Sunday, April 25, 2010

Riding Stronger

Nice Rack!

I mean nice bike rack!

Things have been going great.
Still Commuting 100 percent - no car baby - and feeling pretty strong. On one day - can;t remember - I met up with Tim, who teachers at Meremac, and rode with him - first time I had a commuting buddy! Michael gave me the coolest gift because he was worried about my saftey - LIGHT UP SKULLS for my wheels!
Tuesday - Rode after school with Michael and Jeff. Felt great. We rode the Carmen hill loop - which is a fan favorite. To tell you how I am feeling - Michael took the first pull down Doughtey Ferry and I cam around him and laid down a huge pace. When I turned on Carmen, no one wanted to pull through so I kept up front into the hill. I than turned it on and dropped everyone. Oh yeah! Felt great!

Thursday - Rode after school with Michael, Jeff and Kate Lincoff. Once again I felt really strong. We came back Bopp Road and it felt great. I kept it above 24 for pretty much the whole road.

Saturday - Hub Ride. I REALLY wanted to race at Carondelet Park - I think I would have done quite well. I still have about 6 pounds to lose - so I am committed to do that - I am too poor for substandard racing! The weather was a little sketchy and because of the races, we had a smaller crowd. Devin, Rock, Mark Growler, Nate on the Tandem, Tim and about 6 or 8 others showed up. The pace was easy at times, and of course, really fast at others. I did just fine - you know it was a smaller crowd if I got to the top of Adams Hill first - however, I did not win the sprint! We had another flat on Ballas RoubaixNate on the Tandem. I told Alex after the ride that Ballas must be the new money maker for The Hub! Sunday was non-stop rain so I took the day off and got fat.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I could have been a State Champ!

That's right! Courtesy of the Alpenis Shop Swap Salefor $45 you could be a Missouri State Champion!

The Week in review: Overall - getting lighter and stronger - feeling pretty good.

Monday - Commuted big time. Rode to work - home - to Harris - back to work and than home. Close to a fifty mile day.

Tuesday - Commuted and rode after work with Michael and Jeff - a nice paced ride. I was REALLY tired! Invited to ride with Andy (he did the Alpenis ride again- and hated it) but I was too tired and just wanted to relax.

Wednesday - Commuted. Let class out early because of a test so I rode up to the shop to say hi to everyone who rode on the ride. Harris will be over in a couple of weeks and I will be able to pick this ride up again.

Thursday - took the day off - super nice! No riding.

Friday - Commuted

Saturday - Rode the Hub Ride -A good number of guys did Herman this weekend so the ride was a little low on numbers - making sure that I had to work. Felt really strong - stayed with the group the whole ride with pretty much ease. David Mark lit it up a few times. When we hit Ballas, Kevin pulled ahead and I closed up to him, second in line, when I hit one of those long skinny potholes and blew both tires out. A double-flat! I knew the back one went out and pulled right up making sure to call out and pull over. WHile I finished fixing the rear, David Mark, while holding my bike, said I think you have another problem - now that was wheel changing etiquette! Once I finished changing both wheels - we all headed back out again to finish the ride. The shop was hosting a Tour de Cure training ride so all these cyclists were up there and the shop had bagels and coffeewhich we all enjoyed after our ride.

Sunday - took the day off!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Puttin In Da Miles

What a nice week. The weather could not be nicer in St. Lou. We are talking about nice crisp mornings and afternoons in the high 70's low 80's! That has bike weather written all over it and I was up to the challenge.

The Week in review.

On Monday I commuted my balls off - 40 plus mile commute! Felt great - This commuting thing is rocking. I am feeling really strong when I ride.

Tuesday - Bagged TNW and rode with Andy at the Alpine Shop ride. A few other guys where there that I know like Jeff Kelly. I thought this was going to be a slower ride but it turned out to be a squirrelly quasi-hammerfest. The route kindof sucked. It had so many turns and stops that I swear to you I could not repeat this ride if I tried. By the time we turned one corner, the back was just turning the previous corner. The ride opened up a few times, and although it had efforts (the hill up Kirkham and Old Doughtey Ferry), it was doable. I was able to move from the back third to near the front easily. The ride picked up when we went DOWN Marshall (interesting with about 50 people) and than up Old Doughtey Ferry - which is a great hill climb to tempo on. While going down Marshall - the crosswind was so strong, and I was riding my Reynold's Carbons, that the wheel started to shake - not fun. I don't think I would recommend this ride due to the stop/turns and some squirrelly riding - but I may do it again because it is close and it is fun to pass slow people on hill climbs (kindof a dick thing to say, I know - but it is).

Wednesday - Commuted everywhere

Thursday - Rode to work. Got an email from Andy wanting to do some riding in the evening. Matthew, Andy and I met at the shop and went out on a nice easy pace ride - super cool. Took Adams to Geyer to Bopp to Clayton to Mason South to Doughety Ferry to Sugar Creek/Adams. The only rule was I had to be home by 7:00 to watch SURVIVOR! Which was done almost to the minute.

Friday - Commuted

The Weekend - Bagged out on racing for Hillsboro and Tilles Park. Hillsboro sucks. I know people love this road race and it is part of the Nature Valley Series but I have done nothing but suffer on this race. I have never made it to the second lap and it has always become a 30 mile tour for me AHHHH just thinking about it makes me want to vomit. The only highlight was Devon Clark - what a skinny assed beast. Placed 15th in the 1-2's. Robbie Ventura raced this one and Devin, basically teamless, still came in top 15 - impressive. All my other buds tanked - which is no big deal at this race. Tilles - I do like Tilles - my best result ever - but I have not raced this in two years. Reason - very tight and twisty and because of no hills - a very tight pack. Major wrecks in the Masters (2 ambulances) Shout out to Chuck Pass for the collarbone (super good guy) and two major wrecks in the pro1-2. There were also some super close calls in the 3-4's, which I would have raced if I did not have puss-itis. For a better version on the fucked -up nature of Tilles - read Bill's Blog.
Saturday - Rode the Hub ride - felt great. The pack was large as not many went to Hillsboro and the pace started off slow. On Clayton it picked up dramatically. When we hit Conway, Dived Mark had A LOT of stored up energy and laid it out. When we got to the top, there were only seven of us! You could not even see anybody else. We took the short way so guys could scout out Tilles. When we finished, Kevin, Brayn and myself rode the route backwards until we met the group. After that I headed to the Bread Co. with Phil and Todd. I could tell I am feeling stronger and lighter with every passing week.

Sunday - Rode Knucklehead with Matt McLaughlin. Pace was faster than usual going out and nice fast-paced tempo coming back. Going out, this bus drove next to uskeeping our pace for over a mile plus - it was very odd. Mark Gorski rode this ride - the guy is a powerhouse! and drove the pace coming back (yeah - he wore his US Postal Jersey! and no I didn't get a picture).
Later that day I went to Tilles to root on my fellow team-mates in the 3/4 race - Chris Miller called the race in the beginning and came in fourth - way to go! Bhatti has a roster spot for you! It was nice to watch the raceand drink beer!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Scalin' Back

Well - my wife lost her job - which isn't the end of the world. We have been talking about it for awhile - I just we were a little more proactive about saving so it would not be such a money shock. Oh well - so there are a few changes that must be made in regards to cycling - positive and negatives
1st - no new TIME or Giant TCR Advanced - I'm sad
2nd - no front ZIPP Wheel (also looking to sell a rear 404 - rim, tire and hub if interested)
3rd - the coach is gone.
4th - racing is going to take a back seat.
Now you're saying WTF - you have no money to race - OK I could come up with the cash - but I'm not going to race when I am not ready. I need to drop some weight. This starts with eating at home and not as much - hey, my wife losing her job takes care of that! Already I have dropped 5 lbs! When I get to my perfect weight of 167 - I will race! - but as for now - I cannot waste the money to be blown off the back in the pack sprint.
I get to commute everyday! This rocks and along with eating is the reason I am losing weight. Today I commuted 40 miles! It was great weather and felt awesome to be out. It's stuff like this that will make me stronger (and the jogging girls with sports bras in Forest Park aren't a bad reason either). Judy has even lost some lbs due to working out during the day and eating at home - not bad - a shout out to Judy for looking HOT!!! in front of Judy's Lounge in the Hoosier Casino

OK - so the riding:
Last Sunday was FoPo - one of my favorite crits - but it was raining big time and I bailed. 21 guys showed up to race and the report was it was slow until the very end - I guess I should have showed up - Oh well - 30 bucks saved.
Wednesday Night Hub Throwdown. What is known as the fastest group ride in St. Louis did not disappoint. I was on Harris Stowe Spring Break and could do the ride. Started out at mock speed until someone flatted at Geyer and Manchester. The ride stopped and than started. I was near the back and going down Clayton there was this huge break and being near the back I missed it. The ride blew apart and I was in a three man chase group - and we caught them by Mason! That felt great - unfortunately I was so smoke from the chase that I fell off again. I cut short with Matt McLaughlin and caught the ride on Conway and stayed up until the end - a great ride. Phil, Steph me and Judy went to the BreadCo after the Team Rev was over.
Thursday - rode after school with Jeff and two girls, one a former student, who do Tri-athalons. Both girls were in great shape and we hit it pretty hard. A little too hard and I was smoked. A good ride though.
Saturday Hub Ride. The ride started out pretty much balls out. My legs were hurting and I wanted to scale back. Somehow on the really steep Geyer Hill I found myself in front and pulled the hill - never know how fast to go, knowing the speed of some of the guys I'm with, so I went way too hard and blew a wad that left me falling off down Clayton. Devin and I rode and we caught them on Conway. Without having any warm-up the slower riding really made me feel strong. By the time we met the group I had gone from feeling weak to feeling great. The rest of the ride was nothing. The worst part however was the flats. 4 flats total! Breaking up the pace sucked. Later in the day I rode Grant's Trail with Isabella and Judy, which was a blast! and even later in the day Michael R. came over on his Mountain bike and I went back out for a ride - and flatted! God do I hate the chip seal shit - cost me 5 bucks for a tube! I trying to save money, dammit!
Good commute today - might ride a group ride tomorrow - Alpine Shop or Maplewood - I'll see tomorrow.