Monday, September 5, 2011

Gateway 2011

Gateway 2011!!!
Well - The theme of Gateway - as always - was the crashes.  Gateway Cup is a four day Crit series and the largest bike race that we have in St. Louis.  Guys from all over the Midwest come and Continental pro teams show up.  This year Ivan (The Cuban Missile) Dominguez and Brad Huff were among the pros.  My plan, was to race the first night, Lafayette Square night crit and watch the rest.  Lafayette Square is wide open and mostly flat - and I have always been to a degree competitive in the race.  However, this year, when we started the temperature was 103 degrees!  We were at the end of some bizarre ass heat wave in September - so the Friday and Saturday were in the 100's and Sunday and Monday were in the 70's - I know, fucked up. 
So anyway, for The Hub, was me, the brothers, Brett, and Todd and honorary member Phil.  the race had 121 guys, was 40 plus 5 and I started in the middle.  Obviously, the race started super fast, and was just sitting in fine and dandy.  At about 20 minutes into the race, I started to cramp up on the backside.  The backside out of turn two has an little uphill into turn three, straight into the wind.  The last few laps seemed like I could never pick the right wheel.  A few times I tried to move up, but the pace was at my limit.  When My stomach started to cramp, that was it, I began to drift back.  I stayed in another 2 or so painful laps and then I fell off, I still had the back of the race in front of me and stayed another two laps or so and then I called it a day - I know, it really sucked.  On self reflection, I don't think it had as much to do about my fitness as it had to do with the heat.  I hate riding like that in extreme humid temps - I never do well, so although I expected more out of myself - my finish was for me predictable.  
Obviously at the end of the race there was a 30 man pile up - what's new?  Here is film from one guy racing.

I missed Saturday and Monday, but I rode to the hill to support the Master's, Cat 4 and Cat3 at the Giro on the Hill - the Italian neighborhood.   I was surprised and then again, not surprised by the low participation by The Hub at Gateway.  No Master's, No 4's and only 2 Cat 3's (Chris Miller and Dave Smith - who crashed out on Monday).  I think a major reason is the amount of serious crashes that happen in these races.  Since I have started racing, I have been in two major crashes - a 50 man pile up at Lafayette 2 years ago and a wipeout in turn 1 at the Hill on the last lap  about 5 years ago.  I think after the crash at the Webster Crit where that Team Mack racer crashed and later died, guys on the team re-thought Gateway.  For the Hill, the entire Hub team was drinking and cheering.  The Cat 3's had a major pile up in turn four - here is video.

Anyway - another Gateway Cup and another year of road is over - now I think I will turn my attention to a little cyclecross!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm 40!

Well, I'm 40!

My hot wife put up signs all around Webster stating that fact - gotta love her.

My riding is in full force. On the road I have felt so strong. I have kept up on every Hub ride that I have been on - even up front a pulling on Conway during the Wed. Night ride which is fucking nuts for me! The past couple of Saturday's I have felt so strong(hanging with my buddy Phil). I even came in second in on the sprint two weeks ago behind Rock - Yeah me!

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge (or whatever it is called) has been fun to watch on the tube - a few Hubbers took time off work and traveled out West to catch the action first hand. It was cool to see Levi and all of the American's ruling the roost - I really wish Chris Horner raced - I like him. The best sign by far: (courtesy of Support the Tour of Missouri Facebook site)


I have had a blast at track this summer (The Faggin, although weighing a ton, was a strong bike for the season. Maybe next year I can upgrade to an Omnium with some deep dish wheels - that would be nice - I picked up Kevin's bike and I think his bike weighed as much as one wheel on my bike) but it has come to an end. The one thing I have not been able to do is transfer my road power to the track. It is kindof weird - I can hammer the shit out of a road race or crit, but on the track, I am slow. I need those long races where I can build up speed - and track is not like that!

State Individuals Track re-cap ( forgot my phone - so I only have one picture thanks to Kevin).

5 Individual races:

Match Sprint (3 laps) - God did I suck at this race. I was the first out!!! AHHHH! I have no speed. On the first race, I was against 2 strong guys - both made the finals, one came in forth and the other came in second - so I was smoked. the next stage was the repechage - I was against Casey and Soli and when we came to turn 4 on the second lap, I was third, great position - we came to a tracks stand, seeing who would go first - I was about ready to go, when Soli jumped and the three of us sped out. Although I stuck Casey, I was not able to take him at the line - he beat me by a wheel or so - so I was out. Andrew for The Hub won first place.

Points Race (30 lap) - Points has always been my worst race - and I lived up to it. I came in -5, which for me is not the worst - but it is what it is. Once we hit about lap 15, I started feeling fine - but the race was over for me.

Pursuit (3K - 9.3 laps) - This was my best race by far - I came in forth! I missed a bronze meddle by less than 1 second! AHHHH! I can't remember my time - the guy who won it beat by at least ten seconds - but I would have loved a meddle - bummer. This was a typical track race for me. I had a terrible start, took me a couple laps to rev up and then I started to gain time. On the last lap, I had no sprint and just continued to cruise.

Scratch - I sat this one out - I was smoked and needed a rest. I was hoping for a good Kilo race and needed a breather.

Kilo - Should of raced the scratch! The Kilo sucked. Honestly, I was smoked by this point. That Points race followed quickly by the Pusuit smoked my for the day.

Oh well, no state jersey for me - but I had a blast. Honestly - I am think on working on track - maybe spending more time on it than I have been - It is a long year - we will see.

Up next - Gateway!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rockin it

I know it's been a couple of weeks - my wife and I went to Vegas for the week! Here is a picture from the Playboy Club. This chick's- I mean bunny's - tits were so big and sticking straight out - Judy and I could have used them for a dinner table and had a 7 course meal on them and still had room.

Ever since I have returned from Vegas, I have been feeling great. I have been getting faster with less effort and dropping a couple of lbs, I went to track last Thursday and did great. I raced a 5 lap Scratch and a 7 and 8 lap Tempo race. Judy and I rode to the track and it turned out to be a beautiful night. Judy took some great pictures of a race - here they are - I think I came in forth - but really seventh because I did not pick up any points until the end.

My rides with the Hub, which provides a nice measure of my abilty, have been awesome. The Saturday and Sunday we returned I overslept - Vegas - but last Saturday I got out. It was a fast ride, but I was feeling really strong. I was able to cover every break and kept with the lead group - I felt really good. As we turned on Geyer I had a flat - AHHHH! - everyone slowed up, but I told them all to go, fixed the flat and rode in. Still a good ride. After the ride I went to the Bread Co. with Phil, Stephanie, Bill, Todd, Matthew and Steve.

Today I did the Wednesday Night Throwdown. It was super fast - 21.2 average with 266 avg. watts. Once again I felt great. I moved up to front on Clayton - unheard of I know - I was up front for a huge chunk of the ride. I struggled a tad on Conway, but that was just because of a huge acceleration by Brad (I found out later), but I was able to recover. The whole ride felt great. I am looking forward to Gateway and doing some racing.

Tomorrow I will be doing track again and next week I plan on racing TNW.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Was the First Loser! (2nd Place that is)

A really good week of riding! Seemed like a success with everything I did - Last week it seemed like every ride that I did involved my ass getting smoked - this week was a nice turn around. I like weeks like this.

Monday - went for a nice recovery ride - nice and slow - road to Grant's trail to River Des Peres and back home.

Tuesday - No riding

Wednesday - Hub ride super fast, as usual. Nothing really happened special - just hid in the middle and hung on - and that I did.

Thursday Night track. I rode up to the track with Judy - we got there a little late and they were starting the Scratch Races - Scratch is one of my favorite races - I had to switch out my cogs, take off brakes, etc. - I was trying to fly to get it done. Then my rear wheel was a little messed up, so I missed the first race. Thanks to Robert and Soli for letting me borrow a rear and Devin for fixing mine.
*The second race was a match sprint between me and Dave SmithI lined up on the inside. Dave is really fast but I would try my best. He totally smoked me.
*The third race was an unknown distance. About 10 plus lined up. There was a prime between 2-7 and the bell would be between lap 8-15. I did not go for the prime, thought about it and kept myself close. At lap 12 the bell was rung and one guy took off and won by several bike lengths. I was on a fellow Hubbers wheel and as we came out of turn four, three of us lined up for a sprint - and I won it! Yeah me!
*The fourth race - my second match sprint versus DaveI was lined up on the outside - and... Yeah, he smoked me.
*The fifth race was points - but I had to leave before it got dark.

Friday - no riding

Saturday - did the Hub ride (sorry my finger is in the way) finished the ride strong - a good ride. I even felt good going West on Conway.

Saturday Night Hate Hubres - stud female racer - had her 40th Birthday party at CJ Muggs A lot of Hubbers were there - it was a lot of fun (my wife wanted everyone to know that the only reason she is wearing a white shirt with a black bra was we left the party for a metal show - which she looked smoking hot for)

Sunday - did Knucklehead - I was really tired and a little hungover but I woke up just in time and figured, what the hell - so off I went. I was really planning on taking it easy, but when we broke up, I was in the mood to go. Hub guys included Kevin, Tim, Jeff and Eddy. Dean was there for the ride out and it was the second appearance of the Original Fuck Knuckle! This guy is the biggest douche-bag rider I know (He still wears our old Hub jersey even though we kicked him off the team - we asked for our jersey's back and he said "NO!"... and yes, he was wearing our jersey - and yes, he is still a fuck knuckle. The ride was fast and I kept up front just fine. My only hiccup was the hill on Clayton by Principia - Kevin and two other guys jumped - I jumped too late, so when I got to the top I was on my own, the group behind me and two in front, so I closed the gap, but was really gassed and fell off - but this is the end of the ride where we turn off, so no big deal - I t felt really good.
When I got home, I went out to Grant's trail with Judy and the two kids Bella rode the whole trail and Grace looked so cute on her bike!

Plans for next week - I really do not have any - just to keep riding.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Goddam is it hot!

I'm reflecting back on the posts in the middle of January in which I said, "Goddam it's cold!" Well, today hit 100 with 95% humidity. This shit makes riding really tough - but, like any shitty cyclist, I will persevere.

On a random note - look at this huge concrete monkey I so want this for my yard. I'm thinking about having the paint it any color they want. Ok, back to cycling.

Tour de France - so far the first week of the tour - I swear I can't get enough of this. There have been more crashes than the Cat 4 Gateway Cup series.
Vino, Zabriskie, Van Den Broeck, Wiggens, Boonen - all out. Hoogerland (crazy ass name) getting taken out by a press car, going over the bars and landing in the barb wire fence - that was fucked up - and my biggest loss - Chris Horner. I have always been a fan of Horner and they way he won the Tour of California was tops. I raced in the Chicago Downtown crit that went down Michigan Ave. (truly, one of the coolest crits I have been in) and he was in the race in his Astana kit - that was the year he did not go with the tour because of Contador - cool to see. I had high hopes for him. The only thing that amazes me about the amount of crashes is Vandevelde is still alive - that dude falls down more than me. The highlight of the tour so far was Friday's stage when HTC lined up on the front and drilled it to the finish - they were 9 strong with Cavendish on the back, drilling the pace at over 40 mph - that was textbook cool. Am I a big fan of Cavendish - well my wife is!

Back to me. I need to start re-tooling my riding. I remember showing up to a group ride in Louisville and my buddy, master racer and former Jelly Belly racer said - yeah, this ride has a lot of guys who plan all week to try to hang on - well, that is the way I am feeling lately. I did the Hub ride on Saturday and a few guys up front just drilled the fuck out of it. I feel off going up Conway - I swear I had nothing. It turned out nice and I rode in with a few Hub guys who also called it quits. Sunday I did knucklehead and once again, I gave up on the big hill. Knucklehead is a weird ride (as the name implies) - the ride starts a 6:30, but I pick them up, like most people, along the way. When we pick up the ride, there are about 20 guys. Where I wait adds about 10 guys. After 20 minutes, the ride has grown to over 100. The pace out is really nice, especially for being so fucking early - around 18 or so. After and Clarkson, Clayton takes a huge downhill and the ride splits between long and short at Strucker. I usually take the short which is about 45 miles roundtrip. After the split, the ride gets ridiculously fast as we wind through the bottoms. Going back, the group rapidly dwindles, depending on the fire-power in the group. I took a meaty pull along the bottoms and I kindof gassed myself. I went into the hill giving it up and that was a mistake. They eased up near the top and if I pushed it, I could have caught on at the light - but I missed them by 30 sec. I had some nice alone time riding back.

I missed TNW because we went to the ballgame, missed Wed night Throwdown because of my daughter's birthday, and track was rained out Thursday. Saturday, I did the Hub ride again, but I was feeling really shitty so Adam and I turned off at the outer road and had a nice conversational ride back. Sunday, I rode knucklehead again. This time I had a plan - don't pull in the flats! So I sat in and had a great time. The ride was fast - 21.5 but my avg. watts were really low 215. Mark Gorski was on the ride and he can still ride the shit out of a bike. That guy was such a stud - when I was in grade school I idolized him and Craig Virgin. On the ride was K-dog, Jeff aka. Roadog, Tim, Matthew and Eddie. Good times.

4th of July with the Hub was good times. We met at the shop for the 4th of July parade (man, does my kid look happy) and then had the annual 4th of July Hub softball gameRon trying to give our side a pep talk consisting of - if we drink more beer, we will hit the ball farther.

This week I am planning on riding some track! Oh yeah!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Webster Race

The 2011 Webster Groves Crit - Good Times for All.

Big Props go to Devin Clark - He travels all the way to Georgia for the National Crit - Elite - racing against Rashaan Bahati - and come in 15th out of 165, drives back home and wins the Webster Crit - Pro,1,2awesome. (1. Props to whomever took the pic that I stole and 2. Why can't that be me!)

Had a great time - I helped with registration again, drove the pace car, and hung out and drank. The plan was to do Master's - What a stupid fucking idea. I was pumped for the race and had high spirits, low hopes. It was fun lining up for the race, getting ready to rock it. For the Hub were all the old fucks - Kevin, Marc, Mark Gowler, Bill, Tim, Todd and honorary member Phil. The first two laps were ungodly fast - 1:54 and 1:56 - that would be over 30 mph average! I was tucked in, near the back, and on the third lap, or something, a guy threw his chain going up the hill. I lost contact with the wheel and that was that - AHHHHH! That little glitch saw the demise of all of us - except for 3: Kevin, Marc and Mark Gowler. Phil, Tim and I, who were just off the back, tried like hell to catch on and played catch up for 17 min, until we cashed it in. Although I had fun, it was really an uneventful race.

The second part of the plan worked out great. The rest of the day was laid back and fun. My kids had a blast driving around in the pace car. I swear, by the end of the day, I was plastered. After everything was cleaned up, we all went to Ron took everyone to Llywelyn's for dinner and more beer.

The worst part of the day was the Cat 5 race. A racer - Randy from Team Mack, was coming into the sprint and clicked pedals with another dude and went into the curb - he went right over onto his face into the curb. It was super bad. The ambulance was already there and if we had to wait for them to be called, he might of died. He has been in ICU at Barnes and has had two head surgeries to relieve the swelling in his brain. Although it was not worst crash I have ever seen, it was the worst result I have ever witnessed. I've seen worse crashes were you are like - that dude is dead, and they pop back right up. This was not the case. I hope all goes well and he recovers.

I rode on Monday and my legs felt dead. Tuesday I went to TNW for a little more racing. It was fast and SKETCHY. I rode fin and was near the front for most of the race. I thought about going for a flyer, but Dave Smith stole it from me - just joking - I need to respond faster. I never felt comfortable around turn two, which is a sharp left at the bottom of a hill. When it came to 3 to go, I dropped out, not because I was spent, I just didn't feel the sprint and I though it was a little sketchy and not worth it.
Props to Rich Witt who raced the C race and did great! Now all he needs to do is join a real team and not the MEC Gay-wads.

Did the Wed. Night Hub Smackdown. The group was huge and super fast. Cat 1-2 guys were driving the pace. I was hanging in fine, but I turned off and rode down Clayton to Lone Wolf Cafe to see Loren El Cavano play with Judy, Andy, Kevin, Alex, Valerie and Tom the Chainbreaker. Loren was great and it was a blast!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting Ready For Webster Crit

Rocking and Rolling since I last posted.

Did Tuesday Night Worlds and had my best finish - It felt good to be sprinting in the finish and not falling off the back with 3 to go. 24.6 mph and 256 avg. watts. I rode down and back with Tim - I forgot to take any pics - so sorry. It was a small Hub crew - Me, Tim, Kevin and Greg.

Wednesday Hub Throwdown - This ride is just getting wicked fast. It was super fast and I fell off the back on Conway - just a little. This ride has a zero warm-up. I swear, guys were sprinting going up Lockwood. The group was super huge many fast cats - it seems like more and more Cat 1-2's are showing up and laying smack down on me! Going down Litzsinger, there is a sharp right and left S-curve right after a downhill - speeds around the curves are around 30mph easily. Also, this is the finale for the ride and guys can get pretty aggressive. Going into the second turn, Caleb took the turn wide and went right off the road - over a metal guard rail he hit it just perfect and his leg hit the metal post holding it up - his leg was toastblood everywhere, etc. 911 was immediately called - it was a mess. Thank God Dr. Eaton was on the ride - Kevin was calling for a Tourniquet and a crankset with rings for a amputation! BTW - Caleb is doing OK!

After the ride, we had our Hub team meeting - which really consists of Ron trying to talk, nobody listening, and everybody drinking a lot of beer emphasis on the beer. For Webster I think I am going to race Masters +40. It's fast, It's old, it's early in the day!

I missed track on Thursday and everything just kindof mellowed out - did some solo riding and that is about it. We have had a lot of thunderstorms and rain. The Saturday group ride was cancelled as a monster storm rolled in. I was getting cabin fever and was determined to ride knucklehead for Father's day. It was wet, but just roads - no rain. It was a really small group - going short was Matthew, Chuck and a Big Shark dude. On the way back we picked up Eddy, Tim and two other guys, doubling our number. Sorry - forgot to take a pic - it was wet after all!

Had to skip Tuesday Night Crits - I was so smoked from working on my deck. I rode the Hub ride today and it was super fast. The were so many fast dudes I swear I almost puked. Oh well - I am alive.

Here is the Show Me St. Louis Track clip web address:
I could not figure out how to actually post it - sorry.