Category Archives: Totally Irrelevant

New Year Ramblings

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Happy New Year. I thought I’d better add some content to this even though nothing much has gone on since Cross Nationals. I added a web counter that monitors web hits etc. and I’m starting to feel guilty about everyone checking back here with nothing new posted. Anyway, I went up to Northern Wisconsin (Cable) the day after Christmas for a couple weeks of cross country skiing. No snow. Drove up to ABR in Michigan a few times, but that got alittle old. There is still virtually no snow there. The global warming critics have to be out of their minds. When I first went up there in the early 90’s, there was over a meter of snow before Christmas and it never stopped snowing until spring.

I’ve had some muscle imbalance (self diagnoised) issues and decided to do some weight/core stuff this winter other than skiing and construction. I went to Julia (personal trainer in Topeka) yesterday and did alot of “different” balance/weight things. I can’t believe how pitiful I was at most everything. It was 66 degrees in Kansas today. A record high for the critics. I rode 70 miles to Lawrence and back, stopping at Starbucks. Now I can barely walk I’m so sore from weights/whatever. It’s weird that when I’m sore from a different activity, it gets exacerbated from riding.

Applied for a new racing license a couple days ago. I wanted to be prepared just in case one of those warm early season trips came around just when the weather sucks here in Kansas. Anyway, when I was on “my USAC” section, I clicked on the ranking and I’m ranked #1 again under National Elite Criterium Rankings and fifth or something in the Road Race category. Someone emailed a link to this years ago when I was first in both categories and I could never figure out how or why or what they used for information/results to formulate/calculate these rankings. Last year at the end of the season, I was something like 20th. It is 11 days into 2007. No criteriums so far. But, I’ve moved up to #1. If anyone out there has figured this out, let me know. I guess they think including Tony Cruz, Brad Huff, etc. makes the “amateurs” look better. Anyway, I’ll paste the rankings below to make it look good for sponsors/potential sponsors/people that think they actually mean anything. Here’s a couple photos. A happy Steve/mediocre ski shot from Michigan with teammate Adam Mills (he’ll just hurt himself with poles.) You’ll have to take my word on it that we are standing on skis. And, a New Year’s Night, way past midnight, walk in the North Woods fun. Anyway, I’ll get back to you when something more eventful happens.

2007 Elite Road Mens Cat 1 Criterium Rankings

Rank Points Name License Hometown
1 57 Stephen Tilford 35598 Topeka, KS
2 59 Antonio Cruz 79555 Long Beach, CA
3 86 Patrick Dunaway 90607 Oakland, CA
4 87 Charles (Brad) Huff 132539 Colorado Springs, CO
5 94 Matt Shriver 110703 Durango, CO
6 96 Karl Bordine 163315 Oceanside, CA
7 101 James Carney 45167 Macungie, PA
8 102 Jason Snow 33370 Tallahassee, FL
9 110 Jonathan Page 27066 Northfield, NH
10 118 Phil Wikoff 117896 Austin, TX
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Jerseys

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I was putting up a closet organizer last night. When I was finished, I hung up my jerseys. I have a little over 100 jerseys in my closet. That isn’t counting the 20 something extra skinsuits. I looked at the hord and thought I can remove of abunch of them. But, when I considered it, I realized that most of the jerseys had a unique status and that banishings them to the boxes in the basement with the other 100 million jerseys is going to be difficult. I always fly to Team Colors when it’s warm or anywhere near a race venue, but when it’s adverse conditon at home, I wear what fits the day. Here’s my process. Forget what is written on the jerseys and consider only the material. Depending on the brand, there are at least 3 or 4 different thicknesses of material. And at least as many cuts. Plus, long and short sleeve and sleeveless. It’s funny how over the years we’ve all learned how crucial it is to pick the exact right jersey for the temperature and wind. Layers are good for sure, but having the perfect combo on at the start is imperative. I guess in the end, I’ll probably be able to retire about half the jerseys and all the skinsuits except the “current model year”. But, gettin’ it down to 50 is going to be hard.

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Getting Stupid-

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I mean, this is getting stupid. I got back from the East coast on Monday. I still wasn’t feeling that great. But on Tuesday, I woke up and was really not feeling well. Pretty bad sore throat, etc. Wednesday, I drove myself over to Med-Assist and told them I had Strep Throat. 10 minutes and one quick Strep test later, I left with a diagnois of Strep throat and a prescription for maybe the 8th round of antibiotics I’ve had this year. And I don’t normally get along with anitiotics at all.

So, yesterday, I woke up and can’t see out of my left eye hardly. I go to the eye doctor and he tells me I have a virus in my eyes and it should get better in a week or so. My vision is bad enough, it wouldn’t work for cyclo-x. But, it should be better in a week or so. I guess I said that already. I was just reaffirming it to myself.

So, I can’t really see well and am taking antibiotics and am under trained. My plan was going down to Austin last Tuesday and train for a week. Of course it’s been 80 degrees down there and it’s in the low 30’s here with snow on the ground. I rode inside yesterday for the first time in a year. I hate it and normally won’t do it unless there is a gun to my head. I had to cover the wattage with a towel so I didn’t depress myself with my pitiful output.

Anyway, I am just ranting. I’m not sure why I’m posting this. It seems like most everything has gone alittle wrong this whole fall leading up to Cyclo-X Nationals next weekend. Goes to show you, that you can have a good overall plan and then just end up winging it when it comes to the actual time to compete.

I’m back…

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Guess my last post wasn’t completely accurate. Missed another month here. Man, do the winter months go by so fast. The racing season is nearly a 12 month a year deal nowadays. So, the “off season” is nearly nonexistent. It gives us all the impression we need to get on the bike. Especially when the Tour of California is going on. But, we all should remember it is only February.

It has been a pretty harsh winter in Kansas this year. The whole midwest in general I guess. It has snowed 32 inches in Topeka so far this year. That is 3 X the total of all last winter. And it’s been cold. For Kansas.

So, when I got a chance to head to warmer weather, sans bicycle, I took it. Just got back from a 10 day treat in the Caribbean. It was interesting for me because the majority of it was on a cruise. Admittedly, being on a cruise ship wouldn’t normally be something that would fit my personality very well. But it did to a certain extent. I’m interested in just about anything and there are tons of things going on that are interesting. I did feel more in touch with the workers on the ship than the other passengers, but that is how I usually feel when I’m in a nice resturant or fancy hotel. Anyway, there were plenty of chances to exercise and explore some new territory, snorkel, swim, tan, etc. Plus, Spinning on a moving ship. Just shoot me if that happens again. The main downside was the quantity of food available at all times. Fresh fruit (raspberries, pineapple, blackberries, mango, etc.), plus the same fresh fruit in tart form. I love pies and tarts! But, that isn’t such a downside when you really think about it.

Anyway, hopefully I can post a sampling of photos below. I’m having a little problem posting photos with a change in web hosting.

I did go on a group ride in Fort Lauderdale, Sunday morning before getting on the ship. Tam, Catherine’s Kenda ex-teammate had arranged 4 extra bikes for our group from Kansas. We met at a bike shop. There were maybe 20 or so riders there. Most on super high-end bikes. Not like the local rides in Kansas. After riding down the road a few miles, there was a moving mob of over a 100 guys. It was crazy. Maybe the most crazy ride I’ve been on in my life. And I’ve been on some pretty crazy rides all over the world, so that isn’t a small thing. The group was was moving pretty well, hovering around 30 mph. And it was mayhem. Running red lights through state highways, swarming cars at intersections, crashes. The language of choice was Spanish. Which was fine by me. I was glad I couldn’t understand what everyone was yelling continuously. Anyway, no one I knew fell and I got 70 miles in before vacationing. And now I realized that I have no racing form. OK riding form, but no top end. Where does it go?

Trudi is out at the Tour of California working for BMC. I’ve been trying to ride the last few days as much as possible, but the weather hasn’t been conducive. Windy, cold, wet. I’ve got some shoulder issues from past and present. Trudi was picking (Dr.) Eric Heiden up at the airport a couple days ago and I had a chance to talk to him a little while. He said it sounded like rotator cuff issues, not separated AC’s. I’m now doing some exercises and stretching. We’ll see. It was good talking to Eric after all these years. It’s pretty weird how you can take up a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in years without missing a beat. That is cycling!

So, this weekend is historically the first weekend to race around here. Either Frozen Toes in Missouri or a couple great road races I’ve done in Austin, TX the past couple years. But, I’m thinking I might just need to train some. Might go down to Poteau, OK and do some long miles. It’s on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border about half way down the state. Some really old mountains, with huge, steep climbs. And the temperatures are at least 20 degrees warmer 4 hours South. I’m not sure that I need to be riding up mountains right now, but early season is painful. Might as well add a little. Or, I could head up to Wisconsin and ski the Birkie on Saturday. That would be painful for sure.

Trainers??? 1st Day of Spring!

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I got a email from a guy in St. Louis. He had some ??’s about training. I tried to give him some answers. Anyway, he gave me his schedule and it involved riding 3 days a week on a trainer. 3 hours on Wednesday. I told him that I thought that was completely nuts. He had some extenuating circumstances-family, work, time constraits, etc., so I could understand his inability to get outside and ride.

I do realize that I have the luxury to be able to ride during daylight hours virtually the whole year. And during those hours, I can usually wait out the weather, so I can cherry pick the best time to ride.

But, that being said, I don’t understand this trainer thing. I love riding my bicycle. I dread riding a trainer. One of the main attractions of the sport of bicycle racing is the beauty of riding a bicycle. That means riding a bicycle outside. Not riding a stationary machine in your basement. I have almost never done a indoor trainer workout that matches a similar workout outside. Plus, on a trainer, it is nearly impossible to stand up. At least, stand up and ride properly. And riding off your seat efficiently is a super important aspect of the sport. Plus, the sweating aspect is a huge negative. It all wears me out mentally.

Daylight saving time is here. 1st day of Spring is today. So go enjoy your bike OUTSIDE whenever you get the chance.

Cycling shoes!!!

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OK. I know I haven’t written about the two road races up in Iowa last weekend. I will. I’ve been building Brian Jensen (actually Brian & Michelle’s dog, Jasmine) a fence for their new house, as a house-warming gift. It’s been raining, of course. It’s muddy and messy.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, Catherine Walberg brought some shoes over to get some cleats mounted. She has a million different kinds of shoes. Seems to have an issue with getting the cleat forward enough or something. I was amazed at how many different kinds of shoes she has. Specialized, Sedi, Carnac, Nike, Shimano. It was mind boggling.

She did have a point about having trouble getting the ball of her foot over her pedal spindle. The new Shimano shoes, we were putting the cleats on, will hopefully solve that problem.

I’ve ridden Shimano shoes most of my adult life. Ever since they started making them. I rode Nike shoes some back in the Schwinn days. That was mainly a $$ thing. The shoes sucked. Shimano came out with pretty great shoes as soon as they released them for production. It always amazed me a shoe company, like Nike, couldn’t make a decent cycling shoe when they were a shoe company. And, a bike equipment company could.

I have never been much of a fan of movement cleats. I don’t understand them. I never have ridden them unless mine were so worn out that they became movement cleats. I was completely stoked when the new Shimano pedals came out with the fixed red cleats. That is the leg to pedal connection every pedal manufacturer should try to attain. Enough about pedals.

Shoe table!

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Last couple weeks….

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I’ve been kind of just hanging around the last couple weeks.  Trying to get going good and catch up on some stuff I put off from travel.  Like hanging some drywall, prunning trees, giving blood ect.  Recovery type stuff!  I’ve been riding abit better in training, so maybe things are going to be OK for the last half of the season.  It’s always nice to have the Tour on live in the morning over breakfast.

I went to the doctor a couple times.  Had a blood test.   I waited over an hour for a 4 minute draw.  They are way more interested in your drivers license/insurance card/bank account statement/prize winnings than actually helping you medically.  It’s amazing how much blood they take.  I thought they took too much, then they took more.  I said to the guy, “do you actually use all the blood?”  he said no.  I said, “shit, I need that blood, can I have it back?”  He didn’t reply.

There have been a ton of turtles on the roads this year.  Maybe because of all the rain, but I can’t swear that is the reason.  I have serious personal rules about encountering turtles when riding. I’ve seen way too many squished in my lifetime to ignore them.   The short list-always move turtles out of the road when training.  Especially box or green turtles.  It OK just to kick a snapping turtle off the road.  I actually don’t mind seeing snapping turtles not make it across the road.  I hate them. They are super mean.   But, if they are alive when you come upon them, then you have an obligation to move them.  Moving turtles when racing is a different matter.  You have to use common sense to decide if you have enough time to spare.  Or enough energy to catch back on, depending on the situation.  I’ve moved a lot of turtles during races.  Most the time everyone will wait for me.  It’s better to be in a break.  Trudi moved a turtle during a time trial last Monday.  She didn’t get her time back though. Bad call by the timers.

I raced twice in Nebraska this past weekend.  I’ll post the results later today.