Monthly Archives: September 2011

Stage Race Over

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Yesterday’s criterium was about all I needed for training. Probably too much. I wasn’t that motivated for racing again. I actually fell asleep in my van after breakfast for an hour and didn’t wake up until an hour before the race. I hate trying to get moving, warming up for a race, after napping. It never seems to go too well.

Anyway, the race was fast. At least it seemed fast to me. I didn’t look at the overall GC until a couple minutes before the start and realized that the whole race was going to be moving Colby Pearce up from 4th to 3rd overall. He was 24 seconds out and there was a 30 second time bonus for winning.

So, pretty early on, I was too far back, and I saw “the break” go up the road. The front of the field spread out, but I still got up there pretty quickly and jumped. It took me nearly 2 laps to catch the 6 guys away. I was gassed. Keith Harper and Colby kept the pressure on. I think I just needed a lap, maybe even a 1/2 lap to rest. It was pretty windy and I couldn’t seem to ever recover. After 4 laps or so, the guy in front of me sat up and I didn’t even attempt to go around him. I couldn’t improve my GC position, but that wasn’t the reason. I was gassed. I went back into the field and it took me a good 15 minutes to feel okay.

The break got up to 40 seconds before Nathan Wilson, California Giant Strawberries, start motoring. He pulled pretty much the last 10 laps by himself and brought the break back almost until it was caught at the finish. That kid is good. Really good.

I guess Keith Harper led the sprint out, threw up his arms, prematurely, and was nipped at the finish by Colby Pearce. The average speed of the race was 28 mph, which was pretty quick considering how windy it was.

I got everything out the this race that I was looking for. It was the perfect length, 4 days and just about the right caliber field. I finished 10th overall, which is a bit irrelevant.

Colorado racing is a little strange. The field didn’t seem like a normal Pro 1-2 field. It seemed more like a 1-2-3 field. There was a huge diversity in abilities. Not only climbing, but in the criteriums. The TT times can’t be taken into consideration because of the difference in winds.

I paid $205 to race this race. I would have had to finish top 4 to win my entry fee back. The entry was $165, plus $40 more for 4 days of an ACA license. It seemed really a lot too high. I couldn’t afford to race in Colorado if this is a common entry. I think I used to know why Colorado quit USAC, but it seems kind of a hassle now. The are lots of problems with USAC, but having a bunch of individual groups running races is not good for the sport. Plus, I hate it that USADA isn’t ever going to do any drug testing on riders from the ACA. And I presume that the ACA doesn’t have any ability to test their own riders.

I was going to ride MTB bikes with Kent, but it has been raining all morning. I guess I’m going to load up and head to Durango to hang for a few days and ride off-road. I haven’t been there for a few years and Ned is getting back from Europe soon. Maybe Todd will be back and I can catch up with him and hear first hand his version of his 7th place finish at the World Championships last weekend.

Here is Kent before the start. He has only ridden his road bike 5 times this year. The day before the race, plus the four race days.

Steamboat is crazy for cycling. I can't believe how many bikes are here.

I ate breakfast at the Creekside Cafe. Only 2 hours before the start. Probably a little late.

Trudi was in Steamboat yesterday morning, caught a 5 am shuttle and now is in Quebec City for the two Canadian races.

Steamboat to Durango

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Yesterday I drove from Steamboat to Durango to hang for a couple days. That drive is pretty unbelievable. Especially from Grand Junction to Durango. From Ouray to Durango, it is never ending scenery. Red Mountain Pass is something that shouldn’t be missed on a trip to Colorado. They should do that climb in the Pro Challenge next year. That would break up the field for sure.

Last night I stayed up by Durango Mountain Resort, at 10,000 feet, with a gang from San Diego. I was hoping to do some MTB riding today, but they are doing a crazy epic ride and yesterday they were caught in the rain for 3 hours. So, I’m going to drive down to Durango and ride with Ned this afternoon. He just got back from the World MTB Championships in Switzerland, so he’ll have lots of good stuff to talk about.

I just read that Christian Vande Velde is going to be racing Chequamegon next weekend with us. That should make the event more interesting.

I still haven’t gotten my bike set up for Chequamegon yet. I’m missing a few parts. Mainly wheels. I’m going to hopefully be riding carbon tubulars with Challenge 29’r tubular tires.

Okay, better get going. I’m sure tomorrow’s post will be more interesting.

I saw this rainbow going up Red Mountain Pass. It might be the best rainbow I've ever seen.

Nice scenery everywhere.

I saw this payphone when I stopped for gas in Montrose. It is kind of distrubing that this seemed strange enough to take a picture. Not many of these around anymore.

This is the view from the overlook from where the guys from San Diego were staying.

Ranger, Don and Sue's German Shorthair Pointer, waiting patiently to go for a walk.

Hanging in Durango

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I’m hanging in Durango for a couple days. I moved down into town to stay with Ned for a couple days. I haven’t hung with Ned for a while, so it is pretty enjoyable. Ned is the funniest person I know. He humor is super dry and usually directed towards himself.

Anyway, Ned took us on a ride up to some dam. It was a little over 2 hours. Climbing all the way out and downhill, headwind all the way back. Ned isn’t the prettiest rider in the world. Far from it. But, it seems to work for him, so that is all that counts.

Last night we met up with Todd Wells and his wife, Meg, at a brewery downtown. Same as Ned, I haven’t sat down with Todd for ages, so it was great. It is nice having friends that you don’t see for a while and the conversation is just as if we hung last week. Todd and Ned both are jet lagged. Todd worse than Ned. He was in Europe for 3 weeks, so he’s pretty off on time. If Todd would have been 30 seconds faster at MTB Worlds last Sunday, he would have finished 5th instead of 7th and automatically made the Olympic Team. But, he had a shitty start and only made up up to 7th by the finish. So, he has to do the whole qualifying procedure next year, which I’m sure is super convoluted.

Ned told me late last night that he’s sick. So, this morning, I woke up feeling a little under the weather. I’m positive it psychosomatic, but none the less, I don’t feel that great. Ned is talking about MTB riding up by the college today. That is good for me. I think I’m heading back to Kansas tomorrow morning. It’s a pretty long drive. Phil Gronninger, a friend from KC that has moved to Denver, is trying to get me to go on a epic rode ride 7 am on Saturday in Denver. That might work out. I think I’ll decide after riding off road this afternoon.

Ned is wearing a long sleeve jersey always now training. Something to do with skin cancer or something, he didn’t really explain it that well.

Lake Vallecito above Durango.

Bromont seems at home at Ned's house. Ned's dog Teva, has a million dog beds in the house, so Bromont isn't being a bed hog.

Ned and Pam's dog, Teva. They picked up Teva on a Indian reservation, stray, in Utah. Pretty nice dog.

After the ride, we took the dogs down to the river to swim. Here is Ned actually swimming.

Here is a real time photo, this morning, of Ned working. Somehow his job at Specialized has evolved into some kind of actual work. Dang.

Back to Kansas

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Okay. Kind of short of time. It is close to 1000 miles back to Topeka depending which way I end up driving. Yesterday in Durango was good, but I’m kind of stressing because I need to drive home, put a bike together and get up to Northern Wisconsin before next Saturday. Rested hopefully.

Ned and I rode MTB bikes over at the park named after him. I felt sort of shitty in the morning, plus I haven’t ridden singletrack for ages, making it kind of hard right from the start. Ned says he’s coming down with something from flying over to Europe and lack of sleeping, but I can’t tell anything from his riding. He was riding some big travel duel suspension bike and was putting time on me on the descents, which bothered me to no end.

The MTB riding around here is unparalleled. I wish I could have done more, but wasn’t around long enough to really explore. I think I might come back out here for the Road Apple Rally in October. I’ve never done that event and it has always been on my list.

I’ve having a hard time locating some 29’r tubular MTB tires for my wheels. Hopefully I’ll get that worked out on the drive back. That is one good thing that cell phones are for.

Alright, I need to get driving. It’s all day plus more.

I made Ned poise next to the sign with his name on it.

Maybe Ned wasn't climbing that fast if I could be getting my phone out of my pocket to take pictures of him climbing.

This photo is taken from Ned's driveway. He has a hard climb right out his door.

Ned has 6 mountain bikes in his shop better than mind. I'm going to have to work on that.

Durango is cycling crazy. I saw this on the bathroom wall of the bakery down the street from Ned's.

Ned ordered this for dinner. Chicken on a waffle with macaronni and cheese. It didn't turn out to be that good.

Cross Clinic Saturday in Kansas City

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I seem to be a last minute addition to the coaching staff at the Source Endurance Cross clinic tomorrow in Kansas City.  It is going to be at Veteran’s Park at 10:30 am.  You can register there from 9:30 tp 10 am. I’ll try to get a link up here for more information soon. Hope to see you there. Here is the link for more information. Here’s a map to the clinic.

I’m nearly to the Kansas/Colorado border on Hwy 40. It’s gonna be a short night for me.   

Sent from my iPhone

Bread – Bakery/Durango

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Yesterday when I was leaving Ned’s place I thought I’d go by Bread, on Florida, a bakery near Ned’s, and get some coffee and a muffin. I’d ate there the day before and it was awesome. So I bought a muffin, oatmeal cookie and a coffee and was just getting into my van to head back to Topeka, when Rob, the owner, came out and introduced himself.

And then it was close to an hour later that I was driving away with $100 worth of bread, sandwiches, water, juice, that Rob had packed for my trip. I almost need to add him to my jersey for sponsorship now.

It is kind of amazing to me that I haven’t run into Rob Kaeberry before this. He and I have run in the same circles for decades. I got a condensed version of some of his life story. I can’t come close to recalling how many different countries the guy has lived in. Not to mention Cambridge, Mass. for a decade. He knew my friend, Tom Leonard, a baker/cyclist from Lawrence Kansas. Plus, Wheatfields Bakery and FreeState Brewery in Lawrence. He was an aspiring triathlete, plus a local bike racer too.

Anyway, it was a pleasure taking to Rob. A place like Bread is what makes cities like Durango so special. It is amazing. Topeka does not have anything close. Most cities don’t. He gave me a killer turkey sandwich, which I ate for lunch up on Wolf Creek Pass and an amazing bacon (?) sandwich, which I had for dinner walking Bromont in the plains of Western Kansas. And I ate at least 5 of his oatmeal cookies, which are the best oatmeal cookies that I’ve ever eaten in my life. They must be close to 1000 calories a cookie. So, needless to say, I gained a ton of weight during the all day/night drive back to Topeka.

I’m thinking about going back to Durango in 3 weeks for the Road Apple Rally. I’m going to make sure I get to spend a night with Rob and try to figure out what makes that guy tick. It is going to be complicated for sure.

Rob Kaeberry, owner of Bread in Durango.

The contents of the goody bag that Rob packed for me for the trip back to Kansas.

Rolls to die for.

Rob and his daughter.

Floor pump in the bathroom. Perfect.

Rob is just a wee bit political.

In & Out

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I think the travel has caught up a little with me. But, there is no rest for the weary. Or something like that. I got back to Topeka way late on Friday night/Saturday morning, got a few hours sleep and headed over to Kansas City to help Adam Mills with a cyclo-X clinic. I have to admit, I wasn’t at my best, but I hope I was able to convey my thoughts coherently to the attendees.

I think there were close to 60 people gathered Saturday morning for the Source Endurance clinic. Adam did a great job of organizing the groups and keeping the flow going. It is was shock to my system getting on a cross bike and going through the motions. My left leg is pretty toast from dismounting. Even though I wrote over a month ago that we should all start getting ready for cross, I didn’t take my own advise and have done nearly nothing.

Wednesday after Chequamegon, which is 10 days from now, I plan to go to St. Louis to race the UCI race, The Gateway Cross Cup, there. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about finishing in the top 10 and getting UCI points (which would disqualify me from riding Master’s World in Louisville in January). I think a bunch of Euros that are racing CrossVegas are going to make a stop on their way to Madison the next weekend.

So, today I’m going to try to get my shit together to head up to Cable/Chequamegon tomorrow morning. I’m having a wheel issue, since I don’t seem to be locating MTB 29’r tubulars for the wheels I have hanging in my garage. I might have to call up Scott at Trek and beg once again.

I’m listening to the 9/11 broadcast on NPR right now. It was such a tragedy. But the disaster and the our nation’s response to it also have been costly in countless other ways, that has, and will continually, affect our lives and the lives of most of population of this planet for the foreseeable future. I can only hope, that sometime, something good will eventually morph from this series of horrible events.

Shad and Joseph, fellow instructors for the clinic.


I'm not sure bunny hopping is really important in cross, but it is something that all cyclists should be able to do just to ride their bikes.

I’ve often wondered how Muslims figure out when to pray. I guess you can go to the internet and get the specific time for where you’re at. This is the first time I can remember seeing this locally. Remember, I live in Kansas.