Saturday, December 02, 2006

New Link

My old roommate and good friend, Brian Matter finally started a blog. It's in the sidebar or you can check it out here. Good stuff.

Not much else going on. I was going to write a report about the first Tucson Cyclocross race, but I got a bit worked over there and didn't have many good things to say. Go here if you want to see the race through the eyes of the winner, Travis Woodruff.

One week of school left, then a couple finals and the semester is over. Finally. I think I'm going to end up with 3 A's and 2 B's, so I'm pretty happy with that. Maybe I'll be able to ride my bike again. Adios.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekend Update

Yesterday was the El Tour de Tucson bicycle race. Things went pretty well for me, as I accomplished my goal of staying in the front pack for the day. The race was pretty fast, as we covered the 109 miles in 4:15, at an average speed for the winner of 25.6 mph. Below are some brief results, complete results can be found here. The funniest thing about yesterday was that out of the three times that I have done this race, this was by far the least fit I've ever been going into it, yet I came out of it with my best result and fastest time. Oh, and by the way...1st and 6th place were both riders that were on my hot list going in...just call me The Swami from now on! heh, heh, heh. Adios.

PLACE   NO. NAME                    SEX AGE   TIME     MPH 

1 3275 MICHAEL GRABINGER M 89 04:15:53 25.6
2 3774 DAVID SALOMON M 26 04:16:01 25.6
3 9 ALEXI MARTINEZ M 89 04:16:28 25.6
4 3 ROBBIE VENTURA M 35 04:16:29 25.6
5 3655 BRIAN FORBES M 34 04:16:29 25.6
6 5 CURTIS GUNN M 35 04:16:29 25.6
7 81 AKIRA KAKINUMA M 34 04:16:29 25.6
8 99 RICHARD MEEKER M 44 04:16:34 25.6
9 3455 CHRIS DEMARCHI M 35 04:16:35 25.6
10 3456 GILBERT CORREA M 37 04:16:35 25.6
11 29 DENNY VAUGHAN M 41 04:19:04 25.3
12 2822 PATRICK LIU M 43 04:19:05 25.3
13 2503 MICHAEL ANDERSON M 40 04:19:05 25.3
14 2363 JASON SHORT M 22 04:19:05 25.3
15 3304 LARRY SHANNON M 48 04:19:06 25.3
16 1102 SCOTT LEONARD M 45 04:19:06 25.3
17 2943 BOBBY VERENNA M 34 04:19:06 25.3
18 197 JOSEPH SUSCO M 33 04:19:06 25.3
19 1059 WAYNE STETINA M 52 04:19:06 25.3
20 3064 RICK CIMAGLIA M 44 04:19:06 25.3
21 3555 GARRETT FORD M 36 04:19:07 25.3
22 3756 BRIAN LEMKE M 43 04:19:07 25.3
23 2441 CHRIS HANSEL M 44 04:19:07 25.3
24 2537 KURT GARBE M 38 04:19:07 25.3
25 110 SCOTT BLANCHARD M 38 04:19:07 25.3
26 1521 PETER J BROWN M 44 04:19:07 25.3
27 1442 JIM WEINSTEIN M 30 04:19:08 25.3
28 2277 JIM SILVERMAN M 41 04:19:08 25.3
29 3565 JASON KAREW M 33 04:19:08 25.3
30 3723 WILLIAM S DIXON M 32 04:19:08 25.3

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

T-Minus 5 Days...

Just got back in from the infamous Tuesday Ride, which we think should be renamed the "Usual Suspects" ride since it is generally the same people every week. Anyway, this was the first time that I have ridden my bike fast since about a week after the State RR back in late August. Didn't really feel all that bad, either. I never redlined, which was good, although I did take it easy on the climb over the backside of Gates Pass. No one really came out and showed their cards today, but Denny Vaughn was going pretty fast over Gates, and I think he won the hill. I ran into a friend of mine on the way back into town after grabbing some coffee, so I rolled out with him for another hour easy around Starr Pass. Nice three hours on the bike. Adios.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More riders added to the hot list.

Well, here we are with T-minus 5 days until the big day. Word on the street at the swap meet on Saturday was that Rob A. and Schrieber were taking big pulls in the break on the shootout, riding in the days main break along with Heath McFarland. Might have to add Heath to the hot list, as back in the day he was the AZ Cat 1 Road Race champion, winning the title when the race was held on the brutally difficult Skull Valley course.

The swap meet went well for me as I sold most of my stuff, and also scored a sweet set of Reynold's DV carbon tubular wheels. If I can make them go even half as fast as their previous owner, I'll be in for some good fortune next season!

On a side note, I was at the swap meet Saturday on about 2 hours of sleep due to my impromptu attendance of the Suicide Girls show at Club Congress Friday night. I ended up there by random chance and ended up sticking around til the end of the show at 1:30. Definitely interesting, to say the least! Adios.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

World Championships Nov 18

With the Southwest Regional World Championships (a.k.a. El Tour de Tucson) fast approaching, we are all left wondering as to who will show up to claim victory.

On the hot list:
  • Rob Alvarez - Always going fast, but is he smart enough to win?
  • Nick Schrieber - Strongest guy in the state during 2006, watch out for the sprint.
  • Curtis Gunn - If he shows, he'll be the one to watch.
  • Grand Canyon Racing - Between Loveday, Aaramunstad, and J.R., take your pick.
In with a chance:
  • Any Eclipse Rider - Do we have anyone with the legs to be there in the final?
  • Garret Ford/Jack Phillips - Tandem combo, rumor has it they are flying these days.
  • Even Unger/Dwight Nelson - Another tandem combo gunning for the overall.
  • Ulrich DeYoung - Young gun, if he's been training, watch out.
  • Marco Ruello - a.k.a. Ron Hudson, strong at the end of the season, but a big ?????????
  • Denny Vaughn - Will the fireman take a risk this year?
Potential upset:
  • Gord Fraser - Will The Laser come out of retirement for the day?
  • Tyler Hamilton - Not a sanctioned race, should be right up his alley.
  • The NRC Pro Field - Someone always makes an appearance here.
I'll keep my ears to the wind this weekend at the swap meet. Adios.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Riding Time!

Finally back on the bike over the weekend. I actually got in a couple decent rides between Friday and Monday. Did about 40 miles with Dan on Friday and another 60 miles on Sunday. That Sunday ride was super slow...it took us 3:45 to pull it off! I was going to chill out a bit yesterday, but some time opened up so I was able to get in about 2 hours and jam over the backside of Gates Pass in the process. Fun stuff. Well, I'm off to school now, so adios!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

El Tour update...w/ Halloween in between.

At the grocery store before the party.

Well it has been about a week since my last update so I thought I'd fill everyone in on the training. After a consultation with my personal advisor (that would be me) and my coach (also myself) I think I am going to be seriously winging it at the event this year. The last few days look something like this:

Day off, day off, day off, day off...and the pattern keeps repeating itself!

That's ok, though. Last weekend was the 7th annual Pyramid Coaching & Dan Distefano Halloween Party, which was a blast as always. The location sometimes changes, but it's like going to a good rave, if you are in the know you will get there and have a good time. Above are a couple pics from the party.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Countdown to El Tour...November 18.


I'll start this one off with some good news, the shoulder has been improving a great deal lately, right now I'd say that it is around 80-85%. I've been seeing an accupuncturist for the past two weeks and that has really seemed to help. So now it looks like I am going to be doing El Tour de Tucson again this year, after all. That should be interesting?!...I've basically been off the bike for a month and most of the last two months. If you don't know what El Tour de Tucson is, it is a 109 mile charity ride/race that circles the perimeter of Tucson. There are usually 4000+ riders in the 109 mile main event. Scott and I were taking bets yesterday on what mile that we cramp. He says around the Sabino Creek Crossing (~mile 50), I say I can make it a bit further and at least make it to Moore Rd (~mile 70).

I figure that if I start some training now, I can be in cramp-after-mile-70 shape in three weeks. Here is the training so far:

Saturday: 1 hr easy on the mtb. ~10 miles.
Sunday: 2:15 easy on the road bike. 35 miles.
Monday: off.
Tuesday: 1:45 easy on the road bike. 30 miles.
Today: 1:15 easy. 21 miles.

Might have to take tomorrow off after all of those big rides! :) Adios.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Team Results 2005-2006

I know I haven't posted anything in quite a while, mostly because there really hasn't been anything to exciting going on lately. I haven't been on the bike in a few weeks due to a lingering shoulder problem which is making life kind of miserable for me lately. I'm going in tomorrow to get it checked out, so hopefully I'll know what is going of pretty soon. Other than that, it has just been school (which is going pretty well up to this point) and work and a little bit of beer drinking fit in there also.

I just finished up compiling a list of my teams notable results from 2005/2006 that we are going to include in our sponsorship proposal for this year. Here they are if you want to take a look. Adios.

2005 Results
1st Overall AZ Copper Cup Point Series
1st Place Tucson Cyclocross Series, Race 1, 3, 4
1st Place Summit Center Stage Race GC
1st Place Summit Center Stage 1, 2, 3
1st Place Tour of the Gila Stage Race Overall
1st Place Tour of the Gila Stage Race Stage 3
1st Place Overall Points Tucson Cyclocross Series
2nd Overall Tucson Cyclocross Series
2nd Place Tucson Cyclocross Series Race 2, 4, 5
2nd Place Summit Center Stage 3
2nd Place La Vuelta de Bisbee Stage 2
2nd Place Humboldt Mountain RR
3rd Overall Tucson Cyclocross Series
3rd Overall AZ Copper Cup Point Series
3rd Place La Vuelta de Bisbee Stage 2
3rd Place Valley of the Sun Stage Race
3rd Place Valley of the Sun Criterium
3rd Place Paradise Team Time Trial
3rd Place North End Classic Road Race
3rd Place San Dimas Stage Race Overall


2006 Results
1st Overall Summit Center Classic Overall GC
1st Place Valley of the Sun RR
1st Place Summit Center Classic Stage 1
1st Place South Mountain Hillclimb
1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th Place Summit Center Classic Prologue TT
2nd Place Tour of the Gila Stage 4 Criterium
2nd Place Humbolt Road Race
2nd Place Superior Road Race
2nd Place Usery Pass Road Race
2nd Place Sierra Nevada/Specialized Criterium
2nd, 3rd Place Point of Pines RR
2nd, 3rd Place Roosevelt Lake RR
2nd, 3rd, 4th Overall Globe Omnium Overall GC
3rd Place Colossal Caves RR
3rd Place Tour of the Gila Criterium
3rd Place Mt. Lemmon Time Trial
3rd Place AZ Copper Cup Point Series
3rd Place Mt. Graham Hillclimb
4th Overall San Dimas Stage Race Overall GC
4th Place Scottsdale Grand Prix
4th Place La Vuelta de Bisbee Stage 1
4th Place Summit Center Classic Stage 3
4th Place Tumococcori Road Race
4th Place McDowell Circuit Race
5th Overall Team GC Vuelta Sonora-AZ (UCI 2.2)
5th Place Mt. Graham Hillclimb
5th Place Cicaro Club Circuit Race
6th Overall Tour of the Gila Overall GC
6th Place Colossal Caves RR
6th Place Scottsdale Grand Prix
6th Place Tour of the Gila Stage 5 RR
6th Place Sun Devil Criterium
6th Place Tumococcori Road Race
6th Place Superior Road Race
7th Overall Valley of the Sun Overall GC
7th Place Colossal Caves RR
7th Place Scottsdale Grand Prix
7th Place Tour of the Gila RR
7th Place AZ Copper Cup Point Series
7th Place AZ State Championship RR
8th Place Vuelta Sonora-AZ (UCI 2.2) Stage 3
8th Place AZ State Criterium Championships
8th Place MI State Criterium Championships
8th Place Scottsdale Grand Prix
9th Place Tour of the Gila Stage 2 RR
9th Place AZ State Championship RR
10th Place Vuelta Sonora-AZ (UCI 2.2) Stage 3, 4, 5
10th Place AZ State Criterium Championships
10th Place Scottsdale Grand Prix
10th Place La Vuelta de Bisbee Stage 1
10th Place Tour of the Gila Stage 2 RR
10th Place San Dimas Stage Race Stage 2
10th Place AZ State Championship TT
11th Place Fitchburg-Longsjo stage race
13th Overall Vuelta Sonora-AZ (UCI 2.2)
13th Overall La Vuelta de Bisbee Overall GC
13th Place Nevada City Classic
20th Place Tour de Nez Tahoe RR

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Funny thing about cycling...

It is ironic that during the season, I sometimes get stressed from riding my bike, while in the off-season, it is riding my bike that relieves me of stress. Funny how that works, eh?

I seem to have picked up on whatever cold is going around, and have not been feeling my best the past few days. Slept for 14 hours last night, so hopefully that helped, but I can tell you that as of this moment, it has not.

I have a chance to go to the collegiate mountain bike nationals in Angel Fire, New Mexico with the University of Arizona cycling team Oct. 20-21. I'm thinking of taking them up on it, as I think that it would be pretty fun to do. Only problem I can see is that I'd have to train a little bit after not doing much of anything since the state road race about a month ago, and that the race takes place at roughly 9000 ft, with the high point over 11,000 ft. That might not be so fun, but I'll probably end up going anyway. Might even be the oldest guy there! Adios.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crazy

So I just got back from doing my first yoga class in several years. Feeling pretty relaxed right now, except for my shoulder, which is absolutely killing me. Must be getting old, as I've got more aches and pains this year then I have my entire life.

So the forum on the AZ Cycling site is getting pretty entertaining once again. Some crazy cat 5 kid has decided to start blasting the state and pretty much everything and everyone that is involved with racing and race promotion here. Seems the kid is a 29 year old career Cat 5 who has been riding 20,000 miles per year since 2001 in the hopes of making it big, yet for some reason he likes to sit at the back of the local Cat 5 races and stay "safe" and out of trouble. Right. I say you suck. Can't wait until the dude discovers this and adds me to his most hated list. Better watch out for all of those 30 something Cat 2's out there, though!!!! :)- If you got the time and want a few laughs, just follow this link and you'll be all set. Adios.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Worked

Big ride today, got in about 34 miles over 2 hours, with a quick detour to Starbucks about 3/4 of the way through. Must have needed the caffine, but I don't think it helped 'cause I was asleep within an hour of getting home. Rough day. :)

The Tigers lost another one today, and are now only 3.5 games up on Minnesota, with a 4 game series against the Twins starting tomorrow. Lot's of pressure, hope they make it. Adios.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Results are up

Results are online now for the AZ State Road Race, you can find them here. Seems that there has been a bit of a controversy over how the officiating was done at the event regarding the yellow line and the neutral zone. The debate rages on in the AZ Cycling forum, but I've attached my take on it below:

I agree that the rules should be enforced. However, in the case of the yellow line, it is one thing if a rider is attacking over the yellow line, and another if that same rider is FORCED over the yellow line by the field putting the race in the gutter, or in this case, on the yellow line. Any rider forced over the yellow line should try to move back to the correct side as quickly and as safely as possible, without advancing in the field. I say safely because often the field is in extreme difficulty at this point and it is not always the easiest thing in the world to break back into the line on the correct side of the road. In the case of the pro 1, 2 race on Saturday, sometimes getting forced over the yellow line is literally the only way one can maintain contact with the group. I am not condoning this, only making a point. On that same point, I have been in several races in AZ where the moto official has made the decision to let the pack echelon across the entire road as long as there was no traffic and it was clear. Either do it, or don't, but if the rule is there it should not be subject to interpretation on the part of the officials. Regarding riders being relegated for repeated violations, I am in agreement with that, however, those riders should be informed of this DURING THE RACE, and not afterwards, as this seriously impacts the team tactics during the race. Also, usually riders are relegated to last place in the group that they came in with, not last place in the race. Please note that I am not trying to bash the officials here, just trying to make a few points. Thanks.

Adios.

Monday, August 28, 2006

State Road Race

So this weekend was the AZ State Championship Road Race held in Flagstaff, AZ. We went up there with a full team of eight riders and what looked like a pretty good shot at the win. This is always one of the more tactical races on the AZ calendar, as there are numerous hills on the course, but none of them are really long enough for the climbers to have a true advantage. There is an exposed section of rolling hills that borders a dry lake bed, where there is always a pretty severe crosswind that makes it probably the toughest section of the race. This was true on Saturday, and that section turned out to be the decisive part of the race. On each of the first two laps, our team and Grand Canyon Racing (another strong local team), were at the front riding hard tempo into the crosswind. It was enough that by the end of lap 2, the field had already been significantly whittled down. Our plan was to drill it in the crosswind on the next lap and, with a little help from Grand Canyon and a few of the stronger guys in the race, that is exactly what we did. The main break of the day went immediately after this, with most of the major players involved, along with Kyle from our team. David Glick attacked the group on the next climb in an attempt to bridge, which looked to be a good one. As we had two guys up the road, we were not inclined to chase up the hill, so by the time we reached the top of the 1 km climb, they were almost out of site. Six guys up the road, six guys left in the pack. With two laps to go, it looked like the race had been made. A few of the guys that had been dropped in the crosswind made it back on as we were riding piano for a while after the hill. One of them attacked out of our group the next time we were in the crosswind section, so I covered his attack and ended up getting into a small group of five for the remainder of the race. We had no knowledge of what was going on up the road, but we found out later that Kyle had unfortunately been dropped from the break and was now in the chase group with Dave trying to catch back on. They never made it, and Dave finished up in 5th, with Kyle just behind him in 7th. I came in 10th, but moved up to 9th due to Dave getting relegated for multiple yellow line violations. Would have been nice if the officials had informed him of this during the race, as I think that would have certainly affected our tactics.

So our results were not what we had hoped for, but the positives that we took from this event are that the team is riding really well right now. We know that the results will come if we continue to ride as we are capable of. Adios.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

1:50 pm on a Tuesday Afternoon...

So I'd like to try and increase the traffic to the blog, so if anyone feels like linking me up to their own site, feel free. Maybe I'll end up getting famous after all! :) Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.........

First day of school today. Nothing all that exciting to report, except the girl sitting next to me in my first class had an interesting little slogan on her shirt, something like, "havalupa lovers make fatal attraction..." Kinda makes ya wonder a bit. Adios.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend Update

So this weekend I raced in the Globe Omnium, which is a new race on the AZ racing calender. The turnout was a bit disapointing, but the courses and the racing were very good. Saturday, we did the Roosevelt Lakes road race, a 59 mile out 'n back course that had quite a bit of climbing to contend with. There were two consecutive climbs on the way out that were about 2 miles each and around 7%, along with one big climb on the way back in that was probably around 8 miles long at 6-7%. Our team had the numbers in the race, so we were trying to take advantage of that and set up our climbers for a good result. What ended up going down was that we pulled back a two man break just after the turnaround, then started sending guys up the road one at time to force the other riders to chase. I happened to get a pretty good gap when I went with about 20 miles to go, so I decided to put my head down and try to make it to the line. I still had the last climb to contend with, which didn't work in my favor, as I got caught about two miles into it and came off the group. Rode in easy after that for 9th place, but we did put David Glick and Jared Gilyard into 2nd and 3rd on the stage, so it was pretty good for the team. Mike Dietrich from the Sierra Nevada team pretty much crushed everyone on the final climb and the run-in to the finish to take the win.

Sunday was the Point of Pines road race, another out 'n back with a distance of 85 miles and a 2.5 mile climb to the turnaround at mile 42. Nothing much really happened until the climb, when Dietrich attacked with Glick on his wheel. That split up the group and we never saw those two again, as they finished 1, 2 in the same order as Saturday. All we had to do on the way back in was real in Dave Ried from Landis in order to protect Jared's 3rd GC spot, which we did. It came down to a field sprint?????? for 3rd, which I took, with Jared taking 4th place on the day. Top 3 overall were Mike Dietrich, David Glick, and Jared Gilyard.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'm Famous! Ha, ha, ha..... :)

Since I didn't have much better to do I Googled my name on the blogger website and found this link to a write up of the Ada Crit that I did in MI a couple weeks ago. Wait a minute, maybe it was really this one! Adios.

Mom & Pop in MI


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back in Tucson


So I've been back in Tucson now since Monday evening, and back at work since Wednesday. Good to be back in town, not so great to be back to work, but ya gotta do it. It's been raining quite a bit here the past month or so, and the desert is about as green as I've ever seen it. I even heard a rumor today regarding the future of Sabino Canyon recreation area. Word has it that the road there is not going to be repaired from the recent damage done to it from the monsoon a few weeks back. Seems like the upper portion of the road from the river to the top has been pretty much wiped away. Not a good situation, but hopefully there can be something positive to come out of it.

Couple races coming up the next two weekends. August 19-20 is the Globe Omnium, a new race on the AZ calendar, and the 26th is the AZ State Championship Road Race in Flagstaff. Should be a fun one. Adios.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hometown Racing

I raced in the MI State Criterium Championships this past weekend, which were held over on the west side of the state in Ada, MI. For those of you that are in the know about the hand geography of MI, Ada is just below the point where your pinkie meets the palm of your hand. Anyway, it is always fun to race in MI, as I get a chance to see a few of my old teammates from the Great Lakes Cycling days, and get caught up on who is still riding these days. Anyway, the race went pretty well for me. It was an 80 minute + 5 laps crit (I wish we had crits this long in AZ!), that came down to a field sprint at the end. The race started pretty fast, but then slowed dramatically during the middle portion. It picked up again for about the final 45 minutes, during which we were rolling along around 28 - 31 mph most of the time...pretty fast! I think I started my sprint about 50 meters to early, as it was a really long sprint and I was starting to run out of gas towards the line. Ended up in 8th place, which was good for $100.00 worth of travel money. One of the local teams, the Western Michigan Riders, put on a clinic on how to do a leadout, as they had six guys on the front with 3 to go, and still had 4 guys left on the final lap, with one of their riders taking the win.

The race was on Saturday and I haven't ridden since. Played some golf yesterday with my brother and my friend Chris, and shot a 71...you can try to guess if that was for 9 or 18 holes! Gotta start getting ready now for my flight back to Tucson. It was great being gone and out of the heat for a while, but now I need to get home and start getting things in order to go back to school in a couple weeks, and start working again. Fun stuff. Adios.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Recovering in MI

So here it is Wednesday, about three days after the Tour de Toona has ended. I made it through the race pretty much unscathed, but pretty damn tired nonetheless. This post is probably not going to be one of my best, as right now I have some sort of sinus thing going on and my head feels like there is a brick shoved right into the middle of it. Started on Tuesday morning when I woke up, hopefully it'll be gone over the next couple days. It has been pretty fun here in MI so far, although I haven't really done much of anything yet. I went to dinner with my Mom and some friends on Monday, and had a bbq and a couple beers last night with my friend Will and his wife, along with Brian Caron, who's a good friend of mine that I haven't seen in a few years. Pretty fun evening. If you want to see the results of Toona, look them up here. Gotta go now and get some shopping done. Adios.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's a stage race, you gotta eat big!

Quick update on how things are going out here at the Tour de Toona. Stage 2 was pretty uneventful, which was nice. The stage was a 62.9 mile circuit race, that we completed in 2:13, so it was pretty fast. I mostly sat in and tried to get up near the front for the field sprint, but I couldn't make it far enough, and ended up crossing the line in 61st place.

Stage 3 was the Johnstown to Altoona road race, and I think that it may have been one of the harder races that I have ever done. The first 45 minutes were crazy fast on some twisting, steep terrain. A break finally went and the pace slowed for a while, as guys were trying to eat and drink fluid, while Healthnet was setting tempo at the front. I was not having one of my better days and found myself sitting at the back almost all day long, trying to save energy for the Blue Knob climb with came at around the 72 mile mark. Once the climb hit, I had to ride my own pace over and then find a group to come in with, which I did, coming in with about 15 guys a ways back from the main field. Shane was once again hit by some really bad luck, as he had made it over the Blue Knob climb with the leaders, but was stung about five times by bees on the ensuing decent! If he can ever get through a race without any problems, he'll start getting some good results.

Today was stage 4, a 60 mile circuit race in Holidaysburg. This race was a lot harder then the stage 2 circuit race, as the terrain was much more rolling and the speeds were a bit higher. I had a good day today, avoiding the crashed on the first lap and staying with the front group all day. The race blew apart on the last lap KOM, which came with about 3 km to the finish. Haven't seen the results yet, but I think that I probably moved up a little in the GC. You have to be in the top 100 to race in the criterium on Sunday, so that is the goal for now. Adios.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Toona, Stage 1

Well, I got into Altoona, PA yesterday after picking Kyle up from the airport in Pittsburgh. We met up with Shane and Jarod a little while later at our wonderful student apartment. The place is ok, except for a lack of AC, and that, coupled with the lack of fans, makes the place a bit hot. And here I am getting out of Tucson to escape the heat!

We just finished up with the first stage a little while ago. It was a short TT, about 3 miles total that went all around the downtown area. Jarod counted something like 16 turns in all. Pretty fun course, hurt pretty bad. I haven't seen any results yet, but it looks like all of us are around six minutes and the winning time is going to be around 5:30.

That's about it, tomorrow is a 62 mile circuit race in Johnstown, about an hour away from Altoona. Should be fun. Adios.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Oh Canada...

So I decided to cruise over the border to Windsor, Ontario for the Cicaro Club Thursday night training series. I hadn't been to Canada since I lived in MI back in 1999, and didn't realize that I know needed a birth certificate or passport to get across untill it was to late. I was already running a little late for the race, and now I was being sent over to immigration. Not good. Luckily, they were pretty cool and let me go quickly after I explained to them what was going on and that I had to make the start line at 6:00. Didn't make it on time, but the promoter had told me earlier that they never start on time anyway, and that you can still get in the race up to the 5th lap. Long story short, I made it to the race as they were going out for lap number four. High stress, speeding, and changing in the car while speeding got me there. It was a little crazy. Anyway, after all of that I was able to jump into the race, which was a two hour criterium + 3 laps, about 100km in all. I ended up getting in a break with six guys, including my friend Dan Klien from MI, and we lapped the field with about 55 minutes left in the race. Probably took us about 35 minutes or so to do it. I was pretty worked at this point and was happy to sit in for the rest of the race. Nothing else really happened until the last few laps when the six of us started to jockey for the finish. I tried an attack on the hill with about a half lap to go, as I was cramping a little and didn't think I would be able to sprint. Got a little gap, but it was closed down with about 400 meters left and I ended up taking 5th in the race. Made it back across the border with no problems, pretty happy about that. Adios.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More pics from Bend, OR

My friend Dan and his girlfriend Amy-Jo on the chairlift.

Dan at the top of Mt. Bachelor.

The view from the top of Mt. Bachelor.

On the chairlift near the top.


On the road.

Fun times in MI

I had a chance to go out and hit the infamous Tuesday Night Ride this week. Makes me glad that I live in Tucson. It must be one of the more dangerous group rides going, as we were constantly dodging in and out of the city traffic, trying to make it out to the suburbs where things really start to get going. Now I know why Jeff Weinert is always bitching so much! I missed the start so I ended up riding most of the way out with the 'B' group, which was fine because it was pretty mellow and I think that I was still pretty hammered from the travel on Monday and the racing from last week.

Yesterday I did a pretty cool ride out to Gross Point, and road along Lakeshore Dr. for a bit checking out the view of Lake St. Clair. Always fun to get out that way and be near the water for a bit. No celebrity sightings, though. Adios.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cascade pics.


In the pack during stage 2.

Off the back on stage 3.

A metaphor of my climbing at Cascade!

Cascade Classic Report

Well, here I am in MI after a long day of traveling yesterday. There were a few screwups with the airlines that had me switching planes all day long, and I finally arrived in Detroit around 10:30 last night. Unfortunately, my luggage did not arrive with me, but it was delivered to my Mom's house in Berkley around 10:00 this morning, so all is now well. :)

Anyway, the Cascade Classic is now in the books and it did not go as well for me as I would have hoped. I made it through the first two days of the race, but ended up having to DNF on day 3. Here is a synopsis of the first 2.5 stages of the race:

Stage 1: We covered the first 40 miles of the race today in about an hour and ten minutes. Super fast race, with no GC established it was fun to watch the big 3 teams (Toyota United, HealthNet, and Navigators) attack each other. The race was fast but not all that hard until we hit the feed zone, which was set up at the base of the climb about 56 miles into the race. Immediately after the feed zone the road kicked up into a steep 3.5 mile climb, which had the effect of blowing the field to bits. It did not come back together over the top, as the remainder of the course was a false flat into a headwind for about 15 miles and a crosswind for another 10-15 miles with a one mile steep climb to the finish. Brutal. The front group killed it into the headwind and crosswind, and only 20 guys ended up making it all the way in together. I came in with a group of 33 guys about 14 minutes down.

Stage 2: This was the McKenzie Pass road race, basically rolling downhill terrain for the first 45 miles, the rolling uphill for the next 25 and the final 10 miles were up McKenzie Pass. Once again, the race was fast, with a break of 12 guys getting away early and Navigators riding hard tempo between 30-35 mph behind them for the first 2 hours. Groupo compacto when we hit the base of McKenzie Pass, but not for long as a group of about 20 guys immediately split off the front of the peloton. Eclipse had Shane Peltonen in this group, but a flat tire 5 km from the finish cost him his chance at a good result. I ended up getting in a group of about 30 guys once again and made it into the finish with them.

Stage 3: Mt. Bachelor Road Race. Beginning of the end for 'ol Karew. Race started with a 18.5 mile climb right out of the blocks. I was hoping that the leaders would just ride a nice tempo over it, which they did for the first ten miles or so. A big break went and the leaders started to chase, which put me way into the red. I came off with about four miles to the top and rode over in a little group of three guys. It was about twenty miles to the feedzone and we pretty much knew that we were going to be screwed, so that was about it. I think that I could have made it through the stage and continued on if the cut had been at 20%, as it had been in previous years, but this year it was set at 10%, so there was really no chance of making it in at that point and I dnf'd the race in the feed zone.

Hopefully I'll have better luck next week at the Tour de Toona. Adios.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sign of the Times

This is a classic from the Detroit Free Press online edition:

Help sought:

  • People with information about Brenda Humphrey's arm or shoes, or other aspects of the case, are asked to call 734-240-7560. Witnesses are asked not to touch any evidence before contacting police.

Five days until the start of the Cascade Classic. Adios.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Birthday to my Little Bro


Today is my brother Todd's 32nd birthday. Happy Birthday little Bro. Damn we are getting old! I'll drink a beer for ya tonight, and buy you a couple when I see ya in MI in a few weeks. Adios.

Shootout at the Shootout

Today was the infamous Tucson Weekly World Championships, a.k.a. the Shootout. You know that the Shootout is big-time when most of the fast guys in town show up for it, dispite that fact that there was a criterium going on in Tucson also today. The ride was actually pretty hard today, as we had a head wind the entire way out. Blanchard had made the break along with Rob A., Cory, and Austin King, but got himself dropped while going over the bridge. Can't remember the last time that Blanchard has gotten dropped from a break. Seeing this, I went to the front with Jeff Parker over the bridge and we started working to bring back the rest of the break. Scott recovered a bit as we were catching him, and jumped into the paceline as we came by. I must not have eaten enough Wheaties this morning, 'cause I was suffering like a dog and was seriously considering turning around and riding in easy as I was drifting to the back of the group, where I quickly saw that there was no group, other than the six guys that I was with. Turns out that when Parker and I where pulling over the bridge, we had dropped the rest of the ride. "Interesting", I thought, "looks like I can't turn around after all." Long story short, we had me, Parker, Blanchard, and Jarod Gilyard from our team, along with Peter Brown and the Wolf Cub hammering out the rest of the ride. Fun stuff. Never caught the rest of the break, though, better luck next week. Adios.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The List, Part 2:

So yesterday I was kidding around a bit with my post about the Cascade Classic start list. But not about this new list, which came out today on websites around the world. Looks like Basso and Ulrich, along with Mancebo and over half of the Wurth team, have been booted from the Tour just one day before the race is due to start. They should really just cancel the entire thing, as that would really prove the point that they are trying to make over there. Seriously, though, what is the point of kicking these riders out of a tour where one of the favorites to win the prologue is an admitted EPO user who has just returned from serving a two year suspension for doping. Granted the named riders have a great deal of evidence against them, however, none have tested positive at this point. Guilty until proven innocent, I guess. Kind of makes a sad joke of the entire race. I'll just stick to my coffee and wine and hope for the best. Adios.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The List

So I was checking out the start list for the Cascade Classic, where the gun will be fired in T-Minus 13 days. Interesting, to say the least. I've counted it up and right now it is sitting at 175 guys. Should be a fun one. Last time I did this race was in 2003 and I was going pretty well right up until the 4th of July (about 3 days before the start) when I got food poisoning and couldn't get up off the couch, much less eat for about two days. That situation does not bode well when entering a stage race, and I was blown out the back by 45 minutes the first two days. I think that this year I might not even leave the house until I board the plane to leave Tucson on the 10th. Adios.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tour de Nez


So I just got back from the Tour de Nez out in Reno, NV. If you happen to care about what was going on at the front of the race, stop reading this blog and go and read this instead. No, seriously, the race was pretty fun, pretty hot, and pretty fast. I didn't have the best of luck out there, beginning with the opening time trial.

I had made it all the way out to the course and was getting ready when I realized that I had everything with me except for my shoes. Not cool. Still had about an hour to the start and the hotel wasn't very far away, so I didn't hit panic mode yet, and jumped in the car to retrieve my shoes. Things were going well and I was getting ready to cruise back to the course for a short warmup when I noticed that the ramp to the highway that I needed after leaving the hotel was closed. Now I was in panic mode, as I don't really know Reno at all and quickly needed to find another way onto the highway. Long story short, I was able to make it back to the TT with literally one minute to spare before my start time. But I do think that I might have had the highest HR on the start line anyway from all of the stress involved with getting there.

The rest of the race consisted of two criteriums with a 108 mile road race sandwiched between them. I was able to finish the road race, albeit the last guy across the line for 55th place, but unfortunately ended up with two DNF's in the crits. The crits were insane, both courses were highly technical, and if you weren't up front in the first ten minutes you were basically not going to make it, as the front group of 30-40 riders would just motor away from the rest of the pack. In the first crit in Truckee, CA, the split occurred on the 3rd or 4th lap, as there were numerous crashes that shattered the field. The final crit in Reno was more of the same, about a 1 mile circuit that featured narrow straightaways, ten turns and a decent hill followed by a twisty decent into the start/finish straight. The race started fast once again, and by the 30 minute mark 2/3's of the field had been pulled. I think that there are a couple keys to surviving in these crits, other than the obvious great fitness necessary to compete. You gotta start at the front and never let a gap open in front of you, and if that doesn't happen, then you have to literally bury yourself to get there and then try to somehow recover while your HR is pegged at 185 bpm, which is not an easy thing to do.

We all went out Saturday night to a party at a coffee shop/bar in Reno that was one of the sponsors of the race. Pretty fun evening there, but it did make a long drive seem just a bit longer at first on Sunday morning. Adios.








Friday, June 16, 2006

Caught Napping

Ok, I was busted today on why I haven't posted in a while so here goes. Not much new to tell you. My biggest accomplishment of the week so far was reading Jose Canseco's book, which I think might have lowered my IQ score a few points. Kind of like people who spend all of their time reading this blog. Ha, ha, ha! Shootout tomorrow, Mt. Lemmon on Sunday, might do the big square on Monday if I'm not to hammered from the weekend, then off to Reno, NV on Tuesday for the Tour de Nez. Should be a fun week. Adios.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Back in the Mountains

Pretty fun ride today. Rode up Mt. Lemmon to Seven Cataracts, then went over and did Reddington Pass on my road bike. I figured that would be pretty challenging and it was, as Reddington is about a 3.2 mile dirt road climb with about a 10% average grade. It's good for you, so they say! Knee is feeling pretty good after two good days of training, so I'm pretty happy about that also. Adios.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Proposal

So I was out on my ride today when a new (and I'm pretty sure untested) idea came to me as a way to log the miles and get fit. Consider if one's daily mileage equaled the daily high temperature for their area? I had been out for quite some time when this one hit me, so I'll grant you that I was already pretty plowed, but it did bring a chuckle to me at the time. Obviously, this would benefit those from a warmer climate such as Tucson, where the highs during winter are usually in the 60's. Back home in MI, you wouldn't see much benefit at all, in fact on some days you'd even have to reverse the mileage count, as the temp's never get above zero. I haven't thought of that one yet, but I'm sure that I'll mention it when I do. Those guys in MI are usually quadrupling the winter temp's anyway, so a day off here and there won't hurt 'em. This would get pretty difficult once spring and summer hit, as out here one would have to be putting in anywhere from 80 to 115 miles per day for roughly a six or seven month period. I will not be attempting this, but I would love to see the stats on someone who does.

Consider this: Tucson, with an average daily high of 83.6 degrees times 365 days per year comes out to 30538 miles for the year, while Berkley, MI (average daily high of 60.75 degrees times 365 days) would come out to 22173 miles. So I guess if you wanted to race the Tour de France by using this program, Tucson would be the place to go.

So on that note, here are the stats for my ride today...101.2 miles, 5:24, finished up with Gates Pass and 'A' Mountain...high for the day was 97 degrees, so I guess that means tomorrow I can take it easy. :) Adios.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wedding Pics

Here are some photo's from Scott and Kim's wedding last weekend.

Me and Audra after the reception let out.

Layne and Amy-Jo at the reception.
We all sent the bridemaids Cosmo's at the reception.

John, Dan, Jonny, Paul, and Garrett.

Me and Shannon the next day.

Scott & Kim

Scott, Me, and John.

Busted

Funny story from the ride today. So I was riding at Sabino Canyon this morning with my friend Dan. For those that don't know, Sabino Canyon is a pretty nice state park located in the foothills of the Catalina mountains in northeast Tucson. We had just crested the summit of the road that travels through the park and were heading down when a park ranger on bike patrol waved at us to slow down. Seems the park has a posted 15 mph speed limit, which we may have been exceeding just a little bit. But it is hard to go 15 on an 8% downhill grade. I looked back and saw the ranger turning around and mentioned to Dan that it looked like we were going to be getting a little lecture here. Sure enough, he caught up to us all red faced and sweaty to ask us about how fast we had been going. Since we were right next to a speed limit sign, we both replied about 15 mph...of course! So we got the standard lecture about how he had been pacing behind us going 25 (sure he had!), and we did mention that since we were ahead of him he had to have been going at least that fast just to catch up with us. Long story short, we got out of the situation with a warning and were on our way. All in all, it was a pretty funny experience. Rest of the ride was uneventful, just cruising through the foothills with a quick stop at Time Market on the way home for an espresso.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Feeling Better

Glad to report that my knee is feeling much better these days. I think that it is about 98% right now. I was able to put in a good week of training last week, and my knee held up fine throughout. Started the week off pretty easy with some light spinning on Monday, Tue, and Wed to get back in the flow of things, then hit Mt. Lemmon at a moderate pace on Thursday. That went well, good test, but still didn't push it to hard there. Was able to get in a pretty solid weekend, Saturday I did the shootout long out to Colossal Caves, felt fine the whole way, and yesterday I did Mt. Lemmon to Summerhaven. Back to back 5 hour days, but I still haven't pushed it all out yet. I want to gradually build the strength back, so it is probably better to wait at this point. I think that it will continue to get stronger as the days go on, and I'm looking forward to another good week of training coming up.

On a side not, things are really starting to heat up here in the desert. I think that we are going to be in for a really hot summer. Glad to be heading out for my trip back east in July, at least it won't be 100 every day in MI. Adios.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bad Knee


I haven't been updating things for a bit here, because I've been laying around for the past week or so nursing a sore knee. I got back from San Carlos two weekends ago and I think I tried to do to much, to soon the first couple days back and have aggravated my left knee quite a bit. It actually swelled up while at work about a week ago, which caused me to take a the next day off for a little rest. I spent last weekend sitting around with a bag of ice on the knee, and when it wasn't responding I went to the doctor on Monday. Found out that I have Pes Anserine in the knee, which is a mild case of Bursitis. They gave me an injection for the swelling, which has helped, but I am still supposed to be taking it pretty easy for the remainder of this week. There is quite a bit of strength returning already, however I can feel it on the bike if I do anything more than really light pedaling, which I have been doing for about 1.5 hours the past couple days. Hopefully things will return to normal over the next week to ten days. I'm a bit worried because I've just signed up for the Tour de Nez and the Cascade Classic, and am also in the process of registering for the Tour de Toona and hopefully the Tour of Utah. It would be nice to be able to train right now. That's about it, cross your fingers that there will be some better news next week.

On a positive note, my good friend Scott is getting married tomorrow, so it should be a pretty fun weekend. Adios.

Monday, May 15, 2006

San Carlos, Mexico...What a Weekend!

So this weekend I took a little time off and headed down to San Carlos, Mexico for Scott's bachelor party. Let's just say that a good time was had by all! I'd tell the tale, but I'd be breaking the code, so I thought I'd just put up a few pics from the weekend...enjoy!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words...


L to R: John, Scott (the Bachelor), Garrett, Me, Dan, Paul, Jeff...the San Carlos Crew

The view from the Fiesta hotel when we arrived on Friday.


On the way to dinner Friday night.

Garrett, Scott, Paul, and Jeff on the boat in the Sea of Cortez.


J0hn and I heading out to sea.

Garrett surrounded by the angry wake of the boat.

I think this Dorado (Mahi Mahi) has seen better days!

The catch of the day!

Our Saturday night fish fry.

Jeff, Garrett, and John.

Paul and Scott in the lights.

Still Number One!

The end of the evening, Saturday.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gila

Looks like the skeleton crew that Eclipse sent over to the Tour of the Gila is doing pretty well for themselves so far. Kyle and Shane are racing with a composite team supported by Einsteins bagels. I was checking out the results from the stage 2 road race and it looks like Kyle placed 19th in the pro's, pretty damn good. Their team had three guys in the top twenty for the day. I've done this race a bunch of times, and if you can crack the top twenty in any catagory you are certainly flying. The final climb is about 5.5 miles and averages about 10%, with a couple pitches as steep as 18%. I finished 6th on this stage a couple years ago, and to this day I still think that was one of the best days I've ever had on the bike.

In the 2's Erik Long and Dave Glick must be pedaling the same bike, as they both came in together in 9th and 10th yesterday and also finished virtually tied on time in the opening time trial. We only have three guys racing in the 2's race this year, as a few guys going ended up getting sick last minute or had other commitments. Those two are now sitting 12th and 14th on GC, so I'll be watching the weekend results to see if they can hold it. Wish 'em all good luck. Adios.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Beer and the MTB

What is it with mountain biking that makes it go hand in hand with cold beer? Never really figured that one out myself, but if you know of any good reason's for it, let me know. Actually, I guess any reason is usually a good reason to pop a cold one, especially after a three hour ride on rough singletrack out at Starr Pass. Ok, so maybe I just answered my own question.

Fun ride today. I threw some new tires on my mountain bike, which inspired me to take it out for a ride for the first time since late November. I think that out of the 6000 or so miles I've got in this year, I now have roughly 40 on the mtb. Robert, if you are reading this, looks like I've got a lot of catching up to do! Anyway, cruised out to Starr Pass solo, and was riding the main loop when I ran into Bruce from Fair Wheel Bikes (Eclipse sponsor, shameless plug here!) and David from DCB Adventures. The two of them were a bit lost, so we decided to ride in together. Made the ride a helluva lot more fun for me. They were both riding singlespeed 29'ers, which I have never been on before today. David let me ride a few miles on his, interesting to say the least. It was a short test, but the first thing that I noticed was the laidback cockpit and the feel of the HUGE wheels/tires that he was running. My K2 is still set up with a really aggressive XC position, but I think that the current trend in bike setup seems to be a way more upright position. Actually feels pretty good once you get used to it, just really different at first. One of these days I'll actually have to get a new mtb and get with the times. So we rode out of Starr Pass together and I bid them both adeu in the parking lot and started heading home, with a pit stop at Time Market in mind for a little pick-me-up of coffee and espresso.

After leaving Time Market (thoughly caffinated, of course) I was cruising down University Drive checking out the scene, when once again I ran into Bruce and Dave, this time hanging out for a post ride fixer-upper at Frog 'n Firkin. Bruce insisted on buying me a pint, so I figured "what the hell," and was able to catch a pretty good buzz in about 20 minutes of sipping on an Arrogant Bastard Ale. Funny who I run into while out, as the "Big Pickle" also showed up and joined us for a bit. Seems he is recovering fine after breaking two bones in his hand while trying to follow the Peltonen brothers down Mt. Lemmon a couple weeks ago. No pickles for him today, although he was eating a big basket of fish and chips.

That's about it for today. Adios.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Breakaway


A bit hard to tell, but that's me in the center of the three guys off the front of the race yesterday.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

La Vuelta de Bisbee


The following is my take on the 2006 Vuelta de Bisbee:

Prologue: 2.8 miles, uphill TT. Not the most fun thing to do with one's self on a Friday evening, but what the hell, why not. I got into town somewhere around 1:30 in the afternoon after rolling out of Tucson and heading over with Scott and Shane. We settled into our pad pretty quickly, then cruised down to Bisbee Coffee Roasters (great coffee there, highly recommended) for a bite to eat, followed up by a pretty wicked eureka, which is their version of the classic Red Eye, double shot of espresso mixed with brewed coffee. Good stuff! Shane and I probably got a bit to fired up on the coffee, as we started our warmup about two hours before the TT started. Did three trips on the course to check things out and get a feel for where I could go fast and where I needed to chill out a bit. Super windy also out there, big headwind in store for the race. Prologue itself didn't go so well, I think I went a little to easy in the beginning and a bit to hard in the middle, which got me pretty far back in something like 66th place, which is obviously not so good. But we had three guys get in the top 20, so it did give us something to shoot for during tomorrow's double stage day.

Stage 1: 80 mile road race. The plan here was to attack early and try and get in a break. There was a sprint roughly 16 miles into the race so the pace was super fast (30+ mph) all the way there. Things chilled out just a bit after the sprint, until we made a right turn onto a long, straight, flat road. Pace heated up again here, as I attacked about 3 or 4 times in a row trying to get a move started. Worked every time, as we had clean breaks, but the pack was having nothing to do with it and someone busted their ass and brought them back every time. After the last attack I was starting to feel pretty worked so I went to the back and sat in for a bit. My teammate Shane was up in the front at this time and made it into the move of the day. Break finally stuck, with four guys in the move. So now we were in a defensive mode, so myself and several teammates patrolled the front of the race the rest of the day trying to protect Shane's lead. I'd never seen a break stay away in the four years that I've done this race until today. Their lead peaked at 3:10 just before the start of the second and final loop. A spirited chase ensued that brought them within sight at 25 seconds with about 20 miles to go, but miraculously, no one bridged, the pack went slow and the gap went back to 1:15 really fast. This race finished with about 8 miles or so of low grade climbing, so that is not a lot of time in the bank, but it worked and Shane came through the line in 4th place about 20 seconds ahead of a group of 50 or so riders. I was pretty worked by then, so I tacked onto the back of the main group and coasted in around 52nd. Did move up ten spots on the GC to 56th overall. The race was pretty fast, we covered 80 miles in just over three hours.

Stage 2: Warren Time Trial, 6.8 miles. Gotta love time trials, but not really. Nothing crazy happened here, didn't pass anyone or get caught by anyone, so a pretty mediocre ride overall. One of these days, I'll have to actually work on my TT. Hmmmmmmm.

Stage 3: Tombstone Road Race, 87.2 miles. This is the best race of the weekend. Super hard, with roughly 6500 ft. of climbing, and almost all of it comes in the form of two big climbs over the last 21 miles. Plan today was roughly the same as yesterday. Get in the breaks and if it is all together coming into the Mule Pass climb (second climb to the end), we were going to ride hard tempo as long as we could and try to whittle it down to a small group over the top. I did manage to get in one early break on the way to the first bonus sprint. We had a small group of three, and had a massive gap on the field, but were pulled back about a mile or two before the bonus sprint. I talked to Scott to see what had been going on in the pack, and the word was that it was just attack after attack the entire way. More attacking and countering ensued following the turnaround after the bonus sprint, but nothing was sticking yet. This course is pretty epic, following a downhill start (descent of Mule Pass), it follows and out-an-back course for the first 30 miles, then does a big loop out into the high desert and through the city of Tombstone. Then back over Mule Pass, past Bisbee on HWY 80 (big downhill here), then right back up that same downhill to the finish overlooking Mule Pass. After we finished the out-an-back portion and headed out for the big loop, things started to get super crazy at the front. I think that there had to have been around 20-30 big attacks in a row with guys going nuts trying to get off the front. Felt like crit speeds, and we still had about 2.5 hours to go! I went with a ton of moves, but there was no way that anyone was going to get away here, the pace was just to fast. We probably covered roughly 40 miles in the first 1.5 hours. Finally, a move of about seven riders stuck, one of them being David Glick, who is one of the better climbers on our team. So that was great for us as it put us in a position where we could chill a little bit and let the other teams worry about the break. They hit a maximum of 4.5 minutes before several teams started the chase. Still worked out really well for us, as we could just sit back and protect our climbers still in the pack and get them to the hills safely. So that was how the rest of the day played out. As we hit the Mule Pass climb, the break still had about three minutes on the group. The pace up Mule Pass was pretty intense, guys started getting shelled pretty early here. I hung in for a while, but eventually had to ride my own pace over the top. Dave hung in over the top with the remains of the break, but was caught and couldn't hang over the next climb. Still a solid effort on his part after a long day off the front of the race. I put it into cruise mode for the final climb, as I didn't think I was going to catch anyone there, and came in something like 44th place, which got me up to 45th on the final GC. Our best finisher for the day was Kyle Colavito, who came in 13th place and ended up 12th overall.

That's Dave Glick on the right.


Blanchard and me on a ride in Tucson.



Now I'm home with some pretty tired legs and a ton of work to do in the next couple days. Good time to take a few days off. Adios.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Bisbee Starts Today

Today marks the beginning of the Vuelta de Bisbee stage race. Super cool, 3 day, 4 stage race held about 100 miles southeast of Tucson in Bisbee, AZ. I love this race. Unfortunately for me, I seem to have woken up with either the beginnings of a nasty head cold or some raging allergies, but I think I should be ok for the race. Cross your fingers if you are into that kind of thing! We are sending down virtually the entire team, and there are a couple guys who are going pretty well right now, so check out the results over the next couple days and hopefully you'll see some Eclipse guys ranked pretty high up there. Guys to watch for would be Kyle Colavito for the overall GC, Scott Blanchard, Dave Glick, Shane Peltonen for stage 4, and watch out for that always dangerous Jason Karew (that's me! :)-). heh, heh, heh, heh...results can be found here, plus it looks like the promoters have been flooding velonews and cyclingnews, so there will probably be some stuff posted all over the place. Look for a synopsis of the race after the weekend is over. Adios.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

To Sleep or Not to Sleep...That is the Question!

Interesting day on Sunday. Bit of a long evening Sat. had me showing up for our team ride on two hours of sleep! :) Ride time doubled my sleeping time, which I had to even out in the afternoon and then some with a four hour nap! Rough life, I tell you. Managed to stay awake after that until about 9:30, then got in another twelve hours of maximum recovery time. Felt great on Monday...I guess that 18 total hours of sleep will do that to ya!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

TT Time

So I forgot to set my alarm this morning, causing me to miss the world famous Shootout...although after the 15.5 hour work day that I put in yesterday, a few extra hours of sleep were definitely needed. Decided to get out on the TT bike so that I can some practice on it before the Vuelta de Bisbee next weekend. Two big time trial's there, so it is good to be familier with ones equipment. I'm guessing that the shootout was probably pretty hard this morning, as I followed the route out to Helmet Peak Rd, and there was a wicked head wind blowing out of the south. Kinda sucked, but it was really fun coming back.

I saw that my friend from back home in MI, Robert Herriman, has linked my blog to his blog, so I figured that I'd link him back. Check it out here. Robert is pretty fast on the mtb. He does the Leadville Trail 100 almost every year and usually places in the top 20, which is pretty damn good considering he comes from the sea level with zero mountains.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Peltonen Brothers


So here I am, snoozing with the best of 'em around 8:00 Monday morning, when my cell phone starts ringing off the hook. Quick background here, I had told the Peltonen brothers that they could stay with me for a day while the guesthouse they are renting was getting bombed for termites. Just didn't think they'd be ringing me up so early. I knew it was probably Shane, but I figured he'd be alright so I let it ring and tried to get some more sleep. Two seconds later, the home phone rings. "Answer it," I thought..."maybe,"...or maybe I'll lay here and try to sleep some more. No such luck as five minutes later there is a knock at the door and there they both are, looking way more awake then me. Funny bunch, those two, must be from Wisconsin. Seriously, though the Peltonen brothers are both super cool guys, and damn good cyclists as well. We had a bunch of fun hanging out throughout the day, and went and checked out a pretty bad movie later on that night. I don't recommend Harrison Ford's latest, "Firewall." definitely not one of his best works. This story is probably a bit funnier if you were here, but since you are reading this, I know you weren't so I'm signing off. Adios.

Mammoth

So the ride on Sunday seemed a bit harder to me then the race did on Saturday. It was a team ride that started in Tucson and followed an out 'n back route to Mammoth, AZ. This ride is always a bit of a grind, as it is uphill the whole way out until the top in Oracle, then followed by a 12 mile climb out of Mammoth once we hit the store stop at the halfway point. We had a pretty good group of guys with us, most of the team was there, plus Shane's brother Garrett, a mountain biker from Canada named Troy, and this really weird dude whom we have since nicknamed the "big pickle" due to the fact that he has ridden with us twice now and each time at the store stops he eats one of those gigantic packaged pickles, while the rest of us are slugging down cokes and doughnuts. I don't think the pickle helped him to much, as he was dropped like a hot rock about halfway up the hill, never to be seen again. Anyway, after roughly 5.5 hours on the bike and a few more hours at work that evening, I was ready to get in a good nights rest for the first time in a few weeks...see my next post for the outcome of that!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Scottsdale Grand Prix

Well, today was the Scottsdale Grand Prix. First year for this race, and I've got to hand it to the promoters, who did a really nice job with it. The course was a four corner crit course, downhill finish, with a slight hill leading into the first turn. Really wide open and fast, totally exposed, which made for some pretty wicked wind on the course. Tailwind through the start/finish straight, followed by turn 1 - some crazy crosswind, turn 2 - brutal headwind, turn 3 - crosswind again, turn 4 - home, sweet home with a tailwind on the downhill. :)

So I did two races, started off with the 55 min Cat 2 race. Bit of a small field here, I think we had about 22 guys start the race. Race was pretty fast with lots of attacks going on during the first 30 minutes. I got in a couple good moves, but nothing stuck until my teammate Emiliano Jordan got in a move with four other riders late in the race. This ended up sticking to the end, so we were sprinting in the pack for 6th place. I took 2nd in the pack sprint and ended up 7th overall. Not to bad, also won two primes during the race and took home a set of tubes and tires, plus a $100.00 voucher for a United Airlines flight, which will both probably come in handy sometime. Now if I can only start planning my next vacation...

Second race of the day was the 75 min pro 1, 2 event. Since I almost fell asleep at my car after the 2's race, I had a feeling that I might not have to much fun during this one. Piked a Coke and headed for the start line. Lot's more guys in this field, we started with right around 55 or so, most of the big guns from AZ were here, plus a couple guys from out of town. Race started really fast and stayed fast the entire time, we were pretty much strung out single file most of the day. Since we had six guys from the team in this one, I took the opportunity to sit in a little bit and see if I could open up during the first few laps. Seemed to work pretty well, but I think I ended up riding about 40th wheel most of the day anyway. Went up to the front a few times to check in with Scott B. to see what was going on there. Luckily, not all that much, so back to the group I went. We ended getting Tim Bolton from our team into a break of six, so we were playing the same tactics as we were in the 2's race. Tried to bridge across, but no luck. Tim's break stuck, he held on for 6th, and it came down to a pack sprint for the remaining spots. I was dying, but was able to make it into 18th by the end, Scott B. came across in 10th.

All in all, not a bad day out. The team took home $320.00 from the 1,2 race so we all came home with a little $$$$$$$$$ at the end of the day, plus some new tires for me. I think my caffine must be wearing out now, because I don't think that this is the most exciting post that I've ever written, so I'm signing off. Adios.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Big Weekend Coming Up...and Tour de Georgia Approaches

So here are a couple guys to watch for next week during the Tour de Georgia stage race. You might not see them all that high in the GC, but every one of them are solid bike racers, cool guys, and all have connections to Tucson, so you just have to root for them by default. Garrett Peltonen is the younger brother of my teammate Shane, and seems like he shares the same amount of talent, except I don't think he puts in the big miles like Shane does all year. Might be a smart move there. Garrett rides for Healthnet, and we are looking for big things from him next week. Next up is Mike Dietrich from Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada. Mike has spent the last several years racing for the Fiordefruita team and has been know to rip some guys legs off on the shootout while he is attending the UA in the spring. He rode the Tour of California back in Feb with one weeks notice from his team, but has since started to find some good form over the past month or so. Another former Fiordefruita rider usually found training in Tucson is Phil Wong, a notoriously strong climber currently riding for Jittery Joe's. Three first year pro's (actually Garret rode for Endeavor last year, so he's in year two), who will take the inter GC back to Tucson? The swami says...Phil Wong, followed by Peltonen and Dietrich.

On the local scene this weekend is the Scottsdale Grand Prix, a new race on the AZ calender this year. Big money crit racing is a new thing to Arizona, and it is very much appreciated. I'm racing twice tomorrow, the cat 2 race at 12:50 and the pro 1,2 race at 3:10. Since I predicted myself for last place last weekend and got 8th, maybe this weekend I'll see if I can add the results of both races to equal 2...now that would be nice! See ya. :)