Jun 26, 2007


Tonight went really well at Dakota Tech. I showed up on time, with little exposure to chemicals this week. It was hot and windy, but neither was bad enough to ruin the race. The 5's race started slow with nobody wanting to take any pulls. After a couple of laps I attacked, but it didn't stick and a couple other people attacked but were brought back almost immediately. No one wanted to work but everyone could pull back attacks, so I was content to sit in the field and let somebody else force the race. With 4 laps to go a break formed off the front and I bridged up. The other two guys looked strong and I was feeling good, so I figured we had a chance, but no luck as the field had a dozen GP riders in it and they pulled us back. So I decided to sit in the field and wait for the finish. At the start of the last lap I took a strong pull to try to string the field out and it worked. We were flying down the back straight into the final corners and I was feeling good. Coming out of the last corner, I was third wheel behind two GP guys. I was able to out sprint them both for the win. It felt really great to win, especially after how badly last week went.

The 3/4/5 race went well too. I was able to make the first big break in the field, but Woell went in a breakaway(his third week in a row!) and after he was gone I stopped working. In the end, the bonk crept up on me and it was all I could do just to finish with the field. Flanders won 5 of the 6 races today, myself, Scott, Sharla and Adam taking our respective races. If we could find a strong masters 3/4/5 racer, we would have taken the day (where are you Tom??).

Mr. Taylor came back into town today after his jaunt in Europe, so I think I can make the races in Peoria this weekend. I've requested an upgrade to cat 4, so I hope it goes through before Friday. If not, I can race with Anthony and Calvert and have some fun.

Jun 24, 2007

Good weekend of bicycling

It was all kicked off Friday, when everyone at the shop biked downtown to watch the Minneapolis Crit of the NVGP. The Minneapolis crit is more a circus than a race, but it's always exhilarating to see the pros screaming through downtown. I think Tboughts got a little tired of hanging out with the boys all night, but she'll live.

Saturday I got up early and drove down to Mankato for the amateur race there. John Eppen came up for it and PeterO came down too. They set up the 4/5's, Juniors and Women together at the start line, so we all knew it was going to be a wacky race one way or another. Sure enough a couple juniors hammered it off the line and we all did our best to keep up. As things thinned out the top group shaped up. John, Peter and I were there and I was starting to like my chances. Eppen was putting the fear of God into everyone, taking monster pulls at the front and trying to break away whenever possible. A few other people kept trying to break away too, but I just sat in and tried to cover breaks when the opened in front of me. Its a 4/5 race, so I'm not sure why I even tried to cover a break since they never stick, but I did my work. About 2/3's of the way through the race, we started to catch lapped riders and everyone let up a bit, realizing the race would come down to the last lap. Sure enough, on the second to last lap, Eppen tried to get away when we came up to a big group of lapped traffic. I'm not sure how he was caught, because I got a little caught in traffic, but as we went through the finishing straight with one to go, I saw he'd cashed in his chips. Halfway around the lap, Peter tried to go, but it was covered. It had the inadvertent effect of setting up the MN JR team, so I just tried my hardest to grab one of their wheels. In the end I was 6th wheel out of the last corner, so I wasn't exactly where I wanted to be, but I was able to come around for 4th or 5th out of the group. It seems a couple of the people ahead of me were Jr racers, because I was second in the cat 4/5's, good enough for $40! That's the first money I ever made off a race. It turns out I preregistered for the race, forgot about it and registered day of too, so instead of making 25 bucks overall, I only made ten. Doh!

This morning, Jeebus and I went mtbing at Lebanon Hills. I haven't been to Leb in a long time and I've only been on the mountain bike a few times this year, but every time I go on a good ride in the woods I'm reminded why I fell in love mountain biking in the first place. I hope I can live someplace with some really great trails again sometime in my life.

Something cool I just discovered: Alessandro Petacchi's GPS data from the Giro.

Jun 19, 2007


If you know me, you might know I'm prone to having days where I'm very off my game. They don't happen very often and I'm not sure what happens, but once it starts there isn't much to stop it. Today was one of those days.

It started in the morning. I went over to JJ's house to wax the mold of his fairing. Somewhere between the acetone and the Partall Paste in his not-so-ventilated basement, my stomach started getting queasy and my head felt light. At first I thought it was having a couple of beers with Chaz last night that was my problem, but when I packed up early and laid down outside I felt better. The beer probably didn't help....

Anyway, I was feeling better so I decided to drive down to the Summit Crit. I signed my release waver and went out to do a couple of warm up laps. Coming around on my second warm up lap, I found that they had already started the Cat 5 race without me. Or I missed the start or something. #$%! I chased as hard as I could for six of eight laps, but the lead group kept dangling out in front of me. I pulled off the course and DNF'd, hoping my chances would be better in the 3/4/5 race.

The 3/4/5 race didn't go any better. The wind out at Dakota Tech was really whipping through the course and I ended up sticking my nose in it too much on the first couple laps. On the third lap I popped and DNF'd again. It was really frustrating watching everyone else from the grass when I knew I should be racing with them, but today just wasn't my day. They say you need fail early and often in order to succeed sooner, so hopefully today got me closer to a win. The amateur race of the NVGP in Mankato is Saturday and I'm psyched.

Things I learned today:
-Don't drink the day before a race, even if its just a little. For that matter, don't use solvents in an unventilated area the day of a race.

-Show up to the starting line on time. No matter how important I think I am, they won't wait for me.

-I need more rest, I think. The last few weeks have been really hard work and I should try to get the right amount of rest.

In other news, Adam Bergman was on the front page of the Pioneer Press today. I'm glad he's trying to make it now that he's clean, but I just don't think its appropriate to give this much publicity to local doping. There are so many cool people and story lines in Minnesota cycling deserving even a tiny amount of press which should have gotten it first.

Jun 17, 2007

Bringing around the legs

Well, I did a well rounded schedule of off season training, I spent the last few weeks doing very race specific workouts and now its time to hope everything pays off. At the end of last week, my legs felt pretty dead from an intense block of workouts and I'm spending this week recovering. The idea is that all the hard work combined with the right amount of easy days will result in peak fitness at the right time, now lets hope it works. Last year I was able to pull it off for the 5-0, even if the race didn't go right, so I'm hoping I can ramp it up the same way for a bunch of races in the beginning of July. Tuesday is Summit Crit again and then the NVGP comes to town, where I'll be doing the amateur race in 'Kato.

Jun 12, 2007

Tristan Schouten sez stage racing is the best way to get in shape. I'm inclined to believe him, since he's about ten times better at racing then me. As is happens though, I already set up my training in blocks, so its like doing a mini stage race each week. I learned all about it by reading Dave Morris' Performance Cycling. This week I did the race at Afton on Sunday, intervals on Monday, the Summit Crit today and tomorrow I'll do more intervals. Its just about the best way to whip yourself in shape for mountain biking, but I'm still not convinced for road biking. Road biking requires being able to push yourself really hard for really short amounts of time and training for that requires good recovery. If you're interested, this guy Ashwinearl does a really good job of explaining it. He's a cool guy too, and might send you some of his spreadsheets if you ask real nice.
http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/2005/11/off-season-training-index-and.html http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/

The Summit race at Dakota Tech went well. Its a long drive down there, but a ton of Flanders guys showed up and Woell took the win (I think) in a breakaway for the team. I'm learning a little bit about how to fight for a wheel and go for a sprint and maybe one of these days I'll actually win something. Wish me luck!

Jun 10, 2007

Afton Avalanche

Today was MNSCS #3 at Afton Alps. I raced sport, partially because thats the race most similar to the road races I'm doing and partially because I didn't want to waste a whole day on a race that wasn't important to me. I was pretty convinced I was sandbagging and I'd have no problem blowing past the field. Tboughts sez I'm getting cocky, she might be right.

I showed up early and got in what I thought was a good warm up. My wave started 3rd, four minutes behind the singlespeeders, thirty year olds and teenagers. The judge said 'GO!' and I wasn't ready. I couldn't clip into my pedals for the first 30 feet and was definitly the last off the line. Rookie move. I chased and was able to still make it into the singletrack second, but I was really breathing hard and realized I hadn't warmed up as well as I thought. I recovered behind first place racer and quickly passed him. My legs woke up and I was gone. Its a good feeling ten minutes into a race realizing you've won your age group. Quickly I caught slower racers from the first two waves and began passing. I was feeling great the first lap and what felt like a hundred other racers. I didn't use the little ring at all on the first lap and I felt my chances at the win were pretty good. At the start of the second lap, traffic thinned out a bit and I slowed down a little, but was still able to hold a decent pace. Other racers were getting faster and would put up chase when I passed them, so I'm pretty sure I was almost to the front of the race. At the end of the second lap and the race I was still passing people, hadn't been passed and felt pretty good that I had finished within four minutes of the leader.

The preliminary results were posted a few minutes later. I finished 7th overall, 4:30 behind the leader, who had won on a single speed, and 4:00 behind second place, who was 15 years old! I'm not sure were I could have made another 4:00 during that short a race, never mind on a singlespeed. These sport races are wacky, but maybe Tboughts was right.
(Winner Devin Curran)
Dad has this theory that I'm not a very good candidate for mountain bike races because I'm too big. I was thinking about this when I was chasing a much younger, smaller rider though the single track. I'd close on him whenever the trail was straight or uphill, but he'd zip away in the turns.


Karl: "I wish I was small"

Jun 3, 2007

Capitol Crit

I just wrote a detailed account of the race, but Blogger deleted it, so this is all thats left. 45 people were in the 4/5s and it was FAST. David and I were able to mix it up in a couple breakaways, but nothing stuck and I sprinted for 8thish. I was happy with that.

Aric won the 1/2s and Scott managed to sneak in for 3rd. Tori was happy with her first race, despite getting dropped.