Sunday, August 31, 2008

Proud papa

We had a great day hauling around on the bike. Little P got to see:

  • Bugs
  • Ants (different from bugs somehow)
  • Spiders (see above)
  • Diggers (daddy makes parts for diggers)
  • Caterpillers (the big yellow ones that daddy makes parts for)
  • Train tracks
  • Trains
  • Hot Dog
  • Bread
  • Pop (that's what he calls a Coke)
  • Bikes (when asked about a tandem he saw he said "TWO!" proceeded to hold out his hand and finger by finger went, "One, Two. TWO!" I just about popped.

I lost count of the unsolicited hugs and kisses I got today not to mention the smiles and "uh...YEAH!" responses to questions like "did you have fun today?" and "Do you want to go on a bike ride?"

To top it off as Mrs. P and I were cleaning up - generally not paying attention - Mrs. P stopped, starred and then told me, "Get your camera." He had leaned how to pedal (finally) on his bike.

It was a good day.

Holiday Weekend

So far it's been OK. I was able to lace 95% of aham's wheel. It's official....I HATE paired spoke drillings. Oh...did I mention I have like 3 or 4 more sets coming through a group buy direct from Taiwan. :(

Went on the Village Pedaler ride yesterday. Typically this has been a group ride for any and all. A fun kind of ride where there is a no-drop rule. Back last year CyLowe, Voldemort, and I were among the fastest on the ride. While it was fun to be in that position on a ride it doesn't do much for your fitness. More of a fun ride.

Non of us have been making it much this year probably for those reasons, but I knew they have changed the ride a bit (A and B groups) and the routes...not to mention the strongest guy there has been showing at races this year and I was looking forward to shooting the crap with him.

Showed up and the fast guy (I'll call him Pointer :) ) was there. One of the other regulars - shop employee - was out with a broken collarbone - low speed crash while dusting his wheel with his glove. He's very embarassed I was assured. Karrie was there along with Dan, another regular and 2 newbs (blondie and 'stasch).

We decided early on to take a new route that only Dan really knew. We were on roads I have been riding more frequently so I wasn't totally lost. Pretty soon it was apparant that we needed to split into A and B, but we didn't. We just kept riding hard and waiting at each turn. It was like intervals. It was also kind of fun because it gave us time to shoot the crap while waiting.

We rode up Campton Hills Rd - the opposite way I went on the Bicycle Heaven ride on Tuesday. That's a killer series of hills/rollers all together. Pointer and I peeled everyone off on that one while I mentioned to him that I don't like hills....about 1000 times. I am climbing very well compared to my normal self. Still not good, but much better for sure.

There were a ton of groups out there. Most of these groups were Tri groups - that means they are groups made up of 4 or 5 50-80 yr old men in dayglow kit riding tri bars and about 30-40 women of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Usually 4-5 in the super-model late 20's to mid 40's range. This is where I decided on Pointer's name.

Before I knew it I was leading the combinations of groups all alone. There was a lot of giggling coming from the group behind. I turned and Pointer was chatting it up with a few of them. be young and single. You know you're old and marriged when all you can think of saying is, "so this will run into Ramm or Middleton rd up here right? Is it North or South of McDonald rd.?"

What I really needed was a little "Tim-Tim" directional advise. "Nah, you just have to stay on this until Jefferson then turn right for a little jog over on to the Henderson farm where there's this little kicker of a grade that doesn't look like much but will knock the wind out of you. Also...little known fact but there is a great microbrew based out of the Henderson's barn. Phish played there in 96 as a part of the ____ tour. etc...."

One of the dayglow wrinkle squad thought he'd show these young dumb roadies a lesson (really a kind of pissing match over 'his' women I think) and turned up the pace on the front. We responded. He pushed harder...we responded. Slowly we began this process of shifting, getting lower in position, all nice and easy like. All I could hear was the sound of popcorn popping behind us (people getting shelled off the back). Wrinkly popped and then Pointer and I finally got in the drops and laid it on. It was just us. We just kep climbing in speed. Finally there was a "stop ahead" sign off in the distance. It was on. Out of the saddle. I dropped him, he came back and dropped me...I came back and was about to pass him again when we both sat up for the stop.

Hella-fun. Heard wrinklly telling one of his women "I thought it was one of us older guys when I turned and looked and saw those young guys. That was it." One of our guys came up to us after that and said, " hey I fell off when you guys crossed 30 mph - and that was before the sprint!" All I could do was smile. (BTW - my freeking Garmin 305 is now plauged with the shut off on every bump glitch. SO I fly blind now).

Well....Pointer let the scenery get to him and I really thought I knew where we result=we ended up really far off from where we wanted to go. We broke off from the group. I could have sworn I heard velcro tearing apart when Pointer came along. We cobbled together what we thought would get us back. We ended up near the school on the regular Pedaler route and just followed the normal route backwards.

Finally caught the back end of the rest of the group (who had turned earlier) within a few miles of the shop. Stasch was well out of his element and it was showing. We were waiting pretty heavily for him in the beginning and this route ended up being longer than anyone was expecting. Newbs were out of water...and so was I. I hung back with him to bring him into the shop. I was literally free-wheeling the whole way. It was painfully slow, but I tried to pass the time with some conversation to take his mind off of everything.

At the end I felt like I had a good ride, but nothing real taxing. Turned out to be about 40 miles at around an 18 pace. Not bad considering the hills and the chatting. :) All I could think was...My batterys needed this.

Last night was a baseball game. Little P loved it. Ate everything in the place. I have a sugar hangover. Today is a "hang around the house day"

Exhibit A:That was taken a few minutes ago.

Finally got on anti-biotics for the hell that I have been enduring. 3 or 4 weeks in. Dairyland Dare, Team Time Trial, Tour of Oakbrook, various group rides, etc all under the siege of snot. Final phase has been a WICKED sinus infection. Had to do something. Hopefully this will kill it all off and not flat my performance for Fall Fling like some anti-biotics will. Z-Pack baby.

I think we'll hit the trail with the trailer today. I can be a "dad" and still get some riding in. He loves it. Really. I just asked if he wanted to go on a bike ride with his helmet in the trailer...he said....with head bobbing..."uh...YEAH!" "Are you sure?" I said...."Uh ....YEAH!" :D

BTW - aham is getting some good natured ribbing over on Bikeforums...check it out...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bicycle Heaven Group Ride

So...I finally rode my first group ride with my team. I've known since I found out about the ride last year that this is a very high caliber ride. So I knew I was going to be in over my head.

I prepared with a map and made sure I had a blinkie (bike talk for little flashing red light used in low light levels to warn motor vehicles of your presence or to generally increase your visibility - used here to imply that I would be coming in after the main group - in the dark). It was nice to see MJH2 and RR both there for the ride. I pulled the newb move and didn't wear my team kit (still dirty from the race - P U). I wasnt sure what the protocol was and I didn't want to be the guy that wears the shirt of the band you are going to see. Turns out I should have been that guy.

So what is there to guys are indeed all business. There was more slabs of prime grade A racing beef there than at almost anything else I have ever done outside of a race. Oh...and chatty cathys too. Real lively talkative bunch. It was nice because they rollout pretty slow for quite a while and most of the talk had to do with the race that seemingly all of us were in last weekend.

Then they attack. Holy crap Batman. This isn't a quick flyer or hard sprint kind of attack, but rather a slow rolling into pace. The kind where it just keeps hit "kinda fast" and it keeps hit "fast" and it keeps hit "this is hauling ass" and it keeps see stars and start to get tunnel vision.....and there is still a gap.

That kind of acceleration always makes me feel like I am in a slow mo replay of the special effects from Star Wars when they do a jump into hyper-space.

I knew it would happen eventually so I didn't freak out or anything. MJH2 and I ended up plodding ahead. It took me forever to really get my engine running. I have been noticing that lately. What I mean is that it takes like 15-20 minutes of HARD riding before I stop hyper-ventilating and start being able to pour on power, etc without totally popping.

MJH2 noticed that as well as I was wheel sucking him like I was a 2 month old and his wheel was a nipple. All said we ended up doing some decent work. Really cranked out some powerful sections. The effort was similar to the TTT I did with aham a few weeks back. Has to list up there as one of my all time hard efforts speed wise.

It was like being in a race. Actually being in a race. Pegged from the start with absolutely no breaks.

We finished respectfully and got some "meh....not too horrible for cat4/5's" looks from some of the guys. Even got a "good riding" from the shop/team owner as a side comment.

Different vibe. No drinking afterwards, etc. All Roadie. I liked it, but I can't see abandoning "my People" on the Penny Rd Ride. Then again I will get much faster riding the BH ride. So....thinking of doing the Penny Rd on Tuesdays and the BH ride on Thursdays. do I convince Mrs. P that this is something that needs to happen.......hmmmmm

Monday, August 25, 2008


So...after the race I took Mrs. P out to celebrate her 30th in downtown Chicago. I made a reservation at the Omni on Michigan Ave (where Oprah put up her guests I hear) and made a reservation at a local fondue establishment.

We made it into town without a hitch and found time to walk a section of the Miracle Mile before heading over to Navy Pier to bask in the other tourists and beer garden. Before I knew it we were eating and trying to pick the perfect wine.

Neither of us is much of a wine follower, but I appreciate a nice wine and know one when I drink one. We ordered what we thought we would like (hard to do when you just don't know) and then headed to the wine tasting this place has on the weekends in their wine cellar.

Luckily we got some time alone with the sommelier (?) to discuss our likes and dislikes and got to sample a wide array of selections. Pretty soon our server came in and informed us the bottle we selected was no longer available. Holy bait and switch batman!

After thinking for a moment our sommelier recommended a Pinot Noir from Failla. Following is my take on a "Runner Susan" wine shot.

It was a great bottle. Finally convinced my wife that Pinot Noir is OK, and that there are other wines outside of Pinot Grigio.

Still....could have used a good Belgian Wheat Ale.

The meal was great and we had time to catch a quick cab back to Navy Pier to watch the fireworks. Good trip. I do love Chicago. There just isn't any other place like it in the midwest.

It was nice to get some time away from little p, but we both started feeling guilty. Who could blame us....

BTW - check out those thighs! He'll be dropping pousers before he can do math. He'll be calling every "Fred" before the 1st grade.

Then again....maybe he lacks that "killer instinct"....

Tour of Oakbrook Road Race

Well...I did pretty much what I expected. Really wasn't planning on doing this race and coming out of a really bad virus at the same time. MJH2, myself, and another teamate (RR) just kind of went out to see what was up.

I got there first thing - 6:33 when registration was set to open at 6:45. Figured I signed up late and wanted to make sure I got a timing chip. You know you are in the rich part of town when they have you parking....PARKING...on the local polo fields. Srsly folks. We had some ferrari as a pace car. Also a Hummer as well.

Turns out I was first in line for registration. Also turns out it was a major cluster. They didn't register me until about 7:30. I was in line at 6:40. By the time I was registered there were about 100-200 people in line waiting behind me. Oh....and I preregistered.

Needless to say they ran late. Major late. They pushed back races, cut laps off of them (no complaints here about that), ran people with the same numbers in the same fields, did 1/2 manual and 1/2 chip timing, had a course official whose motorcycle had broken down....but apart from that it was an awesome race.

By the time we got rolling it was 45 minutes PAST our original start time. I was starving before we even took one pedal stroke. We lined up early to get a front row start. We had decided to be in front for the first turn onto Spring Hill. It worked.

photo evidence: L to R - MJH2, RR, front. Kit looks good from here.

Colorchange is in the SD jersey behind MJH2's shoulder

I was out front right off the line. MJH2 rode right next to me down York into the "headwind". A couple of times I told him I was blowing up by doing it, but we both held it. We paced the group up the first climbs and our teammate (RR) came around on the top of the big one.

We blocked like a bunch of xXx'rs (local team known for development in the lower cats, great guys that play heavy team tactics in the lower ranks) but RR was looking for someone else to go with.

So we tried something, it worked, but none of us had the juice to make anything stick (which we pretty much knew going in). After that I just floated back. Started to fall off the back in the home straight on the second lap when RJBTrek (another BF'er on Village Cyclesport) yelled at me to grab a wheel and I did. Got me back into the pack - thanks!

Third lap I blew up on Spring. The hills popped me like an over-ripe cherry. I knew it was coming, but hoped I had an extra lap or two. Legs were fine, but the ticker was losing rythm. Looking at stats afterwards my avg HR was something like 180. My max was right when I popped at 193. Seriously folks. You can't make this crap up.

Down the straight I worked up to Scummer and we just shot the crap to the line. We could have caught the pack, but I think both of us wanted our races to be over. It was hot and the long wait and delays before the race had me hurting food wise.

After that I just watched everyone else. MJH2 made it another 2 laps - same as our other teamate. Colorchange did he was always able to. Came in off the back of the pack at the end - loose saddle/seatpost. That's that cheap Cervelo crap for you.Turns out Alien 2 came in 2nd overall and depending on the age of the guy in front he may have won the 40+ group. He's racing 3's over at ABR so.....

Podium for Master 40+ 4/5 - Alien2 on right side in second place. I try to hold his wheel every Tuesday night and he punishes me severely just for trying. BTW - I would have to drop 30 lbs just to match his weight.

As always I am in crap shape, but at least I am in stellar shape compared to last year. I can only hope I can see this much of an improvement again over the next year. Looking forward to more racing.

Just dumped some SERIOUS money on a getaway weekend for the wife for her b-day. Mine is in December. If she understands the depths I went to then I feel a powertap coming on in December.......between that and some weight loss..........I could be dangerous in the spring.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm in hell...

An hour of indoor strength intervals last night. Even with as bad as I feel I found I skated through this one....and it was a Spinervals DVD. I typically bomb out on those. It was constant 50X12 (sorry guys, I ride a compact) for the whole thing. 1-legged drills. Seated power. Sprints, off bike lunges....

.... and lung cookies. I hate being sick.

Still hacking this morning, but making it. I needed this to get me ready, at least mentally, for Saturday. Colochange posted a video of the course and it looks like one hill will definitely kill me and I get to climb it 10 times unless I get pulled. I had nightmares about it last night.

For some reason I seem to put on quite a bit of weight right after events only to have it shed off the following week. Example: Before DD last weekend I was 176. When I got home I was 183 or 184. Then slowly each day I just whittled it off. Today...176. Sure it's normal fluctuation and most likely water being restored and then burned off, but it's just weird. Nothing like going on an epic ride and gaining weight at the end and not seeing the results for a week or so.

Oh...and I drastically reduced my caffiene intake starting yesterday as well. Boo.


Thursday, August 21, 2008


I feel like the stuff you find sometimes on the bottom of your shoe that makes you think, "I don't know what the hell that is, but I'm not touching it."

The family has been dealing with a virus for a few weeks. I feel like I am pulling out of the worst point, but I am still a mess. I did the Dairyland Dare with it in full effect, but the stress of the Dare put me over the edge. I have been in a serious funk since then. Add on top of that some business travel - late travel and arrival paired with early meeting and half day travel again - and I am struggling to figure out which side is up.

To top all of this off I have to get to the doc to get my regular Rx filled - something I HATE doing. I have no time and scheduling an appointment is like trying to ask the most popular girl out to the dance. You end up getting a semi-polite appointment at a totally inconvenient time and end up leaving there feeling like you've wasted all your time and were just mildly humored.

I hate healthcare in America. Wife works in the system (RN). She has a Doctor for a sister and the other sister is a nurse as well. Everyone wants to do a better job, but the system seems to never really give them a chance to. Between everyone covering their asses and the occassional individual that just doesn't really know what they're know where I'm going.

Case in point. I had breathing problems and got bumped around from my primary to a specialist. Specialist needed testing, etc. The total time involved to schedule appointments and get anything done - 6 months. End result - have surgury (nasal polyps). My wife was pregnant at the time so there was no way I was going to take any unecssary risks.

Now that child is 2 1/2. I still have the issue. If I want something done now I will have to start the process all over again. Not to mention if I undergo surgury then I will be laid up for a couple of weeks. order to make sure this happens during the off-season I would have to start this process sometime in July....

....guess I'll wait until next year.

So...what does this mean for Saturday's road race? It means my first event sporting an actual team kit will be a subpar showing. I might have to pull myself to prevent total embarassment to rest of the team who is there.

Pain is what it feels like to get better.......right?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So I went to lunch today...

...and joined a team. I guess I always knew I was joining these guys, but it something else to actually go out and do it. It dawned on me after picking up the kit that I never discussed this with my wife. Not my intention to do that. Hopefully she'll understand. I have a killer weekend planned for her for her birthday (the big 3-0 for her ....ahh....the good old days....) so maybe that might help put her in the right frame of mind for the news.

First race with the team will be this weekend's Oak Brook(?) - It's a road race (check the box that says 'something I am not good at') with 2 "challenging hills" on the circuit (check the second box under something I am not good at) and I'll be racing Masters 30+ 4/5 to boot (trifecta people).
To top all of this off I have been suffering through a really bad virus that has had the whole family laid up bad for the last few weeks. Just keeps hanging on. Oh....and I have to travel for business tonight and will miss the group ride...and I will miss the group ride on Thursday due to some parenting obligations.....
So....looks like trainer intervals tomorrow night and Thursday night late in a vain attempt to maintain some form for the weekend.
What I am doing now is a ritual park of bicycle racing. Some call it "sandbagging". I call it spouting off wimpy excuses. Typically if you hear a rider listing all these reasons why they won't ride well it is likely because they have been doing something new and will either ride better than they ever have before (read, "tear your legs off") or they might ride like crap and want to hedge against that performance with the disclaimers. It usually ends with your legs as bloody stumps in the middle of the to your roasted lungs.
This is cycling. This is what it is about. Posturing, positioning, tactics, ego, etc. Your goal is to inflict pain and crush souls. I only mention this because during the Dairyland Dare aham and I were discussing this in comparison to the culture of running....I'll save that for next time...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dairyland Dare 2008

Yeah...OK so I went to Wisconsin and rode on some hills. I ate some cheese and drank some beer. When in Rome right?

The Dairyland Dare 2008 was a heck of a fun time. I signed up for the 200k, but I had a feeling that I was not going to even remotely attempt that. I have not really been into distance/challenge rides this year. It's not that I don't like them anymore, but I just haven't been feeling like "I HAVE to complete this monumental task in order to feel good about my riding" anymore.

Anyway - this is better told in pictures: *I'll annotate later*

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let's get physical...

Not feeling super hot. I have a cold/virus that has been going around the family for a while. I seem to do OK riding once I warm up, but in general my ears sound like I have water in them and I am caughing up phlem every time I turn around. Nice right?


I got on the scal this morning and it said 176.5. Boo-Yah! My goal for this season was 175. I have always said if I made it back to my 165 range I would be mopping people up left and right...but I never thought I could get there. Now I do think I can.

With Dairyland Dare the day after tomorrow (200k and something obnoxious like 15,000ft of climbing on 10%-15% walls they like to call "hills") I know I will be good for another handful of pounds coming off as long as I don't let my body try to put everythign back after the event....only what's needed. to think about it, but I need to start thinking about the "off-season." Definitely time for cyclocross. I need to start thinking about stripping the cross bike from a commuter into a race rig.

Also - MJH2 from BikeForums (the guy in the red jersey in the Elgin Crit pictures) has been talking to me about joining up with Bicycle Heaven's team. I have kind of wanted to join up with them for a while. Looks like I just might do that. Turns out they have indoor trainer sessions all winter as well as they do some outdoor cross riding with lights....bonus.

...flying the "blue and turquoise".

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Group Ride 081208

Another group ride is done. Fast. I held on for a long time and was actually climbing really well (for me).

Then I popped. I was so demoralized thinking - Hey I'm going to make it this time....

Then I fired up the Garmin and saw I just set a record for myself on the course. Everyone else just got faster.

I hate pulling into the parking lot within a minute or 2 of the leading group - meaning we were close, but that difference adds up to 1-3mph. Pretty big gap.

Oh well, I never said I was good at this stuff.

Pain Cave Part 2

So...there we are on the second leg of the first loop. I'm feeling the burn. I'm also feeling something else. I had a chance to ride the TT setup for about 20 miles before the actual event. Not really enough to perfectly dial it in. During the event I was actually cranking about 10 rpm higher than what I did during my trial.

10rpm doesn't seem like much to most people, but when it comes to bike fit for me it appears as though it is the difference between staying in place on a slightly down tilted nose saddle or sliding forward. Apparently I was going to be doomed to sliding forward for the rest of the event.

As some of you no doubt know it really sucks to end up having something small wrong when you are in a race. During a century ride or group ride you have the option of just pulling over and fixing it quickly. During an event that would mean your event is over. So I just had to deal with it. To top it off the extreme position also allowed me to remember that losing feeling in certain areas is a sensation that I do not enjoy.

So we were making good time on good pavement, but I was starting to get uncomfortable and we had a long race still left. We turned on to leg 3 and there was a pretty wicked wind - mostly cross wind I believe. The helmet and speed were making it hard for me to really tell which way the wind was coming from. I just knew it hurt.

There were a couple of rollers and it was along this leg that we were finally passed by alien2. "Hey psimet." Thanks....I appreciate that. One thing to pass me on a TT, but it's another to do it fast enough that I had to look quickly to see who it was as well as to do it with enough wind in your chest to yell hello. Like it's just a Sunday ride - well...I guess it technically was.

This was my, "here have this set of panties" moment for this TT.

From there we hit the home stretch of the first loop. Dead on headwind from hell. We dropped a lot off of our speed. We were still struggling along right at 20 (seriously....I love that I was thinking of 20 as being slow regardless of the headwind). I was looking down at the Garmin and thinking, "Oh crap. This isn't going to work. I hope everyone else is suffering this bad."

It was around here that the 1 minute pulls started to disappear. I was too busy suffering to look at the clock, and I am a wheel sucker by nature. It just so happens it was around here that aham says he feels like he kind of hit a rhythm. Coincidence?

Rounding the corner of the start house and knowing you were just about to start all of this over again was just....well....demoralizing. I was hurting on leg 1 of the second lap for sure. By the time we hit leg 2 I was losing it. We were still doing OK, but then I just cracked. I sat up and yelled at aham that I needed to get some food in me or something. He sat up and tried to get a gel in as well.

By the time we hit the third leg I was feeling better, but the little rollers were enough to keep me just beghind aham's wheel trying to hold on. Turning the last corner I was feeling burned, but good. I was definitely getting a saddle sore the size of Texas, but I knew we only had about 2-3 miles left. When we rounded it there were a few groups in front of us. We had passed a few groups during the rest of the race, but not many. This represented an opportunity to lay some hurt on someone else. If aham wasn't going to take on the chase I was definitely going to.

Well...great minds think alinke. He just poured it on until we dropped their butts....even though they were definitely in the "masters" cats we toasted them (they were old). Once the passes were done aham swung off. I could see the finish line in the distance and really realized I had some serious juice left.

I then proceeded to blow aham off the back. News flash here folks...It's a TTT - Team Time Trial. That means it doesn't matter if I sprinted to the line or not - it was the finishing time of the second team member who set the time for the ride. I sat up and he grabbed on. We both sprinted for the line - simultaneously realizing that was most likely the hardest thing either of us had done on a bike - speed wise.

We hung around for a bit - traded impressions of what happened, etc. then hit the car for the ride home.

I just pulled the results from the site and now know this:

We placed 32 out of 51 teams. We came in last in our cat. We beat the following: 1 cat 1/2 team (they must have had a mechanical), 1 masters30+ from ABD, 1 Masters 40+ from Team Mack, 2 Masters 50 + from Vision Quest and Velo Roubaix, 1 Masters 60+ from Vision Quest, 5 other Masters teams - getting older, 1 set of juniors - extrapolating their data for 2 laps, and all 6 women's teams including their fastest team.

1:24:23 for 31.16 miles = 22.26mph average.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pain Cave

1:23 minutes of acid churning pain. It was a blast.

I picked up aham Sunday morning for the Team Time Trial put on by ABR out in Herscher, IL just West of Kankakee. It's good times just to be hanging with someone like aham on a nice mroning on the way to go ride bikes.

On the trip we discussed my mistakes with inadequate warmup before events. When we got there it was about what I expected to see....a superhero convention in the middle of a small town surrounded by corn fields.

We were outgunned and knew it, but we brought our biggest cans of whoop-ass and decided to give it the old college try. I hit the trainer and tried to work up a sweat. aham hit the road with my set of wheels on his rig (a way to try to lighten his gear a bit).

With some flotbots playing from starship psimet I tried to put on my "race face" - which BTW kind of resembles my "I have to take a big crap" face. "Must beat SOMEONE! Must beat SOMEONE! Must beat SOMEONE!" became my mantra.

Point of note here. This would be my second TT ever. The first was early this spring when I slapped on some clip-ons on to my road rig and went for a ride. I was decimated. I beat one guy in the 60+ category and at least one "Junior" under 16 racer. That was it. They might as well have handed me a pair of panties at registration with my number and said, "just put these on instead. It will save us all a lot of time and effort and the result will be the same."

I needed blood.

aham and I rode a small section off course in a last minute prep then took our place in staging. Staging is fun...NOT! It's not like other races where you line up, milling around, getting a little nervous then get a 2 second speach and you're off. No...instead TT staging is where you get to line up and listen to "high-tech" timing devices make beeps and count down every 30 seconds or so. It SOOOOOOO adds to the drama.

To top things off we have a set of juniors going off in front of us (3 spots - 3 minutes). I looked at aham and told him I felt like saying, "good luck. You better not beat me or I'll kick your ass after this is done" to them, but alas there were other supervising adults present.

Even better one of our Tuesday Night Group Ride resident aliens was lined up in a team about 6 back from us. UGHHHH!!!!

Alien2: "Hey psimet!"
psimet: "Hey alien2. So how far are you back from us?"
Alien2: "6 minutes."
psimet: " we should expect to see you somewhere around 12 minutes in? You'll be going twice as fast right?"
Alien2: "HAHAHAHAHAHA...yeah...right....well....maybe. :) "

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Booooooo
Whooosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh......

Every minute another set of ridicuously expensive carbon wheels went whooshing off the line.

"Riders 9:19!"

A couple of "bent racers". Really freaky fast on the ground recumbent bicycles with more carbon and technology on them than on a top end race car.

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Booooooo
Whooosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh......

"Riders 9:20!"

A couple of dudes messing with a last minute bike problem. I'm resisting my urge to help out last minute knowing it will throw off my mo-jo.

"Just a brake problem. I don't need those anyway. Hahahahahah."

I feel like I want to vomit.

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Booooooo
Whooosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh......

"Riders 9:21! OK psimet and aham? Good. OK you will hear a first beep at 30 seconds. The next series will be for the last 5 seconds. Go on the long tone. You have 2 laps. 50k total. Come by this start house to begin the second lap. Watch for riders. Finish in the <30> straight behind us. just keep going straight - don't take the turn the second time. Number? Good. Have fun guys."

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Booooooo
Whooosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh......

I had put a flimsy "gameplan" in place with aham at the start. i told him I always get pumped up at the start of stuff and will go out harder than I would like. Without being warmed up I tend to go hard until I pop and then recover for a bit until I hit my stride so to speak. I did just that.

aham was looking like he was already hurting. I was gapping him when coming to the front to pull. I would sit up to slow down and he would rocket past me putting himself right back in front. Result was that neither of us got a good break for a few minutes. Then we settled into a 1 minute rotation.

We passed the juniors near the end of the first leg of the first lap. YAY!!! 1 mental victory achieved. I knew we were going to get passed soon and often. I don't think aham was ready for how soon or often. There were some beasts out there. I think we were 2-3 teams down just on the first leg.

Second leg was a fast one. I was able to get in position and make the equipment work the way it was supposed to. I kept seeing 25-26mph when I was looking down. aham and I were hoping to finish with 23 for the run.

gotta get home...I'll finish this later....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Holy Crap

This... a fast fricking setup. I rode it today without the Zipps and even though I still need some tweaking I beat my PR for a 30k TT....without actually attempting to. I was just kind of riding along...

I hereby dub this configuration of the Giant as ..."Yo-mama."

Try to pass it and you might actually hear it say, "yo-mama!"

It is squirrelly though. I took the track crossing on Highland and just about dumped it. Seriously. I did what I alwasy do as I am going down - tense up and start saying "OOoooooo." I ended up keeping it rubber side down, but I really don't know how.

I got back and found out that little number knocked the wheel out of true..and it had been rubbing the brake.

Monday, August 4, 2008

2008 Elgin Crit

OK. I did better than I thought I would. The 5's first thing in the morning were actually nice. Stuck with the pack most of the way. Fell off a bit about 3/4 of the way through, but was still only a little way back. Finished strong and "placed" 20th in a final sprint with nvr.

I say "placed" only because it seemed that some of the lapped traffic ended up being counted on the same lap as us. Oh well. It was fun and the race was a lot slower than I had expected.

I was signed up to do another race - Open Cat Masters 30-39 yr olds. This mean that my Cat 5 butt was racing with Cat 1/2/3/4's. Needless to say this one was a bit faster and twice as long to boot.

We held for a few laps then someone's bad braking in the corner created a gap. Boo. Then the pain really began as we struggled together off the back. The best part is that it makes for good pictures.

We ended up getting lapped. 40 minutes of pain. Still placed 14th. At least 2 DNF's, but I believe I was dead last (DFL) among those that finished.

Enjoy the pics.

Little P man slept through the whole second race, but kept saying "that's daddy" when I was uploading the at least he knows what I look like.