Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Foot on the gas... slowly...

North Bend, WA
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Great news! It hasn’t rained since I returned… it’s only snowed. I’m not sure what to think. You put March 01 and Washington together and 28 times out of 29 you get rain. But that’s fine; my preparation for the Tour of Georgia is officially in progress as of tomorrow. I seem to be recovered from my latest illness, so I’m gonna go ahead and give the trainer a go for an hour tomorrow- mainly just to see how I feel and whether or not to really begin with the push-ups and jumping-jacks.
After our performance at the tour of California I’m absolutely enthralled with the thought of oilin’ up the v12 for a bit of training… Just gotta take it slow as to not over heat it.

Dealing a fatal blow to the Belgian on the KOM...
I don't know... is that me?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In the red

North Bend, WA
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The wave of today was one that left the investments of mine in a state of trouncing. Indeed, I’ve learned to diversify (through trial and error), yet an equal blow was dealt to all… So the choice of what to do at once is limited, I’ve deliberated and decided to wait and ride the wave rather than sell everything to make up for the loss. Since once more becoming ill I’ve looked into a couple of options with the team doctor in an effort to quell my abnormal susceptibility to the weather. The immediate option of course was the closed file on possible surgical intervention. We will see, and with any luck, perhaps I will race the rest of the year without the plague darkening the path of mine ahead.

In the meantime, if you choose to travel to Uganda heed the advise of Mr. Andronico's short, but wise video.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tour of California

San Fran to Long Beach
19th to 25th of February

The Tour of California this year was of exceptional motivation to the team and I. I’d venture that our preparation this year was quite perfect. We knew exactly what we needed to do from the start & it seemed to pan out in the beginning- Jason in second, Taylor & I in leaders jerseys, & Danny sitting well on GC. But then it all kind of fell apart. I missed three breaks essential to maintaining the KOM jersey, & managed once more to fall victim to a cold on stage 3. In the time trial we were not up to par with the faster guys and fell farther back on GC. In the end we made all of the breaks and Danny managed to ensnare the Most Aggressive rider’s final Jersey.
Although our team seemed quite impressive to the likes of many of you, we were hoping for a larger step. Perhaps this is always the case, yet as we grow I will continue to expect our larger steps to yield more (exponential?) ground. This will be apparent through our results in 2007.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All systems go

San Francisco, CA
Friday, February 16, 2007 to Sunday, February 18, 2007

The events leading up to the start of the 2007 tour of California have left me rather weary, yet startlingly vivacious. Every second of every moment reminds me of the scale & caliber that this race is made of. Imagine contemplating a decision for weeks when you know the answer. Imagine giving careful thought over and over again, every dream of every slumber absolutely consumed by your thoughts on one very specific subject… when you know the answer… Every day leading up to this race I have asked what will happen next? And every time I’ve asked that question I’ve said that we will win. You will perform to your ability. There’s no reason to ask this question again. Yet the final notion is always you never know what will happen next, and this very idea has left me on tenterhooks up until the start of the race.
This morning (the 16th) I awoke. The night was not sufficient in providing adequate sleep. I’d arrived late after returning from Wenatchee and my stuff wasn’t packed. I finally fell asleep sometime after 12, only to awake once more at 5:15 to head for the airport. The flight was delayed an hour and a half after I arrived further aggravating the situation. On my mind at once was worry of potential illness from circumstances as such that enliven with the weary. After turning up in baggage claim an additional 45 minutes was added to my day of travel as I waited for san fran’s finest to get my bike off the plane. At long last I was initially pleased to behold the arrival of the bmw in route for my pick-up. It pulled up to the curb and I stumbled over pulling both my bike case & 49.99 pound duffle, to load the contents into the back of the car. After waiting for a minute for the trunk to pop open, I realized that something was amiss within the car. I left my bike case standing to go check ‘n see what was wrong within & found that the driver didn’t know how to unlock the doors..! Although the brief situation was petty, I found it most irritating after a day of travel gone so wrong. To top it all off my bike case fell over in a rather spectacular fashion as I quarreled with the driver.
Once I got to the hotel I was greeted with 30 minutes of interviews put off initially to change into proper team attire and cram down lunch in 5 minutes. Fortunately Jonathan rescued me midway through the second interview so that I could finally spin around on my bike and take a nap.
February 17th
Today was quite mild compared with yesterday. It was more a day of recovery and recuperation than that of a pre race opener. We went out into the San Fran hills with CSC to ride on some descent roads. It took about an hour just to get out of the city, of which the entire time we were going straight up hill. Once we got out of town the riding was on par with the best that I’ve done. I think that the area around San Francisco is envied by just about everyone who’s been to the region.
Once we got back from the ride, we went out on the time trial bikes to absolutely check everything in preparation for the prologue tomorrow. The hotel we’re at is on the coast so fortunately there’s a great little bike path along the beach that’s capable of handling the likes of us, although not quite ideal. To be sure, imagine yourself as a runner, perhaps running with your 6 year old daughter as she rides her bike beside you… and encountering a professional cyclist as he comes from behind you while testing his time trial bike at 35 mph. Certainly not a sociable experience, and certainly not one I’m proud to say I took part in… nice bike path though. Tomorrow’s the prologue, traditionally I do not excel in time trials… but only time will tell how I fair this year…

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Riding on the moon

Wenatchee, WA
Friday, February 16, 2007

Since returning from California I’ve spent (0) days on my bike in the rain, while riding only twice on the trainer. I will attest that indeed this is most unusual, but since everyone is following the Tour of California this year, it is perhaps convenient beyond belief and absolutely due to the state of mind present in the majority of the population…
Nevertheless, despite all concern for good weather leading up to California, on the one day that it was entirely not possible to ride on the trainer… the rain fell in a fury that’d leave even the most tropical of individuals in a state of awe. Although I long for the 5.5 hour ride in the rain, the memory of the tour of Georgia is still much too fresh, in which case otherwise absurd alternatives are abound. The training of today was set to be 5.5 hours of motor pacing. Of course motor pacing is possible on the trainer, just not effective. So, unless you have an unusual desire to do 5 hours behind a car in the rain your only other option is to set out in search of arid climates. Off hand I knew of only one close enough to make for a feasible adventure. Indeed, the decision was exactly as such; “it’s raining, let’s go across the mountains. It’s probably not raining there.”
“Good idea, how ‘bout Wenatchee?”
“Perfect.” When we got to Wenatchee we set out to find a practical road… besides the freeway. We found an ideal route in Highway 2 to Spokane. Starting with a 10 mile climb up and onto this celestial plateau where the thriving town of Waterville is situated, the perfectly smooth road meanders along rolling terrain all the way to Spokane. We made it to Wilbur, I think. Then turned around and came back… 222 kilometers. Max speed on a flat road: 93.2 kph…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Assisted cycling

North Bend, WA
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The day at present was riled with rage. The use of a motor in training inherently tends to ignite the anger within… and today was a demonstration of such.
I made something of a discovery at once as I ventured into the depths of assisted cycling. The most profound of which, was that of the varying nature of speed maintainable by I while in the wake of a fast moving intermediary of wind and I. In the case of today, “speed was no object.” With the draft created by the motor (suv), each 12 minute interval sported a 42 mph average… which for those familiar with motor pacing, is exceptionally fast. I find that the hunt for roads adequately suited for these speeds is something of a search. Given that the speed in this activity must remain constant or ungulate slowly, it becomes desirable to use roads with mild hills and few turns- so that the pursuit doesn’t become too hazardous.
Despite the perilous conditions promoted by such behavior I did manage to escape the exercise unscathed.

Team Slipstream: New York Times... Today!

New York Times... Today... Front Page: Article

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Out pace the race

North Bend, WA
Saturday, February 10, 2007

That of today was marked by exceptionally gale like conditions. The wind blew and the trees swayed, yet the bicycle and I charged on like a horse with a spear.
After a self-possessed week of meditation, the time has come to begin the week to go portion of training pending California. Certainly the strength from within is far beyond that of ever before so confidence at once is divine. If guess I must, I’d be quite profound in my proclamation that our team will eclipse in such a way that the eyes of yours will be left blinking in astonishment.
Nevertheless, exclude my creed as you must, & endeavor your bet as you would for the truth is yet to come.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Team Slipstream 2007: Argyle

Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle 2007: Argyle

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Marxist Telepathy

North Bend, WA
Thursday, February 08, 2007

Life persists amongst society based solely on the ability of the individual to respect that which is unknown to all. If the mind were breached and thought were to flow freely between minds, every notion, whether deliberate or not would be known to all. At the outset one would first think that such a situation would be ideal, for the origin of all controversy would be known. Yet, in a world where the individual no longer exists, free thought and the ability of a single individual to excel is no more… for in a world of telepathy perhaps thought is Marx like.
To arrive at the point… Imagine a world where trucks and bicyclists coexisted, a world where everyone absolutely understood the motivation for each others’ actions. Where each honk and hostile move by a truck made perfect sense, where a cyclist clad in blue and orange argyle riding on the side of the road wasn’t fair game for road kill. Imagine a world where all things coexist. I was pondering the idea receptively at first, but after several minutes I realized that such a situation would be the worst possible scenario available.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Back in the Bend

North Bend, WA
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

At once, the homeland is that where I exist. The dwelling is quite up to the task, with both running water and internet alike. Certainly to have so much technology in one spot may leave a person mystified, but I assure you the purpose herein is simplistic in nature and for all intents and purposes used to improve humanity.
Julian is no more; I understand an arson actually burnt it to the ground… I’m not sure who that’d be… The roads are still there though… that was the only good part anyway. Home is normally exceptional this time of year, with intermittent rain and snow to add to the frigid temperature. At the moment this is not the case, so I’m crossing my fingers that over the next two weeks up to the start of California the weather might hold up.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Training Camp

San Diego, CA
Sunday, February 04, 2007

The weekend here in San Diego includes two races, the first one Boulevard, and the second one some criterium just outside the city. Despite scandalous propaganda purported by the critics of criterium racing, it was not a “parking lot crit,” in fact it was perhaps the safest race I’ve done. I mean, it was a local crit with some local guys, but they were sane for ¾ of the race until the end when they were getting desperate… or whatever drives ‘em to go nuts.
The race went well with Danny eventually making the break, of which decidedly chose not to play together & instead was caught ~2 laps from the finish. Taylor however, was in the midst of the finishing sprint when Lucas initiated a rare version of the “Saturn Sit-up.” Coming around the final uphill turn to the finish Taylor was leading with Lucas on his wheel, when Lucas sat up mid way through the turn and to further complicate matters, actually hit the breaks. The confusion that followed was enough to put a grin and a grimace alike on the face of anyone. The lead out trains for Toyota and Health net were within a hair of stacking it right into the back of Lucas, but through a stroke of luck and brilliance, they pulled it off as Taylor sprinted to the finish, edged out by 2 inches as a sprinting Dominguez came by.

San Diego, CA
Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Argyle armada pounced on the peleton today. It was a local race in California called Boulevard- the opening race of the California racing season. At the moment all the big pro teams from the US are training near San Diego, so the next step of course is to do the race. When we arrived, the likes of Toyota-United, Health Net, Jelly-Belly & some dude from T-Mobile were already there.
The race progressed in a classic fashion with an early move being caught after 2 laps (of 4). On the way over the climbing section the third time, iceman (R-unit Hesjedog) initiated a little split of ~15 guys that stayed away for the rest of the race. Of our team, Danny, Pat & I made the split... For the rest of the race we fended off excessive hostilities from the rest of the group & over the last climb to the finish a group of 5 got away containing 2 toyota-united guys (Balwin & Blackgrove), a Health Net, a successful living, and me. The t-u guys kept attacking and sitting up until the base of a short descent before the final little hill to the finish where a desperate bunch of Health netters finally reconnected the split with us… They won the race with Russel Downing taking the final little sprint to the finish.

Julian, CA
Friday, February 02, 2007
Trespassed within the desert we did once more today. Was it a good day for such a trespass? Indeed it was. A feature plentiful of the desert is its uncanny je ne sais quoi. For quite undeniably, many who enter the desert… never return. I’ve nothing to offer in such a situation, & experience I have not, so utter as I must, my job is simplistic in nature with one objective which is to enlighten you on the various magical qualities of a place entirely dead yet dreadfully alive. Pass as you must, but fear that of which is not seen or heard, for it hits with force & eludes the wily, striking with a method perceptible to none.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Training Camp

Julian, CA
Thursday, February 01, 2007

In becoming one with sport, perhaps it’s necessary to understand the relation between the natural environment and perseverance. I’ve discovered that though the world seems to continue in a logical, predictable manner, the ensemble of thought possesses the power to change the trajectory of logic. Based on the grounds that within the world there are many minds and a handful of subjects to be pondered, it inevitably follows that the course of thought among many minds at once will focus on the same thought at the same time. Given the power within the mind and the energy within the body, it is possible for a single thought within the minds of many to cause unrest in the atmosphere. Obviously this is the explanation for the atypical weather abounds ‘round here.
Since everyone’s thinking the same thing here, the weather continues to relent not. Fortunately we’re an open-minded lot, willing to sacrifice for the greater good & make a b-line for the desert. As strange as it may sound, the desert was quite nice, although a bit breezy. We went out and back, and when we got back to Julian, everyone was evidently weighing deeply on the most troubling of matters… probably about the unworthy bunch of cyclists clogging their roads like a band of outlaws.

Julian, CA
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Whatever happened to “finishing on a good note?” It seems that as we approach the close of the camp, each day brings more strife. It’s one thing to be held up here in the Country Inn for 3 weeks, yet the circumstance takes an entirely different turn when the weather of Southern California becomes synonymous with that of the Pacific Northwest. Of course it hasn’t been so bad the whole time, but for it to reach such a state at the end of the camp is something of an untimely matter… for those accustomed to good weather. For me it’s not the end of the world, I just put it in PNW mode and hit the trainer for an hour and a half.

PNW- Pacific Northwest