Monthly Archives: September 2010

Fitness? Blood?

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You know the problem with having good fitness, or for that matter, bad fitness? Well, not really bad fitness, but feeling bad or not riding well. The problem is that when I’m riding good, that’s all I want to do. It is easy to train hard. It is easy to do anything. But, when I’m riding bad, nothing comes easy. Everyday life is difficult, so it is hard to accomplish any hard task.

I think it has something to do with your blood. I posted earlier, I think I might have been riding better at the first of March than I am now. That was after nearly two complete months of not riding. I know that I have a lot of miles on my legs and I don’t lose form very quickly. But, that doesn’t explain being able to ride at race pace without any racing. Or training at race pace.

Why I think it has something to do with your blood is that when I’m riding well, I can do almost anything physically great. When I have a great day training, I can plop down on the floor and knock off 100 sit ups without any stress at all. But, when I’m riding badly, I might only get to 30 and then can barely struggle to 50. It isn’t a training thing. It is a muscle supply issue. Your muscles are getting supplied everything they need to function properly.

Right now, I”m just going mediocre. Yesterday I went for a 70 mile ride to Lawrence. It was in the upper 90’s and super muggy. Heat index off the charts. I was pretty good until 10 miles to go. I met up with Bill and had to stop almost immediately. I drank a 32 oz. Coke and a 32 oz. Gatorade. I felt better riding into town. When I got home, I weighed myself and was still 9 lbs. light. That was after drinking over 4 lbs. of liquid within the last 1/2 hour. That seems a little extreme. I’m still 5 lbs. lighter than yesterday. Maybe I was over hydrated? Probably not.

Turning 113 years old Sept. 5th

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I got a note from Michael Aisner that he’d be in Topeka this weekend. Tom Schuler’s grandmother is turning 113 on September 5th. I helped her move out of her house in 1997 when she was 100. Boy, does time fly.

It used to crack me up when Tom would say that he talked to his grandmother and my name would come up. Tom would tell me that Ella would say that maybe he should ride with the Tilford boy and that maybe he could learn something. Even though Tom had been on a Olympic Team and had won the Professional Road Nationals in Philadelphia.

Anyway, I’ve been following Ella Schuler’s progression on the supercentenarian list for a couple years now. She started in the upper sixties and now is officially the 12th oldest human on the planet. Michael always stresses how rare it is to meet someone born in the 1800’s. I never thought much about it because I grew up with my grandmother and she was born in 1892. But, now, meeting someone that was born in the 1800’s, that person has to be at least 110 years old. That is pretty old, even by today’s standards. Anyway, I thought I should again post Michael’s video a that he made last year about Ella, in celebration of another birthday this weekend.

ELLA @ 112 — THE MOVIE from Michael Aisner on Vimeo.

The list above is of the oldest documented people currently living on the planet.

Labor Day Weekend in Saint Louis

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The TradeWind Energy Team is off to St. Louis for the Gateway Cup that starts tonight at Lafayette Park. There are 4 criteriums starting tonight at 9:30pm and ending Monday, with a criterium around Benton Park, which is a new course.

I’ve done these races for a long time. On and off since the mid 90’s. The courses have changed up a bunch. They used to be much more challenging. Way more altitude gain, which I prefer. Now, 3 out of 4 are flat, wide open races. I pretty much like any criterium. Well, I’m not big on parking lot criteriums, lined with cones, or park type criteriums, that don’t really have any corners, just curves. But, I don’t like these courses as much as the older, harder ones. I’d much prefer a hard course with technical handling skills required.

Anyway, I think it is amazing how much it costs to race bicycles now. The entry for these races is $159.25. We’re staying at a pretty inexpensive hotel, but it will still be around $80 each for the three days. Gas and tolls have to be close to $40 bucks each. That isn’t even counting food. And equipment. So, $300 for the weekend plus all the stuff that gets worn out or destroyed. That is the cost for the regional Labor Day Races in St. Louis, on a budget. If I had to pay for this out of my pocket, every weekend, I’d have to get a job.

I’m still not going any better than last weekend. I probably shouldn’t have destroyed myself on Tuesday. I only rode an hour today, so maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better. It isn’t supposed to be hot at all, so that is a plus.

I’ll try to keep up to date on the results, etc. I like the late night racing, but not so much when they throw afternoon racing into the middle of it, which is the case here.

New Cat

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My brother, Kris, brought home a new cat a couple weeks ago. It is a full grown cat. That are 4 cats here now. I don’t really mind. 4 cats aren’t much more trouble than 2 cats. I am most likely allergic to cats, but that doesn’t matter either. I like animals enough that I can’t let stuff like that come into play when deciding whether they are around or not. I don’t really think you can own animals. I think you can take care of animals and be responsible for them, but you can’t own them. They live with you by choice. At least domesticated animals do. I suppose most fish and birds wouldn’t hang around too long if given an opportunity to take off.

This cat isn’t a normal cat. It goes on the dog walk. It doesn’t seem to be fazed by much. Two nights ago, a crazy storm came through at 3 am. Lightening, thunder, rain and wind. I had opened the window and shades by the bed to hear and see the storm. This cat jumped up on the bed and climbed out the window and disappeared into the storm. That isn’t a normal cat trait. I’d bet that I could just throw this cat into the van and go to St. Louis with no issues. And the cat would be with me on the return trip. It is fun having new blood around the house.

This is how comfortable this cat can get. This was nearly the first day Bromont and her met.

Gateway Cup – Lafeyette Square

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Just finished dinner. It’s 1:48 am. Perfect. This race was destined to be a field sprint. Which it was. Not without some minor drama. Daniel Holloway, Bissell, sporting his recently won Professional National Criterium Champion Jersey, decided to ride the fastest lap of the race from the gun. He was going very fast. Too fast for my liking. I had warmed up all the way from the car to the start line, which was probably a 1/4 mile.

Anyway, there are a few good professional riders here. And a lot of good elite riders. About 130 starters. The course tonight was a flat 4 corner criterium. With super wide open streets. It is easy to take most of the corners 5 abreast. A few breaks got up the road. A serious move went with about 10 laps to go. Scott Monninger, Big Shark, Daniel Holloway, Bissell, Chad Hartley, Kenda and a couple others were up the road. Brian made a move to bridge with one Kenda guy taggin’ on, but didn’t get up to it. But, we were all back together with less than 3 laps to go.

I’m not sure what happened to us the last lap. I hooked up with Bill and was moving up towards the front on the last lap. Nick was on Bill. I missed a couple easy moves and was too far back with 1/2 lap to go. I had to make a sketchy move and that was the end of moving up my team mates. I came out of the last corner, which is 300 meters to the finish, around 15th and passed 8 guys, I guess, before I came to the finish line. So I ended up 7th. That wasn’t a stellar finish for me here, but it could have gone a lot worse. Bill was in the lower teens. I’m not sure about Nick.

Daniel Holloway did his jersey proud and won the race pretty convincingly. I’m not sure who was 2nd, but Brad Huff, Jelly Belly was 3rd and Josh Carter, San Jose was ahead of me too. The race was pretty quick. We had nearly a 29 mph average speed for the hour 2 minutes and my maximum speed was nearly 40.

The crowds at this race are great. The neighborhood was pretty run down when I first started racing here and now there are great restaurants, coffee shops and lots of artsy residential housing. There are 1000’s of people who never see another bicycle race the whole year that come out and cheer like crazy. Pretty fun. Especially at night.

Tomorrow’s race is in the late afternoon. Another flat, wide open race. Good leg speed workout I guess. But, the problem with that is when I really need to go fast I just drop it into an 11 and slug away. That kind of counter acts that training still I think. ’til then. Chow ciao.

Gateway Cup – Francis Park Criterium

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Short update. Just finished another wide open flat criterium. It didn’t go so well. A big move got away early. We, TradeWind Energy, had Nick Coil in the move. After a few laps, another group of 5 bridged up. This group had Daniel Holloway in it, plus another Kenda rider. Not good. But, it went away so quickly, that by the time I realized it was gone, it was gone. Brian tried to bridge up to the new bigger move with Josh Carter and Scott Monninger, but they only made it half way before Josh pulled the plug, then Brian and Scott.

Then it got worse. Nick got popped out of the 11 man group along with 3 others. Then there were 7. The field made an effort and took some time out of the move, but it still had 30 seconds with 5 laps to go. Rumor has it that the break split up at the end when Jonathan Jacob, from Nuvo Cycling Team, Indianapolis, took off towards the end. Holloway tried to bridge alone, but blew. Jacob won alone. Dave Hendersen, from Columbia Missouri, Master’s Criterium National Champion, came in alone for 2nd. Then Eric Young, another Nuvo rider was 3rd. Holloway was 4th, followed by two Kenda Pro riders.

The field got moving the last couple laps. I was in pretty good position with 1/2 a lap to go. Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, had taken off alone. On the last stretch before the final corner, I got behind my team mate, Bill Stolte, and told him to go. He jumped to the right from about 10 back. I was on Bill, but our misfortune was that Brad Huff was being swallowed by the field and swung off to the right. I saw that Bill was going to get screwed up, so I tried to punch my way back into the line coming by on the left. Chad Hartley, Kenda was leading out the sprint, much like he did last year. I finally gave up on the punching in plan and just decided to go around the outside in the last corner and hope for the best. The best wasn’t to my liking. I ended up 7th or 8th in the field sprint, which is around 15th for the day.

Tomorrow’s race is on the hill in the Italian section of St. Louis. A much more challenging course, but still usually a field sprint. A better workout for sure. After the race, they have a spaghetti feed at the lawn bowling club. It is usually pretty fun. Kind of an eclectic happening. Weird mixture of athletes and old Italian folks.

Another photo from the startline.

There is a ton of old brick buildings in St. Louis. It is nice riding around the neighborhoods.