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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a little off-season update.....



it's been a while since i've last updated. i haven't been up to much other then putting on a few winter layers around the mid section. all the holiday foods, plus not much riding may have something to do with it. i've just been working and playing a lot of hockey to stay in shape and get in a little cross-training. i haven't ridden outside now in almost two months? i really can't remember. the only biking i've done is riding the trainer for about an hour twice a week. i've really been away from the cycling scene since about mid september when a complete break was in order. i've been playing at least two times a week since then. my new skates i got last month are finally starting to get broken in.
the two teams i'm playing on down at brentwood are doing pretty good. we're in first place on wed. night, and i think third on thursdays. we had a hard battled come from behind victory a couple weeks ago against the second place team, o.b. clarks. they're one of the better teams from all three advanced leagues at brentwood. we didn't really beat them, but tied it in the last minute which felt like a victory for us. it was also nice since i knew most of those guys and played with and against a lot since high school and through the years. it's nice when you can take a spear to the back of the leg and then turn around and give him a smile instead of a two-hander.
last weekend was our francis howell high school alumni hockey game. it's amazing that i was a part of that team when it was just in it's infancy. just to put it in perspective, we were the only st. charles team to field a team and we even had to take a few guys from our sister school francis howell north. now you look at it and just about every team in st. charles county has a hockey team and some even have two or three teams. we also had to drive 30 minutes to north county for practice and now there are about 10 sheets of ice all within about a 20 minute drive of where i grew up. the alumni game was a lot of fun. it was actually pretty good hockey for an alumni game. i got to see some young faces and skate against some youngsters that graduated last year.

i hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and not packing on too many pounds. tomorrow i'm planning a two hour ride on the trainer......we'll see how that goes. hopefully next time i'm on here i can say i've got a few road miles under my belt.

Friday, November 7, 2008

GREAT SKATE ADVENTURE '08...

Well, here I sit in the Denver airport. This time yesterday I was sitting in the Chicago airport. Let me fast forward a couple days. I ordered a new pair of skates online the other day and when I received them they were defective. Now I've got to send them back, so in the meantime I've decided to get another pair. Since I've got abnormally narrow feet I can never get anything that fits good. I've always got to settle or make do. There is one pair of skates on the market that fit me the best and let me say when I received them in the mail I didn't like what I saw when going over the workmanship. So, Thursday morning I decided to fly to Minneapolis thinking that's the "state of hockey" they should have some quality hockey shops. Well, to my dismay, they weren't any different then shopping for hockey equipment here in St. Louis. Nobody ever carries narrow skates. I never even left the Minneapolis airport. I called about 10 hockey stores only to get the same answer, "NO, don't have that size". I then had the idea to fly to Vancouver. There was a store that had my size there and decided to fly out. I was hoping to make it in time to catch the Canucks/Coyotes game, but my flight was delayed in Chicago. I did finally make it only to get a hotel room. I got up this morning and got my skates, and they do fit like they were made for me. I guess it's like bike shopping for bike parts. Skates are like a good component group. Next pair of skates I'm goint to pay the extra money for a custom fit pair of skates. If I can spent several thousand dollars on biking stuff, whats $650 for skates.

It's too bad it was raining in Vancouver, it looked like it would've been beautiful. You could see the mountains right across the bay through the low clouds. Mt. biking seems to be pretty big there too. I drove down one street and I saw like three bike shops along with all kinds of outdoorsy type shops. Think I'll try to visit again and stay more then 14 hours to take in the sights. All the architecture and buildings made it look like some Scandinavian country. You know mt. biking is big when the magazine shops in the airport carry three different mt. bike magazines along with the usual bicycling. I thought I was at Borders.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a much needed update.....

it's been a while since last updating this. i've been doing a lot, keeping busy, but none of it on the bike. a few weeks ago my neck chronic neck problem that's plagued me for about the last 10 years reared it's ugly head again. i had been doing ok with it, but i started to get headaches and just felt like i had a lot of tension in my neck and head. well, i got x-rays and an mri. the x-rays showed considerable arthritis. the results from the mri were bulged disks in the c3-c4, and c5-c6 regions. i'm not too sure where i go from here. i'm supposed to go back for a follow up visit in the next week or two. i can fully function, but sometimes just have this ache and pain in my neck that just won't go away. i started playing hockey again after taking a year break and was not sure if the added strain was causing it to hurt, nonetheless i'm still playing. any damage is propably already done.

as for hockey i'm finally feeling normal on the ice again after a year and a half break, mind you i've always played hockey every year. even when i was in the marine corps i was at least able to play a little roller hockey. the two nights a week is going good although back to back nights can be rough sometimes. thank god it's not full contact anymore. i've even started buying some well needed new equipment. it's funny how out of date i am with the latest and greatest when it comes to hockey equipment. it's just like biking stuff, something better always comes along, as much as you resist the new stuff always wins. i'm old school with my skates though, but i finally broke down and bought some bauer vapor xxxx's. these are such a nice skate, i'm so impressed with them, but unfortunately i may have to get different ones since they don't quite fit right. i've got two new pairs, but i just don't want to spend the time to break in either of them when the ones i really want are the new graf 703's. i have such narrow feet that graf skates may be the way to go, plus i used to have a pair and they fit like a glove.

skates is doing well, he's getting bigger, but i would've thought he'd be much bigger by now. he'll hit his growth spurt soon and be as big as bailey soon enough. as it turns out, i wasn't feeding him enough. i was going by the recommended feeding on the bag and was told by my vet that wasn't enough. bailey is bailey, always wants to play ball, she's a good girl.

i've actually gotten on the trainer the last couple of days and did a few spinning classes. that's about all the desire i have right now to be on the bike. enough to get my heartrate up an break a sweat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Season in review....

Well, it's been a while since I've posted here. I guess I should end the road/mt. bike season with some sort of season in review, so here it is. The goal back in March was to concentrate on the mt. bike races, and even go back to Indiana to do some Dino races, well, let me just say that went out the window. Most of the early mt bike races were either rained out or mud fests that I was not inclined to do. I also didn't get in as many races as I would have liked.

The best part of the season would have to be the road races early in the season. I got in the main races I wanted to get in and was in lead group for most of them. Dogwood was a blast. Hermann was another sufferfest, but a fun race. The state race really had me mentally and phyically abused. I was in the lead group until about the last 15-20 miles and was not recovering from all of the attacks before being dropped. I guess it was a blessing. I was able to recover and then solo'd a few miles by myself until finally catching the group and just missing the top 10 for 12th. That race really had it's ups and downs for me and I'm not talking about the terrain.

That brought me into July with a bit of a break from the road and got in some short track xc racing. Those were too much fun. Then in August came Jeff City and my first crit in about six weeks. I didn't think I'd do too well because of not getting much high tempo work other then a couple stxc races. Well, after suffering for the first part of the race I ended up getting a great line to the finish for 9th, my best finish of the season.

That would be my last good finish because the rest of the season was just a bad nightmare. Some of my old injuries from years of playing hockey started to flare up. Mostly my ankle tendons which were suffering from tendonitis and some neck pain which I'm now going to the doctor for. It turns out I've got arthritis in my neck and propably some torn ligaments, not good. I get an MRI in the coming days. Anyways, back to the races, several DNF's and a couple crashes pretty much brought my season to an abrupt end. Not to mention I ruined a set of Easton EA90SLX's that I still need to send off to get fixed.

That brings me to what I've been up to lately, hardly any riding at all. My legs would make sasquatch proud!!! I've added a new addition to the family, a siberian husky puppy that I name Skates. Speaking of skates, I've also laced up the skates and started playing hockey two times a week. I'm playing with and against some of my old beer league and Jr. Blues pals I played with years ago. It's nice to see old faces. I gotta say I've missed playing hockey again after a two year hiatus away from the ice. You would think that with all the riding I'd be in great shape, but riding doesn't do anything for your upper body and you've got to retrain those fast twitch muscles to start firing again. It's taken a couple weeks, but I'm finally feeling comfortable out there.

Although the bike has been pretty much put up, I'm sure in a couple of months I'll be raring to go. Hopefully this much needed break from the bike is just what the doctor orderred. That's about it, thanks for reading and see you next season.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tour of Missouri, Stage 6

this weekend i took a couple days off to watch to ToM. denny had an idea to ride out to the schluersburg and then head back to st. charles for the finish. we met denny, dave, and brian at creve couer park to head out. let me just say after not riding the last two weeks and cashing out my legs playing hockey the day before i was in no shape to do a ride like these guys wanted to do. as we headed out we hit some nice big climbs that woke up the legs. as we got to the base of schluersburg my legs were in full cramp mode and just barely made it up. as i road i saw plenty of familiar faces from the local racing scene.

we waited around for about an hour before the first break of 11 riders came up the hill. you could just see these guys suffering. a few minutes later the main group came across. i made out hincapie and vandevelde in the top 10 just cruising up the climb. a few minutes later one sole tecos rider came through. i was inspired by everyone cheering this guy on and i had hoped he would make it back to the peleton. riding another 50 miles by yourself in these hills is not something i would wish upon anyone. i didn't know if he'd make it to the group or make the time cut, but i believe he was the tecos rider the dropped out of the race.

after they passed it was time to head back. we were down to three now since denny was going home with his wife. believe me, i was so close to heading back with him. i decided since i took the day off i might as well ride back. we took a combination of roads and the katy trail to get back. we timed it perfect and arrived about 15 minutes before the finish. cavendish completed the hat trick and missourian brad huff pulled off a 3rd place. we got in about 77 miles and got to see some real bike racers. excellent day!

Monday, September 8, 2008

New member of the family....


I started writing this the other night at work, while on my lunch break of course. A few updates to it since then.

It's been almost two years since my last husky, "stanley", passed away and have been wanting another one for the past several months. Bailey needs a partner in crime also so last Thursday I found one on craigslist. I tried the pounds and the Husky rescues with no luck, and to be honest, it's just easier to get one from a local breeder. Some rescues want to do a complete background check and find out all about you before they allow you to adopt a husky. It's funny how I ended up with this pup. I found an ad a couple weeks ago and called the breeder, but he was already taken. Now fast forward to Thursday and I'm trying to find this female puppy ad that I had seen the previous day. I ended up finding someone selling a male husky, which is what I wanted, so I called and found out they were 15 minutes from me. I drove there and picked him up that night. It dawned on me later that he was the same one that I had originally called for the week before. It turned out the previous owners had bitten off more then they could chew and only had him for a week. He's a great little dog, typical husky, drama queen, and a thinker. Housebreaking is a bitch, but I'm confident he'll come around in the next couple weeks. I named him "skates".



Now as for racing, I haven't ridden since the Wash Ave crit, and to be honest I really haven't had a desire. I went to see the orthopedic surgeon on Friday and was basically told to rest it. So that is what I'm doing. I've got another appointment on Wedensday for some prolotherapy, basically reinjecting your own plasma to speed recovery. It's been a long season and I've put in a lot of miles. I've needed a break and so I guess my break is maybe just ending the season a little earlier then I wanted to.



I've been getting the bug to lace up the skates again after a long break. I haven't skated since I hoisted the BHL cup in April of 2007.

Now, as for an update, yesterday I had my PRP shots in both ankles. It hurt like a bitch, needles probing all over your ankles is not fun. This morning my left ankle is in serious pain and hurts to walk on it. I'm hoping it gets better by tonight since it's our first game down at Brentwood.

As for Skates, I've now had him for a full week and he's made great progress. He went to work with me this past week. He was great, he sat in my office and was pretty much perfect. He laid around a lot and slept. In fact while typing this he actually barked at the door to go out. Bailey is feeling a little more comfortable with him too.

Tomorrow there is a race down in Jeff City, but seeing how I haven't ridden since Gateway, and my ankles being sore, I really don't see it happening.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gateway Cup and other shiiiiiiaaaatt!!!

Well, what had been a hopeful weekend to improve on the previous weekends roadraces and crash has been anything but. My weekend started off ok, but still hadn''t done any type of recovery from the races the previous weekend. I woke up Wedensday afternoon and decided to go for a short ride. It ended up being a short three hour ride, more on this later. So now on Thursday I went to see Dr. Crane to check on my ankle that's been giving me some tendonitis pain. He used his trusty ultrasound machine to look around my ankle. I thought I had torn ligaments several years ago which I thought was causing all the pain. As it turns out, the ligaments were in tact, but my perroneal tendon was likely torn. He said what's normally 2-4 mm's was like .2 mm's, wow!!! Hopefully a little rest(yeah, right) and a round of PRP shots in both my ankles will do the trick.

Now, to the races. I was hoping to just survive Fridays race at Lafeyette Square. There was like 148 guys listed at the start line. By far, the largest field I've ever raced in. All previous battle scars bandaged up and I was ready for action. The race went ok for the first couple laps until going into turn three. Somebody flatted several riders in front of me causing a few guys to go down. Everyone started fanning out and I just did the same. Wrong move, I got barrelled into from behind causing me to hit the guy in front of me. I never did actually go down, but my bike did. When I picked it back up both rims (Easton EA90SLX's) were taco'd so riding back to the pit was not an option.....so I ran the half mile back(perfect, triathlon training) and got some sweet Zipp 404's and I could definitely tell a difference right away from my standard wheels. I sure didn't want to give these back. Anyways, several laps later, not feeling it, I decided to call it a night. I only reopened the wound on the hip, a little blood soaked through the shorts, but it was ok. The next day, I looked at my bike and as it turned out, my bike never made it into the big chainring. Somehow the cage was lower and would hit the big ring when trying to shift up. With all the bad luck, I figured my body was telling me it was time to take a break and skip Saturdays race also. Well, being as stubborn as I am, I ended up going to Saturdays race only to bow out after about 15 minutes. My legs were just not recovering when they had a chance, they were shot. I felt like I was working my ass off and yet not making any ground, in fact I was losing ground. I had to head to work right after the race, so I just called it a day and headed into work.

So, basically my highlight of the weekend was a three hour ride that seemed to also be what did me in for the Gateway Cup races and my fantasy football drafts. Tony Romo better have one hell of a season, that's all I can say. I also ruined a nice set of wheels that I propably won't get back any time soon. Oh well, I had a pretty good run for a while until these last several weekends. Luck and fitness were definetly not on my side. Two crashes, lots of donated skin to MODOT, actually INDOT, one flat, and four DNF's in the last six races is definetly not how I wanted to end the season. I could say I've had a lot going on lately, moving, racing on three hours of sleep, doing big rides before races, nagging injuries, but you know what they say, excuses are like assholes and everyone's got one. I rode throughout the whole winter never really taking a break and now I guess it must be catching up with me. Alrighty then, back to bed, hopefully I can catch a few more ZZZ's.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Race weekend......

I wasn't able to get a vacation day for the Gateway Cup, so I'll only do the first two. However, I was able to get a day off this weekend to give me the whole weekend off with two races to choose from. At first I chose to do the Sedalia/Otterville races, but then I remembered that Indianapolis had what I thought was to be like the Tour of St. Louis, a road race, TT, and a crit. I lived in Indianapolis for eight years and never did that race or really even heard of it since at that time I was mostly racing mt. bikes. So it was set, I went to Indianapolis. I was to wake up around 5am and leave by 5:30. I ended up getting up at 2am and never did get back to sleep, so needless to say I only got about three hours of sleep. I figured what the hell, a couple cups of coffee and I'd be good. Four hours later I finally arrive and register. They raced the 1, 2, 3's together, no big deal, 3's were going to be scored differently. Now here's where it gets weird. The race flyer called this a road race on a 2.5 mile course. I figure it's a typo and should have been called a circuit race. As we line it up the official says we're doing 80 plus 1, hmmmmmmm........that sounds like a crit to me, but on a 2.5 mile course? Then he says if you flat come back and you'll get a free lap..........how the hell does that happen, ride a mile on a flat???? Also, the course is on a road no wider then a one lane road, so about 6-8 ft. It's basically like racing over in Illinois on the MCT trails with covered trees on both sides. Really, the course I could deal with, but the race flyer was very misleading. The race finally gets going about a half hour late and the first lap goes without a hitch. Second lap a few breaks go away and one with a few 3's so I decide to chase it down. As I attack the climb up the hill I look back only to find two guys follow. Only two of us rotate pulls as the other guy only wants to sit in, so I'm back at the front. I'm propably doing 25mph when a 90* turn approaches. I come into it hot and had to lean the bike over pretty good and then I made a rookie mistake. I tried to pedal out of it and went right to the asphalt. The guy behind me goes down and ends up in the grass, mind you these roads are fairly narrow. At this point the main group goes by and I expend every bit of energy I have to latch back on. Very bad!!! I was already operating on three hours sleep and could tell I didn't have that extra gear to put into overdrive. Two laps later I'm dropped and one lap later I'm done. I didn't even stay to do the TT. Disappointed with the race I decided to drive back to St. Louis and do an actual road race. I visit my old neighborhood, then drive back to St. louis in time to get some sleep. That leads to todays race in Otterville, MO.

I met Brian, Denny's brother at 5am to make our way to Otterville. Thank god he's driving, eight hours yesterday is more then enough for this weekend. A little battered and bruised, but no worse for the wear. Todays race went well for a little while. I stayed at the front for most of the race, no more then three or four wheels back and played honorary blocker for my teammates who decided to go on the attack several times. My race went well for the most part until about mile 40 when the legs started to really cramp up. At this point I was still at the front with a teammate in a four man break. The peleton was really trying to chase it down now and some guy, upset that he couldn't get around finally crossed the center yellow line. He caught the break and was with my teammate Jeff as the last two on the break. I was sure Jeff was going to win it. Now to the last five miles, all the guys that I had seen for the first time since the start were also deciding to all move up, bad combination with my legs starting to cramp. We all made it to the final climb to the run-in for the finish and my legs locked up. I had to let everyone go by and go at my own pace. I ended up passing Jeff who was in the break, his legs were in full cramp mode and got passed by Denny. I ended up finishing just behind the pack, but was satisfied with the race as a whole. I really thought Jeff had it in the bag. Now here's the twist, the guy who won the race was DQ'd for the center-rule, and my buddy Todd, from Bigshark got the victory. Awesome race Todd!!! I saw him protesting with the officials afterwards, but seeing how he advanced several postions in that move, I believe it was correct.

Gateway Cup next!!!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

fluff....

Well, it's been a light night here at the grind so I'm cruising the web, reading a few blogs of their races and I've got to admit, I wish I would've done more mt. bike races this year. I'm getting kind of anxious to get out on the old hardtail and push it through it's paces. There's a race tomorrow and here I am at work. I'd love to do it, but I would be in no shape to do a race after being up all night and getting days off are few and far between with the road schedules. Guess I'll have to make the next one.......again.

As for the homefront, I'm all moved in. No more lugging up boxes and tables up three flights of stairs. I'm all done, now all that's left is to find a place for all my crap. After last weeksTour of KC I've been able to get some good miles in this week. I got about 90 at the beginning of the week and then today got in about 72 before heading back to bed before work. 42 was solo at a good pace and then came back and picked up Jess for another 30. All that's left are some easy rides before heading to Sedalia this weekend for a crit and road race. It's easier said then done. I know Thursday will roll around(my day off) and I'll get the urge to go out for 40 or 50, it happens every week. I just signed up for the Gateway races, but unfortuneatly may only be able to do the first two races. I'll see how that plays out.

Just one more thing to add, when there's a known hornets nest in the vicinity, don't f!@# with them. I got stung about three times in the arm and it itches like crazy and it's all swollen up, all because I was trying to be a hard ass.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tour of KC, 08 Edition...

some race weekends are definetly better then others. this one was definetly not one of them. this year i was only able to do the first two races since i've got to work on sunday and didn't want to burn the candle at both ends. anyways, fridays crit was the kansas city crit which consisted of two hills. one fairly short with a gradual climb and one about twice as long, though nothing too steep. it was definetly fast from the get go and i was only able to last about 8 laps. it was one of those races where you just have nothing in the legs. i suppose the 45 miles i rode the day before might have had a little to do with it. hey, i thought i rode nice and easy. well, that said, i pulled the chutes early in that one and figured i'd come back to fight another day..........the next day, actually, at the cliff drive classic circuit race.

new day, new legs. i felt my legs were going to be under me in this race. they were feeling much better then the day before. i was expecting it to be hot and humid like it was last year, but this year it was cool temps and drizzling rain all morning and lasted into the first part of the race. the previous racers looked like they just got done racing a muddy paris roubaix. compared to last year, this years seemed to be faster. no time to sit up and take a bit of a break like last year. this was pretty much full throttle the whole time. i was right in the thick of things the first five laps and even led the peloton over the nice little climb and about another 1/4 mile before realizing that it was time for me to get back into the peloton. the 6th lap seemed to have done me in. as we neared the climb i looked down only to find my front tire had flatted. that was pretty much my race. i waited for the wheel truck and swapped wheels, but there would be no catching the peloton at this point so i just road the last three laps solo. hmmmm.........two wet races(last years winghaven) and two flats??? i don't think i'll be running those tires in the rain again. i love my vittoria open corsa's, but they're not made for the wet stuff. i didn't want to run my trainers either because those have seen better days so i stuck with the vittorias. bad choice i guess.

more races upcoming and things can only get better after this weekend. oh, i forgot to mention my unsuccessful search for a hotel room. i ended up paying an overpriced $100 for a cheap delapadated double because that was all they had left. i knew i should've reserved it online before i left!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

RACE...

Start race. Make left turn, almost hit Jeep parked on side of road. Make another left, small acceleration then coast up and around the bend to small hill. Pedal up hill and try to survive acceleration coming out of the next left turn. Do this 25 more times and fight the temptation to call it a day because it's so freakin' hot and sprint for 9th.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

same ole, same ole.....

well, here i sit at the daily grind reading some articles about more layoffs within our company. i've been through this several times and it's always the same. first at twa, then at united. thought united airines was gonna be the job to end all jobs, but nowadays, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of jobs that one can make a career at. lots of talk and speculation, seems like months, and then next thing you know you've got your layoff notice. thus is life in the airline industry. with gas prices the way they are, it doesn't seem like an end is in sight anytime soon. oh well, i'll just play it out and see where i end uponce again. i could use a career change anyways.

as for the bike, not much to talk about there either. although i've still been getting the miles in, i haven't gotten much racing in other then the thursday short tracks. my ankles had been giving me problems also, my surgically repaired right ankle is actually the better one, but after tearing ligaments in my left ankle a couple years ago, i've gotten a case of tendonitis. needless to say it's been a quiet month and half. i didn't even feel the need to go up to wisconsin for superweek. i've actually even thought about breaking out the old cleveland golf clubs and hit the links. with gas prices the way they are, layoff rumors, the thought of moving in a couple days, and my tendonitis i haven't really had the urge to go out of town for any races. the last third of the season is coming up with plenty of more local races, so should have more race reports soon enough. yaaaaaaaaawwwwnn!!!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My dilemna......

As I sit here at the grind with a little time on my hands I think about the dilemna I'm in. My dilemna is this. I had planned on doing a couple of races at Superweek up in Wisconsin to get in some races, but do I really want to spend $300-$400 for a couple of races? That is my burning question at the moment. They are great races to attend, but with the STXC series going on here I'm actually looking forward to doing a little off-road racing even if it is short track. I'm still getting a great workout and if I do both races like I did last week then it's definetly worth staying here and saving some dough.

The seasons got about two and a half months left in it and I'd say I've accomplished about 3/4's of my races that I've wanted to do. I wish I'd done more mt. bike racing as was the goal at the beginning of the season, but priorities have changed. There's still a lot of racing to be done in these next couple of months though.

This past Saturday I took a VO2 max test. I'm not sure how accurate it was though. two hours prior I had just gotten done doing a hard 60 mile ride out to St. Albans from my apartment. It was with the Ghisallo group. It was a good turnout, they always are, about 30-40 riders. It was pretty tame as usual until I got to the ossenfort climb, which, of course I had to hammer. It was pretty high tempo from there into St. Albans for a five minute break and a little regrouping. We headed out tame once again until the climb up melrose. I think I was first or second up the climb and then to Ossenfort before a few more riders latched on. It was full throttle the rest of the way back. It was about four of us, and we caught another Dogfish rider David. He made it with us for part of the way back before hitting another climb and then it was the four of us again. These are some of the hardest 12 mile stretches back to Ghisallo. I'd say it's safe to say average over 26 or 27 mph for that stretch. That was my first Ghisallo ride for the year and I'll hopefully make more. Needless to say, I didn't have much left for my VO2 test. I'll have a better report on my next test, good thing it was free.

I've gotten a little off track, but back to my dilemna, I think I'll stay in town and save some money. The STXC race is a blast anyways.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Castlewood STXC #3...

i've got to say that i was looking forward to tonights race. after doing a short 15 mile road ride in the morning i came home to try my luck on the computer playing a little ghost recon. i put the flight sim on hiatus for a little ghost recon to kill the time on my weekend. after a couple hours of getting killed about 15 times i proceded to take a nap for a couple hours and almost didn't wake up in time, not to mention taking 50 minutes to make it 12 miles to the wood. as usual making it just in time to make it to the line. the race had a lot of heavy hitters today, not to mention a few more then last week. i'm not very good starting out these races full throttle so the goal was just to hold my own and then just settle in. we had the dogfish train going for a few laps with myself, brett, and jeff. it was good to have us all riding together. myself and brett flipflopped taking pulls before finishing together with jeff just behind us.

after a little break, jeff was planning to do both races and with myself needing the extra training i decided to have another go in the b race. it started with quite a few racers lined up. my plan was just to sit in and get in the miles. well, the b race start was a little more tame then the a race and i found myself up towards the front. i saw jeff take a pretty good lead and i just tried to keep the pace high. slowly i picked off guys and road together with a christian(iccc, i think). on the last lap i saw jeff about 20 yards in front with plans of catching him, but as the exhaustion started to set in i started to make mistakes and just about went over the handlebars after hitting a root right before the riverbed crossing. the wind was let out of the sails and i was just trying to stay with the christian. i finished behind him. i guess jeff got 1st and think i was 3rd.

once again a great turnout. props go out to all the organizers. the one bad thing about this is that it ends in a couple more weeks.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

a training week...



that's what it's been, a good training week. it started last sunday at the winghaven race, then i rode to work on tuesday afternoon with a stop at creve coeur park to get in a few laps around the lake and then rode home the next morning. while riding through the old bridgeton neighborhood that was condemned, i got to thinking that area would make for a great circuit race. there are no homes up, but the streets are still there. i think i may ride to work more often on tuesday afternoon, which is basically my friday. it's tough to do on any other day because i've got to be back in 10 hours later and suffer through the midnight shift. anyways, myself and denny got in some good miles on thursday and then today i got in about 85 and more tomorrow. what am i training for? i don't know yet, looks like i may not be racing until superweek up in chicago and wisconsin.

now you may ask what's up with the picture? well, they've got something in common besides me sucking down a waterbottle. they were both races i really suffered in. last year at dogwood and this years winghaven. winghavens got my number, i was going pretty good last year after taking the first two kom's and about to snatch a third before flatting. hopefully they'll have it again next year. i've heard some rumors that it may not happen and some of the sponsors may pull out. we'll see, i'd like to see it because it's a great event that's local.

Monday, June 9, 2008

winghaven debacle...

well, today just wasn't a good day for me. i hadn't been sleeping well lately and so i took a tylenol pm last night thinking i had plenty of time for it to wear off. the race wasn't until 12:30. i guess i was wrong or at least i'd like to think that. my legs felt heavy from the start and i just wasn't feeling like it was going to be a good day. it was crazy fast from the start, which is hardly anything new. i periodically checked my heartrate during the first few laps and i was continuously in the 190's, high 190's. with three or four laps to go i started getting to that breaking point, mentally i just wasn't there, thinking do i go into overdrive and into the red zone and hang with the pack? well, with five laps to go, my mind got the best of me and i just popped off the back of the pack. i wasn't feeling well and i had to work tonight, so what the hell, i'll take a dnf and come back next race. so as i make it up the one short, punchy climb i start to realize that i may be able to latch back on and give it another go. instead of making a right turn i proceeded to give what i had left. they weren't too far ahead, but i just couldn't catch back up. at this point there was only four laps to go so i figured i'd work with some other stragglers and maybe reel in the pack or just finish. i ended up catching and dropping a few guys before finally working with a hub rider. we worked together until the end and he took me on the sprint up the hill. it was a rough day in the saddle, but all things considered it was a success. i ended up finishing on the same lap as the main pack although a few minutes back. oh well, back to the grind!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

O'Fallon RR report....

There would be a report had I done this race, but since I could only manage two hours of sleep I guess my better judgement got the best of me this time. As of last night, the plan was to pick up Denny and make our way to the race. Anyways, I tossed and turned before just getting up and watching the tube. I took some tylenol pm, with no luck, and finally decided the race wasn't going to happen. I didn't feel too bad leaving Denny out to dry since he was on the fence anyways. He was at Georgia Cup the previous weekend with five days of racing and was needing a break.

The tylenol pm finally kicked in and before I knew it I was waking up at 1:30 in the afternoon so I decided to go out on my own ride. I'm not the best when it comes to a disciplined training regimine. I usually go out for about two and a half to three hours, maybe four and get my intervals in powering up some of the climbs, that's about it. Now, after having my Garmin for a couple weeks I decided to use the virtual partner. I had used it before, but this time I had to beat my last time which was pretty fast. That little blip on the screen was kicking my ass. I found myself really trying to outdo my previous ride. I was basically attacking myself. It was even funny that I found myself swearing up and down that little computer, I wasn't going to be beat that day. I've got to say that feature really adds to the dynamics of a ride. It's a pretty cool function on those days I just can't get the urge to go hard since 90% of my rides are by myself.

My next scheduled race, considering I get some sleep the night before will be Winghaven. There is Dinoseries race in Indaina the following weekend, but with the way gas prices are I'm just not too sure it would be worth it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Saturday race prep.....

Well, it was a long week at work and an exceptionally long morning at work. I had felt good going into work last night and thought we were going to have an easy night. I figured if I got off at 6am I'd be able to get home, get some sleep and go for a ride in the afternoon. Well, the night turned upside down and ended up having a broken airplane in the morning and had me scrambling to find a fix for it. It ended up taking a one hour delay, for something really stupid, but a requirement for aircraft dispatch. If people only new the real reasons their flights were delayed. Some are warranted and some are just plain stupid. Anyways, 6am turned into 10am and needless to say I got home, went to bed, and got up too late to head on out for a ride. Now I suppose I'll go out tomorrow and Friday for a nice ride while trying not to go out too hard. I'm not quite sure what to expect for Saturdays race, I've never ridden out in that area. I'm supposing it may be a little different then the last several RR's I've done this year, meaning a lot less climbing. Sunday is also the Matson race, but don't think I'll be doing that one. What had been a goal of concentrating more on mt. bike racing this season has just not come into fruition. There are just way too many roadraces and crits within driving distance. The schedules just don't seem to work for me, so for now my mt. bike sits restless.

I grew up in Chicago and have always been a Cubs fan. Hell, along with hockey, I also grew up playing baseball. So I just happen to have it on WGN and the Cubs game has come on. I can't say I've followed baseball much this year, or for any other year for that matter. It's just not my cup of tea nowadays. I usually tune in right around October for the World Series. Anyways, I can't believe they are doing so good. They have the second best record right now and the announcers are giving them all kinds of accolades, WOW, is all I've got to say. Where the hell have I been? Maybe this will be their year..............yeah, right.

OK, gotta refill my coffee........decaf!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hellbender State RR

Once again, rode hard on Thursday and then long and slow on Friday, not the smartest preparation. I didn't sleep well the night before and the body was pretty tired as it showed on my heartrate monitor. I procrastinated and didn't even think I was going to go until the last minute and then totally mistimed how long it takes to get there. I thought it only took about an hour, only about a half hour off. I got there 20 minutes before the start.

After getting all the prerace stuff out of the way were off. The race starts with a long ascent, although not steep, it got the heartrate up. Shawn took over the pacemaking from the start of the gun and went out hard. We all followed him up for several miles before he finally gave way. It was pretty uneventful. After the only significant climb of the day we were still mostly all together and through the feedzone at 25mph. I figured it wouldn't be neutralized so I brought four bottles with me to do away with the feed.

The second lap starts with more aggressiveness as several riders attack. They never get too far and are all brought back. Then one attack goes away with several riders and it's represented with three or four teams, I tell Casey that this might be the one and he should go. He waits and prepares to launch himself and finally goes. He bridges the group of around five or six riders. Bigshark had a guy in the break and are also in front controlling the peleton, pretty content, as was I, Casey was up there so we were good. Suddenly, Shawn O'neal attacks the left side and he's bringing another group of riders with him so we give up the control and all latch on. It was a pretty big effort to catch the lead breakaway, but now we caught it. Moments later Jim V. attacks with somebody else and they get a pretty good gap. He's a pretty dangerous guy to let go like that so I take over to lead the catch. I pulled for a while giving it all I had before giving way and now we are all back together again. Now that we are all together. Mark G, from Gateway attacks and gets a very large gap, so far that he's out of site. I don't know much about Mark, but I do know he's 50+ years old and a wiley veteran, your typical masters type guy. He's up the road for quite a while. The make or break point is upcoming on the one tough climb, although after the Hermann RR it didn't seem quite as torturous as last year. It still hurt though. I made it up with the lead group, but am in some serious pain now. Denny unfortuneately is nowhere to be seen. After several more miles we catch Mark. Then repeated attacks come and I'm falling off the back, and having a hard time recovering. I'm finally the last wheel and losing ground until none other then Denny comes barreling past me. I yell at him to pull me up, but he's only got one thing on his mind, to catch the group. Casey hears me yell and slows and pulls me up to the group. I was a little pissed at the time that he didn't pull me up, but this is the second time he had to TT to catch the group after that climb and understand his focus.

Now that I'm back on the group is being continuously attacked and doing the yoyo effect, basically me. I'm the only one it seems to me to be in real trouble. It's taking longer to recover from each attack before I'm finally shelled. I wave the wheel truck to come on through and I'm demoralized that I didn't stay with the pack. I finally do recover and am resigned to the fact that I'll have to time trial it all the way back by myself. It was shaping up to be a repeat of last year after I crashed in the gravel driveway going around the sharp right hand turn. My legs are feeling pretty good at this point and am going at a pretty good clip. Then, like a kid in a candy store, I see the pack again and I'm gaining ground on them. I eventually rejoin the pack for the run into the finish. I ask Denny if he wants to try and lead out Casey and before I know it he's in the gravel passing everybody to the front. Only a centerline rule, right? Several guys are laughing their asses off and I'm just thinking he's nuts. Oh well, that's Denny!!! As we make the run into town we pacelined it pretty hot around the last corner and several guys shot out into the gravel, unlike Denny who does it intentionally. The final sprint pretty much finishes in the same order. I couldn't make any ground on the Mesa kid in front of me and I got passed by Mark at the line for 12th. Denny placed 13th, Jeff 25th, and wonderkid Casey got an awesome finish for Dogfish for second. This kid just keeps on finding ways to get results.

As for other Dogfish guys I know Denny's brother was leading the 5's before coming to the last turn and somebody pointed right so he went right. That costly mistake cost him what could have been a fist place finish. I think he ended up 15th, tough break.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TGIF!!!!!

well, tonight is my friday. it's been a long week at work which started on saturday. i missed the castlewood race because of work and just absolutely needing a bit of a break of the high intensity of racing over the past several weekends. i decided to take it easy on saturday and go for an easy road ride only to have the rain come down on me for over an hour, so much for an nice easy ride. now i was cold and miserable.....thinking, maybe i just should've done the race. anyways, it's been a nice, stree-free, uneventful week at work......i propably just jinxed myself. upcoming is the state roadrace and hope to get in a few more training rides beforehand.

for those hockey fans out there in case you didn't know, the world championships are going on right now. team usa is still in the fight with single elimination rounds coming up. this team is somewhat of a "new kids on the block" type. i understand it's just the world championships and not the world cup or olympics, but either i'm getting older or all the usual suspects are still involved in the nhl playoffs. the usual suspects i'm talking about are chelios, roenick, weight, amonte, and tkachuk, just to name a few. i guess i am getting older and so are those other guys. it's nice to see a new crop of american kids coming up. the thing i don't know, is why the blues' eric johnson did not play in this. he would've been a big help on the defense.....hmmmm. check out another blues player, david backes making mince meat out of some poor finish player. here's something you don't see much of in international play. it reminds me of my worst beating i've ever taken as a hockey player. it was during jr. blues practice and i had just burned our defenseman on one on one drills. he was also our enforcer and propably had me by about 50lbs, and that's no shit. anyways, i skate to the corner and next thing i know i'm getting pummeled out of nowhere and couldn't do a thing. i tried to fight back, but it wasn't going to happen when fighting an experienced guy like that. i turtled and took my beating like a man. needless to say i was seeing double and had a headache for several days afterwards.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Washington Crit report.......

Well, I wasn't so sure I was going to do this race. I've needed to take a week off and I had to work last night, as I write this I will be going on my 26th hour of being up. I also did the Ghisallo ride Saturday morning which was supposed to be a very slow easy group ride which I figured wouldn't be too bad. That wasn't the case, I definetly went over the rev limiter and wasn't really feeling like I had anything in my legs yesterday morning. I debated and did the pro con thing and as it turned out I went to the race anyways.

I'm glad I did, it was a good, hard race. A weird race. First, it was supposed to be 40 and five, then they say it's 30 and five. I'd say I strive on the longer crits, but oh well. Next, I'm involved in a wreck that took out about four or five dudes including my teammate Jeff. The worst off was a Big Shark guy that looked like he was in bad shape. It wasn't pretty. It was weird, right on a straight stretch of rode that you would never think a wreck would happen. Anyways, they stop the race for about 15-20 minutes as the ambulance takes care of the guy in the middle of the road. This brings up a question. What is the etiquette in a crash like this? I've been involved in plenty of crashes and witnessed them, but this one was just kind of strange. There were five of us trying to get back in the race and before I saw how bad he was I was up and ready to head to the wheel pit area. Myself and another guy just looked at eachother wondering what help we could be. His teammate was by his side and there were several other people coming to his aid. I'm not a paramedic and don't practice medicine so I figured he was in good hands as the three or four of us rode over to the pit area. It was just a strange feeling seeing him like that. I hope he's okay.

As for the second race, the five laps after the stoppage, the pace was high and I stayed towards the front. I tried to keep my position, but the pace picked up even more and my legs started to feel it. During the sprint I was only able to muster a 15th plsce finish. All things considered, it was a successful race. I feel good taking a week off from racing before the state roadrace in a couple weeks. The Castlewood mt. bike race was on my calendar for next week, but I just don't see myself doing it, but we'll see.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tour of St. louis, Carondolet crit...

Well, after almost considering not doing this race, I was able get the urge needed to get out the door. I've felt a little blah lately about racing crits after the Hermann and Dogwood races. After some fun road races to begin the season, I just wasn't feeling like doing a crit and especially knowing that I had to go into work that night meaning another 24 hour day of being up. It's not fun to begin the work week like that. Oh well, enough bitching, the bottom line is I need a new job!!!!!!!!!! Wait, where are my priorities, I need a job to afford to bike, ok, priorities are in line again!!!

Now, back to the racing. I arrived late once again, as proven by the fact that I arrived at the registration tent a half hour before start time and there is nobody there to register me. I finally get registered and I get in a total four miles or 15 minutes of warm-up in, good enough I suppose. We've got four Fishes in the race, denny, casey, matt, and myself. Right from the gun the pace gets fast and furious as there are a lot of attacks, it seemed like it was attack after attack. A few stayed away for a while, but all were reeled back in until the final several minutes when a group of four got away. Somehow they just snuck away and seemed to have been forgotten. Now with this group away were down to several laps to go and as we come up the small hill I'm with Casey. I hammer up it like a bat out of hell determined to lead Casey to the lead group of four who are within sight. As I jumped Casey followed and we put a gap on the group. I led Casey around to the backside, and I must've pushed too hard because as Casey passed, I could not go with him. He put a bit of a gap on me and so he knew our efforts were futile so we both shut it down and got back in the peloton. During the race, I told myself to go either go outside or inside up the slight incline to get a free pass to the finish. Well, what do I do? I stay right behind a bunch of riders and before I know it it's too late to make my move to the outside. I end up finishing 22nd, Casey got 5th, and Denny was just behind me and I'm not sure where Matt finished. I have no idea how Casey slithered his way up there. I would've liked to have done Forest Park where I took 3rd place last year, but work had my name this weekend. There will be plenty more races to come.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Passenger Jets are meant to fly with one engine!!!!

So I come into work the other day only to find out that I'll be missing half my crew. As it turned out, one of our airplanes, which was flown by a friend of mine and a fellow cyclist, had landed in Belleville. We don't fly to Belleville!!!! Well, let's just say it had engine trouble and made it there on one engine. I wouldn't say this happens all the time, but these guys are trained for that and I've got to commend my buddy for doing his job and my mechanics for changing the engine. There's nothing like changing an aircraft engine at a remote airfield, outside, mosquito infested, with limited resources, but it's just part of the job and my guys did a great job to get it flying again!!!!

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/illinoisnews/story/F318B303633AB2BB862574340011F21B?OpenDocument

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tour of Hermann.....

Well, the weekend is over so that mean the Tour of Hermann is over too. It was a long, fun weekend of racing. Saturday was my first road time trial. I was scheduled to go off at 3:21 and arrived in time to pick up my registration and get about 15 minutes on the trainer. Conditions were still somewhat fall-like, and a little windy. I felt a little out of place as I didn't have any aero bars or fancy deep dish wheels, but nonetheless, I don't claim to be a time trialist. I run what I brung!!! Although, that's not to say I won't have a makeshift tt bike for my next race. I've got a couple things in the works and an extra frame just screaming tt. First though, is to build up my new dogfish CAAD9 frame without parting out my current bike since that will be my training bike.

Getting back to the TT, the plan was simple, go balls to the wall without blowing up and hope to have something left for Sundays road race. It's funny, the guy lined up right in front of me has a tt bike setup using the same frame I've got in my closet!!! It's time for me to go, all ready for action. Heading out I notice it's windy, but not as bad as most people are talking about. I do notice that I could've propably used some clip-on aero bars at the very least. I'm out and back in a time of 25:34, not a great time, but within a minute of most of the other CAT 3's. I was satisfied with that time.

Sunday rolls around for the road race. I'm not sure my legs are quite up to it, I'm really skeptical about what the day has in store for me. We have Matt D, Denny, and Casey in the race joining me. I don't get in much of a warm-up in as I use the first couple of miles for my warm-up. The race starts and we cruise around town before hitting some of the first climbs of the day. They come early and often on this hilly course. Great!!!!! Right on the first steep climb my chain starts to skip in the largest 3 cogs, the ones I'm going to need!!!! The one thing I failed to check out before the race was to make sure it was shifting perfectly. I have no barrel adjusters on my bars, only on my rear derailleur so I'm screwed. I'm not about to stop. I'll have to put an adjuster on now after this race. Well, after the first few climbs, even with the shifting problems I now find myself towards the front. My legs feel like shit, yet I seem to be able to stay towards the front. As we end lap one and head into town we pass the feedzone and hit "the wall", something like 18% grade, and I'm still around top 10 grinding my gears all the way up. I tried to soft pedal up, but that just wasn't happening. I wasn't about to power up it and make my legs suffer, so grind on I went. At the very least, it gave me a wide berth for some unobstructed climbing. I guess the guys didn't like what they were hearing!!!! To be honest, that climb was not too hard for me, it was the next couple gradual climbs right after that that I hated. After that first climb out of town we put a gap on some of the other racers. Casey was with us as he came along side me. I passed Denny on the way up and I had no idea where he was at. I looked around and did not see him. After a few more miles I notice my buddy Ron from ABD, and Denny. I guess they had to bridge the gap, but now they are able to get on. Denny said it hurt, but they did it.

Now on our second lap the Mesa kids are all up front, they push the pace a bit. Everybody is waiting for Shawn O'neal to go. He tries a few times, but he's covered and nothing ever develops. Finally, about mid lap, three guys go, including a Mesa kid. Nobody covers that attack and allows it to get up the road. I don't know if nobody thought it would stick or what, but we truck on. A couple minutes later, Dave, from Cycleworx, goes, but nobody follows. A couple minutes later, grasshopper Casey goes, once again nobody covers and he's allowed to get up the road. The group starts slowing and nobody seems to be concerned about the guys up the road. At this point there are five guys up the road.

We are now in the feedzone, I'm good and I don't grab anything, ready for lap three. As we hit "the wall" once again, my chain starts skipping, but I make it up with the our group. We drop a few people and unfortuneately Denny is one of the culprits. He was pretty beat up by that climb and didn't have anybody strong enough to help him bridge. It's now just me in our group of about 10-15 guys, including Shawn, and Jim V from Get a Grip. I'm waiting for them to make a move, I'm thinking they will not let that group stay off the front, but nothing ever comes. At one point some guy yells at us to paceline and catch the lead group. The Mesa kids aren't about to go, I'm not about to go either, so we just go at our own pace for a few more miles. Finally Jim V starts to make his moves, but are all covered. He's a one man wrecking crew with his accelerations, I'm sure we must've dropped a few more guys. Needless to say, our pace starts to pick up. Several other guys start to attack, but all are covered. We go through the town of Berger and I'm about fourth or fifth wheel, I'm hoping to stay in this spot to the end and fight for a top 10. Our group is now down to about 10. Two or three mesa kids, Shawn(Ghisallo), Jim(Get a Grip), Ron(ABD) a Trek guy, a Gateway guy, and a few others that I can't remember. As we hit the last KOM about half way up somemore attacks start. My legs start to lock up so I can't follow, I'm just off the lead guys over the KOM. I try my hardest and pass one guy on the descent. There is one guy drafting me and we now have three guys going into town. The lead group are only about 50m's in front of us, but we're not making up any ground. I end up finishing 14th. Casey got an awesome third place finish for Dogfish and Denny came in a few minutes later for 21st.

This is now my favorite race edging out Dogwood. I didn't stay in town, but it's an awesome venue and gotta give credit to Jeff for a well run event. I guess there was a problem with the officiating in the p1,2 race, but that's no reflection on Jeff or the weekend. This weekend is the Tour of St. Louis, but I think I'll just be doing the Saturday race. Now, off for a ride.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Tilles Report.....

Well, first off, what's up with this f@#$!@$ weather??? What had been clear skies and warm weather the weekend before turned into cold, dreary, windy fall-like weather this weekend. The plan in the a.m. was to do both races, the 3/4 in the morning, go home for a bite to eat and then head back for the P1, 2, 3 race in the afternoon. Let me just say that when I got home and laid in front of the tv for a few minutes there was no prying me off of that damn couch, especially since I was going to have to pull an all nighter at work that evening. I did manage to get off the couch for a few minutes to get some McD's ice cream cones..............about the time I should've been lining it up for the P1, 2, 3's race. So, needless to say, I only made it for the 3/4 race.

As for the race, it went pretty good. We had five guys in the race and we did a lot of work at the front mixing things up a bit. I even had a scary moment, not so much for me, but the guy behind me when we attacked and put a little gap on the field. We were about 40 meters off the front and I turned around to see what kind of damage we had done and the next thing I know is I feel and hear that dreaded wheel touch. Yeah, the gateway guy behind me had been on my wheel and apparently we both looked back to assess the situation and when I turned back around he must've still been looking back and drifted right into my rear wheel. I was just waiting to hear that unique noise a bike makes when hitting pavement at 25mph. I looked back once again to see him off to the left in the grass outside the barrier. The guy saved it, I gotta give my hats off to him as that was propably no easy task and propably had to change his bike shorts after that one. I was told later that he rode alongside the group in the grass and got back on. After playing at the front for a little longer, unsuccessfully chasing down a prem, I decided to ease back on the throttles and just take what I had left to the finish. Well, that was a mistake. In doing so I ended up losing positions and then had to try and make my way to the front again on the final laps. This was no easy task to do on this narrow course. Everybody was jammed at the front and there was nowhere to go. The field never did string out. All I heard from everyone after the race was how they got boxed in. I won't let that happen again......right. Forutneately, I didn't have a guy totally uncontest the final sprint and sit up in front of me like Denny did. I was able to weave and pick my way back through the front pack for a top 20 finish, I think I was 18th or 20th as they didn't have me scored, but there were two unidentified riders in those positions so I'm claiming one of them!!!

It was a fun, hardfought race. Denny, Casey, and myself, toyed at the front at times to make things interesting, cover a few attacks, put on a few attacks. Basically for me and Denny, did a lot of work for nothing other then get in a great workout. In fact a couple times Casey took off and I just said to myself "he's going to burn himself out." Well, I was wrong, young grasshopper still had enough in the tank to get an awesome second place finish in the sprint. Mr. Consistency Sven got eighth, and Matt was up there too. Great finishes for everyone and a good race for Dogfish as a whole. I talked to Casey later to find out he also took 9th in the P1,2,3 race. Casey's been on a roll here lately. He's had some good results and the seasons just begun. I'm gonna have to start charging him for gas now that he's bringing home some greenbacks for his results.

Up next is Hermann, hopefully there will be some sunny skies to debut my new team frame.

Friday, April 11, 2008

why am i watching america's next top model????

oh, because there's a bunch of materialistic, immature hot chicks. did i just admit that i watch that show? guess i did. my weekend is winding down and will culminate with either one or two races tomorrow. i've already come to the conclusion with having to work tomorrow night it will be another marathon day.......and night, and morning. the tilles race is tomorrow, which isn't really a priority, but need to get these races in when i can. i'm still not sure if i'll do the 3/4 race in the morning or the 1,2,3 in the afternoon. heck, i just might do both. i love going into work like a zombie, i'm there, but nobodies home comes to mind. i've heard that statement more then once!!! after dogwood last weekend my legs were junk, but i was finally able to get out yesterday after the storm rolled through for about three hours. it was a good ride, long yet slow. i kept my heartrate low, and mostly spun the whole time. i thought about going out some time today for just an hour. with winds howling at 25-30 mph, my motivation is low, but i'll get out at some point!!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dogwood RR...

My race day started at 4:30am with young Grasshopper Casey arriving shorty after for our drive to Bradleyville, MO. It was an uneventful drive with only a few close calls with the highway patrol, until just outside Sprinfield. I lookd into my rearview mirror only to find johnny law. Yes, I got a ticket for 82 in a 70, nice way to start out the morning!!!

We finally get there, register, and change with just enough time to make it to the start line. As the race gets underway Shawn Oneal, as usual, goes off the front. He got a bit of a gap, when Jim V, from Get a Grip decides he's had enough and sets off to bridge. Nobody cares to follow and we finally see the last of the two of them. As the race heads out of town several people take up the pacemaking until it hits some of the steady climbs and teammate Jeff Yeilding starts to lead the group. Next thing I know I'm in front setting the pace. I was out there for a while when I decided it's somebody else's turn. Well, nobody came around so I stayed out there a little longer. Finally, somebody else takes over and shortly after the attacks start coming and guys try to get away. The wind didn't help them and all were caught for some more uneventful riding until the KOM. As we start hitting the climb I find myself about third or fourth wheel until about 3/4 the way up and my legs start to growl at me. I slow a bit only to find Grasshopper flying up the left side taking the pack KOM. Later, I found out Denny had told Casey he better go now and Casey heeded his advice. At this point I found myself about 9th up the climb with a gap between myself and the lead group of eight. Myself, Denny, and an Accelerade guy are caught in no-mans-land. We try our hardest to catch the group, but couldn't make up any ground. After a few miles the rest of the group catch the three of us. At this point there's about 12 of us and we try to get something going, but nothing ever really develops. Between the guys just sitting in, the guys just trying to survive, it was a very chaotic group. Not much organization or communication going on. We pretty much stay like this until the last 10 miles when we hit some of the last few climbs. I try to fight my cramps and stretch out while on the bike. I almost fell over one time when I'm stetching out one leg while supporting myself with the other and that leg cramps up!!! I can't imagine it being a pretty sight. As we make it over the last set of climbs we find ourselves down to about a group of seven. We end up with a sprint finish, I finish last in our sprint as I wasn't able to get out of the saddle without cramping.

As for the team, we finished strong, and Casey got a 6th place finish. Jeff, Denny, and I finished 13th, 15th, and 17th in that order while finishing together. Flatlander Matt Dawson, finished just behind us. I was happy with my performance while having to fight through cramps. My legs were tight from the start, so I'm happy with just making it through and being competitive.

Next up is the Tilles Park crit. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing that one.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dogwood preview....

This upcoming Sunday is Dogwood, one of my "A" races for the season. I'm gonna try something different before this race, I'm going to keep the long rides at a minimum. I'm also going to try something different during the race, I'm not going to go out on a solo effort right before the first major climb, and I'm going to bring extra water so I don't run out like I did last year!!! I'm actually glad it's raining this morning, I don't feel too bad for not getting out there. I did do the Tuesday crit however, and am happy with the way I did considering I'm usually pretty sleep deprived from a long week at work. It was actually kind of weird doing the A race, I found myself in unchartered territories, riding at the front for a few laps with some heavy hitters. I was propably third or fourth wheel for a few laps before I realized it so I backed off so I'd have something for the finish. I ended up finishing top 20 somewhere which wasn't bad considering it was my second A race. I know, it's just a training race. Over the next few days I'll propably just get out for a couple hours for easy rides with a few hard sprints to get the legs and heart going. I'm going to keep the rides short!!! Hopefully next week I'll have some good race results to report.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Busy April.....

This morning I should be getting ready for the Hillsboro race, but instead I'm getting ready to go on a training ride. I didn't get signed up in time, oh well, just one more day of vacation to save for another race. The Rimwrecker race is tomorrow, but I'll be missing that one too. I've gotten in some good training rides over the last two weeks and even got in a training crit. This month's schedule is looking pretty busy. I've got Dogwood next weekend, then a Dinoseries training race in Indianapolis, and then the Hermann TT and RR, and then the opening Dino race in Warsaw, IN in early May.



This is the first year of not playing any hockey over the winter, in fact I haven't skated in over a year, HOLY CRAP, has it been that long? I had to get my fix on nhl.com and ran through this article about Patrick Roy's son, who's also a goalie playing in the QMJHL. Anyways, check out the video. Gotta love this shit, I can't believe that guy turtled like that and didn't even throw one punch!!!!! After looking at his stat's, it's no wonder why he wanted to fight, I would too.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time to move on....

After last weekends fiasco it's time to move on and get back on with the training. It looks like is will be a nice weekend for me with sunny skies and mild temps. I've gotten my 19.5 hours of sleep in and feel refreshed after a long week at work. It's hard to believe one can sleep for that long, but bury yourself for three or four days and it's easy to do. I really don't know what to do with all of my time this weekend. No racing and just a lot of down time. Time to go wash the bike from last weekend. Adios!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Lost Valley report that should be lost....

I just raced out at Lost Valley yesterday and this is one report that should be lost in the trash. I pretty much new it wouldn't be a good day from the start. Let me take you back to three days ago when I did five laps out at LV. I was feeling good so I decided to make up for four prior days of no training into one day. In fact I saw TK out there and he told me it my be a little much. Well beyond his better judgement and mine I proceeded to finish the five laps and then went and got a light massage thinking that might help me recover quicker. Now, fast forward to yesterday, I'm not sure if it was because of that ride, but my legs were shot from the start, that heavy feeling was setting in right from the start. I guess if I were riding sport I still would have done fairly well, but now back riding in the expert class, there's no room for off days. These guys, or the trails for that matter will eat you up and spit you out!!!!! which I learned yesterday. For such an easy course it was pretty darn tough, lots of soft, grassy trails to really soak up your power, not that I have any, but what little I did have. Lets just say my race did not go at all as planned. Well, I'd like to udate more, but I'm falling asleep at the wheel so to speak so I'll end it here. I guess I've always got the next race!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

St. Joe XC race report....


Well, where do I begin. I've finally found the time to update this thing. Last Sunday was the first mt. bike race of the season. I had been pretty excited about it since it is where my roots began and what I really do enjoy. The problem is the road took over and haven't done much off road racing over the last few years. Well, this year my focus is really on road races and mt. bike races and limiting the amount of crits I do.

Last Thursday was a big day for me. I got my PRP shot for my groin and then I strolled over to Ballwin cycles to pick up my new Chris King front wheel. Anyways, I was pretty excited about that, but my leg wasn't feeling that great after the shot. I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to race on Sunday. If you've never had it done, I would recommend it. I had a pulled groin and it was sore from the shot for two days. By Sunday it wasn't even a problem.

Now for the other dilemma I had, "how were the course conditions with all the rain we'd had the previous week?" I really, and I really didn't want to race in muddy terrible conditions and I didn't want to waste a vacation day for that. I asked a few people, got a few responses, but nothing concrete to go on. I had some time on Saturday so me and Jess headed down so I could preride the course and Jess could go for a walk. As I'm riding the trail, I'm thinking to myself "this trail isn't that difficult and there's definitely not that much climbing." I ended up doing it in 57 minutes, thinking that wasn't bad. Booooooy was I wrong!!!!

Sunday strolls around, I'm late as usual. I arrive at the parking lot at 10am for a 10:30 start, dress, put bike together, gather up gels, and head to go register. As I'm registering he mentions were going a little later then expected. No big deal, in fact great for me. So I'm warming up and decide it's getting close. I turn around only to find out the expert field is all lined up and getting ready to roll. As usual, limited warm-up. I really gotta learn to warm up better. I know where I stand in a race so I fall into the back of the line. Race starts and I'm hammering, I'm around 10th or so into the singletrack. Not a bad start for me. I hung with that group for about four or five miles before falling off the pace. I'm really getting warm with my vest on so at the picnic area where I had set my water bottles I took it off and saw my buddy Matt Keevan, I say hello and him and Jess get me back on my bike and away I go. First lap 52 minutes, I'm pleased with that.

Now for the second lap, not much to report, I'm just cruising along at my own pace looking back every once in a while to make sure nobody is coming up on me. I must've passed several other riders from different classes. I also noticed several unfortuneate expert riders either on the side of the trail or walking their bike. I'm just glad that's not me. I'm not sure how long it took me, I forgot to set my splits.

Third lap, I really start to slow down. The course is taking it's toll on me. I think to myself that this is not the same course I rode the day before. I don't remember there being this much climbing. A couple times I could feel the onset of cramping in my legs so I do my best to combat that. I ran about 41 psi in my tires to account for the soft sections, but a lot was already dried out and my back was starting to feel the pain. I thought about stopping and letting pressure out, but didn't want to jinx myself and just toughed it out. Now I'm just thinking to myself, "now after this I get to go to work for 14 hours!!!" I pass maybe one or two expert riders trying to make it through and also get passed in the last mile by a guy who I had seen repairing his bike. I come to find out that he broke his chain and had caught back up with me.

I finish the race with a time of 2:51:08. I'm just glad to finish. I ended up in 10th place, out of 13 finishers. The winner finished in 2:18, insane. This race was kind of bittersweet. I thought my times would be better, but then again, I hadn't ridden my mt. bike but twice over the last four months. That includes my preride the day before. All in all it was a success. It was a good gauge of my fitness which I'm happy with, and I have to mix in a few more mt. bike rides into my training. Up next is Lost Valley.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Froze Toes part 2.......

It's over, the first race of the season is in the books. I didn't know what to expect as far as this race goes, I've heard it's a training race, don't worry about it. Well, I can tell you it was just as much a race as any other race I've done. Early on, I could tell my legs were heavy and that I wasn't really feeling good, I just kept telling myself to play it cool and just hang in there. The attacks went early and often. Finally the legs started feeling good, but now I happened to hit a huge pothole that was so hard I was lucky I didn't flat. It hit so hard the guy in front of me lost his bottle and my handlebars rotated about a quarter inch. As the race played out I was feeling good about my form and was looking for at least a top 20 finish. I was able to stay in the top 1/3 and even had an attack and pulled up a few of the hills. With about 300 meters to go the pace was high and I was moving up. I'd say I was in the top 15 and looking to move up even further when right in front of me several riders go down. I'm forced into the ditch ala Lance Armstrong. Well, that was it, that was my race. I was able to stay upright, but as I got back onto the road I tried to count guys going past, but it was like a streak, I couldn't even begin counting. I was just happy to stay upright. As for my performance I was pretty satisfied, but on the other hand everyone else's looked just as good. As for our team? I believe everyone was satisfied and Jeff and new guy Jose had good finishes. It looks like we'll be well represented at all the races this year. Now time to look to the dirt for the upcoming mt. bike races.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Froze Toes....

I guess you could say the season begins tomorrow. I don't know how tomorrow will play out. I don't even know who is going to be there from our team. Denny is sick, Yielding will propably be there, but that's all I know of. I'm not too worried though, it's just a training race, in fact, I'm not even 100% sure I'll even be there. My fitness is not too bad I guess, I took a couple weeks off, not by choice though. My groin injury is still present, but can tell it's healing. With all the weather we've had over the past couple days they say the race is still on so I guess we'll see who's in good form if I'm even there. It's time to wax the legs.........yeah baby!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The season is fast approaching......

Looks like the season is fast approaching! My injury seems to be making a turn for the better. I was able to get out twice last weekend and get on the trainer for another couple of hours. I wore a groin wrap that helped out a lot. I can still kind of feel though, which tells me it's not completely healed. I woke yesterday evening and went to my first spinning class this season. Last year I had gone to at least a couple a week, but not this year. Today looks like it might get up to 50* outside so I'll be riding outside at some point.

I got a call last night from Denny and he said Hillsboro filled up. Wow, I even had a chance to sign up and was going to do it this weekend, but looks like I'll be watching from the sidelines. It's just as well, I won't be able to get as much time off this year for races because of my schedule. I work every other Saturday night into Sunday morning so it makes it kind of tough to make a Sunday race, which are about 90% of all the races. I'll mostly be concentrating on the mt. bike races and the spring road races, then Superweek up in Wisconsin and then the Tour of KC, and finally the Gateway Cup. I'll also try to fit in a couple Dinoseries(mt. bike) races in throughout the year. My plan of doing a 1/2 ironman looks like it may fall by the wayside, as I cannot even find the time to do all the bike races I want. It also allows for more opportunity of injury which means time off the bike. I think I may do a couple local sprint triathlons, but certainly am not making triathlon any priority in my upcoming season. See you on the road.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Injury update....

Well, last week I saw the doctor and he confirmed that I did have a pulled groin. He actually saw it using a little ultrasound. We discussed a few treatments and have decided to have PRP injection. I think that's what it's called. He said they draw blood, add there magic potion, some good doping agents I hope, and then reinsert into the injured area. That's all that was said when I left and I was left wondering what other treatments I could do in the meantime. I won't be able to get this done until March.......THAT SUCKS!!! Guess I'll try to get an earlier appointment. After calling him back they said to just go about doing my daily business, so I guess riding was back in order as I finally got back on the trainer last week after being off the bike for almost three weeks. That's a long time for me! I felt it too. Not much else going on this weekend other then going to see the Bodyworld exhibit tomorrow and a team ride on Sunday....maybe. Just more swimming and time on the trainer. Pretty boring.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Injuries SUCK!!!!

Well, not too sure what the hell is going on with my groin, but I see the doctor tomorrow. I haven't been on here for a while, I also haven't been on the bike for almost three weeks. In one respect I would say it would be a good thing, but I've kind of been forced off of it. It started about three months ago when I noticed a slight groin pull in my left leg. I didn't think much of it as I could still ride through the pain until it started to be a little more of a nuisance. I've also been going to a chiropractor who thought it might be my sciatic nerve causing the pain. It's been almost five weeks and not much better. My little crash a few weeks ago didn't help either. Tomorrow I go see a sports medicine doctor to see what's up. I'm getting sick of being off the bike, but if I've got to be off it I guess this is the time to do it. This weather sucks!!!! Too damn cold!!!! Anyways, it's giving me time to overhaul my mt. bike. Installed some new SRAM X.O shifters and derailleurs, new carbon bars, new front juicy disc brakes(my first introduction into discs, yes, i did just say front), and I get some new Truvativ NOIR cranks tomorrow. I'd love to get this hardtail down to 21lbs. It's at 23 right now. I'll post pics once I'm done. I've basically just been swimming a few times a week and that's it. Even running starts to hurt. Oh well, enough of my bitching. The season starts soon and I just need to get better. Hopefully I won't fall behind the eight ball!!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

BRRRRRRRRRRR...............

it was definetly a cold weekend. i'm happy with the weekend even though i had no energy to ride on friday. after a run on wednesday and a cold and wet ride on thursday, the plan was to ride on friday, but i had absolutely no motivation or energy to ride. well, i did go for about 85 on saturday with the dogfish boys, no accidents. i ended up riding out to webster groves and then out to six flags and back. today i met a few of the ghissalo guys and made it for another 41 miles today. it was by far the coldest day i've ridden so far this year. i ended up with a good ride even though the other guys took another loop for an extra 10-15 more miles, i had to get back to catch some z's before work tonight. anyways, all things considered it wasn't too bad, although i wish i would've had time to go to the pool. well, i better end this for now, i can feel the tylenol pm starting to kick in and want to be somewhat coherent while writing on here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

do i ride or not??? that is the question.....

well, here i sit aimlessy searching the internet when i should be out riding. actually, i'm also searching for a new episode of "the office", who knows when they'll start showing new episodes again. anyways, it's already 9:37 and i just can't get myself ready to go out and ride. it's cold, it's miserable, and yesterday i went out for 45 and got rained on. so now the question for this morning is, do i go swimming, ride to the pool and swim, or just stay here and ride the trainer, and then go swimming. my life is so rough right now. anyways, that's about all i've got for today, i can't wait for the weather to warm up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

took a little hiatus....


well, it's been a few weeks since updating this. all i can say is that i've been on the trainer quite a bit over the past month, actually got out last friday and saturday though. i've also been getting in some time at the pool working on my swimming. the swimmings coming along. what's up with this weather over the last couple of days? saturdays ride was a little scary as we started out in the morning and it was a little cool and the ground was still wet from the morning rain that came in. as we were riding down des pere road right under the manchester bridge somebody had yelled the road was slick and before i new it my bike was sliding out from under me. i went down and took out two other guys. it was so slick that after washing my shorts there were no tears or signs that i had even gone down. the guys i took out were from the iccc team, i guess the dogfish guys no better then to ride next to me.........i'm kidding. we had about five or six of those guys and we had myself, greg, denny, and casey from our dogfish team. casey had on his jelly belly team shorts. that's awesome the guy gets to go to the jelly belly team camp in a few weeks. hopefully that means he'll be back here ready to tear up the local race scene or maybe he'll even be lucky enough to do something with jelly belly, we'll see. anyways, this weekend calls for more of the same, a little biking, swimming, and definetly riding whether it be on the trainer or outside. the new cannondale is working out well and it definetly feels a lot better out on the road. well, gotta cut this short, gotta get ready for work, thank god it's my friday. it's been a long four days and i've done nothing for training, wanted get in a few runs, but hadn't even done that, oh well. that's what the weekend is for.