State champ road race and state TTT

I knew yesterday was going to be super hot, so I took some pre-race preparations.  A few days before the race, I began doing my rides during the hottest part of the day.  Jeannette later told me this was not be the smartest thing to do two days before a race.   The other pre-race preparation I made was to fill up a bunch of water bottles/bidens for the feed zone.  I brought six water bottles for the feed zone, plus two on my bike.  That’s a total of 9 water bottles, which is a lot of water.  I didn’t have anyone to feed me, so I made a note explaining what I looked like and that I wanted someone to hand me bottles if they had the spare time.  I left the note with the bottles on the side of the road, and it worked.  Thank you to whoever that was giving me bottles.  My race would have sucked if you weren’t there.  Unfortunately, I missed getting water on the first two laps.  The four bottles I drank yesterday weren’t enough and I was super dehydrated by the end of the race.  SUPER dehydrated.  When I got home I sat in a cold bathtub for 40 minutes and damn was it nice.

Chris and I spent the first three laps following as many Land Rover attacks as possible, although two of them got up the road by one minute on the first lap.  A few times a strong group of us got up the road as the dwindling peloton shrank behind us and I thought that we had it.  But no.  The pack kept barely hanging on.  The climbs weren’t quite steep or long enough.

On lap three, Aaron Sander escaped a few minutes after one of these promising breaks had failed.  The pack had caught up and we all slowed down, and there went Aaron soft pedaling off the front by himself without anyone seeming to care.  The pace stayed slow for a while, and I traded easy pulls with a couple others on the front to make sure the Land Rover guys up the road didn’t get too far away.  I tired doing what Aaron had done two or three times.  Slowly and sneakily accelerating off the front, but the pack wasn’t having any of it.  A little while later, Josh Bartlett went for it on a small incline and I hopped on his wheel.  No one even tried following us, a first for the day.  I’m guessing people were getting tired and lazy, looking at each other to see if anyone else would go.  

Josh and I caught up to Aaron a few minutes later and I looked back to see that the pack was out of sight already.  We made it.  Or so I thought…dun dun duuuuuun.

Actually we did make it.  But it got close at the end.

We worked well together for the next lap, and our gap stayed healthy, although I never heard any splits from anyone.  But on the final lap, Josh began taking fewer pulls–reasonable considering he didn’t want to catch his two teammates ahead of us and he had some fast sprinters back in the pack.  With four K to go it was just Aaron and I taking pulls.  We both decided to keep it going so we didn’t get caught by the pack, which was now in sight behind us.  

Aaron lead up the final finish climb part way, and either cramped or dropped his chain when I attacked, having deciding I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did last week by waiting for the last hundred meters to sprint for it.  I had a small gap on Josh as I looked back, but mid way through the attack I sat up to let him pass me on that last corner, thinking that drafting would be beneficial for the last 150 meters.  It was a stupid idea because he sprinted by too fast for me to get on his wheel.  I tried getting back up to speed but never made up any of the distance he gained on me while I had stupidly slowed down.  I sat up with 50 meters to go and crossed the line with a scowl.  I was not happy with how I played the finish.  I took 4th.

Today was also hot.  Jim, Chris, Kenji, and I did the team time trial today.  It hurt.  I was feeling yesterday in my legs but we had a good time doing it.  I don’t know what place we got.  We mainly did it for fun/pain.  Jim and I dipped our legs in the creek afterwards.  

Congratulations to Rob, Galen, Nick, and Paul, who won.

Riding update

After the race last weekend, I went back down to Eugene with Chris and Karey for a couple nights to work on a bike pamphlet job that Jim Anderson gave us.  The goal was to get roughly 1,200 stickers on over 400 pamphlets, which were to cover up the name of a city with a different name of a city.  I won’t bore you with any more of the details.  Actually I will.  Each pamphlet was approximately 7 inches by 4.5 inches by 0.08 inches deep.  The pamphlets contained bike safety tips and other bike related info pertaining to riding with traffic.  The colors of the pamphlet were white and another color that I forgot.  The name of the city on the pamphlets was Saucalito.  The names that we were changing it to were Larksburg and Novato.  

Anyways, after a night of stickering on Saturday, Chris and I decided to let out some energy on Sunday’s CSC ride.  All that needs to be said about that is: Boo yeah.  (that’s for you Nick).  We attempted to ‘savage it up’ and I think we succeeded.  Legs were torn, tires were melted, asphalt was cracked, brains were boiled, forest animals died of shock and were eaten by Chris, nearby fir trees were snapped, tectonic plates drifted faster than normal, streams were evaporated, which turned into clouds  and then rained down on us to help wash away the tears and blood of our limp and lifeless victims.  

But I think the high point of the ride for me was during our way back into town.  I grabbed a long blade of grass from the side of the road and tickled the back of Paul’s ear.  He slapped at it thinking it was a bee.

*SLAP*
“I think there’s a bee on my neck,” he said. “You see anything?”
“Nope. I don’t.”
“It felt like a bee. Are you sure there’s nothing on my helmet?”
“Yeah, I don’t see anything.”

A few more minutes passed.

*SLAP*
“Damnit!” “I just got bit again,” he said as he frantically brushed the back of his neck.
“Huh. I still don’t see anything,” I replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Nothing there.”

Mike and Chris held their laughter a few bike lengths behind.

After the third slap he got off his bike, took his helmet off and did a thorough check for bees. HAHAHAHAHAHH he’ll never know!!!

Tuesday I did PIR and barely escaped a brutal crash on the first lap. A guy a few spots in front of me stood up to bridge a gap that had already formed during the first 40 seconds of the race. I stood up to match him and get on his wheel and as he accelerated past the front of the peloton, his foot came unclipped (I think) and he went down straight onto his knee at 30+ miles per hour. I think he left a lot of skin on the ground. He went down slightly to the left and by chance I swerved right. Other than that incident, and also going over those bumpy things on the side of the road while passing the 3/4 field once, it was a great workout.

Angry time:
Today sucked. I got in about 2 hours of riding during 4 hours of chamois time. You wouldn’t think that installing a chain would take that long. But it did at my local bike shop up here in Sherwood. One hour to get it on (installed improperly). Then almost another full hour of trying to fix it after I returned to the shop when it began skipping gears and hopping all over the place. At this point, I told them I just wanted a new chain. But they don’t carry Shimano chains, only SRAM and Campy. I had brought my own new chain in. They said they would get me a new Shimano chain tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to wait, so I went to Performance. Performance was out of 10 speed Shimano chains, but had a full stock of SRAM. Who the hell buys SRAM anyways? And is it really compatible with a Shimano cassette? I didn’t want to take the chance, especially when it costs over $70 for a stupid thing like a chain. Next stop was REI, where they had a full supply of SRAM (cool. sweet), but only a couple 105 Shimano chains. 105 was the one that was giving me problems so I was hesitant to buy another, but that was my only choice. I told the REI people I wanted to install it myself, but they said no. Turns out the guy working as the mechanic didn’t know shit about bike shit and asked me to help put the chain on after all, since, you know, he “only really knew about mountain bikes.” I grabbed the chain tool out of his hand after he questioned me when I told him there WAS a difference between a 10 speed chain tool and a single speed chain tool. I’ve made that mistake before.

But even after I put the chain on there myself, it still makes me nervous. The pin didn’t seem to go in there very well and it’s freaking me out. Tomorrow I guess I’ll make my way to yet another bike shop to see if maybe they know how to install a chain properly. This is ridiculous. Life Cycle, where are you when I need you?

**Updated one day later** I took the bike into the Bike Gallery and low and behold…my chain still wasn’t good. Turns out the tool I used at REI wasn’t a 10 speed chain tool after all. The guy at REI even called up his boss who’s the head mechanic there and asked if said tool was a 10 speed tool. The head mechanic said yes. So I trusted them. Idiots.

Luckily, the people at Bike Gallery pushed the pin the rest of the way in and told me to get my own 10 speed chain tool. Sounds like a good idea at this point. Know what else sounds like a good idea? Bamboo. Because bamboo is super cool.

My sweet new hat and Rehearsal RR

Ok, first thing’s first.  I got an awesome new hat yesterday from Life Cycle that is pure awesomeness.  Here’s a picture of it.  Never mind, the computer won’t let me download it.  Anyways, it’s really cool looking.  It’s red with a little white and it says “Sugino” on it with the S spelled with a 5.  So you know it’s hard core.  I don’t know what 5ugino says, but I’m pretty sure it means “bad ass mother” in Japanese.

Wearing a cycling hat lets people know you’re hard core and too cool for school.  Yeah it keeps water out of your eyes when it’s raining and the sun and sweat out of your eyes when it’s hot, but that’s not the real reason you own a cycling hat.   I won’t insult your inteligence by explaing why cycling hats are so cool, because everyone with an IQ over -7 knows.   Although, I didn’t start wearing a cycling hat until a few months ago, so I didn’t know what I was missing.  I knew I was missing out on something, but I didn’t know what.  That void has now been filled.

Now I have it all.  The full package.  Bibs (as opposed to shorts), bibs without holes in them, sunglasses that aren’t held together with electrical tape, a jersey that matches my bibs, cycling gloves, white cycling shoes, cycling socks, and a cycling hat.  Now when people see me walking down the street, they don’t say, “eww what’s that terrible smell?” (Ok they might still say that), but at least they don’t say, “Pffff.  Check out that poser with the mismatched bibs and shorts.  hahahahaha.  Look at him with his black bike shoes and his cotton ankle socks.  The idiot.  He probably doesn’t even know how foolish he looks.  Lets go kick him in the back of the knee and laugh at him.  Stupid idiot should be shot with a BB gun for looking that stupid.”

No.  No more of that.  Now when they see me walking down the street they say, “Daaaaamn.  Who that gangsta with the stylin hat and pimped Tifosis ‘cross his glimpsen globes?”  “He must know how to ride with his hands off the bars.”  Well I may still be mastering that last bit, but like I said, I have the hat which makes up for any lack of skill.

REHEARSAL:

The race went decently.  Not great.  Not bad.  I got in the break early on the first lap and soon what was three became 12.  Chris helped block at the front of the peleton and we quickly built up a gap of a minute.  Working smoothly together, although really slow, we had almost two minutes by the time the first of 5 laps was up.  It grew more to about 4 minutes and stayed there for just about the rest of the race.

It was the slowest break away that has ever stayed away till the end.  I don’t think I ever got over 120 watts, and I won’t know because by power tap is currently being fixed by the Saris people.  But you can take my word for it.  I tried increasing the pace a few times with some of the other guys that were wanting to go faster, and by the last lap we were down to 8 guys.

I messed up at the end, waiting with the other guys to sprint it out at the last 100 meters (the 200 meter marker was not at 200 meters by the way, OBRA).  I should have held a hard pace at the base of the climb for a longer effort at the end, because I know my sprint isn’t nearly as good as my 1 minute power.  Wes and Roman beat me in the end.  Dern it all.

But I caught a glimpse of my hat in the reflection of someone’s car window shortly after crossing the finish line and my ego was immediately boosted back up to top notch.

Oh, and props to the Land Rover guys for putting in 50 miles before the race.  A 130 mile day isn’t too shabby.  I like your style.

And thank you Kenji and Chris for blocking in the pack today.

Dave’s bloody poison oak pimple?

We’re not sure what it is or what caused it, but Dave has a giant growth/pimple/rash on his leg.  He assumes it’s poison oak because he has poison oak on his upper calf, but there’s one dot of it (or something) lower near his ankle.  It’s been getting bigger and bigger over the past couple weeks, and it was time to do some investigation.  Which meant probing and dissecting.  Maire, pronounced “Mora” for some strange reason, went at it with fingers then a needle.

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After giving it a few minutes worth of squeezing it.  

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The next logical step was a safety pin from my race numbers.  

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It’s bigger and worse than it looks.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of Dave’s face while Maire skewered it, but I didn’t want to show him crying and embarrass the little guy.

Dave began complaining of light-headedness after a good 10 minutes of Maire jabbing it with the needle, so they called it good and put some Neosporin on it.  My prediction for the success of the treatment?  Twice as bad tomorrow.

Silverton Road Race

Well that didn’t go as planed. I wasn’t sure I was going to do this race, considering I am still getting over my cold. But after feeling decent on the Eugene Thursday nighter, I decided to race yesterday, even risking a relapse if in deed I was still sick. Luckily, I still feel fine today, Monday, so a relapse is not in order.

The course was rolling hills with a headwind one direction and a tailwind the other. Plus it was warm out, which I knew would soften people’s legs even more considering we’re still used to rainy 50’s and 60’s weather. I figured the first strong move of the day would stick, and I made sure I was in it.

Heading up the main hill about five minutes into the race, a group formed ahead of the field as riders bridged up to it. I followed, feeling comfortable, and pretty soon we had a nice gap. I think there were seven or eight of us, including two Land Rover guys, and an HP Chiro guy–the only two strong teams present in the 80+ field. Perfect.

We all began pulling through but a couple guys weren’t pulling through quick enough and the fluidity began to fade as one or two guys fell off the back as the road got steep again. We ended up getting caught pretty quickly, and then the real move went. I wasn’t spent when we were eaten by the peleton, but I didn’t have enough energy to follow the next move. Three Land Rover’s guys and Chris Sheppard broke away near the top of the climb and we never saw them again.

After turning away from the wind at the top of the first climb, the pace continued to stay somewhat high as HP Chiro and others helped with the chase. The break had about 30 to 40 seconds for half a lap, but eventually began making more time as we slowed down. I think there was a little over a minute when the first lap ended. Three more laps to go.

Lap two I hammered it. I didn’t want to race for 5th place, and it seemed like the only option was to bring the break back. I should have tried to get a couple guys to bridge with me, but everyone just seemed content to sit in and race for 5th. So I ended up on the front for the majority of laps 2, 3, and 4. I got off the front a bunch of times, but most if it was by accident. And I didn’t have the power to stay off alone for long because I’d been on the front for so long. And after the gap got up to 3 minutes, I knew I was just racing for a workout.

I was getting pretty tired by lap 4, and with half a lap to go, what was left of the peleton split. A group of seven guys ended up getting away from me and the rest of the pack. I pulled as hard as I could and got within about 8 seconds of them, but couldn’t quite get there. No one wanted to help. Not from laziness, just from being in the red themselves too.

I swerved off the side of the road by accident and went into a field at one point but stayed upright and got back on to the back pretty quickly. I thought about calling it a day and sitting on for the last 8 miles, but I couldn’t so I took some more time on the front.

With a couple miles to go, I sat in, deciding I could at least sprint for 12th or whatever place it was. But I wasn’t going to chase anything down or do any more work. My legs had had it. Galen Mitterman took a flyer with 2 miles to go and stayed away, so now we were racing for 13th. The finish line was at the top of a steep but short climb, something I would normally do well on. But I knew that my legs were dead and instead of waiting for the move to happen, I just went at the base of the thing and died part way up taking 16th. Not the best placing, but damn was it a good workout. I think I’ll be feeling even better next weekend once my cold is completely gone.

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Ride to Silverton

Hey, if anybody needs a ride up to Silverton tomorrow, I have plenty of room in my car that I own. So give me a call if you need a ride because the tank is full and the bike racks are plentiful–oh, sorry I made a mistake!! I get confused sometimes. Silly me. What I meant to say was that I don’t have a car and that I need a ride to the race tomorrow. Thanks,

-Kennett Paul
971-235-5488

ps Zack, just because I always beg for rides to races doesn’t mean I like cars. In our society, unfortunately, they’ve just become necessary for certain activities. And no. I’m not going to stop doing everything that requires a car just to prove that I’m not a hypocrite. That would mean the man won. I won’t have it. I much prefer to complain about things even though I’m dependent on them. And give other people a hard time for owning certain things that I complain about/use time to time to get to races. Because if everyone didn’t drive cars, smoke cigaretes, drive drunk, shop at Walmart, import cheap bananas from the third world, then there would be nothing valid for us to complain about. We’d have to resort to complaining about things that are good. Can you imagine it?

“Man, I really hate living in a clean environment with good schools and drinking water that doesn’t come from a sewage treatment plan. This really sucks.”

“Doesn’t it just piss you off that there aren’t starving people in Africa? And NO AIDS? WTF?! Who are we supposed to feel sorry for, but deep down not really give a shit about?”

“You know what I don’t understand? Is why we send convicted felons into pristine, safe prisons and give them all the support, rehabilitation, and education they need to succeed in life. Can’t we go back to the good ‘ol days
of shower rapping’s and brutal, power-hungry prison guard beat-downs? Those maniacs should have to suffer for the crimes they committed. They shouldn’t be rewarded with college degrees!”

“Can you believe the government wasted more of our hard-earned tax dollars to invent a machine that controls the weather to give us 75 degree sunny days 365 days a year and yet somehow doesn’t hurt any ecosystems? I LIKE it when it’s 38 degrees and raining all fall, winter, and spring long!”

With everything so perfect, people wouldn’t even know how to vent their anger properly:

“If I see one more god damn gravel-free bike lane I’m gonna go plant a tree!!! AGHHHHH!!!”

The world simply could not function like this, Zack. People would eventually go insane and gnaw their fingers off, then no one would be able to blog and the solar system would collapse on itself.

PPS I washed my cycling clothes so I won’t stink up the car.

It’s here!

The new frame has cometh.

After many miles of pacing back and forth in anguished anticipation.  After countless hours spent lying awake at night in sheer excitement.  After spilling the blood of hundreds of sacrificial squirrels to pay homage to the bike gods to ensure that it would arrive safely.  After three days of building it at life cycle bike shop…it’s finished.  The new and improved Kona KING ZING.  Let me say that one more time: KING zing.  No more little Zing Supreme.  This bike has no Taco Bell burrito connotations.  This bike is lean, mean and ready to sting with its zing.  

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Yes it may have components from my first bike, the Trek 2200 that I got in 2006.  And yes it may be the same frame that I had before except with a different name and in a different color, and yes it still creaks and groans like an old sailor’s elbow, but this speedy 19.5 pounder is ready to CRUSH, GRIND, and SMASH anything that gets in its path.  The creaking is actually its way of speaking to me.  It squeaks out, “Keeeeennett.  Cruuuuush.  Griiiiiind.  Smaaaaaash,” as I pedal.  Well King Zing, your wish is my command.  

Oh, Kona Zing
You’re so god damn bling
Your shiny black clear coat
Makes me billow like a billy goat
Your curves and your lines
Give me reason to sing rhymes
Your bottom bracket may still creak
But I’d ride that any day of the week
Riding you all day and night
Would give me great delight
Sweating with you for hours on roads that’ev been tarred
Makes my legs all veiny and hard
So until tomorrow I’ll be thinking of thee
Of you, groaning beneath me.

Sabotaged

Don’t believe everything you read on my blog for the next couple weeks because there are people I’m living with that aren’t nice and keep stealing my computer.

Getting better

Coughing less, clearer snot, less junk in my chest.  It’s time to start riding again!!!  Really easy for the first couple days though.

I’m signed up for three stage races in June.  Mt. Hood, Nature Valley, and Elkhorn.  It’s time to get serious.  Now if only my immune system follows.