Archives for the month of: April, 2010

This weekend I will pass the half way point. I promised myself that I would ride 35 days in a row before my 35th birthday. That was a pretty big goal since I had probably ridden 35 days in the past 3 years or so. I realize that’s pathetic since I work for/own a cycling-related company, but I was in a ‘put business first’ mode and asthmatic/sleep deprived/thyroid deficient/suffering from sleep apnea/too physically screwed up to do anything worth doing.

So over the past year I’ve worked out the medical problems (turns out a soy allergy was a big factor in everything), gotten some great support that I can really count on at the office, found some training partners who will roll with me and re-found my motivation for riding. Of course some nice toys don’t hurt either and having a bike at home and one at the office that I absolutely love makes it easier to jump out and make myself suffer.

So today is day 16 and I’ve lost about a pound a day. It reminds me of the summer after my sophomore year in college after I crashed and broke my bike and got injured – I took two months and ate pizza and drank beer and got tragically out of shape. When summer hit I started training again, got up to about 30 hours a week within a month and lost more than 40 pounds over that time period. Of course I would like to take the best of that (got down to 124 pounds and was faster and stronger than I have ever been) and leave the bad parts (blew out both knees running and had to have them rebuilt).

No guarantees at this time, but I think I just might be fit for ‘cross season if I can keep this up.

Now if I could just find an mtb pedal/cleat that doesn’t have float. I just switched to SPD-SL fixed cleats and it has solved what seemed to be an interminable patellar tendonitis problem…

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Normally I watch all of the Spring Classics when they are broadcast in the States. I feel like it is my duty to boost the viewer numbers so that Versus doesn’t become the TdF network instead of the cycling network (along with bull riding and bass fishing, of course). But this year I just couldn’t make myself watch L-B-L…

On Sunday I headed out for a couple hour ride with a friend who got up and watched a Belgian web-feed live in the morning. He asked if I knew the result and I purposely didn’t. He told me not to waste my time watching because I’d just end up pissed off. “What, did Contador win?” I asked.

“No, worse.”

“Valverde?”

“Worse.”

“If it’s worse than Valverde I have to know. Who won?” I asked.

“Vino.”

“You gotta be F#@^#(&%$%@*(@(#&#%#$#@^@ing kidding me…”

So an unrepentant doper won La Doyenne. And then told everyone that he came back to the sport to show younger riders that you can win clean?

Half of my problem with Vino is that he has never been honest – what gives him credibility now? Especially when he can’t even give a true account of what happened after he was caught doping. He’s said that ‘doping was a mistake in the past, that he has accepted his punishment, served his suspension, and now back to ride clean.’

Unfortunately the facts don’t support even the part about him accepting his punishment, much less showing in any positive way that he working against doping now; he has never admitted to doping in the past and never apologized. The likely reason is that he was never actually sanctioned for doping or actually suspended. He chose to quit the sport instead and the UCI never pushed for a doping trial because he was out of the sport. When he tried to come back to the sport a year later the UCI said that they would pursue doping charges against him to get a 2-year suspension, and once again he side-stepped any accountability by announcing that he would continue as a retired rider…

So yesterday was a touch and go day, but as soon as the weather cleared and the streets started to dry I was out the door to ride. I hit the sunny part of the day and had a great roll-around with my wife. Once we were out on the road Carol told me that she had not eaten enough in the morning and wasn’t feeling great. Well, that, and she drank a monster-strong cup of coffee that was completely messing with her metabolism – particularly considering the light breakfast.

Since it was 11.00 we decided to do an easy hour and a half and rambled around a little loop to the northeast of Boulder.

Coming home on Jay Road we pulled up to the stoplight at the Diagonal. As we waited for the light to change Taylor Phinney and a teammate pulled up behind us. I knew Taylor and worked with him a little bit when he was at Slipstream so I said ‘hi’ as the light changed. Taylor responded as Carol and I were clipping back in. All of the sudden I hear the grunt of agony and Carol calling me. Massive calf cramp.

Now it may have been the nutritional issue, but I’m thinking that maybe Taylor has some sort of incredible psychic ability to cause cramps in near-by riders and that may account for his meteoric rise through the cycling ranks…

Then again that may be preposterous…

But I had no idea just how much you could do with a simple iphone. Last night I downloaded the bicycle gear calculator that everyone other than me seemed to have. I figured it could be helpful for setting up my fixed gear and sscx bikes based on the gears I’m riding most often on the road and cx bikes. Of course apple is too smart to just let me get away with my $5 purchase and they suggest that I also get Cyclemeter for another $5.

So I look at the app, decide that it’s worth $5 for me to get my ride stats without having to put a computer on my bike (that doesn’t work very well, since I’m constantly switching from one bike to another and have a hard time remembering my shoes much less a silly computer) and I buy it too.

Today was the first ride, and as much as I prefer to just go out and roll my legs around at this point in the year, I have to say that getting all the info was great. I don’t have it staring me in the face while I’m out riding so it doesn’t effect what I’m doing on the road, it just gives me something to look at when I’m done. And the coolest thing – from my perspective – is that it logs everything for you in a calendar so you don’t have to take 10 minutes when you’re done and enter that stuff yourself.

I’m gonna carry my phone anyway when I ride, this just makes the thing more than a paperweight and emergency beacon. Cool. Oh, and it’s a xxxx-load cheaper than buying a Garmin…

Headed out for a ride today at about 1.00 and as soon as I stepped out the door it started sprinkling. The Weather Channel said that shouldn’t be happening until later in the day, so I was a bit put off and headed back in with the hope that it would pass in the next hour or so.

The rain stopped very shortly thereafter, but we never got the sun that TWC was promising, so Soren and I decided to head out into the 50-ish degree in our 65-degree weather clothing (again, TWC promised…). After getting out of our little office complex we were really able to appreciate the bite of a 15mph wind when it’s a humid 50-something. There was only one decision to make – go short, but go hard.

So we went out for about 45 minutes and just traded hard pulls every couple minutes to complete what seemed like the best ride we could hope for given the circumstances. We made the right-hand turn to the road our office is on and the rain that had been falling on us for the last five minutes stopped, the wind died, and the sun came out. How ’bout that for timing…

After a great ride yesterday in ideally-bad weather it was nice to get out today in the sun. With a touch of tenderness in the knee tendons I figured that today would be a perfect day to head out and ride with my wife – just do a little spin out of the legs so that Soren and Chuck (who t-boned a car just after finishing a time trial this weekend, so he’ll be slow if he rides tomorrow) don’t put too much of a hurt on me on Monday.

The plan was simple – out into the head wind, back with the tail wind. Unfortunately when my wife drafted all the way out in the head wind, I had no idea that her plan was to put it in the big ring and drop me repeatedly on the way back. She’s not what you would characterize as a supple rider, more of the Bulgarian weight-lifter type cadence – 50 to 70 rpm seems to feel good to her. I have promised myself ‘no big ring*’ until June (* does not apply on gravel, bricked, or otherwise gnarly roads) so that I can get a nice spin back before I bury myself trying to get some speed for cross season. She didn’t mean to drop me, but rolling the 52/14 gives you a bit of an advantage over a 39/13 in a tail wind…

Oh, well. It was nice to ride with her and if there’s one place where any male ego gets benched, it’s in the presence of your wife, so no harm done to uber-lance and the id side of my brain…

In other, more important, bike-riding news, the women at Sea Otter are doing Hüdz proud. Allison Powers took the circuit race on the track out there for Team Vera Bradley Foundation with Katherine Mattis from Webcor joining her in the 3-rider break that swept the podium. Other good results in Monterrey and a lot of nice pictures on cyclingnews.com…

Today it was grey, cold, and intermittently rainy. I had  a great ride. Still trying to make up for too many years of working 100 hours a week, so the form is very slow to come. I made tiny little circles with my feet for a couple hours and loved it. I even loved getting rained on a bit just to complete tha package. This is not serious cyclist stuff here, in the past I’ve ridden through tornados and other atrocious weather, but I’m not racing anymore, I’m not paying bills by being on the bike, so riding when it’s a day like today could be a touch and go thing for someone in my position. But I love this Belgian-style weather (though preferably without the Flemish winds), and actually find the ride more pleasurable because of it.

Still a long way to go, but fortunately not quite as far as the girl we (me and Hüdz OE & Distribution Manager Soren Stromm) passed that was doing the Haystack time trial today…

Tomorrow, hopefully the weather will hold and we’ll have another morning like today so that I can get out with Nathan (he runs the Hüdz-Subaru grass-roots cyclocross program)… I just keep lining up friends to drag me around until I feel good one day…

In Flanders Fabian won with the legs, in Roubaix he won with his head and his heart.

There was little question that Cance and TB were the strongest at Paris-Roubaix. Sure I think Fabian would have won regardless – if it came down to who had the good legs – but the fact that he was paying attention and saw Boonen go to the back of the chase group to have a little temper tantrum because people weren’t helping him chase enough showed the difference between a champion and an also-ran that day. Fabian kept cool and collected and put in a brilliant attack and Boonen opened the door by acting like a 3-year-old.

Mind you Cance time-trialed away from 8 of the best Northern Classics riders on the planet now, so he had the legs to do what was needed. I’m going to argue that it was his day regardless of whether Boonen kept his head together or not. I just find the contrast between someone who is a head-to-toe professional like Fabian, and a great racer who is stronger than he is classy like Tom to be set in perfect relief here.

…Especially after all of Tom’s trash talking the week leading up to Roubaix.

Now let’s see how they pull off the Amstel this weekend. Who would have ever expected Scandinavia to play such a key role in the spring classics (no offense to you, Maggy…)

I’ve posted up here a couple times about anticipating getting a Civilian frameset that was the prize for winning Best Component or Accessory at the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Show last year. It’s a long-wheelbase gravel/cobble bike – OX Platinum 34.9 down tube, OX Platinum 31.8 top tube, S3 head tube and seat stays, and Colombus MAX seat tube and chain stays. It’s got an Edge 2.0 fork to match and a custom steel stem. There are a lot of features on it that are very cool including custom internal cable routing (the derailleur cables cross inside the down tube and the rear brake starts on the drive side and goes to the non-drive side – I use ‘cross routing on just about everything so I don’t kill myself come autumn).

I just got some pics of the raw frame last night and I am now in full-force tweak to get the thing and build it. The only problem is that I am stymied on how to finish (paint or otherwise) the thing. I’ve come up with a slew of options and like them all, but haven’t hit that one that makes me go, “I have to do that, nothing else will do…” It’s starting to drive me a bit nuts. It’s probably also starting to drive Tyson at Civilian a bit nuts. Hopefully I’ll get things figured out before the end of the weekend (supposed to rain here, so plenty of time to ruminate on it).

If you have any suggestions, send them over, I can use the help… info(at)grabthehudz.com

The sight of Cance sitting down and powering away from Boonen on the Muur was incredible. The man grabbed 30 seconds in only 3km over the best of the rest and a 2-time winner of Flanders. I loved it. This doesn’t bode well for anyone who wants to win at Roubaix this coming weekend. Give Fabulous some good luck on the 11th and the double should be within reach…

In the women’s race Grace Verbeke pulled off a pretty significant upset by beating Marianne Vos by 3 seconds. My other pick for the race was Emma Jo who came in 4th, so not bad in the prognostication department for the weekend.

Next up, P-R, not a bad bit of desert after a feast of pain like Flanders…