Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Phil Gaimon took my intro paragraph

I had decided to write about how there may have been a bike race in France going on, but the real bike racing was happening in Bend, but someone else submitted their blog entry first so ignore anything I've said so far.

I left all of you hanging with a hint of future success in the crit event, mainly because of the skinsuit I chose to wear. We'll jump back to Bend, Saturday afternoon, post just submitted. I'm feeling pretty good about myself, seeing as I just out-blogged Kennett. I put my skinsuit on and ride to the course. Reverse even earlier into the day, and we had just rode to the course to drink coffee. I had crazy good sensations because I ordered the same coffee as someone on Pure Black, meaning that it was likely that the crit skillz were coming. So the combination of skinsuit+flat white+winning blogging race = perfect crit race, correct? I'm going to leave you hanging just a bit.


I have a story to tell. It's about a man, a tall man. One who would rather race a timetrial then a crit. One who prefers long, painful road races to short and snappy criteriums. Someone who I haven't done a criterium with in quite some time. This is also the same person who on Saturday night I saw doing all sorts of crit shark things- Here are some examples
  • Passing on the inside
  • Taking wheels
  • Riding at the front
  • etc etc
So here's to you Sir, a newly reborn crit racer. May the world of bike racing open in front of your eyes.

Anyways, I didn't win the crit. Apparently people are fast enough to lap the field on this course, and while I didn't shift out of my 53x10 the whole time, I also didn't factor into anything. It's ok though, because I'm only 16. My cousins came out to watch, which is always great. They didn't bring their dogs though (Cmon Milena and Ry!), but it's pretty cool to see them somewhat often because of this bike racing thing.

Colin could only be bothered to get third place in his crit, but when I got back to the house he and Steve were already celebrating. (Side note- He won pretty much everything else that mattered, because he's ONLY 24),

wingerstudios.com PSYCH
Feeling pretty tired at this point, I took 34 Hammer Nutrition REM caps and tried to sleep, but to no avail, so instead Lang and I took Kiwi-Knowledge quizzes. We talked about Boikes until I was knackered, then went to bed.

Sunday is the last day of the Boike race, and it is also the longest stage of the race at 80-something miles. 5 laps of the Awbrey Butte course. In the past I've had some fairly decent rides on this course, so I was pretty optimistic.
And then a couple laps in I got dropped pretty hard on Archey Briggs!!!! I stayed in the 20+ car long caravan over the crest of the climb. I knew that if I could stay in the cars, I could get a round of bottles for the guys left. So I took bottles until I recovered, and made my way back to the group to distribute.

I got Lang TWO bottles, which is the equivalent to letting the beast out. He went uphill faster then most and had a pretty good result on the day, which I think probably had lots to do with the two bottles I got him. If we only had one more guy..... Here is a video of what happens when you give Lang 2 bottles-

Logan, Lang, and Cody were our only finishers on the day, which really secured our spot in Team GC. They were paying close attention to riding together as a team, and luckily they didn't need just one more guy!

Some local racing this weekend, then hopefully some big crit racing in August. There is still much fun to be had.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cascade stages 0 through something

In 2009, Lang Reynolds almost won the historic Milan San Remo. This is the story of Hagens Berman at the 2011 Cascade Cycling Classic.

Racing started with a prologue on Tuesday, where I rode I think pretty fast through the straightaways, but when I got to the tetris section of the course I didn't go so fast. The first 90deg right hander on a bike lane wide section was pretty basic, I made sure to hit the brakes there, then again when I turned 7 more times. I did however pay extra close attention to looking really handsome and photogentic the whole time and it worked, because I got a picture on Cyclingnews.

As prologues seem to go, it was a pretty underwhelming result and I was quite nervous about the ~15 seconds I lost to the race winner. I knew that those 15 seconds would be pretty crucial the next day when we went up an hour long climb, and then another 20 minute long climb. And by that I mean that I survived the first half of the climb with the leaders, and thought I was doing alright until I realized that I still had 30 minutes of climbing to go. It's ok though, because I was in a group with 40 of my new closest friends, AND I didn't signal the upcoming corner unlike my teammates. Also, I just found out that I am racing Kennett to see who finishes typing a blog post first so if all of a sudden this just ends kind of like an episode of the Sopranos, it's Kennett's fault.

Thursday was the time trial that I've done at least 12 times, and done it fast on zero occasions. Luckily, I made sure to warmup in numerical order so that nothing would be confusing to me and I could focus on going as fast as I could. Looking at my strava data I was about 3 minutes slower then Lang on the climb out but then on the way back down I put 6 minutes into him to finish ~30 seconds faster, and ALMOST make it into the top 100 for the first time all week! If that math doesn't make sense to you, my downhill split was significantly faster then Langs because he had to do a bike change at the top to get off of his fixie uphill TT bike, and get on his downhill specific TT machine.
Cody, myself, and Steve pre-TT

An almost hot day meant that we could go sit in the Deschutes River and soak our TTired legs (see what I did there?). Since it was below 80 degrees, none of the locals were out except for one kid who "didn't want to get his inbetween waist and thighs cold" by going that far into the water. I also didn't want to hurt that area either, but I also had to see who was manlier between Spencer and myself so I walked in with my pride intact. Meanwhile, Steve walked in half as far as the rest of us did. After the river, we accidentally saw Jordan Campbell, then Spencer and Winger had a battle to see who could eat the most protein. Here is a picture of what Spencer ended up eating-

Meanwhile, Kennett ate cereal. And speaking of Kennett eating, besides Cereal, here is his exact diet.

Then Colin got here, and the party really started. And by that I mean that he pretty much instantly broke the TV, which brought tears to Lang and Steves face. Luckily, Kennett and I are strong in the face of adversity, and fixed it. Phew, we almost had to do something like.... talk to eachother.... but luckily the TV got fixed.

Friday was the second road race, which going into it I wasn't too worried about it, but then suddenly Thursday night I realized that this stage was gonna be a real slobberknocker . I've done 80 percent of this stage before in the Cat 2 race, but the darn right hilarious part about that is A) the cat 2 race starts one mile from the top of a climb and B) the Cat 1 race starts in town, rides ballistic speed neutral rollouts, then starts climbing for 40 minutes to get to where the Cat 2 race starts.

So the real humor behind this is that if you get dropped on the first climb, you have a ridiculous long day in front of you to try and not get time cut. ALSO they only allow 150 riders to race the crit, so my 137th place on GC going into the day was slightly scary. The section between the first climb and the last climb is ~2 hours of slightly downhill headwind, aka you lose if you get dropped. So I tried real hard to not get dropped on the first climb. I decided that the best possible place to get dropped was the section near the parking lot where the other races were staged (1 mile from the top) so that as I was getting dropped lots of people would see me! It worked out great, and I went backwards through the spectators. Then I followed a psychopath Fly V guy downhill through the caravan and caught back on with relative ease. Then I sat in for 2 hours and then got dropped on the finish climb and rolled in around 2 minutes back on the leaders.
PS- Steve sprinted the grupetto.

So my first top 100 of the #CCC came on the queen stage! Hooray!

Tonight is the crit, and tomorrow is the Awbrey Butte circuit race. Going to wear the skinsuit for optimal speed.

 Also, I just beat Kennett in the blog writing race! Say whatttttt

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bend Pre-Gamin

And I'm not talking yoga class. Bend is a cool place, and I really like it here. But its raining? WTF! I was told that Bend never has rain, and that it has 368 days of sunshine!! So this morning instead of going out and riding REALLY early to avoid rain, Lang decided to try and help me out and took us to Thump coffee for really no specific reason other to you know, get coffee. Turns out I'm still an eligible bachelor since I didn't meet any new people. And of course by that, what I really mean is that I got an Americano with 3x shots because our host house doesn't have any coffee.

So Lang, Steve and I are living together in this really small house with no space. And by that I mean that we each have our own rooms and beds. We have been trying our best to make do with what we have as well as trying to figure out how to spend 2 full days of downtime before doing the prologue tonight. First, Kennett came over and ate 7 bowls of cereal. Then Steve had 2 bags of popcorn. Lang ate literally the whole fridge because he heard there was a tailwind for the prologue, and everyone knows that heavy people get more advantage in tailwind "fat people" races. And I ate nothing because Cody and I have been on the Cascade KOM plan. So actually, I ate only marshmallows because those were the lightest food I could find in the house, and I heard eating food that doesn't weigh much makes you light.

First, the TV in this house is monumental. Somehow this thing stays on the wall, I don't know how. It also takes 4 remotes to operate. But since the tv is so big, I was able to see Andy and Frank Schleck not attack in that big bike race in France.

Then, we sort of spread out into our various rooms. Lang likes many things, but high on his list is "ways of self entertainment". He found the legos first, and was STOKED! But then found something else that really brought back memories from his childhood (childhood during when the original Star Wars came out, because Lang is older then me and therefore it's funny).

Steve found the XBOX, which is trouble. No one but Steve is allowed to touch it, and I was lucky enough to surprise him with a picture while he was playing- Feast your eyes on Steve in Xbox-mode-
When I was getting the tour of the house, I saw this device in my room. What is it for? Luckily we asked the host, and found out that his children are quite some Red Bull-Risk takers.

So that is the fun we have been having Pre-Cascade. We got some new jerseys in to wear if it ever gets sunny here!

Alright, prologue tonight at 7:22:30. I'm going to pedal as hard as I can, and I heard someone starting rumors on the drive down that if you go fast enough, and the wind is just right, Time Trial bikes legitimately can take off the ground and go flying.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wise Words From a Local Resident

10+ hours of driving later we arrived in Boise. And by driving, I mean I sat in the passenger seat and Cody sat in the back, because in exchange for a free lunch Steve drove the whole way. That is similar to how I plan on hanging around in pool halls, challenging people to high risk financial games of pool, losing the first one (on purpose), and then going quadruple or nothing on the next one and winning. Conned. 10 hours of driving > one salad, but luckily Steve was ok with that deal.

We stopped to ride in Pendleton, which is apparently home to one of the ten largest rodeos in the world... I didn't see any rodeos, but a local did call us out for "dressing like you're about to ride a long ways" even though we were only riding for one hour.  It was a really scenic ride that had a tailwind in both directions!!!!

Boise is home to the Exergy Twilight Crit, one Performance bike shop, one jail, and a really mountainous ride loop that we rode on Friday.

I got dropped soooo hard
Unfortunately, I got pretty sick on Friday, and woke up feeling worse on Saturday. I decided to start anyways, because USAcrits gives lots of points for race starts, and maybe just maybe racing would bring me back to life. Long story short, it did.... NOT. But the plus side of all this is that my USAcrit series start points moved me up two places in the overall standings, even though I did not finish. On to the next one.

There are LOTS of pretty girls in Boise. Lots and lots, and I had plenty of time after I pulled myself from the race to network and compare astrological signs. However, I talked to none of them. But I did talk to two crazy people and one self proclaimed "Real Ghetto Man". I pulled myself from the race when I couldn't hold my breath any longer, and then I rode around trying to find a quiet spot to chill and maybe trick my pneumonia-esq lungs into working again. This was harder said then done, because the 20,000 people that came out to spectate were kind of everywhere. I found a somewhat isolated bench and was angrily texting myself when an extremely tall guy, who was visibly drunk, smoking a cigarette and wearing a LA Lakers jersey stumbled up and sat down next to me. Some highlights from this conversation included:
  •  "I bet you could dunk. You got huge calves. I got some white homies, they only 5'9, they can soarrrrr. Up and over the rim. Straight up soar"
    • To which I responded "yeah no I can't jump, I can maybe touch net
  •  "I've had a few beers"
  • "Money used to be all that mattered to me. I had too much, just blew it all. Never saw the real important stuff. Dancing. People. New sports, like this baseball, wait no, biking thing that I'm watching here"
  • "I figured I'd come over and talk to you, because you all alone. And I'm drunk"
  • "Let me show you how to shake hands like they do in the ghetto!"

  • "You down. But you not out. You just out of this one. There's more." 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tour De Delta

So close!

Steve, Winger, Morgan, and myself took a trip up to Americas Hat. We met up with Spencer up there, since he is, well, from up there and it didn't make sense for him to meet us in Seattle before heading back North to Canuckville. Tour de Delta is a 3 day omnium (based off points), with two crits and one road race.

Steve and I got a ride in Wingers car
First, I had to learn all about the monopoly money that they use up there, then I had to adapt to how basically BC is America, except with French subtitles. At one point in the road race on Sunday we were within 100 meters from a US border crossing! Amurica!

We left Friday morning, and Morgan was really stressed because he heard that Peace Arch was F'ed! Then Steve gave us inadequate information about a lunch stop, and then Winger almost got his nexus pass taken away because Steve had a banana and Morgan had a juice drink with lots of seeds in it. (Also, AJ may or may not have been hidden in the trunk of the car) (ok he wasn't actually). The first crit on Friday was a rectangle, with the long straights either being up or down. The climb had speed bumps in it, and the finish was maybe 40 meters from the last corner. I tried to go as easy as possible up the climb every lap so that I'd have all sorts of Canadian fireworks to throw off on the last lap- I'd do this by NOT BRAKING IN THE CORNERS??? and then going slower up the hill. Worked out pretty well, and ended up sprinting for 13th on the day (9th in the pack sprint).

I rode pretty hard up the hill the last lap, someone got a good picture!

I knew that this race had a Best Young Rider competition, and as I looked at who was ahead of me on the day I hoped to have gotten it. Turns out I was, and got called onto the podium for a Leaders Jersey and some flowers.

I gave the flowers to our host mom, and even though she was Wingfield's grandma, I became the favorite in the house. It seems like every place I've stayed this year has had some great bike paths nearby, and this was no exception. Saturday morning we went out for an AM spin, and although we didn't see any grizzly bears or beavers, it was still pretty pleasant.

The worst part was when we had to ride a gravel trail to get to the path, but luckily we all had on our Vittoria Pave training tires and were able to float over those bumps much like it was the Pave of the famed Roubaixs in... Montana.

Saturday evening was crit number 2. I made a fan of kid before the start who A) thought it was really cool that I had a leaders jersey , B) my bike was REALLY light, and C) I talked to him. Then I was told I'd get a call up, so Morgan and I hung out at the back of the group during the ceremonial bagpipe walk. Turns out I didn't get a call up, which was lame, because they called up people who I beat the day before and were not in a leaders jersey! They also only called Canadians to the line.... hmmm... Didn't they see that my name is in the word to describe the people of their country! However, I did use the "I should be getting a call up pretty soon" line to move my way through the pre-race madness to still end up the second row at the start.
Right side, behind Pinfold from United Healthcare
Then I crashed 1/2 way through, and that was pretty much that. Tried to salvage a result and got 25th, outside of the points, and lost the Best Young Riders jersey. The two biggest stories for this race were Steve winning a preme, and my watch literally saving my life. Without it, I'd have gotten road rash on my veins and that's how people commit suicide! So I'm lucky. Also, the watch saved my palms from getting scraped because the band kept my hand roughly 2 cm off the ground. So now I need a new white watch! Any suggestions?

Here is my face after the race Saturday, I was fairly tired and beat up-

So after a night of sticking to the sheets, we headed off for our 9am road race start. The course was shaped like a dumbbell, which is perfect for me, because I hit the gym doin the bicep curls on the regular. I say dumbbell because we did 4 circuits in one town, rode 30 k to another town, and then did 80 k of circuits in there. There was a fairly big climb on the second set of circuits, that I was really hoping would blow the race apart. It did, twice, but unfortunately it kept coming back together. Spencer got the hardman award of the day by making it into the break of the day and staying away till about 20 k to go. Steve and Winger were great, with both of them making sure I was in good position at the base of the hill each lap. Then Steve got me to the front with ~700 m to go, and I tried my best to make a sprint, and ended up 6th in the bunch, for 8th on the day.
Spencer in the Break

I was really hoping that I had done enough to get the jersey back- I had put 6 places between me and the current Best Young Rider on the stage. Unfortunately I didn't quite get it back, and ended up tied for second in the Best Young Rider standings.

Oh right, and somehow again my face got captured at the finish!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

TDF Tech

Probably everyone that reads this has some connection to cycling, specifically me. That is unless the person who continuously searches "Sparkling Water Diet Cleanse" on google and somehow ended up on my blog, became a life long reader. If so, hey!

So under that assumption, I am going to talk some Tour De France tech real quick. A cool thing about this race is that sponsors see the value in going above and beyond, and because of that riders often receive new bikes. Then media-outlets such as Cyclingnews and Velonews do bike profiles where people like me can notice things like how Phillipe Gilbert's big ring is worn down and his little ring appears brand new, aka he is way to manly for the little ring.

Gilbert's rings

Gilbert is also a freshly minted National Champion, so a new scheme is a must!

Some riders, perhaps unsure of their current fitness, use a simple name sticker to distinguish their bikes from others.
Other riders have quite notable characteristics that set them apart from others. Thor Hushovd is the current World Champion as well as the current yellow jersey (at time of publication). For this, his bike has been accented with those respective colors.
If you're quite sure of your form going into the Tour, or perhaps have gotten second two years in a row, your sponsors will dazzle your bike just a bit. This is quite the honor!
Two lions of Luxembourg as well as two hammers, representing Frank and Andy Schleck.
A bit more fancy then a name sticker
But there is still a level to climb. If your bike has any sort of swag to it, you've earned some respect. Your sponsors appreciate you, and feel that you are the MAN and will be earning some media coverage. Some people are just a bit more G'd up. Bike racing is hard for everyone except 2 men. Phillipe Gilbert, and Fabian Cancellara.

Fabian's bike is the steed for a gladiator. Players play, and in terms of bike-swag, Fabian is winning.

First, your name shall not be used. A name represents a person; someone capable of feeling pain, cracking under pressure, mortgages, and potential comparisons. A nickname eliminates that, and instead of making Fabian seem human (HA!), it represents what he is: A machine.
 Second, some form of primal representation to put further distance into the idea that Fabian might be a human, therefore being able to suffer. "Our arrows will blot out the sun. THEN WE WILL FIGHT IN THE SHADE!"

 How could someone who doesn't feel pain roll easily without branded tires?

And finally, some form of weapon with your lucky numbers on it leading the way.

So cool! Fabian's got it made, and I figured since he is a Bicycle-thug and can hold 1000 watts for probably 13 minutes, I should try and see if there is a way that I can mimic this in order to become an apprentice bicycle-thug!

 The violent, majestic symbol
Branded Vittoria tubies!

A Crane of Dynamite- that's primal!

Other ways for bicycle-thugging = commuting in style

I love this time of year!