Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Woodstock Cross

New post over on my other blog - www.psimet.com/blog

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


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

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, "so....no 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 Bob....next 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.

OK...so 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 - result...no 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 Truesport.com 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, etc....it's impossible tohear my crappy TV while training without turning it up load enough to make it's casing resonate and waking up the neighbors....so 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 go....so 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.

So....now 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 ....boo...10 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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Le suck

Bandit damage.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Obscure Omiums - For the Win (FTW)

Fall Fling is this weekend and I have not ridden my road bike in a long time. I have been swamped building wheels. The riding I have done has been cross.

I have ridden a few cross rides out of the shop (3 so far) and 3 bandit cross races. BTW - Bandit Cross is the shiz. My props to our man "Rear Derailler". Great Series.

Today is my dedication day to Wayne Simon. He rocks. He's like our area's own little Chuck Norris. All those Chuck Norris lines go through my head when we're riding/racing together....err....well in the general vicinity of each other - no cat 4 hack is holding Simon's wheel.

Things like:

"Wayne Simon doesn't glue tubulars - he just stares at them and they melt to the rim."

"Wayne Simon doesn't use public transportation - he pulls public transportation behind his TT bike."

"Wayne doesn't 'warmup' at the start of a race - he acquires targets."

"You don't pass Wayne Simon. He goes behind you because that's step 1 in Wayne's book entitled 'I'm going to crush your soul'"

"If you're in front of Wayne Simon...it's because he's about to lap you."

"Wayne Simon IS carbon fiber."

"Wayne Simon airs up his tires with crushed souls."

"Embrocation is sweat from Wayne Simon."

"Wayne Simon wasn't born - he saw a gap and filled it."

"Wayne Simon eats chains, sleeps on a work bench, bleeds lube, and poops excellence."

MJH2 called me one day a few months ago in the middle of a weekday and said, "You know why Wayne Simon is so awesome? I just passed him while he was motorpacing in the middle of the weekday. That's why he's awesome. What are you doing right now? Exactly."

That just about sums it up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's official.



Thank you everyone.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Illinois State Road Race

The 2009 Illinois State Road Race - was the most interesting race I didn't race.

Mrs. P was working so I was babysitting...errr...parenting little P. I took it as an opportunity to get a demo set of my carbon clinchers under some guys in races.

I asked around and got a few volunteers. Jason Senffer (Masters 30+ 4/5), Peter Kelley (Cat 5), and Joel Friedman (Cat 3). It was going to be hard to work the logistics - me with a 3 yr old in a trailor with wheelsets and tools to change gearing and brake pads - with all of the races being back to back.

It was just a weird day all around. I set Jason up and he was off racing. First time through I didn't see him. I've built a lot of wheels and I have always had great results but you do this a while and you begin to understand that just about anything can happen. So I started thinking "oh crap...what happened?"

With it being a road race I would only get to see them every 1/2 hour or so. I got to sit around and wait for them to come back around. I was about ready to poop my pants. When they did come around I saw Jason hanging right near the front and he gave a thumbs up - whether or not it was to me was immaterial, he was OK. "Whew."

We couldn't see the finish but the racers came rolling back in. I had already changed Pete's brake [ads and was just waiting for the wheels. Jason said he thought he won but it would be a photo finish for sure. Little did either of us know that would turn into a huge ordeal.

I had set all of this up to get these under Joel and adding everyone else was kind of an afterthought. So Joel arrived. Told me he put a new chain on and worked on the bike. He's a mechanical guy and an engineer to boot but lacks application experience with bike drivetrains...so I'm thinking "great - don't know what condition everything is in and I will be puttnig a new wheel and cassette on...and no work stand...I hope everything works"

It took me a while to swap his brake pads and adjust his gearing. I test rode it over to where the cat 5 racers where coming back to meet up with Pete. Found out Wiz ended up blowing chunks at the top of the hill (big thumbs up), Hillary finished in front of 2 other racers in the womens and Pete went to early and missed out in the sprint. Justin got 2nd though. Not bad at all!

I swapped wheels and headed back to set the pad correctly. Couldn't toe in the fronts enough so I knew they were going to end up screaming like a banshee. Got Joel up and running in time.

We were standing at the pub near the rollout area and I was swapping back the pads from Pete's bike, talking to everyone I knew when little P comes walking up to me drenched from head to toe saying he fell in the waterfall....long story.

I had people calling, people texting, racers talking, kids running, wheels going everywhere, AAAARGH! This was more stressful than racing for sure.

The 3's went off, the girls went to the hill to watch and I found myself with Peter, Wiz, little P and Little K. Next thing I know it's just me and the kids. The Master's results were finally posted and they put Jason in 1st. Sweet. I was checking for Lenski who told me he placed 5th. He was out racing the cat 4 race at the time. I look and they have him 34th or some such crap. I'm thinking, "Oh crap"....the area fills with riders going, "WTF??!!!"

I can feel a big protest coming on. At that time the kids start running off and I turn and see Joel coming backwards towards us. "Oh, SHIZ!" He starts yelling, "I need a wheel!" My heart sank. Turns out he had a flat. It happens and it made me feel better because it had nothing to do with the wheel, but it still meant he was basically done with the race. Then Cory shows up saying he's out with a mechanical. I check it over and the front brakes are dragging. Ara calls out that the lever slid down and tightened the cable. Both levers were loose. He already told the officials he was done. Total suckage. I felt bad for him.

MJH2 is lawyering and politicing in the melee that became the results protest. The 2nd place rider is contesting the results. No one knows WTF is going on and the finish line is quite a distance away. They all run off to check the results/tape. I start getting texts saying, "they may not even have tape of the finish. This is a joke" etc.

The whole time I am just thinking, "I promised Lenski I would stick up for his 5th. I threw the kids in the stroller and went to walk to the finish line. I didn't know where it was and it didn't take long to figure out I wasn't goint to make it there so I turned around.

At that poing I just wanted to get out of there. Little P hadn't eaten since breakfast - apart from snacks all day. and hadn't takend a nap....We were both getting grouchy.

I got a text saying Jason won - it stood. They came down and I took some podium shots of him...alone because 2nd took off and they hadn't figured out who third was yet. He also won the Illinois Cup then as well. Psimet wheels - first race - podium, state championship, Illinois cup....not bad. Congrats Jason. That was a lot of hard work that paid off for you.

Soon after that I was done. Joel was still out there riding around and I needed to get his brake pads switched and swap the wheels. I had picked up another wheel that was trashed to fix. So I had 3 wheels in the trailor. Then I got a call that Scott K had crashed....bad. I was sitting there when the medical truck brought him in. 2 strollers, 2 kids, one's father is in the back of a medical truck, I was slightly stressed. When it was apparant he would live I took a look at his new Reynolds 68 tubular front wheel - first race - and half of the spokes were bent and broken. He wants to race on it this weekend....psimet to the rescue :D

After that I looked and the Pro 1/2 had been going for a while...we had a guy in a break. Awesome. I wanted to stick around but that was all I could handle. I got home and had pizza and beer and passed out - sleeping to 10am the next morning. I think I'd rather race.

Net results:Later - along with pictures...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hawt. Like Carbon Hawt.

Please welcome to the Psimet lineup...his new line of 50mm carbon clinchers. Here they are displayed lovingly (albeit with temporary and incomplete decals) on his Salsa. Speaking of the Salsa Mr. Psimet here was not aware that many of you did not know about it's existance....well here you go.

I am riding these tomorrow night and then I will put them under as many bikes as I can for the State Road Race Championships on Saturday.

The set pictured here are laced up to some White Industries H2 hubs using DT revs in a 1X in the front and DT comps in 2X in the rear. Both of the wheels are stiff. Like mega stiff. Weight wise I can't remember where they come in. They are full carbon clincher so they ain't light but they're something like 930g for the rear and 700ish for the front....which would make it 1630ish. Still a light wheelset I guess.

It's hawt. Oh...and you can buy your own versions custom made for you. Go to and/ or mail me (psimet at psimet dot com) for a quote.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blues be gone

Every year/season I get "burnout" or mental fatigue with riding. It's normal and everyone gets it. Sort of seems like everyone has it now. Luckily I can have 1 or 2 weeks of this and then find myself head over heels back in love with cross...

...well it starts with a shop cross ride tonight that I am leading.

Then this - Sunday. 7am. c. ya. th3r3.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Honorable Mention....

I just got referenced on the Chicago Cyclocross Cup website. It links to my new cross builds. Slamming deals.

Now if only my supplier was in stock with the Niobium rims...nothing will ever go my way I believe.

I'm selling through the site and direct through Bicycle Heaven.

Now all I need is wheel decals and a logo....anyone? Got lots of leads but nothing has come through so far...

Oh....and Game On

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Awww yeah.

A new psimet offering - the PsiX.

Budget tubular wheels to rip apart the competition. Better value than
the Williams offering and better price with lacing, spoke count and
spoke and hubs options. www.psimet.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Downers Wrapup

Congrats Joel Friedman on your 2009 US National Criterium Championships Elite Cat 3 Victory. It's only been a few months but it seems like forever for you to get to here:

From Here:
2009 ABD TT2 009-2

By far though your biggest achievement was talking her into doing this:

Saturday's news - we had a great turnout. Finally I was lucky enough to race with the old slow guys. It isn't often you get to race in a 35+ 4/5 event. Truly for us old fatties. Last time was Chicago and I got paid there (14th). I didn't have my hopes too high for this one but thought I might have a chance.

As I mentioned in previous posts the day didn't start off well. I ran late then was pretty edgy and ended up being kind of mean to Mrs. P - who admittedly sometimes has a hard time reading a map - OK always has a hard time reading a map. She simply asked me how to get to the start finish line and I said "here's the map. Read it." After a bit of "but where do I go?" followed with, "read the *&^% map!" I got a cold, "I hope you wreck today." out of her.

Ladies...here's some advice...that's about the MEANEST thing you can say to a roadie. Especially to one who has known someone killed on a bike. That's like saying "I hope you die in a very painful way."

So I had that going for me...as I went to registration. As the registration volunteer searched for my number I said, "make it a good one" and she handed me #13. Sonuva. I was freaked and pissed at the same time. Tradition has it in cycling that you can make a 13 lucky by pinning it upside down. Problem with that is that when you are still in the 4/5 ranks everyone thinks you screwed up pinning your number. That leads to long explanations when all you really want to do it slap them.

So, I don't get a good warmup in because we're all just hanging out and talking (on the trainer at least) and the whole time I am saying "I am taking next week off then it's cross time. I'll still race road but I am going to re-jump my training for cross." This is my way of saying, "yeah I suck, but for a reason....see?"

Get over to the course and we have a cheering section about a mile deep. It. Was. Awesome! The BH peanut gallery is growing and getting better. I shudder to think what it will be like at cross events. Kind of like the 30-something with kids version of the hipster/bus collection. BTW - fair warning to the young guys....we can drink more...and afford better beer.

Does anyone find this...annoying? I like to...do it alot....in case you couldn't tell... ... ... ... ... ... ...

So as I am sitting there talking to our "fans" I look up and notice we are camped out right in front of a cemetery. I look up and see a HUGE monument...with my name on it. No crap. Sonuva, sonuva, sonuva.

I go to hit the porta potty and slip a pedal and bang my shin. Now I'm bleeding. Great. This is going to get interesting. We all line up near the entrance to the course waiting for that moment when we can sprint out and lineup. As soon as it was done I was out there and on the front in the middle. Nice. Good way to start.

As we rolled out it was pretty much the same old same old. Being a 35+ 4/5 event there were some fast old newbs that came out to see if they could hang and ended up getting in over their heads early on. Always happens. You try to identify those guys and stay as far away as possible so you don't end up following their wheel all the way to the back as they pop.

Everyone tells me there was a wreck at the base of the hill on one of the early laps. Supposedly that wreck separated the field pretty well. I didn't hear it because for once I was holding my own near the front. The hill was Sooo much easier than I thought it would be. This course is really meant for us short fat power riders. If you can handle a bike and power ride you can do well here.

I found myself consistantly riding easily near the front. I was able to move around easily, etc. It was kind of an easy race. I only found myself huffing and puffing a few times but everyone backed off at just the point where they could have cracked me. I have to chalk that up to not having a lot of the usual suspects in this field because of their "young" over 30 under 35 age. If they would have been there they would have just killed us.

Then somewhere around mid race we were climbing up through the start finish area and I heard a HORRIBLE wreck on the opposite side of the pack. It sounded horrible. Come to find out the guy (sorry can't remember your name but we race together a lot) from xXx with the long hair riding the cervelo got taken out and ended up splitting his bike in a couple of places. One of my xXx friends mentioned he was bummed because he couldn't afford to replace it right now...this is an open call out to him because I believe he rides a 52 - I have my Flyte frame and fork that he can have for a steal. Pass the word if you know him.

After that it was pretty uneventful. Some guys who had been sitting in took a run at an attack on the hill but really only just shed some guys which is fine by me. Then (OK I hate doing this but it's time he gets called out) ______ takes off....again....

OK I have been told this guy has been a cat 4 for years. He's won a butt-ton of races. He's got more upgrade points than I have excuses. He's a sandbagger. I know of multiple people who have gone up and directly confronted him about it and he seems to always have some lame excuse. As a result I know a few people who have made it their mission to chase him down no matter what. We have also resorted to yelling "sandbagger" everytime he comes around in any race that we aren't in.

I don't like doing it but seriously - what he is doing is lame.

Well our guy chases him down and sits on him. Drags him back to the pack. I got to hear the guy say, "what's your problem man?" To answer that for the man...it's you. You need to cat up. You have overstayed your welcome. Get out of the way and let someone else who has been working hard a chance to get on the podium.

While I am on the poo slinging fest I might as well mention another little tidbit. There was this highly annoying guy hanging at the front for a lot of it. You could tell he's a guy that rides the group rides fast but hardly if ever races. His bike handling skills were crap but he was all about trying to blame everyone else for his crappy moves. Then he runs up the inside to the front and swings in and chops a xXx that had been doing a butt-ton of work at the front. He damn near slaughters the guy. He kept it upright - to his credit (nice work) and a few of us engaged with some yelling. The chopper did his whole - hold up my hand and shrug like "wha?" which I promptly called BS on. He may be strong but he can't race a bike for shiz.

OK - now for fun stuff. I rode well. Had a ton in reserves. It dialed up on the last few laps. Looking at my HR I was averaging something like 180-185 for the last few laps. Our man Fuller was looking to go and did. He took Vidmich with him. I could have gone as well but I was pretty well redlined and knew I should recover for the final sprint. I should have gone.

In the final sprint I started to go and really wasn't picking anyone up - just holding position. Then I saw this:

I am right on the yellow line here with the blue and white helmet...

Sandbagger is on the left with the red jersey and gold arm band on the black sleeves...sandbagging....my man Fuller is over his shoulder with the black helmet and new BH black sleeves.

I pass no judgement on what happened here. Can't really tell. Think it's just racing to be honest with you. If you can't tell that's our man Vidmich going down. Ouch. He dislocated his shoulder. Badly.

I took 16th. Fuller took 9th. Vidmich would have been 5th or so. I should have followed Fuller. Oh well.

We finished the day watching the 3/4 race and guys I have a hard time keeping up with in the 4's get shredded like crazy. Lenski broke a spoke and held on. Tim pulled himself after the suffering had taken its toll. Joel finished mid pack somewhere along with Scott. Jason raced well as well. Ryan got yanked. Matt, Riccio, and Justin all pulled themselves. Well we had impressive numbers at the start. :)

That's it. Now it's time for TT's, Fall Fling, and CROSS. Fire up some brats and start folding some dollar bills.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oh yeah....

I got 16th despite the omens. Carlos I did pin it upside down. Got a
lot of crap for it. Enjoying some post race glory.


And mrs p said she hoped I wrecked while arguing today.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh safety pins

O safety pins
Shiny reminder of pain and suffering
Crisp Tyvek and Lycra - you pierce and subdue.
Newbs don't know what to do with you
I find you everwhere.
Sign of weekend release

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am slammed. Sorry for not updateing stuff ( I am talking to you...the 3 people who read this) lately. For those that don't know I have been running a custom wheelbuilding business on the side for a while and it's taken off like crazy.

Right now the basement is full of carbon rims I imported. Can't believe I had the balls to do it, but losing my job this spring changed my persepctive a bit. I am good at this stuff. Really good. Time to embrace it and take some risks.

I can now lace a wheel blindfolded.

Racing....I suck. I bet you've heard that before. Right now I kind of don't care. I am not getting totally dropped and slaughtered, I still pull some good rides/races/moves from time to time, and I get to race against a butt-ton of awesome people. So my results suck but I am having an absolute blast.

That said, I am ready for cross I think. There are some TT's coming up that I want to destroy myself on (it's been too long since I've puked on a bike I guess). I figure that will be awesome training for cross.

I got paid at the Chicago Crit if I didn't mention it before. That's a first for me. Wanna know something? Racing is a helluva lot easier when you are doing it near the front. Duh.

The National Criterium Championships are this weekend. I am racing. 35+ 4/5. Thank God I am old enough to race it. All the fast guys I know are too young to do it. BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!. Now if it rains and someone levels the hill and they get rid of the payouts....maybe I might place well.

....anyone need a rim?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bandit Cross

A bandit cross race is on for tomorrow morning. I can not make it but I encourage anyone else who can to go...


Friday, July 31, 2009

Life is good

Sorry for the short posts but it's so easy with the iPhone.

I Just saw Floyd Landis.

I also saw Rashan Bhatti (sp) Ben jaque-mayne, Tony cruz, Ivan
dominquez, brad huff, Jonathan page, etc. .....racing......less than 1
mile from the plant I work at.


Cycling kicks ass.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sometimes Chicago Sucks

6 lanes of non-moving suck.

Good quote

"never kill good for best. "

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 26, 2009

2009 Chicago Crit

Well...better than I thought.

I still believe that anytime you get to ride on closed off streets downtown you should seize the opportunity and make the most of it.

I have been feeling like crap on the bike lately and really wasn't expecting much. I tried to get a warmup in but it was another poor one. When we lined up for the cat 4 race I thought it was just a matter of time before I would pop.

It was fast, but highly manageable. It felt slower than most of the superweek races I "did". For some reason there are a ton of douche-bags in our races that haven't figured 2 things out - 1. You usually don't have to brake in a corner - rather you can actually accelerate in them and 2. That we can use the WHOLE road....even Mayor Daley said it would be OK.

For the most part I have no complaints about how everyone raced. A few guys ran up in that crappy turn lane at the end of the back stretch and it was trying my patience to no end.

We started with 125. Seriously....125 riders in the field. I held on past that point where I have been cracking....just before everyone lets up and I found I was able to race with the group again.

I hung on to the back for most of the race. With 2 to go the elastic snapped and I was OTB. 35 minutes of racing only to be dropped again. SUCK! I rode around and enjoyed the course. I was the tail end of the racers and I place 67th. Crazy when you stop and think, "that was exactly 1/2 way through the starting field."

JF won again. 3 wins in 3 days => cat 3

I said it after I saw him ride for the first time - the only thing that will limit him and how far he goes with cycling is how much time he wants to dedicate to it.

The masters race - well - I wasn't expecting much. I actually tried to stay limber in between races and I think it worked. I started closer to the front and made it a point to keep moving back up to the front. I was feeling WICKED strong and was not running a deficit at all. I saw MJH2 riding well near the front and yelled up, "Matt! Go for a prime!" Turns out he didn't hear me but he had the same idea and slaughtered a $50 prime.

I watched my position, tried to keep drinking, etc. Rode heads up and it paid off. I actually found myself looking for the acceleration I knew would come with 2 to go. I had the juice to follow it and wanted to shred a lot of the guys who were left....so I because the guy I hate. I yelled , from the back mind you, to the front to "light this firecracker!"

It ramped up enough that there was a lot of popcorn getting shelled on the last lap. I took the final corner and knew I could actually get into the sprint. I had more left but the guys were really banging all over and I didn't want a hospital visit. I rolled in 14th.

Not bad out of 75 starters. Something about that was making me think back to reading the race bible for the event...so I checked....yup - I was in the money. $25 but definitely a highlight. That's the first of anything I have ever received while bike racing. It was awesome.

Then to top it off we got to watch Chris Horner and MF in the pro race. I happened to stumble by someone on the way over to talk to MF. He was cool, but that replica kit he was wearing was just SOOOOooooooo cat 5 of him. ;)

Also thought you might enjoy these:

Brad Huff - Jelly Belly - Winner of the Pro/1/2 race.

MF getting a much needed sugar boost

Brad and MF enjoying the fans.

Here's the thing...where else can you step right up to athletes of this caliber and shake their hand and say "nice race" except in a sport like cycling. I been in the living room on more than one occassion screaming like an armchair quarterback at Chris Horner for a few years and today I got to walk right up and get my picture taken with him. That is officially reason #4,297,572,286 why cycling kicks butt.

Something to note about Horner too...he's one of those guys who you can just tell does it because he loves it. How many athletes in the "ball" sports can you say that about?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Superweek Wrap-up

I suck.

Cat - 4/5

7/11 - Blue Island - 36/41 placing
7/12 - Elgin - 38/63 placing
7/14 - Arlington Heights - 31/37 placing
7/15 - Bensenville - 28/32placing

Cat - Masters 4/5

Didn't finish a single race.

Again...I suck. Granted the fields were much larger than what they show as placing but that is little solace. Every day was the same. Race hard...try to hold on...pop...start up a chase group....pull chase group around....then let the guys in the chase group come around me at the end dropping me futher.

To top it off the scale has been climbing for a little over a month. I believe it's muscles but there is definitely some fat in there as well. Scale read 180 this morning for the first time in a long time. I'm wearing 32" waist pants still with no problem so...maybe it is muscle.

I suck.

Time to step up my game. Cyclocross is coming...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Superweek Sucks

Where're you parked? Hold on I have a txt coming in...

Where's registration? Do I need my license again? Are you warming up on the trainer or riding around? Have you ridden the course? What's it like? Are they running late? How late? Seriously...Yes I just asked that.

Dude, what happened yesterday??! How's Bob? Who else is coming? You got bottles? Yeah you can borrow my pump. Espresso Love...awesome.

This turn will suck. That one will too. Someone will attack here thinking they can get away. Dude....look at this corner! It's all you. So what's the plan? Hey man! You racing both? Yeah, I know...I'm an idiot. Yesterday? I sucked. You? Nice job! They lining up?

Hey, rider A is here. Look - rider B. Hey they're is only ___ riders from xXx here. *start humming the evil empire music from star wars* How many newbs are here? Awesome. I had no idea Discovery, Phonack, Garmin and CSC were sending riders here for the 4/5 race today.

-official- You are racing __ laps. The wheel pit is over there. Make sure you talk to an official while in the wheelpit in order to get a free lap. Free laps end with 5 to go. Are there any juniors here? Raise your hands. You must report to rollout after the race. blahblahahahahahahahahahahhahahablahablbbbbbbbllllllaaaaahhhhhh *snore******

-Wisecrack #1- -laughter from the field- -Wisecrack #2- -not as much laughter-


*pain, tightness, suffering*

Anticipating that first corner. Are they going to nail it from the gun? Look for squirrels. We're cool. Pick a line. Should I yell at him? Nah...let's see if he does it again. Ok, I'm saying something this time, "Come on Team A....watch your line. I have to go to work after this."

Accelerate. More. More. Brake. Turn right. Accelerate. Brake. Turn left. Quick right. Where did that wind come from? Move up on the outside guys...come on....

"I could be at home sleeping, or at least at work" *laughter*

Accelerate. More. More. Brake. Turn right. Accelerate. Brake. Turn left. Quick right. Oh look....a 'break'. Don't chase that guys. Come on. Damnit! Accelerate, Accelerate, Accelerate, Accelerate, Accelerate. Brake. Turn.

Haven't drank. I should probably drink.

Screws getting turned. Sonnuva. Hold it.....hold it.....gogogogogogogogogo. UUUUUHhhhhhhhhhhhhh......keep it going. They'll slow up in a bit. Hang on.....


Not again! SUCK. Should I just quit now? Why keep going? Oh that's right, because I love torture. Think of it like cross. Just start picking guys off as they come off the back. Man they look like they're going slow now.

Hey...I can work with them. "Hop on!" Where did they go?

Was that something behind me? When did I pick up 10 guys? Have fun with the sprint guys. Enjoy it. I'll hold things down back here.

Thank god that's over.

Wonder how long they'll give us before they start the next one. Eat a gel. Where's the other bottle? "How'd you do? AWESOME! Nice job? Me? Meh. You racing the next one? You coming out tomorrow? See you then!"

Are they lining up?

....yup....it's superweek. I'm tired. I suck. I'm too fat for this sport....and I'm having a blast.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Time

Superweek has begun. It's time to race.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Haven't blogged a lot lately. Very busy. Business is going well. Selling a ton of wheels.

On top of that we are in the start of the peak of the Chicago road season. This weekend begins the annual tradition known as Superweek. I like to call it Stupidweaks. Mainly because if you race it you're stupid. You will also end up weak, and the event is a series of races over close to 3 weeks.

If you are not familiar with it then consider youself lucky. I don't remember the whole history but basically it they had a week of races in Wisconsin that drew a lot of people from all over. Over the years it has gotten bigger, more dangerous, and expanded into the flatlands of Illinois.

On tap I am racing 8 races in 5 days starting on Saturday. I will be stupid weak at the end. I will follow that up with maybe another weekend race and possibly another day the following week and then maybe soldiers field and then two races at the Chicago crit. Then you get into downers, grays lake, Oakbrook, etc.

It is burnout time at the end of this. It happens to me anyway at the end of July. I am already talking about cross season.

For those who haven't heard there was a big wreck last Sunday in the 4's and a lot of guys I am friends with were taken out. RJB, SP from Verdigris, our own SK who won the 5's that morning and upgraded, and Lenski to name a few. By far the biggest loss was South Chicago Wheelmen's own MK. You might remember him better as last cross season's "Supergirl".

MK broke his frame (Colnago ouch!) and his wrist. He says that among a list of other things his season is over. He has been racing very well and personally I will miss racing alongside of him in the short term. He says he may even miss a bit of the cross season.

I think all the talk of that is what made MJH2 and I start talking ideas a out next cross season. I have decided I think that I might be going in-costrumeo. Thinking cheerleading uniform. What are your ideas? I'll take suggestions in the comments.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Off week

Once again I find myself in the redneck rivieria - Ft Morgan/Gulf Shores area of Alabama. A week of family at the beach. Basically that means little riding, lots of eating and lots of drinking.

Luckily this year it fell on a "rest week" - bwahahahahahaha! I have rideen once. It sucked. It is sooooooooo boring down here. I mean Chicago is flat but this is beyond that....and it's hot....and boring.... yuck.

Anyway....the beach and the hanging out is a blast. Pics from the week:

Little P and his cousin - near aged partner in crime. These two are dangerous together. Smart and beefy. You turn around and they are cracking up as they tackle each other and play chicken. Mrs. P and her sister (Little P's Aunt) in the background.

Learning from an elder cousin.

Bliss. I have identified this moment as one of the moments I truly love in my life. I finally caught it in a picture.

Gulf shrimp, beer, rice, avacado, awesomeness on the side.

We went fishing on a charter again. 6 hours in the gulf and all we really caught was the bait. MMMmmmmm....tasty.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A weekend of failure

Where do I start……

This last weekend was a weekend from hell as far as racing goes. Just 1 week ago we were shivering through mid 50’s temperatures with bone soaking rain. A mere 7 days later it’s as if the gravitational pull from my poor performance brought the sun closer ensuring a miserable weekend of racing as far as conditions go.

Setting up for the weekend I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to race both days so I registered for Cobb Park. Cobb Park had 2 races I could do….and it was only $10 for the second race. Guess what I did….yup.

Then Mrs. P says she no longer has to work on Sunday and that I can race – it is Father’s day after all. To top it off Fox River Grove is pretty close to the Psimet compound. Oh and look….they have two races I can do. Excellent. Guess I will sign up for both.

So it was some time later when it dawned on me that I was going into a 4 race in 2 days weekend. On top of that we were looking at record heat and humidity. Oh, and somehow I didn’t know but there was this thing called a “hill” on the course for Sunday. How big can it really be right? The directions to the course said, “at the corner of School and SKI HILL RD. That should have been my first indication.

So I was feeling good on Saturday. The race was too early for the family to embrace the idea of getting up and going with. No one needed a ride so I was on my own to the race. It was weird to drive to a race with no one else. I got in some good alone time. It was kind of nice.

Once there I quickly found the usual suspects all milling around. I felt strong and thought I might have a chance at a really good result. I hit the trainer and “warmed up” for a long time beforehand. I felt great as the race started. Chatting it up, floating around at will, felt like I had a ton in reserve. Then something happened.

There was an acceleration and it was like someone opened a drain plug on my tank and emptied it. The accelerations weren’t hard. The race was fast but manageable, but something in me just went limp. I got shelled.

I felt a little better as I ran into a lot of other riders I am usually contending with who also got shelled, but in general it wasn’t pleasant. Then I got lapped. Then I got chills and goosebumps….and then got lapped again. I was dehydrated. Bad. I finished the race but it was torture. A lot of people dropped so I finished up on a lot of guys but I was dead last in the field of riders that were placed.

I figured I should drink and do my best to get my temp down in between the races. I only had 6 bottles for the whole day and I was down to only 2 left for in between the races and the next race. I am sure I could have found more water but I didn’t push it.

For the Masters race I felt much better. The pace was slower and I found it pretty easy to hang where I wanted to. I even contemplated going for the prime when it was announced. Then with 3 or so laps to go I got a leg freezing cramp along my inner thigh. It locked up my leg completely. I was done. I tried another lap but I couldn’t push any gear so I just pulled off. I felt the pity look from the officials piercing me as I called it a day.

So needless to say after the poor performance on Saturday I was not hoping for much on Sunday. I was not disappointed by that. I got yanked twice on Sunday. So did a lot of other guys but still….it sucks. I found I got better each time up the hill and found I could descend and hold the corners in the mid 30’s – taking them without braking.

I knew I was in trouble for sure when I realized I didn’t know nearly as many guys on the line and started seeing jerseys from all over. That combined with the fact that the front of the grid looked like a forest of saplings made it sink in that the fat fast flat crit rider was going to embarrass himself very quickly.

In better news Little P almost won his race. He was kicking butt. Everyone was cheering him on and he was making a bee-line for me at the finish and then suddenly swerved at the last minute into the crowd. He then spent the next 45 minutes crying that he wasn’t allowed to finish riding the whole course, that he didn’t win, and that he might have hurt someone else or their bike. He didn’t even want his 3rd place medal.

Well….he has as much hardware as I have now.

Next up – vacation. 1 week spent in Gulf Shores, AL again. Yay. After this it’s Superweek. I have already signed up for Blue Island (2 races), Elgin (2 races), Arlington Heights (2 races), and Bensenville (2 races). Still thinking about Evanston for 1 race.

Then it’s the Chicago crit….maybe a Soldiers field race…..it just doesn’t end.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kid again

I rode last night. My plan was to recon an upcoming course. Little did I know that Noah was in town and God was try to wash the sinners from the streets. The downpour was intense.

...but I had planned on riding.

When it rains like that you just have to embrace it. The initial getting wet is the only part that really sucks. The part that always gets me is when the shoes finally fill with water.

While riding I noticed everyone was kind of giddy. A few even mentioned it. Something was different. We were like kids on our bikes riding around the neighborhood on a school night waiting for that moment when your mom yells out the door that it's time to come in. Only this time we knew it would be our wives, kids, or boss who would call.

Everytime around it was the same. "another loop?" "Sure. Why not."

It was one of the slowest rides I have done all year. I had a blast.

I love riding my bike.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sherman....I heard he destroyed a bunch of stuff?

When you wake up at 4am to make a bike race but have a hard time getting up at 6am for work...that's when you know you're a roadie. Saturday marked just such an occassion. For the first time we 'burbers had to wake at the butt crack of dawn to slog our way into the city for a race. I had heard so many people complain about the neighborhood that the Sherman Park crit was in that I anticipated the worst. I was sadly disappointed. It was fine.

That same kind of talk kept a lot of people away from the Lansing cyclocross race last fall too. That's just sad. Oh well.

Under the calming blue flash of the light on top of the security camera I parked my car and began the process of pre-race routine - pick up my number, BS with everyone I see, engage in nervous chit-chat, visit the facilities about 5 times, suit up, pre-ride, discuss tactics doomed to failure in the heat of the moment, warm up, tell everyone I suck and am not ready, and then toe the line.

The Sherman Park Crit was a race put on by xXx. That would be the black and white armada of Chicago cycling. Pretty much in every race its usually xXx and everyone else. This being their race, in the city, etc it was fair to guess the fields would be slanted their way in terms of sheer numbers. How does of 50% of the field sound. Yup. *sigh* Thank God there are some pretty cool guys on the team. :)

Our 5's toe'd the line looking like the crew out of Resevoir DOgs. http://chicagopersonalphoto.smugmug.com/gallery/8527131_zBZDY#563614020_g9Drd-XL-LB

We like to refer to ourselves as the fatest team in Chicago racing.

We watched the 5's rollout and then went to continue warming up. We got back in time to see TQ win in the sprint as I was putting my wheels in the pit. 2 wins and a 2nd in his last 3 races. Nice.

After that we rolled up. This was Joel's first USAC race as a 4. It was him, Riccio and myself. I was feeling VERY strong. Haven't been that confident in a while. As we were lined up we got a safety lecture in typical xXx fashion. ;) It was a memorial race as well so we all took a moment of silence. I remember reading about the guy it was for when he died at Matteson last year. I took that time to think about my coworker who was killed while riding a few years back. That's when the rain started falling.

Fast, flat, no-corner crit protected from most of the wind....and it's raining...you KNEW there was going to be a wreck. We started out pretty gingerly. Nothing major. The pace of the race was really fairly easy for most of it but it became a race of position. As water started to pool and rooster tails started throwing sand and mud on you each lap got a little more dicey, a little colder, and a little faster.

I found I kept getting boxed in on the inside. I was always on someone's wheel when they popped and started floating back. It sucked. I had the juice but couldn't turn it loose. A couple of times I thought of attacking just so I could ride at my pace, but I knew that was suicide on this course.

I saw Joel wanting to jump on a few moves. I told him before the race to sit in. Nothing was going to get away. He knew that already but his instinct is to pounce. I yelled his name once when I saw him move for the kill and he sat up. The move came back a few seconds later too. I don't really like giving Joel advice much anymore because only he knows what he can and can't do...and right now there isn't much he can't do. I just get frustrated when I see him waste energy he doesn't need to waste...and yet it hasn't affected his riding yet.

Due to poor positioning I was always about 5 riders behind Joel. Riccio was always behind or next to me as well. I saw Joel sit up and start coasting back. As soon as the rain started to really dump on us the flats started. Joel had one. I floated back with him to talk to him. He looked ready to throw in the towell. I told him to get to the pit, take a lap and use my wheels - I brought them for the team. I said I would pace him back up....

....yeah....fog of race there. It took me a bit to realize that with a free lap he didn't need pacing back up. Now I was OTB for no good reason. Ooops. I quickly chased back on and was fine. I yelled to our guys in the crowd that Joel had a flat in hopes they would watch over him in the pit and yell advice if he needed it.

Next thing I knew he was back in the mix. Mission accomplished.

After that I found that I was getting covered in sand. Especially in my eyes. It was horrible. I couldn't see crap. At times your were riding by feel. You could sense where the other riders were and just tried to maintain your position with respect to them. We could have ridden off the course and into the lake and no one would have stopped it. The yelling slowed as everyone got colder and more miserable.

I got sick of my position and finally got a couple of good looks outside as the pace finally picked up. I used it as an opportunity to ride to the front. I would get on Joel's wheel and then next thing you know I would be back in the middle of the pack again. Suck.

I finally heard "2 to go" as we came over the line. Up to then I couldn't see the cards - wasn't looking honestly - and couldn't see my timer. i was shocked that was all we had left. I had the gas so now I was looking for position. I didn't want to push anything in these conditions so I was kind of waiting for some opportunities.

As we came around - heading towards the line to take the bell it happened. It was a chain reaction. Two guys pinched each other out. They hit and the sound of them hitting set it off. It was like everyone was waiting for the wreck to happen so when they heard it they freaked, hit the breaks, and all hell broke loose.

I have found that when I get into these situations I have this weird sixth sense that allows me to get through. I don't think much about it my body just does stuff. I made it all the way through everything - and it was ugly. I was thinking I was going over the bars for sure. I was just about clear when a rider on the ground slid into my line. I rode up and over the bike t-boning his chainring with my front tire. *PSSSSSsssssss*!! SUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCKKK!

I was out for sure. No injuries - for that I was happy. I surveyed the mass of bodies on the deck. The yelling, swearing, walking wounded, bike throwing, etc. I almost wanted to laugh at how serious some of us cat 4's take this stuff. It's bike racing. I yelled, "everyone who can get up - do it and get off the course. they'll be coming through again. Fast." I then thought I could get back into it because I had wheels in the pit. I rode my flat clincher (don't ask) all the way back. Before hitting the pit I realized that on the bell lap that pit was going to be closed. Oh well. Turns out joel had taken my front wheel anyway.

"Is the wheel pit still open?"

"Sunnuva..." - check out the flat front...

Riccio came in after me. Covered in head to toe in mulch and mud. he looked like he had just stepped out of Paris-Roubaix. Turns out he went cyclocrossing and was clear until the last second when someone smacked him at full speed from behind. Then he hit a tree. Ouch.

We were able to watch the end from the pit. We looked up in time to see Joel outsprint Slim_77 for the win. NIIIIIIiiice. Joel won't be long for the 4's. I told him when he started he was only going to be limited by the time he was able to put into this sport. I still stand by that.

So....we won both of the first races. I was registered for the Masters but honestly I felt like I had already pressed my luck and torn up enough equipment. I was anxious to head home and kiss the family. The two winners hit the town and lit up my phone with drunk text messages all night. You lightweights.

Still....we're the working man's team. The fatest team in Chicago racing. ...can't wait until cross.

-pictures from Mark Keller

Monday, June 8, 2009

Winfield Take 2 - Little P teaches me a lesson...

You know you're a sick roadie when you wake up, see the horrible weather report and your first thought is "YES! Maybe the field will be a little smaller!" Then it dawns on you that the fast guys are just as serious as you and will still be there to tear your legs off...only now you'll also be wet.

The rain held off.

TQ placed second after messing up and pulling on the way down the straight. #2 jumped and TQ reacted too late. Meh...it's bike racing.

Our 4's crew was still busy licking our wounds from the day before. Every conversation make ample use of the word "suck". "We sucked yesterday." "That hill sucked!" "RR, when I followed your wheel up that hill all I was thinking was man this sucks." "I couldn't even outsprint Lund at the line...triple suck!"

I warmed up actually. It made a big difference. Right before the race little P showed up with his nana and grandpa. They were coming for his race later. They just happened to make my race. As far as little P was concerned though there was a bounce house and nothing else.

Race went about as expected. I have lost my aggression. I just find I am too concerned about burning too many matches too early so I don't shoot gaps to move up early enough and find I am swinging on the back. In racing if you aren't moving up then you're being passed. It's that simple. It becomes a self feeding frenzy where the pace picks up as a result.

I was climbing OK but kept getting jammed up in the corner. Never carried enough speed through no matter what line I took and found myself working when I should have been resting. Lather-rinse-repeat....no sprint for me. I picked up a few at the end but I was OTB on the final straight. Better than the day before but enough to make me decide it's time to pay attention again. I can't just go out and ride once a week and then expect to race well.

Then it was little P's race. He was racing in the 4 and under category. He's 3 so half of his cat was older than him. He was woefully undergeared on his trike. No worries about passing rollout. One kid had a wheel so big he could cover the course they had laid out for them in 3 pedal strokes. He also looked like he was 7. f'n sandbaggers....

Little P was excited. I was amazed at how into it he really was. I figured they would start the race and he'd be all looking around at everyone and I would have to be coaxing him down the course. Instead I had to hold him back until they started.

They had to race down to Snoopy. Try explaining what Snoopy is to a 3 yr old who has been raised on Dora, Diego, Blue, Bob and Jack. He gave me a big WTF look. "The dude at the end dressed up in a white costume that is supposed to look like a giant dog" - we have recognition....

At the start he pealed out. His cadence was....3 yr-old kind of high. We initially got a hole shot but quickly lost advantage due to gearing. He was soon dead last and I started to think of ways I could keep him interested in the sport after coming in DFL. Then the rider in front of him stopped cold and started crying. "GO! P! GO! YOU ATTACK WHEN A RIDER CRACKS!" - he responded with a burst of speed.

The crying sandbagger came back around and quickly passed P again only to crack again a few feet further. This only served to get me going more. Little P just kept cruising along on his trike.

3rd was his. There was a quick moment of hesitation at the line as he sized up the poor dude in the dog suit debating whether he was good or evil. Then he kept going.

I told him the race was over. He kept going. He said, "NOOOOOoo!! No it's not!" I turned him when he reached the cops blocking the road - just before he made it into oncoming traffic. I pointed him into turn 1. He took off.

I tried to coax him into stopping all down the second short straight. By the time we reached turn 2 it dawned on me that he was on a mission. He was riding the whole course. I figured he would give up on the hill but he didn't. He just kept riding. I walked along behind him raising my hand as riders approached while warming up.

I had to put my hand on the seat on the hill to keep him from going backwards when he stalled but he would always come back and motor on. He took a quick breather at the top and then started the descent. After a couple of wrecks - you saw that pavement....try doing it at speed on a 12" tricycle - I picked him up. He was beat.

By the time we made it back to the gazebo they were calling his name for his medal. He took 3rd after all. He insisted on sitting on my lap on the podium but did raise his hands in triumph upon presentation - jersey zipped and all.

In the end he taught me that it's not that Psimets suck at racing....it's that we just need longer races.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


OK so I didn't wrap everything up. I have been uber busy the last couple of weeks. Building a TON of custom wheels. I am importing some hubs from Taiwan and will be importing some carbon 50mm rims too. Both full carbon clinchers as well as tubulars. Full custom hub, spoke and lacing options for you as well. Pricing will be pretty nice as well.

ANYWAY...instead of going back to cover everything I missed let me just say Joel has done well lately. 2nd at monsters, 4th at wheels on willy, won all 3 races at Matteson, and took second at Wonder Lake. He finally was upgraded as well.

Bryan won in the 5's at the Masters Weekend races. We also took 1st in the 40+. Wonder Lake was a boatload of 'meh' for me. I did something like 16th in the cat 4 race and then I flatted in the 4/5 race. Got back in with Joel's wheel but it was a 9 speed. Shifting was OK for most of the gears except the last couple meaning I couldn't sprint. I got 26th of something like that.

I only rode on Tuesday this week. I rode pretty easy too. I have been putting weight back on - rather fat back on. I am the same weight but not working out in the gym and not running has left my form pretty weak. I decided I have been racing pretty solid though and that I should be able to do something today as long as I made myself be aggressive.

So...I got to Winfield late. Got registered and dressed and on the trainer for about 15-20 minutes of warmup. Most I think I have ever done. Wilke set me up with a video camera on my bike to record the race. I didn't pre-ride the course. Always a mistake, but I figured it wouldn't be a big deal this time.

I got to watch Tim win the 5's race. That's another podium for Bicycle Heaven. it's getting crazy. I am the weak link now for sure. We actually had 5 guys in the 4's race. It was a shock. I was finally not racing alone.

Right off the start I got a jump. Again. Never mean to but just end up in front. I held back enough to end up on RR's wheel. Next thing I know we were on a "hill". I heard there was one on the course. RR nailed it. I followed. That hill was long. A lot longer than I thought it was. I opened my bank account and drained it on that first lap without even realizing it.

The downhill was awesome fast. My kind of fast. Corners at 27-30mph. Hells yes.

RR and I were done on the second lap - on the hill. From there we were dropped and just riding around. Everyone was serious fast right off the bat. It took me about 1/2 of the race before I started to get into a groove. At that point I started picking people up.

Wanna know what it felt like? Check this out:

Picture from J-Dub at peloton-pix

That one is going on the mantle.

Sad race for me. I got lapped. That hasn't happend since last year. Don't know what the deal was. Everyone exploded though. It was like everyone went the speed of a normal Chicago style crit but they put some sort of Wisconsin hill in there and we were too stupid to slow down on it like the cheeseheads do.

They placed me 26th or something - getting me confused in the finish I think. meh. Tomorrow is more of the same. Different course. My body does better after a beating. I think I have more in me. We'll see.

After the race the family took in a Cougars game. My father-in-law's business has been doing well and he got a luxury box to share with the whole family and company. Little P enjoyed the show.