Monday, April 27, 2009

Daily grind

OK - for those that don't already know I did get a new job. I was only out of work for just over 1 month. The best part was that I had 2 other verbal offers in the process of becoming hard offers when I took the one I did. So...if you're reading this and currently out of work - it can turn around.

All this means that poor ol psimet isn't riding the Tuesday and Thursday night world championships anymore - or at least not right now. As the sun stays out later I might have a chance. I figure I'll hit the Penny Rd Pub ride on tuesdays because it's closer.

Instead of racing this last weekend I did a BFNIC ride (Bike Forums Northern Illinois Chapter is you've forgotten). It was awesome to see some faces I haven't seen in a while. It was even better not having to organize the ride or to have promised anyone I would ride sweep. That meant I was free to show up and hammer.

I really did want to ride pretty easy for 10-15 miles getting a chance to talk to people, but alas....that was not to happen. We picked up a ringer in the parking lot. I should have known something was up when a rider with a Flatlandia jersey showed asking about our ride on the same day their club was putting on the Leland race.

We rolled out and soon after shider dropped the hammer. Later the Flatlandia rider turned the screws to us - pegging us at 27mph INTO the 30-40mph headwind. The suck.

The rest of the ride was more of the same. We turned in something like 70 miles. 35 or so at 21.1 mph the rest at 18.7 - there was some rain and some hill climbing.

So...Vernon Hills this weekend. I checked and we have like 7 riders in the 4/5. I feel good about that. I predict pain.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hillsboro Podium


It's me standing in for JF in 2nd place on the podium at Hillsboro Roubaix. Only podium I will ever see. Thanks JF for missing it. It was pretty cool.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Madison - take 2

The radar looked like it might hold off the rain in Madison long enough for us to race so MJH2 and I decided to hit the road.

We took our time - neither of us particularly psyched to race again after 2 races the day before. As soon as I got out of the car I was smacked on the face with some frigid wind - all too familiar to our cheese-making beer-filled neighbors to the North.

At registration MJH2 and I stalled picking our plan for the day. 1 race? 2? Which one? Then MJH2 decided that for the small amount of $$ it was worth registereing for both. I just thought to myself - "SUCK!"

The crowd wasn't as big as it was the day before. Only us diehard fools with chain lube for blood were able to brave the cold and the inevitable rain to knock wheels and bang bars in yet another industrial park in the midwest.

The kit resembled something I would have expected to wear during the height of cyclocross. Vest, warmers, toe covers, etc... blech. Just yesterday it was shorts, sleeveless base and jersey with no hat. Hell I still had sunscreen in the car.

First race was the cat 4. Some guys from the day before were back. I swear there were some fresh guys too. We started way slow. It was nice. I found myself where I normally am - floating right around 5-8th wheel. One of the laps I found myself second wheel going into the hill where the guy on the front decided he wanted to attack. There was no jump he just accelerated so I went with it not realizing this guy was trying to attack. He got to the top of the hill and popped - going right back into me. Rubbed tires a bit but then he was gone...and I was up front.

I rode it. I thought I was taking it easy but MJH2 told me I was riding tempo. OOoops. Rode about 1.5 laps on the front. Suck. I did too much work. When someone finally took over I found myself dangling. I hadn't warmed up before the race and I just wasn't firing right. Took a couple more laps and then went off the back. DNF. Suck

So...I knew I would race the second race better. I went in semi-warm. MJH2 took a flyer and it looked good enough that I was about to go to the front to block when their group started to come backwards. MJH2 sat up and was throwing it in. I yelled at him to stay in because I knew the group wasn't going to do crap after they caught him, but he was having none of it.

After that I just rode the race. You get in a groove. Just kind of ebb and flow with the group. The lines and corncers become mechanical and you start looking around at who is doing what. Three guys from a team with "Port-A-John" on their bib butts were on the front trying to get their man another win. I made a joke about the race going into the toilet. No one laughed. No one got it. I had to explain it to one guy. Before that he thought I was complaining about the low speed. So the group was tired.

I kept hanging in there every lap. Was kind of on the edge of popping a lot, but never did. I just held it. I knew when and where the surges were going to come in the last few laps and they did. I covered them. I figured I was cooked for the inevitable sprint, but figured I would line up and give it what I had from the back.

Coming into the final straight I had enough speed to launch me. I figured what the I hit it. I went too late and didn't really have enough road to wind out my sprint but I picked up about 10-15 spots - finishing in 5th place out of the 26 that started - 25 finished (MJH2 was the only one who didn't).

It wasn't until later that MJH2 pointed out to me that I probably got an upgrade point. I did the math when I got home and he was right...I should get an upgrade point. Too bad I don't feel like ever upgrading again.

Good trip - good series. I'll report on the first day later. Next time I wish they'd actually CLOSE the roads instead of just implying that they were closed but still letting a TON of cars on to the course...including one coming into the Masters 1/2/3 field in the final corner of their race....Ooops.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Madison Crits

Did the cat 4 and Masters 30+ Cat 4/5 races. Nice. Fast. Both averaged just under 25mph. Ouch.

I'll do a total run down later. Trying to head back up there for some more pain.

GPS Data Here for cat 4

...and here for Cat 4/5

Friday, April 17, 2009

TT Bike

Aham asked for a picture of the TT bike and I took one later that day just haven't gotten around to showing it yet. Here you go.

BH Ride Report

Great ride. Lots of people showed up. We had close to 30 or so. I thought it would be bigger, but a lot of the guys who usually meet up with us out by the golf course weren't there.

As we were climbing in one section early and heard the unmistakable sound of cleats hitting the pavement. I yelled "RIDER DOWN!" The group sat up for a second....then laid into it.

It was Ara. He got boxed in or something and hit the deck. I floated back to see who it was and saw him rocketing back up to the group. many of the team members floated back to help but he didn't need it. In the end it just left a bunchof guys off the back at a bad time for them. Ara even told them "don't wait for me (save yourselves)."

Speed wise is was slow to wind up. I was planning on leading all of the 4/5's that wanted to ride slower by taking all of the short cuts. I was 1/2 way through the first turn where I was supposed to go straight for the shortcut and missed it. That's when it started to get a little faster.

I was hanging pretty good, but found myself in the wind swinging around in a weird middle section trying to hold on. I held for a while but then my mind just said, "save it" so I sat up and coasted back.

That was when the group hit McDonald Rd and they were GONE. We ended up with a group of stragglers. Alien3 from the penny rd ride was with us. He told me CyLoew had gotten a flat and was out a long ways back (oops....). He said he felt bad for not stopping, but we all know what kind of ride it was. I still felt bad I didn't stop even though I didn't even know until many miles later.

Colorchange, RR, myself, alien3, and some tri guys made up this group. I was feeling good and was looking to take some hard pulls. We started kind of rotating well. I was pulling at 400-500 watts when on the front. We were hauling butt around 30mph all the way down McDonald. We took a shortcut and ended up in front of the main group for a majority of the ride.

Some of the tri guys weren't pulling through and when they did they weren't really pouring it on. That ended up with myself and RR and Colorchange doing a ton of pulls. We ended up really tired by the time we got back into the wind. We started a constant rotating 2 line paceline. Even that died after a few miles.

The group caught us and we motored on in the big pack. Nice. Hit Townhall in the group. It was like a gun went off. Those guys attacked it like date on prom night.

The rest of the ride found alien3 and myself limping back. We made it back into the group when we got back into town. Nice ride. Fast, but it has been faster. Fun. 40+ miles. Even with the soft pedaling in town I averaged over 20mph for the whole ride. Haven't looked at the power data but I am sure it is brutal.

CyLowe and MJH2 came rolling in together. Nice move by MJH2. He's always been good like that.

Now...trail ride with little P this morning. Hit the shop in the in Madison tomorrow and hopefully Sunday as well. Here's to a good and safe weekend for everyone!
....oh yeah....and check out my site. Click on some of the advertisers links if they interest you...hopefully you know why. Custom wheel build quotes, etc.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

BH Ride tonight

I am getting psyched for the BH ride tonight. Just about everyone is planning on showing. The weather is good. This could be crazy. Still debating whether or not to do the "rip your legs off total Cat 1/2 full on race world championships" or to split off and do a 4/5 "development" ride.

Probably a little of both.

5 o'clock. Parking lot. Here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

7 Cylinders

I'm firing on 7-cylinders. More than the 6 banger from last year, but not yet full power.

Did the Penny Rd Pub ride tonight. Barrington area ride I did all last year. Wind sucked. Dan, colorchange and myself headed out. Dan put the hurt on quick.

I popped a couple of times - feeling the overeating from the holiday at my parents. I kept crawling back though and found I was recovering quick. Pop, climb back, lay on a pull. It was nice.

CC hurt. Dan hurt towards the end. Epic. Mid summer speed in full winter gear in April. We finished close to 21 with only 3 guys in the wind and cold.

7-cylinders. ....can't wait to see 8.

I'm riding...

40-ish degrees. Overcast and windy. Raining off and on for what seems like a couple of days. Most everyone has backed out of the planned rides for this evening.


I'm riding.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

TT Bay-beee

I'm down in Indy town this weekend visiting my folks for Easter. Little P is singelhandedly proving to everyone in the world that there is some good still left in the world. He's so cute his smile could melt the polar ice caps. The government is aware of this and is monitoring his happiness closely.

Anyhoo....I finally got a chance to get on my TT bike/build from over the winter. Sure I have ridden it on the trainer, etc. but I haven't had a chance to get on the road with it and really shake it out. Without any real rides with others setup I decided it would be a great opportunity to get it on the road.

Man...that's a fast bike. It's setup with a mix of Ultegra, 105 and DA components. Some cheap ol Tektro calipers, etc. and it was still fast. I had to deal with a lot of traffic and there was some climbing, but I turned in a ride at around the same speed as what I have been riding at in groups. I was able to maintain a decent TT speed (22-23mph) into the wind and 27-30 with the tailwind. I put one of my new SRAM cassette on with an 11T cog. I even used it and not on descents.

Net result...Position isn't perfect, but I didn't feel anything out enough to change it while riding. I can ride fast on this thing. Aero wheels, ditching the vest with crap in it, and putting the aero helmet on - not to mention the performance enhancement of an actual competition - will add up to some record times for me for sure this year.

I am the walrus.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Just figured out I can sell custom Powertap builds at pretty competitive pricing. Check out my commercial site to email me for a quote if you're interested. I can beat just about anyone, if not everyone else out there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More Hillsboro

Finding more Hillsboro stuff.

I'm on the right edge of this video. MJH2 is 435 looking off to see JF (red glasses) on the side of the road...

Cat 4 rollout. See how good of a start I get?

Hillsboro Report

Hillsboro-Roubaix was a much bigger race than even I expected. I should have known when the fields for Cat 4 and Cat 5 filled within a few minutes of registration opening.

With the recent job situation being what it is I had done some bike work on MJH2's bike after the wreck leading JF out during Kenosha to help cover the room cost for the Hillsboro trip. I drove starship Psimet down there with MJH2 on board.

My mother grew up in a little town near Hillsboro (Piasa) so I am fairly familiar with the area (MJH2 and I pulled the Model A out of a barn near there in Jan.). We got down there early enough to register on Friday and pre-ride the course. First impression....holy crap these roads are narrow. Centerline rule??!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

We got to pre-ride the course with Marc Moeller (cat 2) of Northbranch and Rob Kelley (cat 1) on our team. They spent a lot of time pointing out some of the courses highlights. The pre-ride was extremely valuable, but in the end I think that I spent too much energy doing it.

In general they ran the registration of the race beautifully. It took all of about 5 seconds to register and get my number. We went into town after we registered and had a wonderful meal at a converted church. JF made it into town and met up with us. I told myself I was sticking to water, but with the festive atmosphere and some nice looking Hacker Pschorr I quickly found myself indulging.

It was a total bike racing trip - 3 of us crashing in the room. It was MJH2's room and JF wasn't about to sleep on the floor so he and I ended up sharing a bed. I slept OK so he must be pretty good at spooning.

When I woke up I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Almost like I had a hangover even though I hardly drank anything. I think it was just dehydration. That's bad before a bike race.

We headed over to a Denny's for breakfast - pancakes and a couple of eggs before heading over to the start. There were so many cyclists milling around the local hotels and haunts. Everyone was sizing everyone else up. It quickly became apparant that the riders here meant business....and that we were the fatest ones in town.

Once at the start we got pinned up, geared up and started milling around. We pre-rode the hills a couple of times to get the blood flowing. The air was thick with the scent of chamois cream, nerves and a hint of nuts - most likely due to the immense amount of shelling that was about to occur.

The staging was a nightmare....for everyone else but us. They lined everyone up together in the street. That meant we stuck our noses up on the end of the P/1/2 field which was going off first so that we would be in front when the 4;s were eventually called up. It woked beautifully and we ended up where we usually are - up front in the middle.

I had that sick tension in me just before the start. At that moment I wanted to do anything else other than race a bike - especially if it meant I was going to be able to go pee.....I ha to go sooooooo bad. Before we knew it "ridersreadyGO!" and we were off.

I was able to get into my pedals and was in the first 5-6 guys on the front. The field for the 4's was 100 deep. Seriously. These roads were narrower than some of the freshman men only dorm rooms we had at Purdue and there was a centerline rule. It was definitely an example of 10 pounds of poop in a 5 pound bag.

There was idle chit chat and some touching and bumping as we went - to be expected. I was able to work my position fairly well and stayed up in the first 10 guys for the majority of the first lap (22 miles). There were some highlights - like one of the local guys from the Christian based club/team who went on a hate filled tirade that if I recall correctly included some choice 4 letter words. He was hopping mad that someone passd him on the right...when the there was definitely room to do so. Really I think he was just PO'd because he was popping and starting to get shelled.He didn't stick around long enough for us to find out for sure.

The wind became a factor in the last few miles of the first lap. I found myself on the wind side of the crosswind and really worked hard to maintain position. I just couldn't get into anyone's draft and out of the wind. The whole time I was just hemoraging energy.

As we turned into the wind to go into town and hit the first of the three successive climbs I decided I needed to conserve energy and spin up it in the small ring. Whoa...wrong choice. It was like I hit reverse. Everyone else pounded it on that hill and I found I over-reved like a poorly driven import race car and popped my motor. I sat up and knew my day was done instantly. It sucked.

As I was sliding back through the pack I started to get an idea for how far up I had truly been and how big the field really was. It was disgustingly huge. As I viewed the back of the pack and the carnage that was spent racers flying off the back with me I experienced a strange moment of "WTF"...I had to get back on.

So on the next downhill I latched on to the back of another rider off the back and drew myself back into the field(see the video of me doing just that in the previous post). Once there we hit the feed zone hill which made me limit out again and then we hit the big climb in town. I had nothing. As I climbed on in shame I saw a supporter along the side of the road with a Beverly Bike jersey on and yelled, "Hey! Don't tell Bob from Beverly that I popped like this!"

It was there that I started pondering cutting the race short and only doing 1 lap. Then I remembered that I didn't have a vagina. I drove down there and had the whole day...I was finishing the course.

Soon after the start/finish line and the start of the second lap I ended up with a group of guys that got shelled as well. It was like the island of misfit toys. The group was filled with big guys and I felt like we were all members of some weight loss challenge gone horribly wrong.

Don't know how many of you have raced with xXx riders, but if you've done much of it you know what they can be like. There was one in the mix and he decided that it was his duty to become self appointed ride leader and educator. I'm surprised the sound of my eyes rolling didn't drown out his instructions to the other riders in the group about how to ride in a paceline with a cross wind.

Of particular annoyance was the group's tendancy to want to ride slowly until I would end up going to the front and picking up the pace - then they would punch it as I pulled off. Total rookie moves and totally annoying. I also felt at times like I was the only one who remembered it was still a race - not a Sunday ride.

As we came rolling into town for our second time I looked up and saw MJH2 languishing in front of us in no-man's land just suffering in the wind. I watched him kill himself for a long time as we slowly pulled him in. I couldn't bear to see it anymore and went to the front to bridge up to him. I got a snyde "you don't chase your teammate" comment from the peanut gallery but could only think of 2 things - 1 - we were racing for what had to be 60-something who cares, and 2 - MJH2 was much better company than the guys in that group for sure.

Sure enough as I got to him we started talking and the others decided to attack. All I could do was laugh inside. Up the final climb we saw a rider at the side of the hill stopped no doubt because of cramping. MJH2 made a quick "I feel your pain buddy" kind of joke and then locked up solid. Seriously. I have never seen anyone lock out their legs with cramps like that before. I continued...though about stopping but didn't....realized I was going to beat MJH2 - which is always something that makes the little psimet voice inside me happy. Then I felt bad for feeling happy so I felt the need to try to motivate him as I rode away. I yelled something about being able to smell his female body parts. He didn't find it amusing.

Then I bombed the brick section to roll across the line in a 1-man sprint for 66th place. The suck was strong with me that day.

After that I changed, ate and awated the arrival of the rest of our teammates. Turns out JF placed 2nd in the cat 5 race in a breakaway they stuck from 5 miles in. That boy is going places I tell you. He was in the feed zone passing bottles to our 1/2 racers who were putting in 88 miles of hatred.

The organizers kept calling for JF over the PA when I realized they wanted to do a podium shot. I tried to call JF and wasn't able to get him so I started making my way over to the podium to tell the presenters where JF was. As I approached they were putting some guy who was standing near there in JF's spot as a stand in. I ran up saying JF was in the feedzone and wouldn't be able to make it. They asked if I was on his team. I said they asked me to stand in.

So.....I was on the podium. 2nd place. Cat 5. Probably the only podium shot I will ever get. It was fun. Thanks JF.

Our 1/2 guys did well. Kelley came in 20-something with the pack. JD soon after. Ara came in a little after that. He talked to us a bit and then went to sit in his car. I heard Brian Conant ask Ara if he was OK. I went over to ask him the same and he brushed me off saying he'd be alright in a minute.

We left and hit the road. Called Ara to see if he wanted to join us for dinner on the road and found out that Conant had to call the ambulance on Ara because of his level of dehydration. He ended up coming through with observation and ended up OK but he really pushed his luck on that one. The day was deceivingly set up for hydration problems.

A big thanks goes out to Brian Conant for his keen eye and quick reaction to Ara's condition. Thanks my man! And I get the half-wheeler award of shame for leaving without finding out if Ara was truly OK.

So....long story short. I'm still fat and slow although skinnier and much faster than last year. I have also realized that I will always be too fat for this sport.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hillsboro Clip

MJH2 found this and passed it on. I am in the video at 6 seconds in. I am about 10th wheel and in the celeste/blue kit you have seen on here before. This should give you an appreciation for how big the field was, etc.

Just found me again. This one is actually pretty cool because it is right after I was dropped the first time. I am off the back of the pack in this one drafting a guy about 12 seconds in to it. I caught the pack again at the bottom of the hill, but popped again 2 hills later. So this is when psimet's race went bye-bye...

My new commercial site

OK...I've been working on it for a while. Thing is I have played around with getting into the business side of the cycling world for a while. My current state of employment has allowed me to play a bit.

The idea is that I want a site that will allow me to put my thoughts and opinions about cycling and cycling related gear. I intend on expanding it to include fit, products, racing info, etc.

Obviously this is a commercial endeavor though. I am set up to get paid when visitors click on the links provided and/or buy something I have directly linked to. I also have a section on there that has my own products. Basically if you want something cycling related then just let me know and I can quote it for you.

I have to quote is because I can not advertise pricing becase of the distribution agreements in place. You can e-mail me at psimet at for price quotes.

Hope you enjoy it. Yes it is not much to look at....but I hope I can build on it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009