Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Off the bike - On the bike

Well - true to my word, I missed the St. Louis Cup to watch my darling children. Because this is a cycling blog - I'll skip any details of my time with them - although I did have fun (I can kick ass at kickball - OK, I was playing a 5 and 7 year old). The Hub was represented at the three races - Devin was a stud - 2nd place in the 3's and the 4's were playas. The ladies team did well and Stephanie (blog follower) took honors by winning the omnium! Hey, she did all three races and rocked and my ass got fat by doing zero. Great job Devin and Stephanie.

Back to the grind. Tuesday I went for a ride after work - and I almost died. I took my cross bike because of the weather - which lately has been throwing the chain to the outside for some reason. We were cranking down the outer road hills at about 32 mph - I was pulling - and Michael came around me into the smaller hill. I pushed hard and my chain came flying off. Somehow I got my foot unclipped and kept my balance as I fell forward. Jeff, who was behind me, said it was wild to see. Minor tinkering and I think I fixed the problem. I ebay won my WCS carbon post last week and I am waiting for it to arrive - were the hell is it!

The Wed. night Hub throwdown - aka let's kick Chris in the nut sack until a trickle of blood comes out his eyeballs - did not disappoint. Tons of guys - around thirty I guess. Pace started out fast and kept strong the whole ride. This new guy from out of state was there and I started out with him. He seemed nice and he said he moved here and this was his first throwdown. I told him the ride was kind of aggressive but fun - his response was no big deal. Wrong answer. I do not where he disappeared - but it happened pretty fast. I told him! Average 21.7

Now for those of you who have never ridden this - this is on roads with traffic, stops, hills, and includes warm-up and cool down (not much of either!) I felt great the entire ride and stayed with the ride the entire way. I briefly fell off at the steep hill under the highway, but quickly caught back on. My biggest hurdle has been the steep hill headed West on Conway. I would be so blown-up on that hill that I would be pushed to the back of the pack for Conway and then,being unable to recover, would fall off on Conway. Although I always caught up, I hated falling off and I knew where the problem was. So tonight, as we approached the hill, I was mentally stoked and I cruised up the hill and kept good position. For Conway, I was in the mix and cruised up - Unfortunately I got stuck behind Yo=Yo who can't ride a straight line if someone threatened to cut off his dick - which forced me to work even harder than just hanging on and sitting in (Which is tough to do!) David Mark got on the front and I looked down and my speed said 24 mph - no shit! To pull that speed is studville. Once again, I was happy to hang on. The ride was a success as I finished!

I saw a post from a fellow Hubber on the message board who said they quit doing this ride because it was sketchy - running stop signs, etc. You know - I disagree. The location is not the best, but hey, It's were I live and I don't have to commute or worse, drive, to ride my f'ing bike. The ride is mostly all racers - from studs to suck-asses - and it has the intensity of a competitive ride. I like this attitude. 30 plus riders at 6:00 in the evening is bound to piss off some drivers, and when we go through the stop signs in Kirkwood, we stop and go through as a group, so the fact some people I do not know, get pissed at me because the are 3.8 seconds put out - fuck them - I mean really, fuck them. I could care less - they hated me already.

Judy rode with Team Rev and gave me a full report of their ride. She keeps doing better and better. She rode with Hubbers Stephanie, Kate, and Alice and a few others and had a great time.
Our new uniforms came in and I talked with Ron and bought Judy a Hub racing jersey. She will be stylin' now! Looking forward to century number #1.

The weather is calling for solid rain = I thinking no riding tomorrow after work with Michael and Jeff- 90% chance of t-storms. I'm sad = My dominatrix conscience will not be happy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pack Fodder

A good all around riding week. The weather has quickly turned quite warm - which is nice. The wind is still quite strong. I am slowly bring my weight down a little bit - which I need to do.

Tuesday I rode after work for a nice long ride (post work that is) - 23 miles and I felt really good - the wind was very strong out of the Northwest. Later I rode with Kevin and Adam to the Tuesday Night Cits. The wind had really picked up. Got there to see about half of the A race. Devin got in a break away and stayed with the it, nearly lapping the field. Although he came in third - an impressive ride. My race, not so much. When I came home I told Judy "I stared with the pack and finished with the pack." I felt fine the whole race, even at the end, but the wind was getting very strong on the back stretch along the hill and by the end of the race, with minutes and three to go, every time I wanted to make a move, the field would stretch out 12 wide - there was no breaks and no one wanted to work. The race became really sketchy. It became impossible for me to move - hence the finish. Michael Pendleton was able to make a move on the last lap and finished 8th.

Wednesday night Hub Throwdown or let's kick Chris in the balls repeatedly lived up to its name. When starting, my legs felt horrible. I fell to the back of the pack on Clayton, with Bill and Bryan, and we were all in a state of semi-whine. I got somewhat of a second wind and I was able to hang the ride out. For the sprint down Litzsinger, I was third in line and the guy in front started to run out of gas. I was behind a junior and I kept waiting for him to make a move and stay on his wheel. Well, move never came. Bill, breathing down my neck said, "you have to be in it to win it!" Well, by then, no gas to give and I ended up pack fodder as a train came by. Although no love here, I considered it a victory to just finish. Average 21 on the dot.

A special faster call out to my lovely wife Judy who hung with the fast group on her albatross Ballas. She came home so proud - and thus I am proud of her! She has increased her speed every weekly ride. Way to go Judy!!!

Thursday - went for a spin after work really easy. Nothing really to say. Michael missed work due to sick kid, but was able to meet up with us. Warm weather and it turned out to be nice and relaxed. Kinda funny - we were waiting at the light at Geyer and Manchester and the dude came up to the light behind us. We were pleasant and we started on our way with me in front - nothing fast but not too slow. This guy does a dick move and blasts around us, trying to throw us off. Not so fast douche - I'm a suck ass racer - I took to his wheel and made him pull us. Well, like I thought, this dude started running out of gas and he was properly schooled!

Bike shit news. I has my headset overhauled at The Hub - it was making some bizarre noises - our order of uniforms came in and I picked up a second set - and I won a WCS carbon seatpost off Ebay for super cheap! I should be getting it this week and.... The Jake the Snake is officially pimped!

A final sad note. This weekend is the St. Louis cup and I must decline. Judy went out of town and I am at home with the kids - a call out - come and babysit tomorrow..please
Good Luck to the crew.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Me on the Hub Ride - The Hub at Herman

Could not ride Friday or Sunday. Friday was an OK day but Sunday was solid rain... So if you can't ride or race at Herman - what do you do? I know, take the kids to the Hannah Montana movie!

Saturday was a really nice ride. Without Heine and a few others, I was forced to do some work. The ride was a really nice 4's ride - I was able to pull a lot during the ride - I felt good and it was a really fun ride.

Herman -
Congrats to The Hub at the Herman Omnium - Hiene rocked the 3's and Rock came in second place for the omnium for the 4's. The road race sounded awesome for the 4's - A huge surge up "the wall" broke up the group - with the three Hubbers - Bill, Eddy and Rock in the top group. All three placed in the top 10 - great job!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mid-Week Report

Tuesday - Very Cold - temps in the low 40's. Rode after school with Michael and Jeff. Felt really strong. Pulled the majority and put down some speed on a short ride. Went out Clayton and rode The Hub Wed. ride back Conway to Spoede. I did not race that night - too damn cold!

Wednesday - was beautiful - a perfect day for a Hub throw-down. The best part of the week was when I came home from work - sitting on a box on my front porch was this:

I know - totally bitch - like the saddle was made for this bike. It was a long wait - but worth it. Is it Cross season yet? The final missing piece will be my seatpost - I'm thinking soon.
The Hub ride:
The ride was smaller - for some reason - 22 riders. Well what can I say - Fast - Fast - Fast. Average 21.3 for the 25 miles. I hung almost the entire ride - I gapped a little on the Conway Hill - but was able to catch back up - I got stuck at the end and there was a bunch up and when it strung out - being on the back - the acceleration was too much. I did the hill at over 19mph and I think the group was around 21 mph - so By Ballas I was able to close up by not falling too far behind.

Thursday - rode after school with Michael and Jeff.

Should have been a soft peddle day (even brought my Cross bike-had to sport the saddle)- but that was not what they wanted. Rode 21 miles and average 17.9 with Marshall Hill - a good average considering the wind and the Hill. I felt good and took the hill keeping over 12 mph the entire hill. A good ride. Could not do the Herman festivities so I will ride on Saturday and Sunday - it is supposed to be a rainy weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I was unable to ride on Friday and I was pretty stiff and tired for Saturday. I did The Hub 35 mile Saturday morning ride. Was super fast with Ryan mostly up front pounding the pace. There was a group training ride for some ride - so a lot of people were at The Hub. I forgot my phone - so no pictures. There was bagels and coffee from St. Louis Bread Co. - a nice way to start, and especially finish a ride. Three groups left - fast, middle, and slow. I so wanted to go with the middle group as I was tired - but I left with the team as usual. As previously said, going out was pretty fast. I stayed up with the group until the half way point - where the group turned West on Conway - up that short, steep hill. There was a sprint and I felt pretty gassed. I could have caught the group with an effort down Babler - but I was pretty content to ride in at a nice pace. I knew I would not be riding on Sunday because of Easter - and I needed to spin easy sometime! I finished the ride with Jeff L. from work. Jeff is growing into a good cyclist. He definitely has been making great strides - it was nice riding back with him. On the way down Ballas I had a flat - I am beginning to really hate that road - with all the shit you have to ride over. There's $10 dollars or so blown. When I finished I had a bagel - nice.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rebounding after Hillsboro

Overall a very good week - riding strong! Too bad I'm a week late!

Before I get into the riding schedule - A Hillsboro breakdown as to what went wrong:
Plain and simple - started near the rear. It was impossible to pass - especially with the non-existent yellow line rule in effect - on those tight roads - three across was the max - many times the course become single/double file. With so many sketchy turns, with gravel in the corners (hence the Roubaix element) that the accelerations became killer. If I was number 16, the distance to cover back to the group could be measured in feet - as number 72 - the distance was 25-300 yards, straight into the monster headwind. This just smoked me. Plan for next year - camp out on the line!

Tuesday - good ride with Jeff L. after work - killer headwind and a little cold. I wanted to ride hard - I felt pretty good - but I was kind of figuring on racing that night so I did not want to overdo it. We rode out Clayton and came back Conway - with an incredible tailwind! Unfortunately, I skipped the Tuesday Night Crits so Judy could go to the ball game. After sticking her with the kids all day Saturday so I could race - somehow saying, "I'm sorry, you can't go out with your friends so I can ride the bike" wouldn't fly! The coolest thing about the ride was seeing a brand new Audi R8 - one bad-ass car.

I think I might get one - do car seats fit?

The Wed. Night HUB Throwdown was great. I was able to sit in with the ride and felt good. We started out with a very large group - which was quickly whittled down. Overall average - 21.2 according to Heine!

(Bill is a ham)
Speaking of that - cool photo for the O'Fallon Grand Prix - They are using the 4's photo as their banner for the web-site - which stars front and center Hubbers Bill H and Bryan.

Cool. I will be doing this race this year - if for nothing else than the 15 min. of possible fame - I hope I'm there when they snap the picture! (Damn - Hillsboro hurts)
My only wall part on the Hub Throwdown was coming off Mason onto Conway right before the hill. I was gassed and had to ease up - which cause me to fall off the back for a bit. I was to the point of quitting when I was luckily able to jump on Yo-Yo's wheel. We were able by pull back up to the group by Ballas - picking a couple up along the way.
When the ride was finished and we were hanging around The Hub - the Monster Energy Drink - Monster Truck pulled up and about four guys/girls jumped out and gave everyone free drinks and took pictures - pretty funny. The best I've ever had was going up Adams with The Hub and the Red Bull car came alongside us and gave us pro-hand-ups of Red Bull. The Monster stuff tasted pretty good - The Red Bull tasted like shit.

Thursday - Michael, Jeff L. and I went for a ride after work in the pouring down rain. It was a cold rain, but when I got started, I felt great and I put the hammer down. This was a strong, my race-pace ride. I felt fresh the entire ride. We headed out the outer road - cut over to Conway and then Ladue on Mason - back to Conway to 141- back on the outer road to Clayton and back to work. I pulled most of the ride - which I need to do - and pushed the pace. Michael is an incredible rider - always right there - he rocks. I swear, you can never shake that guy!

Tomorrow - I might go for a very light spin - but that will be all - gotta gear up for Saturday's group ride - Me thinks it will be a wee quick! (say in Irish accent).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Tour of Hillsboro

As Saturday came around - I was trying hard to get ready for Hillsboro. I think that back to back Tuesday and Wednesday, without being used to them yet, killed me. Thursday I went for a spin with Michael after work in the cold rain and Friday I took the day off. My legs were still kind of sore the day of the race - not good.

I will say the trip out there was the best part of the day (and pinning a certain person - Oh Yeah!) - I rode out with Rock and Eric in his conversion van. This is not a picture of Eric's van - but it's close!

The race: Overall, This race sucked for me. I know, you are saying - your a suck ass bike racer, well today proved it. I hit a new level of pain and buckled. The race started OK, but my start position was not good. Our entire team started near the back, and I think this was our major problem. We had Rock, Eric, Bryan, Eddy, Mark, Bill H. and Kevin. With the yellow line rule, it was really hard to move up in the pack. Since we were near the back in the pack, covering the surges became huge on the body. I knew this going into the race, but doing something about it is different. Every corner and every hill, the pack just surged and slowed down - the worst were these really tight corners which launched you straight into the wind - with being near the back, the surges were becoming brutal on me. Then all of sudden the pack would slow up and it became super sketchy. I could not move up in the pack - There was no flex - and the race started to suck.

And then it happened... We were hauling down some rollers at about 28mph or so and of course some sketchy asswipe all of sudden lurches sideways for being bumped I guess, I was a little back for it and all I saw was this dude - it was more in the middle - and the entire pack slams the break - Everyone was fishtailing - I was, Eric was next to me, Bryan behind me - man did it suck, you could smell the rubber from the break pads on all the carbon wheels. My left back and shoulder tensed up like crazy - I was not alone - a few people around me had the same sort of pain. This totally blew me up - and thus, at around mile 18, my race became the Tour of Hillsboro - DAMMIT! I rode with Kevin for the rest of the first lap - As I came across the start/finish line - I was like - I paid my cash - I'm going for lap two. So I rode the entire lap by myself. Unfortunately, the rest of my team did much of the same as the second lap blew-up. MY only highlight - which is somewhat trivial - is I saw this guy on the horizon - and I was like - I can catch him - so he was like my carrot - and sure enough, on the last major climb, right before the cobblestones, I took him - Oh yeah - a very, very, very, very, small victory in a sea of shit.

The Tillis Crit was today, but I took the day off - I actually felt great, but in the morning I tripped down the stairs and hit my knee on the window sill - I am telling you, it still hurts. OK, I give up, I need to rest. I did go out with Judy and the kids and watched The Hub ladies race - Way to go Kate - awesome off the front - and Stephanie and Alice - great job and about half of the 4/5 - When I left Bill H and Mark were up front doing some damage to the back of the pack (AHHHH I'm have a Hillsboro flashback). I hope they did well. I hope to get out tomorrow for a spin and be ready to ride the Tuesday Crit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wed night pre-Hillsboro throw-down

Ok - what averages 20.8 mph, for 20 plus miles through traffic, stop signs and lights and hills - Well - The Hub ride of course.
A great group was there - loaded with racing crew - the feel of Hillsboro was in the air.

In a nutshell, the ride was brutal - especially after last night crits. My legs were sore and the ride began at a slow 20 mph warm-up. I swore I was going to get dropped before Kirkwood. I never really got going and this ride became a ride of me falling off the back and catching back up - Down Clayton Road at 28 mph - falling off the back and catching back up - up the hill heading out West on Conway - falling off the back and catching back up - Going up Conway road hill - falling off the back and catching back up - Sprinting down Litzsinger - falling off the back and catching back up - Damn. When I finished I was smoked. I will say one thing about the ride - I hope they have stop lights at the Hillsboro road race!