Tuesday, May 27, 2008

$5 Does Not Make You an Accomplished Bike Racer...

... but it does make road racing a little more fun.

That's right folks... no stunning double-W to report from Saturday, but I did win my first ever prize in a bike race on pavement. You got it, 5 bucks cash money baby. This stunning payday came as a result of a vicious attack out of boredom and the most fortuitous prime bell ever. As I mentioned Friday, I had plans for the 2 races and I did in fact manage to execute both (sort of). I also learned that I'm still a big skirt wearing pansy so I'm gonna have to do something about that.

4/5 race started the day and the lineup proved it was a cat 4/5 race... people didn't want the line because they didn't want to lead into the wind on the backstretch. Fine by me as my plan for this race was to be one of those guys who gunned it from the word go and tried to make the early laps hurt. They let me roll to the front and I jumped coming out of the sweeping turn onto the track. Several guys followed suit and the result was that a small group was lapped and pulled at lap 5 or 6. Other than getting the hole shot and riding like mad, my other plan was just to attack until I puked, someone else puked, or I got away with some guys who were strong enough to make it work. Well I attacked the crap out of the first half of the race as did a couple other guys, but the whole thing ended up amounting to nothing more than dick waving. Every time a group got any sort of gap, one or more guys decided it was more fun to be there than help. By halfway I had to go take a rest. I threw one more wild and unconvincing shot with 7 to go, but it was pretty lame and the field jumped on. Typical late lap 4/5 sketchiness set in and I decided I didn't feel like sticking my nose in the sprint. Rolled in as pack fill.

Cat 4 race was an hour later so I grabbed a drink and snack and then just rolled around to stay loose. Plan here was to sit in for a while and see what the pace felt like, then see if I could do anything fun. First 10 laps basically felt like a parade with nobody doing much. 12 or 13 laps in I decided to move up on the back stretch where it had been slowing due to the wind so I figured I'd just roll right through to the front when the pace slowed. Well it did, and I did, and then when I got near the front I decided it was time for a test. I went high and wide on the banked turn of the track and then hammered the finish stretch. I get near the tent and aren't they ringing the bell yelling 5 dollars. Well I hadn't checked yet and I figured it hadn't worked so I layed into the first 2 turns and then peeked back on the sweeping right. Amazingly I had opened up about 8-10 seconds. I was able to put my head down and basically pedal hard around for my big prize although one guy did close like a truck and passed me after I was fully across the line. He had come off the front to chase me and now we had about 12 seconds on the pack. Unfortunately he clearly wasn't going to do a damn thing so after 2-3 laps it was back to the pack. I again decided that I was happy enough so I just sort of hung out and moved around before sitting up and rolling in at the finish.

I'm a little disappointed that I never even stood up to sprint or tried to get in position where it mattered. I am happy I had the good sense to stay out of trouble. One of these days I'm going to have to get over last year's trauma and bang bars up at the front to try and take one. Maybe next time out I'll grow some stones.

In other news, boy #2 has cashed in on the "ditch the training wheels, get a new bike" deal. He was rewarded Sunday with a sweet Haro BMX that he's been eyeing for months. I like it too because it's a tank and I can screw around on it :)

Finally, I don't know if tonight's ride home counts as epic or incredibly stupid. I rolled the dice that the first storm had passed and the second would miss me. Well I crapped out and got absolutely pelted for about 10 minutes about 3/4 of the way home. I haven't ridden in the rain in quite a while and it was warm enough, but it still sucked. Better luck next time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh boo hoo...

I empathized with this guy's unique bike fitting problem right up until the part about them cutting a custom mold to make him a bike...

Yes, I'm just bitter and should go train more instead of writing this...

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Well apparently my dear wife's trip was so good and my 6 days as solo dad were so tiring that it's been some time since I said hi to all 3 of you that check in :) Her detox and transition back to real life along with me trying to catch up on everything along with me starting up summer semester (blech) have made for a hectic week. Let's see... is there anything good to report... you know, I'm coming up empty. Saturday I'm heading down to Stafford for the speedway crits and since I'm making the trip I decided 80 laps wouldn't kill me. 4/5 race is first and 4's is later. I have some ideas on how to approach both, but I'll keep that a secret until I see if it works. Weekend after is Pats Peak which should be interesting. I have done absolutely nothing specific to get ready for a 6 hour off-road race so we'll see if natural talent and conditioning get me through... Come to think of it if that's my plan, I might as well stay home. It'll be a fun day anyways as I think the club has at least 4 going. If you're going to suffer, might as well suffer with friends. Anywho... like I said, not a whole lot going on so I'll just get back to eating which is what I seem to do more than riding these days...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Daddy, Sam called me Poopie

My desired response was "I'm going to call you much worse if you don't get your arse back in bed", but my actual response was "Ignore him and go to sleep". Such is about the excitement I get these days. My dearest lovely wife is currently strolling down a street somewhere in Key West with a fruity adult beverage in her hand. By tomorrow night she'll be doing the same in Cozumel Mexico. By Monday night when she returns I may be waiting at the airport with the kids and my own ticket to Vegas. We're hanging in there though... no trips to the hospital or things to repair in the house. I think we're even all wearing clean socks today. Did I mention I'm doing the Pats Peak 6 hour? Yes, there's a connection.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This is so weird I had to share

I have finals this week so I'm in grad school hell. Because of this my lovely wife agreed to bring all three boys to the oldest's baseball practice so I could get a jump on some homework. So I biked home (in shorts and short sleeves which was weird enough), came home to a quiet house, took a shower without being interrupted, and now I'm sitting in a silent house with all the windows open, listening to the birds and doing homework. THIS NEVER HAPPENS!!! Fortunately the baby next door is crying so at least I feel a little more normal.

Oh and my ride home rocked. I was putting in relentless attacks on the hills against the invisible guy sucking my wheel. He never had a chance...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Blatant Plug for the Sponsors

Here's just another reason why I think we're sponsored by a super LBS:

I recently bought a Surly Crosscheck for commuting to work. For $850, you just can't go wrong. Well, maybe you can a little. After maybe 4 or 5 round trips to work I found that the rear wheel was way out of true. I found that one spoke had just come completely loose. It's a very basic no-name wheel build so not a huge shock, but a nuisance anyways. I dropped it off at Landrys, they fixed it up quick, no charge. Well I rode it one more round trip to work and find that it's out again (another loose spoke). I called them up and was told to swing by with it whenever I could. Drove by there today, they grabbed a wrench, and changed my cassette over to a Ksyrium SL they had in the shop... here, use this wheel that's 5 times nicer than yours until we get this thing fixed up properly. Uh, ok.

And my wife isn't going to let me ride with the guys anymore... they were trying to convince me this morning that I need a 29'er. The problem is I WANT a 29'er, but have been convincing myself I don't NEED one. The mere conversation this morning is forcing me to remind myself over and over I don't need one...