Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Greenville Racing: Weekend 1

I had an okay weekend of racing near Greenville, SC. The Cat 4 road race on Saturday was 35 miles. In the last kilometer of the race I attacked off the front to see if I could hold off the pack. I got a good jump and maybe a 100 meter gap. I quickly caught the single break-away guy. I went into time trial mode and try to hold it, but I quickly realized that it was not going to work out. Both of my calves started to cramp. With less than 500 meters to go the field caught me and quickly went by me. I finished off the back of the pack. I was happy because I did exactly what I had intended to do. Maybe next time I will wait another 500 meters to make the jump. Tune in next Sunday to see how that works out.

OJ and I sporting our Carolina Fatz temporary team kits until our team kits come in.......uh, guess they still needed to be ordered.....okay, it may be a while.

Here are junior racers Calum (left) and Andre (right) sprinting against each other. They were team mates last year on the Hearns Junior team and still race those kits. But technically they race for different teams since Andre is now on Team Velosports. We still like Calum though! Andre had a great weekend with a 1st place on Saturday and a 3rd place on Sunday. Andre also managed to get his name into the womens results.

Sunday was the BMW Test Track criterium course. Confusion with the lap count down had the entire Cat 4 field sprinting for the finish when they had 3 laps to go.......so, I burned my match on that sprint with a good position across the line to find out that we still had 3 laps to go. I tried to hang on, but had nothing for the finish.

Check out the Team Velosports blog for more race reports.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Teddy King in the break-away

Asheville transplant Teddy King from Bissell Pro Cycling in the break-away on Stage 4 of the Tour of California. What crappy weather! Ted has been a participant on our Saturday Bakery Ride this winter.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It is that time of year again.

Okay....WHY do I make a big deal about shaving my legs?!!?!

1.) It is rare for me to give in and "conform" to what everyone else (who races) does. I would only shave my legs in previous years after getting a lot of comments about being one of the only guys with hairy legs who races. I guess I am giving in to peer pressure and dramatizing it a little.
2.) It helps with the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming race season. I was side-lined last season for most of the year and never really got my form back until October and I really wasn't interested in racing by that time.
3.) Easier for wounds to heal and receiving massages.

Step 1: I had to break out the electric shaver and get the first layer of leg hair removed. However, it took me most of the night because the charge in my electric shaver kept going out. I had to recharge and then resume later. I was never patient enough to wait until the electric razor had a good long time to charge.....so, it kept quiting on me.
Step 2: I caked my legs with the remaining Veet that I had. It did a pretty good job this time. You have to leave it on much longer then the advised 3 minutes. It takes more like 15 minutes.

Two races next weekend:

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Donaldson Center Road Race on Saturday

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BMW Test Track Crit on Sunday - Use the zoom out tool if you can't see the map.

New Team! New Excitement! Same goals as last year!

All for now!

Rob & Stephani

Rob and Stephani were married February 9th, 2008. Congratulations to both of you! Have a great time in New Mexico. Yes, I am going to try and visit in the summer.

Story follows.....

Feb 16th:
Rob: How come we haven't made your blog yet?
Frank: Because I didn't have a good picture of you two.

After my ride on Saturday morning, we took a road trip to Lawrenceville, GA on Saturday afternoon and returned later that night....actually early the following day. My good friend Rob and his fiancée Stephani got married two Saturdays ago. Here is how I found out.

Feb 9th:
During the time that I was visiting Em, my sister and my parents in Ohio the previous weekend (see blog post February in Ohio...) my phone rings. I can't answer it, but it was my friend Andy calling. I let the voice mail get it and figured I would call him a little later. Then, he called again immediately after. I thought it must be important since he tried a second time so quickly. So, I stepped outside of my parents house and took the call.

(paraphrased account of actual events.)
Frank: Hey Andy, what is going on?
Andy: Frank, I just called Rob and he answered his phone. He told me that he couldn't talk now because he is getting married.
Frank: Really!

Some background:
Rob and Stephani got engaged several months ago. I wanted to blog the news, but did not have a good picture of them. Stephani got a job in Los Alamos, NM and decided she wanted to take Rob with her. :-) So, my last conversation with Rob went something like this.

Rob: Yeah, things are happening fast.
Frank: When are you two getting married?
Rob: It could be any day now. I'm trying to clean up my house and find work in NM.
Frank: Wow!

Back to Feb 9th:
So, to continue on after Andy's phone call when I was visiting in Ohio, I sent a text message to both Rob and Stephani to try and figure out if they really got married when Andy called them.

Frank's Text to both Rob and Stephani: "I do?"
Later on that day I get a text from Rob: "I did!"

Guys are not known for detailed conversation because they have the incredible ability to communicate with each other in just so few words. In addition, guys do not have their feelings hurt or take things personally if they did not know sooner or were not involved somehow. So, without any quick reply containing important details or news, Rob and Stephani got married on Saturday February 9th. I would get the details later when Rob had a free chunk of time to provide details. But most importantly I was happy for them and wanted to be a part of what ever time was remaining before they move.

Feb 14th:
An email from Rob read: Going away party at my house on February 16th at 7PM.
I am thinking: Wow! That is this weekend! Have to go! Road trip!
At this point, I still didn't have too many details about or pictures from the wedding.....and I did not know exactly when Rob and Stephani were "going away". So, I just went with it and made plans for the road trip to Lawrenceville, GA on Saturday after my morning ride.

Feb 16th:
Back to the road trip to GA. Yes, the first stop we made was Starbucks! It was a 3+ hour drive and I had just rode for 3 hours on the bike without a post ride nap. I wanted to be awake.

The party started at 7PM. The drive took over 3 hours and we arrived around 7:20PM. We stepped in for light refreshments (Portuguese white wine from the Azores) and some finger food. It was nice to talk and hang out with everyone. The time flew and soon we had to say good-bye and get back on the road for the 3+ hour trip back to Asheville.

Here is a picture of Andy, Rob and I at the party. It was nice that I could make the trip down and get us together before Rob and Stephani leave this week for NM. Who knows if the three of us will get the opportunity to hang out again. But hopefully I will get out west for a visit.

Here is a shot of you two from our camping trip back in June. Congratulation to you two and have a safe trip to your new home! You'll be missed.

Apophis 2036

The history channel is one of my favorite to watch, when I watch TV or just have it on in the background. Tonight I caught a show on the likelihood of the Apophis asteroid encounters of 2004, 2029, and 2036.

From Wikipedia:

99942 Apophis
(pronounced /əˈpoʊfɪs/, previously known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4) is a near-Earth asteroid that caused a brief period of concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a relatively large probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029. Additional observations provided improved predictions that eliminated the possibility of an impact on Earth or the Moon in 2029. However there remained a possibility that during the 2029 close encounter with Earth, Apophis would pass through a gravitational keyhole, a precise region in space no more than about 400 meters across, that would set up a future impact on April 13, 2036. This possibility kept the asteroid at Level 1 on the Torino impact hazard scale until August 2006. It broke the record for the highest level on the Torino Scale, being, for only a short time, a level 4, before it was lowered.[4]

Additional observations of the trajectory of Apophis revealed the "keyhole" would likely be missed and on August 5, 2006, Apophis was lowered to a Level 0 on the Torino Scale. As of October 19, 2006, the impact probability for April 13, 2036, is estimated at 1 in 45,000. An additional impact date in 2037 has been identified; however, the impact probability for that encounter is 1 in 12.3 million.

Despite the fact that there is no longer any significant probability of an Earth impact, the Planetary Society is offering $50,000 in prize awards for a few of the best plans to put a tracking device on or near the asteroid.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another Bakery Ride

Bicycle racing in the southeast starts next weekend in Greenville, SC. The Greenville training series goes for 3 consecutive weekends. So it may be a while before I do another bakery ride.

Which way? Paint for Gap (right turn) or Weaverville (left turn). Three of us went left and all the others went right to tackle Paint Fork Gap climb. This is a brutal short climb. I opted for a shorter 3 hour ride. I had a road trip to GA and needed to get back home.
More on the Georgia trip next.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Long Stem Rose of a Valentine Roll

What better is there to do on Valentines Day than to spend it with someone special and go out for Sushi? There is almost nothing more enjoyable that you can do in public and not get arrested.

On the right is the Valentine Roll and on the left are selections of bara sushi (rice salad), sushi rolls, nigiri sushi and sashimi. You can barely see the bottom of the Sake (rice wine) at the top of the picture. Wasabi in Asheville has been the choice location for good sushi. It is the best sushi in town according to those who eat there. It is nice to sit up at one of the corners of the sushi bar to enjoy the company and sushi in close proximity of the Itamae (sushi chefs). It is a yummy experience!

Here is the post-sushi long stem rose brought to us by our waitress. A great way to finish off the meal. Hope you all had a great Valentines Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

February in Ohio and a Digi-makeover at Frank University

I took last Friday off and drove to Ohio to visit my daughter and my Family. The trip consisted of 8 hour drive to pick up my daughter and then another 3 hours to get to my sisters house in Barnesville. Ohio is actually a big state to drive through. I can recall my 4 hour drive from home to college in the late 80s and early 90s. I thought that was a long drive at the time. Little did I know that I would be putting in much longer road trips later in life.

Here is a picture of what is very common in northwest Ohio. Now, I have to say.....who would want to live here?!?!?! Very flat and very windy. There is nothing to stop the wind and the streams and rivers often flood their banks.

After 514 miles on the road I was 10 minutes early. So as not to be rude, I drove around a little to fill up that 10 minutes. I can't say in a public forum why in the heck I did that, other than to say I was "asked" to be "on time"......after 514 miles and 8 hours, I figured just getting there would be good enough. Anyway, there is Em and her brother happy to see me!

Our (my) plan was to take Em to the Polaris Fashion Mall area in Columbus for dinner (or supper as they call it in the north) on our way to my sisters house in Barnesville. So I did everything I could to deflect requests to eat at Taco Bell and Subway. We settled on Max & Ermas. I had never been there before and figured it would be nice to try it out. Since living in Asheville, I HAVE become a food snob.....and I am better off because of it. But I absolutely do not like or prefer to eat at chain restaurants. I'm not quite militant about it and I really can't figure out why my mind thinks this way (now). I figure that I can eat at chain restaurants any time and any where.....so, why not try something local. But, as you can imagine it is difficult to find "something local" on-the-fly as you are traveling. I guess you have to kind of know about it before you get there. So, convenience wins over on the road.

Here is a shot from the Reisbeck's grocery in Barnesville. These were my stomping grounds when I was a kid.....but without the Wendy's and McDonalds. We only had a Dairy Queen and that was downtown.....in addition to the 3 pizza places. It is hard to believe that I came from this part of Ohio as I have not spent much time there since I went to college. It is so different compared to the life I know now.

The main purpose of this trip was to celebrate Em's birthday. Here is the cake.

Here is the cake and ice cream being eaten. Yummy!!

Here is the family, my Mom and Dad in the background with the family dog (Reba). Em is opening presents. Since Christmas, I have to believe that she has all the DVDs and CDs that she could possibly want at this time.

See what happens when you go to Ohio, the locals dress you up. The girls (Em and my two nieces) had a little fun with their Digi-makeover and Uncle Frank. Here I am with pink hair and a sweet heart on my left cheek. I am digging that necklace!

Here are the digi-makeover experts. No guilt on their faces, huh! The girls have fun together when we visit.

North of Columbus, I found "Frank University".....ha, ha. I just couldn't resist! I hope you can figure it out.

Oh yeah, what is a road trip without Starbucks?!!! Here is a quick snap shot of us drinking SBX products in the car as we are road trippin. Em is actually drinking Chi tea...and not coffee. She usually gets a hot chocolate or Cream Frappuccino.

Drafting: The high winds had my CRV get half its usual gas mileage.....180 miles on 13 gallons of gas. My RPMs were 4500 for most of the drive across the state on Sunday. It was extremely windy. I HATE the wind!!! So, I tucked in behind a semi-truck as my gas gauge was getting low and I became concerned about getting Em home. I was amazed at how quickly my RPMs dropped and how much I let off the gas just to go forward. We hit some backroads and found gas in Dunkirk, OH.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teleskopický obušek

Don't mess with obusek! This device is the literal translation of my last name.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The basics of a rotating paceline

I hooked up with members of our women's and men's team on Sunday for a ride. I was still feeling a little under the weather. I felt great the previous day during a ride, so I figured I would do the same today. By the end of the ride I thought I snapped out of it.

A store stop at a local gas station in Penrose, NC provides the perfect opportunity to go over the basics of a rotating paceline. OJ Simpson snapped this shot of our group in the parking lot. I wish I would have snapped a few shots of the locals showing their puzzling looks while they watched us.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Climbing Grapevine

Today was a special Bakery Ride. I was feeling sick with a good head cold, runny nose and near cough. I felt almost too sick to ride but I figured I would at least show up and get in some miles since I would not be riding the following weekend (going to Ohio again). Soon after we pedaled off, I started feeling better. That is usually the case when I am sick, I feel better when I am on the bike. I guess maybe it is because my heart rate is up and pumping my blood through my body, maybe dissipating my sickness until I stop.

I didn't realize our route at first, but here we are on our way to Grapevine. This is a good 3 mile climb northwest of Mars Hill, NC. I've featured the climb on the Southern Appalachian Road Climbs site (which is due for a good overhaul).

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Here it is the climb on Google Maps.

We put in a good 70 miles in 4 hours. I felt exhausted a few times, but had several intermittent bursts of power and endurance. I did not finish so strong, but I ate and napped well after the ride.

Thanks to those of you on the ride who tell me that you are reading my blog. It is good to know that someone it reading.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Velosports women in Sophie Magazine

Remember the Team Velosports Women's team? Well they've pulled in some big sponsorships and will be called the Deltec Homes presented by Turtle & Hughes women's team.

They also got a write up in Sophie Magazine. Check it out! We should have the team web site up soon. There you will learn about both the men and women's team and where we will be racing this year.