Sunday, April 29, 2012

Missed opportunities part 2

Joe Martin stage three. This one we did laps with some hills and some downhills. I'll be really honest here for a second, I wasn't so sure that I'd be able to start the stage because of my crashing incident yesterday. Road-rash wise I'm good, but not so good in the entire upper body region of my body. Here is a funny story about that.

Kennett broke a wheel in the crash that I was in. He didn't fall- he did this by running through the chaos and using his girth to stay upright. Flash back to me- I'm most hurt from someone running into me VERY hard. Rewind back to Kennett- "I hit SOMEONE reallllly hard. I think it was a Competitive Cyclist guy. They had a white jersey". I'm not one to point fingers. BUT KENNETT RAN INTO ME! In order to keep the peace within the team, I'm just going to assume that by hitting me, Kennett actually pushed me out of the way of a much worse, more extreme, deeper into my soul pain. So let's just role play this really quickly- Me, on the ground, spinning/sliding uncontrollably on my back. Kennett sees that there is a dinosaur and an alligator waiting and drooling with mouth opened fury directly in my path of slide. He only has one option. Run into me to push me away from this impending doom. So Kennett, thank you. Thank you for two things: 1) Saving me from dino-death 2) Proving that my core muscles are strong enough to CRUSH WHEEL WITH BODY!

Ps- large props for not falling also.

OK, so on to stage three. Woke up in the morning unsure of my life. Rode to the other house, unsure of my life. Rode to the race, unsure. My plan was to try and survive, Bear Grylls style. The good news is that my legs felt fantastico. The contrasting bad news is that breathing, getting out of the saddle, twisting to get into my pockets, and my broken saddle were really troublesome. I discovered quite early in the race (about 2 minutes on the first climb) that my legs were great, it was just that... other stuff... So I knew that if I could just man up and deal with the upper body pain that I would be good to go in the leg department. Insert distraction strategies heeere-

1)  We rode through the town of Hogeye. I decided that a good way to distract myself from the stabbing pain in my chestal region was to decide on the reasoning behind that town's wonderful name. What occurred to give it that name? I was excited to spend long amounts of time having an inner monologue deciding, but one minute later I had decided that the first settler had a dear friend who was swine-ish. They were best of pals, did everything together. If hogs have manes (I'm not sure), this settler would braid the mane of his hog. Then one tragic day while fishing for bass and trout , the settler accidentally hooked the eye of his beloved while casting out his line and plop! Out goes the hog's eye. The settler cried for days, then buried the eye underneath the old oak tree in the soon to be town square. The end.

2)  In order to distract myself from the deep pain in my backish kidney region, I decided to memorize people's numbers. This took longer, because I had roughly 100 numbers to go through. #1 frank pipp #2 vennel #4 BJM #7 Eric Young #8 Paddy Bevin. Etc etc. #11 mancebo, #13 Olheiser #23 parrish #32 sweeting #47 Sam J #41 Morgan S . I could go ALLLL day. Heeley-91 DF-92 Gabe-93 This Guy- 94 Bro-cal- 95 Kennettron- 96 Steve- 97. This took quite some time, and I'm convinced was the reason I survived laps 2 and 3.

3)  Seeing just how hard I could clench my teeth together. In an unrelated side note, my jaw is really sore tonight. Turns out the harder you bite your mouth together, the less you think about your ever tightening right glute muscle.

4)  The last hour was mostly adrenaline. Race finishes are really fun, so if I survived the last hour then I had a chance to put together a sprint.

Needed a picture
There were more, but I've already forgotten them because all my energy is going into digesting my food. Also, it's 11:37 right now and I am WIDE awake. My race today finished at 7:15 pm, and it was a 115 mile road race. This means in roughly 2 hours I will start yawning. I decided to compose this blog tonight, instead of tomorrow, because I have done zero school work this trip. Every morning, I sit down to read PDF files of things I don't care about in order to write papers and end up writing blogs instead. So new theory- if I write the blog TONIGHT, maybe I can watch Modern Family tomorrow morning. I mean do homework. Sorry teachers.

Back to the bike race. I survived the four laps and instead of turning right to go up the hill that made me hurt we turned left to ride the ~20 k back into town. This was chaos, so I tried to be patient and coast a lot for the first 15 k of that. Fast forward a couple K and I'm on the tail end of the FAST moving Kenda train and we are moving up the side. We get to the front with very little left to race and then the front of the race made a crash. Here we go again. For the second time in two days, I am power sliding trying not to fall, and fail to avoid it, crashing AGAIN. I was totally fine this time around, because Kennett wasn't there to run into me. But actually, I was good because some poor gentleman landed on the ground before me and he was MUCH softer than the pavement.

So chance at making a sprint foiled again. Someday.


"One of the most under-rated stages in NRC stage racing did not disappoint again in the men’s race where unfortunately a crash took down a big number of riders at the front with less than two kilometers to go. Reported down were riders from Bissell, Kenda/5Hour Energy and Hagens Berman" - Podiuminsight

Let's lighten the mood up a little bit. There is an important GC battle going on. Not the actual one, but the GC battles for the people who say nay to size 52 bike frames, and instead go for 60's and up. The ones who laugh in the face of 1500 watts, and shiver at the thought of 30 minute climbs. The guys who are EXACTLY who you want to follow when it's windy and probably don't choose to share a bed with when you have to pick roommates for a hotel room that requires bed sharing. Here is the leader board going into the last day.


Well that was fun. It's almost tomorrow, yet still today, and I'm still wideeee awake. The good thing is that it's a LAPTOP PARTY!!!!!

Catch all you friends of mine after I race a crit tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Missed Opportunity: JMSR Stage 2

 Here's something new: I started a bike race from a Walmart (TM) parking lot yesterday.

Stage two of JMSR was a 110 mile loop that had a bit of everything: Wind, short power climbs, one long 10 mile climb, and heat. Wind was predicted for 20-30mph from the SSE. What this meant to me was about nothing, because I'm not a meteorologist. We started and instantly were faced with about an hour straight of extremely hectic, nervous head cross-wind riding.

Here are some of the positive pieces of information from Friday.

-Look! It's Danny and his friend! Danny was able to harness the power of the stash and dropped back for bottles probably 30 times.

-Gabe got bottles, covered moves, and made the final split, continuing to help Steve and I. Also related, he was the friendliest, kindest guy in the front group. Seriously.

-Jon and David towed me around all day. Actually. Every time I was farther back than 20th wheel one of those guys would be there to bring me back to the front. Then, rumor has it that as Jon and David's day was ending, Jon yelled "I'm crampin' bro!" towards the direction of Joe. Bike-swag.

- Kennett, being the days most muscular and intimidating member of the team, growled and grunted whenever anyone got close to us. He also made the front split and I think at one point I saw him look over and snort like a bull at a semi-truck that had been pulled over for the race to pass.

- Steve, this song goes out to you-

It's funny because he's gotten 22nd two days in a row!

- The first 4 hours were great!


- After cresting the decisive 10 mile climb with the leaders and hanging out for the next 10-15 miles conserving energy, I crashed with 10 k to go! Hooray! We were guttered in a cross wind and someone ~5 guys ahead of me pretty much rode off the road. Then crashed, then everyone near him crashed. Then I finished four minutes down!!!!!!!

So crashing sucks, but besides that the race went great. Our team rode really well together and the guys made Steve and my lives very easy. I had good legs and good sensations and was pretty excited to make a sprint against the remnants of the field.

Moving on!

The greatest thing I saw during the race was a dead snake. If I had to guess, I'd say it was probably an anaconda. The thing was at least 4 feet long and about the same circumference as my thigh muscle. David thought it was a car's muffler lying in the middle of the road. I passed it on the left as an Aussie passed it on the right and I'm pretty sure he stopped to get it to BBQ later.

Today is 4 laps of a 23 mile loop. I'm anticipating the pedaling will loosen me up and I will stop feeling like Quasimodo at roughly 2:45 today.

Friday, April 27, 2012

100! slash JMSR day 1

This is post number 100 here. In celebration, someday in the future I will change my heading/main photo. Celebrate! I think that this is some sort of milestone because most blog sites die out after two months and 7 posts, according to a survey I made up for this blog post. Actually though, as per scientific data, the average lifespan of a blog is equivalent to that of a fruit fly. Did you know that fruit flies can live for up to 30 days in optimal conditions!?!

We did a TT here and it went. Steve rode well for 22nd, which is as referenced on twitter by Professor McNett as "on the outskirts of ballerville". I personally did a ride I was happy with for 37th. Let's talk about things more interesting than Lil'Steve and I.

  1. All throughout the day, I kept hearing things like "OMG times are sooo much slower than last year". This seemed to be true, since Mancebo won last year and this year, with his time from this year being 13 seconds slower than last years. However, one man says NO to these limitations, NO to these "times are slower" boundaries.

One of those is from last year, and one of those is from this year. Bravo!

     2.  After we did our race, Steve, David and I went riding for a bit of a cool down. A racer soon to
          be competing in the women's race asked us for the time. G-Shock time- 2:00. We informed  
          her that it was G-Shock time, and I think she misheard us. G-Shock Time. Because she got

     3.  It is possible to lose about 20 seconds in an uphill timetrial. In a kilometer. Thanks to Strava
          and Sebastian Salas (2nd place on the day) for letting me know this fact.

     4.  Post TT we went to Chipotle (sorry Lang) with Wheeler and some other famous professional
          cyclists. Celebrities even. I ate dinner. 10 minutes later was hungry. Based on the future
          duration of the bicycle race the next day (which is now today) we knew we needed some
          snacks. We found a healthy co-op type place, and all spent more money there on snacks than
          we did on dinner. Oops

     5.  I had a dream last night that I had a terrible experience at a Starbucks. Let me tell you about
         it. First things first, I ordered a cappuccino with SIX shots. On a side note, did you know that
         there is actually a drink name for the QUAD SHOT with just A LITTTTTLE bit of water on
         top? Yes, it's called an Italiano. Ok, moving on. My cappuccino was $5, and I payed with a
         twenty dollar bill. That's probably the strangest part of this dream- that I had a twenty dollar
         bill. That's a lot of money, and it does indeed weigh less than the two rolls of quarters that I
         was carrying around as cash last week. Back to the dream. My change is returned to me and  
         what I am given is $1.73. Now I'm no mathematician or accountant, but I'm pretty sure my 
         change should have been 10 dollars. Or something like that. So I politely ask the barista for
         my change and he leaves. Peace out, bra. Then I sit down with a manager, an excel
         spreadsheet, and my cappuccino and discuss business. I'm not sure why this took an entire
         dream, but eventually a deal was struck. I would not get my change, because the barista is
         ALWAYS right. However, instead of that change, I would get 40% share of Starbucks. All of it.
         Ummm. I guess deal.

    6.   Apparently here in R-can-saw they fish for snapping turtles. So they turtle for snapping
          turtles. Which is potentially the most dangerous game to try and capture, because those
          things don't cut your limbs off gently like a tiger, lion, or piranha would. They pretty much have to crush the digit, then rip it out. I can only imagine that fishing for snapping turtles, and
getting your finger bitten, is like when you are way too excited to get to that Black Friday sale and you slam your door shut on your Escalade and in the process get your finger caught in the door. Then suddenly the Escalade dives under water, pulling you down with it to the muck and the mire of the lake floor. And then you name your Escalade "Snappy", train it to walk on a tight rope while smoking a cigarette,  and travel the country with your new best friend and your missing right pointer finger.

That's as far as I can count this morning. So now I'm going to go race with the power of Snapping turtles and my lucky dollar from Vegas. Catch you on the flip-flop, ya hooligans.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


A can saw would be a a pretty good invention. Sometimes those little tabs on the top of cans, especially soup cans, break off and make it unbelievably opposite of easy to open. I think that if they didn't create the tab out of a metal pliable like string cheese then it actually would be easy to use, but instead we are forced to invent a product like a can saw to cut off the top 1/18" of the can (safely) so that our problems dissolve. Also, A can saw is how people with lisps say R-can-saw.

6 AM!!!!! A good time to fly because they give you breakfast snacks. Not regular airline snacks, but better, because they are supposed to welcome you into the day with the tasty flavors of morning. Yesterday's breakfast snacks were 100cal packages of mini cinnabun cracker things. That would be delicious if poured into a bowl with milk  and eaten as if it was a cereal. But since we start JMSR off with an uphill TT today, I ate cotton candy instead. Light food.

The travel day fun technically started when Kennett called me Tuesday night informing me that his bag was missing and that I would need to pick it up from a room where there was snacks in the Little Rock Airport. Ok, FF to Wednesday morning. Inside of my car, at 4 AM, we loaded three pika packs, three Black Diamond duffles, three backpacks, and four people. The trip ALMOST started off terrible when I drove for 12 seconds with my helmet still at the house, but my luck shifted (small foreshadowing) and I remembered it before we had driven far. Check in, argue over bike fee, board plane, "study" (watch two episodes of Dexter) and land in Las Vegas. Viva.

We had a one hour layover in Sin City, and since I had never gambled in a casino before I knew that this was my time. Airport slot machines + me = HUGE WINNER!!!!!

It was pretty exciting, but I figured to avoid a future of addiction, poor attitude, grumpiness, debauchery, and bright lights I should quit after I spent a set amount of money. And I came out a WINNER! HUGE WINNER!

Then we found Hornbeck and Danny. Haven't seen them since Redlands. Hornbeck is still a bro, and Danny now has a mustache. In case you were curious.

Our flight took us from Vegas to Lil Rock. The Little Rock airport is pretty cool, here is a picture I found of it.

To distract us all, I think that it would be really weird to have an action figure of yourself. Even hearing yourself on a voice mail or seeing yourself on video is awkward, imagine holding a lifelike replica of yourself! But I guess that's how I feel every time I hold a puppy stuffed animal, because I'm soooo cute.

Anyways, back to airports. We land, I find Kennett's bag. As in I see it in a room that I am NOT allowed in. A crazyyyyy cray cray lady guarded this and refused me entrance. I waited. During this time, I overheard an EXCELLENT argument from three Arkansas natives, that involved a lot of finger waving and excessive adjective use. Eventually I got Kennett's bag by proving my identity. It was a very difficult process to show who I was. I had to take out my ID!

We wait and wait, and Danny's bike bag doesn't show up. I can only imagine that this was punishment for scaring a lot of cautious protective mothers with his mustache. I swear that he's a good person and doesn't represent what his caterpillar represents. He says it's a "playoff mustache" for his hockey team. Danny said "F the Haters" when despite his unruly facial hair he assisted three different people put their bags into the overhead compartments. Hero!

Danny's bike was scheduled to get to the Little Rock airport two hours later. Since our host housing is three hours away in Fayetteville, we needed to stall. We left the airport, built bikes in a park, rode for 45 minutes, repacked bikes, reloaded the van, drove back to the airport, got Danny's bike, reloaded the van, drove to a grocery store, ate "dinner", drove three hours of driving distance in two hours and twenty minutes, dropped people off at one house, went to another, dropped stuff off, went to the grocery store, ate a croissant and another greek yogurt, back to the house, built bikes (again), and then to bed.

Today we kick of the Joe Martin Stage Race with a 2.5 mile uphill time trial. I planned ahead for this moment, because when I built my bike (twice yesterday), I didn't put my water bottle cages on. Supa-light!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's That Time.

I really like spy movies, spy books, and spy catalogs. Jon likes Spy glasses and Spy t-shirts. I like reading about/watching/imagining the ART of... mastering the art of disguise like Derek Zoolander, talking into a shoe like Maxwell Smart, being debonair like James Bond, being a kid like the SpyKids, and having a silly nose like Johnny English.

I continue.

Jack Bauer is my all time favorite television character, Jason Bourne taught me how to live, Michael Westen from Burn Notice taught me how to be suave, and all the above taught me how to have STYLE. Especially Derek Zoolander.

Which is why when this surfaced on the internet I had a serious problem on my hands.

Cover blown? Every secret agent/spies worst nightmare. I know you've seen the Departed. Both of the moles in each organization were tripping out with just the idea of having their cover blown. Srsly, I BELIEVED you Leo.

Cover blown. Code blue. Must react. I can't get rid of the watch, because that has saved my life and watches are expensive. However, I can change my appearance.

I'm not going to tell you what I did because that would re-blow my cover. I will say that it did NOT in any way resemble what may or may not have happened in Tulsa, and it by no means involved a hair clipper and my arms.

Ok, fine. Cover blown. What I did to change my appearance? Eyebrows up 2 inches, nose rhinoplastied, cheeks filled with Apple-Cinnamon Hammer gel (for that soft, delicious look), hair dyed black, old-person driving sunglasses purchased, stilts used, and hooded sweatshirts tie-dyed.

Try and catch me now, you people that I'm spying on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tour of the Battenkill

"Cyclocross racers- You have a distinct advantage"- Richard Fries one minute before the start of Sundays Tour of the Battenkill. At that moment, Steve's head grew approximately 12 sizes, Joe cried from the caravan, and I cut my derailleur cables to best mimic my illustrious single speed cyclocross career.

*not me
David, Jesse, Gabe, Steve, Kennett and myself walked from Seattle to Albany, NY, for a one-day bicycle tournament called the Tour of the Battenkill which took place in Cambridge, New York. This race is the closest to a Belgian-style Northern Classic that happens in the American race scene, and this year it held UCI status. What this means is that lots of people came to do this bike race. The Belgian Classics (most notably Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders) are hardman races. They are long, the courses contain rough, cobbled sections and steep climbs, and the more "sturdy" riders do better than the lithe and anorexic members of the professional peleton.

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Cambridge, Salem, Greenwich, and "other", The Tour of the Battenkill tries hard to give us wannabe Classic riders a chance to prove all those stereotypes wrong. This is why Steve and Gabe came along on this trip. The rest of us however fit in the "large" bike rider category, so we were out to prove the stereotypes about "sturdy" riders RIGHT. Although compared to races like Flanders and Roubaix, I think that this race is much more like the early season classic Strade Bianchi. Whereas cobbles are numerous throughout Roubaix and Flanders, America doesn't have any roads that are older than dirt. Instead, we race on that dirt. Strade Bianchi (white roads) takes place in Italy and is a monster of a race that climbs through these really great white-graveled roads, then back on pavement, then back onto the gravel. The Tour of the Battenkill mimics that excellently, except instead of Coliseum-White dust roads we got treated to dusty-dirt colored dusty dirt roads. Pretty much everyone over 130 pounds call the Classics their favorite races, whereas everyone under that weight threshold calls the Grand Tours theirs. Now we get to see what it's like to race a classic.

Our race was two laps of a 62 mile loop. This makes for my longest bike RIDE ever, let alone race. I was very confused about the race course: which sections were important, which weren't, where to feed, where to eat, etc. I knew two town names, and that is about all that I could figure out after riding sections of the course and staring at the map for about 15 hours the night before the race. I committed those towns to memory. BE IN THE FRONT HERE IAN. I packed an immense amount of food. Whoa, speaking of food, let me tell you about my pure concerns the night before/morning of the race.

How do I eat for this sure to be madness?!? I knew that I was going to burn A LOT of calories during the race so I had to eat lots.

My dinner:
-Penne noodles
-One huge chicken breast the size of a catchers mitt
-One large bowl Greek yogurt and granola
-One medium bowl granola
-One bottle of San Pellegrino

My breakfast:
-Oatmeal with an apple, walnuts, peanut butter
-Toast with peanut butter
-1.2 liters of coffee

Ok, well that was the most food that I've eaten in a very, very long time. Now I had extra motivation to finish this race, because I knew that if I didn't I was going to get FAT. Not phat, but fat.

Back to the race. Two towns, these are important. Everywhere else: Try and save energy; use my sort of rusty, sort of mediocre cross skills to not make a crash on the loose, rocky, and sandy descents; and ride at the front on the climbs. For the first 45 miles, I felt GREAT. The first significant climb I crested on Francisco Mancebo's wheel, with Phil Gaimon on my wheel. Oops, I forgot to mention that this climb was rocky and dirt, not a paved climb at the Tour of Gila. Maybe someday.

Far right
I fought my way to the front for the second town, and tried to be prepared for the next 4 gravel sections that came in a 1-2-3-4 punch with just a little bit of road recovery between each sector. 1 and 2 went well, but I went a little deep on 3. Section 4 came and I was not in good position, and because of this, I had to do something on a steep gravel climb that I never thought I would have to do in a road race. I got off my bike and ran. Ian Crane, running in road shoes. Now let's paint a picture here. When I run regularly (this is my number one most mispronounced word. I have no idea how to say this word, or even spell it. Someone please help me) which I don't, I look ridiculous. Now let's imagine a fairly fatigued Ian running in Shimano cleats on a very loose section of gravel, all while being kicked and ran into by ~14 of my newest close friends. Summary, I'm sure it was hilarious.

(If you feel like stopping reading now because you're embarrassed to know me, don't. I make up for it in about 70 miles)

Trouble. Sector 4 is the climbingest dirt section of the course- two steep climbs broken up by a fast dirt descent. I got gapped off while running and all of a sudden was in a group of maybe ten chasing our brains out. At the beginning of the race, we were told that if you were 5% down on the leaders after one lap, you would be pulled because you were losing. And if you were 5% down after 62 miles you were going to be in trouble after another 3 hours of racing. I can't be sure, but I heard that some brave souls said "F THE POLICE" aka the race officials and did a second lap anyways after they were pulled. Some to finish, some to eat dinner. I came through the first lap in my small group convinced that we were going to be pulled, but we did not.

I spent the next 30 miles in this group chasing, and chasing, and chasing. That's right, I took three pulls. Kidding, it was much longer than that. At one point, we got a time check that told us we were 4 minutes back from the front group, and the sails of our chase metaphorically deflated. Then, THE Joe Holmes dropped back from the front group to give me a feed, and told me "CRANE. WHY AREN'T YOU WINNING? THE FRONT GROUP IS ONLY 1:15 UP THE ROAD". PS, I used cap-locks because I don't know how to type the Joe Holmes voice. Picture caps lock with a undertone of italicized and a sprinkle of bolding and I think that might be the font type that is HolmesSpeak. At this exact moment, I drank an entire Coke bottle and felt like superman.

Our group saw the caravan, chased harder, and caught up to a pretty small (~30) front group. In this group: Steve and David. At this point, there were about 13 or so people up the road. This is when the race started going pretty well for us. The three of us rode together, stayed near the front, led into the gravel sections, and rode like a pretty solid unit. In the previous hour and a half that I had been dropped from these guys, Steve had spent probably 45 minutes of that off the front with one other guy, and David had made every front selection. Ballers!

Here comes my redeeming moment. Steve led David and I into the crucial second clump of gravel, and we stayed near the front through sectors 1, 2, and 3. Going up the 4th gravel that I had to run up the first lap, I see David running. He mounts his bike faster than a sorority sister 2 beers deep jumps onto a mechanical bull at a wild west themed bar and he actually gained places instead of losing them while running. Then, David and I led the field over the second part of the climb, which just so happened to be the most spectated area on the course.

We descend, I have a rock the size of a baseball hit me at 40 mph and momentarily (the rest of the day and into the next morning) think I broke my forearm, and continue on.

We go up the final climb of the race and I cramp on four separate occasions, but keep up with the front split over the top of the climb. Steve and David make that split also, then Steve pulls rapidly on the front from 3k to 1.5 k to go. David and I got a little separated in the last K, and we both do a completely seated, fighting off cramps, biting our cheeks sprint for 7th and 9th in the group. This put us at 20th and 22nd on the day, out of somewhere around 180-200 starters.

Then I laid in the grass and moaned for 30 minutes.


Have you ever done, or heard of, the Saltines Cracker challenge? Or the Cinnamon challenge? Or the Powdered Donut challenge? Or the race in a dry gravel road race then try to eat fake food challenge? If you have no awareness of any of those, what happens when you eat cinnamon or dust from a gravel race is that your mouth becomes too dry to swallow anything before completing the challenge. The challenge in this race was eating uh, anything, because if you weren't first wheel the entire race you were very dirty.

The amount of flat tires during this race were incredible. We hit a downhill section of gravel and literally 20 people flatted. Flats on flats, snacks on snacks. I had zero problems thanks to my Vittoria Corsa Evo CXs in optimal 25 width. I was using Cole T-25 wheels which are a bit wider than our carbon wheels and they have an aluminum braking surface. They were perfect.

I was legitimately terrified on one section of the course. Pre-riding I knew that I was strong on the gravel climbs and the gravel flat sections, but I was riding like a child on the descents. I could do the descents with the lines, but the descents with corners in the gravel and random patches of deep, loose sand were a bit over my head.

Back to food really quick- I ate/drink about 2000 calories in the race. Not quite enough. The necessity was to eat and drink on pretty much every road section. I would eat until I was almost sick, and then ideally wash it down with some coke.

After about 10 minutes of racing, I decided I didn't care if I chopped any Brits before any crucial gravel sections. Or Irish. Or Kiwis, Australians, Canadians, Columbians, Mexicans, or even Americans. I wouldn't chop any Hungarians though, because Adrian is my friend.

5 hours and 7 minutes.

I woke up the next morning with rock bruises on my forearm (obviously), but also up and down my rib cage and stomach.

This was the coolest race I've ever done.

Battenkill was a great experience. I'm really stoked with how I rode personally, but more so about how we rode as a team. Out of that front group, we were one of most represented teams, and definitely rode as a unit. Although not a true "Northern Classic", I've never done any other road races in the States where throughout the course of the race I had to get off my bike and run, got caked in dirt, or woke up with bruises WITHOUT crashing.

See you next year Battenkill.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Festivities in New York

Ideally I would have posted this on Friday, or Saturday. But when the internet unexplainably died after 7 people tried to use it simultaneously on their laptops, cellphones, and Kindle/Tablet devices we were left in the dark. AKA the router exploded under the stress of 15 new devices in dire need of internet. Since T-Mobile doesn't cover further East then about North Bend, I was also S.O.L on the cell-phone front. So now I post my pre-race boredom post race. Which doesn't really make sense, but I don't care. Because I have 78 pictures to choose from to post of our 2 days of pure adventure before actually doing bike racing.

It was kind of weird though to have to interact with my teammates instead of us all hiding behind our laptop screens. We actually had to talk to eachother instead of tweeting across rooms. Hey @david_flash @steveradfisher @thejoeholmes @KPburritos @JesseReams @GVarela12, sup? Other than awkwardly sitting around trying to think of different ways to make fun of Winger (just kidding!) (we were mainly joking about Steve's height, Jesse's Canadian-ness, and Joe's elbow), I did a lot of book reading. I'm about halfway through "Moonwalking With Einstein" and it is awesome. I've always had a pretty decent memory, but I'm reading about some people that have absolutely amazing savant skills. The book claims that everyone can memorize the order of two shuffled decks of cards in less than a minute, memorize Pi to too many places, and other crazy things like that. I'm not too sure about that, but I've already picked up some tricks and I even memorized some random guys list in the book. So, progress. Here is an example of how whoever you are, you don't have as good of a memory as this person.

Apparently there is a lady who was shown a page of random dots. The next day she was shown another page of a different collection of dots. She was able to, from memory, overlap the two pages of dots and could tell what shape that they created. Which was probably a stack of money, because she could do a lot of damage in Vegas counting cards.

We stayed in a Hamlet called Shushan. Home of covered bridges, Susan B Anthony's childhood home, and a extremely expensive local grocery store.

I am going to be completely honest. If there was any sort of apocalypse, zombie attack, space invasion, volcano eruption, Planet of the Apes type scenario, this is the house that I would want to be held up in. For many reasons.

1) Hidden passageways to secret hideouts. Every day I found a new ladder or staircase that went either into the attic or below into the basement. These are useful in any of my above scenarios because you have a bit of a getaway, from pretty much any room in the house.

2) Weapons/Guard Dogs

3) Food

(David pre-stocked up for these scenarios by taking advantage of SWA's "Take as many as you want" policy)

Friday and Saturday we rode some of the course. It was full of glee and we had a great time. Truly. It was so much fun to just rip around on the gravel roads trying to drop Joe that we ended up riding 3 hours on Friday.

Tomorrow we race! Oh wait. Tomorrow I'll post the race blog. That's what I meant.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flight to New York

Today I flew from really early in the morning to really late at night. I was bored on the flight. I WAS BORED! I have a pretty awesome utensil for plane flying. It is called a Kindle Fire. I downloaded a free app that is a touch screen drawing pad.

So I started drawing. My fingers are WAY too fat to draw perfectly, but I think that these are pretty perfect. I was sitting next to Jesse and Kennett. So if anyone is offended, those are the parts that Kennett gave me input on.

Andddd there is the HB cycling team and staff! We're getting settled in to our host housing in Shushan. Tomorrow I'm going to ride my bike and ride NEXT to the road instead of on the road to prepare for Battenkill on Sunday.