Eight Years Part 2

I left off with the 2009/2010 trip spent in Tucson with Chris Daifuku, among other characters. We spent the hard days doing the Shootout and riding up Mt. Lemmon, and the rest days way out in the desert shooting rabbits, quail, and other things that moved for meat and entertainment. Some of these other things that ‘moved’ may or may not have included saguaro cacti, old signs, and Chris’ shoe laces—the later being the incident that lead to our never touching the shotgun again.

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2009. I was very luckily awarded a spot on Hagens Berman for the 2010 season. I’m still not quite sure how this happened since I really had no results to speak of. I must have had a friend (Russell Cree comes to mind) convince the management of HB that I would be fast. That November, teammate Chris Daifuku and I went down to Tucson for four months of training in the sun. I’m not sure what I did to make him hate me, but he quit the team that winter before we started racing and hasn’t talked to me since March of 2010. I must have left the sink full of dirty dishes one too many times…or he’s been trying to forget about the winter he lived with a real life pedophile (I’m not talking about myself by the way).

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2010. Nature Valley. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten from Joe: “When the caravan begins to form an echelon, that’s when you know you’ve got to be careful of the crosswinds.”

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2010. Lang and Spencer and I went down to Park City to get ready for the tour of Utah.

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2011. Belgium. This was one of the first kermesses over there that year. I attacked about 21 times and finished probably around 21st place too.

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2010. Park City with Lang and Spencer.

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2011. In Bruges, Belgium.

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2011. Sign-on in a typical Belgian cafe/race HQ with Justin of England and Evgeyne of Russia.

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2011. This was a super nasty day. We rode something like 40K out to the race, where it poured almost the entire time once the start gun went off. I finished like 17th or something like that and returned to where I’d stowed my bag full of warm clothes and food. It was gone, as were my housemates/teammates who’d DNFed hours before. When the left they had stored my bag in the cafe, but there was no way I’d find this out until I got home. I rode back in the pouring rain, finishing off a 220KM day in the dark, drenched in cold rain, nearing a fantastic bonk. I also got really lost on the way back. Fuck you Justin. You too Jake.

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2012. Last year I was sick most of the time in Belgium. Here I am with the team before a rainy interclub race. I lasted one 15KM lap and quit.

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2012. Stage 1 of one of the hardest races I’ve ever done: Tour of Namur in the Wallone region of Belgium.

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2011. Thomas and Galen at home in Sherwood, Oregon, after my season ended in October.

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2009. Jalapeno quail poppers in Tucson. Ingredients: jalapeno, cream cheese, quail, bacon.

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2009 in Tucson. The neighbor kids came over and showed Chris and I how to make them.

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2012 in Boulder. Becoming a sandwich master is a key to becoming a fast bike racer.

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2011. First big snowstorm of the winter in Boulder. I made quite a bit of cash shoveling driveways that winter.

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2012. One of the many dirt/mud roads in Boulder that winter. Ever wonder why my bike was so dirty at team camp, Joe and Alen?

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2011. I worked at the Boulderado Hotel doing banquets and passing hors d’oeuvre until my firing on Christmas Day. I got fired because I worked too hard. Not because I took too much food home:

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I’d always come away with a good $400 in food every night I worked at the Boulderado. It was either that or it ended up in the trash. Americans obviously don’t give a shit about waste.

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2011. My room in Georgia at elite nationals. Most host house families still have shrines built for their long-gone kids off in college.

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2010 in Tucson. Spencer, Daifuku, and “Swiss” Chris from Switzerland. We met him on the Shootout ride and befriended him for group rides that winter. Michael was there too that night I believe.

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2011. Five weeks of winter in Big Bear. Spencer, his girlfriend at the time (Karol-Anne), myself, then later Dan Bechtold, tried the live high train low plan in February. It did not work.

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2011: Dorm rooms at the Big Bear hostel.

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2011. I did more than a few 6-7 hour rides from top to bottom. My biggest day included 3 x 15″ intervals down in Redlands followed by the climb back to the top. Total elevation gain that day was 14,500 feet.

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2011. Needless to say, I ended in the dark more than once. I actually spent quite a few lonely hours riding up the mountain in the pitch black.

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2011. Spencer and Karol-Anne on the soup dinner diet at Big Bear.

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2011. Spencer loading his car the morning after a big snowstorm in Big Bear. We’d stop at nothing to get down the mountain for our training in the 70-degree sun every day.

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2012. I worked at Ras Kassa’s Ethiopian restaurant in Boulder with Abesha for half a year last year. Amazing food and atmosphere to be a part of.

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2012. Ian Crane and Colin Gibson during team camp in Agora Hills, CA. No better way to prepare for two back-to-back stage races than a week of long team camp rides…  (I put those dots in as sarcasm, BTW).

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2012. Colin Gibson, Jesse Reams, Ian Crane, John Hornbeck, and Danny Heeley at our team camp kitchen.

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2011. Spencer at breakfast in Big Bear.

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2011. Dan showed up.

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2011. Having a Korean BBQ dinner with some of the other people in the hostel. Looks like Dan just finished a 6-hour ride.

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2009. My second Kona (Zing Supreme) sitting in Dave and Maire’s condo in Eugene.

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2011. Danny after finishing the U23 national crit.

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2010. Lang leading me out before the climb at Univest. I attacked but didn’t really go anywhere for long.

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2009.  Riding for Life Cycle at the time, here I am getting beaten by Jacob Rathe in the Cherry Pie road race.

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2011. The Zingem house in Belgium. Don’t be fooled, it’s not a house it’s an upstairs apartment next to a highway filled to the brim with crazy people like myself.

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After a big day of racing and riding, Geoff Hawksworth, Evgenye, Justin and Michael (the Greek) spoil ourselves with some over-priced pizza from downstairs.

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2012. Belgium. Jake Tanner in his Geofco kit pretending to know how to read.

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2011. Best internet spot in the Zingem house was stealing it from the McDonalds across the street.

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2011. Best ride/race food were these waffles.

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2011. I assume the Z was for Zingem.

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2011. Justin, Jake, and I heading out racing for ASFRA Flanders.

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2011. Many days were filled with “shopping” at Colruit. By shopping I mean eating 20 euros-worth of free samples.

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2011. I did buy food too of course.

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2011. We also saved a lot of local produce from the many farms surrounding the area. Our biggest purse included this humongous tubor of sorts. I take pride in NOT being a member of the mission to steal the pumpkin from the pumpkin patch that went horribly wrong, ending in a chase by the farmer himself.

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2011. Justin. We also got lots of regular potatoes and onions.

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Michael, the schizophrenic Greek who came to Belgium to become a pro cyclist, even though he never had nor ever will start a bike race.

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2011. The Flanders team car. I got three speeding tickets in this on our ways to various races, despite it being a 15-year old diesel unable to go above 5o miles an hour. Check back for Part 3 next week.

Boulder Flood

I woke Thursday morning the 12th to rain and mentally prepared for a wet ride to the office. As I began putting my kit on to head to work, I noticed I had about eight messages on my phone. Hmm, that’s strange. I usually only get eight messages a month. I mean year.

Upon, reading them, I found out that we were supposed to work from home today because of the flooding. Flooding? It’s only been raining for a couple days now so how can the flooding be that bad? It rains for like 100 days in a row in Oregon. Takes two days off and repeats. Three days off for the summer.

What isn’t normal in Oregon is getting eight inches of rain in a 24-hour period. And all that rain had quickly soaked the ground, collecting, scheming, and evilly plotting with only one place to go. Down the Front Range mountains through narrow valleys to the city. There was nothing to stop it all, aside from a few lightweight houses and soft asphalted roads.

But who doesn’t love a good natural disaster? As I made breakfast and coffee that Thursday morning I was excited for the rain. I wanted more! I had no clue just how destructive it was and would become.

By mid morning I needed a quick break to check out God’s Will outside. Adelaide and I rode downtown in the downpour to witness the sheer mayhem. It was cool but we didn’t see much of what was really going on. No true mayhem anyways.

Two to six inches of water flowed down the streets. Adelaide and I got soaked immediately. Select homes and businesses were flooded. A few shops slowly and sadly stacked sand bags that obviously needed to be stacked 16 hours ago. The bike lanes were rivers. I got a flat tire. Traffic was backed up everywhere. Quite a few people were out driving around like normal. Nothing seemed too terrible. Yet. Boulder Creek was no longer a creek, though. In its place was a rampaging class 5 river that was approaching the underbelly of a 20-foot tall bridge.

Sections of road were barricaded off by police, angrily enforcing their yellow tape and cones after a surely nightmarish previous 24 hours. The flooding had been much more severe earlier and I’m sure their patience and blood sugar had worn off a long time ago.

Adelaide and I had fun wading out into a huge crotch-high puddle at North Boulder Park, where I’d raced a crit earlier that summer. I went home and got back on the computer to bust out some Scott Bikes copy. The rain continued. I secretly hoped it would continue because, like I said before, natural disasters are exciting. I forgot about the flood.

At lunch I took a break to go meet Liam for coffee a few blocks away from my house. The coffee shop, and everything in the area, was closed now. Broadway was starting to flood again and Four Mile Creek, which is just south of Amante Coffee, was flowing with a mean vengeance and the small crowd of onlookers at the bridge had grown since the morning. Three kayakers were unloading from their car for some class 5 suicide.

As they marched to the head of their 250 meter run, I coasted on my bike beside them, questioning how experienced they were. Somewhat satisfied with the answer of “five years of class 5 boating” and “we do this sorta’ shit all the time,” I decided not to stop them, but followed alongside the adjacent road paralleling them in case they took their final swim. I wasn’t sure what I would do if that happened, since there was no way to rescue them if they swam and I couldn’t get to them before the bridge, where they’d likely die in the river-wide pile up of logs and debris just after the bridge. Liam took a short film as they put in and we kept up as they went, hoping they were as good as they said. They made it. Liam and I went home.

Friday morning and the same email to work from home went out. I didn’t go out in the rain at all that day since I’d already seen what little there was to see. Everything exciting was barricaded off by police. The destruction up in the mountains was, and for the most part still is, off limits. I was also feeling a tiny, minuscule bit of a stuffed up nose, likely from being outside in the rain and getting cold the day before.

That night, Adelaide and I tried having people over if they could get to us. Nothing like a party during the apocalypse. Only Liam showed, but when he got to our place Adelaide and I weren’t even there to greet him. A few hours earlier, Adelaide’s boss, Susan, had frantically called, pleading for our help to quickly come over and help move stuff out of her flooding basement. She was just a half mile from us and we were on our bikes in a flash.

We arrived on a scene of semi-organized chaos. A dozen other friends of Susan’s had formed a human chain, passing up RecoFit product from the basement (Susan runs her compression gear company out of her house and Adelaide’s office is was in the basement). Boxes were piled everywhere on the first floor. The living room and kitchen were quickly filling. The carpet was soaked. Down in the basement shaky voices discussed what needed to go and what could stay. There was at least $25,000 of RecoFit product that needed to be saved. Almost everything else could perish. We joined in immediately.

Once her situation was somewhat under control (ie once it was no longer safe to be down there with the rising water and risk of electrocution) I went next door to ask if her neighbors needed help. I moved stuff for them then went up and down the street searching for more homes and basements to help evacuate.

A few blocks away, flashing red lights from two fire trucks lit up the dark night. Rain continued pouring down. I was soaked. The streets were swollen with gritty water. I walked out into calf-high flowing water in the middle of the street to ask one of the firemen what was going on and if they needed help. He said it was a lost cause.

The family whose house was surrounded by all the emergency vehicles drove off in their SUV, abandoning their home as 12 feet of water in the basement began flooding their first floor. I went back to Susan’s house to help move things to the second floor.

When I got there they had nine feet in the basement. Out back, the new raging river flowing passed their house was growing. Standing water in their back yard was approaching their porch. Another three feet and the first floor would be consumed. The rain backed off. Just in time.

I got sick over the next two days then went to Interbike on Monday to ride mountain bikes in the Outdoor Demo in 100-degree desert heat. It was awesome. The whole office got to go out there for the first time in the company’s history. Seven count ‘em seven bones were broken. We came back to Boulder, some of us in worse shape than others, and the reality of the flood finally hit me. EVERYTHING I loved had been destroyed.

Sprouts, my favorite grocery store in all the world, had been flooded and was closed. The bike lanes everywhere were unusable due to vast piles of sand and rock. All hiking and running trails were closed of. Most of the roads north of Boulder were closed off. Jamestown, a small mountain community just a 40-minute ride away, was for the most part destroyed. The town of Lyons up north was destroyed…completely. All the mountain roads were closed off. I’ll repeat that. All the mountain roads are still closed off. This last part is the worst and most heart breaking thing of all for me. The week before, Boulder and the surrounding mountains were home to THE best roads in the country for bike riding. Now there are no roads.

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Behold the sickening demise of Left Hand Canyon:

Weeks later, we still don’t know when the roads will be fixed. Some will be useable by the winter, we hope.  Others will need to be entirely re-routed as the rivers have completely changed course.

Aerial images from the Colorado Floods

A terrific up-to-date map of the road closures in Boulder County can be found here: http://maps.bouldercounty.org/iemcop/

I had the idea for a map like this weeks ago. Someone else actually made it.

It may be months before anything is usable. It could take all fall, next spring, summer, and the next fall to fix the damage. Who knows, maybe some of it will never be fully fixed. If this is the case, I guess I can be happy that I for one know I took the time to appreciate the amazing terrain Boulder had to offer when we still had it. Although, you never appreciate the moment just quite enough. It’s humanly impossible to do so.

Starting November 1st, my training will continue as planned for the winter. There are other roads that need riding, other less-traveled climbs that need exploring. In the mean time, I’ll be checking that road closure map daily.

Eight Years Part 1

This four-part series will take you through what I’ve been doing for the past eight years of my life, at least the bike riding part, which could be argued is really the one and only thing I’ve done.

First, a little background for those who don’t know the story: I began bike racing in 2006 during my Sophomore year of college. I was a rower who’d done way too much training that fall and winter and screwed my back up temporarily. As a remedy, my parents were smart enough to buy me a road bike while I took time off the erg (they knew I wouldn’t quit training and messing my back up further unless I had another activity to do). Coincidentally, I’d just read Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike a month earlier, which helped plant the seed.

As I awaited the arrival of my Trek 2200 to show up at the bike shop down the street (Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life), I planned and plotted my new career as a cyclist. OBRA (Oregon Bike Racing Association) seemed to have a rich schedule of high-paying bike races starting…in just two weeks!! I was actually impressed that one could win money in a race and/or make a living doing a non-ball sport. Rowing did not offer this, even at the highest level.

Over the course of an afternoon on OBRA’s website, I decided that instead of one day rowing in the Olympics like I’d planned earlier that year, I’d instead become a professional cyclist. The bike arrived and was built up half a week later, with me in the shop for hours pacing back and forth in anticipation. It was pitch black outside by the time it was done since it gets dark in Oregon before 5:00 in January, so my first ride on it was in the dark. I had no lights, had ridden a road bike once in my life for about three minutes, and wasn’t familiar with any roads a half mile away from my house. I got lost quickly and hit a cat/raccoon while ripping down a descent within half an hour of riding. This was exciting. I already liked this sport. I sprinted up and down hills and came home ready to crush it in the morning. Class could wait.

I bonked on just about every ride I did. I’d set out with no food, no warm clothes, no idea where any of the roads went, and with the single goal of going as hard as I could for the given time frame, which was usually between two and three hours (roughly the amount of time I’d been rowing on the erg machine each day in my garage). I would end each ride with an all out one-mile sprint to my garage door every ride I did in order to make sure my average speed stayed above 20mph for the ride’s entirety.

In those two weeks of training before my first race I found my way onto a few bike forums to ask how fast the average speed of a cat 5 bike race was. Learning that it was in the very low 20’s, I knew I could and WOULD easily win. The Cherry Pie road race was only 24 miles. Easy. I’d never ridden with a group before so drafting wasn’t even in my vocabulary. I knew nothing about tactics and had no clue how bike races worked. I assumed we all just went off as hard as we could and the strongest won, just like running and rowing.

Although I wasn’t a complete bike virgin (I’d grown up mountain biking with my dad and also rode to school through high school), I really didn’t know anything about anything. I thought I did but I didn’t, and probably still don’t. I sewed pockets onto a T-shirt for my bike jersey if that says anything.

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But, as the pinched nerve in my back became slightly less inflamed by the end of my time away from rowing and my right quad became less numb, the call of crew came back to me. Maybe I shouldn’t give it up? I’d been told by a coach the previous summer that I could be rowing for the national team as a lightweight within a few years if I kept improving at a steady rate. I was still very new to rowing, having only started it my freshman year, but I’d caught on quick and was already putting out some decent erg times for a small guy.

Being extremely cocky and naive, I decided that if I won my first bike race I’d become a professional bike racer. If not, I’d stick with rowing and just use the bike for cross training. I won the race. The following pictures are in random order. I don’t need to show you any from this year since the last blog post had a bunch from 2013. Enjoy.

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2011. Night one of Tulsa Tough. It was an ice rink out there. I crashed hard.

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2011. Chris Parish gives birth on the Mogollon at the Tour of the Gila. I think he was 9th that day, which helped earn him a pro contract the following year.

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2010. Sam Johnson and I, utterly pooped after just finishing the Tour of Utah.

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2010. We won the team competition at Mt. Hood. Sam also finished 5th overall. We were pretty stoked since this was when Mt. Hood was still a big race. Correction, this is when Mt. Hood was still a race…

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2011. Lang Reynolds and his girlfriend Rhae Shaw resting up during the Madera Stage Race in northern California.

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2010. Director Joe Holmes gives Sam Johnson an iron elbow power feed, probably uphill at 50mph during the Tour of Utah.

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2011. My mom, Carolyn, and I in the coolest tiny little cabin house in Pinos Altos, New Mexico during Tour of the Gila. My mom played soigneur that week, driving the van and doing feeds in the feed zones.

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2011. Phil Elsasser, Spencer Smitheman, me, Ian Crane, and Dan Bechtold after tour of Walla Walla. I had spent almost the entire race off the front in a three, then two, then solo breakaway. I got bridged to by Chris and Dan (they were alone) and drilled it for them before dropping myself with 15K to go. They went on to win the stage and take 2nd and 3rd overall. It was some of the best team work we had that year.

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2011. One of my mom’s hand-sewn meuset bags at Tour of the Gila.

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2011. Chris’ hand. He wound up 20th on GC at Gila, which meant for a night of celebratory drinking up at our host house in Pinos Altos. He and I went on a midnight adventure through the woods behind our house and got caught up in some barbed wire.

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2010. Sam with Soren’s kids at Joe Martin. Soren Peterson, a former Danish pro, rode with us that year.

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2010. Sam after crashing four times during the Stage One circuit race on Mt. Tabor at Mt. Hood Classic.

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2010. 4th of July fireworks. I spent three weeks training in Bend before Cascade Classic, living with a Craigslist host family.

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2010. The complete stranger Craigslist host family quickly became friends due to vast quantities of food provided. As always, it was an interesting experience. I slept in my altitude tent all three weeks, so I’m sure it was interesting for them as well.

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2010. Green Mountain Stage Race with Lang Reynolds and Spencer Smitheman. To this day we’re still unsure why it looks like Spencer is performing filatia. (Or are we).

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Alan, Alen, Tricia, a fat-looking Lang, Winger, and Alen’s girlfriend at the time eating dinner at Green Mountain.

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2010. Pleasing a cow at Green Mountain. I wound up 9th on GC so celebration was in order.

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2011. Joe driving the shit out of Spencer’s car at Cascade Classic.

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2011. Four weeks after breaking my collarbone at Tulsa Tough, I took my best result to date at Tour of White Rock road race with 2nd place.

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2010. Michael Sencenbaugh.

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2011. Dan Bechtold at Madera Stage Race. I think he ended up 2nd on GC and I’d taken 2nd on the stage from the breakaway at mile zero. I did the traditional self-counter when the original break was caught with 20 miles  to go. Unfortunately that next move that I drove had the one guy ahead of Dan on GC.

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2011. Spencer smashing some homemade cherry cheesecake. Lang had come over minutes before, seeing if we’d finished making it. We hid it and ate the entire thing after he left. Mt. Hood Classic.

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2010. Spencer in downtown Philly the week before Univest.

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2011. Ian Crane, Chris Parish, and Cody Campbell at Univest.

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2009. Me (Team Oregon) and Nick Skenzik (Hutches) at the Swan Island Crit. I narrowly beat Evan Elken of Land Rover for the win, having spent the entire time off the front in various breakaways.

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2011. Spencer at Tulsa Tough.

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2010. Michael and I went down to Santa Ynez for an amazing winter of hard training. This was during the ride when we each had the bonk of a lifetime. He ended up cracking at hour 4. I ended up cracking at hour 5, having dropped him and left him for dead long before. We both ended up riding home, lost, for hours in the freezing cold dark, so incredibly bonked that I was looking for beehives along the side of the road for honey. We were seriously FUCKED UP. We were bonked way out in the country and there weren’t cars, lights, or any signs of civilization for 25 miles. I was riding zig zags in the middle of the road for well over an hour, trying to follow the double yellow line. I had no idea what Michael’s condition was and frankly I was in no position to care. It was survival mode. We miraculously met at the same gas station, hours later and years drained from our lives. I’d already gulped down two hot chocolates and eaten multiple candy bars by the time he got there but my fingers and toes were still numb. The first thing Michael bought was ice cream. It was maybe 10 degrees above freezing that night.

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2010/2011. Michael and I had access to this excellent horse trough ice bath for that whole winter.

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2009. Me and Chad Gerlach in the two-man breakaway of the day at Nature Valley during the Cannon Falls road race. I dropped myself within an hour of riding with him.

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2010. I accidentally stole a car at Green Mountain. The story is too long to explain in a caption. Go here for the full blog post. It’s worth a read.

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2011. Madera Stage Race crit. I went absolutely berserk that day. Ended up 3rd.

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2011. Making fun of Chris Parish’s horrible crash earlier and brain injury earlier that month while I was in the hospital for a broken collar bone at Tulsa Tough. Too soon? Yes. Way too soon.

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2011. Madera Stage Race crit. For some reason I have a ton of photos from Madera stage race even though it was a tiny little shit race that I only made FIVE dollars at.

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2012. Cascade Classic with Spencer, Logan Owen, and Steve Fisher after Stage One’s McKenzie Pass road race.

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2009. I signed my first autograph at Cascade Classic. I received much shit for posting this on facebook.

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2010. Univest at the Mayor’s Mansion. God damn was Ian fat back in the day! Now he’s really, really fast and will be riding for Jamis in 2014, which should give fat kids everywhere some hope.

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2010/2011. Michael and I spent 20-30 hours a week training that winter and 40-60 hours a week cooking vegetables and juicing carrots and oranges in the kitchen. It’s a full time job being a full time bike racing professional wanna be.

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2010. Lang and Spencer chowing down on the first of our many Philly Cheese steaks the week in between Univest and Green Mountain.

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2011. Winger up in BC during our “rest day” at Tour of White Rock. I opted out of the crit since my collarbone was still freshly broken and instead we road through some spectacular rain forest before the road race the next day.

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2011. Riding in the rain amongst the ferns in BC.

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2009. Chris Daifuku’s van in Tucson. Check back for part 2.

2013 Season in Review–Why Was I Fast?

(I began writing this on Monday while lying down at the back of the bus for the 10th and final Denver Airport to Boulder bus trip of the season).

Yesterday was the last race of the year–the Doyelstown crit. At 50 miles, it’s a long one. I had a hard time getting motivated for it. It took a few attacks before I felt like actually racing. The crit, for me, was uneventful. I got away briefly a few times (once with fellow ex-HBer Ian Craneimal) but the move that stuck didn’t have me in it. I finished in the pack and made sure to sprint hard and take some big risks in the last hundred meters for 31st place. Half a lap after the race was over I already had a beer in my hand and the off-season had officially commenced.

This has been the first time in a long time that the season has ended and my form is still good, my health intact, and my motivation still high. Though, of course, I ended the past two seasons in Belgium in October. If you’re still fast, healthy and motivated to train hard and race after October 10th you didn’t go hard enough when it actually mattered back in the spring. And you’re also probably insane.

Although I guess I’m looking forward to time off the bike, I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business with the 2013 season. The big win I was certain I’d get never came. I had good results from the start back in February…great results for an amateur even. I’m currently ranked #1 in the country on USA Cycling’s road race standings for current cat 1s (not including the two guys ahead of me on the list that are actually on pro teams). Anyways, it doesn’t mean a lot, other than consistent top 10s and such. Winning gets you on teams, top 10s and 20s do not. I need to learn how to win in 2014, even if my main goal isn’t to get on a team. I just want to stand on top god damn it!

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Cat 1 USA Cycling Road Race Rankings

Alas, it was a breakthrough year for me—something that I needed if I was going to continue doing this (Who am I kidding I would have continued if I’d been sick for 13 weeks and DNFed a third of my races).

Starting from way back in March, people have been asking me what I did differently this year. I’m not good at keeping secrets so here’s my recipe for (marginal) success. Some of these things likely had no impact, while others definitely did. I’ve thought about it for quite a while now and I’ll give my summary afterwards.

-40 hour/week desk job.
-Allowed me to eat slightly more expensive/nutritious food
Forced me to rest
-Forced me to ride fewer hours during the week and more on the weekend
-Gave my mind something else to focus on other than cycling

-Girlfriend
-External motivation to do well at races
-Made me happier
-Increased testosterone
-Gave my mind something else to focus on other than cycling

-Different training because of job
-More intervals at higher power zones
-More six-hour rides for my long days as opposed to five-hours rides
-Fewer pointless “in-between rides” (example: I did almost no three-hour Zone Two rides)
-More rest days
-Pushed myself harder in training. I’ve been able to go harder each year since I started but this year I seemed to make even better gains.

Most other stuff remained the same. I had the same diet and did the same races for the most part. I changed teams from Hagens to Rio, though I ended up quitting Rio half way through the season and guest rode with a few other squads, finally settling down with Firefighters. In total, I rode for five teams this year: Rio Grande, Firefighters, Full Circle, Horizon, and Battley Ducati.

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Battley Ducati

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Horizon

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Firefighters

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philly break

Nature Valley Grand Prix, 2013

Full Circle

Nature Valley Grand Prix, 2013

podium

Rio Grande

other pic in move

road race 2

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podium shot

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I didn’t go to Belgium this year. I also didn’t do as many races, despite traveling more. My total race days were about 50 this year, compared to 60 last year and 68 the year before. The only reason I raced less this year was because I didn’t do the Belgium trip and ended the season a month earlier than I did in 2012 and 2011. If I’d gone to Belgium after Cascade my total race days would have been around 90…had I not gotten sick. So it could be argued that I actually did race more, at least throughout the spring and early summer.

I will not ever be a believer in equipment making that much of a difference. With that said, I did ride much better wheels, had a better TT set up, and had a road bike that was about a pound lighter than prior years.

My sleep time went way down. For the past couple years I’d been getting between 9 and 10 hours a night, even more at times. For the 2013 season I got between 7 and 8 due to time constraints with work. I also had very little spare time. With work hours, commuting, training, racing, travel time, making up hours at work, etc, I was devoting 60 or more hours a week to work and cycling. For race weeks it was of course much more. I didn’t have much down time this year, which caused extra stress and reduced recovery.

Here’s my training hours for the past five years by race season (the first year was mostly rowing, then the second year I only did a handful of races due to overtraining in the fall/winter). These hours include all other types of exercise as well as cycling, like cross training, running, weights, etc. I did way more of that sort of stuff from 2006 to 2009. I did very little in 2010 and did absolutely none from 2011 to 2013.

You can see that my total training volume was about the same as 2011 and 2012. The main difference is that for all the other years (2006-2012), the training volume was SOLELY determined by what my body could take, as in I would have done much, much more if I hadn’t gotten sick so often. This year my training volume was determined by time constraints.

Year            Hours                        Total sick weeks per year           

2006             659                        13 (plus an additional three weeks off due to a back injury from rowing too much)

2007             695                        13

2008             728                        9

2009             686                        9

2010             818                        7

2011             747                        9.5

2012             768                        9.5

*2013       744                  4

*All other years include the full 52 weeks, but so far this “year” has only had 45 weeks in it and the total training time I’ve put in since October 15th of 2012 until September 8th of 2013 has been just 674 hours. Assuming I’ll do roughly 10 hours a week for the next seven weeks for cross training and so I don’t go insane, the total for 2013 will be similar to the last two years at 744 hours.

Something big changed between every other year and this year. I was sick half as much. Even less than that actually. Getting sick means you can’t train properly (it doesn’t mean you can’t train). It means you can’t race properly. It means you don’t recover at all. It drains you both mentally and physically and if it gets to your lungs, you will have diminished lung capacity for up to FIVE WEEKS afterwards. Not getting sick was most likely the biggest contributor to my good season. But why didn’t I get sick?

Answer: the job and the girlfriend. I had less time to do medium-length zone 2 junk miles and overly fatigue myself. This also meant I had more energy to train hard when I needed to go hard.

While I did the same volume this year as the last two, the weekly median was lower. My weekly average for the 52 weeks in 2012 was 14.7 hours. I’m guessing the median was 19-20. For 2013 the average was 14.3, while the median was more likely 16 or 17. The sick weeks brought the 2012 average way down. Basically, I had almost a month and a half of extra racing and healthy training time in 2013. When you train and race sick, you will never get good results and the form declines. That’s a mother f-ing fact.

If you’re inconsistent from getting sick, you have no momentum to build form and the necessary mental strength and alpha male mindset to position well in races, attack when everyone else is completely fucked, and to continue pushing day in and day out of a stage race. You need to build throughout the season, starting as early as possible if you want to have good form throughout the spring, which is when things really count (at least for us not racing, Colorado, Utah, or Alberta. Almost all of the big races on the domestic scene are over and done with by mid July).

As the results steadily came in throughout February and March, so too did my confidence. By April I was never afraid to attack in a big race, and not just in the opening miles when it usually doesn’t count, but later on when things really mattered when it was hard. I knew that I could recover and do it again and again. I had the confidence to look around the pack and say to myself, “Fuck these guys. I don’t care if they’re wearing an Optum or UHC kit, they can’t hold MY wheel.” Of course this isn’t true and they’re likely as strong or stronger than me, but that’s what my mindset was. I was sure I could attack and not get dropped later on because of it. I also positioned myself better before climbs and other important race-deciding moments because I knew I belonged at the front, as opposed to prior years.

When your form is good you can train harder and you can race harder. Neither of these things have anything to do with racing smarter though.

If my results haven’t shown the improvement this year, my power numbers did. I didn’t break many of my previous records, like 5 second, 1 minute, 5 minute, 20 minute, etc (I never went out to try to break these either and am confident I could if I had). But what I did on a consistent level was hold much higher numbers for my intervals, namely my 4-minute intervals, which were really the only intervals I did save for a dozen other occasions when I would do 20 minutes of 30×30 seconds, or my 8 or 6×1-minute barf-fest intervals.

My previous record at altitude for an 8×4’ set of intervals was around an average of 420. This year I did multiple days where the average power for all eight was just under 440. I’d never broken 300 watts for five hours before at sea level. This year I did 306 for five hours fairly easily at sea level and then a week later I did 300 for five hours at altitude.

My sprint also improved this year. My max 1 second is 1,550, which I’ve done like twice in my life (once this year). The past couple years I’ve been hitting mid 1,300s on really good days and mid 1,200s on most. Sometimes even lower. This year I was up above 1,400 for a dozen or more races, which I think comes thanks to having fresher legs.

The last thing I can think of is that maybe, just maybe, seven years of hard work and dedication finally paid off and I reaped the benefits of thousands upon thousands of hours spent training my brains out. All I needed was to taper for a year. I’d hardly call this year a taper though.

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So there you have it folks. Rest more. Train and race more intensely and skip the extra miles. Focus that energy like a magnifying glass. Go to a lot of races because the more times you try, the greater your odds of winning become, but keep in mind that doing too much can of course be a detriment. My Rio teammate Scott Tietzel gave me some great advice early this summer: chalk out a major goal, train specifically for it, refrain from racing every weekend, rest, and then NAIL that race. In a way, that worked for my end of season rampage at Steamboat and Bucks County.

Last step: get a girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or both.

Whatever team I end up on in 2014, I know I’m in for an exciting season as long as I follow a similar path. I’ve finally proven to myself what works and I’d be a fool not to do it the same way again next year. I’m 100% confident I’ll keep improving strength-wise and with some luck I’ll take a step in the right direction race-tactis-wise as well. For the time being, I’ll take a big chunk of time off the bike, except for commuting, and see if I can’t make some off-season improvements with my weight, strengthen my joints and random little muscles with a good amount of running, core work, general intoxication, and free love.

2013 Top Results:

1st KOM overall Sea Otter Classic
1st Stage 2 Steamboat Springs RR
1st US Air Force Road Race
2nd GC Steamboat Springs Stage Race
2nd GC Superior Morgul Stage Race
2nd Stage 3 Superior Morgul RR
3rd Stage 2 Superior Morgul Crit
4th Stage 1 Steamboat Springs TT
5th Elite National Championship Road Race
6th Stage 1 Superior Morgul TT
7th Stage 3 Sea Otter Classic TT
10th Thompson Bucks County Classic UCI 1.2
10th Stage 3 Nature Valley Grand Prix RR
12th Stage 2 Redlands Beaumont RR
12th Stage 2 San Dimas RR
16th Stage 4 Redlands Sunset Loop RR
16th Stage 2 Valley of the Sun RR
17th GC Redlands
2nd Amateur GC competition at Redlands
18th GC Valley of the Sun
20th GC San Dimas
20th Stage 5 Nature Valley Grand Prix
25th Stage 3 Redlands Crit
27th Stage 2 Nature Valley Grand Prix
28th Stage 4 Nature Valley Grand Prix
29th Stage 5 Gila, Gila Monster RR
30th GC Gila
33rd GC Merco Cycling Classic
36th Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic
-Breakaway

Thompson F*%#s County Classic 2013

I’ve waited a solid nine hours before writing anything about this race because I didn’t want to say anything too negative or derogatory. As you can see, I refrained from saying fuck up there in the title by replacing three of the letters with symbols. For some reason this is sociably acceptable even though everyone obviously realizes the exact swear word I mean. In fact, I’m sure you even read that swear word “aloud” in your head so I really don’t see the point of not spelling it out.

You see, I’m slightly pissed off about the outcome of the day’s race. Not winning was of course my own fault, though I’ll never admit it. The race was over in the first two miles of the un-neutralized section. Shut up auto correct that’s a word. It’s gotta hemi. I mean a hyphen. Anyways, Hagens Berman rider and ex-teammate Steve Fisher decided to attack early on the climb bump heading out to the circuits. I was told by literally almost everyone that a large breakaway would go early and stay away like last year, and I assumed they meant it would go early on the first lap, not early as in two miles into the god damn mother fuck#ing race. Dag nab it Steve! Steve went on to win the sprinter’s jersey, young rider’s jersey, AND got 4th place. I went on to ride off the front in no-man’s land, furious and hellbent on seeking revenge with a 10th place on the day, which would be respectable by most people’s standards. But, I’ve developed a HUGE ego this past year for some odd reason and 10th may as well have been 100th.

As my loyal readers are well aware, this last 103-mile race (a UCI 1.2 mind you) has been my life’s goal for the past six weeks. It’s the last opportunity of the year to become world-famous and get a pro contract and earn between zero and upwards of $6,000 a year. I could have done it. I had the legs, just not the positioning or the brains. A stupid excuse I know. But what the hell is up with all these weak ass punks opening up gaps in the first two miles of a race? Seriously get the hell out of my way. Then, when it was obviously a dangerous move of 18 guys, the one pro team that only had one guy in the move, and the only team left in the race with the man-power to close it down on the first lap, just sat back and did a few measly attacks. Measly attacks are for amateurs, like me. And that’s what I did.

Eight miles into the race I pulled from top to bottom on the KOM (not that impressive it’s only three minutes) the first time up and reduced the gap to 20 seconds from 45. The field sat up at the top. The gap went up to over a minute in like half a mile. That was that. Race over. I attacked again on the third climb of the lap. Got away briefly and bridged to some other guys in-between. Got caught. It was super negative, unaggressive racing. Everyone seemed content to let the breakaway win. My temper rose.

I went again on the KOM climb the second lap and gapped everyone off at the top because they didn’t want to ride hard. I sat in for a while and attacked again on the third climb of that lap once again, which isn’t steep or that hard. The attack wasn’t hard either but at least it spurred some counters that got things going for the next couple miles.

Again, I attacked on the KOM. Actually on the descent before it. Jesse Anthony of Optum and Cameron Coqburn of CCB bridged to me near the top and drilled it. I looked back as we descended the un-steep descent and it appeared that we were caught. On second glance it turned out to be a huge split of like 18 riders. This was it! I got super excited and yelled to the front to work hard as I drifted to the back to sit on. A free ride to the front of the race! My laziness was short-lived and the move quickly fell apart due to a bunch of lazy riders sitting on and not cooperating.

I attacked when things were hard at the top of the second climb later on that lap. I got away by myself, just pissing into the wind with my mouth wide open in a shit I mean piss drinking grin. I got caught at the sprint line like 15 minutes later. Finally, and for the last time, I went hard near the top of the KOM on the start of lap number four, caught and passed a guy who had just attacked before me, and the two of us crested the top with a nice gap. We pegged it hard for that entire lap and cut the breakaway’s time in half, getting to within 1:30. That was the best we would do.

The gap went up again, back to two minutes for most of the rest of the race. He and I (I don’t know his name but he was Canadian because I heard him say “eh” once. And he also apologized quite a bit too. Just kidding.) kept the pace pretty hard for laps five and six, but never had a chance to bridge up to the winning move. We just needed one more guy.

He started suffering pretty bad in the final 10 miles and I took over most of the wind-breaking. The moto official kept telling us we had 1:20 the field and 2:30 to the leaders, but I didn’t want to slow down despite my Canadian friend’s pleads. I was worried the peloton would ramp the pace up in the finale when it got all excited about sprinting for 10th place. I still had heaps and heaps in my legs and was content to continue drilling it.

The last 3K had some steep little kickers and I went a bit too hard after one of them and dropped my break-mate on the flat section after it. I was just about to slow down a bit and wait for him since I thought it would be nice to ride in together but right then the moto official drove up and told me the field was at 50 seconds and a loan rider was lurking at just 35. Having ridden the finish the day before, I knew that the last couple kilometers were difficult with a short, steep kicker and a slightly false flat section into a likely head wind. Fresher legs in the peloton that hadn’t been riding in the wind for 70 miles could make up half a minute in no time on a finish like that so I put my head back down and ripped it to the end.

I came within just five seconds of catching one more guy from the breakaway (they’d been popping off all day long) but didn’t quite manage it and, like I said, came in at 10th place, 2:16 down on the winning group of four and 1:10 on the next group of four since I guess the break spilt on that last lap.

I felt like a monster today and I swear it isn’t just my bravado speaking when I claim I could have been in the mix for the win. I’m just a very stupid, stupid person though! Just a dumb brute. A dumb missile if you will. An imbecile. A simpleton. A slow thinker. A “special little guy” as they might say. A god damn idiot. The picture says it best.

The crit is tomorrow. I don’t care.

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Photo courtesy of Allen Schmitz. Post race, pre swallow. That sounds wrong.

My team for the weekend was Batley Ducati. I had five teammates who were a pleasure to race with. I talk a lot of trash but in reality I had a good time and dang what a nice race this is! Great support, good crowds, and very well run. This one better not go away. Also, we’ve had some of the finest hosts EVER with Anna and Ian on Easthill Drive. I’ll be obese in three days time if they keep feeding us like they have been.

Sorry for all the swear words Grandma!

Best picture and caption ever from Cyclingnews: “Thoroughbreds taking a break to watch other thoroughbreds”

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That’s a good boy!

Steamboat Springs Stage Race 2013–Total Domination!

I’m up here in the mountains guest riding with Horizon Organic p/b Panache this weekend and we’re two days into the three-day Steamboat Springs stage race. Like most red-blooded American weekend stage races, there’s a time trial, a crit, and just a single road stage. Normally I’m pretty mad about the lack of hard stages (the road stages) during a multi-day race. Is a time trial necessary EVERY time? And crits are only 60 minutes–come on let’s ride something hard, long, and painful that will make us sweat and groan… But, this time I’m not screaming for more. I had plenty of time riding my brains out yesterday, spending almost the entire 82 miles off the front with my teammate, Colby Pearce, destroying myself in a two-man team time trail.

The day before that (Saturday), we kicked things off with a 17km time trail. It was fairly flat, boring, and of course miserably painful. At the start tent, my one minute man was a no-show, then my 30 second guy (Hunter from Canyon) dropped his chain while back-pedaling 20 seconds before his start. I ran to the rescue and put it back on while he was clipped in and being held up by the start tent guy. I couldn’t let him miss his start. I needed someone to chase. I got his chain on just in the nick of time and he went off on, his chain followed shortly, again 20 meters down the road. With Hunter now fiddling with his chain on the side of the road and my minute man nowhere to be found, it appeared I’d have no one to chase down. It’s not necessary but it’s good for the moral to at least have someone in sight.

Despite not riding my time trial bike since Cascade, I somehow found some good aero-ness form yesterday. I blew by my 1:30 man 8-minutes into the race. Then I passed my 2-minute man shortly after that. Our director, Nick Traggis, had informed me that the back side of the course had a tailwind. Knowing this, I’d counted on being able to pedal less for the final 10 minutes. This was not the case. Even though it was a hot-dog-shaped loop, there was a head wind both directions! Pretty  sure about this. I died hard and had to chomp some sizable holes in the sides of my cheeks during the final couple kilometers. I came in 4th, just 32 seconds back from Jim Peterman, the time trial phenom of the year. Colby was second at 19 seconds back so we had two in the top five and some good options for the road race the next day.

Our plan for the hilly road stage was to attack, then attack some more, then finally to make sure that we attacked later on and won by attacking. Things got off to a good start when everyone on the team attacked at least twice in the first three miles. We had Jackson, Josh, Kit, Brad, myself, and Colby all going with moves and countering everything that went off. I got away a couple times but got brought back. When things slowed temporarily I got away again with Drew Christopher of Primal and built a quick minute on the field before the first short climb. The gap grew and as Nick drove by in the team car to get to the feed zone he yelled out, “wait for help!” There’d be no way two guys could hold off the field for 80 miles by themselves on a course that hard. I began worrying that I was wasting my energy, so we slowed down a tad.

All ‘a sudden the field was upon us. Drew called it a day since he had a bunch of teammates back there and dropped off my wheel as I plodded on, doing my usual self-counter attack (100% of the time it works every other time). I glanced back and low and behold I saw Colby coming across to me. Solo. Mind you, he was second on GC, a known monster, has been training his ass off lately, is the former professional national champion, etc… He was NOT the guy you let bridge alone to a rampaging Kennett who’s content with riding in the wind for hours on end. Every other team lost the race in that blink of an eye when they didn’t close it down immediately.

I drilled it when Colby got up to me. Colby drilled it. I drilled it some more. Colby drilled it some more. Within five minutes our lead was over a minute. The entire Primal team was on the front and losing ground to us. The gap went up. I began to suffer half an hour later from the lack of draft (Colby is roughly 1/8th my size) and the hard pace at the thin, 7,000-foot mountain air. Maybe more like 70,000 feet. It felt like it. By the first turn-around we had three minutes. It held there until the base of the major climb (the course was a Y shape with two turn-arounds–one of which was at the top of the main climb).

As our lead grew, tempers back in the peloton grew when Josh, Jackson, Kit, and Brad continued their relentless smothering of moves going off the front. There wasn’t a team (or teams) with sufficient fire power to put guys on the front and lead a concerted chase that would bring us back. Kit had a rider spit in his face during the rising tension. I remember the first time I got spat in the face while on the bike. It was on the Shootout training ride in Tucson, which is more important than any race you or I will ever do.

I let Colby know that he had to lead up the climb since he was massively stronger than me going uphill. I was worried that we’d get caught, passed, and dropped on the long climb and the team’s race would be ruined due to my over-aggression. We needed to go hard. I told Colby to slow down at one or two points by whimpering. Words were just beyond me and the mental capacity for an actual sentence wasn’t even plausible. I wish I’d known the climb because the worst part about torture is when you don’t know when it’ll end.

The peloton blew to bits on the climb behind us as they ramped up the speed. Jim Peterman (1st on GC) and Robin Eckmann (3rd on GC) were doing what they could to bring us back. Robin’s brother, Yannick, had been dropped early on in the stage when he got a flat tire, which of course lead to Colby’s and my advantage since it meant there was one less strong guy to help chase us.

Colby paced us just hard enough for me to not blow up. There were three stair steps to the climb with two short descents. The whole thing was roughly 40 minutes. Amazingly, by the top we’d only lost 20 seconds on our lead and Nick shouted to us from the feed zone that the chase was disorganized and the field was shattered. A strong Alex Hagman of Jelly Belly, who’d just come off the tours of Utah and Colorado, was leading Michael Burleigh of Primal with a small gap to the next group of six that had Kit in it.

We hit the turnaround and railed the descent at full blast. The moto official behind us later congratulated us for our daring descent. “You guys ripped it!” He was stoked. Every second we gained on the descent was a second less that we didn’t have to pedal when the road flattened out. Wait. That doesn’t make sense.

We kept a strong pace for the final 20 miles back into town, both dying a million deaths during the last five, which never seemed to end. Colby selflessly told me to take the win since he’d most likely get the GC win so we did an awesome hand-holding celebration as we crossed the line—something I’ve always wanted to do. We came to a halt, utterly wrecked. We congratulated each other on the punishment we’d just dished out to ourselves–and the sheer crushing, humiliating punishment we’d unleashed upon the field. I’ve ridden in breakaways with some strong guys this year (Tom Zirbel, Freddie Rodriguez, Janier Acevedo, etc) but riding with Colby was the hardest yet. The guy has old man strength like you wouldn’t believe. We finished 2:23 on Alex and Michael.

While I was puking on the side of the road (I hope this isn’t a new habit of mine), the third group, of around eight, came in for their sprint finish. Kit, who’d been solo for 15 miles after the climb in an attempt to bridge to Hagman, was tragically gobbled up inside the final hundred meters by Josh’s chase group. Josh finished 5th and Kit was 8th. Four in the top 10 aint bad ‘atall.

The rest of our day was spent watching the most recent Muppet movie, hanging out at the post-race BBQ, listening to increasingly disturbing, and hilarious, shenanigans from Damo, and draining just on the verge of too many tequilas and beers back at the condo. Just on the verge but not quite over the limit, sort of like how hard I had to go on the climb without blowing up. It was a fun evening with everyone in good spirits. I hold myself in high regards when it comes to my brilliant sense of humor and I’ll say it now that the Horizon guys know how it’s done. Crude like oil.

Today we have the short 60-minute crit in the afternoon with the goal of defending our GC lead. Everyone’s legs felt pretty decent during the morning ride and considering the team’s performance yesterday, our hopes and confidence are high for the stage win as well. We’ll be on the lookout for hawked loogies this time.

The Crit:

We almost won again. Brad, Kit, Josh, and Jackson covered and drove a lot of moves for the first half hour without anything gaining much ground. Colby and I were up there too but sat back a tad to let the other guys do their thing. I went to the front for a long spell to shut down bridge attempts when we had guys up the road, and I also had a good time riding fake tempo on the front, hoping one of the breaks would stick. But with 20 minutes to go the cooperation among all the break groups was still to be seen. So we put everyone on the front for the sprint. Colby and I began taking pulls with less than 10 minutes left. I would have liked to have been up there earlier but we wanted to use the race as practice for when we had to defend a close GC lead.

It was down to Kit, me, and Colby leading Josh out with one to go. Kit pulled off and I took over with 3/4ths of a lap left. I wasn’t going that hard yet when Colby came around me. I’d been waiting to save it all for the last 500 meters since I didn’t think anyone would come around on the slight downhill part of the course but I should have just pegged it all out once I got on the front. It’s hard to believe it but this was the first time I’ve ever done an organized lead out. Ever! I could have taken us all the way to the final stretch with no problem at full gas, but my day was done as the field swarmed passed me. I had way too much left and I was pissed I didn’t get to use it. Colby dropped Josh off with 200 meters and Josh narrowly missed out on first, getting passed in the final 50 meters by Michael Dessau of Slipstream.

The team earned 1st and 2nd on GC, a 1st, two 2nds, and a 3rd on stage placings yet were still a bit bummed about not winning the crit.

As I drifted back towards the finish area after the race was over a woman came up to me and asked if I was Kennett. Yes, I said. The only one I know of. She was my escort (awe yeah!) for USADA doping control (awe no!). Actually, I was pretty excited to do this since I’ve never been drug tested before. It was sort of unexpected at a smaller race like this but the Colorado racing association had wanted them to come out at some point this year and I’m glad they were there, if nothing else but to put some fear into people.

They tested 1st, 2nd, and 5th on GC (they skipped to 5th so they could get Jim Peterman I believe). This lead me to wonder if USADA looks at results back at HQ, tracks up and coming guys, and specifically targets them for testing when they get the chance. I think it would make sense to do that.

I drank about a gallon of liquids and waited a little while to pee, though it didn’t take too long. Stage fright didn’t get me even though Colby said I was doomed to try and pee as early as I did. First I asked the testers if they’d accept a stool sample instead since I mainly needed to take a dump but they said no. They sort of laughed. Maybe.

The testing procedure was by the books, I assume. My tester gave me instructions on every minute detail, from how to open and inspect the vials to how to correctly hold me penis. He even helped me aim it in the cup! (A two-man job). Such a nice guy! I kid.

Other first time testees in my shoes might spend the next month worrying if their melatonin or recovery drink was laced with HGH, but not me. I did a CAT scan back in college as part of a psychology experiment (I got paid $50 for it) and they found “something” odd in my brain. I ended up having to go get a medical grade CAT scan and see a neurologist two or three weeks later because it looked pretty worrisome (like a tumor). It ended up just being a small void in my brain (shutup), which they told me wasn’t that uncommon. Anyways, I was worried about the possible tumor for about two days after I was told about it then I completely forgot for the two weeks in between before I got my next scan and saw the neurologist. So I don’t think I’ll be too worried about the test. It’s definitely not true thought that an innocent person has nothing at all to fear.

Thanks for all the excellent teammwork this weekend Jackson, Colby, Nick, Josh, Kit, and Brad. It was impressive to see what a super strong, well-run squad can really do!

It was great to hang out and ride with the Horizon guys this weekend and extremely satisfying to see that the boring two weeks of rest after Cascade and the following 3-weeks of brutal training paid off. This race has given me some extra motivation for Bucks County next week, not that I need it. My pants get tight just thinking about it.

Here’s a few pics from the weekend courtesy of MKPimagery.comwww.bikesteamboat.com, and Nick Traggis.

KP TT steamboat

 

Me putting the hurt on myself during the TT.

drafting

Colby actually managed to pedal the full three hours and eight minutes in this position, which made drafting difficult.

PS I’m joking you idiot.

break

 

Sorry for calling you an idiot just then. More team two-man team time trail action with the peleton nowhere in sight.

Photo on 2013-08-31 at 17.12

Damo Shanks was around for wrenching and entertainment this weekend. Mainly to teach young Jackson Long about the ways of the world actually. Mr. and Mrs. Long, sorry for returning a broken child.

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Couple laps to go during the crit. Front to back: Colby, Kit, Me, Josh.

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Josh on the crit podium with Michael and my ex teammate Colt Peterson.

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Final GC

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