Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I'm cathing up on a lot of overdue stuff right now. I am off work for the week (except for Friday) and have been busy straightening out my home office, financials, cycling, etc.

In good news I went through my cycling gear and I put approximately 80% of my clothing into either deep storage or e-bay piles. It is now way too f'n big for me.

I always approach time off at the end of the year with the idea that I will ride every day and get a jump on everyone else....not. End of the year is for resting. That said I have still alid down some decent 1:30hr blocks good work. Today I got outside and put in an hour on the cross bike. Crazy thing is I pulled a speed that I used to average during the summer using a road bike....and it was deep winter I was wearing all my gear and on a cross bike with 38psi tires. .....and I felt like I had a lot more in me. Yummy

Then I hit the trainer class at Bicycle Heaven and laid down another 1-1 1/2 hrs there. Yesterday I was at the gym - 5k on the dreadmill followed by about an hour of weights.

Weights are crazy. I have the weight lifter genetics. I don't have to do much and my body REALLY responds to lifting. I just don't want to throw on a ton of muscle and just end up heavier.

Just when Mrs. P and little P came back from Nana's they turned around and headed into downtown. They're doign a sleep study on little P. *sniffle*. My dad has sleep apnea, I have been told that I have sleep apnea by more than one person but haven't been tested. Little P has it for sure. I have heard him.

He had his adnoids (?) out a while back which did wonders for a while, but he has slowly gotten back to where he was before. They most likely grew back. Don't know why we're doing the study. We know he has it. So what. He's 2 1/2 so it's not like he'll wear a mask to bed. I don't feel like putting him through another surgery.....

Oh well. Now I am up late and thinking of them. Poo.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I spent some time on the trainer today, but nothing special. What was cool is that we did it over at MJH2's place. JAnd, MJH2, and I. Makes trainer work much easier.

Too much water around here. Too much rain, snow, etc. It sucks because it just isn't ridable. Climbing the walls.

Mrs. P is down at the in-laws visiting her sister and family. Little P is with her as well. I'm hanging at home trying to get caught up with the stuff you just can't get doen with family around.

Settled down for an unwind and found a recent family member was snarking my beer. "ROARRRRR"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Indoor TT at Vision Quest

So 2 Sunday's ago I was looking to ride. It was the first Sunday after the end of Cross season and I was still looking for a way to beat my head in for 1/2 hour. I had a power test that I was going to try to do, but MJH2 called me up and said there was an indoor TT that Vision Quest was putting on for that day.

I checked out the site and decided I would have a more effective power test if it was in actual competition. So we both decided to go.

First off let me say that Vision Quest is owned and run by Ex pro cyclist Robbie Ventura. He rode with Postal and 7-Eleven during his career. He was/is also Floyd Landis's coach. you might remember Floyd as the 3rd Americna to win the Tour de France in 2006 who was later found guilty of doping and stripped of the title, banned, and whose trial turned into a circus of a show that included members of his entourage calling another Tour winner Greg LeMond and threatening him with revealing his secret that he was molested at an early age by his uncle......

....now where were we?

Anyhooo....the TT. First off this was a really nice facility. Top notch. A lot fo money went into this and it shows. The setup is 24 computrainers all wired together in a multi-trainer package. They had a table at the door for registration where they took your bike, wiped off the tires, set it up in the trainer for you while you changed and weighed in.USAC officals and all this was a sanctioned event.

VQ Indoor TT #1 2008
This shot was sent to us in Robbie Ventura's Holiday e-mail. That's myself in the front row next to the red sleeveless jersey guy. MJH2 is right next to me.

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The setup from the other side. Notice the large flat displays? Rocky was giving me strength.

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So the TT went OK. I ended up placing 8th out of 16 Cat 4/5 racers. I had a lot of caffiene that morning so my HR averaged 185 for the duration of the event. That hurt. For the last sprint I peaked at somewhere near 198 bpm. The USAC official was looking at me like he was going to have to take me to the hospital. Meh.

Good news is I established an FTP or Functional Threshold Power of 266 watts. Not super high, but about 3.3 watts/kg....woughly half what a TdF contender can put out.

On the way out of the locker room I spied this poster:

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For those who don't know me that well let me just say that I started riding "seriously" in 1988. That year I was picking up cycling magazines and soaking up everything that was in them. I picked up an issue of Winning at some point and started reading about this squirrelly looking blonde kid wearing a pink jersey.

Hot pink was in back then, but still I thought, "what a panzy. Who would want to wear a pink jersey. I would be so PO'd at the organizers." Then I saw the picture that is in the poster above. It is simply a picture of Andy Hampsten riding across the Gavia wearing shorts on his way to sealing up his 1988 Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) victory.

It was, and is, the toughest picture in cycling I have ever seen either before or since. Sure there are some other great ones, but this one is mine. I have a copy of the poster sitting in my dining room still unframed that I got by writing a letter to Andy's brother when he was still selling them. This picture changed my life. If you saw it in real life you would know why. Stare at it. Think about all the posting I do about cycling and suffering. Think about the raw will that it takes to ride like that. That is cycling to me. You become a machine blinded by pain and focused on one thing. It's beautiful.

Anyway....to see that poster hanging on the wall autographed by Andy himself.....I just about swooned like a 13 yr old girl at a boy band concert.

After the TT we got to look through the new flagship Trek store atached to the facility. Tons of lance stuff on the walls. I'm not going to say that I ma not a Lance fan. I am not going to poopoo what are great achievements. I'll just say that while in there MJH2 and I both found the Landis stuff more interesting as well as both of us wanted to ask where the LeMond bikes were....

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A set of all 7 of "official" TdF yellow jerseys signed by the man himself.

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A cool wall of Robbie Ventura's stuff from his career. The bikes are junior track bikes he raced in Northbrook and Kenosha as a kid.

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MJH2 posing in front of 2 podium presentation jerseys from Floyd Landis. One from the TdF and one from the Tour of Georgia. These are uber rare as it is. Floyd's story makes them even more interesting. To many they are worthless to some like us...they are priceless.....and shoved in the back corner of the store...

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Beauty of a Phonak team jersey from Floyd. "Thanks for the help."

The TT was cool. I want to do another one, but the holidays have my all a jumble. Want to lose some more weight this winter, but lifting has me adding weight right now....lifting weights as well as beer and cookies that is.

Trying to focus.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Time to work

I just got word my upgrade request was approved. Boo....I mean Yay! I am officially no longer a Cat 5 wannabe. I'm a cat 4 POS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas - Check out the video

5 to 4

I made my request to upgrade from a Cat 5 road racer to 4. Even though I suck it was still time. 5's are meant to allow you to get the lay of the land - to learn what is involved in racing and how to race safely with others...not as a development category.

I don't feel ready, but the TT results from Sunday have helped show me that I am. I basically came out with a 3.3 w/kg functional threshold power (ftp) which puts me about mid level Cat 4 on Coggan's chart. I will post about the TT later. As it is let's hope I get the upgrade. Don't know if I officially have all of the starts required, but I just threw all of the events I have done on there. Big fields. Competitive. Meh...we'll see.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A little behind in my work

I have been trying to focus a little more on work, family, and of course...riding lately. As a result I have thoughts of tons of nice things to blog about but haven't gotten around to actually blogging.

First things first....Montrose wrap-up:

It was cold. this is what it looked like when we left that morning.

I did tear up my tights in on fo the wrecks I had. Didn't notice until later. I finally washed the cross bike yesterday. The season is now over for me. Poo.

In more exciting news we had a holiday BFNIC party that Colochange put on. He was nice enough to invite a bunch of us less desirables over to his house and feed up beer. I took him up on the offer...

pic 031 Above L to R: Cycling Jester (thanks for the ride DD), Recursive trying to remember why he came, Cyclpsycho/Alien, Colorchange our host, Alien2, CyLowe97.

pic 041 Recursive - that's how he rolls...

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iab - the premise of the party was that you brough your bike and got your picture taken with it. Nice idea. Colochange got to work another one of his hobbies in. Check out the vintage steel that iab is spoting. I can pretty much assure that it is older than anyone actually reading this.

pic 043 Alien - What Woulf Jens Do. I love this shirt. For those that don't get it google "Jens Voight". Throw a lot of German/Australian accented f bombs around and you might get close.

pic 018Above L to R: Voldemort, Recursive, Alien2, Scummer, SmokinMiles, iab and Alien
Good party and lots of fun. I remember doing a shot or two at one point. I also remember getting up on his TT bike in full party mode and riding it a bit....I think. His puny bike bent under my awesomeness (read "weight") and the tire rubbed a bit on the table....
The next morning we went to see The Laurie Berkner Band at the Rosemont Theatre....Complete with hang-over we got to be crammed into a huge theatre with a slew of 2-8 yr olds....jumping and singing. Awesome.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Sorry about the lack of updates. I'm in a funk. Mix of end of season blues, winter.

Ah, f' it.

My form of therapy for this is to go ride my ass off. I am usually so flooded with endorphins afterwards that you could shoot me in the foot and I'd be like, "Oooo...look at that hole. It goes clear through. Nice shot!" Thank you, mother nature, for making that an impossibility.


Cyclocross is over. Montrose. It was cold. I was wearing 2 layers of tights....seriously. My heavy winter ones to boot. Single digits out there. Hands were so numb I was certain I was going to end up with frostbite damage. They were so cold/numb I couldn't even feel that they were there anymore. No pain or anything.

I got a great start - 3rd in by the end of the starting straight. From there I just started to make mistakes. I let a few guys go by as we got to the hill the first time because I was thinking, "these guys are still going for points, I don't want to take them out from some stupid move, I'm going to pop if I push too hard right now."

From there began the comedy of errors. The conditions changed drastically - getting more icy as the race went on. I had too much pressure in my tires after changing it 3 times...and I was running like 32-34 in clinchers.

This race sealed for me the opinion that you do need tubulars for cross racing. At least when conditions get like what we saw on Sunday.

So....some missed remounts on ice, dropping my chain and having a hell of a time putting it back on with gloves on. For the second venue in a row I kicked my brake caliper into my wheel (under the rim and into the spokes). I had to stop and pull that out. I had to put a foot down and stop so many times it was pathetic.

At one point something happened on the second downhill into the bridge. I had to dismount and run down the rest of the hill, through the tunnel and up the hill over the next barrier. It sucked.

I was a defeated man. I didn't even want to be riding anymore at that point. For the first time I thought about quitting - not because I was physically beat - but because I had lost all my motivation and just didn't want to keep getting beat so bad.

Then Bob passed me. It was similar to the feeling I get those times when Little P doesn't want to give me a hug. No love.

At that point my race was done. I had no desire to do anything other than get the race over with. Someone else passed me somewhere. Then on the home stretch I heard someone moving up on me.

There was a section of pavement near the start/finish that I had wipped out on during a practice lap. I then watched tons of guys go down in the same spot in every race after that. it had a poor transition between the pavement and the grass and the pavement was slick and 100% ice.

I had taken it slow everytime through there just to stay upright and it had cost me about 1 position every lap. This time again I was coasting over that section as this guy was nailing it. I wasn't going to give this one up. He had about half a wheel on me and the momentum when I decided to sprint. I clicked up about 3 or 4 gears and just layed into it.

I realized I hadn't even dug deep at all that entire race. Sad. I had a lot in reserves and took him at the line. He gave me a "Nice finish. How many laps did we do?"

All I could muster was a, "I don't know....3 or 4."

Turns out it was 5. Who knew.

I finished 23/52. Blech. I gave it away. MJH2 got a 7th. Congrats man. Way to go into the offseason with a top 10. Way to stay vertical.

Cross is over. Winter is here. Trainer season has started at Bicycle Heaven. Between Tuesday night and Thursday night sessions there and spending time with my family I hope to remain sane.

The TT build is about 90% there in terms of parts. I tend to hold things off because I like to prolong it. I don't like the thought of having a build complete in December and not getting to ride it outside for months.

I may complete it earlier than normal though so that I can ride the trainer with it and do the indoor TT series on it this winter as practice for the next season's TT's.


Double Meh.

Bah humbug.

Pic of Montrose from velogrrl...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I must be stupid

Hi. It's in the single digits out there today. Lots of snow. I'm just about on my way to go race my bicycle. I just spend about an hour digging for all those deep winter clothing items. Balaclava....last piece of the equation.

So...when you're sitting there watching the Bears play today just think that just a few miles away Yours truly will be riding his bike over frozen mud, and off-camber snow and ice at the Illinois Cyclocross Championships in Montrose.

It beats riding the trainer. I think.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Today the guy in the uniform brought me more stuff. Happy Birthday to me.....

Monday, December 1, 2008


I spent the week at my folks house last week. I just didn't get around to posting much on here. I have a great race report/pictures mostly from the Woodstock race. I had my highest placing yet and best start by far - coincidence?

I'll see what I can get out here...