29 May, 2007

A good weekend

This weekend was the weekend of racing up here in Duluth. I was not able to do the TT on Saturday, but Sunday I made it for the RR. Instead of being lame and racing the 3/4 race I put all my chips in and went with the 1/2/3 race. It was a good choice.
I guess because I had been sitting in a car for awhile, during the warm up I got some "death cramps," not good. I was really worried they would be there during the race and cause lots of problems for me. However, as the race started the cramps dissipated. I felt them only one time after the warm up in the whole 104 miles. Strange, but I am totally fine with it. I am thinking that because the course was not rolling, either slight up or slight down for awhile I was able to keep constant pressure on my legs which prevented cramping.
Anyways, the race went well. Luckily Chad from Olaf came up with Kyle and he did hand ups for me, without that I would have been toast. I drank 7 bottles or so during the race, I drank enough in fact that I had to pee the entire race, I did so twice while rolling. Good skill to have...The first lap was not to hard, there were a few attacks, one guy got off solo and the pack just let him hang. As we came into the 2nd lap two guys went. Of course one was from each of the teams that had more than two people there. So there went the break of the day. It seemed every other lap there were some tries to get away, but that was not happening. I was on the front a fair amount, and feeling good, so why not!
The last lap I got in a break of 4 that looked good, but alas after a few miles of the front it was game over and what was left of the back caught up. On the last corner a grandstay guy attacked and I got on his wheel, but we were quickly brought back and it was a sprint finish for 2nd place. I ended up 6th. I am not to disappointed by that. After 104 miles of racing I was feeling good.

Yesterday was the crit in downtown Cloquet. It was a good time. The course was good too. right after the first corner there was a steadily increase rise until the next corner where it went up still but not as much. Then at the 3rd corner a fast descent into the 4th corner and main street which is 4 lanes wide. Plenty of space to move around. The pace started out nice and fast, and stayed pretty quick for a couple of laps. When it slowed down just a bit Tone, the race promoter went and I got on his wheel. We were out front for quite some time. During which I won a bike pump. I wanted the beer, but I guess I wont complain. After quite some time Tone said he could not go on and as some guys bridged up he dropped out. I got on the new break, but it got reeled in shortly. After a few laps as a group a couple of guys got off the front and no one would chase. I wanted to but did not have it in me after the break. The group ended up getting way away too, and stayed away. Near the end two more guys got away, making it 5 up the road. So the sprint in the end was for 6th. I got 8th. Oh well, did not place as high as I wanted, but I had some time in a break and pulled quite a bit in the pack. So it was a good race.
Also, mom came and took some photos. So here are a few.

Main stree
Winning the pump perhaps
The early break
Not working

26 May, 2007

Home cooking

but not really since jerked chicken is not from northern Minnesota. But either way I cooked the chicken up real nice like, and I even served it real nice like. Impressive. Oh, it was also amazingly good too. The Langleys are up, thus the excessive amount.

Also, I finally did it. A beer float. It was not all that bad.

Tomorrow it is off to a wedding, YES! free food. I also have to go down to Faribault to pick up my race wheel since some people did not get a chance today. Oh well, maybe I'll meet Sean and get some cookies...

Then Sunday and Monday it's time to race some bikes. 104 miles on Sun. then 90 minutes in downtown Cloquet on Mon. That is some real bike racing!

Also, I just took this from www.cyclingnews.com

Giro TV coverage catches affair in action

According to Reuters, a man visiting the beach with his mistress made a mistake in attracting the attention of a helicopter TV crew covering the Giro d'Italia. Making an unanticipated appearance on national TV, he was inadvertently discovered by his wife.

The man waved at the passing camera crew, which zoomed in. The man's brother-in-law saw the coverage and called his sister, the man's wife, who he thought he saw with the man on the beach. Instead of reaching his sister on the beach, she was home, where her husband, upon returning from his excursion, would have to do some accounting for himself.

On another note, how about all those doping confessions...

24 May, 2007


but not yet submerged. At least not all the way, keep reading to find out more!

This morning I really got going on planning the 4th of July Crit in downtown Northfield, which everyone should come to. It will be great fun, I talked with some businesses, some city officials, and many other people. Things are going well, I should be able to wrap up most of it tomorrow.

I took a break to go ride for an hour part way through so my phone would not explode. Yesterday I rode just under 3 hours and my legs had no gas at all the entire time. I had a nice big dinner last night and that made all the difference, I can say for sure I was simply not eating enough, the whole moving home and all through my eating out of whack. I'll have to be more careful. But anyways I only went an hour since I decided to ride with the Ski Hut group tonight, they usually go pretty hard and long.

At about 4 it started to rain, not hard, but more than sprinkle. By 5 (start time) it was pouring. I had decided to not wear my new rain jacket and go with the doper vest instead because it was warm at my house. Bad choice. By the time I got to Ski Hut 5 minutes after starting I was soaked. I had though the ride was going to go away from the lake, but nope, we went over the bridge to Wisconsin to ride the course for this weekend. On the way down the hill we got going pretty quick. The rain at 35 miles an hour felt like hail, not very pleasant. A lake wind picked up right then and I froze. My hands were numb and I was just plain cold. Don't forget it is still pouring! It was by far the coldest when we rode over the high bridge, cold but really cool. I had never ridden over the bridge before. It is quite tall.

Eventually we started heading away from the Lake and it got warmer and warmer. But the rain decided to pick up, somehow. It was the most rain I have ever seen come down well riding a bike. The roads were rivers, great fun. I now know what it is like to bike upstream, and it is hard. At one point there was a really close lightning strike, I wondered what would happen to carbon if it got hit. I figured it would explode, so after being electrocuted I would be filled with shrapnel, that would make for a good story if I survived!

After that lightning the rain let up, finally, and it got warmer. I even took off my arm warmers and vest. At one point on the south side of the course the pace picked up for a stop ahead sign. We were cruisin. A good 45 km/h, it felt good to put the gas down for a bit. And even better is that I was not getting tired. A good couple of miles later the sign came into view and I took off from the front. It was uncontested from there, why exactly I am not sure. But that was my chance to rip some legs off, I did not get long enough too, but it was still fun.

Then it was back towards the Lake into the cold. As we got into Duluth, the fog rolled in. The last 10 km or so I could not see more than 100 meters up the road. It was great. I rolled into my driveway at just under 4 hours. So I got a good 5 hours in today. And I feel great...

Tomorrow is more race planning, riding, and job searching.

22 May, 2007

It is cold

in Duluth. I think summer was just plain skipped and it went straight to fall. I could see my breath while riding bikes today, and I swear the leaves are changing colors already. I see yellows and reds, it is going to be a long summer if the weather stays like this! Maybe if I get a chance Ill put up some pictures of fall in May.

18 May, 2007

Paying homage to the gravel gods

But first off. I am now done, horray! No more school for a few months. What a great start to the day. Also I kicked my last finals a??, which is always a good feeling.

Also, thanks to sick boy Brandon on the way back from KS, I too came down with a nasty little cold. I played it smart and took a day off and went really easy besides that. I am feeling much better, I should even be able to race this weekend.

Today I started out riding with Sarah on the Olaf tri-loop which is this coming Sunday. I am doing it, should be interesting. I have not swam since last summer, or for that matter run at all recently either. After that I cruised off into the wind towards Faribault. I got there a bit earlier then I wanted so I did some laps in the cemetery, while doing that I got another flat. I must have pissed off the wheel gods recently as well. Three flats in less than a week, I had gone for a quite some time before Saturday. Oh well, maybe 3rd time will be the end for awhile. It is a fact that flats come in waves...
I fixed that up, and right as I was rolling in Ben was closing the shop for the day. Luckily I got there in time and pumped my tire up to proper PSI. I was debating on whether riding gravel without backup gear was a good idea, I decided that if I needed I could con someone into finding me if I flatted again.
It was great to get back on the gravel around here, I found my favorite road from the cross season. It was better than I remembered with the green and all, so nice. I just cruised around in the gravel for about an hour and then it was just through town to get to home. It was simply a good ride, made even more so by the fact that it was the first ride of SUMMER!

This is what one can do when the gravel Gods are happy with you.
This is what happens when the gravel gods are unhappy...

14 May, 2007

Mild Success (post on RR below)

After yesterdays disaster I wanted to do something today in the crit.
So after not enough of a warm up I took to the line. Sean and I had decided that we might as well try a cyclo-cross start for the heck of it (0 to full blast right away). It did not work at all. Here it is failing! But it was worth a try.

I was able to stay near the front for the first few laps, I was even on the front for a bit I guess. Although it doesn't look like I wanted to be. I even got in a short break. That was totally screwed up when some guys who had crashed were started as we came through, instead of the peloton (not that we were much ahead, but still).

Here is that break.

After that things went south for awhile. I forgot how to corner (which on a course with 8 turns is not good). I slowly drifted to near the back of the pack. Not good at all. I was also not nearly warmed up enough and my legs were not responding great. After about 20 minutes my legs got better and I moved up a bit. Then a little while after that I figured out how to corner. Things got fun. I was able to finally start moving up, and was doing so slowly. Then at one point the right side of the peloton slowed and the left side picked up. I was on the left, I used this momentum and shot out into the open (after a break of three). It was great to be up on the front. I stayed there for a few corners. I think that is when these were taken by Dad.

After I figured out corners.

I moved back a little to rest up, at one point going through the start/finish area I put in an attack to try and bridge up and got announced (I'm told). But it did not work and the field caught up a corner or two later. I then just sat near the front for most of the time, however I pulled through once in a while just to do it. Then at some point, which I have trying to figure out when and how. I was magically 30 back from the front. I have been trying to figure out when and how but just can't. It is making me angry! With 2 or 3 laps to go some guy picked a line going around a corner that led right into my left leg. He went down hard and took some others with him. All I got was some tire burn on my leg. Lucky. The last lap I just hung in there because the pace was simply to high to move up anymore. In the end I finished 35th I guess. Not nearly as high as I wanted, but I got a chance to have some fun on the front. So I can live with it. Full results here
I am already looking forward to next year.
The weekend is so much fun, and so well organized. The road closures are amazing. Racing through downtown with all the people watching you and everything is a blast.


Read more about the TTT here

Official reports from the RR here
and here

My report:
Saturday May, 12 was not a very good day for St. Olaf. However one good thing happened, our only woman, Caitlin managed a 30th place. Thats not bad at all, especially considering that this is her first season of racing. Nice job to her.
Then men however, did not have a good day...
Due to the extensive flooding, the race was put onto some gravel. Which I was cool with. During the womens race there were some many flats the first time through that they decided to neutralize the race for the men until after the gravel. In fact the race was even stopped until everyone was set. Good thing too, there were quite a few flats going through the mile and a half, including me. I flatted while waiting for the race so start, figure that one out. I got a neutral wheel (thanks to Shimano) and soon the race was off. It was a good 85 and calm. Very warm. The lap was going well for me, my legs were great, I was well hydrated, and I was near the front. Things could not have been going better. However for the rest of my team, things were not going well. Brandon has been sick, so about 15 miles or so in his heart rate went way up and he decided to call it. Eventually he went to the hospital to get checked out. He was just fine, besides being sick.
Soon after that there was a big crash in the back 1/4 of the field. Unfortunately Finn was involved. I talked to an official and ambulance drivers after the race, and Finn himself on the phone (he went to the hospital) and found out the story.
He said that the crash happened just in front of him, he either could run some people over, or try the ditch (which he has used successfully in the past). However this time was different. There was a big drop and some rocks at the bottom. Which Finn found. The official I talked to said he almost did not see him because the grass was so tall and he was so far down. When they got to him he was out I think. By the time he got pulled back up he was moving, but not remembering much. The ambulance drivers I talked with said that he was doing better when they dropped him off at the hospital. After he got to the hospital he was apparently having trouble breathing, I guess he hit so hard that he collapsed part of his left lung and had to get a tube inserted.
I talked with Finn on the phone a bit later last night and he was totally out of it, really groggy, maybe drugged up. I talked to him again today, he sounded lots better, but said everything still hurt. Finn wins the bad day award for sure.
The crash happened with about 10 miles left of the 30 mile loop. I had no idea it happened until I talked with some guys a bit later. Through the feed zone/hill (right at the end of the lap) there were a bunch of attacks. People were dropping bottle all over and things were crazy, the pack was just blown apart. I managed to take on a bottle and I chased the leaders up the rest of the hill, down the nice decent into the gravel. The gravel was so much fun, it was just a cloud of dust, and I was flying to catch on. I was passing people left and right. At one point there was a big crash right behind me. With about 100 meters left in the gravel and right after catching the leaders I heard the dreaded noise, pfffffft. Shit. flat. I pulled over took off my wheel and started to wait. A guy rode by and said it was 10 minutes until the wheel car. It was not, but when I did see the wheel car all I saw was it flash by. Apparently they were out of wheels. Thus my day came to a very early end. Sean finished, good for him! Read about that here.
Needless to say I was angry, I felt great and was having a good race. But that is bike racing I guess, not much I can do. And I definitely was not the only one, the rumor is that there were about 500 flats yesterday. There were only about 400 racers....

Waiting in the heat.

11 May, 2007


to last...
But at least not last.
That is where we finished in the TTT down here at KS for nationals.
It was a 12 mile course which we covered in 26:38 I beleive, I think that is an average of around 27 mph. The winner was about 3 minutes ahead of us.
I guess that is how things usually go in the TTT. This year at conference we were always 4th by about a minute. The U of M is down here as well and we were 30 seconds of them instead of the usual minute and a half or so.
Even though we did not do nearly as well as I had hoped, I am very happy. Today I was "death cramp" free. It was great. My legs felt strong, and that showed during the race. I did a couple of things different. One being that instead of the usual pre-ride training which is easy with some sprinting, I only went easy. Then once we got down here, I went out again with mostly easy and a couple sprints. Other than that the only thing I did different was to drive the whole way.

Anyway, tomorrow is the road race. 84 miles of fun. Due to the flooding down here they had to reroute the course. We get to do some gravel now, good deal.

Getting lectured, in the new kits.

08 May, 2007

Sounds of Silence

The orchestra has finally been disbanded. When I am riding I no longer have to listen to its awful music...
The orchestra consisted of my pedals, my bottom bracket, and my rear wheel. All wanted to be heard over the other so they all kept getting louder. The first thing I replaced was

That helped dampen the deafening roar emitted from my bike, but there was still lots of noise.
I then replaced my old pedals with
I see they have pink, I shoulda ordered those
Oh well. If they are under my feet no one should see them anyhow.
However there was still a lot of annoying noise. One problem was that my spokes on my back wheel were really dirty which made a tinking noise. That was no problem to remedy. Then recently my bike has been making an awful creaking noise (which I thought was bottom bracket). Turns out it was not, Ben looked over my bike yesterday at the house and found nothing wrong. So he took it to the shop. Apparently all that was wrong is that the rear wheel was not on tight enough, so the bearings were being torqued in weird ways causing a creak. So today I rode my bike in complete silence for the first time in a long while. It was amazing.

I also found some good corners to practice on. I clipped the ground once with my pedal. I still need lots of cornering work though.

I also sold the only left over jersey today. I also found out what the Olaf jerseys looked like in the early 90's. If only that were still in style...

06 May, 2007

Got wind?

Because we sure do.

Late Afternoon: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. Windy, with a southeast wind around 31 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph

Sean and I just got back from a ride to Faribault, 1 hour 2 minutes to get there 29 minutes to get back. Granted we went pretty hard on the way home. But still, it is not like we were going easy on the way out. We hit all the hills pretty hard. On the way home we simply hit everything hard, I did not want to at first, but then it started to feel good so I kept going. I feel better now that I did this morning.

Sean wants to race in our kit so bad he is transferring next year. That if the wind does not blow the kit away first.

Yesterday we rode to Red Wing. It was a good time.

04 May, 2007

Just a bit more

than two weeks of school left. Then summer, no more homework!

The rest of the Olaf gear arrived today, everyone is pleased, just like me. I am actually happy to wear the Olaf gear now, no longer ashamed. I also just bought a new helmet, one that will go nicely with everything. I borrowed Sean's helmet in this picture, I will soon always look like that.
I took some pictures on the ride the other day, here are a few.

Big turnout between the two schools.
Hopefully this will be happening at nationals.

I registered the team for nationals which are the 11, 12, and 13. I will be turning 21 in Kansas. Cool?
This weekend is Lutefest on campus. Basically an all day musical event, the big name this year is Amos Lee, I had not heard of him, but I borrowed a CD from a friend. He is not to bad. The concerts are all free and outside (unless it rains), so if you like outside music, come on over.