Monday, December 8, 2008


Yes, I know what I want for my birthday as of 5 minutes ago.

Harman Kardon's new GLA-55 speakers. Anybody? Please?

Weekend Riding, Hunting

This weekend was full of good riding. Saturday me and Bennie the beast man Flores went and did 4 hours in St. Francisville. We were able to cover 80 miles in the 4 hours...(?!). Sunday morning me, Dustin, and Josh Rosby had planned to do 5hours easy. I wake up to this text message (starts from the bottom): Just so everyone knows, Joshua Rosby, currently employed with the The Bicycle Shop of Baton Rouge, located on Highland Road near the North Gates of Louisiana State University, copped out of a ride because of "Explosive shits". As much fun as I want to poke, I can't imagine explosive shits are very fun. That'd be a good prescription drug side-effect on a commercial. "Zimbalta's side-effects include...." yaa..

Either way, the ride went well. Dustin hit the gym up for 1.5hours the day before and was pretty shot. If anyone ever wants to drop Dustin with a simple revolution of the crank, get him to ride 5hours the day after he goes to the gym, and wait till about 3 hours into the ride. It's the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off cause it's just something that doesn't happen. It'd be like beating Bennie in a sprint.. it just doesn't happen.

Me and Dustin went hunting afterwards. It was my first time hunting. We used 260 Remington cartridges. Those little suckers are accurate, but apparently not enough for me to hit anything. We didn't see any deer, but I still had a lot of fun sitting way the f up in the deer stand looking for stuff. Had even more fun shooting over the top of a coyotes head. Deer meat/sausage will be mine soon enough?!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Le Dope I

Stay tuned for more of these puppies.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SWEET mother of god. The TroyLSU game was unbelievably insane. Here's kind of a play by play. We went into the game after tailgating and realizing that I was way under dressed for the freezing elements. Troy scores right off the bat.. Okay it's cool, we'll get em. Just gotta warm up.. Troy scores again... uh.... Troy scores again.... what the? People figure it's over and then... Troy scores again. I guess about 45,000 "fans" charged outta the stadium. So we hang tight. I was frickin freezin but someone was there to share a jacket with me.. yeah we shared.. never done that before but 1 arm was definately warmer than the other. Long story short, we came back and won in something like 16minutes of play. I've never screamed so hard in my life. I think I tasted blood in my throat.. Okay I know it was blood, it's just kinda gross.

Now that that weekends over, I can finally get started training. And holy crap is it cold. Yesterdays ride was 33degrees. Here's my power file:

I'm feelin pretty weak right now, but didn't feel bad on this ride. I have pretty big expectations for next year so I have a lot of bloody freezing rides to do.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lee for Heisman, Base, TMASC (the most awesome shoe covers..dollar dollar bill ya'll)

Frickin Saban piece of astird. We played well, but somewhere in that promising LSU team there was virus.. And like a virus, Lee spread himself all over the field, consuming the team and yes i'll say it: Jarrett Lee singlehandedly lost the game. Sure there were dropped passes and what not but really? There's always dropped passes. On the other hand, there is not always 4 interception passes. Way to go Jarrett. I'm hoping you will turn out like Texas' Colt McCoy and prove us all wrong after you get some experience.

My base riding starts tuesday. I got up kinda early to get in a ride. I ate, drank soem coffee, suited up and woke Cary up trying to frivolously pump air into my tires. I got some sweet socks from varsity sports to make some cool weather shoe covers.... this is kinda what they look like.....
That's right bitches.. white with black heel toe socks?! and yes I photoshopped a pair of assos shoe covers. I've wanted to wear some for so long, and no one would dare actually manufacture any real shoe covers. It's either too euro, or too frickin dumb cause who the hell would buy em, and if someone did, they'd prolly get laughed off the road. To my surprise, I feel people are giving me more cool looks, and chin nods as to say, "hey man, those some sweet shoes ya dig?" and a couple looks scream, "damn, you pull that shit off nice and clean. that guys pretty cool for a white dude.. cash rules everything around me cream..." Maybe I feel so good in them that my positive energy is rubbing off on people.

Anyways back to my story. I got up to ride and after getting ready and dragging myself around for an hour I saddled up and left. There's a stop sign about 45 seconds down the road that I go through, and right before I got there it absolutely started pouring. Like that night and day pouring. Fricking bullet rain the size of golfballs... so.. golfball rain? I had no light on me and it was kinda darkish, my tires were super worn from all season, and I almost got smoked by a suburban literally 2 seconds after it started raining. I took the signs and went home. A solid 2.5 minute ride mostly at threshold. SOOO now that I have glycogen stores to last me through an ironman, tomorrows ride should be pretty sweet.... plus I get to wear my sweet booties.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week off, Alabama Game, Obama

So this week was kinda my week off. After doing the 24hr ClearSprings Mtb Race I decided it was a good time to rest. Actually, it kinda forced me to rest. I could barely walk, bend over to tie my shoes, bend my knees and I think I have a stress fracture in my wrist cause I can't even eat cereal with it! I feel like an old man. That might turn out to be true cause that race probably took 5 years off my life.

The LSU-Alabama game is this weekend. I kinda wanna go but tickets are pricey, and I wouldn't mind watching it on a couch with some brewskies. Hopefully Lee will not (but probably will) throw a beautiful interception pass.

No I didn't vote. Yes I got a lot of crap for it. But he won by a landslide. There were judges, amendments and what not locally to vote for, but not being educated at all on them, I thought it best just to leave all voting out this year.

This really must be a bitter sweet victory for........

KANYE WEST! Not sure what he's gonna rap about now. He most certainly can't go on MTV this year and say "Barack Obama does not like black people." No no that won't fly anymore.

Time for some winter base training. I'm getting super pumped about my training this winter.

Monday, November 3, 2008

24 Hours of Clearsprings Mtb Race

There's a feeling you get after doing a race like this. One i'm definately feeling right now. During the race I could only think about finishing, and how relieved i'd feel the next day to not have to go out on the singletrack trail again. But weirdly enough it's the exact opposite.

Dustins Race Report

This weekend we raced the LAST RACE OF THE SEASON (thank goodness) at the 24 Hours of Clear Springs. For those who don't know the format of this mountain bike race, the loop is 10 miles long, 95% singletrack, 1,000 vertical feet of climbing per loop. The race starts at noon on Saturday and ends at 11:00 AM on Sunday (2:00 AM - 3:00 AM happens twice due to the time change) for 24 hours of racing. The object is to do as many laps as you can in 24 hours, if there is a tie, it goes to shortest time to do the total number of laps. You can either race solo or on a 4-person team. Our team was Daniel LeBoeuf, Yoni Lang, Josh Rosby and me.

The race started with the teams starting first and the solo guys going out 5 minutes later. You always send your fastest guy first, but since Josh hadn't made it to the race yet, I went first. Looking around amongst the starters were 3 guys that I knew were going to blister the course, Joseph Dabbs, Brandon Morvant and Justin Weber. I've never beaten any of those guys in a MTB race. We started out flying down the biggest descent on the course before we hit the first big climb... Justin was at the front setting a quick pace, Dabbs was second and I was third. The three of us opened a nice gap on the field up that climb, but Justin had a stick get caught in his chain so he was caught by the pack. Dabbs and I had a gap and we were about to hit the first technical part of the trail where I knew he'd leave me behind. The goal was to stay with Dabbs and hold off Morvant. Soon after we hit the second single track section my toe caught a root and threw my chain off the ring. I had to stop and fix it, which cost me about 30 seconds and allowed Morvant to pass me. I held on to 3rd for the first lap. Dabbs rode a 49 minute 1st lap, Morvant's was 50 min, mine was 51 min. We had a gap on the 4th place team of a few minutes, but Josh was still not there.

That first lap was about the end of things going good for our team. 24-hour races are all about dealing with problems and Brian Coleman, the race director, told me that he had never seen a team have as much bad luck as our team did this race. The bad luck started with the second lap when Yoni took a wrong turn. Now, it beats me how anyone could take a wrong turn on this course, but if anyone can, it's Yoni (see 2008 Rouge Roubaix results). However, this was only about the 4th time Yoni has ever been on a MTB and I don't want him to punish me too bad on our next road ride, so I'll leave it at that. Yoni's 15 minute detour dropped us from 1 minute behind second place into 4th place.

After Daniel rode a very fast 54 minute 3rd lap, I had to go again because Josh was STILL not there. I dropped a chain AGAIN, this time it cost me about 3 minutes... 54 minute lap. After my lap, Yoni went again and had serious shifting problems, but things temporarily started looking up as Josh had finally arrived.

I train with Josh quite a bit and I know he's a great mountain bike racer, but what he did during this race shocked me and everyone else at the race. Josh took his first lap after Yoni's lap and, without really warming up at all, rode a 48 minute lap! That was the fastest by anyone in the entire race. Daniel took a lap after Josh and after Daniel's lap we were in 4th place, 2 minutes behind 3rd... getting closer.

After Daniel's lap it was my turn to ride the first night lap for our team. The laps in the dark are usually about 10 minutes slower than daylight ones. Some people are better than others at night riding, but most people aren't really used to or comfortable with it. Also, at night it gets COLD and the temperature and lack of sleep really starts to play a part. The goal with night laps is to keep them as close to 1 hour as possible and to, MOST IMPORTANTLY, not have any catastrophes. .. we had 3 time-consuming catastrophes during the night.

After my first night lap and Yoni's first night lap, Josh set out for a double-lap ride. It's NEVER a good idea to double up on laps during a 24 hour team race, but Josh was our fastest racer and he was also the freshest, so we set him loose. Catastrophe number 1: Josh broke his chain near the end of his first lap and had to come back to the campsite to fix it. After fixing a chain in about 30 seconds he was off to do another lap... he turned in 2 59 minute laps EVEN WHILE HAVING TO FIX HIS CHAIN. Incredible.

I'd decided that I would do a double lap too, since I thought I could keep both laps around an hour, and after we got to talking, we all decided to do 1 double-lap each to give everyone a chance to sleep. That decision was the only real strategy mistake we made, but it turned out not to matter as catastrophe number 2 would seal our fate. Daniel took off for his double lap ride sometime around 11:00 PM. When I showed up to the trailhead to relieve him after his second lap, a call came in over the race radio that Daniel was at the last checkpoint (3 miles from the end) and BOTH of his lights were out. I had to go back to the campsite, get a light, drive the truck halfway around the WORLD to the last checkpoint and rig another light setup for Daniel. Daniel was tired and cold standing by the fire when I got there; he did not want to get back on that bike but he did and finished the lap. That lap took 2 hours and 38 minutes - that was a killer.

When Daniel finished, I started my double lap ride. The first lap went fine and took about an hour. During the second lap catastrophe no. 3 happened. I was cruising along a flat spot in the trail about halfway through the lap... the next thing I remember I rolled over onto my back and my head hurt like hell. I crashed on something, I don't remember the crash or why it happened. When I got back on the bike I could see 4 of everything, which makes it hard to determine which trail to ride. I had no energy and could barely turn the pedals. I was having major trouble keeping the bike on the trail and, because of that, I crashed again at the base of the last climb of the loop. This time, I knocked my light out so it was pitch black, I was delirious, everything hurt. I started slowly walking hoping someone would come along that I could follow out of the middle of the Homochitto National Forest. After banging on my light for a few minutes it finally came back on. YES! I got on the bike and rode out of there. 1 hr, 26 minute lap - hardest lap I've ever done on a MTB.

The race directors made me sit by the fire at the trailhead for a while after the lap. I was FREEZING and HURTING. Finally I made my way back to the campsite where i could sit by the fire and eat some chocolate and drink a coke... None of it stayed down, though, I vomited a few times and was pretty sure I had a mild concussion. I got to feeling a little better so I took a shower and took a nap.

Yoni did 1 lap and Josh went out for his second double-lap at twilight. He did 2 laps in 1 hr and 48 minutes! That's 54 minute average for a DOUBLE LAP in the FREEZING COLD early in the morning... INCREDIBLE!! !

After Josh was done we were in 5th place, about 45 minutes behind 4th after all our bad luck. The plan now was to do a couple more laps and give josh a chance at the fastest lap award (Josh actually rode the fastest lap (48 min), but it was his first lap and the first lap doesn't count) Daniel did his last lap of the race and I did mine in time for josh to get one more crack at it. He blistered it but was a little too tired to ride the 49 min lap he needed... he rode a 51 min lap after pulling all the heroics all night on his double laps.

We rode 21 laps: 210 miles, 21,000 feet of climbing... Daniel's light malfunction cost us at least 1 lap and I think we could have gotten 2 more in on top of that had everything gone well and we not done any double laps. We definitely had a team that could have competed for the win (both the 1st and second place teams rode 24 laps... no team had ever ridden 24 laps at 24 Hours of Clear Springs)

The most impressive racers at this event are the solo racers. My friend Charley Rome, whom most of you know, won this race 2 years ago in sloppy, rainy conditions by riding 11 laps. Last year, Charley rode 15 laps but was beaten by Zak Broussard who rode an incredible 17 laps! Zak was so dominant last year that he was able to stop riding with about 4 hours to go. Zak and Charley are both COMPLETE ANIMALS on a bike and the showdown this year was just unbelievable. Both Zak and Charley were tied lap-wise for most of the race. Zak jumped out to about a 45 minute lead on Charley and Charley closed it down to under 30 minutes.

During the early morning I was talking to Zak and I told him that Charley had told me before the race that his goal was only to make Zak have to work hard and hurt a lot to win the race; Zak looked at me with a stone-cold, exhausted stare and said " Well he sure as %#$& is doing that!"

In the end, Zak edged Charley out and was able to get in an extra lap to win the thing with 19 LAPS!!!! That's 190 miles, 19,000 feet of climbing... on a single-speed. Remarkable. Congrats to Zak and Charley on an epic battle, there are not many amateurs in the country that could beat either of those guys in an endurance mountain bike race.

Anyway, that's the end of the season for me... I'm going to take a week off the bike completely and the month of November will be rest time... December is coming and it'll be time for some winter training... hope everybody is ready!


When all was finished, and the sun finally rose and I sat back in my chair in front of the fire, I didn't feel much of anything. I was happy it was over, but at the same time I was a tiny bit disappointed. I wanted to DO something in the race. Daniel, Dustin and Josh all did awesome, and I only wished I was more experienced so I would have been more of a help. Besides that, I didn't really have an urge to go home, to eat, to sleep. I just sat there while Josh rode off to finish off the race for us. Mentally, this race took everything out of you. You can't think straight afterwards, and all emotions seem to go by the wayside. That all changed when I woke up this morning.

I was flooded with emotions of what happened. It was a feeling of euphoria. So many times during the night I was telling myself to stop and throw in the towel, only to drag myself up and dress into fresh cycling clothes in the freezing cold darkness. The mental game to me was harder than the physical aspect. The night riding was adrenaline pumping. You flew down descents covered in roots, rocks, trees and drops of over 30 feet all on a trail no wider than 1ft, all with a small light mounted to your helmet. You had to go into a zen like state of focus so you wouldn't break down. It was anything but ordinary.

When I woke up though, the last thing I thought about was how awesome the guys did this weekend on the bike, but how awesome everyone was off the bike. It would be 3am and when you were going as hard as you could towards the finish, you could be 100% sure that a teammate was there waiting for you. Everytime i'd ride up to the finish, i'd see a teammate there waiting, arms crossed raised up to his chest with enormous amounts of air flowing from his nose and mouth. You'd utter a few words of encouragement as you approached fast and next thing you see is your mate sprinting off disappearing into the night. The happiness of finishing a lap quickly faded when you realized you had to go back to the campsite soaking, freezing, hungry and having to go do it again in 3 hours. You'd go back to the campsite completely broken and shattered and on the verge of having a meltdown, when a teammate would crawl out of his warm sleeping bag and tent to build up the slowly dying fire, fix you some food, sit with you and tell you it'd be alright. And that's how the night went for the next 13 hours. Those were the little things that got you through the night, even though you were too delerious to realize it at the time. Everyone was ready to take a turn for someone else, even though they didn't say it, and even though no one skipped their turn, no one ever complained about going out. Numerous teams eventually gave up, giving into the cold and tiredness. But when youre on a team with 3 other guys you respect so much, everything just seems to go right with eachother, even if things with your equipment undo any chance you have of winning.

It was an amazing experience and although we didn't win like we hoped, I think we all came away with something great. You really get to see the true side of people during something like this, and I respect all 3 of my teammates that much more now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LAMBRA District RR Championships

Last weekend, or the weekend before(?) was the LAMBRA District champs in Natchez Mississippi. Our race was at the perfect time of 1pm, so we got the chance and honor of starting with the hottest weather - sweeeet! We went in to get Dustin a win since the course really suited his explosive short hill climbing mad gangsta skillz. Our guys Brian Bradford, Daniel Lebeoueoeuoeuof and Jay Bookman went to the front according to the blueprints we skillfully detailed the weeks before and kept the pace high. Usually this wouldn't do much, but it was hot, and a fast painful course, and it did much in the ways of putting people in the pain cave. In weather like this, people like to go over a hill a little easier than normal, and recovery for twice as long. No such luck this time homeskillets. It was hard up the hills, and zero recovery time on the way down. A couple of the race favorites were drifting off the back and we spread some batman like tacks behind us on the fast downhill sections. It was a really sweet course, with a sweet 3 tiered climb followed by a covered fast downhill section with sweeping turns. We had 11 laps to do in the blazing heat and were saving Dustin for the finishing blow. Brian initially got off the front, and was bridged up to by some strong riders. This was really the only threatening break in the race, and upon seeing Brian drift back after out front for awhile I went to the front and drilled back the break. Jay came up to Dustin with 5-6 laps to go and told him one of his big competitors was suffering near the back so Dustin launched an attack, knowing it would be followed since he was a fav and hopefully would pop the suffering riders off the back. It worked, but not at first. I heard a guy say to another rider trying to bring him back "hey don't worry about him, it's only one guy" I almost said something like, "one man, with the power of 100 bison you mean?" or "you mean lance? lance armstrong?" we came aroudn the corner and Dustin was out of site. Panic ensued and people started ripping it at the front to bring him back. The suffering fav on the back popped off, objective#1: complete. When Dustin was caught it was Daniels turns. He went tearing off and we sat up and waiting for the attempts to bridge to ensue. Me and Dustin sat up front along the road, attempting to sort of block, but there's only so much 2 riders can do over a whole road. We got yelled at, bottles thrown at us, death threats, and a couple prison shank attempts, but we came out alive. We were wondering why a guy was yelling at us to get outta the way, when there were only 2 people at the front in his way. Maybe his wheel was locked in a straight position and he couldn't turn around anybody... that must be it.. Eventually he got around and bridged up to Daniel. That's it!? The race was over. I figured they'd stay way as there were only 2 teams, represented, but 2 strong teams, and our guy was a beast sprinter coming from a track background. We sat around and took it easy until we saw Daniel up ahead, but not the other guy.. What the crap?! I went to the front and jumped across to him to see what was up. Bloody cramps man. The heat was taking it's toll and anyone who dared not take at least 5 bottles each feedzone, was destined to cramp. Up ahead was the 3 tiered hill. Jay told me beforehand that near the end of the race, if we just road up th ehill at the same pace at the beginning that we'd probably ride away from everyone. So I did just that, and lo and behold, I had a quick gap. Pat Luke was the only rider with me and I said, "Let's ride let's ride GOOOOOOO?!" He countered with a, "dude, you think we can make it?, cause if we go, we have to go all out". "that's what i'm freakin doin ride now *pant pant* take a bloody pull *pant pant*!" While I was attempting to convince him to go with me since he was obviously strong enough, and trying to go hard at the same time, another rider bridged, and this seemingly lifted Pats motivation and we began drilling it. We caught the lone rider off the front and came around through the finish for 1 last time. In the feedzone, you take a left turn up a hill, then a u-turn up onto a dam where you can look down to the finishing straight and see how far of a gap you have.. Well by the end of the dam we had no site of the peleton so that meant we had around 3minutes.. I went off the front in a desperate suicide attempt to set up Dustin, but it was obvious we weren't getting caught, so the cat and mouse game ensued. I went to the front the started hammering.. by hammering i mean, shifting body back and forth but only soft pedaling about 100 watts. They stuck me on the front for a couple miles until they let me to the back with about 1.5miles to go.. mistake #1. I was now behind Patrick, who is the only sprinter known to ever come close to Bennie Flores the hulkinator monster sprinter.. So I knew i'd have to go early. There was a section about 1k from the finish that went through a gated road over some sketchy gravely pavement, and then there was a 4foot long gravel section that was as wide as the road. Throughout the race everyone slowed down in this section because of the bad quality of the road, but also it had a twisty nature to it. I saw my chance with 400m to go and blasted off the back. I went churning as hard as I could through that section. Each pedal stroke I felt both wheels come off the ground through the turns and skip over a few inches. I jumped over the gravel, and sprinted around the last little hill around the turn to the finish. Before hand I walked the finish line. Nothing hard to spot, a HUGE checkered flag at the line. Someone decided to take it down for our finish so I was kinda half sprinting, half wondering if I had crossed the line already. I keep going anyways, and was glad I did. I still had about 50meters to go and had Pat Luke on my wheel. I ended up lunging for the line once I finally spotted the camoflauged duct tape on the road. I thought I had it easy but decided since Dustin lost his rr by 1 inch at Rapides because he didn't lunge, I decided to just for the hell of it. Good thing I did?! I won by about half a wheel. Sweeeeeeet?!? Dustin ended up getting 11th, but put some important points into some competition for the LAMBRA overall title.

I chugged down some chocolate milk, got my medal (no money? god crap it) and me, Cary, mom and Leah went to get some food, and to this saloon right on the mississippi that supposively has some wicked bloody mary's. The bloody mary's turned out to be good, but not so much the people, nor the music. We walked in to a blaring band of has-been oldies trying to live out their dreams of being rock artists playing Hotel California. Their audience was a scattered bunch of alcoholics all over 50, one which was about 120, wore a short short freakin SHORT skirt in bright lime-green, cussed like a sailor, smoked like a chimney and drove around in a electric chair.. gooood times.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Racing Rapides

I got to race back to back weekens which was fun. I did Racing Rapides Omnium in Alexandria and the District Road Race Championships which are both on the LAMBRA calendar.

For Rapides we drove up the night before. Got some terrible service at Caribos or something.. Some "country italian" restaurant.. Sounds like a bad idea? Definately. I got a new Jamis TT bike 2 weeks before but it only decided to show up the day I left, so I did what I could to get it all together, which completely didn't happen. That left me with a quite a bit of work to do once I got to the hotel. When we finally got there around 9:30, I still had to finish putting together the bike, ride on the trainer, and shaaave?! God crap it. I don't think I have it in me to show up at a race with lairy hegs, and i'm glad I didn't. It was bloody hot. I think temp said 98, so heat index had to be over 100. I finally got to bed around midnight, woke up at 5 and drove out with everyone to the TT. I spent another 2.5 hours waiting for equipment to show up with cary, mom and leah, and trying to get my bike set up. Well when it came down to it, right when I got my shoes on Whitney comes haulin ass over to me telling me i'm up. I couldn't believe I didn't get any warm-up, so I was already dooming myself for failure. I got to the start line and Dustin was already taking off down the road so I had to get in there with 15seconds left and go go gooooooooo! I road at a good 70% of maximum figuring i'd ramp it up near the end if I felt better. Well I came around the corner and there was the finish line. So I shrugged off the time trial as pointless and looked forward to helping Dustin get as many points in the RR as he could.. In the end I got 4th in the time trial, which was kind of.. extremely surprising

The race was pretty typical. Attack after attack and no one wanting to let a break get away. I really can't stand to win a race in a pack sprint. It requires a lot of chance and sometimes you have to completely turn you brain off and do something completely retarded in order to win. I would rather get dead last from blowing up from an attack, then sprint for the win with the pack. So that's what I did sort of. I attacked, and attacked again. I would get these really big gaps attacking up hill then it'd go screaming downhill and it'd seem to lose a lot of my advantage. In the end, it came down to a sprint and our guys set up Dustin pretty nicely. Dustin goes blasting by everybody and it was a photo finish between him and Michael Pincus. Upon looking at the picture, Pincus was completely stretched out in a lunge, and Dustin was all tucked back like he was trying to touch his chest to the bars or something. Unbelievable?! It came down to less than 2 inches and Dustin didn't lunge. Dustin has got to be the most consistent finisher in a road race that I know and it killed me to see him lose by that much. Dustin was pretty happy with the result though and we were looking forward to working for Joe in the crit the next morning. Unfortunately Joe was involved in a nasty crash in the last 5 miles of the race. He came to the finish in a track with blood dripping everywhere, and had to get a lot of medical attention and stitches to his face. Well to the surprise of everyone Joe decided to race the next day. Bloody hell?!

The crit was pretty slow, but my legs didn't feel like it was at all.. I totally neglected to eat before the race and was running on empty. I attacked a couple times to take the pressure off the team and chased a few attacks down, then I was pretty much shelled. In the end, Joe got an unbelievable 2nd and Pincus won, sealing his overall victory. Anyways, awesome work by Joe who went directly to the MED after to get new bandages. That's a guy you want to have on your team

Monday, June 2, 2008

Joe Martin Stage Race 2008 Fayetteville, Arkansas

Joe Martin Stage Race 2008 Fayetteville, Arkansas

^ Joe Martin Album ^

Joe Martins was last weekend. Me, Josh and Stan drove up to Arkansas on Wednesday where we were gonna meet Joe Long the next day at Stans time share. We stopped at CompetitiveCyclist on the way there in Little Rock. Stan purchased 2 SRM powermeters from them and was having trouble with mounting bracket. There's a padlock on the door, and upon getting approved to come in, it was a plethora of Cervelos, Pinarellos, BMC's and all their other brands hanging everywhere. We probably saw close to 300-400 bikes, and every single one was built up with SRAM Red. We got to tour the whole place. This place is retarded big. They have a whole store sized room just for clothes, accesories. The biggest mechanics workshop, demo rooms, fit rooms, offices, wheel rooms, and a massive warehouse where the bikes are stocked.
We got to Bentonville where the timeshare was (about 30miles from fayetteville) and drove up to see the whole mercy specialized team unpacking and what not. Josh busted out his bike stand and we did a little work on the bikes. Me and josh got to sleep together on the fold out couch. Josh was couldn't sleep and wanted to cuddle so he resorted to taking some benadryl the first night to put his mind at ease. We slept in, sat around, and then drove off so Stan could do his TT at Devils Den park. Josh fell in the parking lot and scraped his new campy record... dumb piece of crap. We went down to the course and immediately start climbing up the tt course. I rode with a healnet guy, and then Karl Menzies came up next to us. It was cool riding around these guys. Most all of the big American teams were there minus Toyota United. But Jelly Belly, Bissell, Healthnet, RiteAid, Colavita were all there. Stan went off and beat his time by over 2 minutes from last year so he was happy with that. He averaged 383 watts for the whole climb to come in at 10:45!

We met up with Joe that night, and had no idea of what lay ahead of us the next day. Stan had a 110 mile race, and we were gonna be getting him food at the feedzones. Only problem was, we had to get around the peleton, which meant getting around all the support vehicles, which meant getting around the ambulances, which meant getting around the first line of defense, the popo's. We were following Russ' sister Catherine. We had an agreement with the Mercy team that we'd help them in the feed zone and we'd follow their main guy there. He decided to take a 15min stop to get gas, use the restroom and buy some stuff, and then once we finally left, he got lost. Josh was driving and we took over leading and finally caught up with Catherine who was behind all the action tryin got get around everyone. We had about 45miles until the first feedzone so that gave us about 1.5hrs to try and find our way around. As it turned out, we ended up getting by with .5miles left till the feedzone. It was absolutely madness, and I loved it. When else can you ride a cops ass, drive in the wrong lane on a double yellow, and go flying by a cop at 90mph. Kudos to Josh for driving like a madman and keeping us alive. People were dropping off the peleton every mile and from what we saw, not 1 person chased back on. They were movin it! We saw some nasty nasty crashes, broken derailleurs, flats, and 5minute water bottle handoffs. Stan started cramping and got popped off but still finished the race strong. We headed back to get ready for the next day, and finally it was our turn to race.

The road race went as expected. It was pretty easy, sat in and marked some riders. Darron Savoye was there from New Orleans and as it turns out me and him were marking eachother. Some riders attacked strong at times, but cracked right at the top of the hill or down the road, so I knew if Darron went, I could go with him and we could work well together. The whole field was strong. It's kinda like if you take the strongest 5 riders at a Lambra race, and multiply them by 10. Seeing as our race was so short, the chance of getting a break to stick was kinda small. I figured i'd have a better chance of picking up a few seconds if I caught them by surprise in the last 1kilometer. I went to the front and since I don't use a computer, I wasn't sure where we were distance wise. I knew we were getting close so started looking for the 1k sign. I knew if they caught me it'd be in the last 200meters, and Joe would easily take the sprint. I never saw a 1k sign and attacked over a hill only to see another one way off in the distance. Where's the 1k?! Turns out there weren't big markers, so I had no idea if I was 1k out or 10k. Turn out the finish was over the next hill. People started sprinting and Joe was right up front waiting to launch and I hear riders going down. 1,2,3,4 I look around and keep seeing riders go. I saw bikes 6feet in the air smashing into road signs. Up ahead I saw a rider go down and was lucky enough to just clip his tire and managed to stay up. Joe had a guy grab onto his shorts, and felt the guys hand clawing all the way down to his ankle and then got hit by the guys handlebars. I have no idea how we both stayed up, but we coasted in at 48mph so the sprinters were probably above 50mph. 8 guys total went down. One broke his tibula, another broke his femur, and one guy immediately went into a seizure and slipped into a coma shortly after. Joe was pretty upset about the sprint as he was in perfect position, but I think we both realized that staying up was the best thing that happened all weekend.

We watched the cat1,2 race come in and there was a very bad crash after the finish line. 3 guys went down. The smell of the brake pads loomed in the air, carbon fiber shattered everywhere, and a spectactor fainted at the sight of the blood. 1 guys bike was in 2 pieces. Alot of crashing, but the ambulances were there quickly and worked efficiently. Josh slipped off the back in his race and formed a 3 man chase group to try and get back on. Apparently they started ramping up the place to sprint to Josh's surprise, so Josh quickly made play of them and diced them in the sprint.
We went to eat, then to the TT course. Our tt was the same as the Pro's and 1,2's. A 2.5mile climb. It was pouring, but finally let up. I got in a good warm-up and went to the startline 30seconds before my start.. Peeerfect. I heard if you could make it up in the bigring then you'd do a decent time. I kept that in mind whenever I was about to drop it in the small ring from the intense pain and agony that I was in. Little did I know, this was only the beginning of the paincave for the weekend. I managed to keep it in the big ring all the way up. I had Darron Savoye behind me so I think that gave me extra motivation to go as hard as I could. I found out later that night that I did a 10:32 and was in 6th place overall. The top 5 were all from tennessee, and arkansas and were about 5'11" and 120lbs so I was happy that I was in a good position.

My strategy for the crit was to get off the front and just absolutely fly through the corners and try to move up to 5th place overall gc. The crit course was amazing, and very hard. It was in downtown fayetteville, right through some awesome street and up so extremely steep hills. I got there a little later then I wanted, and it was FREEEEZING?! Felt liek 40 degrees, and 30mph winds. I meet up with Joe and hop on the complentary CycleOps/Saris trainer. Upon getting off I can't get air into my wheel. I was using the American Classic front, and zipp404 rear. The other AC was back at the car, and all I had was my Powertap wheel with a trainer tire. The 4's were lining up and I was running over to the SRAM support guy to get some help. Well he wasn't. He just stood there on his phone looking at me while I asked for help. Told me I couldn't use any of his equipment, and his pump didn't work. So I slapped on my Powertap wheel and headed for the start line. I tried squeezing into the front but got sent to the back behind 50other riders. The official told us to take a parade lap to see what the course was like. I treated it as a real lap and tried to move up as much as I could, but unfortunately, so did everybody else. So I started at the very back. We started off fast and upon getting to the super long descent through downtowns roads, I could see about 800meters up the road, and to my disappointment, I see the front of the peleton going through the turn at the bottom of the hill while I was just getting to teh descent. I had alot of work to do. Gaps opened up everyturn. I was in the back with Darron and we worked pretty well closing all the gaps. We eventually closed enough gaps and made our way through enough turns fast enough to get to the top 10 riders. They were absolutely flying. I didn't know at the time but there was a rider off the front. I was so blown from making my way to the front that I just sat in as much as I could. We eventually moved clear of all the other riders and were in about a 10man group. This was hands down the hardest part of the weekend. Lap after lap went by and I managed to hang on and came once the sprint up the super steep hill to the finish came I somehow managed find it inside of me to sprint. I came across 7th in the crit and waited to see if I moved up. I noted that alot of the people in the lead group were not going for anything in GC. As it turns out, we put enough time into everyone for me to move up 2 spots into 4th. That was more than enough for me and standing on the podium in the top 5 was the best feeling. It's awesome to finally have hard work pay off.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yuki's cuteness captured in this rare photo

2 weeks to Joe Martin. Man the pain cave is calling. I'm gonna look really good flying up those hills in my too big jersey, and untight tights.

I got my mom her new bike for her birthday on the 22nd. Fitted with Pink Speedplay light action pedals, some sweet white specialized shoes and some other sweet stuff. I think she was pretty excited by her reaction. Now I get to take her to the hills and thrash her mwahahah?!!?

At a time trial a month or so ago, we finally managed to take a picture of yuki that didn't look like she just snorted half a kilo of crack cocaine. I figured i'd share it with you, now that i'm not so embarassed.

A 4 hour ride awaits me out on the sensationally amazing river road...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mississippi Gran Prix, Brookhaven MS

I was really happy MSGP worked into my training schedule perfectly this year. With 3 weeks till Joe Martins I was feeling awesome and had really good fitness. I went out with Dustin and Brian and a few other riders to ride some hills wednesday for a few hours. Afterwards we stopped and Dustin and I got some kicking weeeeeee-doggy margaritas.

That night I was shavin away at the pistons, and upon standing I felt something tweak in my knee.. Oooh crap. Maybe it'll go away by tomorrow - not. I started taking Advil and icing the crap out of it, and putting all sorts of cream and stuff on it. It started feeling a little better by friday so I figured by Saturday i'd be go for the race. Me Dustin adn Randy drove up to the race and went and drove the course. The road race was way on the short side at like 58 or somethin miles. We picked out a spot to absolutely fly up and attack together, which was only about 20 miles into the race, so everyone would be fresh, so we'd really have to go go go. Me and Dustin were guaranteed to be marked riders seeing how Dustins been racing lately. We figured if we could put time into the field on our strong point, then we could take overall easy.

We eat at quiznos or something liek that and go get ready for bed. I stayed up a little late and wrapped Brians handlebars then go into the pitch black room where Randy and Dustin are sleeping with 2 full beds. I told them i'd sleep on the floor and dustin goes "dude just sleep in the damn bed" so i hopped in next to my sweet dustin. i'm kinda hangin off the bed and next thing I know I feel a leg come and flank my backside. "Dude dustin are you kidding me?" no response. so i eventually dozed off with dustin straddling me, only to have him deny it the next morning. web of lies...

My knee still hurt in the morning so I decided not to race. I was super bummed. A cool course, nice weather, nice payout, and would be sweet to show off some good fitness. I hate just being a specator at a race. First off I hate explaining to people why i'm not racing, which turns out to usually sound like a sob story pity party, and 2, who likes to watch other people go deep into the pain cave while you stand on the side of the road and watch.

Well as it turned out, the race ended in typical cat4 fashion with no break staying away and a couple big guys sprinting away up the hill. The guy that won the road race ended up 2nd in the time trial. That put his lead at like 40seconds or something. Seeing how strong he was he probably wasn't gonna lose it in the crit the next morning. Which he didn't. He actually even went out on the attack and opened up a 30sec gap only to be chased down by the fast and furious Daniel Leboeuf. Anyways, they got caught and it was just attack after another. It was really funny sitting over on the side with Ben Schuller and laughing at the tactics: people trying to bridge up to riders that had about a 20meter gap, people chasing down teammates. Our boys sat in with the exception of Daniel, while all that nonsense was going on and led Bennie out for the sprint. Bennie hit the patch of gravel on the left side of the road and slipped like hell and still ended up 4th. He was pissed, and rightly so. If you've ever seen Bennie sprint, which I haven't before this, you know he'd hand it down to the cat1,2 sprinters. He was a cat1 on the track though, and has legs the size of bloody oak trees. His brother won the cat5 crit that morning, and is about twice the size of Bennie. It was hilarious. His brother didn't do the road race or the time trial, drove in at 3am, won the crit, and got enough points for the cat5 omnium to put him into 3rd place.

I didn't get to stay and watch the 1,2,3's like I wanted, but I got to watch plenty of racing this weekend. I don't think the boys were too happy about the weekend, but we'll have some more chances.

I took a week off and my knees felt better, went on a 4 hour ride, and now they hurt. So i'm trying everything from cleat adjustment to saddle adjustment. Not good!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cuba Road Race

This weekend was the Cuba Road race in the most amazing scenic place around. Cuba, Alabama.

Me, Dustin, Whitney and Randy left around noon. We stopped at the Times for some lunch, heard all about feeding the warrior 20 lbs, and iron sharpening iron, like the blacksmith to the forge.

We got there about 6 and made it out to the course for about 6:50 to a little recon. Fortunately we had Whitney to follow us to light the road for the last half. The directions to get to the course consisted of: Take a turn onto gravel road 1.2 miles after road 27, go 2.3 miles until you see a grey house with a red roof. Yeah this place was empty. Absolutely nothing was here. Randy was keen enough question why such a place needed a 4-lane road for traffic. We saw maybe 2 cars on our 20 mile ride. Other than that, we spotted a few wildcats, rabid dogs, and a puma. We packed up and headed back for showers and to get some dinner. We met a few other teammates and headed to Outback. Olive Garden apparently didn't know we were coming into town so they didn't have anyone working furiously to finish upon our arrival. 8 of us squished into a booth, got a very annoyed waitress (and even more annoyed when we thought she walked away and everyone started making comments like "Boy she's just a huge bundle of joy isn't she." She made us eat it when we realized the gratuity was included. Anyways, my food came out late, and got comped. Went back to the hotel to try to fix Randy's brand new Zipp 404's, which I didn't, and went to bed by about 12 (ouch). The phone for our wake up call was ringing before I knew I was asleep at 6:30. Off to the race.

The whole time we'd been in town we didn't see 1 other cyclist than our own teammates. No cars with bikes, no cyclists at the hotel, no shaved legs, nada. We show up and there's a crap ton of people so it looked like it was gonna be a good field. We suited up in the cold, registered, and slathered on some sun/screen. Liz has really been pushing me wearing it. There's a certain person she doesn't want me looking like when I get older. Everyones already to the start line and i'm still way down the road in the field getting read. I get my wheels for the wheeltruck in one hand and make my way to the road. I go to clip in and realize i've still got my bloody crocs on.. crikey?! 2 minutes to start and i'm barreling back, running as good as I can in squishy fields to put my shoes. I make it to the start line a few minutes later to a bunch of peole yelling, "Jonathan? JONATHAN?! SAY HERE?!"

The race was off and it was cold, grey and pretty boring. A rider cruised off the front, and another, and another, and another. They were just dangling off the front like they were going for a recovery ride. I guess whoever was at the front of the peleton didn't feel like getting on their wheels so we let them go. Still 84 miles to go in the race, no break is gonna stay away that long, right..? right? No one was workign well together. There were a few attempts with some Absolute Racing riders to get things going. Michael Humphreys from Absolute eventually attacked. Bryan looked over at me and said "Ya boy I got him" and chased him down, caught him at the turn and attacked up a hill. He was going like a moped. We came around a right turn and there he was taking a pee hahaha. What a dude. Eventually I started hearing guys asking "What's the payout for 4th place?" Hell no dude?! I didn't come out here to sit in for a slowass groupride while some break goes up the road for 84 miles, and have to sprint for 4th. I decided to get a break going. I half attacked up the same hill that Bryan chased down Humphreys on, and was on my own. I sat up and waited for some riders behind but it was too long, by the time they caught up to my wheel, so had the whole peleton. I wasn't too happy to have a bunch of riders willing to chase down a break so they could have the chance to sprint for 4th. The original plan was to have our riders in every break, and for me and Dustin to attack on the last lap and take the win. This wasn't lookin like it was gonna happen, and I didn't want to wait till the last lap to try to bridge to the break. I talked to an Absolute racing guy, Eric Spina, and another strong rider at the front. We decided where we were going to attack, but one of them said the only chance we had of staying away was to attack on the last lap and hope we didn't get caught. Since we didn't know how far the break was up the road I didn't want to gamble and have to chase down a possible 10 minutes gap in 25 miles on the last lap. The climb finally came at the beginning of the 3rd lap. I was riding on the front at an embarassingly slow pace with this guy Justin who I planned to break away with. I see the hill, look at the guy and say "lets go. now, now, NOW LET'S GO" and I took off. I felt like Robert DeNiro "Just tell me what you need the money for. Come on, just tell me what you need the money for.. Just tell-JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED THE MONEY FOR, WHAT DO YOU NEED THE MONEY FOR" I opened up a big gap on the climb and went abloc down the descent, all out over the next climb and the same downhill for the next few rollers to make sure I would get a big gap. I eventually was on my own, with an old guy hovering back in the distance. He was riding strong earlier so I sat up for a few seconds to let me get on my wheel and then took off again. The guy tells me he's not gonna be much help to me so I just put my head down and keep going till we're out of site, and never let off the pace. We still had about 40+ miles to go. Once we were out of site we came around a corner and saw the break way up the road. Not 5 minutes at all.. Maybe a minute. We caught them and confirmed they were the break. But there were only 2 of them. They said there was an Adams bicycle rider up the road and he was really strong. They dropped off and I kept hammering away. About a mile later we saw the Adams guy zig zagging up a hill. I was pretty pumped cause once we caught him, we'd be leaders on the road and only had to finish this lap, and do one more then take the left to the 3 mile road to the finish. We caught him on the climb and I asked if he had anything left in the tank. In a disappointing tone he said "I don't have anything" He dropped off immediately and it was a time trial to the end. I went through the feed zone, got the HEED that I asked Whitney to give me. Not sure how she remembered all 14 exact bottles she was suppose to give different riders for each lap, even riders from different teams. We eventually caught Peake Riders and a Herring rider from the race ahead. Luckily the guy that was on my wheel had enough in him for a couple pulls for the hour and half we were solo, and it was glorious to take a break for a minute or 2. Eventually he said he couldnt take another pull but I was more than happy enough to finish to the end with him as he was a really strong rider and smart too. I'm sure he heard me talkign about attacking. I tried to make it know so anyone strong enough would stay close and I'd have a group of riders to work with. Back in the pack, my teammates pretty much sat up and disrupted any chase attempt. I hit a stretch of road that you could see back for what seemed liek 2 miles, and we didnt see anyone. The pain started turning into picturing what it was going to be like crossing the line. I came to the turn where you either go left for another lap, or right for the finish. After almost 2 laps out in the break, I was so pumped to finally be able to go to the finish. The guy earlier said he didn't have anything left, and I could take it. We hammered it all the way home and I sprinted away to take the win. I kissed the guns and waited for the group to come in. Roughly 7 minutes later we saw the peleton coming in for the sprint. 2 guys were at the front going back and forth up the long finishing hill. It was a toss up who would win and about 20 meters before the line Dustin came firing around the 2 and smoked the shit out of them. Dustin and Daniel got away when I was out and held a good gap for awhile, then got back in the peleton, and decimated all for the line. An excellent day for the team. We all worked well together and Bryan Bennie and Daniel were always looking out for me and Dustin. Randy had a good race at the front for the first half and is gonna be a good rider once he races a little more and sees how everything works a little better. Dustins in the lead in his Category now by a good distance, and it's only gonna get bigger. We went back to the hotel, long after checkout, all used 1 shower in about 15 minutes, got some food and beer and hit the road back to BR. Thanks to Randy, Dustin and Whitney for helping me out with everythign the whole trip. Now i'm gonna go feed the warrior 20 pounds.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Raising Cane's 3 Man TT

Raising Cane's Three Man Time Trial - Baton Rouge, LA

Yesterday we had the Raising Cane's 3 man time trial. I road with Dustin Flint and Bennie Flores. Got up about 6 to down some food.. I couldn't get myself to, but I eventually sat down in front of the tv with a big plate piled high with bread and made myself. It's 50 degrees upon waking and suppose to warm up. We get out there, register and start setting up our bikes to warm up. Phil Baker was nice enough to trust me with his Zipp 404's. I put the zipp on the front and use my powertap with a disc cover on the back. Those are a hell of a pair of wheels. So unbelievably fast. There was a pretty big turn out. About 130 people total racing. Of course it starts late and we get a start time of 10:41. I had already been warming up for about 20 minutes and we still had about 50 minutes till start. I got off and stretched to try to stay warm and then hopped back on after about 20-30 minutes. Come to find out the start time was wrong and we were starting in about 7 minutes. Not nearly enough time to warm up, we go do 1 hard effort out on the road and almost missed our start?! We roll up and were put up 3rd in line. Like Rolf Aldag says in hell on wheels, that minute up there at the start gate is the longest minute imaginable. "50 seconds" the man says... wait.... tug on the slightly too large skin suit a little. pull brakes, make sure they're straight and not rubbing the wheel, take a sip of gatorade, put gel under skinsuit.. "30seconds" jesus... so bloody long. reset my computer for the 40k painfest interval. "10 seconds" Next thing were off. I roll out first since I have the powertap under the disc cover. I make sure we don't go out too hard so end up putting aroudn 360watts for the first pull and into the turn about half a mile down the road. Immediately after the turn and about 2-3 minutes into the race we catch the first womans team that started in front of us. We eventually caught 6 teams that started in front of us. The first lap was pretty painful. The wind had picked up a good bit and the whole back stretch (90% of the course) was a headwind. I could really feel how unwarm I was. I didn't feel I was breathing hard, but my legs felt really tight. I felt like I could definately have put more power out, but my legs felt so bad. going into the 2nd lap was good for the motivation as we only had to do that 1 more time. On the turn after the start we got stuck behind another 2 teams going into it so had to slow down and pass after. Bennie was really hurting and told us he couldn't hang on anymore. We slowed up abit, let him get on the back and sit in as long as he needed. Turns out he only sat in 1 pull, and then the rest of the race was taking monster pulls, as was Dustin. We were absolutely deep, deep inside the pain cave and i've never been happier to see the curves up ahead signaling the finish. Me and Dustin floored it for the last kilometer and dropped Bennie behind, but the clocked stopped as the second man crossed the line. We go flying into the finish at almost 33mph and i pulled through next to him so we finished side by side to stop the clock sooner. Not that the milliseconds would matter but it's always a good precaution. I took some cool down and started to cramp on my inner thighs. I've never cramped there, and come to think of it, I never cramp at all. But I was definately hurtin. My position is prolly as close as I can get it on my cervelo, which is too small. So I will have to keep hurting till I can get my Orbea Ordu. We averaged around 26.5mph for a time of 48:42. I thought I saw 48:30 when I crossed the line but nothing to complain about. 26.5mph is good considering the huge headwind the whole way. I'm glad I can still feel like crap and come out with a win with Dustin and Bennie (they were riding like mopeds. fast?!)

I stretched out a little, ate some bananas and drank my recovery drink. About an hour later the results were up. Me Bennie and Dustin finished 1st in our category so we were pumped about that. I'm glad we could get a win after a disappointing Roubaix. My mom took me out to a victory sushi lunch/dinner. I've never eaten so much sushi in my life. 5 rolls, sapporo, and red bean ice cream. The waiter took our sushi list order and was like, "Oh okay so just sushi for you guys today?" I was like, uuuuh no that's just for me. Not as much sushi as Nick use to eat, but it was a good try. I'm off for a recovery ride and going to pick up liz as she just got back from Paris last night around 2am.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rouge Roubaix

I decided a few days before Rouge Roubaix to race it this year. It's a race i've been putting off. You can't help but not to when you hear it's the hardest race in the state, if not one of the hardest in the country. The Hell of the South as it's referred to is more so related to the large amount of gravel walls you have to conquer. I joined a new team, leaving Raising Canes for Tiger Cycling Foundation.

I got to bed at a good time last night considering how mind boggling it is to try to sleep with nothing but racing on your mind. Got up at 5, but lost an hour since I had to set the clocks back, so it was really like 4. I stuffed myself with some oatmeal, bananas and coffee and Me, Mom and Cary set off to St. Francisville. Temperature in the morning was 34 degrees and was suppose to reach a high of 68, but not until 3:30, long after the race was over. I got my bike together, talked to some Canes riders, called Liz at the starting line, and set off with 150ish riders on the 106 mile race. The first hour was cold and a good just to get my bearings from not racing with a big pack since last season. Luckily it started to warm up and I could shed my gloves and arm warmers. I had 1 teammate with me so we tried to stay in the same area. This being my debut race, AND debut rouge roubaix, I wasn't sure where the important sections were mileage wise. We hit the first gravel section abruptly with little warning and people locked up their brakes left and right to go into the right turn. It was a few miles of yo-yoing back and forth. I was mid-pack and it was not a fun place to be. It was relatively flat though so no problems. About a mile out of the first gravel section i'm near the front of the pack behind my teammate Dustin. Were about 5 back and the rider in front of Dustin goes does. It looked like maybe he locked bars with someone. I saw it happening so had plenty of time to react and get around it. Unfortunately he took Dustin out with him. A break had gone up the road of about 4 riders and were not getting any closer after about 25 miles. Dustin chased back on, made his way through all the riders, and went straight to the front and buried himself for an hour to bring back the break. That guys a machine. We were coming up on a hard left, so I knew a gravel section must be coming up. It's about 72 miles into the race and i'm feeling really good.

Dustin managed to bring the break back to about 15 seconds. I was way too far back so took the corner sharp and ended up in the very front with my friend Ryan Dupree who rides for Canes. We hit the gravel and then comes the wall named the Pond Store Climb. Appropriately named this thing is steep and retarded hard. Me and Ryan absolutely put the hammer down. Were going abloc and catch the break, and spit all but one out the back. I turn around and no one else is there with us. Theres a prime at the top of the climb of a $100 bill. I didn't notice until about 10 feet and the guy in the break that me and Ryan caught snatched it. I was so bloody close I could taste the sushi it would buy me. Either way the climb wasn't over. I averaged over 400 watts for the climb and 450watts for the first 2 minutes of it. There was still alot of gravel to cover so I absolutely floored it and put some distance between me and everyone else. I go through a feed, grab a water, pour it over me and haul ass down the hill. 5 guys behind me formed (ryan and the remaining breakaway) so I sit up and wait for them so we can get a paceline working. Cary radioed ahead and got me some food and water. Radios are sweeeet?! Were keepin a good pace and taking 30second pulls. I had to explain to one guy how to do a proper paceline as he had no idea and while he was strong, he was hurting the break more than anything. I didn't know at the time but the favorite for the race was in the break with me. He was hanging off the back with his mouth hanging wide open. I told he he needs to start taking some pulls or were gonna really crank it up. Suddenly he becomes Mr. 100,000 volts. Tryin to pull a Lance Armstrong fake out eh?! We continued the pace line pulling off to the left, and as I pulled through and off, the guy that couldn't ride a paceline decides to overlap wheels on my left. When I pull over he's right there and he goes down, as well as the other 3 guys behind him (ryan, the favorite incl). Me and the other guy sit up and wait but after about 10-15min of soft pedaling its clear no ones coming back. We start hammering away and suddenly the lead van start pulling further and further away until it's completely out of site. We didn't see any signs for turning and keep going straight, only to end up at the Angola prison... dead end. unbelievable. We turn around ride back about 3 miles and see the grupetto riding through into the turn. I was pissed to say the least and hammered it up the last steep gravel climb section until I made it home to the finish. I come across the line with to a number of "dude what happened?"

It was definately hard to swallow. The break that goes over that 2nd climb first is a sure bet it's gonna make it to the finish. I was feeling so strong and without a doubt could have taken it in the last 15 miles. But I guess more importantly I got to test my fitness. I told my mom going into the race that it doesn't matter if you're one of the strongest riders, you gotta be smart, and to some degree, lucky. I didn't think I was gonna be one of the strongest being so early in the season, but I definately wasn't lucky. Word got around that the lead breakaway rider mysteriously disappeared from the course. The favorite from this year, who crashed out in the break with me, did the same thing last year.

Anyways i'm due to peak in 3 months, so i'm a long way off, but in good. I can't say having my first roubaix a win wouldn't be awesome, or that I totally wasn't looking forward to winning, but I learned a lot and got some really good training in.

Sleeeeeepy tiiiime

Friday, February 15, 2008


for some reason i like to proofread my posts, AFTER i post.. upon realizing how many typos i've made, i've also realized, i don't care enough to go back and change them. so enjoy the read suckas?!

baked hot chocolate and tapping

The past few days have been going really well training wise. Even when i'm not training i'm having a good time. I'd been having a problem with my wheel making a weird noise and ended up bringing it around to shops. Their advise didn't get me anywhere and no one was of really any help so I ended up bringing it to Neil. He took it apart in about 2 minutes, cleaned it, lubed it, put it back together and now, no loud clank noise whenever i step on the pedal! ow chee wa wa.

Me and Krista went to San Fran the other day. We got some sweet Mexican food at a restaurant on Haight street. I love just walking around San Fran. Just seeing stuff like big group of fixies chillin around, huge buildings, awesome shops and everything like that, makes me happy enough. I guess i just like to look, no touch. We did go to some shops so Krista could check out some gangsta shoes for her wedding, and then we headed to the Emergency Room to pick up Tim. It was really cool walking around the ER and meeting everyone and seeing how low-key an ER really is. None of that, "HE'S BLEEDING OUT OF HIS EYEBALLS O H M Y G O D IT'S GOING EVERYWHERE GET ME THE CLAMPS STAT." It's more like "alright.... *mumbling to self* not allergic to any meeeeds..... chhhhheck..... ok i guess we can take him to this room and hook him up there" Not so dramatic as tv. I got to see some overdramatic patients, some psych crazy cookoo patients, and make some old black guy with no teeth in a bed make a huge smile. Tim was floored and dealt with something like 61 patients in a 13hr shift, what a pansy flower man. So we walked to Zazie and took some detours so we could walk by some cool bike shops on the way.

Zazie was super cool. Really hip yet upscale, lowlight restaurant with lots of energy and vibe. It was dog night so you could bring your dog and eat out on the balcony out back, super cool. We ordered some french onion soup and then, the holy grail of desserts, baked hot chocolate. Sweet 8lb 6oz little baby jesus was it good. Topped with little marshmellows baked to golden perfection. It wasn't what i expected, and that was practically a dry chocolate cake in a mug. This was so rich and still liquidy you could drink it. I went last year with Tim and Krista but we got there too late. The doors were closed, but you could still see everyone inside partying away, laughing, drinking, eating baked hot chocolate, but not me. I stood there in the freezing cold frigid weather hoping they'd let me in if I made a sad enough face. But I would have to wait another year to get my chocolate redemption. And it was well worth the wait. I needed some extra calories from the riding too so that helped.

Yesterdays ride didn't go too smooth. I had 4hrs with at least 2hrs in zone 2, and I could NOT get my hr to zone 2. I would put down 300watts and it's hover at about 152. I'm not a huge guy that can put down 500w at 130hr, and this was hurting. I would finally get my HR up on the climbs on to have it fall faster than I could get down to the bottom of the hill. So today was not looking good. I had high hopes since I ate a huge fat juicy steak and pasta last night, but upon getting ready and getting out the door, I felt bloody aweful. I was tired, my legs ached and I just couldn't get myself pumped up enough. I climbed up Spruce, which if you have bad legs, is terrible. I get to the top and start going down wildcat to the descent. I try to open my legs up and hit some rollers at tried to push around 300w. I couldn't even do it over a roller. So I turn around and go to the top of Spruce where I whip out my phone and consult my bro. Here's the text responses

Cary: How are you feeling for todays ride?
Me: My legs feel awesome so far... hoping they'll open up
Cary: Ok call me when youre finished. rip it yo
Me: Dude i totally meant to put my legs feel aweful. Im tired and I feel like doodoo
Cary: Better tap fool hahaha
Me: I can't i'm riding. Maybe i'll just call it a day. I can recover today and do gym/ride sunday. I think if I do those hill repeats there's pt no pot way i'll be able to recover by tomorrow
Me: Dunno what pt no pot is. Fuckin dumbass phones idea of predictive text (i was getting pissed!)
Cary: Seiji says listen to your body always, granted next week is recovery
Me:Yeah I know, i don't think I can do it though. I think I used all my reserves the past 3 weeks.
Cary: Try tapping. If it doesn't help then head home. I'll tap from here too

i then decided not to head home and give it a shot.. here's the resulting texts

Me: Dude keep tapping! Unbelievable! The power?!
Cary: tapped for activation of phosphate for ATP, so your muscles should experience more energy, for efficiency, for strength and recovery. I'll do oxygen intake and power output next, to lower your HR?!

I did all 40 minutes of my hill repeats, and felt so bloody good. It was unbelievable. I was flying by people left and right, and I had no trouble keeping my watts where I needed them to be. I left wildcat canyon as my last hill repeat. About halfway up I caught up to two Clif Bar riders. I passed them and greeted them, and immediately noticed they jumped on my wheel. I looked back and they're on my wheel hammerin in, so I keep going for a few minutes and up the pace a little, look back and they're not there.. Maybe they decided I was going to slow and didn't feel liek riding fast anyways, or maybe I really dropped them. I like the latter. Anyways kudos to cary for getting me through my ride. I had the most amazing riders high afterwards. I couldn't get myself to go inside to Kristas and get cleaned up. I just cycled around in circles around the block for awhile and took in the warm setting sun. It was such a good feeling having accomplished that and I know if i hadn't talked to cary, 100% i would have never done the ride, not to mention blast through it like I did dropping everyone in site, including my cool hammer gel holder, which I never found.

i treated myself to some delicious sushi from sushi ko on shattuck street. turns out my mom use to go there all the time..... 25 years ago! i didn't know there was such a thing as restaurants that long ago....! there's was a rally/protest about the iraq war and bush across the street from the restaurant. it was just starting and everyone was showing up, including camera crews. I gotta say, as stupid as i think rally's are, I still like how active berkeley is. There's always people riding bikes, walking places, just getting out and excercising or.... protesting. But it's a breath of fresh air.

So i'm lounging in kristas luxurious temperpedic and am about to go over to Tims. Getting to drive around here is so nice. It keeps my sanity intact, as opposed to when I went to Colorado fresh out of highschool to train and didn't get to drive much less touch a car for 8 weeks. It a really cool place to drive around. I don't think i'd instill as much faith as anyone else as they have with me letting me drive around, but i guess the fact that the mechanic said it's a deathtrap when taken in to get an oil change, might have something to do with it. maybe they're trying to get rid of me!

oh and herring gas is kicking buns at the tour of belize

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I figured i'd kinda try to organize my blog alittle bit instead of name dropping all the time.. but instead of editing posts.. i'll just start from square one here.

I'm out for another month in California training in the Albany, Berkeley hills for the 2nd year in a row. I stayed with my Aunt Kristas fiance Tim for the first week and a half or so here in his sweet pad in Albany, and since Krista still has a month of her lease left at her apartment, i'm livin here since she pretty much is always at Tims, and is in the process or moving there.. I guess that sums it up abit............ sort of....

anyways my bike has been making a weird noise for a few days. i thought it might be the crank and wasn't too happy cause that isn't a good case but it could be worse... turns out it is.. the sounds coming from the freehub. I took it to a few shops today Mikes Bikes and VeloSport in Berkeley and i got the same answer. "Well uh, yeah just spray some lube in there and it shouldn't make that noise anymore". I mean it's not some little wishwashy ticky noise. It's a popping clanking bomb going off in my hub and I dont think solvent will take care of the issue. I have been training with it hoping it will just go away, which is a bloody stupid idea, and it hasn't. I got all suited up for my first ride from Kristas pad and was feelin really tired.. Unfortunately Tim's Magical couch has sleeping powers beyong Kristas tempurpedic.. i dunno how that's possible. and they're throwing away the couch... I wonder if there's anyway I can box it up and ship it back to br.... maybe check it at the airport... anyways i'm out the door and am sluggin along with my poppin rear wheel. I'm about an hour into my ride so I put down a clif bar and go for a water bottle. no water bottles! dude as if it couldn't get worse.. so i turn around and as i'm just starting back i see this rider comin towards me... low position, fast cadence, beefy legs, sweet badass jersey.. freddy rodriguez?! dude badass as anything?! all decked out in his new rock&republic racing kit and yellow de rosa bike. a guy here i'm suppose to train with this week works at wrench science down the street from where i'm livin and he said he taped up freddy's bars the other day. sweeeeeet.. i think freddy's there pro spokesman or somethin.

wonder how rock&republic is gonna be goin if Kayle Leograndes B sample gets tested positive. Here's straight from Michael Balls mouth himself in a VeloNews interview

"His numbers that have come back from testing are amazing. They are unbelievable. We’ve had him tested by Max Testa and Max stepped out and said, 'You have a Tour de France contender. At the very least this man can win a stage.' "

Somethin smells like tuna gone bad.
"when somethings seem too good to be true... it probably is" -major dick pound

sad but true.. except in my case.

i'm on my way over to tims, timmys, the timsters, timmy crack corn and i don't care - house to check out my bike and inspect the damage. he's the man with the tools... and the awesome couch, which i might crash on tonight if it lures me in with it's lush arms and charm.

Friday, February 8, 2008

possibly, the nicest ride i've done.....ever..................... in my life

Yesterday i had a 4hr ride with at least 50% of it being zone2 heart rate. Tim pointed me out to a 70 mile loop that went way out to Pinole, and a small town called Crockett, before, heading back to alahambra and hitting the bears, up wildcat, and back home. I had a hard ride the day before and was really looking forward to some new scenery. I got my supplies ready and headed out the door. To my extreme satisfaction, it was actually warm, not a cloud in the sky. About two hours into the ride once I get away from the scenic part of Pinole, I end up climbing a very wide street that looks like it should be super busy, but no cars. Over the hill I witness this huge refinery. I feel like i'm out in the bloody middle of nowhere with nothin but stackpipes to look at. Before I know it I round a corner and I see huuuuuge green hills with houses all over them, and the water with the 2 workhorse bridges goin way across to oakland. Unbelievably beautiful ride. I met some cool people, dropped a cat3 on a Giant sponsored team on a wicked descent (yes that's a pretty lame claim to fame), got offered a possible spot on a team, and had really great legs all day. I'm gonna take the camera with me next time, possibly Sunday and take some pictures on that route. Really amazing stuff.. Unfortunately I got lost and got directions from another rider, and was about 20 minutes in the wrong direction. I was really running low on food and had about 1:30 hours to go. I stuffed down my last clif bar and hoped for the best. Since I was dumb enough to not bring enough food for a 5hr ride, I ended up having to eat 3500calories before I went to bed, and I got back from riding at about 5:30. Me, Aunt Krista and Tim went to in-n-out burgers... suuuper delicious, but I should have eaten about 3 more. Upon getting home and logging in my foods, I still had 1600calories to eat, and was about to vomit the food I had already eaten. I stayed up till about 11 stuffing everything I could from rosemary nuts to taco bell (still can't believe I had to resort to that) to beer. I ended with about a 400calorie deficit, and upon cary's idea, I laid some traps about the house in case I got up in the night, with the thought that I would hopefully be walking to the bathroom and notice a delicious looking banana on the floor.. the plan bombed, but I still felt good on my ride today. It was intense! 3 hours with 40minutes of climbing at 300watts. I made it through the day and am now moving from Tim's house, to Kristas tonight, where i'll have a tempurpedic bed & pillow all to myself. 19 days left of heavenly riding in California

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Back to Cali

I just got to Albany California for my second and more succesful training trip in 2 years. The weathers been ok, chilly and rainy, but after today it's suppose to be sunny and fairly warm. My first ride here was nice. just kinda gettin to know the roads again and get use to climbing so much. The second day was another story.

The ride started off in the rain which is fine, but not the easiest thing to come out of your house into. I head up the nice climb up Spruce street and head down Wildcat Canyon and take a right and head to Moraga. About 2.5hrs into my ride it really started raining but I was keeping warm and my legs felt nice. I went pinehurst and ended at the top of Skyline which is where I begin the nice long descent back down to Grizzly peak, then to Spruce and voila the ride is done. It's always such a good feeling to get to this point as even if you have an hour of riding left, it's easy and fun. Turns out skylines closed due to a mudslide... this is really bloody bad because I had to stop to kinda get my bearings, and all my heat decided to leave. So I start shaking uncontrollably and start a superfast descent down Snake road, having no idea where i'm heading. I decide to start making the extra effort of an even more miserable face than I already naturally had with the hopes that someone would feel bad enough for me and give me a ride. Being lost in the mountains is almost worse than being lost in the city, and I was about to experience both. I eventually ask for directions and a nice lady with gps tells me where to go as her daughter busts out laughing about the guy that's "freezing cold out there" yeah i'm bloody aware of it sweetcheaks. So I finally get on my way with new directions and as the streets start appearing how they're suppose to my morale begins to lift again as I realize i'm almost to Washington street, aka home! I turn down washington and go down to the end of it......... nothing looks familiar.. okay maybe it's the other end of Washington....... not even close. So i'm freezing my buns off and trying to figure out if i'm 50 miles from home or 5, so I begin to look for a bus map on the side of the road and fail to see this groove in the road that my tire decides to lock into. The fall felt so slow I had time to think about things like, "why is this happening?" "are you bloody kidding?" "i wonder what kind of pancakes they're serving at the cafe down the street." my glasses go flying down the road, my head bounces off the concrete and my shoulder, hip and wrist all have this awesome throbbing pain. I stand up and look around for awhile, pick up my bike and bend my brake lever back in place and inspect for damage.. nothing too bad so I continue searching for a map. Turns out i'm in bloody downtown oakland.. I knew this place looked sketchy: really built up city, with not alot of people walking around, and shitty ass roads. I eventually get directions from some not-completely-there security guard at a hotel. I'm on my way avoiding the syringes and used uzzi clips scattered about the road and I finally make it to San Pablo and eventually make it home after sprinting about 45 minutes through stop lights and heavy california traffic in the rain.
So I come inside, strip my soaking clothes off, take my seatpost out and turn my bike upside down, put on my trunks, get my towel and haul ass downstairs to go jump in the hot tub.... that isn't there anymore.. god crap it?! I think I convinced Tim to set it back up again though.

Todays ride was nice though. Tims friend Aaron and his friend Neil that I got to ride with last time invited me out for a 3 hour ride. Aaron has more bloody bikes, and bike equipment than a freaking bike shop. My legs felt awesome and the weather wasnt half bad, rain on and off till 3 minutes from home it started pouring so hard it stung to look up. Sunshine weather from here on out says though so i'm hopin for that.