Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Nite Worlds KC

First of all I've got to say that the weather in KC has really sucked this spring! Cold and wet has been the norm and I've yet to wear a short sleeve jersey at Tuesday worlds. I guess I could be worse for the Tuesday race, at least it was dry. It would of been really cold if it rained during the race.

This weeks edition was once again cold but a little better than last week. I knew that Joe and Adam were going to roll over from Lawrence so I figured I would ride out and meet them at some point and ride back. Left work a little early so I could get my interval sets done before I met the guys and I was a little surprised to Steve, Brian, and Bill, from the Tradewind Energy Team with them. Now this isn't a bad thing, it's actually a good thing, as those boys are strong and it was going to make the race much harder. 

Got to the race and found a much larger group for the race than in the past few weeks. The first few lap were kind of slow but the attacks started and then it was game on for the rest of the race. The attacks were non stop but with so little wind it didn't look like anything was going to stick. Even a late attack from Steve and Bill got reeled in with 2 to go. At that point it was up to Mercy crew to set up a lead out for  Shadd to try to win the race from a field sprint. We did manage to get most of our guys up to the front but at that point most of us were pretty fried. In the sprint it looked like Joe may have nipped Shadd at the line but it was hard to tell from where I was sitting. Overall it was a good race, 27 mph average and pretty smooth as well. Fun, fun, fun.......

Monday, April 25, 2011

Can't we just get along...........

In my last post I wrote a little bit about the Tue Nite Worlds Training Crit and some of the things that happened that night. Now we all know that it's a training race, as a team the Mercy crew uses it to practice tactics and of course we want one of our guys to win. The bottom line is that when the race is over we can all laugh at the things that happen in the heat of the moment during a race. Once it's over it's over and it's time to move on.

Now the Omaha guys, they seem to be a pretty excitable group on their rides and especially the Wednesday Nite Worlds ride. I check out GamJams Midwest pretty often as it gives a good recap of events that happen on the weekends in the area. Check out the Blog entry from Brian Redemske and the reaction or comments that it gets. Start at the top and read all the way down, it gets better and better.

Anyway, time to move on to more fun stuff.......
That is one small 29'er! Emily Batty is only 5'2" and can still fit on the big wheeled bike.

Makes me want to get my Superfly built up. She took hers to a win at Sea Otter!

Cody K. from the Cal-Giant Berries team rocking the Challenge tubies at Sea Otter.

Rolled up on this Sunday on the hard nine. The road has been sliding off into the Blue river for the last year and the city keeps trying to block the road. So far nothing has worked but every once in a while some doofus gets caught. This person tried to drive over the dirt they piled up to block the road and ended up with a giant teter-totter. Totally high centered, so bad that the wheels were pretty much off the road on both sides.

The picture really doesn't do the drop justice. It is at least 3 ft height difference between the upper and lower part.

Carly is getting bigger every day! Funny how I really don't see it but people that have not seen her since we brought her home can really tell.

So right now it's pouring down rain and I have to get the dog out before I can go to bed. Bummer, I guess it's got to be done or plan on getting up in a few hours. Good prep for our Tuesday nite Worlds Crit tomorrow!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Long time, no post……

Let's see what's new..........
Got a new shed........

Got a new 29'er kit.......

Totally destroyed a wheel in St. Louis...........

Then this showed up in the shop........ the customer said that they bought it this way, then took it back because it didn't handle right. Came back the same way so they brought it to us. It has now cost them way more than it would of to buy a TREK with a service plan.

It seems like it’s been a long time since my last post. It really hasn’t been that long but I just couldn’t muster up the time to get it done. That and I really wasn’t in the mood for a post. I was taught that if you don’t have anything good to say you should keep your mouth shut. Soooooo, I’ve been a little quiet lately. Funny thing is that there is nothing really wrong. It’s just with any competitive athlete, when the racing and training isn’t going well everything starts falling apart. In my case Jobro still had band after school, business picked up at the shop, my cell phone blew up, the house started falling apart…………and then we got a puppy!

Of course training suffered and in turn the struggles in races started. I really don’t think I’m that out of shape because I was doing the training but doubt is in your head and that lack of confidence really shows in races. I really felt it last weekend at the Tour of St. Louis. There were times that I could of crossed gaps or attacked but I didn’t, that doubt was there, hidden in the back of my head.

So at this point my Coach and I are redefining my workouts and I’m going to be working on making my workouts more of a priority while getting my life under control.

Anyway, last week we went to.........

The Tour of St.Louis!

It had been a few weeks since I raced so 6 of the Mercy crew decided to make the trek to St.Louis. Two days of criterium racing was on tap for the weekend. Before I get into the races I've got to say thanks to the Logan's parents for opening their home to our crew. It's really becoming a home away from home for the whole Mercy crew.

Saturday dawned cold, really cold. I'm really done with the cold and after the cross season and I'm more than ready for some hot weather. So we all get bundled up and the race starts. To make a long story short, groups started going away. In the first split we had 3 guys so I got to the front and started to work. Then a few more guys go up to the break with another Mercy guy, then another guy and another Mercy guy. At this point the field had essentialy split in half and I'm in the wrong half, Bummer! So I pretty much hung out and took a few pulls here and there until the end of the race. I won't go into specifics of the race but the team was definitely off, way off.

Sunday: Better weather helped my mood and I needed all the help I could get. Finally some weather where we could wear short sleeve jerseys! The grand plan was to cover breaks and get a few people off the front if we can. I was feeling pretty good and was covering a attack when I hit a pothole at 30mph! I heard the loudest CRACK I think I've ever heard but kept rolling along. Wondering what was broken I gave the bike a quick shake for fork or frame damage and it was all good. A squeeze of the brakes and the wheels seemed fine.......It was all good until I started going into the next turn and the tire started to go flat. As you can see in the pictures above the wheel was crushed above the braking surface. The rim is severly damaged but it's still true. I would of kept riding it if the tire would of stayed up.

So here is where it get's iinteresting. I roll into the wheel pit and nobody is there......... Huh, as I come to a stop I see the USA cycling official sitting in a chair...........asleep???? Not much movement until I asked if I could get a wheel. It was then that I found out the mechanic working the pit was down the block getting some ice cream. It all worked out, by time we got the mechanic back and a wheel in the bike I ended up getting 2 free laps.

Back in the race I got back to the front pretty quick but in the end we really screwed up the finish. Really, I know better than to get swarmed like we did but again, it's a confidence thing.

So back home this week and the weather has just sucked. Cold and wet has ruled the day.

Tuesday Worlds was amusing this week. Not that many people and just Shadd and I for MERCY. Early in the race Shadd got away and eventually ended up alone. I did what a teammate does and started blocking by riding 2nd wheel. It was working pretty well but one guy was continually trying to rally the troops to chase. Now, I'm pretty sure everybody knows what's going on since we do this about every week but one guy had to make sure everybody knew I was blocking. Imagine we are riding down the finish straightaway this guy rides next to me screaming,"THIS IS TOM PRICE AND HE IS BLOCKING". Now I could care less what anybody says in a race but that was a little over the top. This guy is usually vocal in races but last weeks race was definitely a topic at shop this week. Pretty amusing to everybody. Bottom line is this, if guys can be that vocal in races you are not going hard enough.

So that brings me to the present wet, cold weather. yuck. At least I have a new Superfly to put together and some new Challenge tubies to glue up on some Velocity Major Tom 29'er wheels! Now if it would just stop raining!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mathgeek on Embrocation

This is kind of amusing. I kind of like the smell of embrocation but to others it stinks. I never thought much about this until Mathgeek wrote this on her blog a while ago. I've been meaning to post it but never got around to it so here goes...........

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Embrocation

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of writing about the sweet smell. Well, rather, that the sweet smell had become not sweet at all. For those of you non-cyclists who may happen to read this and wonder what embrocation is - think of the act of using Icy-Hot or similar substance to rub into sore muscles. But in cold weather prior to a ride, some cyclists slather on designer concoctions of the stuff like a smear on a New York City bagel.

Velo-dude is one such cyclist. And whatever concoction he had been using of late this winter, the smell was over the top. It clung to the air in my house for hours after he departed for a ride. It found its way to areas of my house he hadn't been in. It was a nostril-burning sensation that seemed to permeate my entire head, even making its way to my taste buds. And I had just about had enough. As in, about ready to sneak into his closet, find the offending item, and confiscate. But this morning, I was pleasantly surprised. I think he got some new stuff. Not bad. When he came down to give me a kiss goodbye, I prepared to hold my breath, but I realized it wasn't necessary. Instead of the pungent odor taking control of all my senses, I got a subtle whiff of something faintly familiar and not too terribly unpleasant. Hmm. I was even able to kiss him back. He went on his merry way, and about 10 minutes later I headed upstairs to collect some laundry. As I passed the bathroom, I thought "wow, did he clean the toilets before he left? How sweet!" I kept walking, then realized what an utterly preposterous thought that was (he's great at picking up, vacuuming, and doing dishes. I don't believe he has EVER cleaned a bathroom since we married 21 years ago). Then I stopped to wonder why I had even had such a thought. And I realized, the new embrocation cream smells EXACTLY like Lysol toilet bowl cleaner (my brand of choice, only because that's what they carry at Costco with occasional coupons that I can't pass up). So, it smelled faintly familiar (only faintly because that's the kind of housekeeper I am). Still lingers in the house for a while after he leaves. But not totally offensive, and I can pretend I have clean bathrooms if only for a while. Good stuff that is. Must go sneak through the closet and find the brand. Perhaps he'll get a stash for Valentine's day tomorrow. Because that's the kind of romance we like to keep alive in this house.
I'll have to pass this along to the guys that make Chamois Buttr. They are working on some new embrocation that is really good. Bill had a sample and I liked it. Unfortunately I don't remember what it smells like but maybe that's a good thing!

At the moment I'm sitting in Logan's parents house near St. Louis with the Mercy Cycling crew having breakfast. This weekend is the Tour of St. Louis and we have 6 riders here. Joe from Elbowz Racing is here as well so we have a good group of riders for the 2 crits this weekend. The weather is kind of crappy for today's race, 50 degrees and a good chance of rain, plus 20-30 mph winds. Tomorrow the prediction is for warmer temps and no rain so it's all good.

More tonight after the race.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

KC TNW Crit & Redlands

Last night was the first of this seasons Tuesday Night Worlds Crit. Like many other cities we have a weekly training crit the brings out most of the competitive cyclists nearly every week.

 But before I get into that I wanted Joe and the Elbowz Team on a great performance at Redlands and for becoming the #1 Amature team in the country. Joe had another good race and without a crash on one stage probably would of been in the top 20 overall. It's going to be a great year for the whole team.
Looks like Joe is showing how much room he had to move up.

Back to our race. First of all a big thanks goes out to Mark from Bike Source, the 360 crew, and all others that were involved in keeping the TNW race alive. This is a important tool for training and would of really been missed. We had a pretty good turnout for the first week even with the gale force winds. Right from the start of the race people were drilling it into the wind. Most of my teammates on the Mercy team took some hard pulls and when I got to the front I took a hard lap as well. I knew Shadd, Adam, and Nick were close behind and as the pace slowed at the top of the hill they were off. I think they had David from 360 with them to make 4.  It was really windy last night and made the hill seem even longer than usual so it was going to be a long 40 minutes for those guys. Jason and I set about keeping them away by riding on the front and slowing the chase. It was never easy and Richard(Specialized), and Andrew(St.Johns) continued to keep it close until late in the race. In the end Mercy went 1,2,3, with Shadd, Nick, and Adam.

Richard and Rita from Specialized joined us for the crit. They work the Demo truck for Specialized for most of the Midwest. This week they in our area so look for them at the local trails. I think Smithville, Leavenworth, Lawrence, and then Swope Park on Sunday. I know Richard from Cyclocross where is one of the mechanics for the Specialized cross team. Cool dude to hang out with during the traveling circus that is the cross season.

Yesterday we welcomed Nick Coil to the Mercy Elite Cycling Team! Nick's a great addition to the team as a super strong rider and a overall good guy. As a cat 1 rider he fills a hole that we had for the bigger NRC races where they are Pro-1 only. I can't wait for the Joe Martin Stage Race when we will have the whole team together again!

So right now I'm sitting here watching the workers build a shed in the back yard. It's kind of nice having a little more relaxed morning for a change. This puppy business makes things a little crazy in the mornings. Maybe I should do some laundry instead of playing on the computer...........then again, I could just play with the puppy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hillsboro Roubaix

Last week Mathgeek and were sitting down after dinner one night and she asked me when my next race was. week? I thought we had it figured out that I could travel for Hillsboro Roubaix and the Tillis Park Crit in St. Louis. I had it all scheduled out but I forgot that it was the end of the quarter at Mathgeeks job. She works a ton of extra hours, usually all weekend long, and then most of the week. For the most part I'm a single dad for a week which is usually not a big deal. So with a child care issue I first figured I would just take the kids with me but that wouldn't work with soccer, scouts, and a puppy to care for. So we figured a workable solution would be for me to leave late Friday night and drive till I pass out. Next I find a place to sleep in the van, get up in the morning, and drive to the race. Once the race is over, hop back into the van and get back home. Did it work, yep, I'm still alive and I was gone just over 24 hrs door to door. So I bet your wondering why it was so important that I went to this race, why not just blow it off? The Mercy team race schedule has one race per month that the riders have to travel to. I made the commitment to the team to be there for the most important races and they are investing in me.
So on to the race. Hillsboro-Roubaix, nestled 50 miles NE of St.Louis this race course has some bricks instead of cobblestones but the real challenge is the broken roads, rocks, and gravel on the roads. The Mercy crew lines up with 9 guys and a plan to make sure that we had a person in every break and keep the rest of the team near the front to cover any moves.

The first lap of the race was pretty sketchy with 100 guys on really narrow roads. On top of those issues we also had to deal with some pretty strong winds all day. The first lap we were constantly on the brakes and not 10 miles into the race I found myself off the side of the road avoiding the guys that had stopped in front of me. Here I was, dead last in the first 10 miles! Luck for me the field wasn't going that fast and I got on pretty quick. I figured I needed to get to the front so I put my cross skills to work and rode the gravel on the side of the road a bit to make my way up to the front. When I got there I looked up the road and it looked like 6 or 7 guys were off the front of the group and there was a red Mercy jersey (Brad)in there.

With a Mercy jersey in the break the rest of the team got on the front of the group and set the pace and chased down any potential groups trying to bridge to the breakaway. It was all good until we hit a section with a long hill and a heavy head/cross wind on the 2nd lap. Someone punched it and soon we were all in the gutter and hanging on. Most of the team made the split but unfortunately, I did not. I thought my race was over but I kept fighting and got into a group that was chasing and after 10 miles we caught the main group.

At this point we are on our last lap and Brad's group is down to 5 guys. No problem, they had a huge lead and wouldn't be caught. Job done for the Mercy crew! But now the group is getting antsy and with all the wind we are constantly in the gutter and flying. Then the catch happens and we slow down. The attacks go, we suffer in the gutter, and then they come back. About half way through the lap Adam covered an attack and they just kept going. Shadd and I were on the front at the time and covered the counter attacks and Adams gap grew. About now I had a huge brain fart as I was going through a rough patch. We were absolutely flying, single file, in the gutter, and I was going as fast as I could go..........and I ended up on the wrong side of the split. I guess I had my focus on staying on the road and failed to notice that there was a split. I tried to get a few guys together to chase but most of them were getting popped off the group and were no help. John Schottler (Big Shark) from Columbia was riding strong and we got really close to the group but just couldn't get back on. We never gave up and rode in with a group of 5 to the finish. 

Overall I would say that the team really rode well this weekend. Some of the guys are riding really well right now and most of us are gaining form every week. The next major target is a month away and I think the team will really be riding strong by then. As for results...Brad 4th, Adam 8th, Shadd, Jason, were in the top 25, I was 36, and I'm not sure where the rest of the crew finished. 

Today was the Tillis Park Crit and I think the boys got 2nd and 6th. More on that later.....

Race Photos from Smugmug Photography, nice album of photos from the race. If you were there you should check them out.

Shhhhhh...........could there be a new shop dog at TREK KC?

Here's Carly checking out some Shimano shifters.

So while the team was out racing in the ridiculously windy conditions I was busy chopping down 4, 12 ft pine trees and digging out the stumps. The boys had fun helping, JoBro really liked using the chainsaw and axe. Not too surprising that Mathgeek was not excited about that at all!

Time for bed! I'm all ready way late for my new bed time. I've figured out that sleep deprivation has become a major issue with my recovery. See ya!