Saturday, December 29, 2007

are you a Patriot...

This has been on a few blogs already, but it bears repeating...

Friday, December 21, 2007


This one is for you Jeff.

A little carbo-loading after tonight's swim, some of Queen City Brewing's finest. A pint or two of the Munich Lager will cure what ails ya.

This weekend's big ride is a wash with the 80% chance of rain that is forecasted for Sunday. I'm not worried about missing a ride at this time of year. A game of racquetball and a swim will take its place. Once the new year arrives, it will be time to get serious with the long rides. The first race on the calendar isn't until May so I have plenty of time build up the fitness.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thieves suck...

Harlan's house was broken into recently. His Home.

His tools were stolen.
His laptop, camera and printer were stolen.
His new bike was stolen.

Harlan was out of his home only 40 minutes, but in that time, his world was turned upside down. Thieves suck. Burglars suck.

Harlan is one of the nicest people you could meet, which makes this crime worse in my eyes. I can think of a number of things to do to the thieves that would be righteous. Unleash Marsellus Wallace on them. But Harlan says it best in his post.

Harlan, I hope that your tools, electronics and bike are returned and the vacant hearted people are shown justice. I hope there is a reunion. It can happen. With a happy ending.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

off the bike...

I haven't done a training ride since the VACX Finals. This is not to say I haven't ridden my bike though. I'm still on the bike each day for the commute to work. 1.6 miles all downhill. At least it's downhill on the way to work. It's nice having such a short ride to work as I can make it home at lunch.

Some other things:

I will be racing again for Independent Fabrication Grassroots in 2008. There are new sponsors on board, notably Ergon grips. I'm looking forward to getting a pair on my bike as I've heard good things about them. Giordana will be the new clothing sponsor. I need to find out how their tri-shorts are constructed. I want a pair with the leg grippers that are on regular bike shorts. IF Racing will have a new website soon.

In addition to IF Racing, I will be a part of the GamJams Ambassadors program. The ambassadors are mid-atlantic cyclists who blog about racing/cycling. It's an interesting concept in that sponsors are able to broaden their reach throughout the cycling community. Check it out.

Queen City Cycling Club is dormant right now but will come out of hibernation once the gray days of winter begin to wain. The club will once again promote the Queen City Century in May. 2007 was the first year the club hosted the century and it was well received by those who rode it. The ride will again take advantage of the beautiful less-traveled roads of southern and western Augusta county, beginning and ending in downtown Staunton and will be the Sunday before the Mountains of Misery ride held outside of Roanoke.

On Sunday, December 23rd, James and I will be leading a long "ish" mountain bike ride. We are considering either the Southern Traverse trail or Whetstone Ridge trail off of the Parkway. Let me know if you're interested or get in touch with James at Black Dog Bikes.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

a new Staunton blog...

James has a blog site, check him out here.

Go ahead leave a comment, heckle him a bit.

Monday, December 10, 2007

new season...

My offseason lasted a day.

I cleaned the dirt/mulch left on my swim goggles from my last XTERRA race in August and started swimming. I probably should have been swimming once or twice a week through cyclocross season, but there are only so many hours in the day and something had to give.

The swimming wasn't as bad as I imagined. I didn't drown. Or sink to the bottom. I actually made it across the length of the pool without stopping. A good thing I think.

My swimming is the weakest leg for me, and it's something I want to improve. I am tired of coming out of the water in mid-pack and having to work my tail off to make up places on the bike leg (leaving little in the tank for the run). This is especially difficult in the XTERRA events as I have to get around the fish on the singletrack. Most of them are considerate, but there have been some that think they can ride me off of their wheel. Not that I'm super fast or anything, but if I roll up on another competitor and announce my presence and ask for a bit of room, don't speed up like you're going to drop me.

Anyway, I'm focusing on the swim this winter and early spring so I can mitigate some of those issues. I will be working with my friend Connie over the winter on drills and specific workouts to, hopefully make this cyclist a swimmer/cyclist.

last race...

My last race of the season was the VACX Final at Darden Towe park in Charlottesville. Last race until April or May of 2008, other than chasing a 17month old boy through the house, over dogs, toys and a skittish cat, through gates and around furniture. This was the 12th cyclocross race of the season for me; all 8 VACX events, 3 MABRA races, and 1 MAC race. These races were spread out over 12 weeks from late September to December. Ah not to bad, a race a weekend if you look at the average, but the VACX had 6 events over a three weekend span in October. This wasn't a bad thing overall, but it did make me peak earlier than I wanted. Lesson learned. I scored some points, had a solid season, and most importantly I enjoyed the competition and scene.

Okay the race details. Like I said above it was the last race of the season. I also had second place in the Masters 35+ in a full nelson. I couldn't move up or down even if I DNF'd. Which I'm loathe to do. Anyway, the motivation wasn't up there to flog myself, especially on Richard's course that had ups and downs, off camber niceness and enough fun to keep ya focused on the track in front of you. At the word go I took off for my first lap glory, Leave 'em saying "well he looked good at the beginning". Actually it's to stay out of any first lap pileups, go hard and let the chips ride. I even led the race, until the first hill when Ed D. came by like he always does. A few more come by, JH and Matt then Kevin. Crazy roars past me a some point. I keep K-Dawg in my sight and feel someone creeping up on me. Not sure of his name but he's riding a Planet Cross, so I know he has good taste. He leads me around a bit and Bill G bridges up to us. Bill G who can climb like a scalded cat on meth, starts to pull away from us and I think to myself that there's the wheeel to stick to. Bill pulls us up to Kevin and the three of us roll the course, Me and my 757 peeps. That's the way to race/ride.

With two laps to go Kevin decides to bolt from our kumbaya race and in a flash he's got 50m on Bill and I. It's up to me chase as Bill will not chase down a Tripower teammate. I'm having fun, but I don't have the gas to chase Kevin. Bill and I chat and come to the conclusion that there isn't a better way to finish the season then riding together. He cheers for me in races and I cheer for him, no matter the course or who's in the lead; and here we are riding the last lap of the year cheering each other. Kumbaya and all that, yeah it's sappy, but it's also what I love the most about cyclocross. The competitors. The friends I've made. The scene.

One one hand I'm glad the season is over, it's been a long one. I've had a few results to show for the hard work and a lot of great memories. But it's time to pull the plug and ease into the off season.

On the other hand i'll miss riding with the VACX crew, it's been fun. Best 'o luck to the crew going to Nationals. Show 'em how it's done in the Commonwealth.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lucky 13...

I began this entry on Sunday night, but could never get it going, so here's some short notes from the Capital 'Cross race in Reston.

-Cold, but not raining as the weatherchannel predicted.
-New back half of the course, made it considerably longer. And more fun.
-Had a second row start number, and was able to move up to the front row.
-Gave up my front row spot to Michael aka Crazy. He won.
-had a solid start, top 5 or 6 out of 45-50 starters.
-squeeked by the pileup at the first 180 turn on the first lap. (good starts are vital)
-felt great on the first lap, but didn't push the pace.
-started the inevitable slide backwards on the second lap
-saw 2 laps to go after the second lap. Longer laps and only 40minute race. would've liked another lap.
-DC Bikes rider passed me on the last lap but I clamped down on his rear wheel for the finishing straight sprint.
-pulled out of my right pedal as I hit the pavement to start my sprint.
-Finished 13th.

This was my 5th or 6th time racing at PVC's Reston event, and it never disappoints. Hung out after my race to catch up with my racing friends and meet new friends. We have a great racing community in the midatlantic region.