Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Maybe I have a problem?
I noticed recently I have a lot of Sidi shoes. I have had two additional pairs in my life, but they were each wore to the non-functioning point. They were MTB shoes and there was a string of a couple years, several years back, where it rained every single race. Said shoes got so caked in mud on such a consistent basis that they would no longer stay securely closed.
So all the shoes I have replaced in the past several years, I have kept as "rain shoes." And now I have something of a collection.
Week off is going as planned. I am sleeping in (until 8-8:30) and and just chillin before going to work.
I did ride the inaugural Cyclocross Worlds training race yesterday evening. Cross is so hard. The effort is insane. It's much harder than time trialling (which is generally though to be the hardest road discipline). TTing is a steady effort near your max (threshold). CX is an effort at/above threshold, but far more inconsistent. So you're constantly above/at/above/at your absolute max. It hurts. Plus last night it was hot; mid 80's. CX is a fall/winter sport. But this is good training straight up. We were racing for 45min, and when I crossed the line @ 42minutes, I sat up and planned to ride one more lap easy to cool down. During this easy lap my chain broke. I walked it back over to the shelter house where Polish phenom Tomaz had a chain tool and I got it fixed. Had to clean grease off the bar tape w/ Simple Green, but no damage done.
This is to be a weekly training race, and I look forward to honing my CX fitness and skills. I'm under the belief that you can't not suffer in CX, but I hope to get faster and more efficient at suffering in this arena.
In other news: the wife of Indiana Race Series director Dan Daly died in a freak car-related accident the other day. Please keep Dan and his children in your thoughts and what-not.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I am taking this week (mostly) off the bike rest/recovery. I plan on riding cyclocross wed eve, not riding the rest of the week, though I may ride nice-n-easy Friday.
This will transition me into cyclocross season. There's one MTB race left Sept 5, but I don't really train for MTB racing anyway, so that'll be a formality. And if it rains, I don't think I'll go. I've raced that course (Town Run Park in Indy) in the rain way too many times and it is no fun at all.
Yesterday (Sunday) Ryan S. and I went down to Seymour for a small local time trial. It was 12miles (just under 20k), out and back on a perfectly straight country road. This series has 2 TT courses they use, a "hilly" and a "flat." this one was the "flat course." It was, for all practical purposes, dead flat. However, the way out seems to go very, very subtly uphill. There was a strong tail wind out, and a nasty headwind in. I guess it's a little known series, so Ryan and I were "the big dogs." As it turned out it was a good course, though the road was kind of narrow and I carried too much speed into the turn-around and locked up my rear wheel, which started to slide out. Due to the feeling of sliding out, I unclipped my inside (left) foot for counter balance. All this cost me a few seconds for sure, but now I know that the narrow road requires less speed to get turned around. Anywho, the order in which the promoter figured the time, he announced me as having broken the course record, which I did. But knowing Ryan bested me by over a minute, my glory was short lived. Ryan to 1st, and I took 2nd. This TT pays 3 deep, which is cool. It's $10 to enter, 1st gets $15, second gets $10 and third gets $5. Pretty cool.
So this week will be something of a chiller, then I'm going to start running next week and resume riding. I'll probably do 3-4 ~20min runs. Then the following week I plan to get into the Paynetown trail runs we were doing last fall.
I also am planning on going to Ironman Louisville this Sunday to hang out w/ some people and watch some friends race. Lindsay is doing a women only road race in LV, so I may tag along and go to the IM course.
Good times.
Summer's over (or so 'they' say).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little things

I don't know what it is, but one of my simple pleasures is pimping Lindsay's bikes. My camera batteries were all dead, so I had to take of cell pic of the pink brake pads I put on her cross bike. I'm sure colored brake pads will prove rather fruitless, as they'll be black and nasty after one ride, but they look sweet right now.
I was able to get her bike worked on because when I woke this morning (thurs) it was cloudy followed by downpour of rain. Seeing that and having very tired legs was enough for me to call it a FDO (forced day off). Of course, a drop of rain hasn't fallen since, the sun has come out and the roads are pretty well dry. Whatever though, I am still feeling the effects of Sunday's effort.
Looking at the results from Sunday, if we hadn't gotten off course (and assuming I could have held pace) I was on a top 10 pace. That would be a good result for a chump like me. Point is: I rode hard. And it was 90-something.
Then Tuesday was a MMSF TT. I had decided that morning I wasn't going to TT, but I would go out anyway to time the racers and just be present. I ended up riding pretty hard out to the course and even harder home. I was joined by The Flying Welshman on the way back in and we were trading off fast "breakaway style" pulls and eventually I ended up alone. Point: another pretty hard ride.
Then Wednesday I decided 1hr easy. But once I got out I felt pretty good, so I went a little longer and little harder. Not too long and not too hard, just more than planned.
Add to all that the CX course recon Fred and I did Monday (simple fact: you cannot ride cyclocross easy. It's just hard) and that it's the end of August and I am getting tired body syndrome. I think I'm going to take next week mostly off. That will put me into Sept and I'm going to dust off my running shoes cross-over fitness and get ready for CX.
That's kinda-sorta my plan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

DINO Logansport:3rd! (from last)

That's pretty much how it went.
It was hot and I didn't feel great but I thought 'I'll hang as long as I can, and if I have to shut things down and "ride" the end of the race, I will.'
The start of this race is usually fairly chaotic. It starts on a wide opened gravel fire road and slightly downhill. The entire fire road is probably about 1/4-1/2mile long and very fast; lots of banging/jockeying for position.
I went into the woods in a descent position. Then once back out onto another double-track section I passed a few guys and found myself in the lead group.
Nice place to be, except that whoever was driving our group missed a turn and the entire group went a couple minutes in the wrong direction. So we spent another few minutes figuring out where we went wrong and getting back to where we needed to be. Three of our group of (probably) 6 arrived at the right place before the rest (who took a different route to get back). Not wanting to take an advantage over the others, two of us waited for the them, while the other dude rode off ahead. I was torn whether to wait or not, as Cat2 men were getting in front of us and I didn't want a bunch of traffic to have to navigate later. But it seemed like the sportsman-like thing to do. What didn't occur to me AT ALL until after I finished was that while we were off course, the rest of the Cat 1 field had taken the turn as they should have and were now ahead of me (us). I guess I just assumed everyone took the wrong turn. So I rode super hard, and despite some cramping due to the heat, rode a pretty good race. I ended up 3rd from last though. All the people I had passed in the start/first 15minutes all ended up in front of me w/out ever passing me. Oh well, these things happen. And I found out later on the HMBA forum that there was a renegade kid out on the course taking down the trail markers; lil bastard cost me what could have been one of my better results of the MTB year.
Tonight I'm going to meet up w/ some dudes to help lay out the course for the planned weekly cyclocross training ride to start in the next week or two. Should be fun.

Friday, August 14, 2009

IN Stage Race pics

Here are pictures from the Stage race as promised. Below are the crit and the TT.

This is the only TT pic taken, but it's pretty good. You can see I've gone narrower in the front (my hands are pretty much touching), but my arms flare out quite a bit as they go toward my shoulders. I think to drop much more time with this set-up, I'm going to have to narrow my pads as much as i can to reduce the space between my biceps.

Road race to follow.

Stage race pics cont..

Pic's form the Ft. Ben Road Race. All of the pics are at the foot of the climb, and I usually happened to be driving the break at that point, then peeling about halfway up the climb.

In other news: I did all of my road rides on my cross bike (w/ road tires) this week. The position is very different and I definitely had some sore spots around my body due to it. I think it's a good thing to do though. I'm going to ride my road bike in the next weeks, but also make sure I ride my CX bike AT LEAST once a week from here on.
I rode my MTB for about an hour nice-n-easy today out the Clear Creek Trail. I ran into this sign at ~25minutes and decided to turn around.

So I got in slightly less than 1hr, but at least I didn't have to "use my helmet." Plus when I stopped to turn around/snap this pic I got stung again. This time on my back though. It may be less of a sting and more of a bite though because it's not too bad, just itchy.
I'm going to race MTB in Logansport this weekend. The Logansport course is mostly flat and very fast overall. It has a few technical features, but otherwise is a full-gas course.
Also, Lindsay and I took advantage of the crap-i-fied economy and remortgaged our house this week. So we'll be millionaires in a few years w/ all the money we're saving. It was all the doing of my real estate genius Dad who has a constant eye on the market. So we'll remember him for sure when we're rich and dishing it out!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A win's a win

The Indiana Stage Race 2009 was a little different this year than years past. Usually it's road race and time trail Saturday, then criterium Sunday. This year it was crit/TT Sat, then RR Sunday. Not only that, but it was different crit than usual too. the crit was what's known as the Eagle Creek "Fast" crit so called because it's held on a ~.5mile circuit (in Ealge Creek Park) that literally has ~5' of elevation change per lap. This makes for average speeds in the 26-30mph range; "fast crit." This also means to win you either have to breakaway form the field and ride 30+mph, or be in perfect position in the final 5or so seconds of the race. I can't ride 30+mph, and I'm not a burly bunch sprinter, so my plan was to stay in touch w/ the group, cover breakaway attempts, and ~try to~ pick off a few riders at the finish. I wove my way through a couple of holes at the line for 16th place. But it finished all together. The stag race was based on points though, not time, so place was all that mattered.
The time trial was an hour or so after the finish of the crit. It was a course I had never ridden and I would consider it semi technical. I believe there were 6 90* turns and it was only a 9k (5.6mile) point-to-point course. The course previously used for the stage race tt was a dead flat out-and-back, so this was much different. Other than the turns, the course was straight, flat and fast. But it had a nasty little climb right at the end. Nothing huge, but (according to my watch) ~50' in ~1/5 of a mile enough to slow you down and hurt.
Anywho, I felt really good on the TT and felt like I was absolutely flying. Results took too long to figure, so I left not knowing how I had done, but w/ the feeling I had done well. I won. My first "W" of the year and my first outright "W" as a 3 (I say outright because as you may recall last year I tied for the win in the TT at this same race, but on a different course). Not exactly how I would have liked to have won (no arms-in-air-salute or anything, I didn't find out I won until the following day), but a win's a win. And it's worth noting, for my ego's sake, that 2nd was ~15-20seconds back of me, and that's a sizable time gap on such a short course.
So Sunday left the road race at Ft. Benjamin Harrison St Park. I've raced this course a few times and know it pretty well. It is a ~2.5mile loop with a good sized climb, and rolls a little too on the back section. There were a lot of breakaway attempts and I was dedicating myself to making sure they didn't stick, except a teammate of mine (Cody Woods) would get up the road, then I'd try to slow the pack to get him a gap. Nothing stuck though. Until one. One guy took off and I attacked the field hard on the climb to bring him back. Turns out that only a few came w/ me and that was the break that made it. It started off 4, then 2 more bridged up for 6. We increased our lead over 5 or so laps and stayed off. I finished 6th out of the break. I tried to go early on the back rollers knowing I have no real sprint and if it all went to the line I'd be busted. Turns out I was busted anyway by going too early. Oh well, at least our break made it; a break has never made it in the years I've done this race, so it was a good feeling.
I ended up 7th overall and in the money. Sweet deal. Though, if the overall had been based on time instead of points, I would have won. My TT time, finishing the RR in a break and everyone finishing the crit together gave me the lowest accumulated time, but that's not how this one works...
John Bennett was out in force, so pics will follow soon.
I'll leave you with this photo of the bee sting I received this morning (Monday) while on an easy recovery ride on the cross bike:

Ouch. Cross bike rode fine though. Position is sooo different from road. CX is now 6weeks away.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

That'll be it

This weekend will be the last road racing I'll do this year. Not that I've ton an exceptional amount this year, but this weekend'll be it. I have a couple of time trials down near Seymour on my calendar still though. Speaking of TT's, Tuesday's TT at the Morgan Monroe Forest was a bust due to threats of foul weather. Though there was epic rain during the day, the evening turned out to be fine (despite the green radar), so I went out and hammered for 1hr to kind of make up for missing the TT. I rode out Hwy446 for 30min and turned around. Of course 30min hit while descending the big hill to the causeway across Lake Monroe, so I had to turn around right at the bottom of the hill and go right back up it. Hard riding, but good for the training, eh?
Wednesday I was planning on leaving work early to get out for the Wednesday Worlds training race, which I can rarely make due to work. I haven't raced road bikes since June, so I thought it'd be good to get some "race effort" in my legs before this weekend. I got hung up at work (of course) and didn't make it. And because I was planning on riding in the evening, I didn't ride in the morning so I didn't get a ride at all.
So Thursday I went out and rode HARD. I rode out to North Shore Dr steady, hammered North Shore, then rode in Hwy45 hard. It was a great ride and I felt really good.
I'll take Friday in an attempt to be fresh for the weekend.
Then next week I'm going to start doing some road riding on my cross bike. I have some road tires on some wheels I can throw on it just to re-familiarize myself w/ the bike (though I've never actually ridden my new cross bike [it's the same geometry, etc. though]). I'll likely do that for a couple weeks, then start doing some actually cross riding for real CX training.
I still have a couple MTB races on the calendar to deal with as well. No rest for the awesome!
And speaking of awesome: check these pics of Zoe and I test riding a customer's bike. He actually wanted these 2' (two feet) riser bars installed on this mountain bike. Plus he has a stem riser on it. We're not here to pass judgement (even though we often do), we're just do as we're asked.
me on the dumbest bike of all time.

Zoe looking cool and ready for the ride of his life


Sunday, August 02, 2009

What does Adam do on (some) weekends?

Most of you know I work on bikes all week. But when I'm not racing on the weekends, I work on bikes on my one day off/week too! My Cannondale CAAD 9 was in need on attention. I use this bike primarily as a "rain" bike, so it gets subjected to bad weather a lot and is usually covered in crap. It needed a new chain, new cables and totally overhauled (it could use a new cassette too, but $$...). Now it looks so good I don't' want to ride it all, let alone in bad conditions.
the home workshop in full battle mode.

since it gets ridden in bad weather, I put put on these sweet Kool Stop extreme condition brake pads. These are the road version of the pads I've used for years on my cyclocross bike. They're awesome.

I mentioned last post I was doing a 40k TT this weekend with the goal of going under 55minutes. Goal: achieved! It feels good to set a goal and achieve it, though I can't say I did much specific work toward this goal outside of my normal training. My previous best at 40k was 55.55. Today I went 54.48. 1) that's over a minute off and 2) that's over 27mph for those 54minutes (that's me being brash [sorry]). It was hard day with a nasty cross wind to fight, but the tail wind sections were f-a-s-t fast. But those headwind sections were h-a-r-d hard. This was the last 40k of the year, so we'll see what we can throttle for next year.
This is X-Games weekend, so I definitely have watched a fair share of TV. Of course I was watching no less than 1hr/day during the Tour de France, but it wasn't sponsored by Mt Dew, Taco Bell and Axe body spray, so it didn't feel as though Le Tour made me dumber. Though, in Axe's defense, the "double pits to chesty" is a pretty sweet move; I might work on throwing that into barrier hops in CX season.
Anywho, I plan to do the IN stage race this weekend. That's a park crit and TT on Saturday then a "road race" (circuit) on Sunday. I've done this the past few year and have enjoyed the racing. Plus I feel like I'm going pretty good right now. Hopefully it doesn't all come crumbling down too soon!