Monthly Archives: March 2010

Back in Kansas

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I’ve experienced this weird thing many, many times. I go on the road for an extended period and when I get home I’m amazed how much stuff I have to deal with. By stuff, I actually mean stuff. Life seems way more simple when you’re living out of a bag with the small amount of clothing, etc. that you brought along originally. Then upon returning home, there is just so much more. I know where I got it, I’m just pretty sure I don’t need it all.

I rode 2 1/2 hours today. It felt like I was back at square one. Hopefully it was full legs from traveling so much. It’s too early in the season to be this tired.

I made macaroni and cheese tonight. My grandmother used to make it for me all the time. It’s baked. And super good. I don’t make it as good as she did, but it is pretty hard to screw it up.

Tomorrow night is the KU vs. KSU basketball game. KU is ranked 2nd after losing last week and KSU is ranked 5th. KU has the longest home winning streak in the country going at 59 games straight. That doesn’t look good for KSU, but it is college basketball. KU has historically had some problems with Kansas State when they are ranked high and playing at home. Anyway, it’s a very important game for KU. Let’s not put a hex on them this time!

I’ve got a basement full of stuff. Luckily I don’t have to deal with it too often. Somewhere down the line I started putting up some of the race signs in the garage. Most are from European races, but some are from the US. I used to take them off the front of the team car after the race was over. Sometimes I had to “borrow them forever” from other places. Andy Hampsten and I “borrowed” the finish line banner from the final stage of the British Milk race. We brought it back to Michael Fatka for him to display in his shop, Michael’s Cyclery. That was an interesting night for sure. They don’t put signs on the cars anymore, they put decals on the windshields. That is a shame. Times change.

Baked macaroni and cheese. I only use extra sharp white cheddar cheese. And it's important to get just the right amount of milk. It was a quandary what wine to drink with it. That wasn't a problem when my grandma made it for me.

Antonio Vivaldi’s Birthday

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Today, March 4th is the birthday of Antonio Vivaldi. He was born in 1678. If you read about him, you’ll see he lived a very interesting life. No matter what you think of classical music, there is no denial that Vivaldi wrote some pretty moving music. Probably the most well known of his music is The Four Seasons. You should click on the link and give a listen to some of his music. If you didn’t like classical music before, you will now.

As a side note, Michael Aisner posted this on facebook a couple days ago. I couldn’t agree more-I love that so much of nature is indistinguishable from magic. And I love magic. But I NEVER want to know how magic is done and always want to know the tricks of nature.

Campagnolo, Blood Test, another Race Weekend

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We were drinking a fair amount of wine during the KU game. I decided to get out my Campagnolo corkscrew for the occasion. Someone told me that Tullio Campagnolo invented this design. I have never looked that up, but he was a revolutionary designer/inventor, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

I got another blood test yesterday. It’s super cheap if you order it on the internet. I used EconoLabs this time. It is $19 for a CBC. There are other online websites that do the same thing. They send you to a LabCorp Blood Center. They are everywhere. Everywhere but Topeka that is. (I want to be totally transparent with my blood values just in case I get a call by a ProTour Team looking for a replacement player sometime during the season.)

This weekend there are a couple races down in Tulsa. A good road race on Saturday and then a circuit race on Sunday. It is supposed to be in the upper 60’s there so the weather should be nice, finally.

I was given this by some Campagnolo relative when I went to the Campy factory after the World's in 1985.

In use.

For record keeping.

Salty Cow Race Extravaganza

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Drove down to Tulsa today. A 66 mile circuit race today. 12 laps of a 5.5 mile course with a 3/4 mile climb every lap. Pretty windy. I am feeling way below par, but love Tulsa and am always looking for warmer weather. Since I’m posting this on my phone, long story short-

After some normal spring racing and some pretty weird happenings, Brian and I got away with 30 miles to go and finished alone. I won the race last year, so it was his turn. Brian has now won 100% of the races he has entered this year. I’m 0 out of 3. But, today should/does count as one. Catherine is 100% victorious this year too now.

Tomorrow is another circuit race that they call a criterium. There are 3 of us here. It might be a bit less successful. But, hopefully not.

Photo-Winnings of wine, small stuffed cows and cash. And post race cheeseburgers. Couldn’t ask for more.

Tulsa, Spring and Daylight Savings Time Soon

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I was thinking how nice it is that the season, the road season, is starting up again. In Europe. Domestically.

I do like riding my bike. I like training. But, racing is why I train. I will ride no matter what, but I train to race.

At the end of last season, a lot of today’s domestic pros seem kind of less than enthused about racing. I was listening to a few guys talk at the end of last season and I keep hearing ” I have to go to” here or I got to do” this race or that race.

I think of it like I get to go to this race. I get to go there. There is a huge difference between have to and get to. There is hardly ever a race that I am planning on going to that I’m not looking forward to riding/racing. It has never seemed to be a job. It’s not a job. It’s a passion. A life. If it comes down to “have to”, I’m not gonna.

Salt Creek Criterium was today. The 2nd day in Tulsa. I knew today was going to be frustrating. It’s not ever good on the 2nd day of a regional race after finishing 1st & 2nd the day before. But, that’s fine.

I’m too tired to go over the play by play, although it was pretty interesting and kind of unusual. Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, showed up today. I realized he was going to have a frustrating day. But Brad knew it too.

Chad Cagle won today. He is from Tulsa, so it’s all good. Brian was 2nd. Chad’s team mate, Jason Waddell was 3rd. Brad was 4th. Nick finished 5th and I was 6th, but was relegated to 9th for going in too early after flatting. Whatever. Catherine made it 2 for 2 and is still at a 100% win ratio.

Early season racing is so hard. No matter how you look at it. But, there is no way to train that hard.

Spring is officially only a couple weeks away. I love spring. My favorite season by far. And daylight savings time is this weekend. The extra hour of daylight is good for all full time working racers. So, after next weekend, all you basement, trainer type, people have no reason not to get out on the road way, way more often. Maybe just put that trainer away until next winter.

Bromont, pit dog, seems to be already bored with racing.

Brad Huff and I were not going anywhere today.

They had the trainers set up in the middle of a freshly burnt grass section. Great air.

Burning has started already. Oklahoma is a couple weeks ahead of Kansas. I swear I'm not going to be around Kansas for that this year.

Radios, Phones, and Internet

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I was 100% behind the removal of radios from bicycle racing. I think it takes away from the moment. Takes the intellect out of the sport. Makes it mechanical.

Now I’m struggling with the same dilemma with cell phones. And the internet somewhat. Don’t get me wrong. There are times that a cell phone is indispensable. And the information that is on the internet is beyond mind boggling and useful.

But, it seems that a lot of people are so into documenting their doings that they aren’t doing them anymore. And that people are so into checking out what their friends are doing that they’re doing nothing more than checking out what their friends are doing.

Cell phones are a different dilemma. There is something to be said about being out somewhere riding and only having yourself and the guys you’re with to rely on. Just the possession of the phones takes away from that unity. It disrupts the flow of the ride. Even if no one is talking on them. It is strange when there is a flat or a pee stop, everyone pulls their phones out to check for messages or texts. It takes us all out of the moment. Changing flats should be like walking home from school when you were a kid. A good thing. A time to get the read on what’s going on during the ride. A time to catch a glimpse of what everyone else you’re with is experiencing.

I don’t have many photos from when I raced before there were digital cameras. I have some photos of where I was when I raced. But, unless a photo was published in a magazine, I had no photos from the race. We were busy racing. And enjoying the travel. We weren’t much into documenting it. Now the documentation seems to be nearly as important as the experience itself. The experience is 1000 X more important. A photo doesn’t come close. The sounds, the smells, the other million things that the picture doesn’t capture.

It’s kind of like racing cyclo-x. Either you get cyclocross or you don’t. And when you do get cyclocross, you realize how special it is. You realize that it takes a trillion skills simultaneously to do it correctly. So many skills, that no one person can possess them all. It’s you against the course. Then you against the competition. A photo can capture a glimpse of cross, but you have to do it to understand it fully.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I guess it is something like, let’s try to spend more time living the moments. And while we’re living these moments, we should leave the documentation until later. I think it will add to our quality of life.