Camp Day One

I’ll do some pictures and details later.  I am pretty worked atm.  We did the Gunlock loop and a bit more ~60 miles.  It was hell windy and we had a couple mechanicals.  These young guys are way too gung ho and made me hurt on day one… from the parking lot.

OTOH, it was almost 60 and sunny and it was not that in the Prove, West Jordan, or the SLC, so I got that going for me.

On Tap Band Camp with the Fam Bam

Gotta keep it short and sweet as the amount of work for today keep accumulating.  Seriously, it seems like every time I see a boss right now, I am being tasked with something new.  I might just go hide out in the bathroom with my laptop and try to finish what is already on my plate!  May not be time for a lunch ride today, which would be a shame.  The plan is to take the girls swimming tonight, so at least I’ll get my lungs working somehow.  We usually take turns swimming laps while the other plays with the girls; seems to be our new routine. 

Tomorrow we leave for band camp.  Yes, I am taking my family down to St. George to stay in a condo for the weekend with a bunch of dudes.  Always a good time!  The plan is to do 3.5-4.5 hours Friday and Sunday and the big ride to Mesquite and back on Saturday.  I know a lot of teams want to do huge days every day of their camp, but I don’t see the benefit of 8 hour days anymore. 

Oh yeah, if the fellas are reading, just so you know, on the climb back towards Utah on Saturday, last one to the top has to do dishes that night!

EDITEDX2- Now with Pics-My Last Collegiate Race

Thanks for the encouragement, Tyler.

Collegiate racing was a big deal for me.  If nothing else, I met darling wife, also a scholarship cyclist, there.  I was a good collegiate rider.  I won 5 conference championships during my tenure and I think we won the team title every year, but I always flailed at nats.  I don’t know if I wore out all my go-go juice early or if our conference just wasn’t that good, but going into my (2nd) senior year, I had never been better than about 10th at nationals.  I was determined to make the podium in my last appearance.

With that in mind, I trained really hard.  Harder than I ever had at that point.  Notice I did not say smarter!  Patrick O’Donnell had a similar schedule to me with Tuesday and Thursday afternoons off and we pretty much killed it every time, in any weather.  We started off doing 5-6 hours and increased as daylight allowed, eventually throwing the infamous CIBA ride (the Indianapolis weeknight hammer fest, for those not in the know) on top of the long day.  Every time it was the same thing, we’d talk on the way to the group ride, “oh man, I’m so cracked, I am just going to sit in”, and everytime, we’d end up killing each other, cause you know, if he’s attacking, I better counter! 

The event was held around Athens, Ohio, which was nice as it was less than a day’s drive.  The road race was held on the famed “Hocking Hills” course, I don’t know what hocking means exactly, but it is a hard course with a couple steep climbs/lap.  They used it for elite nats one year, and ummm, probably good I wasn’t there as 120 miles on that course would have killed me.  Collegiate nats was only around 70 miles, much more manageable. 

The big news was that Matt Decanio was racing.  He was racing for the ill-fated Linda McCartney team at the time, but after not making the Giro d’ Italia team, he somehow qualified for Collegiate Nats.  There is a story to his not making the Giro team too, but I won’t go down that road!  Anyway, it was pretty weird watching the Giro on TV and seeing his teammates, and here we are at collegiate nationals riding with the guy.  I already knew his strength from racing juniors back in VA with him all growing up, but everyone was geeking out about it, which really worked in my favor as everyone watched him the whole time.

About half way through, I attacked right after the big climb and got a gap straight away.  I rode maybe half a lap without gaining much time before being joined by Peter Baker.  We drilled it for the bulk of the remainder of the race still never gaining much time, and still never getting caught.  On the final climb, he dropped me without really trying.  As an added stinger, Rob Acciavatti (sp?) came blazing out of the field and rode right past me on the climb as well.  Finally, I was also caught by Mike Ley just as I crested the hill.  He and I rolled well together the last couple miles downhill to hold off the field.  Baker won, Acciavatti was 2nd, and I managed to outsprint Ley for 3rd. 

I was pretty stoked as the goal going in was the podium and, you know, mission accomplished.  With time, I would regret  not setting my sights a little higher as it was oh, so close, but ah, well, it’s all in the past now, right?

Well, not exactly as BMX races I lost at 8 years old still haunt me.

Anyway, Decanio was marked like a mark and wound up 6th.  Remembering 5 out of the top 6 is not bad for something that happened 9 years ago!

Anyway, the crit was the next day, but I don’t have time for that story right now.  It’s a good one though, so I”ll try to get to it soon.

EDIT:  I was pretty sure that mountain bike superstar Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (sp?) was 5th, but not 100% positive.  Found photographic evidence to support my memory.  Also included the second shot, a the look of boredom on the announcer’s face is priceless.  I am pretty sure I said something like “I’m moving to California to try and be a pro bike racer”.


EDIT AGAIN: Oh drat, now I’ve gone and done it.  I should’ve looked more carefully and noticed that this is the picture from the omnium and not from the road race, which sort of ruins the follow-up story of the crit.  Oh well.  I guess my memory is failing me.  I hear that happens with age.

My First 1-2 Race

After a couple downer posts, I thought I’d post something mildly more upbeat. 

Way back in the day, I think ’94, I went to Superweek and got all my upgrade points to go to Cat. 2.  I know I had some points before the trip, but I definitely came home with plenty.  I also made some pretty good bank.  That is irrelevant to this story, but should stand as a lesson for anyone wanting to upgrade that Superduper Week may be a good and profitable way to do it.  Anyway, I came home and attempted to upgrade.   The district rep (I am dating myself, as there are no longer districts, or district reps, I think) initially denied me on account of my being a junior, but after some begging (and I had way more than enough points), it got through, and I headed out to my first Pro 1-2 race.  I don’t remember where it was exactly, but somewhere in VA.

As luck would have it, it was raining that day.  Strike that, it was pouring.  And it was a crit.  And it was a half mile circuit.  And it was 50 miles.  So, 100 laps of critting in the pouring rain.  It was not a PRO race by any stretch, but there were few pro’s around, I don’t remember who exactly, but some LA Sheriff’s guys, which scared the crap out of me as they were one of only a couple big (real) domestic pro teams at the time, and a couple guys from smaller teams.

Anyway, we lined up and before I knew it, it was single file and people were crashing all over the place.  I have the distinct memory of feeling like I was absolutely at my limit, and looking at the lapboard and seeing 89 laps to go!  Yowch!

Anyway, eventually a couple guys in front of me quit and left a gap – I was running tailgunner pretty much the whole time.  I tried, but for the life of me couldn’t close it.  I got lapped, but was allowed to continue as most of the field had already dropped out.  I got back and made it the rest of the way in the group.  I actually wound up 21st  because so many guys had quit.  One place out of the money!

I don’t remember who won.  Erik Saunders was in the break, with one of the LA Sheriff’s guys, and someone else.  I remember two of the three crashing in the last turn, but couldn’t tell you who it was. 

Anyway, memories…

Julie Says I am Depressed

I do believe there is such thing as Seasonal Anxiety Disorder.  I am not Anxious, nor really SAD at the moment, but winter is a downer, and I do believe never seeing the sun has something to do with it.  Yes, I have an hour at lunch, but the brown air outside our doors at the moment is not bringing me all that much joy, though I do still go out and ride in it. 

For my out of state readers, we have an inversion phenomena in the winter (mostly) here whereby when there’s no storms to blow it out; cold, polluted air gets trapped in the valley.  As you go up in alititude, the air gets cleaner and generally several degrees warmer, so it may be 10 degrees warmer and sunny at the resorts, but cold and nasty in the valley.  I know I just shattered your illusion of Utah being all fresh air and what-not.  Here’s what else- not EVERYONE  is a polygamist here either.  I know, mind blowing.

Anyway, there’s just not a lot going on right now that I can’t exclaim to the world via Facebook status.  I am sure I’ll have more to say when we get racing, and when I have more downtime.  If that ever happens.  In the meantime, whatever.   I’ll probably post like 5X tomorrow just to make this one look stupid.  er.