Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicago Sucks! - Not the Crit or the city -I mean the band.

Chicago Criterium - Although I wish I did better - I had a blast!

Judy and I left Friday around seven and we stayed on the outskirts of the city in a cheap hotel. the drive down was the worst - we got caught in a blinding thunderstorm and had to pull off the highway for an hour - truly the worst storm I had been in.

As far as the race goes - my efforts were divided 10% on racing and 90% on a nice get-a-way with Judy. She even took her bike, which was awesome. We finally arrived in the city around 2:00 the next day and had a great time in the city. A perfect example of disproportional efforts was the night be fore the 8:50 race, Judy and I stayed out until 1:00 a.m. eating fondue and drinking! I literally left the port-a-potty 3 min. before start - although I felt a lot lighter!

The race: The venue was amazing - right down Michigan Avenue and back down Columbus - the course had two very sketchy corners and a 100 meter incline that did damage every lap. The field was filled on the starting line - 125 riders. This is no joke - our field was filled with pre-reg and had a waiting list. Next to the pros (200), our field was the largest. I had never raced with so many racers. The start was huge. This was one of the fastest races I had been in. Bill and I showed up ready to race. Before I left, Henie and Ron told me this would be a 35 min. plus 2 sprint and they were not joking. From the gun, it was balls out. Every time I hit that little hill, it was out of saddle, full sprint. The straight away was directly into the wind and every time we came through the line, I looked down and my speed was 30 mph.
On the back side, around the half circle was balls out. Before the race, Bill and I said it would be cool to take a flyer at the 10 min lull. I said, there might not be a 10 min. lull and man, was I right. For most of the race I sat in there fine. Up near the front for a while, dropped back, moved up, grouped up with Bill and a rider from Big Shark who does our Wed. night rides (name skips me). with one lap to go in time, before the final 2, they put a $100 prime on the line. Triple XXX got up front and must have done some killer blocking. Coming into the turn before the hill the pack came to almost a standstill - I mean truly almost a complete stop - and then - Bam up the hill into the two left. This is were a fucked up. I was near the back and the sprint up the hill was equal to an effort at the end of the race - I could not accelerate (FONDUE - MELTED CHEESE!) and found myself gapping into the straight away. Once again, I could not pull 30 mph and the gap widened quickly. If I was up more - no shit - I would have been fine. The entire race was at my max, but I was always in it, until this point. I finished the race at 78 out of 125. I sucked falling off so close to the end. Bill did a lot better, staying with the pack and finishing. The entire race was very sketchy - I guess because it was a constant sprint, I was never able to find a groove and get comfortable. Bill had a little accident and this other dude went beserk on him for bumping into another dude and taking him down. He was yelling, "It's on you Hub, It's on you!" Bill - shake it off - it's crit racing - and thank you. If it wasn't for you, I would have finished 79!

This was one of the best run races I had been a part of. The course marshalls were awesome. Because of blind corners and sweeping circles, each had a whistle and would blow it when riders came by, altering the people up ahead. How they closed these major streets was amazing, and people seemed really cool with it. The 3's race was also fast, but I do not think it was a jerky out of the corners, which was what killed me. Dave Smith and Alex German represented The Hub.

After the race, Judy and I switched hotels and went on a bike ride down the bike path along Michigan Avenue. This was a nice slow ride, with tons of people all along the path. It was really fun to ride next to the beach and check out the scenery - (The beach and lake)! We made it back to watch the pro-race - big names like Chris Horner in his Astana kit was really cool. Brad Huff won the race.

That night myself, Bill and Dave with our families, met up for some good Mexican food, ice-cream and the ESPN zone. A really fun evening - especially for this dude!

Came home today exhausted. I totally plan on doing this event next year, hopefully doing a little better.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Week on the bike

HELLO Michael Rawitscher! It was good to hear from you.

Sunday: Got home from the lake and did the Hour of Power ride a little easy at 1:10 - nice to be spinning.

Monday: Went over to Illinois to ride with Rich Witt on the Metro East Cycling ride. A really nice, car quiet and fast course - Illinois farm roads - a little hilly - a perfect 30 mile ride. Took it easy, Avg. around 20 mph - which was pretty easy considering the course. It was nice to ride with Rich - especially the fancy drinks after the ride!

Tuesday Night Worlds - a really cool night - I rode to and from with a jacket on (in July)! The race started and I felt really good.
Bryan says "hi to all" When the race began, I quickly moved to the front and was in the top 5-10 for most of the race. With about 10 min into the race, I rode on the outside and Lendel let me in front, about forth from the front. As we came through the start/finish, a break went off the inside and Lendel jumped right on it. I saw it unfold and should of sprung with Lendel - but he jumped first and I was afraid I would pull people up to him - so I sat on the front with Mark and a Big Shark guy and did some awesome blocking. It was a blast. In the break was a Big Shark, Dogfish and of course The Hub - and we did a great job disorganizing any pursuit by Ghisallo and ICCC. One ICCC guy got all worked up that we wouldn't pull through and when we did, laid up. I drove the pace at one point and sat up as we crested the hill! Sweet! My goal was to move off the front, but with not being in the break, I was content to work at the front. With about 25 min in the race, I started to gas and dropped back. I was in the sprint but finished mid-pack.

After the race, we (Bill, Devin, Bitch Tits, Eric and Robert) all rode over to Burrito Loco and did our own Taco Tuesday. I swear they served the biggest burrito I ever had. I could only eat half the thing - this is what was left over: Ole'

Wed. Night Throwdown - BUSTED!: A large group, good weather. I begged Heine for a little warm up before the thrashing began - I think he obliged, not quite sure! When we were climbing the hill on Geyer, we rode through the stop sign and were caught by a sitting cop. Pretty funny and he was really cool, telling us to slow down as we went through - nice. The pace quickly picked up again. My only complaint, which was huge, happened at Babler and Ladue. While turning on Ladue, a car came around the bend and split the group into about 2/3 that went and 1/3 that waited. I was in the wait group. The front group did not wait and lit it up down and up the hill. I jumped on the wheel and Heine pursued back up to the group. This blew up the back of the ride, dropping more than half the chase group. I was able to catch back on, but I was smoked. As we turned on Conway, I was hurting and I fell a little off the back. I was able to catch the group at Ballas. I was sort of pissed I felt fine the whole ride to this point and was saving this ball busting effort for Conway, not chasing the group! I was in the mix the rest of the ride and contested for the sprint - it felt good. AVG. 21.9 We all got stopped by the train at the end of the ride and waited with the Ladies ride and Judy!

That night we went to The Tin Can and met up with New Belgium and Ryan Van Duzer who is being sponsored by New Belgium to ride his bike across the US (Cal. to Wash DC) on a 3 speed New Belgium bike. Ryan was a really nice guy and advocates biking over driving through his program called Team Wonderbike. It was a nice small group (Ron, Andy, Ryan and my Misses from The Hub), great weather and free New Belgium beer! Check out Duzer's website The guy is really funny and does a dance while crossing each state line - worth the view.

Went our for a nice easy spin out West and rode Marshall - always a workout. Looking forward to Chicago this weekend. I am dropping some weight and can feel it in my cycling performance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bike Racing is like sex - One big effort and I want to sleep!

First we need the big tool. In this case I have two:

First tool

Nice job attacking your own f'ing team you douchebag. Let's see, your team covers every challenge on the mountain and you attack, from 5 positions back, your own team up front. You could tell in the interviews right after the race that Lance was pissed off!

Second tool

Your in St. Louis and you dis the city by wearing a Chicago jersey, dis Stan the Man by making it all about you, and you throw like a pussy (I heard he threw warm-up pitches before he went out there). I'll give you the facts that Bush is an idiot and sucked but at least he showed props to the home town and could actually throw a ball.

Although my ribs still hurt (I know, it sounds like I'm a broken record playing the song WHINE) but they are starting to feel better. Unfortunately I was unable to ride on Monday so Judy could go to her Team Rev. Meeting/happy hour = man, am I a great husband.

Tuesday Night Crits (sorry, no pics)- I felt "iffy" going into it, but once the race started I settled I felt good. I was consistently up front for the most of the first part of the race - working nicely. AT 22 min, there was about seven guys jump off the front - I wanted to join them but we were going into the turns down the hill and I couldn't break away. When I came out of the turn, they were about 75 ft in front of me and I launched into a sprint to bridge to the break. I took to almost the top of the hill for me to do it, but I did it! I held with them through the start finish line, but the headwind was so strong, the break fell apart by the turns. I fell off the back and dove into the top quarter of the pack. Some guy from Ghisallo bitched at me, but I was like fuck you - I'm gassed and I need out of the wind and I just did it - so get over it! I faded to the back of the pack and with two laps to go, another break went off the front and I knew I could not move up so I slowed up and dropped off. I knew I would pack finish in the back and that, for a training race, gets way sketchy. Examples - Rider 334 (be wary of the 300's!) - your a nutfuck. Check this guy out - besides weaving like crazy, he would take extreme chances on the downhill through the turns to keep near the front and peter-out going up the hill. I got behind this guy n the up hill and I didn't say anything as he petered out, so I passed him - and he came flying by on the inside through the turns, getting in front of me - then again, he gassed on the hill - this time I passed him with the kind words of "fuck dude!" Kevin at the end of the race (which is why I spun out) faced triple 3 (#333 - beware of the three hundreds) and nicked-named him the triple threat - Sketchy, Slow and Sweaty! Hilarious!

Wed. Night Throwdown - Man this was fast - 22 avg on the nose - we went out so freaking fast. My job was to sit in and try to take it easy in order to make it. I fell off at the very end of Conway, happy to be where I was - but I was getting smoked. I made it through the whole ride and then the Litzsinger Sprint. I was getting smoked, I guess the humidity, I pulled off from my position and drifted to the back. I have never fallen off on Litzsinger - but man was I smoked!

So the title - I feel that when I give forth a big effort, I am gassed the rest of the ride. Pushing, even in the front, was OK, but when I give that effort, it takes me so long to recover - I am going to focus on intervals - I like that stretch from Mason to Babler on Conway going west up that steep hill (a very crit-like hill) and pushing to Babler on the incline and/or Adams through Sugar Creek - that will be a training focus for the next month. Second, I need to drop more pounds - I'm working on it, just sort-of sucking a it.

I'm headed to the Lake with the family - will try to do some riding - Chicago next weekend!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Save the Tour of Missouri and my week on the bike

If you are reading this - Do this!

Contact Gov. Jay Nixon and tell him not to take the funds from the Tour of Missouri.

(573) 751-1588
Postal mail:
Office of Governor Jay Nixon
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Here's my editorial: I know a little something about government, politics and American History - so here it is - When in the hell did Missouri politics become so screwed up (I know, since Thomas Hart Benton was not re-elected in 1851). You would think Democrats, especially state Democrats would not only support cycling, but support the use of tax money to generate revenue - spending money on shit like this seems to be very much in line with the Democrats. However, in our state we got Democrats calling for smaller government and fiscal responsibility - like the greatest Democrat of all = Ronald Reagan. I swear to God, Arthur Laffer must be secretly advising the Mo. Dems. You would think that the Democratic Party would cater to cyclists and want to expand energy saving cycling initiatives = not that the Tour does this, but by not only generating economic revenue (and not just for St. Louis or KC, but small towns all across Missouri), it also promotes cycling. Missouri is ranked as one of the most unhealthy, active living state in the US We even had former Republican Gov. dumb-ass Blunt negotiate in the settlement against Ameren the expansion of the Katy Trail. All state democrats are doing is yelling that private money, not public funds should be used for the Tour (Cut Taxes, Increase Entrepreneurship, Reagan)! In 2008 Peter Kinder (R) ran against Same "douche" Page (D) for Lt. Gov. All that Sam Page did in his commercials was blast the Tour of Missouri, totally ripping on not only the Tour, but cycling. How could I support this dude! and for that matter, what is wrong with Missouri Democrats. My favorite Democrat sell-out is Sen. Jeff Smith, who is co-sponsoring legislation with Jane Cuntingham - WTF! What has happened to the Democrats in Missouri - when did they become Republican ideologists! Gov. Jay Nixon, quit being a Republican - you dumb-ass!

Rib - America.

Well, I should be in prime training mode, especially with Chicago in two weeks, but my side still freaking hurts. I skipped Tuesday Night crits to rest but did a nice ride down Grant's Trail and I rode the Hub ride on Wed. Things were going fine until Ladue and the sprint up that big hill onto Mason. My side felt like needles as i tried to deep breathe, causing me to fall off the back. I could have caught up before the steep part of Conway, but I was not happy, so I became content to peddle in alone. I skipped Thursday and did a nice easy ride on Friday.

Saturday was Judy's third century - The Firecracker 100. Way to go Judy! This century was anything but a firecracker = Rain like needles and head winds every direction but one. When we got the tail wind, you would fly. Many did not finish this ride. At one point, we had over an 11 mile stretch straight into the headwind. Judy and I rode the tandem and Andy Berger rode with us. We had a great time. I was hoping to race Babler, but I was wiped out from this ride - so tired I woke up for knucklehead and went right back to bed!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 4th - Wet, Wild and Painful - Like the Tour de France (say it like Bobke)

The fourth of July - Well, I came off a great week of riding only to land in the crapper.
Blog follower Stephanie Nadeau was in a crash and hurt herself - A get well goes out to her!
Also - My the Lord Bless Lance on his road to his 8th win - Fuck the FrenchThe prologue was cool - but today's stage finale rocked - monster crash and Cavendish is a stud!

Thursday - Went on a nice recovery ride from Tuesday and Wednesday over to Francis Park and followed the Gateway crit course 5 times around. Should be a very fast course - very wide streets and the one short hill should do a job separating the field hopefully.

Friday - Just like the Lord, a day of rest. I was planning on a big weekend of riding = Saturday with The Hub and Sunday a longer Knucklehead ride with a scouting expedition around Babler. I went rock climbing with the wife and kids and Cory, Jay and her daughter. It was fun - Gracie is like a spider monkey! By the end of the night she was tackling 5.11 climbs - Show off!

Saturday - The 4th! No Hub ride - it rained a lot - I mean a lot. The parade was pushed back until 11:00. Even though it almost goes past my house, The family went up to The Hub and hung out in the front with Andy and his daughter, Dave Smith and his daughter, and Ron and his kids. That night i went over to Andy's house, drank beer, shot off fireworks, and walked up to the Webster fireworks - a fun time.

During the course of the day, before the parade, I took the shop cruiser and rode home to get some 4th of July hats for my kids. Hoping off the cruiser my foot caught the beer holder on the back and I almost wiped out and bit dust - I caught myself but seriously strained my muscles in my side or bruised my ribs - something fucking hurts. Riding is out for the moment as I can hardly move. If it doesn't get better by Tuesday - I'm calling the doctor.

Sunday - I really wanted to ride - I set my alarm and woke up, but my side was killing me - not to mention the hangover - so I slept in!

On a wacked out note - My wife told me the singer Pink just bought a Giant TCR Alliance and was out riding (You're supposed to buckle the helmet, stupid bitch): Made me start to wonder if cycling is becoming "Hollywood Cool." So I googled celbrities and cycling and was amazed how many celebrities are on bikes - Matt Damon - Jake Gyllenhaal (whoever the fuck he is) is a big cyclist - Toby Maguire - Patrick Dempsey (who ever the fuck he is)- Matthew McConaughey - Jennifer Lopez - and of course Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris - Saved by the Bell) who is no wannabe - he is like a Cat 3 racer and a trackie - props to this guy - plus he is riding the TIME I want and got to fool around with Kelly!Even Jessica Simpson is staring in a movie in which she tries to work as a bicycle messenger:
Jesus, I guess cycling is becoming "Hollywood Cool"
The next thing you'll be seeing is Paris Hilton on a bicycle:

FUCK! - No helmet and a purse - stupid bitch - but come on, admit it, "that's hot"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Picking it up - and honoring those who have rode before

Ok - I did it. I took out a second mortgage on my house and committed to Gateway - $159.25. Jesus. The money is gone and the incentive is there.

The week so far:

Monday - did a nice spin on Grant's Trail with Adam, Tom and ElCevano. I need to keep these restful days in my playbook to keep my legs loose - I often forget about these days. When we returned to The Hub, Ron was still there counting the money and trying to balance the books from the crit. After he forced a beer on me, and made me help him, the front window started to rattle - David Mark came flying in yelling that kids were on the roof. We ran out the back - and sure enough - kids running on the roof. Ron yelled at me (douche) to call 911 - Ron caught them and the cops came. Although no charges were pressed, the kids were shitting bricks!

Pause - A solemn moment to honor those who have rode before: the late Farrah Fawcett (is it cold in here?):

Tuesday Night Crit - I felt really good.
With about four laps into the race - I decided to take a flyer off the front - I blasted by Bill and took off - soon two other guys - Dog Fish and Big Shark - were with me on a three man break. We line up on the hill and each took turns pulling. It was freaking awesome. At one point we looked back and no pack! At one point we were over a half a lap! The first two laps off the front were great - The third one started to hurt - The fourth - fucking pain. Into the fifth lap, the group caught us - but we managed to hold them off for a good 10 min. I drifted to the back of the pack for some much needed rest - at one point I thought this might be the end - however - I got my wind back and started to move up. With three to go I Punched my move near the front and started to work. I was in the final sprint and finished good. Eric S. took fourth and I finished on Lendell's wheel with a sit down sprint. I felt great and worked my ass off. After a refreshing snowcone courtesy of the ICCC - we rode home.
Here is picture of Alice in the C race:

Pause - A solemn moment to honor those who have rode before: the late Michael Jackson (This is when he took the lead in the Gateway Cup race at Lafayette in 2006 - I crashed out in turn two):

Wed Night Throwdown. I was a little nervous about my performance after the Tuesday night effort - but after we got going my legs started to feel great. We had a flat right at Geyer and Manchester and we got to witness the collective minds of tire changing champions Ron (golden lever winner) and Mathew (probably won some shitty tire changing award in his day) change this tire in slow-mo Matrix time. After the brief pause, we were back on the rode. Felt strong the whole way, riding aggresive, and keeping in the front of the group. The only problem was when we hit Conway - I know your thinking, blown off the back - well oh contrare (say like an uppity french douche bag)- I pushed to front and found myself in the top three. The problem was the guy in front of me ran out of juice and pinched me inside while a group broke to the outside leaving me trapped and pushed to the back of the group. I felt strong and wanted to take the pull. It was nice to arrive at the light at Ballas with the group!

So far - my riding is picking up. I might even sign up for Chicago - I think I have the proper clearance!