Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays

I know it's a little late, but I think the cold here in MI has partially frozen my brain. Happy Holidays to everyone! (Yes, that would be the two people out there who actually read this blog, you know who you are. ;) ) Adios.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lions Imitate Turkey, Stuffed by Pack on Thanksgiving

Hopefully most of you that read this, know that I was kidding a bit with my Detroit Lions Super Bowl prediction a few weeks ago. Since that post, they have not won a single game and are currently wrapped up in a three game losing streak. Let's hope that they can at least rally together and win one more game this year so that I can collect my winnings from my "7 win season" bet(s) with two coworkers, although even that is looking a little grim at this point. I'll try a reverse jinx here and see if we can't get 'em going again. Basement in four weeks. Adios.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

El Tour de Tucson: 25th Anniversery Edition

It was a great day for bike racing with 10,000 of your closest friends at the 25th El Tour de Tucson. This years event drew a record number of cyclists, pushing the entries over 10,000 for the first time in history. I think that this is also the biggest one day cycling event in the country, pretty cool that it is right here in Tucson. To finish well here is a bit of a crapshoot, even if the fitness is good, as there are two wash crossings and a ton of other variables that can get in the way of a good ride.

My day started well, as I went into the first river crossing top 15 and made it through with no problems. The sand was a little deeper than in years past due to the lack of rain, which made riding the wash pretty difficult. After this my plan was to sit back and recover, eat, and stay hydrated until the second river crossing 45 miles into the event, which is where the significant splits usually happen.

Once again, things were going well for me as I led the field into the final corner before the creek crossing, only to get swarmed coming into it, but still able to ride most of the way and coming out the other side somewhere around tenth while sitting on the wheel of 2006 winner Michael Grabinger of the Successful Living team. Great spot to be, as once we made it over the steep climb of Snyder hill and turned onto Sunrise Rd with 70 miles to go, the race was starting to look like it had been made with an elite group of 30 riders at the front. The eventual winning breakaway formed from this group and I screwed up and missed it, but otherwise, things were looking pretty good at this point.

Fast forward about 30 miles and now we are on Tangerine Rd, which has a significant downhill section coming after the previous ten or so miles of rolling hills. A good counter move formed off the front the group and I made the split. The break was five guys with myself, Alexie Martinez (2006 3rd place finisher), Nick Schrieber (2006 AZ Pro points champ), and two others. We quickly put a minute into the pack and I started to think that we may have a chance if we could make it over Rattlesnake Pass, the last major obstacle of the course coming with about 20 miles to go. Unfortunately for me, I had the legs to ride with the break, but didn't have the legs to drive it like it needed to be driven, and I don't think that anyone else had great legs either, except maybe Nick, who was taking some monster pulls at the front. So it was looking like were going to be caught on the flat road leading up to Rattlesnake. One guy sat-up, while the rest of us pressed on towards the hill. Here was where the race changed for everyone. I could see the pack coming up to us, but I was thinking that it surely was only the remnants of the 30 strong pack I had been riding with for the last 50 miles. When we were caught halfway up the pass, I was shocked to see that the pack had swelled to about 150 riders! It was the biggest front pack I'd seen this late in the race. So the tactics changed once again and the options were to wait for a field sprint for the remaining places, or try and get to the line in a small group by attacking on the run-in back to town on Silverbell Rd.

I was able to try one short lived move on the way back towards town. A dangerous group of three riders had formed and was dangling about 600 meters in front of the pack. I attacked solo and tried to bridge with about ten miles to go, but couldn't make it with the headwind and gradual rolling hills slowing me down. I ended up sitting in no-mans-land about 200 meters behind the break for 3-4 miles before I sat up and came back to the pack, which was closing in on me very quickly. So it was going to be a field sprint with about 100 guys left, not a good situation.

The finish was crazy as there were a line of cars that the police hadn't moved out of our lane, causing the pack to fan out on both sides of the road. I was forced to bunnyhop the median and went straight up the middle through the pack. Saw a wicked crash right in front of me, which I was able to avoid, afterwhich I decided that since I had dropped back to around 20th position, I would not sprint and only wanted to make it around the final corner safely. Mission accomplished with the end result being a 42nd place finish, time was 4:16 for 109 miles with a 25.6mph average speed. Adios.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

TCX #2: The Goat Rears It's Ugly Head

When my alarm went off this morning at 8:40, I laid in bed for at least 30 seconds wondering why the hell it was going off, before I remembered that I was doing a cyclocross race today. Finally made it up, fired up the coffee and a bit of food, then headed out the door for my first race on my new Scott cyclocross bike.

I think that things would have gone pretty well, had the goat not reared it's ugly head out on the course today, although that damn thing bit just about everyone else at one point during the race. I was riding pretty well, comfortably in 4th about 25 seconds back of 2nd and 3rd halfway through the race when, pssssssssttttt, double flat. No wheels in the pit. Race could be over. Thanks to Jen Pullen, who pulled both wheels off of her bike and met me in the pit so I could continue. Back on the bike after a three minute wheel change (note: need easier brakes) and I think I was in 7th or 8th, no chance to catch 3rd, but plenty of guys within reach. Made it back up to 5th and was closing in on 4th with about two laps to go when I got another flat on the backside of the course. No more wheels, thought I was done, but luckily my original back wheel only had a slow leak and I was able to put it back on. The leader passed me while I was in the pit, so suddenly I was on the bell lap, way back in 9th. Passed two guys but ran out of real estate in the end to finish 7th.

I hate goatheads.

On a side note, congrats to Brian Matter for taking his second win at the Iceman Challenge, a.k.a. the midwest mtb championships. Adios.

Here is a picture of me on my way to 7th overall in the 1999 Iceman.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sullivan's after a Long Day

Nothing like a couple of martini's and some smooth jazz to mellow one out after a night of work. Four hour ride today, got a haircut, went to class and skipped a class to go to work. Can I end each sentence with the word work? Yes, if that work(s). Adios.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Super Bowl Bound????????

The Detroit Lions are 6-2 at the conclusion of the first half of the NFL season.

Could this be the year?

One can only hope!

Adios.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Underground Means Buried

So I went to a local cross race here in Tucson today. It was an unsanctioned, underground event that I think was a little too underground with only four guys showing up and two of them left before anyone else got there. Two more guys showed up about 35 minutes after the racing was slated to start, and with a total now of five guys there, including the promoter, we all decided to bag it. I ended up riding the cross bike out over Gates Pass and through the park on the west side, so I still had a good day on the bike.

I still think that a cross series could go off well in Tucson if it was promoted correctly. There is already talk of a series in the works for the fall of 2008, so that could be something to look forward to. The Phoenix series that has started could be a good model for the rest of us to follow, or even build upon to create a statewide series in '08. We'll have to see what happens. Adios.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Found a Pic from Graham, so Here You Go!

Yes, I was suffering a bit at the moment! Adios.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cyclocross in Arizona


Last weekend I traveled up to Phoenix for the inaugural race of the AZ Cyclocross Series. Jeremy Bounds has finally had enough of no one taking the reigns and has thrown together what looks like a pretty good five race series in the Phoenix area. I haven't raced cross since I won 3 of 4 races in the Tucson series in 2005, so I was a bit anxious to see how I'd go and who would be there for race number one.

The first thing I noticed was the field size and depth of the field. There were almost as many guys in the men's open race as we get for all categories in the Tucson series. Most of the local roadies and several pro/elite mountain bikers were lined up at the start. Looking around, the second thing I noticed was that almost everyone was on an Ultegra level cross bike, with a few guys even running tubulars! This was not seen a couple years ago here, and really shows how the sport is growing all over the country. I stood out a bit on my 2.2 inch knobby tired mountain bike.

So onto the race. I lined up on the front row and got a great start, slotting into 4th position going into the first barrier section. Stayed in 4th position for about half the first lap, but decided to go to the front going into a technical section that I thought I could get through quicker then everyone else due to my equipment choice. That turned out to be a mistake due to the massive headwind and I ended up towing the front group for a while. Shortly after this I blew up like the Space Shuttle Challenger and that was pretty much the end of my day. Bit of a bummer, I spent the next couple laps trying not to puke and recover a bit, which I did, but I was half a lap down at that point so I just caught a few guys and tried to roll it in strong to save a little pride. Not the best race, but still glad to be out there. Adios.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

State Road Race Recap

One can sum up the state road race yesterday by looking at the start list. Out of about twenty or so starters, eleven where from the Rideclean team, three Eclipse, and everyone else was an individual. I think the only thing that made the race even remotely interesting was that Michael Grabinger signed up, as he is stronger then the entire Rideclean team, so that put a twist into an otherwise negative race. We went up with myself, the Hoppert, and Glick, while the only other rider of note in the field was World Deaf Cycling Champion, Nick Schrieber.

The race itself was a brutal affair, with attacks flying off the front almost immediately, forcing everyone to have to constantly chase the Rideclean riders who were taking turns putting a pretty good hurt on the rest of the field. I will admit that they rode pretty much perfect team tactics, but it was frustrating being on the receiving end of them, and I voiced my displeasure a couple times during the race. The race played out on the 3rd of 5 laps, as the main break finally went up the road with Schrieber, Grabinger, Forbes (Rideclean), and I think one other. I countered a few miles later and brought out Jake Rubelt and Mark Aasmundstad (both RC), but couldn't hold the pace on the finish climb and popped off. That was pretty much it, as the race was happening up the road at this point and we weren't in it. Rode in with a group of six that I think were the only other guys left in the race, and finished second out of that group for I think about 8th place on the day.

That's it for the road season here in Arizona. It has been a long year at this point, with the season being extended by three weeks with the postponement of the state race from it's original September date. I'm looking forward to picking up a cross bike and hitting a few cross races coming up, maybe doing some running here and there, and basically relaxing a bit while still maintaining some fitness. Adios.

I'm In!

Well, I found out last night that I've been accepted into the Eller Business College at the UA. This means that I can finally see that the end of my school days is in sight at last. The program starts in the spring 2008 semester and will run for four semesters, which puts my expected graduation date at December 2009. :) Can't wait for that to happen, just in time for the 2010 cycling season!!! Ha, ha, ha. Adios.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Future

I just returned from my interview at the University of Arizona Eller School of Business. This has been an ongoing process for me for the last year, as I decided to pursue acceptance into Eller in the fall of 2006, and have spent the last year taking all of the prerequisite business courses and trying raise my GPA to the minimum level at the same time. It's been quite a process, but I made it and today was the day where it all came to a head. I think that things went pretty well, the interview was a little intimidating as it was entirely a Q and A session between myself and my two interviewers, but I think I held my own. I had to take an assessment test afterwards that I also think went pretty well, had a couple questions about two of the answers, but I just looked them up at home and I think I got them right. So now the hard part is over and I just have to sit tight over the next couple weeks until I hear if I am in or not. Hoping for good news in the mail soon. Adios.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

You Heard it Here First

Mt. Graham top five:
1. Michael Grabinger (Succesfull Living)
2. Mark Aasmundstad (Rideclean)
3. Stephen Slabodnick (Landis)
4. David Glick (Eclipse)
5. Ryan Blickem (Landis)

Somewhere way behind these guys...Jason Karew (Eclipse).

Adios.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mis-quoted????

From Velonews.com, November 16, 2003:

"I have never taken EPO or any other substance prohibited in sport," she asserted. "Never."

The "She" in this case was Genevieve Jeanson.

Right.

Adios.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mt. Graham on the Horizon


One of the classic Arizona events is coming up this weekend, the 28th annual Mt. Graham Hillclimb. There is a cool little story about the history of this event here. Should be an epic day on the mountain, as there is a weather system developing in Puget Sound, Canada that should be making it's way into our area by the weekend. A couple years back, the race was run in hurricane-like conditions, as southeast Arizona was getting the remnants of a hurricane that was hammering Texas and the Gulf Coast. I wasn't there, but I remember how bad it was in Tucson that day, and found out from talking to some people who had raced that the conditions were abysmal to say the least. At least they were going uphill! Now if only I can justify that KOM that I picked up way back in Globe...Adios.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

57:44

That was my time at the AZ State Time Trial Championships today, good for 3rd in the 2's, 25th overall. Also a PR for me, although I've only done one other 40km in my life. Grabinger won, followed my Mark Aasmundstad. Adios.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What Happened?

I feel like something has happened to my building form this week. Where did it go? I went from feeling like I was actually getting somewhere, to sleeping 9-11 hours every night for the past few days and waking up still not feeling recovered. Maybe it's the cat? Is he sucking the life out of me as I sleep? I'd rather think not, of course! I've been telling myself all week that hopefully I'll start to come around with another recovery day, but that hasn't happened yet and now I am starting to worry that I may have picked something up and haven't realized it. Hmmmmmm...maybe another recovery day? Adios.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kitt Peak TT

The Kitt Peak Time Trial was held on Sunday, conditions were perfect but the times seemed to be a little slower all the way around in most categories. Slabodnick won again with a 52:48, followed by Glick, Timmy, the Hoppert, and myself in 2nd through 5th. I think that I was 12th overall. Actually thought that I had a pretty good ride going until I started to bonk with about 2 miles to go and lost about a minute to Hoppert. Would have been 3rd if not for that, maybe I should have eaten dinner the night before? The Hoppert and I rode back to town afterwards and made it a five hour day with a lot of suffering for both of us. I'm still tired, but hopefully I'll recover well this week and be ready to go for my least favorite event ever, the state time trial this weekend. Wouldn't even be doing it if it wasn't right here in Tucson, but since it's so close, I figured why not give it a go. Adios.

MEN CAT 1-2
1 391 Stephan Slabodnick Landis/Trek 29 0:52:21 13.30
2 304 David Glick Eclipse Racing 25 0:53:14 13.07
3 395 Tim Carolan Eclipse Racing 35 0:58:48 11.84
4 368 Jeff Hoppert Eclipse Racing 34 0:59:28 11.70
5 369 Jason Karew Eclipse Racing 34 0:59:52 11.63
6 396 Paul Kealey Summit Velo 35 1:01:01 11.41
7 377 Evan Hyde 1:01:27 11.33
8 375 John Farris unattached 29 1:05:26 10.64

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Raining in the Desert

I've been trying to train a bit after taking an easier week following Skull Valley, and I think that I am finally starting to come around on the bike. Amazing what a little rest can do for you. Anyway, we have the remnants of a tropical depression bringing some much needed rain and cooler temperatures into the Tucson valley over the next couple days. Today the forecast called for scattered showers all day with a high temp of only 87, which looked like a pretty good day for riding, as long as you didn't mind getting a little wet. I headed out this morning at 6:45 in a steady drizzle, but that was ok since the temps were in the 70's. Went the long way out Big Square, with the rain letting up about two hours in, but giving way to a pretty good headwind on the return trip. Cool ride, though, as it is always a treat to view the Tucson Mountains when they are shrouded in clouds. Adios.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Skull Valley

Who would have thought that 90 miles would hurt so much? Skull Valley road race was today just outside Prescott. We had a pretty small field of about 20 guys, and unfortunately 14 of them were stronger then me, as I finished in the back quarter of the field in 15th. Could be that my longest ride of the last three months has been 80 miles, but hopefully I'll pick up a little fitness here going into September's month of time trial madness. Of course those are all a bit shorter, but what the hell? Michael Grabinger won today, with the Vampire Chris Walker coming in second. Adios.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Racing, Road Rash, and TT's


So I am back on the bike and finally have been getting in some longer rides and a little bit of consistency over the last two weeks. It has been a while and I can definitely feel the effects of not riding much over a six week period from late June to early August. That being said, I am feeling pretty fresh and looking forward to the end of the season races.

I finally jumped back into it a couple weeks ago at the Tucson Criterium. I was riding ok here until I crashed myself coming out of the final turn while attempting to bridge to the break. Did get back in and finished, but it was not the best performance of my life. Had some nasty road rash on my arm and hip that is just now healing up, the hip took the worst of it, as I landed on my bone and still have a pretty good bruise there.

Yesterday was the Mt. Lemmon Time Trial, which has been seeing greater numbers of riders turning out each year. I think it is really the King of the Mountains title for the Tucson based riders who train on the slopes regularly. Yesterday's turnout was a record 260 riders, a great number for any local race, especially one that has no prize's! Stephen Slabodnick (Landis) won with a course record time of 47:34, followed by Kyle Colavito (RideClean), who came in at 49:04. They were the only two riders that broke 50:00. Guess we know who to watch at the Skull Valley Road Race next weekend. I thought that Kyle would take it after seeing him pass me around the 4th mile going at least 2 mph faster than I was. Guess Slabodnick has been training also. I ended up 6th in pro 1,2, and 28th overall with a time of 55:56. I'll take it considering where I am at right now.

Scott Blanchard has been putting on a Night Crit Series every Wednesday at the P1 Kart Circuit at the Tucson Raceway. I haven't been able to make any due to work, but you should check them out if you can. The picture above is from last weeks race. Adios.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No More Bets

I guess I'm going to have to stop doing my daily (at least for the past week) over/under bet on the doping stories going on in le Tour, since virtually every story that has been coming out recently has related to that subject. I saw the news yesterday regarding the yellow jersey about 3:00 pm, and frankly, it just made me sad. I love cycling and have spent the last ten years trying to race at a high level. Stories like this really just about make me want to quit the sport. It is just sad these days when almost every headline related to cycling, and pro sports in general, leaves the reader with a bad taste in their mouth. Go to any major sports page, all one reads about anymore is dogfighting, steroids, gambling, doping, cheating, money, strippers, and, oh yeah, maybe an occasional score thrown in just to satisfy the people who seem to care. I guess this is why we see so many bitter old men. Adios.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why?

I was going to write about my over/under being up one with three the final tally from yesterdays velonews.com. I was even going to make fun of that a little bit, and then comment on a helluva tour stage yesterday and a great comeback from Vinoukurov for the win. I was going to comment on Cadel losing more time but still being able to make the final podium on Sunday. But then I saw this report and just decided that the best comment would be a simple question...why? Adios.

The Revised Top Ten as of this Morning:

1. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), RABOBANK, 69:52:14
2. Alberto Contador (Sp), DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM, 2:23
3. Cadel Evans (Aus), PREDICTOR - LOTTO, 4:00
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA), DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM, 5:25
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), TEAM CSC, 6:46
7. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI, 7:27
9. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-MOBILE TEAM, 8:24
10. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI, 9:21
11. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), CAISSE D'EPARGNE, 10:41
12. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM, 12:29


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Evans has Cracked

So I was watching the tour this morning and found myself shouting encouragement at the tv as Cadel was in the process of cracking on the final climb with about 5 or 6 km's to go. He's still holding onto 3rd, but barely at this point, one more bad day there and the lights are going to go out for him. Bummer. One can now only hope that Rasmussen somehow cracks a bit, but I don't see that as being to likely.

I guess I should have posted a number with my over/under from yesterday, but here is the latest dope from velonews.com today. The over/under for tomorrow is going to be set at 2, after all it is a mountain stage. Adios.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Go Cadel

Cadel Evens did my pre-race prediction well today with a strong second place in the 54km TT, moving up to 2nd on GC in the process. No, I do not think that he will be able to gain any time in the next three mountain stages, but if he is able to hold his position and not lose time to Vino or Kloden, then he may be able to make up his one minute deficit to Rasmooooosen in the next time trial one week from now.

There was one doping story on velonews.com today, what is the over/under for tomorrow? Any bets on when the next day with zero doping stories will occur? One can only wonder. Adios.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tour de Dope

So Rasmussen has been booted from the Danish national team and now this just came through velonews.com this afternoon. Sweet. Shouldn't matter in the end 'cause Cadel is still going to take the yellow into Paris next weekend.

I doped this morning with three cups of coffee and then rode extra fast on my hour recovery ride on the bike path. Even passed a family of 4 in the dirt at 13.5 mph! Take that! Might have to dope some more tonight with an espresso so I can make it through work this evening. Man I'm evil these days! Whatever. ;)

On a side note I'm on the cusp of shooting in the 40's for nine holes, last two rounds have been 50 and 51. Adios.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thoughts on Giving Back to the Sport

I was on this site earlier today following a thread through the comments section about giving back to the sport. It can be both hugely rewarding and a giant pain in the ass to promote a bike race, or helping out and running a club or race team. We should thank those you do it, especially the guys that run out own teams, if we are lucky enough to have them. Here is my response, just something to think about:

The old argument that we just want to be racers and shouldn't have to be bothered with promoting a race here and there, or helping out in other ways by giving back to the sport is b.s. Since 99% of us have never been paid, even at the pro 1,2 level, most of us rely solely on sponsorship dollars to foot the bill for our week in and week out racing addiction. Where do you think that comes from? Individuals and companies that like cycling enough to want to GIVE BACK to the sport by helping others out. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of the racers (especially the older one's, and by that I mean guys that are in their 30's and 40's that have been at it for years) to help keep the sport alive at the local levels by promoting races or helping to organize clubs/rides/etc...just remember those that were doing that when you were 20 years old and just starting out, where do you think they came from? I can think of at least five guys that made an impact on me through the years as I was learning the ropes, all were racers and all were older. Mentor the young and the sport will thrive. Adios.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Deep Thoughts

I was thinking the other day about goal setting and why many people find it easier to set a goal that is just outside of the top level, and seem to be happy with achieving that. For example, it is much easier to say that the goal would be to finish top ten rather than setting a goal of winning, or that the goal is to get a B rather than shooting for an A. Perhaps this comes from the simple fact that it is easy to achieve a substandard goal, but takes much more work, dedication, and sacrifice in order to achieve a higher one. This can be applied to many facets of life, not the least of which are athletics, academics, work, and relationships. It is hard to achieve maximum success, and we tend to make fun of those who choose to pursue this. Think about it, we all know one or two people who seem to be always working, rarely taking the time to do anything else, yet these people frequently are the ones who seem to excel in most things that they do, while the rest of us seem to simply exist, being good at some things and average at the rest. Perhaps we are simply happy with that. Adios.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pissed


I think that I had one of the more frustrating races of my life yesterday at the Cyclo de Mayo Grand Prix in Scottsdale. Started front row and somehow missed the break that went 4 laps into it and lapped the field. Whoops. Then I proceeded to get second for three straight cash primes, and got caught halfway around the course for two more later in the race. When this guy took one of the primes I was so pissed that I almost quit, but my only consolation of the day was that I did not quit and stuck it out for 14th place. At least I made a little money in the end. The race was actually pretty hard, starting with 52 guys and finishing with only 22. Procon cycling did a great job with the promotion and had a really cool course setup right in downtown Scottsdale. I didn't see 4000+ spectators like it was advertised, but there were still quite a few people milling around watching the race. All things considered, not to bad of a day, and I did get a free lunch at In 'N Out afterwards. Adios.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

People You Meet Along the Way

Just got back in from a pretty sweet training ride to the top of Mt. Lemmon. I rode with the company of my iPod and made it up to ski valley in 2:06:43 with a average HR of 149, not to bad.

Once there, I rode into Summerhaven and stopped at the store for a slice of their infamous pie. Getting it to me seemed a little complicated, not sure why that was, but it was worth the small wait. Blueberry, with a Root Beer to wash it down. I ran into a Harley rider up there who started talking to me about his cycling. Turns out that he was from Austin and rode an M4. The guy was pretty cool, and also was one month into his first chemo treatment for a cancer that he had been diagnosed with. We talked about that for a bit, as both of my aunt's have had breast cancer diagnoses over the last three years. Both are doing well now, and I hope that this gentleman has the same fortune.

We take for granted the gifts that we are given every day. Adios.

Dan in Bisbee


Good pic of Dan from the final stage of Bisbee.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Big Problems in the Shark Tank

The Red Wings blew another lead yesterday in San Jose, and now trail the Sharks 2-1 in their best of seven second round series. Game four is tomorow night in San Jose. The Wings always make me nervous come playoff time, as they usually come into the playoff's as one of the favorites, yet somehow find ways to get beat early during most years. Root for them tomorow at 7:00 if you can, they are going to need all the support they can get.

I was up at 5:30 this morning and hit the group ride. Felt pretty good and am getting my strength back after last week's stomach problems. Pablo won the sprint over Gates Pass, and will now take over the Tuesday Morning Leaders Jersey, jersey presentation to come later. Adios.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Recovering

Bisbee didn't go that great for me. I had a stomach bug earlier in the week that was making it so that I couldn't eat, which had a negative effect on my race there. I rode the prologue and got killed, then ended up pulling out of the road race on Saturday when my legs wouldn't put out any power about 30 miles into the race. Definitely have had better weekends! As a team, we got worked a bit. Our best placed rider after the prologue was Dave, but he crashed out in the first road race, good thing I was already out and could take him to the ER in Bisbee. He'll be ok, just some road rash and some deep muscle bruising. As for me, I've been getting my appitite back the past couple days and am eating everything in sight trying to get my strength back. Should be fine in the next couple days, just need to get back on the bike and get some consistent training in again.

On a side note, I did play nine holes yesterday and scored my first ever birdie on the ninth hole. Adios.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

State Crit Champs

We all headed up to the Firebird International Raceway last Saturday for the AZ State Criterium Championships. I was hoping for some good results here for myself, as I had been 11th and 8th the past two years on the technical old town course in downtown Scottsdale. The Firebird course was the total oppisite, with no tecnical aspects at all, just wide open speed. It is designed as an automotive track, so all of the turns are take really wide arcs to allow for cars to get through them at speed, which to a cyclist means that you never really had to stop pedaling at all. Anyway, the race started fast and stayed fast, with no real moves ever getting away until race winner Curtis Gunn of Successful Living launched a solo break with about 6 or 7 laps to go. I'm not sure how he managed to hold off the field, but he did for a pretty impressive win. As for me, I made it into a couple short-lived moves, one halfway through the race and one with 3 to go, but none worked and I think I was around 20-25th in the field sprint for 2nd. Jared was the best placed Eclipse rider, and finished somewhere around 10-15th, but no results have been posted online yet, so I'm guessing at all of these.

Bisbee is this weekend. I think I may have come down with a cold or something as I haven't been feeling super hot the past few days, but I've been trying to get a lot of rest so that I come around by Friday's prologue. Slept for 12 hours last night and woke up this morning feeling a little bit better, but still pretty flat. Cross your fingers for me.

Below is a photo-shopped pic from the race. I'm pretty sure that it is me in the middle of the pic with the dark glasses on. Adios.

Can you guess what race this is?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

TBC Final Results

Well, the 2007 Tucson Bicycle Classic is in the books. Today's 45 mile circuit race was marked by some pretty strong wind gusts that were getting stronger as the race went on. We tried to get Jared the 3rd lap time bonus, and had a pretty sweet leadout going into it, with all five of our riders on the front of the race. Dan and Kendal took some pretty strong turns into the hills and headwind about a km from the sprint line. It almost worked, however we were outgunned by the GC leader and 2nd place rider Mark Aasmundstad, so no time for us, but we did succeed in not letting the two riders closest to Jared pick up any time either. As for the rest of the race, I was mostly trying to sit in and conserve, but I had some more leg cramp issues with two laps to go. Luckily, I was able to fight through it and make it to the line, finishing up in 11th place to move into 12th on the final GC. Jared crossed the line in 7th, solidifying his 5th place GC. Full results can be found here.

The guy that took first place out of a two man breakaway should not have even been racing today, because in yesterday's road race he DNF'd with a mechanical somewhere around the 3rd or 4th lap. Must have been feeling pretty fresh today, huh? Nice call from our chief official on that one. Adios.

TBC Update

Here is a quick update of how things have been going for during the first two stages of the Tucson Bicycle Classic:

Stage 1: McCain Loop Time Trial. I think that I screwed this one up a bit by riding the opening downhill section at to high a cadence. I felt pretty good on the climbing sections, but my plan was to conserve for the first mile until I hit the climbs. Conserve I did, but when I glanced at my computer about a minute in, my cadence was 107, which is way to high for me. Anyway, I clocked a 8:40 and finished in 18th place. Jared Gilyard set the bar for the team with an 8:27, which was good for 8th place, followed by Jeff Hoppert in 13th with 8:30.

Stage 2: Tumacocori Road Race. This race was brutal. Our plan was to try and keep Jared fresh for as long as possible, and hopefully I would be there in the end to help him out in the last couple laps. We finally started the race around 12:30 after a delay of over an hour waiting for the other groups that were on the course to finish up. I think it was the longest delay I've ever experienced, but no one really bitched all that much, which was nice. The pace was fast on the climbs and slow everywhere else for the first 3 or so laps. I covered a move with Chris Wilson from Rideclean, who was trying to bridge to a solo break that had gone up the road on lap 1. We were brought back near the top of the climb on lap 3. The race started to heat up then, as the break had gotten to 2:50 and the Rideclean team was starting to organize a chase. From here on out it was a sufferfest for me, as we were going between 25 - 30 on the flats and hitting the climbs all out each time. I succumbed to leg cramps around lap 7 and that was the last I saw of the main group. The group was down to about 20 riders when I popped off, and once I got my shit back together a bit, I was able to pick some guys off in the last few laps to finish up in 14th place, which moved me up to 12th on GC. Jared rode strongly once again to finish up in 5th, which moved him into 5th on GC.

Today is the circuit race and the finally of the Tucson Bicycle Classic. There is a time bonus sprint on lap 3, and also 3 places at the finish line. We will try and get Jared that first time bonus, because if he can pick it up it will move him up into 4th overall. Wish us luck. Adios.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's ON

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Kits Are Here!

Went for a 2.5 hour ride today in the new Eclipse kit, which was really nice. The team decided to go with the full zip for 2007. This was my first time with a full zip jersey and I think that the convenience will be much appreciated during those moments of last-second-pre-race jitters that I'm sure all of us are all to familiar with. Except Kyle of course, since he has nerves of steel. The kits look very similar to last years, with a couple changes to some sponsor logo's and a new material in the jersey. I'll try and get a picture up as soon as I can get one.

On a side note, the Rillito River path is now paved in it's entirety, which makes for a pretty easy and traffic free 25 miles. Now if we can only get some water in there. Adios.

Finally out of Hibernation

Well, as you can easily see, I haven't put an update out in quite some time. Must have been all of the secret training that I've been doing from midnight to 3 am every night that has been leaving me to tired to type during the day. :)-

I did get a chance to impersonate Phil Liggett as I was the race announcer for the U of A/Eclipse Racing criterium last weekend. That was super fun, but a long day to be up there talking about various groups of cyclists racing in circles. It was cool to announce the pro 1,2 race, as I knew just about everyone in the field, and you really can see the difference in speeds between that category and all the rest. My teammate, David Glick, rode a really strong race in a three man breakaway to come in 3rd on the day, with Nick Shrieber taking the win followed by Jake "the Snake" Rubelt in 2nd.

The pic from my previous post came from the 2005 fall version of the Tucson Bicycle Classic. Tomorrow begins the 2007 version, which promises to be a ball-buster as the Gates Pass road race has been replaced with the Tumacocori course down in Rio Rico. They split the pro 1,2 up into separate categories, and I think that we have a pretty strong team of 2's that can contest the overall GC this weekend. More updates to come as the racing develops. Adios.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tumacacori

Did the Tumacacori road race on Sunday after working 27 hours and two consecutive doubles at work on Friday and Saturday. Not really the best race prep that I've ever had. Anyway, I headed down to the race not really knowing what to expect out of the legs for the day. Turned out that I ended up having a decent day once I was able to get moving, to bad for me that happened after I had been spit out the back on the climb on lap 2. I rode in a group that was about 30 seconds to 1 minute behind that pack for about 3 laps but we just couldn't close the gap. Used the race as a killer training ride after that and pulled the climb every lap until I attacked the group with two to go and caught a few more guys on the way in to finish up in 16th place. David Glick, Tim Carolan, and Jared Gilyard had the best showing for the team, finishing up in 4th, 6th, and 7th respectively. Jared would have been 2nd had he not had his lap count a little screwed up in the end, bummer about that. Full results can be found here. Adios.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Intervals

Went up to Christie Rd. yesterday and did a bunch of hill repeats on it. This was the first time that I've done a workout like this at this location, and it seems to work pretty well. It's a gradual hill at first with a few ramps that progressively gets steeper towards that top. And the pavement is really nice as well??????? Ran into Jared and Glick at separate times during the ride, both those guys were out spinning their legs out from the San Dimas Stage Race over the weekend. Glick had a good ride there, taking 20th GC in the pro 1 category.

Here are my interval times, if anyone wants to know:
1. 4:43
2. 4:44
3. 5:04
4. 5:06
5. 5:14

I think that this would have been a cool workout to do with a power meter, because as you can see from the times, my power was dropping off towards the end. If anyone has a spare powertap that they would like to lend out for a couple weeks, drop me a line. Adios.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Good Article

Saw this today on espn.com and thought I'd post a link. Makes you think about things a bit.

Had the day off work, so I was able to get in about 4.5 hours during the afternoon. Pretty good ride that had me all over the northwest side of Tucson and Ora Valley, with some good music from The Ditty Bops to help me pass the time a little more quickly. Adios.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Scottdale Grand Prix

Two firsts for me yesterday: I did my first ever masters 30+ race, and I think it also was the first time that I've raced in record breaking heat. It would have been a bit nicer if the two firsts came in the two races that I did, but I guess I've got to start somewhere.

Cruised up to the Scottsdale Grand Prix, which is only in it's second year on the calender but I think that it is already one of the better single day races going. Really well organized, fast course, and a great payout. I decided to enter the masters 30+ race as a warm-up for the pro 1,2 race later in the afternoon. The plan was to sit in and get the legs warmed up, but that went out the window on lap two when a break of six guys, including two RideClean members (Forbes and Alvarez) went up the road. I went across to it with Jake the Snake in tow, as that looked to be the race right there. I was pretty worked upon getting there and sat on as long as I could, but never really recovered and got popped off about halfway through the 40 minute race. I think it had something to do with the 98 degree heat. Anyway, I managed to hold off the field and come in for an 8th place finish.

Didn't do much in the hour-and-a-half between races except sit in the shade and sip on a Jamba Juice smoothie. They were set up in the pit area of the race, and that razberry smoothie hit the spot, especially on such a hot day.

The pro 1,2 race was a 75 minute sufferfest, but thankfully we had a bit of cloudcover roll in just before the start, which helped to cool things down a bit, but it still had to have been about 95 degrees. Nothing to crazy went down in this race, it was a typical AZ pro 1,2 criterium, fast from the start with lots of attacks, but no real serious moves getting off the front. I was gambling on a field sprint, especially since I was racing without any teammates in the field. It was looking like a pretty tired peloton around the 60 minute mark, when a four man break containing RideClean riders Rob Alvarez and Jake Rubelt, as well as pro mountain biker Scott Keller got a bit of a gap on the field. White Mountain and Nick Schrieber did a ton of work pulling it back with 1.5 laps to go. The last lap was pretty crazy with lot's of swarming at the front. I couldn't quite make it far enough up into the last corner and ended up 11th in the sprint, with Sean Mazich from race host Waste Management taking the win. Full results from all races can be found here. Adios.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Long Day on the Bike

Epic ride today. A bunch of us road out to Kitt Peak, with a detour over Gates Pass on the way out and on the way back. This must have been what Shane felt like riding with Bunselmeyer all those years ago.

Ride stats:
Ride time: 6:36:50
Miles: 125.7
Kitt Peak time: 1:03:15
Kcals: 5158

Adios.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mellow weekend

This was a well deserved and very much appreciated Sunday off the bike. I took advantage of my Mom being in town from Mi, to take the weekend off of work and relax a little bit. It was especially nice because this was the first weekend of spring break, so there is no schoolwork to worry about for another ten days.

I did do the Shootout yesterday, which was just as fun (chaotic) as always. The usual suspects were all represented; even the retired Gord rolled down on his newly built up retro Peuguot. I was looking to test myself a bit on the ride, so I launched an attack just after the bridge and ended up in a break of about five guys that was brought back just before the start of the hills. Phil Ligget would have said that my body was crying out to stop at this point (and I would have agreed!), but I settled back in and helped the team do a great leadout for Scott going into the hill. It was one of the best leadout's that we have done, as everyone was on the front for the last 1.5 miles before the hill. To bad for us that Mike D. and Buck where latched onto Scott's wheel, with Buck coming around in the last 25 meters to take the sprint.

Fast cruise into town and then 18 holes of golf out at the Starr Pass course. Always eventful, let's just say that I had a 68 on my card by the end...I'll leave it to you to guess the number of holes for that one! Adios.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

KOM and 5th on the Day!

Just got back into town from the Red River Stage Race up in Globe, AZ. This was originally scheduled to be a three day stage race based on points, but after almost having to cancel the race due to low pre-registration, the format was changed to an omnium, meaning that y0u could register for individual stages, which was what most of our team did.

So yesterday was a 90 minute criterium, that featured two 15% grade hills on the 1 km long course. Not much to say about this race other than I did not feel my best and was spit out the back about twenty minutes in, which led to spectator status shortly thereafter. Just don't have the high end fitness right now, hopefully that will change over the next month or so.

Today was much better. I think I may have benefited from the 16 oz. T-Bone that I polished off for dinner last night, much to the chagrin of my teammates present at the table! Anyway, I went to cover a move about two miles into the race, which turned into an eighty-nine mile six man breakaway. Picked up the King of the Mountains on the way out, unfortunately made the wrong side of the split once things started to heat up on the main climb that came about twenty miles from the finish, but was still able to hang on for a solid 5th place on the day. The course was beautiful, with Roosevelt Lake to the east and the Superstition Mountains to the west. A good day on the bike. Adios.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Last Six Months

Well, seems like the public has been clamoring for a new update to the blog, so here goes. School, work, little bit of training, Christmas vacation with the family in MI, back to AZ, 4.0 for the fall semester at UA!!!, back to school for spring, seven hour - 130 mile ride to Arivaca that was awesome back in January, sick and in the hospital one week later :( , turned 34 and felt old for the first time, super-busy month of Feb at the JW, trying to fit in some training through it all, raced Valley of the Sun and got killed in the road race, little redemption by taking a prime the next day, 30 mph club at Sonoita-Patagonia TT last weekend, leaving for the Globe Omnium in one hour, haven't packed a thing so I've gotta go. More frequent updates to come. Adios.