Thursday, April 30, 2009
Arizona is sounding pretty intimidating. School starts in the beginning of August, and it's too hot in the summer to ride much, so my first summer in AZ will not be a good one. With time, I believe it will get better. One thing's for sure: there's some decent bike racing in Arizona!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Therefore, I shall be wearing pants to school tomorrow. Hopefully no one will find out, but if they do, I will not be ashamed. I am secure in my manliness and my heterosexuality. I will survive.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
We had a huge junior showing today, with a total of 17 juniors. I went off at 8:34:30, followed by Nate Leininger, and then Alexey. Surprisingly, Rudy and his dad actually did this race, and Rudy was starting about three minutes in front of me.
The day before, I had been a wreck. During my rides, I had been struggling to reach TT speed. It wasn't until last night, when I drilled the fact that I could reach fast speeds. It was really a psychological battle with myself, and I came out on top.
By the time the morrow had arrived, I only had one enemy left: the course.
When I rolled up to the starting line, I had this great feeling that something good was going to happen. I uttered a quick little prayer for strength, because I knew that I would need it if I wanted to break 33.
The adrenaline was really pumping, and I guess God just gave me something special. First there’d be a nice, smooth tailwind upon which I could pull about 26-27 MPH. Then it transitioned into a brutal headwind that knocked me down to speeds of 20-21. It hurt, but I was determined. Alexey caught me with about 2 laps to go. He immediately turned into a carrot. He was still in my sights when I finished. Going down the finishing lane, I had fifteen seconds to finish. It was all or nothing. The clock was ticking, but I was getting closer and closer!!!
I did it. 32:59. Average speed of just over 24. Alexey clocked in at 31:52, a pretty commendable time. Rudy put in 33:10. Noah Veltkamp put in a 33 as well, and his little brother Levi, the eleven year old, stomped his way to a 44 and the victory in the boy’s 10-12 category. He had some stiff competition from Charles Moir and Spencer Virtue. Rem took second in 13-14 boys with a time of 41. Abby finally got another girl to race with. Abby secured the victory, stopping the clock at 49 minutes. Both girls did a great job.
I was very happy with my result, and even more pleased that it would have gotten me FIFTH PLACE in Cat 4!!!!!!!! That will look good on a resume!
Dad made his comeback race, laying down a solid 30:20 that would have won Cat 3s. As it is, he got 7th place in Pro 1/2!
Tony was flying today. He threw down 30:30 to get 2nd in Cat 3, just three seconds behind Taylor Birmann.
Another epic showdown ensued between the big dogs. John Card and Tom Burke separated themselves from everyone else. Both finished in 27:44, but Burke nipped Card by .6 of a second!!! Last year, Burke beat Card by even LESS!!! What an exciting race!
After all the drama of Saturday’s race, we unpacked the mini-van, just to pack it again for today’s race. I elected to skip the C and B races so that I could play drums in church. My youth group band led the worship. It was pretty awesome. We arrived at the race just prior to the start of the A’s. Dad borrowed Joe L.’s old Blue and raced. The race was fast and downhill. During the last half of the race, a big group got away, with enough teams represented for it to stick. In the end, Luke Cavender (who else?) snatched the “V”. If I gave an early season award for best season so far, Luke would take it without any dispute. This WSC rider has won TWO Waterford races and TWO STS races! His sprint is potent and seemingly unmatchable.
I entered the junior race with Alexey, Rudy, Maas, and a WSC junior. I don’t have any idea how I did in the 2 lap time trial. I never saw my time, but I think it was under 3:15. For the handicapped race, Alexey, Rudy, the WSC guy, and I were riding together for three laps, then ripping each other apart for one lap. My goal was to corner well and not get stuck out in the wind too much. I did a good job of that. By the time the last lap of riding together had ended, the WSC rider was off the back. Poor kid, no beginning junior rider should enter his first race against nationally ranked riders. Alexey made his attack, but Rudy chased him down, with me glued to Rudy’s wheel. Instead of sitting up, Alexey just kept on going. I ended up on his wheel as he led the sprint out. I was able to go around him easily, but I couldn’t pull by Rudy. I didn’t have any gears left, and I was spinning like crazy. Rudy, on the other hand, seemed like he had a few more gears… but that’s probably just a theory derived from having no oxygen. Anyway, Rudy beat me by half a bike length, and that didn’t really bother me. From what I hear, Rudy’s an amazing sprinter, so to hang with him in a sprint is pretty cool.
The whole day was a party. Tents were up, and Mr. Christy was barbequing. We were celebrating Paul Alman’s 25th and final year of managing the STS. It was a pretty cool tribute to a pretty cool guy.
Paul then gave a little speech, thanking all those who helped with the race.
This week will be another good one. Dad will remain in Michigan until next Monday. He has Joe’s bike still, so hopefully we can go riding. I might make the Thursday group ride!
Also, there’s another thing going on with regards to riding. It hasn’t happened quite yet, but I am hoping I will do it this week!!! Stay tuned for further elaboration! There WILL be pictures!!!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I got in a nice warmup with Eddy and rolled up to the line confident. I wasn't going to get dropped today, that was for sure. Glancing at my competitors, I quickly decided at whose wheels I should follow. Out of the 25-ish man field, I spotted the pink kit of Grand Rapid Bicycle Company (I think it was Sam Deyoung, a pretty good Cat 5 who had some podium finishes last year), Doug Jacobson (AAVC), and Rudy, who was the best sprinter.
Once the race started, I made no mistake of getting to the front. Early on, my cornering was fairly awful. I was still closing huge gaps on the corners. It was a rather aggressive race with an attack every other lap. Every acceleration seemed to shatter the peleton, but each time I was able to get into a rhythm and drag myself up to the leaders, just as Eddy did.
I found myself pushed to the front once or twice, but sat up each time. I didn't needlessly waste energy. Eddie did some nice tempo work on the front. With 5 laps to go, the remaining pack of 10 riders had proven that the final selection had been made. With 4 to go a weary Racing Greyhound's rider took a flyer, but was obviously suffering badly. He got pulled back, and with three to go, I was wondering what to do. I decided to make my move with 2 to go. I did that. I got a solid gap going into turn #1. By then I was just praying to God that a miracle would happen.
To my happiness, a rider bridged up to me, and I had a chance. To my dismay, it was the Racing Greyhound, who was too tired to even come around me. It was over. We were all together with one lap left. Another rider attacked hard. I was right on his wheel, suffering awfully, but on his wheel. Again, I had a gap on the peleton. On the backstretch, a group of three (Grand Rapids Bicycle, Doug J., and Rudy) caught us, and by then I had spent far too much time in anaerobic capacity. By the last corner, I was in no man's land. The man in pink won, with Ruddy in second. I finished in 7th, with Eddy coming in 9th. The fact that I didn't win the race or finish on the podium doesn't upset me. All I was looking for was a confidence booster and I got that.
We went to church. Once that was over, I caught up with some of my youth group peeps and then left to go back to the race. By then, the A's were just starting. Alexey (after finishing 9th in B's) was just hanging on. Paul Alman (the man who's been managing this race for some 25 years) asked me if I wanted to jump in, and I had no objections! It was a super fast race, but super easy as long as you stayed out of the wind. I was at the back when I saw Joe pull off to the side and hammer his way up to the front of the pack. I figured "Awesome! A free ride to the front!" Well, once Joe got to the front, he proceeded to attack. I followed him, and when he pulled off, I pulled through. I think two other guys bridged up to us, and we had a little break going! It was sweet just to go OTF in the "A" race! I don't know if there's a better feeling in bike racing than this. Just to be able to witness the best racers in Michigan go toe-to-toe. Just to ride Dybo's wheel, and know how he sees the race and interprets it. Yes, I did get popped, but it was a ton of fun.
Regardless of my two previous races, I was still fresh for the juniors race. I killed the 2 lap TT, putting down a solid 3:08, one second ahead of Eddy, and five seconds ahead of a wasted Alexey (who gave his all in the Bs). Maas, Rem, and Abby put up some solid times, but Abby was suffering from some nasty stomach cramps.
For the handicapped race, Rem and Maas were riding together and attempting to do three laps, while Alexey, Eddy, and I were doing four laps. I felt SO strong, and I was pulling our little group around like I was on EPO (not that I would know what it's like). We shared the pacemaking equally, but by lap three, I could tell that I was putting the hurt into both of them. With one to go, I laid my cards on the table. I kicked the pace up way high, and succeeded in dropping Eddy. Alexey came by me on the backstretch and told me he was giving me a leadout! Alright! Alexey pulled me all the way to the bottom of the hill and let me finish it off. It was a ton of fun to go across that line first, even though it was just silly team training race.
I'm really excited about racing now. I feel capable. I guess God just gave me some strong legs. Let's hope he'll give me some on Saturday! WILLOW TT, BABY!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The afternoon was the time of my appointment with the dermatologist. My mum wanted him to check out my mole on my back, which got checked out several years ago. Nothing serious, but we're just making sure everything's good. WELL, they decided that they needed a sample of my mole. The next thing I knew, I was on my side with the dermatologist brandishing what felt like a kitchen knife. At least he gave me a tad bit of an anesthetic before sawing off a small portion of my mole.
I feel great now, but I'm worried for tomorrow. I'll have to take off the bandaid and clean the wound with HYDROGEN PEROXIDE!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Then, there was another thing I noticed. Sitting pretty in 19th place was a familiar name. Alex Keomany! It's so fun to look back on past race results and see how my peers did when they were my age!
Well that's all for now.
See you later.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Needless to say, this article didn't go over well. The foolish "journalist" got barraged with HUNDREDS of angry comments!!!
Friday, April 10, 2009
I want to race as Eric Liddell did. Pay close attention to 2:12 of this next clip. THAT's how I want to race.
I can race like a Harold Abrahams or an Eric Liddell. I can race my bike to simply justify my existence or I can run because I feel God's pleasure when I do it.
What will YOU do?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The race was fairly hard. I led almost all race long, my solo breakaway lasting about 40 minutes. During the race, I could always see Matt Bird and Mason about a half lap behind me. I knew that they were holding back a tad bit. They were waiting for me to crack. But I never faded. Eventually, Matt ramped up his chase and caught me. He left me in the dust and hoping to hold off Mason. I did just that, surving the onslaught of Mason, who was dead tired from the training he's been doing lately.
I ended up doing 33 laps, or 8.25 miles. Not bad. Now I just need to get second place in a BIKE RACE!
Monday, April 6, 2009
As of late, I'm not really concerned with the STS. It's just a silly training race. What I'm really focusing on right now is the Willow TT. I'm looking to go under 33. It will be fun to see how much I've improved.
The snow today means a trainer ride to finish off this R&R week. Then I commence Build 2!
I found this sweet picture of my little sis.
Check out the blood on her knee. This picture was taken at the ADA crit. She crashed at the beginning of the race and persevered all the way through. I've got to admit, she knows how to suffer. I look forward to seeing her race this year!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
As for cycling, the whole scheduling process is ridiculous. There are SO MANY conflicts. It used to be so much easier when I was just homeschooled, but now with going to school and playing in my youth group's worship band, life is busy.
It's not fun, and I almost wish I were in AZ right now with none of these priorities to deal with.