Wednesday, August 15, 2007


After much driving around running bike errands yesterday I tried in vain to make a group ride in Mechanicsburg. I missed by 5 minutes. I took off guessing where they may be going, but to no avail. It was good anywho. JRA. Go hard when I felt like it, easy when I felt like it. Very nice, I like.
As I am in the middle of a hard effort, I approach the bottom of a rise. I see three riders in front of me near the top. Hmmm, yeah I will catch them on the downhill sweeper. I contact the engine room and the furnace responds. I am flying and the downhill is a sweeper left, then over some RR tracks. All of this at about 40ish. As I get closer to the riders I realize this may not be so smooth. Not being sexist here, there are some facts that are inevitable. Women do not decsend as well as men. Especially local training ride women. Now put the aformentioned ladies on TT BIKES and mission control we have a problem. Couple that with the fact that I can decend and corner with the best P 1,2 riders around. I come screaming to the left and the first lady starts to move left then shouts out to alert her two riding partners ahead of her. CAR BACK! Yes, she shouts up car back. In that moment the shit of Christiana faded away. Unfortunately the two ladies in front now decide to take the whole lane and grab handfuls of brake at the RR track. I swing left and double hop the the two sets of tracks and see a car approaching at me. Still enough time to move right and drill the little rise and finish off my hard effort.
I have been called a lot of things, some good and some bad, in my life. Until yesterday I was never called a car. I liked it.
Car back, and proceeding full speed ahead.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Personal best on the suckmeter

Yep, I did it today. A new PB on the suckmeter. Christiana RR. I could not finish off the climb to save my life. Am I tired, from Tuesday still? Am I tired from the two prior weeks of antibiotics? Was the fact that my chain would not stay put when I was out of the saddle in my mind? Probably yes to all three. However in this day and age of zero, zip, zilch, it could not have been my responsibility, lack of accountability. I will say that none of the aforementioned issues were the issue. I just plain sucked and gave up. Yep there it is. I feel like shit because I let myself down and I let my teammates down. There were at least fifteen to twenty guys behind me when I pulled the plug with 24 miles to go. I could have easily kept riding to live on to suck again tomorrow. However I could do it no longer. The suckmeter was pegged and the give-a-fuck guage was on "E".
So there you have it. As I said to my buddy Kyle, "it is amazing how a shitty day can really wreak havoc on a fragile mind and make you not want to race."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

What does it take

What does it take to be a leadout rider? I have always related to guys like Lombardi, Sacchi, Steegmans, the Cipo train, the pre-Milram Pettachi train. It is impressive on a couple of fronts. What does it take to know you are so strong that no one can come around you, yet you will finish your race 600 meters from the finish? What about being a world class sprinter and your race ending 100 meters from the finish? What kind of discipline does it take to absolutely place 100% of your aspirations/talent aside for your sprinter? Secondly it is mutha f'in hard to do what those freaks do. Brett Lancaster railing for 1k at 33-35 mph. Then someone like Steegmans takes over from there and crushes the penultimate acceleration for 400 meters at probably 38-40 mph down to 150-200 to go. Then the Boonen, McEwen, Bennati, Pettachi's take over.
So that brings me to this. In the last five years I can count on both hands, maybe even one, where I have seen this happen in an amateur race. Why? Are we not willing to lay it down for a teammate? Do we not practice the drill together? Hard to say. Do you know how hard it is to explain to a non-cyclist that you pulled off at 200 meters to go, while leading, to let your teamate win? People do not get it. Whatever the reason, a lead-out is the ultimate example of teamwork, self-sacrifice, and pure joy when it all goes right.
So since I am back racing some road crits I have been working on leadouts a little bit. I have the physical end down. I think last week at Grandview I got the mental end down to. I knew where I had to get to and I did it. I put my aspirations aside because I knew my teammate is a better sprinter. I trust him and know he appreciates the effort. My race ended 300 meters from the finish and my teammate won the field sprint. Hopefully now I can repeat it, but a little faster.
What does a decent regional 1,2 leadout require? Based on some repeated training data, 500 meters at 35 mph. Those are the numbers. You can/do not look at a PowerTap while doing the effort. You just go as hard as you can then study the data later. The distance seems long enough to start a long way away and the speed is high enough that no one will want to waste energy in the wind. I will let you know how it goes when it matters.

Original work

Blah if you ask me, but I am too lazy to update presently.

Oh I want to believe
There is more to this me
Then it hits me that maybe there isn’t
All the things that I try
As a means to get by
Then it hits me that maybe its futile
Up and down round and round
Covering all new ground
Then it hits me that I’m not a martyr
Where to go, what to do
No more tea set for two
Then it hits me I’m starting all over
Oh to dare mighty things
Take a new set of wings
Then it hits me, a chance of a lifetime
Did I fail, did I learn
A new start for to yearn
Then it hits me the road is wide open
Chance to choose not to lose
Risk the win, payoff huge
Then it hits me, a change to my thinking
Break it down most anyway
Take a chance make it pay
Then it hits me, life is not complacent
Dollar earned penny saved
Live your life now be brave
Then it hits me, its time to get moving
All for me all for you
All for us what to do
Then it hits me, no one is all alone
Looking back if you will
Tough to take bitter pill
Now it hits me