Sunday, July 30, 2006

Climbin' and Ridin'

This was a good weekend. I went with a large group of good people to do some climbing in Birdsboro PA yesterday. It was awesome. The weather was perfect, the group was fun, the rock was challenging and fun. I started off the day leading a nice 5.8, then spent a while working on a tough 5.10 on toprope. I didn't get it the first time, but I got it the second time. When I'm good and ready to scare myself I'll try leading that s.o.b.

Rachel was smart enough to take some pictures.
click here for more.

Today was also fun, but somewhat frustrating. I met up with John (JF) in Sewell NJ for the Sewell Summer Sizzler mountian bike race. The course was a mostly flat 6 mile twist and turn fest with a handful of short steep climbs, a bunch of rooty sections, some flat-out sections, and a lot of switchbacks. It was hot.

I raced in the 33 man single speed class - 3 laps.

First lap: some dude crashes right as the mass start goes into the singletrack and holds up ten or so riders - including me. It's frigging hot and I feel like I'm going to barf everywhere. I can't settle into a rhythm as it's a clusterfuck of singlespeeders who want to slam up the short steeps and geared guys racing Sport class who just spin up the hills. Passing is hard because the singletrack is so tight, and 2/3rds of my field has a big gap in front of me from the guy crashing at the start line. I finish the first lap choking down water and seriously considering pulling the plug.

Second lap: I calm myself down, settle into a rhythm. Hold down as much water as possible. I decide to cyclocross-run-up the longer steeps. I'm trying to recover so I don't have to abandon. I end up getting stuck behind this asswipe on a geared squishy bike who won't let me pass. I am faster on the hills and flats, he just beats me when I spin out on the downhills. It's back and forth and he costs me a good amount of time - douchebag wasn't even competing with me.

Third lap: I feel recovered and the strategy changes to DO NOT GET OFF THE BIKE FOR ANYTHING. I slam up all the hills and I am riding strong and feeling good. About halfway through the lap I catch a guy on a SS 29er. I am feeling good so I plan on passing him after some log bridges. At the first log bridge he slows to a CRAWL. He makes it over but I have to cram my brakes so I don't rear end him. Without enough speed to clear the bridge I fall off the top and bite it hard. I never caught the fucker again and I think I f-ed up my King headset. I run out of water and start cramping, but with 2.5 miles to go I grit my teeth and finish.

31 / 34 is my finishing position in singlespeed. Not what I had hoped but after my above racer excuses I'll shut up now. I'll try to find some pictures later. Results posted here.

Here's a video of my finish.

Friday, July 28, 2006

very busy

I'm going non stop these days, updating is a lot harder to accomplish these days.

Real quick:
Holy Shit Landis. I know everyone's on drugs, but you've broken my heart by being dumb enough to get caught after a day like stage 17. CAS is your only hope, as Silas said:
"The limit is 6-1, Botero got off a couple years ago with numbers from 25-30 to 1. Basically, his nuts are the size of watermelons...if you believe it."
Anyway, enough is being said about Floyd everywhere else so fuck it.

This weekend's plan:
peace and grease.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Meanwhile...

While my posting has come to a crawl, my life continues to speed by me at a fascinating speed. Work is just chugging along, but it's already almost August and I feel like I haven't accomplished much with my summer... at least, I have not been riding as much as I'd hoped. A lot of that is because I've been climbing so much more than I have before, but I'm missing the freedom that comes with two wheels. Also, I've FINALLY finished moving to Newark, so that should free up some more time. Unpacking sucks.

Speaking of climbing, I posted pictures from my botched trip to Summersville WV. The goal was to climb all day that Saturday in New River Gorge or Summerville and drive home Sunday. The real series of events was as follows:
  • Leave work at 3.30 on Friday and drive 8 hours to the campground
  • Unpredicted rain starts 7 hours into the trip and continues through the night
  • We are the first ones to the rock Sat morning to find it soaking wet
  • We start driving home frustrated
  • We stop and climb this small wet face at Cooper's Rock State Park
  • We get home and drink our sorrows away
At least the hike in was fun... and wet.

More pictures here.

Otherwise, I'm sort of glad that our company soccer season has ended. It's one more day a week I can try and ride. I REALLY want to race cross this fall, and I need to get more miles under my belt than 2 rides a week can provide.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Long Time No Blog

I know it's been a while since I've updated, and this one will probably be brief. Here is a quick synopsis of my lack of blog-sense.
  • Trip to San Francisco (awesome).
  • Fixing mountain bike (finally done).
  • Moving from Wilmington to Newark.
  • Foiled climbing trip to New River Gorge (900 miles in 28 hours to climb something we didn't want to climb for only an hour).
  • More moving.
  • Unrelenting heat.
I will post some pictures of our botched trip to the New, along with a full story of what happened. Meanwhile, I liked this a lot:

http://davezabriskie.missingsaddle.com/

And I thought this article was interesting on cyclingnews.com:

optimal race weight 1
optimal race weight 2

In reality the graph looks a little more like this:

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Good news / Bad news

If you've been following le Tour, you'll know today was a day of highs and lows.

T-Mobile rider showing off his breakdancing skills before the stage start.

The lows:
  • the Americans collectively sucked a fat one in the ITT today, including (in order of sucking):
    • Leipheimer (96th) - quite possibly the most boring rider in the peloton.
    • Horner (48th) - "my hand is broken!" No, Chris, it's not.
    • Vandevelde (30th)
    • Hincapie (24th) - I envy the man, really I do... he's got the look, the hot wife, the solid career, the successful clothing line... but he just can't win races.
    • Zabriskie (13th) - He was my hope for a win.
    • Floyd (2nd) - The only remaining hopes for an American on the podium in 2 weeks is now Floyd. Too bad the fucker isn't on my fantasy team.
  • Julich is out, crashing pretty dramatically ala Tour 1999.
The highs make me a bad person, but only because I'm in a Tour de France fantasy game at work. I'm leading right now, but once the mountains start, I'm fucked.

  • I picked up Sergei Gonchar who won me some solid points today by winning the stage and taking the yellow jersey.
  • Denis Menchov, another late pick earned me some points and moved up the GC.
  • I don't have any Americans on my team so the above 'lows' are highs for me.
  • My competition just keeps crashing out (haha suckas).
    • Valverde
    • Julich
    • Dekker
On a personal note: WAH! I've got a small tear in a muscle in my back that is wreaking havoc on my life. It's caused a muscle spasm that is so painful that it was hard to breathe yesterday. I'm trying to get better by laying off the climbing, which probably hurt me in the first place; taking advil; icing and heating my back; and Icy Hot-ing the shit out of the area. So I smell like a nursing home.

The good news is that I ignored medical advice and went for a ride! I did some sprint-ervals. 15 seconds of super high cadence sprinting every 7.5 minutes for the middle hour of the ride, and then my normal super hard effort for the last 3 miles into Wilmington on 52.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Le tour and le track

Le Tour de France is underway, and those fuckers are gonna put on a good show this year. Primary reason I say this? Some of the the better cheats have been removed.

Ullrich, as much as I wanted to see your fat ass win, you should have stuck to TrimSpa.
Basso, f-you for being my first fantasy TdF pick at work. Now I gotta fill in for your ass with some of the low-lifes in the peloton.

Meanwhile this tour is open to the cheats that didn't get caught... I think it'll make for a more even-keeled, well-balanced race. I just wish doping was out in the open. It doesn't bother me that they all cheat, I like the action, the drama, the upsets, all of it. Plus I like thinking the reason my fat ass can't win races is because I'm clean. It's all about rationalization.

I'm posting this from San Francisco, which is enjoying some incredible weather. Today Silas and I went down to the Hellyer Park Velodrome in San Jose. On top of a killer sunburn, I got in a couple wins on a rental bike. I really enjoyed the team pursuit, the match sprints, the scratch racing... Track racing is the most enjoyable thing I have ever done on a bike and I now know I need to make it up to Trexlertown.

Vive la bicyclette.