Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I have 2 million friends

The only good thing about being 15 lbs overweight is that the cold doesn't sink in quite as quickly. An amazing day that I'll never forget.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sundays are not for biking

Sundays are for flooding the house and calling plumbers...I hate mother nature.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All or nothing...

New theme for the '09 season. This year I'm all in for every race. Either I'm committing for the win for either myself or a teammate, or I'm blowing up trying....no in between. I had a couple of races last year where it was not memorable at all...just in the mix to be in the mix. The memorable ones, I won't forget. Some of them resulted good, some were bad..

The most memorable races of '08 for me were (in order):

  1. Hagerston Crit:
    We went into this race with the plan to win Brandon the Champion's Jersey. Joel and Brigham would drive/control the field, I would protect Brandon till the last lap and then pull him around and drop him off at the last corner first, he'd take care of the rest. All went as planned and he crossed the line with the victory salute. I rolled across in 40th or something...not memorable for the folks watching, but to be part of a choreographed ass whipping...that was nice.

  2. ING Direct:
    Going into this race, Esmonde was hyped about having the turbos on "go", feeling good, and talking up a possibility of a win for the little team that could. So we went in with the plan to do everything possible to give him a chance at the line and the win. This was also the first 1/2/3 race that I did and felt like I wasn't just in it because I was a 3; I was there because I belonged and could contribute...not just hang on for dear life (kind of how I feel these days). Now, this was another race where I crossed the line dead last (nasty crash in the last turn of the last lap of the damn race...thank god my rookie mistake didn't take anybody else out) ... but the effort right before the wreck was unselfish and committed like I've never been committed in a race...I was going to get us to the last turn first as if my life depended on it (and pray that Esmonde was in a position for the win). The win did not come (I think Esmonde rolled across in the top 15), but the confidence from the experience is still something in the back of my mind waiting for my fitness to catch up to.

  3. UMD Crit:
    My win last year. Again, this was one where I went from the hill on the last lap. No jockeying for positioning for the sprint, or waiting for someone else to make the move. Just deciding that if I went now, I'd either get caught and lose, or not get caught and win...50/50 right? Cliche saying, but "to win, you must be willing to lose"...everybody and their brother knows that one, but to get a chance to try it...feels good when it works.

  4. Coppi Road Race:
    Another one where I went early (WAY too early), committing, and the result this time was disastrous. I ended up blowing up with about a quarter lap to go and rolled in to the finish by myself, no cheers, no good jobs, just looks of acknowledgment from several other bike racers that had been in the pain cave of suffering and agony that I was "enjoying". Now the end of this race sucked in all ways anything can suck, but I walked away from it with a better understanding of how I should be road racing and self acceptance that I gave everything I had on that day (maybe not in the smartest way, but all was laid out there).

I've been having a hard time managing my time this winter. New work duties, 9 month old puppies, and house improvements have all taken priority over my riding. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm a little disapointed with how my winter has gone on the bike, but thank god the season is long...maybe the wife will let me race cross this year to, eh? Drag it out a little longer....


Monday, January 12, 2009


The new Columbia/High Road kits are pretty badazz...is that yellow Mustard? Or is it Kraft Macaroni & Cheese?

I stole this from Pez (obviously)...

500 F&*king Watts?

This post goes out to the orange and grey can sitting in front of me.

Rumor was that after this past weekend, it was to be no more, I think fact is that it will just be revamped a little. I don't drink it very often, but I was secretly happy that it existed. A drunk friend at a bar said to me once, "Jay [he didn't get the name right...but I can't fault him for that], Sparks is that perfect beer when you need to go home, but you want to have one more..." He really wasn't a good friend of mine...not the smartest one in the bunch. Anyway, focus!

Weight: 190
Fitness: C+
Mood: Decent
Miles last week: 110

I got out to Hanes (is it Hanes or Haines...I spell it differently each time!) Point three time last week. Monday, Thursday, and Friday. I think there is an understanding that Mondays and Fridays are "easy" days...both these days were harder than Thursday. Some of those guys out there are showing some really good form. Or at least I'm hoping there showing great form and not at 60%, only to get faster by March and April and turn "Pro-ish" in May and June. I was really disappointed with myself on Monday (mainly because I hadn't ridden the bike in 3 weeks, but also because I suck on the bike). I took one pull and woosh, I was out the back convincing myself that it was for the best because I had a 1:30 meeting that I should be getting ready for....I actually was pretty pissed. The wind was bad, my fitness was worse, and everybody else was faster than I was. I rode back down the mall mad at the world and feeling like cycling was stupid and maybe I should get into running or something. It's funny how we forget though. I was back out there Thursday hoping to get more. Thursday and Friday were better and even though I got my @ss handed to me, my confidence was better and I felt like three days on the bike did wonders to my minimal form. Maybe it's mental, maybe the years of riding make return to form more exponential as opposed to linear...who knows, I'm a desk jockey, not a scientist. I'm going with it though...makes me feel better when the 40+ crowd put the hurt on me in January and February (or any other month for that matter). Sunday some of the R1V crowd showed up to Arrow bikes to do the first Skills & Drills session, but the weather did not cooperate. The parking lot was too wet so we ended up doing the regular shop ride. That ride is getting better and better each time I do it. Plus when the "engines" of the team show up, its fast and painful, and no regrouping...so you gotta hang on. :)

Anyway, to the point of the title. I don't know anything about training with power. I know that if the guy next to you is going fast, you should try to go as fast or faster and you'll have a good workout. I got a flat on the shop ride on Sunday, so I decided to cash in my "one-day-free-pass" to Results gym in Capitol Hill and take the spin class. This was the first spin class I've taken in about 6 years and the "bikes" they use have gotten pretty fancy. They measure cadence, watts, distance, there is a gear indicator...pretty cool stuff. Anyway, the damn instructor starts harping about...okay 200 watts for the next minute, 250 watts for the next minute, 300 watts, etc...He gets to 350 and then starts adding, "okay, if you were able to get 350, try 400..." At this point I'm tired, and working pretty hard. I'm looking around and there are all kinds of ... whats the best way to put this, not the greatest looking athletes in the room still puffing away ... He gets to 450 and then says, now try for 500 watts for a minute. That's when, in my head, I blurted out the title of this post...again, I don't know much, but 500 watts for a minute for the average joe doesn't seem feasible. Maybe the "bikes" are all calibrated funny, but I was dead tired at this point and decided to sit up and give the instructor the evil eye...all in all it was okay, I produced a lot of sweat and I was a little worried I was starting to stink up the room. I overheard the instructor talking about how he didn't want to buy a road bike because they were too uncomfortable...I chuckled at that.

Anyway, I'm thinking of retiring from cycling and becoming a full time spin class jockey...depending on how the season goes. ;)


Thursday, January 8, 2009


I apologize for the lack of cycling content...and I may be late to the party on this one, but this guy is hilarious...and speaks to me:

To make this cycling related, I went down to HP today and got blown out the back after one nasty pull....can't wait till spring.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The holy grail of videos...

Probably the most informational thing I've ever seen...although, how come all shop guys have a little too much muffin top?

Watch How To - Clean White Bar Tape in Sports Online  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

100th post!

Milestone...maybe. Improved writing...not really.

Lack of fitness helps in some respects to cycling when showing up on group rides cause it makes you have to work on the no-performance aspects of the bike. I went down to the Point on Monday at lunch and jumped in with the group after 3 to 4 weeks off...The wind was significant, but not killer and the pace was quick, but not deadly. My lack of form showed bad as I hurt after every pull I made and at points felt like I was holding on for dear life. Not being able to turn any screws, or for that matter, find any tools to do anything with, I had to work on trying to be efficient, making sure I was out of the wind (or as out of the wind as a 6'4" oaf can be), and knowing when I was on the verge of popping and should sit out a turn or two to be able to hang on till the end.

I'd like to say that we were pushing an average of 26 mph into the wind and 35+ with the wind...but really, it was monday and all the other guys were taking it easy and I was working my @ss off. Nice what 3+ weeks off the bike will do to you, eh?

Cheers...and here is to trying to get back in the groove of things.