Sunday, September 27, 2009

Summer is over - but road season isn't?

First - props to The Hub Cross Team for sweeping the podium at Hermann Night Cross - what a race to miss!

Monday: Commuted to work - It was the last week of summer and cold. It poured on the way home and I was soaked. My new Chrome pack is awesome. I swear I rode in a downpour and my pack was completely dry. The best $26 I remember spending!

Tuesday: Rode after work with Michael and Jeff - I felt really tired. I was getting my ass waxed as I struggled on the hills

Wednesday: Commuted to work. Tomorrow is the last day of summer - to celebrate, as I was riding through Forest Park, a whole sorority from Wash U was out running with almost EVERY girl in a sports-bra - I tried to look sly while doing it, and although it didn't turn out, I had to take a photo for the blog! (man my phone camera sucks!)

Thursday: Rode with Michael and Jeff after work. I felt a lot better.
When I got home, Judy gave me the red light to go to Forest Park Cross Practice. I just got my new Hutchinson Bulldog tubeless on my Sl's so this was my first time on them. Cross practice was pretty cool. They did these three lap races which was pretty fun. My problem was the course was SO twisty that I would loose the course as it overlapped more worn sections. On the last race, 4 guys were on my wheel and I missed a turn a rode everybody right off the course - my bad.

Friday: No riding

Saturday: Did the HUB ride - Felt Ok - I was looking for a milder paced ride, but with these guys it is always game on. My only problem was the transition from Mason to Conway. As we went through the stop sign up the little hill, the guy in front of me(shall remain nameless) let a break form. Mark blasted around and the guy in front of me did not move. So I took the initiative to close the gap. I had to go around him and try to sprint, with him making zero freaking effort. Well I was getting gassed because I suck and this is my weakness, Devin and the other Mark on the tandem came blasting by and the dude who let it all happen was on the tandem's wheel. What a douche - I was blew up and was off the back. It's one thing to suck and get dropped, but I felt fine and this just really pissed me off. Oh well, I finished and that was that. I didn't want to go that hard anyway.

Sunday: Knucklehead - would have taken a picture, but my phone died. We had a great Hub crew - Ron Clipp showed up late, Andy, Kevin, Marc, Mark on the tandem with his wife and Eddy. Michael R. was on the ride. Did the short route and it was freaking fast. Going up Kehr's Mill was a ballbuster - but I was in there fine - Marc M. and Vince from Big Shark was pushing the pace. Everything was fine and then... Deja Vu - my buddy Michael R. put the spank on me this time. I was taking the pull down Clayton by Straubs at 24 mph - a fine strong speed - and Michael came around me at 28+mph laughing, so I had to jump on his wheel and jam to keep up with him. As we come to the short downhill right before the steep sprinter hill be Principia, he pulls off gassed leaving me the front again - I had no choice but to pull into the hill - I tried to jam it at 20mph but I know this game plan. Marc, followed by Kevin came blasting by with the train in tow going right by me. On the back...Yeah you know it, Michael. There was no way I could jump on and that was that. Luckily, we were right at the end of the ride, so caught up with Kevin at Geyer and we waited for Ron and Andy and than rode back. Ok... this is NOT going to happen next week!!!! You hear that Michael and nameless guy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Feeling Exposed - and missing the good stuff

This is one of the "referees" at Monkey Joe's. This guy is running around with kids and cleaning the floor and his fly is wide open! All Judy and I could do is laugh (and take this picture). He walked over to a table with a mom and her kid and all the mom could do is cover her eyes - hilarious.

Ok - back to biking... I need a new bike - Ok - not this one. You should of seen the fat ass riding the Ghetto-cruiser!

So I've taken some time off from the whole scene. I've missed the Hub ride, Knucklehead, my blog, etc. since Gateway. It's not like I've porked up and not been on the bike, it has just been nice laying up. I have been commuting to work - always a plus to run into peeps like Bill I love riding to work - it makes me so happy. I have also been riding with Michael and Jeff after work, which has also been fun.

On Saturday I had big plans - Judy's last century and Night Cross in Hermann. I was super pumped for both rides. First was Judy's century - The Beer and Brat. This was a super century, great route and weather. Unfortunately, Judy got a little sick during the ride, but to her credit, she pushed through.I am really proud of Judy. She made the commitment to ride all 5 and she did. As I peddle next to her, she always says, "this is nothing to you." Well, it is something for her - and I am proud of her accomplishment- way to go!

The century took a little longer than I thought and I was unable to make Night Cross. We would have arrived too late. The Hub was out strong - In the 4's was Bill, Loren, Dave Smith, and The Hub took the podium with Robert, Rock and Eric Seaver! (EL CAVANO!) The Hub had guys in every race - It should be a great cross season. I turned my SL's into tubeless - can't wait!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gateway Cup 2009

This is going to be a long post with tons of grammatical mistakes so get over it. I just got finished scarfing down an entire Imos Pizza! My Gateway Cup goal: Finish. Congrats to Cat 4's Michael P and myself - signed up for four and completed four! I finished every race, didn't fall off once, and although suffered, had a great weekend. I wished I could had been more effective with teamwork, I wished I would have placed in one race - but for me - this weekend was a success and a good way to end my season. There, you have it in a nutshell!

Race 1: Lafayette Square - 92 riders - Hub: Marc M, Bill, Lendell, Michael P, Bryan S, Peter, and Tom
Question - What do you get when you take 92 Cat4's and race them down the start/finish straight-away at 30 plus mph? This!
(I have no idea how to upload a video!)
The biggest crash I have ever been in - a conservative guess, 40-50 went down, including me, hard. I was feeling great during the race. I was sitting in a perfect place, using no energy, waiting for my turn at the front when I was to lead out The Hub train with Marc as our man. I had the game plan all ready, I was going to go and the second to last lap on the back side, right before turn three, take it wide and lead us into the straight-away and turn one before I was gassed. I actually said to Bill right before the crash that the race was getting dicey at the front! So anyway, into the straight-away and a guy at the front in the middle went down, don't ask me much. I was on the far right by the fence, I would guess my speed at around 32 mph, and down I went. All I remember was seeing a guys wheel sticking straight up and my mouth slamming right into it. The next thing I remember was lying on the ground clutching my bleeding knee and Andy helping me up. I slammed my knee hard and think I was balling for a minute. The entire race was neutralized and I lined up at the pit for a quick bike fix. The only thing that pissed me off was the way they restarted - the sent the guys from the line and when they were passing, sent us. Those guys hit thirty by the pit and then we were supposed to go! Bullshit! I took me almost 3/4 of a lap to catch the field - I was smoked. I turned to a guy next to me and I was like - that was tough - and I think he had the same look I did and he was spent. I tried to rest to execute our plan, but the race had changed for me and I called out to Bill that I was out. I finished in the 50's - After all that I was happy. I had fun hanging out afterwards - a good time.

St. Louis Hills - 87 riders - Hub: Michael P, Bill, Peter, Robert
Showed up and my knee was hurting but I was determined to go. This was a great course. It seamed like you just sailed along the whole way. The weather cleared up and it was a great day of racing. The only problem was the sewers - especially on turn three. With the way I was feeling the Gateway Cup was going to become a weekend of survival. This race was a notch faster than Lafayette and yet, it felt really fun. We came into the second to last lap and Robert almost crashed out, somehow saved it, and dropped back. I came into the final turn of the last lap with a full head of steam and this Big Shark guy flew across my path and almost took me out, causing me to break into the turn and I lost a lot of momentum and several places. All said and done, I finished strong and, for me, it was a good race - no pics.

The Giro de Italia (The Hill)- 95 riders- Hub: Michael P, Bill, Lendell, Bryan
This was the race I feared. I knew this was going to be hard - and for Bill - My ASS is fat too! That hill takes it out of you. The first lap, you know its there, the 15th lap...FUCK! I was determined to finish.
My first goal was to get a good start position. This is one of those races where it is non-stop speed and tight corners which makes moving position difficult and will punish you - First goal - failed. Shitty start position - near the back. The race started and guys spazzed going into the first corner and I was forced to brake, losing further ground - AHHH. Oh well, I was mid pack and the race was on. At one point I found myself near the back as I passed Judy in turn 3 and all I thought was "not this race!" I quickly moved up to mid pack and was determined. In the last lap, our main guy Lendell got caught in a crash, which I avoided on the opposite side of the rode and I rode in with the pack. Success for me. Afterwards guys said this was there hardest race of the year. The speed was extreme up that hill - over 30 at times. The best part:

Downtown, Tour of Missouri - 105 riders - Hub: Michael P, Lendell, Peter
This race looked easy, but man was this a cave of pain. I do not know how many fresh legs were in the pack, but the speed was insane for me. The course had a long gradual hill, into a tight turn, with sprinklers on, a straight, and a 110 degree turn (which I never felt good with) a long straight that was bumpy as hell, into a tight turn which was a sprint into the final turn onto the straight. This whole race was a tough it out - that hill turned into a painful experience. Usually during a race, when I start to hurt, I check the time, which usually gives me a pick-up, yo u know, only a couple of min. left, etc. I looked at the time - 16 min. AHHHH only 45 to go! I stayed tough, was never able to do much but survive, and avoid the crashes. The last lap, turn two, crash fast. I saw a ZIPP rear wheel sticking up in my path and I just blasted through it. I saw Tom Valvo after the race and I saw him crash in turn three and I said, "nice baseball slide" He said he crashed twice in the race! When I finished, man did it fell good - Corona time!

Tour of Missouri - Stage 1 Hub - Nobody (Haha!)
After my race, it was cool - went back to all their team trucks with their bikes and stuff. It was really cool - man do they have some equipment! While we were walking through, I had my bike and we passed the Liquigas crew and this Italian mechanic looked my bike up and down with disgust! I was like hey man, I'm poor - back off! It was pretty funny. Judy met Christain Vandervelde and I almost lost her (thank God Cavendish wasn't there, I would have needed a bucket and mop to wipe up all the drool)!
We hung out on Broadway and Lynch which was a great spot because we saw them coming up Broadway and then 2 min. later, turning on Broadway from Lynch. We camped out in the middle of the road and they got so close to us, one time Bella, standing on the curb, fell backwards!
It was funny. Pretty cool to see the pros.

A long post and a good weekend. Now I'm going to bed. Looking forward to Cross - Sept. 19 - Hermann Night Cross - bring it!

By the way - The mechanic who does the Pit for Sram - ponytail guy - he is a tool.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Night Before

Ok - here it is - the night before Gateway!
Am I ready? You know, I think so. We will have to wait and see.

A good week - I couldn't commute on Monday - I was really bummed

Tuesday - rode after work with Michael and Jeff. I set it up that Michael would attack a few times - each time he did, I reacted well. I felt really good.

Wednesday - I commuted to work - felt great to ride. I must admit, Forest Park was very disappointing - chilly weather.

Today - Well... I pulled my messenger bag off my desk during class and my laptop fell out and as it was headed for the floor, the corner landed right in the middle of my foot! Man, this laptop is heavy. Luckily, the laptop was saved but my foot is killing me. Just the luck! I'm sure it will be OK for tomorrow. I rode after work on a nice, easy ride.Felt nice to spin! Tomorrow is Lafayette! Bring it on! The Green Machine will roll!