Wednesday, April 30, 2008

recovery day art

Endurance day today, no interesting cycling news except that yesterday was the most train-ridden annoying POO ever but tacos were great per usual. And I did win one of the "sprints" so I should get a world champion jersey or something.

I started at a new client today (Sephora, oo la la) and they've got problems I can fix so that's good

more interestingly for me though is that in their lobby they have these polished metallic warped takes on landmark SF buildings. I saw these first when I went to the open studios of (a good friend whose website Teresa built and I host) and was drawn to them.

Teresa doesn't like them but I do, and I haven't seen them since...until now. Small world :-)

hope you had a nice coincidence today

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cat disguise

had to take one of our two cats to the vet today. She thought she could go all camo by hiding in the exam room boxes.

Not a bad try, but she was nabbed. Maybe next time

Lots of non-cycling stuff going on, go figure. Work's thick and fast at the moment and so is personal travel and social events. Good thing I upgraded so none of the races are that exciting at the moment. Still getting good training time in though and I'll test the legs soon enough.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Eat to Live, Day Uno

Teresa's turning the screws on herself, and our kitchen is now a veggie production and consumption center as she tries out the "eat to live" philosophy and foodstuffs

Owing to 40-100 miles of riding a day I get a free pass for adding pasta and protein shakes, but other than that I'm going to give it a shot too.

I'll let you know.

By the way, what is tofu? I mean, really

In the meantime, chop, chop, chop, chop, repeat :-)

recovery day art / scout has a sibling

Just going for endurance today, had time to stop and snap a pic of this beastie

It's almost the same as a moto my wife grew up with and is in the process of restoring - a long-lost sibling, seen on my regular route on grove street in SF. Wonder if the owner just moved in? Maybe we could get a rec for their mechanic :-)

i'm not really good at fixing the points on magnetos and ours are busted.

I'm better at pedaling...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

texan baby clothes

not sure about the tshirt but check out the baby chaps, why is that funny to me? Look out all you parents, Teresa's got some new ideas...

Happy Early Mom's Day

Snuck out to my sister's house in Austin to surprise my mom early for Mother's day and her b-day

even ran in to two of my cousins on 4th street last night while out on the town

great town, good peoples, good times :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

So disappointing!

Paul Mach, the fastest guy I know (knew) who also refused the whole
baseless shaving thing gave in to peer pressure after moving up to the
cat 1 ranks.

He shaved his legs:


Cat 2 Punching Bag, at your service

I just asked Casey Kerrigan (our benevolent overlord of NCNCAness) for
the road cat 2 upgrade.

As soon as I figure out what it is I can actually do in the 2s I'll set
some goals and set about achieving them, little striver that I am.

Anyone have ideas? Collective brain-storming may help.

So far I have this in from Jason James on a ride Sunday - I should try
to beat all the BPG riders. Except Justin of course. Funny enough, if
you look at the Madera results -

- I've, uh, already beat them (if you compare TT times from their P/1/2
area to my cat 3 area). I'm going to guess there's a more rational
explanation for that (they hit the "power brownies" early and got lost?)
but who knows.

So, competitive ideas:

- beat BPG except Justin. There's an idea.
- Beat Joel (and gloat over it, even if he's working for a teammate?)
- top-20, then top-15 then top-10 in crits? a good progression
- have the longest leg hair of anyone in the P/1/2 field?

Personal ideas:

- I'd like to drop my time at the Everest Challenge if I race it.
- simply finish a tough road race (like Berkeley Hills or Pescadero)?
- tune the engine up to 4.5W/Kg for 20min efforts? (I'm 4W/Kg now)

What think you, oh internets?


Friday, April 18, 2008

woohoo! I got my bike back

So, a mere 2 months (ugh!) after being hit by a semi, I got my trusty
commuter and backup race bike, Hilary, back. That's after Sir Edmund
Hilary, brave adventurer, and yes, I name all my bikes, they have
personality, I can't help it.

Not sure about the red bits on the paint job but you don't get to ask
questions when you get a crash replacement bike.

CycleSports in Oakland did a great job with a tricky part list - I have
an Octalink crankset fitted to an Ergomo bottom bracket (both of these
are rare things mechanics don't see much), and they work very well as
long as you install them carefully. If you don't, they pretty much suck.
CycleSports took the time to install it carefully and on a first test
ride it seems to work quite well. Much appreciated.

I have a raft of insurance forms to fill out still, and each of them is
trying to get me to describe the car I was in when I got hit, so that'll
be creative getting my money back.

But I'm just thrilled to have all my bikes working again.

I used to be a one bike guy, but with as much riding as I'm doing now I
have to say only having one machine is totally inconvenient. It's very
hard to fix all the wear and tear and keep a machine in racing condition
all the time when you need to ride it to work too.

Anyway, this is a pretty good Friday present for me, and it leads in to
a low-stress weekend with no racing so it should set the tone.

Hope all 3 people that read these scribblings have similarly good things
to usher in your weekend.


Oops, never mind about that whole Wente RR thing

I'm going to be in Austin that weekend with family.

A shame, it looks like a beautiful course, but I've missed it both of
the last two years I've been racing, why should this year be any different?

TGIF, ya'll

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Madera SR (thank you sir, may I have another...)

Some thoughts about the Madera Stage Race:

1) Chowchilla. This is where Stage 1, the individual time trial was.

Flat, hot, farmland (I warmed up for the TT here in the orchard next to the road)

2) I suck suck suck at time trials.

I'm really good at all the nerdy aspects. I fuel myself optimally (food / water). I have good equipment and a great position (air can't touch me). I have telemetry and I know how to use it (power meter, years of data, and a head for numbers).

What I don't have is actual power. 252W (139 pounds, for the curious) for 25.1mph over the 10.36 miles, for a time of 24:37

I would have been 7th in 2005, 13th last year, but this year that was only good for 35th or something. That's my worst placing in a 3s race just about ever actually. Well, one that I didn't have a flat tire in :-). I guess I should at least mention that this was, in fact, my best individual time trial ever, it was higher power than I've produced in testing so far, and I was happy with it *for me*. It just wasn't a competitive time.

So since this is a stage race, and it's run on time, I'm now officially not in contention to win it by a long shot. All I can hope for is to do well in the criterium or road race stages.

And to get better in time trials, for next time...

3) Flat square criteriums are pretty boring. Not much to report about the crit except the course was covered in tacks or something, with railroad tracks too. I got a flat, and so did 14 other people in my race. Thank goodness for the wheel pit...I was able to get a wheel change and get back in the race. Legs were blasted from the time trial, I got into position, but didn't contest the sprint and rolled in for 15th

4) Road races in 90 degree weather And breakaways are hard to get organized. We staged in a working ranch with bulls for sale (pictured)

We had a 68 mile road race on a mostly flat course with a stretch of awful pavement, and a stretch of really fun rollers. Finish at the top of a roller.

I wanted to race aggressively since I all I can get are upgrade points, and I already have points, so a break went up the road on lap .5, and I hauled buns up to it with Yacov Spivak from Chico Corsa. 5 minutes later at a 300W / 29mph average, we were a group of 7, but there wasn't much cohesion. A couple of weak guys, and a strap-hanger were there. Sassan from Form Fitness had been the cheerleader to this point, and he drilled it on the rollers and cracked the weaker guys off so then there were 4. The EMC strap-hanger, a Delta Velo guy, Sassan and I. We held it until nearly lap 3 but were caught before the rollers. Maximum gap was a minute, we were out for an hour. That was fun - but how do you work together well in a breakaway with 4 guys? Long pulls (how long)? Do you change it up depending on uphill or downhill?

After that I just concentrated on refueling, recovering, and getting ready for the finale. The inevitable bum-rush sprint (all cat 3 sprints are a bit hairy) came on queue and I got myself in the right spot in the pack but I waited just a bit too late to start sprinting. Two guys flew by me on the left before I started, and by then it was too late. I dialed it up and came clear for third place, but I was solidly beaten for the top two steps. 7 more upgrade points though (woohoo...wait, now I'm probably sandbagging, sorry)

I liked the heat though - there was plenty of water from the neutral support (don't worry Morgan, the floaters in the neutral water make you stronger). I had plenty of food and felt good.

I just wish I could time trial time I s'pose.

After the time trial whipping I took I'm going to stay a category 3 racer for at least one more race - the Wente RR. And if you're a 3 and you're reading this get ready to go with me because I'm going to attack. I need to learn how to work in a breakaway and make it stick.

After that I'll cash in my upgrade points and move up to category 2 to take my beatings from the Pro/Cat1 guys like a man.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Martinez, Wente?, car/bike harmony

Lots of things going on, but not much writing about them. That's okay
though, one of the mottos you could live by, were you so inclined is:

Rather than go on one ride and talk about it to twenty friends, go one
twenty rides and talk about it with one friend.

Although now that I think about it, you'd probably be a pretty reclusive
dude if you did that. Maybe 10 rides or so, and it's probably better to
have more than one friend. But you get my drift.

At any rate, I did Martinez on Saturday. That race is brought to you by
the letter 'P', because that's what the course looks like. It's
extremely technical, with a "dynamic" (read: changes all the time)
surface. I slid the rear through one corner at one point, and clipped a
pedal in another. That's when you know it's technical. Of course, I
clipped the pedal while I was second wheel in the second to last corner,
which you could correctly classify as "screwing up a sprint", so instead
of following Mr.First Wheel (Rob Dahl, of Metromint) like white on rice
then blasting around him for the win, I had a little mini-pack right on
my wheel and lost Rob's wheel, and they all came around me for 5th.

The lesson I'm taking out of that is that in the last few corners of a
race it is much much much more important to put big power down *into*
the corner and stop pedaling then it is to gimp into the corner and try
to get on the power earlier to make up for it. One way has brought me at
least 4 podiums, and the other way is top-10 land. I'm not complaining,
but if you want to be a killer you've got to think about the kill, not
8th place or similar.

Even the cat 3s got money though, check me out, I'm quitting my day job.

Other thoughts...I've got them cat 2 points now, and they're burning a
hole in my pocket. I went out on Saturday night (Happy Birthday, Brent)
and didn't want the early start time at Santa Cruz, so I pre-rode the
Wente Vineyards RR course on Sunday instead to see whether it suited me
or not.

The question I've got is, will it be my debut in the P12 field?

I think the course actually did suit me, so I think it might be my
debut. I also threw in a lap of Patterson, and at around 2pm while it
was windy in SF and Oakland, it was a full gale up there. 50mph winds? I
don't think I'm exaggerating - Toby and Aris were with me, they can tell
you. Epic. Great fun.

I'm still on the fence though. What has more value, getting your teeth
kicked in with the P12 to learn the ropes there, or doing the E3 race
where I'm relatively stronger and trying a hard attacking style to get
used to attacks etc.

Am I a wuss for leaning towards the E3? Probably, but so be it. I'm
going to pre-reg for the E3 (sorry Joel) and move the registration if
Madera forces me out or I choose different.

What else is going on? Your moment of zen is that this morning I did the
long form of my commute (lapping at the Polo Fields and back) so I was
out and about in morning rush hour for a couple hours and there was not
a single incident of something with a motor nearly killing me. Total
car/bike harmony. That's the first time since I've been bike commuting
in November-ish 2007 that this has happened. I hope it's a trend...

Oh, and the police report from when a the semi nailed me came back, and
it says what I need it so say. Unfortunately, the guy's insurance
company is non-responsive. I'll get 'em though.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Podium shot from Ronde Lowlands (thanks Toby!)

Toby just hooked me up with the podium shot from the Ronde (thank you Toby)

The last podium shot I had (Menlo Park GP, 2007) my Mom wrote in that I
looked like a dork wearing my jeans, so I went with the sexy pants this
time, and you guys get the full hairy-legged glory.

Behold the power of the shag!

Incidentally, I just learned that one of the best category 2 racers in
the area (a cat 1 now, actually), Paul Mach, also does not shave his
legs. - nice
to have fast company

I'll do what I can to honorably hold down the hairy-legged spot he's
vacating in the 2s

SF Tourist Tidbit

Did you know that there was a pet cemetery in the Presidio?

Neither did I

Apparently if the soldiers that were stationed here had a pet that passed away, they laid it to rest right under the GG bridge on-ramp flyover thing by Crissy Field.

I've ridden by it maybe 100 times but the bridge retrofit had it covered until yesterday. They did the whole retrofit without disturbing all the little wooden tombstones though

Fascinating (to me) what you find wedged in any bit of open space in the city