26 July, 2007

What the hell...

is happening to the cycling world. Vino, Rasmussen, all the other guys suffering because of false accusations and the like. It just makes me sick. I don't know whether or not to believe it. Two more of my favorite riders are now gone. Both of which are not even guilty yet.
Yes, I am strongly against doping and agree that when someone tests positive they suffer the consequences. That is how it should be, but I just find it retarded that after such a thing as Rasmussen winning a stage, and being in a great position to win the Tour, his team says. Well you missed a control in June, lets fire you now. It just does not make sense to me. Why not do it then? Why screw things up so much now. There is so much more of an effect at this point then there would have been then, I wonder if there are people how are trying to destroy the world of cycling. It always seems to be that big doping scandals come up during the biggest races. Riis and Zabel around the Giro (I think) now for the 2nd year in a row huge problems during the Tour. Some of which could be done at times other than during the race.

Then of course there is the testing itself. That makes me wonder too. This quote was taken from cycling news "Once again, the news was leaked to the French newspaper L'Equipe, which published the news five hours before the rider was informed." What the hell is this about. It is absurd. This seems to happen all the time with this paper and the particular lab, and it has been happening for awhile now. That really needs to stop, what if the test had been tampered with, or was done wrong. The rider is done, finished, without any chance of rebuttal. Then of course the news being shouted from the roof as soon as the A sample is back, why not wait until the B sample is back too so things can be certain before someones life is destroyed. Even if Vino and Rasmussen doped, pictures like the following are still amazing, there is such a look of relief in the face, personally I think if they doped to win, they would not look like that, they would expect it more. But who knows these days...

And why do news sources only crack down on cycling doping. I can guarantee there is way way more doping in the NFL, NHL, NBA, soccer, and many other sports than there is in cycling. But no one ever hears about those do they. Perhaps because people just don't care, all they want to see is action. Who cares is the players are all doped up. If they are not, I would love to hear how they train a 350 pound guy can move as fast as those in the NFL do.

24 July, 2007


But first a recap of the Tour of Granite County...

The races kicked of with a short 68 mile road race. This was the first RR I had done since I think Nationals back in May. So I was pretty excited to not do so many circles. So off into the wind and sun the field went. The Masters and 1/2 were mixed, so the pack was pretty big. The attacks start almost right after the neutral roll out. The first lap (of 3) was pretty fast. Lots of attacking, at one point a big group got off the front, with most of the strongest guys in it. But for some reason it did not work, we in the group clawed our way back up to them. Almost right after that there was another big attack, with almost the same guys, not quite as many though. They got off and away they went. That happened not much before the lap ended, the second lap was not particularly hard. The teams that had guys up in the break were just keeping everything under control. There were a few small attacks, but nothing of significance. Then on the third lap things got fun again. The whole lap was real fast, the pack strung out almost the whole time. It was a race again. I was feeling good, and took some turns at the front (I had a little before this too), eventually we were nearing the finish, I am guessing about 2 miles out. I was sitting 3rd wheel. Casper was putting in a long hard pull for his team and some Rocky Mountain guy was 2nd wheel. Then all of a sudden he (R.M.) swerved at put his skewer into my front wheel. Needless to say I was no longer sitting 3rd wheel. There were 3 broken spokes and the wheel would not move at all. Game Over...
I was quite mad, I was feeling good, in great position, and was having a grand ol' time. And for some reason the 1/2 wheel car was missing. No one was really sure where it was. So I had to walk for a bit since my wheel did not move. Eventually the 3 field came by and I stole a wheel from that wheel car. I ended up finishing, dead last quite a ways back, but at least I finished.

The time trial was new for me. I have done plenty of TTTs but never and individual after a race, I think I just mentally convinced myself that since I was in last and did not have a TT bike I was not going to do well, thus I did not do well. It is always amazing what a mental block can do to you. Oh well...

The crit was right in downtown St. Cloud, and did not start until 2:30. I was able to sit in the hotel and watch the tour. That got me nice and motivated.
I got there nice and early, but for some reason did not get my stuff ready until to late. I ended up only getting about 30 min of warm up in. I need at least 45 to be properly set to go right off the start.
The field was small at 23, which was good, because at some places the road was pretty tight, a big field would not have been good. The race was off and full speed right away. The first 15 laps or so were just terrible, I was getting gapped on the corners, and having trouble catching up. It was no fun, I was just riding like crap. A bit after that I got really warmed up, and simple relaxed myself. The difference was immediate after relaxing, I stuck the corners had no trouble closing gaps that opened here and there. I started moving up in the pack. However I got pretty far up at one point and then someone did a bad turn and forced me way out on a corner. I lost my place and by this time the pace was too high to get back up. Then a few laps later someone else (or maybe not) had another bad corner and I skidded across a sewer grate. Again losing what position I had left. So from there on in I just stayed right where I was and the pack came home as one.

Now I am taking about 10 days off from training. It sucks because the weather is perfect for riding right now, calm, hot, and sunny. Of course the week I take off the weather is the nicest. No 63 mph winds...I am taking now off since rest is an import part of training, and there are not really and races coming up. I think there are only 2 or 3 RRs left in the year. One is Aug. 5 (which I cant do) and another is the 25. So perfect time to rest and restart for cross season.

Next year for road racing I need to change a few things. First I need to have my bike fitted properly, my neck was killing me on Sunday, a very sharp pain on the right side. My knees were also a bit sore. And secondly I need to not race on training tires. I think it might make a bigger difference then I thought. And of course I can always work on my riding, but that is different from the other two things...

21 July, 2007

Catch up.

It's been a busy few weeks, now things will calm down a bit I think. Here are some photos for the fun of it.

The 63 mph winds sunk what is known as "the barge," two eights bolted together
And then it was calm...
And warm again.
Both my shifter cables snapped. I guess they were old, this was from my rear cable and it was jammed in the ratchet mechanism in the hood.
No need for the new Oakleys, I got these babies.
And on the glasses note, these are for sale. Very good glasses, in very good condition. Let me know if you are interested.

Tomorrow and Sunday may be the last road racing of the year. Should be a good weekend.

19 July, 2007

Why the hate?

Recently there has been a drastic increase in the amount of road rage toward bikers. In the last week or so I have been honked at, yelled at, swerved at, revved at, nearly been hit by passing cars, nearly backed into, and been given the finger multiple times each.
What I don't understand is why riding a bike pisses a motorist off so much. Honestly, he or she will maybe, just maybe slow down. Most likely all he or she must do is nudge the steering wheel just a little in order to swing wide and not come dangerously close to hitting me. Maybe the motorist will be up to 20 seconds later to getting to where they are going, but surely no more. If 20 seconds matter that much he or she should have left earlier. Endangering the life of a cyclist is not worth it.
Again I ask myself why there is so much hate towards cyclists. Yesterday coming up to the lift bridge a guy in a very large pickup floored it from a 100 meters or so back as to get right up next to me. He then proceeded to yell about a sign that reads "walk bikes across bridge," then continued on to say something about how I am the cause of all the problems. I don't walk my bike across the bridge because the speed limit on it is 15 mph and it is all of 50 meters long, thus holding 15 is not a problem at all. Anyways back to this big truck, after him yelling at me he very intentionally swerved to the right (I was on the inside) trying to force me into the large metal guard rails on the road side. A quick pull of the brakes was barely enough to get me out of the way. All of this mind you is happening going over the lift bridge which has a grated metal surface, cars behind and in the other lane all at around 20 mph. Needless to say as soon as I was off the bridge I whipped out the old cell phone and gave 911 a ring. I had a nice chat with the helpful lady as she watched this dumbass drive through Canal Park (the slowest moving busiest traffic area in Duluth) with the traffic light cameras. Hopefully the cameras on the bridge caught the guy in action.
But back to my question, why do they hate us so much? Is it because we cyclists are out using our bodies in the beautiful summer sun, enjoying our ride for training or commuting. While the angry motorists are sitting in a hot car contributing to global warming and the American obesity problem? Or is there some other reason. I mean sure I might not stop fully at a stop sign or go the second before the light turns green. But I very often see a motorist doing the same thing, but he or she will be traveling much faster in something that can't stop on a dime.
All I really have to say is that motorists better get used to cyclists, because our numbers will start multiplying as the price of gas goes up.

18 July, 2007

The results are in...

for the muscle biopsy and, they are positive. Positive for something, but they are not sure what that something is. The lab here is unable to figure it out. Thus my case will be some soon (hopefully) transfered to the Mayo or U.
Lucky me...

17 July, 2007

Back in the game.

For the last two weeks or so my legs have just been shot. I am not entirely certain why. I thought it was overtraining, but then realized I was not training all that much, at least not enough to destroy my legs like that. I have come to the conclusion that I was under eating and not sleeping enough. This weekend I ate a lot and slept a decent amount. It is just hard to sleep because I get up so stinking early every weekday (5) to go ride around in a motorboat and yell at highschoolers. It really takes it out of you. Anyways whad ya know. Today was the first day since my Biopsy that I actually felt good. Finally.
Since I felt good it was off to do some hills for fun and games. I went out towards west Duluth, there are some nice hills out there. Good roads, long steep grades, a switchback. I did one hill (40th Ave. W and Haines) 3 times, this is the hill with the switchback, I had forgotten how much fun they are, and I just did one. The first was 11:17, the next time I flatted the second time and with time stopped during the fix it was 12:30. The 3rd time I went hard and got it down to 10:30. The hill is 3.55 km long and starts easy, kicks up real fast into the switchback and stays steep for a couple hundred meters then levels off just a bit for the last 1.5 km or so. It is a great hill.
After that I went one hill west. Longer at 5.5 km but not nearly as steep or hard. I just went up that, not particularly hard.
The final big climb of the day started with Lake Ave. A nice 3:40 for a new record. Then continuing on up to the heavens on Rice Lake Rd.
A good ride finally. Total time of the ride was 3:10 plus my 50 minute commute this morning puts me at 4hrs.

In other news I forgot to mention last week I got new shoes. They are real nice.

The white ones

Also I was planning on going to Superweek at the beginning of summer. But it is just to damn far to drive. I'll be doing the Tour of Granite County this weekend then. It could possibly be my last racing until cross season starts. Just have to wait and see.

12 July, 2007

On my feet or my seat.

It's been a busy week or so with quite a few interesting events.
It all started on Sunday with the Hopkins crit. I was planning on going down myself since the Ski Hut guys never got back to me. At 6 A.M. I got a call from one saying, there are 3 of us that want to go down too.
So it was off to Hopkins with a full car. We got down there and it was hot and humid. The course was totally flat and really fast. Eventually after watching all the races I was ready to go and race myself. I got a good warm up in, and lined up. As we were lining up there was a large cloud rolling in. We started despite, 2 laps (3 min) later the officials were out in the course blowing the whistles. Everyone was pulled off the course and minutes later pouring rain, hail, lightning and wind. A nice severe thunderstorm. Eventually the race was simply canceled, and it was time to go.
Monday After rowing I took off on a 3 hour bike. For the middle hour I did motorpacing on one of the streets in Duluth. I found a few nice people who would keep the speed even and I was able to get on them. There were lots of not nice people who would floor it and go around me. No chance to get on.
I was shot after that.
Tuesday I did an easy ride and my legs were shot. Also Tuesday was crazy windy. Gusts up to 63 mph. Fun riding...really. The power was out (according to the paper) to 20,000 houses in Duluth. I had a dentist appt. and during it, while my mouth was numb the power went out. Lucky me.
Today was also windy. Not nearly as much though.
In time not spent riding, I've been working at the rowing club doing all kinds of things. Then as soon as I am done with that its off to the Lunds to watch Le Tour (with Caroline). Then back to bed.
I've also been riding my bike as much as possible instead of driving. It adds about 2 hours of riding per day.
With all the moving combined, I am just exhusted. Legs, body, and mind. Thus I need to go sleeping...

06 July, 2007

4th of July

The race was a smashing success, thanks to all of the people who helped out. The weather was nice and hot, the turnout great, and racing fast. Results and other stuff can be found here.

My personal race however, was not particularly stellar. Right from the start I was feeling slugglish, perhaps that was because I told the officials to have the first prime on the first lap. Thus the pace was 100% right away. I wanted to make things interesting. And that did it. After that the pace did not slow down much, and I never started feeling great. I started feeling better, but better was not good enough. Eventually a break of 7 or 8 got off the front, then another of about the same size. The rest of what was left of the field slowed slightly. Eventually right near the end of the race the first break lapped us. The then larger group stayed together until the last lap when those with energy left took off. I just cruised in finishing 21 out of the 54 starters. Not where I wanted to be, but, not every race goes as planned. I can blame a whole bunch of things as to why I did not race like I know I can. But I'll just say I prepared poorly coming into the race and it showed.
On a better note, my legs are finally talking to my brain again and letting me know they are tired, no more confusion is good.
So I'll rest up until Sunday when it is off to Hopkins for another crit.

Here are some photos from Jim Wellbrock

I guess I was not the only one hurting...

02 July, 2007

A weird state

I can't tell if my legs are sore from cramping and cutting, or tired from riding? Quite a strange feeling...