Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pop vs. Soda


Via Facebook, I asked one of the most relevant questions to our society.
I got 12 comments. 1 didn't answer the question. 2 combined the two words. Alan said "Coke" which was probably the most truthful answer.
Out of the 8 pertinent voters, 3 were Arizonan, and 5 were Michiganders.
The results were:
Arizonans:
Soda- 3
Pop- 0

Michiganders:
Soda- 1
Pop- 4


This is great evidence to a great truth. If you call it "Pop" in Arizona, you're in the minority.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pet Peeves

My dad hates the song "Human" by the Killers. He calls it existential nonsense, which it is. He doesn't like Journey songs like "Don't Stop Believing" that came during the early 80s when the band merged into Pop music. He doesn't like Coldplay either, but most of all, he doesn't like "Human". I guess he doesn't like it when people take themselves to seriously.

What I can't stand is the media. I abhor opening up Yahoo and seeing a picture of Kate Gosselin. She whines about her husband leaving her with the kids, and now here she is doing DWTS. I know it's her husband's fault too, but she makes me sick with her extreme craving for attention. Just sick. I hate flipping to ESPN or any news channel and seeing an expert (not a golf expert) talking about Tiger Woods. Honestly, who cares??? He's a golfer, not a pastor! Why do we treat all athletes and celebrities like they are role models??? The fact that they're good at sports or can portray a character well means nothing to their moral character!!!
So when I see stuff like that on TV, I think it best to just flip the channel. Don't give them that attention they're trying to get from you.

So that's my spiel, thanks for reading it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rest

Last week was filled with R&R and topped off with a raceless weekend. I completely rested bike-wise. This week will see a reduction in intensity as I just try to hold my form for the next few weeks. There is no racing next weekend, except for a team training race on Bush Highway and Usery. My dream race is one that ends up Usery.

Speaking of Usery Pass, that is what the 72 mile Tour De Phoenix finishes on. That race/ride is on April 10th and is more or less a charity ride that Cat 1s and 2s show up to bludgeon people to death. Very fun stuff.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Focus Grand Prix- Report




After that tough stage race, I had been feeling quite tired. I crashed on Wednesday and then proceeded to fail my LT intervals on Thursday. I took Friday off, hoping to recover in time to race.

The course was D shaped, with a really fast backstretch and a headwind through the start/finish.
I lined up for a 20 minute junior race. We had a small field, but Owen, Tyler, Kenny Polley, and Daniel Eaton. The plan was to sit-in (the opposite of what happened in the Tucson circuit race) but I fell to temptation and attacked early. My attack got a huge gap and I dropped the power down quickly so as to not blow up. Owen immediately bridged up to me, but rode right through me. I chased for the next half lap with Tyler on my wheel, but couldn't close that 5 bike length gap. I motioned for Tyler to come through, and he came through hard. Then Daniel came by, and I couldn't latch on. Then Kenny, and he accelerated away. I finally settled down on Jake's wheel, and we rode the rest of the race together. It was pretty bad.

I shook that off and raced the Cat 3s three hours later. We had about 20 riders, with most of the guys from Procon, Focus or Bicycle Ranch. It was pretty slow. An early break got off representing every team except for Focus, so the field slowed until Focus brought the break back. It all came down to 2 laps to go, when three riders (from each of the major teams) took off. They got a little gap that lasted the whole way. I was fighting for position on that last lap. The field was bunched up in a pure drag race. I managed to tag onto the back of a 6 or 7 rider line that came into the last turn ahead of everyone else. I finished 8th in the field sprint, and 11th overall. I am pretty excited about that, because I feel much more competitive than I did in the last Cat 3 race.

Dad went spider monkey in the Masters 40+ race. Sadly, no one wanted to break away with him, and the race finished with a pack sprint. He was very satisfied by his power file from the race, and he will be back!

Again we had a ton of fun at the races. I'm not sure what our next race is, but it will definitely be in April. Have fun at the Spring Training Series!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TRAINING!

Everything is going well. I'm totally over Sunday, even though it looked really bad. The thing about life that you have to get over is that no one else knows the real story. Can you handle that, or can you not live without justifying yourself? As Topher Chase said: "There's always another race."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tucson Bicycle Classic- Report

Prologue- The three mile course was incredibly scenic. It would have been great to look at had I not been suffering really bad. The course went downhill for the first 1.5 miles, went through rollers, and encountered two 20-40 second climbs. The last climb was at about 6%.
There were ten kids in the 15-16 race, including Nick Thorpe and Anthony Fitch from California. My goal for the TT was to average 270 watts and/or break 9 minutes. All I can say is that I rode my hardest (269 watts). It was unholy suffering. After Jake and I had both finished, we rode back to the parking lot with the rest of the juniors. I saw some fast-looking kids from Mexico. When we got back to the car, Dad was dressed and packing up. He also had ridden really hard.
There were no results posted, so we had to wait until 7 pm, when the results would be posted online. I was surprised when the results came out, because I was in first!! My time was 9:12, 3 seconds faster than Nick, 19 seconds faster than Anthony, and 46 seconds faster than Jose Alfredo Teran from Hermosillo. Jake was sitting in 9th place for 17-18s and Dad put in 8:36 for 14th in Masters 45+!

Road Race- I got in about 2 hours of sleep. I tried so hard just to zone out, but my legs screamed at me. It was very uncomfortable. However, when we got up at 4:10 AM, I was feeling up to a 40 mile road race.
The 20 mile course surrounded a mine. The course had a 5 mile decent, a 5 mile uphill section of about 1-2% that I barely even noticed, and then a set of rollers for 5 miles. The finish was on an uphill, just after a rapid, sweeping descent. My goal was to keep the pack together. I didn't need to fight for time bonuses because there were none. There weren't attacks until mile 10, and they weren't very difficult to follow. Everyone was attacking on the rollers, though we all stayed together. We had dropped 4 guys, and I myself wasn't feeling so great. I feared that I was on the verge of a VOS-esque cramp. I hit the endurolytes and gels like there was no tomorrow. They worked. With around 5 miles to go, we all knew that it would come down to the rollers. We had an attacking festival, mostly hosted by Jose. Of course there was no seperation and by that time, no one was getting dropped. I tried to position myself on Nick's wheel, but lost it. He attacked with 300m to go. He won by 2 or 3 bikelengths, followed by Jose, Anthony, and me. Jake got 8th in his 60 mile race, after losing a water bottle and getting severely dehydrated. Dad's average power for his race was Zone 2; he compared it to an easy group ride. A BAD crash occurred going into the final 400 meters. A guy from Bikehaus seemed to be unconscious with head trauma. Everyone was terrified, but apparently that guy is up and moving now.
I was pretty happy because I had kept the yellow jersey...or so I thought. When we checked the results later that night, I was mortified. They had placed Nick ten seconds in front of the rest of us. I don't think 3 bikelengths is ten seconds. So there went the yellow jersey and my entire gameplan for Stage 3.

Circuit Race- 22 miles with wind and rollers. I had to get seven seconds back in order to win. There was a sprint bonus of 3-2-1 on lap 3, and the final lap had bonuses of 10-6-4.
The race started with Nick attacking right away. I chased him down, averaging 457 watts for one minute. My previous record was 398. Needless to say, this was going to be a hard day. On the first lap, I attacked relentlessly...and paid for it. At the end of the first lap, I realized my mistake and tried to recover. When I tried to sit in, the winning attack sprung away with Jose and Anthony. This left Nick, Josh Pratt-Ferguson, and I to chase. We chased for all of the second lap. We were holding them at about 15 seconds, but I was starting to really really hurt. The rolling pace line was just killing me. I had to sit out one pull. A gap got opened up, and just like that, I was cooked. I just TT'ed the last two laps in, losing 2:27 and dropping to 5th overall. It was fairly embarrassing. At first I thought that I had had a bad day, but my power said otherwise.
Peak 5 minutes- 333
Peak 10 minutes- 298
Peak 20 minutes- 278
That power is ridiculous. If I could have done this for the LAST 30 minutes, I would have been in good shape. This race can be written off as one of my stupidest races. I learned though.

Dad got 9th for the stage and moved up to 13th overall (out of about 60), while Jake got 7th, for 8th overall.

There was a huge brouhaha in getting results posted that day. My category protested the results for about 1.5 hours, and when we left they were still arguing. Anthony and Jose had finished 19 seconds ahead of the two chases. With time bonuses, Anthony got the overall win by 1 second!

It was a very fun weekend, filled with highs and lows. The goal is to not get too high on the highs and not too low on the lows!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

San Tan Crit and Hungry Dog Crit: Report














San Tan- We left the house at 7:20 for a 9:15 junior start. The seven turn course was at Falcon Field, just three miles from our house. The important part about the course was that its finishing straight was very very short (100m), so it was important to positioned top 3 into the final left hander.
The juniors race had some good riders like Owen Graves (Bike Haus), Blake Savage (San Tan Racing), Tyler Coplea (Landis/Trek), and Don Henley (Strada).
The plan was simple: Jake, already tired from the Cat 5 race, would pepper the field with attacks starting after lap 3. After the peleton had become tired, Stephen and I would attack off and on (very Tour de Ciociaro-esque). Tyler got the games started with a HARD first lap attack. We chased hard for half a lap, then things settled down. Then Owen attacked on lap 2, really stringing things out. Still the group was intact. I looked to my right, saw Jake, and nodded. Jake went to the front and accelerated as hard as he could. When the field caught him, he just kept on drilling the pace. A lap later, he was done, and I knew it was time. The pack had reached the lull. So I went, and when they brought me back, I went again. I looked back to see a big gap. Owen Graves bridged up to me, and we hammered like no other. Then Stephen bridged up, and slowly the shattered field came back one by one. The breakaway had not been in vain, because we had shredded the field from 20 to 10 riders.
It all came down to the last lap. Owen got the jump going into the last corner. Tyler and Stephen came through next, with Don Henley and I trailing. The whole field of junior girls decided to take up the whole road so Stephen got held up a little bit and had to be content with 3rd (2nd in 15-16). I got 5th and 4th in 15-16. Overall, we raced great.

Dad raced the Masters 40+ race next. He got stuck pulling a break back on the last lap. He had nothing left for the sprint. Then the 4/5s raced and Team DNA did really well with Stephen getting a top 10 or so. After that was the Masters 30+, which was an unfortunate race for Dad. The right break got off with a rider from all the main teams, leaving Dad to chase. Another pack finish.

The 3/4s were fast and furious. I got a terrible starting position, but tried to make some lemonade out of it. I fought to move up when I could, but it was really really tough. I finished 29th out of 40 finishers (not sure how many started). The good thing about this race was this: I got my cornering mojo back!

Dad towed the line for Pro 1-2, not very confident. Given this was his 3rd race, he was due for a cramp. Always faithful, those cramps hit him like crazy about 15 minutes in, giving him no choice but to retire. Yesterday was just an unlucky day for him, but he'll be back!
The P-1-2 was very exciting. An 8 man group formed with 3 Bikehaus (Chris's team) riders represented. In was Sal (a pro guest rider on Team DNA) and newly upgraded to Cat 2 Michael Dziedzic, who is racing age 17! Halfway through the race, Chris attacked from the peleton and bridged all the way up to the first chase group of 3...carrying a wheelsucker for about 40 minutes!!! He caught the chase group on the last lap and sprinted for about 10th overall!


Hungry Dog- We were praying that it wouldn't rain...and for the most part we were blessed. It wasn't raining at 8 when the juniors went off. The main riders at this race were Owen, Nick, Don, Daniel Eaton, Jake and I. My plan was to lead Jake out for the win, since he had ridden his legs off for me on Saturday. I raced really aggressively, going for pretty much every prime they decided to throw at us (5 in all). Owen won the first prime on a flier, Jake took the second, Nick got the third, I got the fourth, then I lead Jake out to take the two-way fifth prime. With 2 to go, I told Jake to get on my wheel. I made my move with 1 to go. I drilled it as hard as I could with .5 miles to go. Right before the last turn, Owen and Nick both came around me. I had gone too early, and Jake wasn't able to latch on to Owen/Nick's wheel. I finished sixth, two riders in front of Jake, not incredibly happy, but that's bike racing. It was a learning experience. We'll get 'em next time.

We went to church, and then the rain started to pour. The Pro 1-2-3 race was canceled, so Dad didn't race.

I immensely enjoyed myself this weekend and had some really good power. Next week is the Tucson Bicycle Classic, a 3 day climber's fest in Southern Az!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pro Sprinters' Wattage


I've done a bit of internet research after hearing some stats that have me questioning. I heard that Thor Hushovd's max power (sprint) is 1600 watts. This seems a bit low for one of the best sprinter's in the world, doesn't it? Or is it just me? Does anyone else have a better understanding of what these pros can produce in a sprint?