Monday, December 28, 2009
I decided it was time to put my winter training plan into action. Sorry the picture is a little blurry, but I was just going way too fast for a normal camera to capture the action (unlike one of my CX races). Great ab work, and if you sprint up the hill, that doesn't hurt. Unlike cycling, the front of my junk got banged around for a change. I don't recall that sledding hurt so much before puberty.
No matter what your religious affliction, I hope you received plenty of gifts with Dugast, Zipp, Saris, etc. on the boxes.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Damn I look good don't I? Some people might say I'm a poser but hey, if you got it, flaunt it... I'm ooozing style here peeps. Some might think they have style but hey, I'm a dog with true style and trust me, I know a thing or two about doggie style.
I just don't get the whole stocking thing though ... just give me the rawhide thingy already. How'd you like to pose with a glassful of Three Philosophers and not get to drink it?
All in all I think it was a pretty good year (except for that minor skunk incident). I got to chase a few pheasants, went to a couple 'cross races, sniffed some new butts, and got to do alot clean-up duty after Ms. Drummroll's grandkids come over. (The little guy leaves lots of goodies on the floor for me as he's still trying to master the fork.)
So I wanna wish y'all a Happy Humperdog Holiday Season and thank all those that rubbed my belly this past year.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A few clicks, input some basic data, credit card # and poof ....
Thank you from the Leadville Trail 100! You can login to your LT100 account at any time to update your racer profile, confirm your race sign-ups, or sign up for additional races.
Please note that if you signed up for the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race you will be charged the $15 application fee upon entry into the lottery. The lottery will be held the first week in February 2010. Those applicants who are successful in gaining entry into the LT100 MTB Race will be notified on February 8, 2010 at which time their entry fees will be processed.
If I get in, I'll be looking for some company on some loooong rides .....
The 100-mile course is a 50-mile out and back race within the beautiful, high altitude mountains and valleys of Leadville, Colorado. The majority is on back-country roads with some short sections of paved road. The entire course is above 9,000 ft. And climbs to almost 13,000 ft.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I've even mixed some running into the routine in an effort to build up some bone density. At 37 I've gotta make sure I don't end up breaking my hip. That kills plenty of old folks. I also don't want to end up in a foot cast like Brian B. At least he broke it in the last race of the season. I think I took the running too far this weekend when I decided to enter a 9 mile trail run at Highland Forest with about 2,500 feet of climbing. I actually ran pretty fast, but I was more than a little sore for a few days after. One of the guys behind me commented that he ran a marathon a few weeks prior and that the trail run was harder. I kind of doubt that, but I guess if you don't race CX it's possible to get a little mud in your lady parts and have it feel like it was harder than a marathon.
Me and Mrs. Skinny had a post-CX party a couple of weeks ago. If you weren't invited, you need to get on the CNY-Cross group and start racing CX. All in all I think people had a lot of fun. Tough to tell since I was pretty much incapacitated by the end of it. Loud, but incapacitated as anyone that was there could attest. I will say this, during the off season beer and cookies are way more popular than actual food. I had a lot of left over food, and not a lot of beer or cookies. That's probably best for me anyway since I don't need any more beer, and Mrs. Skinny won't let me have sugar.
This is always an interesting time of year. The diet is a little off, booze consumption is definitely up, training has tapered off and the energy levels are dangerously high. That can always lead to trouble since my extra energy is seldom constructive. I've never been one to pick up a broom when I have extra energy. I'm more like a Black Lab with a propensity for destroying furniture when I haven't gotten my daily allotment of exercise.
I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to the training grind. I'm just waiting for my life sized posters of Faso and Bray to arrive. I've already taken a black Sharpie and written BEAT FASO on my white handlebar tape. Who needs a DVD of the 2007 Paris Roubaix to get motivated when you have those guys in your head?
Sorry for the stream of consciousness, but it's been awhile since I posted anything and I had some time to kill in a hotel. I should probably hit the gym, but it is the off season . . .
Friday, December 11, 2009
Ho, Ho. Ho ... Time to man up and get your lady a Skinny Bitch Booty Bounce DVD. You just gotta tell her straight ... "It's a gift for both of us." (Hint ... try to be sincere and avoid the use of the sheet eatin grin when you tell her.)
After all, you know you'll be cranking away on the trainer to turn yourself into an absolute cycling machine for next year so she's gotta get on the program too and get the bounce back in the booty.
And if you act now, I'll sell you a brand new one. It's still in the original packaging. Just make me an offer and give me a heads up when you'll need it -- I'll have to go see the doc have it removed.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Took a quick 20 mile shakedown run yesterday and it was clear that this was going to be a fast bike. It is ridiculously stiff and in a good way. The real test was today's Faso Ride. We rode a brisk 55 miles with a handful of town line sprints. I beat my previous watt record by about 90 watts and I haven't done a legit road sprint since before CX season. This bike is gonna be sweet.
I'm not sure if this bike can overcome middling genetics, but I intend to find out next season. There's no doubt that this bike will put the watts to the back wheel, I just need to make sure I'm around when everyone gets near the finish. Hopefully I can pull that off, otherwise I'm going to be "That Guy" on the tour caliber frame, components, and Zipp's dropped with a fat guy on the old Cannondale. Then again, perhaps I'll be dropped with the fat guy riding the Pinarello, with Campy Super Record 11 and Bora Ultra Two wheels. Maybe I should have taken Jeremy B's advice and just raced the old Trek XO-1.
On an unrelated note, congrats to Drumroll on his dominant season. He snagged three CX wins this year. He had a solid year last season, but he's definitely moved to a new level. Good to be "That Guy."
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Flashback a few years ago and I remember (a clean shaven) Dan Timmerman, totally dominating (perhaps devouring) the open men’s field at the Syracuse CX Grand Prix. He impressed everyone that day as he bunny hopped the barrier and rode up the hill while everyone else dismounted and ran.
Flash forward back to this past weekend and you might say he’s upped his game a bit along with his notoriety. Seems Ithaca’s very own Dan Timmerman, with his prominently bushy facial hair is now affectionately New England cyclocross’ very own “Grizzly”. The roar we had heard after the announcer’s “Grizzly” callout was the crowd responding as they've fallen for the Grizzly. Seems “Grizzly” has become a genuine fan favorite with the bearded look coupled with some stellar results this year in the elite level of the New England CX scene (we’re talking UCI level podium spots and wins here kids). Great to see a CNY guy mixing it up with some of the best. Hats off to the Grizzly!!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
With a couple of miles left, Drumroll ripped his front chainring in half. What a beast. Jeff W was kind enough to push Drumroll back to the cars. Maybe Jeff is the beast.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I'm 9 races into the season, and early season freshness and success have given way to fatigue and more modest results. The power just isn't there right now and enthusiasm is turning to anger as my motivation. With the cancellation of Greene I'm going to take next week off from the races and try and finish the season as strong as I started. That's the goal anyway. Anger will keep you motivated through the week, will get you to the start line, and will probably carry you through the first couple of laps, but ultimately the body needs to participate. I've gotten so wrapped up in chasing NYCross and upgrade points that I've definitely over done it. The motivation, albeit slightly twisted, is still there but the body appears to be an unwilling participant at the moment. Just hurdling the barriers yesterday was an effort of epic proportions. Time to listen to the body.
Hopefully this doesn't come off as too whiny. Ultimately who knows what motivates us to get out there and compete each week. Most of us have jobs and families, and between training, traveling, bike maintenance and surfing the internet for CX results and pictures we're probably tying up 15 hours a week on a hobby. Combine that with the considerable expense of participation in our sport, and most people would think we're nuts.
In my case, cycling is pretty much the only sport I've ever excelled in. I was 5'3" and weighed 89lbs as a freshman in high school. We had one Filipino girl that was smaller than me. Conventional sports weren't really an option. Amateur bike racers can be divided into a number of categories, but two that come to mind are former athletes that have outgrown football, hockey or soccer and are looking for a competitive outlet that won't require routine knee surgeries, and us skinny geeks that have only known cycling or running. You can usually tell by a racers build which category a racer falls into. Clearly I fall into the latter. We all have different motivations, but the 5'3" kid that never got to play football still has a huge chip on his shoulder. Being skinny has more or less paid off in the long run, but I think I'm hyper-motivated to succeed in the sport. Probably to the point of overdoing it at times.
Time to e-mail Bob and see if he wants to go MTBing. There's no reason to ride angry, at the end of the day I simply love cycling and getting caught up in the points isn't really helping. I'm pretty sure placing third place in the 3/4 series will net me a spare tube and no place in history. It's time to get a little rest, get through this block of the season and finish strong.
Man I love CX, even with two race bikes, tubulars, a coach, and all of the other expenses it must be cheaper than the quantity of therapy I would take to keep me on the straight and narrow. One pedal stroke ahead of crazy . . . usually.
Friday, October 30, 2009
So lesson learned. When you pull a Biere de Mars out be discrete or you might have to share. Cheers!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Just goes to show, you never know what's gonna happen on race day. If you feel like 5hit, or 5hitting your pants, get to the race and toe the line because you just never know.
Great job Drumroll, now you can bask in the warm glow of a win while you're sitting on the can.
Friday, October 16, 2009
My original plans for an X-Fire were dashed by a lack of 54cm availability early in the season. The good news for me was that they had Bryan B's size and he was willing to swap his 54cm Supercross for my Specialized road frame. More on that another day, but I was now the proud owner of 2 matching Supercross frames. Initially I thought I'd build up an inexpensive "B" bike. I should have known better because when it comes to bikes, bling and grams always outweigh common sense. I could have bought some inexpensive TRP brakes, but the adjustability of the TRP Mag's was too much to pass up. I could have thrown on an old seat, but I really needed a white one. While I'm at it, I'd might as well just spring for the titanium railed version. In hindsight, I'm gonna jump on it 8-9 times per race so maybe I should have saved the $164. Handlebars and stem . . . the white look pretty sweet, might as well spend a few extra bucks and get something decent. When it was all over I was left with two bikes that were very similar, but both had their pro's and con's. My original "A" bike was all of a sudden better in some ways and lacking in some. I could have taken all of the best parts and built a "Super" bike, but I decided to go with Chocolate and Vanilla. Red crank here, FSA there; Carbon seatpost with a heavier seat here, standard seatpost with the titanium railed seat there; heavy cockpit here, light cockpit there; clinchers here, tubulars there. At the end of the build, the most obvious difference was the black wheels and stem vs. the white wheels and stem. Chocolate and Vanilla. No "A", no "B", just two sweet bikes. Maybe next year I'll get that new frame. Well, I guess two of them now. Maybe I shouldn't have given up running, matching shoes are pretty cheap in comparison. Then again, running sucks.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Study this picture. Zoom in and slowly scan the varying nuances of what has been digitally captured here at this precise moment of time. Think iconic action photos like that of Michael Jordan in mid-air coiled for a highlight dunk or Bobby Orr splayed out horizontal like Superman just after he releases a shot to find the back of the net. Yes, look closely my CX brethren. Are you seeing it ... no. no. no, not the bike, not the jackass on the bike ... What you are seeing is perhaps the perfect hand-up.
Puzzled? ...Let me explain. First we should note that the guy offering the hand-up (technically called the "hander-upper-er") is known as the King of Kross. For the uninitiated, CX (or KX if I may in deference to the King) is more than just the bike race itself. You see, KX is the alpha, and the omega of cycling. It is not road biking, it is not mtb'ing, it is neither and it is both and the hand-up is the path to KX enlightenment.
So now let me help you take the first steps on your personal path via the KX hand-up with a detailed examination of this picture.
(1) To start, the hand-up is within close proximity to the golden elixir dispensing station. Think easy access, minimal transport, readily available and steady supply.
(2) The hand-up is occurring at a location where the rider's (receiver's) speed is relatively slow as he comes out of a technical chicane onto a straight section. In this manner, the receiver can most easily disengage a hand from the bars and prepare for a transfer. Please note that a hand-up right before a super technical section or a power climb is a waste of golden elixir -- both hands are needed on the bar and the golden elixir cannot be properly protected for consumption. Any waste can be easily detected in the form of spillage or vomitization.
(3) The transfer vessel contains approximately 3-4 ounces of golden elixir. Any less and you have to ask why bother. Any more and you risk spillage or vomitization as technical sections approach. Also note that in this case a lighter style of elixir (Witte or Hennepin) was chosen. Heavier elixirs (Abbey Ale, Three Philosophers) are best for post race consumption.
(4) The hander-upper-er has clearly identified himself ... in this case in an Ommegang cycling cap. It can become difficult to decipher hecklers from hander-upper-ers in the heat of the battle.
(5) Plastic cup. Should be a no-brainer but let's consider hitting a root with a glass bottle in hand -- can you say dental visit? Also the plastic cup can be harmlessly and easily discarded in the direction of a heckler or let's say some Catskill hillbilly in a Banana Republic sweater he found in the trash. Firing bottles off from the bike is just not cool or enlightening, especially if you don't see it coming.
(6) Zoom "way-in" on the exchange of the vessel of golden elixir. You will notice the hander-upper-er has left the bottom 2/3 of the vessel exposed for a smooth and efficient transfer. Additionally, the cupped grip the hander-upper-er has over the top of the vessel helps to maintain stability and limit potential spillage.
(7) Perhaps the most subtle aspect of this transfer, yet a very advanced technique, may not even be noticeable unless specifically pointed out. What is it you ask? ....Notice how the King (the expert hander-upper-er in this case) has just the slightest of bend in his elbow. This is key; I cannot emphasize this enough. The very slight bend allows for a firm yet flexible exchange of the vessel containing the golden elixir. A locked elbow, or overly bent elbow will significantly magnify any seemingly minor misalignment of the transfer with the potentially devastating result of spillage.
It is unlikely you will find similar instruction at any 'cross or KX clinics so consider yourself fortunate. You have been granted insight to a powerful and exhilirating part of the KX world that many are scared to explore. Go forth my friends, my consumers of golden elixir, and hander-upper-er wannabe's, explore and discover your inner KX through the process of the hand-up.
Note: Drumroll is available for group or personal hander-upper-er training. Please do not hesitate to contact him through this website. While open minded, Drumroll explicity requires a true Belgian hand-up experience, and cash up front.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Post Race Mrs. Skinny Phil: "No, you won"
So the cool news is Skinny put the smackdown on the Cat 3/4 class at Kirkland and won himself a freakin CX race. While he's probably too humble to note such here (or still too hung over from post win celebration), he deserves at least a Belgian-blog-style shout out for his win.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
About 6 months ago, Bob told me his wife was pregnant with their second child. I told him congratulations and he explained that they were expecting their child right before CX season. I gave my condolences and summer rolled on. CX racing season officially starts tomorrow at Kirkland (despite actually racing at Critz Farms today in something of a tune up race). Bob claims to be out of shape and sleep deprived. Up until today I was pretty sympathetic. That is until half way through today's race when it occurred to me that I've seen pictures of Bob's new baby, but I haven't seen her in person. I saw what looked to be a pregnant wife over the summer, but that could have been a pillow. Is Bob serious enough about his 'cross to actually FAKE a pregnancy? Has he really been closet training this whole time while I've been none the wiser? I'm in way better shape than last year, but now I'm concerned. If it turns out that the pictures he posted are just some baby from a Sears catalog and he's been secretly training this whole time, I'm gonna be bitter. Impressed, but bitter none the less.
We'll find out tomorrow I guess. Good thing I have new tubies. Actually so does Bob. Who buys new tubular's when they've just had a baby!? This conspiracy theory is becoming less theory. I could be in deep trouble tomorrow . . . I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Mid ride we were doing some barrier work and I approached the barriers with some of the newer guys. Unfortunately I was going way too fast in comparison and as I tried to slow up with the bike in mid air, I yard sale'd it, smashed my shin (on who knows what) and then smacked the back of my head. After realizing that my teeth were all intact, I shook it off and we rode a few more hot laps.
As much as I enjoy the TNTS races, CX wins hands down. First race on Sunday in Kirkland. Might even hop in a race on Saturday if my travel this week doesn't bury me.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Uh oh, it's like that old girlfriend you thought you'd never hear from again and out of the blue she comes calling....; "Hey Drumroll, been thinkin about ya, whaddya been up to?" Yes Drumroll was a real tri-geek once upon a time. Did a bunch of tris in the 90's and early 2000's but have tapered off over the past few yrs. Just a 1/2 IM in 2007 and only a sprint tri in 2008. None in 2009. Thinking he may be retiring (or his knees reminding him to retire), along comes the announcement of a 1/2 IM right here in the 'Cuse. The even bigger dilema is it is scheduled for Sept 19, 2010 which just happens to typically be the start of CX season. What to do? What to do?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Although velocb already did a great job over covering the Cycle Smart camp here http://velocb.blogspot.com/2009/08/notes-from-veldrijden-camp.html, I thought I’d approach the recap from a slightly different perspective.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Adam and Alec are a wealth of knowledge. At the risk of repeating myself from previous posts, time and money spent with them is far more beneficial than money spent on trick wheels, carbon bits or bling. Their knowledge is money in the bank.
Having attended last year’s camp, I more or less knew what I was in for. I attended last year’s camp with one goal in mind; learn how to remount without a stutter step. Obviously I learned a lot more, but at the end of the weekend I was only able to absorb so much information. Being relatively new to CX, or at least very uneducated, my head filled up quickly. Having said that, I was definitely able to take most of what I learned and practice and apply it. Short of almost losing a nut in the Albany last year, my remounts were even solid. Adam assured us that even Sven Nys catches his shorts on the seat now and again. (Brief aside, at the end of the Albany race I literally had to go into the bathroom after the race to make sure both of my boys were still where they’re supposed to be. Gotta love ‘cross.)
This year I went to the camp with a new set of goals. I wanted to improve my speed through the barriers, and I really wanted to learn how to drive my bike. Again, I still need to practice what I’ve learned, but done and done. I’ll spare you the details, mostly because if you want them you should either pay Adam yourself of buy me beer, but the tips he provided on handling were priceless. Although I’ll have new wheels and tubulars this year, I was railing muddy turns on a set of 4 year old Michelin Muds. People used to ask me how I liked the Mud’s. My standard response was “They’re great, but I never know when they’re going to let loose and sometimes I end up pedaling myself into the ground in a turn.” Turns out it wasn’t the tires that were unpredictable.
Not only did I get more out of this year’s clinic because I was ready for more, but amazingly, Adam literally knows more. Adam went to Belgium last year to mix it up in the motherland and came back with a few more gems. He also modified his handling style on the road bike this year trying to improve his descending skills. That change readily translated to ‘cross. Point is some people can get through races with raw power or better riding through chemistry. Most of us, Adam included need to actually be better at technique and use our minds to go faster. The fact that teams continue to seek out Adam as a professional rider is a testament to his talent. The fact that Adam continues to be a force on the road and ‘cross circuits is a testament to his talent. It would be very easy for Adam to sell out and take his business to the next level, but it’s clear that he still very much enjoys racing, learning and sharing his knowledge. Only two hours into our clinic I overheard a woman tell a friend that she had just attended another clinic a couple of weeks earlier. That person was also a professional, and arguably more successful as far as current ‘cross results are concerned, but she said that she’d already gained more in the first two hours of Adam’s clinic than she had at the other clinic all together. I don’t write that to slam the other clinic, it’s simply a matter of Adam taking the finer points of ‘cross to the next level and then translating that experience to people like you and me.
Bryan Blake was the only other local CX’er to make the trek to Mass this year, and I’m sure he echo’s my sentiments. If you’re serious about your ‘cross, plan ahead for next year. Not only will Adam continue to teach what he’s been teaching, but I’ll bet you a set of Fango’s that he’ll have something new as well.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Drumroll goes to a road race this past weekend (and not the big crit in Bingo btw). After the race, the "spread" includes some fruit, water, & cookies (likely home-made according to his well trained eye). As Drumroill is deciding which cookie should be his second victim, some roadie dude walks up, looks over the spread and says, "ooooh, cookies". The lady standing there, who very possibly made them, nicely responds, "aren't you gonna have one?", Roadie quips in a somewhat condescending tone, "ohhhh no, I can't have a cookie, nope, no cookie for me", and he walks off. WTF was that? Drumroll was about to jump on this SOB and force a damn cookie down his throat. In fact, how about a freakin dozen donuts slathered in embrocation shoved up your pretentious skinny arse with a quart of egg nog just to add a little flavor.
With this in mind, Drumroll hereby decided he is NOT a roadie. Yes, he may still participate in road races but only as a "UN-roadie". In fact, he's considering letting his legs get all hairy and wearing loose fitting, all wool apparel and putting duct tape on his cycling shoes ... not because they need it but because it would be "UN-roadie". Right now he's probably in his garage, peeling off a little handlebar tape so it flaps in the wind and wetting down his chain so it gets rusty and makes noise just to piss off the roadies. Roadies beware ... if Drumroll catches you at a CX race this fall putting down cookies, ice cream, donuts, pizza, or heavens forbid .. beer, he may not be restrainable .. you've been warned.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I'm sitting in a hotel having just registered for this camp, hoping that the dude two rooms over was too busy looking at porn to bother stealing my credit card number.
Having written that, Adam's clinic is worth the risk. I went to his camp last year and it was the best money I've spent on CX by a wide margin. New wheels, nice but who cares. Spankin' new bike, nice try, good luck getting any faster. Adam and Alec . . . they will make you faster. Dismounts, mounts, barriers, starts, handling . . . I repeat, they will make you faster.
I've written this before, but my first year I had some respectable results. Year two, I had a new bike and wheels wasn't any faster. I was just "that guy." The guy with equipment I couldn't live up to. Year three I went to Adam's camp and learned more in two days than I had learned in 2+ years of racing. The results were immediate and I didn't feel so bad about the new bike anymore.
The good thing about CX is that you're never done learning, so I'm headed back. Feel free to cash in all of those empties and we'll split a hotel room.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I am Foaib, member of the SS clan, MTB Tribe.
btw .. Foaib suffered mightily for a so-so 4th place (outta 6 in Cat 2 40-44) as an overgeared, underpowered dumbarse with poor gear selection and solid lesson learned.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
So Drumroll tells Ms. Drumroll he'll ride his bike out to their friends camp down to the west side of Otisco Lake. Just west of I-81 heading west on Rte 20, a humongous combine pulls onto Rte 20 and Drumroll catches up to it as he just descended at about 50 mph and still had some good momentum. The combine's doing about 23 -24 mph so Drumroll pulls within about a car length or so behind it and laughs as there is an amazing vortex sucking him along with virtually no effort. The HR monitor says 88 bpm on the flats at 23 mph with wheat chaffe and dust galore rolling outta the back of the big green beast. Then the next climb started and Drumroll shifts down and is surpised how fast he's able to climb the steep pitch in the draft of the combine. About half way up Drumroll has to let go as he's big in the red zone and there is still alot of climb left and he waves goodbye to the combine. A little further along and Drumroll notes the combine had to shift down too so heck, now he's closing the gap and the race is on. Drumroll pulls back to within about 20 yards as they crest the hill and catches on during the descent -- woo hoo. The next hill isn't so bad and Drumroll hangs on until they crest the hill and the combine turned off. He waves goodbye to the combine and laughs again at the wheat chaffe all stuck to sweat on his arms. Ahh, life in the country is good. The aromatics of the local farm, the sticky sweet smell of summertime cornfields and a big green combine to agri-pace ya for a few miles.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I did my first CX specific workout today. I went running actually. When I took a look at this weeks workouts, I had two days dedicated to CX. A run today and a skills workout on Friday. Life is good. Very good.
On a less positive note, Ridley came up short on X-Fire's in Phil size, so I'm going to go one more season on the SuperCross. At the end of the day, it's still an awesome bike and the only reason I was upgrading was for a lower BB and for the sake of something new. The BB issue can be resolved by learning how to ride my bike. In the interest of something new, I'll have new Challenge Fango's on Williams Cycling CX tubulars and some shiny new TRP EuroX Mag's for bling. The white and gold ones are on sale since the 2010's will be white and red. Gold is fine by me. I might get a matching gold tooth to match . . . especially if I bust a tooth on a warm up lap like Bob did a couple of seasons ago. He ended up racing with half a tooth. The man is hard. He could be Belgian.
Go get your CX on, the future is now.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
On a more positive note, I have a new 2010 Ridley X-Fire on order, new tubular wheels sitting in my dining room/bike gear storage room, and Challenge Fango's stretching. Life is good. When the Ridley arrives, it will be very good.
Last week I spent 5 days in Vegas for work. Long days, too many cocktails, and too little sleep. I managed to hit the gym 3 days but the bikes were less than stellar. 20 bucks a day to work out also. Gotta love Vegas. My first night there UFC 100 was taking place at my hotel. That made for a very interesting crowd. I have the tattoo's, but not the biceps to hang with that crowd. There were a lot of big dude's with sketchy tat's and sketchier women. I had to make a concerted effort not to look at anyone's lady. The last thing I needed was to offend some roidhead all pumped up on UFC night. At 130 something pounds, my ground game isn't that good.
The highlight of the night, was without a doubt, seeing a blond girl in the hallway of my floor with a drink in one hand and a tiny baby strapped to her chest. It was about midnight, so that's gotta be good for a baby. The baby scene's in The Hangover were pretty funny, but seeing it in real life, in Vegas none the less, was an unexpected twist.
After getting home, I tried to stay loose for the Owasco Stage, er uh, road race. Apparently the organizers couldn't pull of an actual stage race and switched it to a one day road race instead. I guess that's better than last year when they canceled the whole thing outright. I went into the race with pretty low expectations. Things have been going too well for me this year, and it was time to suck. Suck I did. Got dropped early, rode as hard as I could and chalked it up to a hard training ride.
Short of a tough TNTS race Tuesday night, this week is supposed to be an easy one. Time to regroup and get ready for the second half of the season.
Hopefully everyone is enjoying the Tour this year. As interesting as this one has been, next years should be far more interesting with Lance and Contador on separate teams. Personally I might be rooting for Andy Schleck. Time will tell.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Anyway I'm here to rant brfore I get knee deep in a 750 of Rare Vos. Topic de Rant -- The Old Erie Canal path. Let's get it straight people (& dogs), common sense and courtesy will really go along way in making the canal path more enjoyable for all.
(1) If I get a hold of you and your freakin 20 ft dog leash, I'm gonna cram it down your throat with fido attached and pull it out the other end. Pay attention, yes, the dog leash all the way across the path IS in the way.
(2) Let's think of moving along like road traffic -- stay to the right, not half way, not the right of the guy coming the other way -- your right (probably the one you pick your noise with)
(3) Hey teenage d-bag on the bmx bike, take your head outta your arse, turn down the iPod, stop thinking about video games and your sister's hot friend and watch where the hell you're going. As I come towards you (on the right) and you suddenly drift right in front of me as you come the other way, yes, I am going to yell and call you an a-hole -- loudly so you can understand me.
(4) I love coming up on a cute family out for a ride, except when you're too damn stupid to realize , "hey, maybe my three kids bikes laying scattered across the path, with them running all around them, might not be too good of an idea."
(5) Lastly, I don't care if there are 3 or 4 of you that wanna walk side by side and chat. I am even willing to give you the benefit and give you 2/3 of the width but don't get pissy with me cause you actually have to move out of my lane of travel so I can get by. Chances are you'll be the one picking goos poop outta your teeth when I run your saggy butt over.
So there you have -- Canal Path 101 ... cause Humper Dog says so!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Yup, crusin' solo down the canal path and I see something up ahead and HOLY SHEET. A family of skunks -- 5 of them. I was about 15 yds from them when I realized what they were and slammed on the brakes. After realizing I was not being "aimed at", I dismounted, moved way over to the edge of the trail and tried to get by. But nooooo, they wanted to eff w/me and started running up the canal path. I honestly wondered if they were messing with me. Suddenly they stopped and I snuck by. They really were kinda cute but I was glad to be out of the danger zone so to speak. Once I was well beyond any potential situation that would have been difficult to explain, I rode off chuckling to myself knowing that if there were a group of us riding full bore down the canal, only Coapman would have gotten sprayed cause that's just the way the world works.
Oh, btw, if you noted I was riding solo, it's because my alleged teammates and training partners totally blew me off. Anywho, I did keep the Ommegangster tradition alive and enjoyed the sweetest post ride 750 of Hennepin one could imagine in the best way possible ... solo!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
As some of you may know, at one time I was something of a runner. Not a great one, but I ran most of the local races and a few marathon's. One thing I noticed at running races was that the old people looked . . . well . . . old. Nasty bow legs, hunched backs, you get the picture. Then I'd ride with the local cyclists and I noticed that a lot of the older cyclists looked pretty fit, even normal as they got older. Since I was always a better cyclist than a runner, the change made sense. I've pretty much stuck to the bike for the last 4 years with very few running transgressions, excluding some training for CX.
A couple of weeks ago my wife asked me to run in the local 5K on the 4th. She caught me in a moment of weakness, no that that moment of weakness perverts. I think I was headed home from one of the Tuesday night races and a little delirious. In any event, I haven't run since CX season so I knew it was going to hurt. I got in two VERY easy runs just to make sure I didn't completely hurt myself and then it was off to the races.
Sadly my old running shorts are pretty short. Too short given my cycling tans lines, but what can you do. I planned on buying some new shorts, but ended up getting lazy and just let my freak flag fly.
I decided it was going to hurt whether I tried to run fast or not, so I just let 'er rip. That's a relative term since as I mentioned I'm not a very good runner. When I let 'er rip it's more like a 7:00 minute mile thing, not a 5:00 minute mile thing. An old high school buddy (Timmy O.) caught up to me on the first hill. He's in the middle of training for a 100 mile running race so he'd been running since 6am. We more or less chatted the whole run, but I was pretty close to my limit. He was running bandit and planning to run the 10 mile race right after the 5k. He swung off with about 100 yards to go and then I heard it. Some punk trying catch and pass me. I should have just held my pace and let them go, but the competitive side of me just couldn't do it. I heard the foot steps and the race was on. I gave it everything I had and barely held my place. Just as we crossed the finish line, I heard the person throw up. Victory was mine. For some reason, probably because I'm a sympathetic puker, I never even turned around, I just wandered over to the people collecting the chip timers. The first thing the guy taking my timer says is "apparently you ride bikes." Must of been the 2-3 inches of bright white skin with the dark tan line that tipped him off.
So off I went to get some water and a bagel. On the way out, my wife and I checked the results. I only ran a 21:15, but it was good enough for 1st in my age group. Apparently all of the fast 35-40 year olds stayed home yesterday. It wasn't until I got home that I remembered the sprint and thought I should see who was behind me. Turns out it was Jen T., the second place female finisher. There wasn't anyone close behind her, so it really was me against her. I guess all that's left to say is . . . In your face Jen T!
Just kidding, actually I feel kind of bad about it. Not that bad, but bad none the less. The good news for Jen is that I won't be running anymore races in the foreseeable future. I can barely even walk today for that matter. I rode a couple of hours and hit some decent hills today and the legs are definitely jacked up. We'll see how long it takes to undue the evils of running. If there's a message in this post, it's "don't run" and in the words of Bernard Hinault, The Badger, "no gifts."
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) - Onondaga Community College safety officers were forced to turn away Jazz Fest patrons Saturday night after thousands packed the college campus to watch Kenny G perform. It's estimated somewhere between 30,000 to 50,000 attended Jazz Fest last night.
Those who made it out stood shoulder to shoulder to hear the famed musician play his soprano saxophone. The instrumental artist has sold more than 75-million albums worldwide, but is best known for his Grammy award-winning hit, Forever in Love.
Ride safe my friends. Getting run over my a soccer mom listing to Kenny G is no way to go.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
So if you live in the area, get out there and race. Here's a link to the details:
The fields are getting bigger each week and the racing will make you strong like bull.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
So far, none of the ingredients listed on Father Hennepin's elixirs have matched those on the banned substances list, but the investigation is ongoing. One thing is clear, drinking the night before a race is either the strategy of madmen or a brilliant plan. Sometimes genius and madness are tough to differentiate.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Crash & burn baby. Drumroll made the separation of 8
riders at the front of the Black Fly w/3 team mates only to crash. In a truly PRO fashion, he went to the doctor today as his leg kept swelling -- pain & swelling being one thing, but not being able to ride a whole different story. The doc said ice & pain killer. So Grey Goose on the rocks it is (in true PRO fashion). The doc wanted crutches but Drumroll couldn't bother as they are unPRO. Why bother with the doc you ask? See below .... which leg looks out of place?
Skinny Phil was a beast w/a freaking 2nd place overall!! Jeff W (another Ommegangster) took the overall as beast supreme giving us 2 'gangsters on the podium & 4 in the top 8.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Black Fly Orgy? I'll have my bibs on and DZ Nuts tube in my hand when we arrive.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Three courses, an A & B race, three local teams and one local club. What more could you ask for?
If all goes well, the TNTS rides will morph into a Tuesday night CX series. MMmmm CX Series. Speaking of CX, I installed some new components on the Ridley a little over a week ago. FrankenSRAM. A little bit of Red, a little bit of Force and a bunch of Rival. Finished installing it at 11:30pm and got up bright and early and took it on a 34 mile shakedown ride with 4500 feet of climbing on tractor trails, road and single track. Took it out again this weekend to Green Lakes and I think the shakedown portion is behind me. The SRAM is running great and the bike is pretty much ready for the Black Fly on the 13th. The Black Fly one of my favorite races of the year. 40 miles of DEC roads, pot holes, hills, and well . . . black flies. Oh yeah, deer and horse flies as well. Most of them can fly quicker than 20MPH. These bugs eat Deep Woods Off for breakfast, so you don't want to get a flat. I highly recommend this race if you live anywhere near the Adirondacks.
If you live in CNY, check out the TNTS rides. They will make you "strong like bull."
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sorry for the lack of posts. In addition to the normal routine of work, travel, dogs, riding, mowing the lawn on my "rest day" and other glamorous details an amateur cyclist juggles, Dave F. and I have been busy building a local training series. I'll have more of an update on the training series shortly, but we have high hopes of growing/strengthening the local racing scene. That, and once Fall rolls around . . . CX training series. Nice segue. We've gone the legit route and done it with a genuine permit and affiliation with the Onondaga Cycling Club. No sense in losing the house over a lawsuit I guess. Everyone has been very supportive, so hopefully we'll have a solid turnout.
So back to seeing Red. I recently made the proverbial leap. Our team was lucky enough to score a Grass Roots deal from SRAM, thank you Syracuse Bicycle, so that made the move fairly tough to turn down. It all showed up in red boxes with cool red bags. Installation was more or less a snap. The videos on SRAM's website made it even easier. I helped Drumroll remove is ancient Dura-ace crankset. The bearings in his crankset were literally square. Moving to Red probably bought him 10 watts. I'm sure he'll service his BB again in 10 years or so. Maybe his mojo is in my trash with his wasted BB.
Everything I've read and heard had me thinking that it would take a couple of weeks to get used to the shifting. I think I had it more or less nailed in a few minutes. It's really intuitive. For the record, I'm no genius, I still mess up shifts occasionally using Shimano. That said, the SRAM is easy to learn and far easier to use. I won't go into tons of detail because there are about 100 articles covering the benefits, but after a bunch of miles and a few races, I'm a BIG fan. I also bought a mix of SRAM for my Ridley, so that'll be going on tomorrow if I can take a half day. I'm supposed to do a Black Fly shakedown ride on the CX bike on Sunday, so I'm hoping it'll be good to go. SRAM is going to be the shinizzle on the Ridley. I'm a set of tubulars away from having no excuse for sucking.
Make the leap . . .
Monday, May 18, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
My new mission . . . to live up to these wheels. I'd like to think I'm up to the task but time will tell. My current wheels are great for training but way too flexy for sprints. At 130 something pounds, I'm not exactly shredding the pavement when I bust out my sprint, but I need all of the help I can get. Lately when I sprint I constantly feel like I'm getting a flat tire. That can't be efficient. Think about it, that could be the difference between 18th and 19th place. The guy that comes in 18th place gets mobbed at the supermarket, free dinner at the local bistro, all the latte's he can drink, free frames for life. The guy that comes in 19th, he gets nothing. He gets to empty the port o john after the race. These wheels are going to catapult me to greater levels of mediocrity.
In my quest for new wheels I went straight to Paul at Syracuse Bicycle, and a leftover set of 2008 404's were just what I was looking for. Aero, light, and I finally get to try gluing tubulars. They're currently stretching. Hopefully tomorrow the gluing begins. Hopefully Sunday I don't get dropped. If I do, I will officially have become "that guy." Feel free to laugh, run me into a ditch, or simply be a wheel sucker, because I'll deserve it. If I crack the top 18, please don't mob me in the supermarket. I'll still be a regular guy. A regular guy with free latte's that is.