Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spelling Bee Conclusion

Evan O'donnell is the winner! I like spelling.

Bee cont'd IV

The girl got the nod. Just two more guys, at the moment.

Bee cont'd III

Some pizza would be really good right now.

Bee cont'd II

Only eight graders left. Darn.

Bee cont'd

Only one girl left out of five spellers.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

ABC. Watch it. 7 spellers left.


Smacked my head on a bed frame at a friend's house today, and it hurt.

Greater. (sarcasm)

The Ducks won Game 2.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More Pain and Agony

No more tape on my rear end! A few seconds ago, I experienced one of the most Getting- no, ripping the tape and band-aids off my body. The worst part had to of been when my mom was ripping the tape off my...abdominable area, or me ripping the tape off my right hiney. Ow...Ow...ooh! Agh...Agh...AGH...ooh! Red skin everywhere. I probably lost one eighth of all my body hair.

Feels like one third.

Pain and Agony

Crit practice was yesterday. I went to it. On the three lapper, I was on the front on Rune's wheel, and after the first lap, making the turn onto the hill I sprinted for Rune's wheel and was sprinting so hard that somehow my right foot came out and I hit my frame really hard and almost crashed Doug. I got back on and finished. So I did the five lapper and got dropped. I sat out the seven lapper, counted laps and gulped down hammer gel. I was ready for the ten lapper. I tried following Randy's wheel. I did and followed him all the way up to the front. I wasn't in any difficulty, and I thought I might be able to stay with the group, when I crashed. It was on the turn after the hill. For some reason I just flew over my handle bars and hit the pavement, not softly.
When the dust had settled, we realised that at sometime, before or during the crash, my front tire rolled off. After I crashed, the tube blew.
I'm gonna need a new helmet, a new water bottle cage, a repaired spoke, and a good excuse for my mom. Got both my elboes, my knees my back, and the right side of my rear end.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kind of Funny

I think it's pretty hilarious the way we decided what race we were going to do. For some reason, we picked Frankenmuth over Gaslight. Frankenmuth isn't a points race and Gaslight is. We went to Frankenmuth, and it was just us three. At Gaslight, 15 juniors showed. Kind of funny.


If you are reading this post, and you did Gaslight, feel free to post a comment about the race


The Rochester Cycling Festival will NOT BE HELD JUNE 3! If you don't believe me, believe this!
So if you show up on June 3, you might be able to get some pizza, or something, but you won't be able to race.

Great! (sarcasm)

The Ducks won Game 1.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tour of Frankenmuth Recap

We drove up to Frankenmuth with bikes on top the car, and the whole family inside. We got there the day before.
Cat 1/2s started off at 7:30, then Cat 3s, Masters, Cat 4s, Cat 5s, women, and Juniors. It was just me and the Vermeulen Bros. It's a lot different with just your team, it seemed like it was our Junior team practice, doing pace lines. I had no bike computer, so I had no idea when to try to go. I decided to take a shot at it when I realised that I was gapping Rem a lot and Alexey was behind Rem. The next time I was at the front, and I saw a gap, I stepped up the pace and rode away from Rem. Alexey had to go around Rem, and by that time, I had about a 5 second gap on him. I pushed myself more, riding a time trial, hoping that we were near the finish. I extended the gap to maybe 10 seconds and held it there for about one minute or two. I accidentally rode off the shoulder and into the gravel, but made it back onto the road, but that doomed my breakaway. Slowly, Alexey pulled himself back, and we regrouped. Our lead car took forever to go past the Womens' car, and we ended up soft pedaling behind our car as it tried to go past for about five minutes. Then Alexey accelerated away from me. By then, rain was pouring like there was no tommorow. The gap was about ten seconds for what seemed forever, then Alexey seemed to slowly gain more time. He won by about fifteen seconds.
In cat 3s, on the last lap, Rune Duke, Dad and the infamous CHRIS BRINKMAN made their escape, with dad pulling them all the way to the line, where Brinkman took a shivering Rune in the sprint. Joey Schaard took 5th in the field sprint.
Mr. Lovejoy had one of his best races in the Masters' category, sticking with the main group for 62 miles and taking fourth or so in the field sprint.
After the race, we hung out with the Vermeulens at Splash Village Waterpark (indoors) for about 3 hours.
We're not doing Gaslight, too much racing , so my Michigan Points Challenge Series bid might be in danger now, because Gaslight is a points race.

Us with Mr. Alman

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wednsday/Regarding Kensington/Frankenmuth

Wednsday night, we had our junior ride out of Barton Park. Usually it's more intense than it is on saturday rides, and generally aimed at endurance. It was the Vermeulens, Caleb and dad and I. Alexey,for the second day wore his yellow jersey from Kensington (it's starting to bug me).
Coach Lovejoy says I've been rocking back and forth a bit, especially on hills. I guess it's because I'm usually to lazy to go to my small ring on the hills (I'll work on it).
About ten or so miles into the ride, we split up and Caleb went with dad. We went into the preserve and rode back to Barton Park.

At the moment, in the pre-registerees for Frankenmuth, the only juniors are Alexey, Rem and me, but I think Caleb and [or] Colton will show.
Regarding Kensington, we are working to put the video of the race up on you-tube, so we can eventually put on the blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tour of Kensington Road Race Recap

Going into the road race, Alexey pretty much had the race sealed up. At the time, I had points for the time trial, but dad and I were pretty sure that the Saturn Shell dudes would see that and DQ (disqualify) me. Even if I wasn't DQed, I would of have to get first place and Alexey would have to take third for me to win the GC. Anyway, it was just me, Alexey, Rem, and Pieter. The course was the traditional Tour of Kensington course, and the 10-14 juniors were scheduled for 2 laps, a total of 14.5 miles.
The race started down hill, with all of us together. Alexey and I were trying to keep it together and not go all out until the last lap and try to keep Rem and Pieter on. Well that didn't work, as Rem and Pieter started accelerating a bit on each other, wasting themselves, and dropping themselves. We slowed a little bit, and after a minute of chasing, Rem was back on. Alexey and I started doing the pulling ourselves to give Rem a break.Unfortunately, Caleb Bromley's day in the 15-18 category ended prematurely with flats in both tires.
We flew across the flat part and safely turned into the neutral (crash) zone, going on the inside. Rem regained strength and started pulling. We finished the first lap and chugged through the rollers with me leading. We reached the hill leading us to the start line. This hill in my point of view is one of the hardest hills on the course. We dropped Rem on it but slowed on the downhill, and Rem was back on. Through the neutral zone and up the hill leading out of it, Rem was in serious trouble, and fell off the back. Back on the flat, we looked back to see Rem's form in the distance, struggling to catch us. We let up, but not too much, Rem wasn't getting a free ride to the finish. To my astonishment, Rem was back on. Reaching the hill before the turn to the finishing straight, I was thinking, now Rem's done. Well, Rem wasn't. Rem wasn't done until we had reached the finishing straight. This time, I played it perfectly. I stayed on Alexey's wheel, determined not to lose. I accelerated. He accelerated. I grabbed his wheel, and then sprinted ahead of him. Alexey looked like he was fading, but I wasn't taking chances. He surged forward and we both threw our bikes to the line. It was so close, they needed a photo finish. My chip apparently wasn't working, but this time I didn't get DQed. When the dust settled, I was the winner of the road race. Rem held on, riding an inspiring race. Just think; a two years younger than the guys he was riding with, first year racing, on a steel bike!
And, in the 15-18 category, you have one guess who won. Chris Brinkman, took home the the yellow jersey along with a win in every race. Mack Wilkins got second again, but, like me, he didn't get points for the time trial (rollout) and ended up sixth. Colton Liberacki (aavc) took a strong second overall and Myles Davis, a fifteen year old, couragously road all stages.
The overall 10-14 was Alexey, Rem, Pieter, Me, and Jakob.
The DQ cost not only the race, but the lead in the Michigan Points Challenge Series. Ah well, there's always next year, or the next year, or the next.

Fallen Wings

It's over. All the work, all the commitment. After a great regular season, and a great first two rounds, they're done, and packing their bags. And all because of some pathetic, formerly Disney owned, Ducks. Note: Not even the Mighty Ducks, it's just, the Ducks.
I guess they deserved it, they were one of the stronger teams in the Western Conference. The Wings were down 3-0 in the first period, scored, then let another one in then scored another, then another one on a Power Play but failed to get the fourth goal. It's also a disapointment that the Western Conference is Going to lose again in the Stanley Cup Finals, this time to David Morrissey's Ottawa Senators!
Anyway, we had Crit Practice At Runway Plaza. It's, a practice, at Runway Plaza, the spot of the Spring Training Series, and we, practice, crits. I convinced Alexey and his dad to come and race.
It's hard to say what level of hardness it is, there are so many categories. Because it's an AAVC thing, we brought release forms for non members, so they could sign the release forms, so they could race, unless if they didn't want to race, in that case, they wouldn't have to, unless if it gave them a good feeling.
Quite a lot of riders showed, and it was tough. In the first race, a three lapper, Alexey and I stayed with the group until after the second lap, and then we got dropped. The five lapper was almst the same, except I was dropped before Alexey was dropped, and he had a good gap on me. The seven lapper, Alexey took it to me and beat me by a huge chunk of time. But a new wind was about to blow. In the ten lapper, I beat Alexey by about 15, or so, seconds.
After that, we did another seven lapper, in which Steve Lininger stayed back with me and paced me all the way to the finish, thanks Steve! Another five lapper and this time Alexey and I were together. He attacked, I caught him pretty quickly, I attacked, and I felt I was putting the hurt to him. He caught me, and then went around me. I followed his wheel, and we turned up the last bend going onto the uphill. We both didn't want the other to jump first, so naturaly, we both went way early. Alexey figured the white line (used for the STSs) was the finish line, but it wasn't, so I ended taking it in the end , but Alexey was soft-pedaling. I think dad won at least one race. Rune Duke was freaking out, my dad told him he needed to recover, so Rune couldn't race. Dmo (David Morrissey) rode to it , and marshalled, as did Mr. Vermeulen. We rode a little bit of recovery, and practiced some paceline tactics. As we were packing up the truck/suv, dad got into an interesting conversation with Doug Gatto about old skool rap as opposed to gangster/hip-hop rap. That turned into a conversation about our truck/suv/thing, and Doug taking a spin in our truck/suv/ thing, which turned into a conversation about gas, which merged into a political discussion. Then I went in the truck.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tour of Kensington Crit Recap

Going into the Juniors' race, Alexey and I had one objective; Not to go too hard in the beginning so younger guys could ride with us. It was Jakob Kiel-Locey's first race. Jakob is 11 and rides for our junior team. He came to our team last year, and didn't have a trainer, so he lost a lot of fitness that he had last year.
At the start line, the yellow (leader's) jerseys were awarded. Chris Brinkman and my teammate Alexey put on the first Mallot Jaunes of the Tour of Kensington Stage Race, ever.
The 10-14 age category was all AAVC, so there wasn't much pressure. We started off, riding like a team, in a straight paceline. At the end of the first lap, Rem (when he got to the front) accelerated and Pieter followed him, dropping Jakob.
"Okay, forget that whole plan" Alexey and I were thinking. The next casualty was Pieter, who slowly faded off the back. It was just me, Alexey and Rem. We had Rem just stay at the back and just let Alexey and I do the pulling. Well, that didn't work either, and with 2 laps to, It was Alexey and I. Coming around the final turn to the finsh, I was on Alexey's wheel. I foolishly tried to Accelerate by Alexey on the outside of the turn. What I ended up with was me basicly spinning out (I had to block out two gears to make rollout) without being on Alexey's wheel. In short, I didn't win. That probobaly wouldn't of mattered, once Alexey gets started in a sprint, it's hard to stay with him, he has such a quick acceleration.
In the 15-18s, you have one guess who won. It was...not my dad. Chris Brinkman won in style, by at least 20 seconds.
Steve McGregor won the Masters' 35+ on a heroic breakaway, making fools of the peloton.

Frodo Baggins, I mean Graham Howard took the Mens' 1/2 by a few seconds, taking the lead in the General Classification.
Cat 5s involved an EPIC crash, involving the U35 leader, and an EPIC crash avoidal by Mike Birmann, who was right behind the crash, which happened in the field sprint.
Cat 4 men also had an EPIC crash, involving eighth place Zach Maino (I said it once, and I'll say it twice, HE'S ON AAVC FOR THE LOVE OF PIZZA, don't ask me again).
Eric Hinderager lost the lead by a close margin, and David Morissey lost a few seconds.
After that, it was a Catastrophe. Due to the crash, ambulances and whatnot came and needed to fix everyone up (aka, road rash, band-aids, missing limbs, stubbed toes), and that took around half an hour. Tony Wieczorek, who was in two really bad crashes a few weeks ago continued with the Cat 3s.
As for dad and his team, their goal was to set Joey up for the sprint. To put it nicely, THEY DIDN'T DO THEIR JOB! Joey took third, but his stint in the Mallot Jaune was over.
Stay tuned for the next installment of The Tour of Kensington Valley Stage Race.

Communicating with my teamates (either that or I'm a mental)

Pictures by Doug Gatto



Monday, May 21, 2007

Tour of Kensington Time Trial Recap

It was a great first day to a great race. It began with the 2.7 mile prologue, starting at 8:01 with AAVC junior Pieter Casteleyn. Alexey Vermeulen was 30 seconds behind him, "Rem" Vermeulen, behind Alexey and yours truly behind Rem, Caleb behind me, Mack Wilkins behind Caleb, Mark Bailey behind Mack, Myles Davis behind Mack, Colton Liberacki behind Myles, Dan Ritter behind Colton, Chris Brinkman behind Dan, and Chaise Harris behind Chris(etc,etc,etc).

Rem with something of questionable ethics up his sleeve

It went by relatively quickly but the hills were harder than I expected. I past Rem and caught Pieter down the finishing straight and ended up second for Juniors 10-14, eight seconds behind Alexey only to fail rollout. I failed rollout because while my dad [and I] was [were] building up my new bike, he [and/or I] didn’t put my old cassette on, resulting in a huge bummer. Mack Wilkins was another casualty of rollout, only he didn’t know about rollout. He would have had a second place finish behind Chris Brinkman.

Oddly, Tony Wieczorek was one of only four junior racers in the Mens’ Cat 3 race. Taylor Birmann would have raced, but he sprained his ankle earlier on this week (I’m guessing).

As for Cat 3 results, you have one guess who won. The winner of the Cat 3 Prologue was...not my dad. Joey Schaard took the win by 6 seconds. Eric Hinderager (Ann Arbor Velo Club) to the mens’ Cat 4 Prologue, David Morrissey (same team) took fourth and Zach Maino (still the same darn team) took eighth. Left: Me. Right: Alexey. Bottom left: Pieter. Bottom Right: Rem.

Friday, May 18, 2007

New Bike

If it's all the same, I thought that maybe a few of you might want to know that I have a NEW BIKE! A blue, Blue RC5 is packed away in the back of our Expedition. I got the frame and fork last week, and dad built it up with components from his former bike, and my old cannondale. Plus, I also got MAVIC KSYRIUM SL WHEELS*!
I'm looking forward to using my new bike to inflict pain and agony on those not on my team at tommorow's Tour of Kensington Valley Stage race, day one.

*I might need to start mowing the lawn a little bit more

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Michigan Points Challenge Series Part II

The year is set for another spectacular finish in the Michigan Points Challenge Series. The cat 1/2 men have a formidable top ten at the moment, featuring riders like Tom Petzold, Steve Clark and of course, Josh Tarrant. In Cat 3 men, South Lyon Cycle has it made with three riders in the top 7. Cat 4 men has AAVC time trial specialist David Morrissey battling for first place with unattached Alan Smith. With two first place finishes Mackenzie Woodring leads the cat 1/2/3 women by 23 points. Anastasia Yocum leads cat 4 women. In 10-12 junior men, Rem Vermeulen of AAVC should be leading, but hasn't been given points yet. Junior men 13-14 is a dogfight between AAVC juniors Alexey Vermeulen, Pieter Casteleyn and yours truly. In 15-16 boys, Noah Veltkamp leads Caleb Bromley and Tony Wieczorek, who is aiming for cat 3 victories this year. Daniel Ritter has shocked me and leads many 17-18 junior men studs including Chris Brinkman and Colton Liberacki.

Michigan Points Challenge Series 2007

Some of you have heard of it, some of you haven't. It's the Michigan Challenge series, the premier Points series that tons of races are a part of, and at the end of the season, there will be one winner for your category, the question is, are you registered? Find out at MBRA. Stay tuned for The Michigan Points Challenge Series Part II.


Well, hi. I'm James. I ride a bike. I like bikes. Bikes are cool. Uh, yah. My dad said "Maybe you should write a blog" and I was like "Yah".