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

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Gila

Silver City, NM
Monday, April 30, 2007

After a series of uneventful flights I’ve arrived in Silver City again. It’s been a while since I’ve been here, Silver City actually brings back a lot of memories from the beginning of my affiliation with Slipstream Sports. The training camp last year was here, and although it seems like it was some time ago, it’s been just one short year. I’d forgotten that we stayed at this holiday inn until I got in & each hallway was too familiar to be true.
I’ve never done this race, but I’ve ridden each road and climb at least a dozen times. Not to mention that in the last three days the Gila team and I have climbed over 28,000 feet. With Gila’s status as a climbing race there’s no excuse for 2nd.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Take'n it slow

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Today I did 5 sets of recovery intervals within two hours to speed the healing of the past week. With recovery intervals it's very simple and relegated primarily to Boulder- you turn onto highway 36 and ride at a leisurely 170 watts waiting for an enthusiast to blow by you like they’re go’n easy. The preferable enthusiast wears the discovery channel kit and rides a time trial bike. You speed up and get in their draft until you feel well recovered. Boulder is the only place where you have enough enthusiasts to make the experience 100% guaranteed, you’ve just gotta make sure not to get an enthusiast who’s too fast... ‘cause their pretty intense ‘round here.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The dirty fix

Friday, April 27, 2007

A moment’s elapsed since I’ve been here in Colorado, and I’ve realized that the world does in fact revolve around this particular region… with emphasis on the Boulder part. There’s no reason why downtown traffic should come to a dead stop at 5:00, other than the possibility that people come from far and wide to experience the sacred grounds of Boulder. Certainly Boulder business couldn’t generate traffic of such, in which case I attribute the sudden “swell” downtown to the surrounding population… who evidently need to get their fix. Of course it would all be inexplicable ‘cause no one in their right mind needs a Boulder fix- but since it's Colorado it makes perfect sense. Regardless, I seem to be of the minority on my opinion of Boulder, so I won’t hold your Boulder love against you.
Roads ‘round here are good though. Every road out of Boulder seems to make a different route to the peak to peak highway, which with 2000 feet per route makes a formidable amount of climbing comparable to anywhere in the US. So given all these roads you’d think the training camp would be great. No. Since they have so many good paved roads we decide to ride on dirt. Perhaps riding on dirt’s okay, but steep 20+ percent climbs? You can’t stand up or accelerate because you’ll just spray dirt. I guess it’s fine if it’s all you have, but with perfect paved roads… what’s the point?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

& the stars move into position

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

If the sun shines and the temperature is good, does it call for a fine day? Will the pedals churn effortlessly and the watts flow easily? What is the circumstance that requires victory? Is it in the day or the mind… or is it something unconscious? Perhaps it’s something deeper, something more physiological... The perfect alignment of muscle and mind.
Whatever the case, I continue to await the alignment that wins races.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Plan B

Make the break or initiate the break tomorrow. If Lucus gets in it, he accumulates more points to take the overall. If he doesn't, then I win each kom and take the stage (400 watts up brasstown)... baby steps ya know...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Plan A

For winning the Tour of Georgia...
380-400 watts in the tt
400 watts up Brasstown.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Leaving, on a jet plane

Tour of Georgia (Georgia)

Tour of the Gila (New Mexico)

Volta a Catalunya (Spain)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Slipp'n 'n slide'n

North Bend, WA
Monday, April 09, 2007

Seattle is but a short jaunt from that which the world revolves around (North Bend, WA)… With its sprawling population of 5000, I was a bit bewildered to why the race I was off to on Sunday wasn’t just held here in town. Cycling enthusiasts are actually abound here; the pick-up with the “red-neck” sticker is a front.
Needless to say, the criterium was in Seattle, so I took the chance to make the commute part of my race- I thought it was quite industrious really. Anyway, it was a four hour ride, and when I left it was nice ‘n sunny. When I arrived at the race, it was quite cloudy, & moments later it was raining just hard enough to completely soak everything. The ground looked more slippery than ever, & I’d heard rumors of a particular corner being exceptionally treacherous. So I sent Jonathan a quick text to get his take on the situation. He said to either bag it or sit in the back. But after listening to some of the local hotshots muse over ruining their chances for tst by crashing I knew I was gonna make a race of it whether it was slick or not. Just to spite them- hmmm, so you’re not gonna do it ‘cause you’re afraid of crashing out of tst… I’m doin’ it and I’m doing Georgia…
Alas, I was definitely the sketchiest guy out there. I couldn’t figure out why, but every time around corner two, I was sliding somehow no matter how I approached it. I even got the two wheel slide going once… which to me seems, when it’s wet, almost impossible without crashing. I’m gonna have to chalk that up onto my list of many things to ponder (bet you don’t have one of those…). Despite my lack of cornering skill I gave it a go. A group of nine kind of rode away, it was probably from one of the many gaps I initiated around the turn, and ended up winning by some 20 seconds. I suppose it was good training, but that’s a fun one when it’s dry… maybe next year, eh?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

US Open

2 americans in the top ten... go figure...

U.S. Open Cycling Championships Williamsburg- Richmond, VA. April 7
1. Svein Tuft (Can), Symmetrics, 112mi in 4:19:102.
2. Pat McCarty (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, at 0:413.
3. Alejandro Borrajo (Arg), Rite Aid, same time
4. Russell Downing (GB), Health Net-Maxxis, s.t.
5. Andrew Pinfold (Can), Symmetrics, s.t
6. John Fredy Celada Parra (Col), Tecos, s.t
7. Trent Wilson (Aus), Jittery Joes, s.t.
8. Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Navigators Insurance, s.t.
9. Alex Candelario (USA), Jelly Belly, s.t.
10. Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr), Navigators Insurance, s.t.

Congrats to Pat though, for representing the team and the country...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Show stop'n

North Bend, WA
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bellingham, WA
Over the weekend I headed due north for two races. The first one was at 8:00am… so I left home at 4:00am. I didn’t sleep that night just knowing that I’d have to wake up at 4 to drive to Bellingham. Whether I’ve slept or not doesn’t often faze me though. At the start line I took the chance to jest with the official over the necessity of an 8am start & the similarity of it to the days of old when I was mountain bike racing as a junior and the many unsettling 8:00am starts I endured back then. I thought it quite dense back then too, perhaps more so. Nevertheless, Criterium International took the chance to give the 8am start a go too, so perhaps it’s good preparation for what’s to come. Of course, the time did not faze me at all; in fact, it may have dulled the pain. After the race I extended the effort for 1.5 hours, making it a bit more realistic.

Sequim, WA
After the Bellingham race, it was a bit of a jaunt down through Whidbey Island to the Keystone ferry terminal, where I had the pleasant experience of watching the ferry from a distance as it departed across the sound. The ferries run every 1.5 hours, so I had a good chance to sit and ponder my existence amongst the various forms of beached driftwood along the shore.
The ferry ride from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend was 30 minutes, followed by a 45 minute drive over to Sequim. I stayed at the Great House Motel that night and slept until 10am the next morning.
The race started at 1pm & it was absolutely frigid. I have no idea why… But the wind was quite unrelenting and despite being in the “Olympic Rain Shadow” the rain began halfway through the race. The combination made for quite a pleasant experience. I was kind of banking on the two of them to not come simultaneously, the wind is supposed to blow away the clouds and rain… right? I guess not, evidently the wind brought the rain and clouds. So I did the race, changed and road for another 2.5 hours after the race. After all was said and done, I had done 5 hours and 55 minutes and a total of 5200 kjs…

Show Stop'n: I won the one in Bellingham by a minute, and the one in Sequim by 10 minutes…

That which follows are "photos" of Puget Sound & the Keystone Port Townsend ferry.