Sunday, July 31, 2011

All quiet on the KC front

The last post I did was 2 weeks ago after the fiasco that was the Omaha/KC race weekend. Since then I've had a few things happen that pretty much took me out of the posting mood. Where to start........... In the week following the urgent care/ER session I actually rode to work a few days and my leg felt pretty good. The problem was any time that I was standing, like at work, it began to hurt and just wouldn't stop until I put it up. On top of that it was keeping me up at night with the dull pain and occasional bump from my other leg. Bummer, but I could deal with it. During all of this I went in to the ENT clinic and got tested for Mineres Disease. This disease causes progressive hearing loss until deaf. Great week. That brings me to this week. Monday Curly and I went in to a periodontist to see why his front teeth are not coming in. Turns out that his gums have become too tough for his teeth to push through so a little surgery is needed to get that to happen. Oh Yea... Tuesday it was my turn to see a doctor. I went in to get my stitches removed and to see why my leg still hurts. Turns out that my fibula has two small fractures and there might be some infection in there as well. Back on antibiotics with orders to keep all exercise low impact. Wednesday I got a break with no doctors visits but Thursday it was back to the ENT office to find out test results. The test was negative for Menieres diseases but did show something else that will require a CT scan to check out. At least it is really becoming apparent that there is a connection between my migraine headaches and vertigo. Not so happy about going in the tube to have my head scanned but at this point I'll do whatever it takes. That brings us to Friday and by now I'm totally fried. Just making it through the day was a victory. So now it's the weekend and Curly and I have just been kicking back and relaxing. You may have noticed that I have not mentioned Mathgeek or Jobro and that's because they have been at Boy Scout Camp all week.

Speaking of injuries, here's Chad Reed getting really lucky to remain uninjured after this fall. Reminds me why I ended my motocross career. I crashed in a similar manner and ended up riding to the hospital in the back of a pickup truck. Just about lost a kidney from that one.
On a much more positive note we stripped all of our back up bikes and now they are just waiting for the SRAM parts to show up. Soon it will be time to start building.
Here's the parts kits that we pulled off the bikes.  The kit includes Oval concepts wheels, stem, and seat post, Utlegra ders and shifters, FSA Slk cranks with 50-34 chain rings. I'm not sure about the bars as I never even unwrapped them. All this can be yours for the low price of $1000.00. We have 9 full build kits like this and for the price it's a steal. If you are interested let me know and I can hook you up.
I got a Challenge trucker hat and right away Curly tried to steal it from me!

Jobro as he was heading for Boy Scout camp. Bet he doesn't look so fresh now that he's been at camp in 100 degree weather for a week.

So tomorrow we begin another week with Curly's dental surgery which is a major bummer but is all good if it helps his teeth. Once we get past Monday it's finally time to get back on the bike and get started training again.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Race Weekend

The past weekend the plan was to run up to Omaha for the criterium portion of the Omaha Cycling Weekend on Saturday and then head for home and do the MTB race KC on Sunday. I knew it was going to be hot in Omaha but I had no idea that the humidity would be so high. At least we had a 8pm start time so temps were going to get a bit cooler than during the day.

Today the temperature at the MTB race was going to be HOT, at 100 degrees in the woods, there is no other way to describe it. So after arriving home from Omaha at 3am I rolled out to Shawnee Mission Park for the race. I did bring plenty of water and ice so I was prepared for the heat. What I wasn't prepared for was the trails. It's been a while since I've ridden trails at speed and the trails in the park are not overly technical but they are covered in rocks.  Oh well, I was going into the race just to start getting more time in on the mtb  so it was all good.
I picked up these super sweet GamJams Socks at the crit in Omaha. So with my cool new socks I set out for the start of the race. With a mile long gravel road start we rolled off into the course and I rolled into the singletrack in 2nd place. Shortly after that the leader fell and left me in 1st. Now that really wasn't my plan, I really needed to follow someone since I didn't pre-ride the course and my bike handling was a little rusty. But I took off and built a pretty big gap over 2nd place by the end of the 1st lap. Rolling into the singletrack at the start of the 2nd lap was where things started to go bad. As soon as I got in the rocky section of the course I could tell that my back tire was starting to lose air. Soon I was starting to focus on not bottoming out my rear tire on the rocks instead of focusing on my lines.

About half way through the 2nd lap I managed to get near the edge of the trail and catch my pedal on something. Whatever it was it stopped me on a dime and over the bars I went. After rolling into the rocks I noticed that I was also sitting in poison ivy. Great! I ran back to my bike to find that my bars had spun around backwards and the rear tire was just about flat. I got the bars back around and started riding but it wasn't long before I had to stop and put some air in the tire. Twice I tried to put some air in the tire and twice it failed. Now that I was completely frustrated I started to become real aware that I was more than a little beat up and decided to call it a day. I figured a shortcut to get back to the start/finish area to get my cooler and then head for the car. Once there I figured out that my shoe was full of bloody water and the cuts in my leg were a little worse than I thought. So here I am, covered in posion ivy oil and bleeding, and to be honest, I was more freaked out about the poison ivy than the holes in my leg.

To make a long story short(er), I got home, used my poison ivy wash and then decided I needed to have someone look at my leg. Mathgeek drove me to the Urgent care where it was decided I needed to go to the ER at the hospital. Since the cuts went down to the bone the worry was that a vein or artery could of been nicked, or that the bone my have been chipped. So after some poking and prodding, a little hole expansion, it was decided that there were not other problems and they could stitch me up.  In the end the total time spent in the UC/ER was 4 hours. I think the biggest bummer is that I'll have to miss the MTB race next weekend.
So much for my cool GamJams socks! Hope the blood comes out in the wash. This was after I tried to wash off most of the blood but it continues to bleed so it was time to pull out the emergency kit and wrap it up and head for home.
I can't forget about the Papillion Twilight Crit. The Mercy crew brought up 5 riders for the race and prepared for a fun night. We had a plan and it worked out pretty well. I decided to take it out hard from the start for a few laps to put pressure on the field. Once  I eased up it was time for the rest of the crew to attack and counterattack until we got the breakaway that we wanted. It didn't take long for the break to go with Austin, Shadd, and Adam in  it and Jason was back in the pack blocking and picking up primes. Where was I? Well, unfortunately those 4 laps at the beginning of the race made it really  hard to recover and after dangling on the end of the field for a number of laps I got popped. From there on out it was just a training ride for me while Austin rolled in solo for the win with Shadd 2nd. And came in 4th and Jason 8th and picked up a prime or 2 for good measure.

So overall I'd have to say the weekend was really a bust for me. A pretty poor ride in Omaha and a crash today makes for a pretty crappy weekend of racing but for some reason I'm still ready to race. The road team has 2 big weekends of racing left in Chicago and St.Louis before the end of the year and there are still a few MTB races I want to hit.

Of course after that there's cross..................

Friday, July 15, 2011

On tap this weekend

Looks like Sunday there is a race at Shawnee Mission Park. Since we don't have anyone to do hand ups at Road Race in Omaha we decide to come home after Saturday night's race. It won't be any cooler in KC but at least I can stop for a bottle every lap. Oh yea, above is Nick Weighall from the Cal Giant/Specialized team  goofing off in a dirt crit. Major style points!

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Omaha with a few of the guys from the Mercy crew for a crit. The race is sponsored by the Trek Stores so we want to get up there and do the race. It's going to be a bit of a challenge getting up there with Interstate 29 still underwater but it's just going to take a bit longer.

The tour has been pretty interesting so far. Mathgeek has gotten way into the race so it's fun to sit down and watch it together at night. The race itself has been pretty crazy but it was good to see Tom Danielson have a good day. Hope he continues to do well so Garmin can pull off the surprise of the race again. Tomorrow is going to be a good stage to watch with all of the climbing so I'm glad we don't race until 8pm. Time to fold some laundry and watch the end of today's stage.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Last week in pictures........

A week ago was the Tour of Lawrence which was a so-so weekend for me. The first two races were terrible but I really had a great race on the final day. Monday the 4th I had went for a easy ride and felt good and I though I was ready for a few hard workouts before a 4 day rest. Tuesday I found out how wrong I was, pre-race intervals were a disaster, and when Tuesday night Worlds got going I came off and headed for home. I guess I was more than ready for a rest. On that note, lets look at the pictures.......
Here's Joe Schmalz from the Elbowz team celebrating a big win at the Iron Hill Criterium in PA. This was race 5 of the US Criterium Series and puts him 9th overall as well. Another great ride for Joe, 2 wins in 2 weeks! I can't wait to see what he can do when he joins the KCCX/Fuji Cyclocross team this fall.
On the 4th we headed off to our annual Pool party at the Kesslers. Curly had a good time riding Jaws around the pool while we hung out with the adults. It felt really good to take a dip in the pool and scare all the kids with my bikers tan lines. Jobro on the other hand decided to go to a local pool with his buddies since there are only girls his age at the party. Wonder how long it will be before that changes, at his age it won't be long!
After the pool party we headed out to another friends place to watch the fireworks show. We got home around 11:00pm and the kids had to light some of the fireworks we bought the outside Lawrence. It didn't take long for some lights to go on in a few houses so we called it a night before they called the police.
Thursday I decided to go out and see if I could complete my scheduled interval workout. The problem was that I need a uninterrupted, flat, stretch of road and that just isn't going to happen close to the house. The next best thing is a long gradual hill and that I can find relatively close. Lets see if any KC folks can figure out what hill I was on by the sculptures nearby. The one above looks like the Terminator without any skin and was at the  top of the hill.
I finished my intervals and they went very well proving that I am finally recovered and my legs are working again. I found this sculpture just down the road from the first sculpture. Pretty easy to find since it sits in the median.
A little further down the road I found this last sculpture. All three are pretty different from each other but still pretty cool. This reminds me that I need to change my routes a little more often. You can see so much more on a bike that I'm often surprised at what I missed when I was in the car. Anyway......guess what road I was on when I was doing my intervals and then you will know where the sculptures are.
Carly is still growing but I don't think she's going to get very big. Oh well, you never know what you are going to get when you rescue a pup. She is definitely smart....or lazy, I'm not sure which. She eats lying down and that could go ether way.

I've been watching the Tour de France this week and it has really been a crazy with all the crashes. Quite a few of the favorites have gone down and a number of them are out all ready. My personal favorite, Chris Horner went out in a scary crash that left him so concussed that he didn't know he finished the race. He actually rode the last 30k to finish last on the day.

Today's crash(s) were bad as well. The first one had guys walking out of the woods, some carrying injured riders. The 2nd one is the one that will get all the press. The video above shows a media car passing the riders in the break as it swerves to miss a tree on the side of the road. The car hits the riders and takes two of them out. Both riders eventually got up and finished the race but you have to wonder if they will continue after the rest day.

So that brings us to today, my 2nd day off the bike. Yesterday I was solo with the kids so I decided to get some projects done around the house. Last night I woke up with a mild case of Vertigo so there was no riding today with my head spinning. Tomorrow starts another week and by then I should be ready to ride. I'm hoping for a good training week before we head up to Omaha for the Omaha Cycling Weekend.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tour of Lawrence: Day 3 Crit

Yesterday was the final day of the Tour of Lawrence and once again the Mercy crew was looking to get a good result. Our main man for the day was Shadd who is our only true sprinter so the rest of us needed to either go for primes or be ready to help Shadd in the sprint.
As we sat on the line before the start in was pretty hot and with very little wind I knew it was going to be a fast race. From the gun there were attacks and the pace was high as every time a group was pulled back another one would go. About halfway through the race a group of riders got away and it looked to be a pretty serious move. The chase was pretty brutal and for a few laps we were single file and flying. Eventually the group came back and we lined up for the final 10 laps. At this point the Elbowz team lined up at the front and upped the pace stringing out the field. With 5 laps to go the real bump and run started in the field with guys chopping and bumping each other in every turn. I was holding position with Shadd near the front of the field with a lap to go when I got pinched against the curb in a turn and lost a bunch of positions. Ended up sprinting it in with teammate Colton for 21st and 22nd. Shadd had a great race to end up 8th.

Overall it was a good race weekend for the Mercy team with a rider on the podium on Friday, 2 in the top 10 Saturday, 1 in the top 10 Sunday. While we didn't get a win  we executed our game plan every day and got the results we were looking for. Not too shabby for a team in a rebuilding phase. Next week is a bit of a rest week with a possible trip to Omaha for a MTB race and then back to Nebraska for the Omaha Cycling Weekend.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tour of Lawrence: Stage 2 Circuit Race

What can I say about the circuit race..... As a team we decided that our best bet for a good finish rested on Nemo and Colton as our best climbers. The course has some significant climbing in it's 55 mile distance and combined with the heat and humidity it was going to be a long day. With that in mind we knew that this was going to be a race of attrition. The other factor was Joe Schmalz and his Elbowz Team. Joe wanted to win in his hometown really bad and motivation on his team was high.

So as we were preparing to get started I looked up at the sky and it was really looking like rain. Last year it started raining during the race and roads turned into ice and there were tons of crashes. With that in mind I let a bit of pressure out of my tires on the starting line. Probably a bit too much pressure but it would of been great if it had rained. But it never did rain and that low pressure didn't help going up the hills. I could tell on the first lap that I just wasn't on a good day. I rode at the back of the field for a few laps before getting popped off the back. After that I just did a few laps to try and get my legs going for today's crit.

After I pulled out I changed clothes and took up hand up duties. The guys were taking water bottles every lap and I have to say thanks to Alyson and crew for all the bottles for the team. By the end of the race the lead group was whittled down to 8 guys and our boys did a outstanding job with Nemo 6th, Colton 8th, and Shadd 15th. Jason and Logan both hung in there and finished but I don't have results yet to see where they ended up.

Yesterdays winner Joe Schmalz accepting congratulations from our favorite announcer John Lefler. Joe wanted this one bad and her rode everyone off his wheel to get the win. Well done Joe!

Today is the final day of the Tour of Lawrence with a criterium in the downtown area. We don't race until 5:30PM and at the moment I'm pretty happy with that. Looking outside it's pouring rain and with any luck it will be over by race time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tour of Lawrence: Street Sprints

Last night was the first day of the Tour of Lawrence and it started with street sprints. Most of the Mercy team is racing this weekend and we were all entered in the sprints. For the most part we only have one true sprinter in Shadd but street sprints are a different animal. 200m sprints from standing start means anything can happen and it usually does. This year our surprise came in the form of Colton who got 2nd last night. Well done Colton! I should mention that Logan rolled in from Colorado and made it into the semi-finals as well.
Pre-race chat, not much to talk about here other than how hot is is and what it's going to be like tomorrow.
I think this is new Papa Jason at the start. Happy to see him out at the races even though he's suffering from sleep deprivation. Those first few weeks with the baby can be rough.  

So overall the Mercy crew did all right in the sprints even though we really aren't sprinters. I went out in the 2nd round which was just what I expected. Today is the circuit race, 55 miles some ridiculous amount of climbing in the heat.
This has nothing to do with racing but I had to take a picture. This Honda Accord Wagon was parked behind the shop. Pretty cool, lowered with a spoiler and ground effects panels on the sides. Looks like fun!

Top Photo credit: Richard Gwin