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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TNW and the Hill Ride

Fresh off the Tour of Kansas City I was still feeling pretty wrecked when Tuesday Night Worlds rolled around. On my training plan I had a scheduled rest day but rumor had it that Joe and the Elbowz buys were in town and racing. I couldn't resist, I decided I could still race. The key here was that I had to sit in and do nothing, just roll around in the field. It was kinda boring, kinda amusing, but in the end I think I averaged somewhere around 130 Watts. Pretty mellow but probably not mellow enough for my coach!


Didn't take long for Joe and the Elbowz boys to be off and running.

Jobro was taking pictures and he really didn't think he took any pictures of me. He was surprised to see this one. I was surprised as well, I was kind of hard to find hanging out at the back of the field.

So the next part of the training plan was to do the Wed Hill ride. The ride itself isn't that hard or hilly but you can make it as hard as you want. The plan was for me to go hard on the hills and rest on the flats to get my legs going again. I was a little worried as my legs were dead before the ride from my 8hr slow dance in front of my workbench. But it was going pretty much according to plan until I broke a spoke in my front wheel on one of the climbs. That was pretty much it for me and I just rolled it on home.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tour of Kansas City, Day 3

Today was the final day of the Tour of Kansas City and the Mercy crew was sitting in pretty good shape for the overall. The way it shook out was that Shadd was leading and only 4 other riders were close enough in points to catch him. As a team we needed to focus on those 4 riders, keep the group together, and make sure that if it came down to a field sprint Shadd had to finish 5th or better. It would be a bonus if we could get one of our guys away in a small group of riders to suck up all the omnium points. Of course it goes without saying we wanted to win the race as well. So how did it play out.........
The race started out with an attack right off the line and then they just kept coming. About the 5th attack Bama started chasing a solo riders attack when I told him to let it go. From behind I heard Steve (Tradewind) make a comment and then 2 turns later he attacked. Austin was on his wheel right away and Kent (Colavita) made it to the group and they were off and running. Pretty much perfect for us, 3 guys up the road that were low in the overall and now it was time to keep the group together. The team did a great job and with 5 to go we got on the front and started ramping up the pace. Unfortunately the heat got to me and I started to cramp badly with a few laps to go. In the end Austin got the win for Mercy and in the field sprint Shadd just got nipped at the line to end up 5th.

For the weekend we ended up winning all 3 stages and finished with Shadd in 1st overall, Austin 2nd overall, and Adam in a 3 way tie for 3rd (6th after the tiebreaker). Huge effort from the team this weekend paid off with great results. Next weekend is the Tour of Lawrence where the competition and courses are going to be much tougher so we are going to have our work cut out for us.
This is pretty much how most of us spent the race today. Time to rest up for next week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tour of Kansas City, Police Academy Crit #1

Ok, I'll admit that I was less than excited about racing today. Last nights problems and rumor's of a boring course had me wanting to stay in bed. Justin had said that I would be surprised that the course really wasn't that bad and actually fun. After racing today I would say that it was a pretty good course. It had a a few turns and a little bit of a hill so at least you could let it rip in a few turns. In the race the Mercy crew had a game plan on what to do during the race and I would say that we executed pretty well. It wasn't smooth sailing but in the end Adam won and Shadd took the field sprint for 3rd. I'm not sure where Nemo ended up but I'm sure it was top 15.
Today was definitely a tactical battle between Mercy, Tulsa Tough, and Tradewind teams. Everybody is looking for the win but also keeping an eye on the omnium points as well.
Steve Tilford (Tradewind) patrolling the front of the field while teammate Bill and Adam (Mercy) were off the front of the field. Both photos by Trudi Rebsamen.

So the great dilemma for me is that there is a MTB race tomorrow as well as the final stage of the Tour of KC. I had been planning on doing the MTB race but I've decide to do the Tour of KC. Kind of disappointing but the team needs me so I'll go and do what I do. Don't get me wrong, I really like working with the road team but I really want to start hitting more MTB races . Maybe July and August will be better on the MTB front, we shall see.

Your of KC, Longview Crit

Have to make a long story short for today as I'm running a little late getting ready for today's race. The race started pretty hard but I was feeling pretty OK for as fast as we were going. After about 5 or 6 laps my foot popped out of the pedal going up a hill and when I tried to get going it happened again. Bummer, I knew that my cleats were pretty worn out but I didn't want to change right before a race. It's kind of tricky making the change with a bad knee and I all ways need a easy day or two of riding for the knee to adjust to the change. But I guess the cleats were worse than I thought and my race was over.

On the bright side Shadd and Nemo from the Mercy team made the break with 2 Tulsa Tough guys and that was the race. Shadd Won and Nemo was 3rd. Adam got away with Bill Stolte with 3 to go to get 6th.

Nick made a appearance to cheer on the team. Still waiting to figure out the extent of the injuries to his shoulder.

It was getting pretty dark at the end of the race but here's Shadd winning the Pro 1-2 race.

The winning break. Picked this picture off Facebook but forgot to get the photo credit, sorry.

Day 2 today, a crit the the police academy training grounds. Sounds exciting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photo dump

Clearing out the camera in preparation for another race weekend and I found a few pictures from the past week or so. It's been pretty busy with swim lessons and soccer camp but we did find time to finally hit the trails.
Jobro got a new MTB this week. I really didn't plan on getting him as nice of a bike as I did, but I think it's going to be worth it in the end. I think the deciding factor had to be the weight. The move from a mid level bike to one more to the upper end had a significant impact on the weight. Of course half the weight equalled twice the money so I'm glad I work at a bike shop on that one.
We rode the trails at Swope park and it was Jobro's first time on any trail other than River Trails. I knew that the 2nd phase of the trails would be ride able for Jobro for the most part and I had heard the the new trail would be even better. I was right, the Earthriders crew did a great job creating a beginner friendly trail that's really fun. We figured out a way to use the road to connect the trail loops so that there really was nothing technical he couldn't handle. I can't wait to get out solo and see how fun it is at speed.
Here we are just before the Tue Worlds Crit. Pretty decent showing in the A race. It was kind of a weird race, our guys were tired from Nature Valley and the wind made attacks kind of short lived. Eventually there was a break, or a split......I'm really not sure. Quite a few guys up the road and I wasn't one of them. Later in the race Bill, Adam, and I, and one of the St.Johns guys formed a chase group. We got within 9 seconds but we ran out of time and that was it.
Curly had swim lessons for the past 2 weeks that just ended tonight. He passed on to the next wave and was really proud of himself. I know it was touch and go on weather he would pass to the but he pulled it out in the end!
Here's some real Tulsa Tough happiness. Yes it was hot and humid all day. We got the stinkeye when we told him we were going to be there a little longer. When I went to pick up my prize money they had given my check to someone else and were trying to sort it out. After watching another race and hanging out for another hour their solution was to give me the other guys check and say that they will mail me the difference. Yea.....checks in the mail.....right. The topper to all of this is that I was so frustrated about all of this that I just took the check they handed me for the 50+ race without looking at it. Big mistake, I just grabbed the checks and boogied out of Tulsa. When I got home I looked at the check and they gave me the check for 3rd instead of 2nd. I know, I should know better than to leave a race before sorting out payout problems but what are you going to do with a cranky family at the race and a dogsitter at home costing you more and more the longer you are gone.

So........tomorrow is the start of the Tour of Kansas City. This year it's 3 crits. None of them are on the traditional KC courses. Less than excited about the courses and the last two will be on the police training grounds. Oh boy, racing on roads out in the middle of a field. Kind of reminds me of some Nebraska State games crits we did back in the day. Oh well, there is a MTB race at Perry Lake Sunday and you just may find me there.......

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nature Valley GP

Following the weekend of racing that was Tulsa Tough my racing schedule becomes kind of slow. The rest of the Mercy crew (at least the Cat 1 part) went up to Minnesota to do the Nature Valley Grand Prix Stage Race. 5 days of racing in a Pro/Am field looked brutal from what I could see from the coverage. The live streaming video on Velonews.com was pretty good and you could really see the Mercy kits in 3 stages that they showed.
Joe Schmalz had a great race ended up 16th overall.
Joe also ended up with the Best Young Rider jersey.
It's been raining pretty much every day with an occasional strong storm. JoBro got a new MTB and it won't quit raining long enough to get it out on the trails.
I guess you can add me to the turtle savers club. I found this guy in the middle of a 4 lane devided road. Not sure where he was going but I put him in the tall grass on the side of the road.
Instead of hitting the trails Jobro and I got out on the road bikes instead. He's grown so much since cross season that his bike fit is all goofy. I might have to get him into the shop for a bike fit.
Friday nights storms knocked a bunch of trees down. I rode past these three trees that all lost some pretty big branches. Lot's a debris on the ground all over KC on Saturday morning.
Today it was pretty hot at ride time. I was just ending a interval set when I spotted this guy out for a swim. Pretty tempting but I was a bit too far from home to ride in witha soggy chamios.

What's up next? Not sure, maybe Tour of KC with it's police academy crits or a US Cup MTB race in Wisconsin. I guess I'll have to make a decision after my appointment tomorrow with the Ear doc. Still looking for answers to the balance/vertigo problems.

Monday, June 13, 2011

This is a good video from the Cat1-2 race. You can see Mercy Team riders Jason and Nemo pretty much every lap.

Tulsa Tough: Riverview Crit

With all of the turmoil outside the racing part of the weekend I forgot to mention that we actually had a pretty good time. Friday night Mathgeek and I got a bit of solo time without the boys and went down and watched the rest of the Mercy crew in the Pro-1 race. That's a first since....well, before the boys. In fact, since Jobro and Curly were worn out on Saturday night we went out and watched the Pro race that night as well. Saturday Mathgeek and the boys went and checked out the Tulsa aquarium before my race and said it was really cool.
Matheek and they boys enjoying downtown before it got hot. Breakfast at the Blue Dome Cafe was great and only a few blocks from the hotel.

Mathgeek wants to dress up like this next Halloween. If you see any video from Cry Baby hill you will probably see a really drunk jellyfish dancing in the street.

The Mercy Team compound during Saturdays race. This was during the Cat1-2 race when some huge raindrops began falling and road got really slick.
Jobro gave photography a try during the Riverview crit and did a really good job. Pretty impressive for a 12 yr old with a point and shoot camera.

Just about forgot to write about the race. Sunday I did the Masters race so we could get a early jump on getting home. The Riverview course sits by the river and has a pretty significant climb in it followed by an equally significant downhill on the other end. Usually this would be a pretty good course for me but after being sick and off the bike for a good part of 3 weeks I wasn't so sure I had much left on the 3rd day of racing. My plan was to be aggressive early and try to force a split that left most of the 50+ guys behind. It nearly worked, I got the split but a few laps later it all came back together. After a number of attacks and counter attacks we were still together and I was pretty gassed. Just when I slipped back a little bit in the field Will Gault from Tulsa Tough rolled off the front of the group never to be seen again. On the last lap I was pretty far back in the group but managed a sneak attack before the downhill to get in front of the group for the sprint. In the end there was Will and 4 others in front of the group and I was sprinting for 6th. I had a decent sprint but just got pipped at the line by 2 other guys and ended up 8th. In this race there is an additional prize list for the 50+ so I was 2nd there.  So not too bad of a weekend!
video
I shot this during the Cat1-2 race on Cry Baby hill. Check out Jason blasting by right in front of me.

Time for a bit of a rest before Tour of KC.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brady Village Crit

Great Photo from Lyne! Took a few minutes to chat with Lyne during the Pro mens race last night and catch up. Nobody works the races like Lyne!

Started the day yesterday at 6am so I could get the van over to a shop and be first in line to get it fixed. I guys at the shop were great and got it dome pretty fast and with out any issues. It's finally back to normal and drives really nice.

As for the race, eh, it was just ok. I did the masters race and it was a pretty weird race. I have not done a masters race in over a year and I'm just not used to the negative racing and going into the turns 15 guys wide and all bunched up. In the 1-2 races I've been doing the pace is much faster and the group is usually line up going into the turns. On top of that most of the guys know what they are doing so you can get pretty close in the turns. Friday night was like that in the 1-2 race so it was a shock to race with the Masters yesterday.

That said I never felt good in the race and was just tired. I attacked a few times and went with quite a few more but nothing was going to stick so I backed off. A little after the half way mark I started to get a front flat. It was a slow leak so I rode it for a few laps so I wouldn't have to argue with the officials in the wheel pit over weather it was really going flat. With 10 to go I got a new wheel and got back in the race. I was feeling ok but just didn't have the snap to get back to the front in the end. I ended up 15th overall and 4th 50+. Nice to double dip in the prize list! Kind of bummed that I didn't place a little better but former Pro Jamie Carney won the race so I can't feel too bad.

So at the moment its raining and today's course had a bid downhill in it that is followed by a off camber turn. That turn is slick when it's dry so it should be pretty interesting when it's wet!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 1, Tulsa Blue Dome Crit

Our home boy Joe Schmalz was off in breaks all night and made the final one when it counted. He was in a 5 rider break that got caught by another group with less than a lap to go. He still sprinted in for 9th place!


Tulsa Tough weekend has begun and it's been pretty interesting to say the least. Just getting to Tulsa was a challenge because of car issues. In fact, I'm sitting at a Firestone store right now while they look at the van again. Yep, instead of getting some sleep I got up at 6:30am to drive to the shop. What started as a dead battery turned into a alternator, then some tires, wheel balance, and alignment. After two days of hiccups, and missteps I got the van back yesterday morning in time to load up the family and hit the road. It seemed all was well until the speedometer hit 50 and the van started shaking. I guess it's pretty bad when Jobro looks up from the back seat and asks me why my hands are shaking so bad! Anyway, we made it to Tulsa in time for my race and the van should be fixed soon.

On to the race! I did the cat1-2 race and lined up with a full field of 150 riders. Since I was running so late I decided that a better start position was help more than a warm up so I rolled around a bit and headed for the line. Ended up on the 2nd row with my teammate Logan just in front of me and Nemo just behind. I'm not sure where Jason was but it didn't take long for him to roll up to the front of the field. Overall the race was pretty smooth and I was able to move around pretty easy within the pack and stay near the front.

Going back to the start, while sitting on the line I was looking at the sky and thinking it  looked like rain off in the distance. I figured, or hoped, that it  would hold off, but near the end of the race what I thought was photographers flashes was actually lightning reflecting off the buildings! With 5 laps to go Jason, Logan, and I were all up near the front of the race when the rain really started. High speeds, dirty roads, and rain are a bad mix and the crashing began. Soon there were bikes and bodies on the ground in every corner and after skating around and I decided it was time to sit up and wait for a better day.

So today is the Brady Village Criterium. It's a L-shaped course with a little bit of a hill in it. I'll start with the Masters race @3:50 and see how I feel. If it goes well I may go out and play with boys in the 1-2 race later in the day @7pm. The Pro-1 men go @ 9pm so it's going to be another late night. If you want to watch it's on Velonews.com.

Hope the van is done soon, I'm starving!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Photo Purge

I've got a quite a few pictures that I never used so here's a few that I took a few weeks back in St.Louis and a few others that I picked up along the way.
Colton at the Driveway crit in Texas. It looks like it's pretty hot there and that's a great photo shot for our sponsors, TREK and Reynolds.


Here's Scott at the Friday night crit in St.Louis. Night time photo's are all ways a challenge with my little point and shoot camera.

This is my attempt at a kida artsy shot. Ok, it was an accident but I still like it.

Joe and Brad on the line Friday night. Joe would go on to have a great night riding in a 2 rider break for most of the race. They got caught with just 3 laps to go which was a huge bummer. Where's the GoPro video from that night?

Ah, the stores Sprinter van finally got wrapped. Looks good, sure wish we had one in KC! Ok, maybe just a 15 passenger van, or just a van, ok, maybe a pick-up truck, or yugo with a bike rack...........oh well.

So another weekend at home with no racing. What to do, what to do...............

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another week has flown by............

Another week has gone by and once again I've been slacking in the posting department. It's kind of been a weird time around the house lately, I've been sick and on antibiotics for 2 weeks, the kids are out of school, and I've barely been on a bike for 2 weeks. Adding to the weirdness is that this week the kids are between school and summer camp. That means that I'm working nights and hanging out with the boys during the day. So with some day time hours available this week I thought I would knock out some projects around the house and make Mathgeek happy. We got off to a great start powerwashing the deck, until the pump blew on our borrowed powerwasher. The borrower, "you break it, you bought it" gaurantee may come into effect as it costs about as much to replace the pump as it would to replace the whole unit. Bummer........ So that stopped the progress on a few other projects that would of used the washer as well. darn! So after 2 days af taking 1 step forward and 3 steps back I'm going to get some sleep tonight and start fresh tomorrow. On the cycling side there is not much to report. The antibiotics are kicking my butt this time. I don't know why, there was a whole laundry list of side effects to this drug and I think I've felt all of them. Oh well, a 2 week break may help down the road but it's probably going to make Tulsa Tough well.......tough.
We decide to do a family bike ride at River Trails in Lawrence on Memorial Day and it was pretty great, even though there were a few issues. The biggest would have to be that I forgot my MTB shoes, Duh. At least I was planning on riding with the family so it was no big deal. Then I pulled my road bike out set out for KC while the family drove back. I love it when I get to double dip!

Mathgeek and Jobro, both on their final voyages on those bikes. Mathgeek has her new bike on the way and I'm shopping around for something for Jobro.

Curly also got in the act and tried out the trails. He wasn't thrilled with the narrow trail but for a first time out he did ok.

Finally got out for the Tuesday nighter this week. I think it's been 3 weeks since I did it so it was nice to finally get back. I actually rode ok for being off the bike for a while but I definitely paid for the early race efforts in the end. That and I took the wrong approach to controlling the field with 5 laps to go and totally burned myself out for the finish. People wonder why the Mercy crew practice our teamwork in a weekly training race. It's so I  don't have a major brainfart when it really counts.

So with 3 days left on antibiotics and warm weather arriving I can only hope for a rebound. Sorry for the missed photo credit on my picture above. Great pictures, I just can't remember where I got it.
Bed time zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.