Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekend Off

No races this weekend? Since the race season kicked off at the Icebreaker TT early this March I have raced every weekend, which has been an excellent thing.

However, I have a big couple weeks coming up and this weekend it is going to be nice to hang out with my family, drink French-press instead of espresso, train/rest hard, and play with my puppy!
How adorable is this?
Coming up I have:

Mt Hood Cycling Classic
Tulsa Tough
Tour of America's Dairyland (4 days)
US U23 Nationals

Initiating lift-off

video

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Enumclaw Stage Race

Things change. Time-Machine blog update.

I've raced this Stage Race many, many times since I started bike pedal racing. Same courses since I was around 13. This year went way better then it did when I was 13. Since there was no internet blogging for me wayyyyy back in early 2000s I figured I should recreate the 2004 Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race.
From this guys p.o.v
2004 Stage 1- TT
I thought that this should be pretty fun. Its only like,  6 miles or something. That's not very far. I do wish that I could've gone to my baseball game instead of coming here. Why do junior races start so early? There was no one here this morning when we got here. I finished. It took me ~20 minutes to do the race. Fletcher Farrar did it in 17. So fast!

2004 Stage 2- Crit
This crit is flat. I like that. I won wheels in a raffle at the start line! Tela won those last year. Hooray for Crane family traditions. I got dropped but Tela did pretty good. 20 minute races are really long.

2004 Stage 3- RR
This race was horrible. I didn't have any fun. We were supposed to go up the hill TWO times in the race. I couldn't keep up from the very bottom. I got off and stopped three times during the first time up the hill. I HATE THIS HILL. My parents kept playing a mean trick on me by driving further and further up the road so I couldn't drop out. Everytime that I'd get close to the car pulled over on the hill, they'd accelerate away to "get a safer spot to load the car". I'm so mad at them.

TIME MACHINE accelerate forward

2005- In the crit, I got 2nd to Grant. I now think I'm a sprinter, I only like flat races. Run into Benny's back wheel, crash, and get dropped on the climb. Somewhere around
17minutes in the TT.

2006- Win pack sprint in Junior crit. Can't keep up with the fast kids uphill, but win a sprint in the road race. Somewhere around 16 minutes in TT.

2007- Cat 4's, somewhere around low 15 minutes in the TT, nothing in the crit, and dropped like a rock the first time up the climb with Steve in the road race. Plus side, do wheelies up the climb.
'07 Dropped Swagger. Thanks to Amara from Wheelsinfocus for the throwback photo
Me following Steve. One thing that hasn't changed. (Wheelsinfocus.com)
 2008- YEAH RIGHT! There is a hill in this race, why would I enter? I'm a sprinter!
(insert embarrassing pic here with "Ian and a half" as the caption)

2009- First ever race as a cat2. 14 min something in the TT. DROPPED HARD IN THE CRIT! BARELY MAKE TIME CUT! CRISIS! Road Race kept up the first time up the hill? What? Then dropped second lap up the climb, everything back to normal.
Ian T and I DROPPED in the claw crit
 2010- 13.28 TT. Near front in the crit. Climb front-group strong? Huh? Finish the road race sprinting for second in the pack sprint to Roman Van Uden. 6th place on the day.
Sam and I. (DBCphoto.com)
2010 road race sprint for 5th (thanks Amara-Wheelsinfocus.com)
2011 Stage 1 TT-
Feeling it. Want top 10 and sub 13 minutes. Good warmup. Good mantra. Pedal HARD. 13:04, 12th. Close to goal.
(thanks Amara-Wheelsinfocus.com)
2011 Stage 2 Crit-
Want to do more then just sit in and wait for sprint. Win the first time bonus preme. Make the race hard for people. Anti-climactic finish after a late race trip to the pit (5.5 laps to go!)
DBCPHOTO.COM !!!!!!
2011 Stage 3 Road Race-
Tried to put pressure on the GC leaders team. Got away a couple times leading into the climb. 6 laps of the climb and crested the climb in the front group every time. Protected by teammates. Small group sprint finish, big efforts by Steve Fisher and Chris Parrish to keep me safe and near the front.  Combine sprinting learned in '05 and climbing learned in '10 to FINALLY WIN A STAGE AT ENUMCLAW!
2011 sprint for the win (wheelsinfocus.com)
check out wheelsinfocus.com
Thanks to Chris Winger for taking video of the finish.
video
Those are my experiences with the last couple years with the Enumclaw Stage Race.

Excited to see what comes next.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

!!!!

I forgot about a Get Rich Scheme! After watching the end of today's Giro stage, in which the leader finished in 7.5 hours (I know!), I was reminded of the only invention that is on my list of ways to get rich.

Much like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Iron Chef Michael Symon, I am always looking for inventions or additions that can make my life better. I present to you:

CHAMOIS CREME INSTA-APPLICATOR

Have you ever been on a long ride or race, and several hours in wish that you could stop at the car to get a new layer of chamois creme? Unable to privately re-apply in the midst of a 200km road race? Slowly start thinking of the consequences of choosing the voler chamois instead of the correct choice, the Castelli?

For only $49.99 (prices and participation may vary), you can have your very own resupplying chamois creme apparatus. Simply attach the chamois creme "bladder" in between your seat rails and you're good to go! Whenever you're ready for another dollop of Assos, a _____ of DzNuts, or a serving of Sportique, just squeeze your thighs together twice! Voilla!

Call 1800******* for more details

*Currently there is a small hold up in this invention on how to get the creme from the under-seat bladder into the shorts pad. Investors needed. Patent pending

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

People of the Airport

More bike racing trips means more times to the airport. While some might view this as a hassle, I simply see it as an opportunity to grow as a person by expanding my awareness of people around me. Without further ado, I bring to to you: People of the Airport (hopefully volume 1).

 
CHECK IN:

Here you can see the struggle when one realizes they can't carry on their lighter fluids, camping stoves, and kitchen knives onto the airplane. A chaotic bag swap ensues, which is absolutely necessary to be done in the middle of the walkway. In order to successfully emulate, please do not consider moving to the side of the walkway.
 Southwest Airlines has a pretty fancy plane boarding procedure. It's free seats, and the time for you to get on the plane is determined numerically by when you check in online 24 hours in advance. For example, check in exactly 24 hours before your plane is set to depart, you will get a boarding number such as A4. Slack and check in 5 hours before departure, you are C48. Everyone has a number, and you board the plane in this fashion. But I've found that the best way to ensure you get on the plane when you have an A6 and a A 20 is to stand in line WELL BEFORE anyone else. Regardless of the fact that your number is your spot, and all you have to do is show up before your number boards, stand in line early. And I mean 20 minutes early before anyone boards.
STYLE:
It is quite important to look Professional and dignified when in the airport. A former coach who worked for Boeing told me that airline employees are more likely to give seat upgrades to people who look nice when at the airport. 

This is clearly a perfect representation of style. Mismatched joker socks, overalls, brilliance.
 

Don't forget to match your hat to your jacket to your bag to your jeans to your bluetooth! That's pro!


Welcome to Sea-Tac! It's 40 degrees and raining! But if you're a sports superstar, feel free to wear your sweaty jersey you played a game in earlier. No one can smell you!


Here is a show of contrast in airport attire, but both great representations of how to get that seat upgrade! For one, wearing an all white suit shows you're ready for prom night (and a boost to the aisle seat exit row!), and for the other, wearing the train conductors overalls show that just in case the pilot has an issue, you are ready to navigate the friendly skies!

Nascar!


And this is a skullet!


Wish to guarantee a front of the line spot? If you check in as C58, but want to board as an A1, wear this-
SAFETY:

Flying on airplanes is no safe thing. That is why they spend the first 10 minutes of the flight telling you what to do in case of an emergency water evacuation when there also is a loss of oxygen. But luckily you can prepare for and prevent yourself from getting any injuries while flying!


REST:

After a long day of travel, it's a given you'll be tired and stressed. Why not put your feet up?
Also, we found Grant! (not staged)

THANKS FOR FLYING:

But truly the best part about airplanes is when you leave the plane and the tunnel from the door to the terminal is filled of life size pictures of smiling employees, thanking you for flying on their companies airline!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Midwest Crit racing!

Traveling for JUST criteriums! Could anything be better? Not even one foolish uphill TT to worry about! 

The Hagens Berman Crit team convened in St. Louis MO (money mo problems) for the three day weekend of Tour De Grove. Spencer and Dan came from Joe Martin Stage Race and Steve and I came from class on Friday-to the airport-to the bike race.
Dan tugs on the Harry Potter book and the secret door opens. Actually.
Steve felt like a grownup, that is until we learned the ceilings were actually quite low

The three races were: The Midtown Rally Grand Prix, The Tour De Grove (NRC), and The Dutchtown Classic. I happened across a diagram on the internet that summed up these races quite nicely.

I tried to analyze this further-

We were without a car on this trip, so all transportation was done in the way of the caveman- On Carbon fiber bikes and Deep-Dish carbon Tubulars. That meant that we would be riding in the dark on Friday. Our 75 minute race was set to start at 9:30. It was an hour bike ride. That means we rode home at Midnight (This ride included a grocery store stop for nourishment!)

Pure joy that the bonk will be avoided
The race was a simple 4 corner rectangle. Long straights with a tailwind finish section. Mach 10 down the homestraight, then 40 guys wide into the headwind. Repeat. I jumped into the headwind one lap and bridged solo to a group that had two PureBlack guys (more on them later), two V Australia, and one other guy. I was pretty stoked on this, as we were announced as the first significant break of the day. Several laps later that was caught. Then I got excited again and pulled through the finish line and up through the next two corners two laps in a row. Then, in a hopefully unrelated incident, I watched the finish from around 50th wheel as I couldn't figure out how those crafty men go through such small gaps.

Right side of the picture. White armwarmers
Saturday was the NRC race. That means there was 15times as much prize money up for grabs as the day before, and this also means that United Healthcare came and raced bikes. They are much better then everyone. Except for maybe the crafty geniuses that are the Pure Black Racing team. These dudes from NZL race every race perfectly. They do not have the strongest guy/best crit racer in the field (That's Jon Cantwell, Aussie natl crit champ), but they do have 6 of the best 10 guys. Which means they go crazy. Which means they won. Today, Pure Black out raced UHC. Hagens Berman watched from 20th wheel. Today I was more capable of moving around and after 9 guys got up the road, I was setting myself up for the field sprint. Turns out a lap and a quarter on a 1.8 mile course that crosses over two freeway overpasses is actually quite a long time, and 6th wheel with 2+miles to go doesn't turn out well. I finished 25th, 5 places out of NRC points and money. 

On a side note, there were so many potholes and sections of rough pavement on this course that the TWO pits on the course both ran out of wheels. So when I flatted with 25minutes to go, the neutral mechanic apologized and told me that my race was over. I then found a wheel strapped to Dans backpack, returned to the pit, and was let back in after a nice break. When I was being set to get thrown back in, a rider came in with double flats on clincher wheels. The mechanic put tubes in both of them!
Heading into freeway overpass #1
There is my wheel! 2nd to left!
Sunday was mind boggling difficult. We started with ~100 guys, and after UHC rode really fast through the downpour and slippery corners and up the hill for 20 minutes we were down to 70ish guys. Then it got harder and there were 40 guys, then finally 32 guys. I made that front split and tried my darndest to not lose but I could only manage to beat 10 of those 32. UHC had all of their guys in this front split (because they are better then everyone) so when they went to the front with 6 to go to lead out their sprinter things became one straight line. I passed around one guy a lap, and that was all! I ended up 22nd in the "bunch sprint" and only two spots out of the money. I then sat on a doorstep for what felt like an hour staring at a wall. 
Remnants of the field
We were all mentally prepared (and by that I mean all were ready to cry) to ride the 17 miles to the airport hotel after the race, but luckily the host-housing coordinator Amy offered to give us a ride! That saved us probably two hours of emotional trama! It was a tight fit in the car, but I was willing to hold a bike out the window if it meant us not having to ride to the hotel.

Then we went on a journey for food on Airport row!
Crit school was good fun and highly educational and I'd like to go many more times please.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Observations: The Fame, The Shame, and The Glamor

A half of seasons worth of discreet studying of the species troglodyte fashionciclista of the genus Collegiate of the family Cyclist has came up with some pretty convincing data. All of this has been carefully noted in spiral bound notebooks with ink & quill and cataloged alphabetically. Luckily I received a grant from an anonymous philanthropist and have been able to transfer these catalogs so they are also readable digitally.

And we begin.

Observation One: THE SHAME
The troglodyte fashionciclista is stereotypically poor. Technically, based on my research, most members of the family Cyclist fall into the poor category. However, the addition of the genus Collegiate adds a new level of financial crisis to the story. I can understand. I spent $180 on two paperback textbooks. Really! So with all respect to the players who want to play, there IS a line, regardless of your financial situation.

Have I lost you? I am talking about eyewear. Mad respect to the people who, instead of paying rent, buy a pair of sunglasses to accent their respective team kits. Specifically, Oakley Jawbones. But please, DO NOT WEAR THESE AS CASUAL GLASSES. I understand your financial situation does not allow a purchase of casual glasses. But until you hustle for some Smith Optics Vanguard, you should squint in the sun while outside in public. Believe it or not, wearing blue jeans, a white tshirt, and half Yellow and half Lime Green Jawbones to the Noodle Factory does not win you style points. Here are some examples.

Not cool-
Cool-
Not Cool-
Mark Cavendish- Pure cool- 
And.... debatable?
Observation Two: THE FAME
Now that you have your Jawbones, you must have a specific walk. Much like a gorilla dragging their knuckles on the ground in the search for bananas, the troglodyte fashionciclista has a specific goal when walking around the hotel talking about power numbers, or in the rarest of situations, 7 hours after an awards ceremony, still wearing their chocolate covered medal*.

This walk is noticeable from blocks away. Not to be confused with the "my chest cavity is so huge I can't walk normal" but this walk is the "I can't be bothered to be around these people, because I am the best". Commonly, the walk will be accompanied by three to four adoring fans who follow 2-3 footsteps behind.

This walk emits such power, such heroism, that it is shocking that these offenders even need to pedal their bikes in the races! Based on statistical evidence- 87% of people who do the walk also baby oil their legs before every race, 74% have a self given nickname like "Thunder-man" or "Captain Amazing", 68% wear Jawbones casually, 48% wear Ed Hardy clothes, 27% train, and 1.8% are actually good at bike racing.

Enough of the statistics! How will you spot this at your next event?

+

It's like if the Swag walk and the Monty Python walk met and had a baby.
 
*The walk tends to stick with the people who get 37th, 48th, 71st, and crash sprinting for 93rd. However, at times there are exceptions. 

Observation Three: The Glamor
Not all observations have led me scratching my nose and furiously dipping my quill back into the ink for more frantic writing. The troglodyte fashionciclista has mastered the art of personal grooming. Mostly in the sense of hair, but at times, clothes as well. No hair style too crazy, no outfit too extreme to wear to the awards ceremony (both classy and... opposite of classy), and no limits on the creativity.
The guy who won the D2 rr (photo from veloimages)
The Navy team keeping things classy at the awards
Chris McGovern's shants. "These will be huge".
yes
Off for more research.