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.


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.