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Sunday, December 5, 2010

2010 race season comes to an end........


I officially finished off the 2010 bike season yesterday in Kansas City, which could also be my new hometown. I did two races on Saturday, the Masters 35+ in the morning, and the CAT 3 in the afternoon. We drove up the night before so we wouldn't have to drive up so early, plus it gave me a chance to check out the area since I may be moving there in January. I was able to get in a warmup lap and that was about it. This being my first year doing cross, I'd have to say this course had the most to offer. A little bit of everything. The Masters race was first off in the morning. It was so freaking cold out and wasn't quite sure what to wear, but made do with just some legwarmers and an extra jacket. Could've used some warmer gloves as my fingers started to become numb, but I managed. There were only about 20 guys in this race, and not too sure who was who as to know who to mark. Getting a good spot wasn't too bad since there were only about two and a half rows of guys. My only concern was that I was right next to the tape and I was in that half row. I didn't want to get crowded and boxed in. It didn't matter that I didn't know who to mark, teammate Denny set out first and I was able to make my way pretty easily to the first couple guys. Denny stayed out in front keeping the pace. I maintained about third of fourth place right behind Bowen. As the laps ticked off the other guys started to fade and I just maintained my own pace along with Bowen until he finally faded. I could see a guy in the background making up ground on me every lap and thought he'd catch me at that rate. I was right, at this point I was in second, but there was about a 15-20 second gap behind denny. I could see he had caught Laberta so I'm sure they worked together. This guy finally made the catch and I let him do some work for a lap or two so I could catch my breath. I then proceeded to take over. There was now another lap or two left and I was sure this guy was gonna stay on my wheel until the finish and then try to outsprint me. I thought about letting him take over for a while and use those same tactics. Well, I don't normally follow Denny's all or nothing tactics, but I did. I just kept my pace high and tried to shake him. He stayed right with me until the last 1/4 mile or so until I was finally able to get rid of him. I ended up 20-30 seconds down on Denny to take 2nd.

The CAT3 race was three hours later so denny. We waited around in the cold for the awards ceremony then drove to starbucks. We got back with enough time to get dressed and do it all over again. There was around 35 guys or so for this race. They had callups for this race and after it was all done myself and denny were in the last row or somewhere near there. This race was all about survival and hopefully not dfl. The race started and I found myself able to move up a little. On the first little technical off camber 90* turn someone stumpled and everything got jammed up. Denny and myself were able to ride right around everything. I passed up Denny at some point and then he passed me for the final time. There was a St. Louis group of three that formed, a Bigshark guy, Stu, from Off the front, and myself. We rode together for a while until I bit it at one of the barriers. My foot never came out of the pedal and plastered myself right into the barrier. It caused Stu to readjust and the Bigshark guy saw it so he saw the opportunity to get on the gas and he put a gap on us. Stu and myself rode the rest of the race together until the last lap when I started to get gassed, actually, I already was at the start of the race, and he put a small gap on me. I ended up 15th, Denny was 12th. The worst part of this race was at the midpoint and I heard over the loudspeaker, "six laps to go". It really mentally demoralized me, but I pushed on.

All in all it was a good, cold day of racing. I got second in the Masters 35+, and I didn't DFL the 3's race. A good way to cap off the season.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I love cross!!!

Once again, it's been a while since I've updated this. A lot has gone on since then, pretty much since the Gateway Cup. The biggest thing thats happened to me is getting back together with my girlfriend. We were only broken up for two months, but it was the best thing to happen and now we're back together even better then ever. I also did my first cyclocross race and absolutely love it. They're pretty fun. My $200 frame is awesome matched up with my Campy Chorus group. My first cross race didn't go so well, but considering I was up all night and never slept I'd say I did alright. I've really taken to it and it suits my off road skills from mt. biking. I'm doing ok in the Pride CX series with two seconds and an eighth place, and an 11th place(in the lead group when my crankarm fell off). I also had a 12th place in a Chicago Cup race. My most recent race was last week in Bubba #7, The Seminary. I was able to manage 3rd in that race. Today is the last race in the Pride series over in Alton. It's a smaller series, but pretty fun nonethless and the fast guys are still the same guys doing the Bubbas. I was hoping to make the overall podium, but after my crankarm fell off during the race two weeks ago I went from 4th in that race all the way down to 11th. I'll have to pull off a great result today. I'd like to make more Bubbas, but the schedule just doesn't work with my work schedule since I'm up in Chicago every Sunday.

That brings me up to my next topic. I've really thought long and hard, but I've decided to transfer from Chicago to Kansas City. As it is now, I'm commuting every weekend between St. Louis and Chicago and that's almost a five hour drive, longer if I hit Chicago traffic. The commute to KC is only three and a half hours and should I decide to move there long term it's a hell of a lot cheaper to live there then Chicago. There's also other factors like traffic, congestion, and two more months of winter. Just as a comparison I'm paying $1200 for a two bedroom apartment and I can get the same size apartment in KC for under $700. I also don't see too much riding in the winter months up in Chicago.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gateway Cup weekend.....

It's finally over. Going into this weekend I didn't have really high hopes. I thought I'd give it a decent effort and see if I could break a top 20. I was feeling pretty decent last year and broke the top 30 a couple times, so a top 20 would be an improvement on that. The fields were as normal for this weekend, easily over 90 guys in each race.

Here's a rundown of each race:

Friday night, Lafayette Square: I had just driven into town and went straight to the race. I got in a good warmup and was feeling pretty good. As the gun sounded and we were off I could tell my legs were feeling a little fatigued. It was my long work week, meaning little sleep and no riding. I did, however, have the day off before to make up for it. I also road the trainer for about an hour which is all I did for the week. It was pretty uneventful for most of the race. With this race being held in the darkness it usually causes a few wrecks. I stayed around the middle of the field for the most part. With about seven minutes to go in the race I saw a guy in the distance trying to go it alone. I really didn't know what I was thinking, but I decided to join him. We had a nice gap for a lap before we were both gassed. I still found myself hovering middle of the pack when there was a crash just a few bikes in front of me. My butthole puckered as his bike came right into my path. Then as I was about to crash into it the thing just bounced straight into the air and I gave it a karate chop out of my way. Needless to say I lost contact with the rest of the group as I almost came to a complete stop. I was looking forward to seeding it on my video camera, but do you believe it ran out of juice on the last lap?

Saturday, Tour des Hills: This was another basic four corner crit. Not much to say other then stayed about mid pack. I made a futile prime attempt. Attacked from about mid pack and already had one guy that got a good jump on everyone. Myself and another guy tried to bridge, but he did a good job to hold us off. A few other guys tried to make the bridge, but they failed too. There was one crash right in front of me. A guy tried to cut into my teammate and he just shrugged him off and then that guy went down. Maintained that position until the finish where once again there were a couple crashes.

Sunday, Giro della Montagna: The gameplan was to go after a prime. I usually do pretty good on this course on the slight uphill where I usually have no problems gaining multiple positions. That went out the window after the first lap. I got a light massage after Saturdays race and my legs just felt like crap. I guess I got them too loosened up. Now I maintained a position in the middle of the field, but it hurt a little more then it should have. I was slowly making my way up towards the front when my front spoke popped off. I shut it down, went to the pit and got a replacement. Luckily it was just prior to the five to go. Now I had to make up all those positions again. I ended up finishing in the middle of the field. This race was certainly harder then I remember it.

Monday, Benton Park: I had about four hours of sleep. The parents pull out bed and basement finally getting to me. My legs were really feeling fatigued and my whole body was really just spent. This race really left a sour taste in my mouth. I really liked the course, but with all the turns I could never find a good spot to get a little recovery in. It was pretty much on the gas after each turn, and there were 10 turns. With as bad as I was feeling I was able to stay with the main pack for the most part. Then with what I thought was about 15-20 minutes to go I gave it one last effort to stay with the main group, but dug too deep. I decided to pack it in. At that point I wasn't even the last guy, there were still another 10 guys behind me at least. I thought with the way the whole weekend was going I'd had enough. I rode back to the start/finish are only to see like 6 minutes left. Had I known that I propably would've found the extra motivation to at least stay in the race. Oh well, I still got most of the race in, but a thought I should've just finished it. There were still a lot of riders behind me formed in small groups that I could've latched onto. That'll teach me to quit a race. Next time I'll make them toss me out of the race.

Overall I was happy with the weekend. While I didn't get my top 20 it was good racing. I think the fields were as strong if not stronger then they've ever been. I got some awesome video footage of each race that'll be posting soon. Now it's time to get that cross bike built and prepare for the upcoming race.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Glencoe results.....

Saturday was the Glencoe Grand Prix. Denny and the family were coming up from St. Louis so I'd have at least one teammate here. Like usual, we signed up for both the masters 1234, and CAT 3. They were back to back races which had me wondering how I'd fair. As we were getting dressed I noticed I hadn't brought my heart rate strap. Denny had another one, but it was at his car which was parked at the beach a couple miles away. We registered and then he got on the trainer and I rode to get the strap. That was pretty much my warmup. I don't even think it was four miles.

The first race was the Masters race. There were some pretty big guns in our field. My legs were still a little heavy from a hard ride a couple days before so I was pretty nervous to see how they would do. Usually in a CAT 3 race I could get through the worst part, but now this was basically a CAT 1-2 race. Right from the start a few guys took off and the pace was pretty high. I had a decent starting position, but soon found myself drifting to mid pack. We made it up the hill, which was just a short punchy climb, not even that steep, but still did it's job. I could tell my legs were saying no. I made it three times up that hill, but on the last one my legs just weren't recovering like they needed to so I pulled out and saved my legs for the CAT 3 race. Denny stayed in the race and was with the main group until the last couple laps when he fell off the pace. He was able to stay in a group just off the back. He was the last group to stay on the lead lap. It was a good race for Denny with all the traveling he did for work and then having todrive up the night before. It was actually good I pulled the chutes when I did because when I went back to the car an officer was writing me a ticket. I guess I was parked within 30 feet of a stop sign, ok, maybe I was within two feet of it. The officer was nice and gave me a warning if I moved, which I did.

The CAT 3 race was much better. After my three lap warmup my legs were feeling a little better. The race went pretty smooth, I maintained my position somewhere in the middle. With all the corners and accelerations I just couldn't gain many positions. With the narrow roads and all the turns the pack pretty much stayed strung out. The first corner for some reason was the scene of a few crashes. It was also one of the only areas that saw the group get bunched up. There were two crashes in my race and I saw two more in other races at that same corner. In my race I know somebody tapped my back wheel and then I heard the sounds of metal hitting asphalt. I know I didn't cause it, but somebody propably just not paying attention. The next crash was on the last few laps and I don't know what happended, but I did capture part of it on video. I looked like he may have clipped a pedal, but I couldn't really tell. During the last few laps I was gaining positions, but it was only two or three at a time. On the last lap everything came apart and there were gaps everywhere. I ended up in 38th place. Once again, just happy to stay upright and finish a tough race.

This was one of the best courses I've raced on. In St. Louis it reminded me of the Soulard course and most recently the Tour de grove course. You gotta love any crit course that has more then four corners.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Glencoe Championships this weekend.......

Sitting here watching Pawnstars and laughing my ass off. Chumley is such a tool that he's so damn funny. Glencoe is this Saturday. This is the same crit championships that had been held at Downer Grove. I never did that race, but I guess now I'll be doing it, only it's in Glencoe now. I've now raced the past two weekends and hopefully my form will be coming back again. Last week I did the Grayslake crit. The plan was to do the CAT 3 and then the masters a couple hours later. I didn't have a great race. I could tell my body was a little tired from training a little too hard during the week. I only did the one race. I think I ended up somewhere in the middle of the field since they only placed the top 12. I did a good three hour tempo ride yesterday. It must've been a hard ride because I was completely useless when I got home and fell asleep on the couch. I'm still gonna get out for an hour today and then take tomorrow off before Saturdays races. I'm signed up for two races back to back so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tour of Elk Grove races.....

I knew it had been a while since I last updated this, but I didn't think it was this long. The last race I did was back in St. Louis at the Tour de Grove. Two days of racing in the St. Louis heat. My legs and form were just coming around back then and I was feeling pretty good. I got a 25th place on the second day which was a three mile circuit race with a ton of turns. It reminded me of Soulard, but bigger. While it wasn't a great result I was happy with it since it was a Cat 2/3 race with a lot of strong 2's. I was 10th among the 3's though. That was my last race until this past weekend. I spent five weeks of basically riding tempo and doing long training rides, barely any high intensity stuff. Work seemed to get in the way and I wasn't sure how my fitness was going to be going into the weekend. Saturday was the Cat 3 race. It was on a six turn circuit with a tight 180* turn, but then the rest was super fast. With my fitness being what it was my goal was to just finish with the pack. I told myself if I just made it through the first 20 minutes I'd be ok. Well, I made it through, but I went through some ridiculous pain. I made it through to the end of the race, I was about middle of the field. I'd say there were around 60 guys racing. We averaged 26.6 for the race. Sunday was the Cat 3/4 masters race. I was feeling pretty good about myself for this race after the day before. I though I could only improve on the previous days result. This race went pretty smooth for me. I didn't go through the pains I did the day before, but I still had to work pretty hard. There was one incident though that I wasn't too happy about. I was making my way through the pack and I clearly had a hole and grabbed it. I guess the other guy thought differently and felt the need to speed up and bury a shoulder into me. I did all I could to stay upright as I was now leaning into another guy on my left. It would've been really ugly to go down where it happened in the middle of the pack. I yelled at him and so did a couple other guys. The last thing I'd expect from a masters race is some a!@hole to get all worked up over me grabbing the hole. The race continued and I found myself feeling pretty good. I got in a good position on the last lap. I was around 8-10 guys back as we cooked it around the last corner. I had so much momentum that instead of staying on the guys wheel in front of me I drifted to the outside a little. That was a big mistake. I found myself out of the paceline and directly into the wind. Instead of sprinting out of that group I basically had to sprint from that point just to maintain my position. I eventually swallowed up at the line. I think I finished around 20th place. I'm not sure the exact placing since I wasn't on the results sheet. I propably got behind some dude again........I just checked the official scoresheet from the website and I finished in 19th. I wonder how much I missed out on since it paid top 20. I was able to finally get some race footage with my camera. I had no way to mount it on the handlebars and I wasn't liking it mounted on my helmet. I crudely taped it right on top of may garmin. It worked, although I couldn't use the info, but who needs it for a crit. I've never done the Tour of Elk Grove, but it was an NRC race and by far the largest purses for the pro's and paid 20 deep for my races. The racing was good and now that I'm living up here I'll put this weekend on my calendar. I was surprised nobody from our elite team was up here, but I guess the state crit championships was this weekend.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Time to move on......

It's been over a month now since my brother was killed in Afghanistan. He was killed while transporting a minesweeping vehicle called a husky. I'm told that it was very rare for one of these things to take a hit like it did. He was basically hit with an RPG which I'm sure also ended his life. I'd like to thank all that have shown their support and offered their condolences to our family. Thanks go out to radio host Jamie Allmon, Operation Homefront, Steve Zangrille, and everyone else that made his homecoming a little more bearable. I've been spending more time with my brothers kids who are 10 and 11. I bought Aleks a nice Trek mt. bike with the money raised from a fund raising benefit a couple weeks ago. This should be a good way to get Aleks into biking and maybe racing.

As for the racing, I've done several races since then. I did two races up in Chicago, and I didn't crash!!! I also did the O'fallon Grand Prix RR, and both races at the Tour de Grove. The races in Chicago were the day after finding out of my brothers death. It was pretty tough to really focus, but I got through them. The O'fallon GP went ok, I was in the final group, but couldn't get better then 18th in the final sprint. The Tour de Grove was last weekend and it was pretty freakin' hot. The races were Cat 2/3 rather then Cat 3 only since they were NRC races. That made for a bit harder racing, but not bad. Saturdays race was just a standard crit and Sundays race was a circuit race on a three mile course. The best way to describe it was a large scale Soulard race. There was a lot of turns over the three miles. It was basically a race of attrition. If you could last through the heat and all the accelerations out of every corner then you had a good chance of a decent finish. It was so hot that I remember passing the lap counter and thinking there was two laps left. I passed it and it said four, you talk about heartbreaking. It mentally took a lot to convince myself four laps wasn't much, but it really was. I ended up moving up on the last lap and kicked myself in the butt for not being more aggressive and moving up more. In the end I picked the right line and avoided a crash on the hairpin turn to finish 25th, nothing spectacular, but happy to stay upright. My arm is still in pain from the Vernon Hills race, but signs are there that it's getting better. I'll be skipping out on Babler this Sunday, but tomorrow we'll be doing a 75 mile ride with Jess and a few friends. I've got an early start so I should propably end this here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

RIP BROTHER, YOU'LL BE MISSED!!!



My brother Denis was killed in action on Friday while in Afghanistan. He was the most giving and caring guy I know. He will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vernon Hills Grand Prix......

My first official race up here in Chicago was this past weekend. It was the Vernon Hills Grand Prix. It was only 10 miles from where I live, but I managed to be late for the race. I gave myself enough time to jump on the trainer for about 15 minutes, but the map of the race wasn't too descriptive and I ended up getting lost and being late. I saw a police officer at the barricades and he directed me all over the place and I missed one of the turns. I came back to him and he pointed out the directions again, but now I was really late. The plan was to do two races. The Masters 30+(cat 1-4), and the Cat 3 later in the afternoon. At that point I was relegated to just doing the Cat 3 until I went to register and they told me I could still get in the masters race. They were running about 15 minutes behind. I quickly got my number and changed doing my best superman impression. I didn't have time to change my wheels though, which was a good thing as I'll explain later.

The course was very open with a fairly stiff crosswind, though not too bad. The roads were good with only two 90* turns. I lined up in the last row. It took a little while to get warmed up and the attacks didn't help either. It was a pretty fast race and the pack got strung out a few times. I managed to keep myself in decent spot until the last turn. I was propably top 20 going into the turn and was just winding up my sprint when a guy went down right in front of me. I thought are you kidding me? How does this guy go down on such an open course with wide roads. Well, he's directly in front of me and I had nowhere to go but up and over him. I remember riding over him pretty smoothly, but somehow after passing him I ended up over the handlebars. All I thought about as I was upside down seeing my bike in the air is please survive, not me, but the bike. I sat there stunned for about half a second and then get ran into from behind. After composing myself for a bit I felt ok, so I got up and checked my bike. It was in working order other then a flat and a bent front rim. I got back on and limped it to the finish line about 200 meters away.

I must've hyperextended my arm because it was killing me to move it. Anyways, I had another race to do and other then my arm and a bit of a sore back I did the Cat 3 race two hours later. I changed my wheels and got an ace bandage from the paramedics for my arm. The first half of the race was very easy with little attacks and few teams wanting to pick up the pace. I was cherishing every bit of it. It started to pick up later in the race and I was now feeling the pain in my arm and the tiredness in my legs. Every time I got out of the saddle I felt pain in my arm. I couldn't put much pressure on it. I didn't get in good position for the sprint, but just happy to finish the race upright.

My garmin had 34mph when I went down. I had 26.5 for the masters race and 25.5 for the cat 3. My bike was ok other then the front wheel and bent seat rail. I was propably going to get a new saddle anyways. It was a good training day. The next couple races should be back in St. louis.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tilles and Hermann race reports......

Tilles was last weekend, the day after hillsboro. Not much to be said, it was a typical crit with nice weather. I was able to stay at the front for most of the race and chased down a break. I think I may have had a teammate in it, but the numbers weren't looking good as they had about 15 guys in it and others trying to bridge. I managed to keep my position, but started out my sprint a little too late to gain a better result. I ended up in 12th.

Hermann was a different story. This was one race I should've just packed in. This is by far the hardest and most challenging race of the year. I was nowhere being 100% for this race. I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wedensday packing up my apartment and moving to Chicago and then working my normal shift Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Beyond my better judgement I ended up riding two and a half hours on Thursday night too, which I normally never do during my work week. I drove back to St. Louis Saturday night only to wake up Sunday and then drive to Hermann. Needless to say, I was pretty much sleep deprived, and physically tired. Now, to the race. I knew I was pretty tired, but thought I'd give it a go. The race started out hard with a lot of climbing. I made the first climbs just fine, but could tell I wasn't recovering normally. About mile 11 we he hit multiple climbs with a lot of the pack doing the accordian thing. I was falling to the back and the body was just not having any of it. With as tired as I was I could not see how my body was going to make it the rest of the way. I didn't see how finishing the race could do me any good. I was too tired to even continue the race and call it a good training ride. I decided it was too much to keep digging so I just called it quits and come back another day when I was rested and not physically tired from moving. Oh well, I know it's a lot of excuses, but that's all I've got for that race.

I'm not sure what the next race will be. The Tour of St. Louis is next weekend, but I think I need to stay here in Chicago and try to get settled in and find some training routes. Hellbender and Ste. Gen are on the schedule, but that's in mid may so I'll have to see what local races are up here in Chicago/Wisconsin. I have yet to find a place since I'm still living in a hotel, but that should change today. I hope to move in today and then go for a ride this afternoon.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

hillsboro and chicago......

the hillsboro-roubaix race was today and i'd have to say that my results were less then stellar. basically, i let myself get too far back around mile 40. we got to the area of the course where there were many turns and accelerations. we made a left turn right into a crosswind and being so far back the peleton got really strung out. i had no protection from the wind and i was still recovering from having to jump the last gap and was redlined. i couldn't make it on and decided to just call it a day. i recovered and then just went at my own pace. i caught up to several guys and we worked together for the final miles. i ended up about 10 minutes behind the main group. i also used my new bike which i'll have to tweak since it wasn't as comfy as the canny.

i also started working in chicago this past week and will start to pack up the truck monday morning for the big move. i still haven't found a place to live, but i've got a few places in mind. so, basically, this is officially my last weekend in st. louis. tilles tomrrow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Season preview and going ons.....

Today I feel the best I've felt since Sunday morning. Last Saturday I had a great ride with two teammates, the K bro's. It showed that my legs were certainly coming around and that my "cold wx training camp" had been working. This winter I did quite a few rides in the sub freezing temps in hopes to be ready for the early season races which elluded me last year. Anyways, after a good ride I took the kids down to Castlewood for their own training. I mushed them for about five miles on the wet soaked Al Foster trail. That night I couldn't sleep and ended up waking up and heaved just about everything I ate for dinner that night. It wasn't a good feeling. I just figured it was food poisoning and I'd be fine the next day. Well, it certainly wasn't food poisoning and I was full blown out of commision for the next three days with a severe case of diarrhea and flulike symtoms. I made a visit to the doctor when finally able and was told it was a stomach virus going around. I sure don't wish what I had upon anybody......well, let's just say most anybody. I'm still not 100%, but thankfully I've got several more days off from work. I'd gone a long time since being really sick, but it finally got me.

My main goal for this year will be to break the top 10 as last year I was really out of sorts for the first half of the season and not in race shape until mid June. I did have a few decent races last year where I took a prime in one race and got 14th. I thought I might break the top 10 in the state RR too, but after we were left with a small group on the run up to the finish I didn't quite have the sprint in my legs to beat out my fellow riders and ended up in 15th. So, this season I was on track to start off on a better note then last year with all my winter training, but now having to relocate to Chicago is throwing a wrench in all that. I'd still like to do all the St. Louis races so I'll keep those on my schedule, but it'll be more clear once I actually start working in Chicago. I know there are some big races there and being so close to Wisconsin may open up more races for me to do, especially Superweek. As for my preview it's looking pretty clouded right now, but once I'm established in the windy city everything should come together a little better. Let's hope!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

St. Louis days are numbered.......

Well, the weight of moving is starting creep in. I've gone through this one too many times. I start work in Chicago the first week of April. I've got to find a place, box up all my crap, and still find time to train, race, work on my bikes, and take the dogs out on runs. I've really grown to enjoy living here in St. Louis again after many years away, but duty calls and I got bills to pay. It's unfortunate that working for the airlines in this fragile economy has come down to this, but even in a great economy the chance of being relocated is always there when in the airline business. What can I say, it's the career path I chose, it's had its ups and downs, but all in all it's treated me well, paid me well, and allowed me the opportunity to travel. The days of working at one place are no longer the norm. When I hired on with United Airlines in the late 90's I thought that was the job that would take me to retirement. That hasn't been the case. I've now been at my current job for six years and next year I get that third week of vacation. That means more bike races!!! All I can say is that right now I'm getting tired of checking craigslist, and all the rental sites for places to live. Next week I'm going to have to get up there and look around.

As for my winter training I've actually been able to get out quite a bit. I guess you could say it's my own training camp. I haven't had to leave home and go somewhere sunny, but I have froze my ass off quite a bit. I've stepped up the monotanous flat boring rides with more rides out in the hills. I'm especially tired from yesterdays ride, but today i'll go for an easy spin with Jess. Tomorrow's ride will be with Denny and Brian. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get in a legburning effort which is what will be needed before the upcoming races.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moving............again!!!!!!

we finally got our notice the other day. my last day working in st. louis will be april 6th and then i start in chicago on the 7th. i guess things could be worse, on the bright side i've still got a job. american airlines pulling out of st. louis has effected a lot of people here. i don't know yet if i want to move or just commute back every weekend. i'm sure gonna miss riding the varied terrain st. louis has to offer.

this is my long weekend and last weekend the weather didn't cooperate. today it was pretty cold, but i was still able to get in about three hours......layers and more layers. tomorrow another ride and taking the kids out mushing is in order. just when i've found some good trails to take them i'll be moving......did i mention this sucks!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

almost like real sled dogs.....

last weekend we had quite a bit of snowfall for a change. i was able to get them out for several four mile runs and one of almost eight miles. lost valley and castlewood were my trails of choice. i didn't have a three dog line so i left bailey off and she just ran out in front. there was about six inches of snow and i was the first one to cut through it. bailey out front worked out really well and found the trail effortlessly. she even made the right choices when i gave her gee and haw commands and the other two followed. the next day was back at lost valley. i only planned to up their mileage by about a mile, but i ended up getting lost. go figure, getting lost at lost valley. don't ask how i got lost out there, but i did. anyways, it took me through about two miles of the newer cut singletrack. i eventually wanted to take the dogs on the singletrack, but not this soon. they did really well on it. skates got spooked a couple times on the abrupt downhill sections so i had to get off the bike and walk down them slowly. oh well, we finally made it to the trailhead and they were all pretty pooped. i also had a nice crash that everyone got a kick out of at work when they saw the video. holding the handlebars with one hand and the camera in the other isn't cutting it so i'll have to buy a real action camera soon. the next couple rides were at castlewood on some singletrack and horsetrails. once again they did pretty good, but they (skates and teemu) still need more conditioning. anything over four miles and they start to get tired. playing out in the woods also got me sick, but it was just for a couple days and now i'm completely over it. they're really coming along, i even made my own gangline to get bailey tied into the action. it worked really well, but it was the wrong type of rope(polypropylene) so i ordered the polyethylene rope which should be in sometime today or tomorrow. the weather is warming up into the 40's so it looks like i'll be limited to the gravel trails to take the dogs on. it also means i may head out for some rides of my own this weekend. the race season starts in less then two months so i need to really start getting out on the road more. the trainer is getting really old!!! update: i did get out to lost valley today. i parked at the mound since the snow was propably going to be all melted and didn't want to ruin the trails. i was just going to take them for four miles, an out and back. they were a little tired and think they may need a couple days of rest. i was also able to get out on the bike for a little training of my own. i did 44 miles at a nice easy pace staying in zones 1-3. a little more biking in store for tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

productive day.....

i got a lot done today. it always happens that way when i get my riding done first thing in the morning, which usually isn't the norm. i was able to get two hours on the trainer and then i got the dogs out to lost valley for a little bikejoring. i didn't know what to expect once i got out there because of all the snow we've just gotten recently. i would've been just fine with the cold weather with no snow, but oh well. i'd have to deal with it. this is also the first time i hooked the tow line to the bike. i usually just hang on to it, but that's training a couple miles around the neighborhood. with 4-6" of snow i needed both hands to hang onto the handlebars. well, they graduated to the trails today, but a sled would've been in order. they did really well and bailey is understanding her commands better. hopefully one day i can get all three hooked up. we got about five miles in which is pretty good for these guys since they're still in the learning/training phase. tomorrow i may try to hit castlewood.



some new wheels in the works. i'm thinking about pulling the trigger on theses wheels, williams cycling system 58's. they're similar to the zipp 404's. i'm gonna be so fast!!!! i don't know much about williams wheels, but they get good reviews online. they're also about $1200 cheaper then zip 404's and i may be out of a job soon!!!



it's no wonder i'm having allergy problems. i got a new vacuum and after vacuuming for 10 minutes this is the resulting outcome. the canister was just about full. i guess that 12 year old vacuum wasn't cutting it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holidays over.....

well, the holidays are over and it's freakin' cold outside. the race season is about two months away and my training hasn't yet begun to get into full swing. my training has consisted of a few hours on the trainer a week and eating a bunch of skinny cow ice cream sandwhiches, my favorite food of choice lately. don't really know how those fit into my training, but they are good!!! i'm also looking at getting some new wheels for the upcoming season. i'm leaning towards some williamswheels racing system 58 carbon tubulars. they're not quite as light as zipp 404's, but their about half the price. i can actually get two sets for less then the price of one set of zipps. hopefully the weather starts warming up so i can get on the road. that's right, i'm not ironmanning it out in this frigid weather.

the sled dog training continues. they're coming right along. even with this cold weather i've been able to get them out there and work them a little bit. i got out to creve coeur park on christmas day and new years day to run them. christmas day was a mess, not too fun on rollerblades in 20* weather with patches of ice on the trails. i did have an inspirational run with bailey the other day, she made me proud. hooking up three dogs isn't an option right now, so i let her run in front of the two huskies, which were hooked up to me while on the mt. bike. she stayed about 15 ft. in front of the other two and listened perfectly to my commands. the other two followed her without skipping a beat. she's definetly picked up on the whole sled dog thing, moreso then the other two, so she's earned the right of being my lead dog. i suppose i'll give denny a plug for giving me such a smart lab. anyways, i'm excited to get them out this weekend. i think i may take them out to lost valley to actually get on some real trails for a change. i'm also close to pulling the trigger on a new scooter. i think it'll give it a better feel of what it's like to be on a real sled, at least that's what i've been told. they're not cheap so i'm just gonna see how it goes with the bikejoring for now.