Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Dead Dog

This past weekend was the Dead Dog Stage Race up in scenic Laramie, WY. The road race is a monster... 86 miles of climbing and descending, all above 7500 feet, and two trips over the 11,000+ foot pass. My legs were fairly "wooden" at the base of the first real climb. Ugh... I eventually came off the group, but stayed persistant, holding a steady pace, and I kept picking up riders along the way. Eventually I caught some guys going pretty well, and together we chased back onto the main group just after the summit of the pass the first time through. Unfortunately coming back up the pass again, after the turnaround, the legs were having none of it. So chasing again. I got into a little group with some guys, but they were mostly content to spin along so we were going slowly. I knew Randy would be coming up, so once he did, I jumped on, and we went down the far side togther, and most of the way home. It was a warm and gorgeous day up there. That ride is really sweet, it would be fun to do it sometime, just for fun, and not at race-pace so you could look around and enjoy the sights.

Sunday was the Crit and the TT. The crit went well. I felt good, and did a ton of work for the boys on the team. We ended up with 2nd and 5th in the race, a great result, even though we were working hard for the win. It will just make us that much more hungry next time! After Saturday, and then lots of work in the crit, and the TT just 1.5 hours after the finish of the crit; my legs were pretty toasty. Plus, there wasn't anyone coming up behind, or much of a chance for me to move up (on time), so the motivation was low, and it quickly turned into a "trainer ride" on the TT bike.

Not a bad weekend. I didn't feel great, but I didn't feel like poo either. Adding it to the "experience files".

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I rode to work each morning. Nice little spins, plus the fact that Wednesday was bike to work day, so gotta represent. This weekend is the Sunshine Hill Climb. Not my favorite hill climb, but why not get up entirely too early on Saturday, pay some money to ride a climb I do more days than not, and work as hard as you can for 50 minutes or so. The best part of early morning hill climbs, is that it means a free ticket to be as lazy, or as productive, as you want for the rest of the day. I'm hoping for BBQ, beer, quoits, and fireworks to round out Saturday after the race...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer

Happy Summer! That's right, today is the first day of Summer, and personally, I'm hoping for continuing hot and sunny weather.

Last night I hit up the Boulder TT again. It was a bit of an experiment, since I was on my standard road bike, instead of my TT bike, and without all my aero gear. The legs were a touch tired, and I was definitely less motivated when the man with the official's shirt said, "go", but I made a good run of it. The main goal was to get in a good effort, and that I did. The good news was that I didn't seem to be losing anytime on my TT bike last week on the climbs. So I have good power in the TT position. And also a good sign that my pacing was a lot better this time around on the course, as I had hoped. Though I definitely wasn't as aero, and was a bit undergeared, running the 50-11 on my road bike, compared to the 55-11 on the TT bike. But I was just a bit slower last night, as to be expected. Still, a good effort to open up the legs before this weekends race up in Laramie.

This morning was perfect for a ride in to work. Speaking of that, don't forget that this is Bike to Work Month, and next Wed, is bike to work day here in Colorado! Check out the details at

Today though, it was warm even on the decent into Boulder. Which also meant it was a perfect day to stay off the brakes, and drop down the mountain as quickly my skill, and good sense, would allow. I love mornings like that... There was plenty of scenery along the way, and the road was begging me to keep on riding right on past work, without slowing to see if anyone even noticed that I wasn't there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A "Spoiler", SPOILS

Nice... just saw these today; the Slipstreamz Spoiler. I think they may be the perfect compliment to the goofy Sweat Gutr. Yikes. And if the spoilers weren't goofy enough, their marketing department was working overtime. Yeah... sure, they TOTALLY reduce the drag on your ears. Do you know why spoilers are called "spoilers"? They SPOIL the airflow. They don't make your ears more aerodynamic, providing a noticable difference in your riding. I'm so sick of retarded marketing like this. Wow... Marco Pantani would have been REALLY fast with some of these puppies! You only need to look to their second product, a spoiler that also works with your earplugs, for better music listening. Sweet. Once I get these, and then that little arrow thing that points in the direction of the best draft, and the mirror that fits on your top-tube, so I can ride "triathlete style" with my head down (of course with TT helmet tail poking straight into the air)... well then, I will definitely be all pimped out with the latest advances!

In the meantime I've been thirsty. It's hot outside. Over 95 american degrees. Lately I've been missing Pennsylvania simply because of Yuengling beer. If you're from the east, you know what I'm talking about. It's "the best, cheap" beer you can buy for my tastes. Some damn good beer right there. And reportedly the oldest brewery in these American States. I will have to pester the next person making a trip out there, to pick up at least a pounder for me. Tasty...

Caution: Inhaler may explode!

So as if there is some sort of competition to see who can have the "best" excuse for doping in pro cycling, I think this latest one really trumps "the EPO is for my dog";

German Ivonne Kraft has tested positive for the asthma medication Fenoterol after a cyclo-cross race on May 6. In a statement, Kraft said that her mother, who suffers from asthma, attended the race, and when she tried to use her medicated spray the bottle exploded and the cyclist must have inhaled the substance at that time.


Anyway, this weekend was the Hugo road race. It's a long drive, and a pretty boring course, but I try to not complain, since single-loop, 85 mile road races are very few and far between. We showed up with 8 guys and a lot of horsepower, and the day worked out very well for us! Riding as a team, we let an Al's guy go about 2 miles into the race, who was quickly joined by Randy and Wes from our team, another Al's guy, and a Bagel Boy. That basically took care of the larger teams at the race. I worked with the guys to control the group, other than a quick trip back to help Nick back to the field after he flatted and got a wheel from support. And the break up the road quickly opened a huge gap. On the cross-wind section where the race always comes apart, I was stuck at the wrong end of the split. I rode through 6 or 8 different guys that got gapped, but then ran out of guys to catch. It was just the group ahead, that I wasn't going to make it up to. So I settled in with a group, and rode home. Bummer to be stuck in that group, but I did my work, and also revelled in the fact that the legs were continuing to feel better, from week to week. FINALLY. I still have a ways to go, but things are looking up a bit.

Yesterday I hit up the Bus Stop ride and it was a bit hairy. Fun enough, watching someone fall over trying to get clipped in at the start of the ride, less fun bouncing off knuckleheads trying to hold on to the back of the group. Luckily, I felt more like my old self last night, and was easily able to ride and work at the front, while dishing out a little bit of pain. It's fun drilling it on the front, or chasing down guys that are confused, and think they are going to be allowed to go up the road! Hopefully, I will continue to feel better, as the days tick past.

Today I might head out for the Boulder TT again, though I do only have the road bike for the test. It should still be fun. Right now it's all about getting the legs to a good place before Dead Dog this weekend up in Laramie. It's going to be a rough race, with lots of heavy hitters making the trip. Good times though...

I wasn't able to make it, but this past weekend was Grayson's memorial. This picture really drove things home; again. And it seems crazy that he won't be out there racing with us, always ready for a chat, or some good humor. I wasn't his best friend, but man, it's still a big loss for everyone that knew him.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Boulder Time Trial

Yesterday was the Boulder Time Trial. I haven't done this race, since I figured why pay money to go ride a crappy section of road, that you can ride any other day, and not pay someone just to time you? But what the hell. I needed to put in a nice hard effort, after the bus stop ride was rained out on Tuesday, plus "he who shall not be named" (Seth, the flyin' Jew), has a shiny new TT bike that he needed to get some efforts on to test out. As you can see below, it's VERY nice, and very skinny. All in all, a great TT bike. Swap out a few of the parts, and it will be perfect. Hopefully he will let me clean up the cockpit a bit for him, and reduce the drag a little bit further.

Getting out to the race start was almost as much of a TT effort as the race itself, since we were running a bit late, so I'm sure that burned off some power. The race itself went "okay". I think I definitely could go faster, and now kinda want to do the course again. It's one thing riding that ugly section of road in a group ride, since usually on that bit, I am stuffed, and struggling to get home. It's another thing starting in Lyons on your TT bike, trying to get back to Boulder as quickly as possible! So now I should have a much better idea of the pacing required. Moniger, Phil Z, and Nick Frey all put in some amazing times!

This next little jem is from a group ride a couple weeks ago; Walker, He who shall not be named, Joey B, and myself rode from Golden, over Lookout, to Evergreen, over Squaw Pass, to Idaho Springs, to Empire, and up to Berthoud Pass. Along the way we passed a great guy out riding with no jersey. Sure, it was a gorgeous day, but we were over 9500ft. up, and plus, what do you do with your mini-pump when you don't have a jersey pocket to stuff it in? Well, I guess you just put it in the crack of your ass...