Cascade Classic 2012 Stage 5

Champions drink from goblets.  I drank my coffee from a goblet the morning of the race.  I didn’t win though, obviously because this goblet lacks any sort of diamond encrusting or gold lacing.  How could I have been so stuipd!!!??

The Awbrey Butte circuit race is always the hottest and hardest day of the Cascade Classic.  True story.  Although this year’s race didn’t end up being super hot like I wanted, it did approach 90, according to the thermometer of my skin.  My mom, dad, and brother had come to watch the last three stages, and were put to good use in the feed zone handing out bottles all day today.  I realize it isn’t actually today any more, but I feel like writing in the present, sometimes.  (On a side note to anyone of any importance: the feed zone should be moved to that other hill that’s steeper and less tactically important–the one right before the main downhill portion of the course that comes a few kilometers after the roundabout.  The feed zone would be perfect there if there’s sufficient room on the side of the road.  Thank you for taking this into serious consideration).

After the overwhelmingly successful youtube video (181 views) that Ian made of our B-ball trick shots, one might think I’d already be content with the week’s success and not give my all in the circuit race.  But just like Lance, who wasn’t content with his seven tour victories, I wanted more.  I was prepared to suffer once again, just like Batman was by training for a top-roped dyno by doing a few pushups and pull-ups in that prison pit that he had to “climb” out of (more like scramble).  This stage is all about suffering.  And positioning.  But mainly suffering.

Having done extensive research on this stage over the past three years when it was held on this course, I KNEW that the winning breakaway would go on lap three.  Not lap two.  Not lap four.  Not lap five.  Not lap one.  But lap two.  I mean THREE.  For sure lap three.  This was how it had always been won, and would remain the only way this race would ever be won.

The breakaway went on lap one.  It was caught on lap five and the field sprinted for the win.

Tiz no matter, since I was not in said breakaway.  I’d been sitting in the pack, resting at an easy pace, or more accurately: surviving the carnage.  The first time up the feed zone climb and the tail wind section over the top, the peloton blew to bits.  145 started 20 minutes earlier, and now there were only 90 left in the race.  A large break of 12 had gotten away fairly early and Mancebo’s team had to chase hard right from the beginning to keep them in check.  Actually, I’ve pretty much forgoten what happened so I’m having to read Cyclingnews’ report.  Gabe got some separation on the KOM climb with some other guys, forcing Mancebo himself to jump and pull it back.  I was right behind latching onto the wheels, feeling pretty good and for a second I imagined us attacking over the top and forming a chase group, but that would be a waste of energy.  Everything was together over the top of the KOM and  I suggested to Gabe that he conserve, since the break had already gotten away.

Somewhere on lap two another group of eight got up the road.  Whoops.  After the first lap we were down to Gabe (aka Honest Gabe, aka Gabe Ruth, aka Peppe), Jon (aka Horndawg bro cal *steez machine), and myself.  *Note: steez=style with ease.

Lap three wasn’t too difficult.  The large breakaway never got more than two or three minutes up the road, despite its horsepower and size.  Competitive Cyclist was on top of their shit today.

Lap four…can’t really remember it.  Gabe got bottles again for the third time.  It was Coke from here on out.  I poured some on my arms and legs to cool off.  The guy behind me snorted in confusion and disgust.  I told him I shower in that shit.

Lap five.  I got bottles.  We all sat in.  The breakaway fell apart and was caught.  The feed zone climb wasn’t too bad if I remember correctly, which I probably don’t.  The tail wind section wasn’t too bad either.  The KOM wasn’t even that bad (I mean, it was still like a nine out of ten in terms of pain, but that’s not too bad when you expect the pain to be 12 out of ten).  With 2K to go there’s a steep little hill before a fast descent, a roundabout, some rolling road, and another roundabout before 250 meters to the finish line.  I used the little kicker to move up and sat easy behind Jon at 10th wheel.  Part of me wishes I’d just attacked all out right here since I felt so good, but I thought it would be wiser to sit in for the sprint.  I didn’t want to creep too far up the line since I was certain the remaining guys in the field would surge with 500 meters to go and swarm the front. There were still 60 guys in the bunch, so I let myself drift back to 30th down the hill.  Too far back actually.  I started moving up in the wind when we had less than a K to go, still pedaling with ease (peez).

All of a sudden I realized I’d left it too late.  We entered the roundabout and I began my chaotic, crazed sprint, zig-zagging, braking, and swerving around guys who’d blown up in the final couple hundred meters.  I actually remember thinking how stupid it would be if I caused a crash sprinting for 10th or 15th.  I did not crash, and ended up 13th.  Gabe and Jon were right there as well for 14th and 18th.  We were second on team GC that day, meaning absolutely nothing since Jesse Anthony won and Mancebo retained the overall.  But still, we were damn happy about the day.  Despite it being my best NRC result, I immediately cursed my poor positioning going into that dang roundabout.  Being so close to the front at the end of such a hard stage made me realize that it actually was possible to win or get a top five at least.  We ended the week’s effort with one last feat: Pilot Butte Burger, where we all ate massive hamburgers, french fries, and milk shakes and discussed the possibility of eating Doug’s calves, which we eventually decided might be too tough.  It was concluded that infant meat would taste best, but this is a well-known fact and pointless to discuss further.  Cascade is my favorite NRC stage race and this year was just like any other: hard, fun, exciting, and disappointing in the fact that it’s the last NRC stage race of the race season, which pretty much ends in July for some reason unless you’re one of the four continental teams that get to do Utah and Colorado.  Or if you go to Belgium.

I’m in Belgium now, getting prepared for the tour of Namur, Belgium’s hardest pro/am stage race.  Five stages, ALL road races.  And very hilly.  Good thing I just ate that burger.

KP vs Three Lufthansa Cappuccino Machines

Final days of Cascade report to come.  But first:

It’s 2:26 am Kennett time.  11:26 am in Munich.  I began my day at 5:00 am Kennett time (pacific coast), meaning I’ve been out and about for 21 and a half hours.  Is that right?  I may need another coffee to wrap my head around all this arithmetic.  I’m sitting across from three cappuccino machines in the Lufthansa terminal, gate G-04.  So far I’ve only had a cappuccino and a latte macchiato.  I’m not sure what the difference is, but I’m already typing faster right now than when I started four minutes ago.  In fact, I’ve written the last five lines in just 72 seconds.  I’m gonna go get another coffee and see how fast I can get my words per minute up to.  Hold on a second…

Okay, that’s better.  I chose an espresso dropped in a hot chocolate.  Just barely fits in the cup.  I stopped by a few food stations earlier to gaze at the sausages, pastries, and hot sandwiches behind what I assumed was bulletproof glass.  Forgoing the tasty morsels due to their high cost, I wandered my way over here to this coffee station, where I’ve built up a good sweat from all the hot liquid and/or caffeine that I’ve consumed.  My legs are sticking to the reclining, pleather chair I’m lounging in.  I was wearing long pants a minute ago but I had to strip down to my short shorts and DeFeet compression socks.  Sorry Joe, I know it’s not pro.  Welp, that settles it.  The guy at a table near by must want a competition because he’s had at least four coffees now.  My latest drink is getting a bit low.  Maybe time for a refill.

Holy shit I’m starting to wake up.  I got a Morrochino or something.  It tastes like a mocha.  I might just chug this one since I’m a coffee behind this bald German guy.  Done.  That’s number four for me.  It’s 2:38 am Kennett time now.  Four coffees in 12 minutes.  That’s one coffee every three minutes.  I have another hour and 12 minutes before I have to board my plane (72 minutes in total), leaving me time to drink another 24 coffees.

People are staring at my short shorts.  Here in Germany?  I thought they might fit in.  Maybe it’s my jittering legs, twitching like the sweating flank of a horse, trying to rid its backside of pesky flies on a hot summer day.

Oh man, I need another coffee.  Things are starting to come into focus finally.  The letters on my screen are HUGE!!

Now we’re getting serious.  Café au latte plus a shot of espresso.  This one counts as two coffees.  I just glanced at a TV screen and it was advertising something called Kuntstragen.  To be precise, the commercial showed the square root of “Kunstragen” to the second power (with the math signs and all).  Wouldn’t this just be one Kuntstragen?  Maybe that’s the point of the commercial, to draw the viewer’s attention towards the problematic redundancy of cluttered German life.  A society that prides itself on efficiency and order still picks at the nagging flaws of unproductive distractions.  The evidence is laid out here right in front of me: three identical cappuccino machines sitting next to each other when one would get the job done.  Although, when it comes to cappuccino machines, one can never be too careful.  Three is probably the safest bet, since the other two could break down at any time, their buttons subject to catastrophic damage caused by their jacked up users jamming the espresso button harder and harder and harder as their impatiens for their fifth, sixth, and seventh refills steadily grows.  I’m starting to feel ill now.  More coffee will make it pass.

Like any typical travel story, mine has gone astray from an early start.  I should be in bed in Zingem by now, since my flight to Brussels was supposed to drop me off at 8:30 this morning.  But I missed my first connection in Toronto, had to take a plane to Munich instead of Brussels, and then I missed my connection in Munich that was going to take me to Brussels at 11:00.  Air Canada has really been testing me today with all these missed connections and whatnot.  Not to worry though, since I have all the time in the world.  Because I have THREE GOD DAMN CAPPUCCINO MACHINES RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AND I HAVE NO SHAME IN GETTING A SEVENTH COFFEE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!! ARGHHHHHHH!!!!! I’M UNSTOPABLE! NOT EVEN GOD CAN FINGER ME NOW!! I’M SO CLENCHED A FLEA COULDN’T CRAWL UP IN THERE!!!! BRING IT ON LUFTHANSA COFFEE MACHINES!! MAKE MY FUCKING DAY YOU BEAUTIFUL KUNTSTRAGEN TIN BOXES, ROCKETED DOWN TO EARTH BY THE VERY ANGELS THEMSELVES! I’LL DRINK YOU DRY BITCHES!!!

I just got the “weiner malang,” which tastes suspiciously like the Morrochino.  It’s amazing how quickly I lost count.  Oh my god.  I think I can read German.  Oh wait, no that sign is in English.  I still think I can read German though.  I’m watching a commercial and I’m pretty sure it said something about a minister in Poland having an affair with a platypus, maybe in reference to an Australian??—where duckbilled platypuses? platypi? platypises? live.

I stole a pillow and a blanket from my last plane flight in case I’m on the floor at the Zingem house like when I got there last year.  I watched three movies in a row.  I can’t remember what they were.  I asked for a second muffin for breakfast, and I’m now regretting not getting a third.  I don’t think I’ll be in the Zingem house until another four or five hours.  Once my plane picks me up and lands in Brussels I still have to take a train, then build my bike on the sidewalk, ditch one of my bags in a cornfield like last year because I can’t ride with all my bags, ride to the house, drop off a bag, then ride back to the cornfield for my other bag and bike bag.  It’s a lot to think about for a person that’s only had eight or nine coffees.  Maybe a person who’s had at least 12 coffees would be better prepared to tackle this kind of situation?  I’m drenched in sweat, yet chilled.

Whoa.  I was just re-reading the first couple paragraphs because I’m thinking of wrapping this post up right now, and I realized that I typed the number 72 twice.  First in regards to 72 seconds (in the first paragraph), then for 72 minutes in the third paragraph.  I didn’t do this on purpose; it’s pure coincidence.  Check it out up there!  That’s crazy.

More coffee now.  Bye.

Written later:

*I listened to a remix of Bad Romance for the next hour straight.  Loud.

*I misread Kuntstragen.  The actual word is Kunstragen.  I looked it up and it doesn’t exist.  The closest thing I could find is Kunstrasen, which is an artificial turf.

* My total coffee count was one dozen. Or more.

* I got to the Zingem apartment at 6:30pm, or 9:30am Kennett time.  I fell asleep on the train and almost missed my stop, having crashed pretty hard from my caffeine buz.  I would have missed it entirely if it weren’t for a friendly passenger who overheard me talking to the train engineer earlier about what stop I needed to get off on.  My total travel time was 28 hours without any real sleep, and with only four hours of sleep the night I left.  Kind of like when Gabe had to travel from Coeur d’Alene to New York (it’s a long journey between those two places).



Basketball Trick SHOTTTS!!! and cascade stages 2-4

Check out this SICK video Ian made of him and I making some sweet as B-ball shots.  We’ve been honing our skills since we got here on Monday afternoon, and as you can see, our skills have been quite honed if I do say so myself.

Please watch the video, as we’re hoping to get at least 50 views on youtube for our sponsors.

Anyways, in regards to the stage race I’m at in Bend, Oregon, I think I left off after Stage 1 slash the second day after the prologue.  That day being a Thursday and the day of the time trial.  I sucked SO badly in the time trial that I’m not even going to post my result here on my blog.  It was the final straw though, I VOW to practice my time trialing this winter if I’m to race in the States next year, because there’s no reason a guy my size should suck this badly at time trials.  I’m pretty sure I’m faster on my road bike, like Ryan Trebone, who rode on the tops of his bars on his road bike and still beat me.

The day after the TT was Friday and we raced the New and Improved Cascade Lakes stage.  92 miles in a little over 3 hours, which was fast but not that hard until the final 20 minutes.  Instead of starting down in Bend and climbing up to Mt. Bachelor, then descending and doing a loop around the backside of the mountain and finishing up in the Bachelor ski resort, the new stage had us start already up in the ski resort parking lot, so we started off with a cold descent.  I did not like this, as it made the stage much easier than in prior years and there were a good 40 or so more guys in the field to deal with, possibly making things a bit sketchier but also leaving everyone with fresher legs for the finale.  There was a terrible vibe going on the entire day, with a lot of scary, nervous riding that ended in multiple pile ups.

Half way into the race when the breakaway had been established due to the peloton recently taking a pee break:

Kennett: “Gabe, let’s move up in case there’s a crash.”

Gabe: “Okay.   And sorry for anything I might have ever done to displease you.  Also, I’ve never killed a fly.”

4 minutes later…

Kenda guy: “Looks like it’s gonna be on laundry cycle all day.” (Referring to guys constantly moving up on the sides to get to the front during times when they didn’t necessarily need to–probably because they didn’t want to crash and thought that the front would be safe like I did).

Kennett: “Yeah. I just don’t want to crash right now.”

Kenda guy: “You and me both.”

11 seconds later…

Kaboom.  Big old crash right in front of us.  I applied my brakes to full, skidded to a stop, unclipped, went around and sprinted onto the back of the 30 or 40 guys up the road that were congratulating themselves for being in front of the crash.  The pack rejoined pretty soon, though, and everything was good and right again in the world.  20 miles later my tire, which had a giant patch of missing rubber due to the skidding, blowed up.  I got a wheel change from a different team since team manager, Alan, and mechanic, Doug, had just stopped in the team car to take a pee.  The guy failed to close the quick release all the way.  I chased on with the help of our team car and slowly began making my way to the front again for the final climb of the day.  I entered a bit too far back.  My legs still felt pretty good.  I jumped on the Sam Johnson express for a second or two at the base of the climb while he briefly led a teammate of his.  I came off when my rear wheel did something that felt weird.  I sat down and kept going.  I stood up again hard a few moments later as the climb got steep.  The rear wheel jumped big time and almost came out.  I did a front wheelie and nearly came off the bike.  I cursed, realizing what the problem was.  I re-accelerated again this time, deciding I’d just sit down for the whole climb.  30 seconds later I felt that I needed to stand up and make some ground if I wanted to get in a good group for the flatter part of the climb.  I attempted to stand up but do it super slowly, hoping that the wheel would stay in place.  It did another big jump, with me doing another front wheelie.  This time I let out a huge F bomb as I realized I needed to get off the bike and fix the problem, or crash.  I stopped and tightened the quick release, which was just dangling at this point.  My day was pretty much over and I sulked by myself to the finish line, brooding over the incompetence of the guy who’d changed my wheel.  It’s not like I could  have won on such a long climb, but a top 40 might have been doable.

Today (Saturday) was the crit.  The team met up for a nice coffee shop spin in the late morning after we all finally got some actual sleep (10 o’clock starts mean we have to get up at 6am every morning).  Today was a 7pm crit.  After coffee, Ian and I shot the video that I know you watched and loved.  While Ian edited the video, I watched three episodes of Testees.  Colin “slept” for six hours and emerged from his room looking dehydrated and shameful.  There were new blisters on his palms that he denied were new.

The crit: it was hard and fast.  Ian crashed again.  After a little under 75 minutes of racing I ended up 52nd, which was by far the best I’ve done in this crit, but still far from being good.  I should have moved up more with 7 or 8 laps to go. Shoulda woulda coulda.  I didn’t do it and paid the price by being stuck too far back.  I just needed to be more of a dick I guess, and cut more people off in the corners.  Jesse and I frequented a fro-yo establishment on our way back home for some samples.

Tomorrow is the circuit race, which is by far the best chance I have, or any of us HBers have, of getting a good result at this race.  There are a couple steep, short climbs that hurt like hell.  It’ll be good.  Cascade always starts with around 200 riders and finishes with like 90 because that last day is just pure torture.

Cascade Classic 2012

It’s that time of year again.  Time to pack up my entire life and head out on the road for the next three months.  Time passes quickly, at times.  It seems like only eight and a half months ago that I drug my cardboard bike box and Black Diamond duffle bag, which was loaded full of heavy things like bars of soap and canned soup, from the Denver International Airport to the bus stop heading to Boulder.  My arms were dead tired already, but the dragging of equipment continued as I went from the bus stop to the taxi.  And from the taxi to a dark, empty apartment where I’d be staying for the next two weeks.  I didn’t know a soul in Boulder when I arrived.  A lie.  I guess I knew two people.  But I’m pretty sure they’re atheists so they don’t have souls anyways.

A few days ago I had to pack up everything I owned and move it to Kim’s and my new apartment, which is extremely far north of Boulder, by like three miles and is going to be a pain in the ass to ride to my favorite grocery store of all time, Sunflower Farmer’s Market.  Packing didn’t take me long, since most of it fit in the same Black Diamond duffle bag and bike box.  The rest I left back in Boulder, mainly being clothes that I don’t wear very often and extra boxes of dental floss and bars of soap that I never used.  Early Sunday morning I gazed upon the mountains one last time as I said my goodbyes to the dry desert mountains of the Front Range as the bus took me back to the Denver airport, for like the seventh time this year.  Whatever carbon offset I have by living a car-less, low-plastic lifestyle, I destroy with all the damn miles I fly.

My head nodded to and fro in the aisle seat, jarring wildly like a Lang Reynolds Bobblehead dashboard action figure, whose only action is having an extremely large, bobbling head.  My sleep the night before had been ragged and restless, hence my drowsiness on the plane ride; I’d been anxious and excited about the upcoming trip, like usual, and I had to get up at the wee early morning hour of 5:05, six hours earlier than I like.  Luckily my smart brain woke me up for 30 seconds mid-flight, just in time to get some peanuts from the flight attendant before passing out again.

After the plane ride I spent the day and night in Sherwood, OR, before the team van picked me up on our voyage to Bend for Cascade the next day.  I was treated to an amazing homecoming, getting to partake in my mom’s photography club BBQ and going on a scavenging hunt with my parents and Thomas T Tabernackle.  Thomas’ highlights of the day involved being fed many pieces of a hot dog under the table, jumping over a fence, digging for gophers, and almost knocking over a small child that got in his way.

The next day, Monday, involved more travel.  My legs were feeling good on the morning ride I did.  The team rode together on the prologue course that evening when we got into town.  Having a prologue AND a time trial in six-day race is………an extremely smart idea!  Who wants to do dumb road races anyways???  Not us Americans, that’s who!


The course was 2.8 miles long, starting on a downhill (re-occurring theme here at the CCC) and ending on a series of short climbs.  It was a super fast, exciting, painful time.  Super cool course.  I had to brake, and nearly crashed, on the one and only corner you needed to pay attention in, but only lost like 50-70 seconds.  So no biggie.  I would have won if this hadn’t happened of course, but whatever.  I placed 69th instead, borrowing Jesse’s TT bike since mine hadn’t shown up yet from FedExceptionaly slow.  Jesse was our best finisher, five seconds faster than me for 47th place.

Stage One McKenzie Pass road race:

With the time gaps pretty dang substantial already from the previous day’s prologue, the GC battle had basically already been wrapped up, nullifying the last five days of the race.  Everyone went into the strictly ceremonial stage #1 without any pressure (very similar to the last stage of the Tour day France).  The next five days would basically just be one large parade lap around the mountains of the Central Cascades.

Starting at the top of a very long, fast descent on a highway, we were all 100% CONFIDENT that there would be no high-speed crashes in the opening 26 miles of downhill like there had been last year.  I mean, everyone would be paying extra attention and be extra super careful this year right?  The promoters must have thought so, since the course was exactly the same as last year after 50 guys went down at close to 50mph.

Approximately 13 miles in, a small pile-up of 30-40 guys went down in front of me.  I braked hard and missed it, along with the rest of our team—save for Colin, who ended up with a deep chain ring wound on his calf and a banged-up arm and hip.  He made it back into the bunch before the 20-mile climb started and the real pain began.

The approach to the climb was a long, winding false flat drag that meandered through the tall green pines of the McKenzie National forest—breathtaking both literally and figuratively (HA…HA.  See what I did there? Exactly the same thing Paul Sherwen and Phill Liggit do every single time there’s a climb in the Tour).  Anywho, the lead up to the base of the steep part was tense and edgy, with everyone fighting for position before the climb pitched up.  I eventually found Gabe and Colin and sat behind them on the outside strip of the road, bumping bars and shoulders every once in a while with riders to the left of me who wanted my spot behind Colin’s sweet, sweet ass.

I attacked Gabe and Colin as soon as I had the chance and moved up three spots.  Excellent.  We were still jam-packed on the small road with no where to go but forward, though in the peloton you often forget you’re even moving even forward, since your main frame of reference–the other riders–stays stationary.

Once the road got steep, the pack thinned and stretched out quite a bit.  Gabe and I could see Jon up in the top 20 for the entire steep part of the climb, while we sat a further 30 guys back.  The hard part of the climb lasted about 20 minutes.  I was in some pretty uncomfortable pain during the first five of it, then recovered well and was only suffering a medium amount for the rest of it.  As riders dropped off the back and the sound of heavy breathing increased, so too did the thick white fog as we made our way up into the clouds.  Steam came from our mouths and backs, which were already soaked in sweat.  We all removed our glasses to see in the rain forest.

The top part of the mountain is rolling but fairly flat with a few descents to break up the pain in the legs.  The clouds broke and sunlight shown down on us.  The red lava flow on either side of the road went mainly unseen by us as we focused on maintaining position and re-fueling after the climb.  We’d started with 190 riders and were down to a little over 100 after it, which was larger than in years past—or so I’m told.  I’d never made it over McKenzie Pass before with the main group.

My Wise Guru Coach Sam Janson was up the road since the opening miles of the race, and was still away collecting the KOM jersey and throwing his breakaway friends to the wayside, much like the eagle in the video.  The peloton sprinted for the scraps of 4th and 5th place.

We descended, we sprinted for the scraps of the Sprint points (I didn’t), more guys crashed into the side of a car (a lot of our crashes happen when the road gets ‘pinched’ due to cars and trucks pulled off to the left of us), and then all of a sudden I realized there were only 10 miles of racing left since today was such a short race.  We took a series of turns through the town of Sisters.  Gabe and I found Jon and rode together to get to and try to stay near the front.  It lasted a little while.  The pace was pretty hard, heading up a false flat on a rough road with the wind seeming to come from both sides.  Maybe there was a tail wind or something.  Anyways, we lost our good positioning but made it to the base of the second and last climb in good enough position to hammer it up the first steep pitch and stick in the main group for the next couple miles of flat plateau before the climb got steep again for the final 5K.

I got popped from the group with a little under 4K to go, then popped again from the small group of six or seven I was with at about 3K to go.  One final group came up on me in the final five or six minutes of the race and I finished 64th, two and a half minutes back from the winner, Mancebo.  Although not a great ride, it was the best I’ve done on this stage in the last three years of doing this race.  I’m looking forward to the circuit race on Sunday as it suites me well.  The crit on Saturday is another day for the Biggunses, and who knows?  Maybe Friday’s new road race course could suit a breakaway better than the previous parcours.

When we all finished and rolled to the van and car in the parking lot at the top of the Three Creeks Sno Park, our mechanic, Doug, and manager, Alan, had plenty of rice n’ black bean mixture for us (with a fresh pot of sAlsa too) and PB&J sandwhhhiches, that Winger had made.  I quickly ate all my food plus 13 Snickers bars to replenish the calories I lost in the three hours of racing we’d done, Colin helped himself to an extra five or eleven bowls of rice to help re-grow the skin he’d lost in the crash (Spencer Logic), Ian didn’t eat anything or drink any water so he’d be light for the next day’s flat time trial, Jon also didn’t eat anything because he had weighed so much today that it caused his seat post to slip down on the final climb, Gabe applied his country folk knowledge to the construction of a snare, which caught him a snow shoe rabbit that he cooked on a spit, Jesse tackled a moose by the side of the road and ripped into its jugular with his Canadian teeth while singing Oh Canada!, and Winger captured all of this on his camera for the next installation of The HB Show I mean Instagram.

Tomorrow is another cursed time trial, this time much, much longer.  Maybe I go fast for it?  I won’t have Jesse’s bike though.  We ate burritos after the race at Long Board Louis’.  This is number 91 for me.  They had a salsa bar and FREE guac!

My room came equipped with a mini kitchen.  I whipped up that sandwich there in no time.

Longboard Louis’

“Gabe I swear to God if you eat even a scrap of my burrito I’ll murder your family in their sleep!”


Burrito Law

The last few days have been the first reprieve from the heat in a long, long time.  This last June was the hottest EVER on record, with multiple days in the 100s and almost every other day in the 90s.  Now it’s POURING!!!

Sort of.  Off and on.  The riding is still good and it’s warm out.

Reprieve is a word I’ve never used before in writing, or in life.  I didn’t spell it right at first.  It was warm this morning, but it’s been raining and thundering for a couple hours now.  Man, this is the most boring blog post I think I’ve ever written.  Ughhhhh.  It’s like a ride you go out for half heartedly, feeling dead tired from the day before and the power just isn’t there but god damn it you’re going to force this stupid ride to happen anyways!  And then, after an hour and a half of terrible sensations and sluggish pedaling at 75 rpm, you finally break through.  The legs are there, you can climb, you no longer have that feeling of almost bonking that you had the hour before.  You no longer feel the dire need to turn back home and eat more breakfast.   You can at last get on with the workout and stomp the hills once more, which will probably lead to overtraining.

My newest roommate, Michelle, is an Australian triathlete.  She’s from Darwin and she says the word “heaps” ALL the time.  Like, she uses that word heaps and heaps of times throughout the day.  Heaps and heaps is key.  Also, Australians and New Zealanders both pronounce the word “fillet” like stupid people, pronouncing the T extra hard.  As in: Fill-it.  Like, “I want a fill-it of fish.”  It’s really hilarious.  One more hillarious thing: this Australian commercial talking about how you shouldn’t SLEEP on the road at night.

One last hilarious thing: this New Zealand commercial about drunk driving (Geoff says this commercial is legend in NZ for all its classic quotes.  I can’t understand most of the words, but it sounds really funny regardless.)

Michelle moved to Boulder a couple weeks ago to train with her new coach.  Unfortunately, her coach ended up having a mental break down, thought long and hard about ending his own life, and kicked Michelle out.  So she ended up here, the Homeless Boulder Athlete Hotel.  Sadly, everyone is moving out of the HBAH house within the next week.  The two non-athlete roommates, whom I never see, already left.  They took their food with them, except for a bunch of spoiled stuff in the fridge.  One roommate had THREE containers of the expensive Greek yogurt in the fridge, with one of them being completely full and unopened.  You can imagine my excitement.  In juxtaposition, you can imagine my intense rage when I found out that said yogurt was one month past its due date.   KENNETH MAD!!!!  If there’s one thing I hate, it’s wasting food.  If there’s a second thing I hate, it’s not getting to eat someone else’s food because I waited too long.

Kim  and Michelle are moving out next Friday.  They’re both moving into a place Kim and I signed a lease to last month.  Since I won’t be living there until October, Michelle is taking my room until then.  It has a pool.

I won’t get to use the pool this summer though, since I won’t be here.  I decided to race in Belgium again this summer and into fall.  I leave right after Cascade on the 25th of July and get back on October 11th.  You might be wondering how I managed to pull this off, since it does cost money to fly across the world and live in a foreign country for three months, even if you’re living in a run-down shack and stealing potatoes for sustenance.  On top of that, I haven’t been working at Ras Kassa’s for the last month, since they couldn’t work around my race travel schedule any longer, so I had to find a way to fill the monetary void with odd jobs and my new mistress and savior, ebay.  Turns out there are droves upon droves of people that want to buy my old crap.  MY old equipment??  Yeah, surprising…and scary.  But I had full disclosure on everything I sold, and luckily all my buyers have ended up pleased with what they’ve bought, which was mainly old HB clothing, some half broken wheel sets, shifters, and other odds and ends.

The training for Cascade is going really well.  I sold my SRM, so I don’t know for sure, but I FEEL like I’m going well anyways.  The other day I crushed a huge set of the death sprints that Wise Guru Coach Sammy ‘The Far out Sea Lion’ Johnson has me do somewhat pretty frequently.  I did 20 of em on the hottest day of the week.  It was a blistering 110 on the road.  Luckily some guy had put out a big Gatorade cooler of water by the side of the road for all the cyclists (which was just me that day) going by.  I filled my bottles three times.  That was one of the most painful workouts on the bike this year.  And I had to tape a stupid alarm clock to my bars to time the intervals, since my SRM is gone and the little bike computer I got doesn’t do timing.  At one point during a rest period I realized that the second hand on the alarm clock got stuck.  I thought some of those 30 second sprints went by extra slow.  I cursed at the clock and banged on it to get it going again as its hands melted and bended in the heat.

A few days later, Morgan, Geoff, Kim, and I met Tricia down at Water World, a water park just north of Denver.  I rode there from Boulder to build up a good sweat.  Tricia had bought matching flowery swimsuits for Morgan and I.  I’m not sure, but I think we had more dudes looking at us than ladies.  We didn’t care.  The water was cold and the slides were steep and fun.  And on top of that, Morgan and I looked Fabuloooouuuuuus!!!!

That pretty much covers all the trivial things I’ve been up to.  Now onto the important subject: burritos.  As many of you know, I’ve adopted a new Twitter handle (KPburritos), with the goal of documenting the burritos I’ve eaten this year.  I don’t have a lot of followers, and half of the followers I do have are comprised of burrito restaurants scattered across the country.  But, despite my current unpopularity, having this Twitter handle has made me somewhat of an expert on burrito knowledge and rules.  If there was a court case involving burritos, I would definitely qualify as an expert witness.  My price is three burritos per hour.

Anyways, I’ve been taking a poll in regards to what qualifies as a burrito.  Since I’m leaving for Europe this summer, my burrito consumption is going to take a big hit (all they eat in Belgium is turnips, beef, and chocolate covered turnips).  Stupidly, I got off to a slow start this winter, so my goal of 300+ burritos this year isn’t likely to happen.  But in order to boost my numbers before I leave (so I have a good number to beat next year), I’ve been consuming more burritos this past month than normal.  Of course, I have to try to stay light for bike racing, so most of my burritos are a tortilla wrapped around some mix mash of vegetables and egg.  I’ve received quite a few complaints about this, as some individuals don’t think veggie burritos qualify as real burritos, but as wraps.  But you don’t need bean, rice, meat, or cheese for a burrito to be a burrito!!!

In my expert opinion, the word “wrap” is just an invention of the White Man’s, designed to give a burrito a more “dignified” and high-class feel for those Caucasian prickle pusses that turn their noses upwards at the “unclean” and “barbaric” cuisine of the country to our south.  Me, though?  I’m no hatter.  I call it like it is.  Anything with a tortilla enclosing something within its shell is a BURRITO, not a wrap.  If I want to make an Asian stir fry and wrap a tortilla around it, voila it’s now a burrito.  If I cook up some mushrooms and broccoli by themselves, it’s just that: mushrooms and broccoli (ewe).  Enclose that within a tortilla and douse it with some Valentino’s extra hot hot sauce…now you’ve got yourself a meal to be excited about: a burrito, a burrito you’d happily let slide down your throat, lubricated with a nice film of hot sauce, a burrito you’d be glad to be associated with, a burrito you could be seen in public with, a burrito you’d be proud to call son.

Now, some of my critics might say, “Hey, Kennett I know what you’re up to.  You just want to classify these “fake burritos” (really just wraps) as burritos so you can get your tally up.  You’re a cheat, a liar, and a terrible human being.  I hope you get killed by a cement truck on your next ride.  No, actually I hope you just get crushed and paralyzed from the eyes down by that cement truck, so you’re forever unable to eat another burrito again in your life.  You disgust me.  You’re a pathetic excuse for a human being, you prick.  Do us all a favor and jump off a very tall bridge, you burrito fiend.”

To that, I say…wow.  You’re a pretty intense person.  I’m sorry I upset you so much, but I understand completely, for I share your burrito enthusiasm to the T.  You’re passion for burrito law is profound and, for that, I applaud you.  But alas, it’s flawed.  I beg you to reason with me, for I have outside evidence that I’m going to quote.  Yes, I’ve decided to bring external facts to my argument.  I know that’s not the tried and trusted method for proving a theory, as we all know that just by simply writing your own opinion you automatically become an expert in that particular field, but I’m going to do it anyways.  My highly reputable source claims that, “A burrito (US English /bəˈrit/Spanish: [buˈrito]), or taco de harina,[1] is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a wheat flour tortillawrapped or folded into a roughly cylindrical shape to completely enclose a filling. (In contrast, a taco is generally formed by simply folding a tortilla in half around a filling, leaving the semicircular perimeter open.)” (Wikipedia)

Note: it says absolutely nothing about what constitutes the filling.  All that is required is that the tortilla shell be closed, and not open, which would obviously be a taco.  DUH! Hahaha, like that needs explanation!  Um, hellooo??  Jeeze, I mean how stupid does wiki think we are that they need to explain that to us?  Oh man.

By this burrito gold standard stated up above, even a PB&J tortilla, folded and completely closed up, counts as a burrito.  I had two today on my ride, which helped bring my yearly total to a whopping 74 burritos.  Sadly, I think this is way below my life yearly average.  In high school I sustained myself probably with at least 75% of my calories consisting of burrito calories.  Next year I plan to start it off right.  This was sort of a practice year.