Saturday, March 29, 2008

First race with the team in Kirkwood, PA. Where is that exactly? Well pretty much in the middle of nowhere and honest to god the most traffic we saw on the way in and out was Amish horse and buggy. So rolling terrain that was very wide open with tons of wind.

A nice size field showed up, around 100 riders showed up for our race. Right from the gun racing was on and soon enough Miles, Clayton and myself found ourself''s in a nice group rolling away on the second of 8 laps. We had 8 or so riders, but on the following lap we had it widdeld down to just the 3 of us and two passengers. We continued to roll away from the field as the boys behind kept everything in check.

So we just continued to ride around and fight the monster head wind on the longest stretch and extend our lead heading into the last lap. Miles threw it down just before the last lap and an Empire rider went in pursuit and caught up. Of course the other rider with us, Ramon, I believe, well at least that is whose bike he was on, tried chasing for a bit before he gave up. Up the road Miles riding like an animal thew down again and dropped his companion. Now it was time to go get him, and eventually I found myself alone chasing him. I caught up and saw Miles had a sizable gap and kept it at a pace that would keep us ahead of the other rider and just far enough behind Miles.

Miles continued to rock it out and won and I rolled in with the other guy for 3rd. Clayton came in with his companion for 5th, and I believe Erdelyi cleaned up the rest with a 6th place finish out of group that had got away with two laps remaining. Apparently he had a nice lead out from Geronimo. So a great continuation of the racing season. Soon enough we will be doing races together that won't be months apart like the last two.

That's all from camp right now. We have dinner reservations for 6, so I better get my butt in gear and get ready to roll. More to come later.

Breeze On

As a side note we saw one Amish buggy pulled up to an ATM at a bank and one at the gas station. Interesting to say the least.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I am no longer a snake that slithers on the ground, but a spiderman that scales the walls. That's right after a little convincing, some built up trust, and a trip halfway up I finally made my first ascent to the top of the climbing wall. It was probably the most fun I have had in a while. I was climbing up and swinging all around. It was a total blast and I highly recommend taking an adventure to a climbing wall.

Not only was this my first time to the top, but it turned out to be the first and only time I tied my own knot on the line holding me. Of course I didn't think of it till I hit the bottom and Clayton asked if I tied it myself. Yikes!

A few of the guys before the fun began. That's the doc on the right. He was teamed up with me and gladly put his health on my shoulders as I guided his safety line. I was a little nervous about that as well, especially the first time when he let go and went swinging through the air.

The other night with the services of Tom Kellog or TK as he is referred to around he came around to help us with some bike fits. This guy had a wealth of knowledge and could just look at you and know what was up with your position. It was nice of him to share his time with us. Here he is telling a giant that he just doesn't fit normal sized bikes.

So another ride this morning in the wet/rain. We are getting tough now. Of course it did take some yelling at by Jon to get us going.

I don't think Robbie was to concerned with his threat.

But we did get out and went up a few longer climbs and had a nice ride. The best thing about the whole thing was there were not major mechanical issues. The really only slow up was Clayton dropping a bottle. I don't know what that was about.

The most exciting thing to happen on this day was that the doc, who apparently is also a chef had some nice hot chicken noodle soup and bread waiting for us when we arrived from our adventure.

Breeze On

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Camp Midday 2

The day started off much like yesterday ended. I was just trying to have a second bowl of cereal but instead of topping the milk off i added orange juice. Three bites later I had to call it quits and toss the rest as it was quite unpleasant.

Not the best day as far as riding weather is considered. Of course what do expect when in your the north/east part of the country in March. On the upside it should clear up by the weekend and we should have more typical weather.

Today my left hand man was on the wrong side of a broken chain issue this time. About 15 minutes into our ride Bill had a chain break and with his quick link in my chain, his day was done. Thanks buddy. Then Robbie was unfortunate to loose his brand spanking new Rudy Projects off his head and they broke. Bummer.

The most exciting thing on the ride is when we hit this narrow downhill curvy road that suddenly turned to dirt as we were sweeping through a turn and right at the bottom there was a stop sign right before it continued sharply uphill. The back half of the group was lucky as they heard clear they never slowed, but the front half went up from zero.

So a warm shower and hearty lunch and it's time to relax before tonights festivities. We are heading to Allentown to tackle a climbing wall. Our team has a secret affection for heights or something. I don't know why we can't do something on the ground. Oh well. I wonder how high I will make it tonight. Story and pictures to come.

Breeze On

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I just completed my first derby. I feel like I'm getting closer to completing all my goals in cycling, which also means retirement is also closer. Ha!

It was pretty cool ride as we hit a nice tailwind/crosswind on the way back and the Rite Aid boys were on the front flying. We pretty much got rid of almost everyone that had started and it was just us at the end. The new fellas are strong which is great to see. I can't wait to see us all together in action already, and it's only been a day together. But this was not the end of the fun for us.

On the way back I just so happen to snap a chain that got caught up in my wheel which caused me to skid and slide right out on the shoulder of 222. It all went down in slow motion, it was quite the experience. Luckily my left hand man was there with a spare quick link and had me fixed up before Miles and Robbie could fix a flat. Once we got all situated again, the doc got a flat, and this time Bill got a tube ready, the doc took the old one out, and put the new one in, and I used my sweet frame pump that turns into a floor pump and had him up to 100psi and lickedly split.

Good first day. I have some video from the morning ride and a few pictures that I'll post later when I feel like putting them on the computer.

Breeze On.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I drove out to training camp in Kutztown, PA today. Oh how I have not missed doing this drive out to PA, but it does bring back some memories of long lonely nights cruising down I-70.

Are first bunch of gear was waiting for us on our beds. We got all our new team clothes! I do enjoying getting new clean shamies, as last years have seen enough riding time. Besides my white socks have turned into more of a grayish brown.

Well I guess that's all to report right now. Hopefully I can get some video/pictures of the weekend and post them up through out the week.

Breeze On

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter egg hunt for adults?

Well I guess I never pictured myself standing in the middle of a muddy field late at night on a cool March night starring at over 5000 glow in the dark plastic eggs with a few hundred others, but that is exactly where I was come Thursday night.

The local community in Brownsburg, Indiana puts on an easter egg hunt for adults that include adult prizes. Not adult prizes such as in adult beverages and such, but just as in gift certificates in a number of things and a grand prize of an awesome barbecue.

So it started at 9:30 in the middle of a grass field, in which the two days before it had rained 3 inches, at the park lined out with caution tape. Myself along with my wife and her cousins Krista, and Cara with her husband Jeff went out in search of lushes prizes. We were told there would tons of people and we better show up early to make sure we would find a spot to park and stand along the boundary and wait for the horn. So we arrived at a very comfortable time of 8:35 and waited for the crowd and the egg hunt to begin.

30 minutes later I think I realized we had showed up way to early as there still was hardly anyone there and we have been just standing around with not much to do other then glare into the field at an assortment of pink, green, red glowing eggs that could be filled with assortment of dreams. Finally people started to show and fill in around. Strategy talk started to be quietly whispered among others to optimize the way to retrieve the most eggs, there for having the greatest opportunity to win a great prize.

10,9,8.......3,2,1 horn sounds and finally we are off. I quickly grab the two eggs that happened to be 12 inches from my nose at the start, declaring to all around me that I would tackle them if they took those from me. I'm sure that was a big deterrent. As I stubble to put those two eggs in my grocery sack, I reach down to pick a few more and realize that my bag is not staying open and I am having difficulties getting the eggs into. My heart is pounding, my arms are jelloy and I am nervous, all for just some prizes I might win, that I don't really know what they are.

Finally I am able to compose myself and notice the people who were on the other side of the line and are getting closer. We meet in the middle, grab the last eggs, as an even bigger group now dart to the left, grab a few more, the group is growing, a few zig zags, a few more eggs, and the groups are coming together till it's all one massive group in the middle. Everyone takes a quick look up and notice there are no more eggs and it is all over. How long did it all take? Well I don't have an exact time, but by my best guest I would have to say less then 2 minutes. Surprisingly fast, is all I know.

So after trying to open 30 or so eggs that are taped shut, what did we come away with? Well besides the tootsie rolls, mints, and small candy, Krista won a $10 gift certificate to Applebee's, I won a sweet gift certificate to Steak and Shake for $1 off, but the big winner on the day had to be Katie who won a free subscription to the Hendricks county flyer, that happens to be already delivered for free to every home. So we came with nothing and left with slightly more then nothing along with some muddy clothes, but the memories of my easter egg hunt in 2008 will remain with me forever.

Breeze On

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wow we had an amazing trip in Georgia. We stayed on top of a hill/mountain just outside of Blue Ridge, Georgia. There is some really great riding around there, especially if you like to climb, since you had to go up a 1km at the end of every ride.

One of the best routes to ride turned out to be part of the Tour de Georgia which was pretty awesome to see the routes for the first time. They look like some killer routes and maybe one day I'll get to do it.

The first real climb we did was up Woody Gap. We came up the easy way and you really didn't know how high you got till you got right at the top and there was a spectacular view, that would have been even better if it wasn't misting/raining.

I had to go down the other side and come back up just for shits and grins, and get a LT effort in, while the others gladly waited at the gas station down the road a mile.

At the bottom I was greeted with this sign, which just so happens to be the 33 miles of roads we were on to get there. One of my all time favorite roads.

The following day we got real adventurous. We started off the same way and instead of going going down Woody Gap we took a left and headed to Wolf Pen Gap and from there made the trek over to Brasstown Bald, before turning back home and doing the other climbs all over again.

From the parking lot at Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia and I do believe the hardest climb I've ever done. For the 3 miles I think I averaged 9mph and at times was doing between 5-6 and that was pretty much going all out. Unbelievable.

Then on the last day pretty much did the same thing without making the trip out to Brasstown, it wasn't that I didn't want to do the climb all over again, it was the fact that I didn't want to do the chip and seal road that is gradually uphill for the 5 miles before. Just didn't have it in me.

All in all it was an excellent week of riding. Props go out to Jeff and Alex for riding most of it with me. They just sat behind me having casual conversations. Ha. Of course you guys couldn't have been to tired as you wanted more on Sunday. Give me a call this week we can do it all over again, but of course we won't have the climbs.

Getting pumped for camp, which starts next week. Can't wait to hang with the guys and maybe finally get my new ride.

Breeze On

Won't winter ever go away!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm in georgia training with marian. It is some awesome' riding down here. Big climbs. Photos upon my return.

By the way brasstown is actually as hard as they say.

Breeze on.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Im happy to be back on a Fuji. Fuji and I go way back. My first bike that I got that wasn't purchased from a department store was a Fuji. My brother and I received identical Fuji Odessas mountain bikes for Christmas. Unfortunately my other brother took mine out one day and got it stolen.

Look at these stud racer's on their hot new steads.

But fate had a purpose as the result of this led to me receiving my first ever road bike, a Fuji Ace, which I used in my first races. My father later purchased me a replacement mountain bike which was Fuji Thrill. Quite a history with Fuji's, but this is not it.

My first road bike race on my Fuji.

My dad's first race bike was a Fuji Roubaix. Wish I had a picture of this sweet light blue with pink lettering beauty. I'll never forget when he got rid of it for an aluminum Klien that I thought was so ugly because of it's fat tubes. Shows you what I knew back then.

Continuing on my brothers first real nice new race bike was a Fuji Team, which I was wicked jealous of. It was pretty sweet and light, with all new 9speed Ultegra. Soon after that though, I was fortunate enough to also get a nice new road bike. And what was that. Non other then the Breezer with Dura Ace 25th anniversary group on it. A little History there huh. But this is not the end of the Fuji story yet.

This was the first breezer. No picture on my computer of the Fuji Team.

Before heading of to Marian College I needed to have a Track bike for the track racing that I would now be participating in. Not only was this a Fuji Track bike, but this would be the first and so far the only bike I purchased completely with my own money. I'm so proud of my clown bike.

The Clown bike in action.

The following year I would ride my father's track bike, which was the a pretty sweet Fuji Track bike. And this would be the last Fuji I've ridden. Although I still do have my first Fuji Track bike, but I haven't even seen it in over a year. Long story on that one, but it's just at the track waiting for me when I feel ready to get back on the track some day.

The Fuji Track Pro in action. Pretty sweet ride.

So now I'm just sitting and waiting for my new Fuji bike, and I am very excited about being able to be back on such a high quality, and top preforming race bike. Full specs and riding details to come as soon as I get some miles on it. I'll be spending the next few days riding the rollers next to the door waiting for the brown Santa Claus with my favorite gift, a new bike.

Breeze On

B.T.W. My uncle also has a Fuji Road Bike that is like from the 70's. So chew on that one for a while.
From: Rite Aid Pro Cycling Website

Rite Aid Pro Cycling presented by Shebell & Shebell And Fuji Bikes...Like A Family

3 March 2008 Wayne, Pennsylvania, February 29, 2008 – The Rite Aid Pro Cycling sponsored by Shebell & Shebell and Fuji Bicycles today announced an agreement which will have the team riding Fuji frames and forks for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. “We are excited about having one of the most innovative bike companies in the world as our partner,” says Jamie Davis, Managing Director of the team. “The commitment of Fuji to excellence in everything they do, from research to manufacturing, parallels our own goals as a team. We both want to be the best in all that we do. Their knowledge of high tech frame materials and manufacturing techniques is extremely impressive as is their eagerness to use our squad to provide feedback for design refinements for future product offerings.” The team will be riding the Fuji Team Issue frameset, a full monocoque carbon C7 race- purposed frame with some of the riders on the SL-1, a super light frameset made of C10 carbon that weighs only 890 grams. For time trials, the riders will use Fuji’s Aloha. “We are very proud to be associated with this team, especially since they are based very close to our corporate headquarters and feature a good number of local riders that we have watched develop over the years,” said Fuji’s Director of Marketing Karen Bliss. “We’re happy to be able to support them as Pennsylvania’s premier pro team.” Rite Aid Pro Cycling presented by Shebell & Shebell embark on their third year under the Rite Aid banner with a new presenting sponsor and another exciting international roster - five returning veterans and six new young rising talents. The team finished the 2007 season with 17 wins, 38 podiums and was the 8th ranked UCI America Tour team, 2nd of all of the US teams. About Fuji Bikes The Fuji Bicycles brand is owned and operated by Advanced Sports, Inc. (ASI), a privately held corporation headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with distributors in over forty countries. Operating in the U.S. through the Independent Bicycle Dealer network, ASI markets a full line of high performance bicycles including road, mountain, women’s, comfort, BMX and recreational bicycles under the Fuji, Kestrel and SE Bikes brands.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Finally March has arrived. Spring can not be to far away, along with team training camp.

Wow not a lot going on. I did however spend another weekend as Assistant Coach for Marian Cycling. A pretty decent weekend of weather and courses made for a fun weekend. Well unless your an "A" rider and your points didn't count in the road race because it was all canceled out after so many riders breaking the yellow line rule, and one incident causing a crash near the finish. I do have to throw out some props to those who did well in crit as conditions were brutal all around. Pretty open 1.2 mile course with lots of win. Every race exploded. Good to see you all threw down as you could see from the exploding pelotons. Just wish I was the one doing the racing and not just riding around by myself.

One thing new this year to collegiate cycling is that they are running a clinic for the beginner riders "D" men and "B" women where they teach them some things about racing before sending them. In the criterium I led a group of each around for 2 laps before the official start and gave pointers on corner, the correct lines to take, the wind and where to ride. Others did pacelining during the road race. I think this is a great concept. If any collegiate rider sees me out at the races and has a question or wants to know something just come up and ask. Not that I'm all knowing, but I'll will try to help you out as best as I can or at least point you in the right direction.

One thing I learned is that a few more people then I thought read my blog. They came up to me this weekend and started talking about it. That's pretty cool to know. I'll try to keep it updated more and keep it a little more exciting. Of course that will start after this entry.

Well that's it for now. I'm going to try to enjoy the last few minutes of 60 degree temps as a front is passing through and bringing winter weather behind it.

Breeze On