Monthly Archives: March 2011

It Never Goes as Planned – March 1st Rabbit, Rabbit.

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Austin hasn’t worked out like I had hoped. Actually, ever since I returned from Europe, it hasn’t gone as I’d envisioned. But, life usually doesn’t. That makes it interesting to some degree.

Right now, if I stay in this steady state of health/non-health I’m in, I won’t race this weekend. I didn’t spend hardly any time at the bike show either. So, the two reasons that I’m here are down the drain. This is about as close to depressed as I get I think.

When I returned from Belgium, I thought I’d stay race fit through the first of March, then go skiing for a little while and lift some weights. Then start racing seriously again at the first of April. But, that obviously didn’t go as planned. I still need to do something to equalize my muscles some. Skiing is great for that. I might need more than 4 weeks of weights.

Maybe I’ll get miraculously better by Friday and all this worry is for naught. Who knows.

Today didn’t help me much though. I spent close to 4 hours on my bike. MTB at that. The wind was whipping today. Bill and I rode downtown to meet up with Kent Eriksen, Katie and Co. We rode the Greenbelt for a little over 2 1/2 hours and then rode the 45 minutes back South. The MTB pace was pretty casual, so I wasn’t too hurt. I’m pretty sun burnt though.

We went to dinner at a BBQ place called the Salt Lick. We have the best BBQ in the world in Kansas City, but this place was tasty. I ate more red meat last night than I’ve eaten total in 2011. I swear. Once in a while it is alright.

I have to get to assembling some road bikes and gluing road tires on my race wheels. Just in case the miracle happens. Wednesday, I’m planning on meeting up with Robbie for 4 hours. Other, than that, I should probably just take it easy. I’m not too good at that.

Riding group today.

It isn't that we're worried about getting our feet wet, it is the rocks in the stream are super slick with algae.

The Salt Lick.

A crazy amount of meat.

Stolen, Never to be Replaced

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I was talking to Nick Frey at the Handmade Show on Friday. Nick is an Iowa boy who got on my radar screen when he was riding forHot Tubes. He went to Princeton and graduated while racing a full time racing schedule. He won the U23 TT in Pennsylvania and now rides for Jamis Pro Team. And he owns Boo Cycles which makes beautiful bamboo frames. Talk about an over achiever.

Anyway, I asked Nick something about Tour of Chile. He raced it at the end of January-Feb. (I was 3rd Overall in the Tour of Chile when I was on the National Team.) Anyway, we were talking about tactics and I told him a story about how I was in the lead group of 6 climbing to a mountain top finish, a couple km from the top, and was about to get shelled. So, I decided to attack the group as a last ditch effort. It was a crazy, not thought out idea. To my surprise, 2 of the guys got immediately dropped and the other 3 guys were so gassed that we all slowed down to a pace I could recover. I ended up 2nd on the stage when I probably should have finished 5th or 6th.

So, Nick proceeds to tell me about the stage finish on the 2nd to last day, that finished on a 40km climb. Jamis had a plan and let a break go up the road. Then, Nick and his team mate, Tyler Wren, bridged the gap. Tyler sat and Nick went to the front and buried himself for the next two hours (?) and delivered Tyler to the base of the climb with a 6:30 minute lead.

Here’s Tyler Wren, one of the best climbers in the US, fresh with that kind of lead. He was caught, 1 km from the finish, by Marco Arriagada, who according to Nick, was “breathing out of his nose”, ie. not stressed the least. Here’s the results from Stage 9 of the Tour of Chile with Tyler finishing 2nd, 29 seconds back.

He said that he’d never had anything “stolen from him” like that before in his life. And Nick is only the guy that killed himself for his team mate. I’m sure Tyler is more raw from the episode.

Nick said it was so obvious that the guy was supercharged. It isn’t something hard to spot if you’re a good rider. Actually, quite easy. I told him I had no desire to race in South America anymore after racing a stage race in Chihuahua, Mexico a few years ago. There are way too many guys cheating to make it close to fun.

Then today, here on, they report that poor Marco was positive and that he’s going back to Chile to fight the injustice. What surprises me is that he was caught in the first place. Anabolics. I wouldn’t think they would be too hard to find. Maybe they weren’t looking too hard earlier?

Anyway, I could hear it in Nick’s voice how upset he was. And the phrase, “stolen from him” stuck in my mind. And it wasn’t even his personal result. It was his work. The work that he did killing himself to deliver his climber to the base of the climb. But, also the work his whole life to get to the point of being there. Riding in Iowa in the winter. Training while graduating Princeton. The list goes on.

I wish guys like Marco would just become the normal, criminal, robber/burglars. Because what Marco and the guys like him are stealing are not replaceable.

And here’s Nick’s response from an email this morning – It’s funny how my feelings have changed in the last few years. It was easy to rationalize it back when I was not confronted with it directly, but I feel like the last decade–since I began racing a bike–it’s gotten worse and more screwed up than ever. How could anyone be so stupid and selfish at this point? Don’t these guys love the sport like we do? If it was a matter of getting a job to make money, go fucking wrench on cars or sell life insurance.

Nick moonlighting .

Tyler Wrenn. The true winner of stage 9 of the Vuelta Ciclista de Chile 2011.

And Marco. Hopefully his lawyers can get this whole mess cleared up.

Perfect Weather and….

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not being on my bike the majority of the day isn’t sitting too well with me. I really like riding my bicycle. Especially in Austin. I got way too much sun yesterday though. I spent the majority of the afternoon trying to make my ‘cross bike into a road bike. You wouldn’t think it would be that hard. I didn’t get around to gluing any tires on. I felt a little guilty making Bill and George wait around until late afternoon to ride.

Bill isn’t feeling good now either. I don’t know if I got him sick or that he has something else going on. But, his throat is sore and his legs are heavy. We were supposed to ride all day with a few guys today, but that isn’t going to happen for me today. I haven’t talked to Bill this morning.

I guess I can finish gluing tires and pretend that everything is good for the weekend. I’m not sure that is going to help, but at least it will keep me occupied.

Too much time in the sun.

Riding through the slums on an afternoon coffeshop ride.

UCI & Floyd Suit?

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I posted this little piece a couple weeks ago about the UCI threatening to sue Floyd if he didn’t retract all the nasty things he said about them in 15 days. And now, 15 days has come and gone with nothing printed about the upcoming court case. And, I’ve never seen Floyd retract a word.


I would have just loved seeing the discovery in that case. Here is the definition of discovery if you don’t know it. Basically it is that each side has to hand over all the evidence/documents/etc. to the opposing side. That isn’t exactly right, but it’s close. And this is the very reason that the UCI isn’t going to officially file anything against Floyd. They don’t want to open themselves up to the discovery process, which could potentially be very dangerous for them. Why threaten when you know you’re not going to pull the trigger, ever? Probably to just try to discredit Floyd. Make it look convincing that you’re being truthful. That’s the only reason I can think of.

Hopefully I’m wrong on this whole thing. I’d love to see the outcome. But why put a 15 day time frame on a threat and let it pass?

Here’s the best link to make light of all the negotiations between the parties. Pretty great.

I'd like to see this again.

Maybe he needs to use his left had to swear in next time? He kind of already has.

Racing Tomorrow?

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I spent over 3 hours riding yesterday. That is a record for me this week on the road. Hardly got 55 miles, but I’m not sure because I don’t have a odometer on my ‘cross bike. Tomorrow is Lago Vista Road Race. And Sunday too. I’m iffy still. But, I’m leaning towards racing. I’m going to get slaughtered, but I don’t care about that. I just don’t want to get worse and I’ve pretty much convinced myself that I won’t.

I have to retract the thing I wrote earlier this week about it sucking being sick when it’s nice out. Actually, it isn’t that bad being sick when it is 80 degrees. It is much worse being sick in the winter when it is winter where you’re at. So, I was completely wrong on that.

I’m getting pretty tan. The normal tan lines from riding, but also from working on my bike on the driveway with my shirt off. That’s a plus I guess. I like sun. I don’t think it is as bad for us as they say. If it was, virtually everyone born before 1970 would be dieing from skin cancer, since there wasn’t such a thing as sunblock before then.

I put new cleats on new shoes this afternoon. Last year I wrote, that before the first race of the season, it is the perfect time to put new cleats on your shoes. I always do it. But, it isn’t that great a time to ride new shoes. So, I’m going ride my old shoes, which are pretty beat, and train on my new ones for a week before I race them.

Richard Degarmo is still putting up a ton of old time photos on Facebook. I really should look Richard up here, but I’ve felt so shitty, I haven’t had the energy. Dave Mac put one on today too. I have a pretty great memory of races and riding, but I don’t know where that photo was taken. I didn’t ride a MTB bike much in 1984. It must of been at a Gant Series race somewhere. I’m wearing a helmet and Gavin is riding for Specialized. Photo below.

Can't quite put my finger on the place this was taken. California?

Tour of Texas photo I guess.

Mounting cleats is sometimes a hassle.

The peanut butter jar from my tool box is the most important thing in the box. It is amazing how important this jar with misc. small parts is. I couldn't get along without it.

Off to Race

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Yesterday got away from me. I was gluing tires until early afternoon. Then we rode a couple hours. Catherine decided against flying and then decided to drive the 700 miles. But she slept through her alarm and didn’t leave until 7:30am, so she was going to get to Austin at the exact wrong time. Rush hour on Friday night. She went by my house and got my road frame and some other stuff, which was very nice of her. But, she didn’t get here until after dark and I didn’t have enough energy to mess with it.

So, I’m riding a pretty dirty cyclo-X bike in the “first” race of the year. Technically, I’ve raced this year, but that was the end of last season I suppose.

I’m thinking that I’ll be lucky if I finish today. The race is 83 miles on a hilly course. I’ve finished 2nd there at least 3 times the last few years. I don’t think I’ve ever won the race. Pretty sure. And, I’m not winning today most likely. But, you never know. We’re leaving pretty early because Catherine races at 10:30 and we don’t start until 12:45.

One thing Austin Texas has going for it is amazing food choices. Some of the best restaurants in the country. Choice-wise. But, the grocery stores are incredible too. And the food seems really inexpensive. One big plus for Austin. I’ve been eating pretty well. Topeka sucks for both restaurants and grocery stores. Pretty big black mark for it.

Okay. Better get packed and going. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve been eating good Ann. Here’s some of the meals I’ve had the last few days.

This is the H.E.B. boutique I guess. As big as a Walmart. Crazy.