30 April, 2008



28 April, 2008

It is snowing again...

Which means it is cold. It really should warm up, I am sick of wearing so many clothes for bike practice.
Anyhow, I have been on the move for quite some time now. It all started last Wednesday....

Wednesday noontime I jumped on a plane out to Salt Lake City to go to a job interview which was on Thursday. I went to that, and found out I was the youngest person at the interview (of 30). The interview went ok, the one part I should have done well at, I screwed up and forgot half of the things I was going to say. Nuts... I was glad to be done with the interview, and many of the others were too. That night just under half the interviewees went out to a bar/restaurant and had some fun. I stayed up later than I should have because I had to get up early and come home.
Taxi rides were expensive to the airport, so I went really early to split the cost with another guy who was there. Got to the airport at 4:30, found out my plane left at 7 instead of 6, slept on the floor. Slept on the plane, got delayed flying into Chicago, ran out of gas, refueled, got to Chicago 2 hours late, the new connecting plane was broken, so another 2 hour delay. All in all I spent 14 hours in airports or planes to get from Salt Lake to MSP. It took less than 4 to get there. Along the way I found out I did not get a job. So I wasted $500 and 2 days for pretty much nothing. And I am right back to where I was, jobless. So if you have any good jobs on hand lemme know.

We were planning on leaving Northfield at 3 to get down to Iowa City for bike racing, but due to airplanes we did not leave until 6:45. We got there eventually and I slept a few hours, and got up to go race bikes at 5:45.

Saturday Road Race.
A good sized collegiate field showed up for the Conf. Champs. and for the first 3 laps of the 65 mile race nothing really happened. It was really windy, and people were pretty fresh. I had to spend some time up front, because death cramps were on the verge of setting in, and the only way to get them out is to hammer. So I had to use my stiff legs up a little to not die. Oh well. At the end of the 3rd lap things started to happen. A group of 3 got up the road, and Sean and I lit it up and broke up the field, every few minutes the people with us would change. At one point there were 7 of us, Sean got up the road 40 meters with another guy, everyone around me was hurting a lot, so I put the hammer down and split the group again. A few minutes after that it was down to 3 of us in the break. For 1.5 laps we rode. After all my traveling and not riding bike I was feeling like crap. Stiff, tired, hungry, just not good for bike racing. Nevertheless I tried not to pay attention to how much I was hurting and rode. Soon it was time for the finish. I could tell Sean was feeling quite good, so I tried to go for an early jump on the sprint, either surprising him or catching him on some other mistake. I got a small gap, but I just did not have it and he came around a bit before the line. Oh well, for feeling like shit I did just fine. Afterall I did get the KOM jersey for keeps. It should be called the KOC (king of cornfields) instead.

Old Capitol Crit in downtown Iowa City. 40 laps of a fun course, go fast down, go fast up. Wahoo. The first 15 laps were not so good, I was not riding or feeling great. After that I started to figure things out and made my way up towards the front. With 2 laps to go Sean attacked with some others, I tried to attack and bridge, I had a small gap at first, the field got split and the stronger got to me, and we (I) pulled back Sean, he was angry. HA! The last lap was nice and fast, I took the inside (wrong side) of the last corner and got boxed in at the finish. I still made it in the money though.

More pictures to come as I get them.

Royalty of the cornfields (the girl is Steph Thompson, she went to Olaf for one year then traded to the U)
I really want the pink jersey.
Ready, set, go.
The climb.
I wonder where the hill was?

21 April, 2008

The big boys

I guess the Doughboy and I are considered among the big boys of the NCCCCCC now. I remember being a freshman and watching the top A racers cruise around hoping that someday I could keep up with them. Apparently now they are us, kinda strange how things work out. I never thought it would happen, now I just wonder if we could go up against them.

Anyhow, this weekend started off with a wet and cold start to a 67 mile road race on the roads near Plainview, MN. Apparently it is the old state RR course. 5 laps with a bunch of rollers, a good decent and climb. I brought one leg warmer to the race, so as soon as the roll out was done I picked it up to try and warm up, the pace then just stayed up. On the first climb a kid from the UofM put the hammer down and the field really split up. A few of the stronger guys got dropped on the climb, soon after that a few others that were on the front missed a turn. Sean and I took the chance to drop them, the group was down to 7. Shortly after one guy blew up. Leading up to the climb I rolled off the front with a UofM guy and made it into a break. Sean attacked on the climb and dropped 2 more kids. Bringing our numbers to 4. The 4 of us worked quite well together and put over 5 or 6 minutes on the field in about 2 laps. During these laps Sean and I figured out what the guys were not good at, then on the last lap we exploited them. The UofM guy could not descend so Sean put in a nice attack coming into that, the K-State kid stayed with us, then because we simply kept the pace high blew up before the climb. Now it was down just to Sean and I and after the climb we decided to race it in, no gifts today. About a km out I attacked, Sean held on and was right there coming into the line, but I had the power of the sprint in me yesterday and took off. It was one of the best collegiate races I've done.
A few hours later we did a ITT, I used my new bike, but after the RR I was a bit tired and could only manage 4th, 2 seconds out of 3rd, which had I not missed my start, it would have been at the very least a tie.

Sunday was a crit in Mankato. A couple guys asked me before the start if I was going to do my usual 0 to 60 start, I was not planning on it. But I decided to go for just a little to have some fun, it was pretty entertaining. The race stayed together for the first few laps, and even through for the first prime. Through the second prime Sean attacked and he, Smelly, Pat Lemieux, and I got a small gap, then just killed it for a nice long time and eventually lapped the field. After blasting through them it was near the end. Patty and I were doing a lot of attacking (although mine sucked) and Smelly was pulling it all back. With about .5 lap to go Sean tried to go but like me did not have much snap. I was sitting perfect 3rd wheel coming into the last set of corners, somehow I managed to really screw them up and got passed by Smelly and gapped. I was not at all in contention for the sprint so I just coasted the last 75 meters. Patty ended up winning, Smelly got Sean at the line for second.

Overall it was a good weekend of racing.

The corn won't grow so well this year, we killed all the worms.
It was messy, luckily they don't make noise, we would all be deaf...
The medals were cookies, good call, that should happen more often.

18 April, 2008


I should try this sport out.

Ha! Gottcha Boonen

16 April, 2008

Playing in the wind

Since last I posted many things have happened.
Thursday I picked up a new (old) TT bike from the bike team adviser Ron Gallas. Thanks to him for giving me a really good deal. Now I just need to find some races. Also thanks to Casper and Sone for helping me set it up nice and proper.
Thursday night my body decided to eject my stomach contents all night long. I hardly slept at all I was so busy, not a good night. So I got some forced rest, even though the weather was so crappy out that I probably would not have ridden much at all anyhow. (I did not take pictures of that, I don't think anyone would appreciate that very much.)
After some crappy weather and crappy stomach, Sunday brought about some sun. I took the chance and tried out the new ride. The positioning will definitely take some getting used to.
Soon after the ride I rolled on up I-35 to Duluth in order to be home for another muscle biospy Monday morning, and to get some new glasses because mine broke last week.
I had a delightful ride in Duluth, getting a chance to do some good hills. Then it was under the knife and back to Northfield.
Today I just wanted to ride, so as soon as class was over I took off into the 45 mph winds. It was so windy I could not be angry at it, simply entertained. Every gust kicked up all kinds of gravel and it felt like I was getting sandblasted. Then fighting the cross wind was tricky, especially with this new hole in my arm. With the wind was simply fast. It was so windy the power lines and road signs were whistling...

The new ride.
Hillpeats here.
Snip snip, that is my left tricep in case you did not know, and pasty white torso (the flash makes it whiter...really.)

10 April, 2008

Midweek party

Sean , Casper, and I had a nice little ride today. We went out to a secret location and Sean and I got dragged around for 30 minutes at a time, twice. It was fun.
At the end of the first interval this happened.

I am T-Mobile...
We are both just fine.

The ride ended up being 5 hours overall. Good fun.

Now we brace winter again. Nuts...

07 April, 2008


After finding out that I would not qualify for collegiate nats if I did not race the NCCCCCCCCC race this weekend. The Doughboy, another Carl, and I rolled down I-35 to Kansas. Saturday was a whopping 50 miles of racing on the road (2 25 mile laps), and Sunday a super long race of 45 minutes...HA!
Anyway, in the past collegiate racing has always been pretty boring, very little action, no team work, slow pace, that kinda thing. I expected the same as always this weekend, so for the road race I brought my camera along! (see pictures)
However, Mark Smelser, the one time D I national crit champ, wanted to make the race hard, he took some long hard pulls going across and into the wind making some people work. The with the wind section was very hilly and fun, and Smelly really put the hammer down here. All 11 of us stayed pretty much together, then some others attacked which dropped a few kids, a regroup, and then Sean and I started to get in the fun and try and tear things up. Another 1 or 2 were dropped. The pace stayed high for pretty much the rest of the race, the 7 of us left were on a continuous rotation and all. Then we hit the hills and people started to die. On the big hill (which had KOM points) Smelly picked it up again and the small group blew up. I felt great and got the points, and the hill I slowed down just a bit and we all regrouped. A few minutes later Sean and I decided that an attack was called for and he was hurting a bit so I took off while he tried to hold back the field. I got a small gap, but Smelly did not want to let me get away. However, the moved put everyone in the hurt bag and blew the group apart, eventually Sean and Smelly caught me and the A team flew the last 2 miles or so to the finish. Smelly started his sprint to early and died, while Sean came around the other side. I just sat on one wheel the the other, and just stayed there. Sean tried to help me out a bunch, so why not help him. We wonder what would have happened if I tried to get around him?
The race was actually fun, and despite being way to short was challenging.

Since Sean and I were working together this weekend, it was my turn for the win on Sunday. The plan was for me to go right from the line and have Sean block. Since the lap was only around a minute long my goal was to lap the field.
So at km zero, I attacked. At first there were 2 guys on my wheel, one faded fast, and the other stayed with me. I just went balls out for a good 10 minutes, and soon enough (with Seans blocking) I broke the elastic (a KU guy helped a little). One lap our gap went from 14 seconds to around 30! I just kept hammering and making the KU guy do the same. The gap kept getting bigger and soon enough I saw what was left of the field one turn ahead, that is all I needed and we soon caught the field. The pace slowed a little, which I did not want to let happen since the KU guy was hurting and I wanted to keep him that way. So Sean attacked to keep the pace high. It did not split up the group but things stayed fast. With 5 laps to go the pace slowed slightly again, I ended up shooting out the front of the group, Sean saw this and went to the front and blocked again. The KU guy had nothing left to chase, and the next 4 laps I spent soloing in for the win. It was great to be out there all along to cross the finish.
So the weekend was a smashing success, Sean and I found we can dominate the race if we work together. Woohoo!

The Man, Larry Martin
Some ladies joined us for part of the race
Nature break.RR podium
Crit podium

Maybe I will be able to find some pictures of the race...

03 April, 2008

Race recap and other news

As I mentioned last time, we drove a lot, and I had no desire to post after that ordeal. So now a short recap of the race on Sunday.
The course was a fun 5.6 mile loop. You go up, then come down, that is about it. I did not really know what to expect from the other guys in the field, so my plan was to just sit in for most of the race. I did just that, the field really did not want to let anything go. A few breaks got away, but never for more than a lap (we did 8). On lap 5 I believe the guy who won the time trail rolled off the front and the pack was very willing to let him hang. We would loose a bit, catch up, get within 50 meters then back off, this happened multiple times. I came to the front a couple of times when people took off to try and bridge to keep things together, but other than that I did nothing.
As we made the first corner on the last lap the pace dropped way off for some reason, more so than it had been previously, I was quite bored of the slow pace by this time, so as soon as we started to climb I got an opening and attacked hard. I got a good gap and bridged up to the soloist no problem. I pulled him up and over the hill, then we exchanged pulls back down to the finish area, and I knew the move had worked. When we were still aways out I told him that we should rotate through until the finish to get the biggest gap possible. During the rotation we chatted and he was close to being able to win the GC, with my crappy TT skills I was no where near. I was having a blast just breaking away so I kinda decided that I would give him the win. So as we came into the finish area I picked it up and essentially lead him out. I did not really even sprint, just cruised across the line.
All in all he deserved the win much more than I did, he had been out front for a long time while I just sat it. In addition to that he had the shot at GC. A gave a rare gift in cycling. He knew exactly what I did, and was very gracious about it, so that made it better. But still I will wonder if I would have won if I sprinted.
I did not see results until I got back home, he ended up second (unfortunately) by enough that even if he had taken second on Sunday he would be in the same place (I think). And for me, I came out overall at 11. 1 second behind 10th, and 6 behind 9. With the time bonus from winning that day I would have been 9 I think, which is unfortunate, since payout was 10 deep. Oh well, it was fun!

Yesterday I updated the Powertap software, something went wrong and ALL my training files got deleted. I wanted to crack some skulls, I still do actually. That is the reason I keep a paper copy too, I don't trust computers...

Today I rode four hours. Did the 30 second on 30 off workout, it hurt. Then I came back to school and met up with Sean and others. We cruised easy for a bit, then hit it hard for some good stretches of time. It hurt, and was great fun.
Time to build my powertap records back up...

01 April, 2008

Cacti to Cold (snowy) Corn(less)fields.

Stopping only for gas and nature breaks from Tucson to Northfield, I am glad it is over.
More to come tomorrow
But for now.
We went from this.
To this.