Main

October 30, 2006

snohomish cyclocross

raced my third cross race up in snohomish.  what an adventure.

i woke up to nasty rain and tony and i almost bailed.  but it got really nice, so we went for it.  i rode over to his place, so i brought a minimum of gear.  bad idea.  when we arrived it started to sprinkle.  then rain.  then hail.  all while the temperature dropped to the low 40's.  oh man, it was bad.  again, we considered bailing.

i was super annoyed with myself because i'd not brought even a rain jacket.  or a change of clothes beyond the shorts i was wearing.  this meant that if i got wet and cold, i was gonna be wet and cold all the way home.     

luckily for me, the weather cleared up for our race, but the sporadic death storms had done a number on the course, making it an absolute mud fest.  as any astute reader of my blog knows, i have not raced off-road and i definitely haven't ridden in much mud.  it was an adventure

all in all, i rode fairly well.  i just fell too often.  like a couple times a lap.  that falling over takes a lot out of a rider in addition to actually slowing him down.  i started getting the hang of some parts and really flew if i was able to do sections right, but all too often i was flailing. parts were so bad that even walking, i was struggling to stay upright. 

in the end, i was not last, but barely.  i edged out some guy from WWU in the last critical section.  it felt kind of good to actually push myself.  before that, i'd been too concerned with not falling to really give it the go juice.

October 23, 2006

cross round #2

second time around at this cyclocross thing wasn't as successful as the first time around.  not even close.  perhaps it was the not riding at any sort of speed since starcrossed.  or perhaps it wasn't eating much that day.  or even the 3.5 hr ride the day before.  whatever it was, it was ugly. 

Continue reading "cross round #2" »

October 2, 2006

M at star crossed

greg descantes has a lot of great pictures from star crossed. he typically takes the best pictures.

copywrite greg descantes (click for a bigger image)

disseminating links

this guy has a couple videos from the race.

more star crossed photos

these are from wheels in focus

October 1, 2006

star crossed

did my first cross race on saturday night. star crossed. what a blast. i caught a lot of flack for racing the "B" category. i really had no idea how i was going to do, since i'd barely ridden a cross bike, much less attempted to do so at any sort of speed. it turned out that everybody was right, my fitness as a cat1 far outweighed any lack of experience on the dirt. however, i still think i made the right choice as i was able to get my cross legs in an encouraging fashion. now i'll head out to the the "A"'s and see how i do.

Continue reading "star crossed" »

September 4, 2006

blackberry crit

joe "el chihuahua" holmes put on another great race. the guy knows how to do it. get a community behind it, get a good course and throw lots of money at the riders. and then pay them out in straight cash money (forget checks).

this race was associated with the blackberry festival of bremerton. unfortunately, i was unable to partake in any of the blackberry festivities.

the prize list was $5,000 for the pro/1/2 category men, so Symmetrics, the vancouver, BC based pro team brought down their hot shots, including cam evans, current canadian national crit champion. another rider made it up from the san francisco area to race as well. other than that, it was basically the typical local guys, chasing fame, glory and cash money.

Continue reading "blackberry crit" »

August 12, 2006

Health Net Portland Twilight Crit

brad ross promoted the health net portland twilight crit for the second year. great race. rather sketchy pavement and a little (a lot) dark toward the end, but a great prize list (taken mostly by the health net riders).

Continue reading "Health Net Portland Twilight Crit" »

August 8, 2006

gig harbor circuit race

new course this year for the second circuit race. the town was pretty excited about it. they even had an article in the paper that featured a picture of me (but misnamed as "mark hone).

anyway, broadmark / hagens berman had more than 10 riders, with RMc and Rad making rare appearances. our man for the day was clayville as he has been riding strong and would be at the next race (whereas chad and i wouldn't and tubbs wasn't there). well, chad attacked as soon as the neutral section ended. campbell closed the gap and i countered. two riders bridged across to me and we rolled off. another group bridged, including chad, making us a group of around seven. not even two miles into the race the winning move was made. we hit the major hill of the circuit (about 500 meters long) and shed a few riders to be down to myself and chad as well as t mays from first rate mortgage and bethel from the garage billiards team. chad and i soft pedaled the break while the other two seemed to be really giving it; chad and i could probably win from this move, but we were waiting for nick. we stayed at about 30 seconds from the pack.

suddenly, we got a time check that one rider was 10 seconds behind. we looked back and it was clayville. well, i'll be damned. once nick got to us we put the hammer down and built the gap. at the intermediate sprint over the hill, clayville attacked at the bottom. mays and i didn't put any effort into it, assuming that clayville would come back to us. chad went across and the two of them took off. i thought they'd sit up and wait for us, but they had enough fire power to keep it up. i sat for a while and then worked to stay away from the pack.

in the end, with the pack a scant 10 seconds behind us we sprinted for 3rd place, which i took.

things look good for ian and nick, going into the last circuit race.

August 1, 2006

whate of a crit podium

podium shot from whale of a crit.

July 30, 2006

whale of a criterium

ridge racing and joe "el chihuahua" holmes put on a great race. the whale of a criterium had a sweet $1500 prize list. cool course and a good crowd turnout. for some reason, not a lot of racers showed up. 20 or so.

the race started off pretty fast and stayed that way for a while. emde capitalized on a prime that i took and went off the front solo. campbell and i didn't know it, but we had a gap. we could have gone with and that would have been the end of the race. justin and brian put in a ton of work and got some help from the other teams to eventually bring emde back after a gap of over thirty or forty seconds.

with ten minutes to go they rang another prime. hoping to avoid what had happened before, i let brian go with campbell. i expected the other teams to keep them in check, but they didn't do anything at all. in the end justin started reeling them in, but without any help, it was too much. the other teams came ot the front on the last lap, but it was too little too late.

the BRI guys put in a killer last half a lap and i was able to come around them to miss campbell by a bike length. i sat up to let brian take second. i had to nearly put matt quann into the curb on that last lap to get position. i felt pretty bad about it. that probably made a big difference for his placing. i guess that's bike racing.

the real goal however, was makin' money, and we did just that with second and third and a prime.

July 7, 2006

des moines criterium

this crit followed up the state championsihp crit. turn out was rather poor. perhaps due to the ridiculous entry fee ($30) which was not proportionate to the prize list. the host team however, had a good half of the 20 or so starters, which made me nervous. representing broadmark/hagens berman were me and the newly crowned state champ, morgan schmitt.

the course was a big rectangle with the finish going up-hill and into a slight headwind. the last two corners were quite fast, so good lines would make things easier for a rider who could corner well.

Continue reading "des moines criterium" »

July 2, 2006

state champ criterium

state crit was yesterday. the team rode a brilliant race. we were figured that the other teams would probably expect us to ride for me or chad (the last two winners of the race) and so we set about to set up morgan schmidt who's been riding quite well and has a lot to gain by winning the race.

i don't know what the other teams were really thinking but after a bunch of attacks and moves including some of the bigger names, morgan went with sundt. great move for us and the other teams didn't react quickly enough and the duo got a large gap quickly. we chased down most bridge attempts (or in one case, even helped it 'cause it seened like a good opportunity) but nothing really got close.

those two would eventually lap the field. the guys lined up for morgan and help him get the win.

there was still a lot of action for third place. chad and i were getting into the moves and having the luxury of sitting on everything. in the last ten minutes chad attacked and got a bit of a gap. the other riders kept him with in reach (while i relaxed with another teammate to help me out). kenny attacked on the last lap. clayville closed him down but we lost him again in the technical section. i had him within reach but i hosed the final corner and got close to taking him for third but just not quite able to get past. chad held on for 5th.

in then end we were 1st, 4th, 5th and 8th. not bad.

June 16, 2006

nature valley grand prix minneapolis criterium

it was insane! other worldly hail, rain, lightning and wind, all at the same time! the pro men raced for 20 minutes at which point the field was reduced to 50 or so and the race was finished early. both our guys finished in the main group.

the sheets of rain were unbelievable.

Nature Valley Grand Prix Stage Two

not a good day. the short of it is i've had a bug for a bit and it is preventing food from moving properly through my digestive system. as a result, i couldn't eat yesterday without feeling like i was going to throw up. so, i hit the race without a full tank. i tried to compensate by eating often and early but that made me want to throw up too.

i was riding well, in the main group until i finally just ran out of juice. i could ride at an endurance pace, where most of the energy is provided by fat stores. but as soon as i had to up the effort, i had no energy. in the end i came in a ways back. to add insult to injury i was placed in the wrong group and ended up being time cut from the race.

chad rode well and finished with the main group. owen would have but got crashed out and finished alone (and was also placed in the wrong group in the results). those two are the only ones left to race.

i still feel sick and can't eat, so i don't know what i'm going to do.

June 15, 2006

pleasurable time trialing

Photo ©: Frank Rowe

tough to stay in an aero position on a standard bike.

June 14, 2006

nature valley grand prix time trial

had the old nature valley grand prix time trial today. 4.5 miles along the mississippi river next to downtown st paul.

big fisch and i had a challenge. he had all the tt equipment and i had none. bets were placed on who would get the better time.

last year i went out too hard to start and really hit the wall on the way back. this time i decided to be a bit more conservative and moderate my efforts early to ride strong the whole way through. i think i did that successfully. i rode just below cracking for the bulk of the time. i probably could have pushed through it a bit more, but who knows. i'm learning what the well tuned time trial effort feels like.

anyway i improved on my time of 10:31, finishing 10:07. when i crossed the line however, i saw 9:39 on the clock next to my number, so i don't know. is it possible that they made a mistake? i am positive that is what i saw. ah well.

now big fisch, or the pale horse as we like to call him. he managed a 9:34, unofficially. so, he took me (and chad's $5) by a ways. what a shame.

early reports that chad and justin had busted into the top ten proved wrong. the announcers were just blowing smoke. we got all excited for nada.

June 12, 2006

ballard crit

you'd never know it, but the ballard crit is actually the second ascent crit. it will probably always be the ballard crit, no matter who sponsors it. this crit is probably the fastest and most coveted of the local races. big (for local racing) money and lots of glory. well, as much glory as bike racing can get you. huge crowds and lots of noise. i wish we had more races like it.

Continue reading "ballard crit" »

May 21, 2006

tri-peaks stage three

third stage of the tri-peaks stage race. dubbed "cardiac arrest" it featured a brutal 2.5 mile climb up mt nebo, a looming hunk of a hill overlooking russellville and dardanelle.

Continue reading "tri-peaks stage three" »

May 20, 2006

the good, the bad

second stage of the tri-peaks stage race. 92 mile road race with three climbs.

pace was rather brisk on the way out to petit jean, the first climb of the day. on the climb however, it wasn't so bad. i was hurtin', but i'm always hurtin' on the hills. its what i do! after that climb i flatted. got a wheel change and got back into the pack rather quickly with some help from justin.

i don't know when, but a big (20+ riders) got off with solomon in the mix. woulda been nice to have andy in there, as solomon was down on time from the crit. ah well. the pack pretty much chilled out after that. the mercy team chased for a while but didn't really put a dent into the lead of the group. tough to put the hurt on a break of 20 that's working well.

a few miles from the penultimate climb we made a right hand turn. i was on the outside left. the guy just behind me and to my right failed to turn and ran into me. i mighta kept it up from there but i hit some gravel and i lost it. i pitched over the bars. i got up and dusted myself off. checked myself out, checked out my bike and i was just fine. hopped back on and started chasing. got to the caravan and picked my way through. got on just at the base of the climb, in the back. damn. i suffered until cracking just shy of the top where i lost quite a lot of time. i stayed in front of the caravan and planned to use it to get back in. no dice. there were but three caravan cars. damn. suffered the 20 miles back to the finish. too bad too, cause i was feelin' alright until i went down.

guess my fall looked bad too, 'cause lots of riders where asking my teammates if i was ok. they all thought i did a major face plant. aparently i'm reasonably good at crashing as i really came out of it just fine although it could have been a collar bone break or a major face road rash. ouch.

May 19, 2006

tri-peaks crit

first stage of the three stage tri-peaks stage race here in russellville, arkansas.

got to the crit and packet pick-up early and breezed through it. it was on the campus of arkansas technical university and so we took refuge from the unbearable heat in the library.

Continue reading "tri-peaks crit" »

May 16, 2006

JMSR wrap-up

all in all, not a bad race. any NRC (national race calendar, ie pro) top ten finish we get is good. this brings us up to 3 for the last two races. not bad at all. not what we were doing last year, but hey, that was unusual.

i think the race has outgrown itself and the promoter is aware of that. he knows he shouldn't have let in 200 riders and it sounds like he's going to split the race into two races: pro/1 and categry 1/2. not a bad idea. i'd make it just category 2. but nobody is asking me. they should. hell, if the bush administration had asked me before this iraq boondogle i'd have told them there were no wmd's and that the political outcome would be chaos and murder. but they didn't. i wrote letters though. i digress.

results were pretty messed up at the race too. this wasn't really the promoter's fault and he said he thinks it will be better next year. before the second road stage wherry was telling me that two of their riders who never picked up their packets or signed in before the stage were awarded top ten finishes in the first stage. he joked that now they had to defend their places. i said that was going to be tough cause they probably woudn't be able to make any of the splits or breaks. yeah, that's rough.

the courses are solid though. love the courses. quite challenging. the competition was tougher this year. my 9:55 was worth 40th place last year. this year it was 80th or so. big difference. hell, i beat last year's time by 15 seconds and finished 20 places further back.

we're excited and determined for next week's race. we have a good group of guys who are eager to work together. ah yeah!

May 15, 2006

JMSR stage 4

downtown criterium. this is a fun race, in a vibrant downtown core of a nice town. lots of folks out watching. brutal course. survival was the name of the game.

Continue reading "JMSR stage 4" »

May 14, 2006

JMSR stage 3

uphill time trial. my favorite! we finished the morning race at 1130 or so and ate and rested until leaving at 400 for our 600 time trial.

not much to report. for most of us, the goal was not to get time cut. andrew needed to put in his best effort. warming up on the cyclops trainers that were provided was simply a test in brutality. we were tired and sitting on a trainer was the last thing we wanted to do. but it was the only real option as the time trial start was at the bottom of a steep hill on one side and the time trial on the other. damn.

i moderated my efforts well to be able to ride a consistent pace though the whole tt and put in a decent effort. probably not my best possible time but i avoided my normal mistake of going too hard early and paying double for it later. at 9:55, i beat my time of last year by 15 seconds. not bad. fischer came in 15 seconds ahead of me, putting him in 44th place, and 1:21 off the leader. i'm in 89th at 10:21.

JMSR stage 2

this second 92 mile stage started at 800 am, a short 14 hours after the previous day's 110 mile race. nice. real nice.

the race is a rolling 10 miles out to an undulating 23 mile circuit which we complete 3 times and then return to the start. the circuit features a short steep (10-15% perhaps) wall. that wall is followed by a short descent and then several miles of stair stepping climbs which prove to be far more challenging than the steep wall.

Continue reading "JMSR stage 2" »

May 13, 2006

JMSR stage 1

first stage of the joe martin stage race is 110 mile, starting in a walmart parking lot at 145 in the afternoon.

the stage features a few shortish climbs and rolling terrain on its way to a long climb over mount gaylor. then it is a net downhill to the finish in downtown fayetteville.

Continue reading "JMSR stage 1" »

May 12, 2006

me in cyclingnews.com

May 8, 2006

state champ road race

the state road race was this last weekend. a very frustrating race. last year i attacked a lot and just got tired by the time the break went. i was more conservative with my attacking (plus i had ian and andrew attacking relentlessly) as i realized that break aways were going to be hard to get going. i was right. later in the race it seemed like the race was going to split but again, no break away managed to get much more than 200-300 meters away.

in the end the race came down to a group sprint. i thought i'd be ok for that but somehow my legs pretty much shut down just before sprint time and i started seeing stars, so i packed it in. my teammate morgan schmidt came up with third place, which is great. we gave getting the win out of a break a go. that didn't work and we managed third, so in all it wasn't a bad race for us.

April 25, 2006

walla walla stage race

time trial

the time trial was an out and back. net elevation gain with a headwind out and a fast downhill and tailwind back. i brought my time trial bike with bigger gears for the downhill. it didn't matter. i could tell pretty quickly that i didn't have my top form. i still pushed myself about as hard as i could and came in about 40 seconds off the top finisher. it was very telling that i just couldn't push the biggest gears on the way back. 10:50ish was my time. the winning time was around 10:10. it was 5 miles in total.

road race

new format for the road race this year, including a hilltop finish. in years past the time trial has essentially decided the weekend with inattentive team leaders being the larger culprit in lost placings rather than fitness. this was because after the majorly selective portion of the course there was plenty of terrain for regrouping and so non-climbers could frequently get back on. with a hill top finish a person could easily put 40 seconds or more into a person, so tactics would play a large role.

i wasn't feeling super sweet, but i wasn't bad. our strategy was essentially to attack the crap out of the other teams and one rider in particular to isolate him and get something up the road and move somebody into first place on the general classification.

i went well over the climb and once the group came back together, started attacking, along with my teammates. after a number of hard attacks one finally stuck and a teammate of mine was off with in a group of four. they built a lead of around a minute (largely due to the fact that we stopped to go pee after a crash). the garage and jamie stangland rode tempo and eventually brought them back after the group started splitting up. my teammate, mcdirmid (former masters national champ) stayed out the longest but eventually pulled the plug as it was a futile waste of energy to fight it out.

at this point, i started coming damned close to cramping. it was also the critical point in the race for continuing to attack the race leader. damn. i struggled on and managed my efforts to recover. i took on a lot of electrolytes and was able to stay in but didn't feel confident enough to go out on the attack. ian did and got away with one other rider. this proved to be too much for the garage and stangland. that move stuck with ian winning handily. we trudged on through the winds to the finish. on the final climb sam johnson put it down and mcdirmid and i held back the tempo of the group. it proved to be just shy of what we needed with sam coming in 3 seconds shy of overtaking stangland. damn. i suffered my way up for a minor top ten placing, but moving up in the general classification.

criterium

the strategy was to use whatever time bonuses we could get to move mcdirmid or johnson over stangland into 3rd overall. i was in 7th, 1 second out of 6th. a time bonus from the finish would suffice to get me that second so our priority was for sam (3rd being more important than 6th). the team rode a great race, controlling things as necessary. sam and stangland stalemated on the time bonuses. ian and worked brilliantly to gobble up all of the cash prizes available to the pack for a whopping $180. in the end we bungled the finish. sam missed a chance to get up on stangland and as a group we missed getting me into the top 3. but, with 90% of the race ridden well, i can't compain too much about 5 laps.

the criterium also continued my randomly bad luck with cycling shorts. last year a dog of a (wonderful) host family ate (actually consumed) a pair of my (clean) shorts. well, in walla walla, when i went to push my front wheel ahead of a charging dave richter, the seat caught my shorts and the force straight up tore them at the seams. damn.

April 17, 2006

tst

hellish race out there at tahuya this weekend. started the race with a mild drizzle and temperatures in the low forties. i was pretty warm, so i wasn't too worried. the race starts off going up and i wasn't feeling sweet but i was riding at the front and doing just fine. somebody managed to sneak off the front and i followed a move by jonny sundt to bridge. i was feeling like absolute crap though and i quickly realized that i had little to offer. it was too bad too, because this would have been a great move. if i'd been going well, we'd probably have caught the guy in front of us and actually built a sizable lead. as it was sundt (with a little help from me) built a lead of a little over a minute on the pack.

by the time that i was off with sundt i was soaked all the way through. damn. i couldn't see either. glasses were fogged and i was pretty much riding blind. that's a scary thing going downhill at 40 mph. i was getting so cold that i couldn't shift with my fingers and had to use my whole hand to move the shifter. quite awkward.

by this time the temps were down to 34° and it was snowing. we were caught just at the bottom of the first real climb of the day. i held on for a while at the front but i couldn't match an acceleration and slid backwards. at the top i got off my bike to hop into the car of the corner marshalls at that corner. but there was no car. i rode downhill to the next corner and found myself shivering so violently as the wind whipped through all three layers down to my skin that my bike was shaking enough to make me fear that i might lose control and fall off. i was able to hop into the nice car of my teammate brian burton and start to warm up a bit. heated seats and a blanket. ah yeah! of course, i was still shivering violently but i was warmed up an hour later!

tough to race under those conditions when you've been sick. not much to be done about it. i probably could have stuck it out, but given my shaky health, i thought that unwise. in a month i'm heading to arkansas to race and the state road race is in three weeks. no point in jeopardizing all that.

more photos at mike hone's flickr site

April 3, 2006

frozen road race

ah yes, the frozen road race. started off rather chilly but warmed up. even in the sun however, i found myself wanting for a good warm coat.

after the circuit race, ian's lead was essentially untouchable. michael emde could potentially catch him but he'd have to win and then ian would have to finish lower than 7th place; an unlikely scenario.

the race was short, only 60 miles and basically flat and rolling. the typically strong winds are a big factor and the race rarely finishes in any semblance of a pack of riders. today would prove to be no different.

i followed a counter by one of emde's teammates and a group of 4 formed off the front. derrik archibald bridged to us handily and we dropped one of the others. we proceeded in this fashion for 30 or so miles until i discovered that i had a flat (a slow leaker, which was probably the source of my feeling like junk for the preceding 10 miles). there was no wheel car, but it came shortly and i got a fix. i thought the guys were waiting for me....i was wrong. more on that later. i chased for about 10 more miles and finally sat up for the group behind me. it was ian, mcdirmid and andy schultz with emde sitting on. we organized and made a furious chase. we brough the lead down from 2 minutes to about 20 seconds but we just didn't have it. i was pretty much cracked at that point from being in a small break in the wind, solo in the wind and then hard charging in another small break, in the wind. ugh.

so, about that flat. first off, i'm just callin' it the way i see it. i'm a gentleman racer. if i'm in a group with respectable riders with a large lead on the field, i'll wait for a guy who flats. i like level competition and tactical riding. flats, in my opinion, shouldn't decide races. i want to win on cunning and fitness rather than luck. but that's me. when i got my flat the guys knew. archibald rode up to the lead car to let them know so that the wheel car could come up, which was a decent thing to do. but after i got my wheel swapped out i looked up and they were gone. i rode a steady 25-30 mph in pursuit thinking i'd catch them quickly since they were probably waiting and rolling sub 20 mph. i was so wrong. i was bringing them back, but not nearly quickly enough. at one point the road doubled back and i could see them about 45 seconds or so ahead with archibald drilling it.

i talked to archibald afterward and he said "we waited for 'a minute'" (clearly the proverbial minute) and decided to go on because he needed to "take advantage of that". well, if that's what you have to do, i don't know. i just know that if the roles were reversed, i'd not have done that. and that dissapoints me. its a different story if the gap is a tenuous 30 seconds over the pack, but we had a comfortable lead.

somebody pointed out that i jumped archibald in the circuit race after he worked the whole time chasing my teammates in the break. well, duh. that's tactics. that's the point. flat tires are not tactics.

bottom line, they all took advantage of my bad luck. that sort of thing comes around though. as i wrote about the ranier roubaix, i suggested sitting up for campbell after he crashed. well, no more favors from this guy. but it wasn't just archibald. pruitt, who'd been sitting on found it in his best interest to take a few pulls.

incidentally, had i finished in the break of three and mcdirmid not had to chase (cause we weren't racing for third like another rider sitting on us) i'd likely have moved up to 3rd or 4th and mcdirmid held onto second. big impact, that decision to attack my flat.

April 2, 2006

frozen circuit race

good god, this was cold. cold and wet. just as we were ready to start warming up the wind started drilling us with heavy rain. windy, rainy and 40°. ah jesus.

i borrowed a trainer and rode under somebody's little tent to spin the legs back into some sort of racing shape after the tt.

the circuit race was run on the 2.5 mile circuit from the tt. windy and windy. we set about attacking straight away. i was off briefly with a couple riders. mcdirmid put in a good move and dangled in front of us for a while. ian and emde bridged and so it was 3 of the top 4 spots in the time trial in a break. archibald who'd been second in the tt was left to try and get the other yahoos to ride in a sensible fashion. it proved to be an impossible task.

the smart and sensible thing for them to do was to work together. 7-10 of them working together could easily catch the three that were in the break (who weren't working together too terribly well). but instead they all chose to attack eachother one at a time. foolish because alone, or even in two's and three's they weren't likely to catch three fast guys. so, they kept working each other over much to my delight. a few attacks went on the last lap and i caught one not so quick acceleration and used it to get myself up to speed. when he floundered in the wind i attacked him and i was gone, soloing in for 4th place.

in the break ian was 1st, emde 2nd and mcdirmid 3rd. not a bad finish.

April 1, 2006

frozen tt

first race of the frozen flatlands omnium out here was the time trial. first time on the time trial bike this year too. that always makes for a great race. the course was a winding car race track which made for some interesting riding.

for the unitiated, time trialling is a race from point to point done alone rather than in a group. essentially it is a race against the clock so riders use aerodydnamic helmets and those fancy areodynamic bikes. riding in that aerodynamic position is really different from the normal position and requires a lot of practice.

Continue reading "frozen tt" »

March 30, 2006

ranier roubaix

sunday was the "ranier roubaix". basically a 6 mile race over brilliant but decaying and undulating road through the fourest to 4 mile circuit: 2 miles flat gravel road with plenty of big rocks and loose gravel between the tire lanes and 2 miles of pavement. 12 laps of that loop and then ride back 6 miles to the finish.

i have mixed feelings about this race format. on the plus side, it is a very challenging race. the gravel section was very hard and required skilled riding. over the day we continuously shed riders who couldn't hang on. the racing to and from the loop was fast and challenging as well.

on the other hand success in this race depended a lot on luck. rob campbell was taken out by a crash which split the field. woe to the guys behind that crash who were split off and woe to rob who lost all chance of a result that day (a good chance, i think). of course, it can be argued that a rider must ride at the front to avoid such problems (such as i did, never leaving the front 10 riders). but i would say that this is just the problem. there were only two good places to ride through the gravel so there just wasn't space for everybody to be safe. the fight for those precious few safe spots was probably a major contributor to the crash. flats also ended the competition for many riders. even with new tires, flats can happen as a matter of pure luck. and the race is hard on equipment. my sweet easton/velomax wheels took the beating with nary a complaint but my saddle broke. split the plastic shell. but believe me, it hurt me more than it hurt the saddle. ugh.

i imagine that the hosting team was frustrated by the weak turnout. clearly, road racers in washington don't want to do races that feature extensive racing off road. a stage race in montana found the same thing. for better or worse, that's just the reality of the market.

anyway, the race the circuit was fast and agressive. i'm sure we lost a few on the way out. first time through the gravel was a crash, as i mentioned. i heard that rob went down and i asked the other riders if we were going to wait a bit for him. by the sound of it he went down pretty hard so the other racers weren't keen on waiting. after that it was move after move. i had a brilliant team there with devin and van horn alternating making moves off the front and making other teams chase. that made the middle half rather easy for me. i also figured out how to ride it and stopped wasting as much energy. eventually i was off the front with two race favorites from the only teams well represented in the remaining 10-15 riders in the front group of the race. i thought for sure we'd be the winning group. but a rider from recycled chased us down. ian and johnny sundt countered and made the winning move with 3-4 laps to go. the recycled rider missed that again so he continued chasing. my group of 5 or so riders (and a few guys who were lapped but were riding with us for some reason) raced to the finish. there were two guys from the local team, which had me worried. they knew the road (and potholes!) and with teamwork were likely to work us over. we held it together though (and managed to not crash) and i took the group sprint for 3rd. ian won, so first and third on the day.

in the washington cup i extended my lead over emde but sunt made some serious in roads with two second place finishes. ian however made up almost all of the ground to be only 5 points behind. that's fine. as long as we take first and second, i'll be happy.

for me efforts i look home $10 and a six pack of beer. $10 for third place. went straight to tony for gas money.

independence valley

last saturday was the "independence valley road race" in rochester, wa. longish drive. cool course. two hills one considerably steeper than the other. they were separated on one side by flat farm land through a valley and on the other by a rolling wooded road. i thought it was pretty cool. challenging too, aparently as there were lots of splits over the hills. we had a small crew there with ian, tony, brad and i.

the race ran as i expected with breaks going that didn't include the big interests in the washington cup. we expected tony and brad to have an opportunity to get into those moves and get results for themselves but the hills proved to be a little too shocking to tony's legs and brad was disqualified for going over the yellow center line on a descent. bummer. anyway, ian and i covered a lot of moves but let some go as well. the thought was that if we covered everything something would eventually go and that something might be a threat to the washington cup. team leaders can't do everything on their own. sure enough, a break of four got off. two other teams were forced to work after we demonstrated that we weren't willing to do it but it just wasn't enough to bring it back. over the final climb i found my self in a group of four which i thought would make it across but we were chased down by the axley team, protecting michael emde. we did however, have a group of a bit more than 10 and that group mostly worked together for the final 10 miles and almost caught the lead group of 4. ian and i took the field sprint to get 5th and 6th. all in all, not bad considering what we had to work with.

photo by bikcafe.net

we're a goofy bunch. me with my big ass ears, archibald on the right there with his 'stache.

March 28, 2006

sequim on cyclingnews

www.cyclingnews.com: Jackson Takes Sequim Road Race with "super-vicious-crazy-go-nuts-smack-down attack”

March 20, 2006

a little smack talk

our team president put out some smack talk after our race yesterday.

Broadmark / Hagens Berman laid down some serious body blows over the weekend. Hope the other teams can recover. Note our elite team was in CA over the weekend and will be at Redlands next.

ha!

so yeah, saturday ian took the win at the final mason lake. i gathered up 6th place. sunday in ravensdale we continued our dominance of the washington cup series by sweeping the top three spots. hell yeah. nick clayville was first, i was second and ian was third. it was a great team effort by everybody involved and it makes me very excited about this group of guys. it comes around and i look forward to repaying the favors. i place a high value on teamwork and i reward it.

before the race hone took some nice shots.

March 14, 2006

sequim road race

sunday race was sequim. beautiful area, decent course. rather boring when you're in the break for 82 miles. good god. found my way into the early break which was sealed when another teammate came across to make it well represented and 9 strong. we cruised to a five minute gap. in the end we whittled it down to 5 guys and ian and i double teamed them to take first (me) and second. pretty sweet result. looks like that unofficially puts me in second place for the washington cup and ian not too far behind. i'll take it. so far as i know, there aren't any pictures. never fails that when i win a race, there's no photographic record. there's a picture of me taking my solo flyer at mason lake though.

March 12, 2006

double race weekend

a little double race weekend this weekend. mason lake was yesterday and sequim today. yesterday's racing was a little lame because most people were riding conservative and defensive in anticipation of today's race. looks like the weather will be good for today's race. last year it was coooold and rainy! holy crap it was bad!

today's race is the second in the "washington cup" series, which is a cool idea. taking the "spring classics" of washington and making them into a series. ought to promote more racing, more team tactics and generally better racing. one slight irony though, is that i think it will serve to promote the general trend of late which is lots of preparation for early season racing, leading to subsequent burnout and lack of participation later in the season. i'll take it though.

seabass came to the race. she had a great time. she loves riding in the car and she doesn't mind walking on a leash either. crazy cat. she was a major hit among the spectators. i don't know where she is right now. maybe sleeping with michelle. the dog here has a big cone on its head and that scares the crap out of seabass.

staying and michelle's parents' tonight. always an enjoyable time here. they keep these little chocolates out. oh man, its tough for me to not plow through them.

Israel Vibration in the house.

Unconquered People

March 6, 2006

what condition my condition is in

yep, i just dropped in. yeah, yeah, ah yeah.

first race was on saturday. what does that mean? who knows. unlike other riders, i really limit my intervals before racing. my base really focuses on long endurance intervals and i leave off the harder stuff. that said, i can typically race pretty well but long bridges are not well supported. didn't warm up much for the race, and definitely paid a price for that. i was content to let the eager guys take care of things early and they definitely did. ian and chad got into the first real break, which was more of a splintering off the front. they dangled for a quite a bit, mostly within sight. i covered a move and found myself on the front when a a valley rider attacked from the front. nobody followed so i jumped and got to his wheel rather easily and saw that we had a gap, so i opted to go for it. it would put 3 broadmark riders in and 2 valley. that would be about 30% broadmark, solid broadmark. anyway, we traded pulls and made steady progress on the break but the pack looked to be strung out behind us. we hit the small rise in the climb, which happens to had a head wind as well. i put in a good pull and little archibald came past me a bit quicker than i expected and i was gapped. at this point, being in the red for some time, my legs were getting pretty heavy. another guy, out of nowhere came past us and archibald punched it to get on his wheel and i just didn't have it. too many matches burned.

archibald and his teammate, campbell, sat on the break and generally rode in an frustrating fashion, but he won, so what can you say? we'll see how that plays out for them going forward, given other teams' frustrations. chad brought it in for third but didn't have a number pinned, so he was relegated.

so what condition is my condition in? fairly good, i think.

September 17, 2005

put it into hyperdrive

earlier this summer, on the bgt i heard a guy tell his girlfriend to "put it into hyperdrive". i'm pretty sure he was talking about her bike. i'm not sure. well today in the road stage of univest, i needed hyperdrive. i can't remember where i left it. fast race. really fast. it was pretty much as i expected. the beginning was a mad dash out of town with everybody sprinting from corner to corner. it was strung out. early attacks formed a group off the front pretty quick. they stayed away for a while, but i have no idea how. they must have put it into hyperdrive, 'cause we were killin' it in the field. first kom was ok. i hit it in decent position and was able to carry a lot of speed up it and dart through some holes. my strategy for the race was to bury myself on the climbs to stay up in the front group(s) and then recover. well, i managed the first part, but the second part eluded me. the first climb wasn't so tough, only 500 meters or so. but the false flats after killed me. i got over just off of a group but couldn't find that hyperdrive to get me there. i let a number of guys come past and i was finally able to kick it onto somebody's wheel. we were all strung out trying to catch the main group. for the next 10 or so minutes i was breathing raspy and rough. that isn't good. cho cho breathing is what terry calls it. the race just didn't relent. we hit the second climb after a really heavy false flat run-up. teams were drilling it on the front and we were pretty strung out when we hit it. man that kicked. 20%, at least. maybe i did find hyperdrive, i don't know. i wasn't so much trying to ride to the top but rather trying not to fall over. i could just barely turn the pedals over. guys were swerving, falling and walking. the weaker among us were begging to be pushed. my eyes rolled back and i got dizzy. made it over the top though with even my t-rex arms full of lactic acid. i was in an ok group and we were just off the front group. luckily on this one it tips straight down. the descent was curvy, dark and wet. i'd liked to have railed the corners but we couldn't see what was on the other side. a camera moto came by us and screwed our lines up. i locked it up going into one corner. troy would slide sideways and ride into the ditch on that corner. we got down and were 20 seconds behind the group. guys were pulling through, sort of, and we got back on. never got to the front after that. there was a brief slow down and it was pegged again. i hit the feed zone on the back and fell off fiddling with my musette bag. somebody had the field strung out in front of me. i got back on when they slowed down. i was hurtin'. i was so beyond myself i could hardly see. we rolled a long a while and i check our average speed. 28 mph. yeah. that's a crit pace at home. a fast crit at that. i was working my way up and we hit a rise. i tried to stand up to get over it and there was nothing. i slid backwards but came over just on the back. i clung on for dear life as it was strung out again. it gets rough back there, guys opening gaps, and blowing up. shortly after we hit another rise and i was cooked. i couldn't hang on. i slid backwards and struggled up the 6% rise like it was a 20% rise. finally i got off my bike and sat in the ditch for a while until i felt better. a good sized group caught me and i rode in with the guy who'd won the first two sprints and alejandro acton, from agentina. won a couple of stages at the tour of argentina. guy's legs are bigger around than terry's torso. he won the GMSR crit. doped?

univest is a hard race. you gotta bring your a game. tom brought his a game. he found his hyperdrive and finished 12th or 3th (or 14th). he's having dinner with jonathan vaughters tonight.

September 6, 2005

fistfull of dollars

crit on monday to finish off the weekend. 50 laps, about 70 minutes. not much is expected to change in the GC, so as long as tom and sean make any splits, they'll be fine. there's money to be had and we're going to get ours.

i've talked about crazy crits before, but this was the craziest. it wasn't the fastest, but it was the most aggressive. lots of pushing, lots of choping, lots of bar banging. it was either adapt or find yourself at the back. i adapted. i learned how to really ride a crit. for the first 15 minutes i found my self being pushed out and chopped in the corners and basically being screwed by the more aggressive east coasters. i started doing it back and was able to hold position at the front. it was either command your space or i'd prefer a faster crit with less jockeying, but i could take it. it was crazy though. taking corners so close that my bars are on a guys legs or leaned over so that my face is right above another guys bars. yeah, close. shoulder to shoulder. it wasn't a super fast race. they had money sprints combined with the sprint point sprints, which was unfortunate. troy got off the front with two guys for the crowd prime and worked them over nicely to bring home some good money. $650. with that and the rest of our money, we made more than the winning teams. works for me. i was set up perfectly for the finish, sitting about 5th wheel going into the last lap. but then a louis garneau guy came right up and camped out next to me, blocking me in while about 10 guys came past. damn! i've never had anybody do that to me. local guys aren't that clever and pros don't care much about me. didn't help his team too much though. i fought my way back up from 15th wheel to get to 9th in the sprint. there wasn't much to be done. after the sprint, the first corner comes about 20 meters later. the winner, who sprinted on the right, chopped my wheel as i was easing into the corner and i went down (and took out his dickhead lead out guy). yeah, i went down AFTER the race was over. man, what the hell? i guess there was a post race crash in every field that alan adams watched.

went to our host housing after and got set up. not much space there. yesterday we lounged around, took sean to the airport and then went out to downtown burlington. always interesting to see where we raced the crit. we packed up and moved out to alan's parents' house out in the middle of nowhere in new hampshire. haverhill new hampshire, to be exact. they have horses.
vermont was a cool state. they don't allow billboards and we barely saw a chain store or restaurant the whole time. that's pretty cool, i think. it's amazing what it does for the scenery, capitalism be damned. the towns are so old, which is cool, coming from the west where barely anything is old. the layouts haven't changed much either. towns stretch along the rivers rather than branching out. the state capitol was strangely tucked into a narrow, isolated valley as if it were being hidden from somebody. the country side is kinda creepy too though. creepy old churches. blair witch and amityville creepy.

the international apartment of pancakes is operating in the adams' kitchen. tom ate half the batch. this kid is loco!

September 4, 2005

climb slow, descend fast

start with yesterday's race. 70-something mile race. there was a hill in it, but it was a pretty easy grade. for a lot of guys, it was a big ringer. i little ringed it cause i like the chain-line better. i can spin it better. anyway, it couldn't break the pack up much. if the prologue was an insane fight for position, it was only worse at this race. like i said before, 130 riders is way too many to put in one lane. especially when everyone of them thinks he can win. guys were again riding blatantly over the yellow line. there were huge cracks and holes in the pavement as well, so guys trying to avoid those holes would nearly crash guys. it was insane. i've never been so on edge in a race for so long. we were packed in tight. dan took the first kom. they worked the other riders in brilliant fashion. on the second kom solomon and tory set a good tempo but dan went a tad early and was aced out. ah well. in the first sprint (where we didn't have full road) i was boxed in. way boxed in. i just couldn't get any where. again, riders were riding on the left side of the road--for long periods of time. if you wanted in on the sprint, you just had to. there were a lot of attacks, but the field just wouldn't let anything go. guys chased their teammates down. it was ridiculous. sean and i got into one promising break, but again, they just wouldn't let it go. for the final sprint we figured on leading me out with tom and sean on my wheel. that way we could get a good result and those guys could get more points for their overall standings. it was a pretty strange sprint. at about 15 km to go, the pack just shut down. but because it was so tight, nobody could move up to do anything. physical blocking. what can you do? it was super dodgy. we all came so incredibly close to crashing so many times. insane. as things were ramping up, troy got me near the front, but we were on the right.. we were in an ok position, but then at 1 km a group came way over the yellow line and led out and we were suddenly screwed. i jumped and got what i figure was a top ten. tom was on my wheel and a few places back. however, because all the yellow line violations for the intermediate sprint and the final sprint were so blatant, they nullified those. damn. the whole thing was pretty stupid. nobody ramped it up because nobody could get to the front to do it. it was just impossible.


before today's stage there was a rider protest. we didn't start when they wanted to start us. some well spoken blokes chatted with the organizer. they basically told him that it was ridiculous and since he'd taken in some $15,000 in entry fees, he could at least get more than one moto to enforce the yellow line rule (since it wasn't enforced on saturday but was draconianly punished). the outcome was that riders that were relegated were reinstated but point penalties stood.

so today. dan is high in the KOM competition. there's a sprint at 18.5 miles. again, lots of attacks. nobody would let any go (suprising). but then one went. and they let it go. i was right there, but totally pinned in. i figured it would get chased down, so i didn't take the risks to get it. i'll bet it was the same for everybody else. they built up their lead and we worked on the front and held the gap steady until the first climb. i went backwards pretty fast, as did troy. up the climb the break was caught just after the KOM. damn. i got over the top with a group and promptly dropped them on the descent. i've never see a bunch of guys with such big asses descend so slow. it was ridiculous. we caught the pack pretty quickly, but man it was frustrating. weak. they were so weak. i got back to the front but we didn't have to work too much. there were a lot of attacks and a few guys got off the front. nothing that could really stick too long. dan wasn't feeling hot so he set tempo to keep the attacks down. eventually i got the race leader's team (target training) to do some work with us. lots of the teams were pretty content to let the break keep going. when the gap finally got to 2:30 they went to the front. middle climb wasn't too long but it was damned steep. probably 12-15%. and then it kicked at the end. kicked hard. solomon broke his chain, which was too bad. i was counting on him being up with tom and sean on the final climb to help a bit. ah well. what are you going to do? dan popped hard on the climb. the descent from there was super duper fast. i hit 62 mph. that's a new record for me. i also nearly went into the ditch cause a i didn't set up for a long sweeper quite right. ha! screw you noah! the break was still off and so i went to the front with fior di fruta and worked to bring them back. we brought back the target training guy that had been dangling, so they had to go to the front to protect their guy. finally! well, there were a few steep pitches that really socked me after working. and then the couple miles of hard pack dirt and gravel. we finally hit the final climb and i put my anchor down. yep, i was wasted. cooked. blown. i did the last 10 miles alone. damn that finish climb, only a two miles or so, killed me. the final 500 meters was 18%. i was seeing stars. i barely barely barely made it. a race official had to push my broken carcass off the road because i couldn't pedal any more. tom finished 4th and sean was in the top ten too. good finishes. some teams gave us crap about using all of our guys up, but i think we played things about right. losing solomon to a chain break was unfortunate, but what are you going to do. not like i was going to be any good on that final climb.

everybody finished though. that's good. that's guts. damn, if i'd fallen off on the first climb, i'd have turned around and gone home!

Continue reading "climb slow, descend fast" »

September 3, 2005

GMSR: prologue

yesterday was the prologue. a different format. 2 mile neutral rollout to the bottom of a climb. the first 2-3 miles were pretty gradual, 2-3% with a strong wind. the last 3-4 miles however, were super steep, a reasonable format for the abilities of our guys. no full road at this race, so with 130 riders, you can bet it will be a mad fight for the front. our strategy then was to keep tom, dan and sean safe. if the pace wasn't high enough then we'd set it and keep our guys out of trouble. it was a crazy fight and guys were pushing and swerving and taking all sorts of chances to get up. a few guys were relegated for blatant yellow line violations. i felt that the whole thing was totally unsafe. i can't believe the whole weekend will be like that.

anyway, the pack started splitting as soon as we hit the climb, which really started with a 10% or greater pitch. the front group stayed essentially intact. i slid back a bit but was still in that group. on the next pitch however, i wasn't paying very good attention (and i was hurtin') and i was split off. i was at my steady tempo, so riding across the gap wasn't going to happen. in the front sean put in an attack with a few km to go to try and draw out some other guys and soften things up for tom. i don't know what happened after that but tom got second. tom doesn't really know what happened either. i asked him. he isn't sure.

dan decided at some point that this trek up the hill was much like the salmon running up the streams of the northwest. salmon never give up, so he couldn't give up was his logical next step. in his mind, he was a salmon all the way up. dan the salmon.

this morning we're getting ready to drive to the circuit race. it's 1015 and it is shocking that dan is awake. i'm not sure if salmon sleep 12 hours a night, but dan does.
the mad river barn inn turned our hot water on. that was nice. tom likes long cold showers. me? not so much. maybe that's why tom is so bitter.

July 9, 2005

cascade crit

downtown bend crit last night.

this race is known for being fast and intense. the prizes are good, ranging from $20 (don't blow it for that!) to $500. i'm not sure what the win was worth. the crowd is huge. the rain dampened the crowd a bit this year, but i imagine that there were still several thousand folks there. in the last laps all i could hear was the deafening roar. it was incredible! the course is "L"-shaped and relatively open. the women were reporting that the course was "like ice" and that the freshly painted stripes were slick (which they typically are). i think laps were taking just a bit more than a minute a piece. there were only 76 riders lining up, down from more than 100 starters. owen was lined up right in the front. i was in the third row. damn. good starts are crucial in these crits. being at the back means lots of hard work as the accordion effect is brutal back there. well, my start was grossly stymied by a navigators guy who couldn't find his pedal and swerved severely in front of me. the first few laps were quite tentative as the health net guys, who were on the front, took it easy. things sped up however as the racers realized that the course was not in fact "like ice". unfortunately i was cautious as well and didn't use that as a chance to move up. in fact, for the first half of the race, i was far too heavy on my brakes and was taking some pretty bad lines, making my life difficult. about half way through, i realized that i didn't in fact need to brake at all and that i was also getting incredible traction. i began taking risks, which rewarded me. i was running michelin pro grip tires and had the confidence to take lines like it was dry. i found that i could take that super fast outside line and pass easily. all this culminated with me suddenly finding myself near the front and the race was suddenly a whole lot easier. in fact, it felt like a local race. what a difference position makes! things were tough though because it had been seriously raining for the bulk of the race and i was actually getting cold. i was glad that i'd worn an undershirt! i was really wishing for arm warmers as well. in fact, i couldn't even feel my hands!. i also couldn't see much. i had yellow lenses on (i couldn't get the clear ones into the frames) and they were covered with water and grime. it was also dark. they had lights in some sections, but the reflections made it difficult for me to see. in some ways, this was good because i cornered more efficiently not knowing that i was only millimeters away from the guy in front of me. but it made it difficult for me to judge how much the guys in front of me were slowing. i got pretty confused in the last fives laps. i thought i heard three to go, and i was sitting pretty sweet. it apparently wasn't and i had no idea how many to go. tom was a few riders in front of me and made a strong move up and claimed 11th on the stage. i came in at 18th. i'm happy with that finish.

today is the circuit race. 13 mile circuit that we do some 6 times for about 80 miles. there's a wall in it. the wall isn't so bad, but the couple miles of gentle rising afterwards can really finish a rider off! i lasted about 65 miles in this race last year before coming off. i expect to make it the whole way this time. if there's a break that i can get into, i'll do that for sure. breaks often take those sorts of obstacles at a more reasonable pace while keeping its speed up on other portions of the course to stay away from the pack. that would certainly suit me well.

June 13, 2005

jackass, the race...continued

we had the stillwater crit yesterday. a killer stage that shook up the gc quite a lot. the course featured a long hill at something like 15%. it was lined with crazy loud fans and had an incredible atmosphere. the course continued with a bit of false flat before the long fast descent to return to the bottom of the climb.

Continue reading "jackass, the race...continued" »

June 11, 2005

jackass, the race

crit yesterday, road race today.

Continue reading "jackass, the race" »

June 10, 2005

research and development

today is day three of the nature valley grand prix. first stage was the tt on wednesday. it was a 4.5 mile out and back on the banks of the mississippi river. it was a pretty windy course with a 200 ft rise in the middle and a false flat heading out to the turn around. if i'd had a tt bike and had ridden the day before, i probably would have really enjoyed the course. as it was, i kind of enjoyed it. i've never done a tt like that on a road bike. its not that bad, but definitely a disadvantage. i couldn't really relax in an aero position and still put power into the pedals--i didn't feel like i hade as much power. more than that though, i was sick a week ago and didn't get to ride yester, i went out feeling good and was pretty much blown for the last 1 km in the wind. i think that happened to a lot of guys. dustin came out our best placed rider in something like 50th place.

Continue reading "research and development" »

research and development

today is day three of the nature valley grand prix. first stage was the tt on wednesday. it was a 4.5 mile out and back on the banks of the mississippi river. it was a pretty windy course with a 200 ft rise in the middle and a false flat heading out to the turn around. if i'd had a tt bike and had ridden the day before, i probably would have really enjoyed the course. as it was, i kind of enjoyed it. i've never done a tt like that on a road bike. its not that bad, but definitely a disadvantage. i couldn't really relax in an aero position and still put power into the pedals--i didn't feel like i hade as much power. more than that though, i was sick a week ago and didn't get to ride yester, i went out feeling good and was pretty much blown for the last 1 km in the wind. i think that happened to a lot of guys. dustin came out our best placed rider in something like 50th place.

yesterday was a 92 mile road race. it started at 445 pm and was about 90 minutes away. three hours of driving for 3:20 in riding. yeah! they called up about 20 guys to the start line, including adam curry, cause he's from new zealand. lots of local guys got call ups. anyway, the racing started off pretty fast. the course was essentially flat with a few short climbs coming later on. it finished with six laps on a 2.5 mile circuit with a .6 mile climb that averaged 15%. damn. in the first 20 or so miles there were a lot of moves, none of which stuck. i think the local teams were riding with a lot of anxiety; they were putting in hard move after hard move without doing in a really smart manner. one big group did get off without a broadmark guy in it, so i put in a big bridge effort. i wasn't able to get off clean and was pulling a number of guys across. i pulled off to see if anybody would pull through and nobody would. i attacked again and was going solo. after a bit a group, which i thought was the front of the pack came past me but i couldn't get on. the pack came to me and we hit the side wind sections which would define the race. i was feeling the effort and was now guttered. i held for a while but then started opening up gaps. i slid back a while but then the course turned and i we got a respite from the side wind. i was able to recover a little before the next side wind. i was near the front when it strung out again and i though i could jump across the guttered group to get to where the echelons were formed. well, i put that effort in but didn't quite make it and started going backwards, not able to get any cover. huge gaps started opening up and i fell off with one other guy. another group came past us well off the back and i got on and rested. we picked up a more and more guys and got a decent group of 20 guys. ahead of us the pack was under pressure and breaks were getting off. adam got into one of the moves, which was pretty disfunctional. none of the pro teams besides endeavor was working but all the amateurs (probably local guys) were killing themselves. adam finally popped and came back to the group. once that break got off, the pack slowed down significantly and my group was able to get into the caravan and work its way up to the safety. i think a good portion of the pack was pretty worked. we moseyed for quite a ways. things would get tough in the side winds, but none were as long or intense as the first. with about three or four miles to the finishing circuit, a webcor guy went into the gutter while we were strung out in the side wind. he tried to get back onto the road but simply fell over, caught on the lip. this took out 6 guys and disrupted the pack. dustin and owen were right next to it and made it with the peleton. i was behind it and got caught behind the split. adam was stopped but was able to draft a car back to my group. none of the guys in my group, would take regular pulls so we fell off the pace of the main group. we hit the finishing circuit with a quite large group less than a minute behind the pack. the local guys all started killing it (whereas before they wouldn't see any wind) in front of the crowd. first time up the climb they all started attacking. they didn't quite have as much gumption the second time. my second time up a stiff link in my chain (the shimano guy screwed me!) caused my chain to drop twice. i almost fell straight over because my new pedals were a bit stiff! ha ha! adam was not far behind me. i was lapped by the leaders and i was pulled. didn't want to go up that hill again. in the end quite a number of racers were pulled by the time cut and a number simply dropped out.

today we're chillin' out. tom and i went out to spin an hour to prepare for the crit. the rest stayed in to play XBOX. i'm not sure if they've gone outside yet. motocross.

a friend of our host works in research and development at pilsbury. she brought over about 10 pounds of freshly baked chocolate chunk cookies.

May 21, 2005

puttin' the hurt on

crit last night. only an hour, which went by pretty quick. my head was totally off. the course was a bit dodgy. there were a few corners with big (3-4 inch) drops or bumps in them. potholes and big cones marking hazards presented further hazards. anyway, with a wheel that wasn't quite round and my fresh wounds i was pretty much fuh-reeked out. i'm never freaked out. but is was scared. when you're scared in a crit, you can't ride effectively. i was working way too hard because i was braking too much in the corners and having to catch up with the guys in front of me. that's hard work. halfway through the race i got a bit more comfortable, finally figuring out some of the good lines though the corners. but then, i flatted (luckily on a straight where i could roll into the grass). got over to the wheel pit and got a neutral wheel. then i realized that half the field was being lapped at on that lap. well, i wasn't as bad as those guys! i got back in and we decided to go to the front and work to pull back a break. well, i went to the front and worked for about three quarters of a lap. dustin pulled through on a rough corner and the health net guys wouldn't let me in. nobody would let me in. and i was drifting and getting busted. i finally got in, but was was worked after being out for so long. eventually, i gapped off and chased for three or so laps. with two to go, they pulled me. lame thing: everybody off the back got the same time. i didn't get jack for working to stay out longer. damn.

looking for dinner was difficult. apparently all the restaurants close at 900. it was 915. its a dry county, too. anyway, we wandered around and found a super cool coffee shop (espresso!) that had randomly had a dinner party. they let us in on some awesome gumbo. $5 for as many bowls as we could eat. fruit smoothies too. what a find.

road race today at 730 am. up at 530. damn. some of the guys ate a big breakfast. i had cozy shack ride pudding. ah yeah. well, there wasn't any time to digest those big bowls of cereal. damn. the race was a mere 60 miles. 15 miles flat, a couple miles climbing out into some flat terrain and then back over that climb for about 12 miles flat. the kicker: $500 hotspot about a mile before the climb. we went out hard getting into the attacks trying to get off for the hotspot. i certainly wasn't warmed up at all. it felt more like crit speeds than road race. anyway, i was fatiguing when a couple guys got off. that's what i get for trying to rest a bit. it looked like they were going to come back and i hopped onto the mercy train but it was too late. ran out of real estate. when we hit the climb a group immediately jumped off the front sans any broadmark riders. owen broke a chain near the bottom. damn. the neutral service guy put him on a neutral bike. he even wanted to drop a plumb from owen's knee to see if it fit right. ha! it wasn't even flat! anway, i slogged over the top at the back and hit the flats at the back. worked up to the front. i eventually went to the front to help the aerospace guys chase the break. well, just my luck to be on the front when we started climbing back over petit jean, the climb we'd done earlier. i came off with a group and put some smart efforts in to get back to the group. once in the group i tried to get further up but the climbing started again. it wasn't really such a hard climb but i wasn't feeling it at all. terry gave me some good power feeds but i was just off the back of the caravan over the top and i couldn't get back on during the descent. i was caught by three guys and we motored in.

back to the house and our host, ginger, has made spaghetti with meat sauce and lemonade. we put the hurt on that. ah yeah. i took a good 2 hour nap and now i'm trying to recover from that. we're watching "pimp my ride". i hate TV. guys are staggering down from their respective naps.

May 15, 2005

pleasure to burn

only a crit today. a 90 minute crit. do one of those and those little 60 minute crits at home don't seem like much. actually, they haven't seemed like much for some time. maybe i'll win one some day.

i'm drinking some espresso from my bialletti. good times. it's a pleasant morning in arkansas. percy the fat longhaired dachshund is curled up next to me. we're watching "wet hot summer". it's about summer camp. i'm at summer camp right now. we've decided to stay in fayetteville until next thursday before we head to russellville. the wonderful people that we're staying with have offered us the use of their house next week while they're in costa rica. it's a great house with a nice back yard. i think we're going to have a bbq.

so, yesterday we finished things off with a 2.5 mile up hill individual time trial. our road race on friday finished at about 700 and the saturday race started at 800 and lasted about three and a half hours. total mileage of 200 in less than 24 hours. and then the time trial. in my warm-up, i hit 100 miles. so yeah, i didn't really have that next level to push myself to. of course, nobody did. i actually didn't do that bad. i was like two minutes back of the winner, danny pate from jelly belly. but, i still finished in the top half of the field. i'm way ahead of gaggioli in the overall, so i've got that going for me, which is nice. anyway, the other guys all did better than me. carl got about 20th, dustin got 22nd, solomon and owen were in the top 40. we're shooting for a high team finish to get some money.
the mullet count is up to three for the trip.

Continue reading "pleasure to burn" »

that anton guy

featured photo

Archives