Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Season in Review , 2011 , part tres

I can't believe that all of you got on airplanes and flew to all those top Mexican food joints that I told you about. Shocking! Prefiero que Ud dame un burrito de Longboard Louies. Ahora!

Anyways, it's been pretty nice to reflect back on the season a bit and think about what I've learned as a cyclist. It has been really exciting to learn something at every race I've gone to this year, and I'm looking forward to using some of that knowledge in races to come. However, I am going to choose not to bore you with things I've learned about positioning, nutrition, tactics, recovery, and people-watching. Instead, I'd like to share some things that I STILL have absolutely no idea how to do. I've had lots of chances to figure these out this season, but instead I am still mostly incapable. 

I have literally no idea where my handlebars are supposed to go in the Pika Pak. When packing the bike, I have to take the handlebars off of the stem, and have them hanging by the cables and housing. But then where do they go! It takes me way too long to solve the puzzle that is handlebar placement. You'd think that after packing and unpacking my bike 30 times this year I'd recognize where the ONE spot is that the handlebars fit comfortable, but Nay.

NONE of those work! I swear that TSA undid my bars and pulled off my tires for these pictures. WTF, right! Here is the winner, in case you were confused.

Something that I have struggled with all year has been how to operate automatic sinks in airports. I dislike touching sink handles, especially in airports, so it's nice that things are automatic. However, I am apparently too unaware of the location of my hands because I can never get those suckers to turn on when I want them to. No matter how many magic fingers, Kung-fu hands, baseball signs, dance moves, pizza making, massages, clapping, snapping, or pounding I do, I can't make the sinks turn on when I want them to. Usually, the first one I get right away. But thanks to water saving technology, the water shuts off before I even finish soaping up the hands, which leads me hand-dancing trying to re-convince the water to turn back on. How do I do this? Is there some sort of 100-level course that I can take that will make me not look like I am having a seizure in the bathroom everytime that I use the sink?

Seriously though, this is what I look like trying to operate the sinks.

Finally, something that really has gotten me all season is the hydration situation. It's important to keep hydrated when flying, but TSA restricts me from bringing my bomb water (LOL THAT MEANS TWO THINGS LOL) onto the plane. So I have to come to the airport with an empty bottle, and fill it up, like, 20 percent before things start to pour out. How do you fill up a nalgene in a water fountain!?!??!!? Impossible. It's like the game where you have a bucket of water, but it has a huge hole in the bottom of the bucket. Water goes everywhereeee. So I don't know how to do that. And I always go thirsty because most airports are water fountain only. BUT THERE ARE TWO HEROES! Simply on water bottle ease, I really appreciate the Chicago and Philadelphia airports because they have wonderful water bottle fountains. Thank you Baby Geniuses.

This is my sad-face when I try and fill up my water bottle. But it doesn't work :( :(

 Solution One! Thank you Philly!

And solution two! Check out my genuine happy-face! Pure joy.

And since you all have read this far.... my favorite race of the year..... was..... a tie..... between

Univest GP (The road race) and Tulsa Tough Day 3 (Cry Baby Hill). And I got dropped at Tulsa!


My favorite airport person of 2011.

With a close second being-
Foreign Currency Exchange. Please chuckle now
So that wraps up the 2011 road season in review. I am definitely still going to be posting regularly throughout the off-season, because I don't like doing homework and it is way more fun to write for this then English classes. My next post will be about me not (??) biking for a couple days in the "offseason".

Is it March 2012 yet? Let's race road bikes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Season Review, part TWO

Welcome back! After re-reading every single one of my blog posts from this season, I'm sure you've realized by now that I've been all over the map. I was thinking I'd put a map up and put pins in everywhere that I've been this year, but then I realized I'd never been to the top two corners of the map to pin it up to the wall. :( :(

So where exactly have I been? Well, since the second weekend of March, I have been from Bellingham to-
Eugene, OR
Agoura Hills, CA
San Dimas, CA
Redlands, CA
Pullman, WA
Walla Walla, WA
Madison, WI
St Louis, MO
Hood River, OR
Tulsa, OK
Milwaukee, WI
Augusta, GA
Delta, CA(nada)
Boise, ID
Bend, OR
Chicago, IL
Souderton, PA

+local races

Typing that out, it's pretty funny to me that I finished it, looked at the list, and everything looked right to me. Didn't looked like I had forgotten anything. I thought back to the season, re-read everything, and it looked like the proper list. Then I realized I had forgotten Augusta, GA. I wonder why? What a place.

Anyways, we are very lucky to have stayed at host houses for all of those trips except for my trip to Collegiate Nationals in Madison, WI, and the trip to Augusta, GA, for the Elite/U23 Nationals. It is absolutely way better to stay in a host house then it is to stay in a hotel. We tell hosts this all the time, and they are shocked! I don't know why, Hotels are loud, dirty, expensive, don't have food, and you don't get to meet anyone new! In a host house, you have most of the time a pantry to raid, a bed to sleep in, coffee in the morning, and new people to meet. You get dogs to play with, TV to watch, and mailboxes to run over.
Without sharing the dirtiest details about what was my favorite host house of the year, and which was my least favorite, I'm going to share a couple highlights.

This was a pretty tough one, because I had 3 beds that really stood out to me. But the final decision, for favorite bed of 2011, goes to......

BEND, OREGON, for the Cascade Cycling Classic.

This bed was big enough for 3 baby elephants, and since I am only the size of 2, it fit perfect. The sheets were nice, the pillows were comfortable (and there wasn't too many of them), and I was extremely tired of trying to make time cut up mountain passes that I slept great every night.

We have stayed in some pretty remarkable places, but this one was pretty easy. My favorite host house view of 2011 was....

AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA, for team training camp.

Take a look. Nothing more to say.

Lily! I've stayed at my mom's house before, so this counts as a host dog, right?
We spend a lot of time doing bike practice and bike racing, but we definitely have down time at races. That's one of the reasons that I started this blog, was so that I'd have something to do every once in awhile. Bike racing makes us tired, which is where the coffee comes in. Plus, it's delicious. Then activities need to take place to keep us from literally finding the end of the internet. So the duel award for Coffee and Activities goes to.......

PORT WASHINGTON, WISCONSIN, for Tour of America's Dairyland.

They had bottomless coffee, and a pool table! And a weight room! Steve and I played 1 million games of pool. We do feel sort of bad about the quantity of coffee that we consumed, because it was astronomical. But we were sooo tired and it was so easy!

Food is necessary. No matter how much all of us joke about eating (or not eating), we definitely consume lots and lots of it. And it's really nice when a host offers to go grocery shopping for us! But this was above and beyond, when our host emailed us in advance asking what she should get at the grocery store. I didn't really know what to say! So I said fruits, vegetables, and eggs. What we got was incredible. The food winner goes to.....

WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON, for Tour of Walla Walla.

Here was our setup! I ate an entire chicken on the drive home.

The food transitions well into a subject that every cyclist has some form of experience with. And that is Mexican food. We try to get groceries and cook our own food, because it is cheaper and healthier, but often times it is too difficult or we are too hungry to be bothered to cook. So we go out to eat, and 9/10 times the restaurant chose would be a mexican place. Here are all the Mexican food restaurants that I can remember going too, there location, and my review.

Chipotle- Everywhere. 6/10. Consistent
Qdoba- Everywhere!. 6.5/10. Also consistent.
Baja Fresh- Everywhere. 6/10. Sometimes great. Small portions. Not enough for Kennett.
Taqueria Yungapeti- Walla Walla. 9/10. Really good taco-truck food. Cheap! Great
Barberitos- Augusta. 4/10. Not awesome
Monterrey- Augusta- 5/10. Your traditional family mexican restaurant.
Moes- Augusta. 2/10. Waste of money! Cold! And we went there twice, WTF King Lang.
Rubios- Redlands. 7/10. Better then the Chipotle across the street that Parrish went to 11 times. Fresh salsa
Bora Boras- Portland. 9/10. Excellent taco truck burritos
Mexicali- Tulsa. 8/10. HUGE chips, good salsa, decent food.
Mexicali Chips
And finally, the 10/10s. What you've all been waiting for. After a season of bike racing, I'm also convinced that I found the 3 best cheap Mexican food places in the country. Probably the world.

Longboard Louies- Bend. 10/10. The best chain burrito, ever. So many salsas, good meat, ingenious preparation.
Casa Del Ray- San Dimas. 10/10. The sit-down restaurant that we went to twice, because it was unbelievably cheap (almost like stealing), and delicious.

and finally, the ELEVEN out of TEN.

El Guapo- Tulsa. 11/10. Go there. Sit in the rooftop seating, and hope that your server is a little bit drunk. Get served salsa out of a pitcher, and eat delicious chips while deciding which menu item you should consume. Finish it, and wish that you lived on that roof top. Pay a small amount for the level of pleasure that you experienced. Laugh about the fact that the name is Spanish for Handsome, make awkward jokes to Spencer and Kennett about how the restaurant was named after you. Giggle hysterically. Eat more chips and salsa. Roll around in a world of stomach-pain bliss.

YES! Burritos are so good! Go eat. Srsly.


Come back soon for the 2011 season review part TRES!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 Season in Review part 1

This year marked my first year of being a committed, traveling bike racer-bum. After racing Tour of Utah with the HB Elite team last year, I got a spot on the team for this season. Having never really spent time racing on the road, I wasn't really sure what to expect.

Most of the life of this blog has been about races and all that stuff that follows, but I wanted to do a broad... reflection on the 2011 road season. Hopefully next year I'll maybe definitely probably do this again and I'll be able to graph the similarities and differences.

I feel bad, because all season I've been talking about these... people... but I never really introduced my teammates. I've sorted these in Chronological age order so it's easy to follow.

THE Joe Holmes- 

He is in charge. He likes Merlot, Nutella, saying "really", man-dates with Billy, power-sliding rental cars in the caravan, the occasional well-run/properly funded masters race, training on a Cole rear tubular, and finally, THE Ohio St Buckeyes.

King Lang- (Lang Reynolds)
Lang is the father of all of us. He is who we go see when we have issues, be it emotional, mental, or crank-based power inaccuracies. Lang is the source of most Strava related jokes as well as age, head size, and # of veins. Also, I roomed with Lang LOTS and we enjoy sending eachother Twitter hashtags and watching Jersey Shore together.

Kennett-(Kennett Peterson)

This is the author of the only other blog on the internet. And it's much worse then mine, and his stats aren't as impressive. But what he lacks in blog-writing races, he makes up for in Would You Rather humor, food consumption, knowledge of mammals, bike cleaniliness, and muscle definition. If we had to choose one person to A) represent our team in an Arm wrestling contest and B) Wrestle a pig shirtless on TV, it would be Kennett.

Parrish-(Chris Parrish)

The wise, but stunningly hairy member of the team. Parrish is who we call when we need something remembered, and that's not funny because of his crash. Chris is the one to contact when you need an Apple product to do something that something else could do, when you are lost and need to look at a map, and whenever you wish to look at someone wearing Birkenstocks. Chris also takes the brunt of the Gluten Free jokes (from Lang, who was secretly GF). Chris also carried the weight of the team every time the road went uphill, which was probably pretty difficult racing uphills with roughly 1000 lbs on your back (not including Kennett).

Dan-(Dan Bechtold)

Professor Dan-Land. The time-trial engine of the team, Dan has been known to literally ride himself into a screaming jump off the bike hysteric state. If you ever need to count fish, Dan's your guy! Dan is an elusive beast, and sometimes just... disappears. Dan-Land! Creator of such genius ideas as "mini yetis! You know, you just keep it in your pocket, and then you bring it out and fight your friends mini-yetis or mini-gorillas! Way cooler then having pogs in your pocket". Dan enjoys hunting, sleeping in the wilderness, taming Moose, drumsticks, Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons, and possibly solving Cancer at some point in the future. He also tried to put on weight by eating a GARDENBURGER!

Colin-(Colin Gibson)

Oooooh Colin the rebellious youth of our team. Colin got the call for Mt Hood and has been chomping at the bit since. Recognizable by his Mohawk and 6'8" figure, Colin has unbelievable straight line speed. But that's not all! Colin and I sat on a bed and watched about 12 episodes straight of Arrested Development once. What else do I need to say?

Winger-(Christopher Wingfield)
Christopher Wingfield has an eye. Turns people as ugly as .... Into gems when he photographs them, and then pokes fun at Alan Adams also! Winger is just great because he has an adorable Grandmother, a cool car, and because of him , Ivy made me a breakfast sandwich once. Thanks Ivy! Winger is fond of Canadian accents, Canadian culture, American Food, and the Boston Bruins. Winger brings pure joy to the team.

Gabe-(Gabe Varela)

The newest addition to the team. He actually gained 20 watts when he stopped wearing so much purple, and used those to promptly rip our legs off at any chance he got. A smooth criminal, Gabe looks ready to rumble at all times, regardless of the holes in his borrowed clothing. And he is one calmmmmm customer, just look at that photo! So calming.

Spencer-(Spencer Smitheman)

The original Canadian. Spencer knows his way around a tub of styling gel. Spencer taught me about Crit-sharking, Convoy Pace, Food, Feeling bad about food, feeling really good about food, and how to form really funny sentences out of rando words. Also of note, he looks like Chris Froome. Spencer appreciates Deep massages, Stumble-Upon, and beverages from Gas Stations.


Hey there handsome!

Cody-(Cody Campbell)
The OTHER Canadian, this canuck is sure to impress on a night out on the town. Whether it's his charming dialect or cute beaver-pelt trading traditions, Cody is going to melt your heart. Besides token Canadian survival things, Cody really likes fashionable coffee machines, not having the plague, Paris-Roubaix, Lance Armstrong / Steve Bauer, Canada Day, and Vancouver (WA).

Lil' Steve-(Steve Fisher)
Someone has to be the shortest person on the team. And it's Steve! Standing at a remarkable 5'1" ( or so), Lang stands next to Steve when he needs to feel good of himself. The good thing about Steve is that he knows that he is short! So he also jokes. I roomed with Steve most out of anyone, and since I also live with him at school, I know his favorite things. Steve likes the color pink, the Kidz Bop CDs, and cut-off jean shorts. Looking at Steve, you'd never think that his favorite music is Nicki Minaj and that he knows every single line to High School Musical. However, I will sacrifice the draft and follow Steve around a bike race because he's a crafty son-of-a-gun.

Logan- (Logan Owen)
To Logan, the United States of America consists of about 4 States. These States are Bremerton, Joe's House, the State that Bike Races are, and finally, Milwaukee. It's been a refreshing year teaching Logan about how to be a human. Logan's favorite foods are Hummus, Gyros, and Kraft Mac&Cheese. Logan also loves to eat 1 Hammer bar in a 4 hour race. The best part about Logan is what he has taught me, and that is how to talk to girls! And since Logan got his ears pierced, I no longer felt the pressure to do it. Logan is ONLY 16, and it's going to be exciting to see how he develops as a cyclist over the next couple of years.

If you'd like to go back and read every single one of my blog posts again now that you're familiar with the characters, please do that now....
And stay tuned for part 2!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Doylestown Crit, Univest GP

Well the race season is OVER. Which sucks, because that means March-September summer vacation is over and it's back to the real world. I am really happy with this race weekend and was really stoked to pull out a result in Sunday's crit. This was a pretty motivational way to end the season!

After Saturday's Univest GP, I was pretty tired. In fact, Cody and I sat in the same room and did the equivalent of staring at a wall for I believe roughly 78 minutes. We found Dan-Land and then went to the Mayor's house for a party. Believe it, the Hagens Berman Domestic Elite Cycling Team invited over to the Mayor's house for a social gathering. 6 socially-awkward cyclists who just did a 100 mile race and were all sleepy. Ok the secret to this story is that Kennett, Chris, and Gabe's host parents were actually the Mayor and his wife. If I lived in Souderton, PA, I'd definitely vote for him.

And it wasn't just a small gathering, there were at least 45 people there, so we just sat on the couch and made small conversation about politics and the weather. John Eustice, the promotor of the race weekend, was at this event for awhile. We talked to him briefly and he wanted us to be sure that we knew that Sunday's crit was a real bike race, and not some Post-Tour celebratory parade "race". Well we couldn't let him down could we?

I'm not really sure what food I ate to be honest. I was hungry and there were snacks on snacks. I'm talking all the way to the back, no front stackin. I probably had some chicken, and some Vitamin Water, some cheeses and salads and chips and fruit and Reeses Pieces and some Chili and.... Not sure what else. We left and I tried to figure out what I had ACTUALLY eaten, because I didn't think I ate that much. But I was full, probably from looking at the food all night. So then I went back to our farm house and imagined myself eating some more food until I felt full again.

I got the joy of driving the van to the crit in Doylestown. This was quite exciting because we freestyled the directions, and got there successfully! First we had to drive on roads that made Dan-Land question "why don't they build roads between places?". Then Chris told me to take the NEXT LEFT no matter what, which I did, which led us into a Walmart parking lot. The silly circumstantial consequence of this is that the parking lot was harder to get out of then Dan trying to fit his bike box into a small circle shaped location. But we got there, and got G'd up and ready to go.

The field was a bit smaller then Saturday's race, with a couple teams heading home after chasing their NRC points. The course was in a cool area in downtown Doylestown that had a pretty big Art-walk-show-tables-with-art- and-crafts in the same area so there were bike race fans in attendance, as well as fans of beading and crocheting.

The course was 1.5 mile lap on a side hill, with ~8 corners. We were to do 36 laps. The first 1/2 of the course was a screaming downhill, then you gradually went up the last couple of corners, leading into a pretty uncomfortable 300m uphill finish section. The finish reminded me a lot of Collegiate Nats this season. The course seemed pretty hard during pre-ride.

I signed one autograph before racing, dodged some liquid coming from Kennett's general direction (I'm pretty sure that it was water from his bottle, but with Kennett you can never be too careful), and spent some time scheming. Since the race was 50 miles, on a difficult course, I was expecting about a 2 hour crit. Which is really long! We ended up finishing in 1 hour and 53 minutes, which was the fastest finishing time in the history of the event.

The race started and I felt TERRIBLE! Almost as if I had done a wacky race the day before. For the first hour of the race, I was in the equivalent of Dan-Land. Didn't eat anything, and didn't touch my bottles. I wonder why my legs felt so bad??? After such a brutal effort the day before, and pretty poor nutrition the night before, I definitely should've been eating way more calories during the race then I normally do, and of course should've been eating more then, nothing.... So at about the hour point I started to piece together the root of my problems and drank my entire Coke bottle in 2 sips and pounded the one gel I brought with me. I think if I could've done things differently, I would've ate at least 3 gels during the race. And surprise! I started to feel better, almost instantly. And then a miracle happened! People crashed infront of me, and I was able to successfully not crush the guys head I was going for, and stay off the ground. I took a free lap, took a few deep breaths, and got thrown in about mid pack.

While I practiced Logan Owen nutrition tactics, a 4 guy breakaway had gotten up the road and gotten a significant lead. I had been hearing our team name announced nearly every lap by Dave Towle with statements such as "Hagens Berman is HUNGRY today" or "Hagens Berman is riding like they have something to prove" etc, etc etc. Gabe was being a bike racing thug, all the guys were being attentive, and I had done nothing so far. Not cool! I started to move up and noticed that Gabe was being very active in the chase efforts of the breakaway. I worked my way to the front, just as Gabe was taking a massive pull. With 12 laps to go, I counter-attacked his pull as hard as I could, took two corners, and went into chase mode. I got 1/2 way across the gap and started to fade, just as Tom Zirbel from Jamis counter-attacked me up the finish stretch. I dug as deep as I could to stay with the group as Zirbel single handily pulled us up to the breakaway. 8 of us made the bridge to the 4 leaders, and now I was in the 12 man leading breakaway!

Here is a video of the break with 5 laps to go.

(I'm the 8th guy to roll through)

There were 3 guys from Kelly Benefits, 3 guys from Jamis, and a handful of other guys. Because of the numbers from those teams, I was able to just rotate through and let them do most of the work. Our gap ballooned up to 45 seconds. With 2 laps to go a rider from Jamis attacked and Jesse Anthony from KBS bridged up to him. They would end up sprinting for the win, leaving the rest of us to sprint for 3rd and the final podium spot. At the end of the day, I got beat in the sprint for third place and ended up with fourth. I really like this type of finish, where it is not quite a pure sprinters sprint because of the hill. I was bummed to miss out on the podium, but quite pleased to get 4th place!

I have never been in a position to win a race of this caliber before. And I thought that crowds at local races could be loud cheering for a winning breakaway. But I cannot explain the energy that the crowd had coming up the finish hill the last couple laps of the race. To call it "deafening" doesn't really seem right, because when you are focused on the race everything else is background noise. It's hard to explain, but the crowd on Sunday was so loud that it felt quiet. If I had hair on my arms, it would've been standing up.

I was really glad to be able to deliver with a decent result after all the hard work that the guys, especially Gabe, had been doing earlier in the race. Now to figure out how to not let Jesse Anthony just ride away from me!

Trying to catch up

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I'm going to share some exciting things first to convince you to read the whole saga. Exciting moment one, I hip-checked a pickup truck at 25 mph. Exciting moment # 2, I had good sensations in the leg region. Exciting moment tres- the fireworks from the Jeep Show finally stopped. THANK GOODNESS.

But first!

The eating has happened, and we've enjoyed it. Besides the farm grown Kale and Chard that was part of dinner last night, we've had the chance to try some Amish food. What type of Amish food? I know you're dying to know. Apparently people here eat things called Funny Cakes and Shoo-fly pies. And fortunately (or maybe unfortunately?) we've been able to sample these goodies. I am way more of a fan of the the Shoo-fly, which is kind of like a coffee cake. Sort of. Actually it's nothing like a coffee cake. Funny Cakes are so hilllarrriooous because they have chocolate in them. At the bottom. But when they are made, the chocolate is on top! And when it's baked, the chocolate sinks to the bottom as the dough rises around it. Chuckle chuckle!

Shoo-fly, Funny Cake, Dummy Cake
Since Kennett already beat me in the blog writing race, I've been taking my time to get this written. I just had a bowl of cereal! And plus, I beat Kennett in the bike racing race today so SNAP!

Ok, bike racing.

Univest GP is one of the few one-day classic type races in the States. It's 100 miles long and has lots of short steep hills. We did 17 laps- 12 on the "long" loop and 5 on the shorter loop. The only thing that was different was that the long loop had like 4k of extra flat between the climbs. So the short loop made the climbs closer together, therefore making more pain appear in your legs.

EXCITING MOMENT NUMBER 1!!!!!! (Thanks for reading this far)

A little less then 1 lap into the race, we are ripping through town on these downhill corners. I had moved myself into the top ten as we were descending into a 90deg right hander. I thought that we were going ~35 but it was probably more like 34.8. We take the right hander and as we move to the apex of the vertex of the midway point of the corner, and just as I'm starting to drift towards the left side of the road, there was a parked car! OOPS! Surprise! So I grabbed a whole handful and then some of brakes and started the power sliding process. SMACK and ran into the truck with my hip and thigh. Then I bounced directly back into my line, my rear wheel skipped like if had just thrown some flat rocks into water and straightened it out and kept on riding. I felt like a hockey player that just survived a huge hit- maybe a lil woozie on their feet but I'm still standing!

Then I flatted my rear! My theory was that I power slid through the tire and popped the tube, but after scientific process I've determined that was not the case. Anyways, so far in the race I have ran into a car, flatted, and now am OTB! Sikkkk Whattttttt. Oh, and we have only been racing for like, uh 12 minutes. Not awesome. Luckily Joe was in the caravan with a Dodge Charger, which is perfect for illegally drafting my way back to the bike race. It took 60percent of a lap to get back into the race, but what was really fun about this scenario is that Joe was going equal speeds as I could go through these downhill corners. Which was so fast that he bottomed out the car twice, I heard metal scraping on several occasions, and tires squealed through 3 consecutive corners. Tokyo Drift! I was trying to not use very much energy, so I made sure to draft nice and close. So close that I ran into the bumper, 2x. Turns out there is no roller on cars. Sorry Dollar Rental!

This picture is a combination of me hitting the car side-on and me running into the bumper. But this is not a picture of either of those because Winger wasn't there with his camera.
Is it even a question whose bike this is? Look at the handlebar tape
Exciting part #2- Good Sensations.

It's been really nice to get a big block of training in during the end of August and beginning of September. I have been feeling really strong in training so I was hoping it would translate to good legs in a bike-cycle race. And it did! Today was definitely the strongest that I've felt all year. It's bittersweet, because this is also the last race weekend of the season. Hmmm, gonna crush some training rides pretty soon!

Anyways, I tried to stay near the front on all the climbs. I was worried that there would be a field split, and if there was, I wanted to be in it! By the end of the race, our 160+ rider field and turned into a front group of 41. I ended up 17th on the day. Turns out the downhill into uphill finish wasn't as exciting as I was hoping yesterday, and actually made it pretty hectic. Jostling for position at 50 mph is difficult! Of importance is that my jaw is really sore tonight. I must've been chomping down pretty hard on those climbs. Which means I was nose breathing....? Holla.

The team raced great. Kennett, Gabe, and myself made the front split, and team GC was determined by your first three guys. So we got fourth in Team GC! Which is a pretty good result for us at a race like this I think. Gabe also got 2nd in the KOM competition, which means just about nothing as far as prizes or rewards or ribbons go but it shows that he was there and crushing fools.
Props to Dan and Chris from coming back from their injuries and bringin the heat again. And since Parrish is back at it, I figured no one should forget this adorable photo from Utah last year.

And exciting moment Tres! The picture of the inflatable Jeep I put up yesterday was the welcoming symbol for the Jeep Show about .5 miles from our house. It's really exciting, about 100 people with stock jeeps and 4 people with cool jeeps parked their cars in a big field and walked around looking at them. Then they had a huge firework show that we couldn't see, only hear. And it was loud and sounded like a war-zone. Then it stopped, and life got so much better.

Ok, I'm going to go sleep like a child, then do a crit tomorrow!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Living Hope Farm Homestay

We are staying in Harleysville, PA, for the Univest GP. The race itself is in Souderton, which is ~5 miles from here. But our host housing is really cool.

Cody's and My room
Today we rode to the course and did a couple laps. Kennett dropped me on the downhill, Gabe attacked me on the uphill, and Parrish threw a water bottle at Dan.

Chris got new gloves! Handerwear
The course is pretty cool, it's kind of a mixture of the Road Race from San Dimas, the Sunset Loop from Redlands, and the Tour De Delta road race. So combine all of those into a Venn Diagram and what you have in the middle is the Univest GP, with the main features being: Laps in neighborhoods, short steep hills, and positioning being crucial.

My favorite part during the pre ride (we'll see if I like it tomorrow...) was the approach to the finish line. You go up the KOM hill, which is about a 1K climb above 10%. Then there are two 90deg corners and you head back down the hill towards the finish line. The finish is shaped like a V- Straight for 1k, but you bomb down the hill into a steep uphill sprint. Awesome.
Picture of the Finish stretch in a Coffee Shop that we stopped at
The house we are staying at is a community farm. ( It is all non-profit, and people come and do work and get produce. We looked around, and I took lots of photos. So yeah, here's where we are, and we get to race bikes tomorrow!

Sorting Squashes
Onions and Garlic hanging from the roof of the barn

Where people come and get their weekly produce

Tonight our hosts are cooking us Kale, Chard, Squash, and Turkey. All the vegetables are from the garden. Probably picked today. FANTASTIC!

And finally, to harness the energy of a sign I saw today while riding.

I am feeling pretty muscular......