5 Sprint Finish Crashes." Laurent Jalabert and others get taken out in the sprint by a dumb ass photographer in Stage 1 of the 1994 TdF.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I spent the first part of this week in Memphis, TN visiting with one of our larger customers. I was surprised at how hot it was up there. The wind felt like someone was holding a hair dryer in my face.

I am starting to feel tired from what is already becoming a long season. I started base in December making this season 8 months long already. I have my last race scheduled for the first week of September in Grand Rapids. I am not sure I am going to make it that long. My mind is telling me to slow things down a bit and have some fun on the bike before getting back into base building late this year.

I am doing a circuit race on Sunday in San Antonio with a few of my teammates. I am looking forward to it, but hope I can get my mind in the right place over the next few days.

I am going to head out to Cali at the end of the month to ride with a few of the bloggers out there. The original plan was to do two races out there that weekend, but unfortunately they both were canceled after I made my reservations. So, I decided to go out and ride just for fun. I look forward to it.

Angelo moved up to a class of 3 year olds at daycare and is learning all kinds of new words. The other day he got mad at me and called me the worst thing that he could possibly think of - a POOPIE! It is hard to not crack up laughing while you are telling your son that it isn't ok to call you or anyone else a poopie.

I got tagged by Zach who was tagged by Ron who was tagged by blah blah. I will list 6 random things about myself, but I am not one to follow all the other rules.

1) My balls hang low.
2) I played rugby for 4 years in college.
3) I like Grease 2 better than Grease.
4) I hate Harry Potter.
5) I think U2's Joshua Tree album is the greatest album ever made.
6) When I was growing up, my dad named our two pigs after his two bosses at work.

Here is #3 on the list of "Top 5 Sprint Finish Crashes." Brad Huff at the 2007 Tour of Missouri takes a header at the line. He walked away with just a few scrapes.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Not Much to Say

Strength work today. Sprint work tomorrow.

Here is #4 on the list of "Top 5 Sprint Finish Crashes." Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, whom many consider to be the most dangerous sprinter in professional cycling history puts his head down and goes for the win on the Champs Elysees in the 1991 TdF. The problem is he rode right into the barriers. The aerial view at around 4 minutes gives a much better view of the carnage.