Monthly Archives: August 2009

Elk Grove Day 1

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Nothing much to say here. I sucked pretty much. Not completely, but nearly. I had no jump. My lower back hurt. Along with my neck, my shoulder and ribs. Even my left knee was sore. I seem to be getting more sore on a daily basis. Everyone says it’s because I’m trying to compensate for other stuff. I have fallen down on my bike hundreds of times. I don’t remember getting sorer over a week later.

3 guys rode off the front nearly from the start. The two ISO Corp guys bridged up with just a few laps to go. That is 5 away. Never more than 25 seconds. But, enough to stay away until the end. I was nearly winning the field sprint until about 25 meters to go and got buried by 4 or 5 guys. I finished 10th or 11th I think. Nothing to write home about. It was pretty windy and not that easy a race. Races with U turns are like that. Tomorrow is a do over with 12K prize list. Maybe I’ll feel better or have a better result. But, it’s not like the field is chopped liver. Frank Travisio won. Health Blackgrove and a ton of other good guys are here, so it’s always going to be pretty hard.

One upside is that the new Trek Madone races as nice as it rides. I had to chase Bromont down yesterday in the country on gravel roads. Then today, it was pretty wet before the race. I tried to explain to the bike that it isn’t an easy life being under me. I’m not sure it understood, but it will eventually get it.

Elk Grove -Day 2

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The 2nd day at Elk Grove is a do over for the 1-2 field. Same race. 10km longer. The 10km made a difference I think. The field got smaller much quicker than yesterday. It happened in the PRO race too. It is surprising how hard a race with a U turn is. The race went badly for us, TradeWind Energy guys. We, all 3, were riding much better. Towards the end of the race a large group got away. Over 10 guys. Then 2’s and 3’s started latching on. Eventually there were over 20 guys in the “break”. And just a few more than that left in the field. Where I was. I jumped out of the U turn and tried to bridge up. I only managed to launch Josh Carter and Chad Cagle up to the move. I didn’t make it. I wasn’t that tired. Just was lazy or something. Josh ended up winning the race. Over $2000 for 1st, I think. Brian Jensen, from my team, was off the front with 2 other guys with 3 laps to go. One of the guys he was with hit his pedal, fell and took Brian down. He got up and chased back onto the tail end of the break again, but wasn’t mentally with it and missed the bell. Obviously he didn’t do well in the sprint. I felt better, but am still way tweeked. This might be the first race this season, other than stages in stage races, that I haven’t won money in. I usually have one of those races every year. This one shouldn’t of been it.

The Kenda women beat Laura Van Gilder today. Yesterday, Catherine Walberg was 3rd. Today her team mate won. They made bank. Catherine was so tired after the race yesterday, below is how she put her bottle back on her bike. It is amazing it stayed there.

Launching Josh up to the break.

Launching Josh up to the break.


Nicer photo of Catherine with her big size check.

Nicer photo of Catherine with her big size check.

JRA (just riding around) Wisconsin – Waterford Precision Cycles Stop

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I haven’t been feeling my best. Pretty banged and scabbed up. A little infection here and there. I’m still trying to get some form of fitness for this time of the year. Not sure what the best formula is for that, but something is usually better than nothing. Anyway, I’ve decided to just ride my bike. Go out and ride on the unbelievable nice roads here in Southern Wisconsin. It is very picturesque here. I am not worrying about training. No worry about wind direction, speed, hills, etc. Just going out and getting lost for few hours and then figure my way back.

Today I started with a tailwind. I felt bad right from the first pedal stroke. When I feel like that and want to get in some miles, I usually ride tailwind first. I put on my headphones and started riding Northeast. It got better after the first hour or so. Anyway, I ended up riding 40 or so miles NE and saw a sign for Waterford, Wisconsin. I hadn’t been there for quite awhile and thought I’d go by and visit Richard Schwinn and Co. at Waterford Bicycles.

I rode for the Schwinn Professional Team for 4 years, so I knew where the building was. I’d been up there for dealer visits etc. during those days. I got my team bike stolen out of my garage one time and Mike Farrell, the team director, sent me a plane ticket to Chicago for the next day and I went up to Waterford and returned with a new bike. That was pretty cool.

Anyway, Richard Schwinn was in his office and gave me the Tour. I have know Richard almost since I started racing bikes. He is an bicycle advocate through and through. Passionate for sure. He told me his daughter is working for Zipp and is carrying on the tradition. To me, it didn’t seem like a lot had changed since the Paramount days. They had a lot of custom lugs there for the Anniversary Paramount Framesets. They were beautiful. Hand made, hand welded stainless steel. Nice.

Last week I was in Waterloo at the Trek Factory. Now, this week at Waterford. They almost couldn’t be more different. Different for sure, but beautiful/functional in their own respective way.

Marc Mueller and Richard Schwinn.

Marc Mueller and Richard Schwinn.

Steel frames waiting for some rear triangles to be attached.  Seems like there were a lot of cross bikes going out.

Steel frames waiting for some rear triangles to be attached. Seems like there were a lot of cross bikes going out.

A cross frame just welded.

A cross frame just welded.

A box of mitered tubes.  Check out the lugs.  Pretty.

A box of mitered tubes. Check out the lugs. Pretty.


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I made my 3rd visit to the Urgent Care in the past week today. My hip is infected and oozing pus from a couple places. I looked up the images on google and it looks exactly like MRSA staph. I don’t know where that would have come from. Probably from one of my other previous hospital visits. Anyway, I go out on a bike ride this morning to see how I feel. I stopped to get some coffee and I noticed that I have another problem under my right underarm. Where there wasn’t a wound. So I figure I should go by the doctors again. Long story short, they took some samples of the pus and prescribed an antibiotic cocktail. I told the physician that I wasn’t much into taking antibiotics because it makes me feel and ride horrible. I asked him if I could wait until the culture was back to start and he advised not to. Isn’t that the whole reason MRSA started. Over prescribed antibiotics?

Even the pharmacist asked me if I had a bad infection because these were really strong antibiotics. I went ahead and bought the pills, but am hesitant to take them. I’m driving back to Kansas tomorrow to race The Tour of Kansas City this weekend. Just two criteriums. It’s supposed to be nearly 100 both days again. It hasn’t even been in the 80’s hardly here the last week. So, I’m going to call tomorrow and see if they have the lab work back. If so, and it turns out positive, then I might as well write off the next month or so.

Tour of KC – Day 1

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The Tour of Kansas City, late summer addition, is today and tomorrow. Just two criteriums now. The best race, the Cliff Drive Circuit race couldn’t be included because of road construction.

I knew that it was going to be a stretch doing much tonight. I can’t think of a time when I had a combination of so many things wrong all at once. I got the bad call this morning. MRSA staff. But, I’d already started all the antibiotics because I received so many “convincing” emails telling me nicely that I was crazy. And, they were all correct. But, I decided to go ahead and race. I feel an obligation to racing locally. And, I can always add some sort of help one way or another.

There were around 60 starters on the .9 mile course. It is kind of hard for such a short course. One side is a hill with a technical corner at the bottom. It was nearly 100 degrees today. Not sure what the temperature was at the 8 pm start. It was windy though. Weird. The race started fast. Eventually a break of 13 got away. We had 3 guys in the move with Nick Coil, Bill Stolte and Brian Jensen. Brian has won the race the last two years, so 3 in a row was a goal.

It took most of the race for 9 of the guys to lap us. Only Brian and Bill were in that group. With a few laps to go, Brian got away with Joesph Schmaltz. I thought those were pretty good odds. I ended up leading Bill out the last lap. He jumped a little prematurely and Phil Mann beat him for 3rd. Brian won by a wheel, so 1st and 4th on the day.

Tomorrow is another 75 minutes at 1 pm. It’s going to be hot again. And windy. The antibiotics aren’t going over that good, but I don’t have much of a choice. Plus, it’s a new experience. It was not enjoyable racing tonight. That is putting it mildly But, not bad as sitting there watching from the curb. I don’t have much tolerance for that I’ve noticed.

Tour of Kansas City – Day 2

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The 2nd day of this race is in downtown Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. It is a mile course, technical, with 6 corners and a hairpin. It was really hot again and really windy. They ran the course backwards compared to all the previous years. It was good in that direction too. The mid day start was going to be a factor. And it was. The same 60 guys started. Right from the gun the pace was lethargic. Everyone felt the same. Overheated. After a few attacks, another big group got away. This time we had 4 guys in it, with Brian and Bill being the most important. A few of the guys in the top 10 yesterday missed the move, so it was good for us. It took a while for the group to go around and take a lap. Most of the 75 minutes. By the time they lapped us, the break was nearly bigger than the remainder of the field. Attrition was rampant.

I was not good. But, not horrible. Just riding around. Doing what I could. I won a prime that no one really contested. And a few other things. Finally we were lapped and the race sped up once more. Everyone was pretty much done though. It split with 3 or so laps to go and 8 guys made that split. We had three, which seemed good. Our main concern was winning overall. 2nd, the race. It went south on the last lap when Alex Welch jumped from the back of the break and rode away. Josh Carter had done everything necessary to win, but missed the move too. I think he was waiting for one of us to chase. He ended up winning the sprint for 2nd. Brian just nipped Joseph for 5th, so Brian was the overall winner again. Bill finished 7th and had a pretty good weekend.

I don’t know what to say. I dislike racing feeling bad, but hate missing races. It’s a catch 22. But, now that it’s over, I’m good with this weekend. I think I might of gained a little form, not much though. I don’t think I hurt anything long term. And I know there is no where to go but up from here.

Hot and uncomfortable for most of the day.

Hot and uncomfortable for most of the day.

Random Observations

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Have you ever noticed how fast the “air” leaks out of a tire after you filled it with a CO2 cartridge? C02 must be alot smaller than air and leak out way, way faster. I wonder how many people change their tube again the next day after they flatted thinking that they must have another slow leak?

I hate it when a guy in a car honks and yells like crazy when I roll a stop sign. Not blatantly run a stop sign, but almost stop, look both ways and proceed. I had a guy go off today out in the country when I didn’t stop for a rail road crossing sign in the middle of nowhere when you could see miles in each direction.

I think that I ride bikes better physically maimed than chemically maimed. Chemical, like in antibiotics. I feel pretty bad 24/7. Kind of like the flu, all day. And I ride even worse than I feel. That’s not a good sign for this weekend in Downer’s Grove.

I can’t believe how fast the summer seemed to go this year. It was only hot a couple weekends all summer. That means cyclo-X is starting in less than a month. Where did the time go?

Gateway Cup over Labor Day Weekend in St. Louis is going to be extra good this year with the Tour of Missouri happening at the same time and place. You should make your way over there if you have an opportunity.

Tubular tires ride a lot better than clincher tires. That is an undisputed fact!

The world is weird?  Who made this and what is it for?

The world is weird? Who made this and what is it for?

I took this photo at a gas station in Iowa.  Some energy pill.  I was thinking maybe Mark Cavendish could use this guy for his leadouts. (He really is the World's Fastest Cyclist, technically.)

I took this photo at a gas station in Iowa. Some energy pill. I was thinking maybe Mark Cavendish could use this guy for his leadouts. (He really is the World's Fastest Cyclist, technically.)