je ne sais quoi

Friday, March 31, 2006

Oilers Win!

And I got to watch it on TV. Hemsky scored his first goal in ages, and we demolished the hometown Kings 4 nil. Hats off boys, job well done. Can't wait 'till the playoffs.

In the cycling world: I feel much better now. Went out to Rosebowl and went nuts at every opportunity. Came late (work...), that always sucks, and I feel bad even contesting the sprint if i'm a few laps late, but ah well. It was my first 'bowl in about two weeks. It was nice to see some random Toyota United guy there, and scores of local fast folk. I was alone off the front for a couple minutes at one point, and when I got caught I pulled the classic Menzies-style "counter-attack your own move[*]" move. Didn't work of course (the toyota guy shut it down), but it's good for the legs, they say. They don't, but it is. Somehow. Near the end, some guy crashed in all the madness on the downhill side. Bummer. These things happen. It's open, free, and sometimes fast training. There are risks. We know this. So in light of the crash, there wasn't a sprint. I was pretty spent anyway, no telling how the kick would've been.

I get paid tomorrow and a digital camera purchase is imminent. So i'm gonna dull the blog up prior with photo-less entries like this one to make it that much more exciting when the camera arrives. Racing this weekend......Amgen Crit Saturday, and officially my final race as a cat2 on Sunday at garrett lemire GP. Big money in both, and the XL competition that come when large chunks of cash are on the table. Can't wait. Allright, i'm done. Looking forward to sleeping so that I can wake up and eat everything in sight. 'Night.

[*] So Brent was off the front during the entire crit in stage 3 of SDSR, along with Karl Menzies and Gord Fraser. They were gone from the first lap, full blast, real fast. So after 90 minutes, they were caught on the last lap, presumably completely wasted. After the race Brent says Menzies "counter" attacked his own move as soon as the trio was caught...didn't stick of course, but CMMMMMON!!!!!!! The guy still ended up 6th. It'll be nice to mix it up with him over the weekend...


Wednesday, March 29, 2006


If you're out eating burritos or some other fast food somewhere, here's something to consider: Most fast food spots have disposable everything -forks, plates, knives, cups, etc. If you're like me, you'll sit there for a long while, eat lots, maybe get a refill or two, then when you can eat or drink no more, you throw it all away. Here's the dilemma -the drink. Maybe everyone's already aware of this, but I've been oblivious to it up until a couple days ago. The drink! You cannot throw away a drink with fluid/ice still inside! It's wasteful, potentially messy, and it's really inconsiderate to the person who has to empty the trash bin later on. So take two seconds, empty it out, and everyone's allright.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Not Sick Anymore

Hi. I still don't have a digital camera, but am pretty set on getting this one. It's completely badass. Has WiFi capabilities for transferring photos wirelessly, lots of pixels, GIANT lcd. Yeah. The dilemma here is this: I don't have enough money to buy the camera right now, but have plenty of stuff I could ebay to pay for it. Trouble is, I need a camera to take photos of the stuff to sell. Ah well. I guess I could borrow one, but i'm feeling more lazy than usual.

Well, i'm officially through being sick. It was a quick one, thankfully. Out of action wednesday through saturday, and did a 4.5 hour ride this morning, felt allright, thought I probably shouldn't have ridden quite that long. Ah well. Still wound up with 10 hours for the week despite not riding for 4 days. Yeah.

Spring's here. Cheers. I saw trees with flowers starting to bud. That's about as close as it gets to "seasonal change" here in Socal. I remember back in North Carolina, in a span of a week, everything would go from dark and lifeless to a vibrant and lush green. Ahhhh. I must visit that place soon. And not just for the scenery. And spring also means-----Time Change!!! A time for cyclists all over to rejoice. Post-work rides, warmer temps, two-a-days...the whole bit.

Hmm...Today was the first sunday in almost two months that I haven't raced. I'd forgotten how jam-packed the roads are on sundays. Would have been nice to head out to Redlands for that crit...$3k to the top 20! Ah well.

and a photo for good measure:

I don't know what the KOM guy's deal was...he didn't seem excited to be there, or maybe he was bummed cause he couldn't reach the yellow jersey's arm? Ah well. Photo by Tony. And no, no photos of the road race finish.....gah...exceptttttt this little guy:

Nice gap, eh? Allright more SDSR gloating....promise. The Amgen Club is putting on an AWESOME race next week, $4k for the pro men! And the following day there's Garret Lemire GP. Nice jam-packed crit weekend. Though I long for more difficult road races...


Friday, March 24, 2006


Apologies for the lapse in updates...thing is, the last chunky entry was about winning a race, and that's always fun (and easy!) to write about. Problem is, anything I write to follow it up isn't going flow as easily, nor be as interesting as a race report regarding a win. The perfect solution: Win lots.

Right. So this week...took monday off. It rained, I went out, slept later than usual, and had a celebratory white russian. Tuesday, with the thought of work on wednesday/thursday, I did a double ride. Couple hours of tempo climbing in the morning, and the El Dorado training race in the evening. The training race was lame. EVERY move that I tried was shut down -sometimes by people with teammates in the same move! There were some fast dudes, and I felt flat throughout. I thought maybe it was because i'd already ridden in the morning, hmm. Wednesday woke up a bit tired, had my own things going on. A bit of a headache, yeah. Took an "airborne" tablet, but to no avail. Woke up today (thursday) filthy sick. Went to work anyway. Miserable, but productive. Nearly finished restoration of a '71 280SE 3.5 Convertible. And now i'm here, with this lame entry in front of me, typing away, wasting my time.

Miiiight race this weekend, but not sure. Haven't ridden in two days, and feel like total shite. We'll see tomorrow morning. I hope I race, otherwise it's more entries like this one. See? My life's pretty uninteresting without the cycling part.

Monday, March 20, 2006

This Pretty Much Sums It All Up:

We got the Sprint Jersey, 6th, 10th, 11th, 22nd overall, and victory in the big bad road race.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Day Two: A Daisy


Today, I won the 2nd stage of the San Dimas Stage Race...and now, the cliche bit about how it "was all a team effort." You've heard it before, every athlete says it, but damnit!!!!! I absolutely mean it when I say that today would not have been possible without the efforts of all five other members of the Amgen Elite Team superstars. With that said...

The race: First, instead of explaining what our plan was going into the race, let me repost an exerpt from an email I sent out to the team yesterday-

I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that most of us are not out
drinking it up for St. Patty's, though we should be. So a bit of
strategy for tomorrow. First off, let me say that i'm not bummed at
all with today's results. Relative performance was bad (for me,
especially), but geeeeeez we got some fast dudes this year. We are
the only team with a full SIX guys that made the front sheet (top 40).
This means we have the luxury of playing the breakaway game with any
of our riders. Rich is 2 minutes back, and it gets tighter from there
in. Another good thing from the bad: none of us are immediate
threats to the GC. We will not be amongst the names the guys in the
top 10 have taped to their stems, you know?

With those things in mind, we gotta kill it tomorrow. I will save
nothing for the hapless 55 minute crit on sunday, and hope that you
guys do the same. Really, we're used to 75+ minutes with much faster
dudes, lets just forget that there is even a crit on sunday. Real
basic stuff tomorrow, create/join an attack. If/when it comes back,
one of the other FIVE (no one else has this luxury) creates a new
move. The remaining five (or 4 if the guy that just got brought back
is too spent) move to the front of the field (where we'll hopefully be
joined by socalcycling/lagrange) where you sit and twiddle your
thumbs, marking and sitting on anything that moves. Basic stuff that
all of you already know. Only difference is, this is one of few
instances where we have full and complete resources to use this stuff
we learned so long ago to the fullest. If nothing else, I want for
people to say "shite, amgen, you guys rode a killer race." It's an 80
mile race. 2 minutes is nothing.

So that was last night. We got to the start area, I was late and procrastinating as usual. Jerry (team director) hooked me up with a sweet new pair of shades and enough cliff bars and tubes to last my kids' kids cycling careers. Thank you Jerry. Thank you Cliff Bar. MVPs. Yeah, so I set up the rollers, and rode them for all of 6 minutes. Who warms up for a RR anyway? Sprinted to the started line, and hung out with the team for a couple minutes. Spirits were high on the startline, as it was not yet raining, though the sky looked dreary -at best. Big black puffs hanging out all over the place. The pros went off, and three minutes later we were off.

Lap one was interesting. Mind you, I had every intention of working for Skye or Tony today, to maybe get them a time sprint or two (they were each only 10 ticks from 10th place). Not even a kilometer into the race, Perry shoots off the front. Healthy gap, he's gone with one other dude. Perfect. Just like we'd planned (though ironically, I don't think Perry actually checked his email last night...hah). So he was gone, Richard, Brian, and I hit the front, marked marked marked. And Perry stayed away until the top of the final climb (of the lap, not the race.), RIGHT as he was caught, I countered over the top of the climb, and established a larger group of around 8 or so. This hurt. Definitely my hardest effort of the day...but I guarantee a few guys in back were hurting as well, and people started to think..."Amgen, hot damn". Yeah. "If nothing else...".

Someone back there buried themselves, and right at the start finish, my group was caught. Oddly, the lap card that said "10 to go" on the previous lap, now went up to "11 to go". Turns out we're doing 12 (8 mile) laps instead of 10 now. Ah well. The guy also announced "hot spot sprint to the leader of the next lap." An uneventful lap, as I recovered a bit from my hard effort. I crested that hill comfortably, and found myself about mid pack, just hanging out. Eh. I looked around for skye/tony. Both were in front of me. I went into the wind, and moved up to about 5th wheel. Looked back to see if Tony/Skye were on. No one. Hmm. I felt swell. The team drilled it with a clean but slow train. I hopped around the outside, and started a sprint. Some other guy was there to challenge me. (the following is a jerk move, yeah, but I can't help doin it) I looked right at him as we were sprinting and said "you're not going to take this sprint". It was close, but I took the sprint by about a wheel. We shook hands afterwards. Yeah. 10 seconds, some points. Nice. And above wasn't difficult at all!! Hmmm.

This entry desperately needs some photos. Apologies. Soon. I'll devote 100% of race earnings to the purchase of a new camera. Anyhow. Two laps later, another hot spot sprint. Different guys were sprinting against me, and I won it again, with more ease, alone. Even did a little salute (more like pointing to my number so the officials would get it) at the line. Nice. Tony got 3rd and picked up a couple valuable seconds. The field shrunk by a few dudes each time we went up that hill. I sag-climbed that thing each and every time, and got over without burying myself at all. Worked out. The team was fantastic. With their permission, I decided to make a go for the sprint jersey. Two more sprints remained...another hot-spot, and the race finish. The 3rd hot spot didn't go too well. I went much too late, and ended up 4th or 5th. Eh, didn't expend a whole lot of effort though, so it's okay. 5 laps remained at this point.

Not really a whole lot to write about in the remaining 35 miles. The field pretty much gave up hope of any breakaway getting clear. The only action came each lap on the final hill (which is only about 3 miles from the start/finish). The speed up the hill got faster and faster with each passing lap. By the time the last lap came, I doubt we had more than 40 of the 100 guys who started. We were by far the best represented team, with 5 of our original 6 still in the lead group. So the last hill comes. I don't have great position, but not terribly bad. I stayed well within my limits, and made it over in about 25th wheel. It strung out pretty good coming down the hill and onto the finishing straight. I lucked out and found that I was on Perry's wheel with a long flat 2 miles to go. We were at the back of the front group, with some scattered stragglers behind. "Perry, move me up!!". Nothing. "Perry, it's me, Aram, let's gooo!". Nothing. I could not make the move to the front alone, and no one was moving. I tried once more, and I think he finally heard me. A fantasttttttic pull right to the front, with 300 meters to go. Perry pulled off, and I somehow found a wheel immediately. At 250 to go, the wheel i'd found started to accelerate! Perfect. The guy had a weak jump, I got in his draft, and turned the rockets on with 100 to go to win by a couple bike lengths. Perry made it really easy, and I was fortunate to find that particular wheel. I'd practiced victory salutes all the time, and finalllly got to do one, but forgot all i'd learned (mostly from Bookwalter himself), and managed to get both arms up with 5 meters to go, but there was an intense crosswind so I quickly put them back on the bars. Gahhhh, almost a perfect day...heh.

This is long enough I think. Long story short: I got 45 seconds in bonus seconds. Won the day....and my favorite bit....I get to wear the spiffy green sprints jersey at tomorrow's race! I pretty much sealed the jersey up, regardless of how tomorrow goes. I've got 55 points, the second place guy has 20. The 2nd place guy has to win both sprints, and win the crit, annnnnd I have to get zero points. We'll see. I'm sure tomorrow will go well, too. The team's real motivated. Oh, and I'm in 6th overall now. Moved up 16 spots! Tony's in 10th, Skye 11th, Perry 22nd. Tip-top results. If there were a team omnium, we'd win it. Alllright....'till tomorrow...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Day One: Done

At The Drive In blaring...and i'm set to write.

So today was the first stage. It was a daisy, got there, felt pretty good, it wasn't too cold. Dry. Saw the Masters (35+) go off. Gus Corona (Amgen) blazed the course for a 14:30-something time. Unreal. The trend of the day was that pretty much everyone did better than their time last year. It's odd because it was the same exact course and the same exact conditions. The only different variable was the lack of timing chips. Hmm.

I met up with teammate Tony, and as soon as we turned the pedals, the skies opened up. With every passing pedal stroke, it intensified. I could feel it intensify. I could feel it intensify. I could feel it intensify [can you feel it?]. It was raining, yeah. Tony and I got some sweet half-ass warm-up in, and come the start, I was freezing. Took off the soaked arm and leg warmers, and went to the start tent. One cool bit, here...I pulled off a track stand right as I was about to go. One of the officials said (to the other), "who's holding him?" "no one, he's doing his own thing..." Yeah. I liked that. Traffic lights in LA are good for something...tick tock, I set off. Nice blazing start. Caught the 30 second guy about 6 minutes in, the minute guy about 6 mins after that. I felt awesome, won't lie. Though the heart rate was low (cold weather does that), the power was great. I mistakenly sprinted for the 100m to go tent, thinking it's the finish, but crossed the line with a 15:40 on my stopwatch. About 20 ticks faster than my time last year, yeah. Stoked.

TTs, don't know how you went 'till you wait in the cold rain (okok...tony's warm + dry car, but still, we had to walk from the parking spot to the results table a couple times) for an hour after you finish. 15:41. Good for 22nd. 1:30 back. So i'm bummed about where I finished, but can take some consolation in the fact that I did a bit better than last year. The team did real well, we all made the first sheet. Skye killed it for a 15:20, top result on the team. My amgen recruit! Yeahha! Lots of racing left, however, and I'm burning to race. Nice warm up today...

Friday, March 17, 2006


The San Dimas Stage Race (SDSR) starts tomorrow. Finally. I'm really psyched to finally go and do this thing. I've had a pretty mellow week on the bike, except some wicked aggressive riding on tuesday morning. Mellow all the way. Rode once this morning, for an hour, then rode 2 hours in the afternoon. Nice. Gentle, even.

The team's got some great numbers. We're fielding a full six dudes. All of them solid. None of them deadweights. That's the most people i've ever raced with in a non-collegiate race. So the stages are as follows: 4 mile uphill TT tomorrow, 90mile RR on Saturday, then a 60 minute crit on Sunday. Fastest cumulative time wins. Sprint Jersey, KOM Jersey, also up for grabs. It's fun to envision winning everything: GC, Sprints, KOM. That'd be a grand way to end my time in the 2s. But we'll see. Gotta do well tomorrow, first.

I feel good. The bike received a new chain today, and it's ready to go. 11-21 for tomorrow's TT. Should be plenty. Gonna do an hour or so in the morning, to get the legs opened up. The TT isn't 'till 2:41:30. Ahhhhhhhhhh, too psyched, that's why this entry's a bit abrupt. I'll definitely update as the race progresses. Wish me well...forecast calls for PM showers...that's rain ANYTIME between 12:01 and 11:59. Fantastic.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tour of Murietta

Did a two-day omnium (points) this past weekend over in Murietta, CA (just north of San Diego). After checking the weather forecast about 1000 times on Saturday morning, I decided to make a go at this thing. Two days. $4,000 purse (omnium only, no individual stage money), and with an NRC in fresno, I assumed that it would just be me against all the other amateur teams. Nope. A big [sarcastic] round of applause for the "pro" team, which, instead of going to the Fresno NRC only a couple hours away, went to San Diego to duke it out with a bunch of fookin' amateurs (I mean that literally, not in the insulting variant). Sure, there were a couple other isolated pros (Kodak, Tiacref, JitteryJoes, etc), but these guys bring their whole team, and make the race. Be proud, gentlemen. I hope that the money you made over the weekend was worth the legitimacy you lost as a DIII pro team.

Before the floodgates open up and let loose a bunch of sour grapes and excuses, let me say this: I sucked this weekend. I felt worse than I had all year, and it's the first time all year where I couldn't say "well, I felt great, but got unlucky". There really is nothing for me to salvage from the entire weekend. It was time, money, and effort wasted. Now, this isn't to say the race was without faults...

Yeah, I felt like shite, but we all feel that way sometimes, and still get a result somehow. That's bike racing. Everyone feels badly near the end of a's just a measure of who feels least badly. Anyhow...Saturday. 1.5 mile circuit race or crit or something. It wasn't long or short. Terrible pavement, and just before the final turn, the road bottlenecked to become about 5 meters wide. Eh. Annoying, yeah. Add doses of heavy rain and 45 degree temps, and, well, it doesn't get better. The rain was sporadic, which is worse, because you get into a rhythm when it's dry, then when the rain starts, you lose your previous rhythm and create a new one...only to have it stop raining, repeat, repeat. Can you tell that I really don't care to write about this race? So last lap comes, i've actually got sweet position somehow. I aced turn 3 in good position (maybe 10th wheel? with a break of 5 up the road and gone) , then the pack slowed a bit, it bunched up, and I was pushed out of the 5 meter road and into the gutter (which in this case was basically a muddy dirt sidewalk/path), and lost a bunch of wheels, and rolled in for a frustrating 32nd. I sucked, and I won't lie, I don't race well in the rain. or mud. Jeremiah Wiscovich won. Guess what team he rides for? Wanks.

Day 2. I was bummed to find that this course was basically in the same decrepit part of town as the previous day, only a block south; and 3 miles instead of 1.5. 60 miles, 30 laps. The race was rough from the gun, gutter gutter gutter, heavy crosswind, headwind, rain, giant puddles taking up half the road (!!!). I didn't think it'd be possible, but the course was more sketch than the previous day. It seemed every turn's apex had a surprise sewer grate or slick deflector dot on it. Gah. After about an hour, the field withered down to about 40 guys. My mind was tired, above all, from all the nerve-wrecking concentration required for racing in the wet, but I was still there....until....we caught the master's field. I didn't know it at the time, as I was mid-pack, feeling badly, just focusing on recovery and the remaining ten laps. Next thing I know, I'm surrounded by old guys, with different numbers, and some guys from my race are yelling. huh? Oh. Yeah. About 10 guys in the pro race were gapped as a result of piss-poor officiating. The master's field was never neutralized, and no one said anything until it was too late. I made an effort to bridge with a successfulliving guy, but he did 1 or 2 pulls, then pulled out of the race after realizing that the gap was too big. We could have caught on, I needed his help, but nothing. I looked back to see if he was there, and he was gone, not even in the next group back. Totally gone. I've got a feeling he hid out somewhere, and rejoined the main group on the next lap, but didn't catch his name or number so have no way of knowing for sure. I dropped back, and rode the rest of the race with a lame little group, ashamed. I pulled out on the last lap to watch the finish and have a couple words with the official. I wasn't the only one, lots of pissed off people at the end of that one. And that was it, got in the car, changed really slowly and dejectedly, and was off.

Only good thing, I guess, is that weekends like this make me train harder, eat less, all that great stuff. Big big big weekend coming up, at San Dimas. My last race as a Cat 2. Should be a daisy. I'm checking forecasts every 6 minutes...cmmmmmmmmmon sun!

Friday, March 10, 2006

I'm The Best

I did the Rosebowl ride today. Haven't shaved the legs in two weeks. I strategically chose the ugliest combination of bibs/jersey I had...My classic LMC bibs from last year and my retro PDM long-sleeve jersey. Classic. The LMC jersey is mainly green, with some yellow and black. The PDM is mostly white with blue and red, and the sleeves only go up to the middle of my forearm. Classic. One day I'll get a new digital camera (the old one was lost ages ago, and i've not replaced it), and all this filth I write about will be a bit easier to visualize. So yeah, the unmatched clothes, the unshaved legs...I still don't think I pulled off the "nope. I'm definitely not fast" look well. The shoes/helmet/glasses messed it up. Ah well. The truth is, the bibs/jersey are the last of my clean cycling clothes, so that's how it went down. What a dull sequence. Geez. Sorry to have wasted your time with that. and that.

So yeah, the bowl was fun. My second one of the year. Dave won it handily last week, and I managed to win this glorious March 9th edition. The Rosebowl training ride/race only happens 100 times per year, so every victory is special. Gah, I remember years ago though, where just sitting in required great effort, and I'd pat myself on the back if I could complete 8 out of the 10 laps clinging to the back of the group. Maybe it was just much faster back then? Who knows? It's appropriately nicknamed "The Festival of Freds" (Haag, 2003), but every now and then, some pro comes out and makes it interesting.

Paragraph 3. My post-race routine usually involves a long drive home, lots of eating, and lots of "so, how'd you do?"s. On this particular sunday, the answer was "8th". I've long ago given up explaining details and circumstances of races to people who aren't racers or riders themselves. After a nod of acknowledgement, the next question is ALWAYS: "Out of how many?". I don't know if I'm alone in saying this, but the size of the field is not indicative of how difficult a race is or how credible a particular rider's result is. For instance, if I finish 19th in an NRC (national calendar) event with 100 racers, it's a way bigger deal [to me] than finishing 5th at Ontario #4.2 with 150+ racers. So, to solve this annoying dilemma, I'm going to do the following. Anytime anyone asks "Out of how many??", i'm gonna say the same number as my placing.

Hypothetically then:

"Hey Aram"

"How'd you do?!"
"Ended up 8th"

"Out of how many?!"
"Eight" (shrug)

Sounds stupid, and it is, but it'll be great once I win a race.

Allright, this is much too long for a blog entry huh? This has been a pleasant waste of time.

OH! Big BIG news. It is with a great sense of pride and honor that I announce that I have been selected to be on the "links" section of Brent Bookwalter's blog site. It's a pretty big deal. If you don't know Brent, check out his site. He wins lots of races, and most of the time, doesn't even use both his legs to do so. He can out-dance anyone, and trains only when it's 28 degrees or lower out.

Monday, March 06, 2006

LA Circuit Race

Ahhhh man. Today was LA Circuit. 72 miles. Fooooookin rocked out! Scroll a couple entries ago. Regarding this race, I said: "gonna be aggressive, gonna be in every move, aggressive aggressive aggressive." That's just what happened. From the gun, a break went off and actually got a gap. It was early, still, but I wasn't having it. My legs felt terrific (as they have felt all throughout my meager February), so I went for it. Got brought back. Sat in for a bit, moved back to the front, went off the front, again. and again. and again. Total relentlessness. Finally, midway through the race, I bridged up to a promising break. It was small, had the right guys (not strong guys, per se, but guys from the right teams, who had teammates who could block). I drove the shite out of this break. Did more than my share of work, didn't care that "i wouldn't have anything left for the end." I would. We established a healthy gap. Then, the main field split, and hot-shots Thurlow Rogers, Karl Bordine, Jason Bausch, etc bridged up, and we had a giant group of about 20 in front of the race. 30 miles remained at this point. We worked poorly together, and some wanks didn't do a single turn out front. But somehow, it stuck. I attacked the break a couple times, but realized it'd be futile with so much strength in that lead group. After a bunch of really promising looking breaks (one which was Bordine, Rogers, TiaCreff, and me), the last lap comes. Karl Bordine took a solo flyer at some point on this lap. I missed it. Either I didn't see him accelerate, or didn't have the legs. I'd been aggressive the entire race, but during the last lap, I reluctantly shifted into conservative mode. That was my only mistake. Thurlow attacked a billion times, and was brought back each time, sometimes with me in tow. He's a marked rider, no matter what. Karl's gap grew, and the main group just really started bumming it. Couple dudes escaped off the front, and the chasers (myself included) just looked at each other. Gah. Ended up right in the wind for the 10-man final sprint with only 400 meters to go. The first 7 spots were up the road, and would stay there. We were sprinting for 8th. I did a sweet "fake sprint", and actually got some guys to get in front of me (enabling me to slip into their draft). Started the sprint behind Thurlow, who started coming off his line a bit. With 150 meters to go, I started the sprint on the right side, and desperately pleaded with Thurlow to let me by (I was almost run into the cones!). He did. I won the sprint for 8th, and was pretty psyched about how the race went. I busted my ass, maybe too much. I didn't win, but still got some cash. Absolutely no regrets, as it should always be. A good start to March, for sure.

Sidenote #2: Went to Poquito Mas after the race. Ahi Tostada, best post-race nourishment in the world!!!!!!!!! Diverse and plentiful (legumes, fish, and dairy) protiens, fiber from the black beans, amazing salsa galore, and the tostada shell to fill you up. If I finished 7th or better, I would have ordered a tall Horchata to go with it, but ah well...more motivation for next time.

82 page views! Yeah!

Oh, and Thank You: Dave. For getting me some much-needed tubes.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Montrose Ride...

The last time I did this ride was in 1986. It was lame then, and it's lame now. Except it has 10 times more people, and 14 times more red lights. Today marked my 4th attempt of the year to wake up for and ride to the start of the montrose ride. I'm 1 for 4 now. Thing is, I don't know anything about the route, except where and when it starts -8:00am, at descanso gardens, so it's rough trying to get there on time. So woke up at 6:30, lagged way too much, and left here at 7:33, and time trialed the whole way there and made it at 8:02! Yeahhh. Couple dudes were out there, we waited around quite a bit, which bummed me out cause I could have not killed myself and still made it, ah well. note taken. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. A friend of mine got a flat about an hour in, we pulled off, did our own ride for a bit, and took a shortcut back to the group. la la la. Things started to go nuts for a good 5 minute period before the ride ended, and now I sit. Chugging down endurox, typing away. So hungry. I race tomorrow, should be a daisy, but hopefully today's efforts (and lack of sleep) won't be a factor. They won't be.

Sidenote (my first non-cycling related item...): A huuuuuuuuuuuge win for the Edmonton Oilers (i'm a core Oil fan...since '88) last night. No score 'till midway through the 3rd period. Oilers take a 1-0 lead. Sharks (who are right behind the Oil in the standings) tie it up 20 ticks later. 4:30 to go, sharks take a 2-1 lead. Bummer! No sweat, 3 mins to go, Sean horcoff puts it in to tie it 2-2. Now.......1 minute to go. Ales Hemsky. The kid. Completely destroys/embarrasses/annihilates and pummels the sharks D, and puts in the most finesse-goal of the year to win the game at home. YOU MUST check out the video highlights on the oiler website. Just naviagte over to "Video Highlights", and it'll load on it's own. It's only 2 minutes or so. You absolutely MUST hear Rod Phillips (the Oiler play by play guy) go fooooookin nuts after Hemsky's goal. Brings tears to my eyes, and if you don't feel anything after watching that, then well, something's not right.

Burn It.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Break a G down Break me down. Today is Friday. No work, and I don't really have any particular ride scheduled. It's raining again......but....two hard-man rides in FIVE days? Can that be done? We'll see...doubt it though, as I felt a bit sick on wednesday. I'm good now. Emergen-C getting it done.

Not a whole lot going on. Work was busy as hell this week, but it's over....for at least a while. I wanted to go to Merced this weekend to race, but, of course, I was late, and the race is full. What a friggin bummer. That cat 1 upgrade is going to have to wait a bit longer. I say that because I applied, and was turned down! Pretty shocking, as I thought I had the points, and plenty of quality results, but alas, Jan-Luke-something, said "nope". "One more top 10 or NRC top 20." Allright little momma. I'll have it by the end of March, and then I'll get to race the big races with the big boys, and so on...though little will change as far as local racing. They're all pro 1/2 out here anyway.

Some dudes from the team are heading up to do Merced. They will do great. I, meanwhile, will be doing LA Circuit-Super-Glamour-Race. Those of you not familiar with this course...2 turns, both 180 degress (though you coulda figured that out), and i'm doing twenty 4 mile laps for 80 miles. This is the objective. F the win. I'm gonna be in every move, every time, agresssssssif to the max, all that. I'm not sitting in that pack the whole time for 3 hours goin 5 mph and bitching about missing the break...i'm gonna create it. Hopefully some other dudes will have the same idea, and we'll get a nice 3 hour workout and a result.

that's gonna do it...time to jump on the metro to downtown and have burritos with Mike.

Addio! Ciao Amici!


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Forgive the lack of a proper introduction, i'm just going to start here goes. Cyclists, more than any other classification (yeah, we're a classification) of people, pay close attention to the weather forecast/report...and i've come to the conclusion that 95% of the time, the reports are flawed...take yesterday for instance...

I usually take mondays off, but seeing as it was (allegedly) going to rain heavily on tuesday, and clear on monday, i decided to switch up the rest day. Left work at 1, got on the bike by 1:45. Partly cloudy, fairly warm (16-18C). One thing I like to do while out training, is train with a purpose (training, in itself, is a purpose, but more than that...). I decided to go out to Incycle San Dimas, register for SDSR, maybe visit a friend out there, and head back home. Started raining lightly right as I left the driveway. Couple miles later, total downpours. Florida status. Rain is fine, as long as the temperature doesn't dip, and I was layered nicely, so the warmth stayed inside. Got to incycle. good guys. Rad bike shop. Heated, of course, so it was difficult to leave. I was back outside, cold wet and sorta annoyed. It wasn't supposed to rain like this! or be this freezing! It was down to 11 (celsius), and raining like mad, with rush hour comin up. There are no "sweet backroads" to take between hollywood and san dimas...just endless urban sprawl. and traffic lights. And it was already 4pm, home was 2 (mellow) hours away, and darkness was in 1.5hrs...So i convinced myself to jump on the bike, and pull into the first coffee shop in sight. Crawled to a Starbucks on the left. It was heated there, too. Grande Red Eye. Chugged a bit of it down, wayyy hot, so I poured it into my bottle (while forgetting to pour out the little bit of orange accelerade), and ended up with a delicious orange coffee caffeine bomb. It went ice cold in just a short while...but...Took me all the way home, nicely! 53x14, all the way home. Caffeine does wonders for me when used midway through a 4+ hour ride/race. Definitely one of the more "hard-man" type rides of the year.