Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Florida and Back

Well my trip with the family to Destin is over - I have survived! I could tell all about the 14 hour drive in a small car with two kids or hanging out on the beach with with several Bud Light Limes - but the real story was the cycling. I did bring my bike on the journey and had a few opportunities to ride. No, I did not see this, Although I looked for it!
The big shop ride in the area was Robbin's Bike Shop in Destin.

Aside from my following commentary and snide remarks that are sure to come, it was a good ride with nice people who are used to tourists.
A few funny things about the ride. First, they make you sign a waiver before the ride. Second, who the fuck puts tile down in the main part of a bike shop. Yes, needless to say, after I sign the waiver, I use the bathroom, and when I exit, my foot slips right out from under me. Then I try to catch my balance as I am now going down - I reach out a grab some dude to upright myself before I crash to the floor. The "Robbin's" guys, all present and watching me, were talking about Lance crashing - and then conversation turns to me crashing - AHHHH. Ok, so the ride starts. Chuck from St. Louis was there, which was really cool (he rides for Velo, I think). I will say, this is safest group ride I have ever been on. At a stop sign, everyone stops. I made sure I put a foot down at every stop - no track stand bullshit.

Throughout the ride, the group would pull over and let cars pass if we were backing up traffic! The third funny fact is the ride has a pecking order. The ride was not that fast - I brought my cross bike (with road tires) - everybody on the ride, even the tourists, had the most tricked out bikes I have seen on a group ride - I thought I was at a race - everyone was on full carbon, mostly Orbea, with Zipp 404 - I mean everyone. I had the only non-carbon bike and the only bike under a couple of grand. So on the ride, the "Robbin's" guys all rode up front in a pace line. It was clear that, as a visitor, you were not allowed up front. At one point, this older dude, who kind of sucked in a pace line had problems shifting and I pulled through. He made a big point to come around me and resume his position - hilarious. There was also this really fast loop of three miles, and Chuck and I joked about winning it - but Robbin made it clear who was going to lead the loop! Oh well, no Florida trophy. The final funny part was at mile 24, the whole ride stopped at Starbucks and Robbin bought everyone in the group coffee - It was so cool, and at the same time surreal.

I will tell you, after coffee, that last 6 miles was somewhat painful. All in all, I know I'm a dick, the shop rocks and I give the ride a thumbs up.

I am now back in St. Louis and welcome back to reality - where is the sun, the warm weather - were the hell are these chicks!

It is rainy, cold and on Sunday it snowed - I kid you not!
I was unable to ride on Saturday or Sunday. Monday night I did the night ride with Adam Eaton and his brother "Chain Breaker." The most interesting piece of news is CB is not only getting married, but met his soon to be father-in-law. Not only did he meet him, he also saw the man's nut-sack - yes, the young man saw his soon to be father-in-law's balls. Now, by Missouri law, he not only has to marry the daughter, but also the dad - Congratulations!

Tuesday I went for an easy ride after school - shy of 20 miles and then tonight was Tuesday Night Crits - my first one of the year. I did just fine - no prizes or glory, remember the title, I Suck Ass, buy I finished with the main field - acceptable. I was feeling great and was actually thinking about doing something in the final three laps. Eric S. came along side me and asked how I felt - "great" was my reply - and then in the 2nd to last lap, I just blew up and could make no move - Oh well - It was great to be out there - Kevin, Bill H, Eric, Mark, Greg and Alice representing the ladies. The best part was Judy and the kids showed up and cheered for me! I love my family (except after a 14 hour drive in a small fucking car!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

A sick Week

After Sunday, I was looking forward to a progressive week of riding. The next hurdle is Hillsboro road race and Tillis Crit. Both are great races - Hillsboro is a beast and I hope I can survive - Tilles rocks and I have historically done well at this race.

On Monday night, I did a nice spin with Adam and El Cavano down the Grant trail - loosen up the legs after Sunday.

When I woke up the next morning, I knew something was wrong and I did not feel well. Things got worse at school. Went out riding for a good 20 miles after work and I started feeling miserable. The plan was to meet up with Andy at The Hub and ride to Tuesday Night Crits - which I did. We rode down - and things for me got progressively worse. I could feel the illness coming on - and I was trying to fight it. Using a belated wise judgment, I sat the race out and was content to root on The Hub from the sidelines. It sucked sitting out. The Hub rocked the race - always up front and working together. You could just feel that our team is all out there together.
We had a huge group riding together back to Webster - It wold have been a super fun night - but by the end, I felt like shit. That night was miserable - I had a fever, was sore, coughing, etc. I had to sit out the Wed. night ride and Thursday after school. Still today, I not back to par.

Today I am heading to the beaches at Destin, Florida - I plan on taking a bike and riding with Robbin's bike shop - who has group rides a couple of days a week. I will see how that goes. Adam gave them a thumbs up - but said they are SLOW. German, who just came back, said they were so-so.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Forest (FO) Park (PO)

Forest Park recap - One of my favorite crits.

As I rolled up for my race, I must say I was a tad nervous. I feel fast, especially after Wed. night - yet, it was the first crit of the year and I missed Tuesday night. I made sure I registered with my Master Says Faster t-shirt! What put me at ease was my posse. The Hub was stacked at this race: David, Mark, Adam, Michael P, Bryan, Eric S, Kevin, and BillH. Bill wrote a post on STL Biking about the 3's Dream Team - I want to add to it with the 4's Dream Team. The Hub controlled the race. The Hub was always in the front, off the front, making guys drop like flies off the back! It was awesome to be with everyone - This should be a great race season.

I felt great at the start of the race - the pace seemed very fast. I was up front for most of the first part of the race - The Hub was grouped together nicely - at one point I took a corner tight on the inside and I said "on your inside" which would mean trouble, and then I added "Kevin" It is good to have friends. One dude during the race said to me - "On the inside" - to which I replied - "Not a good choice!" as I rode him tight! Do not cheat your way up - you know what I'm sayin'. I definitely hit the wall around minute 14 and I drifted to the back of the pack. It took a lap to catch my breathe and my second wind. I quickly moved back to top quarter. The race was pretty clean except for a couple of sketchy guys, especially across the S-curves on the bridges - the dude I'm thinking about wore a Lindenwood jersey - (yeah, I'm calling you out for sketchy riding!) As we were coming through the S-curves, which is right before the straight away of the finish line, we had one lap to go and these dudes collide (Lindenwood dude, I think) right next to me and push wide - I slam my breaks because we were going down and my bike fishtails because of the carbon wheels. I somehow recover, but I have to sprint up to the group in the headwind. I caught to the back of the group, but I was smoked! And thus, nothing for the end. I was so pissed because I had so much in me for the final lap. The race was great - the ending sucked! Oh yeah, the Lindenwood dude was laying on the street in the final turn with two other guys!

Props go out to the entire team. Nine started, Nine finished - all looked strong throughout the race. This is what you want. I saw David off the front most of the race, Michael P. tried to sprint off the front in the final lap, Adam took a prime, and Bryan came in 5th! A good day!

The heard the ladies did great, Ethan finished the 5's, I saw Bulldog Mark in the Masters, and I missed the 3's.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Work does not equal success

I have not much to report on the riding front - especially with my first crit this weekend. Making me have second thoughts about it. Ater a strong weekend, work and life sort of kicked my ass this week. Had to scratch Monday and Tuesday because of work - missed on the first Tuesday night crit - AHHHHH.

The first Wednesday Hub ride recap. A small group for the early 5:30 start. Kevin, Rock, Ron, Andy, Chris Miller, Bill H and a couple of Big Shark 3's. The ride started off slow but picked up quickly. I was riding strong on this ride. I did my time at the front down the outer road and kept the pace throughout the ride. One of the B.S. riders took the front on Conway and pulled the entire hill at a constant 20 mph. It was so strong with the wind and I felt great with the pace. At the top, there were only a few left standing and it felt good to be there. Gave me hope for this weekend. I am still heavy and have not lost the winter weight, but the engine is strong.

Now back to reality - had to bag on Thursday because of work, had to watch the kids on Friday and Saturday, I am going to miss The Hub pre-race ride. I hope the lack of riding will not hinder my output on Sunday. I love Fo Po course and I have traditionally done well. Here I am last year-

I think I will use this race as a gut check to see where I am. I would like to go off the front at least twice - that should be a good goal - and then finish. We will have to wait and see.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Savings - Yeah, I Overslept

Weekend re-cap:

Saturday Hub Ride:
The weather was great and I was pretty pumped to ride - I actually thought about this ride, anticipating it would be balls to wall, like the last warm day ride we had, weeks ago.

The ride began with a lot of people - over 30.

It was nice to see a lot of the ladies there. It was also nice to see the return of Matt M. back with the crew. Jeff Lindhorst showed up from Ladue for his first Hub ride - he did a great job - staying and finishing with the group. A Master says faster props to Jeff - a huge success for his first time!

High points included the few fast moments that pushed the limit - Conway, the outer road, and Adams Hill that made the ride fun. I loved the part on Conway hill when we were in a sort of slow Hub pace, around 17 or so, and Hiene and Matthew attacked. Great attack and the pack followed in race mode and the pace jumped to over 20 mph - good stuff - the hurt was on.

Low points - I thought the ride was slower than usual and the mechanicals. Mine took place at the base of the hill on the outer-road. As we came to the base of the hill, there was a pretty good head wind and I was up front. I switched to my little ring in the front and dropped my chain, right at the start of the climb. Matthew tried to push, but was off balance and I pulled out of the line. I quickly caught back up and Bryan had a problem on the overpass, which was at least nice because it allowed the stragglers to catch back up - which I think should always be done on Saturday's ride. Then we got to Ballas and we had two flats at the same time - Kevin and Nat. Nat (aka. Little Old Guy) busted his wheel and had to limp home. This stop took forever - but true to the team, we stayed together - except for Bill H who had to visit nature :) I was in the sprint - but lost it as I ran out gas.

Sunday - Knucklehead.

Ok - I overslept. I went to Hacienda for dinner and put a pretty good drunk on - 5 Black and Gold Margaritas - so I slept well and forgot to "Spring Forward". I scramble and had to chase by myself down Clayton with a pretty good headwind - So I did work. I decided to follow the ride backwards and caught the group on the backside. Hubbers Kevin, Rock, Mark, Matthew were there along with Jeff from work. Once again, Jeff hung in there - good job. I did some pretty good pulls down Clayton to earn my keep. Although the group was smaller than usual and there was one or two sketchy guys - I payed them no mind - making the ride very enjoyable. A very nice weekend - recap over.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Feel Spring is Near - Time to Start Shaving

Man - the last three days have been in the cycling zone - Try 50 plus miler days biatches!

Tuesday was cold but I went for a little peddle with Jeff from work - I think I put the hurt on him - we rode for 28 miles. But was I finished... No - I just said I rode over 50 miles a day - damn, listen up. I went spinning at The Hub - a packed crowd for the last spin of the year. I should have taken a picture, but forgot my phone.

Wednesday I went out after work on solo ride. The temp was awesome and I thought a little peddle was in order. I rode the hour of power ride, but took it easy. But, was I finished... your pissing me off...NO! Adam, Andy and myself did the night ride, which was fantastic, the weather was beautiful. Here is the gang and of course

A Crappy picture of Andy!

Thursday - I rode after work with Michael, Jeff, and the mad sprinter himself Bryan Sauter. We rode just under thirty miles - at a pretty, at times, harsh pace. The wind was something fierce. I was tired at the start of the ride, but man did I kick the shit out of myself taking some pulls up front. Bryan put the hurt on me a few times on the hills, especially Schoettler Road Hill, which is a pretty good incline, big chain ring, 15 mph, but super long - it has three turns to it, so you never see the top until the last third. Bryan looked good as he outspun me. A special props go out to one of my best friends, Michael. Even with a truly f'ed up shoulder, he was gritting the pain and riding strong. Definitely a good rider and friend. But was I finished... yes! Ok - I did not ride 50 today, but back off, I'm tired.

Looking forward to Saturday. I anticipate, with the warm weather after an extended winter, it will be a ball-busting ride. Game face on. My bike is at The Hub getting a little maintenance - I had some drag on my SL - need to lube the hub at The Hub.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Winter sucks - butt (big butt - like Oprah's) the end is near

Sorry about not posting - my loyal fans - all one of you - has been worried that I fell off the face of the earth.

My riding has been for shit lately. The cold weather is starting to wear on me. However - I am starting to see the end of the winter tunnel. Tuesday night crits start next Tuesday - cool beans - and the Wed. night Hub - kick me in the ballsack - ride starts in a couple of weeks.

Since my hiatus I have gotten sick and had a toothache - crazy. I did spin last Tuesday (boring) rode Wednesday night with Andy and Adam

(Crappy picture of Andy time!)

spun inside on Saturday with the team (boring) and today I was finally able to open it up. Rode after school with Jeff, who is getting stronger, for 26 miles with a fierce headwind and rode indoors at The Hub. SO right now, my legs are hurting. I am so not ready for racing season - being 10 pounds over race weight - Yes I am a fat-ass - but I am seeing a turning point to the winter blues. I hope I am ready for Hillsboro in April. I might go out for the FO PO crit and see how I hang - being an early Spring race.