Monday, April 28, 2008

The Twilight of Athens : A Jittery Grit : And a Spinach-Tortilla Wrapped Fatty

Went to Athens GA to watch Andre race and see the Athens Twilight Road Race. Andre (in orange) would place 5th in the Amateur race and was the first Cat 3 across the line! Here is a nice shot that Tony snapped of Andre.

Here we are packing up Sunday morning from our host house, Susans. Before we packed up we woke for an early morning bike ride and then had an incredible breakfast at The Grit in Athens. I think I had 6 cups of coffee just at breakfast.

Instead of going to Atlanta to see the final Stage of the Tour de Georgia, we hit Jittery Joes coffee and eventually tuned in to the race via wireless internet connection! I had another coffee there. We would make another stop at the other Jittery Joes Coffee on Baxter, but I was caffeined out and had the jitters. We HAD to get some food in my system before the road trip out. So, we hit Barberitos, which was totally awesome. I could go eat and ride in Athens all day! Lets go back there again! My spinach wrapped fatty was very filling! We were set! On the way back home to Asheville, with a car full of bikes, cyclist, and fun!

I snagged this clip from Tony's Blogsite!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cat 3!!!

I finally made the upgrade! I haven't had great results this year, but I submitted a request and it was approved in less than 4 hours.

Dear Frank,

The following request to change your USCF category has been approved and processed by USA Cycling:

Request to change category from Cat 4 to Cat 3

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Critten in Charleston, SC

On Friday teammates from our womens and mens teams drove to Charleston, SC to race in the Lowcounty VW crit and the SC State Champs crit. It was a long drive, but nice to get down to a warm place to race.

As our women's team raced I warmed up for the Masters Cat 4/5 race. I love this category and always race well. It is both smoother and safer than the normal cat 4 race. I recognized Brett Busby from the Rock Hill Omnium two weeks ago. I knew that if I just followed his wheel I would have a good ride. The pict shows Brett on the front with me 3 riders back. I stayed here for most of the race.

On the final lap I was caught off-guard by riders from the back coming around on both sides. I watch Brett maintain his position and I while I lost mine. I managed to finish 9th. I was riding in the top 5 for most of the race and took one pull with 3 laps to go. Still I felt I road well.

Later in the afternoon I raced the Cat 3/4 race. It was a huge group and I started on the front at the line. After a few laps I found myself falling backwards in the pack. Finally I was on the back. The pace there was smooth and safe. So, I stayed and just closed any gap to the main field in front of me. I managed to finish 33rd out of 70-ish riders. Not so great, but a good ride for me.

After the races we returned to our host home of Larry's (he's a teammate) parents. It was on the coast on James Island and very beautiful. Larry's parents cooked up some Frogmore Stew and it was yummy. I had a couple Porters to prep for the follow day, as I would be racing in the Masters 35+ race since the cat 4 race was so late in the afternoon and I wanted to get home at a decent time.

I watched my teammates race the juniors, women's and cat 5 race. There was a bad crash in the women's race on the final lap and one of our teammates got caught up in it.

I lined up with the masters field.....which is normally the 2nd fastest race of the day at any race. So, I would be in for a great workout and expect no results. I hung on for 8 or 9 laps. Soon my legs became limp. I sat out one lap and jumped back in and hung on for one more lap. Soon I realized that I wasn't going to get to far in this race and my energies could be better spent attending to the teammate that crashed. So I pulled out with a very good idea of what it takes for me to race the masters category.......a lot more time and dedication training!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kamelot - Memento Mori

Thought provoking lyrics with great song structure and musicianship.

Who wants to separate
The world we know from our beliefs
And who sees only black and white
Distinguish loss from sacrifice
Some day we may come to peace
With the world within ourselves
And I will await you
Until I close my eyes
Close my eyes
Close my eyes

When your time has come
You know you'll be lonely once again
And the final winter comes to us all
Life is treacherous
But you're not the only who must pretend

We're a second in time
We're the last in the line
Of the prey that walks the earth
Good and evil combined

I am the god in my own history
The master of the game
I may believe if she would come to me
And whisper out my name
Sometimes I wonder where the wind has gone
If life has ever been
Sometimes I wonder how belief alone
Can cut me free from sin

When you close your eyes
Mementos of summer retrieves your mind
Like a drizzled afternoon cleans the air
When the winter blows
You're glad you remember you really tried

And it comes to an end
Even winter... life fall
And we all have our beliefs
Pray for mercy for all

I am a man without a mystery
The deal is done within
I will embrace the coldest winter breeze
And pay for every sin



So subservant in your embrace
No more denial
No run away
This is the final
My last recall
And that's the price for what we learn
The more we know the more we yearn
Cause we're so alone

I am a man without a mystery
The deal is done within
I will embrace the coldest winter breeze
The journey can begin
I'm still the god in my own history
I still believe that she will come to me
And whisper out my name

Some day we may come to peace
And reach beyond behind the lies
And I will await you
Until I close my eyes
Close my eyes,
Close my eyes...


The Live Version: Kamelot - Memento Mori Live In Belgrade

Wikipedia: Memento Mori

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The coolest thing that I wrote today.

Cast no stones unless you are sinless yourself. Give when you have nothing to give. Be merciful, you have already received mercy. Live within your physical/mental bounds and accept them as gifts. Be grateful when there is nothing in particularly to be grateful for. Realize that things could be even worse than they are right now. Make strangers laugh and make them smile. Acknowledge to yourself when you fall short of each of these things and accept that is okay and be humbled by it. Learn to smile when you are humbled. The greatest weapon there is is to love your enemies and for you to understand exactly why that is true. Forgive your enemies unless they are trying to kill you. Know when to let go and then ride that wave you have created for yourself. Your are free! Embrace the future as it comes to you.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My buddy Steve

Years ago Steve, Julie, Andy and I used to work for the Technical Marketing team of ERDAS, Inc. This period of time was by far the most rewarding, enjoyable and developmental time of my working life. Today Steve is off somewhere pretending to be one of the the characters in the movie The Titanic.....which I can't remember if I ever saw that, I can't really name the characters. Is it Leonardo or Kate? Steve?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

There is water in my wheels!

Today I raced the Donaldson Center again in the Upstate weekend event in Greenville, SC. I went to the race with the plan of trying different things that I normally don't do in a race, like shoot off the front and try to stay away. This was in part to prep for my multiple crits next weekend.

It was a rainy drive down from Asheville.

My race was 6 laps of the 7 mile course, 42 miles. The first two laps I was just trying to get my race legs. After the 3rd lap I shot off the front to see what would happen. I normally just sit in the pack and wait for the sprint. My effort was good and I tried to catch a couple guys already up the road. Just as I about caught them, they sat up. The field was on our wheels. So, I sat up and rejoined the group. I wanted to see how long it would take me to recover.

Shortly after I was back in the group the heavens open up with a torrential downpour and the rain drops hurt and stung. Then there was some lightening and thunder which made for a more interesting race. I felt like superman, Teddy King and the gang in the Stage 4 break away of the Tour of California. I just kept on going. It rained hard for lap 4 and 5 and the less so on lap 6. About a mile from the finish we were going so freaking slow that there was an incident ahead of me that resolved itself and then immediately after the was an actual crash. I didn't think at first it was going to affect me, but when I hit my breaks and I was not slowing down because of the wet did push me off the side of the road. I did not make contact with anyone or the ground. I quickly got back on the road with my bike and tried to catch on to the pack, but it was not going to happen.

I was feeling good to and was hoping to contest the sprint. Oh well. Lets see what happens next weekend!

When I got home I realized that I had a "swishing" sound in my bike. I quickly figured out that I had water in my wheels. So, I took off the tires and the tubes and sure enough there was water in my rims. I dried it out in the sun and she's all better now for the crits next week.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Why is there a Cervelo SLC-SL in my home?

I'm only baby sitting it for a short time. Thought I would take a picture of it to make you jealous. This thing weighs in at 14.99 pounds without the pedals and bar tape.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kids causing trouble at the track

As me and my training partner were doing a few intervals together we came around turn 3 at the Asheville Mellowdrome. Something was apparently flung from the other side of the wall and landed right in front of my tire and hit my partner in the face. She said it felt like sand. What I saw hit the track in front of me resembled an orange bungee cord. The second time around I notice that some "children" were on the other side of the wall. I've seen these kids there in the past taunting the riders while they do their group workouts, even as much as standing in the track in front of us. We are on fixed gear bikes with no breaks so we cannot stop fast.

On the 3rd time around I slowly rode up to the wall and whipped out my cell phone and took a picture of them. Once they realized what I had in my hand they pulled their shirts up over their heads and ran fast!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Picture Ohio

Picture Ohio! I found this really neat blog site using Google Alert for Findlay, OH.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rock Hill Omnium

This weekend was the Rock Hill Omnium in York and Rock Hill, SC. I went looking for results since I was going to race the Cat 4 Masters 35+ category. I did very well two years ago and was expecting results this time around.

Friday night White Rose Sprints 500 meters:
This event is unlike any standard Omnium event. An Omnium is usually a 3-day event that includes a Time Trial, Criterium and Road Race. At this race they had the sprints and not the TT. This is event was made for me. Each racer does a first heat and their result determines whether or not they move on. I had a great warm up as we were anticipating the rain. We got a few sprinkles around 5:45 PM, but it did not last. My first heat was at 6:10. We lined up in a standing start with holders holding us up as we clipped into our pedals. GO! My first heat was off and I made sure that I got 3rd wheel. About 200 meters I went around the 2nd guy and noticed that I was closing in on the number one guy. I got around them both and won the first heat. That result automatically put me in the final. The 2nd place guy made the final as well. The 3rd, 4th and 5th would get a second chance sprint to get into the final. In the heat that followed me, my teammate Alan also took first. We had a 3rd teammate win his 2nd chance heat, so that gave us 3 of 8 guys in the final heat. A sure win you would think.

We lined up at the final for the sprint competition. We didn't really have a plan, but I took off following my teammate Alan's wheel as Brett Busby shot off up the right hand side. I went around Alan and chased down the lead guy as best I could, but missed 2nd place by millimeters. The video was very hard to call, but they had to make a call and I was number 3. So, I got 3rd place and $30 for the event.

The rain came in pouring around 8:30. They even delayed part of the sprint as a storm cell with tornado's came through the area. The finished the event late with the pro men and women finals sprinting in the downpour. It was wild!

Saturday Rock Hill Criterium 15 laps:
The rains came in overnight which made for a slick criterium course. I felt good through the race but took it easy through the turns. There were a number of crashes in our race, one almost took me out, but I managed to hold on. On the final lap my teammate Alan gave me a great opportunity to move to the front, but coming into one of the turns I held off and road safely through. The final sprint got me around several riders and resulted in a 5th place finish and $20. With the previous night results I was 3rd overall for the weekend omnium.

Sunday Patriot's Trail Road Race 45 miles:
We were expecting clear skies with higher temps. But when we arrived at the race, it was wet and cold. I had plenty of time to warm up on the roads and reconnoiter the last mile of the race course so I knew what to expect during the finish.

The first 25 miles I sat on the back of the pack. I figured the Omnium leaders were up front. Around mile 25 I went to the front and showed myself as the two Omnium leaders had not seen me all day. I made it real easy for them to check off my bib number that was noted on taped pieces of paper on their stems. Just wanted to let them know I was around. Up front I felt great and rode side by side with the current 1st and 2nd place guys. With about 5 miles to go, a few attacks tried to go off the front. The 1 and 2 guys went and I followed their wheels on each attack. There were about 4 attacks and none of them got more than 100 meters off the front. So, I figured I would go sit back in the pack and not waste my energy chasing down breaks that were not going to stick. With 2 miles remaining I went to the front again to get a good position. I was set up nicely. Soon, I realized we were coming up on the Women's Pro 1 2 field who started about 15 minutes ahead of us. We were closing in on them fast! I didn't know how this was going to turn out. Would the official neutralize the women's field and let us pass or not? With just over a kilometer to go, we were riding on the back of the women's field. It was chaos! The official was seemingly indecisive about what to allow to do. He told us to "STOP!" and not go around. At 200 meters to go the motorcycle official turned both fields loose! It was more chaos than I cared to participate in. So, I rode in amongst the women and masters men in my field for a 12th place finish. I figured I lost my 3rd place omnium finish.

After the race I checked on the omnium results and we figured that I finished 4th in the omnium. There is still a payout for me to receive. The race organizers said they would male the payout money.

For the most part I was happy with my race weekend. I felt I rode strong and had the opportunity to feel what it was like to mark some other guys and chase down some short bursts off the front. That is something that I usually don't experience during single day events.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Forecasting Rock Hill

Will I be racing in the rain and thunderstorms in York and Rock Hill, SC this weekend? Tune in a see next week. Last weekends very wet Assault on the Carolinas may prove to be a good preview.

Smashed Sqaushed Splattered Chewed Chunked and Spewed

This book is extra specially close to me. Lance and I went to college together and some of the conversations that we had during those crazy partying years are captured in this twisted adventure. More on this when I return.

Carbuncle's Space and website.