Thursday, May 26, 2011

Snake Alley this Saturday!

Plus i'll be racing crits on Sunday and Monday as well!

Tune in next week to find out how badly i get my ass kicked... or maybe i'll end up winning all three days?

If that happens i'll buy you all Pinarello Dogma's from Volker Bicycles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SC vs Summit Street

Decided to take some friends advice and climb Summit St instead of Cambridge. Summit (located in the westside neighborhood, just west of downtown) is not nearly as steep as Cambridge, but still very hard. Plus it was hot today, which made it harder.

I planned on 5 laps, only did 3. Once i reached the top of each lap i would go as hard as possible for another 50 yards or so, to the stop light by Blue Bird Bistro. After the 3rd lap i was pooped, but i rode for another hr plus and felt pretty good. We'll see what this all means come snake alley time.

I'll be back to Cambridge St, but maybe not till after Snake Alley.

I got in 11 hours of riding this week. That's really good for me.

After the ride X and i had a lazy Sunday on the Plaza.

The Dude abides.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SC vs Cambridge Street, Round 3 (the new kit was more exciting)

Tried to tackle Cambridge tonight but was too tired. After two laps i called it quits.


The new Volker Bicycles kits are in, i think they're pretty flash. I almost felt bad putting them on over my hairy legs, almost. So the Cambridge fight was a total lemon and i threw in the towel almost immediately. The ride then turned into a mobile fashion shoot. In the immortal words of Peter Venkman... "i've worked with better, but not many."

The fashion shoot was so exhausting that i had to stop into Glace for some nutrition. That place is so good. Go there and ask for Rudy, he'll hook it up. All i did was eat free samples. The salted pretzel ice cream is particularly good.

And the Royals won tonight, in walk off fashion, bam!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tour de Grove

I was in St. Louis last weekend racing the Tour de Grove. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to road racing. Lesson number one, dont race at the back.

The race was 3 days, it was rainy all weekend, my results were very blah.

Day 1

Today was actually dry. Flat rectangular course. 4/5 race. The race seemed easy, but still i sat at the back. i've always been a 'path of least resistance' type guy and in road bike races that equates to me riding at the back. For this race it was actually kind of fun (a big part of that is because very few folks were getting dropped.) Being the caboose of the peloton means you can take whatever line you want thru the turns, and to negate the yo yo effect that happens when your in the back and going thru a turn i would just drop off a little before the turn and then when everyone else was breaking and re-accelerating i would use my momentum to roll thru smoothly.

But then there was a crash with 3 to go and i had to stop. So i never saw the peloton again and finished towards the back.


Gravel Matt was with me, behind the crash, so we rolled in together. BK finished top 20 (i think) in the 2/3 race and even won a little money.

X raced the pro 1 / 2 race. Her first ever. She rocked it and finishing 25th of around 45. Take that Meredith Miller!

Day 2

Extremely wet but not actually raining for my race. Big flat loop with lots of tight turns and road paint. It was in the gay bar district. 'Just John' looked like the happening spot although 'Rehab' was giving them a run. After yesterday i told myself to be more aggressive and ride towards the front. Well, as soon as we started i immediately wasn't feeling it. The road seemed slick and i had no desire to fight for position with 60 guys. So i drifted to the back. This course was infinitely more demanding that yesterdays so guys were getting dropped left and right. I kept leap frogging to catch back on, but pretty soon the people you leap frog to have already been dropped.

I took off solo, determined to catch on, then i fell in a corner. I was running 85 psi but i think that was too much plus my tires are nothing special. I picked myself up and grabbed my two bar plugs that had popped out. Then i realized i had only lost one bar plug which meant some other poor fool had likely bit it in the same spot but they forgot to get their plug. Sucker.

I made my way to the pit and rejoined the group when they came back around. 1 minute later i said 'f this' and pulled myself.

i paid $45 and raced for 15 minutes, now whose the sucker.

X got caught behind some crashes and much like me didn't' have it today. Gravel Matt had a good ride and hung with the much depleted pack in my race. BK finished in the money once again... 11th in the 2/3 race. He was looking good.

Day 3

Time for redemption, right? wrong, there was to be no Hollowood ending to this soggy trip.

This course suited me the most, it had a hill. I was encouraged. Plus i got in my best warm up of the weekend, 45 minutes. Plus it was mostly dry and the turns were way easier than the day before. The first few laps were fine but once again i found myself at the back. Now I dont think this recurring problem is a fitness issue as much as a lazy issue. Remember, path of least resistance. But let's not analyze it. So i'm at the back and people are once again getting dropped, then comes the moment of truth when i can see the peleton about 25 yards ahead but i just cant catch back on. I accept my fate and do a reverse break-away to link up with some other dropped riders.

We rotate for the rest of the race and then dont even realize it when we finish. They stop us a lap short even though we were never lapped. I did hear them ring the bell, but i also saw '3' on the lap counter. I was confused. So none of us sprinted up the hill to the line. It's a shame, that would have been fun.

Gravel Matt appeared to check out before the race even began, i recall him saying 'i dont really want to do this' and BK played it safe and had a pack finish in the 2/3 race. X raced better than the day before, partially thanks to her friend who advised her to run 70 psi. Not 85. She had a hard time wrapping her head around such a low number and ended up running 75... afterward she said it was good. She raced hard and came away from the weekend motivated.

So that's that, now im ready for some sun shine!

Oh, did i mention that i had a pony tail for all 3 races, yeah baby.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Racing this weekend!

It's 248 miles to St. Louis, we've got a full tank of gas, a cooler full of chocolate milk and Spagetti, it's light, and were wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

Tour de Grove

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Krug = Steep

(thanks to jp for the photo, and for not taking a pic of me falling about 10 seconds after this was taken.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Roubidoux Roundup Mountain Bike Race

Were on the start line with 15 seconds to go. Im in St. Joe, MO at the Roubdioux Roundup mountain bike race in Krug park. Two extremely hilly laps await and 13 other cat 2 dudes, aged 30-39, are lined up with me. The whistle blows and away we go.

The start is sweet, before you even hit the single track you race up a curvy road for about 1 minute. it's fairly steep. I'm towards the front and sitting 4th when we enter the single track. It's on!

I've done very few mtn bike races and most of them were 3 hr races, so im not quite used to the more frantic nature of a traditional cross country race. I like it. Reminds me of a cross race.

The first 15 minutes seem fast, im bouncing and shifting all over the place. Then one of the three in front of me gets tired and we all pass him. Now i'm in 3rd and 2nd is right in front of me. I know this guy, he's a friend of mine, i've beat him in cross races. I think to myself 'sweet.' But theres a problem, he's not getting any closer. Actually, he's getting farther away. Still, I think i can ride with him so i keep the pressure on the pedals. Then about 20 minutes in I catch my handlebars on a tree and go flying into the woods. This crash had some good action. high speed, good body slide, no serious damage... im up and pedaling in no time.

But there goes my friend, i never see him again and he ends up winning. Nobody passes me during my crash but after another 10 minutes or so another friend is right on my a**. I barely have time to process that he's behind me when i clip my bars again and have almost the exact same crash as before, only at a slower speed. I hit the same spot on my knee too. Son of a! That's going to leave a mark. My other friend passes me during this crash and now i'm sitting 4th.

Krug Park is hilly, really hilly. Like chest on the stem so i don't tip backwards hilly. The hills kind of favor me so i manage to catch back up to friend #2. I ride his wheel for a while and come around him right as were starting lap 2. Then, not even 5 minutes later, i bobble on one of the few rocky sections and he passes me. So now i'm in 4th again.

Now I've beat this guy in cross races too, no problem. But as im slowly discovering this is not a cross race. Plus, as im slowly discovering, people get faster in this sport... so i watch helplessly as he pedals away from me.

It's about this time when i realize that I need to do more mountain biking if i really want to be competitive at it. I really believe that with some more practice i can be right up there with these dudes.

So thats about it, after 1 hour and 27 minutes or racing i finished in 4th place.

I'll take it.

The Millennium Falcon is starting to show her age, but she did beautifully. I'm gonna ride that bike for as long as possible, which i don't think will be very long.

This was X's first real mountain bike race, she won! Then after that she went and coached roller derby. She's Superwoman.

Big thanks to Randy and the entire Ethos crew. You folks do good work. I had a blast. Krug is fun.

Now here's way to many pictures of Roubidoux!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SC vs Cambridge Street, Round 2 (The Cinco de Mayo Smackdown!)

The Snake Alley prep continues...

Last week i did the Cambridge Street climb twice and was dead by the end, this time i did the climb three times and felt less dead than last week.

I'm calling that progress.

For those of you who have never climbed Cambridge... It's short and steep. I'm guessing the average grade is between 20-25% and it takes about 1 minute to climb. It really is that steep. You should go check it out, it's just south of Southwest Blvd in between Rainbow st and Roanoke st (practically on the state line, according to google maps.)

I'm still planning a total of 5 rounds for this bout, but im backing off my previous goal of 10 laps by that 5th round. For me, right now (and probably always) thats not realistic. So the new goal is 6 laps.

Time to get my 'eye of the tiger' on.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Joseph Sheehan Road Race... Houston we have a problem

The weather rocket ship crashed and burned today. It hit an astroid named 'The Joseph Sheehan Road Race'

I raced cat 4, 50 miles. The first 13 miles were good, then it turned into one of those horrible introspective acid trips, you ever have those?

What i mean by that is that after my chain got stuck and i was forced off the bike to fix it, resulting in me never catching the peloton and riding 35 miles by myself with a bike that kept skipping gears, i started to question what the hell i was doing out there.

Luckily i came to the conclusion that s*it happens and you've just got to roll with it. But for 35 miles my emotions were all over the place. "this is stupid, why am i even doing this?" "Relax, it's no big deal, you'll be fine" "Maybe i could move to Mexico where it's sunny every day" "oh look, a dead cat" "oh look, another dead cat."

So today sucked. Once i realized i wouldn't catch the peloton and the gears started skipping i stopped racing and just rode to the finish. I may have been the very last person to cross the line, the cat 5's passed me, the women's open passed me, the juniors passed me, then at the very end the women's 4's passed me. I'll have you know that i would have smoked those broad's.

What made today even worse is that the team had a great turnout and i was really looking forward to racing with my friends. Everyone was in a good spirits at the start line and i could tell it was going to be a fun day.

But, s*it happens.

It's funny, this is the exact same thing that happened to me at the St. Genevieve road race last year. What is it with me and road races? Must be operator error.

Easily the best part of my trip to Leavenworth were the Margaritas at lunch.