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.