Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Mount Graham Hill Climb: Report

Dad flew DNA's colors on Sunday. It was a 20 mile slog through the majestic slopes of Mount Graham. The riders started off in the hot desert and ended up in windy, cold conditions, 6,000 feet higher. It was a mass start; the fastest riders just breaking 1:30, while some struggled to break 2:30. Dad came in at 1:45 and took the Masters Men 45-49 crown! He dubbed it an epic race.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Lament of my Generation

They all listen to garbage music.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 2010 Cycling Season

As of September 12 I am finished racing and will be off the bike for the next month or three. I am not touching the Mount Graham Hill Climb with a 20 yard pole; Dad will race it, and I will be cheering wildly on the slopes of the mountain. I would like to take this post to reflect on the entire season. Let me first say that this season was possibly the most epic season ever. The good weather and good hills paid off in my training, and I saw a huge power increase before the racing even started. We went into the races with relatively laid-back expectations, because we didn't know the Arizona scene. We had a some mediocre races, for sure, but I think we expected that.
Let's review...

My Worst Days
Camp day 3- Snowbowl TT
State Road Race
VOS Road Race

My Best Days
VOS TT
AZ State TT
Sun Devil Crit
South Mountain TT
TBC TT

I will admit that I was incredibly tempted to hang my head and hang up my bike back in June; my performance at camp was demoralizing. However, I really learned the value of rest and recovery, taught to me by Coach Anderson. Everything really fell into place for August and September, and I really had a ball. The Brumby rides were incredible and almost felt like racing. The TTT was an experience of agony I wonder if I will ever know again, and the ITT was a huge morale boost.
I'm doing my best to not ride the roller coaster of bike racing. You just can't let bike racing control your emotions. I think I'm getting better at that; maybe it's because I got the win, but maybe God is beginning to give me a bigger grip on the reality of things.
Time will tell.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

AZ State ITT Championship: Report

Just another quiet day in Arizona City, but a big day for many people. For the juniors, it was a 20km sufferfest. My start time was 7:04, and we planned accordingly, maximizing our time to get there by 6. I had one of the shortest warmups I've ever done for a TT, but it seemed to work.
Everything was set. The Black Widow looked great. I had the wheelcover on the back wheel and Don's Roval on the front (awesome wheel). I wasn't nervous, in fact I felt quite laid-back. I knew that I needed to average 230w. I just had to hunker down and suffer through it. My 30 second man was Josh PF, and the guy chasing me was my riding buddy Goran. We had 10 guys in the 15-16 category total.
I'd say the course was quite slow. My average on the way out was 22, and on the way back it was 26. I was producing more power than I did at VOS, yet going slower. I settled into a good rhythm. I found myself praying the entire time; it was quite an extraordinary time. I found myself just immersed in the task at hand, which was giving my all for the Lord. I enjoyed it. I could see Josh up in the distance, maybe 15 seconds in front of me. He was going on a road bike with aero wheels, so I was a bit surprised I hadn't caught him yet. With 2k to go, I pushed the pace as hard as I could, as if it were 1k to go. I just managed to not explode before the line. I fought those last 200 meters, because I knew they were the last 200 meters of my racing season. This was all that I could hang my hat on; this was it. So I went through with it.

The time was 30:35, a somewhat slow 20k time, but I figured that it was a slow course. My wattage was 236, surprisingly almost 10 watts higher than VOS! It was very obvious how God had given me unnatural strength.

Stephen seemed out of contention for the win, because he had suffered a mechanical when his brake started rubbing on his disc wheel. I wasn't sure just how far ahead of me Josh was, and I figured Nick had the power go the distance. Also, there was Scott Ford who beat me in a TT at camp, and of course Marco Colex, the Criterium and Road Race champion. Goran was riding on brilliant form as well. It was competitive.

There was about a 15 minute wait for results. The juniors socialized and I found David and Darin to talk to. Dad started his 40k TT at 7:51. Then the results came. I looked at the results, and then squinted at them again. Was that my name at the top?

I was dumb-struck and had no idea what to do. I had this overflowing gratefulness to God, for the strength he gave me. I went over and told the team about it. It was awesome.

I took the win over Josh by 18 seconds, and a further 2 seconds over Stephen. Nick came in 4th, and Scott took 5th. Really they are fabulous guys, and it's an honor to stand on the podium with them.

In the 17-18s, my good friend Jake got a time of 31:19 without a TT bike or even clip-ons.
It was good enough for 4th place in that category. Robert Chorost really killed it with a 28:50.
Dad flatted and had a really bad day. He will be back for Mount Graham in two weeks.
David podiumed in Cat 5, and Matt Duke got a nice finish in the Cat 3s.
I have to say it was a rewarding day. Josh said the
thoughts that I was thinking.
It was a comeback. I mean, after camp and all that stuff. It feels like
redemption, not of my own, but from God.
I know I always say that, but I know that it's true. That was a race like no other, a race that God gave me.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Final Suffering

Tomorrow is the big day: the Arizona Individual Time Trial Championship. I'm going off at 7:04, Dad at 7:51. It marks the end of my cycling season. It has been a great season, and I am looking to close it on a high note.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Set-back

I tried an hour long time trial today, and it was quite unspectacular. I blew up 1/3 into it and had a miserable time of it. I will attribute my performance to jet lag, and keep moving forward. The final test is on Sunday, with the State TT. I might as well get my bad days out of the way now.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This one's for Uncle Jim

This is another vow to update this blog regularly.
I am currently in Madison, Wisconsin. We got here Friday evening. The occasion- Cousin Paul and fiancé, Lara are celebrating their marriage. It's a bit of a family reunion- the Scicluna side.

The trip to Madison was a harrowing one. I had a pretty good flight over, besides the fact that I got to sit in front of potty-mouth Jim Rome who literally never stopped talking. However, I was either watching a movie or sleeping, so I was alright for the most part. We arrived in Milwaukee at 6:30. We got a rental car (SUV) and made the 90 mile trip to Madison. We were getting there in record time until we hit construction. The next 12 miles took about an hour. Despite that, we made it to dinner in style. There was some socializing and some eating that took place there. We went to Paul and Lara's place and did some more socializing. We arrived at our hotel to see that it is being overrun with a geek convention.

Today featured a tour of proverbial downtown Madison. It was rather nice but somewhat chilly. I think later on in the day there will be a recitation of vows or something like that. There will be ties.