Monthly Archives: March 2008

Primavera Road Races-Lago Vista, Tx

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The Primavera races are held on virtually the same 6 mile course both Saturday and Sunday. Only Sunday, they cut a mile or so off the top of the climb and do more laps. I’m not sure which course was the harder of the two days. The race promoter reminded me that I had raced the race back in 1984. He actually brought pictures of the Tour of Texas, from the day. There were a lot of pictures our women’s team, Raleigh, especially, Marianne Bergland. She was and still is, beautiful. Anyway, I’d done tons of miles last week and was planning on JRA (just riding around).

I pretty much did that on Saturday. The race keep splitting up for no apparent reason. It seems like a lot of the riders down here like to initiate moves and get into breaks. Then it’s over. They forget the next step, that is, pulling. I finally bridged up to a group of 10 or so guys. I have to admit that I was one of those guys that wasn’t driving the break. There were too many guys with different abilities and a bunch of guys sitting on. Small groups of 2 -6 guys kept connecting from behind. Eventually the break should of been termed “the field”. There must of been nearly 30 riders there at one time. After 60 or so miles, things started going abit fast up the hill and people started getting shelled. It got down to 10 or 12 of us. Stefan Rothe from the Mercy Team punched it pretty hard a couple times, but it always came back together. I felt pretty good, but not one of the guys in the break was going to let me ride away. It’s not that I was “marked”, but I was “marked”. Finally, Matt Ankeny from Mercy went up the road. He got out of sight pretty easily. There was just one lap to go. I figured I could get away from everyone but Stefan. I told him I was going and that when I got up to Matt I’d pull and make sure I didn’t drop him. I got clear pretty easily and caught Matt on the climb. I was here for training and felt in a generous mood, so I pulled hard the rest of the lap and Matt won.

Sunday was a repeat, almost. The wind was blowing 25 mph, but from the wrong direction to make it hard. Tailwind up the first half of the climb. Lots of small breaks up the road. Finally, with an hour to go in the race, Stefan went to the front and rode away from the field. Steven Wheeler was already away. Alex Boyd and Brian Sheedy were in between. I was way back in the field when we got to the climb. I jumped with the tailwind and made pretty good progress up to Alex and Brian. They were kind of bogged down, so I went the rest of the way up to the front two. I convinced Stefan to wait for Alex and Brian, figuring that just 3 guys wasn’t enough. And it is always good to have a San Jose guy with you in the break, down here in Texas. We kind of rotated the next 4 laps, with Stefan, Alex and I doing the majority of the work.

Finally with two laps to go Stefan attacked on the back side of the course and the other three got shelled. I felt pretty good still, but was starting to get the twinges of cramps. (Probably from one or more of the following reasons-not enough liquid, undertrained muscles, electrolyte imbalance, moon out of phase, etc. I’ve had an on and off cramping problem for awhile now. I think it is something that is experienced by a lot of us, but no one gets them for the same reason, and everyone but me, has a solution.)Anyway, Stefan “talked” to me at my weakest moment and I was forced into being generous again. I thought if he attacked hard, I was going to cramp up. Anyway, he’d won the race the year before so it was important to him. And he is local, and was riding super strong, so it wasn’t a bad thing. But, getting 2nd two days in a row on the same course isn’t something that sits that well with me. Really kind of irks me a bit.

But, I did come down here to train while the weather is still nasty in Kansas. And it has been really hard training. Actually, I’d have to classify Sunday as pretty hard racing. And we’re still here. Gonna stay a few more days and watch the weather up North. And, get the local guys to take us on some more of those killer Texas Hill Country rides.

Stefan winning the 2nd day.

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Salt Creek Circuit Race – Tulsa, OK 1st Win

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You know how sometimes when you are undecided about doing something your expectations aren’t very high. So, it’s nearly impossible to not surpass them. And it removes some of the nervous early season pressure. That is how Saturday went in Oklahoma.

I wasn’t really planning on racing on Saturday, but got a call from Adam and ended up driving down to Tusla for a 90 minute circuit race. I’d done the race last year and was it was a field sprint. I was 2nd to Brice Jones.

This year went better. I got away early with Matt Ankeny (Mercy) and Jay Blankenship (Tulsa) super early. We rode together for nearly the whole race. I was hoping for Adam or Bill to bridge up, but we ended up getting way too far off the front. I was feeling great. I was having a hard time holding in my energy. Finally, with 10 miles to go, Matt attacked and shelled Jay. I didn’t feel comfortable starting the fireworks, but had no problem continuing them. I immediately attacked Matt and soloed in for a comfortable win. Adam and Bill came after splitting the next group. They finished 4th and 6th respectively. I can’t complain much about my form. It is nice racing early season races and not experience much pain.

Picture below is Bill attacking with 1.5 miles to go as I finish.  Kind of weird.

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Perry and random thoughts….

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I was planning on just training Sunday, but felt so good yesterday I decided to do the local Perry Road race. If we ride out to the course, race and ride home, it’s an easy 80 miles. It wasn’t so warm, only in the 40’s, but the wind was light. The course has a km climb up to the finish every 5 miles, so it is challenging. The 1-2 riders were grouped with the 3’s, so there was a OK sized field riding around.

My team had 5 guys there. Bill Stolte had won the race last week, so was leading. I thought it was best just to race and not try to stack the results. It sometimes gets a little stupid around here when we do that. Anyway, my brother, Kris, took off from the gun with the new junior on our team, Joe Schmaltz. They quickly disappeared up the rode. Towards the end of the first lap, I flatted. There was no wheel van of course. I thought I’d just go to the finish line and wait a lap and ride the rest for training. Trudi was there with her bike and I took her 9 speed rear wheel. I was a couple minutes back. I decided to chase. Thought I felt so good that it wouldn’t be that big a deal to catch back on. Little did I know. Little did I know the rest my team, Bill, Shad, and Adam were up the road in a 5 rider group rotating. I went pretty good for about 1/2 a lap. OK for another 1/2 lap and rode badly the last chase lap. Thankfully, Bill looked back when I was about 20 seconds back and just about done. It took a little over 10 miles to get back to the front.

It amazing how much different I felt Sunday most of the race. It took me nearly a lap (5 miles) to recover from the effort. It was actually depressing somewhat. So much for not stacking the results. The final group was the 5 of us (HRRC/Trek Stores) and my brother Kris. 3 of us hadn’t done last weeks race, so we weren’t in the overall points. So, junior, Joe Schmaltz won his first race riding on our team. Bill was 2nd. So on. It was good training. Physically. Mentally it was a bit annoying.

HRRC  TTT.  I look pretty happy, huh?

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Chasing the weather.

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Winter in Kansas has been severe this year. It reminds me of the winters when I was a kid. Lots of snow, frozen lakes, big winds continually. Usually, by now I would of cried UNCLE and headed somewhere warm until the end of April. I’ve been kind of doing intervals. One week gone, a week back, etc. It makes you appreciate the warm weather all that much more. But, it kind of gets you off track of what you’re trying to accomplish at home.

I planted a garden yesterday. Turned the soil, raked it out and then planted the early stuff-lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, etc. I was leaning over no more than 30 minutes total. Last night I was hobbling around. My hamstrings were/are killing me. It is amazing how out of shape you can get for any other endeavor in life when you are in cycling shape. As far as I can tell, cycling fitness is like a black hole for every other energy source you body has. And it converts every muscle into something that is only good for cycling. You can ride your bike for 6 + hours, but can’t stand around for more than 10 minutes. Go figure.

So, the weekend here is supposed to be miserable again. Dennis Kruse, from Cable, Wis. came down here for some early season riding. He left Cable a couple days ago and the temperature was -5 degrees. He rode here the next day at 60. But, tomorrow is going to be crummy, so we’re heading down to Fayetteville, Arkansas for a long ride tomorrow and then a road race on Sunday. Just a weekend trip.

HELL’S KITCHEN ROAD RACE

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Arkansas is a nice state. Beautiful. Kind of undiscovered. But, Northwest Arkansas is going crazy with construction. I think it is Walmart trickle down, but whatever the case, it is nuts. The towns above Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale are booming. Riding around there is pretty strange. Huge 7000 sq.ft. trophy houses. Stone, brick, spectacular. Next, mobile homes surrounded by cars with no wheels. Pretty weird.

A bunch of us jumped into my van and went down to Fayetteville for the Hell’s Kitchen Road Race on Sunday. We left a day early to get to the warm weather early. But, it wasn’t warm and we barely got in a hour and a half before high tailing it back to watch the KU game. (KU won the Big 12 in basketball, #1 Seed in the NCAA midwest)

The race started at 10am. Pulling up, it seemed like there were alot of people for a regional event. I ran into the promoter, Ben, and he said they had over 300 entries. 200 was the most they’d ever had. The course is very nearly the Joe Martin circuit race. Except alot harder. There is only one climb every 20 mile lap, but it is hard. Over a mile long, pretty steep at the top. Enough to make a selection.

I’m not sure how many guys started the PRO 1-2 race. Somewhere around 40 max. It started out pretty animated considering it was in the mid 30’s. The best regional guys came because of the lack of other races to attend. Long story short, I got away all 3 times up the climb. The 1st time to make a 10 rider split. The 2nd lap to get down to one other guy. And the last time to ride to the finish alone. I felt pretty good considering the point of the season. I rode my big ring up the hill the first two laps (11 X 27 cassette). The last lap, I rode the fist half of the climb in a 53 X 21 or so and ended up having to shift into a 39 X 24. Pretty weird how quickly that can go south on you.

Winning alone is always nice. That is the 2nd time in the last two weeks. We had 4 guys in the top 8 (1-3-6-8th). Pretty good results for a little disassociated riding. I was riding well within myself and probably should of used that form to help my guys get better results. But, that is easy to say after the fact. We’re supposed to win the race first, but it’s always nice to work on stacking the places abit.

PRO 1-2 Results Hell’s Kitchen Road Race – Hogeye, AR

1 (1 – Cat1) Stephen Tilford 35598 HRRC Trek Stores
2 (2 – Cat1) Terrence Keenan 43652 THF Realty
3 (3 – Cat1) Adam Mills 102467 HRRC Trek Stores
4 (1 – Cat2) William Gault 192707 CTCA Tulsawheelmen
5 (4 – Cat1) Zach Reed 29400 Iowa City Cycling Club
6 (5 – Cat1) William Stolte 34257 HRRC Trek Stores
7 (6 – Cat1) Nolan Froese 222865 Mesa Cycles
8 (7 – Cat1) Brian Dziewa 126190 THF Realty
9 (2 – Cat2) Joseph Schmalz 197714 Heartland
10 (8 – Cat1) Janne Hamalainen 199458 CTCA Tulsawheelmen
11 (9 – Cat1) Peter Beland 47037 BMC

Holy S**T!!!

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I was contacted today by Fred Dreier from Velonews. They are doing an article about the upcoming MTB season and are doing a sidebar about the 25th anniversary of MTB/NORBA. I thought, that’s cool. Then I started thinking and it was 25 years ago this year I won the first MTB National Championships. Holy crap. That is unbelievable. I might have to go through a life crisis or something. I’ll have to think about that too. But, that probably isn’t something you do consciously. That’s all I can fathom today/maybe for the rest of the week.

1983 Solvang, CA

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