Wednesday, October 28, 2009


New web site is up and running. Check it out -

Big thanks go out to Tim Speciale for all the work and Runner Susan for the masthead/banner.

Our cross race is this weekend. Campton Cross. We did a sor tof bandit cross last night. I had fun. Cross Mojo is coming back. I decided to do the 30+ this weekend and then the 4b race....yup. 4b. I want to have fun again. 4b can be the place for it I am hoping.

This will be my total, "I don't give a" race. Beware all ye who enter...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bartlett Cross Race 2009

It was like mortar. Not the tube like things you fire exploding shells from but the stuff you use to hold blocks together with in order to create a building. The grass and mud lattice that we mixed together was working perfectly at filling every single open space and hardening in place. Unfortunately...we didn't want it to.

In an attempt to re-find my cyclocross mojo (and to rent some wheels) I got to the Bartlett race early and set up camp. The early morning rain had souped the oversaturated ground. It made even my recreationally paced pedal strokes painful and slippery even as I was just hauling materials from my car to the course.

It wasn't even time to race and all I wanted to do was crawl back into my bed to warm up and dry out. Ahh....cross weather.

After setting up I jumped on to take a few practice laps. Beveryly Bob and MJH2 were there as well. The first lap was filled with a lot of comments along the lines of, "this corner will suck" and "OOOooo can you imagine what this will be like by this afternoon?" I only felt like lowering the pressure in my tires further and when I got back I saw that I was already well below where I would rationally consider running.

I was racing 30+ and 4A's this time. My first cross double and the first time I was venturing out of the 4's for a race. I'll admit it was weird lining up with some of the elite guys I have ridden with on group rides but never against in a race. When faced with utter anniliation...make jokes.

It was a good crew. Felt good. Shea Butter, Wrong Way Nick, Alien, Beverly Bob, MJH2, JAnd, etc. were all there. Time for a good old race OTB. I figured all was well as long as I beat Bob.

It was a year ago at this very race where I first learned of Bob's existance. He and I battled each other down to the final sprint - where I believe I beat him. From that point on in just about every race it has become my mantra - "must beat Bob."

Bob has beat me a lot. I think I have beat him a lot too, but while we don't keep score we know what the goal for the day is for sure. Even better - I got some of my cross demo wheels under Bob.

So, I got a good start. I was right behind Matt. I was racing in that sweet spot right behind a teammate for most of the first lap. Shea Butter slipped in between us and finished out the lap riding alongside Matt.

The hill was a mess. We all knew we were running it. We had only seen 1 person ride it well all morning and that was Wayne "Cycling's Chuck Norris" Simon. When I brought that up to Matt he replied, " mortals have ridden it yet."

Running up the hill I was damn glad I had toe spikes on....until I started to realize that all I was doing with them was picking up toe mortar and packing my pedals with it.

Somewhere along the line I was doing kind of OK and then I looked down. I must have done so because I was starting to fade. The clock said 27 minutes. Perfect for a 1/2 hr race...not the case in 30+. We were on for 45 minutes. That's when I did some Rob math and realized I was basically a little over 1/2 way done. Suck.

From there I slowly fell apart. I tried to give everyone a line to get by me. Super Wayne passed me with 1 lap left so I wasn't doing too aweful bad. I thankfully got lapped by our leader near the end of my 4th lap I believe. Right around the same time Bob....passed me.

If I had realized it was our last lap I would have sprinted or something, but no doubt Bob would have reacted and matched my move. He wanted to beat me as much as I wanted to beat him. He deserved the victory and I sure didn't. Next time time...

After that it dawned on me that I had to wait around for hours until the 4A's. Nothing much happened. Hung out. JAnd picked up a sammich for me while I was out there (thanks!). Supergirl got on my wheels for the 4A's. Ed White got a picture of him on them. Good stuff.

I put in a great start on the 4A's. Made it about 1/4 of a lap and started to really feel the effort from the morning. I started to fade fast. I was giving up spots like you wouldn't believe and I felt like crap.

The problem with a good start is that you get to watch a lot of people pass you when you crack.

I pulled to the side and let most everyone by me. I was done. I was going to cut the course but I saw the hill. The course had dried up so much from the morning that everything was sticking beautifully and I knew I could ride the hill. So I went and rode it.....and then pulled off at the start-finish. it had to happen. I have not been training. I didn't ride or exercise at all since the race the previous Sunday. I haven't had my mojo. I figured I needed to hit bottom and at the same time re-kindle some love for the sport. I kind of hit bottom, and I have some love back but I am still missing a lot of it. Most of you know why.

So I will attempt to train a little this week. I fear that if I actually train again and stop doing things like eating a half dozen donuts on the way to a meeting and eating McDonald's and pizza and drinking beer at every opportunity....I could in fact be dangerous....

....or I could be a slightly fitter piece of pack fodder. Yay, pack fodder.

Quote of the day goes to Marc Moeller who upon hearing Matt say something like, "I'm not really going to be racing I figure I will give it about 10 minutes of effort-" he replied, "F*&# THAT S*&#!"

I think I'm just doing the 30+ for now on. I have no points in the 4As so what's the point? I have more fun the the 30+....and I don't almost die in the melee the 4A's has become.

Also - the courses are too long. Period. It might help the scoring but it makes it more like an agressive group ride you've done once before. You have an idea what is coming up, but you still haven't figured out all the lines or places you can move up, etc. If this keeps up we're going to have to start putting up "you are here" signs on the course so you can figure out where the hell you are. We're also going to have to start providing SAG support and put in a rest stop.

...maybe public transportation for the spectators to take them around the course....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday will Suck

Me: "what time do you work tomorrow?"
Mrs P:"Why?"
Me: "I haven't ridden since the race last Sunday. I am going to get my ass handed to me. "
Mrs. P:"That happens every week anyway."

She's right.

*sigh* errrr.....*psi*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Carpentersville Report

Something is rotten in Denmark.

I am not feeling at one with the cross zen this season. I have found I am not alone either. It just isn't as much fun this year.

Polling friends I have broken it down into the following possible causes:
1. The courses have gotten kind of silly. They are just too long to be anything more than an amusement ride. 1/2 hour of racing is short enough and when you are only getting 3 laps it's barely enough time to figure out a line through corner #97.

2. The 4's races have changed tone. It seems to be more about how early you can get there to line up (1/2 hour before our race this week) and whether or not you can make it down the front stretch without ending up in the inevitable pileup.

It's like cat 5 road racing. Everyone is an internet kid who has read up all summer about how they are supposed to go like mad at the start of a cross race....kind of like how they read they are supposed to sit in and never do any work in a crit but to always be int he top 10-12 spots. Makes for real negative racing.

3. Everyone has moved. I am hardly racing with the guys I raced with last year. Some are waffling between 4A and 4B. Others have ditched the 4's due to the comedy factor and ended up racing 30+ or 3's. It seems like the categories settle down a bit after Carpenstersville if last year was any indication but I am not holding my breath. Guess I will race the 30+ this week just to be with the guys I like racing with. Our apologis in advance to the guys who are actually racing it seriously. Just be sure to yell as you lap us and we'll get the hell out of the way.

4. It went from being a lot of good-natured fun-loving partiers to a carnival college keg party for the sake of having a carnival. Like all good things when given to us in our youth we have a tendancy to relive the stories during the offseason and are left with no alternative in the fall other than to "out-do" the party this year.

As with most things this effort is usually met with too much effort and not enough content. Too many people trying to be the cool group - one is the cool group.

- getting back in conjunction with point number 1 - as a result I don't see any hand-up opportunities until either the last lap or until the next race. You only pass each cool group 3 times so you better have your eyes open on the crowd instead of racing.

So what does all of this mean? Have I forsaken cross? Hells no. I am just more pissed at myself for not feeling the love. I want it back. This week I will race the 30+ in conjunction with my already paid entry for 4A's. I will have a wheel table set up but I will be concentrating on hangin out with good people.

I will cheer more. Heckle even more. I already say hey to every racer I know as I pass them or as they pass me. I suggest everyone else should as well. Get to know the guy's name.

I want my Beverly Bob back. I need my Beverly Bob back. I need to be gunning on the last lap hoping like mad he doesn't get past me. That's cross. Not some stream of nameless 20-somethings streaming past. That's crits.

During the Dan Ryan Woods race I was having a blast for a huge section of it because I was racing Supergirl. That takes me back and is fun.

I have an idea of how hard it is to put these on. I would like to thank everyone for the job they have done. I think everything has been great and we couldn't ask for more at all. I've been trying to join in as a sponsor for the series but you'd be amazed at how hard it is to give people money it seems. I will keep at it.

There's still some love out there - Nick doing the double and passing me on the last lap.

If you're a normal adult - possibly with a family even - then come out this week. Cheer people on. Scream for the guys way OTB of the 4B race. Say hey to people you don't know. Say hey to me. Ignore the tents. Ignore the big traveling circus. bring the cross zen back.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Make your own pizza. Hells yes.

Thank God it's Friday

Not only can't he sprint but apparantly he is also a poor writer of fiction too. Mark "sour grapes" Something-Druber posted his self titled "work of fiction" regarding the final sprint at the old guys race at Fall Fling. The Article is at a site I was not even aware of until someone sent me the link.

I didn't go into the big to-do here on my blog at the time frankly because it wasn't worth it. I don't even know the guy, or really care to, but I have been amazed at the sheer volume of people who have come up to me at events since and thanked me. They all seem to share a strong opinion on him.

Recruitment is going well. I am looking at some sponsorship deals for PSIMET wheels.

I have secured riders for the PSIMET demo wheels in the 4A's (including beverly Bob and Supergirl) and 1 rider in the 4B's this Sunday. I will be there all day hanging out and distributing information about the wheels if I can get it put together in time. Hope to see you out there.

Stop by and say hey if you are out there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Wheel Bling

Finally getting around to throwing down some wheel bling.

Jason Senffner rode some PSIMET 50mm carbon clinchers to victory in the State Road Race.

Before the start - the compeittion checking out the wheels.

Jason Senffner - Illinois State Road Race Champion and Illinois Cup Winner - Masters 35+ 4/5

Congrats Jason. I'm thinking it was the wheels....

Also - I have been planning on renting 50mm tubulars for cross races. Here's what they look like:

The idea is one to get my wheels out there and to give racers an opportunity to ride some carbon, some tubulars, and some nice tubulars....while putting money towards one of my wheelsets.

So...I don't have the specifics dialed in yet but if you're interested in racing on a set of these during a cross race this weekend let me know. I am guessing that the "fee" will be close to what the entry fee is for the race and that will go towards your purchase if you end up deciding to get one.

email me... psimet at psimet dot com if you are interested.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Metal filled trainer

Little P and Mrs. P got sick of me spending so much time on the phone talking business instead of training that they decided to "hide" my bicycle using the plethora of packaging material I have in the shop now.

After that I threw a leg over and had an amazing interval session. It was perfect for cross. Long "high" sweet spot intervals. Training with power rocks.

So does the music. With the fan going and the trainer,'s impossible tohear my crappy TV while training without turning it up load enough to make it's casing resonate and waking up the I resorted back to an iPod. Metal, punk, heavy...turning pedals in anger. It's been a while since I've done that. It is sooooooooooooooo theraputic.

That said...trainers suck.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shadow puppets while waiting for pancakes. Priceless.

Quick Wrap-up

Too much to cover and a lot of work to do today.

We finally got our chance for cake during the last crit of Fall Fling. In the end, when you're a cat 4, cake is all that matters.

We went into the last crit with a formidable team. The fact that it was the last crit of the season and that we had a rider going for overall (Timmyquest) meant we could have some fun.

MJH2, RR, Myself, and Eric were to have all the fun we could. MJH and myself were to attack early and hard just for poops and giggles. If anyone burned some calories following us then so be it. If there were any primes it was MJH that was going to be the man.

Then RR, MJH and Myself were to block, cover moves, etc. as necessary in support.

Raviv and Justin were to protect Timmyquest. Raviv marked Whiple...and marked him hard. Justin rode for TQ - always within arms length.

Simply the races had been too slow in this series so far. Leading to too many people in the final sprint who didn't belong (myself included). We wanted to ratchet it up and shed some of the less fit in hopes of delivering TQ to the final sprint with hopefully a smaller crowd.

Eric was our hidden card. The guy has a engine. Typical "Try"-athlete in that he can sit alone off the front and just power all day long. It's hard as hell to hold his wheel. We talked before the race and deided to use him twice - First time about 15 minutes in. He would hit it hard and fast with the intent of coming back to the pack to recover then to launch again in another 10 mintues.

Well early on it was nice. I was 3rd or 4th wheel for the first lap or two. We had been going kind of hard and I could see people struggling. I was second wheel when the guy pulling pulled off shattered and everyone was hurting. I decided it was time for me to give it a I did. I went coming out of the crosswind section when people were still getting a feel for the tailwind and the gearing to use. I nailed it and got a substantial gap. I looked down and was going something like 33-35 up into the traffic circle on the back side.

I just don't have the engine and everyone knows that but it was fun and it did keep the higher pace on in the pack. I didn't make it a lap.....meh

Next MJH nailed it when I got back. Great move and kept the pace up as people wanted to relax. Then there were a few other attacks. There had just been a big one that was coming back and everyone was hurting and still inthe headwind. I looked for Eric to go, but he held on. It was only 10 minutes in.

At the pre-decided time Eric went. Man he went. He ended up out there and looking good. Someon joined him then myself and RR and MJH took turns going to the front and either disrupting the pace or blocking. Nothing overt, hell I even told one guy flat out when he looked for me to pull through - "I gotta guy in the break. I'm not going to work."

He stayed away for a long time. A few riders bridged up to him, but as they kind of gave up the ghost in the break and started coming back Eric hit the gas again...attacking the break. Fabulous.

Keep your eye on Eric folks. He's a tremendous talent.

Well not too long after that they announced the cake prime. That had us written all over it. As we rolled around to the line I looked up to see Eric and those away coming back into the fold. We actually had a chance to sprint for the prime. As I was thinking that a guy behind me said, "someone has to sprint for this thing."

Like a douche I went. He jumped on my wheel and came around me easily. I didn't get the cake, and MJH says I ended up boxing him in - not my intent.

BTW - ABD - cake - great touch! I propose that there always be a cake prime in Cat 4 races. Let it be known that cat 4 is the cake cat.

Everything else worked out. Raviv had marked Whiple HARD. You'd have to ask him if it made a difference but I think it did. Raviv said Whiple ended up in the wind a ton because of it.

We served Tim up to the sprint and he took it over Whiple at the line winning the series and the final race. All were in agreement it was the most fun crit we have ever raced. It was definitely the best example we had of deploying team tactics.

i was off and in the car to dekalb. I changed and refueled along the way. When we pulled in I jumped out of the car and grabbed the bike offthe back. I rolled up and into the grid just in time for a good position. Perfect timing.

The start was great. I love physical racing. I got a decent one considering. Muscled a few guys out of the way and ran over at least one guy on the ground (his bike...not him). From there my legs just kind of looked at me with a big "FU" look. I was feeling the crit.

I slowly lost every position I gained on the start. Pretty soon I was racing alone. That course was long. Too long if you ask me. I did poorly but to be honest I just don't feel like 30 minutes is a long enough race anymore. My engine just doesn't get going until about 20 minutes in. If I had another 10 minutes I might have picked up 1 or 2 riders but I would probably also had been lapped....

Totally poor performance from me, but about what was to be expected with all the racing I had done in the previous 2 days. it's cross all the time. I saw Slim_77 and Beverly Bob in the 4b's. Bob is sandbagging it for sure. He should be in the a's - suffering at the back with me. Slim_77 - if he gets addicted, should also be in the a's just simply due to his stellar fitness.

Supergirl made and appearance as well. The wrist is still not 100% and 'she' claims she can't race yet.....but I believe there was a sighting on the course during the 4b's. I could be mistaken though ;). Too bad part of being a superhero includes a secret identity.

I high-tailed it out of there and got back...ate some pizza and had 2 beers and passed out. Waking up in time to go to work this morning.

Tonight - wheels, running, weights. Tomorrow...cross ride.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

TT - Done

Good BH Showing. Cat 4 - 3rd-Eric Christ, 6th-Timmyquest, 13th-Psimet, 14th Justin Sommerville, 19th-Raviv Wolfe, 22st-MJH2, 25th-RR - Total of 32 I believe.

Post TT analysis of the overall. Check the tabs. The first one is the overall with those who don't have at least 2 events so far removed (disqualifying them for the overall) - cat 4 only.

Spreadsheet here...

Friday, October 2, 2009


Gotta say there appears to be a few level 3's around here...or should I say Cat 3:

Trifecta of Pain

Yes I skipped the report out from Fall Fling stages 1 and 2. Meh. Not much to report. We had a lot of good numbers but only managed to get Tim in the top both days.

Fun races. Slow races. Maybe the two go hand in hand if you're a hack like me. At one point in the road race I was giving a sales pitch about my wheels to another rider. Yeah...race was too slow.

Everyone has been chiming off about Rob Kelley's relegation in the Masters 40+ race. Again...meh. Most of my comments on the matter have been taken out of context by people who don't know me.

In the end the one thing I wanted to get across is as follows: I respect the official's decision. Never disputed it. I think it is critical that everyone always support the officials and any decision they make. That's how I have always rolled.

At the same time I will not let anyone stand out there and poopoo one of the smartest, nicest, competitive, safety concious, talented riders I know. The fact that he's on the team makes that even more of a reason for me to speak up.

Generally as a team we are NOT an "anything goes" group when it comes to racing, but - unlike most of the other teams in this area - we are actually pretty tight knit and we don't back down from just about anything.

Speaking of the team - it is getting bigger. We are picking up some key riders. I need some 5's for next year. If you are willing to pay for the privledge of suffering then contact me. Pre-requisite -

1. No douchebags
2. Show up to race
3. No prima-donnas

Dues: Sweat, Pain, and having to listen to Haiduk go off on you if you even mention the word "Try"-athlon. ...and buy a kit or at least a jersey. If you can't afford one we might be able to scrounge on up to borrow.

We're not officially in the business of turd polishing, but a few have been buffed. Don't know how the I got through actually.

So....on to this weekend.

As some of you know I totally screwed up my thumb on Wednesday night's bandit cross. I was racing along side of Fat Tire jersey guy (dude...send me a mail so I know your name at least! :) ). Wasn't feeling very spicy with all of the hard riding I have been doing lately so I had been sitting back. Even waited until everyone rolled out before starting. Anyway - next to FTJG and he and I have been racing pretty evenly the last couple of events.

I love that and we tend to push each other a little further. So he started getting me into it as he nosed ahead and then I would and then he would. Well this built up into some speed and we ended up taking a corner faster than we had up to that point.

FTJG was in front and I heard him slide a bit and then he took a wide line into the prairie grass. I half decided, "OK we're going too fast" at the same time I thought, "here's a chance to pass him". So I dove in shallow and went for an inside line.

*THWACK* front tire went out from under me and I slammed into the ground. Bars twisted and I jammed my thumb into the ground like I was making a hole to plant seeds with it. It hurt enough that I had a flash of light instantly with intense pain. Kind of like hitting your funny bone. I knew I was hurt.

I needed less tire pressure for sure and I knew that before starting. Went to the clinic and got it x-ray'd. Not broken. Really messed up though. Super swollen and stiff. Turning black and blue today. Sucks building wheels with it. Got a queue of about 15 to build right now.....

So...this weekend. Trifecta of pain. I have a TT on Saturday, Crit on Sunday and a Cyclocross race later that same day. Not sure how I am going to do it with the thumb. We'll see. I think the TT will be fine - except for my performance. Biggest concern there is that I did a sub-par re-glue job on my tubular front TT wheel - you always do the worst work for yourself it seems. Then the concern over whether or not someone will end up thinking there is a concession when they check me out overstuffed in my sausage suit. End of season weight gain lbs but coming down again.

I have found that I naturally peak in the spring and the fall. Mid-summer is the worst for me. Meh. At least now I know. My form is coming back wuickly and I am feeling more powerful every time I get on the bike. Let's hope that eventually shows by way of results. If not....let the self loathing continue.

Rubber side down everyone.....even the d'bags.