Monday, February 28, 2011

Training

I am going to start up a pretty grueling week. My intervals will be at higher watts with no limit to how many I do. No more playing around.
I think the plan is to race Thursday night worlds in Phoenix. I will race the B's and possibly the A's. There are some cool races coming up. "Another Dam Race" is a two day stage race in Lake Havasu City. The same road race course is used both days for a total of 10,000 feet of climbing for the Cat 3s. The next week is the Tucson Bike Classic, which is a large scale race. I don't think we will race TBC, but I suspect we will give ADR a try. Whatever happens, it should be fun.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

UA Crit

Video post coming. be patient.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The weekend

Saturday is the UofA Crit in downtown Tucson, so we're going on a road trip. It looks like Dad, Neal, Jake, and myself. We'll get there Friday and hopefully meet up with my old compadre Alexey Vermeulen. He's there for a training camp. We will stay at the hotel Friday night, and start the first race at 9:50am. My dad's P1/2 race at 3:50 will end the day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

EOP

Usually the End Of Pavement ride is a miserable 60 mile drag, but yesterday it was quite fun. Neal Blatt (my dad's athlete from Michigan), Jake, Brad, Dad, and I embarked on the man-making journey. Everyone got their fair share of suffering; the hills don't discriminate. We clowned around whenever we weren't riding. We tried to mountain bike with road bikes. We fell down. It was great.The moral of the story; the more laughter in your life, the better. Don't take the pain too seriously, lest you fear it. Keep it real.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sun Devil Crit 2011

The rain went away just in time! I lined up for the Cat 3s at 1:30 feeling good. I rode at the front for the first few laps. Attacks came and went as usual. The field was very tired when Danny Eaton made a nice attack. He quickly built up a 20 second lead as we, the peleton, looked at each other. Personally, I can say that I tried to bring him back.I tried to bridge, but everyone was on my wheel, so it turned into a pull. Later I started pulling and yelling at the field to work with me, but a Bikehaus rider attacked immediately. I pretty much blew myself up, and hung on at the back, feeling like a moron.
Here the field picked up the chase somewhat. A pack prime halved Danny's gap. He seemed to be fading, and the pack sniffed blood. He was caughtafter a 25 minute solo ride. Now 15 minutes remained. Everyone seemed decently recovered and apt to chase down any breakaway attempts. I tried to pick a wheel for the last 5 laps. With less than 20 guys in the peleton, position seemed almost deceptive. I was probably riding 8th position with 2 to go, but the field surged on the last lap, and I didn't have the jump. I rolled in for 12th, not upset, but I didn't have a warm feeling about it.


Next up, Juniors. I lined up with that lovely feeling of distilled waste products in my legs, but at least Danny felt that way too, and he was probably the strongest rider in the field. The heavy hitters were mostly the Strada boys (Danny, Nick, Don, and Connor Bowe). Also, the ever feisty Kenny Polley was there. I had my teammates, Jake and Goran. The field numbered about 15.

The pace at the beginning was...slow. I found myself leading the pack for the first two laps. I took the time to get in a good cooldown from the last race. Ironically, Danny and I ended up on the front for most of the race. No one seemed that fresh...or willing to make a move. I opened up the bidding on lap 3. I was bored. I never got separation, but it was good to hurt some kids. I had no aspirations for results in this race. I had planned on leading Jake out for the win. Danny launched some vicious attacks, but given that he is the 800 lb gorilla, everyone clings to his wheel for dear life. I followed his wheel on a prime lap, and he essentially gave me a leadout, only he out sprinted me. That was impressive.

The field was probably halved. I think there was only under 15 rider (Brandon Mcnulty). Goran fought hard. When the field was moving, it was moving fast. One of the surges put me in difficulty. Any way, Goran was unhitched but fought his way back. It was good to have a nice presence. Jake rode fairly aggressively. He got in a break with Kenny and Don, but, not to play the blame game, but there was no pulling on the behalf of Don. But he was probably sitting in because he had 4 teammates in the pack. Either way, Jake was doing well, and he was nicely recovered with 5 to go.
He glued himself to my wheel, and I piloted him around. With 3 to go, Danny went to the front, followed by Connor and Don. Nick might have been there- I don't really remember. Nick or Danny won the last prime (I saw no point in trying for it). With a lap to go, the 3 man Strada train was still being headed by Danny. Kenny was looking to go around on the outside, and Jake was on my wheel. I was in 5th position, on the outside and in the wind. On the back stretch of the last lap, I gave it all I had to move up to the front. My goal was to attack into the last corner with Jake in tow, but I didn't expect my legs to feel as bad as they did. I tried standing up and saw the futility in it. My legs were dead. I mashed to move up as far as I could- 3rd position. We went through the last corner, and Jake launched off. Danny's leadout worked, and Connor took the win. Jake managed 3rd, which was a good result. It was a very interesting race.
It's days like this when I realize how much I love bike racing. I don't care about results, there's no pressure. I love to race as a team; I love that wasted feeling and panting as I talk about the race highlights with my teammates. I love leading the pack through and waving at my mom, saying to the pack "That's my mom!". I love the community, and I love the workout. A ton of fun.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sun Devil Crit

I am most likely racing the Sun Devil Criterium tomorrow, barring extreme weather. Last year, it rained all day until the Cat 3s started, so I'm hoping this year will be the same.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thanks Lance

Well Lance, I've got to thank you. I'm a critical cycling fan; I have criticized you for years. Still, you have contributed to my life, and that's why you are such an American figure. A lot of American cyclists cite you as their reason for getting into racing. You got me into racing. Thank
you.
To make a rough metaphor, you're the Brett Favre of cycling (my dad will wince at that one). Successful but with an undershadowed dark side (and multiple retirements). But however all this happened, it happened, and you affected a lot of people. You did a lot of for people with cancer. So cheers...for getting this far.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Lesson in Calmness

Friday morning was quite an exciting morning with the VOS time trial. Jake and Mrs. Spelman were going to pick me and take me to Buckeye. My start time was 3:00, and Jake's was 3:19. They planned to pick me up at 11:00 and arrive at the race course at 12:30.
Things started to unravel. At 11:20, Jake called me to say that their vehicle had broken down. They were at the repair shop. Their engine was dead the day after their check-up.
At 12:00, the Spelmans gave up on fixing the car. Jake went home and transferred his equipment into his own car and drove north to Mesa. He arrived at my house at 12:40, and we packed a host of wheels and bike equipment (not to mention my bike) into his Impala in less than 2 minutes. We set out West, glad to have survived the ordeal. We arrived at 2. Danger averted.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valley of the Sun: Report

To be honest, I really don't want to post about what happened, but I need to. I gave racing a try this week. Physically, I didn't feel too sick; I honestly thought I could pull it off. I was able to ride 3 times starting tuesday.
I knew that the week would be stressful. However, everything worked out decently, and I arrived on the starters ramp feeling good. I rode a great first 5 minutes, and then the wheels came off. My thirty second man caught me, then my 1:30 second man caught me...and then my 1:00 man caught me. I blew up after reaching the turnaround. It was humiliating and painful. I finished in 36:18, two minutes slower than last year. I finished 35th out of 48.
Dad advised me to pull out of the race, and I didn't really object to it. I felt unbearably bad on the bike, and I needed to recover instead of drilling myself further into the ground with a 57 mile road race.

So that's that. I don't want to elaborate further, because it's very difficult for me to explain. It has been a tough week.
On a brighter note, my teammates Jake and Stephen finished 22nd and 19th. They both raced well in the road race today. I am very proud of them.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

VOS

So...we've got ourselves a little race tomorrow. The 17-18 field is a really strong field, a nice sampling of national competition. 49 riders. I'm over the flu and ready to give it my best shot. I don't know what to expect, but I will certainly suffer.

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Week

Sunday
I did a 20 minute power test and raised my functional Threshold Power by 12 watts. I felt unfairly good, so good that I thought my powertaps was incorrectly calibrated.

Tuesday
I did 3x15s on the TT bike. I was scared because I need to ride 10 watts higher than I did last time...and on the TT bike. It went well, and I really bonded with my bike.

Wednesday
It was freezing and windy outside. I did six 4 minute intervals. They hurt, but what hurt most were my fingers. It was nasty, but a great experience in overcoming pain. I came down with a fever later that night.

Thursday
I skipped school in favor of recovering. No ride. My temperature went away during the afternoon, but came back before I went to bed. I wore a long sleeve shirt under a sweatshirt to make myself sweat a lot, and it worked! My bed was incredibly sweaty, but I broke the fever!

Friday
Taking another rest day. Mcdowell Mountain Circuit Race tomorrow. We'll shall see how it turns out, but either way I am very thankful God healed me in time.