Wednesday, December 08, 2010

For the last few days I've felt like I've been a fish stuck in a tiny bowl. I look at my window and it's sunny and beautiful looking, yet if I found myself out there it could be deadly. Ok I maybe exaggerating a bit, but with high temperatures struggling to hit 20 it can make it quite uncomfortable.

Today was my breaking point as I decided to check out some trails at the city park that I've never done before. So I put on a layer of Skins under ALL my Hincapie wear and headed out on my Breezer mountain bike. There really isn't that much around here so on my way over to the park, maybe 2 miles away, I did some laps on the grass field between my house and the Kroger. It looked like a few 4 wheel vehicles had down the same as there were paths and torn up dirt.

Once I got the park I did endless laps, loops, zigg zaggs, back and forths, ups and downs, and went every which way. There is a paved walking trail that makes a loop and the fun parts were all between. The other fun part was the trail next to the rail tracks that went for a half mile.



On my way back through the apartment complex I was riding through the grass and passed a few construction workers and a electrician at the green box outside and I felt like and must of looked like a kid out enjoying riding his bike in the snow. It made me think of how lucky I am to say I was working. I wasn't so happy minutes later as I was back on the TruTrainers.
Breeze On

Monday, December 06, 2010

I haven't blogged anything worth wild in a bit, but I believe blogs should be somewhat interesting. To blog something interesting I would have to do something interesting or have some sort of interesting event happen to myself. Already I'm 4 sentences into this one and I bet I have lost a few of you.

I haven't been to some Italian mountain ski resort or playing beach volleyball with teammates. The only interactions with teammates I have had has come through emails, twitter and facebooking. Cyclingnews also isn't out taking pictures of me training on the worse day possible as I start my training for 2011. Heck for that to happen they'd have to be laying in my bed the last few days and next, as I'm already stuck riding indoors.

Stat of the day. Average high in Indianapolis today 42F. Today's high 18F.

Breeze On

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Coaching

It's that time of the season again where you have start focusing on the your new goals for the new season. Anyone interested in coaching can contact me and see my website.

Breeze On

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

One more month.



Breeze On
This past weekend was the second annual Gravel Grovel race and once again it didn't disappoint. After finishing it last year and being completely smashed I couldn't imagine doing that to myself again, either good some others. But being the die heart for a bit of pain and a lot of fun I found myself heading down with teammate Birdman again along with his wife.

After the second time around I still can attest that this is a must do event. It's a 100km ride/race on mostly gravel roads, with some trails, pavement, lots of hills, multiple creek crossings, a closed bridge, and this year a cattle gate that had to be scaled. There even was water and I hear apple cider available at a few rest points along the way.

This year I was on the Breezer mountain bike I was giving to use. Thanks again. My cross bike is not working, and even if it was I most likely would have ridden the mountain bike. Why? Why not. It has plenty of advantages as it's more comfortable, proper gearing, and suspension available at a tap of a button.



Our race started off at a crawl until the first hill when the pressure was put on. Soon we hit he first single track section and those that could ride fast through it did and those that couldn't wouldn't be seen again.

Our event could be best described as a polite hammer fest. Sure we went hard, but we also held up a few times for friends, old men bladders, and Birdman who threated to knock me off my bike if I left him out there after having to stop for water because he dropped a bottle. I don't remember him waiting for me last year after having to stop to fix my bike a few times.



At the end it came down to just five of us and I took home an even bigger rock this year. Now I'm a proud owner of two toasters and two big rocks.



The fun of the event doesn't end there. As soon as you can collect yourself again they had chili, water, and soda available by a fire, which was awesome. But most of us still headed over to the bar in the basement of the Story Inn for brews and burgers. Man that was one delicious burger.

I'm sure they are going to have this even again next year and if the weather is appropriate I highly recommend you doing it. Get a group of buddies and you will not be disappointed.

Breeze On

Monday, November 15, 2010

Breezer Thunder Elite

Breezer kindly provided me with a bike to race with at Iceman and to ride around for while. I have been racing on a Breezer mountain bike for nearly a decade, it just so happens the bike was a decade or more older. Now that Breezer started making race bikes again we both have gone to 21st century technology. The most exciting part is that the same great qualities that were loved about the Breezer's in the 90's still can be felt today.



The Breezer Thunder Elite is made with Breezer D-Fusion custom butted 6061 alloy frame. These tubes were designed by Joe years ago and are still used today to help keep the great riding quality. According to Joe it's not so much the material you use either it be steel, aluminum, or carbon, but the way you use it and lay it out. He also wants the lightest frame per strength. It worked back then and it still works today.

But here come the advances. The frame is hydroformed, which is the curved down tube. This gives clearance for the 100mm fork without having to join the downtube much higher on the headtube which would result in a weaker frame. Also added is a integrated headtube, fork lock out and disc break mounts.



The rear disc break mount is located on the chainstay. This keeps the pressure of breaking applied to the axle upwards as opposed to downwards on seat stay mounted calipers. It also keeps it nice and tucked in. Still in play are the infamous Breeze in drop outs. They are lighter and stiffer then standard dropouts.




It's still very classy with the old school paint scheme and the metal etched head tube badge. There is something to be said about the classic look. It still turns heads. Notice the little detailed put into this bike with Breezer being labeled on the cable frame protectors and on the handlebars.





This bike is built up with Shimano XT and Ritchey WCS. These are flawless components and execute perfectly. They also help keep the bike light as it tipped the scale at 22.8lbs. It's not super light carbon bike, but it keeps it ride quality and stiffness with sacrificing ounces.

I was surprised by how closely similar my 1995 Breezer Jet Stream (steal) and the Breezer Thunder Elite rode and raced. These bikes are designed for what Joe loves. Slicing through single track and bombing downhills. The handling of the bike shows this and gave me plenty of confidence. During Iceman there are plenty of bumpy, tight and fast decents and I never felt out of control. The frame is stiff and light making it perfect for the short steep climbs and being able to add in the fork lock out made for a stiff climbing beast. I've never had a fork lock out before and after getting advice on when to use it I instantly fell in love it. It's like having two bikes.

Coming soon into production are the Breezer Cloud 9's. These are full carbon 29ers. I wonder how these compare? As long as that ride quality is there, which I'm sure is, I couldn't imagine a much better mountain bike.

Breeze on

Friday, November 05, 2010

Here it is my secret weapon. A 2010 Breezer Thunder Elite! I was excited when Joe started making race bikes again last year and dreamed of getting on a new one. Well I emailed them and JT, who helps run the show, gladly set me up with this. Full review and more pictures to come. I know you all are jealous, but they are available to the public.



Pre rode the Iceman course today with Brent and his girlfriend Jamie. The weather went from bad to worse. It started off in the low 30's and overcast, but quickly got windy and snowy.



Here's a picture at Williamsburg Road.



Conditions made riding a little slower. The pre ride that was under 2hrs last year was a quarter over this time making the ride drag on a bit. Good day though sloshing through sand, mud, slush and snow.

I'm not going to lie, but the conditions last year were much more conducive to me getting a good result. This year it will take a bit more skills to hang it there. We will see how it goes.

Breeze On

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Iceman anyone?

Friday: Snow showers likely, mainly after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. North wind between 5 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday Night: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 22. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38.


After two years of riding around and racing in shorts and a jersey it's time to get back to reality. Wonder if we might get a surprise with a bit of accumulation. Good times are ahead.

Breeze On

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Only a few more days till Iceman, as excited as I am for the race I wish it was a couple more weeks away. I was hardly able to ride my bike all last week due to jet-lag and spending the weekend sick in bed. It was the sickest I've been in a long time. I was do for a little break anyways so it work out. Still Iceman will be fun and that is what the whole event is all about. On top of that the last two days I have finally felt back to normal and it has never felt so great.

I can't wait to reveal the secret weapon of choice for Iceman. Since I'm not ready to reveal that here is Kenda p/b GearGrinder 2011 racing kit. We'll be looking good as always.



I wrote a summary for the Michigan Bicycle Racing Association on the Tour of DMZ. Here is the report>>>

Breeze On

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where am I? What day is yet? Heck, what time is it? This is what my body has been asking me over the past week. A quick trip to Asia started it, a hard 3 day stage race crushed it, and finally getting acclimated to the time change before flying back really confused it.

I slept maybe 2hrs the first night and last night I was up almost every hour, past out after 8am and for the life of me could not stay up till after noon. I've felt like a zombie.

Being up for so long did help me productive the first night with getting a lot of chores done, but it all caught up with me today as I was basically worthless. I'd get up from my chair after dosing off only to fall over on the couch minutes later and sleep a few more hours.

Here's to hoping tomorrow works out better.

Just for fun here is a video of my little monster. She's getting ready for Halloween.



Breeze On

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The photo that almost got me lost forever in South Korea.



I turned around to take a photo of this palace/temple at the finish as we started to ride to the hotel. I saw Hartly see me as I stopped, and assumed they would wait. By the time I turned around they were lost in the see of cars and people.

I thought I had known the way, well I did. Go to first traffic light take a right and go a few blocks and it is on left. I did that route many times, but could not find the hotel. I even ended up with some Iranians trying to find it as well. On my last attempt of tracing that route from the finish I ran into the search party and we headed to the hotel on the only left I didn't try and was about to.

Thanks guys.
The Tour de DMZ is over. Today was a flatter, shorter, and even shorter stage then the previous two days.

No matter how tired the legs are once the neutral is over the race is on. The start today was fast as it seemed I was constantly in my 11 tooth cog. We flew through the first 20km's of the race, so fast that the officials made a wrong turn and we were shortly stopped.

We were on a highway, the right road, but 20kms short. With no way to turn the race around we sat around as officials figured out what to do and for the roads ahead to be closed as we were way ahead of schedule.

After sitting on the median for 20 minutes the race was on. Soon enough a break of 5 guys including Jonny Sundt were off the front. There gap slowly increased into the 2 minute range before we hit the 25km to go sign. As we did the leader jersey asked for pee break as he was getting ready to pull over. To bad we were only 25km's from the finish because nobody cared as teams immediately began to chase.

Chad and I tried to position Luca as close to the front and for as long as possible in case the break came back. It just so happens that it did and for a two man lead out we did a decent job. Luca ended up with another 6th place finish for the year.

The season ended just like it began in Asia, Sundt in the break the last day, and finishing 20th overall.

Now we play the waiting game. I have 24hrs before my flight leaves. If you hate Mondays you would hate mine. I'm going to have a 37hr Monday. I depart at 1pm Korean time and arrive in Indy at 10:30pm same day after 20+hrs of travel including stops in China and Newark.

The finish today was in front of this temple



A group photo of the Kenda Korean Crew.



Breeze On

Saturday, October 23, 2010

\Today's start through a tunnel. Tunnels can be good because it usually means you are going through the mountain and not over. A couple of times yesterday that was nice.



These things are found on the side of the road throughout the DMZ. What are they? Well they blow the tops of them off so they can quickly block the road if need be.



A fence line on the DMZ on the steep climb from yesterday.



Coming off the decent from yesterday looking at it. You can see the road on the side of the mountain. Pretty awesome.



You also see this on the side of the road in many places. See not joking.



Breeze On

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ok that was the hardest race I've done, or at leas that I can remember. It's been a while since I've got to a race and felt like I could hardly pedal at the end. Actually come to think of it at the end of stage one in Taiwan I kind of felt the same at the end. Yesterday though had to do more with the 10,000+ feet of climbing and 110 miles.

On the decent of the first climb it looked like a landmind had gone off with all the bodies on the side of the road. I was about a minute behind, and by the looks of it fortunate to have been. I saw at least 6 guys on the ground, including teammate Phil all in the first 100 meters of the decent. The first crash was do to a motorcycle going down in the corner.

The second climb around mile 70 had most guys zigzagging and some walking. I managed to stay on my bike and would rather stop then walk. It seemed to be a military zone only as there wer guard shacks, military personnel, and artillery going off. According to my Garmin it was 4 miles with an average of 10% and in the middle was 2 miles averaging 16% with steeper pitches. The downhills were just as crazy steep and switch backing. It was already epic. Good thing it was dry.

I rode the next 30 miles with just one other guy and it was brutal. There were 3 'rollers' on they way in. Frankie said they weren't that big. They were just around 2.5 miles and 6%, but don't worry no big deal. A group of 4 came up just before the end, and of course attacked just before the finish on the crucially placed dam finish 150 feet above the river in the last 1500 meters.

Today starts with 2 climbs in the first 30 miles, but after that seems to be mostly downhill. Hopefully my legs react to the start.

For the pre ride we rode out to the check point on the DMZ. The race actually starting 5km in.



A little pre race podium. A team can dream can't they.



Pretty sure this is as far as a person can get in South Korea. Notice the whiteish mountain in the background. That would be north Korea. Lovely beaches eh? If you go on them you will be shot however. The coastline is all fence offed much of the way down the country.



Pre race photos being taken. A three star general was there with us. He was smart enough to have us stand behind him.



On top of the dam. Phil took this photo as I had no energy to move after the race. Notice where the water is. We were there 2km before the finish. Didn't even expect a climb at the end like that.



What an experience though. Sure while I was barely pedaling 40rpm up a climb that seemed like it was never going end I wanted to never race again, but in reality what a great sport and there aren't many other things you can do and see so much.

I wonder what is in store for us today.

Breeze On

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Took the four hour transfer yesterday morning to our start hotel. South Korea is a pretty beautiful country. Lots of hills and forest. Also the further from Seoul you got, the more military personnel you see.

The oddest thing we saw on the way was the rest stop we stopped seemed to be dedicated to the male genitals. I have pictures to prove. Really don't think they are appropriate to post. Really don't want them. But how often do you see something like that. Of course as soon as the bus stopped where did my teammates run. Straight for the statue.

On our way in we say some of the roads we will be racing today. The profile is pretty brutal looking, and from seeing one of the climbs, it's going to be a very challenging day. The fun begins after 50km's and it's going to be non stop. Of course that is as long as there is no wind coming off the Ocean for the first 50km we roll along it.

When we arrived to the other side of the country the weather was a bit worse as it was cold and rainy. We had lunch put our bikes together and headed out for a ride. Where did everyone want to go first? Of course to the border of the DMZ 5km from our hotel. So we rode up that way saw the border control and turned around. Most of the guys once they got there didn't want to spend much time standing around there.

At dinner Frankie told us the normal race routine schedule and such, except for one interesting tid bit. Rule 1 for the Tour De DMZ. Stay on the road! Why? Landminds. That's right Landminds. So I guess no matter what is in the road you are better off hitting that then taking your chances off of it.

Time to get ready. 180km's, 2 big climbs and 3 medium size climbs. Wish us luck.

Breeze On

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finally made it to Korea after 30hrs of travel, and what was the first thing we did. Ate at Outback Steak House. I'm pretty sure I could have traveled 30mins not 30hrs if I'd just had stayed at home. It just so happened to be on the second floor of our hotel and the place where the dinner was held for the racers coming in.

The travel was rather uneventful. The way I'd like it to be. The funniest thing was when Sundt went through customs in Korea after me. They made him take off his hat because the agent said, "We all looked a like." That made our day.

Here is the flight path. Nothing much goes on below where we flew.



Every wonder what northern Russia looks like. Well here it is.



Clearly not much. Just a big open tundra.

After spending less then 12hrs in our first hotel we are making our transfer to the starting town for tomorrow. I thought I had a great nights rest. I zonked right out and when I got up well rested I looked at the clock to notice it was only 11:53. From there I knew the rest of the night was going to be a long one. So it's 5am now and we don't leave for another 4hrs, but I really can't sleep any more. It will be breakfast time soon enough.

Hopefully we will have internet throughout the trip.

Breeze On

Monday, October 18, 2010

Many cyclist dream of racing across the 'pond' (Atlantic Ocean). I'm about to cross the 'lake' (Pacific Ocean) for the second time this season. I'm about to ending my road season where it began, in Asia. In March I would have never dreamed of making the long trip back over, but for some reason I agreed to not only fly in a plane for 18hrs, but also extend my racing season into late October. Of course how often do you get to go to South Korea and race around the DMZ.

Being in Asia is quite different, but the racing isn't so much. It's aggressive and hard. Hopefully I was able to maintain enough fitness to have a good race. Whether that be in a supporting role, or scrumming for a result. There will be plenty of quality competition. All info on the race is hard to gather as it's all in a foreign language, but from what we gather the first day will be the hardest. It seems to be long and mountainous.

Hopefully there will be internet access so I can keep this updated with pictures/videos and write ups.

It's going to be an early morning as I will be heading out the door just after 4am. Hey I think my dad does that everyday. Anyways luckily I have a wonderful wife who is willing to take me to the airport. Well since I'm leaving in a few hours I better finish packing.

Breeze On

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another beautiful day in the backwoods of Monroe, Morgan, and Brown Counties for the Breezer True Hilly Hundred. The weather was great and the roads were in near perfect condition, for dirt roads.

Once again the turnout was lower then I hoped for, but 3 new riders decided to go on the ride. Greg Strock, Harry Clark and Bri Kovac decided to tag along with me as we meandered the back country.

Due to certain family circumstances I showed up a bit late. They didn't seem to mind as it was only 10 minutes. There biggest concern was to point out how I had no friends as they were the only ones doing my ride. Everyone else seemed to have something come up as the weekend quickly approached.

We were having a great ride till some untimely flats and more circumstances came up and we had to cut the ride short once arriving to the town of Bean Blossom. From there we took the quick way back to Martinsville.

Still it was a great day of riding. I really can't wait for next time and hopefully we will get through it.

Here's the strava report.>>
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Breeze On

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tomorrow is my personal Grand Fondo, the 5th annual Breezer True Hilly Hundred. Once again the turnout looks like it will be low. Not sure why. Temps in the lower 70's, fall foliage near it's peak, and an easy pace promised to be set. Maybe one year I'll be able to get a good size group out.

I'm pretty excited about those who are suppose to be in attendance however. A couple of new goers, and even word of the fist female attempting the ride. There in for the best ride Indiana has to offer. Report to follow with pictures and Strava download.

I got out for a ride yesterday with teammate Rob Bush. I thought doing a 3 day stage race in late October was a bit of a challenge. Come to found out once again the young kid is trying to out do the veteran by partaking in the 12 stage Vuelta a Guatemala which starts next week. Have fun with that.

Fall is finally settling in. I love the mild temperatures and the breeze through the open corn fields. I told Rob how much I thought the weather was perfect and by the look he gave I'm not quite sure he felt the same way. Maybe I shouldn't have asked after doing 12 miles dead flat into a headwind across the open fields of Indiana.

Breeze On

Monday, October 11, 2010

Went for a training ride today of 2.5hrs. The weather right now is unbelievable. It's been over or around 85 for the last few days. Records have fallen. At least there isn't the high humidity like we had during the summer. I love fall weather and wouldn't mind if we had some before winter.

Then I rode to meet Katie at her school to meet up with her parents for dinner. I wasn't thinking to much, but I think a 9 mile 30 minute bike ride is a little more then casual. I showed up with 3 'mohawks' in my hair as Katie put it made from my helmet and also a nice circular butt sweat stain. "Let's Eat!"

Breeze On

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The End

The end, not quite. After a quick week of not much riding, it's back to work, slowly. Just over three weeks till I'm back racing again. I'll be finishing the road season on the same continent I started it, Asia. This time in South Korea for the Tour de DMZ.

I'll be heading over with Frankie and 4 teammates: Chad Hartley, Luca Damiani, Jonny Sundt, and Phil Gaimon. Don't really know much about the race as any information is in a foreign language. But from what I can gather it looks like there will be 3 road races, one of which is mountainous. Wish us luck.

In other news it looks like the USPRO Criterium Championships have been moved to Grand Rapids, MI for the next two years. I'm very excited to race such a big event back in my home state where I began racing. Besides that I've really enjoyed the crit they have had over the past few years and it has been a great event. Michigan has a great racing season and now more of the country will hopefully will notice. There are a good number of 'pros' currently racing who began in Michigan. I bet it ranks in the top 5 of states that have produced pros currently racing.

Not only has it moved, but it also is only open to US Citizens like the road race championships has been run the last few years. Of course this aspect will bring controversy, but I generally like it.

Don't forget the Breezer True Hilly Hundred will be on October 16th this year.

Don't know about you, but I am enjoying this fall weather.

Breeze On

Friday, September 24, 2010

Breezer True Hilly Hundred

Saturday, October 16th 2010 at 9:30am (Tentative)

Breezer True Hilly Hundred.



Mark you calendar as the official date has been set. (as long as this date works for a lot of my closes riding mates) All our welcomed. We have always ridden this as a group and stayed together. It's a fun time to get out on your bikes and enjoy just about every hill in the area. Remember there are dirt roads so you may not want to ride your nice wheels/tires.

Ride will start from the Starbucks in Martinsville around 9:30am. There are two stops for water/food.

Hope you all come out.

Breeze On

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

USPRO Road Race 2010

Quarq Power file of the USPRO Road Race Championships.

USPRO Road Race

Ok those 26 days went by fast. Sorry about no update.

So I traveled down to Greenville again this year with my dad. It's turned into our thing. We got there plenty early which gives us time to relax, ride some nice roads and get ready to race. We took full advantage of all the above with rides on Friday and Saturday and plenty of relaxing for myself.

This years race had a smaller field whether it be because the later date, budgets of teams being on their last pennies, or some riders knowing their fate and with a mix of a good number of protour/pro continental riders it left a bit of uncertainty to the race.

We stuck with the basic race strategy. Have a couple of guys follow the early moves, a couple of guys follow moves in the middle of the race while two guys wait towards the end.

As soon as the race started the early move went. 4 riders were off the front and the rest of the peloton seemed to be in no hurry to react. So much that after two 5 mile opening circuits we started to think they were going to lap us. That is how slow the field was rolling. Most races you watch they are always commenting on how many kilometers the race went in the first hour. This one would be no different, but for a different reason. Confused? Well it's because we did 31.4kms for the first hour. SLOW.

There were plenty of teams that didn't make the break, but a poker match was being played. Who would help chase? When would it start? The domestic teams were looking at Garmin and BMC to chase. They wanted help and nobody wanted to give it to them. What about Radioshack? Clearly once the break got over a 17 minute lead heading into Paris Mtn for the first time they were fine with Trek Livestrong and future Radioshacker Ben King up the road. Also with Chris Horner stopping 4 times to pee in the first hour they were in no hurry to get going.

BMC went hard up the climb the first time, but at the top the pace slowed again. They tried to keep the pace going eventually with Garmin and this is how the race would continue. It just got a little faster and a little harder.

The field would shrink on the 3rd and 4th accents up Paris Mountain. All the riders from the break would come back by the 4th lap, except Ben King who was still feeling comfortable with a 9minute gap. I came a bit off the back of a 15 rider group on the final accent, but fought on the way to the top with a couple of other riders and was able to get back on at the bottom of the decent.

The horsepower was running out in the field, as most teams had been widdled down to 1 or two riders, but Garmin and BMC continued their effort in closing the gap as they still had multiple riders as did RadioShack. Their efforts however, would come up short as Ben King made a phenomenal effort in winning the race after going from the gun. We were still sprinting for second, not a jersey, but a nice result. I was moving up in our group when the pace instantly picked up and soon I was in the spot I basically was for the finish. A gap had opened up a few spots in front of me on the last riser before the downhill finish. I sprinted by a couple of guys for 12th. I needed to be in a better spot earlier and there's no reason for that mistake.

Well I was pleased with my result as it was my best for that race, but it leaves me excited and motivated to improve on that because I know I can. The good news is that I will get my chance in Greenville again as the race is returning there for two more years. Not only that, but I don't have to wait that long as the race will now happen in May.

Till next season

Breeze On

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

26 days and Counting

Only 26 days left in the 2010 season. Sort of. That is till the USPRO road race championships in Greenville, which has been pushed back this year a few weeks, extending the season a bit. Of course then there is the possibility of doing the Tour of Seoul (Korea), Iceman and the soon to be famous Gravel Gravel. Does a season really have an ending or a beginning?

It's just been some local racing since Crit Nationals and till the road championships. I did one crit in Carmel, IN and one in downtown Indy and had a blast at both of them. Both of them where great courses.

I got to ride up to Carmel on the north side of Indy to do the race and ride then rode over to my father in laws where they had a BBQ which just so happened to begin right after the race. Couldn't have workout any better. Nothing better then getting a good ride to a race, race, and then ride to a pile of food and drinks.

This past Saturday was the Indy Crit. I got to help my 'nephew' Alex in his first bike race. Even though he showed up just in time to miss the start of his wave, we started in front of the bigger kids and raced them. He was pumped and did an awesome job. Especially for just getting off the training wheels not to long ago. After his race he even wanted to ride more, so we checked out a bit of the course together.

Racing with Alex



As for the race itself, it was way more fun then last weeks. I had two teammates, Bush and Birdman, and everyone raced way more aggressive. It made for a better race. Still didn't win, but we tried and raced.

I also got a new supporter who enjoyed his first bike racing day.



This weekend I'll be traveling to Michigan for the Cherry Roubaix festival. I'm really looking forward to this as it looks like an awesome and full weekend. Although I think I will skip the Friday night street sprints and save myself the embarrassment. However I do plan on riding the Charity ride Saturday morning. It's an awesome way to do something I love and give back at the same time. I recommend everyone going up giving back as well.

Besides that the biggest thing going on now is, it's contract time. Wish this old man luck.

Breeze On

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Big Days

Big races, big name riders, big crowds and most notable BIG prize purse. These along with lots of corners is what Elk Grove is most known for.

The race starts off with a 4.5 mile time trial that includes 3 180's. The best thing to do is pedal hard and not hit your brakes. I didn't pedal hard enough and used to much break and finished some where near the back. I most likely wouldn't be contesting any field sprints for time bonuses the next few days so GC wasn't my really a concern.

The following day is the roadterium. It's called a road race, but with 26 corners every 9 mile lap in the village of Elk Grove, it's far from what you would consider a road race. The first lap was fast, real fast before the break of the day went up the road. We had our teammate Jim Stemper in the move of 3, which made for an easy ride the rest of the race. The teams that missed it would have to do all the chasing, and all the others would sit back and fight for the wheels behind the Jelly Belly, Bissell, and United trains. The break stayed out till the last lap and the pace immediately picked up as the trains started to set things up for the sprinters. I did my job of keeping the sprinters as close to the front as long as I could. We came up a bit short in leading our man out and our best finisher was 12th.

On Sunday is the longest criterium I've ever done, and maybe the longest there is. You think you are doing long criteriums at superweek which are 100km's. This bad boy is 115km's, or 72 miles. They sure want you to earn the paycheck. It's a 5 corner course, one of which is a 180. It started off pretty relaxed for a lap or two before the attacks started. Nothing serious got away or lasted to long. The longest was one solo Bissell rider who rode byself 15sec off for a while. A few laps before the half way point I jumped on a move going, but it was short lived and brought back a lap later. I attacked as it was getting caught and find myself alone for a lap before 5 guys bridged up. Bissell had two riders, Holloway and Latham, and they hit it hard. Our gap went up quickly as 5 of us rotated well with a Fly V rider sitting on. Within in 3 laps we had over 30 seconds. My thinking was that United would control the gap as Menzies was in yellow and a few guys in the break were closer then 20 seconds.

Soon however we were getting time gaps of 40 seconds, 50 seconds, a minute, and then we could actually see them as they were coming the other way before the 180. We had over a 1:30 gap and were only 25 seconds from the back of the peleton. At this time the Fly V rider had been sent back to help with the chase, as thier rider was looking for a time bonus to take the overall. We each took a hard pull trying to get closer for a lap or two, but it wasn't happening and the distance was starting to take it's toll. Soon we were down to 4 riders with less the 15 laps to go. Under 10 laps to go we still had a decent gap and much of United and Fly V guys were blown from the hard chase. Could we make it? Unfortunately there was one wild card in the race who could and decided to bring us back, Chris Horner of Radioshack. 3 laps later the race was back together and a field sprint would ensue. We tried to set up a train with 2 go, but soon were past and our guys ended up 8th and 9th.

The Beginning



The Middle



The End



Pictures credited to Lyne Lamoureux of Podium in Sight. By far the best website for all your domestic racing needs.

Next up for myself is the USPRO criterium championships in Glencoe, IL.

Breeze On

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Piece of the Pie

Tomorrow kicks off the race with, if not the most, prize money in the US for a bike race. The Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove is a 3 day race taking part all in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove.

I think this is the only race I do where I think about the amount of prize money before the race begins. Other then when I figure if going to a local race will be worth the expendatures. 99% of the time I just want to win and the prize money is an after thought after the results have come in. But it's hard to ignore the $120,000 that is available to win.

Tomorrow evening is a short 8km time trial, Saturday is a 155km circuit race through the burbs, and Sunday is the longest criterium I do at 115kms.

Kenda Pro Cycling PB GearGrinder is bringing an 8 rider hit squad including Weiss, Hartley, Sundt, Stemper, Birdman, Bush, Luca (who just flew back from his mother land), and myself. We are out for victory and our piece of the pie. Things won't be easy and never are. There will be plenty of competition with a solid mix of time trialers and strong men for the overall and sprinters for the circuit race and criterium.

Other then that training has been going good. Other then Saturday when I was lucky I found a bathroom when I did. That's a story in itself. On Tuesday I got to meet up with a few of my old pals and did a ride with them. That was fun and I'm looking forward to be able to do that a few more times coming up.

After having just a weekend off of racing I'm really ready to get back at it.

Breeze On

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A close one

I don't talk much about races I'm not in, but what a tour. Came down to the very end. I'm sure there will be much debate till next years Tour about the chain debacle. Everyone has there two cents and here is mine.

I don't think there is anything wrong with not waiting. Andy had the mishap, he should deal with it. The part that doesn't sit right with me is seeing Alberto attacking and squeaking by on Andy's left side as he's come to a stop because of a mechanical. You do have to ride and stay with leaders. Everyone did wait as Andy and a slew of others crashed in stage 3 on the decent, so that sort of evens out.

Does anybody remember the cobble stone race. Do you think Cancellara would have slowed down with Andy in tow if Contador punctured as he was behind? I'm thinking no. But like I said before it wouldn't have been like they went attacking around again with a mechanical.

Oh well. There are so many what if's in life and the best thing to do is not think about them and live in the present. Learn from your mistakes, and live with what you have.

How bout Brent Bookwalter. The best man in my wedding. One day to go till he finishes his first tour, 2nd grand tour of the year, and his career. Good work Brent. Have an awesome ride tomorrow.

Breeze On

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Riders On The Storm

We've been stuck in a weather pattern that has been hazy, hot, and humid with storms usually in the afternoon.

Most of the area where I can ride is pretty flat and you can see for miles. This means two things. You bake in the sun with no shade and you can see storms forming and where they are very easy. Today I took advantage of being able to see the storms as I dodged a few for the first 3hrs of my ride before I felt I was plenty hot and need to cool down. I took a turn and jumped into mother nature's sprinkler. It felt great! As soon as I thought I was good I took another turn, as there are many roads to choose from, and headed for the dry.

After 30 minutes of baking in the sun some more I was wishing I was back in the rain. It's the only time of the year I enjoy riding in the rain. The next few days looks like it will continue to the be much of the same.

Breeze On

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finally!

Friday morning I headed out for a good training ride. I ran into a good friend of mine Scott Moon who was on a tandem. It was nice to be able to catch up with him. It's been a while since I've been able to ride with posse out here in Avon since I've been on the road so much over the past couple of months. For that reason I had no intentions on racing till Elk Grove. I was just planning on staying home, spending time with family, and training without worrying about the racing.

All changed when I got a phone call from Birdman on Friday afternoon asking if I was going to go racing. I said no that I didn't really feel like it, and he continued to try to talk me into. He said he would even train with me on Sunday. So I kinda of knew right then he must have really wanted me to go with him. It's not so much the racing I didn't mind doing, it's everything that goes into it. The packing, traveling, and paying $50 entries for a 75 minute race. I ended up calling him a few minutes later and asked him what time WE were leaving.

We had a good team at the race with Birdman, Marco, Bush, Baldesare, Gamm, and myself. With two, arguably three of the strongest finishers in the race, having the race come down to a sprint finish was no worry to us. We really didn't want a break to go without one of the sprinters. We were in it to win it. The race was fairly aggressive, mostly by NUVO, but mostly the bigger teams marked each other out. There were few breaks/splits, but nobody really worked hard enough to stay away more then a lap or two. Our team was on everything. It's getting to the point where I'm saying to myself I want to be in that one, but my teammate is there. Dang. Everyone is riding so well.

At one point a group of 5 or so got away for a lap with Birdman in it when things picked up to bring it back and as soon as it came back Jonathan Jacobs for NUVO went and I jumped across with a guy on my wheel. We had a decent gap and I worked with him. The other guy just sat on saying he couldn't work. I worked hard to quickly build up a gap as a strong group of 4 guys were trying to chase on. We managed to stay away. I knew I had to win for the team so I took the right steps to make sure I did. I was worried about the guy who sat on the whole time, but I was able to take the sprint finish for my first victory in a while. It wasn't the biggest race, but it still felt good to win.

How'd our sprint finishers do? Well they took 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the field sprint. Marco ended up 3rd in the State of Ohio Criterium Championships. Congratulations on your bronze. You can put it next to your silver medals.

The best part of the whole thing was the confidence my teammates had in me in finishing the race off. Birdman was pretty sure I finished 3rd, and the look on the guys faces when I said I won was priceless. It was the same look a kid gives when he gets the one Christmas gift he really wanted.

So come Sunday Birdman held up his promise of training with me, sort of. He pulled off a bit early and we started an hour later as he decided to sleep in, which really ended up sucking as the last 45 minutes of the ride was in the pouring rain and wind. The pressure dropped so much that my Gramin thinks I climbed a 2 mile climb at 5%, at the same time the storm started. In reality that point in the ride couldn't be much flatter.

Also on Sunday one my athletes that I coach, Adam Rodkey won the cat 3 time trial state championships. He has been ripping it up this year, and put in a PR in the 40km a few weeks ago. Nationals is coming up for him in a couple of weeks.

For myself another week of training coming up. No racing this weekend, maybe.

Breeze On

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hot and Sweaty

This past month has been filled with tons of racing, including 4 crits and two stage races. So there hasn't been much need for training between with that much racing jammed in. But now that the next race, Elk Grove, is a few weeks away it's back to training.

It really feels like it's been a while since I've trained in this kind of heat. The last time that comes to mind is August of 2007. It just so happened that my Rite Aid teammates where staying with me. That was a lot of dudes in a small place. Good times though.

In winter and spring I've gone on rides and only had 2 bottles for a 4hr (not a good thing), but I've done it. On yesterdays 4hr ride I had 8, and still felt like I rationing it. I always like to plan my rides around areas I know I'll be able to stop if needed for water. Being dehydrated can take a lot out of you. Some like to ride during the morning while it's cool. I like to ride in the heat of the day just like races. Not really, but the last few days it's just the way it's worked out in my schedule.

I met up with Chad again yesterday afternoon and we headed to a group ride on the north side of town. Kind of hard to do a group ride you've never done before with not knowing which way your going, as on one occasion on the front I went right by a turn. I wish Chad and I could have headed back together, but as soon as I turned my back for water Chad was gone. I called and asked where he went and he said he was almost home!?! So I sweated to my oldies and headed for home on my own.

Breeze On

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Triathlete

Did some triathlete practice last night with Birdman. Well without the running and swimming. Although yesterday may have been a better day for swimming then riding as the summer heat has returned. We were both saddled up on our Masi TT bikes for the day. Andy our coach had us doing some 5km TT efforts, short and sweet, for now.

The best part of the day was meeting up with the real Triathlete training group ride. Never knew it existed or happened. But it was a group of 8-10 riders out on TT bikes. I'm not sure, but they may have ran or swam, or were going to. Our TT practice soon added another T to make it TTT practice. Wish I had taken a picture, but I was to busy running into wheels and weaving in the paceline. I looked like a Cat 5 Triathlete. Good thing they don't see me run, otherwise they may fall over in laughter.

Can't wait for next week tri practice.

Breeze On

Monday, July 12, 2010

Almost Over

The first week of the Tour de France has only just finished, and yet it seems like my season is coming to end. How can that be? With races being canceled left and right, what seems like the majority of races early in the season and two big stage races out west it doesn't leave much to do over here.

On tap is Elk Grove late July/Early August, criterium nationals in mid August, and road nationals in the middle of September. I might do Univest in early September, but that is still in the air. There will be a local race or two thrown in, but basically I'm counting down with one hand.

What am I going to do for competition. Well I think I'll be taking part in this. If you want to ride with Kenda next year as do I, we have to join this. If you think your good enough, join up and if you happen to be good enough you'll get a contract.

How has the racing been going so far? Well result wise for myself not that great. I've been riding good, being aggressive, and for the most part been trying to help the team succeed, which hasn't landed any personal results. I'm ok with that as long as it pays off and helps the team. My day will come, whether it being a break sticking or being in a situation where I can win. A few guys have had some good rides lately, Stemper and Hartly going 1-2 in the omnium in Dairlyland and Birdman and Bush getting on the podium in the early races at Superweek. Everyone is riding good and I expect a lot more good results to come over the last part of the season.

Breeze On

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Life on the Road

There are so many upsides to being a pro cyclist, and some downsides, but we won't talk about those. In the last few days I've experienced quite a few of them and would like to share.

First of all it's all the great people you get to meet. I've been fortunate to be surrounded by some incredible people. I think that is one of the most important things on a team is who are you racing for and with. Because you will be spending a lot of close time together. This week I got to travel with my dad, Will, and Todd. A great crew and we've had a bit of fun on our travels out here. Here they are enjoying the evening after a day of driving while I was out working.



These guys are great and they only harass me a little. Mostly deserved and mostly correct observations but most wouldn't mention. That is what makes them great. They did going riding with me yesterday and that made me feel better.

Next is the food. When you're burning a few extra calories as we are, eating a pancake or two that is slightly oversized is no biggie. Not only that but adding chocolate chips and peanut butter just means you have to ride an extra 10 minutes, which is a bonus because we all love to ride more then we enjoyed the chocolate chips and peanut butter.



Next is the travel to foreign areas. It's a great experience to ride places you don't get to ride. I have a hard time trying not to ride to much as I want to explore the area and enjoy all the nice roads. I have a bad habit of trying to pick out climbs to ride. Normally not a big deal, but when it's before a stage race it may not be the smartest thing. I guess if I lived in an area with a climb over a half mile I wouldn't have that obsession. I found this beauty in southern New Hampshire. That's right New Hampshire. I even rode to a different state to find one.



Couldn't realize why it was so hard to get a straight picture till I looked down at my Garmin and saw I was climbing at 13%.



Doing my best Will impression with taking pictures of myself with the timer. If you ever read his blog, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Another bonus is the equipment. Who doesn't love new cycling equipment? Check out these sweet TT rigs that we will be using for the first time this week. It looks fast. We will be looking to making them go fast on Sunday.



Of course Mercury 85's and disc wheels (clearly not shown) will make it even better.

The best part hasn't even started yet and that's the racing. Starts tomorrow at 3:30. I've won this race one time, seems like a very long time ago, maybe I'll be able to again, or at least help one of my teammates do it.

Breeze On

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Second Season

Races always seem to come at you fast, one after another, and then like a rain cloud in the dessert it just seems to stop. The first part had Taiwan, Battenkill, Gila, and Joe Martin. Now we did Philly, Air Force, Clarendon, currently at Nature Valley, onto Cincy crit weekend, then Fitchburg, and finished off with Grand Rapids. No weekend off. Followed by some time off before the last stint of the season. (To be Determined)

Last weekend was the always brutal Clarendon Criterium, formerly known as CSC. It's probably one of the hardest flat criteriums in the US. It's a one km course with 5 corners in which we do 100 laps. Quick math will tell you that means we corner 50o times which is a lot of sprinting. Imagine this for a workout from your coach. 2.5hr ride with a 10 second sprint every 30 seconds. You'd think he was crazy, but that is basically what you do in the race.

It was a pretty hot day, but our team was riding strong. We made some moves, brought back a few, but missed the move of the day in the confusing of trying to get water from the feedzone which just opened. Tried to bring it back, but never happened. Luca even tried a move to get the lap as well, but came up just a bit short. Our rookie Rob took his shot at the sprint and finished 9th on the day after 6 had lapped.



The following day was the Air Force Criterium. A little shorter race, but on a longer circuit. It made it not so crity. We pretty much did the same thing as the previous day, but today nothing stuck this time. Our two sprinters flatted under the free lap rule which hurt our chances on the result for the day, but our team was riding stronger.



Now it's on to some stage racing. It was good to get those two crits in as a warm up as 3 of the 6 stages at Nature Valley are criteriums.

Breeze On

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Wall

There is one 'wall' know to the US peloton and it is located in Manayunk, a suburb of Philadelphia, and used in the Philadelphia International race. Once home of the US Professional Cycling Road Championships for over 20 years.

At a distance of 700 meters, elevation gain of 64 meters, and average of 9.2% it isn't the biggest, longest or steepest of hills. Going over the hill hard isn't to bad and you can make the effort in 2 minutes. As you can see in the race a lot of riders can make it over. Why don't they make it over later on in the race? Is it that the race is harder or fast over the climb? Surprising for the most part it isn't. It basically boils down to endurance as the last few times over the hill are at km markers 162, 184, 206, and 228. Not many races in the US are longer then 160. Anyone can feel like a rock star in the first 100km. Even the first few laps when it's fast over the top, you think to yourself I can do this all day. Different feeling sets in after 160kms.



Racing with a powermeter at this race for the previous 3 times I've down the race I am able to see this. Just take a look at this year for instance.

First two times over the wall:

1st Lap 2:16 minutes
420 watts

2nd Lap: 1:55 minutes
517 watts

Last two times:

9th Lap: 2:05min
423 watts

10th Lap: 2:14
396 watts

Well the rest of the race can get tough at times it is also important while in a long race to conserve. Well that is if your role is the finish. Those who put out the least amount of power early on, most likely can put out the most at the finish to help themselves or a teammate get in a winning situation. This year it was my goal to conserve towards the finish. How well did I conserve?

I spent 3hrs 25mins in my recovery zone (<200 watt) 54% of the race. That includes 1hr 17mins of not even pedaling.

In 2007 my role was to be more aggressive and I spent 35% of the race in and over my threshold zone and only 2hrs in recovery zone. Made for a long race and I didn't make it over the wall with the front group the last time over and I finished in the second group.

So here's the overall picture of the 2010 Philadelphia International.

Duration: 6:15:51 (6:16:35)
Work: 4305 kJ
TSS: 300.8 (intensity factor 0.695)
Norm Power: 250
VI: 1.31
Pw:HR: 4.88%
Pa:HR: 6.39%
Distance: 257.944 km
Elevation Gain: 1948 m
Elevation Loss: 1962 m
Grade: -0.0 % (-13 m)

Min Max Avg
Power: 0 853 191 watts
Heart Rate: 73 185 142 bpm
Cadence: 15 118 86 rpm
Speed: 0 178.1 41.2 kph
Pace 0:20 0:00 1:27 min/km
Altitude: 5 97 26 m
Crank Torque: 0 98.4 20.8 N-m

It's not always the overall scene that paints the picture of hard a race is. By the overall picture I've had much harder training rides. It's the little efforts in it that can make or break you. How much did you conserve? Can you make the same hard efforts that you did early on, later in the race? This is why teammates are so important.

Breeze On

Philly

The biggest one day race in the US. Even though it hasn't been the US National Championship in years it hasn't taken much from the feeling you get being at this race. It may not get as many Pro Tour teams or big US names, but it has the history, same great course, awesome atmosphere, and the crowds are the same as they always were.

I normally don't talk about pre rides to often, but the day before Philly this year had to be right up there as one of the more exciting. Riding the roads in Philly, riding through Manyunk, seeing other teams out riding, and all the people you really start get the feeling that this is a special event. The best part was when we were on the bike path. I've rubbed elbows in races many times, but have never rubbed elbows with guys going the opposite way as much as on this ride.

Not only that, but guys trying to open up. As soon as one guy goes hard, everyone else starts to look around, then go a little hard, but act like they're not going hard. Soon enough it's a race where no one wants to race, but most don't want to be left behind, and most want to be first to I don't know what. It's all in good fun.

To give you an idea of how much our team as changed from this year to last is that not one rider was the same on the start line. I can tell you this though, is that our team rode very well and just as we talked about the night before. There was a big split of riders the first time up the wall that included Rob Bush, Jim Stemper, and Nick Waite who wanted to go for KOM and picked up points. Perfect.

The following lap HTC picked it up as they had no one in it and more riders got across on the wall. That was the time for Luca and myself to get there and not miss out on a race that could have quickly been over. A lot of cat and mouse games began as the group was too big to work together, and riders looked to break away. A break went away before the wall the third time and as soon as we got on it, Nick went across and marked it perfectly. It was a great move that had to be down.



For the most part the rest of the race came back together and with Nick up the road that meant the rest of us could do our best to relax, eat, fuel up, and get ready for the last few laps of the 'real' race to begin. Nick did a great job working hard to go for the KOM points and was leading the competition for much of the race. Unfortunately the group split up a bit and he was caught up and back with us after 7 laps. I had great teammates, especially Hartley who took me to the front or near the front for wall. That made a huge difference.

Also since it was a bit windier this year, then years past, I made sure to stay close to the front for much of the race. Normally you can come off the wall and relax, but with the wind I wanted to be as close to the front so I didn't have as much according effect on the windy parts of the course. I think it really made a difference in saving energy.

However I was never in a great spot for the wall on the last two times and missed an opportunity to make the last break. Not saying that I could have, but without being in the right spot you never will. Regardless it came back together at the end for a field sprint. As a team we were mostly together, but started to loose numbers in the final miles as many did. The pace was still high to bring back the break and legs were cracking. Luca and I were sitting in good position for much of the final and were looking to be there in finale. With a km to go after fighting for the last 40km Luca couldn't go anymore and was out.



I was on my own trying to fight for the good wheels. I was moving up on the right when everyone came flying over to the right and I nervously tapped the breaks and lost everything. Guys went left and I couldn't get cranking again and finished near the back of the group for 26th. I'm a little disappointed in that, but would have really loved to help Luca sprint it out. Can't be to disappointed as that was my first time being there for the finish like that and my best finish.

Other then the finish what a team effort we had. Nick finished 4th in the KOM and rode the break. Jim covered moves as did Rob who at 20 finished the race. Hartley did great being the captain on the road, taking guys to the front, and getting bottles on numerous occasions. Phil jumped across to a move near the end of the race. When guys race this hard, look after you, and cover moves, it makes it easy to sit in and get the results. We rode as a team unit and the result will come. Hopefully things continue like this as in the next month we have Airforce, Claredon, Nature Valley, Hyde Park, Grandview, Fitchburg, and Meijer Grand Rapids.

I also want to give a quick shout out and thanks to the amazing support we had for the weekend. Chad for putting the team together and doing a little bit of everything at the race, Frankie for the directing and organization, Janis for massages and feeds, Will for wrenching, and Rick for being one more person in the feed zone. All we have to do and worry about is racing.

Breeze On

Frankenmuth Weekend

I love being able to head up to Michigan to race. Not only does it mean racing against the same guys I raced when I was growing up, but also staying at my parents and seeing family I don't get to see very much since moving to Indiana. This year was even better as they added a Grand Fondo to the weekend. So an 80mile road race and a 130 mile ride made for a perfect weekend of training prep before Philly.

Since the race was only 40km's from my parents house I thought a quick motor pacing session to the race would make for a good warmup. The race itself was a good workout. This year was tough without much wind to play a factor as that would be the only thing difficult about the course. So it turned into a game with Bissell who had numbers. I did have the bossman as a teammate and it was great seeing him out there racing with the big boys again. I should have tried a few different things in retrospect, but regardless it was a local race and it's what you come to expect. I was happy to see that a lot of my family members came out the race, and even a few helped with the support.

The next day was the Grand Fondo. It was a long, flat, warm, and windy day. The ride started off easy for the first 5 minutes then things picked up. We flew to the first stop 30 miles in where Frankie, Chad, and a few others turned around in the 100km event. We arrived before the support, as I'm pretty certain they didn't expect guys to get there in a little over an hour.

After saying bye, and filling up the bottles, I continued to ride with a group of guys at a good clip not really thinking about the distance or the nice headwind we were going to have on the return trip. I stayed at the front most of the time as this was the perfect opportunity to get a hard long training ride in. At the halfway point we stopped in the shadows of numerous wind turbines and fueled up with subs and cookies.



The wind, distance, and heat began to tear into my group of guys as it shrunk fast and soon enough I was on my own. Another quick stop at the final stop and I rode out the final 30 miles into the headwind. I'd be lying if I said those miles were easy, but I was starting to feel the effects of a hard day in the saddle. I got the finish and was greeted by an applause from my wife, daughter, mom, and dad. That doesn't happen to often after a training ride, but I could really get use to that.

That is not the only thing I could get use to. The other thing would be the Z-Cafe in the basement of Zenders. It is an awesome cafe that has anything you could want after a long training ride or race. Whether it be a panini, burger, fried chicken, brat, pizza, cold beverages or a baked good from a massive bakery they have you covered.

I'd like to thank the Tri-City Cyclist for inviting myself and team out for their awesome event. We had a great time. Everyone should try to make it out for this event. I didn't even take in some of the fun you could have with the fireworks, hot air ballons, bike expo, indoor water park at the hotel, or the dog competition.

Breeze On

Friday, May 21, 2010

FROM KENDA PRO CYCLING P/B GEARGRINDER

IT"S HERE! THE MOST HISTORIC COMPETITION IN THE HISTORY OF CYCLING. STRAVA PRESENTS "WIN A ONE YEAR 2011 CONTRACT WITH OUR TEAM". BE SURE TO BE A PART OF IT ALL. CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE.

Have you ever dreamed of racing for a top U.S. team or under an American Cycling Icon, such as Frankie Andreu, 9-time Tour de France finisher? If so, this competition is for you, and it is open to EVERYONE, regardless of skill level or racing category.

Strava and Inferno Racing LLC partner to bring the world the first ever internet, GPS based competition, where the reward is a real spot on a real team. It is simple, fun and totally affordable. No resumes, inside contacts, race attendance or cover letters are needed. You just ride, upload at www.strava.com and the people at Strava, CTS and Inferno Racing will do the rest. One lucky person will win a coveted and sought after position on one of the U.S.’s top UCI registered teams, and will receive all of the perks that goes with that position!

It is for EVERYONE and it is GLOBAL. This means you can be a current pro, an elite racer wanting to be a pro, a beginner wanting to learn the ropes or a youngster wanting to learn from Frankie and the team. All you need is a GPS device compatible with Strava (Garmin – Edge or Forerunner, iPhone or Android and even other “Smart” phones) and a membership to Strava.com and the KPC Competition. The KPC competition entry fee is only $70.00 USD and includes a one-year premium Strava subscription. Those already subscribed to Strava can join the competition for a reduced entry fee of $40.00 USD.

The competition begins on June 1, 2010 and runs through September 30, 2010. You can join at any time between June 1, and September 1, 2010, as the monthly winners will be placed in the possible candidate pool. Those that join earlier will have more chances and opportunities to grab a categorized win. Each month will have a new “Leader Board” with competitions such as, but not limited to Overall Leader, Best Climb, Time Trial, and Most Improved. The top 3 persons from each category each month will go to CTS’s (Carmichael Training Systems) team for evaluation of files and rides that were uploaded during the competition period. That is up to 18 shots each month to get into the final selection pool. It could take only one ride to stand out! You start getting ranked the minute you join and upload your first ride to Strava.

KPC train
Be a part of our winning team in 2011!

At the conclusion of the competition, CTS coaches will submit the top three (3) in each category posted in each month of the competition to a panel including Frankie Andreu, members of Inferno Racing (management company operating team) and a randomly selected U.S. cyclist to chose the lucky winner, to be announced November 14, 2010 (UCI contracts are due on November 15, 2010).

“This is a real spot on our team.” states owner and founder of Inferno Racing, Chad Thompson. “If you are an elite or pro rider, you will get a 1 year contract on our 2011 UCI Continental Team. If you are not eligible to be a pro, you will still get a spot as a development rider and get all of the same equipment, coaching, support and mentoring that all of our athletes get. And, it is all yours to keep after the year is up.”

Frankie Andreu says “This is such a cool idea and concept. We do not have to sift through contracts, take a million phone calls or hunt for riders good enough to be here. The data from Strava will tell us who we take, and it is so fun to compete on Strava. It makes everyday a motivated and fun filled ride day!”
Michael Horvath, co-founder and CEO of Strava tells this “We are blown away by the great idea that came from the Inferno Racing team. This is truly revolutionary and the first competition ever of this kind. Anyone who joins is becoming a part of cycling history and could earn a spot on one of America’s best and fastest growing teams.”

KPC TT
Receive the tools to win in any situation.

Where does the money you spend on the competition go? All proceeds go to the team’s chosen charity and operating costs raise donor awareness for Children’s Hospitals and TX Tough. Once you join, you will also receive a one-year premium subscription to Strava, where you can upload ride data and compete on their public forum, as well as join many of their other free and pay-to-play events. It is truly revolutionary!

Rules and admission will open and become available on June 1, 2010 at 06:00 AM EST and be open through September 30, 2010. You can visit infernoracing.org or kendaprocycling.com for more information, following the same time lines as the competition.
You will never get a simpler and cheaper opportunity to be a part of a team of this caliber, nor have the chance to be a part of history in the making with such a unique concept and competition. What are you waiting for? Get a GPS device and join now at strava.com!

About Strava: Strava is a website for avid cyclists where you can upload your GPS ride data to compare and compete with friends and rivals. Strava’s many unique features are built for cyclists including automatic climb identification and categorization, virtual climb competitions, and member-created on-line races. It makes your riding a social web experience. Learn more at http://www.strava.com.

Good Luck and hopefully you don't take my spot!

Breeze On
Bike racing in America is basically as relative as how often my daughter wets her diaper, and that has never been more apparent then now.

The big news going around the internet and on tv has been on the Floyd Landis issue. I'm sure most, if not all of you know what I'm talking about. I am not going to say anything about him, or what he is saying because personally I don't know him or about anything he is saying. All I will say is that it frustrates me and makes me sad that there are riders out there that have, do and will look to take illegal advantages, especailly when I have to race against them. But at the same time I am very happy to know of, race with and against many who do nothing of the sorts.

So currently we have wo big stage races going on in the world. The Giro (1 of 3 grand tours) and the Tour of California (the biggest stage race in the US) but the only time and subject ESPN will talk about is the Landis/Lance issue. Lance is even participating in the race, or at least was. They even have a press conference at the race, but do they mention the race even once, who's winning, how Lance is doing, his team or anything, nope. I do take that back, they showed a crash, Lance bleeding, and him getting in the car. Yet not one mention of who won, winning or video of finish. Not to mention they constantly talk about how performance enhancing drugs are such a huge issue in cycling making it very dirty. Of course nobody does those things in the ball sports. Riiiiight.

Speaking of finishes. We are lucky to have The Tour of California aired live on VS. Still wish we were racing it, but this will do till next time. Thank you VS for stepping up to the plate, but then completely blowing it and showing us once again how cycling means nothing to another station. The race is less then 2km from the finish, the schedule air time is coming to a close and the pregame for the hockey game is about to start. What to do? Well you have arguable the least popular main stream sport's pregame coming up or a finish to a race that has been on for 2hrs. VS made the decision to pull the plug on the race with 1.5km's to go to get the full 20min of pregame talk in.

Sorry for the ranting. I normally don't like to do it, but I'm so passionate about cycling and it hurts to see it being treated like garbage. Please if you don't care about cycling 99% of the year, just don't talk about it at all. If you don't care who's winning races, why do you care who's or who's not cheating? Talk about 1 of the 4000 baseball games a year.

Breeze On

Monday, May 17, 2010

Not much to write home about this week. I've just had a bit of down time after two weeks of stage racing. Now it's back to work this week as I prepare for Philly, Airforce/Clarendon, and Nature Valley. So another hard block of racing, but first a hard block of training.

Included in that will be the Tour de Frankenmuth and a new event the Grand Fondo the following day. If you're in the area you should not only do the race, but also the ride. It's going to be a long, wide open, wind swept 130 miles. Also going to be at the event will be my bosses in team owner Chad Thompson and director Frankie Andreu.

So I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I haven't really been raking in the results lately. Hopefully things will change over the next few weeks. I would also love to help set up one of teammates to get the big win that seems so close, but is taking longer to get then I thought it would. We have a strong team and a couple of strong finishers we just need to position them a bit better so they can land consistently on the podium. We have a lot of chances over the next month and a half, and then the rest of the season.

How bout the Giro this year? Exciting, grueling, wet, and anything could happen. I can't really say much other then that because I'm not there, and can't even imagine what it must be like in that peloton. Those are some tough dudes. I've enjoyed my mornings watching it.

Breeze on


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Joe Martin Final

Today was the criterium at Joe Martin. It continued to live up to it's name as one of the toughest crits of the year. For some reason they made it even harder and dangerous by adding a few corners, taking the total up to 12, and having a corner that took many riders out. So many riders went down in the same corner that there were skid marks all over the road and unfortunately a few riders were seriously hurt.

The crashes in the first few laps made me a bit nervous and I ended up loosing a few positions. I ended up getting more comfortable as the laps went by and the crashes, at least in front of me went away. The break went early and a few riders tried desperately to bridge as Jamis set tempo and kept it within 25 seconds.

Things began to heat up in the last 5 laps like usual and with 2 laps to go what was left of the field started to break apart. I was in decent position, but in the last lap got caught up behind a crash and lost some time. Luca was positioned great as usual and finished strong in 5th place. My little mistake cost me roughly 10 spots on GC, not that it really mattered. Come to find out as I slowed downed I could hear my break rubbing on my wheel. At some point in the race I hit something, or someone hit me because it was way out of whack. That wasn't helping me feel good.

To add to the misery were the guys who acted like dick heads for no reason. As the race got harder the number of riders acting like this increased. I just started to laugh about it.





Photo Credit once again to Will Swan. He took fabulous care of all the equipment this week. The bikes where clean and everything ran smoothly. My dad took care of the DSing and Sougnieur duties and did a great job. Nobody missed start times, there was plenty of bottles, and the car was there for us when needed in the caravan.

Another shot out has to be giving to my alma-matter Marian who just won collegiate road nationals for the first time by winning both the men and womens TTT. Our boy Rob Bush also took out the Men's Omnium title. Can't wait to race with him the rest of the season. Of course he should thank me for all those training rides we did together. Just kidding. Nice work guys and girls.

Next up a few local races and then another blog of some big races for the Kenda Team including Philly, Nature Valley, and Fitchburg.

Breeze On

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Two Road Races

We have completed the two road stages at Joe Martin. Yesterday was a very aggressive stage. I and two teammates where making sure to covering every move. We did this for 60km before a split in the peloton happened and we were in a group of 40 off the front. From there a group of 15 formed after a few attacks went away and we had representation with Waite and Stemper.

The field tried chasing, but couldn't catch the Jamis/Bissell train that were motoring in the break. Waite and Stemper both finished in the top 10. I came in with the field which came back together.

Today's stage was a bit more relaxed and unfortunately we missed the break after trying to make it. Luckily a few other bigger teams as well missed it and like every year it came together for a field sprint. Luca just missed the podium yet again and finished 4th. It was a fairly scary fast downhill sprint.

Here's some photos.

Taking off in the TT



Pre race meeting before stage 1


Photo credit: Will Swan

The bikes next to the van. Black and White and Red.


Photo Credit: Will Swan

My dad who is the stand in director standing next to the bikes


Photo Credit: Will Swan

Luca coming back after a mechanical. I had one today and did something similar. Coming through the caravan is rather fun.


Photo Credit: Will Swan

Our stand in mechanic for the week Will Swan sitting in the back of the car with wheels in had ready to go for a quick change.


Photo Credit: Will Swan. He likes to take photos of himself with his timer. He had plenty. Check them out on his blog.

Tomorrow is the criterium. 90 more minutes of hard core racing. It will make 9 races in 12 days. Awesome. Can't wait to race, but also can't wait to be home for a while.

It's been said, and lots of people know, but I have to mention again Congrats to my friend and former teammate Brent Bookwalter on finish 2nd in the Giro Prologue. An outstanding ride, by a great guy. He'll be right up there I'm sure helping Cadel the rest of the Tour.

Breeze On