Monday, May 31, 2010


After a close sprint finish in Rhinelander I was pretty motivated and had pretty high confidence of my form after only a month of training. I was tired, but able to hang with the leaders...I needed a rest week and then I was going to kill it to prepare for Wausau. The motivation was high and I did 3 pretty hard training rides coming off of the rest week the Tues,Wed,Thurs before Wausau...I was maybe a little too motivated though because those three rides took it out of me and I wasn't feeling nearly as good as I wanted to be for the Big Ring....

I showed up to the race after a really rough warm up ride Sat. A quick trip to say Hi to Don, get registered, and hear a few things about the course. Upon arrival to my car....another frickin' flat tire....this time it was the bungee cord cutting a hole in the sidewall after bouncing up and down the highway for 3 hours on the way to Wausau....unbeleivable....not happy....then my old school MI training friend Jim Colflesh stopped by to say was sweet to see him...

I put in a tube and then had to reset. Back into the car for some ac and a break from the heat. A quick warm up and off to the course. I wasn't confident at all with my tires once again....too much air pressure with a tube to go around the loose gravel corners. Couldn't let any more air out because 2 years ago I double flatted in the rocks.

We started and right off the bat the Adventure 212 duo was at it again. Chris was off the front while D. Braun was opening the gap. Nathan G closed it only to flat in the first section of single track. The lead group was formed and about 6 of us where there. A lap later I realized that this was going to be a long funny race. Lots of tactics, nobody had a really great day to split the group and the course allowed for lots of drafting. The heat didn't allow for fast racing and many times throughout the race I found myself below HR 150. I also found myself in between two team mates the majority of the race. I asked Marko if he could help out, but he said he could only hang on. I had to close a bunch of gaps as Chris was taking every advantage he could to open them up. The thing that was weird was Chris took a wrong turn, crashed, and flatted, but nobody had the energy to take advantage of his mishaps. It was like I was in slow motion. I tried one attack on the final lap, but didn't have the legs...I was cramping with 15 minutes to go.....luckily I pedaled for another 15 minutes to the finish line and the legs loosened up just enough for one final effort. Another Wausau was an ugly one, but I'm gonna take it...

My motivation is still higher for training than racing right now....another 6 weeks of base training, and then I can start up some intervals and be well rested for the races!

Thanks for reading, thanks to all the superfans who were yelling as we came through the finish, and thanks to Christine for the awesome photo sequence!
ps the Trek Top Fuel sprints like a road bike w/ that DT Carbon rear suspension!!!


It wasn't pretty, but I got my first win of the season!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Nothing like preparing for a mountain bike race by spending the week building up a new road bike. In all honesty I had my heart set of the new Madone w/ the DI2 from Shimano. I ended up with the next best thing. A Gary Fisher Cronus Ultimate w/ full SRAM RED. It's super light, super stiff, and ready for some action. I took it for it first spin on Friday. Everything seemed pretty good. I might go with a slightly smaller stem...good thing the Top Fuel needs a slightly longer stem! All set to head up to Wausau tomorrow and then enjoy a Monday of recovery!

The new road bike is set up with a 53-39 175mm crankset and a standard 11-23 10spd RED dome cassette. The bike has a super beefy BB and a 1.5" headset which should make my sprint even faster!

I did make it out on the MTB last weekend and took 'er for a good warm up ride today. I think the tires are finally set, in another month I should be ready for some full speed ahead racing! Maybe I'll even make an appearance at a road race or two during T.O.A.D.???

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

crystal clear

A lot of thoughts were going through my head during the race this past weekend....

I wish I would have had more to drink....
I'm getting dropped right now...Lap 1, Lap2, & Lap 3
Lucky for me I'm riding a Top Fuel and Tristan is on a hardtail....
Jesse and Marko can kill the singletrack like no others, wish they were here...maybe not cause then i'd be dropped for sure...
I hope Barry does a WORS race later in the year when I'm a little better prepared so I can battle him...

Things started with a trip to Madison for Elicia's graduation from UW. We finished it all of with a pretty intense wiffle ball game. The best new rule we made up was being able to throw the ball at the base runner to get them out!

Sunday morning we made the long drive up to Rhinelander. Fatigue was beyond normal. I was at the end of a big base period and slept like crap for about 5 nights in a row. Andrea was in the same boat. Lucky for me I spotted a lg Red Bull out of the corner of my eye in the gas station about an hour out of Rhinelander. I told Tristan about my secret weapon and he laughed telling me my HR was going to spike to 190 and then stay there.....exactly what I was hoping for...otherwise I would have been suffering not being able to get the HR above 150.

The race started good and I filed into the singletrack about 5th wheel. I was loving the bike and felt like I was riding smoother than everybody else. I moved into 3rd wheel only to get a stick caught between the chainring and bb and almost got dropped when I had to dismount to get it out. Again I used the Fuel on the descents to bridge the gap.

Starting lap 2 the race blew apart....I felt pretty good and made one good effort to catch Barry as he was attacking, but it only last about a mintue.....and it was the beginning of the end for me. 15 minutes later the cramps started. I was way behind the hydration game.

Lap 3 was almost comical for me....I had to use every ounce of energy I had, every bit of experience I learned over the past 15 years, and I used every ounce of performance the Top Fuel had to offer. I suffered like a dog and I wondered what I was doing out there. I sat 3rd wheel behind Tristan and Chris P. Getting dropped on every little climb....legs twinging, but then risking it all on the descents to close the gap. I don't think the others could see that they were gapping me over the top. My hands even started to cramp half way through the lap. Chris went to the front a couple times and started to gap Tristan and I thought it was over, but he wasn't strong enough on the climbs to match T's fitness. Tristan would go back to the front and I would close the gaps on the descent and the suffer over the climbs with what had to be the worst pedaling form ever, trying to use the muscles that weren't about to go into a serious fit.

I somehow survived and thought to myself I might as well give it a whirl in the sprint. I timed the jump perfect but had to go to the outside...I had no power and my legs where fully cramped...Tristan came by on the inside, but I had timed it good enough to just get Chris on the line. All in all a sweet on the WORS circuit.

This morning I couldn't straighten the legs where they had cramped when I got out of I getting to old for this stuff? All I know is that Red Bull saved the day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eatin' Worms and havin' Flashbacks

Just finished up 18 hours on the bike in the past 6 days. Today was 3 hours of sideways rain and 40 degree temps. My trainer failed after 20 minutes so it was to the closet for double booties, tights, and rain jackets. I haven't worn that much clothing outside since Belgium. Good thing I decided to delay my training for nice weather!!!

The crummy weather decided my route for me....stay close to the lake and cruise due south to Harrington Beach State Park, then west to Belgium, and home on the new bike path with a little shelter from the trees.

I was feeling pretty good and thinking of my times in Belgium. I was only in the house for a total of 5-6 weeks, but it will be a 5-6 week time frame in my life I will never forget. I will always be able to draw on the experience for motivation.

So as I'm riding down the road w/ cow crap splashing off of my helmet and worms stuck to my glasses a vision pops into my head......

I'm cuddled in bed, nice and warm, dreaming of Ben & Jerry's, and winning bike races, when all of the sudden I get jarred awake. A door slams, and a foreign voice yells, 'WAKE UP' 'IT SNOWED' 'WE LEAVE IN 2 HOURS' then I here Troy Wells reply with some smart ass comment. I look out the window to see a fresh inch of snow covering the roads. I think to myself this is nothing compared to WI. I think to myself, are my bikes even on this continent. I think to myself, back to bed....

10 minutes later I'm making a Ham and Chesse and enjoying a fine cup of Belgian Coffee. 3 sugars and lots of cream is the only way I can get it down the hatch. Soon the bags are packed and I'm on my way to Kalmthout. My bikes have been lost for the past 4 days, maybe still in Chicago, maybe in London, or maybe at the race. I show to the race, my bikes arrived, a miracle, I don't have to ride J-POWS 1999 ragged out Salsa. My wheels are missing however and after a rough translation we determine they were left back in of the JR's moved them. Next up is Inschription, I'm in my blue jeans, and Sven is on the course, a quick half lap on the course, some warming cream, some cigarette smoke, a last row call up, freezing cold, no brakes down the start stretch, and then onto the course for one of the most epic cross races ever...too bad I ended up 1 lap down....

Then a car splashes me...I snap back to reality, look down at my computer and realize I still have to go for another hour, I'm going to be late for work, I'm tired, and I just want to go back to bed. I grit my teeth and finish the ride....

Racing this weekend is up in the air as of now. Andrea's sister Elicia is graduating from UW Madison.....we'll do a little partying and see what happens.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thanks CLIF

As a cyclist you have to love base miles. You also have to love to consume a ton of calories at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the bike it is necessary to do the same during those long lonely base miles. Thanks to CLIF BAR I can take in all the calories I need(and more) and still be healthy. As a health conscious person you have to love Clif and there philosophies. When you look at the label you can pronounce all the ingredients, its mostly Organic, and it tastesdelicious!

I need to go ride so I can taste another new flavor.....

Monday, May 03, 2010

On Track

I woke up Sunday morning with 2 flat tires. I thought all my preparation was complete. The guys even came and installed the gutters this past Friday so all home improvement projects are finished for the season!

I spent quite some time Friday tuning up Andreas Top Fuel w/ new cables, housing, chains, and some new rubber. My bike was mostly ready to go, but I had to get back on the DT XR Carbon rear suspension. The FOX was just too squishy....

After a while I thought I had everything set, went for a good ride and all air held....of course Sunday morning my tires were flat. So I did something I haven't done in a long time...raced with tubes....

Iola 2010....I'm not in race shape that's for sure...I could only hang with the leaders for approx 7 minutes...I think Tristan went extra hard at the start just to drop me! After a solid 3 weeks riding in Tucson, it was back to Sheboygan for 6 weeks before the first race. The first 5 weeks was spent doing one run per week and one ride per week. Leading up to Iola was my first block of training. Tue, Wed, Thurs, I finally got some good solid rides in and by Thursday I wasn't bonking at the 1:40 mark.

The race was exactly what I thought would happen....get blown out by the top guys and hang with the second group and battle to the end. I was just hoping to stay with the top guys more than 7 minutes!

It was great to see all the familiar WORS faces and even better to see a few MATTER SUPPORTER T-Shirts in the crowd...Thanks for cheering Superfans! Next time I'll have some more miles and be ready for at least 14 minutes w/ the leaders...that would mean I'm twice as fast right?

Check out the post race interview here.