Team O lays it down at the last Oregon cup race!

This weekend, as you of course know, was the High Dessert Omnium. As a quick side note, there was no dessert to be had. There were chocolate chip cookies and nutela, but I don’t really count that as dessert. In fact, I was definitely disappointed with the lack of cake, pie, and jello desserts. I’m not even sure why they call it the dessert omnium.

Anyways the crit and the time trial happened yesterday and the road race today. I don’t even want to talk about the crit or time trial, but discluding information is the same as lying, and on this blog you’ll only find fair and balanced news.

The crit was stupid. I wasn’t feeling it at all, and just sat in for most of it. I attacked and bridged a couple times, but didn’t get away for more than half a minute. With 300 meters to go, I lead Chris out (from 10th place) and he took 5th and I took 8th. Yeah. Nothing to brag about. Although he WOULD have won for sure if there wasn’t a guy off the front and I had lead him out a bit further up the line because he hit some massive watts. I won’t say how big, but they were the biggest watts I’ve seen on a power tap other than the time Tony got a very questionable 1999.

Later in the day: it got hot. My legs were being tired and my brain was being lazy. I started the TT, went hard for about half a mile, started slowing down, sat up, turned around after a mile, and soft pedaled back to the start line. My first DNF of the year, and it was a 9 mile time trial. I reasoned with myself the reasons for quitting: A) I had absolutely no aero equipment B) I was not putting out any power at all C) I should just save myself for the road race today D) I don’t feel like racing. The last won was the one that did it. It was the first time all year that I didn’t feel like racing. It’s getting to be that time of year I guess. Last week was a hard one, so that may have been part of it as well. This next week of tapering should do the trick and get my head and legs back in it.

Now for the laying it down part. I came into this race as #1 in the Oregon Cup standings (a season-long competition that consists of 6 road races. The winner gets to claim her or his dominance over the rest of OBRA and before each race, all the other racers must kneel down and kiss the previous year’s winner’s toes and proclaim their inferiority to the Victor before them. If a racer does not do this, they will be shunned and stoned with water bottles full of the Victor’s urine and snot). So as I was saying, I came into this last Oregon Cup race with 206 points. A number of the guys in the top 10 weren’t present, but Paul B. was, who was a mere 2 points behind me. Basically, whoever won today (between us) was going to take the Oregon cup. So as everyone else raced for the Omnium points or for the stage victory, Paul and I were battling for the most prestigious event in cycling. The coveted Oregon Cup.

I had a full team of guys working for me today, which was very cool, but at the same time very boring. I never attacked and basically sat in the entire day except for a couple of gaps that I had to bridge across. I felt lazy and lame, but in the end it payed off. Chris and Eli covered moves, set tempo, and kept the pace high in the last minutes of the race. Kenji and Jim were there too, getting into moves and making sure I was doing alright. Thanks guys. In the end, I won the field sprint for 4th place, slaying the other whip-lashed Oregon cup contenders like limp Raggedy Ann dolls. Boo yeah.

And now for something completely un-cycling related. This one time, I trapped my brother in a cardboard refrigerator box in our garage. We were playing “prisoner” and I cut holes in the cardboard box for him to eat out of (he was trapped in there for a while). I fed him some bread, some chips, some orange slices or something. And then I told him I was going to pour some Coke in for him. He should have known that we didn’t have any Coke, because as kids we almost never had any in the house. But he didn’t question me. His moral was broke. His fear of authority had been heavily instilled by his endless days spent cowering from the prison guard’s night stick. He opened his mouth at the hole in the box and I poured in a good mouthful of pickle juice. He instantly began vomiting and crying as he rolled around in the box, trying to get out. I let out an evil laugh and ran out of the garage, leaving him in the puke-soaked box for another five or ten minutes. He was still in tears when I let him out. Yes I felt bad. Yes, it was worth it. No, to this day my brother does NOT like pickles.

Eugene to Sunriver

The ride up Highway 58 yesterday wasn’t bad at all. I had a nice tailwind for most of it, and the shoulder was just big enough to put me out of the direct path of most semis. I ran out of water after filling up at Oakridge, but since it wasn’t very hot out, I didn’t mind. So by the time I got to my turn off point on road NFD 5897, I decided to just keep on going and hope there was a water faucet at a campsite or just fill up at a river or lake. 11 miles farther up the road, over 6,000 feet, I still hadn’t filled up water and the road turned right, up a steep 4×4 road. My speed went down to about 4 miles an hour as my tires skidded out on the sand/dirt road. A sign said “Lake something 8 miles” (I can’t remember the name). Lakes are usually down hill, so I assumed the dirt road eventually turned down hill. And it did. But the road got worse, full of boulders and ruts, and much steeper. If the road didn’t end up where I wanted (a paved road), or if it dead ended, I’d have to push my bike back up the 8 miles because there’s no way my 23mm tires had enough traction to get me back up.

No crashing and amazingly no flat tires, and after an hour I was down the dirt road and back into the paved world. I got some directions from some guy in a truck, then some water from some fishermen. A little while later I filled up at a campsite store, feeling good. A while later, I was faced with another 11 miles of gravel where road construction had torn up the road surface. I got a ride in a pickup truck for 3 miles of it from one of the road workers, then cruised the rest of it, imagining racing Paris roubaix as I always do when I ride on gravel. A few more miles afterwards and a couple sprints and I was in Sunriver, another 120 mile day. Not that hard actually. Although the next day I was tired.

Yes it IS annoying having to eat this much

One day I was riding this week I got dive bombed by an angry sparrow.  I heard some frantic chirping behind me and looked over my shoulder to see a bird about a meter above my back, swooping and diving at me, attempting to get its courage up enough to come in for a kamikaze attack.  The villain pooped at me, shooting its crap rockets towards my rear wheel in an effort to send me sliding to my grave on the pavement.  With no weapons left in my arsenal save some illegal and controversial nerve gas, I decided the best option was to kick it into a higher gear and say goodbye to my angry chaser.

A few hours later I stopped at a country store and refilled my water and bought a bottle of iced tea.  It was hot out, probably 100 f on the road.  I downed the iced tea in one gulp (exaggeration, it actually took more) and started the last leg up to the top of the forest service road out east of Cottage Grove.  I like that route because the last 10 miles or so are on a single lane road that follows Bryce Creek when it’s still a tiny creek.  No snow or fallen trees got in my way this time, and I was free to imagine myself flying up a winding ascent in the Tour.

Out of water and at the top of the climb at 4,500 ft, I turned around and descended for 25 miles back down to the country store to eat a coconut popsicle, a large bottle of Squirt, a push pop sherbet ice cream thing, and a snickers bar.  I’d done about 80 miles at this point and also eaten 3 cliff bars and was down to just one packet of sports beans for the 40 miles back to Eugene.  Now one might think that since I just ate so much food, I’d easily be able to ride another 40 miles with just a packet of sports beans.  But at this point in the ride I’d already burned over 4,000 calories and only eaten roughly 1,500.  So I planned on making one more quick stop at a certain bell once I got to Cottage Grove 20 miles away, a taco bell if you will, where I got a burrito that had just the right amount of fake cheese sauce to bean ratio.  After eating the half pounder I felt better immediately, and realized that it was probably because of the salt.  I’d drank about 10 bottles of water but hadn’t had any electrolytes other than in the cliff bars and ice cream.  The next chance I got, I stopped at a horse field and helped myself to the salt lick.

I got back to Eugene and had a great 4th of july barbecue with plenty of salty food.

Yesterday, I did the Firecracker crit.  There were 15 of us signed up and a huge headwind kept it together for the first quarter of the race.  I missed the stupid breakaway though, and ended up just trying to tire myself out.  As Matt pointed out before the race started while we were getting lined up, it would have been a great group for going on a morning CSC ride with.  But instead we went around the round crit course 40 times for twenty bucks.  It’s not that I don’t like crits, it’s just that I like road racing so much more and don’t understand why all the good road races are over by May.  Por que!!!?? 

Earlier this week I went on some other rides and did some other things that don’t need much explaining.  They mainly involved riding my bike hard and eating food.  Dave Roth and I destroyed the Thursday Nighter.  The Tuesday night crit was a good workout but I missed the break; it was fun putting the pack in the gutter with McKenzie, though.  I gut stung by a wasp on my lip and it swelled up.  Oh, and I did go to the river one day in-between rides.  I ate a trough-full’s worth of  pho soup.  And I almost forgot to mention that on the same section of road that I got dive bombed on the way out, I got dive bombed on the way back home.  No poop this time though.  

Tomorrow I’m riding to Sunriver to start my acclimation for Cascade and Nationals.

Calories burned while riding this week: 19,000
BMR calories needed this week (2,500 a day): 17,500
Calories per day: 5,200