June 28, 2007
I went down yesterday in the last race of the night. The worst part about crashing is the first shower you take!
I was lucky.
Dan-O and Ted Schmid got it really bad in the 4/5 race earlier in the night.
My crash took down 3 others; Currel, Dubay and Register. Register got it worse with a bruised shoulder. Currel and Dubay are missing some skin and I am just sore as hell.
By the time you read this we are on the road to Rhode Island. Tons of blogging will be done!
The Star Tribune ran an article today about the amount of bicycle commuters in our fair city. While this data was finally just confirmed by the US Census Bureau it has been known in the bicycle activist circles for sometime. Hell, I even wrote my senior thesis at the University of Minnesota about it. To think that a city situated this far north has that many people riding their bikes to work is fantastic!
The Strib article also mentioned the fantastic network of trails and bike lanes that criss-cross our city. Naturally, you would expect them to take a photo of those trails or of a bicycle commuter on their way to work. Yet, the Star Tribune decided to run with a 3 year old file photo of the most awesome person/tattoo ever.
Enjoy and look for the photo on the right. I recommend that you right click and save as your desktop.
City of Bikes!
While working for the man today I found myself on CNBC. You know checking up on Enron and Worldcom. I hear that they are a good buy right now. I discovered this article. Basically it is about these two brothers that were smart enough to write into a contract with the NBA that they get 1/7 of the TV revenue of the league wide deal. In essence these two guys run the most profitable team in the league without evening owning a club. Brilliant.
Have fun reading it…
Best Job Ever.
As some of you know my club is promoting the Campus Crit this coming August 5th. For the past month I have been working with the University on getting the permits set in place to run the race. Thanks to my teammate Strats! the process has been relatively easy. The major sticking point is the constant need for signatures from higher-ups in order to approve the lease agreement for the course.
We have been approved by the Real Estate Office, The Building and Transportation Office. The one we are now awaiting for is the Legal Department, but we are keeping our fingers crossed. My contact in the Real Estate office who has been a huge help thinks everything will have gone through within the next day or so. The last step will be to go into the office on July 9th (the day I get back from vacation) and hand over a hefty check to reserve the course for that day. So, based on her experienced opinion and past experiences of the event we are all systems go at this point.
While perusing the internet of races around the region I discovered something. Not only is our total purse of $1600 very competitive with other races in the area, we are charging the least amount ($20) of any race outside of Opus or Dakota Tech. Part of me wonders if we should bump it up like everyone else seems to have done and offer less prizes like most of the other races in the area.
What do you think of that?
Track tonight. I will miss Smithers.
June 27, 2007
Over the course of the Nature Valley Gran Prix I had my camera phone out. I took a ton of photos, but one individual consistently tracked me down over the week. Kind of like my own personal stalker…
Some locals at the Nature Valley Gran Prix:
Seriously, Bob is a fountain of youth. He could sell a Hummer to Donimator. We are lucky to have him around. Bob even commented on my blog!
Sometimes I just feel like starting a fire to have Casper run up the stairs to save me. Then when he is carrying me down the stairs I can ask him about my aero position.
If it wasn’t for Mike and Loon State we would hardly have any races in the state of Minnesota. We all owe him our gratitude. For real.
He is just so damn happy everytime he sees me.
Katie Mac is eternally grateful for Dave B who is the Vice Prez over at the St. Paul Bicycle Racing Club. He loaned her his disc wheel and he got a hug.
Just in case you have a small memory.
He is soooooo fashionable since he races on A&F/Masi.
Dan did get second at the state crit championships….
Tone is best friends with a kid named Big Blondie. At least that is what I have heard.
We are going to miss Winger at the track.
What do you think of what Lalla has to say?
Personally, I agree with him.
I am sure some of you think it is overboard to put on a blog, but in my opinion a blog is the best outlet for opinions.
-p.s. Wah, Lalla went to the source on this one.
June 26, 2007
Every year I look forward to the Nature Valley Gran Prix. For the past two years I have taken off from work to watch and partake in the festivities. Last year I took the Megabus from Chicago for $15 dollars to watch the racing and hang out with friends. This year as you know I worked with the ValueAct Capital team.
I was hoping to do more blogging during the week, but being a pro-team bitch is hard work!
By far my favorite event of the NVGP is the Minneapolis Criterium that takes place in downtown on the Friday night of the race. The race is special to me because as a courier I always thought it would be bad-ass to race on a closed course on the streets that I worked on. I have been downtown for the race every year since. Almost every year since it’s inception the race has been held in the rain. Yet, this hasn’t kept the thousands of die hard race fans from coming out and cheering on the best racers from the US and beyond.
Some would argue that my greatest performance as a courier was when I got tackled off of my bike by the Minneapolis Police Department after the pro-mens race had concluded. I wouldn’t disagree since I made the cop look like a jackass when I faced him in court for my so called ‘misdemeanor’ yeah…he was a dick. I digress…that story is for next week.
This years Mpls crit was special because I was helping out with a team. After the mornings TT Katie-Mac was sitting in 3rd place, but only had a 1 second lead over Shelly Olds from the Pro-Man team for the last spot on the podium. Because of time bonuses and Shelly’s ability to sprint the team was keying on the bonus sprints. We decided that I should be in the pit near all the ‘real’ mechanics with a spare set of wheels and to keep track of when the sprints are.
The first sprint was null and void. Neither taking it. The second sprint was also uneventful as teams were going after the sprinters jersey. On the third sprint the GREATEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF THE NATURE VALLEY GRAN PRIX HAPPENED.
The riders came out of the last turn and all of a sudden some dude was riding his bike on the course…directly in front of the lead moto and the speeding pack. The gentleman’s bike of a choice was a Fuji 10speed with the bars turned up as to not force him to lean to much. This jack-ass slipped by the non-chalant course marshalls and presented a major danger to the racers.
Enter the Hennipen County Sheriff’s department and their Trek issued Police bicycles. Every year the County Sheriff trots out his ‘bike squad’ for this event. Consisting of 4 over weight dudes with tires at 20psi they are a force to be reckoned with. They took after the dumb ass Fuji rider with all haste…all 8mph of pure speed. One of them did his job to perfection and got the jackass off of the course behind the pit trucks, but his partner was an idiot and never got out of the way of the fast approaching pack.
Well, thats not totally true. He did go over to the barrier directly in front of the riders and began to hug it…but only after he put his kickstand down. No joke. He put his damn kick stand down in front of about 90 women riders going top speed.
This was totally the best part of the Nature Valley Gran Prix. The dude riding his bike on the course and cops acting all Pacific Blue on ‘em:
Another awesome part of the NVGP on the Minneapolis stage was when one of our riders dropped off the field to bring back Katie after she had to go to the wheel pit with a mechanical. After chasing hard she came down the home stretch only to find about 50 people crossing the road in front of her and no course marshals paying attention to her. It was rather embarrassing to see one of our riders having to unclip to wait for the marshals to clear the course. Good thing they had whistles you know to let people know that riders were coming…I don’t think the head official was very happy with that one.
It is these types of events that make me enjoy the NVGP so much. Anything can happen…dumb cops, dumber fans and even more awesomeness that you can possibly imagine.
A taste of what is to come…
(That is Lisa, the manager of ValueAct Capital in the first picture. She claims that she wasn’t trying to smoke the jersey).
The team is BPG/Montano Velo. BPG stands for Berkeley Physicians Group, they distribute medical marijuana for the state of California or something like that. In short, if you got Glaucoma go to BPG and they will hook you up.
To find out more about the team go here and here. To buy some of the team gear go here and here.
You need more proof of my dominance from another angle?
June 25, 2007
I knew it was going to be a special day at the Stillwater crit when I arrived at the parking lot to see the Porta-Jon dude delivering two fresh bathrooms.
I felt like a king getting to decide which I was going to use. Hell, I didn’t even need to go to the bathroom.
Sometimes you just can’t let opportunities like that pass you by.
June 24, 2007
Today was the Stillwater Criterium stage of the Nature Valley Gran Prix.
The team did well with Katie and Marni finishing in the second group on the road. That meant that Katie finished in 5th place on the overall and Marni also gained some spots. I don’t know exactly what the rest of the team finished in. The race was a bunch of fun to watch and help out the riders.
It also meant that the cat2/3 riders got to do a race on the same course as the pros. I was pretty exhausted when I toed the line from the past weeks festivities. I didn’t get much sleep last night and all other types of valid excuses led me to the decision of winning the “hole shot” up the Chillikoot hill on the first lap.
I knew that I wasn’t going to make it all the way through the race so I decided to go on out and kick everyones ass up the 22% climb. It also meant that I had to tell everyone at the line that I was planning on winning that first lap climb. Kind of like Babe Ruth calling his shot before hitting his home run.
I looked for Mike Woell. He probably thinks he is all fancy now since he “won” todays criterium in stellar fashion, but he didn’t get to the top of the hill FIRST. Woell didn’t think I was going to do it, neither did Lalla or Skibby, or Dr. Horrigan or the Grandstay dude next to me that was totally intimidated by my aire of Awesomeness.
Booya fools! I win…no one was even close…there are a ton of other photos…this one just gives you all a glimpse of my dominance out in Stillwater today.
After the top of the first climb I still had 20 feet on the next guy so I drilled it to the Pit. I told the On-Support guys all about my victory. They were totally impressed. So were all the other riders in the race with me.
They were even kind enough to give me a victory lap to the top of Lap 2:
After about 6 more times up the hill I decided WITHOUT the help of the officials that I should stop racing. It was my gift to the people.
The Stillwater crit is the most difficult bike race I have ever done. I got pulled about 3/4 of the way into the race. The ValueAct girls cheered me on throughout the race. I don’t know what my result was and I don’t really care because I had a great time out there today.
I would like to take a moment to thank the ValueAct team for putting up with me over the past week. I learned a lot from them and I am proudly a big fan of the team. The team director Lisa is awesome and is very knowledgeable. I learned all about the intricacies of running a pro-team and race caravans from her. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of Lisa.
I also don’t have a picture of Hannah (I don’t know if her name is spelled this way, but if it is that would make it a palladrome…). She is from Australia and told me all about driving on the wrong side of the road and who is the biggest ‘playa’ in the Men’s Peloton. Keep checking back her over the next week or so to find out who has his way with the ladies…
This is ‘Katie Mac’ :
She did very well in the overall. She is also currently the Australian National Road Champion. I first saw Katie at the 2005 Track World Championships in Los Angeles where she won the Womens Pursuit. She is also an accomplished Olympian with a bronze at the 2004 games. Pretty bad ass. She also dates Greg Henderson…one of my favorite riders in the pro peloton.
This is Marni:
She is from Canada, eh. I heard she was totally knackered after the racing today. She is super friendly and she also rides on the Symetrics cycling team of Svein Tuft, right. That means ValueAct hired out her services for the week, eh.
Here is Sharon:
She is based in Boulder. Of all the bikes I had to work on over the week she had the coolest one. It was a Merckx Prestige. Super light and bad ass. Super-Rookie dot com approves of the bike.
She was also a hired rider for the week. Jill is based out of the bay area near the rest of the team. Originally from England she acted as a translator for me all weekend with the Australians on the team. For instance, who knew what a Louve was? I guess it is a bathroom. Did you know that a Bidon is a water bottle.
Martina had a much better NVGP than last year. The highlight of her race was not running into the Mankato Fire Department while staging for the road race on Saturday.
Hmmmmm. I can’t think of anyone else that I spent my weekend with.
If you are looking for more of the pictures of the racing over the week keep checking back here on you favorite site in the entire universe. I promise to have a ton of typos and grammatical errors to keep with the tradition.
I forgot about Cour10ay:
A highlight was telling Smithers about cour10ay’s break on stage 5 from the caravan. My favorite part about the week was when I totally pushed her up the Mankato hill 7 times. Yep, the entire way up it every time plus a few ‘cool down’ laps. You should also check out her blog. It is a fun read.
June 23, 2007
Today was fun.
I was in the team car.
Cour10ay was in a break.
I race at Stillwater tomorrow.
I have a ton of pictures and other cool stories to tell you about.
A thought to ponder…
I heard from 3 different people that a local cat1 rider won the cat2/3/4 crit at Mankato today.
Is this true? If it is, does anyone else see something wrong with the fact that a rider a)was able to race not in his category and b) that a rider that is a cat1 is willing to do that? Seriously, that is just dumb.
Now maybe what I heard from those 3 people is not accurate. If that is the case I apologize.
What do other people think about this? Should a cat1 be allowed to race in a 2/3/4 crit?
Wait till you see all the pictures and comments I have from the NVGP. I got one from Zimmerman, Doig, All9Yards/donnyquixote fan club, skibby, winger, DOUG Swanson, Linda Sone and Dan Casper plus tons of other ones…oh even Tone “It is my fault balloons came out onto the course” Coughlin smiled for the phone.
I have to many to name, but I even have one of me and Ivan Stevic somewhere…
June 22, 2007
My plans of updating this blog a bunch during the NVGP has been shot.
I am tired and don’t really care to fill you all in on the super-cool exciting things that are happening right now.
Keep checking back for the awesome photos that I have…
If I ‘blew’ you off today during the race in downtown Mpls it was nothing personal. I was just super busy getting crap done for the team.
BEDTIME!!!!! I can’t wait…
I want to start this off with a big thanks to Sarah. She is bad ass and I am one lucky son-of-a-gun.
What a long fucking day.
It all started with picking up Katie Mac’s TT bike at the host hotel. It is a Cervelo p3…yeah I touched it. We then went straight to GP so they could help us out immensly again. Hell, even Dave B. is throwing in a disc wheel to boot. Seriously, you will never ever find me saying anything bad about GP again! I don’t think I have ever said anything bad…but just in case.
Than we packed up for Cannon Falls. The race started at 530pm…which is a late start in my opinion. Naturally, I understand that late starts encourage people to come out and watch, but I think starting the women early and the men a little after (the men need more than 68miles…make those dudes work!) would make this fun stage even a little better.
After working the feedzone (aka certain death area) I headed back to the finish to watch the mens and womens finishing circuits. This year the finish is one block off of main street and there was a nice climb up to the line. This made the sprint super impressive.
Sure enough after the race we jetted back to North St. Paul to clean bikes and prep for the Time Trial at…wait for it…9AM!!!!!!! First we get done racing and out of Cannon Falls at 9pm and then we have to get up super fast for the Time Trial…argh. I want my damn sleep!
Big shouts to Dan Wold aka Smoke aka Tony Stewart for helping out. HE IS AN INSANE WORKER. Plus, neither of us missed the track tonight.
I scored a bunch more pictures. I will have them up here at some point….I got a couple with some sick audio. The audio is basically Doug Swanson talking about how cool this site is. Noting else really. He also said something about Timmer not being here because he was slow…with Marty and Ken Woods and Durand added in the conversation to add insult to injury.
Okay. Okay. Okay. He didn’t say that.
All the locals seemed to make the time cut except maybe a small gruppetto of about 15 riders that got caught up behind a crash that took victim to Froeming from Flanders. That means we also won’t see the guy that climbs the main climb with out standing up. Speaking of Flanders, Doiger will be making an appearance tonight for the crit downtown. Yet, after Friday he is leaving the race because he has to go to a wedding. That is fricken lame.
Did I mention the picture of Zimmerman complete with thought bubbles?
UCI goes after the “Men in Black”
The UCI has targeted “six or seven” top riders who are suspected of using doping products, by subjecting them to extra unannounced doping controls. Some of these riders have already produced “non-negative” results, according to Anne Gripper, director of the UCI’s anti-doping program. “We have picked out six or seven riders who are considered high-risk cases because of their suspect behaviour and subsequent good performances in the Tour de France,” she told the press agency Belga. Some of these riders “have already had three or four unannounced doping controls,” although the UCI only requires one per rider per year.
Gripper said that “We have information that they train in strange places.” The controllers refer to the riders as the “Men in Black”, because they wear neutral clothing on their training rides, rather than their team kit, which helps them avoid attention by the UCI controllers.
“Some of the results may well be announced before the start of the Tour de France,” Gripper said. “Several abnormal results have already come in. We are busy with those results and not all of them are negative,” she said, “but it will take time, because we have to respect the process, the analysis of the B samples, before we can make any announcements.”
June 21, 2007
We are driving there now…
It is raining…hard. It is going to be a miserable day out on the road. Good thing I get to sit in the car!!!
One non starter for us today. So I have some company today.