Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tulsa Tough: Day 2

Hot, Hot, Hot.............well over 90 degrees today. The announcers said something about the road temp being over 100. This weekend is following the same pattern as last weekend, race ok Friday, migraine Saturday, and hopefully today will go better. Yesterday I was riding ok until 5 laps to go and then I started to feel sick, lost all power, and then cramped bad. Game over. Dean was in the same race in the 55+ and scored a 7th place. Scott rode the cat 3 race and finished in the group.

The women's continue to crash and yesterday about 30 or so went down in a pile. The race had to be stopped for a while after that one. Not too sure what the deal is with the crashing.

Lil'Boy and Alex teamed up in the JR race to go 1-2. Alex went solo to win with Chris leading the group in for 2nd. Chris went on to a top 10 in the 1-2 race a few hours later.

Pro-1 race was fun to watch, quite a battle with the Pro teams battling it out. Jelly Belly prevailed again with Brad Huff winning the field sprint. Tilford was top 10 again and all of the KC guys rode a good race and hung on to the field. Nice work in hot temps and brutal speeds.

On to today race............

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tulsa Tough: Day 1

Blue Dome District, start time was 6:20 Pm and when we arrived at the race site is was 90 degrees. First race in the heat this year but the course was good, 100+ riders on the line, and it was pretty fast. The race itself was kind of like the Tue KC Crit, fast at times but most of the time people just wanted to sit in so it bunched up. With the ebb and flow of the race came a fair number of crashes but I don't think any of the KC crew ended up on the ground.

I felt ok for most of the race, went for a few $100 primes but missed on both and ended up 17th in the field sprint. Probably could of done better but I just wasn't aggressive enough on the last lap and got shuffled back too far to place better. Scott sat up and then got caught behind a crash to finish in the 30's. JB somehow got missed by the camera or he would of been in the top 15 or so.

In the 1'2 's Lil'boy had a great ride to finish 4th, not sure about how anybody else did in that race. The Pro, Cat 1 race was awesome to watch, incredibly fast, it even looked faster because it was at night but I bet the average speed was near 30. No results as it finished around 11pm and we were headed to the hotel before they had results. I do know that the Jelly Belly team went to the front with 11 laps to go and then led out Brad Huff for the win. Pretty impressive.

Today it's back to racing with the old guys. Looks to be a hot one again, yahoo.........

Friday, May 29, 2009

Emporia MTB Race

Forgot to post this the other day. Looks like a nice MTB race coming up in Emporia KS. Check it out .

Time to head for Tulsa!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quad Cities Recap

As you may have seen in a earlier post we had a bit of a rough trip. But Quad Cities Weekend is a great series of races and I'll be back next year to give it another go.

Snake Alley is like no other race you will ever do and quite a few of the local crew got the added feature of climbing it in the rain.

Muscatine, all most like racing on a giant oval, but with a significant downhill and climb followed by a tight turn before the finish. Held in a beautiful park overlooking the Mississippi river. Can't forget about the speedbump (yes, I said Speedbump) at the bottom of the downhill.

Rock Island, is a pan flat, figure eight crit, speed rules. This year low tire pressure probably ruled due to the rain but it was still fast.

Bill leading the field up the hill on the first lap at Muscatine.

I looked pretty good at this point at Snake Alley. Too bad the wheels would fall off with 5 to go.

The infamous speedbump at Muscatine. If you hit it right you could get pretty good air. Most chose to keep it close to the ground.

Now if you need to get to the races quick here's the ride for you. Just don't let Shadd drive.

Lil' Boy had some great rides last weekend in both the Jr's and the Pro 1,2 races.

Not such a great weekend for me but that's how it goes. Tulsa this weekend and the hope for better rides. I was looking at who's registered this weekend in the Pro 1-2 races and it's going to be fun to watch. It's going to be a fun weekend no matter what happens.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quad Cities Day 2: Muskatine

Could of been better, or worse. Yesterday Mathgeek was feeling better but had a killer headache from the concussion. I woke up with a migraine from all of the stress/lack of sleep/ect..... The boy had a rough day with the two of us feeling so crappy. Bummer. Anyway........The drugs for migraines do not work well with racing so I held off until after the race. So naturally the race didn't go so well. Nancy has a good picture of me sitting on the line hiding my eyes from the sun and that's the best I felt. In the end I tried to get in a good position on the hill but it was not to be so when the money went up the road I just sat up for 17th. Oh well......

Watched the Pro.1,2, The Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores guys looked great, all over the front the whole race. Not sure how they finished but probably like Snake Alley. Speaking of Snake Alley, Chris Hall had to have the ride of the day. He came from the last row, 100 guys back to finish 12th! And that was in the rain.

So today's another day, pan flat crit, my favorite.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quad Cities: Snake Alley

The weekend started off a little weird, Mathgeek gets concussion Friday morning falling down stairs, van in the shop getting a new water pump, yea, I'm a bit stressed. Pulling into hotel at midnight last night is seen as a victory on it's own.

As for Snake Alley, 4th in the 40+. Ok result and could of been much worse, more later.

I don't have much else for results, Chris won the Jr's, and that's about it. I'll have more tomorrow.

Off to sleep and try to get caught up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Can an old dog learn new tricks?

For the past few year I've been reading a bunch about power meters and coaching but I really didn't feel it was for me. See, I just like to ride. I've never done structured workouts and I don't even know how to do a interval. The closest I come to doing intervals is jumping on the hill a few times in the Tuesday crit. I guess you could count the times back in the day in Lincoln when he would tuck in behind the semi's rolling down 9th street. At the speed limit of 35 mph they would hit every light for a mile or so. Kinda dangerous I guess.......

Anyway, this winter and spring was a rough one. I was finding it tough to train hard enough to get any benefit, or was I? I had no way of telling so I decided to get a powermeter. A PowerTap was the way to go for a guy like me. SRM gives you more information but for the money the PowerTap will do just fine. So I rode for the past month just like I all ways did and looked at the power data. And what did it tell me..........nothing! Not that the info's not there, no, it's just that I don't have the slightest clue what to look for. Time to find a Coach to get some direction.

I went with Adam Mills from Source Endurance. Sent a number of power files to Adam and he quickly had a few test rides set up using the PowerTap to figure out my Lactate Threshold. Was that a shock, intervals, I about killed myself. Picture some idiot on the bike, all over the road, struggling to hit the numbers while staring at his computer. Duh, harder than it sounds. During the test I quickly found out 2 things, slamming it into a bigger gear does NOT make more power, the number actually goes down, and 2, my spin sucks. Amazing how much more power you can make with a good spin!

Next up, the VO2 Max/Lactate Threshold Test. The thing about training with power is that it's best to get solid baseline data for your training. A lab setting is the best way to do this so I visited Dave Burnett at Summit Rehabilitation and Fitness.

The Man!

Dave ran me through the tests and explained how they worked as we went along. As a rookie it was pretty neat.

The machine....... it's not a pain full as you might think. the LT test was OK.... the V02.......a bit of suffering, but hey, you have to try to get the best number you can! I'm not going to hit 80 ml/kg/min like Lance, but I did hit 60. So while Lance is climbing those mountains in Italy this weekend, I'll be climbing up Snake Alley 12 times and that's good enough for me.

OK, this is a long post so I'll stop. Bottom line is this...........I'm happy I'm doing this. After a week of working with Adam I've all ready discovered some thing that will make me faster. Once Quad Cities and Tulsa are over we will have some time to work the program and see what happens. I have no doubt what's going to happen and I can't wait!

Oh yea, one more thing. If you have a power meter and have not been tested, go see Dave. The price is right and it's quick and easy.

Off to the races.........see Ya!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tues KC Crit

Nice night for a crit, Temps were up, NO RAIN, it was all good until someone told me about the metal plate in turn one. You know, the type that covers the huge holes in the road.This one happened to be in the middle of turn one! Turned out to be a non issue as people were pretty smart and kept it tight enough to stay away from the plate. It also helped that Brian took off on the first lap and it was time to chase all night long. That kept the group spread out for most of the race. As for me, looking forward to a VO2 Max/LT test Thursday so Coach told me to sit out after a few efforts to rest up for the test. More on my my views on Powermeters and coaching tomorrow. For now it's time for the results and a few Pic's.

Big group tonight, spread out over most of the back stretch.

Brian and Phil did this all night and came close to lapping the field.

Tuesday KC Crit:
  1. Brian Jensen
  2. Phil Gronniger
  3. Shadd Smith
  4. Chris Hall
  5. Doug Plummer

Overall Points as of 5/19/09

  1. Shadd Smith 50
  2. David Hedjuk 18
  3. Brian Jensen 17
  4. Brian Bradley 15
  5. Phil Gronniger 11
  6. Joe Schmalz 7
  7. Mark Cole 6
  8. Tom Price 6
  9. Adam Mills 5
  10. Matt Ankeny 4
  11. Nick Coil 4
  12. Jason Knight 3
  13. Lawrence Simonsen 3
  14. Adam Miller 3
  15. Chris Hall 2
  16. Bill Marshall 2
  17. Lyle Reynolds 2
  18. John Seiczkowski 1
  19. Pat Angell 1
  20. Jeff Winkler 1
  21. Jeremy Pych 1
  22. Andrew Coe 1
  23. Paul Fancher 1
  24. Doug Plummer 1
I was told tonight that I've been a lazy blogger, only 1 post in 6 days? What can I say........I've been busy! Too much soccer, baseball, home projects, ect........ and then there was this.

Thankfully these are not our cars but it was close. This picture is right in front of our house. Mathgeek(wife) was coming home with dinner and was stopped at the stop sign. The kid in the car decided that the intersection was a 4 way stop(it's not) and got t-boned by the truck.Mathgeek saw the whole thing play out in slow motion and then saw the wreck slide closer and closer to our car.........stopping 2 feet from the front of our car. phew. Got to say Hi to Justin as he rode by on 99th while I was out with the neighbors helping the crash victims.

Soccer is over, Baseball for a few more weeks and then it's time to ride the bike!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Crit, No Rain!

Yes, the Tuesday crit went off tonight with the threat of rain that never materialized. I did everything in my power to keep the rain away, rode the rain bike, wore old clothes, brought my raincoat. I guess it worked, we got a few sprinkles but that was about it.

Tonight's winner Shadd, Sporting his Source Endurance kit. Maybe I'll have one for next week's race but more on that in another post.

Shadd picked up the win tonight in what was a pretty weird race. Small group due to the weather but still 25-30 guys. Once the race got started it seemed like nobody really wanted to get things going. At some points during the race the corners were a little wet so that slowed things down a bit as well. But it didn't take long for some of the guys to start attacking and Phil G. put in a huge 2 lap effort that strung out the field. Near the end Phil attacked and Shadd let him go, David H. rolled off the front and everybody let him go, so I attacked to try and get across to the two of them solo. Made it up to David but was gassed and had to sit on as we made it up to Phil.
Not long after that Shadd bridged up with Larry S. and that made 5 in the break. I was still pretty gassed but hung on until the last lap and ended up 4th. Not too bad for the first ride after last weekends crash fest.

Here's the results from tonights race:
  1. Shadd Smith
  2. David Hedjuk
  3. Lawrence Simonson
  4. Tom Price
  5. Phil Gronniger

Overall points:

  1. Shadd Smith 47
  2. David Hedjuk 18
  3. Brian Bradley 15
  4. Brian Jensen 12
  5. Phil Gronniger 8
  6. Joe Schmalz 6
  7. Mark Cole 6
  8. Tom Price 6
  9. Adam Mills 5
  10. Matt Ankeny 4
  11. Nick Coil 4
  12. Jason Knight 3
  13. Adam Miller 3
  14. Larry Simonson 3
  15. Lyle Reynolds 2
  16. Bill Marshall 2
  17. Pat Angell 1
  18. Jef Winkler 1
  19. Jeremy Pych 1
  20. Andrew Coe 1
  21. Paul Fancher 1
  22. John Siezkowski 1

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And they (he) walked away

If you watch Versus or ESPN2 I'm sure you've seen this show filled with crashes of all types. Well, I traveled up to Nebraska this weekend for the Battle Royale MTB race and I could of starred in my own video for the show. I got there early to pre-ride as I heard it was hilly and fast. I used to ride there about 15 years ago so I knew there was some climbing. Sure enough there was one long climb to open the lap with lot's of short poppers all over the course. There were also quite a few drops with g-outs at the bottom. Looking around before the start there were even more Cat 1 riders than the last week, very cool, but the field was stacked with fast guys as well.

At the start Nate got the holeshot with Kent, Cam, Aaron, and myself in tow. Half way through the lap we had established a gap and it was looking good. Then the crashing began........blazing along in the group we popped over some tree roots and my front wheel caught something, went off line across the trail and caught another root stopping me on a dime. So here I am, all tangled up in my bike, on a blind downhill, with the second group coming fast. I scrambled up and got on my bike just as the 2nd group caught me. Here's where things get a little fuzzy.....I know I was catching up the the lead group again when I came up on a pile of logs arraigned as a jump. When I pre-rode it was easy but at chase speed my timing was off and the back wheel caught the top log, I was in trouble, big trouble. I know I rode on the front wheel for a while because I had time to look for a soft spot to land. Hit the deck hard after going over the bars but missed the trees, so far, it's all good. Getting up, not so good, a little dizzy, but the 2nd group still isn't here so I get back on my bike. Two guys go by as I'm trying to figure out where I am but I slide into chase mode. I'm in 6th place and chasing hard but my balance is way off and the next 2 crashes come from letting my front wheel drift off line around the turns. It was about this time that I finally figured out why this huge blade of grass kept falling into my face, it was connected to the mound of dirt stuck in the vents of my helmet!

Cam and Kent leading

So by now I've crashed 4 times in 2 laps and I'm pissed. It's the 3rd of 4 laps and I'm done. I decide to just cruise in and quit. As I was piddling along I try to figure out what place I'm in and I figure out that I should be close to the top 10. That motivates me to ride the 4th lap, for fitness I tell myself. About then Kent (not sure what happened there) comes by and I decide to try and hang with him for a while. Now my balance issues weren't bad going slow, but it didn't take long at Kent speed for me to catch a pedal and go down again.......for the 5th time! So now I'm on the 4th and final lap, determined to stay on my bike when I notice someone catching me. Better pick up the pace, but not too much, and I mange to finish with out falling again. Yea......I have no idea what place I got but I do know I'm bleeding down my arm and into my glove, with cuts and abrasions on my other arm and legs. But hey, I finished.

Aaron between groups

Got cleaned up and headed for home. I told Matt I may never stay in Lincoln again for a race. Seems like I crash every time I stay there! When I walked into Gramps house back in Lincoln my wife just looked at me, shook her head, and said,"Is it worth it?" Without hesitation I replied,"yes it is."

I thought I could go, but it was a no

Thanks to the MOD spot for the pics..........and in case you are's raining in KC right now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday KC Crit

Not sure if it was the upcoming Joe Martin Stage race of what, but it sure was a different race this week than the previous weeks. Pretty negative race with nobody really attacking, just lot's of people fighting for Shadd's wheel. In the end it was a field sprint with Shadd winning.

  1. Shadd Smith
  2. Brian Bradley
  3. Adam Miller
  4. David Hedjuk
  5. John Sieczkowski

Overall Points as of 5/5/09

  1. Shadd Smith 42
  2. Brian Bradley 15
  3. david Hedjuk 14
  4. Brian Jensen 12
  5. Phil Gronniger 7
  6. Joe Schmalz 6
  7. Mark Cole 6
  8. Adam Mills 5
  9. Tom Price 4
  10. Matt Ankeny 4
  11. Nick Coil 4
  12. Jason Knight 3
  13. Adam Miller 3
  14. Lyle Reynolds 2
  15. Bill Marshall 2
  16. Pat Angell 1
  17. Jeff Winkler 1
  18. Jeremy Pych 1
  19. Andrew Coe 1
  20. Paul Fancher 1
  21. John Siezkowski 1

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where do I begin..........

Sometimes I just don't know where to start, after a few days so much has gone on that I can't remember all the stuff I wanted to throw on the blog. So here we go, tidbits from the week......

Here's two things from the shop that I so wish I had a camera ready,

A customer who has been known to be difficult comes into the shop and is looking to buy a Madone. Of course this person is shopping us hard against another shop for a better deal and the sticking point is his old bike. Now we don't take trade-in's and the other shop does, and he's going to get a great deal, and they are going to take his old bike. Que the used car salesman theme song, bottom line.....they give him dollars for his old bike, and jack up the cost of the new bike to make it up. What a great deal! At least he got something for his old bike!

But the story doesn't end there, no the fun has just begun! Our customer shows up in the store to buy some brake cable, why you might ask.......... Our fine customer has decided that even though he bought the less expensive model that has external brake cable routing he still wanted the internal routing of the more expensive bike. You can see where this is going, or at least hear the drill running. Yea......went ahead and drilled some holes in that carbon fiber frame so he could run the cable through there. But don't worry, since he had to make the holes a little bigger to get the cables to run better he figured that he could seal them up with silicone seal and it will be all good.
If I ever get a photo of this one you'll see it here.

Then there's this........... I'm sitting at the service desk finishing up a ticket when I hear a bike rolling back to the service area. I know Dean's back there so I don't look up, and try to finish up what I 'm doing. Dean walks up and in his cheeriest voice asks if he can help them. Then I hear the customer say............"MY BIKE DOESN'T GO FAST ENOUGH", Dean and I look at each other and there are so many things that I'm dying to say. But, we both manage to get serious enough to see what we can do. Seems his Mongoose MTB with the electric assist just won't keep up with the mopeds, darn, not much we can do for that one!

Since we've had so much rain lately that the trails have been off limits I decided that I should give a MTB race in Omaha a try. The race was Saturday so to get ready Friday night I attended the Cub Scout picnic with the boys. Did a little(very little) fishing(dad hold poles while kids run around), then got my pre-race meal. Two hot dogs, potato salad, chips, and a cookie. Forgot to mention that we are having 3 of Jonas's buddies over for a sleepover for his birthday. So much for sleep for me.

Got up bright and surly Saturday to meet Ben at the shop and head for Omaha for the race. Got there and found trail conditions perfect, tacky and fast.

A fair number of Cat 1 (expert/Pro) riders were on the line for the race. Going into the single track I made it into the front group of 5 and we quickly started to pull away from the field. This is where it gets strange, it's a 5 lap race, 2 laps down and I'm feeling pretty good. The legs are feeling kind of weird, tired or starting to cramp, I'm not sure, but still feel strong. Soon I get it in my head that if I can stay with the guys in the group I'll do no worse than 5th. In those last 3 laps the group split apart as 2 of the guys rolled away from us one at a time as the race wore on. Could of/should of, tried to go with one of them but I didn't. Rolled across the line 5th and didn't bother sprinting Shim for 4th since I'd been riding on his wheel for the past 2 laps. Overall it was a good race for me and the crew running the race did a exceptional job. So did I leave something in the tank, I think so. Next race I'll have to be a bit more aggressive and see how it goes. No more head games with myself!

Got to give a shout out to my 29'er teammate Mark, won the 3 hour by 8 minutes on a Superfly SS. Ya hooo.

Can't forget about Magic Matt! The Lincoln Industries colors were out there with both Matt and Smitty. Both of them were rolling the Fisher Paragon 29'er and loving it!