Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yes, it's Wednesday...

This past weekend was both the Mike Horgan hill climb, and the Longmont Crit. Two races that couldn't be more different, other than the extreme heat. It wasn't the plan, it was a possibility, but I ended up driving the pace through the canyon right from the start. I had plenty of help from Seth and one of the Al's guys. We were definitely going quick up the canyon. And the legs responded as you would expect once we hit the climb. I settled in, and just kept the pace steady. Unfortunately I just got gapped at the beginning of the dirt, where having friends to ride with would have been the most help. So it was pretty much a solo TT for the rest of the ride that day.
Saturday evening I went down to Jeff and Craig's house for a little party action. There was fun to be had! Beer-pong, flip cup, the charring of animal flesh, and just plain hanging out. Always a good time. I was designated driver, and was racing the next day, so the drinking was kept to a minimum. But I think it helped my flip-cup technique for sure!
Jeff relaxes;

Craig focuses;
Sunday was the Longmont crit. Not one of my favorite races, since it is bone-flat. And it's quick; I swear I was getting dizzy last year riding this course, going around and around for 90 minutes. The roads are wide though, which makes the corners a breeze - even if lots of guys do tend to slow up too much for them. HART missed the break, and with the high speeds, and temps in the high 90's it was tough to get a consistent group working at the front. I tried to put in as much work as I could. Unfortunately at the end, with about 15 minutes left, I walloped one of the nasty holes on the course, and it shifted my front derailleur out of adjustment. Suddenly it was dragging on my chain and chainring anytime I tried to pedal. I was mostly pack-fodder at that point, so I ended up slipping off the back. Did I mention that it was hot? I think I was over-cooked for the rest of the evening.

How about this tour? It's been a crazy and unpredictable one. I can't help but notice how much closer all the competition is, and the stages are, with (presumably) less doping in the peloton. And just as yesterday's stage was a real beauty, with an inspiring ride by Mauricio Soler. Then followed by the news today, that Patrik Sinkowitz turned up a positive testoterone test back in June. Great. But again, things look back up today, with a stage win from a break by Cedric Vasseur. I've really liked Cedric since his ridiculously long solo break some 10 years ago at the tour. Crazy, I remember watching the long tv coverage, with him out front that entire day, routing for him to hold on, and he did. I think that single ride made me love riding into a break, more than anything else.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No racing this past weekend, but a busy one nonetheless...Saturday I met up with E, McChad and Brent for a little preview of the Mike Horgan course (which we'll be racing this Saturday). I live right on the course, so I was more the tour-guide, rather than learning how the course goes. You ride Magnolia, and it's hard to forget just how stinkin' steep that evil hill is! Though, of course I like riding up it in the summer, way better than driving down it in the winter! It's steep!

We rode up to Eldora, and the weather was great. And climbing is fun and all, but coming back down the mountain is still always where the real buzz is...

After the early morning ride, Jessica and I were off to a bit of a pool party. The rain tried to dapen things, but there was still plenty of swimming, grilling, and beer-drinking to be had!

Sunday morning, Craig, Jeff, Jesse, and Wes came up, for some great paintballing! I was anxious to play, since it's been awhile since we got a game together. It was a good time, and we had a blast as always. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get any pictures.

After paintballing, we traded Wes for Jessica, and the five of us were off to Hibachi for some dinner, and then, the moment we'd all been waiting for - TRANSFORMERS! The movie was pretty awesome. I was definitely glad it didn't suck, since you know how Hollywood tends to do that... They had the guy that did the original voice for OptimusPrime come back for the movie, and I'm glad they did. It wouldn't have been the same if they didn't. Great too, that the Transformers still had a sense of humor, like they did in the original movie and cartoons. They did a good job with the story, without making it too goofy. And of course it had to have a romantic part to the movie, but they didn't over do it, and I think even embraced the fact that it was goofy, which actually made it more tolerable. There were still plenty of silly things in the story, but it was tolerable. I was hoping they wouldn't make a sequel, but of course word on the street is that they are. Hopefully they won't jack it up, but at the same time, there is talk of bringing in the Dinobots! That could be interesting...

Now we just have to wait for the Simpsons movie to open!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The 4th...

Yep, 4th of July. Pretty much one of my favorite holidays. It's always warm, it's near my birthday, and you get to blow things up. Fireworks, and especially explosions, are good. And now, well, it's also going to be our wedding anniversary. It was also a day off work; always a welcome gift, especially when it comes in the middle of the week. And I believe I needed a break, because it was the first time in a long time, that I actually got to take a nap in the middle of the day. And it easily turned into a two hour nap, before I made myself get out of bed. After my rest, Jessica and went out to find some fireworks!

It was a lovely evening, and the plan was to try to make our way up Flagstaff. The Flatirons looked very inviting in the setting sunlight.
Not surprisingly, Baseline Road was closed going up Flagstaff. Whatever, rules don't apply; Jessica was feeling like a trooper, so we took the hike up to the first parking lot up the hill. It was a nice walk, and it made me wish the road was closed whenever I was going to ride up the hill! We had a great vantage point with very few people nearby. The fireworks were to be at Folsom field, right in the background. Luckily, we were also able to see a couple separate shows up near Longmont, and several in the Lafayette, Broomfield, Supior directions. Easily 6 shows we saw all from one spot, which was great, since the Boulder ones were quite lacking in my opinion.

Today, I was poking around the Formula1 site, getting ready for tomorrow's British Grand Prix, Friday practice, when I noticed their F1 store. Knowing they just had to have something ridiculous in there, I took a peak. Now I can't decide if I want the $520 carbon fibre mouse pad..

...or the $260 F1 baseball cap, complete with the F1 logo, completely in Swarovski crystals...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Warm Mornings and the Bike Path

I love summer. Especially when I can wake up early enough to take the leisurely ride to work. I hopped on the Dean mountain bike today, and spent my extra time cruising down the bike path along the Boulder Creek.If I wasn't so worried about losing my coffee thermos out of my backpack, I might have hit a few more of the jumps along the way. And as usual on warm and sunny bike commutes - it took every ounce of my strength to turn into the parking lot at work, rather than continuing the ride up into the forest.

Pre-4th Weekend

So Saturday was the Sunshine Hill Climb. I "rode" in that race. Let's just leave it at that. I was really unhappy with my race, and I think I'm going to put more work towards setting up my new dodgeball/kickball team instead...

After the race, Jesse and Seth came up for a relaxing BBQ. We ate way too many hotdogs, drank plenty of beer, and threw some quoits. As the sun started to set, it was off to Nederland for the fireworks. I love the 4th of July, especially because of fireworks. The display was pretty great, and the people watching beforehand was nearly as good.

Saturday morning we slept in a bit, and I showed my guest Seth, proper hospitality by making him a lovely hotdog omelette. Don't blame me, it's what he asked for, and the customer is always right!

After that "light" breakfast, we went out to do a leisurely little 2 hour ride. It was nice staying up high, since even at 8000 feet, it was over 80 degrees! Though the omelette I had (sans hotdogs) made itself known in my belly, during the entire ride!

Like I said though, the weather was perfect!
After the ride, we hit up 7-11, all locations which now seem to be "Quicky-Marts" in honor of the upcoming Simpson's movie, for some "Squishies" to help cool off. Then some time in the swimming pool to further the cooling process. All-together, a busy, but relaxing day. The grill was even fired-up, resulting in some big ol' house-burgers, grilled potatos and a lovely grilled onion.