30 December, 2007

Some pictures

Are up on Sean's Blog.

We are currently in Xining. Tomorrow it is off to Tibet.

24 December, 2007

Merry Christmas

From western China.
We are in a city called Kashi on this map. AKA Kashgar to be exact. And believe it or not, they have plenty of Christmas carols. I heard frosty just a few minutes ago. And Santa is everywhere...

17 December, 2007

Collegiate CX

Today was finally the final day of the bike season. It has been a long season, I have been racing at least twice a month since the middle of April when I was in Germany. Whether it be biking or skiing, now it is time for a little break. In China!
The final race of the season was the collegiate national cx race. I was excited to race, and wanted to at least not get lapped. The course was very similar to yesterday with all the ruts and all, but there were a couple of sections that were nice and fast and not rutted. I really enjoyed those sections. I was feeling pretty good, but unfortunately I could not ride well in the ruts, at all.
I rode fast when I could and sucked most of the time. I made it until the last lap before getting pulled.
I had really wanted to finish, but I guess I just was not fast enough. Oh well...
Sean and I stayed around to watch the pro races. We commented on the attractiveness of the pro women, and simply watched the mens race. It was a good time. Hopefully I can find some race pictures soon. But until then...

After yesterdays race.
The waitress asked where Sean got his hair done. "My pillow," he answered. The she asked where he got it cut. Oh Kansas
LunchLinda Sone in the Elite womens race on the run up section.

Now, time for China! Who knows when I will post next, so don't hold your breath. Also have a good Holidays.

15 December, 2007

Cold and snowy

Today was the U-23 race down here in KS, for cross nationals. Yesterday Sean and I were going to ride the course, but refrained because it was a couple inches of mud deep the whole way around. So we just rode around the area in general. Last night it got down to 20 or something so everything froze, then it snowed. It created an interesting surface for racing. Lots and lots of frozen ruts, covered with snow. Bike handling skills were tested to the max. I did not do so great...
As I mentioned it was cold, at least not bike riding weather. Despite that I was still kinda excited to race. At 10 we were off onto a slushy start road. People were going down here and there and I was having trouble holding any line. The race spread out real fast, I just tried to ride my bike. Which I did a bit too slow. For a while in the middle I was riding pretty well. I was catching people and having lots of fun. Then on one of the run ups my left shoe randomly fell off. I guess it was not on tight enough, even though it felt like it was tight. Needless to say that changed my race a bit. It took me a few steps to realize what the heck had happened. When I did I stopped, dropped my bike and had to go back and put my shoe back on. That took away my rhythm and I just could not get back into it after that. Within the next 2 laps I got lapped and it was game over. Oh well...
I really enjoyed the course, even with the ruts. But unfortunately I was only allowed to enjoy it for a few laps (they were long). The I got lapped and pulled, oh well.

I even made cyclingnews.com!

Tomorrow is the collegiate race.

Read up

Save gas.

14 December, 2007

Let it begin

Finals are done.
Now I go to Kansas, then China!
Let the adventures begin.

06 December, 2007

It just keeps coming.

Finally a winter with snow...
Because of the snow, it is hard to ride a bike, and very easy to ski. So I have been doing a bit of that.
Since I am doing Nationals, I am missing finals. I finally got approval from all my professors to go early (even though I was going to pretty much no matter what). Thus I have to get everything done early. It is now crunch time, I just presented my German paper on doping (if you can read German and want to read it, let me know), and now I have to write up a Chinese skit and write another 8 page paper by the end of this weekend. Then come the tests...
After that biking then China!

04 December, 2007

At this rate

The snow will pile up high, soon riding would be like this...

29 November, 2007

Strange.

Today I was riding my bike back from class. As I was approaching my dorm I saw a green piece of paper lying on the ground, unmistakably some sort of dollar bill. Just beyond the bill was a few groups of people, and just coming up to the bill were a couple more. All had already, or were walking by this money sitting 6 inches of the sidewalk. Either people not noticing or not caring. Either way no one picked it up, so I made a dollar. Only a dollar, but hey it is still free money.
I have come to the conclusion that many people at Olaf either are clueless of what is going on around them, or free money is of no consequence, which is especially strange for a college student.

In other news it is cold out. I used the spinner in the athletic center today. Set up my computer, watched a movie, chatted, it was not all that bad.

22 November, 2007

I am invincable

I got shots for.
Hep A, Typhoid, the flu, and yellow fever. Now I won't get sick, or they will all mix together in my bloodstream creating a new super disease that will bring about the end of humanity...

It snowed all day, though not as much in other places. And for the first time in 3 days I went for a ride. It was good to be away from Northfield trails/roads.

I still rode single track though, and my bike looks nice against the snow.

21 November, 2007

All done in MN

Saturday brought about the end of the MN CX season. I just was not feeling well, and did not race nearly as fast as I wanted to. Oh well, it happens...



It is also Thanksgiving break, for the first time in somewhere around 6 years I will be at home for the holiday, instead of being out in West Yellowstone skiing. However, the family is out there, but I've got the dogs!

15 November, 2007

Shut your pie hole

and then open it again. Repeat....For some reason there was pie in my dorm tonight. I could not decide which flavor, so I went with both...


Today was quite windy (40 mph), and a bit of snow here and there. I decided to go for an hour run.

Then the Doughboy and I filled out Visa forms, because the day after Nationals we are going to...

12 November, 2007

Disqualified!

This weekend was the long haul up to Milaca. A two hour drive.
It was surprisingly warm for a mid-November race, which was good because I forgot all my base-layers...
Anyways, the typical warm up and pre race rituals went on without a hitch. Then late as usual the race was off. I had a worse start then normal and had to work my way through a whole bunch of people. It took a lap and a half before I was in the group I wanted to be in, Matt Williams and Micha. Things were going well for next few laps, I was feeling good and riding decently. At the bottom of the last decent of the lap I was pulling and then all of a sudden BAM! psssssss....
Some yells of surprise from behind and a destroyed tire quickly loosing any air.
Luckily this happened right before the pit. I ran in, had a bit of trouble changing the wheel. And was off again about 10 or 15 places back. I then chased hard for a lap and a half before catching Seans group. I was really quite tired at this point so I had to sit on for a bit, once recovered I went to the front and pulled. I saw two guys up the trail and Sean and I worked together to bring them in. One guy got a flat right after the pit, and shortly after we caught the other. By this time we had dropped the other two guys that had been with Sean when I caught them. With 1.5 laps to go I got a chance to attack Sean around a corner, I did so and was able to drop him, and stay away.

After the race an official came up to me and asked me about my wheel. I looked down and said, oh shit. I had grabbed the wrong wheel. In fact it was the wheel of the guy who flatted in front of us. They had been set up just like mine, right next to mine, and looked similar. With the rushing I did not even notice that it was the wrong wheel. Oops...
An honest mistake, but nevertheless it cost me the 8th place finish. Oh well, shit happens.

I hope they mark this in the future....

09 November, 2007

I just

got second place in a photo contest with this picture.

Also I have wanted to put up this little chart from Velonews for quite some time.

Finally I would just like to show what a bit of controversy does to the number of hits this dumb blog gets...

06 November, 2007

Already?

It is cold out. And snowing...

I have decided Central Standard time (see comment 1, I finally understand it) is really quite stupid. It takes away an hour of light from the evening (when I am riding bikes) and puts it in the morning when I am sleeping. Dumb.

Also everyone has his or her own opinion, I did not like the course that is it. People don't like the Olaf course, so what, I don't get angry about people saying it was no fun. No need to get all riled up about an opinion.


05 November, 2007

The edge of the Artic circle

This weekend was the Ham Lake CX and the Blain CX, both up on the north edge of the cities. Close to the arctic.
On the way up to Ham Lake we came across some road construction, we followed the 35W detour, and ended up doing a large circle, ending up right where we had been 25 minutes before. We were on track for the detour until the large 35W north sign came along. Naturally we took that, as I saw no detour signs to say otherwise. I guess MNdot forgot to make it an easy to follow detour.
Anyways all the usual pre-race stuff and it was time to go. The course was on sandy trail and a road, not to technical or hard. Just fast. The whole race held together for nearly two laps, then started thinning out. I ended up being on the front of a group of about 12. After the first barrier on the course it was the road, for some reason people were always hurting after that, I took advantage of that and really pushed the pace on there, eventually we were down to 4 that stayed together until the last lap. I screwed up pretty much every corner on the last lap and paid for it. 2 guys got just enough of a gap I could not close it in the sprint. The 4th guy got dropped.
Overall it was a good race. Fast and fun, it was great to ride with some people for a change.

Glad I was leading...
Dwindling in numbers.
(I stole these from Linda, thanks!)

Today, however, was a different story. We set off to Blaine for the "Velocross" race. Logically this would involve riding around the track and then doing some other stuff. While riding the course during warm up it was obvious the track was not going to be used. Then when we were all line up, we were told that if we did go on the track we would be disqualified. Lame, part of the reason I came up was so I could say I rode on a track. So much for the "velo(drome)" part.
The rest of the course was...dumb. In my opinion the worst I have yet ridden.
Anyways, the race was off. In a starting zone much to small, I never start fast so I was right near the back. The course was not wide at all so passing was hard. Eventually I moved up a bit. Then the course got really shitty.
A mud pit the length of a soccer field, which was actually a drainage ditch, so it smelled awful. One lap I heard some spectators saying as I trudged past, "These guys don't look like they are having any fun at all." They were right, I was not. Really slow thick mud, off camber (which I am usually a fan off) that was to steep, and in some places so muddy that I would just slip down and fall. Bad barrier placement, it was just plain bad. It was not that I was feeling bad, it was just that I could not go hard due to the course. I just got sick of riding in shit water, falling down, and the like. I just quit, I had no desire to ride any more so I just quit. I wasn't the only one...
One of the worthless additions.
Half way through the mud pit. I got yelled at for being outside of the flags on this lap...
Thinking how worthless this is.

02 November, 2007

Hurry up and wait.

That statement holds an immense amount of truth at the Mayo.
Yesterday I got there at 8:30 for an 8:45 appt and did not get in until 9:30ish. I just met with the doctor here, tried to explain what happens and all. It is quite challenging as I am not even sure what the heck is happening.
After that I got scheduled for some afternoon heart exams, to make sure I was not dead or something. The Echocardiogram was entertaining, I got to watch pictures of my heart beating.

This morning was not fun however. First off I had to be at the Mayo at 6:40 am. to get blood drawn. Which means I had to get up at 5, and could not eat anything. Soon after loosing my blood it was time for another EMG.
First they put some wires on your legs, then take what is basically a taser, and go and zap your nerves. Not very fun.
After that was the really fun part. They take a 3 inch needle and stick it into any given muscle. First while relaxed then while tensed. The tensed part hurts a fair amount. Apparently this lets the doctors hear the muscle working? That took a good hour.5. Then I got to leave. Hopefully I don't need to go back.

30 October, 2007

Home turf

But first, a drive up to Taylors Falls to take part in the Red Barn CX. I really enjoy this race. Good course, lots of people, good times. The only problem is that they always run out of beer before I get a chance to get any. Lame...
The race itself went pretty well. With almost all the top dogs present I raced exactly where I was last weekend. Which was again rounding out the top 10. Hopefully I can put some good training in these next few weeks and move up for the State CX.

I love mid-air pictures...

Sunday it was Sean and my race. We learned last year how to set the course right, and with a good amount of help did it all in 1.75 hours. Thanks to those who helped out, made my life much better. I even got the pinwheel on the first try this year. Took all of 20 minutes instead of 2 hours.
Race day brought a decent number of people, down a bit from last year sadly. That was partly due to the large turnout at the Red Barn CX. I guess people are just lazy, oh well. I was really annoyed about the fact that there was some grumbling going on about problems with the B/womens A race and how there was confusion with laps and placing and all. We held the first separate womens race of the year, advertised it well, and guess what, 3 people showed up. If I hear complaining about it again I'll give them my thoughts...Thanks to those who did come out, it was still a good race.
As I hoped Herr Swanson showed up,
and kicked all of our asses. Again.

My own race went alright. I was quite tired from a late night of...race preparation...
I still managed to pull off 5th. But there were a bunch of guys missing unfortunately.
Jump into the arctic.
You try to figure it out...
Up, up and away
Run

Thanks to all who came out and helped. It made Sean's and my life so much better. And made the race better too.
Also thanks to all those who took pictures (I think most of these are from Jim Wellbrock) Check out skinnyski.com where there are about 50000000000 more. Coverage is important!

26 October, 2007

It is nice out.

I'm to lazy to write about it so the Doughboy did.

22 October, 2007

Not bad

I am starting to feel a bit faster for whatever reason.
It was the Hub race today. The course was changed up, it was much much better than last year. A good mix of hard, recovery, technical and fast places. The only bad part was the barrier set up. 180 deg. turn, barrier, barrier on a 180 deg. turn, then straight then another barrier.
I have come to accept my slow starting, I just can't put it all down right away I guess. As long as I am no more than 1/3 of the race back I can usually make it up by the end of the first lap. That happened today. I rode with 4 others for 2 laps, then got dropped on a descent because I was being to cautious. I then rode the rest of the race all by my lonesome. By the end a large gap in front of me, and a huge gap behind me. Good TT practice I guess.
The course had a nice long steep climb, perfect for riding. At the top is where all the people hung out, it was really fun to ride through a tunnel of people yelling and ringing bells. Makes you feel important.

My saddle height looks way to low, but I am having trouble figuring out if it is or not...
Up up and away
All alone

21 October, 2007

Evolutionary racing

In Darwin.
Finally a day without rain and some sun, without temps above 80. A good day for racing. The course was, alright. Basically up, up and up, then down down, run a bit, then go fast. During the warm up I was not a fan of the course, but by the end I approved.
I was off to an awful start, near the back of the pack the first time up, then as usual, I slowly made my way up. I rode with a guy from the Hub for a most of the race, then got away on the steep part of the climb with 1.5 laps to go. Overall a fairly good race, the only problem was that my front wheel came unglued. I figured out the reason for all the tires coming unglued, and now that I glued both front and rear myself, it should not happen any more. During the race the tire made a very annoying squeak which I think both hurt and helped my result since no one wanted to be around the noise.

After hanging out a bit at the race Casper the ghost and wife Linda invited the Doughboy and I to Vietnamese food in Minneapolis due to the fact that Daniel is stronger than metal and broke his chain, and since he had put Sean's bike in the pit it was fair game. ha! And also since they are really nice people.
Anyway we had a bit of a drive. I think Daniel thought he was driving a
because the subaru had troubles keeping up. Either that or him being a ghost and all made him invisible to cop cars. Either way after not so long, we ate good food. Thanks guys for that. After dinner Sean and I got dropped like it were a bike race.

20 October, 2007

Sean's future job


No costume required!

19 October, 2007

Last weekend

was muddy. Looks like it will be this week as well....

18 October, 2007

I am sick of this...

All it ever does anymore is
And it looks like it will continue.
We need more
Then I will be happier.
Thanks to NOAA for the nice pictures.

Despite that, I had a good ride with lots of intervals today. It was also Bon App├ętit's (school food service) 20th birthday today. That means they tried extra hard on the food. I hear for its birthday next year they are going to serve beer and wine with dinner. Maybe I should come back for that...

17 October, 2007

Nice...

15 October, 2007

Death cramps and mud baths

Sean and I went south through the endless fields of corn to race some bikes near Des Moines. I had a hard time deciding whether to brave the weather or not by going to the arctic (Duluth) or going south to try and win some cash.
We got down yonder just earlier enough to get a few laps of the course in before it got dark, a whole whopping 45 minutes of easy riding.
It rained a bit that night, but by the time we raced at 3:45 it was pretty dry. There were a few places with really sticky mud, but nothing dirty.
I had always thought MN races were small, but Iowa A races are tiny. 15 people the first day, I knew a couple of guys were fast, including Patty who came down from MN to try and win some money as well. Soon the race was off, the first laps went great, there were 4 of us, JJ (promoter), Epin (won the Olaf race last year), Patty, and myself out front. We were even rotating pulls for a bit. Then all of a sudden it felt like someone put the breaks on. Just like that, things went from good to shitty. Needless to say I got gapped and could not get back on, I had to slow way down. A lap later I started getting death cramps, not bad, but enough to effect performance. This was the first time it has ever happened in a cross race. I slowed down even more and was just tried to push through it. The guy who was in 5th at that point caught me, I was able to bring it back up at that point and stick to his wheel, then eventually I started feeling better. I pulled a bit, then on the last lap I felt good again and put the hammer down opening up a big gap and finishing 4th.
To bad for the cramps though, I was having a blast up front and think I could have stayed there.

Saturday night and Sunday it rained and rained. By race time the course was one big pile of mud. The muddiest I have raced in. Only 10 people this time, with both Patty and Epin gone JJ was my competition. Sean had a good first 3/4 of a lap and was right there with us, then he disappeared. By that time there were 3 of us out front, JJ, Troy (was 5th Sat.) and me. The mud was very slow going, and was hard to plow through. We stayed together until nearly the end of the 2nd to last lap. Somehow JJ got away and went way away. I chased but could not catch him and managed a 2nd place.
I did end up getting some cash this weekend, which I needed really badly...
Hopefully I can find some pictures soon.

Now it is back to Olaf, where most people are gone for fall break. And the weather is really crappy. I guess I have to do homework.

11 October, 2007

And then there was cold.

Sunday a tropical mid 80's. Monday 50. Just like that the weather changed. But hey no rain while riding bikes!
It has been a good week of training so far. A bunch of intervals and 3 plus hour rides. Good times.
Time to rest up for the weekend.
Des Moines or Duluth?

I don't think they will be naming roads like this anytime soon...

08 October, 2007

A bit better

Yesterday was the Lake Rebecca CX race. The weather, as most of you know has been unseasonably hot. Yesterday when I looked at the temp after the race was 84. Too hot for cross.
The course was not technical at all, and pretty fast.
Due to the fact that Saturdays race was canceled (or at least I think due to it) there was quite a turnout for the day at the races, for sure the biggest A race thus far.
There was a crash at the end of the B race, so once all of us had lined up to start on time, we got sent out for a lap so they could get a car in to get people out. Nothing wrong with that, except some people like to race those laps, thus I was even further back on the line then I was before. Being that the race started on a narrow rode (most people can go fast there) and soon went to trail. A bad starting position was not good at all.
Eventually we were off, nothing but good racing for the first few laps. Then on the 3 or 4th lap I was mounting to go up a hill and I somehow caught my chainring with part of my shoe and broke the strap. The group I was with then gapped me and I tried and tried to catch back on. Not that the shoe made too much of a difference after the fact, the initial confusion is what hurt me. Oh well. There are some more chances left.
Over all though it was a decent race, I felt pretty good, at times I should have pushed it more. Just have to do that next time.

broke.
I have a replacement on the way, hopefully I get it by Friday.

04 October, 2007

Midweek fun

Yesterday it was raining, again, and as of Monday night my bike had all new cables and housing, I was in no mood to go make everything not work again. So Sean and I went running. We did what the ski team calls "the campus tour" Which is hitting up 3 of the bigger hills on campus 3 times each with going hard in between. It hurts a bit.
Anyways, the sun was finally out today, and I was itching to ride. As soon as I was done with class I was off. On my way to Faribault I did a whole bunch of 30 second sprints. Got to Faribault, had Ben look over my bike to see what else was wrong. Got a new cassette and a tooth on one of the chain rings bent back into place, the front derailleur dropped, and the rear derailleur hanger bent. My bike is basically running better then it did new. Finally.
After that it was off to meet the wanna be Ole. I found him 5 min. into a 15 min interval. Finished that up with him.
Then cruised on past the site of the crash from last week, I stayed rubber side down this time.

None of this crap today.
Then more interval, where I got a big enough gap on him that he could not even smell the farts I left along the way.
It was then back to Olaf where 10 start sprints were done, I have never been a fast starter. It seems to work out most of the time, but it would be nice to get a bit faster. Sean starts fast, I usually just hung onto his wheel, only twice on the longer ones, did I get by him.
All in all it was a good 4 hours 1 minute and 35 seconds.
Some interesting info courtesy of powertap...
Max speed: 3754.35 kph
Max Watts: 107,456 Watts

Damn, I guess I am getting faster/stronger.

30 September, 2007

Some days you got, some days you don't

This weekend was the first of the dual cyclo-cross racing for the season. From here on out it is pretty much that way.
Yesterday (Sat.) was the Hudson race. After just making it to the starting line on time (unlike Sean who missed the start). It was off on a course that was nearly half single track. I was able to hold my ground though the mud and roots and due to an early end because of lightning I finished 7th. Being that my technical riding is not where I need it to be right now I was fairly pleased. A top 10 most days is nothing to bad.
Then it was out to lunch with the parents (no dogs as they were not allowed in the restraint), Herr Langely and Adam and his wife from Zumbrota.

Today it was raining again (but unlike yesterday no wind) as we lined up in Orono. For some odd reason the A race was first today a very early 10 A.M. which meant I had to get up fairly early. Anyways, it was off on the long muddy course. I was not feeling so hot at the start, in part due to lack of warm up, I figured the sluggishness would eventually go away. I just tried to keep going, but simply could not go fast. With 4 or so laps left, I began to feel a large hop in my rear wheel. Turns out my tubular started to come unglued, that was pretty annoying. However, I was not quite as unlucky as Casper, who I saw running his bike with his rear wheel halfway off. Anyhow, I have been trying to come up with reasons for my poor performance today, but I think that I just did not have it today, and thats bike racing I guess.

Before I lost it
But at least I got a cool picture out of it.