Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tue Crit and more silly bike photos

Tue night worlds went off this week to light winds and moderate temps. An awesome night to race, too bad there were so many sore legs in the field to take advantage of the weather. The race started off with a guest appearance from Dean Parker who is still recovering from injuries sustained at the Joe Martin race. Nice to see Dean back on the bike even if it was only for the neutral lap! Once the race started the attacks started. The plan for the Mercy crew was to not do too much during the race, everybody had tired legs from the Tour of KC and Joe is still recovering from an illness. Of course a few of us of still responded to some of the attacks and eventually Phil, Walt, and Doug got away. A lap later teammate Joe rolled across to the break and away they went. Knowing that Joe has been sick Adam teleported Shadd across to the break and that's the group that stayed away the whole race. Even though the group stayed away they never really got much of a gap and while they were attacking each other in the final laps the field was bearing down on them. In fact, David flew through the last 2 corners to catch Doug who was in the break for 5th
. Overall it was a good night at the races, bring on the Tour of Lawrence this weekend!

Tue KC Worlds Results:

  1. Joe Schmalz
  2. Shadd Smith
  3. Phil Gronniger
  4. Walt Bleser
  5. David Hedjuk

Tue KC Worlds Points:

Shadd Smith 48
Joe Schmalz 19
Mark Cole 16
Nick Coil 12
Andrew Coe 9
Phil Gronniger 8
David Hedjuk 8
Andy Chocha 6
Bill Marshall 6
Matt Ochs 5
Walt Bleser 5
Brian Bradley 4
Matt Ankeny 4
Ben Stover 4
Tom Price 4
Brian Jensen 3
Scott Stevens 3
Jason Knight 2
Josh Crow 2
Bill Stolte 2
Joe Houston 2
Christain Beattie 2
Doug Plumer 2
John Pahlman 1
Doug Obershaw 1
Steve Songer 1
Jeff Seese 1

Then there is the few photos from the shop, never fails to amaze me what some people do to their bikes. I could take a picture everyday of destroyed stuff but the really fun stuff is when people get creative. More often than not riding these bike would scare me to death but people love what they have created.

Got to love the aero bar/bar end/armrest setup. If you have a weak back this is for you, there is no way possible to get low on this bike.

No worries if that stem fits a little loose, just crank 'er down and ride on. 1", 1 1/4, whatever..........OK, we had to fix this one.

Oh will notice the dude in the first picture sporting the Rock Racing kit. I won't mention his identity to protect the........innocent? Anyway, you may have noticed that he's demonstrating that all of the red in his kit points to a certain area on his shorts. I'll stop here before too many other rumors get started........

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Today was the last day of the Tour of Kansas City and again it was a hard day at the races. A super short course with some hills and high temps made the hour long crit seem even longer. As a team, the Mercy Cycling crew had to figure out how we wanted to race to preserve Shadd's 3rd overall in the omnium race. We came up with a plan on how we wanted to race and the plan pretty much worked out. We even had a bit of a surprise as Jason pulled off a stellar ride for 3rd. Shadd rode the race just like he needed to for 4th and retained his 3rd overall in the omnium. As a team it think we got 3rd, 4th, 7th, and I even squeaked into the money with a 20th. The race today was interesting to me because of all the team tactics that went on in the race. Even though everybody wants to win the race, the overall omnium places are very important to the teams. We new the riders that we had to watch as did all the other teams. It all came down to who could get the right combination of riders up the road, and for us, if it wasn't right it was up to the rest of the team to bring them back. Just goes to show how much of a team sport cycling is.

This is definitely the most pain full part of the P&L crit, a short, steep uphill into the wind.

Found some pictures from Cliff Drive and you can see how hot is was, quite a few people have their jerseys unzipped. We were lucky to have quite a few people giving us water bottle hand ups, thanks guys!

I think that watch says 10:20, yea that's hot! 99 degrees that early in the morning and we races at 2:30pm.

I found this video of Friday nights Longview Crit, tough race but probably one of my better ones this year.
Overall I'm pretty happy with my weekend. It's been a long time since I've done Pro 1-2 races but so far it's been good. I've gone from hoping to finish the races to actually playing a part in the races. This weekend was a tough one with the heat and 3 days of racing, I'm really tired right now but after a rest I should come back stronger. Next week is the Tour of Lawrence and right now I'm not sure what race I'll be able to do. After a little medical scare this week I found out that I'm not following in Lance's footsteps and some meds should take care of things. Have to see what the meds do to my recovery before I sign up for the races.
Gotta go, time for pizza!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tour of KC, Cliff Drive

This is going to be a short post, I'm tired. Tough day at Cliff Drive today, the race is all ways tough but the heat today made it even worse. I went into the race unsure of the damage done in the Friday night race but figured I would help the team for as long as I could. Early on the pace was tough and attacks were flying off the front left and right. Eventually a group got off and the pace slowed a bit. At 10 laps to go I was starting to feel like I was going to cramp and tried to drink more, but it's too late to undo the damage by then. With 5 to go the cramping began for real and then it was damage control to try to get to the finish. I ended up making it to the finish and the team had decent results, 7th, 10th, 12th, 17th. More tomorrow........

ToKC Longview

Last night was the first of three races in the Tour of KC this weekend. The race got shortened due to a wedding that was taking place at a chapel on the course. It shortened our race but what can you do, we race every week but you only get married once, or twice.....or maybe.... anyway you get the idea. Interesting race, I really don't like the course but it worked out for this race. Since Joe is at Nationals our only real weapon in this race was Shadd so the Mercy Team decided to work for him. It didn't take long for Shadd to instigate a move that was followed by Bill from the Tradewind/Trek Stores team. At that point I just went to the front and rode a steady tempo that would see the break steadily gain time on the group. The race itself was pretty steady but pretty easy to control as anytime a attack would go that I couldn't cover the Tradewind guys would handle. In the end Shadd would go on to win one for the Mercy Team. Logan rode a good race after working all day at the race with Bill, place out of the money.

I guess this is what it looked like for most of the race. Me setting tempo with Nick(Tradewind) and Jason ready to help out.

I'm getting pretty low here so it's really starting to hurt. I was pretty tired for the last 3 laps but determined to hang on and finish.
Today is day 2, the Cliff Drive Classic. It's gonna tough, 2 climbs a lap, 50 miles, and it's HOT.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tue KC Crit

I think last night's crit was held in the hottest temps we've had all year. It Boldwas a little bit like riding onto a blow dryer all night. Not that I'm complaining, I actually like the hotter temps so bring it on. This week we were rolling up on the Tour of KC weekend races and it was obvious that there were riders with different agenda's going into the race. Some were resting and only doing half the race and others were just going for it. I was a pretty much in the middle, rode last weekend and the race was going to be the only other ride I was going to get to do the rest of the week. My training plan had me quitting the race half way never know. So the race starts and a few people go off the front and after a few laps I decide to jump up to the last guy who is still away. Soon it's 5 of us away and we get a bit of a gap on the group. To make it even better I have a teammate in the break so that makes 2 Mercy guys in a group of 5. After a while the group drops down to 3 but it's 3 guys from three different teams. With all of our teammates in the group it was going to be really difficult for anyone to mount much of a chase to bring us back. In the end, our little break made it and sprinted for the win. Walt sat up in the end and let Andrew and I sprint it out for the win. Even though Andrew led out the sprint I just couldn't come around him for the win. Good fun racing and I even figured a few thing out that I was doing wrong while we were out there.

Rolling over to the start of the A race. New all white 360 kits for the summer.

Continuing on my Tales from the bike shop, yesterday I had this. Got it in my stand and started looking it over and found this. It was in for a tune, said it didn't need much work, guess not much of a point in giving it a tune up......

I heard that there was a bike eating crack in Blue River Road but here's proof! It's pretty easy to find, just look for the spot in road where it sliding into the river. As for Pete.......he got his bike back in time for the Tue crit.

Tue Crit Results:

  1. Andrew Coe

  2. Tom Price

  3. Walt Bleser

  4. David Hedjuk

  5. Jeff Seese

No overall points until I get my desktop computer back, more debugging was needed.

On a side note, today marks 20 years that Mathgeek has been putting up with my obsession with bike racing. To say that I'm truly blessed would be an understatement and I'm just as excited to see what the next 20 years brings and I was the first year we were married.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm too tired to post, how about some pictures

This is a RAGBRI bike if there ever was one. 50amp power booster in the box, wonder if he strapped a car battery on the rack for power. Made it kinda hard to steer.......

Not to be out done by the handlebar mounted boom box. Sean get the new Speed Concept bikes to work on and I get the above, we need to talk.

Rolled out between storms with Choch and Logan, then picked up Shadd for a ride Saturday. It was supposed to be mellow. Then we started going faster and faster, then someone mentioned being late for a date. Being the good guys that we are we dropped the hammer and said person made it home on time, yea, it hurt.

Crappy picture of Sundays group ride waiting for a few stragglers to catch up after a flat. Legs were a little flat after yesterday but once we ramped it up it was all good.

This is not good, pulled the paneling off to find that the insulation had sucked up a bunch of water. No mold but what a mess.

After finding so much water in the walls of the Family room we mover in to the adjoining bathroom. Busted out the drywall to find.........more soaked insulation. Even found a spot where water pressure had pushed these whirlybird things from our oak tree through a crack between the foundation and the slab and deposited them in the wall. Yuck.....

What's left of our once finished basement.

The dumpster is getting pretty full and I have at least one more wall to go.
Time for bed, I'm crushed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tue KC Crit

Interesting night at the races, good turnout, light winds, and cool temps, can't get much better than that. It felt like quite a few people were feeling last weeks races in their legs so the overall pace was a bit slower than usual. That doesn't mean that it wasn't hard, there were attacks all night long but none of them stuck and it was a field sprint in the end.

Tue Night KC Worlds Results:

  1. Shadd Smith
  2. David Hedjuk
  3. Mark Cole
  4. Christian Beattie
  5. Doug Plummer

Updated Overall Points:
Shadd Smith 44
Mark Cole 16
Joe Schmalz 14
Nick Coil 12
Andy Chocha 6
Bill Marshall 6
Phil Gronniger 5
Matt Ochs 5
David Hedjuk 5
Brian Bradley 4
Matt Ankeny 4
Andrew Coe 4
Ben Stover 4
Brian Jensen 3
Scott Stevens 3
Jason Knight 2
Josh Crow 2
Bill Stolte 2
Joe Houston 2
Christain Beattie 2
Doug Plumer 2
John Pahlman 1
Doug Obershaw 1
Steve Songer 1

Not many details of the race but I'm way too tired. More pictures of the destruction process tomorrow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm really tired of dealing with water

The Tour de Grove weekend went about like I figured it would. I didn't figure on the rain that we had to race in but that's part of the deal. On Saturday I raced the Pro 1/2 race since Shadd and I got such a late start and it was kind of nice. It rained hard during most of the race but the Pro's are smooth in the corners when it rains so I had no worries. The course was maybe a 2 mile rectangle, 2 long straights and 2, 1 block long straights. the turns may have been easy but it was full gas when you hit the straights. My main goal was to finish the race but after sprinting twice a lap for 50 minutes I got popped after getting a little slideways in a turn. The slide got me gapped going into the headwind straight and after chasing the whole straight I got back on...... just in time for them to hit the gas on the uphill side, and I was done.

Spent the whole race in this gear on Saturday.

Joe was flying all weekend. Hope it's a good lead in for Nature Valley this weekend.
On to the Tour de Grove, overall the design of the course was pretty good but, man, was it rough. Rode the 2/3 race this time and rode ok. The legs were way tired from the race the day before so after making several failed attempts to get away I made one last gasp effort to get the boys to the front before I blew. After that I just rolled in with the field. Pretty happy that I did the races as I needed the leg speed.

Got home around 11pm to some pretty heavy storms, but not much rain by time I got home. Got inside and settled down, sat down at the computer and said what's that sound.......Looked out the window to find water up to the window of the back door. To make a long story short we got the water in check pretty quick and kept most of it out of the house. While we were working on the family room we heard the water begin running down the basement stairs. Luckily it was a pretty direct shot to the floor drain so it only damaged a few walls.

The water was above the fence on both sides of the stream twice last night. I found the 2 missing sections of the fence downstream between storms.

Debris lining the fence.

Those posts were set 4 ft in to the ground in cement. Plenty of backwash debris in the corner.

Back to the old 1960's flooring we had covered up with a nice wood floor. Now the floors in the dumpster and the interior walls are soon to follow.

Plenty of room in the ol' dumpster. good thing, I have a lot to put in it.

Debris line all the way up by the driveway.

Tried to get a picture of the water running down the stairs after I pulled off the carpet.

Our method to suck up the water that got in. Too bad so much got in under the floor. By morning it started to buckle.
Right now we are in the process of gutting the basement and various other walls in the family room and basement stairwell. That dumpster is going to really full by time I'm done!
Time for bed, 1/2 hour sleep last night is catching up, I'm tired..........

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the road again.....

Another last minute decision to go to a race. It's 10:30pm and I need to start packing for a trip to St.Louis for the Tour de Grove. Two days of racing and I guess I'll put on my big boy pants and race with the fast guys. Should be interesting to see if I can even finish the races. They say that you have to ride/race with faster riders to improve so I'm looking for much improvement from this weekend. See ya on the other side......

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some pic's from the last week

Every once in a while we get shirts at the shop to wear while working. Usually they have some nifty design, sometime not so much, but usually they are one color or another. This time some of the shirts were white, now you don't want to light colored shirt, and certainly not a white shirt. So JJ got creative and gave them a dye job. Still kinda light but at least the stains will add a little to the design.

Missed the Tue Crit because of this. This is my back yard with about 6 ft of water running through it. It got about 1/2 way to the house before it started running on top of the road. 99th street had about 6-8 inches of water running across it. The guy in the picture decided he didn't want to try it. In 6 years it's only flooded like this twice but that's enough for me.

Had to take this pic, the start line of the Mens Pro-1 race last weekend. That's Lyne from with all the cameras. Check out her website for cool pic's and write ups from the races.

LB and Bama in the JR's race the last day at Tulsa.

Couldn't let this one go by without a pic. No, I didn't stage this, that chain was rusted and stuck just like that. I had to cut it in 2 pieces just to get it off the bike.'s been that kind of week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tulsa Tough

Tulsa has become a race that you really can't miss, it's truly one of those times that they have a bike race and a party breaks out. All three days the races had parties all over the course and the later it got the crazier it got. That is until the last day when it was just plain crazy all day long. I took a video with my camera but I found one on YouTube that's much better. It was taken during the Pro race and you can see the KC crew here and there. One of best parts is watching Brian attack and get away for the win. Check it out

These two shots are of Brian and Adam on the Saturday course. In the past this race ended at dusk but this year it didn't even start until dusk and then finished late. Another crazy crowd on the hill by the Sound Pony Bar. If you ever go to Tulsa stop by, the place is filled with bikes and related parts, jerseys, you name it. I should of taken some pictures.

Ahhhhh yes, Crybaby hill. Man, that was nuts. Can't wait for next year.
Oh yea.......the races. Pretty good weekend for the Mercy boys. Luke and Chris did the Jr's race both days and went 2-3 Saturday and 1-2 Sunday. Luke did the 1-2 race all three days as well to earn the ironman award. Pretty tough kid, 5 races in 3 days at 17 years old, nice work 'bama. Joe rode well in the Pro race but with field sprints the Fri and Sat there wasn't much there for him. Sunday the course was much better for him but he just missed the final break that stayed away. The rest of the team rode well in their races and all of us came home with bikes and bodies intact.

As for me, I rode better than last week in much tougher Master races. Saturday I was 14th overall and 4th 50+, and Sunday I was 11th overall and 3rd 50+. Not too shabby but both days I made a few mental errors at the end of the races that kept me out of the top 5. Overall I'm pretty happy with the weekend. I know that Coach Adam has been pretty easy on me due to being sick so much this spring so the legs seem to coming around quite nicely right now.

Looks like St.Louis this weekend for 2 races and then I might even slide in a MTB race the next weekend just for fun....

Just about forgot, Congrats to Corey and Troy for their win and top 10 in the Dirty Kanza 200, check Troy's blog for his write up, epic is the word. You can check out Cory's here.

Time for bed..... SEE YA!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quad Cites

Looking back on our little road trip to Quad Cities to race I really have mixed feelings. I'm a bit bummed at the results but still glad I went. This was really the first race weekend that I've done this year and it's good to see where you stand with the competition. Unfortunately it really proved that I've got some work to do after all of the illness that I've had this year. Now my partner in crime this weekend Shadd had a great weekend, 3rd in the 30+ race at Snake Alley and 21st in the Pro-1,2 race at Muskatine.

I guess I should backtrack a bit, here's how the weekend went down........

Shadd and I decide to go to the races Friday night and set up our departure time sometime around 10pm. Hmmmm.....time to pack it up for a 6am departure the next morning. With a 5 hour drive time that gets us there in time for the 30+ race. Not really the race either of us want to do but leaving earlier doesn't work and it doesn't make sense to start over a 100 guys back in the Pro 1,2 race. So we start the 30+ race and we are both up front the first time up the Snake. On the 2nd lap up my shifter won't drop the chain until the 2nd switchback and then it pops off the chain ring. Not only is it off the chain ring but it's wrapped around the rear der and I have to take the back wheel off just to get it unwrapped. Got it going and figured I'd just ride for training until I got lapped. Dummy me, I rode hard enough that I didn't get lapped until I sat up and waited for the leaders on the last lap, I just didn't feel like going up the Snake again. Frustrating race, another race ruined by a mechanical. In the end Shadd was 3rd and I ended up with 14th. Too bad I was off grumping around after the race, I hear Shadd did a podium interview that's going to be talked about for years.

Next up, the Melon City Crit in Muskatine, IA. This is a fun race course with the infamous speed bump at the bottom the the downhill. In the past the bump was relatively flat and not a big deal but this year everybody agreed that it was a little bit taller than in the past. Not a big deal but at 40 mph I know my wheels were off the ground every lap. After my stellar performance on the Snake and the 89 degree weather I decided to race 2 masters races instead of the Pro 1-2 race. Bottom line is that I figured I would be better off racing where I would be competitive and it would only cost me 5 bucks more to do 2 races. Shadd was going to do the Pro 1-2 race and due to the heat we figured they were going to do hand ups so I needed to help him out as well.

So in the 50+ race I attacked a bunch but could never get away. There were 2 teammates that were working to get their big guy away, he couldn't climb but he could sure time trial. I would jump up to him but his teammate didn't want me there so he would bring the whole field up to us. Eventually I didn't cover one of his moves and that was it, he was away for the win. Then I managed to put myself in a bad position the last time up the hill and ended up 6th in the sprint.

The 30+ race was a whole different game. The race started out slow and I couldn't figure out what was going on until Brian Jensen went flying by with a whole string of guys on his wheel. Then the race got really hard with tons of attacks until 5 guys got up the road. Funny, at least 4 of the guys are Cat 1's and former Pro's, go figure. In the end I was out of position and tired so I just rode it in for 15th.

Shadd rode the Pro 1-2 race so Cathrine and I worked the feed zone for Shadd and the Tradewind/Trek Stores crew. Feeding the guys was incredibly hard. The group was going really fast every lap and there were so many guys in the group it was hard to find your guy. Shadd's been at this a while and we had no problems and I was Catherine's back-up in case one of her guys got missed.

Overall it was a fun weekend, didn't get the results I was looking for but going to the Quad Cities weekend is like going home for me. Next up is Tulsa Tough this weekend.

Try feeding your rider in that group!

I know Paul Martin from my time in Cleveland and he made a huge effort at Snake alley only to have his chain pop off and had to run the hill with a few laps to go.