Friday, May 05, 2006

Rain, Snow, Wind...and a Nice Long Road Race

Well, last weekend was the Deer Trail Road Race. It's a 61 mile road race the is mostly flat leading up to some serious rollers for the last 10 miles. It's called Deer Trail because, well, that is the town it is held in. If you don't know where Deer Trail, Colorado is located, join the club. It's a tiny little town about 45 miles East of Denver.

The Category 4 racers are set to go off at 8:30am. I arrive with plenty of time to spare. I step outside of the car and, BLAM, the cold air hits me like a slap in the face. It's not much above freezing and I didn't bring the right type of clothes for this temperature. I look over to my wife and she gives me a glance like, "you drug me out of bed at 5am, you are going to race" so I meander over to registration. I get all registered, dressed and start my warmup on the trainer. During my warmup I notice some white stuff (snow) is starting to fall and the clouds look really ominous to the West.

I ride over to the start area and all the 4's are starting to get lined up. Once lined up I chat with a few of the guys about the course and the general crappiness of the weather. BTW, at this point, the snow has stopped, but a rain/mist is coming down. The gun goes off and away we go. There are 90 guys in our race so it is a very big group. I grab a wheel to try and move up in the pack (don't want to get behind a crash that is all to common in the Category 4's). I'm sitting comfortably in the pack at the first turnaround. The group makes an uneventful turn and start heading into the wind. No one in the group wants to work so I move myself up to the front of the group and start taking some pulls into the wind. It's gotta be blowing 20-30mph directly into our face so my pulls are fairly short and not very fast. This is basically how everything goes down for the next 50 miles until we head North of Deer Trail.

Just on the North side of Deer Trail, shortly after the feedzone, the front of the pack attacks. I was caught a little bit off guard, but easily hang onto the lead group. The attack basically splits the field into two groups. The front group consists of about 30 riders. Luckily I'm in the lead group. The pace is pretty fast because the wind is now basically at our backs and the guys at the front are pushing hard. Add the pace to the hills and I'm starting to think this is becoming more of a road race than just a massive group ride. We make the turnaround to head back to Deer Trail and on the next uphill the front of the group attacks again. Luckily I'm sitting about six back from the front so it was easy to anticipate. The attack really shattered the group and the lead group ended up being about 14 riders. After the attack we slow down a little bit since everyone is getting a little bit tired. I've recovered from the attack and hills pretty well and we are all taking our turns making pulls just to make sure nobody behind us re-integrates back into our group. We start up the final climb to go back into Deer Trail and towards the top of the hill, three or four guys sprint off the front. I figured that they were just making an attack so I up my pace. All of a sudden I realize that we had just crossed the finish line. There was no banner, sign, or anything else that signifies this was the finish of the race. Most of the guys (except the 3 or 4 guys who sprinted) did not realize that the finish was right there. Kinda sucks...

I ended up finishing 8th and felt pretty good about the days effort.

Until next time, keep the rubber side down...

Friday, April 14, 2006



It's Been Awhile

Well, a lot has happened since my last post. I meant to keep this updated every week, but training, work and life in general have kept me pretty busy the last few weeks.

So the new mountain bike team has started to take shape. We are starting out small this year with six strong riders that will compete in Mountain States Cup events and the Winter Park Series. If you attend any of these events you will know the team by the name of Diamond Peaks Racing. The title sponsor is Diamond Peaks Physical Therapy. We are also sponsored by Turner Bikes (see picture of frame), Schwalbe Tires, Veloskin, Mountain High Cyclery, and Devil's Backbone construction.

As you can see from the picture the team frames have arrived. Everyone on the team will be riding the Turner Nitrous frames (http://www.turnerbikes.com/). The frames have been custom anodized red. Just sitting in the stand they look fast! I'm really looking forward to building this thing up. My goal for the build will be around 23 lbs. Yep, 23 lbs for a full suspension bike. BTW, this is the same frame that Geoff Kabush has ridden to two NORBA championships. Although I won't be nearly as fast as Mr. Kabush.

Until next time, keep the rubber side down...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Springtime in Colorado...

Means WINTER!!!! It seems that every time March roles around, early season race series get started and then...BLAM...Winter. This past weekend was cold, snowy and a lot like winter. I shouldn't complain to much though since winter in Colorado is pretty pleasant.

This past weekend (3/11) I had planned on doing some quality time riding outdoors. Saturday was going to be a ride up Rist Canyon (local climb near Ft. Collins) and the Stazio criterium on Sunday. Well, neither of those happened as cold & snow set in for the weekend. It turned out to be ok since work tied me up for most of the day on Saturday. I did get a couple of good rides in on the trainer and all was not lost.

This week's training has been fairly easy. Actually, most of March has been pretty mellow. February was the end of my build phase and April begins another phase of higher intensity. March is transition so it has been easier. The one thing that I find difficult with transition phases is keeping them easy. I always want to go hard and find myself pushing the envelope when I should be taking it easy.

Until next time, keep the rubber side down...


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


One Down....

Well, the first race of the season was held this weekend in Boulder, CO. The weather was beautiful (65deg) and lots of racers made for a great race. For those of you that race in Colorado, it was the Stazio criterium put on by the Denver-Boulder Couriers and the Tyler Hamilton Foundation. More info at www.dbcevents.com. Tyler actually raced as well. I think he placed top ten in the pro-1-2 event.

Anyway, I'm a Cat 4 racer as I generally only race road during the early season to help get some "high end work" on the bike. Last spring was my first entry into the road racing scene. Last year, criteriums proved to be a difficult proposition as I almost always got dumped out the back of the group.

Well, I went into this weekends race thinking that nothing would have changed in the off season. I figured that the best I would do was to make it halfway through with the lead group before I got spit off the back. Well, I notice that there are six laps to go and I'm still right up there. So I figure I have a chance during the sprint. On the lead up to the finish line, things get a little dicey. A guy in front of me goes down. I make an attempt to avoid him, but end up running over his wheel and off the road. I didn't go down, but my race was over. I was pretty happy that I stayed with the lead group and maybe next week I'll try to mix it up a little more.

In addition to racing, training has been going well. I've been getting plenty of volume and the end of February marked the end of my first build session. March looks like it will be a mix of intensity and volume.

Until next time, keep the rubber side down...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ready, Set, RACE!!


Well, it's that time of year again. The base has been done, I've suffered through a long lifting session and the race season is upon us. Sunday marks the start of the race season with the Stazio criterium. I'm anxiously nervous for the race as this will be my first scent of any competition since Colorado State CX championships. I'm also nervous because I generally SUCK at criteriums. I just keep telling myself that these are just to work on high end and don't worry about the outcome.

Anyway, training has been going well. I've been doing some group rides and some trainer riding, but ever since getting back from Belize my form has slowly started to come around. I've enjoyed riding with my coaches group rides (www.geminitrainingsystems.com) as there are a few riders that really push the pace and make me suffer. The other thing I like about group rides is the socializing with like minded people. It's great to catch up with everyone about bikes, life, and racing seasons.

Unfortunately there are no pictures for me to post this week. Hopefully my wife will be down at the Stazio criterium to snap a few pictures for next week's blog entry.

Until next week, keep the rubber side down.

Saturday, February 11, 2006




Belize!!!

Back in October in the heat of the cyclocross season my wife decided that she wanted to take a "warm weather" vacation this winter. Since it was cyclocross season I told her ok, but only after the season is completed. I also mentioned that I'd be willing to go wherever she wanted to take me. Well, we ended up going to Belize, Central America. We stayed at the Maya beach hotel (http://www.mayabeachhotel.com/) which is close to Placencia.

Although the vacation started out with just my wife and I taking some time away from work, it quickly became all of my wife's family and their husbands/wives/girlfriends, etc. All in all there were eleven people in our group. One thing guaranteed, no dull, boring moments.

We spent three days Scuba diving (see picture of my wife and I) and a couple more days visiting ruins, taking tours and just relaxing. The weather was perfect, 80+ degrees every day and the water was great. The visibility for Scuba diving was so-so, but it really didn't matter. This was our first trip diving in the ocean. It was a truly fantastic experience. We even got my wife's father to take a resort course and Scuba dive with us!!!

After returning from Belize on Saturday, I started to feel a little bug coming on. By Monday morning I had a fever and was feeling pretty lousy. Tuesday brought the worst day with a fever of 103 deg and non-stop bathroom time. I tried everything to break the fever, but it never got a lot better. I went to the Emergency room Tuesday night and they thought I probably picked up something in Belize. They prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic and sent me on my way. Wednesday I went to my doctor and he thought that I had contracted "traveling diahrea". Sounds fun, huh. I proceeded to improve on Thursday and was well enough to go out for a bicycle ride on Sunday.

That pretty much brings us up to current day.

Until next time, Keep the rubber side down

Introduction


Well, since this is my first post to my blog, I figured I would start off by introducing myself. My passions include racing mountain bikes, cyclocross and road racing (In that order). Anyway, attached is a picture of me (blue jersey) at a cyclocross race this past fall. I race bikes in the great state of Colorado. I've been racing bikes for about 5 years, BUT three of those years were racing downhill and I wasn't that good. So, I've been racing cross country MTB for 2 years. This was my first real season of racing cyclocross and I'm still getting the hang of racing the road bike. Last year I raced as a Sport level MTB racer and a Category 4 road and cyclocross racer. For the '06 season, I'll be racing Expert in MTB and Category 3 for cyclocross. Still a CAT 4 for road though.

I've also found a team to race with for the '06 season. It's a new MTB team in Northern Colorado. We're a bunch of guys from the area and mainly just looking to have a lot of fun at the races. We'll be attending the Mountain States Cup (www.racemsc.com) and the Winter Park (www.epicsingletrack.com) race series. I'll release more details about the team in the coming weeks when more of the team details are set up.

Finally, the reason I'm posting a blog is mainly to track my thoughts regarding training and racing. So that is what I will be posting about in the coming weeks. You can expect race reports and training week summaries.

Until next time, keep the rubber side down...