April 28, 2006
Well today is going to be a short day at work and then I will come home and get ready for this weekends stage race down in Indiana. I am getting pretty excited for the race although I feel like I am away from home to much. I only have one more race coming up that requires me to go out of town before our trip to Florida.
The trip to Florida over Memorial Day weekend is going to be a lot of fun because Sarah will finally get to meet my dad and step-mom. It will also mark the first time she has been out of the Midwest in quite sometime. It is also going to be really nice not riding my bike for over 5 days! I think that rest period will be fantastic.
I got my new tubular tires in at the shop yesterday. This year I am going to go with 22c Road Tubulars from Schwalbe. They are the top tires that they make under the model name; Stelvio. I had put in an employee purchase for them some time ago and they sent me the actual Track Tubulars, but I want the extra protective casing that comes on the Road tires. If I was doing all of my racing at the ADT in Los Angeles I would use the Track Tubulars, but racing outside at Northbrook, Major Taylor, Kenosha and Blaine scares me a little bit. I plan on taking my tires down to Yojimbo’s and having him put them on my rims for me since I got a bunch of gift certificates from the Tour da Chicago.
Tomorrow’s stage race includes a road stage that features some moderate rollers. I plan on staying in the front and hopefully getting in a little break that can get some time on other riders. Directly after the road race I go back to the car and jump on the rollers and attach the aero bars for a 6mile time trial. I am not the best at time trials, hell I am not even good at time trials. How do I know this? Well, Dispencer beat me in every time trial we did last year. The race finishes up on Sunday with a criterium. The plan will be to work for our best GC contenders.
I love going into races with a plan. Especially 4/5 races because almost nothing ever goes to plan. But, it is nice to be a pretend bike racer for a couple of days and think that you can outwit your opponents.
Back home is the Ken Woods Memorial Road Race. It is the first Rider Of The Year events and is always popular. This year is the first time the race is going to be run with a separate cat5 field away from the cat4s. While some people don’t like this idea it seems to me to be the best option. How many people want to race with real good racers in there first race? Hell, I got dropped 5min into my first 4/5 race. If my first race was only cat5s then I might have lasted 10min!
Smithers asked me if I had any proof of Bjarne Riis doing drugs. No. But, I do have his nickname being Mr. 60% and his published hemocrit level of 56% in 1995. I know this isn’t solid proof and I may just be a blind sheep on the matter, but if you look at the guy from the 96 tour he looks like Casper the Friendly Ghost! Does this mean he absolutely did drugs? No. Does it make me have my suspicions about the guy? Yeah.
April 27, 2006
I watched “Overcoming” last night. It is a movie based on the 2003 CSC team. Most of the film follows Bjarne Riis and his management of the best riders in the world. I was quite impressed with the movie. It even blurs the lines about Riis and his history of being a doper; aka Mr. 60%. I recommend the movie to anybody that appreciates cycling even if they are not a big fan of racing it is a great movie.
Two big Super-Rookie.com thumbs up!
It is the time of the year when the bike shop is busier than ever. We are already 2 weeks out on repairs and people keep dropping off their bikes. While 90% of the people understand why it is taking so long to have their bikes fixed we still from time to time get people that have no concept of how a business operates.
“When will my bike be done?”
“Two weeks from Wednesday.”
“What! I need it Friday.”
“Sorry, but this is the busiest time of the year.”
“Can I have my bike back? I am going somewhere else.”
I love it when people want to go somewhere else. If they are willing to do that than I don’t want to deal with them anyway!
I have another brief rant about working retail. Why do customers ask for discounts? I had a guy come in the other day and ask for a discount because he was in the Coast Guard. He said other shops give discounts to police, marines etc… While it is true that we give discounts to the local police because we service their bikes I don’t see why the Coast Guard is entitled to a discount. This homey chose to ride in a boat not me.
I have never asked for a discount. It isn’t polite.
This weekend I am going to Indiana again for a stage race. It is taking place in Anderson. I don’t know exactly where that is, but I can assure you that the car I am in won’t miss any exits this time around. The race is over three stages and two days. On Saturday I have a road race and a time trial. Sunday finishes with a crit. The plan is to see who is in contention for GC after the Time Trial and work for them in the crit. If the field is anything like last week we should do fine.
After the race this weekend my traveling cuts back a little bit with just some races in the metro area. I might have one more travel date up to Baraboo for a road race in Wisconsin. We shall see about that. But, for the most part in the middle of the month the track starts up in Kenosha and I have the big vacation with Sarah down to Florida.
I also might take out the skinsuit for the Time Trial. Stay tuned!
Sarah and I are buying a digital camera. It is going to be hot.
April 25, 2006
During work last Wednesday I realized that my weekend trip to Indiana for a bike race was coinciding with the Little 500. Right away I got on the horn and told my friends that we had an awesome opportunity to watch the big race. Jason and Luke jumped on board almost immediately and we started to do some research for our pending weekend. Jason found this interesting tidbit of information from an article in the Indianapolis Star;
“The Monroe County prosecutor’s office said only cash or money orders will be accepted from people who are arrested this weekend in conjunction with the university’s annual men’s and women’s bicycle races. Credit cards no longer will be accepted because payments were difficult to process and required additional service fees, county Clerk Jim Fielder said.”
After reading that I began to understand what the race was all about. Basically the race is the centerpiece of a big party weekend in Bloomington, Indiana. It is one of the last weekends before finals week and all of the kids get drunk and act like fools. But, in the middle of it all there is a kick-ass bicycle race that takes place right in the middle of campus at Bill Armstrong stadium.
Jason picked me up at 7am and we went over to Luke’s to pick him up for the big day. But, before we could leave we had to figure out who would get to sit in the front seat. This meant a kick game of Cowboy-Ninja-Bear. Cowboy kills the Bear because he has guns. The Ninja kills Cowboy because they kick ass. Bear beats Ninja because the Ninja respects nature.
The race started at 2pm and was slated to finish at 4:30pm. We had a little bit of car trouble on the way down as well as missing the exit to Interstate 65, so we arrived at the Little 500 about 65 laps into the 200 lap race. But, I was still really excited to make it to the race and even had the lady at the gate not rip my ticket so I could keep it intact.
Thats Jason next to me. I think he is checking out my wrists.
Upon walking into the stadium I was giddy like a school age boy before recess. I looked up and saw the giant crowds. It was remarkable to see that many people watching a bicycle race.
But, shortly after my entrance into the stadium I saw what the race is truly about to the majority of students at Indiana University. It is basically a drunken fest where you get to pick of chicks or dicks for a wild night. I felt as if I was in dinkytown right after the Gopher hockey team won the Frozen Four for the second year in a row. It also reminded me of all the kids that kicked my ass for wearing glasses.
This is a picture from the riots in dinkytown a few years ago. But, this samething happens in Bloomington over Little 500 weekend.
Here we our in our seats;
After finding a seat on the South end of the stadium we were able to begin to see what was going on during the race. There was a large pack with a bunch of stragglers off the back. On the giant scoreboard on the far end of the stadium we could see the numbers of the top ten teams. One of the teams was also one lap up on the entire field. After asking a few questions we heard that there was a crash about 10 laps in right after Hans Ardenson attacked off the front. After the race was restarted he was able to push the pace to get a lap up real early in the race. This meant his team could lead from inside the pack and not have to do much work.
This also meant that the race was a real bore to watch because all of the teams started to race for second place. It was also obvious that Hans was a tad above the competition when he would get off the bike for only 2 to 3 laps at a time and would easily recoup the losses his teammates had made. It was almost as if he was the guy from the movie, “Breaking Away.” I tried to cheer on the Cutters as much as I could with my awesome WristBands;
I also noticed that the Major Taylor team was missing from the race. The team that was set to challenge the Cutters, Dodds House and Alpha Tau Omega was missing from the race. This team at one time included Rashaan Bahati, former national criterium champion. But, after the race I found an article that stated a new rule was implemented this year that doesn’t allow Cat2 racers to participate if they entered Indiana University as a Cat3. This rule was supposed to stop illegal recruiting, but it also meant the Major Taylor team had an ineligible rider! This rule did not stop Hans Ardenson who is a cat2, but started as a cat4 while at college.
The rules of the race are very basic. Each team gets to have a max of 4 riders that must each ride one lap of the race. The teams must also perform ten exchanges over the course of the race. The bicycles are single speed bicycles equipped with a coaster brake. The gearing is limited to a 46tooth chainring and a 18 tooth cog in the back. This meant that the riders were spinning like crazy. Each team is allowed to have two bicycles. One must be 58cm and the other is 52cm. The bicycles are made by Schwinn and are equipped with flat pedals without cages and 700c wheels. Teams are only allowed to choose crank length (165-175) and the type of saddle. Everything else is standardized among the teams.
During the exchanges you must tag your teammate if you are not switching bicycles. If the same bicycle is being used one rider must get completely off before the next begins to ride. Since the track is made of cinder dirt the surface tends to get a little soft and riders slide out coming out of the turns into the pit areas. Most exchanges occur after a rider goes off the front of the group in order to give his incoming teammate an opportunity to regain field position after the peloton goes by. This is confusing at first because you think someone is attacking the pack, but they are just trying to solidify their position. Here are some pictures of exchanges;
The race was a lot of fun to watch as you can tell by the pictures of us in the stands. I must admit that I was shocked at the size of the crowds. It is sad that not everyone that was there cared about the race, but it was nice to see the racers getting some support. After the race some of us were really tired!
Luke has put many more photos up on his flickr site.
April 24, 2006
I will have a complete update on Little 500 on Wednesday. I am getting the pictures from Luke when he is able to send them over to me. Here is the race report that has pictures from Luke, as well as, my teammate Jason Alvorado. You may remember him from the cover of Chicago Sport magazine in November of 2005.
Here is a sneak peek:
The second day of the big weekend was centered around the McCormick Creek Road Race just outside of Indianapolis where we had stayed with Belicove and Cottage Girl. The race for the cat4/5s was a 40 miles. The course was about 4.5 miles long and featured a couple of rollers that reminded me of the Franklin Avenue hill in Minneapolis. It was just enough to hurt you. Then lap after lap it got even worse. Our field was to do 8 laps over the course.
Just before the start:
At the race we had four members from xXx at the start line. We had discussed our goals for the race which was to get somebody in the break if it came to it, or set up Kevin for a sprint at the end. The field was about 40 strong and we were the second largest team in attendance next to the Bolla team out of Louisville.
At the start everything was normal all the way to the first time up the hill. At this point I went to the front and kicked up the pace a little bit. I wanted to make people suffer! On the way down from the hill I followed a flyer attempt from another rider and soon found myself about 20seconds in front of the pack. The guy I was with didn’t want to push it so I sat up and waited for the reintergration. At this point Luke went on the attack and found a nice gap off the front. But, this was reeled in again. For the next lap everything was normal. Somebody else went off the front and I followed him and we had a group of three riders about 45seconds off the front. I thought that this break would stick as I was feeling really strong and I was joined by a member from Bolla and an independent. But, we soon dropped the Indy and the Bolla guy was feeling tired. As we were caught Luke put in another counter-attack and was gone with another Bolla and Tortuga rider.
It was at this point that we began to control the pace of the race so the break would stick. I knew that Luke was stronger than the Bolla rider and the Tortuga rider was rather strong so I felt it would stick. Within about a lap the Bolla rider was dropped and we were put on the defensive in the pack. I had a lot of fun chasing down all of the bridge attempts and messing up a successful chase. It was a lot of surging to stop all of the attempts, but I felt really strong and I wanted to make sure that Luke and xXx got a big result!
With about two laps to go I found Kevin who was still in the group and told him my plan to lead him out. So about 1 mile from the finish I went to the front and picked up the pace. I was beginning to watch for a jump from the bunch after Kevin looked tired for a sprint. A Bolla rider jumped and I did all I could to get near him, but I was to damn tired. I finished in 7th place which was just enough to get my money back!
Here is a picture of the promoter and me crossing the line on video. I wanted to show off my hot wristbands that I got from Smithers:
This is how I sign the pay sheet:
All in all we had a real successful day. Luke got 2nd in the race. We had two top tens with Kevin and myself as well as Jason’s first ever road race finish of 11th place. Not bad for a group of four riders in the middle of Indiana!!!
The Indiana Race Series is awesome. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Here is a picture of the man himself that got second and a couple of pretend bike racers that only wished they were on the podium:
This is how we roll on xXx. Cowboy. Bear. Ninja.
With all of the photos he sent to me he didn’t include the one of him on the podium! What a humble guy. I won’t let that happen again.
Just when you thought our weekend was over we got stranded in Wolcott, Indiana when the car we were riding in lost its power!
When this happend we found our selves hanging out at the Dairy Queen!
I will have a complete write up of the weekends festivities including The Little 500 and The McCormack Creek Road Race, as well as, the BP station in Wolcott, Indiana where we were stranded for a few hours on the way home from Indianapolis!
All of that is to come. I plan on using the pictures of Decisive Moments to really capture the weekend. I think I am going to try to create a photo page soon enough, even if it is a basic html page with photos. After all, who am I trying to impress?
I finished the classic season of the Fantasy Cycling league in dead-last place with 0pts. But, I am not to concerned about my standings at this point. I feel that I have a few tricks up my sleeve with the recent announcement of Jose Rujano’s entry into the race. That means I will have a full squad of riders that will dominate everyone at the Giro d’ Italia.
A big shout out to Jason’s father who drove all the way to Wolcott with two fully charged batteries to get us home from the middle of nowhere. I was starting to get really tired of the Dairy Queen that was attached to the gas station. You can only have some many blizzards!
We also had the privilege to stay with Mikal and Cottage Girl in Indianapolis. They were fantastic hosts and both have blogs that I am going to start reading. I admire the way that they opened their home to us on such short notice. They also drove to the Little 500 with us and had a sweet pasta dinner at Buca di Beppo on Saturday night before the race with us. Awesome people do live in Indiana!
I am off to work and hope to have a more complete write up on this page soon.
April 21, 2006
Every so often a new website appears that I really enjoy reading. I place it in my bookmarks and I check it almost daily. There are only about 12 of these sites. I try to keep them separate from other sites because I feel that they are really good and entertaining to read and watch in development. I have finally officially added another one, although I have been checking out this site for quite a while.
This is the site of a teammate of mine. He is a great writer and can take some awesome pictures. Not so long ago he lost his father and the way he handled that was graceful and inspiring to everyone that has yet to go through a tough time like that. You should check out his site every now and again. I have placed it on the right taskbar under “Decisive Moments.”
Better yet, I get to spend time with him this weekend at the Little 500!
I am up real early to get over to work a little bit earlier than normal. I am going to stop by the Niles School of Cosmetology and get a haircut. If you have seen me lately you will see that my hair has become really unruly and just plain frightening. I wanted to grow my hair out and then shape it into some kind of fashion mullet ala Tom Boonen. This isn’t going to happen now that Sarah has developed a crush on Time Bonus and will never be able to see past his glorious mane to spend time with my horrible impersonation.
It is only $6.00 to get your haircut at the school. Since it opens at 10am and you don’t need an appointment I need to get there early so I can get to work on time. But, I just feel that it is time the hair goes away and I lose about 2lbs for racing season.
I will admit that I am a little nervous about having some 16year old high school dropout cut my hair while she is talking about American Idol. But, I work at a bike shop and don’t have all that much money so I am willing to take that chance.
I thought yesterdays blog was one of the better ones I have written in a long time and I didn’t get any comments! I thought for sure the SickBoy would write something smart ass about how he raced in the Little 500, or Skibby would of included a picture of Rae Dawn Chong from American Flyers.
The Hawks finished the season on a two game winning streak. That means they will have the third pick in the upcoming draft. So, once again the Hawks played themselves out of the first pick which will go to the St. Louis Blues. There seems to be at least 3 good forwards out there for the taking, including University of Minnesota Superstar Phil Kessel.
April 19, 2006
This upcoming weekend is the xXx Track Clinic at the Northbrook Velodrome. I am going to miss it. I am a little disappointed that I am not going to make it, but in reality I think I want to avoid riding that poor excuse of a track anyway. Why am I going to miss the track clinic? Well, I am going to Indiana for a road race that takes place early Sunday morning. But, the real reason that my teammates and I are going to miss the team event is that we are going to THE LITTLE 500!
If you have seen Breaking Away the classic coming of age film about a wayward youth in Bloomington, Indiana you know what I am talking about. I am really excited to go to this event. I have heard that the Little Five is quite the event to see and experience. Ever since I saw the movie a few years ago I have wanted to go. One of my teammates that is going down to Bloomington with me is an exceptional photographer so I will have ample pictures of the race and weekend to share with you all.
If you haven’t seen the movie I highly recommend it. Although it is a little on the cheesy side it did win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and is directed by the same gentleman that did American Flyers. The movie is a little far fetched at times, but the coverage of the actual race is a lot of fun to watch. I hope to find a Cutters jersey.
At first when Luke, Jason and I decided to go to the race on Sunday we were planning on leaving after the track clinic in order to arrive in Indianapolis to hook up with our gracious hosts that were putting us up for the night. We were planning on taking them out to eat and calling it a night before our early departure for the race, but the wheels in my head got turning after the KHS rep was in the store. He had mentioned something about his daughter racing in the women’s race on Friday. So, I looked it up and easily convinced my teammates that we should hi-tail it down to Bloomington for the big race!
After this weekend there will only be two more bicycle related events that I will want to experience in the United States. The first is the Athens Twilight Criterium that is held every spring in Athens, Georgia. From what I have heard from people in the know it is one hell of an event and a lot of fun to watch. The last event on my podium of must do’s is to go out to Philly for the big race. Although it is no longer USPRO I still want to sit on the Manayunk Wall and watch the racers struggle up the legendary climb like they do every June.
Athens Twilight Criterium
The top of the Manayunk Wall.
This weekend is going to be top-notch. The Little 500 and my first race with the Masi.
From time to time you have probably read or heard me griping about the Northbrook Velodrome. I make no apologies about my feelings of the facility or the atmosphere. I will admit off the bat that I have only raced there once on the last week of last season and have viewed two nights of racing there both over the course of the Collegiate Nationals. I think I am prejudiced to this track because I my old home track is hands down the best velodrome in the country* outside of the indoor track in Los Angeles.
I applaud the efforts that some people are making to make the Northbrook track a great place to race. Lots of people are working hard on moving the track in the right direction including; Race Director Marcus Moore and the new president Aram Brayzee. The track gets a lot of participants which is great, but it is treated by the Park Board(which oversees the facility) as a hindrance to the soccer schedule for the field that lies in the middle of the track. When riding the track you feel as if you are on a high school running track with a little bit of banking in the corners. This makes the racing, in my opinion, boring and stale to watch and participate in.
I also think that the attitude surrounding the Northbrook track is very “macho” and “roadie” (not this kind). It seems like everybody is out to one better there competition. It seems to me that it is team versus team and there isn’t much mingling amongst the riders. While this is normal at a road race I am just used to a relaxed atmosphere where the competitive nature stays on the track, but once you are off the track you are “having a few beers” with your opponents. I will never forget the opening night last year at Blaine when the Taint got a keg for everybody and even Chris Ferris(normally very reserved, but a very nice guy) came up to turn four to hang out. While events like this could be unique to Blaine I felt the same type of atmosphere existed in Kenosha just 60 miles away last summer when Dispencer and I destroyed the field during superWEAK.
I am looking forward to this season of track racing. I am excited to have two velodromes at my disposal and hope to make it out to two nights of racing almost every week. But, I don’t think these two velodromes will ever be able to top the experience I had in Blaine over the past two seasons. I will swallow my pride and let everyone know that I am wrong if I am proven wrong by the events of this coming summer at Northbrook, but I am skeptical.
Have you ever watched a keiren on a 382m track? Bring a pillow, even if the Gold One is racing.
Note what seems to be a slight uphill coming out of turn 4 towards the finish line.
Note the wall. This makes the racing fun to watch, particpate and gamble on.
*Colby Pierce even said this in a recent interview at Fixed Gear Fever
April 18, 2006
Today was the maiden voyage of the U.S.S. Super-Rookie.com II. I must say that this bike is fantastic! I pretty much have it all dialed in with the exception of the saddle angle. But, I am going to have to toy around with that for another day or two to get it just right. I got into the shop early and finished up some of the loose ends and set the bars to my liking.
I got a bunch of help from Joey at the shop as we stayed late and got everything all put together. I bought a pizza and some beer and he did a majority of the work as I put the tires and my carbon-fiber water bottle cage on the frame.
When I first got on the bike today I could feel the difference between Ultegra and 105 almost immediately. I also could tell the difference between the steel and aluminum frames. I really like the new frame as it is lighter, sleeker and faster than anything I have ever ridden before. Time will tell if the bike will make any type of difference in my racing, but even if it doesn’t I will look damn good!
I left work early today to go down to the xXx sprint practice that was being held at Northernly Island just off the Museum Mall in downtown. I put in a real nice effort from the shop to the lakefront path. While I was on the path I met up with Yuppie who rode with me to the practice. I wanted to get there early to fine tune the bike a little bit more. Upon arriving I notice that my chain started to skip on some of the gears. I then adjust the barrel adjuster a little bit and I wasn’t able to get into the 11tooth cog. At this point I just want to participate in the practice and as I got on my bike to start my chain broke!
What a crappy way to end a fantastic experience. The chain is an Ultegra 10spd. My guess is that we installed it wrong. But, I have seen a bunch of these break before so I am not to worried. Sometimes something will inevitabely go wrong with a new bike. I am just happy that it was during a practice and not at a race when this happened!
I am hoping to have the bike completely done for racing tomorrow! But, go to Behind-Bars and buy a Masi. You won’t be disappointed. Now the only thing I need is a couple of Masi waterbottles to go with my new steed.
Smithers not only hooked me up with some awesome wristbands, but he lost a remarkable 19 pounds in 2 months. I had him pegged at entering the race season at 12lbs of loss, but he is a better man than I. Check out his website for the most recent installment of video. This time it is from the 1996 Fleche Wallone. This is the one race that rabid Lance fans always point to and say “See, he is an all around rider.” I can look past my dislike of Lance for this one race.
1996 Fleche Wallonne @ Smithers!
This weekend I am hoping to go down to Indiana for a road race with a couple of teammates. I want to get a race in with the new bike before the big stage race in Indiana the following weekend. That way I can get the bike all adjusted and in prime condition prior to a big race on my personal road calendar. This stage race will be one of the only ones I will enter in 2006 due to the cancellation of the Tour of 10k Lakes. But, I hear the 2007 Tour of 10k Lakes is going to be even better!
This coming weekend is also the Little 500.
Sarah and I are going to my dad and step-mother’s new home outside of Tampa over Memorial Day weekend. It is going to be the first time that Sarah will meet that side of the family. We decided to go down south for Memorial Day because of the extra time off of work and the lack of a race that is worthy of my presence. This time off will also allow me to take some time off of the bicycle and concentrate on my family. I think that this rest week is perfectly placed before track season heats up and some of the super WEAK races that I plan on doing in July.
Speaking of July, watch out for an appearance in the area of dispencer. He is going to be racing on a Tuesday night in Kenosha, Thursday night at Northbrook and on a Friday night at Major Taylor in Indianapolis with me this season. We are also going to fill out the week with a race on Wednesday at super WEAK.
The bike is done. I am taking the train and bus to work today so I can dial it in and ride it to sprint practice tonight. I hope to have some pictures of the bike up tonight.
I also got my kick ass Quick Step-Innergenetic wristbands from Smithers. That means two things. 1) I will have the best looking wrists in Cat4 racing and 2) Everyone is jealous.
I was perusing the internet and I hit up one of my favorite sites www.skinnyski.com. It is an awesome site that has tons of pictures of local racing back home in Minnesota. I notice a couple of pictures that I would like to share with you.
If it wasn’t for the unshaven legs and the world’s ugliest jersey I would say that Boonen showed up at Oxbow! The Hub rider in front of The Little Guy soon quit the race after he was annihilated on the rest of the Oxenberg.
Here is dispencer (he isn’t the one with the fender). He is riding the 2003 Team Issue Russ Denny. But, that is so 2003. I hear the Masi team issue is also done.
April 17, 2006
This past weekend Sarah and I joined our friends for a trip to Omaha. Well, Council Bluffs to be exact. We decided to bring our bicycles with us because we were hoping to get some riding in. When we first got into to town I was shocked at how hilly the area was. There also weren’t many cars on the road so I figured that the riding was going to be awesome. I was finally going to be able to get in a nice training ride to start the season.
While most of my team went to California for a spring training camp I stayed behind and did my usual 12 mile commute to work everyday. I really enjoy my ride to work. It is along a really calm street in the city all the way up to Milwaukee Avenue where it gets a little sketchy for about the final mile into the shop. But, the 24miles round trip fail to compare to a nice 50 mile ride along very hilly roads in a rural area with hardly any cars.
So on Friday, Yuppie and I decided to jump on our bikes with our host Clark and go for a little ride. Before we knew it we were climbing some great hills and riding on some beautifully paved streets. It was at this point that I realized why this ride was so awesome. It was going to be my last training/race with my Salsa. But, I wasn’t done with the Salsa yet. I wanted to get in at least one more ride with Sarah on the blue bike. So we went on the trails around our home base for a 20 mile ride before we left.
When I first got my Salsa two years ago at the Express Bike Shop in St. Paul I was planning on having that bike all the way up to the cat3s. Well, I am a little bit short of being a cat3, but I think it is time for a change. I have a sweet new frame from Masi and a complete Ultegra 10spd set up. Tonight, Monday, after work I will be putting the new bike together. Hopefully, we will have everything that is needed to put the bike together and I will be able to take it to sprint practice on Tuesday.
I feel as if I have decommissioned a battleship after many years of tremendous service. If you think about it, there isn’t much difference between my Salsa and a battleship. Both are made from steel and weigh a gazillion pounds. Both have had the honor of serving under an awesome captain (me) and both are equipped with huge guns.
The Salsa will remain in my stable as it will become my commuter bike and will be fitted with fenders in the not so distant future. There is some good news for all of my competitors; no longer will be riding a bike with a triple chainring at criteriums.
Theo Bos is the man. First he won the Keiren at the World Championships and then he went on to win the Match Sprint the next night. That is pretty remarkable since he is only 20 years old. I remember watching him last year at the Worlds in Los Angeles he wasn’t very big in stature but he had a huge following of Dutch fans that would go crazy every time he set foot on the track. He wasn’t as dominant last year, but he still did very well. The moment I realized he was out of this world was when he dropped one of his teammates in the Team Sprint when he was doing the second lap. I couldn’t believe how he pulled away from his own guy!
Theo has finally answered the question.
He is in fact The Boss.
This past weekend was the OxBow Classic back home in Minnesota. I got the race recap from Dispencer who told me that the race took place in some decent weather and they moved the finish to the top of the Oxenberg. The Oxenberg is a ridiculous climb that rivals Chilikoot Hill in downtown Stillwater. Once again the ‘B’ field was the largest with 65 competitors and the ‘A’ field only had 13 racers.
Both dispencer and The Little Guy did well in the race. But, The Little Guy showed some awesome talent when he got a flat tire, not far from where I did last year, changed it and then later on in the race went off the road and threw his bike into the trees thus having to go and retrieve it to still go and get 15th place on the road!
I don’t know what The Little Guy has been doing in the off season, but it has definitely worked. First, a flat. Second, a mental collapse. Third, a 15th place finish?
That is what you call strong.
Here is a picture of dispencer and The Little Guy.
I didn’t even know he played soccer!