Little P and Mrs. P got sick of me spending so much time on the phone talking business instead of training that they decided to “hide” my bicycle using the plethora of packaging material I have in the shop now.
After that I threw a leg over and had an amazing interval session. It was perfect for cross. Long “high” sweet spot intervals. Training with power rocks.
So does the music. With the fan going and the trainer, etc….it’s impossible tohear my crappy TV while training without turning it up load enough to make it’s casing resonate and waking up the neighbors….so I resorted back to an iPod. Metal, punk, heavy…turning pedals in anger. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. It is sooooooooooooooo theraputic.
That said…trainers suck.
Once again I find myself in the redneck rivieria – Ft Morgan/Gulf Shores area of Alabama. A week of family at the beach. Basically that means little riding, lots of eating and lots of drinking.
Luckily this year it fell on a “rest week” – bwahahahahahaha! I have rideen once. It sucked. It is sooooooooo boring down here. I mean Chicago is flat but this is beyond that….and it’s hot….and boring…. yuck.
Anyway….the beach and the hanging out is a blast. Pics from the week:
Little P and his cousin – near aged partner in crime. These two are dangerous together. Smart and beefy. You turn around and they are cracking up as they tackle each other and play chicken. Mrs. P and her sister (Little P’s Aunt) in the background.
Where do I start……
This last weekend was a weekend from hell as far as racing goes. Just 1 week ago we were shivering through mid 50’s temperatures with bone soaking rain. A mere 7 days later it’s as if the gravitational pull from my poor performance brought the sun closer ensuring a miserable weekend of racing as far as conditions go.
Setting up for the weekend I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to race both days so I registered for Cobb Park. Cobb Park had 2 races I could do….and it was only $10 for the second race. Guess what I did….yup.
Then Mrs. P says she no longer has to work on Sunday and that I can race – it is Father’s day after all. To top it off Fox River Grove is pretty close to the Psimet compound. Oh and look….they have two races I can do. Excellent. Guess I will sign up for both.
So it was some time later when it dawned on me that I was going into a 4 race in 2 days weekend. On top of that we were looking at record heat and humidity. Oh, and somehow I didn’t know but there was this thing called a “hill” on the course for Sunday. How big can it really be right? The directions to the course said, “at the corner of School and SKI HILL RD. That should have been my first indication.
So I was feeling good on Saturday. The race was too early for the family to embrace the idea of getting up and going with. No one needed a ride so I was on my own to the race. It was weird to drive to a race with no one else. I got in some good alone time. It was kind of nice.
Once there I quickly found the usual suspects all milling around. I felt strong and thought I might have a chance at a really good result. I hit the trainer and “warmed up” for a long time beforehand. I felt great as the race started. Chatting it up, floating around at will, felt like I had a ton in reserve. Then something happened.
There was an acceleration and it was like someone opened a drain plug on my tank and emptied it. The accelerations weren’t hard. The race was fast but manageable, but something in me just went limp. I got shelled.
I felt a little better as I ran into a lot of other riders I am usually contending with who also got shelled, but in general it wasn’t pleasant. Then I got lapped. Then I got chills and goosebumps….and then got lapped again. I was dehydrated. Bad. I finished the race but it was torture. A lot of people dropped so I finished up on a lot of guys but I was dead last in the field of riders that were placed.
I figured I should drink and do my best to get my temp down in between the races. I only had 6 bottles for the whole day and I was down to only 2 left for in between the races and the next race. I am sure I could have found more water but I didn’t push it.
For the Masters race I felt much better. The pace was slower and I found it pretty easy to hang where I wanted to. I even contemplated going for the prime when it was announced. Then with 3 or so laps to go I got a leg freezing cramp along my inner thigh. It locked up my leg completely. I was done. I tried another lap but I couldn’t push any gear so I just pulled off. I felt the pity look from the officials piercing me as I called it a day.
So needless to say after the poor performance on Saturday I was not hoping for much on Sunday. I was not disappointed by that. I got yanked twice on Sunday. So did a lot of other guys but still….it sucks. I found I got better each time up the hill and found I could descend and hold the corners in the mid 30’s – taking them without braking.
I knew I was in trouble for sure when I realized I didn’t know nearly as many guys on the line and started seeing jerseys from all over. That combined with the fact that the front of the grid looked like a forest of saplings made it sink in that the fat fast flat crit rider was going to embarrass himself very quickly.
In better news Little P almost won his race. He was kicking butt. Everyone was cheering him on and he was making a bee-line for me at the finish and then suddenly swerved at the last minute into the crowd. He then spent the next 45 minutes crying that he wasn’t allowed to finish riding the whole course, that he didn’t win, and that he might have hurt someone else or their bike. He didn’t even want his 3rd place medal.
Well….he has as much hardware as I have now.
Next up – vacation. 1 week spent in Gulf Shores, AL again. Yay. After this it’s Superweek. I have already signed up for Blue Island (2 races), Elgin (2 races), Arlington Heights (2 races), and Bensenville (2 races). Still thinking about Evanston for 1 race.
Then it’s the Chicago crit….maybe a Soldiers field race…..it just doesn’t end.
You know you’re a sick roadie when you wake up, see the horrible weather report and your first thought is “YES! Maybe the field will be a little smaller!” Then it dawns on you that the fast guys are just as serious as you and will still be there to tear your legs off…only now you’ll also be wet.
The rain held off.
TQ placed second after messing up and pulling on the way down the straight. #2 jumped and TQ reacted too late. Meh…it’s bike racing.
Our 4′s crew was still busy licking our wounds from the day before. Every conversation make ample use of the word “suck”. “We sucked yesterday.” “That hill sucked!” “RR, when I followed your wheel up that hill all I was thinking was man this sucks.” “I couldn’t even outsprint Lund at the line…triple suck!”
I warmed up actually. It made a big difference. Right before the race little P showed up with his nana and grandpa. They were coming for his race later. They just happened to make my race. As far as little P was concerned though there was a bounce house and nothing else.
Race went about as expected. I have lost my aggression. I just find I am too concerned about burning too many matches too early so I don’t shoot gaps to move up early enough and find I am swinging on the back. In racing if you aren’t moving up then you’re being passed. It’s that simple. It becomes a self feeding frenzy where the pace picks up as a result.
I was climbing OK but kept getting jammed up in the corner. Never carried enough speed through no matter what line I took and found myself working when I should have been resting. Lather-rinse-repeat….no sprint for me. I picked up a few at the end but I was OTB on the final straight. Better than the day before but enough to make me decide it’s time to pay attention again. I can’t just go out and ride once a week and then expect to race well.
Then it was little P’s race. He was racing in the 4 and under category. He’s 3 so half of his cat was older than him. He was woefully undergeared on his trike. No worries about passing rollout. One kid had a wheel so big he could cover the course they had laid out for them in 3 pedal strokes. He also looked like he was 7. f’n sandbaggers….
Little P was excited. I was amazed at how into it he really was. I figured they would start the race and he’d be all looking around at everyone and I would have to be coaxing him down the course. Instead I had to hold him back until they started.
They had to race down to Snoopy. Try explaining what Snoopy is to a 3 yr old who has been raised on Dora, Diego, Blue, Bob and Jack. He gave me a big WTF look. “The dude at the end dressed up in a white costume that is supposed to look like a giant dog” – we have recognition….
At the start he pealed out. His cadence was….3 yr-old kind of high. We initially got a hole shot but quickly lost advantage due to gearing. He was soon dead last and I started to think of ways I could keep him interested in the sport after coming in DFL. Then the rider in front of him stopped cold and started crying. “GO! P! GO! YOU ATTACK WHEN A RIDER CRACKS!” – he responded with a burst of speed.
The crying sandbagger came back around and quickly passed P again only to crack again a few feet further. This only served to get me going more. Little P just kept cruising along on his trike.
3rd was his. There was a quick moment of hesitation at the line as he sized up the poor dude in the dog suit debating whether he was good or evil. Then he kept going.
I told him the race was over. He kept going. He said, “NOOOOOoo!! No it’s not!” I turned him when he reached the cops blocking the road – just before he made it into oncoming traffic. I pointed him into turn 1. He took off.
I tried to coax him into stopping all down the second short straight. By the time we reached turn 2 it dawned on me that he was on a mission. He was riding the whole course. I figured he would give up on the hill but he didn’t. He just kept riding. I walked along behind him raising my hand as riders approached while warming up.
I had to put my hand on the seat on the hill to keep him from going backwards when he stalled but he would always come back and motor on. He took a quick breather at the top and then started the descent. After a couple of wrecks – you saw that pavement….try doing it at speed on a 12″ tricycle – I picked him up. He was beat.
By the time we made it back to the gazebo they were calling his name for his medal. He took 3rd after all. He insisted on sitting on my lap on the podium but did raise his hands in triumph upon presentation – jersey zipped and all.
In the end he taught me that it’s not that Psimets suck at racing….it’s that we just need longer races.
OK so I didn’t wrap everything up. I have been uber busy the last couple of weeks. Building a TON of custom wheels. I am importing some hubs from Taiwan and will be importing some carbon 50mm rims too. Both full carbon clinchers as well as tubulars. Full custom hub, spoke and lacing options for you as well. Pricing will be pretty nice as well.
ANYWAY…instead of going back to cover everything I missed let me just say Joel has done well lately. 2nd at monsters, 4th at wheels on willy, won all 3 races at Matteson, and took second at Wonder Lake. He finally was upgraded as well.
Bryan won in the 5′s at the Masters Weekend races. We also took 1st in the 40+. Wonder Lake was a boatload of ‘meh’ for me. I did something like 16th in the cat 4 race and then I flatted in the 4/5 race. Got back in with Joel’s wheel but it was a 9 speed. Shifting was OK for most of the gears except the last couple meaning I couldn’t sprint. I got 26th of something like that.
I only rode on Tuesday this week. I rode pretty easy too. I have been putting weight back on – rather fat back on. I am the same weight but not working out in the gym and not running has left my form pretty weak. I decided I have been racing pretty solid though and that I should be able to do something today as long as I made myself be aggressive.
So…I got to Winfield late. Got registered and dressed and on the trainer for about 15-20 minutes of warmup. Most I think I have ever done. Wilke set me up with a video camera on my bike to record the race. I didn’t pre-ride the course. Always a mistake, but I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal this time.
I got to watch Tim win the 5′s race. That’s another podium for Bicycle Heaven. it’s getting crazy. I am the weak link now for sure. We actually had 5 guys in the 4′s race. It was a shock. I was finally not racing alone.
Right off the start I got a jump. Again. Never mean to but just end up in front. I held back enough to end up on RR’s wheel. Next thing I know we were on a “hill”. I heard there was one on the course. RR nailed it. I followed. That hill was long. A lot longer than I thought it was. I opened my bank account and drained it on that first lap without even realizing it.
The downhill was awesome fast. My kind of fast. Corners at 27-30mph. Hells yes.
RR and I were done on the second lap – on the hill. From there we were dropped and just riding around. Everyone was serious fast right off the bat. It took me about 1/2 of the race before I started to get into a groove. At that point I started picking people up.
Wanna know what it felt like? Check this out:
Picture from J-Dub at peloton-pix
That one is going on the mantle.
Sad race for me. I got lapped. That hasn’t happend since last year. Don’t know what the deal was. Everyone exploded though. It was like everyone went the speed of a normal Chicago style crit but they put some sort of Wisconsin hill in there and we were too stupid to slow down on it like the cheeseheads do.
They placed me 26th or something – getting me confused in the finish I think. meh. Tomorrow is more of the same. Different course. My body does better after a beating. I think I have more in me. We’ll see.
After the race the family took in a Cougars game. My father-in-law’s business has been doing well and he got a luxury box to share with the whole family and company. Little P enjoyed the show.
So…Mrs. P is sick and odds are she has some form of the flu. Had to happen. She’s a nurse and all that swine flu panic had her seeing a ton of patients daily. Now she has a fever and feels like “poop” – her words. Little P is in and out of a fever and I have had chest congestion starting to creep in while riding.
So…I hope everyone gets better soon. Being sick sucks.
This weekend is Monsters and Wheels on Willy (Madison). We have a solid 5′s crew going for Monsters. They are hungry. They know who to mark and what to do. They’re strong and a little crazy. You’d have to be in order to toe the line with 100 cat 5′s in 1 pack. Everyone is going to be so afraid of wrecks that they’ll all be pushing to get to the front….leading to wrecks….
Kind of glad I’m a 4 at this point.
Thanks to some great name dropping over at Bike Forums I have been SLAMMED with quotes for bike parts from my commercial site. I’ve got some great pricing on some niche stuff but I think some people are thinking I am going to like sell stuff below cost. I think everyone is just so used to getting great deals they have no appreciation for how good the deals really are sometimes. Some of the sales are coming through though. Good thing this is just a hobby for me.
Tueesday’s group ride out of Penny rd was crazy. It was just weird. We have always passed a lot of team and club riders while riding out there but this week everyone ended up along the same path at the same time going in the same direction. There ended up being about 20-40 riders at different times representing: Village Cyclesport, Verdigris, BBC, Wheel Werks, Spin Doctors, Our precious Bicycle Heaven, Project 5, Chronometro (I think), xXx, ABD, and even a Mack rider I believe. Our shop rides in Geneva/St Charles are pretty well known for drawing a crowd but this was on par. Slower but on par. It was like an underground crit were everyone just met up and decided that it was time to race.
It was fun.
Keep the rubber side down and keep hammering.
OK….Being mothers day weekend it meant, of course, that Mrs. P had to work. That means it was me and little P for the whole weekend. Fatherhood bliss.
Then Joel pointed out that there was a crit in Wisconsin on Saturday. That started with, “no I am spending time with little P.”, moved to “he and I can go up there with you guys and cheer you on”, to “OK so if someone watches little P I can race the first race but that means we’ll have to leave at 5:30am.”
Yeah. Father of the year….right here.
Matt, Riccio and I rolled out of my house at 5:40ish with little P along for comic relief. The trip was long and we just barely made it there in time to register, gear up and put in two laps for “warmup”. The course had what those cheeseheads call “hills”. There was about 100 ft of climbing per lap. The grades weren’t steep but they got to you after a while.
It was raining and FREEZING. I came up there with shorts and mostly summer gear. I had thin socks and no toe covers. No long finger glooves, etc. It sucked. I was freezing and soaking wett within a few minutes.
In general the race was really slow but grinding. There was only really one corner and it could have been taken at speed but there was standing water in the middle of it. Everyone took it slow and then accelerated out of the corner then into the hill. It got old quick.
I feel like I have chest congestion – let’s face it Mrs. P has been exposed to all sorts of stuff including swine flu (I am sure) at work. I am feeling the effects of something. The cold and wet conditions didn’t help. I ended up coming unhooked on the last lap. I struggled back up and finished on the back of the pack for 20th place out of 25. Boo, but I’ll take it. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to race until I pinned my number on.
Can’t see it too well in that pic, but we and the bikes were just coated with sand and crap.
After that Matt raced the 3/4 masters. I Opted out of this one. I was beat and really not feeling it. That and I didn’t want to wait around in soaking wet clothes for an hour between races.
Matt looked like he was done about half way through the race but ended up finding something inside to keep going. He said the race was much smoother and faster than the first one. He did great and tied for 17th.
After that Joel showed up. The last race of the day was the one that Riccio, Joel and Matt were doing. We went out in full spandex wonder to a local hole int he wall diner for lunch. Matt talked Joel into trying the Chedderwurst – Ugh.
Back in time for these guys to warm up and get ready to race. Joel held his own. There were a couple of early attacks and just like a dog looking to run outside through a screen door he went after them. He got into one only 16 minutes into the race. It was a 45 minute hilly crit. Too early.
They got caught a couple of laps later. I started yelling at him every lap. Nothing very helpful but stuff like, “great position”, “too early”, “3 laps left – follow your gut”, etc…
He ended up sprinting in the end and his position wasn’t great but he had an open line to the finish. He was hurting. He has a dead elvis face. Saw it this race for the first time really. I started yelling and he came up with some more kick. He ended up in 2nd place. Nice.
Another round of beating your head into a wall is over. I am happy to say I have made no gains over the last couple of months. That said I have found that have made no losses either. Meh…here’s the pics. That’s all any of you care about anyway…
I burried my head for the first 5 minutes. I didn’t look at the screen because I knew I would go too hard if I saw I was behind in order to catch up….or if I was ahead in order to maintain position. So I didn’t look.
I hit my normal wall about 4-5 mintes in, but pushed through. I looked up to see I was behind…by a lot. JF was in front of me. Honestly he’s got the chops even though he’s new so I really didn’t let that bother me too much, but I was at least gpong to try to pull him back.
With a During the last set of 5 minutes I started to crack. I made myself take it easy for 1.5 minutes. Rode easier than I could just in hopes of recovering to finish strong. It kind of worked, but not really. I tried with about 2.5-3 minutes left to stand and go at it. I was within “50 or 60 feet” of JF when I did. When I stood…so did he. That just told me he wasn’t going to just hand anything over.
At first I felt bad because I figured he thought I was standing to sprint to the end, but it was way too early for that. I was just hoping to get a quick jump to turn over the distance between us. Turns out when I stood I didn’t upshift so my power dropped. Ooops. I sat back down to compensate, but by then JF had taken the opportunity to lay down some power.
I tried to stand and sprint at the end, but I didn’t have much. Not the usual punch I have. When done…I felt like puking. So…I did it right. I definitely left some out there though. Just couldn’t tap into the deep well if that makes sense.
JF took the win in style. The guy is a naturl athlete that will accel at this cycling thing with no problem. I keep telling him the only thing that will limit how far he goes is how much time he wants to spend on it. He won’t be a 5 long and will be a 4 even shorter.
To top it off I still owe him a beer to make up for the last $5 from registration I owe him. Will it never end?
So…I ended up 13th out of 28 who took the start out of Cat 4. Furthest up in the field so far, but 2 seconds slower than my last one on the “Flat” course. I did beat Rob Jungels…by like 7 seconds…which just means there is a story there. I’m guessing he had something go wrong or he was doing it as a recovery in street shoes and blue jeans.
Tuesday night at the shop we’re doing the mother of all indoor trainer sessions. We’re down to 1×45′ at threshold. Those sessions have made it easier to race already. They have convinced me that I can ride at an intense effort for much longer than I thought I could.
Congrats to JAnd, JF and everyone else who went out there (MRIDan). Nothing like paying $25 so you can sit in one place and turn yourself inside out for 16 minutes.
Almost time to shave the legs. Mrs. P is thrilled.
Today is ABD TT#3. I am something like 12th overall with 32:42 or something. Today is another “flat” course. They basically weigh you, put in a drag coefficient and let you beat your head against a wall for 10K or about 16-ish minutes.
I pulled 16:03 the last time I did a flat one. I would like to kick 10-20 seconds off of that today. I think it’s possible. We’ll see.
Little P is sitting here smiling, and eating cookies. I guess he’s better.