Jan 25, 2007

One more goal....

I want to run a marathon next fall. I've always wanted too, and I think this is the year. Not many people can say they've run a marathon and won a bike race in the same year, so maybe I can. The only thing that might hold this up is complications from the damn leg.

Jan 24, 2007


Everyone has goals for the year, whether you articulate them or not. I'm big on the Joel Friel pick a race or event and train specifically for it all year. A lot of people like to race a whole lot of races without thinking about whets important to accomplish for the year. I think it’s actually harder to pin all your hopes on one goal and build your entire season around that.

This year, my goal is pretty convenient. It’s to road race and move up as many categories as possible in road racing. That means that from the minute school gets out, I should be racing as often as I can while maintaining fitness. It means I'm going to do all my training in SD, so that I can start racing at a high level immediately. Specifically, my goals for the year are:

Become a Cat 4, possibly Cat 3

Win a race! (I've never actually won a race all out and it’s getting pretty sad. I don't care if I have to sandbag or whatever!)

Beat John Eppen (Last year I beat him once, he beat me once and there was a third time we raced that he "got sick")

Win HPV!
I'm probably not going to win, to be fair. It’s nearly impossible to beat Chico (they've got semi pro racers!), Cal Poly (they've got an almost perfect bike, when it works) and Missouri Rolla (they're totally pro). Teams like OSU, Montana and Portland have the chance to put it together this year. I think we still stand of chance of top 3 though. We've got lots of experience, a pretty wicked design and some talented riders. Also, I'm spending like forty hours a week working on the sucker and I'll be damned if I don't believe we can put it together this year.

ANYWAY, back to real cycling stuff. I'm not sure exactly where I'll be this summer. I'll probably be in MN, but I'm not going to plan any races until I've got a job. As soon as I've got employment figured out, I'll tell you what races are big for me.

Jan 11, 2007

Who Am I?


Karl Nelson

Mechanical Engineering

School: Rapid City, South Dakota
Summer: Minneapolis Minnesota
Next Year: TBD

About me
I've been riding a bike most of my life, racing for the last three years. I've worked in four different shops, run a club at school and coached a few athletes.

This year I'm trying to get into road racing. I've been mostly mountain bike racing the last few years, and I'd like something different. Its not like I'm a top racer, so I don't have any team or sponsor commitments and all the mountain biking has been getting old, especially in Minnesota.

This year will be especially challenging because I'm recovering from a broken leg. I broke the fibula just above the ankle in late September. I spent 2 and a half months on crutches, which basically means I spent all fall getting out of shape. I've spent the last three years getting progressively stronger on the bike, so this is new for me. Hopefully I'll bounce back well.

In order to find a practical use of all this education, I've been on my schools human powered vehicle team the last couple years. Yes, HPV as in recumbent racing. Its pretty fun, once you get past the nerds on bikes aspect of it. Plus, Freddy Markham is my hero!

Hopefully this blog will be an outlet for my various thoughts on cycling, as well as a training journal. I've got reams of paper from the last few years that I never look at. Maybe if I keep a bit of a journal online, I'll be more likely to look at my progress.

Jan 9, 2007

Selling Attitude!

I built a Surly Crosscheck today.
I've never been a big Surly fan; I've always believed in purpose built bikes. If you want to race, buy a race bike. If you want to commute, get a commuter. If you want a bike for fitness, training, relaxation, fun or whatever... well you know.

Also, it's always seemed to me that Surly gets by on style alone. There isn't anything really cool about their bikes, except that they're different, and that never got me. If you want a 'different' bike, there are plenty of them, but Surly's made by Quality Bikes, one of the biggest bike companies out there.

As I was building up this Crosscheck, I realized I really liked this bike. There was nothing I would change about it, except for maybe those crazy shifters. The frame was well made and every part was thoughtfully selected. A lot of time and care had been put into this bike, which was a pretty low end bike anyway. Maybe I should stop lusting after temperamental Bianchis and stick with something simple and well put together.