Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This past weekend I decided to go back to my roots by trying to overachieve as I continue to prepare for the end of the season. I love being able to ride to bike races, but riding to them when they are over 60 miles away is a bit of stretch. Of course I can't wait to do it again. It helps that the ride to Bloomington, IN is one that gets better with each passing mile.

I tried to keep it pretty light on the way down, but those that ride with me probably have a sense of how that went. My wife met me down there and graciously bought me a Sprite and chocolate chip cookie as I pinned my number on. Just sitting there relaxing in the chair eating and drinking before the race was quite relaxing.

The race itself was pretty good. There were a few teams well represented and I knew I couldn't miss a break with all of them. I tried early, missed a great one in the middle as I was in the pit, but helped bring it back and a field sprint would ensue. I just didn't get in a good position before the final laps as they were short and fairly quick.

The big question I had on the day was, "Why is everyone floating out to the 2ft high curb out of corner 3?" I never got close or had to. I think I saw 3 or 4 crashes there.

The night festivities continued as my wife and I went out to eat with Swain, Julie, and JoKo. Talking to Swain about old times reminded me of the song "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen. We had so many great experiences racing together in college that my long time readers will know about. It was some of my favorite moments and Kaite and Julie were surprised by the amount of detail we could recall. Luckily it wasn't the speediest of services as we were able to catch up on present times and plan our next get together.

Sunday we had an opportunity to head up north to Lake Schaffer where we met up with Krista and Wade. Once again a geat opportunity presented itself as it just so happens to be 80 miles away, a perfect bike ride. We had plans to leave later in the afternoon which meant for a hot ride. The stops for water got closer together. First 90 minutes, then 60, then 40 which was a stretch before the final 2o minutes.

This weekend is a crit in downtown Indy. I'll probably ride to that one as well, but it's only 20 miles away.

Breeze On

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My wife asked me a depressing question the other day. She asked when was I going to be able to race masters? How old does she think I am? After more thought the really depressing moment is when I realized I will be old enough to compete in Masters 30-34 next year. Holy Crap! Espoir Nationals and Collegiate racing doesn't feel that long ago.

On the start line at Espoir Nationals 10 years ago in Texas. You might be able to guess just by looking at the photo that I probably didn't podium this one. This was part of one of my biggest road trips and most fun. It was just my father and myself traveling from bike race to bike race. We left from Bay City, MI to Fitchburg, MA then onto Houston, then to Elgin, IL before finally returning home. I was pro before I was even pro and I didn't even know it.

Breeze On

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I drove up to Michigan this past weekend with the family for some more stage racing, fireworks, and BBQing. At least this time a little more low key. So we headed up Thursday afternoon to my parents and from there I headed to the Prologue Friday night for the start of it Saturday morning.


My Dad and I took a lazae start to our day on Friday and before we knew it, it was rather late and time to start the 3hr drive. We arrived to our hotel around 10pm and spent an hour flipping through the channels on the television.

The time trial was an early start so we woke up, tossed some oatmeal into a cup of yogurt, and then headed out to the start. After getting numbers and kitted up we both did our own thing to warm up. Everything went without a hitch other then the whole winning thing, and after I did the podium we headed back up to Bay City.

It wasn't more then 10mins into our drive back we started to think that our master plan of enjoying the evening festivities in Bay City and coming back with the family the next day for the crit and road race wasn't such a great idea.

We had a few stops to make before we got home one of which was to get Madelyn a pool. This was easier said then done as either the car was to small or the pool was to big. After we tied it up with the rope we bought we realized we had yet another dilemma, we tied the doors shut.

We finally arrived home after having to drive the final miles under 20 around mid afternoon. Just in time to shower and start the grill for dinner. After dinner I reluctantly headed to the fair with Katie and Madelyn. I was feeling pretty tired, but glad I went and had a great time watching Madelyn enjoy herself.

By the time we got back it was time to pack and get ready to head to the fireworks. The whole reason we drove back from Grand Rapids. But of course they don't start till after 10 and last 45 minutes, so by the time we got back and into bed it was 11:30.


I thought my stage race as over and I hadn't even crawled out of bed yet. I was almost certain I wasn't about to get out bed at 6am and make yet another 3hr drive. Luckily someone was very motivated to go, and it wasn't my dad who stayed in bed holding his pee so I didn't think he was up and going. It was Katie. She dragged me out of bed with her words. So I packed up the car and checked to see if my dad was still going. As soon as he felt guilty enough for not going we were both on our way.

Not to long into the drive we both felt much better and were ready to race. The races went ok for the both of us. My dad hung in with no problems and drafted himself into a 15th place. I had a few shadows, picked up a bunch of Gatorade primes, and finished 2nd, but after the guy behind me picked up a time prime I slipped into 3rd overall. I even had a special visited from ace mechanic Will Swan who was in the area vacationing.

We grabbed Chipotle for lunch, watched the tour, glued some tires, headed to dinner, and finally bed.

Road Race-

Once again it was rough morning. Even though we had no long drive, it was early and the motivation was rather low. My dad and I headed to Ihop for breakfast as the girls slept in. We discussed what the heck we were doing over breakfast and were thinking how much more fun BBQing all day would be. If the start line to the race wasn't on the way home who knows if we would have stopped.

Well once we started racing we both had fun. I spent much of the time with Sheedy feathering breakaways as it was to hard for us to get away from the guys that mattered. As we brought back the last one with under 15 miles to go a few attacks started. One guy hung out as the rest of us started to throw some blows and the race had finally felt like a real race. We ran out of race though and the one guy hung out and won. I didn't get a time bonus on the finish and had to settle for 3rd overall. Still not bad and made some money.

The best part of the day and the previous is that it was the first time I got to enjoy the podium with the most important person in my life.

So we hopped back in the car and headed back to my parents. The road race started and finished early enough that we still had time to BBQ. Madelyn even had some more time to enjoy her pool.

Even though the long weekend was way busier then it ever should have been I had a blast and wouldn't change a thing. Well maybe win a race, but that is it. It's nice to some low key racing with the family after doing some pretty big races.

Breeze On