Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I keep my promises

In my last post, I cried a bit about yoga. I made a Christmas promise to you to master these gymnastics stunts by this day. 

"I've been secretly practicing these headstands at home and I can do about 30% of it. I'm really good at the falling violently part at the end that's not shown in the video, but I'm sure that's part of it. I've made it my goal to do these by Christmas."

Turns out that it was a goal of mine, not a promise. But whatever.

Happy Holidays, friends.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hot Yogurt

I paid money for a haircut yesterday. This is one of the many new changes and adaptations I've made in the last three weeks of my life. Here's a photo of me and my new setup:

I always make excuses for lack of posting, but really if I post more than once every three months that's probably considered successful in the blogging world. Unless you're one of those "professional blog posters" like Kim Kardashian.

As a perfect transition, here are some photos of things that are falling apart and trashy:

Please note the hand as secondary support to the bungee
I'm sorry to Kim K. fans, that one was just lobbed right to me. By myself. That's like the legend of Cool Papa Bell, one of the fastest baseball players to ever play the game. He was rumored to be so fast that he could turn off the light and be under the covers before the room got dark! In case you didn't follow, I'd have to be that fast in order to lob a pitch to myself.

Here is a quick summary of my last cross race of the season: I had a terrible start, passed people during the second half of the race, and got 4th. This, as proven by math and science, is better than 8th. It was my season goal to get 7th or better in a cyclocross race, so voilla.

I decided to retire on my metaphorical "top", so cross is finished. I've replaced it with something way more difficult, confusing, draining, exhausting, humiliating and all-around excellent. That's right, folks, I have started doing "Heated Vinyasa Flow Yoga" as a means to make myself have awesome evenings whenever I want them. Since the above name is too hard to type regularly, I'm just going to refer to it as Hot Yogurt for the remainder of this post.

Referring to this gymnastics stunt as Hot Yogurt serves two purposes: 1) yogurt is delicious and it calms me to think about yoga in this way, 2) the instructor last night said to think of a phrase or motto that helped to keep you grounded and present during the class. I chose Hot Yogurt because when you pour yogurt it adapts to any shape and that is how I like to think of myself during classes.

Picture this fully engulfed in flames and you'll get the point
Hot Yogurt is a new experience for me, by definition, because I've never done it. I have however done lots of core work and some pretty detailed stretching in my life, so naturally I figured I would be an expert. This belief also causes me to refuse to rest, to take the "easy" ways through things, or use blocks.

Hot Yogurt begins normally enough, and I have to make sure that my "I have no idea what I'm doing" stares at everyone's techniques don't give off any sort of creepy-shirtless guy in the back of the room vibe. Which is exactly where I place myself in these Yogurt classes: as far away from people as possible. I do this because there is a very high possibility that at any moment I may collapse and fall over during some one-legged crow-dive swan-touch position that the 65 year old woman in front of me does with grace and ease.

No worries though, I'm a stubborn sack of potatoes. This is the wrong power vegetable for Hot Yogurt class, but there's nothing I can do about it. The teacher announces it's time for "Child's pose", which to me is one of the most terrifying poses. At this point, I have sweated so much that there is a very large, ocean-like puddle growing in volume in the center of my mat. Child's pose throws my face into that puddle.

She tells me to breathe, but I just flap my arms and feet violently until it is time to change positions. It's time for the part of Hot Yogurt that hurts so good: Any sort of hip stretching. As a pedaler of bikes, my hips are sore often. Yoga tends to dive right into the hip-region of my world, which is a bit of a jab at my "never take the easy method" mantra. Some of these movements I'm confident would legitimately remove my leg from the hip socket if I tried to do the advanced option as suggested. Hot Yogurt wins this round, so I was forced to choose the most advanced thing I could think of to try and master.

I've been secretly practicing these headstands at home and I can do about 30% of it. I'm really good at the falling violently part at the end that's not shown in the video, but I'm sure that's part of it. I've made it my goal to do these by Christmas. I try doing these in class, but my mat provides no resistance on my forearms. I am sweatier than when I shaved my arms pre-Tulsa Tough and glistened the whole evening.

Hot Yogurt is exciting because everyone can challenge themselves. I'm learning that it's ok for me to not win Hot Yogurt class because that's for people who have been more than three times. Which is why I will try again to win Hot Yogurt in January, after I have mastered my headstands, can thrive in 500 degree weather, and have the ability to touch my toes.

Hot yogurt smells bad. Because it's a dairy product. Hot Yogurt smells bad because people smell. Now you know.

I've been going with Marissa, and she just informed me that this isn't Hot Yoga that we are doing, it's just "heated". Holy Satan's underbelly I can only imagine the emotional punishment that happens at actual Hot Hot Yogurt.

For something else completely shocking:

For people who don't know, here's a sample of 2 Chainz's educated lyrics:

"My wrist deserve a shout out, 'I'm like what up wrist?' My stove deserve a shout out, 'I’m like what up stove?'"

Monday, November 18, 2013

I took photos of street art!

I'm all about circles, so since I finished last post with a way-too zoomed in photo of my head, here's another!

Matthew J Clark photo
That photo was taken immediately after I crossed the line at Woodland Park. Clearly I didn't go hard enough because I had the energy to smile, which means I need better fitness. More on that later. I've determined that the other large, glaringly obvious issue with my cyclocross racing endeavors is my general lack of willingness to not brake in ever corner. There are some downsides to this method, sure, but the positives are what I like to choose to focus on. For one, I'm typing this post with absolutely ZERO fatigue in my fingers. I'm just blitzing along the keyboard. I don't want to say at SewingMachine speed, but it's close. The reason behind this? All the braking has added the equivalent of an 8-pack to each of my fingers. So there's that.

Secondly, I was thinking about how wild that I was getting on complete accident at the contest at Woodland Park. This led to me using Youtube and re-finding this gem:

This has nothing to do with my style of cyclocross racing, because that is all intentional. It seems.

I have a terrible confession. All cross season I've acted as if cross was just a weekend-for-fun gala event of extraordinary proportions, but really I've had deeper intentions. I've gotten 8th about 100 times, and after all those 8ths, my super-secret hidden goal has to been to get 7TH or better.

I figured that it was too hard to get better at turning, driving the bike, running with the bike, and jumping off the bike, so instead I thought I should focus on getting better in the pedaling zone of the offroad contests.  I decided that it was absolutely necessary to take a trip to California in order to properly optimize my training prior to my final cross race of the season. I mean, ignoring the fact that this has been planned since August, I'm realllllly here to get better at cross. Right.

California. This is a state in the United States populated by surfer bros and frozen yogurt establishments. Training is going very well here: I ate TWO cookies yesterday. One was a peanut butter delight, purchased from a bakery on Seal Beach. I rate it at about an 8/10. It was very good, but it was a bit too dry to get a much higher rating. My next cookie was a Gingersnap from Intelligentsia coffee in Venice. I rate this at a 9/10 because my personal rule is to always get a gingersnap if they are sold at a coffee establishment. This held a lot of merit on this certain day: I was eating it from a business on Abbot Kinney, which anyone who knows anything about being trendy would know is GQ magazine's "Trendiest Street in America". So in conclusion, eating my gingersnap cookie made me trendy even though I was wearing a tshirt and hadn't showered in like, 20 days.

This is where I practiced for cyclocross racing. And other types of racing.

This is a picture of me surfing.

This is a picture of a bird flying.

This is my new tattoo I got on my calf. It's a Uniwolfeetah.

And that's the story about how Ian Crane got his first sunburn of the 2014 training season.

Monday, October 28, 2013

These are important life lessons.

Wow, not having to be at school is something that I extremely relish. Relish is a  strange word because it is also a gross condiment that people who have no taste buds smear on their hot dogs and breakfast cereal. If you use relish you probably also hate puppies. So there's that.

Relish is the green part. Do you really want that in your life?

This is the first October in my bike-pedaling life that I haven't had to balance pretending to study with training. I graduated in March and it turns out that I did not have any desire to rush back for extended learning, so here I am: Mid October, living at home and drinking coffee in my pajamas at 2:38 PM. Please don't show that statement to any of your friends, colleagues, or criminal conspirators without first giving them some background of who I am and how the path that I am on doesn't lead me towards Dungeons and Dragons. Yet.

I've been thoroughly enjoying my free time now that I don't have Western to navigate. This free time has led to a lack of blogging because I no longer have things that I am trying to avoid doing. I also have been living a fairly stressful life as of recently. I usually wake up when I'm rested, which is stressful because I go to bed early so that means I wake up around 7-7:30. Then I have the difficult decision on Espresso, French Press or Bialetti to ponder. Soon comes the most difficult and stress-provoking moment of my day. Do I wait to ride in the hypothetical "nice" window of the day? Or do I get out the door by ten?

Now you can see that I have my stresses too.

This no school thing makes the biking much easier as well. I am having no problems finding any motivation to get out the door. I'm obviously hugely motivated by the season to come, but I'm also not worn down from the huge and physically destructive hour of class a day.

It's important to know that this post has taken me three days to write. I'm busy, I swear it. Let's talk about cyclocross racing!

I recently did something substantial: I raced cross two weekends in a row. The past two to three years I've done one to two cross races each year. I always end up retiring after each one because my back hurts and I probably got beat by someone wearing a costume. However, this year I've had a teeeeeeny change of heart and have only retired after one of the three cross races that I've done. That's progress!

Cross has been a nice change of pace because when I race cross, I can reward myself by having a Motofish coffee afterwards. Motofish made an excellent business plan when they decided to use Lighthouse beans, and because of that I make an effort to come to the cross races simply to get un cafe. They are really good. Get one. I've also enjoyed cross racing because I can get some riding in beforehand, then race, and call it a great training day. I currently can't decide if I like this method of awesome-training better, or the method of a three hour ride in the morning before track racing. One is colder. Both are equally hungry.

I image searched "I have to make a decision" and that was on the results. So I think that helps to clear things up in the smallest of proportions.

Cross racing. Right. In typical Ian cross fashion, I've been pretty good on the pedaling portions of the races and pretty awful at the bike-driving, bike-running, and bike-clippinginfast categories of these contests. This is especially great when I hear 100 times before the race "Ian this is a great course for you!" because there is one pavement section. Which is the reason I went to that race, because there was one pavement section. Now I'm confused, because there were also several turning sections and I got dropped.

Also important about cross racing. I get heckled A LOT. I think this has something to do with my constant braking in the corners, or maybe the fact that I just look hilarious while riding. Let's look at some photos of me in action to determine my success rate.

First of all, starts are very important in cyclocross races. Here's a good shot of how things usually turn out immediately after the start line. I circled myself to assist my readers who don't recognize me riding knobby tires:

Next, I've found that slippery corners are tough. Here is a good pictorial analysis of me searching out the most slippery line possible through every corner:

Or, in a possibly related category:


So the cornering, yeah, it's not good. That's ok though! There is more to cross racing than cornering. In fact, sometimes on courses there are parts where you have to get off your bike and either run or jump, or in my case, walk. Here's a great photo from DBCphoto.com that shows my technique whenever there are barriers or runups:

I try to take advantage of the pedaling as much as possible, which I'm sure leads to me being the most annoying guy in the race to ride with. I'll go really hard on any sections of sustained pedaling, open up a gap, then promptly get caught and passed in the corners. Then repeat. I also make sure that look at my Garmin while racing.

This picture is titled thug life.

This picture is titled "Catch up":

And this picture is titled "12 mph":

I'm confused as to why I'm having such a good time racing cross this season. I blame Motofish coffee and wanting to get better than 8th place. I'll keep trying to corner fast.

Hopefully this post kick-starts my blogging again. Because really, what else am I going to do?

Sincerely yours,


Monday, September 30, 2013

Big news and reflection

I've started to write about three different posts over the last week but nothing felt like it was appropriately depicting what I was trying or wanting to say. To no real surprise, my thoughts started flowing today while I was on my first road ride after my off season. Getting back on the bike sort of kick started this blog post.

"Get off the road and get a job!". This was yelled at me today while I was riding- minding my own business at 11 in the morning. Then it hit me: bike riding and racing is now officially my job*!

*On Jan. 1st

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter or aren't friends with me on Facebook, I officially signed a professional contract for 2014 with Jamis / Hagens Berman pb Sutter Home.

This is much more than a culmination of years of pedaling: it's a huge opportunity for me and I am thrilled to be part of such an excellent program for the 2014 season. For those unfamiliar with the team, they stepped up to the challenge this year and won stages at the Tour of California and the Tour of Colorado, the only Continental team to do so. I'm feeling pretty grateful to have the chance to learn from some pretty experienced bike racers and have a chance to challenge myself at an all new level and in a completely different role.

I think I might be the first person.. maybe ever... to progress from Junior - Amateur - Elite Amateur - Professional under the same sponsor. I rode as a junior for Rad Racing when they had support from Hagens Berman, I rode as a Cat 3 and Cat 2 on the Hagens Berman club team, graduated to the Hagens Berman Elite team when I got my Cat 1 upgrade, and now have signed with a professional team co-sponsored by Hagens Berman. This doesn't mean much other than that I am very grateful that I have been able to pursue this crazy sport and represent a company that is willing to invest in cycling (when not many others are) for so long.

So what does this mean?
New team, new colors, new watch.

Also- new team, new teammates and new experiences means that this blog is going to continue and hopefully get bigger and better! I was/am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of support that I've received since I announced the team switch, and it has made me realize just the power of our cycling community. Knowing that people read and are interested in my adventures and misadventures makes me want to pedal harder, write more, and just be generally more exciting and colorful.

I'm sorry there weren't any jokes or pictures in this post. My next post will be full of photos and jokes, I promise. Because I did a cross race, and when I do those it's instant hilarity.


Biking is so great.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Races in Pennsylvania

I showered and shaved, so I'm finally ready to write a blog about something.

Please do not take that as an explanation of the reasons to why I haven't posted anything here for awhile. I've taken at least three showers since the last time I posted.

I'm not too sure that my logic is correct however, because I don't think that cleanliness and lack-of-facial hair goes hand-in-hand with "internet blogging". Usually I'm led to believe that the opposite of those things tend to mold well with bloggers. To help myself, and you, understand just how accurate (or inaccurate) my initial statement was, I took to the Google machine to learn what an internet blogger looks like.

Here are three from the first page of my search:

As you can see, we can learn nothing from this study.

Moving on. I flew to Pennsylvania for some bike racing after a terribly boring August with nothing much to do. These races are some of my favorites: the Thompson Bucks County Classic and the Thompson Doylestown Crit.

These are amazing races in every sense. I love good, hard, one-day races. 77 people dropped out of Saturday's road race and at least 50 didn't finish the criterium on Sunday. I love it. Just smackin' your head against a wall repeatedly for several hours.

I prepared for this weekend to the best of my ability. I trained really well, I rested and recovered well, and I slept about 18 hours a night. I also watched the movie Pain and Gain on the airplane, which inspired my power animal for the weekend:


So there ya go.

Saturday was a good pedaling contest. Steve, Jon and Staz got away in the early move at approximately mile .07 of the bike race. This was great, and I set about covering attacks for the next four hours. Steve went hambone up the road, swooping up the Sprint Jersey, Best Young Rider Jersey, and Fourth place on the day. I had a pretty good sprint for fourth out of the remnants of the peleton, finishing in 15th on the day.

As I do more and more bike pedaling contests, I learn a bit more about the types of races I like and the features of races that excite me most. The Thompson Bucks County Classic has lots of those features, and my favorite is definitely the finish two kilometers.

I like to sprint, but in a straight, flat-for-miles finish I never fair well. My favorite types of sprints are out of decimated groups and when the finish section is very hard. This race plays in nicely to that category, as there is a sharp pitch with 1.5k to go as well as several corners in the last two k. I started the pitch too far back, missed the separation as the attacks were going, and had to bridge up to the front "split" of ~15 over the top of the hill. I was just latching onto the back at maybe ~800 meters to go, and had just enough time to recover a bit before trying to hit it up the barriers for the line.

Sprints with chaos due to 50 mph speeds, not awesome. Sprints with chaos due to corners, fatigue and hard parcours are my jam.

I finished the road race and then Alan snapped a photo of me in my purest form:

I feasted on raw meat and tiger blood Saturday night, and was ready for Sunday.

The plan was easy for Sunday's long, two-hour crit. Win.

We didn't accomplish this task, but I think that we rode very well. I spent quite a bit of time off the front in various failed breakaway attempts, Steve sprinted about 1000 times for Sprint Jersey points, and Staz and Jon got mistaken for eachother on several different occasions. Classic.

Sprint number one happened and I barely made the front selection of 8 over the top of the finish stretch. Steve had been up the road going for points, and I was following wheels as back-up, getting yelled at violently and angrily by various people who wanted me to chase my own teammate down. I didn't want to though, so I didn't pull. I waited to pull until we had made contact. I thought to myself "Breakaway! Finally". So I pulled for a bit, looked around, and was alone. Then I spent 10ish minutes riding alone, desperately hoping someone would bridge up to me, do all the work, and then be so tired that they got dropped on the last lap letting me win easily. That seemed like a good plan.

Then an angel came. Kennett Peterson bridged up to me with one other, and I was sure that I was about to get a free ride on Helios' chariot. You see, Kennett was wearing Hagens Berman socks, 2009 edition. I figured that this meant that he was sacrificing his race for my chances.

Well, we didn't win. We rolled well for a couple more laps and eventually were brought back to the peleton. In a "of course" sequence of events, the winning breakaway was established very soon after I returned to the field.

Fast forwarding to 2.5 laps to go. There is one Hincapie Devo up the road doing his I'm going to win thing. I followed Ty Magner (U23 Crit champ, Hincapie rider) through the field to where he stalled with several teammates at the front of the race, creating a bit of a speed block for their rider up the road. I attacked instantly, as hard as I could.

I was hoping that the Hincapie guys would stall as long as possible in order not to chase their own rider down. I wanted to use any potential hesitation to my advantage, so I put my head down and went as hard as I could. I cornered fast, pedaling through every corner. I clipped my pedal twice in the last two laps. I put everything into every pedal stroke, hoping to stretch out a maximum advantage that would get me to the line.

It almost worked, too! With two corners, or maybe 800 meters, to go, I got swallowed up by the peleton. I then almost had to get off and walk up the finish hill.

I'm very satisfied with this weekend. I personally didn't come away with any magnificent results, but I had good legs and I'm happy with how I raced. The team had a great weekend highlighted by Steve's results.

Instead of sending my good form to sleep, I'm gonna have some fun over the next couple of days! This includes....

Track racing!

Peace, homies.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I wrecked my body

Totally ruined myself, man.

It is now roughly 30 hours after finishing the Washington State Time Trial championships. I've been on the floor watching Breaking Bad for three hours now. And I can't move.

Last night I felt like I had been repeatedly stabbed. I couldn't roll over in bed, because for all I knew my hips had been disconnected from my body and were floating around in an smorgasbord of discomfort and angel tears. Let's not even begin to talk about my ass muscles. Sweet Baby Jesus.

Let's not talk about something else. How there is something wrong with me. Why do I want to do another one of these? Just typing is hurting my forearms!

Yesterday I drove to Tenino, the town where they feed road kill to wolves at Wolf Haven. On tap was a 40km time trial, on mostly flat roads. There was a section of terrible chipseal where upon hitting it, my power went up 200 watts and my speed went down probably 7 mph. There wasn't much wind, there wasn't much turning, and there wasn't much to distract you from pedaling hard. This combination of factors combined to create the feeling in my universe that there may be a risk of internal combustion and permanent damage.

I've never done a 40 km time trial before. I've done similar things though. I've ran full speed into brick walls. I've jumped off a bridge into piles of nails. I've also tied my legs to semi trucks and have them driven in opposite directions. Only one of those statements is true (two counting this one).

Now that I wrote that, I think it is probably pretty likely that I have ran into a brick wall in my lifetime. So two of those statements were true.

Since I never have done a 40km tt before (sorry to ruin the game), I set a power goal and wanted to stick to it. I was feeling great, I was in a good rhythm, I was staying smooth, and I was passing people. I thought that I was on tap for a great ride! Then, shortly before the turn around, something happened.

I got MASSIVELY Colby-Cranked. That's right folks, my teammate Colby Wait-Molyneux started one minute behind me and had just caught me by the turn around. I right then threw my power goals out the window and pedaled as hard as I could. This worked well for about three minutes until I started to implode and I backed off again. Soon, Colby caught and passed me for the second time. I focused on staying smooth and passed him back ten minutes later. He caught me with two K to go, and I caught him back with 500m to go. We finished together, with Colby finishing exactly one minute faster than I did.

I had a ride I was very happy with. I did better power than I was hoping, I didn't explode, and I didn't have anything left at the line. Colby and I were able to go 1-2, with third place a couple minutes back from me. Let's find where Colby got that minute!

Here I am, settled into my pace on the way out. Notice I'm mostly nose breathing, I'm in focus, and I look like a fairly friendly human.

Check out http://spotshotphotography.smugmug.com for more great photos!
Meanwhile, Colby was coming up HOT behind me. Here's what one minute looks like! Notice the lion roar, the shifter further down in a bigger gear, the blurry photo, and the lack of apparent eyeballs. You never want to let your competition see your eyes. I need to paint my visor.

We rode the same time on the way back and passed eachother five times. Actually:

The way back


Will Teal from HSP had a good ride for third, and I heard that he finished on a flat tire. That means he was smashing it!

Here's a picture I pulled off of Colby's FB page. It's Colby there on the left. I can only hope that's me on the right.

I love these time trial things. Wow.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The internet is CRAZY

Hello world.

First of all, you are reading my mind right now. Thanks internet. Try and read my mind in person, and I guarantee you will be wrong. Unless you predict that I was thinking about monkeys and slurpees, then there is a good chance that you would be right.

Mind-reading ability is only one of the smallest examples of the ways in that the internet is an absolutely crazy and mind-twisting realm of human capabilities and function. Let's take a look!

First, the internet makes it so that celebrities, sports heroes, politicians, comedians and that person you are stalking are just one small click away. You may never have a chance to meet Lady Gaga, but you can follow her tweets with passion. This access often never leads to much, with usually only a sarcastic defense (if any) to various fans tweets of admiration, or in most cases, hate.

Recently however, there has been one shining example of just how crazy the internet is. I'd like to introduce you to "Bubby Lyles". He had 500 twitter followers. He then decided that OMG Lolo Jones is a hottie, I'd love to date her.


Then, he used twitter to ask her on a date.

In 11 days, he got 150k retweets. WHAT! In those 11 days, he shot from 500 followers to 2500+ followers. What!

The greatest thing about this is how down Lolo was:

You see people! With the internet, you can do anything.

Next, I hate skateboarding. I tweeted this earlier this week because it is amazing. Seriously incredible. Thanks internet for making this possible.

Finally, I have incredible powers when I use the internet. I admit, I was doing something stupid. Truthfully, most things that most people do on the internet are pretty stupid, but here I was, August 1st, looking at various winter cycling shoes to buy for when the weather turned sour. I was hoping I could get a good deal since it was summer and all, but instead of a good deal I got another surprise.

That's right, the next day I got torrentially rained on while riding. The first time in quite awhile that I rode in rain, and it happened the day after I looked up winter shoes on the internet.

The next day I was looking around the Smith Optics website. The next time I rode my bike? 80 degrees and sunny. You're welcome, world

So as you can see, the internet has magical powers that make things happen. It may be a date, or it may be inspiration, or it may be a shift in weather. Since it's apparent that what you search on the internet comes true, recently I've been doing a lot of researching on Professional Cycling, BMW's, and Capuchin monkeys.

See you later!

Monday, July 29, 2013


I've been listening to the album "Country Grammar" by Nelly a lot lately. By a lot, I mean maybe once, half-way through. By lately, I mean today. This is another fine example of rap music being very different listening to it as a 23 year old with life experiences rather than a ten year old listening to it all fresh and shiny, proud of his first rap CD purchase- way cooler than Jennifer Lopez CD's. I mean, uh, Beastie Boys CDs....

Apparently that tattoo says "Lunatic"
Another great example of this is the album Word of Mouf (sic) (sic=thus was it written). I had this one as a wee lad, but I had the edited version. We listened to this album on the way home from  Cascade and I learned that when listening to it unedited, the songs are longer, much more filled of words and significantly more descriptive.

Normally when I don't update after a race it means Ish went bad and I don't feel loco enough to write up stories. This wasn't the case from the final two days of Cascade. I've just been busy. I've been doing some real man shit. Real life shit. Just real adult shit, man. Real talk, real deal. Really.

So let's take a ride on the magic memory train where I'll share with you Cascade stages 5 and 6 and then that real manly stuff I've been talking about.

We did the crit and it went. My favorite part was when I noticed the sprinklers going on and drenching all the spectators on the slowest part of the course. I was having no luck getting to the front of the bike race so when I was going 8mph through the third and fourth corners of the course I was able to notice these things. It was ALMOST like this:

We finished and then ate food and then Jon and Staz napped.

Sunday's stage is one that pretty much daily I think to myself "omg, Ian, that course is perfect for you. Do dank things there, ok?". Then, the race comes around and I find myself thinking things more along the lines of "WTF? WTF? WTF?" (why this fast? x3). Then I get dropped and scheme for years to come when one day I'll have the good ride that I've been promising myself since I was a second year u23.

This year I crossed the bridge from terrible ride to pretty good ride but no result. This is something that I'm ok with, but nowhere near content with. I made all the front splits on the climbs, chilled in the group while Staz and Steve melted in the break, and plotted. I put a lot of emphasis on the word chilled in that above sentence, because Harry Dynamite went back for bottles and ice socks approximately 1 million times.

Hero work.

We raced, the break got caught, and I learned just how different the finish stretch is at race speed rather than dropped and sulking speed. I did a good sprint from tooooooo far back and finished directly in mediocrest place. Maybe some day I'll do a good'un here and I can be famous too!

Ya see, Rhae does winning and gets compared to Jens Voigt. Interesting.

I returned from Cascade feeling slightly mature. I decided that to continue my maturation, perhaps become an adult and maybe just maybe eventually be growned-up enough to have a GREAT race on the Awbrey Butte Circuit, I needed to do more adult things.

First, I went to get my car's emissions checked.

I failed.

Then, I went to the shop to see about getting it fixed. It was $900. I said no thanks.

I failed.

Next, I got a haircut.

I won.

Then I went to an art show, classy and adult-like of me.

Then, I decided that being an adult was for softies so I slept till ten and went bike riding. I went pedaling, where I saw something that I thought epitomized specifically just what's wrong with this world. I was stopped at a light, and crossing the street were three girls. These girls were, if I had to guess, 10 years old. They were wearing sunglasses, carrying purses, and drinking Starbucks frapasomethings. Somewhat disturbing.

I continued on with my ride slightly concerned with how the world is evolving. Soon, I came across a group of ~ten-year old kids riding their bikes in the street. I passed them, made the corner, and one of the kids bunny hopped the curb, sprinted up the sidewalk, and shortcut passed me back. He yelled "woohoo!" and threw up both hands in a victory salute. His friends cheered behind me.

Faith = restored.

Then I brake checked him into the next corner and attacked as hard as I could.

Officially mature.