Monthly Archives: March 2009

Crashed while training.

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I crashed yesterday. Training. Huh? It hasn’t rained forever in the West and my tires are dirty/grimy when I get back from riding, but that isn’t much of an excuse. I was going down a pretty quick hill towards a stoplight that was green. I was turning right and must of been just going too fast. I felt both my wheels break loose simultaneously. Somehow, again, I unclipped my inside foot and got my shoe on the pavement. I slid along like this for a couple meters before something caught and I ended up on my ass. My bike barely touched the ground. No torn tape, ripped up seat, nothing. My shorts and butt are the main recipients of the actions. Plus, I jammed my right hand on the ground and screwed up my already screwed up right shoulder.

I’ve been thinking about it and I think the last time I crashed on the road while training was in the early 90’s. I was warming up for the Tour of Ohio and hit some sand in a corner and fell. Maybe 15 years ago. Maybe more. I think I have to attribute that to luck. For sure. I’ve been on a ton of group rides where a lot of guys fall at once. It just hasn’t happened to be me. If this going to be the standard interval between training ride crashes, I can go with it.

Update Kind of….

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I’ve been travelling abunch coast to coast. Riding some, but not riding more. I had been kicking around riding Redlands for fitness, but that doesn’t seem to be working out. So, I’m kind of a man without a country. Stuck on the West coast with no way home for a few days. Trudi is in Belgium doing a bunch of races with BMC. She sent me this photo of her rig. It has to be pretty stressful driving this thing around Belgium and Holland on small roads. Plus it is full of a team of tired/nervous bicycle racers. And being guided only by a GPS. And below that is her at the “Astana Compound” where BMC stores their vehicles.
img_0110
img_0103

MTB Racing 1991

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I found a bunch more old road photos, but have to figure out where they were taken, etc. But, a friend from Nebraska posted this one on facebook. I don’t know the race, but the year was 1991. I was racing for Schwinn. That was a pretty trying/humbling season racing MTB. The learning curve wasn’t nearly as quick as I had hoped. I hadn’t paid my dues yet, so it was all good.
2589_1062624419579_1645020334_175502_6324650_n1

Coor’s Classic Photo and Coor’s Devil Cup Raleigh Ad 1980’s

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling, Racing, Uncategorized on by .
Share

A rider from Iowa sent me this photo from the Coor’s Race. It’s from BikeMonkey.net. The riders left to right are Davis Phinney, Thomas Prehn, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Boyer, Greg LeMond, and then obscured me.

Coors Classic

Coors Classic

And, Road Bike Action in January had an article on ads from the 1980’s. Below is a Raleigh ad of a race I won in Walnut Creek California, The Coor’s Devil Cup. Teammate Hugh Walton was 2nd. A good payday for sure.

coordevil1

Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop – Austin, TX

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

When I was down in Austin last week we went by Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop. It is co owned by Lance, so that is a big attraction. It is a full service shop with a bunch of memorabilia from Lance’s past along with other Postal Service, Discovery, and Astana stuff. There is a coffee bar there too which is never a bad thing. Kevin Livingston has a high tech personal training facility in the basement. The employees upstairs recognized me and went downstairs to “notify” Kevin that I was perusing upstairs. I had been wondering why I was getting these weird looks, etc. I thought they thought I was shoplifting or something. It never fails to humor me the “famous” scenario. It is a compliment though. And interesting. Anyway, if you’re near Austin and have a chance to stop by it is worth the time.

George Hincapie's bike.

George Hincapie's bike.


Alberto Contador's bike.

Alberto Contador's bike.


Coolest bike in the shop.

Coolest bike in the shop.

Salt Creek and Cowskin Road Races-West of Tulsa, OK

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I went down to a couple road races in Tulsa this past weekend. I’ve ridden the first race several times, but Sunday’s course was new to me.  Tulsa is a strange town.  Kind of depressed and hip at the same time.  I’m not sure where the money comes from there, but every time I go there it is a constant construction site with new building and repair.

Saturday is Salt Creek Criterium.  It is really a 2.5 mile curcuit race shaped like a barbell.  The start/finish line is at the top of a hill in the middle.  I’ve won the race and finished 2nd once.  4 of us went down to Tulsa from the newly sponsored Tradewind Energy/Trek Team.  Brian Jensen who I’ve been racing with for on and off the past few years is back from 2 years on the “Pro” circuit.  He is working full time for Tradewind Energy, a local company that develops wind projects.  I’ll do a writeup on them later.  Anyway, it is going to be fun racing with Brian again.  But, Saturday, we got our wires crossed.

Almost immediately I found myself off the front with Stefan Roth, Texas Tough.  He is a strong guy and  has been riding his normal good this spring.  He finished 3rd both races last weekend in Austin.  3rd on Sunday with one million Kelley Benefit guys  was a good result.  I was feeling just OK.  I figured I could beat him in a sprint, but Brian had separated himself from the field with two other guys, so I was pulling with just a 75% effort.  I was being a ball hog and wanted to finished 1st and 2nd.  Finally on the last lap, Brian caught up with Joseph Schmalz.  We attacked Stephan a few times, but it just wasted all of us.  This was Brian’s first race of the year, so he wasn’t up to speed.  Anyway, to make a long story short, Stefan waxed us in the sprint.  I can’t make any excuses.  He was going good and I just screwed up.  So we finished 2nd and 3rd on the day.  Pretty embarrassing.

Sunday is a pretty demanding 5 mile road curcuit race West of Tulsa along a reservoir.  It has a longish one mile climb and a few good rollers making it a pretty hard race, considering it is 14 laps.  Again, the race split up pretty quickly on the climb.  I was with Brian in a lead group of 10 or so.  Texas Tough had initially 4 riders in the group.  I was feeling pretty bad.  I’m not sure why that was.  I rode for an hour in the morning and thought I had pretty good form.   I told Brian I wasn’t good.  Then he flatted.  Immediately the attacks started and I decided to let Alex Welch from Texas Tough and Joseph go up the road.  Much better than Stefan or Chad Cagle who are both pretty good at riding by themselves.  Brian eventually caught back on after a lap.  He made a big effort. I wasn’t feeling any better, so I pulled a bunch the next lap to the bottom of the climb.  Brian took off and dropped the remainder of the break, but didn’t separate himself from Stefan.  I was in no position to go.  Joseph got dropped during the next hour, so it was just Brian and two Texas Tough guys up the road.  I thought those odds were OK since Brian is way stronger than both of them.  And I was riding like s**t.  Two Tulsa Tough guys, Will Gault and Janne Hamalainen, pulled Chad Cagle and me around from the next 40 miles.  They were both going good and kept the break at around 2 minutes.  I started feeling much better during the last hour.  Not stellar, but pretty good.  So with 2 laps to go I jumped away on the climb.  It was relatively easy shelling those guys since they had been in the wind the last 2 hours.  And I was going pretty good.  I ended up taking nearly a minute out of the break the first lap and knew I had a good chance to catch them on the last lap.  But, I didn’t know that they had slowed down dramatically trying to keep Alex, who was completely blown, off the front.  At the top of the climb the last lap I passed Alex who was mixed in with a bunch of lapped riders.  Then I caught up with Brian and Stefan.  They had already came to an “understanding” of the finish, but with new blood, me, in the mix, those agreements are over.  The sprint was downhill around a sweeping corner.  Brian went to the front the last mile and keep it in the gutter.  He was a bit more done than I thought.  I jumped kind of late and could hardly get through on Brian’s inside.  Stefan was coming up pretty fast, but I won by a wheel. It was pretty nice winning at least one race on the weekend. When Brian gets a few more races under his belt and I’m more my normal self then it should be way more fun and less painful. Anyway, our team won 1/2 the races and had 2 out of 3 of the podium spots on both days, so you can’t complain too much about that.

It is pretty weird in the sport of cycling how things can change during the race.  I was riding horribly the first two hours and came around eventually.  I would of bet a million dollars with 30 minutes to go I was not going to win that race.  Stefan would of bet anything with 30 minutes to go he was going to win that race.  That is the cool thing about the sport.  If I’d been racing a MTB race, I would of probably quit.  Or a running race.  But on the road there is always a chance that you can come around and eventually get going good.  Greg Lemond told me once that the year he won the World Road Championships over Sean Kelley, he was bad the first 4 hours.  Then it started to rain and he felt great. And he won in a sprint.  Weird. 4 hours bad and then good.  I hope that it doesn’t take me 2-3 hours the rest of the season to get going or I’m going to be in trouble in a lot of criteriums this year.
dscn0006

Lago Vista Weekend-Lago Vista Texas

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

Lago Vista is the 2nd  of two road race weekends I usually ride down here. It is a hilly loop 25 miles West of Austin in the hill country.   Bruce and the guys do a super job on a pretty demanding course. They’ve been putting the race on forever.   The loop is around 6 miles with one side being predominately climbing and the other big rollers down to the finish, which is at the top of a small hill.  Saturday, the wind was blowing pretty hard, 25 mph+, so that made it all the more fun.

I had done a bunch of miles during the week. I’d ridden to San Antonio against a 35 mph headwind one day.  We’d ridden out around Lake Travis to Lago Vista, which is a great ride.  So, I was fitter and much more tired than the previous week.  Almost immediately, maybe 2nd lap out of 15 or so, I got into a 5 man move.  I never was feeling too good.  I’ve been having some issues with my left leg and that was the limiting factor.  Anyway, we all keep plodding along into the wind with the field never getting too far behind.  Everyone was working initially, then one by one they started sitting on and eventually disappearing.  It finally came down to Heath Blackgrove and myself.  By that time, I wasn’t going good enough to beat anyone.  I kept pulling prettty hard, but was cramping.  I told Heath with a couple laps to go that he was going to win.  That is when he started riding much harder.  I didn’t/still don’t understand it.  Maybe he was just training.  But, he rode the last lap much faster than any of the previous laps by far.  I’ve never experienced the situation.  When someone “concedes” in a bicycle race, and the race is already decided, then it usually gets easier and slower.  He throttled me.  I figured it would be better to ride the last lap at my speed and not kill myself for the next day.  So that is how it ended up.  Heath riding in alone and me finishing a demolished 2nd.  Stephan Roth had been time trialing a couple minutes back, caught his team mate that was in the break with us, and finished 3rd right ahead of a charging field.

Sunday is virtually a do over.  A little different course on the top, but basically the same course.  Only 10 or so guys from the Kelley Benefits Pro Team showed up.  So, I didn’t race.  I raced, but didn’t do anything but sit in.  I wasn’t feeling much better early on and figured the race was not winnable.  Eventually, 20+ guys got up the road with half the Kelley Benefit guys.  They split up.  But, then the remainder of the break got back within sight with 3 or so laps to go.  I was feeling much better and pretty fresh, so I decided to play the last 3 laps.  I bridged up to the remainder of the break.  But, the field caught on soon after.  I realized that nearly everyone else in the race was pretty much done.  Probably from the 2 days of long February racing.  Whatever the reason, it was much easier for me to separate myself from the group.  On the last lap, towards the top of the climb, I jumped up to a small group of 6 or so.  Two Kelley Benefit guys and three other pretty good riders.  I took a couple pretty hard long pulls to separate us from the group.  But, on the rollers to the finish, we didn’t have a big enough gap and got swallowed by the masses a couple hundred meters from the line.  I was pretty fresh still, but totally miss calculated how fast the field was coming by us.  I was in an 11, pretty spun out and was buried before I got up to speed.  KB finished 1-2-4-6-7 or something like that.  Pretty stupid.

It is so funny how people judge themselves. And how they come out of race weekends mentally.  Especially early season.  I was pretty depressed after Saturday.  Even though I got an OK result.  I usually don’t put myself in a position not to be able to win a race.  Saturday, I knew early on that if I things didn’t change for the better, I wasn’t going to win.  But I kept pulling, knowing I wasn’t going to win.  Sunday, I was still trying to recover from being seized up and hurt from the day before.  I was just riding around, knowing who was going to win.  Then, towards the end, after 70 plus miles, I started coming around and had a pretty good race.  Acceptable strong at the end.   Even though my result was terrible, it was a better race for me.  I’d rather be riding good at the end of a race when it is hard and get buried at the end than riding bad the whole race and get a good result.  Especially early season when the riding bad is so, so painful.

Anyway, for the 2 weekends, 4 races, the two of us, Bill and I finished on the podium 3 out of 4 races with two 2nd’s and a 3rd. .  Can’t complain about that. If Brian Jensen would of been here, the results would of only been better.  Catherine Walberg, Topekan and van passenger/travel companion,  finished 2nd, 3rd in 2 races and 6th in the other.  That is with driving the 700 miles back to Kansas and then again back to Texas to appease her real sponsor during the week.  It is looking better up North towards the end of this week.  It’s going to be in the 60-70’s in Kansas.  So, we’re riding a couple more days here and then heading home.  After being in Texas for the past couple weeks, it hard to believe it is still winter in the rest of the country.  Reality check time soon.

The reason you don't bring 12 "Pros" to an early season regional race.