2013 Merco Cycling Classic Stage 1

Hello to you and good day sirs and madams. Madamses. Madmoizelles? Madmoizelleses. There we go.  I’m here in central California, enjoying some warm sunshine, beautiful  blooming almond blossoms, and a four-day stage race.  Envious? No? How bout if I told you I ate a free continental breakfast across the street at the Hampton Inn? Still not impressed? How bout if I told you that after the race I made off with six bottles of Muscle Milk, six Cliff bars, three bananas, two bottles of juice, two oranges, a handful of candy, and one bag of pork skins? (I lied. I didn’t take the pork skins because I’m on a diet).

Well if you’re still unimpressed then you must be a pretty damn content SOB and I want nothing to do with someone as self-assured and proud as you, you posh jerk. I hope you drive off an overpass and land 40 feet below on a freeway, legs crushed, upside down in your seat and unable to save yourself as you frantically try to undo your seatbelt before a careening semi truck comes flipping in the air towards you and your entire too-good-to-be-true life goes fleeting from your mind and you can only think of how you missed out on what you really wanted to do in your short time upon this earth: race the Merco Cycling Classic–but now you can’t because in just a split second you’ll be fully paralyzed and in a coma, unable to even feed yourself and pooping in a diaper for the next 60 years because your family is incredibly religious and doesn’t believe in self-assisted suicide. Yeah I just wished that upon you and I meant it too.

Today’s opening road race was long, hard, aggressive and I raced smart and conservatively. Just kidding! It was all of those things except minus all of those things. The race consisted of six laps with a five minute climb that we tackled…wait for it…six times. Wow, compelling writing I know. The first time up the climb the group split into at least three pieces. I was in the third group, having started way too far back. I didn’t panic or help pull things back together. I was super lazy. Luckily it all came back together, except six or seven guys who stayed off the front and won.

The second lap: I forget what happened. I think I attacked after the climb or something stupid like that.

The third lap: I attacked on and after the climb as well. I can’t remember what else happend. It was like six hours ago.

The fourth/fifth lap: I got off the front with one other guy and believed that we were in the lead, the peloton having caught the breakaway up the climb. This was not true. I think we’d caught some of them but the rest was up the road.

My breakaway friend and I got reeled in by a strong chase group, with Ben JM smashing 500 something watts the entire way up the climb. He dropped all of us. Then he bridged across to the breakaway after the descent. Then he ate THREE WHOLE Little Caesar’s Hot N’ Ready pepperoni pizzas and immediately chugged a bottle of Ipecac. That guy will do anything for a Klondike bar!

After I’d been caught by the peloton I realized that the breakaway was still away. I wished that I’d gone harder on the climb and stuck with Ben, though I doubt I could have even if I’d known that he wasn’t just riding hard for the KOM points and that there was a purpose to his madness. I, for one, rarely have a purpose to my madness so it’s sometimes difficult for me to imagine that others might.

The final lap’s climb was easy again. CashCal  had been chasing all day, hoping to bring things in for a field sprint. But with a lot of serious fire power up in the move, they sadly failed. Poor fulahs. Anyways, with 2K to go someone made an oopsy daisy and down he went, taking half a dozen others with him. I managed to survive, unclipping and doing a circus routine to hurtle myself and my bike over some unfortunate souls (Ian?) as tumbling bikes and bodies banged off my shins. I got back on, did an effort to regain contact with some other lucky guys who didn’t die, then wondered if we’d get the same time as the 15 or 20 that hadn’t crashed or been held up by it. The answer was no. We were not given the same time, despite the crash occurring within 3km to go and despite the rule that states that we should be given the same time. Edited. They fixed the results.

Oh well. Doesn’t even matter because the guy who won was up the road by over a minute. Phil Gaimon et all crushed it today. Anyways I was 36th or so out of the 150 starters, meaning I got a D-. I also got a D- in fractions and percentiles back in elementary school.

After finishing I complained to an official that there should have been neutral water for an 82 mile road race, then cut myself short as I noticed the PALLETS of free food and drink sitting off the side of the road for the taking. Then me and David, a friend with whom I’m driving and rooming at the lovely Motel 6, went and jumped in a cold lake. The end.

Here’s a picture of a lake:

Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 6.15.11 PM

Here’s another sweet picture of the race: 

Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 6.15.51 PM

Thanks Cyclingnews! Click the link for pictures and results and possibly the official race report later in the day.

Valley of the Sun 2013

I left off on the morning of the time trial, at 8:30 when I woke from not enough sleep. The sun was shinning outside, reflecting off the pool in the backyard and catching my groggy eyes with beckoning bright glimmers. A day lazing in the sun by the pool, eating fresh citrus straight off the loaded orange trees would be nice, but boring and not what I came to Arizona for before the age of 98. Instead, I downed some beet juice, held back the gag reflex that I’ve developed from drinking beet juice, and wondered if I’d feel sick today from drinking too much beet juice.

For those of you who know me well, or who know me recently at least, you know that I don’t do much phoning. This includes talking on the phone, texting, promptly returning calls, etc. I do like to leave overly long voicemails. Anyways, I probably average like four phone calls a week and on a good week–good being a low volume week–I do like a dozen texts, predominantly different variations of yes or no answers. It’s not that I don’t like communicating with people, it’s just that I leave my phone off all the time out of habit. A habit forced upon me because my phone turns itself off every thirty minutes or so. And I don’t usually remember to turn it back on after work when I’m in a rush to either ride somewhere in the dark or to juice as many beets as can be juiced before 11PM. Plus not that many people call anyways. But since it’s race season already and constant phoning is required to organize and arrange race necessities like car rides, last minute equipment, and the like, Thursday through the weekend saw a rapid rise in my crappy old cell phone usage. It was still holding a charge and going strong Friday morning.

As I wolfed down eggs and fruit and English muffins that my host, and former bike racer, Cammie, had ready for me,  I came to terms with the very real possibility that I’d end up having to ride 50 miles through Phoenix to the TT course. I wasn’t too against that, though I’d been wondering how I’d attach the disc wheel to my backpack since I’d left all my bungee cords at home. I thought of how I’d manage this (a lot of tape?) as I turned my phone on to see if I’d received the golden text I’d been waiting for overnight. Turned out that Trevor, my team director, had brilliantly come through with a phone number for me to call. A guy named Taylor from Boulder’s Sonic Boom team might have room for me in a car to the race. Might. I called the number. It rang. He answered. Also, no random solar flare destroyed all life on earth in a matter of mintues! Hurah! Taylor was just getting picked up at the airport by his teammates, who were heading directly over to the race. Like right now. Carp!

“But my dad is at the airport too. He’s renting a car and might be able to give you a ride,” said Taylor. I was possibly saved, maybe. I called his dad, Dean, who agreed to come pick me up after he got the car rental sorted out. Strangers: 8,278, Kennett: 0. I’m a bad person. I don’t deserve acts of kindness such as this. I’m a creep. I don’t belong here, which is why I’m going to start writing thank you cards. Adelaide says I need to be nicer to people and less rude to people I don’t know (Pff as if). But I just HATE KING SOOPERS SO DAMN MUCH! That place IS the worst grocery store IN the entire world and I live just one mile away so I have to go there instead of doing the 12 mile round trip to Sprouts, which is the best grocery store in the entire world and has a great bulk section where dried cherries are only $5 a pound if you accidentally mark them as cranberries and they’re right next to each other so someone could theoretically make that mistake. King Soopers is literally the only thing I’m ever angry about any more, ever. But it makes me so Soooper angry that I have to take it out on random people. (Just kidding I’m actually very nice, probably nicer than anyone else you know by a lot).

Dean picked me up at 10ish. I’d been scrambling to get ready in time, having to build up the TT bike, pack stuff for the day, fill water bottles, make coffee. Shit balls. There was no coffee in the house. Very very dirty, smelly, shitty balls coated in a thick film of sorrow and shame. No coffee before a TT? That pretty much equals dead last place, possibly a DNF even. Probably a DQ actually, just because. Dean agreed to stop for coffee though. Day saved, twice now, by Dean.

On the way out of the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale metro area, which is 700 miles long, we began our search for a coffee shop. Those two words, “search” and “coffee,” should not be in the same sentence. Search for a coffee place? Maybe if you’re blind and also can’t smell. Coffee is everywhere. It’s just like searching for an abortion clinic. They’re on every street corner and full of hot chicks. I just said that to be funny. I don’t actually know if there are a lot of abortion clinics. In reality, searching for a coffee shop is like searching for a McDonald’s. Those are everywhere.

After searching for roughly 40 minutes, the only thing we could find for coffee was a McDonald’s.  Arizonans don’t drink coffee. They drink Jamba Juice, Slurpees from 7-11, and they get the rest of their beverages at the amazingly large number of “Ice and Water” stores. Yeah, I saw two ice and water stores before I found a coffee shop. So McDonald’s it was.

Finally, on to the race. We got to the course with plenty of time, I warmed up, put on the disc that Trevor loaned me, put on the Curve Chrono suit Scott gave me, and suddenly both my bike and myself looked fast. Keyword: looked. I felt pretty decent for the second half of the warm up, extremely bad for the first half but it’s the second half that matters. So I rolled down the start ramp with a good feeling as the 2013 season began after what seemed like a very short time between my last race in Belgium in October.

The course was very flat, with a slight cross head wind and a minor false flat for the first half, followed by a pretty fast, big-geared straightaway to the finish. 14 miles total with one turn–the turnaround. American time trials are so much fun.

I paced myself conservatively, using heart rate for the first time in a race. Super conservatively. I made it hurt but kept my heart rate dead on at 185. One of my big problems with the time trial, not including my terrible inefficiency in the position due to inadequate gluteal-firing and lack of practice, is pacing. I always go too hard in the beginning, blow up after five minutes, go too slow for the next 10 minutes, then finally hard again for the last three. Perfect cat 5 pacing.

I didn’t make up very much ground on either my thirty second man or one minute man for the first five or six minutes of the race. Then I began seeing progress. My thirty second man was reeling in my one minute man pretty rapidly by then, and I was gaining ground on both. I overtook my one minute man (Marcel) before the turnaround, then caught my thirty second man (Rob) just as we made the turn. He took off immediately, out of the saddle to pick up speed. I slowly caught back up to him, stayed parallel for a minute on the windy side of the road, just half wheeling, keeping my heart rate exactly where I thought it should be, then he began ramping it up again, just slightly, to put a few bike lengths between us once more.

I caught back up slowly and we rode next to each other for another 30 seconds before I pulled away again. Then he caught back up, then I caught back up, etc. The battle went on for at least six minutes before I finally took the lead. A small eternity later, the 1KM to go sign finally appeared. I smashed past my 1:30 man, realizing for certain now that despite putting myself in some good hurt throughout the 30 minutes of racing that I’d still left too much in the tank. I’d make up for any pain I’d missed out on over this last minute though, and subconsciously chomped down hard on my cheeks. I bit so hard that I was spitting out blood for the next half hour after the race. After crossing the line and thinking that I’d done fairly well since I’d passed three guys, I sat up to let my 30 second man (Rob) catch back up to me. A few minutes later, once we’d caught our breath, I asked him his time so I could figure out what I’d done. After chatting a bit I remembered that I still hadn’t organized a ride to the road race the next day. It wouldn’t be fair to ask Dean to take me again, since his son was racing at a different time, plus he was staying up north of Phoenix and I was in Scottsdale (and also Tempe because I moved later that night). So my thirty second man and I began talking and I he was down to give me a lift. Done. Simple. Awesome.

My joy was drowned in a waterboard of sorrow 10 minutes later when I saw the results. 43rd out of 86. Shit. Super un-outstanding. The reality, though, is that that’s what I deserved, having not spent more than eight hours on my TT bike the entire winter. It’s time to finally start focusing on it. After years of neglect, I’m making a promise to myself to do it once and for all this year: get good at time trialing.

Dean and I drove home, I built up my new road bike, found out that one of the cables and housing had been destroyed while being thrown about by the baggage handlers (long story short I got it all sorted), moved to Cammie’s boyfriend’s house for the next two nights because her roommate needed the guest bedroom, ate a delicious dinner that Cammie and her boyfriend Andy made, then I went to bed. And that’s the longest story about a stupid time trial in the history of race reports.

Saturday!! Saturday?? Yeah Giraffes!!?! (This will only makes sense to you if you’re smart and well-read).

Saturday was the road race: a six-lap, 98 mile race around a super boring, super dry, super flat, and pretty windy and dusty course. There was sort of a neutral feed zone with two guys handing out bottled water. Yay for paying $120 to race here with this amazing support and imaginative, well-planned, safe course with great prize money!

No but seriously, this was probably the sketchiest road race I’ve done that had just four corners per lap. For you math wizards, that equals 24 turns for roughly 100 miles. 24 corners in 100 miles should not be at all sketchy. What made it sketchy was confining 90 riders to a single lane, then throwing crosswind, a heavy flow of traffic in the oncoming lane, and constant navigation in said opposite lane to pass a dozen other slow-moving fields, none of which were neutralized so they took all the right lane. I think there were just two crashes despite the unsafeness of the race. The one crash I’m certain of happened directly on my rear wheel. We had to throw the brakes on all of a sudden during the crosswind for some reason on lap three or four and the guy behind me failed to brake, opting to break instead. Get it! Hahaha.

I had plenty of time to think, “Oh no he d’int!!! He best not be messin up my brand new Zipps!!!” In that split second that his bike slammed into mine from behind and the terrible sound of carbon, metal, and human flesh scraped the pavement, this is what I thought of. But I stayed up and since the crash occurred behind me, I couldn’t have cared less. I kid!

Rewind to the first couple minutes of the race. Brad Huff of Jelly Belly pedaled slightly faster than anyone else and found himself sitting off the front by three or four hundred meters. We weren’t neutralized, so why the hell wasn’t anyone attacking? Oh yeah, this is Amurica and people ride like little female dogs until the last mile. “Fornicate this,” I said to myself and also out-loud to anyone who cared to listen. I stood up, briefly flirted with the other side of the yellow line to get around the idling peloton, and made the bridge to Brad quickly. He and I sort of went hard(ish) for a few miles, until he decided that pedaling hard wasn’t fun and began coaching me on how to pedal not hard. He was right, though. It would have been super unwise of us to smash it and expect to stay away from 13 Jamis-Hagens Berman riders, who were defending Ben Jaques Maynes’ yellow jersey. Yeah, 13. Jelly Belly also had 11 guys. A few other teams had five or six, but to crack Jamis would take an entire peloton’s non stop assault, which unfortunately never materialized.

Brad shared a Coke with me during the crosswind section, contently marveling at how we were missing the entire cross wind havoc that was certainly going on back in the field. I looked back but couldn’t see much. They were out of sight for a long time but even when we finally did see them I couldn’t tell if there was any havoc going on back there. I later learned that the peloton did split in two and some poor fools never made it back on after. Dropped before the end of the first lap. Not a good way to start the year.

We were caught within half a lap after basically toning the pace down to a soft pedal. No one had tried to bridge to us and I wasn’t going to blow myself before the MASSIVE climb, so we got caught. Jamis just reeled us in, easy as pie. The small hill coming up before the finish line had a strong tailwind which we immediately felt right after turning off the traffic-laden cross wind section. The hill, sadly, was easy every time we went up it except the last, though I think some  guys were dropped there on the first lap. Umm, train harder?

I attacked throughout the second lap with Jelly Belly and a few other teams with nothing materializing. Jamis shut it all down. Finally on lap three something stuck and stayed away until the last half lap. It was doomed though, with not enough horse power to have even the slightest chance of outlasting Jamis. I wish I’d been in it though. So I kept attacking, trying to bridge up there. I got close twice, attacking once on the hill, failing to make contact by like 45 seconds, and then attacking again a lap later a mile out from the base of the hill. I thought I’d caught it on that second try, but it turned out I’d just caught a few guys who’d been dropped from it. Jelly Belly seemed content with just sitting in the peloton at this point, since a few of their guys were in the doomed move. They should have been sending more help off with me gosh darn it!

With a lap to go I still felt really good. The race was easy so far, though the peloton was down to less than 50. I sat near the front in the crosswind section the last time, barely having to pedal while the tail end of the pack fought for the scraps in the gutter. Perfect position. We turned the corner and the tailwind rocketed us back up to 30+ mph. I positioned pretty well going up the climb, passing on the left as we tackled the base of it. 2K to the finish. I was sitting around 12th wheel near the top when a Jelly Belly guy attacked hard. I raised up out of the saddle to follow, as did everyone in front of me. A couple guys about four spots in front of me blew to smithereens after a few seconds of hard riding and sat up, opening a huge gap near the crest of the climb. I decided it was do or die, and closed the gap myself, latching back onto the back of the six guys who’d gotten away. One of them countered the original move. I held onto the back, having gotten there just in the nick of time. The counter attack subsided and we slowed until another counter went, this time pretty briefly. We slowed, which meant a dozen guys caught us with just under 1K to go, I ended up still stupidly near the back as the pace rocketed up again for the last time, reaching sprint speeds with 600 meters to go since the tailwind was so strong. I lost. I crossed the line for 16th out of the 18 of us in that front group. Terrible. I wasn’t even tired after crossing the line. I didn’t have the top end sprint to pass anybody, but could have kept on at that same intensity for quite a while longer and wished I’d played the finish smarter. Frustrated, I rode down the hill, cooled down a bit mentally, then rode back up to the finish to gather water bottles at the feed zone. At least I was aggressive, I told myself in consolation.

Sunday was the crit. It was a dumb crit, meaning I raced poorly. I felt great and was never in any difficulty; I just didn’t have the positioning in the end, despite the race only starting with 70 guys. I attacked for the first quarter of the race, nothing all out but enough to get my legs and lungs turning over and to see what the attitude of the race was going to be like.  The move of the day got away soon after I stopped attacking. It didn’t last, with Jelly Belly chasing it down over the next half hour or so. I went off the front a tiny bit when it got brought back, then all of a sudden there were only six laps left. What the? It felt like we’d been racing for 25 minutes. I failed to move up enough during the final two laps and finished mid pack. Blah. I wound up 18th GC, which earned me a whole $50. Actually I’m not complaining about that. That’s like three whole days of groceries in earnings, minus the $400 plane ticket, $130 entry fee, $45 cab and gas money, and $26 bus tickets.

All in all it was a good, fun race and I’m very glad I came to it. I got the mothballs out and saw where I need to improve for the coming season (time trialing and sprint positioning–could have told you that without doing the race actually). The sun felt AMAZING, my cough is finally completely entirely 100% gone, and yeah. Pretty good trip. Ummm, that’s about it. Bye.


upsdie down number

Both numbers upside down the whole week by accident. Pro.




Pre Valley of the Sun 2013

I made this a two-part blog post because I recently learned that people don’t like reading things that look long because you’re stupid and lazy. I mean people, not you.

VOS was the first race of the year for me and I think I’m off to a very good start, at least fitness-wise. First off, I need to thank the literally billions of people that helped get me here.

Alex for helping me build my new bike, last minute, the two days before the race. Not a good idea to race an un-ridden bike, but screw good ideas. It’s that dumb ones that make millions on things like the spork.
Todd from downstairs for helping me glue my tubulars, last minute.
Will for supplying the last minute tubular tires.
Kim for the last minute ride to the bus station. It would have sucked to ride my bike there carrying my other bike and pika pack in that blizzard.
Boulder Center for Sports Medicine for the last minute threshold test the other day. And for the great, but super secret, advice that will make me #winning this year.
Scott for dropping off a last minute Curve Chrono suit. The fastest there is.
Adelaide for a very nice note and care package for the race, which included a hot chocolate packet that I’m just about to make, last minute before I go to bed. #diabeetus.
Trevor for finding me a ride to the race, last minute. The morning of.
Taylor and his dad, Dean, for driving me to and from the time trial, last minute. And for bottle feeds. Dean also helped feed bottles to me during the road race and took some great pics during the crit. Check out his website.
Tricia for finding me a  last minute place to stay for the race.
Cammie and Andy for supplying said last minute place for me to stay, and for all the great food.
Rob for providing rides to the road race and crit courses, last minute.

One amazing thing about bike racing that I’m constantly re-learning and re-remembering how dependent you are on other people. This weekend was a very vivid reminder of that. I’d be lost without the help from friends and strangers. We all would.

I planned VOS very last minute, if you couldn’t tell. I’d wanted to do this race, despite it being fairly boring and dumb, ever since January. I want to get things started out early this year and have some good races in my legs before Redlands, where I’m planning my first peak and final day victory on that super hard circuit race. It’s now been said, and therefore will (or will not) happen. But probably will. At least there’s a good chance. Like greater than or less than 73%.

So when I heard Valley of the Sun was going to be a team race with Rio, I got rul excited and booked a ticket. But in all that excitement, I failed to read AND hear the words “Tucson Bicycle Classic.” To me, it sounded a lot like Valley of the Sun. So when I found out that VOS was not on the team schedule, I had to scramble for a place to stay and rides to the races. Like I said before, very last minute. The building the bike part? That was just dumb. But the parts were delivered in time, and all that shiny SRAM Red and Zipp blingity blang, were just itching to get on the Specialized and crush some fools.

Tuesday: Wake up way too early at like 6:30 because someone’s stupid watch alarm went off. Ride to Sprouts for nine pounds of beets. Ride to bank for loan for sexy bike parts. Ride away from bank pissed off. Ride to work. Sexy, unpaid-for, bike parts show up at work. Gawk at sexy bike parts with coworkers for better part of an hour. Go for short bike ride on TT bike. Work until 9PM to make up for tomorrow and Thursday. Go down into office basement/bike work shop room and begin assembling the Assassinator of Dead Weights. Get home at 10 or 11PM, can’t remember. Juice beets until midnight.


Wednesday: Wake up early. Go to work. Drink too much beet juice and have upset stomach for four hours. Ride to BCSM for threshold test. Go back to work and build bike with Alex. Ride back to BCSM for team appreciation night and eat a lot of miniature cupcakes and talk to Neal about how dumb my training has been my entire life. Get a ride home with Trevor, but first to Sprouts to buy 16 pounds of beets. Get home. Juice beets until neighbors pound their ceiling/my floor. Go to sleep after midnight.

Thursday: forget to set alarm. Wake up late at 7:40. Go to work. Wonder when 7:40 became “late.” Instal tubbies. Work some more. Build bike with Alex. Ride home. More bike work including taking the bars and stem off to later swap with better ones, which I pack for the trip. Pack for the trip. Get dropped off at bus stop by Kim. Ride bus. Fly. Wake up on landing, thinking I’ve arrived at the airport on the bus. Realize how tired I am. Get baggage from baggage claim. Wonder where second bike is. (Frontier is FREE to fly with bikes if you get the classic ticket, or just $20 per bike with the economy ticket. Fuck you every other airline). Continue to wait for bike to show up. Pace up and down deserted baggage claim area. Curse Frontier. Glare at random people. Start getting really hot and sweaty in my puffy down jacket because I’m in Phoenix and it’s still 70 degrees outside at 12AM. Second bike shows up. Drag everything to the taxi area. Concentrate on arms not getting rul big. Get confused about taxi pick up area. Curse taxis that won’t stop for me. Get on taxi. Curse taxi driver for getting fake lost and driving the miles up. Too tired to haggle once we reach the house. Find key and enter friend of friend’s house (Cammie). Put pre-made beet juice in the fridge. Go to sleep.

Friday (day of the time trial). Wake up too early. Start calling friends of friends of friends to find a ride to the race, which is 50 miles away. Holy shit I should have planned this better. Already exhausted and the race has yet to begin.

Funny Muskrat JOKES

Hello, I’m writing on behalf of ‘Jen the Coon Lova,’ who enjoyed my Funny Raccoon Jokes post so much she’s been pestering me for nine months to do the follow up post about Funny Muskrat Jokes. Now let’s get one thing straight before we set off on this riot ship: raccoons are renown for their blaring humor, whereas Muskrats are famous for their subtle sarcasm and nimble nuances. So if at first you don’t get the joke, take your time and let it absorb like slowly melting butter filling the cracks of a hot piece of toast. Muskrats are a refined beast, and I intend on portraying them accurately with sophisticated chuckle.

Q: Why did the Muskrat go to the seven-year-old’s birthday party?
A: Because it wanted to get some hot, nasty seven-year-old ass (Note: this is in no way a pedophilia joke because the average life span of a Muskrat is only 3-4 years. If anything, the seven-year-old would be taking advantage of the muskrat).

Q: How much does a muskrat weigh?
A: 1/3rd as much as an animal or inanimate object that weights 2/3rds more than that particular muskrat.

Q: Why don’t muskrats wear perfume or cologne?
A: It would hinder their natural musk. (This is funny due to the muskrat’s name).

Muskrats rank number one in wild animal pelt sales in North America, proving that muskrats make excellent door-to-door salespeople.

Muskrat walks into a bar. Bartender asks, “What’ll you have?” Muskrat orders seventeen shots of whisky and drinks them over the next 70 minutes. The muskrat dies of alcohol poisoning since it only weighs three pounds.

Q: How many dead muskrats does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Q: Why did the muskrat cross the street?
A: To forage on duckweed, cattails, and slow-moving fish.

Q: Why don’t muskrats like beavers?
A: Because being a muskrat isn’t a choice.

Okay that’s literally all the muskrat jokes that exist. When I hear a new muskrat joke I’ll post it in the comments section, though don’t hold your breath (muskrats can hold theirs for 15 minutes) because it might take a while for a new joke to come about.


Team Rio Grande for 2013

My apologies for the long hiatus. I’ve just been so busy. If you read that sentence last year you might realize it was a sarcastic statement, but this year is a whole other story. I actually am busy. So busy, in fact, that this post will have to be fairly short, like under 3,000 words. A little over a year ago when I showed up in Boulder, knowing not a soul, who would have guessed that I’d actually be able to make it out here? I mean, I have a place to live that I don’t think I’ll be leaving or getting kicked out of in the next week, I have a job and I don’t foresee my imminent fireing taking place in the next couple months, I recently took out a loan (for ultra sexy bike racing gear, not for a car or some stupid shit like that), and I even have a girlfriend? Sorry, that should have been an exclamation point but all this growing up and domestic security has taken me aback just a little. It’s actually quite nice when I think about it–having a “life” as they say.

But unfortunately it means that I haven’t had that much time to train, and I’m thinking of hanging up my race wheels for the time being. Oh wait, that’s the exact opposite of what I meant to say. Remember, I just signed away my fourth born for that bike gear (the first through the third born were traded for carnitas burritos and it’s safe to say I came out ahead on that one). Nay, I’ve been crushing the pedals with more determination than ever. So far, every year I’ve gotten more excited about racing and training, which means there’s no reason I should stop any time soon. Somehow I’ve found the time to get in 20-27 hours a week on weeks that I’m not sick–more on that NEVER. I’m gonna get sick no matter what so I might as well go hard. So, like most people, I’ve been racking up the Long Fast Distance miles, because who the hell’s idea was it that LSD is good for a sport that requires you to go fast? Shiiiit. Wise Guru Ex-Coach Sam Ginsing, maybe I do need you after all to tell me to take a chill pill and ride slower and less!!

I just received a bunch of warnings about overdoing it and a lot of world class advice on training and human physiology from none other than Andy Pruitt and Neal Henderson, who are two pretty big-time dudes in the cycling world if you don’t recognize the names. Boulder Center for Sports Medicine is sponsoring our team this year, and I’ve already gotten more good advice and help from Andy, Neal and all the people there at BCSM than I deserve. I don’t remember if I ever announced what team I’m racing for next year, so I’m going to put it in the title right now. Okay just did it. Now you know about it. Wait, you knew about it before this since I just put it in the title retroactively. This is sort of like time travel. Anyways the team kicked things off this year with a camp last week, which involved bike fitting, physiology testing, numerous training, racing, physiology, and team-oriented discussions and presentations, and a weekend up in Dr. Pruitt’s and his wife’s (Sue) cabin in the mountains. After a heavy snow the night we got there, we did some snow shoeing, a lot of really good eating, and some skate-skiing, including a biathlon relay. On that note, a terrible tragedy ocured while Scott was taking (poor) aim at one of the targets. Our prayers go out to Nick’s family. He died doing what he loved–shooting guns at V02 max. No just kidding. I feel like I have to say that now after that last post.

Before I go any further, let me introduce the members of…

Team Rio Grande:

Scott Tietzel: Former pro on Jelly Belly, raced with Rio Grande for a couple years in the past, is coming from Juwi Solar last year and works at Curve’s super svelte line of ProTour level clothing. Likes to time trial like a boss and “put the hurt on weak bitch mofos.” (His words not mine).

Aaron Pool: Coming from five years racing in Belgium with the Fuji Test Team. So he speaks like, probably at least six words in Flemish and has evolved a deep hatred of the French (southern region of Belgium). He enjoys eating cheese ( I assume, I mean who the F doesn’t?), living in Vail, and discussing his passionate hatred of capitalism.  His main goal for this season is to “make everyone else hurt so bad they feel like useless human garbage, which they are.”

Colt Peterson (not my brother): Goes to school at CU Boulder, has pierced ears that are studded with what I assume are 30 carrot diamonds, is coming from Team Get Crackin’,  and enjoys hitting on super fine French Canadian  chicks during group rides, even if they’re completely nuts and don’t understand a word he’s saying. When asked about his goals for the season he began foaming at the mouth, growling, and groping his crotch.

Trevor Connor: Team manager and also racer, avid researcher and publisher of things that I find very cool (human physiology, altitude, etc.), climber extrordinare. Hobbies involve staring down opponents on the start line while repeatedly pounding his chest, and “breaking legs and taking names, so that I can find out where they live and break their legs again after they’ve healed.”

Jake Rosenbarger: Formerly of Jittery Joe’s and BMC. Is the real deal, especially at building cakes since he and his wife own the infamous Kim and Jake’s Cakes on Broadway. Personally responsible for giving me the diabeetus over a single weekend, Jake enjoys long walks on the beach and “grinding the bones of my slain opponents to make gluten free flour.”

Nick Bax: Coming from XO Communications, studies biology, has lived east of the Mississippi for some reason, and is an equally terrible skate-skiier as I am. His favorite food is suffering, which he enjoys dishing out in large quantities to random people. Nick told me he just wants to “smash all those pansies like ants,” referring to everyone who’s not on Rio, and also most of us who are on Rio.

Me: Super thin, gaunt, lady’s man climber with an excellent hair cut and refined table manners. Coming from Hagens Berman, enjoys listening to people’s problems and offering sound advice, and also “helping guys get back on after they’ve been dropped. Because no one wants to see someone else in pain or get their feelings hurt.”

As you just read, everyone on the squad sounds like a clinically insane psychopath. So I think we might win some races. It’s a small group, but from what I’ve seen there are no weak links, which means that we’ll all blow up at the same exact same time, which would be pretty amazing if that actually happened to a real metal chain, which I don’t think is even possible, so that was a vastly inaccurate, lie of a metaphor for which I apologize.

The team is solely Colorado-based, with almost all of us living in or about to live in Boulder during the season. Our title Sponsor is the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, which has a half dozen locations in Colorado and will be supplying us with the wonderful opportunity to pursue our dreams of racing our bicycles at the professional level…and a delicious burrito now and then. Our other sponsors include:

Boulder Center for Sports Medicine
Jose Cuervo
Curve Clothing
Dohn Construction
Peloton Cycles 
Smith Optics

A super solid list of companies and institutes for which we’re extremely grateful, especially with the disastrous global economic climate and the terrible state cycling is currently in–both problems having been caused by the cheaters the liars and the human scum of the world. Teams are folding, races are disappearing,  and sponsors are fleeing. With all the established pro resumes our director, Trevor, got this year, he could have had one of the top NRC teams, but instead he chose to give some of us “unmade” guys a shot, and none of it would be possible without a lot of money, equipment, and time from the names on the list above. The goal of the team is to develop clean cycling with new riders. A group of better guys to take on the task would have been difficult to find.

On a completely different note, the best quote of the trip came from Nick while speaking to his dad, an expert in proteins, over the phone: “Hi dad, hey I have a question for you. How hot would you have to heat up an apple crumble to kill the rabies virus?” And on that note, I HAVE developed lock jaw in the past couple days. I’m not even kidding about that either. Pictures, videos, more written words, and un-written blank spaces to follow in regards to the team camp and other timely things.

Actually, so you don’t have to wait on me, a lot of video and pics from the team camp can be found here.


“Like being on the top of a mountain!!!!”


Thank you Sue and Andy for the great meals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nick plodding through Scott’s secret snow shoe trail up to the top of something Peak.


Scott waiting for his teammate to tag him for one of his three laps. Looking…pro for a skate skier I guess?


As the second slowest skate-skier, I was teamed up with Colt (above), who was second fastest in the time trail. We lost. We got last place. I blame it all on Colt. One would think he’d be able to shoot, you know, considering his name. (PS I was actually the one who sucked).