Friday, November 22, 2013

First Week

First week of work at FasCat is almost complete. I have two athletes up and running. I have also been working on some generic training plans. For those looking for just a generic plan to help you reach some great fitness you might be able to get your hands on one. Stay tuned.

I have also enjoyed working with FasCat's coaching director Jason who has helped me fine tune some areas of the workouts. I'm looking forward to being out there and working next to all the great coaches. It's really going to help me which in turn will help my athletes.

Last day at school and everyone had a surprise for me. First it started with Donuts for breakfast before school, then games and popcorn for a 20 minute break, then cake for lunch, and followed with finding this in the classroom. I loved working with everyone there and I'm glad they enjoyed having me. Or they were just happy to see me go?



I did find this book on the bookshelf on the last day. So basically I should be rich soon, as I plan on finding some the lost treasures and gold in Colorado.


Last time clocking out. 

Since I will be leaving after Thanksgiving dinner for Colorado I had to break one of my first rules living with my wife. "No Christmas decorations till after Thanksgiving." So we broke out the decorations and such this past weekend. Madelyn was super excited to find out it was Christmas time, but had to be reminded it was still many sleeps away, not just three as she was hoping. 


Working from home as been pretty comfortable, but I can't wait to be out with everyone else. Plus that honey due list was starting to get pretty tough.



Soon I plan on starting my training again. I almost did last week, but since I'll be away from my family so long I'd rather spend as much time with them. But soon there will be mountains to ride.

Breeze On

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A week later

A lot has changed over the past week. Two really big things, and a bunch of random small things. I'm going to save two of the bigger things for a different blog. What are they? Maybe you know, maybe you don't. But you could keep reading.

I took a week and some off from riding. Sometimes I can't stand not riding, this wasn't one of those times. Maybe because work kept me pretty busy. I did ride one day for an hour. I had planned on starting up this week, but already had my first off day yesterday, so you know that's going well.

The weather has changed dramatically over the past week and half. Before it was 50's and now we've been struggling to get over 40 the last two days. On top of that we got our first dusting of snow. This could either be a long winter, or an early winter which means an early spring. Hoping for the latter..


Also this past weekend was my sister in law's wedding. It's great to officially welcome Brandon to the family. The reception was great and it wasn't my dancing at the end of the night that had everyone talking like at mine, which is nice. My father in law kicked out some sweet moves. I on the other didn't step foot on it, which is best for everyone. My wife also rocked out a speech that included a rap. I should have remembered to video it. Whoops. 



How about my Lions. Could this be their year? My heart says yes, but my previous experiences says don't get your hopes up. This is just a very talented team with things shifting in their favor. We will see, still a long way to go. 

Oh yeah the big news. If you follow me on facebook and twitter you would already be aware. Firstly I accepted a full time coaching position with FasCat Coaching out of Boulder. I've never been so excited about an opportunity before. Secondly I will be racing with Astellas Oncology again which will be taking the next step as a UCI Continental Team. More on all this later. 

BREEZE ON

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Iceman

What a season! It has finally come to an end as it does traditionally on the first Saturday of November at Iceman in northern Michigan. 

Friday afternoon I was planning on doing a quick 1hr ride, 30 minutes out and back on the trail, but after doing the first half mile I decided that I was going to have too much fun riding the Breezer so 
I mine as well ride the whole thing. It was only 30 miles and I don't get to ride off on the trails often. But since getting the Breezer a few weeks ago I haven't been able to stay off them. I also have the same problem before road races as well as I have a tendency to do to much riding the day before races when there is great routes as I just really enjoy riding.

Some two track that Iceman is know for. Gives road racers a glimmer of hope

A little muddy during the preride

The course which is usually sandy, if not covered beneath inches of snow, was wet this time. There were numerous water puddles covering the whole trail, and leaves on the single track. But by race time after 4000 riders took to the course all the leaves were gone and the puddles had either dried up or a clear path had formed around. Even though I've done the race numerous times it is nice to see where everything is again exactly, especially the few challenging hills towards the end. 

My dad who not only is a super nice guy and ace mechanic shown here lubing my bike, but he also is a hell of racer as he completed his 19th Iceman, finishing 14th out of over 100 in his group. 

The weather the next afternoon was sunny and warm enough. If you've done previous versions you could not complain about this years weather. After a stroll for a preride I showed up to the start line 10 minutes early to see that I was the last of the 125 riders to line up and would start from the back of a stacked field. The race would include many previous winners of not only Iceman, but of mountain bike national   championships, including the reigning champion. 


My start of course was bad, but got worse as the race went on. Like in any race you never want to be at the back because nothing good happens there. I couldn't do anything to help myself out of the back. Then after 10 miles I proved that an object in motion stays in motion as my bike hit a stump on a downhill and stopped but I did not. It took a bit of wind out of sails and took to much time to get going again. I found some riders to ride with for a while before going forward on my own for the last 10. The result was nothing to write home about as I've gone faster and done much better, but again it was a great time. 



I think I need to stick to the endurance mountain bike events where I can use my loads of road miles to my advantage. Or just train more off road, whatever...

Breeze On

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pre Iceman

Iceman is only 3 days away. Iceman is the biggest single day cycling event in Michigan if not the Midwest. It is a 28 mile point to point mountain bike race in Northern Michigan from Kalkaska to Traverse City. 

But it's popularity goes beyond the race course which can be mondain and rather short. It's grown into a weekend party event starting with the expo on Friday night, followed with the racing throughout the day Saturday, which includes a beer tent stocked with sponsored Bells Beer at the finish, the ever long award ceremony and followed up by the numerous after parties. 

With the race being held annually on the first Saturday in November, that has added to Icemans flare. You just never know what you are going to get that time of year in northern Michigan. It's been any where from 65 and sunny to a fresh 8" of snow and everywhere between. This years race forecast is looking cold and wet. Opening the curtains on Saturday morning will be like unwrapping a Christmas present. 

This year I am yet again fortunate enough to be sponsored by Breezer Bikes who have provided me with their new Cloud 9 Elite. After taking a short stint away from making mountain bikes Breezer has made a strong return. 



Their carbon 29er mountain bikes are designed around the thought of riding more like a 26" mountain bike which makes flowing through single track easier. They did this by designing a bike that was able to decrease the chain stay length giving it one of the shortest available for any 29er. And anything that makes handling easier and faster I'm all for. I need all the advantages I can get. 

I haven't gotten to many opportunities to ride off road and haven't raced a mountain bike race since last years Lumberjack 100 so we will see how it goes. I know 90% of Iceman is two track but its the other 10% I'm worried about. Oh yeah and the stacked field of 135riders. Lets do this!!

Breeze on. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

BREEZER TRUE HILLY HUNDRED September 14th, 2013

Ok I finally decided to bring back the Breezer True Hilly Hundred. I had a few riders ask for it so now it's here. Invite all your friends. We will ride this year slow and have fun. There will be stops along the way for food and drinks. Each stop offers a quick way back to the start for those who feel like they want to bail. Stops will be in Morgantown and Nashville.

Here is a link to the route. http://app.strava.com/routes/3201

The route includes dirt roads so bring some nice training tires and make sure to have a spare tube. Road bikes are fine, cross bikes would be great, but I will be on my road bike with some good training tires and wheels. There maybe about 25 miles of dirt roads.

As normal we will start from the Martinsville Starbucks located off of Highway 37 at 9am.

Here are some pictures from previous rides.


















Not your typical road signage out this way.



The top of one of my favorite climbs. The Hassettown Rd. Climb



Bear Wallow climb. This climb basically started this whole ride. A story for another day and another blog.

The day the dogs weren't running with us, but the sheep. You never know what your going to get



The start of the Covered Bridge climb. Great place to stop for pictures, especially if you like that burning feeling when you have to start climbing a wall of dirt after stopping.

Hope to see you there,
Breeze On 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tried racing a 'real' Crit this past week but that wasn't happening. I feel like my shoulder just is sitting at 80%. Repeated hard sprints out of the saddle were not very pleasant.

Luckily the last day of Prairie State was a very wide open 4 corner Crit making it easy on the sprinting. I just tried helping my teammate Brandon retake the overall lead in the series. Unfortunately he came up two points shy. Ryan, Andy and Brandon did great as they were the only ones really representing the whole series. 


I also got to spend some quality time with my friends on Logan's Roadhouse team. You think a 7hr flight and a 6hr time change would slow Birdman down but it didn't. After having an aggressive race he had a beer and was ready to party. 


It was good to have my shadow back. I was starting to think I was a vampire. 


After the last race I took my Canadian teammate Ryan to one of my favorite burger places, Fudruckers. Man was that great.


I rode around the bike path in Elk Grove like 100 times in the 3 days I was up there. After the 50th or so I decided I should take a picture. Some of these guys are massive. This picture would be harder to get in the wild. 


It's been great since I've been back as the weather has been more fall like as opposed to sitting in a sauna. Just laying in the grass with Madelyn the other night was so enjoyable after an exstensive chalk art outing. 


This weekend is local race and next weekend back up to Elk Grove with more laps on the bike path, oh and two races.  Yeehaw

Breeze On

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I ended up nervously and with a bit of hesitation starting the road race at nationals. I really loved my chances on the challenging course but really didn't think my body was up for it yet. It is a good thing that I did start as in the neutral section my teammate ended up breaking his cleat off his shoe. Since I wasn't feeling great about racing after it only being 3 weeks I popped off my right show, then the left show as that is the one he needed and handed it over. Glad I could help! Where's the car? 

Madelyn enjoying the hotel pool 

After following the race, helping the guys, thinking about what could have been we loaded up the car and headed for Michigan. It was a late night drive as we finally made it there at 3:30am. Luckily Matt came along and drove the last 90minutes. 

We went to Michigan to visit my family again. It was a great time. We spent a good amount of time at Jacks Bike Shop, went to the candy shop, Grandpa Tonys, fireworks, drummed , went for a ride with my dad to the state park, and ended the weekend with a BBQ with all the family at my brothers new house. It was great seeing everyone. 

Madelyn drumming with Papa Paul. 

Before the fireworks

Madelyn on Papa Pauls shoulders watching the fireworks. 

I love that Madelyn likes Thundercats. That was my favorite growing up. 

So after another late night drive home Sunday night it led to a long week. I had a hard time trying to catch up on sleep. Went out training on Tuesday and felt pretty bad, didn't feel much better Wednesday and ride was shortened due to storms. Felt better on Friday nights ride and decided on it that I should try to do the Indy Criterium the next day. 

So I did a morning spin, and then rode over that afternoon to the race. I felt much better about racing this weekend then last. Also with the wide open course figured it would be easy to cruise out of the mess. Wrong! 

Coming down to 10 to go I decided to start giving it a go. A break had got up the road and then I followed a move to get up to it. Ended up by myself chasing it, and the group up the road exploded and Liebo took off. I caught the other guys who were with him, but didn't get close to Liebo before the field was back on us a couple laps later. Coming into 4 to go I decided I take one more shot off the front before going off the back to stay out of trouble. I was going to wait for the wind section, but never made it as there was massive pile. As I fell I basically slid while holding up my left shoulder. That was scary and luckily I think I may be fine. 

I was testing myself to see if I could join the team this coming week at Prairie State, but thinking now I better wait. After the race I cleaned up, threw the broken stuff in the car and went out to Bru Burger with Katie's Dad and wife Susan, Katie, and Madelyn. Slammed down some nachos, onion rings, salad, and a burger.

Breeze On

Friday, July 05, 2013

Nationals

Out at nationals in Wisconsin. Came up with the family which is nice. Great to have them around.  But also enjoy that Katie is doing all the bottle duty and feed zone task. Such a huge help!

Here we are headed to the U23 road race first thing Wednesday morning. We weren't even at the race and they were already bored and sleeping.


Zach and Brandon getting ready to race. I was in the car following as director. I got my first fine as well as a director. $50 for a sticky bottle after helping Brandon get back to the caravan after a flat tire with 15km to go. It's a tough call, but you have to help your rider at nationals when there is so little to go. Only helped him get to caravan. Then he was on own to work his way up. 


When I'm not racing it gives me more time to help the younger guys and teach them some things. Apparently I need to start with some basics as to not putting your Garmin on backwards as Brandon had done. 


I thought I was pretty lazy, but the other day after eating lunch instead of having to walk around the capitol building to get back to the hotel the guys decided to walk through it as it would be a short cut. It was actually nice because you could walk in and see it without any problems. It was pretty spectacular, and Maddy enjoyed it.



Madelyn also had a lot more friends to play with. Matt who has been taking some time off enjoyed trading in his cleats for high heals, well at least he didn't mind.


Happy 4th of July


Not sure if I am recovered enough to race from my broken collarbone 3 weeks ago, but I have been ok enough to ride. Since Cortlan was registered for TT and didn't want to do it I'd figured rather then waste the entry I'd go give it a shot. With only clip ons and one good shoulder I did it. I wasn't last, but was no where close to the front. It felt good to make a hard effort again. Oh I however did have aero booties. 


Today is the road race. I've been going back and forth on this one and didn't sleep last night just thinking about it. I can ride and feel ok, but racing in a group of 200 on a challenging course is a completely different thing. It's not like it's my last chance to race ever so I might just skip it and not do anything stupid. 

Breeze On

Monday, July 01, 2013

Rainny

4 days till nationals. Hit a snag last night. After 3.5hrs of riding I was standing on a hill and had a "SRAM it" shift were I meant to go up a gear but instead went down two. It caused my weight to shift forward quickly and jam my arm up my shoulder. It was quite painful. Enough for me to go to the doctor today to get checked out again. He said it looked fine and to continue on as if it never happened. So I'm pressing on hoping to feel a bit better in 4 days.

The last three days have consisted of trying to avoid the rain storms. Where I've been riding they are easy to spot but still hard to avoid. I've been hit by them daily. 


On the home front we took Madelyn to the big movies to see Monsters University. She was so excited about the movie, popcorn, drink, candy, etc. she was so nice and let me finish off her box of Recess Pieces after she only had a few. 



Leaving for Wisconsin tomorrow. Pretty excited about helping the others for the U23 road race and the time trials. Get to take in my other position on the team as director. Luckily I'll have plenty of help from Mart, Andrew and my wife. 

Breeze On 

Friday, June 28, 2013

So after learning of my broken collarbone I figured I should stop riding my bike for a while. The next day I did something I haven't done in over 20years, I went to the library and checked out a book. I read "The Secret Race" finally. I never wanted to buy it, but did want to read it. There wasn't much in there I didn't already have an idea about, but it totally gave me a visual. It was a whole disgraceful culture, and I am so glad I was never exposed to any of it. 

Heres proof that not only did I wear my sling, but I also was reading. 

So after that day of going to the library and reading I decided that I was bored and I was going to continue to ride. I mean I was riding the days before, mine as well keep going. And by riding I mean just doing some short 1hr easy rides. Something I'm not use to, but did enjoy it for the first 2 or 3. 

A couple of days ago I started to add a small amount of intensity in hopes to do Nationals. Still a slim shot. Also for the first time I was training in the heat and humidity for the year. It was miserable as I thought my heart was going to bust through my sore ribs, but at least I was riding.

Good to be riding and enjoying the sun. 

I've also been home for a while now which has been the absolute best. Spending all this free time with Katie and especially Madelyn had been great. There is nothing better then that.

Sitting out on the balcony with Madelyn and Lucy. 

Madelyn did have to take her doggy out to go potty, so she sat it in the grass and waited. One of the funniest things I've turned around to see.  

Two days ago I decided that was going to go ahead and sign up for nationals. I was able to do some easier intervals and stand out of the saddle, so I figured in another week I should just be that much better. As I opened the page I saw only two spots. So I gathered the things I needed, but by the time I registered I was on the wait list. Darn. Well maybe it's a sign. It would only be 3 weeks since the break. But yesterday I got the email and call that a spot had opened up. Another rider had a crash at Mt. Hood wasn't going to be able to make it. So I officially have a week to be ready. Just get me on the start line and I'll be fine. 

Took Madelyn to her first dance class. Wow! She loved it. But I wasn't surprised at all as she holds her own dance lessons daily. 

Also a lot of this has been going on, and I think I'm going to go join her now. 


Breeze On

Sunday, June 23, 2013

STRAVA SEGMENT BACKFIRE

When I was up at my parents this last week after breaking myself in Canada I felt good enough to do an easy spin with my Dad on Fathers Day. Not a much better way to spend an hour together. All was good and we rolled pretty easily which was nice. However that was until we got into town.



My dad had created a kilometer segment on a river front road that was rather smooth and nice. He said someone had taken the segment, so he wanted me to beat that guy. I was like well I don't know I did just break my collarbone and possible ribs 5 days ago. He was like well just try.

So of course not liking to back out of challenge or a wish from my father on Fathers Day, I wound it up slowly out of the stop, or as quickly as I could without being able to stand out of the saddle. With the slight downhill for half I was able to quickly get to my 11 and boar down for the 90second effort. He sat on my wheel for about half the effort, unable to stay on and sprint by at the end to take the segment if we beat the time.

I downloaded the ride upon our arrival home and sure enough I had done just enough to take the segment. I looked at number two on the leader board and chuckled. It wasn't just some other guy who was leading it in fact it was my Dad. He was confused (apparently this happens with old age) as this wasn't the segment that another rider had taken. Oops. Well I didn't take it by much so he just has to wait for the right wind to get out there and take it back. He will just have to wait for another visit before I can take the one he was thinking of.



Breeze On

FYI. I don't search for segments, but segments may get in the way of my intervals. Haha.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Broken again..

Well the season for me has hit a bit of snag and at a bad time. During the first stage of Beauce I was involved in a pile up and ended up breaking my collarbone. As soon as I crashed I was pretty certain of what happen. Nevertheless after unbuckling my helmet while on the ground I had Joe buckle it back up for me and give me a push so I could do the last 3.5miles to the finish. You never know and can't start the next day without finishing the previous. That night we made the decision to have  me fly home, otherwise I'd be just sitting there for 7 days. So I got a ride the airport and flew to Michigan ($300 cheaper) and spent some time with my parents. It was a fun few days for sure and always good to see my parents and brother.

Of course there never is a great time to break yourself, but by missing Beauce, Nationals and possibly Cascades that is quite the bummer. Nationals was actually on a course that I thought would suit me and not be a sprinter finish. Oh well I guess that is just the motivation I need to continue.

I did still managed to do some drumming even though one arm was in a sling. I practiced my Def Leppard.

My dad planned a ride for the follow day up in the 'hills' of West Branch for himself and some friends. I routed it out for him like most would do, on the computer, he used the pre 2000 method of paper and highlighter. He could have also used his Garmin 800. 

Some of my moms dogs. I don't want to disclose how many there may or may not be there now, but this may or may not be all of them. You better like dogs to go visit there. 

I asked my brother Josh to drive by while he as working one evening so I could check out his sweet ride. I wanted to go for a ride, but he said since I was a gimp I couldn't. Maybe next time. The stop was brief as he got a call of 15 deer on the road which happened to be 5 blocks away. Serve and Protect!

So the team thought I should go to the ER while in Canada, but I knew they'd just say see a specialist and put it in a sling. So I skipped the middle man and some unnecessary bills and went to the specialist. Of course he didn't tell me anything much different, but did confirm the break. He said I needed to stay off the bike for a while. So I guess the 3 days prior of riding and that 30mile ride to the doctors that day wouldn't have been recommended. 

National Road Race is in 15 days. Maybe.....

Breeze On