Sunday, February 27, 2011

February Rain

What a weird day, when I woke up the fog was thick and getting thicker. I was really debating weather I wanted to go out in the fog but Shadd and I decided to go out for a few hours anyway. It's not that it was cold or wet, it's just that cars can't see you when it's that foggy and I'm usually not one to take chances. It was bad enough that we weren't going to head over to Columbia, MO for the Froze Toes Road Race so we had at least get out and ride. It's kind of funny that I've never done the Froze Toes race. Some years it's the weather, others family, whatever, I've just never made it.  Oh well, it's been a really rough week and I was just fried so I was better off waiting for the next race.
JoBro was off to the SAC Museum this weekend with the Boy Scouts so he was happy to get home early before the storms rolled in. Roxy, our old mutt was happy her buddy was home.

Here's the last couple of K's from today's race over in Belgium. Watching the clip really makes me want to race but it doesn't make any sense to go race if you don't have the legs to make the bike go.

Speaking of the first rainstorm of the season, so begins our watch on the stream behind our house. What the picture doesn't show is that the ditch that is underwater is 5 ft deep and the water is just starting to flow into our yard. It didn't help that the street drains were clogged up and the water was just raging down 99th St. I ended up going out in the storm and standing in above ankle water with a big stick unclogging drains. I beginning to think I need to get some landscaping stones ordered up to make a wall around the house.

Shadd and I went all euro pro on our ride today. Rode out to Parkville and stopped off at a coffee shop, had a quick cup and headed back to KC. I never stop for much of anything on rides but it was a nice change today. The fog was so thick when I left the house that I was wet in minutes. My glasses were worthless in no time but don't get me wrong, it was fun to ride in the foggy conditions.

Yep, fun to ride but what a mess. It was one of those days that you have no choice but to get the hose out and rinse off the slime. Since this picture was taken the rain poured down and the snow is now gone. The streets should be pretty clean as well as long as it doesn't snow again tonight and they end up putting down more salt. Enough of talking about the gloomy weather, it 's looking good for the next few days!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow, what a bummer!

Just when we finally thought we had turned the corner into spring! I figured that we had one or two more snow storms to go before we were done for the year but I'm more than ready for warm weather. Oh well, I guess it's just going to be a few more weeks of piling on the clothes.

Spring has definitely hit at the shop! There has been a steady stream of Speed Concept TT/TRI bike rolling through the shop. Most people love to go the Project One route so they can pick and choose their components.

Then there was this........ I've seen a ton of bikes over the years but I've never seen the Shimano parts that were on this bike. Weird push button style shifters with a Rapid Rise rear der. The front der had this item that turns with the cranks and moves the der. I had to do an overhaul on the bike and I was a little worried that it wouldn't work when I got it all back together. Happy to report that all is well! As I said, Spring is here and I'm super busy but with bikes like this it's never boring.

It's Dean's (F.O.G., Fast Old Guy) birthday and his wife brought him a cake at the shop. Pretty amusing cake but I'm not too sure about what she saying with the decorations. We have a bike going over barriers and into a pile of dirt. Yea, I get it. Older than DIRT. But with all of his crashes that pile of dirt looks like something else. It could be a threat of what she's going to do to him if he crashes and hurt's himself again?

It was time to build some of the Mercy team bikes last night. Adam, Shadd, and Bill were there to help knock out a few of the bikes. Two of our riders all ready have their bikes and two more are heading to Texas to race this weekend. I've got two more to build and of course, the last one will be mine. After that it will be time to start working on gluing up some tubies. We just got a fresh shipment of Challenge Tires so it's time to get rolling.

Pretty excited to get on the new bike but it's going to be a few days. At this point witb all of this new snow I don't think it's going to matter. Time to go to bed so I can gut up early and shovel the driveway.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I bet that stung a bit!

I don't watch much track racing but I saw this picture pop up all over the blogosphere today. Big crash in the final lap of the Kerin World Cup. You can see the last lap or so if you go to YouTube. All I know is that's the biggest splinter I've ever seen!

The Elbowz Racing crew getting lined up for the Walburg Road Race in Texas. Nice kit's, you would never guess they are sponsored by a GP motorcycle guy. Pretty sweet bikes as well.

Joe and Kelly getting ready for the races. Joe had a good day and ended up 2nd to his team captain at the Walburg race.

No racing for me yet, maybe next week if the weather holds out at Froze toes or the following week in Texas. I'll just have to see how it works out. This weekend was pretty good for riding and at the moment my legs are toast. My recovery between rides was terrible but it's probably more due to crappy eating and staying up too late watching Supercross. Oh well, Supercross has been pretty fun to watch this year so It's been hard to go to bed early when it's on. 

So it's back to more normal temps but at least it's still pretty warm and the snow is gone!  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The New Mercy Elite Cycling Team

Mercy Cycling Rolls into 2011 With new sponsors, a new look, and an improved roster

The Mercy Elite Cycling Team has begun its 2011 campaign like no other season in the storied 16 year history of the team. For the first time Mercy Cycling will be on the best bikes in the world, built by one of biggest manufacturers in the world, Trek Bicycles. “It is an honor to be riding Trek bicycles. They bring a legacy of building bikes at the highest quality,” says Team Director, Adam Mills. Mills adds, “To have organizations like the Trek Stores and Mercy Hospitals behind the team is truly a wonderful synergy in the making. Mercy’s “Healthification” initiative pairs perfectly with cycling and the health benefits associated with the sport. Also, the new addition of Reynolds wheels and the continuing investment by Challenge tires makes our equipment some of the best out there.”

The Mercy Cycling schedule will focus on NRC and major regional events in the Midwest and the team is comprised of young, emerging talent, mentored by experienced, seasoned veterans. Each rider was selected based upon their strength and personality. The mission of the Mercy Elite Cycling Team is to: Promote sportsmanship and cycling as healthy lifestyle activity, while providing talented young riders with the resources and guidance necessary to make the transition into the professional ranks.

Elite Roster: Brad Cole, Chris Hall, Colton Jarisch, Aaron Pool, Tom Price, Bill Marshall, Adam Mills, Shadd Smith

Development Roster: Jason Knight, Luke Lininger, Austin Vinton, Logan VonBokel

Sponsors include: Mercy Hospitals, Trek Bicycle Stores: Omaha- Kansas City- Saint Louis, Reynolds Wheels, Challenge Tires, Zero Mountain, Inc., Yaffee Iron & Metal, SRAM, Oakley, Verge, Source Endurance, Stephens Production, Dr. John Kareus.

(don't worry, the kit's will be Red, not Pink!)

It's pretty exciting stuff for me. I'm going to be doing some bigger races and working with the younger riders to get results. The team is a mix of older experienced guys that bring many different talents, to young guys that are new to the sport, and a few that are somewhere in between. This year Joe Schmalz has jumped from Mercy Cycling to Elbowz Racing, a team that is the step between Mercy and a Pro team. Hopefully we can take one of our young guys and help them move up the ladder as well.

On a unrelated note, I picked up this link to a euro cross compilation that is pretty cool from Justin's blog. This weekend is the last euro cross race but the planning is well under way for the KCCX crew for 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Austin on Podium Insight, Valentines, and Rides

Our new recruit on the Mercy Team, Austin Vinton was invited to the Jelly Belly Team training camp last week. Lyne from Podium Insight did a little interview with Brad Huff and Austin as to why he was invited to camp how he felt things were going. Pretty exciting stuff, spending a week with a Pro Cycing team when you are just beginning your career. Now it's our job as a team to help him progress to a level where he can make the jump to the pro level in a few years.
Valentines day morning! Muffins and milk in the morning and then it was time to get ready for the parties at school.
Last week I got a call from the school nurse that JoBro had hurt his ankle at school. The kicker was that she said I had to pick him up? It was bad enough that he couldn't walk so off to the doctor we went. In the end it was determined that he had rolled his foot and he just needed to let it rest. He thought it would be pretty cool to have crutches but that wore off after a few days. Today was his first day off the crutches and he is still limping a bit but he should be fine in a few days.

The Saturday ride ride was pretty good as the weather continues to warm up. We got caught at the tracks by not just one train but two! Nice ride with a good group. We rolled a nice, fast pace line for most of the ride before a ripping fast run into town.

Sunday the ride started off  pretty weird. First it started off by the location for the group ride changed and I didn't notice in the e-mail. A quick phone call and I was off in a sprint to meet the group at the new location. Here's where the fun began. I ran into another group of riders heading out in the same direction. Without going into details I'll just say that I saw more than a few of the riders run red lights. On top of that there were so many dangerous moves that I just wanted to get as far away from those people as possible. No wonder this group of riders has been issued tickets by the Prairie Village police on their Thursday night ride. It's a bummer to witness riders like this. It's no wonder that motorists hate cyclists in that area of town.

Our ride on the other hand was really good. The group split up pretty early but I think both groups ended up going the pace they wanted. At this point I've got some pretty wasted legs after 2 days of fast rides. Now for a few days off and them more of the same.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Is it spring yet?

It must be close to spring, last Friday night it was Pinewood Derby time. For the first time in a few years I only had to make one car. Now that JoBro is a Boy Scout he's out and it's up to Curly to carry the load. After Mondays time trials we knew we had a OK car. Not a great car but not slow either. So after doing what we could to make it go faster but overall it was a middle of the pack car. I think he got 4th or so but not good enough for a trophy. Overall I think it was good for him to have a so-so car. He's had pretty fast cars the last few years so I was good for him to be a good sport even when he's not the best.

Snow, yea, this is the end of our driveway! Living across the street from the school has it's advantages but when the snow flies and the wind blows it means big drifts. It took a while to clear off the driveway this time. Wonder how much snow we are going to get tomorrrow?
It's hard to believe that cross is still not over! Even after Worlds there are still a few more races going on in Europe. If you get up early enough (7am) on the weekend you can catch the races on your computer. I watched both of these races and the courses looked like so much fun. It's going to be a fun summer building for next years cross season.
More cross, makes me wish for warmer temps and no snow!

Just a few more weeks before road season begins and everything is taking shape for a great season. It's mind boggling trying to get all the bits and pieces together for a small team. I can't imagine what it would be like for a big team. I'm so glad I my part is relatively small but it's pretty cool to be involved in something that's bigger than myself. People talk about how cycling is a team sport but it's not just the riders that make the team. It's all the guys behind the scenes that make the whole thing work, and when it works, it's amazing.