je ne sais quoi

Sunday, January 27, 2008

H-Class Diamond Shinin'

Finally rode my bike today...and so I finally got to cook/eat a decent meal:

Whole Grain Spaghetti Pad Thai w/Avocat and Tofu

There's a crit tomorrow...and it's likely going to be the rainiest windiest day LA has ever had. The masochist in me says DO IT. The broke bike bum in me says, "guy, you might make some cash, but if you break your back up bike, you're pretty screwed." Then this other voice says "do that track race at ADT, it's indoors and dry...dust off the Bianch."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

And so, the first proper race report of the year.... a dud

La Grange Training Ride

It was a crummy race, but I guess I'm still obligated to write about it. The race in question: MLK Day Criterium. It was a nice vibe throughout the event. Weather was good, start time wasn't 8am, prize list, legs. Everything checked out. Some variables are beyond my control, however. For one, the field was pretty small. 40 tops. It's okay. Hilton Clarke, Ton Cruz, and former teammate C-walk. Ok. Hilton can ride, Ton is a good guy, and c-walk will make the break stick. Easy enough.

I lined up. Somehow....the LaGrange team fielded nearly 20 [t w e n t y] riders in the tiny field. Mon dieu! Not a huge worry, but a bit disheartening. I braced for disappointment & frustration, and toed the line. We start. I quickly realize that corners are both more frequent and faster than in the EU...and so, the first couple laps were dodgey for me. Things settled in, and as expected, a couple LG riders got a bit of a gap....not very difficult when you have half the field working in your favor. Still, C-Walk's first move was unmarked, and pretty much led to the success of the break. I tried and tried to get up there. I countered anything Cruz or Clarke did...I even countered my own moves out of frustration -only to have a different LG guy sitting there. Clarke and a few others (who i'm sure did equal pulls!) eventually got up there, and it was game over. I still attacked the shite out of the remaining field, and made the LG guys work a bit for what will end up being a $6 share of the prize money. It was a nice workout, and I liked the way the body recovered between moves. I buried myself pretty bad though, and didn't contest the field sprint for the last money spot and rolled in for 21st. Clarke won, and LaGrange placed 2nd-20th. Bravo, tip of the hat!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10 Year Old Bike + License Procrastination

= an undeserved win in the mens 18-30 category TT on sunday.  But first...what wild sports action this weekend.  THICK.  I love playoffs.  Any sport except maybe baseball.  People bet, HUGE egos have to give press conferences after shocking losses, speculators speculate.  Love it.  I didn't actually watch any of what went down over the weekend, but it's pretty much impossible to have not heard about it.  The Lakes won, the Oils won (season high 4th straight W), Indy didn't win...and ruined what could have been the coolest playoff game this decade.  Instead we'll have to watch a lame New England massacre against a reallllly lame chargers team.  I hope NE annihilates them.  All i got is beef wit.

Me?  Still recovering from the terrible first week to start the year.  Cleared a bunch of stuff on that fancy auction site that everyone uses, and am slowly putting together some funds to piece together something.  The derailleurs smashing up the way they just makes me want to start over.  It's akin to buying a house where someone's been murdered...strong metaphor, but you get the idea.  Perhaps i'm just looking for an excuse to build up some Sram Red.  It'd be a daisy.  Everything about having to buy your own bike/parts is fun except the buying part.  In other news, my SRM still doesn't work.  The never ending %$#&ing saga.  I just gotta grow some balls and get pissed and sound threatening on the phone.  Sadly, that's usually the most effective solution to these types of issues.

Everything's not all glum, however:  My current bike!

Record 9 speed.  It's great to have a chain that doesn't wear out in 4 rides (Sram).  Given the current state of the other bike (and the dumb/elusive 35mm front D clamp size), this guy is probably gonna see some serious action.  Which brings us to the sorta race report.

I did that Tom's Farm TT on sunday.  The flyer said "licensed and unlicensed racers-$20".  For me, that meant I could put off buying my license for another week.  I didn't realize that'd mean I have to race the Men's 18-30 instead of the p/1/2/3.  In any case, I took the old bike out there.  Classic.  Pretty much TT bikes all around, pointy helmets, aero-bottles....and then the hot SAECO machine rolls through.  Aero gear was as follows:  Carnac Oversocks, removal of bottles/cages, 12-21 cassette, and a fresh shave from the night before.  I wore the vintage LMC long sleeve skinsuit, sport-mullet, and big gaudy (but lovely) Rudys to finish the get up.  I'd never done this course.  Conditions were perfect.  A bit of a head wind.  Nice homely vibe all around.  Doc USCF guy has a pretty sweet 'stache goin.  I'm a fan.  Figured it'd be around a 20 minute effort.  Did the warmup routine as instructed by ol' Monsieur Gregnac.   Cool.  Legs were good, and it was the first TT in which the beginning didn't hurt too much.  Finished up, and awaited the results.....yep...19:48.  I'd cheated some poor guy out of his glory by winning the 18-30.  I would have been 4th in the 1/2/3, 50" from the winner.  I'm pretty stoked with that considering the aforementioned equipment choices.

C'est tout.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If I Were King...

...this lube would be banished from the land. DO NOT buy/use/suggest/look at. Terrible terrible stuff. Vile stuff. C'est trop sale!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Today is the first time this year that I rode my bike and the freehub body didn't seize and destroy both derailleurs, my chain, and my morale.

Yep, it's true.

Forgive the lack of substance in this blog lately. Nothing glorious about what's going on in the aram universe. Lots of miles, lots of hours. It's the hardest part of the year. Not because of the volume, but because you do all this "work" on the bike, and there is nothing to show for it. No name in the results sheet, no cash envelopes, no prime bells, nothing. The legs/body have been stellar, that's been the saving grace, but that freehub blowing up in the middle of my biggest week annoyed me. Then there's the saga of me and SRM that has reached unimaginable levels of annoyingness. Ah well. The highest highs and lowest lows. I've been closer to the latter this week, but you can't have one without the other. The fun starts soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year, Aram