Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jingle Rock 1

With a late night drive to Mad-town Friday night we had a little extra time Saturday morning to make it to Iowa City....Street Player and I rolled out of Madison at about 8:30 and 2 hours later found the score of the trip. Marilyn's Cafe. A local diner in the middle of Nowhere, Iowa.

It was my kind of place.
10 minutes down the road we saw a National Geographic special. Over 50 Bald Eagle cruising around a field eating a little breakfast and hanging out in a tree! It was amazing.

The race....I filtered in about 7th wheel, but on the first muddy off camber corner Jacques Mayne and Mike Scherer were laying on the ground. I played it cool because when the guys started running around me they were also crashing....I didn't want to crash again as I was still a little sore from last weekend. After 3/4 a lap the race was decided....Todd and Troy had made it around the crash and were long gone....I bridged up to Marko and AJM and our group was set....for the first 40 mins I sat back while Marko and
AJM traded pulls....I moved to 4th position on course for a half lap and then slipped a pedal after the barriers...I closed the gap but it hurt a little and then was gapped on Mt. Krumpet....I almost made contact again after a full lap, but again gapped on Krumpet the final time up....5th place on the day!

More UCI points that will be much needed for my Euro Campaign.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Euro Style

Too bad I don't have the Mullet anymore....because I'm heading over for the real deal thanks to GP and the Euro Cross Camp. It's possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity that I can't pass up! I'm pumped! To help offset some of the costs I set up a Paypal link and I am accepting donations. More later....but first things first....Jingle Cross!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SNOW

It's good to be home even if it did take a few passes around General Mitchell to clear of the 3-4" of fresh powder. It's cold, but it's home. After a day to unwind, unpack, and relax my pain in my chest was actually getting worse...so Tues morning it was in to see the doc for some x-rays...good news no broken bones. He said it was probably the equivalent of a car crash and getting a little whiplash and deep bruising from the seatbelt across the chest. I thought it was more like hitting the rock solid frozen ground. So with the news of no broken bones and just dealing with the pain it was time to head out for a ride this morning. 25 degrees and still not being able to take a deep breath the trainer seemed my only option. At the last minute I had a change of heart. A quick call to the beach zen master and it was on....




















For a while I was riding with this guy...it was pretty sweet....he was about 10 feet over my head and flew with me for about 1/4 mile. Then he cruised up to his tree and watched me try to take a picture....battery dead....maybe I'll see him again tomorrow. I saw Mr. J out riding also. It was a perfect day to be on the beach...sunrise, warm sun, smooth sand, and no wind. Better get back to work...today at the bike shop I am a model! Check it out..... more to come and designed by a WORS superstar.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Homeward Bound

Well.....Day 2 was better than I thought

I was in pretty bad pain.....I started the morning with another bag of Ice on my chest..followed by a scalding hot shower for some heat therapy, and some vitamin I. A quick drive over to the race course to test things out....the first pre ride lap was really bad and I considered not starting....A 40 min spin on the road had me loosened up a little, luckily it was a little warmer and not quite so windy. A few more laps on the course and I was feeling a little better so I took to the start line. I think I had the most Superfans on the course with Andrea, her sister Carrie, and Louie Spaghetti!

I had a good start and was top 10 off the pavement. I followed Tonkin, Troy Wells, and a few others on lap 1. I hooked up with Spinelli again for lap 2. I was suffering a little though and fell off the pace. During the middle of the race I was riding with Meyerson. I started bridging up to a group of Frattini, Wells, and St. John, but then Trebon came back from his flat and the group rode away again following Trebon.
video
Troy Wells came back to my group and was struggling a bit...we went by him and then I attacked Meyerson on the last lap for 13th.





All in all happy with the result considering the pain, but not happy with the weekend. I think I should have been 4 spots higher each day.

The Hamptons

The Hamptons aren't all they are cracked up to be....maybe we're just not far out enough on the peninsula...but I think Black River in Sheb. is just as cool....The New Yorkers probably rave becuase its not a concrete jungle out here....
video
Here is how I warm up when I don't have a trainer...good thing I got another Caravan for a weekend.
The race, with a second row call up I was ready to rock.......it was 28 degrees, with a lot of wind....it was cold...really cold. I had a pretty good start, just out of the top 10...I was 2 wheels behind Tonkin and a half lap in on an off camber the two guys in front of me went down. I tried to avoid it, but down I went....it didn't take long to get back up but the gap was formed...10 guys went by me. I bridged back up to those guys and went right through them to start 2nd lap. Then the pain from the crash settled in....

I must have landed directly on my chest....it hurt to breath....I ended up just dangling behind Tonkin, St John, and Matt White....Spinelli caught me and I followed him for a few laps to finish 12th.


















Thanks to my host Carrie(Andrea's sister) for coming out and being a superfan in the freezing cold.

This morning it feels like I have a broken rib...it is extremely painful to take a deep breath. I can't cough, sneeze, or blow my nose. I could barely sit up to get out of bed...if I'm up and stay relatively still I'm OK. I'm going to warm up and see how it feels before I take to the start line later today....

fact of the day....its not cool to ice your chest after doing a cross race when its freezing cold

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Apple


Today I ventured across my first bridge via bicycle. I left the house bundled up and headed towards the Williamsburg Bridge. It was my first ride of the trip to leave Brooklyn. My destination....Manhattan! As soon as I crossed over I sensed this place was different. Bigger, faster, louder, more people, and more broken glass. I found the first bike path I could and headed back towards the East River.

Once at the River I had some great scenery of the Manhattan & Brooklyn bridge's.


















A little further south was the Manhattan Pier district.


















A little further south was Wall Street where I checked to see how the market was doing....not good.























After leaving Wall Street a little bummed it was down to Battery Park to see if Lady Liberty could make my day a little brighter. After seeing the torch I had a little more faith in the good ol' USA so it was off for some more exploring....















Chinatown...by this point I was wondering if my recovery spin was doing more harm than good....the legs felt good, but the lungs were searing...I was thinking of calling up USA Cycling to borrow some of the masks from Beijing.....


















Then I saw a guy huck one of these beasts onto his back with two legs over either shoulder. I wonder what Sinclair would have to say about this one 100 years later....I knew it was now time to head home.






I took one last look over the shoulder and never thought I would be so happy to be back in the peace and quiet of Brooklyn!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stayin' Alive



















My new life in the big city: Is this living the dream? Am I a true pro now just because I'm not working and racing back to back weekends....If so I'm not sure if I'm down doing it solo.... Here is my new little corner of the world. I'm hunkered down in a Polish neighborhood in Greenpoint Brooklyn. 90% of the people here speak Polish...I wish some of the Polska crew was here to help me order my morning Kielbasa from the corner store.









I was getting a little antsy sitting around the apartment listening to the old Polish lady with Dimensia who lives next door wail like Tarzan so I had to do something about it. After a few hours of surfing the net, doing laundry and fixing the flat on my tubular it was time for a little adventure.....old school style!








I hopped on the bike and started to tour Brooklyn. By the end of the day I had over 3 hours and 50+ miles of urban cyclocross! I wasn't just aimlessly wandering though. I was on a mission to find the Verrazano Flats in Bay Ridge...home of Tony Manero!










Lots of very important preparation went down at Tony's. I think the Manero's are doing some renavating to ward off the crazy tourists!












Tony wasn't home so it was then over to 86th street to see if he was strutting his stuff or possibly ordering a double decker at Lenny's.









Tony wasn't there either...I tried the hardware store and also tried Phillips Dance Studio where Tony and Stephanie dialed in their moves.













No luck....couldn't find Stephanie Mangano either....but I did find a sweet party. Unfortunately it wasn't at the Odyssey 2001 aka Spectrum which closed its doors in 2005. I heard they got a pretty penny for the dance floor though!
So that was todays tour of Brooklyn....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Muddy Jersey

With rain and cold in the forecast it was time for the first muddy cross race of the season! The course looked fun, but it didn't make a difference with all the running that was necessary each lap.

Saturday morning I rolled out of Brooklyn in style with a rental Dodge Caravan SE! It was good to be back in a mini-van dicing and dicing in the NYC traffic. Soon enough I was on the Verrazano bridge and heading into Jersey.

I arrived to a muddy parking lot w/ lots if guys running through ankle deep mud! Started the pre-race routine and soon enough found myself lined up in the 19th position. Not quite as good as Louisville. The gun was off and I was maybe 25th off the pavement....a surge of riders passed me, but I didn't want to blow running to early....eventually I started picking guys off slowly, but by then the gaps were huge and I wasn't making up time fast enough. I finished 22nd.

Bill Street made the drive along with a friend. Mark was a huge help as he manned the pits for me. I was taking a bike every half lap and it made a huge difference being able to ride the pits instead of run through the thickening muck out of the pits. Thanks Mark!

After hours of cleaning bikes and clothes it was off to the Olive Garden. Driving in Jersey is tough especially when you don't know where you are going and its dark and raining. You can't make a left turn without turning right first....anyway it took forever and I was bonking waiting in line for my never ending pasta bowl....not good

Sunday was more of the same. A shortened version of the same course and another 19th position call up. A better start had me off the pavement in the top 20. It was a faster course Sunday more riding in a group and a little less running. Again it was pure power trying to get through the thick mud. Still a lot of running, but as the course continued to dry and widen you could ride more and more. Again I was changing bikes every 1/2 lap. About 2 laps in I took my bike, powered through the mud and as soon as I hit hard ground again realized I had flatted...probably on the previous 1/2 lap in one of the deep ruts. I lost a few positions with the flat. Then I didn't get an ecxhagne the next 2 times through the pits. More lost time. I also got tangled in some course tape right before coming onto the pavement for the start finish somewhere in middle of the race. All in all I felt better on Sunday, but didn't go as good. Finished 24th.

Not the best weekend of results, but with tough conditions and very little support I did the best my legs were capable of...today it'll be cleaning, doing laundry, returning the rental van and possibly checking out Bay Ridge home of Tony Manero!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brooklyn, NY

Unpack, run, work, sleep, ride, work, , massage, pack, sleep, drive, fly......

It was a whirlwind between Iceman and now, but I managed to build up a second bike,


















Thanks to Snudden, Moncel, and Azhar.....White WINS!



















Thanks to Tristan for the single set up - I think that set up was 8th at nationals.

Thanks to Krazy Karl for a touch of old school and the Avid Tri Dangle hook up!


I also got in a few workouts in, put in a few hours at Bike N Ski, hopped on a place, hailed a cab, and now I'm chillin' in Brooklyn!






























Next Up USGP NJ

Monday, November 10, 2008

WOW

I'll start by saying, I really didn't think it was going to happen. I truly felt horrible all week, I hadn't touched the Superfly since the day after Ore To Shore, and the competition was top notch....

Street Player and myself rolled out at 7:15am Friday morning. We chose the northern route for a little peace and quiet to prepare for the race (get healthy fast). We loaded down the car as usual along with an extra roll of toilet paper for as much snot as my head could produce. We arrived at 4:30pm for a short preview of the finish, registration, and dinner with my dad, old school friend Derek Prechtl and his wife.

I had a good night sleep in the comfy beds of the Grand Traverse and the weather was not that bad. We rolled over to Kalkaska around 1:00pm and started the warm up. I was feeling pretty good on the warm up and just kept telling myself 'if I can make it through the first 10 minutes I'll be fine.'

The gun went off and I was immediately on Jeremiah's wheel. I was OK! Simonson pulled through and I rotated to 3rd position...still OK! Sam Schultz pulled through and the pace dropped... next thing you know 10 minutes is up...OK I made the train....


















Somewhere in the middle of the race Andy Schultz got away and was out of site....I wasn't concerned....Simonson was on the front the gap wasn't opening at an alarming rate. Simonson was a little frustrated and was asking for help and as soon as Mike Anderson took over the gap closed.

By this point I had made it half way and the lead group was 8 strong....we entered the Vasa Trail with Marko in command. On a technical descent Andy crashed and Jeremiah got a gap...I put in my first effort to try and bridge...once I made contact I though we were gone, but someone closed it down. Next Mike Anderson made a small move, but opened the gap. It opened a little too much and I closed it down on Anita's Hill with about 5 to go.

Going into the last singletrack I was 3rd wheel. Collin Cares got gapped, and I was stuck...I went around him on one of the last climbs, but with less than a mile to go I couldn't close the gap to Jeremiah.
I was thrilled to get 2nd. I wish I had a better mental state. I feel if I would have been aggressive instead of defensive I could have repeated. My lack of confidence had me following wheels and reacting to moves instead of making the others react to me. I'll be back again next year and hopefully give it another good run for the top step of the podium. We did a little partying at night, but most of it was while on the podium for me...

















The best part of the Iceman is seeing all the old familiar faces. Faces from the POTO, faces from Fun Promotions, and faces from 15 years of heading north to Traverse City.

Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way, especially this years sponsors; Gear Grinder, Van Horn Hyundai, Trek/Fisher, Oakley, Crank Bros. Thanks again to my family who has been so supportive. The best part of the trip my be the rubbermaid tub of old school home videos my dad brought from the basement in OH. The blog has potential to get really good if I had the time to look through the hours and hours of home video!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Iceman

2nd place today.

Jeremiah Bishop was first...we finished about 1:28 and I was 3 or 4 seconds behind him.....I didn't have the confidence to attack being sick. But I'm pretty happy with the result. Looking forward to getting healthy and going to NJ/NY!

Full story soon!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Clue phone was ringing.

I should have seen it coming....I knew something wasn't quite right when I woke up Saturday morning....maybe I should have noticed something wasn't quite right when it took me 5 days to feel OK again after Louisville. I showed up with no motivation Saturday and no top end speed or power. Overall I was just in a blah mood. Probable should have taken it as a sign not to race, but I had heard so much about the great course and it was only :40 mintures from home. Andrea raced the 3 women and was 3rd.














Elicia was 4th in the 1,2 women and I finished 2nd. I filed in about 10th wheel and by the 2nd run up I was following Mark. I was even feeling good enought to give the ol' Rock N Roll to the photographers....

but Mark was just cruising...next time around he decided to hit the gas and that was all she wrote for me....he proceeded to put about 10 seconds per lap into me.....

The running was tough so half way through I attempted to make some time by remounting after the barrier instead of running, but all that did was get me some loud encouragment from Half Acre Tim and the Polish Superfans. It was fun, but not any faster.




















After the race we tried to hit up great harvest bread, but it was closed. We had an awesome dinner at Hildebrads and then enjoyed some Halloween fun at the State Park where Andrea and I were married.



In the middle of the night about 2:00am when it was time to fall back I felt the swollen glands and the sore throat. All weeek everyone at the bike shop was sick...I did my best to wash my hands a lot, but I guess I caught a little somethign. No race on Sunday for me...stuck in the recliner wathcing football. It wasn't all that bad as I really haven't watched a football game all season. I slammed the fluids, vit C, echinacea, and garlic... Feeling a little better today. In the mean time I have to find some extra cash if a Euro Cross Campaign is in the future...if you need a new Fuel maybe you can help?