Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Bike Boy Awards


Hi folks! It took me a long time, but I never gave up hope. Here are your 2nd Annual Bike Boy Awards for Arizona. Enjoy!


Juniors

Most Improved: I think we can all agree that Jesse Gilmer didn’t kick butts last year. It was his year first racing and a short year at that. He progressed in 2012 as he took advantage of his strengths. Made in the mold Nathan Franklin, Gilmer made strong showings at the State Road Race and Gila and asserted his will at Mount Graham. Doubtless, he has further potential unlock.

Best Crit Racer: Kenny Polley was another one of those obvious winners. Although he was not necessarily dominant at climbing or time trialing, K-Poll was the king of the crit in 2012. Out of 25 crits entered, he podiumed 15 times and won 8 times. He won every third race he entered, which, as we all can agree, is not normal.

Best Time Trialer: Ryan Geiger did things many people would call freakish. He rolled a 31 at VOS and smoked the State Time Trial in 26:36. The guy has an engine.

Best Mountain Goat: In a year when I thought there would be no pure climbers, Scott Ford stepped into the role. His performance at Regional Camp was doubtless his greatest achievement,

Most Consistent: Although I think many overlooked him, Donovan Caputo had a season to be envied. At the State Crit he took advantage of his “dark horse” status bridge up to the winning breakaway, a feat of tactics and strength. His L’Abitibi qualification rewarded a year of constant effort.

Best Team: Junior cycling really grew this year, reflected in the teams. This year saw Strada’s fall from numerical dominance- although their presence was still felt- to make way for other Valley teams. Two Wheel Jones more or less maintained their 2011 involvement, and Fly Racing emerged with Team Winded. El Grupo’s community of racers and Landis’ brother tandem ran steady once more. Yuma Bike Club made strides in consistency. However, it’s my opinion that Team Winded brought plentiful participation and solid competition to Arizona cycling. I’m quite comfortable giving this award to my own team. One cannot tell who will take the prize next year. Speculations infer that most of Two Wheel and Fly’s riders have been absorbed by Landis and Winded, and most pundits predict a showdown between the two Phoenix giants, leaning toward Landis- but be wary, be very wary of a dark horse.

Junior Rider of the Year: Taylor Skinner is not Danny Eaton, biologically or results-wise. However, Danny was 18 when he won this award, and Taylor is an underclassman. In February, Skinner tickled the Phenom tag that mankind so often assigns. His performances at VOS and Avondale were impressive to say the least. Although remains to be seen how much development Taylor has in store after two and a half years of rapid improvement, one can expect him to attack the 2013 season with great fervor.

 Masters Men
40-44 Rider of the Year: The spectators of masters’ crits felt an air of inevitability as James Kramer rode at a high level. The argument that Brian Forbes had more wins stands, but I’m of the opinion that Brian falls in to the “Cat 1/2” group. They certainly reinforced the fast reputation of the Master’s category. Kramer earned my gut inclination, and I’m interested to see how he would do in a deeper foray into the Cat 1/2 field.

45-49 Rider of the Year: This was the norm for 2012; in crits, Faster was the biggest and strongest, and in road races, GST was the biggest and strongest. Jim Silverman once again dominated the Copper Cup. 8th at VOS, 2nd at TBC, and 3rd in the State crit and road race. After the phenomenal spring campaign, he and GST annihilated the summer races. One must wonder if Landis/Faster/Southwest/RPM will grow more competitive in road or break GST’s four year State TTT winning streak. Interestingly enough, it was Silverman leading Rideclean to defeat GST’s TTT in 2008. Anyone else noticing a pattern?

50-54 Rider of the Year: Golly, masters racers sure were impressive this year. Keith Brodhagen was very difficult to beat, especially in the context of his age category. Although he wasn’t dominant going uphill, Brodhagen rode great in everything else. He challenged himself with out-of-state races and often entered the 45+ category, complementing a studly Faster line-up. It took a brave solo win from Jeff Biever to prevent him from sealing the State Crit.

55-59 Rider of the Year: Lionel Space won a lot of races, enough to take away the title Dave Bixby seemed to own. Although Space lacks versatility, his sprinting ability is extremely... able.

60+ Rider of the Year: Curveball. Franz Hammer didn’t win it. Reginald Dowdall is my pick. Each man won every single state championship they entered and won their respective Copper Cup (Hammer 75+, Dowdall 65-69), but Dowdall was the clear choice. How could I not be swayed when the guy goes under 1:50 on Mount Graham?

Women
Junior Woman of the Year: I believe the category had a good year, and I look forward to how 2013 goes for these ladies. Andrea Arriaga is my pick for this award. Honestly, I don’t know what more she could have done to earn this beside going undefeated and finishing a 20k in 35:51. I truly hope she and her fellow racers stick to it in 2013.

Cat 4 Woman of the Year: For a good portion of the year, I harped on and on about Liz Srejic. My opinion on Cat 4 awards is that they shouldn’t go to people who dominated throughout the full season (January-October). If you really dominate the Cat 4s in the winter, you should be able to upgrade by the summer. Srejic started in the middle of the year and blossomed as a bike racer in the Summer, taking wins at the Flagstaff Omnium and Mormon Lake Road Race.

Cat 3 Woman of the Year: Lauren Frisk led a strong El Grupo contingent and raced well at the State Road Race and Gila, but I would be unjust in not picking Emily Mcglamery. She took a consistent 2nd place at TBC and won the State Hill Climb and Road Race championships.

Cat 1-2 Woman of the Year: Sabrina Forbes took the Copper Cup quite handily, despite a shortened year. She led what I saw to be a Valley-resurgence.

Best Team: It’s a toss-up.  Jobing.com, Trisports, and Landis all had their victories. However, I noticed the team spirit of Landis the most.

Men Cat 4
Best Crit Racer: Audacious and outspoken, Dominic Suozzi showed himself to be a true sprinter this year, taking three decisive victories. Yes, he upgraded by the middle of the season, but there aren’t a lot of crits during the Arizona summer.

Best Time Trialer: I think the State Time Trial champion Daniel Parkman is worthy of this award. He’s legit.

Most Consistent: Chaz Lane enjoyed a consistent finish to 2012, working his way toward an upgrade at Tolero and Best Buddies.

Men Cat 3
Best Crit Racer: To the chagrin of Shawn Mcnally, I give this to Kenny Polley. While I think he should have upgraded in the summer, the fact remains that the AZ crit season ends before then. This was a tricky award to hand out, but I’ll go with Kenny.

Best Time Trialer: I suppose that every year, the Cat 3 field is filled with fast people, but this year it was rather stacked, and Nathaniel Davis was the best of the its contrarrelojistas.

Best Mountain Goat: Nathan Franklin, is similar Davis. He is lethal in the races he enters, but because he doesn’t enter a ton of races, it appears that he is sandbagging. Also, his first name includes the word “Nathan”.

Most Consistent: Ever present, Jake Spelman raced a pizza-load of events in 2012. He dominated neither the hills nor the sprints, but he did not shy away from neither. He took his first category win at DC Ranch.

Best Team: With Brian A, Dave G, Jake S, Dominic S, Lewis F, David C, Peter S, Craig H, and others I do not know, Faster enjoyed a phenomenal year. Granted, they only succeeded at crits and time trials, but they attended more races than most Cat 3 teams.

Men Cat 1/2
Best Crit Racer: Eric Marcotte, if you can believe it, had an even better year than last. To elaborate on how this year went would be superfluous. You all saw what happened.

Best Mountain Goat: When the Landis juggernaut made its mark on the AZ summer calendar, one man stood in their way: Mark Aasmundstad. The weathered northerner held his own when the rode rose and men became judged by the equation of their power divided by their weight. His performances up Snowbowl and Graham were indicative of a brilliant year.

Best Team: Landis rode with dominance in many races. They used their numbers with potency.

Cat 1/2 Rider of the Year: It’s frightening to think that George Cyrus was in his first year as a Cat 1. He took the crown of State Crit and Tme Trial Champion, plus the Team Time Trial. He truly enjoyed a banner year, one that was actually quite overshadowed.

Miscellaneous
Best Breakaway: Eric Marcotte riding away from the Competitive Cyclist squad at the UofA Crit. Although it’s nearly impossible for him to be considered an underdog, Marcotte was going up against the big dogs that day. Late in the race, he opened up a gap and held it.

The David and Goliath Award: I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t expect Jeff Biever to win the Masters 50-54 State Crit championship. As a field full of Cat 2s gawked at one another, the Cat 4 rode solo to victory.

The Title of “Best Website” goes to www.larouedeor.com. They have really impacted the AZ Cycling Scene. In 2013, they will run a near majority of the race schedule. Boris is taking over.

The “Holy Socks!” Award (awarded to the best crash) goes to Danny Eaton for going down at VOS. The massive pileup caused by a rogue car incited a frenzied reaction from the Arizona cycling community.

Most Connected: Jay and Tisha Suarez pulled all the strings to promote Team Winded. Clearly, the team was revelatory in 2012, regardless of results, and the Suarez family was at its center.

The Best Display of Team Tactics goes to Landis’s performance at the State Criterium Championship. They occupied the breakaway with many men and shut down the peloton. Sure, they got a little luck with Craig Streit’s flat, but that’s bike racing.

2012 Best Ambassador of Arizona Cycling
In 2012, many people feared a certain man. Californians, Texans, Okies, and Arizonans grew in reverence for Eric Marcotte. He now holds legend status in two states, and his influence grows. Nothing seems to be slowing him down, so all manner of possibilities remain for him in 2013.

2012 Person of the Year
Clayton Peck further established himself as one of Arizona cycling’s most effervescent personalities. He wins this award not because of his efforts with OTR, but because of his passion for this sport. If you’ve been to a race with him, you know what I’m talking about. He loves our sport and our community and wants to better them. I can’t ask for much more than that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Good News

The phrase "No news is good news" does not always ring true. For a year, I earnestly desired to know the truth behind my hip injury and learned nothing.
I think I got the answer today.
We saw an orthopedic surgeon who would hypothetically do arthroscopic surgery on me. I had come to give him the results of the cortisone recently injected in my hip joint. The results leaned to the positive side, but they weren't the diagnostic factor. He gave me my second X-ray of the year (in the same position) and found something. I have cam impingement in both hips. The picture below shows the femur head attached to the hip socket. There's a deformity.


Because I could clearly see it on the X-ray, I don't doubt it. My condition isn't serious; however, it won't heal on its own, and it can lead to osteoarthritis. The bad news is that I've had a cam impingement for a year. However, the news is incredibly gratifying. Arthroscopic surgery in both hips should heal me. I might get to race in 2013, and the pain might soon be gone.
I thank you for your prayers.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Externalizing

I'll publish the first part of the Bike Boy Awards later this week. Because I am giving them more description than I normally give, they are taking forever to complete. Do forgive me for getting ahead of myself.

As you can see, I've struggled to keep this blog updated. For a lot of reasons, I don't always see the point in blogging. I had a lot of followers when I raced, but now that this blog has been narrowed down to just the life of James, readership has gone down, and with that, my motivation. I am, after all, Bike Boy. Back in the day, I should have been more balanced with the content of this blog. Somewhere along the line, I removed my personal life from this blog to focus completely on bikes. This blog has become limited. In general, I am struggling to self-disclose to the cycling world and the world world for that matter.

I often feel angry, for many reasons, but most often because of my ego. I think I'm growing a mild form of Turrets due to internalizing my angst for so long. I have accepted not being able to actually ride my bike. God took away the burning need to race. I'm free from that pain, and I love the liberation. If I heal, I will ride with the utmost fervor, but I know that I can live without the bike. It's just a bike. My identity is not in being a cyclist; it is in Jesus Christ.

However, I still anguish over cycling. It's all about my status. It kills me to not be known by Arizona cyclists. I become angry when a rider does not know my name. I feel that I am entitled to having a reputation- I am wrong in this assertion, I know, but that doesn't make it easier to let go. I judge people to be apathetic because they do not know of my existence. I've been battling a puffed-up ego for the longest of times, and while my sensitivity to it has increased, the battle has ended not and will not end until my death.

Perhaps there's no point in me telling you this. Perhaps you will read this and think I'm a nutcase, or worse, a diva, but you know what? I don't care.

That's a lie; I do care. I care deeply and obsessively, and such a concern must die. Thanks for reading my attempts to express myself. I feel better now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Awards are Coming...

Expect the Bike Boy awards to arrive by the end of the week. I will award several respective "rider of the year" titles, many gag awards, and three headliner awards: "Best Ambassador of Arizona Cycling", "Rider of the Year", and "Person of the Year".
Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Got the Gig

I'm running the mic at the Best Buddies crit on October 6th. Come out and race! Or watch! Or both! It will be fun!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quick Hits

- I started college. My classes are good.
- This week I'm going to Michigan for my cousin's wedding.
- I was killing it in Fantasy cycling until Rodriguez took the red jersey. I still haven't learned my lesson   about not picking him.
- I'm issuing a challenge to all 15-18 AZ junior cyclists. Register a team for the TTT championships. Team Winded is racing it, and we want to see you there!
- The podcast is on hiatus. College has not been conducive to such things.
- I really don't know if Contador can take time back on Rodriguez. Rodriguez is one of the few guys who can respond to those accelerations, and the days of doubting his sustainability are over.
- I'm stuck in an dissatisfied state with my hip. I ride once a week now, partly because college is time-consuming and partly because the rides tend to not be enjoyable.
-Thanks for reading. I will try to post more.

Friday, August 17, 2012

La Vuelta a España 2012: Prediction



  1. Contador
  2. Froome
  3. Cobo
  4. Mollema
  5. Moreno
  6. Anton
  7. Rodriguez
  8. Cunego
  9. Uran
  10. Krueziger
  11. Quintana
  12. Talansky
  13. Henao
  14. Monfort
  15. Van den Broeck

That's what I've got. The only real surprises I have are Cobo reliving last year's form, Mollema outperforming Gesink, and Moreno being Katusha's GC guy over Rodriguez. Froome or Contador will win the points classification. Uran for best young rider. Moncoutie for KOM.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Wonderful Consolation


After a week of mental gymnastics, I finished the Level 2 test. I'm pleased to be reaching a point where my services have more credibility. A great deal of coaching knowledge still evades me, but I think I'm on the right track.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Update

-The podcast is still running. Episode 6 just came out, and I think it's a good listen.
-I'm feeling less pain on the bike. When I'm off the bike, it's about the same, but the riding is good.
-The Olympics is going on. I'm getting a little tired of the team USA spotlight from NBC, but it is American, I guess (and USA is killing it). I guess I just don't like being mainstream.
-First Team Winded group ride tomorrow. I'm pumped! I look forward to seeing my old teammates and meeting new ones.
-School starts in 3 months. I'm not pumped for it. The hope is that I will become pumped for it.


BPR Episode 6

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Center of Attention

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about egoism and why I do the things I do. Jake and I are finding some success at podcasting (episode three is up). My hope for the show is to develop it into a centralized source of information for Arizona cyclists, and then to build our roots into the rest of the country. Since I moved out here, I've always wanted to develop more online discussion between AZ racers, because frankly, they can be socially isolated outside of Facebook.
As you all should know, I came from Michigan, which unanimously has the most tight-knit cycling community in the United States of America. Their bulletin board and many blogs definitely gave people a sense of belonging. We called it "The Michigan Scene", the name coming from a rather famous anonymous blog. I never read TMS because it had some dirty content (and I was younger back then), but it truly was legendary. Lots of shout-outs, plugs, and spotlighting, which is what bike racers love. Frankly, that's a think that drives me.
I think I left Michigan feeling rather bitter. I'm the type of person that craves attention, even if I don't express that desire. I wanted people to mention me, to say that I was a great cyclist, to make me look good, to call me a phenom, when I didn't deserve such things. I was a dedicated junior rider, but I wasn't all that fast. Never the less, my ego led me to say many rash words that I absolutely regret but will never be able to forget. I acted jealously and possessively to a dear friend of mine, and I picked fights for no real reason other than asserting myself. 
I just want to externalize my priorities with Bike Psycho Radio. I should not do it because I want people to know who I am, rather, it should be done out of a love for the sport. It's human to seek to validate my ego, but that doesn't make it okay.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tour de France 2012: Predictions

The time has come my friends. The Tour has come. Fantasy teams are set, real teams are set, and we are all immersed in speculation. So it has come to pass that I must offer my thoughts.

GC
  1. Evans
  2. S Sanchez
  3. Wiggins
  4. Van Den Broeck
  5. Nibali
  6. Gesink
  7. Peraud
  8. Valverde
  9. Rolland
  10. Kloden
  11. Menchov
  12. Leipheimer
  13. Brajkovicz
  14. F Schleck
  15. Poels
  16. Danielson
  17. Coppel
  18. Froome
  19. Taaramae
  20. Kruswijk

Regarding Wiggins, my downplaying is the result of logic that I hope to explain to you. I have examined his 4 big races this year.

Volta ao Algarve (3rd):
I admit that he was riding support for Porte (and I also admit that rhymes). I think out of all the stage races that indicated Wiggin's ability, it was this one.
1) However, how do you feel about the quality of the field on the Stage 3 summit finish? Granted, Wiggins took a pull, but still...Tony Martin in 9th? Tiago Machado 2nd? And do you really think Porte is a top tier climber?

Paris-Nice (1st): 
He was nearly beaten by Lieuwe Westra. Valverde, Leipheimer, Spilak, and Jeannesson were climbing with him on the stage to Mende (except Westra, who was ahead).
1) I believe Leipheimer would have won had he not crashed out.
2) Do you think Lieuwe Westra will come close to a top 15 in Tour de France? For the love of pizza, please do not answer that rhetorical question.
3) Do you think the Mende stage was a real a simulation of a mountain stage?

Tour de Romandie (1st):
First off, the Tour de Romandie parcours were a joke this year. The only time gaps were made in the TTs. Don't think for a second that the Tour de France won't have extremely impactful climbing stages. REAL climbing stages. He beat Andrew Talansky. Rui Costa finished 3rd. Richie Porte 4th. Michael Rogers 5th.
1) Do you think Andrew Talansky could come close to a top 15 in the Tour de France?
2) Do you think Rui Costa will finish in the top 20 at the Tour de France?

Dauphine Libere (1st):
Yes, yes, he crushed people in the time trial, Evans included. However, Evans chipped a piece out of him on every single mountain stage. Of course, there was no true summit finish. All downhill finishes, and there will be a lot of downhill finishes in the Tour. On the climbs most of the contenders were only testing themselves. Sky, however...
1) Do you think Michael Rogers will contend for a top 5 position at the Tour de France?
2) Do you truly think Cadel Evans was on 95+% form?
3) Do you truly, truly believe that Wiggins was not on 95+% form?
4) Do you think those extra Sky People 

(Froome, Rogers, Porte, Boasson Hagen, Siutsou) remain in the lead group when it is whittled down to 15 riders?

If you answered yes to most of those questions, you should probably pick Wiggins for the win. Even if he is as strong as he may be, I think he will have a mechanical.

Evans will get his TT'ing back and chip away time on Wiggins. Moinard, Van Garderen, Cummings, and Gilbert will be great teammates when the roads rise. BMC is not weak. Evans will win.

GREEN JERSEY
1. Sagan
2. Goss
3. Kittel
4. Gallopin
5. Rojas

I was going to put Goss first, but then decided to go with the crowd. Greipel will not finish. Cavendish will either not finish or not really go for the intermediates. I think Goss will make this really close. He will take Sagan on the intermediate sprints, and I'm not sure Sagan will try those. Kittel will compete for the green jersey. He has full support. I think the transitional stages will get it for Sagan. Of course, will that mean less successful breakaway stages because Liquigas is chasing? Wherever Sagan can place well, Gallopin will be in his footsteps, and the same for Rojas.

POLKA DOT JERSEY
1. Pinot
2. Hoogerland
3. Vanendert
4. Moncoutie
5. Albasini

Pinot will open his account on Stage 7. Perhaps a win in his hometown region. Hoogerland will be dreadfully close. Vanendert and Albasini will be stage-hunting, so I see their placings as collateral damage. Moncoutie is unpredictible, but you just never know.

WHITE JERSEY
1. Poels
2. Kruswijk
3. Pinot
4. Van Garderen
5. Sagan

Poels will prove that his TT'ing isn't too bad. He will show himself on some of the major climbs with the leaders. Kruswijk will be consistent, but he won't have the support of his team. Pinot will ride well, but I think he may lean more toward stage wins.



There, it's done. No taking it back now. It will be great to see the riders on the form they have planned on all season long. It's the Tour de France, no holding back...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BIKE PSYCHO RADIO


Jake Spelman and I have entered the world of podcasting. I still lack knowledge of podcasting, RSS feeds, and all that stuff, so cut me some slack. For now, please, listen, subscribe, and enjoy.
www.boyonbike.podbean.com is the address.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Representin'



I hope this doesn't come across as too vicarious or patronizing. With the L'Abitibi Selection camp just finishing up, I have been doing a lot of thinking. I am getting better at not doing races. Perhaps this is because the AZ race season has essentially ended, but perhaps it is because God has taken the mental anguish from me. Also, there is much cause for excitement. 4 of my teammates and friends went to the selection camp, and 3 of them came out on a L'Abitibi team. I wanted to write a few things about them.
Stephen Marcucci has been my teammate as long as I have been in Arizona. He is a legendary rider with a great killer instinct. He has raced well this year, but I don't think he is all that happy with how camp went. Stephen, let me empathize with you in saying that I know how it feels, and that bigger and better things in cycling are ahead of you.
I've been privileged to be Scott Ford's teammate this year. He is an incredibly unique cyclist. His season hasn't been necessarily been an easy ride. He missed VOS and a few other races due to an elbow injury and had to fight hard to get his cat 3 upgrade. He got that upgrade and got into selection camp. He didn't just go to camp; he won the whole darn thing. 1st overall. 1st team. Great job, Scotty, you are deserving of it.


Donovan Caputo probably really surprised people when he made the 2nd L'Abitibi team. He's just your average hipster from Tucson (to clarify, I don't really know what a hipster is). In short, he's a guy who loves to ride his bicycle and compete. He is a really good dude, and a good friend of mine. He has unwavering loyalty and a drive to get the job done for the team. He truly deserves the chance he is getting.


Finally, there is Taylor Skinner, who has a huge reputation in Arizona cycling. He really lived up to expectations, placing 4th overall and winning on Mars Hill. I think the racing at L'Abitibi really favors him (flat and positioning-oriented). I foresee some top 10 results! Good luck Taylor!

Support these guys! Follow the race. Watch the results. Congratulate them, encourage them. They are going to race on a huge platform. It's a big, pizza-killing deal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shrimp

Shellfish and I never got along so well. In my early years I had a tendency to hork crab cakes. For that reason, we assumed I was allergic to shellfish; and so I abstained. For some reason, a reason I know not, shrimp is a shellfish. Over the course of my long withholding people told me of the excellent taste of shrimp. I believed them.
Last summer things changed. I got an allergy test, and it came back completely negative. I was cleared to eat shellfish. It was with a certain satisfaction that I ate two shrimp(s). Internal affairs were going very well, until 4 hours later at Jake Spelman's house. I ended up absolutely spouting off in his backyard. There was a lot of puke. It was an interesting experience.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gradumacation


I always knew that I would graduate someday- I just didn't know where. I am so pleased at the way things have turned out. I truly have been privileged to meet many fine people. So to all of you, I give my gratitude.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I miss you, SoMo

A nostalgic post was inevitable.
The South Mountain Time Trial is tomorrow, and I can't help posting about it. A year ago, I won my last bike race (despite the fact that Owen Graves nearly ousted me from the top spot). It was part of a great season I had.
This year it's different. I'm laying on the floor right now because my hips get irritated when I sit at a 90 degree angle. It's somewhat clear what my issue is. The diagnosis of a labral tear was partly true but partly false. I do have a labral tear, but I also have bursitis caused by impingement of my illiosoas tendon. It's a mess. Essentially, I spent 2 months doing physical therapy on the wrong thing. In a sense, it's funny. Sometimes things are orchestrated in such a way that you get a message.  You may think I'm reading into things, but I can emphatically say that God is doing this for a purpose. My dad did the first race of the season, but work has prevented him from doing any other races. BOTH of us have missed out on the racing season. That stuff doesn't just happen.
In conclusion, it hasn't been a fun year cycling-wise, but it has been another step in putting it all in perspective.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Day in the Life at GCHS

It's been awhile since I made you guys read about my personal life. I'm not so accustomed to it any more...but here goes.

6:25 My alarm goes off. I strategically plan my alarm to repeat two times over the course of 10 minutes.

6:34 I rise from my bed. I went to bed at 10:10 the night before, so I was incredibly close to 8.5 hours of sleep.

6:43 I shower with hot water.

6:54 I read simultaneously read my Bible and eat a bowl of Life cereal (I obviously didn't literally eat the bowl).

7:10 My sister and I get in our Ford Focus, and we make the 22 minute drive to school.

7:45 First hour. Bible class. We watch a John Piper video, and our teacher discusses a bit of systematic theology.

8:38 Calculus 2. I often go to this class in 7th hour as well, so I sometimes use the morning class for conversation. It is Student Council Election week at Gilbert Christian. Friday will be a big assembly for candidates to give speeches. It's such a small school that whoever runs will get a position, but it's the ideology of it all that matters. I'm living vicariously through the candidates by writing a speech here and there.

9:36 Yearbook. We have already made it and proposed next year's possible theme, so we are free from work. Today, I choose to update my blog.

10:28 Advanced Computers. Our fourth quarter project is a group video project. My group is going all out. We've got a 20 page screenplay. It's a surrealistic drama. And while were working on it, it doesn't hurt to have a profound discussion on divine abhorring of evil.


11:17 Lunch. Next year's class catalog came out. New classes include psychology and Latin. The graduating intellectuals are in an uproar about missing out on Latin.

11:52 Spanish Class. I finish up a slideshow presentation on cycling (in spanish). I think it went well. I show them this Jens Voigt video.






12:43 English. I identify the theses (multiple thesis?) of the paragraphs of my research paper. It's about the Mexican Drug War.

1:36 Independent PE. That is one good result from this injury. I usually get to go home at this time even though I'm not able to train on my bike. I choose to stay at school to work on Calculus. Then I find out that the Latin and Psychology courses were online. Let-down.

2:30 Filming. We finish up filming for our computers video. I think it will be pretty good.

I then return home and enjoy a restful day.


Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 Giro D'Italia: Prediction




1. Krueziger
2. Pozzovivo
3. Scarponi
4. Basso
5. Rodriguez
6. Cunego
7. Gadret
8. Szmyd
9. Rujano
10. Pinotti
11. Uran
12. Moreno
13. Dupont
14. Barta
15. Schleck


I think it's time for Krueziger to shine luminously. I also think Pozzovivo will shine, but it's tough for a 115 pound rider to stay the course of a grand tour. Basso will put in a good performance, but Szmyd may complicate things for Liquigas by having a great ride. Cunego will put in work for Scarponi. Rodriguez will win a stage but fall short again. Gadret won't improve over last year; he'll be lucky to have team leadership over Dupont. Jan Barta will win a stage. Schleck will play off everyone's expectations and finish in a mediocre place.

That's my projected Giro d'Italia.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What a Weekend

On the weekend of April 28th I had the extreme pleasure of announcing the Arizona State Crit Championship. In addition to having a phenomenal time, I got toTeam Winded win the Junior 17-18 championship! Legendary!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 Amstel Gold Race: Prediction

1. Rodriguez
2. Gerrans
3. Gilbert
4. Valverde
5. Cunego
6. Henao
7. S. Sanchez
8. Barta
9. Kroon
10. M. Kreder
11. Voeckler
12. Evans
13. Freire
14. Vanendert
15. Westra

Okay, here's my thought. Gilbert will win Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but he's not quite there yet. It will be a super competitive finish with all the explosive riders, but I believe that Joaquin has the legs and an extremely strong team in Katusha. We'll have to see if this jinxes Rodriguez like it jinxed Cancellara and Pozzatto.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2012 Paris-Roubaix: Prediction

1. Pozzatto
2.  Flecha
3. Boonen
4. Ballan
5. Vansummeren
6. Leukemans
7. Burghardt
8. O'Grady
9. Hayman
10. Quinziato
11. Rast
12. Veelers
13.Silvain Chavanel
14. Eisel
15. Hushovd

Okay there are my picks. Sky, BMC, and Garming are obligated to put pressure on Omega-Pharma. Chavanel and Terpstra are now too well-known to slip away and take pressure of Boonen. Flecha will make a surprise. Ballan will be consistent again but find himself unable to shake Boonen. Pozzatto will be the dark horse.

And most importantly,  Tom Veelers will take 11th.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ronde van Vlaanderen 2012: Prediction

1. Gallopin
2. Boonen
3. Cancellara
4. Pozzatto
5. Ballan
6. Gilbert
7. Kroon
8. Devolder
9. Paolini
10. Leukemans


Sagan doesn't make the cut. Pozzatto surpises some people. Ballan stays nice and consistent. Gilbert shows hidden form, but things don't work out for him. Then, Tony Gallopin of Radioshack will take the win. Want my rationale? I realize that this course is extremely hard, harder than in previous years. These cobbled hills favor Cancellara's smushing of everybone. He was relatively contained last year. This year it will be more difficult, but the last selective part of the course is 15 km out from the finish. (in my opinion) If Radioshack has any common sense, they will seek to make a preemptive killing of the Cancellara-getting-wheelsucked excuse. Their plan ought to be sending Tony Gallopin (a punchy rider becoming more and more adapt at hills and coming off a good showing at E3 Harelbeke) off the front. Cancellara will get the sick satisfaction of sucking Boonen's wheel dry and swallowing the straw in one fell gulp.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Those Moments

It's the unprecedented moments that create beauty in cycling and certainly in other aspects of life. Some of the most memorable cycling race days were the ones where I watched an underdog go toe-to-toe with the big dogs. Last Saturday, the most memorable moment of the season occurred. Jake Spelman, a recently upgraded Cat 3 made the breakaway in the Cat 1-2-3 race. I hardly expected him to finish the race with the peloton, but he finished 6th. I was incredibly happy to watch the race unfold.

It was just one of those moments.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Diagnosis

We got the results from my MR Arthogram. The results: a small tear in my right labrum. The procedure only looked at my right side, so it is likely that my left labrum has a small tear as well. I have been prescribed 6-8 weeks of physical therapy. At the end of that time period, my orthopedic surgeon will reevaluate the tear. I hope that means I can begin riding in late May/early June. Sadly, this means I will miss the L'Abitibi camp and probably Nationals, but there are many summer races that I can do: the Flagstaff Omnium, Another Damn Hill Climb, Mormon Lake Road Race, the Tolero Crits, and the ITT/TTT/HC Championships. I am very pleased to have a shot at Mount Graham this year.
I'm sure there will be more details about the recovery process. Maybe it will take more time, and maybe it will take less time. Who knows?
Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Upcoming

An MR Arthogram tomorrow and a Wisdom Teeth extraction in two weeks.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Cross-Contaminated Truth

This thought has bugged me for quite some time. Everyone I tell seems to shoot me down, but maybe you'll respond differently:

I often go to hotels...not for fun, of course, but for vacation and various travels. During most of my stays I end up eating from the hotel buffet and hearing the same command:
"Use the tongs to pick up the pineapples."
"Use the tongs to pick up that bagel."
"Use the tongs. That way, you won't spread bacteria and give everyone else your germs."

We listen, and we feel safe. However, when we analyze the effects of buffet tongs, we ask the question: are they really helping us?

The reason for using tongs is the fear of spreading germs. The great fear is a person's hands touching (directly or indirectly) the food that another person will eat. The modern day buffet tongs were invented to prevent cross contamination through hands. Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you today proposing that these tongs fail to do their job.
The problem lies in the fact that buffet tongs do not work automatically. They are, in fact, hand-operated. As I see it, this means that if you use buffet tongs, some of your germs and bacteria will find a home on the plastic utensil (or whatever material it is).
Here is the counter-argument:
"In order for the tongs to backfire in a bacterial sense, the victim would have to eat with his/her hands. And it is rare that a person will eat with his/her hands (excluding an eating utensil)."
That argument can be quickly refuted by means of expert testimony. As I previously stated, I have eaten in loads of hotel buffets. I have almost never failed to eat some type of finger food for breakfast. For a person like me, the touching of hands to the food is quite inevitable. The germs will come to me either way, but at least grabbing my buffet food with my hands can be healthier, so long as I use precision.

That is my case. Remember, free speech is allowed on this blog. You are allowed to disagree with me and express your opinions. You just aren't allowed to be right.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Milan San-Remo

1. Sagan
2. Visconti
3. Gerrans
4. Van Avermaet
5. Nibali
7. Cancellara
8. Gilbert
9. Cunego
10. Boonen

I realize that I am biased towards climbers, I realize that. However, I see the elimination of the pure sprinters to be a necessity. As I see it, only four teams are purely determined for a large bunch finish: Garmin, Lampre, Lotto Belisol, and Sky (even though Lampre has Cunego, Lotto has Vanendert, and Sky has Boasson Hagen). I believe the onus to drop Cavendish/Greipel/Petacchi is on Katusha and BMC, BMC especially. BMC has Van Avermaet, whose sprinting is underestimated, Ballan, who does well at this race, and Gilbert, who doesn't require much of an explanation.  Obviously Van Avermaet can't take Cavendish&co in a sprint, so BMC needs to attack and break things up. Gilbert will show everyone the form he was hiding and blow the race apart. Nibali will make a go of it, but he will find Simon Gerrans countering with Visconti and Sagan. Sagan will take Visconti in the sprint.

That's my take. Either that happens or Cavendish takes it over Greipel. I think my pick is more exciting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Paris-Nice Stage 5

Here's a video to get you off my back.


I'm just sayin', I think Arnold Jeannesson could be a surprise rider this year.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just not our year

Given that tomorrow heralds the Tucson Bicycle Classic, I looked back upon last year.
In 2011, by the start of TBC, my dad and I had seven race days between us.
This year, we have one.
This year has been a challenge for us both.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hey

Here's an update.

-I'm in physical therapy right now, making tiny improvements.
-It turns out that instead of getting an MRI, I should have gotten an X-Ray. It's really quite a hilarious misunderstanding. That being said, I may be getting an X-Ray soon.
-I got my braces out on Monday. I now wear retainers, and they irritate me.
-I do a lot of essay writing. I have to write about 1,000 words for my Bible class by tomorrow morning. Let the games begin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

VOS

I have had some ups and downs at VOS.
In 2010, it was my first big result (6th in the time trial). It gave me confidence.
In 2011, I thought I was going to kill it, but I got sick and DNF'd. It deflated me.
In 2012, I was a spectator. I enjoyed watching the race and enjoying the race atmosphere with no pressure. I felt helpless, but I found some positives.
I'm sure next year will bring out another unexpected side of the emotional spectrum.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Freshman

It's time for story time with Bike Boy. I get flashbacks quite frequently, and most of them are entertaining to recount.
Last Thursday was 8th grade shadow day at my high school . No, I am not in 8th grade, but I am in 12th grade, so with my air of superiority, I reflected fondly upon my past. Of course if you follow this blog closely, you'll know mostly everything there is to know about my 8th grade. However, 9th grade is a subject very much untouched, so I think I'll utterly defile it.
Folks say that 9th grade is a year of no expectations, but that's complete garbage to me. I spent freshman year building up an entirely new persona. I think it was my therapeutic attempt to change my uncomfortably awkward 8th grade self. In 8th grade, timidity overcame me. In 9th grade, I became the funny man. To some, I was considered the class clown, but I considered myself to posses a more dignified self-deprecation than the average clown.
We must use what we were given. Isn't that the truth? In my case, I was a freshman, the lowest-standing member of a high school society. However, that meant 3 things: 1) I was the youngest person in the high school, 2) I was the smallest person in the high school, and 3) I was a person of which people had low expectations.
I have always thought of high school as a large theater. It is a source of entertainment if you are willing to see it that way. It provides the opportunity, the arena, the characters, for unforgettable moments to occur.
My freshman year was a collage of unforgettable moments. They must be credited to the students of Washtenaw Christian High School. I found my niche: being small, extremely throwable, and willing to be thrown. During high school retreat, I was gleefully tossed into a lake by a jovial mob of classmates.
It was bliss. I spent most of my time with upperclassmen, participating in the craziest shenanigans. At my school, people didn't lock their lockers (ironic, I know). My Junior buddies and I would go around the school to pick out a choice locker. Typically, we would pick out a Senior locker (there was a good-humored rivalry between the Seniors and Juniors, as it invariably is at a high school). We would pick the locker of a senior we knew well (there were about 110 kids in the school, so that was easy enough) and open it. My job was to go inside it and wait for the unsuspecting civilian. My Junior buddies, who couldn't fit into the locker, stayed a relatively close distance from my location and kept me posted on the whereabouts of my victim. Then the victim came and opened the locker. My silent presence was enough to frighten them, so I tended to not say "boo".
Most of the time, my victim was totally cool with it. One time, however, he wasn't. I hid in Mason's locker once, but he had set a trap for me. I had slipped into the locker without Mason noticing, but when he came by, he was suspicious of the group of people surrounding his locker. When the locker opened, and light streamed in, I didn't even have time to duck under the soccer ball. Fortunately, Mason's soccer ball whizzed just over my head and bounced out. I took off down the hall before he could apprehend me. It was one of those hilarious moments where everyone, including Mason and me,was having a good time, but Mason was still going to hit me with the soccer ball if he had a chance. I rounded a corner swiftly and used civilians to block Mason's path. It was desperation at this point.

Somehow, I made it to Spanish class largely untouched. I had no regrets.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I got shot

I have made some nice progress since the doctor first told me I had a muscle strain. From mid-December to February, I have gotten an ultrasound, a surgeon appointment, an MRI, a visit to the sports medicine doctor, and an injection of cortisone into my hip.
My suspicions have gone from muscle strain, to hernia, to torn labrum, and now, to a strained iliopsoas muscle. I pray that my injury is the latter.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Inside the RV

Yesterday, I made an attempt to get back to my old video-making ways. I tried my best.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spectating

I had a great weekend, honestly. I went to 2 Arizona criteriums, watched bicycle racing, and spent time with some dear friends of mine. Sure, I had to explain my injury about 40 times, but the fact that people ask means they care.
(Avondale Crit: Cat 3/4)


It is agonizing to race a bicycle. It is also agonizing to watch a bicycle race. Right now, I am trying to value of the benefits of the latter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Irony

Sometimes I've asked myself if I will ever cease to be called "Bike Boy". I have wondered if the onset of college will prompt me to christen myself "Bike Man" or "Man on Bike". Rest assured though, such changes shall never be made. During this period of forced inactivity, however, I have adopted a new nickname: "Boy off Bike".

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recommended Watching

I think these guys are great.



Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions (Goals for the 2012 Racing Season)

It may be January 2 in Michigan, but it's still New Year's Day in Arizona.
I have a tradition of posting my racing and training goals on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. While the past years have held a mix of nostalgic to optimistic, this year is truly different. This year, I truly do not know if I will be able to race my bike again.
Of course, I speak with hyperbole, but the thought is in my mind. I have not ridden my bike in 3 weeks. Resting my hip/groin/pelvic muscles did not change anything, so I hope that someone can reveal to me just what is going on. My thinking is that it's a hernia, but I don't know much at all. Time will tell, but I'm impatient.
I can't complain about the injury. I have enjoyed a lot of success with cycling, especially last summer. God gave me incredible legs at certain races, including:
TBC Road Race- I snagged my first upgrade points.
San Tan Crit- I entered three races and finished with the Cat 2/3 field.
State Crit Champs- I won some primes and had fun.
South Mountain TT- I won even though I wasn't happy with my time.
Mount Lemmon TT- I felt super good and finished well overall. That dang Nathan Franklin beat me!
Camp- Thanks to good preparation and fabulous coaching by my dad, I did well on the tests.
National Crit and Road Race- I managed to get two top 50 finishes in a field that intimidated me at first (and still kinda does).

He gave me the opportunity to race L'abitibi, which was a dream come true. I can't complain!

I also had some bad races:
VOS- I went down with the flu and came back just in time to get thrashed in the time trial. I DNS'd, feeling a deep level of despair.
Focus GP- I got beat by the heat and the wind...and bad tactics.
Nationals TT- I raced with no cahonies at all. I couldn't get into a rhythm or make myself suffer.
State ITT- I raced with my back brake rubbing...which became an issue.

As for next year, I do have aspirations. During the off-season, I underlined some goals:
Help Team Winded win a regional stage race- We have very strong riders, and I think I can be very helpful when racing uphill. 
Break the South Mountain Junior 17-18 Record- I was a ways off Ryan Zupko's record last year, but hopefully I will be stronger.
Go back to L'abitibi- I would love to experience the pro-like racing that is Tour de L'abitibi, but this time race with a bit more experience.

Most importantly, I penciled out this goal:
Top 5 at the National Road Race- It's one of those lofty goals, but it's worth training for. I pray that I will be able to race it.

I feel a lot of doubt and pessimism (when do I not?), but I am trying to trust God. I lack perspective right now, just as I did when I didn't get to go to Nationals in 2008 and when I moved in 2009. These are only small things in the end.
Time will tell.