Sunday, December 24, 2006

winter double century...

Well, Chew had been bugging me for the last year to do a double with him, and the only time it seemed to work out training wise was in the winter when it doesnt matter if Im tired. Matt Eaton did one with him and he won the freaking milk race, so I figured that it couldnt hurt. 7 am and dark as hell we met at the oval and headed west. He honestly thought other people were going to show up the day before xmas eve, in the winter, in the dark on a day where the roads were wet to ride for 12 hours. No. Stubna showed up and did the first 2.5 hours with us on his fixed gear. Chew said it would be HEROIC if he did it all fixed, and seriously tried talking him into it.

4 hours later we met up with Chew's friends from the 80's or something, hess, briarcheck and delrazzo. They rode with us for about 40 minutes as we entered greene county. Meeting up with them gave me some respite from Danny, which at that point was pretty critical for my sanity. Stubna and I agreed that if I could make the 12 hours with Danny, I had the mental tenacity to do nearly anything.

First food stop was 90 miles in. Greene county is the joke of Pittsburgh as being the county that touches West Virginia and all this. I guess the people laughing at us while we drank and ate was payback. I only know 1 person who lives there, so I hope Bedillion isnt offended that I said that about greene county.

We hit the river and headed north toward the city, the sun was getting low and it was getting kind of chilly. We did an out and back on a paved bike trail that Chew had never been on before, despite it being 20 miles from his house. We got back to the oval with about 165 miles in and started doing our loops to finish the full 100. Bob Gotlieb, the only other person believed to have done a winter double in Pittsburgh said we will have an * by our mileage do to the loops at the oval and it not being on the road. He also got pulled over by the cops at mile 175, and told he couldnt ride anymore because the cop thought they were going to get killed. That was his first attempt.

The awesome Amy showed up and delivered hot chocolate, gas station cappuccino and bagels with peanut butter (my first peanut butter in 3 days!!!). She left us as pitch black set in and we finished out the last 35 or so laps. \

Chew's computer keeps track of total time, so he is constantly hurrying the stops to keep his average up. When he set the US 24 hour record (508 miles in 24 hours) he only stopped for 5 minutes total. I thought only stopping for 40 minutes over 12 hours was pretty good, but apparently not? I also learned that after 10 hours my computer stops keeping track of seconds, but only keeps track of hours/minutes.
202.76 miles
12:33 total time
11:42 ride time
17.37 riding average
I wish I had a powertap so I could see calories burned. Maybe around 6500 or so?

Oh, this is cool 1000 streaming mp3 albulms:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pizza Party for the Somali Refugee neighbors!

These kids are seriously the nicest most humble people to be around. They have been through so much crazy stuff in their short lives, but manage to always come through with smiles and happiness. This summer we really got to know them well, spending time watching them sing and dance in the street in front of our house. We took 11 of them to amy's parents for some pizza and hoidaying.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Conditioned like a dog. I was riding along the other day and a short school bus drove past. I didnt look up at the window, but I could tell there were kids inside moving around, trying to get my attention. I grumbled to myself about how even 5 year olds think its ok to screw with me as Im riding along. We hit a light and I look up. There is an adorable 5 year old girl with pigtails waving at me saying hello. ...

Oh and if Tehran can have a velodrom, maybe Pittsburgh can?,,-6282422,00.html

Monday, December 04, 2006

you cant make dirt clean so we'll just lemon scent it

How much do you want something? Well I guess I was given an pretty good chance at
getting UCI points and I didnt take myself/cross seriously enough to have my spare
bike / wheels/ person in the pit. Whatever, its fun chasing for 7 laps right? It was fun and nice to have so many people cheer me on as I was 2 minutes behind the pack on the first lap, and honestly if they werent there I would have just ridden to the car and dropped out of my 2nd bike race ever (first being the crit at green mountain, my first cat 3 race and I hit a pothole, sprinted to recover and my legs just locked up.)Hebe, Gunnar, Ruggs, and Denny all made me laugh and kept my time trial rolling.. ... Oh well. It took like 3 laps to realize Gunnar was telling me to "DO IT FOR DANNY!!!" which I realized was the Chew.

I met tons of rad people this weekend. The team coppi super nice guys rode the course saturday and put us up for a night. Ken had this:

which I can say is the first nice "thing" I have wanted aside from bike stuff in probably a decade. SWEET.

The race was followed by homemade pierogies and bread at Peter of "crosstalk" fame's house. It was a sweet dinner. After talking about how I usually dont sleep in cars, I crashed for the last 2 hours of the trip while mayhew jammed to the jurassic 5.

Monday, November 27, 2006

as I slowly become dan chew.

Well this Saturday was the Dirty Dozen. Chew called me daily for the last 3 months hyping the race up and telling me to fear stubna. All of this hype actually made me kind of nervous for a race that isnt really even a race and doesnt really even matter. Needless to say, Friday I did some openers and watched what I ate on thanksgiving day. I put the 1300 gram tubular wheels on and headed to the oval to find 130 other people ready to ride.
For anybody not in Pittsburgh, that is about every cyclist in Pittsburgh.
The race happened and it was hard, and I felt sick and it got harder. I got a flat on my tubular and had to have Cheryl Mayhew give me a lift between 2 hills! CHEATER! There were a lot of strong dudes there, and it got up to 60 degrees. Im proud of Danny for actually providing gatoraid instead of only pop!
I also finally met the Norwegian Teammate who was previously rumored to not exist.
Article in the trib PM

Monday, November 13, 2006

USCF RULE 1M1 states that:

"No heat or race may be started before the time stated in the offical race announcement except with the consent of all registered riders in the heat or race"

This means that they cant start without you unless you arent there on time. Proposed change in wording. "No heat.... .. in the heat or race, unless it is JOHNTURN" because johnturn was sitting in the car avoiding the rain when the gun went off 11 minutes early on sunday.

You think the promoter or somebody would give him his 35 bucks back right?

"No rider shall be entitled to an entry fee refund when the organizer has fufilled all the requirements of the agreement as specified in the offical race announcement"
Again... Unless you are JOHNTURN.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Not, never going to walk again.

Feb 05. A great guy that I rode mountain bikes with and who I worked as a messenger with was hit really badly by a car. Long story short, he was really really bad off for a long time. He wasnt supposed to walk again, he had a halo around his hips for months that stopped him from rolling off of his back. A botched surgery severed a nerve that controlled the rotation of his foot. He had to live in an awful nursing home for months and ended up weighing 120lbs when he left (he might be 6'1 or so)... He was in a wheel chair and would maybe never walk again. This was probably 6 months after the accident.

Well today we rode together. Not a cruise around the block, but we rode mountain bikes in Hartwood Acres. He did logpiles and rock gardens. He pedals with one leg and has no range of motion from 10 - 2 o clock in the other. He had to build up a goofy bike with a lot of suspension all over it to accommodate this. He is slow on the hills, and hard on himself for being so.

There was a log pile that I saw and thought "dont do that its too hard" and then larry rode right over it. He also wont sell me his full xtr specialized epic because he said he is going to be able to ride it again. People are amazing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Euro cross

Well it was kind of euro in that I took the train out to Mt Lebanon to meet up with Mayhew (sandbagger) so I could bum a ride out to Beaver for the race.
Summary: Before leaving I told The Amy that "im going stick to Rugg's wheel even If it makes me not finish the race." Well neither and both kind of happened, I held on for dear life for a half a lap, then the Pfluger came up to us, so I had a half assed attack. Joe rode away from us, and me and Pflug towed eachother around for 5 laps before I managed to get him on the barriers before the sprint for second. I couldnt stay with Ruggs, and I almost quit a few times.

Real Summary: "he rode away from us like girls" to quote a friend about the elite masters race at granouge

Monday, October 30, 2006


Well I have been in philly for over a week now. Lots of cool and a few uncool things have happened.
- my new cross bike fell of the rack on the turnpike
- my new cross bike got run over by a semi. Yeah a semi

I raced a ridley crossbow last weekend and probably did about as well as I would have done on my own damned bike. Those guys are just so freaking fast, they put 5 minutes into the guys who put 5 minutes into me.

attn: Cyclocross B Downgrade

I have to send that letter out later.

The crew at Bicycle Therapy totally fixed my bike, aside from the wheels, which were all that really got hit. They are now for sale.
We rode Wissahickon, which was rocky and fast and hard. I had a 29'er and it ruled. Yozel puts on a cyclocross training thing on Wednesdays, which turned out to be really hard and tiring.
Saturday night was the "Dumpster Derby." Groups of kids show up at 7pm on Pine St in West Philly and race cars built out of stuff found in the garbage. This year they had their own caution tape to close the street down. There was a swimmingpool on wheels and a car that had flames shooting off of the wheels. No photos available unfortunately

Johnturn got his freaking call up yesterday at Beacon, front row with 1 point. The stairs of death kicked my ass. I didnt get lapped!

Monday, October 16, 2006


There were a few people in this position this weekend, this one was captured for you all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

who needs intensity?

First: I just read this in a book.
"What we have is an ally in name only. We support a government that has no supporters. What we have is a government that without the support of the United States would fall tomorrow."
- Robert F Kennedy - speaking to Alice Lloyd College 4 months and 4 hours before he was killed in 1968. Hey you were the one who thought Iraq.

more important stuff. bike racing.
Holy god are some people fast. That is my summary of the Month of Mud race today. Brady's run state park, 17ish miles. I saw TJ, Krimerney, Pflug, Ruggs, Gorski, BABIK!!! and some other studs just ride away from me. Evan on a 29'er singlespeed to take the singlespeed win. Steevo with a ego deflating 4th place singlespeed, like 139th overall or something. 3rd day of intensity since my trip, and I must say it is a lot easier to just ride really slow for a long long time.

The question remains: How long will I make it before being lapped at Sunday's UCI race in Cincy? I will guess less than 40 minutes. Brutal.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Last chance for day dreamers to live what they dream of

So im done I guess. 2200 miles, 29 days.
From Colorado it was all down hill after our 24 mile dirt climb up to 11,910 feet. There was ice and snow on top. We hung out at 10,000 feet for a few days freezing our asses off. 13 degrees one morning.

Matt got super sick one morning and puked a bunch. Then he rode 20 miles and puked a bunch more. Then we rode 4 miles and he passed out after looking like one of the zombies from the thriller movie. Oh and after he puked more. So it was 8 miles downhill to a town, and he was so out of it he couldnt even do that. He was blown. I spent 2 hours trying to hitchhike a ride into the town of Cuba New Mexico. Finally a guy pulled over and picked us up. He drove us straight to a hotel, went inside and hugged the owner and left. She said it was all taken care of and to stay as long as we wanted. Holy shit are strangers nice.

We bought our first dinner since leaving, a big pizza without cheese. Matt puked it up 4 hours later. The next day Matt felt good enough to leave around noon. We pedaled on into some looming clouds. 1 piece of hail rolls towards us.. funny, when one split matt's lip and hit my face so hard that I stopped riding it wasnt funny. That was one of the most brutal days, nowhere to sleep, crazy cold hail/rain stuff ...

Well then we rode a few days down to Pie Townnew mexico, rad town. 180 miles from there with nothing...

Matt's friends picked us up in New Mexico, 100 miles from the border. Chris and Morgan drove 12 hours there, turned around and came home right after. Crazy. LA was overwhelming. So many people, so much traffic too much food. ....

Some stats off the top of my head.
29 days/28 riding days
2200 miles
3 showers
7 dollars spent on lodging TOTAL THE WHOLE TRIP. campgrounds/hotels/hostels. bad ass
shortest a jar of peanutbutter lasted - 11 hours
most flats in 24 hours - I think 9 by Matt with 1 day to go
Most Surly's on a trail above 10,000 feet that day in CO - 3
Cheapest Pancakes - Ovando MT - 2.99 for HUGE cakes
Best Coffee - The bike hostel off of towghatee pass in WY

Thursday, September 14, 2006

still getting rad

So I am in Breckenridge Colorado. 10,010 feet high. rad. We were riding down the bike path into town and there was a car pulled over. "hey are you doing the great divide?... have a place to stay?.... no.. "you want one?" uhhhh yeah! totally go to a dinner party at our new friends' house, eat well, hang out and be WARM. Our new friend Nicole had ridden cross country last summer and wanted to complete the circle of niceness that comes around to you while travelling. This totally made te week.
We crossed the Divide Basin in Wyoming. 137 miles with nothing around. We got caught
in 38 degree pouring rain. We tried hiding under our tarps under rocks (there are no trees) to avoid hypothermia, wearing all of our clothing, but we were still cold. We
rode for 3 more hours in this until finally coming across a highway rest stop where we slept. Then we had the 137 miles with nothing, which lucky for us was sunny with a tailwind pushing us across.
I have given up any hope of trying to eat healthy like I usually do. Yesterday I had: ice cream, milky way, 3 musketeers, and a donut. Yeah baby. Just a few more weeks until mexico.
Oh we camped out at 8900 feet and it was freezing with like an inch of frost on our tents when we got up. There is going to be snow here this weekend, but I think we will be south enough to avoid it. Rad. Keep in touch everybody and email me if you need to get ahold of me. xsteevox at gmail

Friday, September 08, 2006


Just a heads up to everybody, I left Pittsburgh a bit over 2 weeks ago to try and ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with a long time friend Matt Ruscigno (justin rode across Mexico with him). So far it has been pretty brutal. We started at the canadian border and intend to go the whole 2400 miles to the Mexican border. It is 90% offroad. Montana and Idaho are out of the way. Glacier park was beautiful. We saw moose and elk and had 38 degreee water out of springs when it was 90 degrees o utside. We camped in really remote areas, away from everything, went 2 days without being inside of a building, or being able to. Went a day without seeing anybody else, other than 2 forest workers. Pretty gnarly. We rolled through the home of the unabomber and went right into the high desert of Idaho. 20 degree nights and 85 degree days. 7000 foot being the standard elevation and 9000 being the passes. brutal.

We cross over Tohgatee pass the other day and crossed into Wyomnig. It was a 9700 foot pass that was 16 miles long. That is a big uphill. The people hav been great to us, most slowing down on the dirt roads to not dust us too much. It is really dry and there are forest fires...
I am currently in pinedale wyoming, a stranger just bough Matt and I breakfast. We are headed out for the Great Divide Basin, which is a 135 mile stretch of nothingness... just desert, no water comes into or goes out of it, it is some sort of natural weirdness. There is no water for 135 miles.. we will have to filter it out of the barrels that the cows drink out of. Then we will be in Colorado. Awesome.

We are averaging somewhere in the 70's as far as miles per day. Our slowest day was 8 hours on the bike going 60 miles. brutal singletrack and quad trails slowed us to the point of walking. Our longest day so far was 90 miles, most of which was offroad on a single road. We will climb over the Continental divide 3 times today, all around 9000 feet. Crazy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shit Luck

Lyrics to the modest mouse song 'shit luck'

This plane is definitely crashing
This boat is obviously sinking
This building's totally burning down
And my, and my (a whole bunch)
And my heart has slowly dried

Decided to ride my single speed mountain bike up to Hartwood to do a few loops then head home. I was on my last stretch of singletrack when I hit a brick that was slightly off the path. I go down after hitting my knee off my stem. I get up checking myself out to see if Im ok. I am. I then realize that I have 2 flat tires. sweet. Its ok. I have a tube and a patch kit. I snapped 1 of my tire levers right off the bat. Great. So after using the skewer to take the tire off I managed to rip the valve off of the tube with my pump. Great. 1 tube and 3 patches left and I used the tube and 2 of the patches, everything stuck and got back together ok. I had a bit over an hour ride home, and I wanted nothing more than to be there right then. I managed to get home without another flat...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kinzua baby.

36 hour vacation with my ladylove.
It started at 4:45 am Saturday. She slept, I drove. A hair over 3 hours to get to a 9am start time for the kinzua classic. The race is on an amazing course. 63 miles, 2 30 mile loops with a 2 mile or so finishing spur. Each lap has lots of hills, probably 6 miles worth, and the finishing spur is all uphill. The course used to host the PA state road championships and I wish it still did.

Last year some ringer from a Japanese pro team showed up and put the hurt on us. This year's field didnt have the international flavor, but still put the hurt on me.
I basically sat in the entire time. Glenn put in a huge effort to chase a break down hoping that I wouldnt screw up the finish, which I nearly did, but held on long enough to put my uphill sprint into action for the win. I really love this course and was glad to have done well. Glenn ruled the school putting his "just riding at the front" game on, where he totally puts the hurt on everybody trying to sit in for like 10 minutes at a time...

Amy and I then headed to The Kane Manor, a bed and breakfast for some quality time. We cleaned up and went to dinner, watched cable TV and just chilled out in some mansion that a civil war general had built. It was frickin huge, and reasonably cheap.

Things that I do now that I once considered being for "yuppies in their mid 20's"
- Listen to Modest Mouse
- Drink Coffee
- Go to Bed and Breakfasts
- Ride road bikes

there are only a few left for me to start including:
- drinking wine
- being a fishetarain ("vegetarian" that eats fish..)
im on my way.

We ate some french toast and eggs before a 30 mile ride to The Kinzua Viaduct. It was the tallest and longest railway bridge in the world before a tornado ripped it down 2 years ago. All the metal is still in the valley in a giant pile of rust. It was pretty sad. The Allegheny national forest is sweet and we drove on route 666 to get home.

I had an ice cream cone on the way home (2nd one of the year, first was after a 145 mile ride with dan chew [it was sugar free])

Dinosaur JR
Rushmore soundtrack
New order
Belle and Sebastion

Sunday, August 06, 2006

toona and zoar.

toona: well I finished everyday and even made the split on blueknob, but still got essentially last place because I got no points and then tied for last with everybody else who didnt get points. Lame.

Zoar RR:
Wow what a course. Rolling hills, trees scenery picnics. Awesome. There was even a little kid on the course dressed up as the devil guy who ran along with us when we passed. 2 hills, one was kind of steep, but couldnt really separate stuff too much. It was an attacker's course, hard enough that somebody could stay away if they went.

First lap there were a few moves and I went with one and then THE move went and I bridged up with Jake . Jake dropped his chain, and left us a group of 7. It was kind of lame cause I think every team was in the break, so then the field just sits up or whatever. So we drove the break and eventually got a 2 minute gap. I did my token attacks on the big hill, but of course couldnt stick it because there was a 1/2 mile descent right after the hill.

Last lap I managed to get 20 seconds or so over the top, and only 4 others were able to come back up to me, which put me in the money. sweet. Crap part of the race was when we caught the 4 field WHILE WE WERE FINISHING and had about 2 feet to sprint, meaning the leadout order was the finish order. I got 3rd. I maybe would have done worse had the 5 of us had a field sprint, but it would have been better than sitting behind the winner across the line not being able to even be able to TRY to come around him.

Monday, July 24, 2006

multiple stages of screwing up. owasco.

Friday: First massage I have ever gotten. I didnt realize how much there was to this. I mean, what do I wear? How do I get undressed. What if she goes for the release? So I get there and figure she will tell me what to do and she just says "get comfortable".. What the hell does that mean? So I just laid on the table above the sheets in my underwear. I had a clean pair that dont have giant holes (for those of you not in the know, "cheap" boxer briefs are up around 2.50-3.00 a pair).. Well it felt good regardless of me not knowing the formalities.

We packed up the car with all of our junk and set of. 5.5 hours. Mike Stubna is the first person I have ever seen haggle at a sbarro on highway and get 5 bucks off his meal. "that is too much I cant pay that much"... "ok is this better?"

Got to our host housing and hung with the dudes. Half of the team went to the "the crumbling of Mt Holly" for the weekend and half went to NY.

Sat:Pouring rain. Pancakes and an "Americano" at Wegmans grocery store.
Lets just say that I am so good at time trialing that I had to show up over a minute late to even the score some. Ok real story, im a pussy and didnt want to get wet, so I put of leaving the house as long as I could and got lost along the way. Im a douchebag. Pouring rain, couldnt see, went slow despite massive aero gear.
It cleared up for the circuit race. 21 miles. Brutal 21 miles. Sprints along the way, 1 field split. I managed to hang on for dear life pushing my 50x12. Spinning anybody? Last lap I gave a half hearted attack after the climb and got a good spot for the leadout. We rivaled the Rite Aid train some and managed to get Geronimo a good spot in the sprint, but he was blocked and got a bitter sweet 3rd. He thought he could win, but was happy with a podium spot.

Sunday: went with the percolator. Giant bowl of raw oats. Stubna bought soy milk and blueberries. sweet. Bagel and Peanutbutter too!!!
Brutal road race. Walters vs. Bell from rite aid battle for the yellow. Me sitting in 25th 5 minutes down on GC. I liked the ohio stage race better with a 4 mile TT where I only lost 40 seconds! 2nd KOM field split into 3 or 4 groups and rite aid chased down the yellow jersey. Stubna and I aided some. Geronimo said they were getting some flack for not helping chase our group but was like "these guys work their butts off for us in crits all year, we want them to have their chance." Yeah, sitting dead last holding on for dear life with my eyes crossed really helped them a bunch I bet. haha. When the got to us, they chased the 2 man group up the road really hard, hoping to bring it back.
Anyway, when Walters went, I was supposed to go with him. Easier said than done. The start of the KOM was right after a sprint and I was way far back, I tried getting up to him and another guy on the climb, but couldnt. I stayed with that group and geronimo get 5th, winning the field. We caught a group of 3's with like 500 meters to go. I could have done better in the field sprint (up a hill) but I got boxed out by a bunch of cat 3's sprinting for 43rd or whatever.
Oh this was awesome, one of the 3's that got messed up in his spring raced for "organic athlete" and it says "go vegan" across his ass and all this. He is freaking out and trying to fight some dude after the race. Burn on bro, eat some tofu or something, but come on.
The way home Denny used his UCI chauffeurs license to get the "road warrior" discount at sbarro. All "professional drivers" get a discount. haha. awesome.
Props to : Zac Bell for chasing his heart out. Denny D for driving 11 hours to watch us and give us bottles. Stubna for yelling at me and buying soy milk and blueberries. Geronimo for sprinting with the sprinters and climbing with the climbers, then doing the full toona race. the rest of the team for actually being fun guys to eat and hangout with as well as racing with.

Monday, July 10, 2006


When people ask me if I am racing Nationals this year (which are an hour away from Pittsburgh) I say "Im either too young or too slow.".. meaning not a master and not a Cat 1. Today I wished I was 3 years younger while I sat in the COM car behind the race. Sweet position.

The Nat Comm knew way more about bike racing than me, despite having never raced. One time up the climb, she said "why are they not climbing in the shade, the whole road is open?" ... and eventually they did.

A 140 man peloton is giant vortex of piss, garbage and bottles. When the field was mostly together, they were lucky to go 200 meters without a wrapper, bottle or urine spitting out of the group. I wonder why people dont want bike races in their neighborhoods?

That course is freaking brutal. My job was to write down the numbers of the riders as they got dropped. I wrote down like 120 numbers.

Standout performances so far: Bart Torre for trying to bridge the 6 (yes six) minute gap to the 3 leaders (winning move) and sitting around 2 minutes back for like 30 miles.

alvaro arnal 4th in the TT. gnarly.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Raccoon Rally RR

Well I had 3 choices.
Do the Rochester Twilight Crit and not finish.

Do the Tour of Grandview and maybe not finish, or head to the Raccoon Rally and hope to do well. I took the easy road.

25 mile laps. 2 climbs of 3 -4 miles per climb each lap. Lots of climbing at around 4% or 5%.

There were some strong guys there from Ohio, NY and Canada.
After 1 lap our group was down to 12 people. Brian Batke from Team Torelli kept attacking on the 3rd climb, so Glenn just went to the front and did a 10 minute time trial up the hill. He kept the pace really high and drafting made it easier for people to hang on. The hills lacked the steep pitches that would hurt people enough to really pop them.

At the top of the climb, chris Ciaccio attacked pretty hard and I jumped on to go with him. We got a good gap and tried holding it on the descent. I suck at going fast so I think I was just slowing him down. He is a monster time trialist and was keeping the pace really high.

We got caught at the worst spot, right at the bottom of the last climb. Not sweet, cause it left little time to recover before going up. The attacks started pretty quickly and thankfully I had Glenn to go with them while I tried to recover some.

I managed to hang onto the lead group up the hill, and there were 6 of us when Glenn got a gap on the false flat at the top. He kept the pace high, allowing me to suck wheels for the next 8 miles while he managed to fend off the 4 others chasing him.

Of course he got caught with about 100 meters to go. I really thought he would stick it, but a few attacks within the chase group closed the gap a bit too much. I managed to come around the chasers for the win, and Glenn got 6th.
It was a good race and hopefully was good training for Nationals for Glenn, he looked crazy strong.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer Solstice Stage Race

I guess this is a stage race report.
Dougie and Glenn Drove me and Stubna to Ohio for the summer solstice stage race.

Friday night was the Crit. 50 minutes. It started late and involved weird turns into parking lots. It was dark when we finished and there were no street lights. I was so stoked when a break got away so it slowed down enough for me to know I was going to finish. I got the same time as the field.. Sweet.

Stubna and I drove with johnturn back to his parents house, hitting up the waffle house on the way down. Double stack with 2 scrambled eggs. Sweet.

Saturday AM came really quickly. The race was a 76 mile road race, all flat. During neutral roll out I talked to some dude who has an Asian Tree Leopard as a pet. If you want one, he said the humane society had 2. He said it can jump 8 feet high, so I asked if the cage had a roof. He said it just walks around his house all day.
Oh yeah the bike race. Early break away. Texas roadhouse chased it, we got caught by the 3's, there were a million crashes all right in front of me it seemed. I pull my brake cable out of the caliper and skidded my tire bald avoiding it. I got the same time. Stubna pulled off 7th in a flat field sprint, Johnturn got 4th I think. Dougie flatted in the Cat3 race. I had just glued his tubular on for him that week, and my stomach sank when I saw him in a turn with a flat, thinking he had possibly rolled the tire. And of course he kept saying that is what happened to make me nervous.

We went back to Glenn's room and watch the world cup and played with our TT stuff getting ready for the time trial. 4.5 milesish flat with lots of wind. It was delayed without any definite start times. "6:25 ish" was my start time. I was stoked to have Stubna as my minute man. He was doing it merckx style and set a brutal pace for me, despite my TT bike and borrowed Troxel helmet. Paul Martin had some profile clip on bars and posted some insane time, but was beat by Andy Apllegate.

Super sweet Mexican food for dinner.

Stage 4 was a road race, which was shortened due to a triathalon on the same roads at the same time. It was cut to 56 miles. Big hill and brutal winds. I remember the break going and I was right there, but just couldn't do it. I didn't have enough to jump up to it. We were going like 32 on a narrow road in the gutter with cross winds. Johnturn made it. 5 guys including Paul Martin. Abercrombie chased for a whole lap and I attacked on the hill and got a good 6 man group. I think they were told on the radio to stop working with our chase group and come back to the main field and chase, so what was left of the field reintegrated. Next time up the hill I end up in a group of 7 or so again and we just kept it together for the last lap and last time up the hill. It is so cliche to sit on a breakway and win the bunch, but this guy had no problems doing it. I did as little work as a could, figuring I could win the bunch finish (cause it finished on top of the hill). The guy who sat on took me though, and I ended up 7th and 8th on GC.

The way home included:
-A car blowing a tire out right in front of us
-A jeep breaking what we believed to be the tie rod, causing his wheels to wobble like crazy and forcing him to gradually just slow down
-A desk blow out the back of a truck into the middle of the highway. Im glad we didnt stick around to see the eventual outcome of that, maybe it made the news.
-The worlds fastest busboy. Words cannot describe it and I regret not pushing mike to get his camera to video it. People would have thought footage was doctored. His hands moved so fast you could hardly see him. Glenn timed him and his fastest time clearing a table, moving all the salt and peppers and little dessert menus then wiping it down was 29 seconds.

I got home at an OK time and went to the park where they show free outdoor movies and laid in the grass watching the new Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I was less than impressed.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My new coach

So Danny Chew calls me yesterday morning and said that I was the first thing he thought about when he got up. He told me of his regrets after finishing 12th at USPRO and how he didnt go to worlds, despite the invitation. He said that I need to step up my mileage to about 700 miles a week with about 1/2 of that at intensity. He was totally serious. No seriously, he was serious. It was endearing that he would think of me and whatnot and be concerned about my training, but this is totally insane. Man does he rule.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I just want to prove that I know how to ride a bike.

Yeah so Saturday and Sunday our team did well. About as well as you could hope for. I am still getting used to so many tactics and whatnot. I wish races were all attrition on brutal climbs. Even if I wasnt in the lead group, I would know that I gave my all instead of wondering why I wasnt in the lead group. Whatever. - that was my story saturday.

Sunday, well, the guys did well against a SUPER stacked field. Im going to say this was about as hard as a field could get in Pittsburgh without Murrysville around anymore. I crashed out after hitting a cone. Yeah a cone that had been there the previous 12 laps. The weird thing is, it was supposed to be the right hand border, and I think Billet was on my right when I hit it. I felt like such a retard.

Proof that I can ride a bike! Steevo circa 1998

Monday, May 22, 2006

Do you want a pull?

Old story, few weeks old anyway, but I forgot about it. Mike and I were meeting Jared and Ben up the hill for food one night. Jared and Ben in a car, Me and Mike
climbing up wilkins ave. Jared goes by slowly enough that I can grab on and skitch
a ride up the hill. Mike was too far back and missed out.

Wel or did he? It turns out this 70ish year old woman wound down her window and said "do you want a pull?" and let Stubna skitch off of her until she floored it and he let go. Think of how many people are going to be super confused when they are riding up a hill and this old lady asks if they want a pull! She said she had never done that before. haha.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Pack fodder

Well I was going to write something about Turkey Hill and how awesome it was having
the team do so well. Then I thought about when I was a strong cat 3 and would read other's blogs. I would be like "who wants to read about a dude sitting in the field and missing all the moves." So I figured I would spare the world a write up of me getting 41st or something.

Bear Mountain: Same story. I do owe the world a public apology for having the noiseiest bottom bracket on earth for 4.5 hours. I bet everybody was pissed that I didn't get shelled during that race cause it was one of the few things that would drown out Danny Chew's voice on a 100 mile ride. I did finish a 98 mile road race, which is really really far.

On lap 5, Scotty Z went 28mph up the climb. For real.
Last lap I was hurting to pass a guy on a hybrid who was just cruising around the park, look out, Im a monster. Sorry about the bottom bracket

Monday, May 01, 2006


Logistic nightmare:
Jared's car holds 3 bikes. His TT bike, road bike and Stubna's road bike. Dougie's car takes 3 but only has 2 trays. This leaves me borrowing Kralldiggle's tray, taking my bike and said tray to Dougie's house and hoping I can find him Saturday before the race to get it and warm up and race it, then I also have to get to Jared's girlfriend's house (about a 15 minute bike ride from mine), at 545 Saturday am to catch the ride, but don't have my bike to ride over there.
Well it all worked out and I got a sweet warmup on my Huffy 3 speed. I warned Stubna that I would put it into 3. Oh did I ever.
4 dudes, 3 bikes, 4 sets of spare wheels, and enough gear to really get bad gas mileage I am sure.
The race Saturday:
65 and Sunny, not too windy and very nice roads. It was so sunny out that when the beautiful course took us through the covered bridge I thought we should have to remove our sunglasses! The race started out pretty fast, and there was the longest move of the day with Geronimo, Ramon B and a few others. I really thought that it might stick, but it came back. I was just in the pack, going here and there, but nothing serious or long at all. I did catch a wheel up to Stubna's break and I had to scream at him cause the kid who gave me ride up there was just going to blow past them. I was like "MIKE!!!" cause I didn't want him to miss us. But of course that got caught too. Leech managed to get into a break and got 2nd int he downhill sprint. He was stoked and it was awesome. Jared got 8thish I think. I didn't realize until too late that I wasn't close enough to the front to help with any leadout attempts, and when I did, it was too late. Next time. That last lap was mad fast.

Hotel, Swimming Pool, Hot Tub, Cable, Decaf coffee in the room. Man was that nice. Then we hit up the olive garden for dinner cause we were in strip mall hell and there was nothing else. Of course we were starving so the hostess girl had to skip my name and make us wait like 20 minutes longer. Not sweet. Jared used to sales skills to get us free dessert! oh yes! oh yeah! blackberry/blueberry tart. boom!

Sunday brought panacke buffet for breakfast. I hate buffets cause I usually eat until I am sick. I really tried to refrain and only overate a bit. I am proud of myself, but kind of mad in retrospect knowing I could have eaten twice as much, which would have made the meal cost 1/2 as much, or twice as much for the same price.... whatever.

Pain Mountain TT.
Nice roads to warmup on. I just had aero bars on a road bike. Jared was right, I think a TT bike would have been faster for sure. I had about a 25 minute warmup, which probably wasn't enough. The course was pretty gnarly. My 30 second guy was fast so I just paced off of him most of the time it was too twisty to see him though. My 1 minute down guy was a Rite Aid Pro rider on a full TT bike, so I was waiting for him to come around me after 1:20 or so. Pain mountain was a freaking staircase up a ridge. It didn't fool around with switchbacks or mellow grades, it just went up and over. There was a 1K to go sign like 4 miles from the finish that was just cruel and unusual punishment. My 1 minute guy caught me towards the end, but I was proud that I held him off for so long. Not a bad ride I don't think. I could have done better of course, and with experience my next time will be better.

Brutally fast. First lap I was coming out of the last turn and I heard the announcer saying who was already crossing the line. Man I was far back. I was pretty stoked when Jared got in the move and Geronimo got up to it too. The rest of the day was basically just covering attacks and not pulling through when a chase attempt was finally made. They pulled the field after having us sprint early cause we were about to get lapped. It was sweet to watch the finish with geronimo coming up for 1 and hearing the announcer say "Meredith - GPOA does the 1, 2" . sweet. Then we waited for the results. and waited. and waited and waited and ate chinese food and waited until 730 when we got on the road for our 4 hour trip home.

I thought I was tired in the car, but when I got on my huffy 3 speed for ride back from rob's house was when the legs really told me to stop riding for the day. Hacker is just lucky I didn't have that bad boy for the Pain Mountain TT or I would have put some time into him.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Probably one of the craziest things that could happen happened.

I woke up today unable to rotate my arm and with a pounding pounding headache. I feel like I got beat up. When I leaned my head back to take some Advil (maybe the 3rd time in the last 10 years), I then realized how much my neck hurt too. Man.

Rewind to 940ish yesterday morning. Im a few hours into my workday.

I ride into the brewery like I usually would, past the first parking garage, up to the second one in order to get to the second floor of the building. I lean my bike up against the wall that I usually do when I felt uneasy. Before I knew what had happened, I was on the ground moaning. Apparently somebody working on area above me (maybe 15 - 20 feet) threw a brick off the edge and of course it hit me straight on the head. I had a helmet on because I pedal around on a bike for work, so it only crushed my helmet and scraped my shoulder and arm, bruising them both. If I hadn't had a helmet on I would be straight up dead. So I am laying there on the cement trying to understand what happened, just kind of moaning for about 5 minutes when I heard the guys around me talking about how they had just looked and nobody was there. Apparently I pulled up when they decided to throw the brick, and by brick I mean large cement block, not a little brick, over the ledge. I laid there on the ground, trying unsuccessfully to hold back tears while people ran around assessing how bad it all was.

I later made the comparison of it being like you stepping out of bed in the morning and the ground just isn't there. Imagine altering your reality like that. You don't expect stuff to just literally drop out of the sky onto your head, it just shouldn't happen.

1 phone call later I am experiencing a bunch of firsts. First time in an ambulance. First backboard. First time crying in front of a group of people, not sure why, it just seemed like the right thing to do. First cat scan, first mri first, taxi ride home from the hospital.

My brother and Harmony somehow found out I was there, despite me not wanting to call anybody. It was nice of them. I didn't want anybody to call them cause they would have assumed I got hit by a car or something super gnarly happened, and I wasn't worst case scenario.

So to sum up.
-don't throw bricks over ledges when people are probably going to be under them.

-don't go to AGH cause that hospital totally sucks, they didn't give me water or something for my headache and I was there for about 4 hours, and they don't have a pharmacy there where I could buy something or fill my prescription for whatever it was they gave me to take.

Sometimes I get stressed out by all the little stuff, but I guess I am pretty lucky it hit my head and not my shoulder. I guess I am lucky that I didn't look up and have it crush my skull or crack all my teeth that I have been dumping money into. I guess I am lucky that it wasn't one of the people working in the building who go out there to smoke and having them die and having me wonder constantly what would have happened had it been me?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Totally blown apart: aka Mount Joy RR.

Cut out of work at high noon on Friday. Sweet. Mike nearly lost his hand at work this week, and couldn't ride or race. Not sweet. Me and Jared headed out Friday to his friend Bart's house in Lancaster. Jared ate more cookies on the way to the race than I have eaten in the last 2 years. For real. The line at the Breezewood subway was less than 4 people for the first time ever, and Jared was stoked.
We got to Bart's house and chilled for an hour or so before crashing hard.
Bart lives 2 exits away from Mount Joy, which was a lot easier than leaving Pittsburgh at 530 am. Totally awesome of him to let us crash.
The race: 70 degrees and sunny. Should make for the perfect race right?

There were 3 teams with 5 or 6 guys. All major players. The day looked up when I saw Hebe riding toward me! Totally surprised, it was a relief to have another teammate there. We started into a headwind, turned into a crosswind, climbed into a crosswind and finished into a headwind. Get it? The first lap had an attack that I tried to cover and got into the middle and just couldn't bridge it. Then Ramon blew up the lead group anyway and we all came back. Bad move pushing it so hard with so little of a warmup. Mental note.

From there all the teams took turns launching their guys and trying to make stuff stick. I was hanging out towards the back just trying to stay on and maybe recover some. There was a crazy gnarly crash that somehow I managed to miss most of. I had to chase on with a few dudes to catch the main field again. Hebe missed the crash only to flat out a lap later. I would have given him my wheel due to the world of pain that I was in, but it was 10 speed and the downhill and wind were so fast, it would have just given him a ride to the car.

With a few laps to go, Jared attacked to bridge up to a guy and managed to hold it for the rest of the race. This was such a relief to me, cause it gave me every right to just suck wheels and sit in. Jared is seriously ever impressive. I hung in until the climb on the last lap and managed to get into a small group of three which got caught on the fast descent. I got dropped on the descent a few times, I don't know what is wrong with me, but my terminal velocity is seriously like 40mph then I am spun out and hurting. I need to work on that.
Jared ends up with 8th (they paid up to 7th). I think I managed 15th. 60 or so starters 16 finishers. I wish I had a bit more to give, but I guess I am happy just to avoid the crashes and finish. Wish Hebe wouldn't have flatted.

On the way home Jared and I were talking and I said that I think that if I punched
Hacker in the face as hard as I could, it wouldn't phase him. Jared called him and asked and he said "probably not, definitely not during a race." Gnarly tough, reminds me of my Dad who I once saw put a butter knife through his hand.

I think that this was a good workout and a lesson in the pain to come this year. Hopefully I can fix a few things with myself to be a bit more competitive and help out a bit more. Maybe Ill even learn how to bridge a gap!

After the long drive home I went to an easter egg hung organized for my Somali Bantu refugee neighbors/friends. It was really cute. Haji and Muya were really upset that I keep not winning these bike races that I go to. Someday. haha

Monday, April 10, 2006

Philly 2 day day 2: aka "grey skies are going to clear up"

I was up at 615am for some reason. Maybe cause I knew there was only 8 pancakes in the fridge, or maybe cause there was sweet coffee to drink, or actually cause I had to clean my whole bike after the grime fest of yesterday's race.

We ate and rolled out in kind of a rush. I didn't realize we were leaving so soon and got totally frazzled about my missing glove. It had velcro on it and I know somebody is going to find it in their chamois or something. Whatever.

Bike path ride to the race in time to watch the women finish. It was still kind of chilly when they were racing. Jared showed up and proceeded to have a bunch of stuff go really wrong. Like: flatting on his tubular, actually it just totally blowing out. Then Fred was like "yeah dude borrow my new carbon wheel" but the freehub was kind of gnarled and we couldn't get a cassette onto it. Jared had to race with his training back wheel.

We had mad dudes in the race, ill try alphabetical by last name: babik, billet, graff, hacker,hebe, kincaid, martin, stubna, ... I really think that is it, sorry if I forgot. Good thing Dave Mitchell rode down to watch or else Fatty wouldn't have had shoes to wear (my worst nightmare come true!)...

The race started fast, and was pretty fast in the middle and then ended really fast. I felt pretty good. Its weird racing out there where I don't know who a single person is. I'm sure in a few more races Ill get to know some of the key players or whatever, but I only know a few dudes and they are on my team.. haha. There were a few promising moves. I felt good, but for some reason I was really hesitant to go with anything or try to bury myself bridging up to anything. Maybe next time. I nailed it a few times on the hill to close gaps or chase dudes down, and man do those freaking wheels go fast. Like really fast. I have like 3 memories from the race:
- being happy my hands worked well enough to drink a bottle
- realizing the one dude we were supposed to watch was off the front and burying myself to get up to the front to chase him down, but I guess everybody wanted to be on his wheel, so they chased him down first.
- geronimo saying "stay up here" when I was going backwards after said effort. Then Im like "oh my god there are only 5 laps left!!!"
- having a good spot with 1 to go until some huge dude leaned on me and scared me away

Oh well. Good times were had, I thought maybe I would sneak into the top 20 overall. I doubt it though, well see.
Jared won overall, Hacker snuck into the break and ended up with 3rd overall, Geronimo not trying on Saturday and getting 5 overall, and stubna with the 10th! Pretty freaking sweet.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Philly 2 day, day 1

After riding for 2 hours in pouring rainon Friday, the sun came out and we left in 65 degree sun for the 5 hour trip to Colin's house. I didn't even think to bring shorts. 3 Cannondales on the roof rack looked pretty P-R-O.

Saturday AM had gourmet pancakes. For real, Colin's reputation for being a chef was spot on. Totally awesome. Also some "Caffeinated Cyclist" coffee... Cant go wrong there right?

Oh the race?
What hell! I could end it there.
41 degrees and pouring rain. Not like in Ohio where it was only pouring rain for the first half, but the whole thing was pouring rain. There was a pond on the course that some guys were asking if they needed a permit to fish in! Seriously though, this was as awful as it can get. 4 degrees colder and there would have been ice, so it would have been cancelled.

Lucky for me I had to ride Friday in the pouring rain, so I thought to myself "no way I am going to be unprepared for this if it rains tomorrow." I had my rain pants, cape, booties, the whole deal for my warm up. This didn't help 4 minutes into the race when I was fully saturated and totally frozen. Race of attrition anybody??

Jared took a flyer at like mile 3 and somehow it stuck (somehow = man that dude is pretty tough). This left us all just grabbing wheels on bridge attempts. I felt as good as somebody who is borderline hypothermic can feel. A group of 5 got off the front of the main pack, with Fergie, Fred, and Stubna. Fergie got popped after the bridge, and Fred flatted (Also, we rode after the race and Mike had glass in his tired, if it had been like 10 minutes longer he wouldn't have finished either!!!!). They had about 30 seconds on what was left of the field. I felt good and somehow we split it up to be in about an 8 - 10 man group. Colin, Hacker, Me and somehow kincaid came up out of nowhere. This was good. I tried to keep the pace up so what was left of the field wouldn't see us again. Hacker took a flyer with 2 to go but got caught. Stefan and I just tried to keep the pace up for the sprint, which I think Colin got 2nd in.

After the race I thought I might die. No seriously. Its good to know I can do a 50 mile race taking just 1 sip of water and 1 gu. My hands stopped working half way through, I was shifting with my pinkies. When I hit bumps I wasn't sure if I was actually holding onto my handlebars or not. Pretty scary. Fred lent me a warm jacket to ride back to Colin's house in. Man did that help. I was impressed that Colin had the dexterity to unlock his door!

The same 3 inches of exposed skin that got a weird suntan last week (above the bootie, below the knee warmer), was literally PURPLE when we got back to Colin's. Mike and I both had these weird red spots all over our hips. I thought bike racing was supposed to be healthy? jeeez.

Dinner = "buritto Loco", which was so crazy I couldn't finish it. I had a decaf Americano for dessert. We cruised around for 1:15ish after the race, because of course it stopped raining and the roads were dry.

"To outfit an army," is an expression that you hear sometimes. Colin could seriously outfit a cycling army. We were drying all our clothes and he brought out like 5 pairs of gloves, tons of booties and jackets and stuff for our cool down ride. Its funny for me to think that a 1:15 minute ride averaging 16 miles an hour was a cool down recovery ride, but I guess when you aren't in Pittsburgh anything is possible. We looked awesome all in our kits on our bikes, Ill post pics later.

- Pancakes are good
- Peanut butter and coffee
- Colin is a great host
- Jared
- MGGPOAC (Meredith Group GPOA Cannondale) rocks the 2nd,5th,9thish,11thish,13ithish,15thish
- 40+ dudes start and 20ish finish!
- Sorry for bumping into you Hebe!
- Colin is a sweet host
- Brokeback mountain was better than crash for those of us secure enough in our manhood to watch it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Totally gnarly race weekend!!!!

Saturday April 1 2006. Tour of Richland county.
Kralldiggler totally bummed his parents blinged out car to cart our asses to Ohio for the race. SWEET. And he bought a dozen bagels too. Seriously does it get better? Car talk was a bit fuzzy on the way down, which was not so sweet. My caffeine weaning was put to use by drinking coffee the morning of the race. Man I was probably so annoying talking about nothing. Stubna showed up on his new bike finally. He test rode it the night before by going 3 miles to the Quiet Storm with me.

The race was sweet. Big hill, gnarly rollers, crazy tailwind section, then back up the big hill. 10 mile loops, 5 laps. The first time we hit the rollers there were just crazy attacks. I remember wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I went with a move and the counter move from that went. God is that painful. Stubna got in that one. It is a weird contentment you have when you are in total agony, everything hurts and you cant breath, and your teammate gets in the move. Like maybe I could have been there if he wasn't, but you get kind of complacent or something. Whatever, 6 guys off the front, Im not one of them.

Inferno, the team that totally bitch slapped us 2 weeks ago only had 2 guys and they missed the move. A few others missed it too, so there was a good chase effort on, but not nearly enough. I spent the remaining laps trying to whittle the field down on the hill and the rollers (the race was 2:15, the break went at 14 minutes in!!). I figured the field would come to a field sprint, which I am king of losing so I might try to knock some guys off.

Last lap: I was giving everything I had on every roller, just trying to get away, work on sustained efforts, make myself feel good despite missing the break... ... When we come up on something not sweet. The break was at 5 men as far as I knew, and I look up to see the long torso of my teammate! bummmmmmer. He was in a world of pain for sure. He told me his gears weren't working well throughout the race and he was limited to only the 11-19. And as a character voucher, he wasn't telling anybody else that after the race or on the phone in the car home when he was asked how he did. Very cool. A few duets went real fast and I got I think 3rd or 4th in the field, so like 8th or 9th or something? I was happy.

BOB EVANS HAS GOOD PANCAKES!!! for real. I think I have only been to a Bob Evan's like once before. I don't remember it. I figured it was like Denny's or whatever and you get crappy ass frozen pancakes made in a factory 5000 miles away. Not sweet. Bob served up 3 GIANT multigrain cakes for 3.99. I was stoked. No real maple syrup, but I had honey and they had giant things of grade A honey which went really well.

Kralldiggler got 4th in the 4 field. YEAH DOGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mingo #1
Daylight savings. This is not sweet when you have to get up at 7, really 6. Its less sweet when you are on time despite daylight savings and you totally slice into your hand while slicing a bagel. Lots of blood. Every time I cut myself or crash I tell myself to buy a nice first aid kit. Instead I make do with bandages and neosporin or whatever and the neosporin always disappears.

2 hour ride down with electric tape and cotton balls tape to my hand. We show up in time to register pin numbers and line up. Pretty good 1/2/3 field, maybe 40 or so riders. My first race with 5 other teammates. Awesome. I think we did a good job of riding together. I got into a 6 man move with 1 other teammate. We got chased down, I wont say by whom. One monster from our break, who was away when I bridged up stayed off for the win. Stubna made it up to him with 3 others. 4 man group off the front, Mike gets 3rd, Jared gets 5th winning the field, Jake gets 6th and STEEVO GETS 3rd IN A FIELD SPRINT OF MORE THAN 3 PEOPLE!!@!!!!! I BEAT PEOPLE IN A FIELD SPRINT.. FAST PEOPLE!!!

2 hour ride home with Jake, the whiner and patty brings in a full century before watching the tour of Flanders and power gnoshing. SWEET. Mad props to the teammates, Riff was on it in his break, Dougie fresh was so ready to roll all day, Glenn sprinted in the end and got 2nd in the field!! yeah baby.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nothing like a good ride to remedy a bad race. 58 mile day on my 925.

Well I woke up and really wanted to go for a good ride. Too bad I woke up to thunderstorms and pouring rain. This is not an exaggeration. I dropped the Amy off at work and there were puddles as deep as the wheel wells on the car. Not stoked.
I was going stir crazy so I finally set up my rollers hoping to at least exercise and I was 10 minutes into riding them when the belt to the killer headwind fan snapped. I also snapped.
I jumped on my new Redline 9.2.5 fixed gear. I put the cyclecomputer on it that I had been delaying putting on it, and headed out into the rain. The only thing not stock on the bike are the pedals, I put shimano 525's, and I used cateye cotton bar tape planning on it being a coffee cruiser, I want the tape to last a long time.

The bike has a few flaws. It initially came with too short of a stem. I bought the 52 and the stem was like 80mm, so I replaced it with a 110. The sloping top tube makes me unable to squeeze my frame pump from the bottom bracket going vertically, which would be nice cause there are no bottle mounts on the seat tube. The track dropouts make it kind of hard to get the wheel out with the rear fender atatched, which could be a pain changing a flat.

I did a rolling to hilly 3 hour 15 minute, 58 mile ride. I must say that the Redline moustache bars are actually more comfortable than my Nitto bars. It might be because I a narrow guy and the Nitto's are wide, but these I found better. The stock 42x15 gearing is what I used to have on my first fixed gear, and I didn't find it too bad. For my other fixed gear I now have a 39x15, which is a good city gear. I am not sure what type of hubs redline is using, but they are really really smooth. Same with the cranks and bottom bracket. I hit a maximum cadence of 167 and never really felt sketchy.

This is my first fixed gear with a front and rear brake. I thought it was overkill and that I would take one off when I first got the bike, but I must say that I love it. I was bombing into some hairpins and didn't have to worry about washing out or a sudden animal or car.

The sun came out and I smiled all the way to my skim mocha on my way home.

Tour de Granville. First race of the year!

Spring has sprung and bike racing fever has hit. We pile 5 people and bikes into Doc Snydes "short bus." What we lacked in leg room, we made up for with humor. Anyway, we left Pittsburgh and drove into a rain storm.

The PRO 1/2/3 field (yes there was a PRO)field only had like 25 guys, 10 of which raced for the new AF Team Inferno. So the course was basically a rectangle with the start finish at a school. The road going through the school was about 1k. Before we got onto the open roads we were going 30+mph and there was like 5 different attacks.
I specifically remember a few thoughts:
- "man I am not going to finish today."
- "I thought I was in shape??"
- "Dude get in this break."
- "Ok I missed it, maybe Jared will get into the break."
- "I imagine if they have 4 guys in that break they aren't going to chase it down."

That group has a gap on us, and I try to attack over a small hill. I give it all I have to get into the hell of no man's land with an AF guy sitting on my wheel. I was out there for like 50 miles or so it seemed when another guy came up to us with an AF guy on his wheel. Me and the Advantage Benefits-Endeavour guy take turns pulling only to have the same gap up to the leaders. I figure we might be able to stay out and the AF guys might start working if we get a big enough gap on the group behind us. I was really impressed when Jeremy Grimm, a 3rd AF guy bridged up to our group. The Endeavour guy stopped working and went with the first counter attack. Then it is just me chasing 2 AF's and the Endeavour with 1 guy on my wheel. The field catches us and 3 more AF's are in a team time trial up the road. The Endeavour guy goes backwards and DNF's. Kirk Albers" of Jelly Belly is then chasing and pissed nobody is helping. I am in the dog house and there are only like 3 other guys that will work. Jared rallied the troops for chase down, and we had the 3 AF guys down to like 15 seconds, but it never worked.
The last lap I just kept everything together as best as I could. I attacked a few times thinking people might just let me go,but no dice. The Inferno guys quit with 1 to go to watch the real finish. Jared wins the field sprint for what we believe is 10th place. Brutal. I think I got 13thish?
Oh yeah did I mention that it was 45 degrees and pouring rain the whole time with massive amounts of horse maneur on the roads?
Things that I did wrong:
- Lined up late toward the back
- Didnt go with the 1 counter attack that stuck (duh)
- Should have given a bit more for the pride sprint at the line

Things that I did right:
- Perfect amount of clothing!
- I would like to think that I did a good job keeping it together in the end.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend / few random things

Saturday: Passed my upgrade test and am now a Cat B USCF official. Kind of neat right? , the whiner Stubna and I set the record from my house to North Park, 34 minutes of hammering against traffic on a sunny afternoon.
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg white
pinch of cinnamon
added 1 banana and blueberies
This was the breakfast we crushed while sipping on some French roast. Of course with real maple syrup and fresh peanutbutter on top.
Dan Chew showed up at 915 to lead us to his friends' ride up north. A couple of hours up, a couple of hours back and soon enough you have a 7:30 ride at 117 miles. Danny Chew can put down a fierce attack at mile 105, leaving you to only wonder how gnarly he was before he rode a 28lb bike. OH YEAH!


- If the person who left their dog shit on Hastings street last night reads this, please email me so I can ruin a day of your life like you ruined my night last night.Thanks.

- I am so freaking excited to race bicycles this year.

- I am really excited for fresh fruits and veggies this summer when it is all in season

- I am so proud of the Amy for working 40+ hours as a student teacher and not getting paid and being the cutest barista around for another 18 hours a week on top of that.

- My new redline 9.2.5 is totally sweet and totally cheap!

Friday, January 20, 2006

This blog is now about baking

Stevia root. Not FDA approved, might cause your eyeballs to fall out, but boy is it sweet! I have been doing some baking in my spare time. Mostly cookies and biscotti using this root. I think it is illegal to call it "sweet" or the fda will seize my computer and house. I have to call it a "supplement." All I know is if ia recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you add 1/3 of a TEASPOON of stevia. It doesnt spike your glycemic levels, it doesnt have calories, it doesnt turn into bad stuff like sugar does. Pretty cool right? Well depending on the recipe, it can have a bitter aftertaste, almost like anise. Like anise on steriods mixed with sweet and low. Maybe its cause they are both roots it makes them taste alike? Well these underground foods are good, I would check them out.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of stevia
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of Whole oats
1/2 cup of dates chopped

375 for 8 minutes
Pancakes. A great man once said "a comedy routine should not be like pancakes; real good at first, but by the end you are sick of them." Well I love pancakes, and have a few good recipes. The easiest and best being:
2 cups Skim/soy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

How simple is that? it is a great recipe, its healthy and good.