Tuesday

I went for an easy 1.5 hours today along the fern ridge bike path, where I saw four adult nutria and 2 juvenile nutria.  That’s a total of 6 nutria! That’s a lot of nutria!  Other highlights of the ride included smelling some really tasty Mexican food coming from an apartment complex, and finding a small pocket knife in the street.  Tomorrow is pain.  aka Nectar hill.

Conference Championships

Friday: easy hour spin in the morning. Tony and I took the bike path out to the crit course for a couple laps. On the way there and on the way back, we saw a nutria–a semi aquatic rodent the size of a very fat cat. I’m writing about nutria for a class, so we took a moment to observe the invasive species in its natural environment. We also saw a rabbit.

The trip over to Moscow Idaho took approximately between 9 and 29 hours. The cargo van, which Tony and I drove again this weekend, decided to stop in Hood River for a quick 30 minutes spin to freshen up our legs. The rest of the team didn’t want to stop, and headed on to Idaho without us. About 15 minutes into the ride, Tony’s brand new chain broke, foreshadowing the mechanicals of the race to come.

Saturday:

We all woke up the next morning to sun. The road race started at 9AM, and did three laps for a total of 70 miles. My legs, like they have been for every race the past two months, were trashed from training earlier in the week. We went up the first hill at what felt like a brutal pace. My quads were almost non existent and I feared that I might actually get dropped if this was to be the pace for the next 65 miles. I rode near the front nonetheless.

10 miles later, by the time I was feeling good, I flatted as we went over some rough train tracks. I pulled off the road, jumped off the bike, and ran to the wheel car (which had stopped about 50 feet behind me for some reason). I grabbed a wheel from the back of the car after sorting through the tangled mess of 9 speed and 10 speed wheels before finding one that I thought would work. I ran back to my bike and tried to insert it, but it wouldn’t fit. A re-occuring problem. haha. So I ran back and grabbed another wheel–all the while the clueless wheel guy just running around behind me, not doing anything helpful in particular. This second wheel went in ok and I sprinted off to catch the pack.

About 5 minutes later, I noticed that the wheel was rubbing on my chainstay and breaks. I got off the bike, re-inserted the wheel, and opened my breaks. It helped, but I could hear the wheel rubbing on my frame for the rest of the race. Poor cervelo R3. There there, the mean replacement wheel won’t hurt you anymore. It’s ok now. It’s ok.

By the time I got back on the bike, I had lost 3 or 4 minutes to the pack and was certain that my effort to catch back on would be hopeless. I began riding hard anyways. After slowing down momentarily , thinking I was lost and almost taking a wrong turn, I came around a slight bend to a long straight away and saw the peloton way up the road. I saw them for only and instant, but it gave me hope.

For the next 18 miles, I rode at my max. I made up a lot of time, but I wasn’t sure if I could close the final little bit of distance. In hindsight, I think I could have. With the gap at about 45 seconds or less, I saw Takuya driving a car. He had been dropped on the first lap and was now handing out water in the feed zone on the main climb. He offered me water, but I declined, saying “No thanks. But I could use a motor pace, though.” To my surprise, a minute later, he passed me slow enough so that I could hop in the draft. The first mile was pretty rough. He was too cautious and would pull ahead of me if I got within 15 feet of the car. But he got used to it during the second mile, and I got right up behind the car, about 3 feet away from the bumper. We closed the final gap at last and I made it back into what was left of the peloton. A six man break had gotten away from the field while I was gone and it now had multiple minutes on us.

With the first 6 places being taken, I decided to just attack as much as possible with the hope that the pack would get tired of chasing and let me go. And if that didn’t happen (which it didn’t) then at least I would get a good workout and make them all suffer in the process.

I took 6th in the pack sprint (12th overall) but was relegated to 20th place. The officials came over to talk to me and I thought I was in trouble for crossing the yellow line at the 1K mark. But the penalty was for motor pacing. “But I got a flat tire,” I jokingly argued. When that didn’t work I tried another one, “Well, I only motorpaced for 2 out of 20 miles.” They laughed.

David Kuhns took 6th in the race and Peter took 9th, so we weren’t out of the points by any means.

We ate at a pasta feed with all the teams after the RR. Later that evening was the TTT.

Our TTT was rough on Peter and Takuya, who didn’t have any TT bars. Takuya gave some good pulls before getting dropped, then it was up to David, Peter, and myself. David and I pulled the entire time as Peter, riding his 90 pound steel Surely winter training bike, suffered like a beaten dog.

Sunday:

It was sunny again on sunday. The crit was hard and fast, full of corners. The short course didn’t suit me well. Not that any crit does.

I couldn’t get off the back for the first 15 minutes of the crit, and the yo-yo effect just about killed me. David Heritage yelled at me from the crowd to “Move up move up move up Kennett!” I angrily replied, “I would if I fucking could!” Apparently the entire crowd all laughed at my frustration. During crits, my lungs and heart don’t give out, the problem lies in my legs. I just can’t see to sprint well unless everyone else is tired.

Luckily that happened 15 minutes into the race and I was able to finally get off the back. I attacked hard for the rest of the race but nothing stuck. I found myself a little too far back in the pack coming into the final lap. I moved up a few places on the 90 degree downhill corner, right as a Whitman rider’s wheel went out from under him. He went down HARD, from what I saw out of the corner of my eye. But the sound of him cracking against the pavement was the real sickening thing. But there was no time to think about that or his trip to the hospital, the finish was coming up in half a lap.

I took 8th, David took 9th, and Takuya surprised us all and sprinted to 5th.

Karey won her crit.

Check out Ivar’s report of the men’s B races once he posts, which should be soon.

We hung around for the awards ceremony afterwards and went to Zipp’s for some low budget burgers. Then the long drive commenced. I got into bed at 12:40 AM. Class the next morning. It was a great (hard) week of training and a fun race. I continually surprise myself by having legs to race well on the weekends after the intense training during the week. I’m eager to see what I can do when my legs feel good for once. (Gilad: that doesn’t mean I want an off week this week, damn it.)

Kennett

Harow

Ohhhhh, HI! My name a kennett and I very tired legs right now! I do 3 hours of TT and sprints this morning and thursday nighter later in day! 5 hours or riding. I only eat two sticks of celery and cup of noodle because I no want to be heavy. Good bye. hi.

HELL

I found it. Contrary to what the Bible says, hell is not bellow us. It is above. It exists on a hill called Nectar Way. It rises out of the ground like a cement wave, half a kilometer high, reaching towards the sky and ready to break down upon you and crush your very soul. It is the definition of pain and suffering. It is the kind of purgatory that belittles medieval torture chambers and endless power point presentations. It will break you.

Tony and I headed out today at 3pm, unaware of what we were in for. Gilad had found Nectar Way a few days earlier while driving around town with his wife, Erin. He was ecstatic when he saw the behemoth concrete monster, menacing and evil.

The hill starts out at a mellow 10% grade and gradually winds up to about 12 or 13% for a few hundred feet. Then it flattens out to 7 or 8% before the true test of will comes into play. The second half of the hill quickly inclines to 18 to 20%, stopping you in your tracks as you grind your smallest gears into shavings of metal in supreme agony.

The workout: 20 times up. All out.

Tony and I cruised up the first time. I did it in 58 seconds from bottom to top. The next time was harder, but we still went up fast and in a straight line. Number 3 was getting tough and I was still out of breath from the previous climb. Number four was the wall. Will joined us on this one and he beat both of us, still being fresh. By now my legs were acid and my lungs seemed to be at half capacity–no that doesn’t do it justice–it felt like my lungs were full of acid too. My head was throbbing in agony and my vision was blurred and cross eyed. I was getting extremely dizzy from lack of oxygen and my legs could hardly push the pedals at 300 watts by the top of the hill. This is pretty much how it felt from number four on out. Number five was slightly better for me, and Will and I pretty much tied. The next one was brutal, I was beginning to get a massive cramp in my side and was having trouble breathing. Number seven was my worst one, my side felt like it had been punctured by a dull machete. Number eight was better. Will and Tony had hit a wall long ago and we all began suffering on our own, no longer going up together.

The next 10 were brutal. I would go all out on one or two, heading straight up without any wavering or tacking across the road. And then I simply would not be able to do the next one without swerving all over the place, creeping up the 20% grade at 2 miles an hour in my smallest ring, just on the verge of stalling out. I remember one point in the workout when I looked up to the top of the hill, a quarter kilometer away, and saw Tony and Will duking it out at the very top. But it looked like there was more side to side movement than forward progress. Their bikes teetering back and forth as their ruined leg muscles struggled to tack across the full width of the road (it is a dead end and no cars go on it). I would have laughed at the sight, but I could spare no air.

Every once in a while, we would catch up with one another or wait at the bottom of the hill for a minute so everyone could head up together, which always made it harder. Despite the enormous advantage of having external motivation, we had all long ago entered our own worlds of pain. We were doing the workout together, but there was absolutely no communication. No one had the breath to speak. At one point, Tony stopped about 3/4 of the way up and fell off his bike. Completely hyperventilating and on the verge of blacking out. We were all on the verge for an hour and a half. It was the most intense workout I have ever done. And starting today, we will be doing this hill every week. All I have to say is: bring it on, my headache is gone.

Kennett

Mt. Hood and other things

Today was an easy ride. Yesterday was an off day for the bike, but of course the monday night workout was still on. Monday nighters are always fun.

My legs feel a little sore and tired from all the racing, training, and travel, but they’re eager to tear up the asphalt as soon as possible. I feel more and more motivated to train after each weekend of racing. And I can’t think about much else during the week than racing my bike.

10 pounds equals 20 watts. So part of my recent training includes morning runs and slightly less food. My body fat is already low, so I will mainly be losing the useless muscle weight of my upper body. It just won’t go away; I’m considering putting my arms in slings for weeks at a time, hoping they will atrophy due to lack of use. Well, maybe my left arm will atrophy.

Mt Hood….god damn it. I signed up too late. The cat 2/3 field is already full with 125 riders and probably an even longer waiting list. I’d rather race with the p/1 field, but I only have one point. Come on OBRA, you can forget about those 29 little points right? haha. I guess I’ll have to sit this one out, which is pretty upsetting since I think this hilly stage race would have suited me very well. I think it sucks that the cat men’s 4/5 field was cut, the 2s and 3s have to ride together, and all the women’s categories will be combined (which is excluding the cat 4s also). When I become dictator of the world, I’m going to set aside around $80 billion in funding for bike races. And that’s just for Oregon.

Kennett

ps Gilad is ugly

Sea Otter Final Day

Saturday was windy and cold. Wind gusts reached up to 80mph, measured by sticking my hand out the car window. Dust blew across the race course into our eyes all day long.

Tony and I got to the course late after an extended morning hanging out at my relative’s house. I spun for an hour or so before Tony’s race, then went back to the car to put on all the clothes I had.

Tony’s race was hard. The wind gusts made the corkscrew descent especially hairy. From what I heard, riders were swerving all over the place on the 40+ mph descent.

I cheered Tony on from the flat section at the finish line for the first half of his circuit race and he seemed to be doing fine. At every lap, we would exchange a quick bow–LifeCyle style.

Shivering in the wind, I decided to make my way up to the hill, hoping it would be less windy. I was in luck.

Also on the hill, was an extremely annoying guy with a bull horn, “encouraging” dropped riders. He might have thought that he was doing the racers a favor, but if I was one of those guys, I’m pretty sure I would have run him over. The last thing I want when I’m suffering up a steep hill is some idiot telling me I’m not going hard enough. One racer, wearing a Slipstream/Chipotle skinsuit, was dropped early on in the race and every time he would grind up the hill, the guy with the bullhorn would yell, “GO GO GO burrito boy! Think about that burrito you’re gonna eat after the race! Fajita fiesta!” The bullhorn guy was cussed out numerous times and I’m sure he was met by a number of racers in the parking lot after the race.

Tony was strong for the first couple laps, and broke away for over a mile by himself at one point. But the hill began to wear on him, and with only 2 laps to go in the 60 minute race, he fell off the back. He finished, but was pissed that this was the second day in a row that a hill stopped him from being in contention at the finish line.

Karey did very well in the road race. She said it was the longest, hardest race she had ever done. Finishing somewhere in the top 20, Karey managed to beat most of her field.

Like Karey and I, Chris Swan (another teammate of ours) did not have good luck during the NRC circuit race. Chris was caught up in a crash during the descent; he was unhurt, but was never able to catch back on to the peloton.

Sunday:

Tony and I said goodbye to my relatives who we were staying with: Jack, Laurie, Ross, (and Chelsea over the phone) this morning. The prank wars between Tony and I versus Jack and Ross were finally over when Ross wrote in soap all over our car and threw an old banana at our window. Or at least they THNK the pranking is over. They, in fact, did not have the last word, for Tony and I hid an alarm clock in Ross’ room set for 2AM tonight. And it is hidden in a place where 10 year-old Ross won’t be able to reach, which will require Jack to wake up and take it down himself. Plus the alarm clock is broken and does not shut off unless you unscrew the back and take out the batteries. Score board–Jack and Ross: 4. Tony and Kennett: 4.5.

The car ride home took forever again. We picked up Karey in San Mateo and took turns driving for the next 95 hours or whatever. We managed not to kill each other, but everyone was a bit tired and cranky by the end of the trip. Especially Tony. Karey and I began to make fun of him, dubbing him “Negative Nancy.” Of course, calling him this made him even more cranky. So we kept it up until we got home to Eugene. From now on, whenever he gets angry, I’ll have ammunition. And when he gets really upset, I’ll just pull out the triple N: Negative Nay-saying Nancy. Works like a charm.

Sea Otter Update (to be continued)

This is just a quick blurb about our Sea Otter adventure so far. I’ll have the whole trip written out latter.

We got into Monterey 5 minutes before our planned time of 4AM. No one fell asleep at the wheel, but as Tony and I drove into the neighborhood where we are staying, Tony’s sleepy eyes misread the map and we spent about 20 minutes driving in circles attempting to find our host house. Good one Tony.

The next morning came too quickly. We slept in until 10AM, but if felt much earlier. Thursday was warm and sunny, temperatures reached 80 degrees.

I raced on Thursday. It was a 90 minute circuit race around the Laguna Seca race course (about 2 miles with a steep climb and corkscrew decent. I lined up with 50 other cat2 and U23 racers and we tore up the first hill at a quick pace. Then we went up it again the next lap, even faster. Then faster again on the third lap. By this point, I was feeling pretty bad and was no longer finishing the climb in the top 5. We had already whittled the field down to 25 or so and I was suffering. We did not slow down, but I did begin to feel better as we went. And 45 minutes into it, I was feeling fine. It usually takes me a while to get warmed up.

A 2 man break got away with about an hour to go and attempts to bridge up to it were useless; the pack chased down everything.

We were 30 minutes from finishing and the field had shrunk to 18 people when I noticed that my rear tire kept sliding around on the corners. It had been feeling low on air for a couple laps by now, and I dared not look down to see a flat tire. Maybe if I didn’t look at it, it would be OK. I nearly skidded out on the next 180 degree corner as my rim ate into the pavement. I slowed down and the entire pack passed me. I looked over at the support car as it passed (not realizing it was neutral support) and continued pedaling towards the finish. I got to the wheel pit, had the wheel replaced, and waited for the pack to return during my free lap. I had no free lap though. “Free lap? This is a circuit race, not a crit!” yelled the guy at the wheel pit. I cursed as he pushed me back into the race. By now the pack was more than a minute and a half ahead. The race was over. Even if I had only been 30 seconds off the back, there would be no way I could have caught back on. The pace was too high.

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyways) I was very angry.

Friday:

Tony had his first race today, the road race. The road race is a hilly circuit of about 8 miles. Unfortunate for Tony, the course was too hilly. He hung in the very fast cat 4 race for 5 of six laps, and was finally dropped on the sixth lap. Hills are not his strong suit. The guy who won looked like he belonged in the p/1/2 race.

Karey’s race went terrible. She was half a lap into the circuit race coming down the corkscrew when another rider knocked into her from the side. Karey yelled at her, and the rider swung into her again, slamming her rear tire into Karey’s front wheel. Somehow in the chaos, Karey’s stem valve was torn off and she flatted instantly. It was miraculous that she didn’t take a 35mph face plant into the pavement. Karey was pissed.

My road race went well. We started with about 70 120 riders. There were two major teams there: Rock Racing and a team from England called Plowman-Craven. The first 2 laps were the hardest, and we dropped about half the field on the hill. I was aggressive during the first lap, chasing down breaks and bridging gaps. Nothing stuck though. By the time we came to the main climb on the second hill, I was very tired. And I lagged near the back of the pack. A breakaway of almost 10 guys got up the road and we never saw them again. I think I would have been able to go with them if I had rested more during the first lap, but I didn’t want to risk any of those previous breakaways getting up the road without me.

The pace slowed down on the fourth lap, when the break away was finally well established. We still went hard on the hills, but no one wanted to pull on the flats like they had before. For the next 3 laps, things were uneventful. But on the seventh and eight laps, people began trying to break away again. The field was split in thirds at one point, and I bridged across to the lead group by myself. But we all came back together a few minutes later. The last lap was tough. We went hard up the main climb and dropped more suffering riders. A couple miles later, 3 guys fought their way off the front and drilled it the rest of the way home to the finish line. So now the rest of us were fighting for 13th place.

Another breakaway got up the road. This one had 5 guys in it. They had 15 or 20 seconds on what was left of the field as we turned off the loop we had been doing for the last 3 hours and onto the final 2 kilometer climb. Groups began forming as everyone began going at their max. My group caught the 5 man breakaway. 1 kilometer to go. pain. pain. more pain. I don’t recall what went on at this point. pain. 200 meters to go. I saw Tony yelling at me on the side of the road. “SPRINT, SPRINT” I got up out of the saddle for the last 75 meters and finished. 19th place. I was pleased. We drove back home (to the my relative’s house), eyes rolling back in our heads from fatigue. We ate bowl after bowl of pasta and then bowl after bowl of chili. Karey, we apologize in advance for the car trip home.

Tony and karey race one more time today. I’m going for a long ride. It is sunny here. hahahahah

Leaving for Sea Otter

After an easy spin on Monday and a solid hill interval workout yesterday, my legs are ready for another weekend of racing. Karey, Tony, and I are leaving Eugene at 2pm this afternoon, after our last classes, to get out of this crap weather and into some 80 degree heat in Monterey. Tony and I stocked up on food the other night in the hopes that we won’t have to eat out while on the trip, since registration fees alone summed more than $90.

It will be a tight fit in Karey’s sudan, crammed full of gear, food, and bike parts. So on the drive down, we’ll be stopping half way–maybe in Yreka–to do an hour and a half spin to keep our legs from cramping up.

Hopefully we’ll be getting down to my uncle’s house by around 4AM or sooner, which will give me a couple hours of sleep before getting up tomorrow morning, going on a long warm up, and racing in the cat 2 90 minute circuit race.

(To Ivar: I still can’t post pictures. Something weird keeps happening when I try).

Warshington. Saturday and Sunday.

In case this post displaces the one I just wrote, I’m letting you know that I just posted one about friday. It isn’t that interesting though. For the men’s B race report, see Ivar’s blog.

Beware, this post is long and may require reading in multiple chunks. I’m hopping to have pictures of this weekend and other races/events once Ivar tells me how to post pictures.

Tony and I drove the cargo van and Ivar, Luke, Mike, Orion, Takuya, David Kuhns, David Heritage, Karey, Kallen, and will were in the passenger van. The ride up seemed to never end.

Will, Tony, David Heritage, and I shared a room Saturday night. Will snores like a pig. It isn’t that typical loud breathing type of snore, which is what Tony does, Will’s snore is something more animalistic. It sounds like a loud snort, followed by a disgusting gurgling noise, and then silence. It isn’t a constant snore either. Instead, he lets out two or three pig squeals every minute or so. Between that and Tony’s phone making static noises all night, I didn’t fall asleep for a long time. Plus I was super hyper from eating a handful of cookies in the hotel lobby.

Road Race:

The road race was hard. It was windy, rolling hills/flat, and hot. It may have only been in the mid 70s, but it felt like 90 in the sun. The only clouds present were clouds of smoke from crop burning. Apparently, all the farmers decided to burn their fields on the same day. The last thing I need when my lips are chapped, my face, legs and arms are burning in the heat of the sun, and my mouth feels like it’s full of cotton, is to be sucking in breathfulls of ash and crop smoke.

The road race went great. It was windy, and the crosswinds made even the people sucking wheels at the back suffer. It was hot, which made people dehydrated and tired, less willing to chase breakaways. And the few hills that there were made the calves cramp and the quads burn.

Unsure of how crappy my legs were going to feel this weekend, I started the first breakaway about 10 minutes into the race. I went at the top of a hill after an acceleration by Adam Cadez. Ben (from Washington State University) and an OSU guy joined me. I did very little pulling. We were caught about 5 minutes later. I sulked back into the pack, already feeling fatigued. Uhhhhh, my body is dead from this week’s workouts and the Willamette SR. Or so I thought.

By the middle of the first lap, Adam Cadez and a WWU (Western Washington University) guy went up the road and got over 30 seconds on the now dwindling field. People had already begun to fall off the back due to the heavy cross and head winds. Ben went to the front and began pulling. He did this, off and on, for about a half lap and gained back no time on the two man break. At one point, while back in the pack taking a breather, annoyed, he asked: “UofO and OSU, do you guys like racing for 3rd place?” I said no. And continued to sit in the pack.

But I couldn’t resist the front for much longer and I eventually went up there to help him out. David Kuhns and Orion took a couple pulls, but basically Ben and I did all the work to catch the break away, which took a full half a lap to catch. Each lap was roughly 25 miles–for a total race distance of a little less 80.

When we caught them, Western Washington (the dominant force in all of these collegiate races) began sending guys off the front, one by one. I chased a number of them down. Stupidly, I chased a break down that included my own teammate, Orion. He was not pleased. I apologized and explained that I thought I had a gap on the field (which was true).

A couple minutes later, another WWU guy, Phil, went off the front on the main climb of the course. I went after him. Adam went too, but later told me that he stopped short of catching us because he didn’t think that it was going to be the winning break.

When I caught up to Phil, we started heading down hill, and he wanted me to take some pulls. I said I was tired and he got mad and shook his head, probably cursing me, but I couldn’t here because of the wind. I told him that he should have plenty of energy to pull both of us, considering that he’d been sitting on my wheel all day long as I chased down breakaways.

But after a couple minutes of rest, I was ready to pull. We traded off taking hard pulls every 30 seconds to a minute. Very quickly, we had built up a gap large enough so that we couldn’t see the peloton. “OK”, I thought as I took a pull into the headwind, pushing somewhere around 360 watts, “only two and a half more hours of this.”

I think it ended up being more than two and a half hours. We took even pulls for the next 40 miles, but when it came down to the last 15, Phil began taking short, slow pulls. By now, we had been told that the peloton was 5 to 10 minutes back, and that a three-man chase group was 2 minutes back. We began slowing down, but I was worried that the chase group might be coming onto us fast, so I didn’t want to slow down too much. As it turned out, the gap between us and the chase group continued to grow, so we were safe after all.

I began thinking about the finish–I had been thinking of it the entire time–but now I was planning it out in my head. I would attack on the last little hill with 1KM to go. I had noticed that Phil was hurting going up the hills, so that was my best bet. “Yeah,” I thought to myself. “On that last hill. Hehehe. It will take him completely off guard and I’ll be so far out ahead by the bottom of the hill that he’ll be too demoralized to even TRY to catch me. He’ll never be the wiser.” It didn’t quite work out that way, for Phil had a plan of his own.

I elbowed Phil to come around me after I had just taken a hard pull into the headwind. My heart skipped a beat when I heard the bone-chiling “snap snap snap” of his shifters. He went by me in an all-out sprint. I stood up and began shifting, and in my excitement I accidently pulled on my break lever. It wasn’t a race losing accident though. I caught him fairly quickly and sat on his wheel. He slowed way down. And I continued to sit. He slowed even more, anxiously looking over his shoulder at me every 2 seconds. I just sat. Then I rapidly shifted up “snap snap snap” and he freaked out and took a couple hard cranks on his pedals. I chuckled to myself and just sat there. I did this again, and got the same reaction. I shifted up one more time, but this time I bolted past him. I looked back and saw him struggling to get back on my wheel. I continued driving the chain-rings as hard as I could. My gap grew. I sat down and hammered away. The final hill was approaching. I was dying. The wind was insane. I got to the top of the hill and started heading down it, the wind almost keeping me at a stand still. 1km to go. I looked back as I headed up the next little riser. He was on my wheel. Shit. I don’t know how long he had been there, but once he saw me look back, he charged past me. I fought to stay in contact. I got back on him, lungs and legs burning. He looked back and saw me. I didn’t wait, and counter attacked him at the top of the hill. He grabbed my wheel. I slowed down. He sprinted, I caught him. I sprinted, he caught me. He sprinted again, this time with much less force. I grabbed his wheel easily this time. There were only 300 or 400 meters to go. I was sitting on his wheel when he charged again. I accelerated with him, no trouble at all–Im not saying I wasn’t tired though. And to my great joy, he kept going. Maybe he thought I couldn’t hold his wheel or something, but he kept at it for a good 20 seconds. With 100 meters to go, I shifted up, passed him with ease, and won. Orion was in the chase group and took 4th. David was between the chase group and the pack–by himself–and took 6th. Mike and Takuya did not finish. Everyone was pooped. By the way, I pooped 6 times on saturday. That’s approaching a PR.

Team Time Trial:

This post is getting long so I’m going to have to leave out some detail. After a couple hours of recovery, we (Mike, Orion, David, and I) had our TTT. Tony and I blasted Robot Rock from the van’s speakers as we all set up our bikes. If nothing else, UofO will be known for its amazing taste in music. We blasted Robot Rock, Rob Zombie, and other great stuff all weekend, before, during, and after the races.

I was feeling pretty good during the TTT, and I ended up pulling for the majority of the 13 mile out and back effort. Going up the false flat, we maintained around 19 to 20 mph. On the way back, we did 30 to 35mph. I was in my 53×12 for a lot of the last 6 miles. I wish I had my power tap for this part because I know there would have been some cool data. We took 3rd place, which was only 18 seconds of first. Damn it, I KNOW we could have squeezed out an extra 18 seconds!

As Tony and my van left the parking lot, we blared Cheryl Crow’s “Im gonna soak up the sun.” Not only is this an amazingly awesome song, especially when listened to while on full volume, but it was very relevant for the day. Most of team look like lobsters. This is the beginning of the biker tan line season.

David, Will, Tony and I had mexican food for dinner. I farted all night long while Tony and Will snored. Poor David.

Sunday: The crit from HELL.

This was the most sketchy crit I have ever done. First of all, it was on a black top parking lot in a high school. It was hot today, hotter than yesterday and the slick, oily pavement almost made crashing mandatory. Most of the crashes happened at the 180 degree corner. The C men had four or five crashes. The B women had maybe 3 crashes, the B men had about 7 or 8 crashes, and the A men had 8 or 10 crashes. I completely lost count. Oregon people who spent more time inspecting cracks in the pavement at an ant’s eye-level include: Will, Ivar, Tony, and Orion. Tony’s crash was the worst and he was the only one incapable of getting back up on the bike and finishing the race. I was taking pictures of the B men while they went around the 180 degree corner (secretly praying for a good crash picture), when I heard a loud slam to my right as body, bike, and pavement met as one. I looked over and saw a rider lying on the ground, writhing in pain and moaning like he’d broken both collar bones, his femur, his back, and all of his teeth. It was Tony. And he is a baby.

I don’t doubt that it hurt, going over the handlebars and landing on your back, but the way he was rolling around on the ground, I thought that those might be his last few moments of life. The paramedics came and bandaged him up after I drug him off the course. He reminded me of a small child who sees that has a cut, waits for the blood to appear, and then starts screaming in terror at the sight of it. Once the child has a bandaid, the whole ordeal is over and he goes back outside to play. After the paramedics came and bandaged Tony up, he appeared to be magically healed. Tony, if you read this, don’t even TRY to deny any of it. I have plenty of pictures of you rolling around on the ground one moment, and then smiling in the next.

The men’s A crit was fast. As usual. A 3 man break got away fairly quickly. I pulled at the front, killing myself trying to catch it. But I made no real progress. Another 3 man break went away and Adam and I pulled like crazy. That was pretty much how the first 30 minutes went. Then I got tired and retreated to the back. I can’t corner very well, and would lose 2 or 3 bike lengths to the wheel in front of me each time while going around the 180 corner. At this point, I decided to just treat it like a workout and re-prioretize my goals to A: not crashing, and B: just finishing. I made “not crashing” my number one priority right after a WSU guy went down directly in front of me. I braked but couldn’t avoid running over his hand. I finished in the pack after a number of failed attempts at breaking away. All of the UofO A men finished in the pack, which had been lapped by 6 guys.

The drive back home took forever. I drove the cargo van the whole way since Tony’s back was aching, plus he drove all the way up to Warshington. We made a stop in Hood River for pizza at Tony’s parent’s house, which was some of the best pizza I’ve had. They also fed us on the drive up.

We got home at 8pm and are all very excited about getting up early and going to class tomorrow morning. NOT.

Friday’s ride and drive up to Warshington

Thursday was an off day. No workout at all. It was first off day for me since March 24th. I wanted to ride though.

I woke up friday to sunlight. A welcome change to the dark and cold gloom that has dominated most of last week. The workout was short but sweet. It included 4 hills, one of which was McBeth–all out. I put in a good effort but my legs weren’t quite up to par. They were still tired from the previous week’s racing and workouts. Will and Tony did the workout this morning also. On their second time up McBeth, they were chased by a lama. Tony looked back and saw the thing running towards them, about a bike length away. Tony and Will got up out of their saddles in an effort to save their lives, but the beast continued to persue for another hundred meters. Mike and David had a similar experience with this animal earlier in the fall. True story: when Tony began explaining this ordeal to me, he described the animal as an “alpaca.” I asked if he was positive that it was an “alpaca” and not an “Al-Qaeda.” “I don’t know what it was,” Tony said. “Maybe it was an Al-Qaeda, maybe it was an alpaca. I’m not sure. All I know is that it was coming at us and it was pissed.” Will was standing right next to Tony during this and I’m not sure if he understood my joke either. One poly-sci degree at the University of Oregon: $25,00 (Will). One geography degree at the University of Oregon: $25,000 (Tony). Being in one’s own world: priceless.

When I got back home, I made a huge pile of pasta and chicken to take on the 6 hour van ride, packed, and locked myself out of the apartment by accident (3rd time in two weeks). I was supposed to pick up the cargo van for this week’s collegiate omnium race in Central Washington, but I was an hour late showing up in front of club sports–the meeting spot for everyone. So Luke picked the van up instead. Because I was an hour late–from sleeping in an extra hour–the entire weekend was an hour behind schedule. We left an hour late. We got up to our hotel an hour late. All of the race start times were at least an hour late. I am pretty sure that the entire universe(s) is an hour late. The only way to solve this problem is to reverse daylight savings time.