May 30, 2006
Here is the picture of El Torino’s old buddy that just made it out to Maine. This was to be included in his guest blog, but I couldn’t access my server from Florida.
(check the sticker on the downtube! what a great band.)
Sarah and I had a wonderful trip to Florida. We arrived on Friday morning and before we knew it we were on our way back to the airport to go home. My dad and step-mom just recently moved into a new home in Spring Hill, FL. Because of this recent move I had anticipated the vacation for some time. It was also the first time that Sarah was going to be meeting my parents.
Their new home is really nice. But, more importantly it is no longer on the East Coast of Florida in Boca Raton. I lived with my dad and step-mom in Boca for sometime immediately following the 2000 election. That was somewhat of a surreal experience being right in the middle of the post election snafu knowing that I had worked vigorously on the Nader campaign in 2000.
I never really enjoyed the Boca area all that much. While it was wonderful to see my folks it was very pretentious and, for the lack of a better word, rich. Everywhere you went it was BMWs and Mercedes Benz’s. Their new home is in the part of Florida that is all about RV’s, Chevy Pick-ups with Doolies and most of all; a lack of teeth. OK. I am kidding. The new area is very friendly and pleasant. It reminded me of all the beach towns back in New England.
While we decided to mostly lay low during our vacation we did lot’s of exciting things. We got to meet the new dogs Luke and Lydia, taught Sarah the wonderful game of Pinochle, drove to the Scottish enclave of Dunedin, went to the beach, and helped with some much needed lawn work. On our last day Sarah and I decided to go to the water park and take in some slides and some more rays from the sun.
After the water park we headed on over to the local bicycle shop. I always like to check out shops and inquire about the ‘missing’ piece to my gold Panasonic track bike; The Seatpost (gold). The dude didn’t have it and didn’t really have much else. Upon, leaving the shop Sarah made a wonderful observation, “I knew more about bicycles than that guy.” This was absolutely true and made me that much more aware of how wonderful she is.
To wrap things up Sarah and I had a wonderful time in Spring Hill, Florida on, appropriately, Foxboro Ln.
The only downside of going to Florida this weekend is that Sarah and I missed the going away party of Sparky and Jen in Milwaukee. We are going to miss our friends that are on their way to Spain. We really admire their sense of adventure to go to Barcelona. Be sure to check back for some kick ass ‘check-ins’ from Sparky and Jen from overseas.
It seems that all of our friends are moving away. We are now at the age when people are starting to make life changing decisions, or, fulfill their desire to really travel abroad before settling down. Sparky and Jen are prime examples of friends that are doing this. But, they are not the only ones. It wasn’t to long ago that Canada Dave and Jen moved to Calgary so Dave could start his job at the University. Coming this August Matt Noble-Awesome will be moving to Montreal to begin his pursuit of a Ph. D. at McGill University.
Roscoe is thrilled to see us. But, he is a little to shy for the camera. Or, maybe he is to distraught to come to the realization that his favorite team is no longer around, and it’s remnants might not be allowed to race in the Tour de France.
Roscoe is a huge fan of Joseba Beloki.
Here is a photo from file footage of his loyalty;
Sarah and I are about to board our non-stop plane to Midway.
We had a wonderful time in Sunny North Florida. Dad and Marilyn were fantastic hosts and we got to do lots of exciting things and more importantly, relax!
Seems like El Torino did a good job of holding down the Super-Rookie.com fort.
This was our first vacation together in 3 years. It is hard to believe that she has stuck with me that long!
It was fantastic to be down here, but the cat awaits our arrival.
May 28, 2006
Super Rookie is on vacation down in Florida. I am filling in for him. He will be posting a sweet picture of my bike when he gets back home and has access to his server. Ya heard?
Reunion with a friend.
When I left for Maine at the start of March I had to choose 3 bikes to
take with me, for that was the capacity of my Subaru. I had to take my
road bike, a 1995 Bianchi Eros -pure Italian, my 2004 Kona Smoke -
commuter dream tank, and my 2001 Klein Adept Dual – just incase I got
some hardcore off-road riding in. That left my Kona Unit to stay
behind waiting for the moving company to bring it.
In May the big truck arrives at our awesome new home in Maine. They
offload the family van, the Lobtserchopper, the 1988 Fuji Suncrest
(Godzilla), and finally my Unit. With a United Van Lines moving
sticker #224 on the downtube, I hopped on and rode to Prouts neck.
After a whole winter and spring of riding without my single geared
friend, I was in a happy place. Who cares that I had knobbies, I
needed to feel the 32:16 spin, the quite ride, the clipped in tempo of
zen. Looking to my right I stared over the Nonesuch cove and had
flashbacks of two years ago. I was riding through the forests of
Wausau’s Nine Mile park. The light on my handlebars had failed and I
still had a mile to go. Good thing my headlamp was still going strong. The in and out of the pine trees kept me awake for the final sprint.
When I dropped in on the open trail after the last single track
section, the light on my helmet went out. Within two minutes I was
crossing the finish line, handing the baton off to the Super Rookie.
40 minutes later I heard firecrackers and I knew there was just a
little bit less Jagermeister left in Wisconsin. Monoculture.
Waking up from my flashback I found myself looking out over the
Atlantic, spinning along at a leisurely 15. The waves were slapping
up against the cliffs thirty feet below. To my left were some very
expensive yet modest looking New England homes. Fresh salt air at sea
level made me feel like Sampson with a mullet. Man am I strong!
An hour later I am back at home looking at the beads of blood just
about to trickle down my calf. Where had those cuts come from? The
briars near the Nonesuch river? The trees at the Prout’s neck country
club? Wausau?? No matter. My kids rushed out of the house as the sun
was going down wanting to ride, knowing the truth. Well you know, it
is a school night… screw that! I hooked up the Burley for Will and
all five of us were off doing what is good in this world.
May 26, 2006
60,000 Euros in a briefcase, over 200 bags of blood, a list containing over 100 names of patients, 5 people detained for questioning, two of which are team directors. Sounds to me like the start of a spy novel. Instead it is what the Spanish authorities have recovered, or, holding in their possession. No longer can the average person believe that there isn’t a systematic form of doping going on at the professional level. While the entire peleton might not be doping a vast majority of them are.
This most recent case concerning the team directors of Liberty Seguros and Communidad Valencia is going to be the biggest thing to rock the cycling world since the Festina Affair of 1998. The fact that the officials found bags of charged blood in the possession of the team directors and doctors is further proof of how high up this all goes. When Jesus Manzano came out a few years ago and told the world about the Kelme (now Comunidad Valencia) management and the forced doping of its riders everyone thought he was just a washed up rider trying to get back at the management. I don’t think people are going to doubt him much longer.
The only way to stop the doping in this sport is to hold the Team Management and Sponsors directly responsible. If the UCI continues to only punish the riders than they will be the scapegoats of team managers that were setting up the doping. Isn’t it ironic that Roberto Heras used to ride for Saiz (team director of Liberty Seguros)? But, Saiz was allowed to continue as a team director and set up doping for his other riders. Heras became the scapegoat.
Cycling fans are the dumbest in the world (actually Detroit Lions fans are-ed). We tend to overlook the fact that the doping is rampant. Instead we like to believe that individuals are fighting the system and are ‘clean’ riders. I like to think the entire peleton is doping. I wish it wasn’t true, but it allows me to follow cycling with a clear head. I suggest that other fans start to see it that way.
Until team managers are held accountable for their riders doping we will continue to see rampant drug use in the pro peleton. Call me what you want but I believe that is the only way to stop it.
Don’t even get me started on Lance’s 6 positive EPO samples from 1999. That is just a French witch hunt!
Sarah and I are getting on a plane in about 3 hours to fly down to Florida. It is going to be awesome visiting the family. This will be Sarah’s first time down there and it has been a long time since I have made the trip. I am really excited as is Sarah whom has been counting down the days for sometime now.
I got to race on the track last night at Northbrook. The cat3s got one race in before the rain started. It was real uneventful race so I will save you a boring race report. I will say that Team Clif Bar Allen didn’t show up to race against me. I was planning on beating him like I did a few of his teammates at Monsters. I don’t think it is good for their team’s main sponsor if Super-Rookie dot Com beat some of their riders in a Cat3 race when Super-Rookie dot Com isn’t even a Cat3. That might seem to average folks that some riders might not belong at the Cat3 level. I don’t even know if I belong at the Cat3 level. But, who is Super-Rookie dot Com to judge?
Super-Rookie dot Com looks forward to racing against Team Clif Bar Allen in the coming weeks. He is a quality guy that is more than welcome to share a space at the Super-Rookie dot Com table.
That is all the info on Northbrook.
Back north on a real track it has been passed along that the Little Guy won the miss-n-out in true style. I am sure that he “pimped” everyone at the line on his way to a definitive victory. Gilby also got a sweet victory in the women’s scratch race and (dis)pencer got a nice 4 place in the scratch race before the rain started.
Sounds like everyone is racing well on the track.
May 24, 2006
The van arrived at Kenosha at about 6:15pm. Just in time to get registered for the night of racing. After unloading and getting the bike ready we all paid and got our numbers pinned on. It was the first time I was going to take my Bianchi Pista Concept 2005 out on the track for the new season. I was totally stoked. I walked over the backstretch and hopped on the bike and got about 5 feet before my seatpost slipped. I had remembered not touching it over the winter and Sickboy never made it down to Chicago to play a practical joke on me so I didn’t know what was up.
As I got off of my bike I looked at the integrated seat collar on the aluminum frame and I saw that there was a pretty big crack. This meant that my bike was done for the night and season. After approaching the track director, Tim Kemen, I was offered to ride a loaner bike. At first I was a little apprehensive to take something I had never ridden before. All of those feelings went away when he pulled out a sweet Waterford track bike! I couldn’t believe it. The neon Orange was a little difficult on the eyes at first, but after putting my wheels, seatpost, saddle, chainring and pedals on the bike I had something to ride.
Within a couple of minutes of having this new borrowed bike I was called to the track for a 15lap scratch race. These first races of the night are usually where I do relatively well. There were 11 other guys in the cat3s and I rode in the pack until 3 to go when I jumped hard and got a good gap. No one was chasing me as there was another rider off the front. When I got on the backstretch my seatpost slipped and I was riding what seemed to be a bike made for a midget.
I got off the bike and was really frustrated. I already had to borrow a bike and then my dumbass put to much lube on the seatpost and caused it to slip under pressure. It was going to be a tough night. I called up the Taint and (dis)pencer and both thought it sucked. The Taint even had a little story about how he flew to Manchester and the Master’s Track World Championships and the same thing happened to him. I can only imagine having that happen after spending all of that time and money training for one kilo effort!
The next race was the miss-n-out and I got 4th place. I got caught not paying attention and thought I was in the only pack on the track. But, another rider was off the back and I could never recover the gap that had been created when I thought it was neutral lap. That won’t happen again!
The last race of the night at Kenosha is the Main Event. It is for all Cat1,2s and Cat3s that finished in the money, or want to race in it. So, I toed the line against the big guns in the final race of the night a 40lap points race. Early in the race a little break was up the track with all of the big teams except ours in it. So, I jumped to bridge and I did. When I got in the break we started dropping people and I found myself being the only xXx’er among 3 Beans n’ Barleys. At this point I started skipping my pulls to save energy for when we bridged back up to the pack.
As we went one lap up on the pack I found my teammates to tell them the situation. When a couple of the same Beans n’ Barleys went again I didn’t have the legs and Shane went to chase them down and eat up some points. I was in the main pack and tried to keep them from lapping the field. I got some help from Ansgar and Brandon, but it was too difficult without any other teams helping in the chase. I ended up taking the second to last sprint to secure 4th place in the final race.
In the end I must say it wasn’t a bad night on a loaner.
As I got off the track to switch out all of my parts Tim approached me and told me to keep the bike. I was shocked. I thought maybe the oxygen deprivation of the race had caused him to say this, but he wanted to take my Bianchi into a dealer to see if it could be warranted and he didn’t want me not to have a racing bike!
This is what I love about the track! People that trust, care and support one another with only meeting them a few hours earlier. Think about it. I have a sweet Waterford trackbike that is being loaned to me for racing. Where else in the world would something like that happen? I love the velodrome!
Super-Rookie.com appoves of Tim Kemen and the entire Kenosha Velodrome Association.
May 23, 2006
I get to race on the track tonight. I will have a write up on Wednesday. I have been busy getting ready, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will have fun.
The BlueBombers kicker is missing. Have you seen him?
PlanB sent this to me. My team needs it’s kicker. As does his family.
May 21, 2006
After having my racing category dissected by a bunch of people over on Smithers and my blog I felt like I had a lot of pressure to perform well this weekend. So, like an idiot I decided to sign up for the cat3 race and the cat4/5 race. Since it was an ABR race I got it cleared by the head official who knows my situation and I toed the line for the cat3 race. The 3 field had a bunch of riders and I mostly just chilled in the back. I did lead the race over the start/finish line and thought I had won a prime, but it turns out that it was just a lady with a cowbell. That kind of sucked. For the rest of the race I hung out in the back third and had a good time chatting it up with the folks.
I did beat a couple of Clif Shot boys. I hear they are big fans of this site and will probably now cut whoever got beat by me in the cat3 race. I was really hurting during the race. I think it had to do with the lack of a long night of sleep and a quality breakfast. I was hoping to ask one of the Clif Block guys for a mid-race energy pickup, but I never found any of them in the back. I guess they were doing work up front.
After the cat3 race the cat4 race was next. It had 101 entrants(no joke the Carl said so). I was really tired, but I was going to do all I could to help out the team for the big target race in the city. So, when the board said 36min I went to the front with a few teammates and sat in. I counted down the 4 remaining laps and went to the front and strung it out going into the bell lap. The goal was to get the field all stretched to launch Ed and Ansgar. I put in a huge effort and then as I came around the start/finish it still said 36min! That sucked. Then it said 36min again and one more time before it went to miraculously to 2laps to go. Oh well everyone makes mistakes. At this point I was gassed and finished in the middle of the pack. My teammates got 2nd and 3rd and other high places. Way to go xXx.
Note to self. Never do two hard races right in a row. Or, do it when you have the fitness.
Today I competed in the coolest criterium ever. It was held in the town of Kankakee. It was an awesome course that had a bunch of character. Our field had about 45 riders and I was joined with Pat Kelly, Ansgar and Jaques. It was a fun long race and I decided from the get go that I was going to be racing for primes. I heard the announcer say that the primes were for cash. I was stoked. On lap 3 they rang the bell. I won easily. On the 5th lap they rang it again and I decided to go again from deep in the pack. I won that won again. A little later they rang again and I went up from the back of the pack and got pimped at the line. Dammit. It was fun while it lasted! Everyone at this point knew I was just going for primes. So I was a marked man and wasn’t getting any favors getting out of the pack.
I also was involved in a crash about 15minutes before the end of the race. I was in the back of the pack sitting in the sprinters lounge and the crash appeared in front of me on the right. I went to the left but locked up the rear wheel. I started to fishtail and another rider came in front of me. At this point I had to decide if I was going to go on the asphalt or on the nice piece of plush grass to my left. So I jumped off the bike and did a nice tuck and roll! It was pretty rad. I banged up the wrists a little bit and got a grass stain on the skinsuit. But, the shoes were in pristine shape. After getting my bike I told the official I was taking my free lap and so did the other ¾ of the field that went down. I got back in the race, but I was no longer feeling 100%. Pat and Jaques both went down hard and didn’t return. So, that left me and Ansgar for the end. Ansgar cleaned up and took us out to eat after! I finished top20. I then found out that I didn’t win cash in the primes. I won a floor pump and a pair of gloves.
Not as awesome as going to Florida on Friday!
Wedge Antilles is the true hero of the rebellion.
Do you think Rujano was doping? How else would you explain his departure and the fact he went missing after the stage?
Just cause I got pictured with Puma socks on doesn’t mean “fuck team puma” is no longer the motto of the MBMA.
Sarah showed up to my race on Saturday. It was a lot of fun racing in front of her. To bad I didn’t win for her.
May 19, 2006
These sweet new shoes debut at the Monsters of the Midway.
Thanks (dis)Spencer for the hookup and hotpinkevil! for the photography.
Smithers keeps killing it with great blog posts. Check out the interview with National Sports Center Velodrome director Bob Williams! It is in audio. I don’t even know how to do it, but Smithers is good like that. Listen here!
Judging by the amount of “anonymous” comments on my most recent post I am satisfied that I am such an intricate part in peoples’ lives. I did ask for opinions and I received some well-thought out honest opinions and then I receive advice that I take even closer to heart, such as, “growing a pair.” I think that is the best piece of advice I could have ever gotten.
For the most part I think you provided some good information and opinions to me. I don’t know what I am going to do just yet, but I do know that by the time I move back to Minnesota I will be a cat3. This will have a huge benefit; I will be able to toe the line with Sexy Adam, win photo primes with Derrick and Skidsy from cat6 AND it will be that much easy to avoid Tuffy who will most certainly be coming after me with all the empty Makers Mark bottles he has been hoarding up since I suggested that he was a culprit of “drunk posting” in a previous blog.
Yesterday, Ullrich threw down a fantastic time trial at the Giro d’Italia. He won the stage and delivered a collective sigh to all of his fans around the world. He also forced the entire cycling world to shit their pants in unison with the amazing time he put forth. When interviewed after the race Ullrich mentioned that he was just doing an effort for the first half of the time trial. When he reached the 2nd check point he heard he was in the top 5 and he put in a 100% effort. He then demolished everybody. While he only beat Basso by 30sec it should be noted that Basso is on peak form and Der Kaiser is just starting to train for the July tour. I think the ball might be swinging back to Der Kaiser for Tour Favorite.
I have to be at Hyde Park at 730am tomorrow to watch my Junior Mentee race. That is really early in the morning, but I signed onto the Mentor/Mentee program at xXx Racing this year. The program is setup to get Juniors more involved with racing. Since most Junior programs around the world are based at the track and I have a little experience (albeit crappy) on the velordrome I thought it would be a good idea to partake.
I don’t know if I can put the kids name on this website because I might get sued or something. So I will be giving him a nickname shortly, after he dominates everybody at Monsters and at Kenosha this coming week. I would also like to add that he listens to Iron Maiden.
May 18, 2006
Smithers posted a new section of his website called “Ask a Bike Racer.” I was lucky enough to have my question posted first on his site. Well, I don’t know if I should consider myself lucky because a fair ammount of people will be discussing whether or not I should upgrade. But, I think it is an important topic for anybody involved with USCF cycling. I had asked him a little while back when I should ask for my upgrade from the USCF. Smithers is well know in Minnesota and is a great doler of advice. So, I figured you might as well as someone that knows. Little did I know he was going to ask his readers to advise me as well! As you can see from the answers in the comment section on his website there are a couple of differing opinions on when it is a proper time to do it.
It seems that the people whose opinions matter and seem to be not drunk at the time of posting feel that I should probably stick around a little bit longer in the cat4 field. They think it is important to actually taste the sweet success of victory. But, they also feel that the track is the best place to actually read a race and understand how victory can be accomplished, since I am a three on the track and I have won a few races I think I have begun to understand the “hows” to winning a race.
This season has been pretty good to me. I have done well and my team has done phenomenal. I like being a team player to my teammates and it looks like that will be my role this coming weekend at the Monsters of the Midway criterium down in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago campus. We have a group of 3 sprinters on the team that are really fast. I am probably the third fastest out of them and the plan is to sit in all race and unleash a sweet leadout that will last the last lap. If all goes to plan I will probably end up in the top 10 with Ansgar taking home all of the kisses from the girls. I don’t mind doing this. There really is no point to upgrading on my current team until there are a couple more guys that are going to be able to as well.
But, I really do want to get out of the 4s. I don’t like toeing the line with over 100 other racers and feeling nervous about someone taking me out that doesn’t know how to corner. I know that this also happens in the cat3s, but even Sickboy said that there are less riders in the cat3 field so tactics become much more exciting. Oh well.
It should be noted that according to Tuffy I am now a sandbagger and a asshole because I haven’t moved up yet. But, I will let that one slide because it seems like he had a little bit to drink and went on a posting rampage.
Usually they update the results of the track as they happen. You better believe I will be watching what is happening up there tonight.
I guess some people feel that I am an old man because I care about my personal space and respect other people around me. Some comments even brought out “over protective girlfriend.” I must say that I have to agree with “OPG” because respect for other people is an important thing in our society. But, then again so is yelling obnoxious things at everybody I guess.
Ullrich just put in one hell of a time-trial at the Giro. The cycling world is going to go crazy if his time stands up and beats Basso who just went on course. Way to go Kaiser!
The Edmonton Oilers moved on to the Western Conference finals after beating the Sharks 2-0 in Edmonton. Way to go Oilers. You have all of Canada(and real hockey fans) supporting you! The cup doesn’t belong south of Chicago.