Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kings International World Champ Warm Up

This weekend (Saturday) I went to an OVCX venue in Cincinnati to watch a pre-worlds throw down with a few of the major players from the worlds scene and pretty much ALL of the players from the U.S. scene.

World champion Niels Albert was there. It was his first race ever in America; kind of a big deal.


This was Albert's last race in the (2012) world champion stripes. His riding was so impressive. The top US guys "make it look easy," but Albert was so far ahead of those guys it was hardly funny. He won convincingly.

Trebon and Powers

The race for 3-5 was a good race. Niels had a Belgian team mate there who rolled in second with what looked like very little effort also. Top US racers Ryan Trebon, Jeremy Powers and freshly crowned US champ Jonathan Page put in a good battle for 3-5 though. 


Page looked really good throughout, but ended up 4th. Jeremy Powers was third and Trebon fifth. It was totally cool to watch the best in the world ride on one of "our" courses. And I'll get to see it again next weekend at the world championship in Louisville!

I'm not normally a "fan boy" but I really wanted to get Niels Albert's autograph. I brought along a Velonews magazine with a good picture of him in it and had him sign it. The issue had Jeremy Powers on the cover, so I thought I might-as-well have him sign it too.
And early in the week I read this interview with Jonathan Page in which he references riding 4+hours in -6 degree temps. Since I was going to stalk for autographs anyway, I got the idea to take a thermometer and ask Page to sign it.

He was super approachable and really nice. He thought my asking him to sign a thermometer was hilarious and had his mechanic take a picture of him signing it.  
All in all it was an awesome experience to watch these guys race. It will of course be even more awesomer next weekend at worlds with ALL of the world player in attendance. But the King's race was lower key and totally awesome.

As for my week, I was inside everyday. It got really cold again and especially so in the mornings when I workout, so it was all inside for me. That's an extra bummer when you're not doing any specific training because you just have to figure out a way to put in 1-1.5hours without having a real focus. But it is what it is, I have to take it week by week (and day by day).

 I did get outside Sunday and rode the MTB for about 2hrs. I had fully planned to ride the Sunday group ride, but I looked at the hourly forecast and there was some shit looking like it was going to be hitting the fan during that ride. Nothing terrible, but sleet and/or rain while out on the open road when it's below 40degress and getting sprayed from the wheel in front of you just sucks. So I decided to go out earlier and miss the weather. And I figured the MTB trails were good and frozen, so I went to check it out. They were completely frozen and perfect for a winter ride. I busted a few laps and spent a little over an hour on the trails.   
The temps are supposed to warm up this week so I'm going to try to get in a little more riding than I have been. I'll miss riding this weekend because I'll be in Louisville at worlds. I'm super excited to go to the actual CX World Championships!     

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It is January, right?

Right. January.
It's fckn cold right now. Low of 6 (six)deg on the night I'm writing this. I've been doing a little indoor riding, but nothing major. I'm still keeping it loose/keeping it light.  
I've been getting in some outdoor miles too though. Same drill: keeping it loose.  

Some of the B-town guys are firing on all cylinders right now though. I went out with the group Sunday and was expecting a good solid, but not super hard ride. What I got was dropped inside of 20minutes! I'm definitely not "on form" right now, and I've been a little sick, but I'm not used to getting stone cold dropped like that. Luckily it was a huge group and people were being shelled left and right. So there were always people to ride with. It was windy and cold, so it was nice to have people around.    

In case you live in a cave (and your cave doesn't have WiFi) I'll break the news for you: Lance Armstrong confessed to various forms of doping throughout his career. He confessed this on Oprah and there were numerous drinking games conjured for the occasion. I wasn't sure which was which, or what rules were with what game, so I loaded up for the premier.
I don't have much to say about the ordeal. Simply put; I have been 100% sure LA was doping for more than 10yrs now. There's no way what he did when he did it could have been done clean. His wins were to calculated, too methodical, too robotic. And he consistently beat decimated known dopers. It just didn't add up.
He was a brash, brazen asshole then, and he's trying to play a different card now. But he's still an asshole. Whatever.

I've gotten back into using my juicer. Years ago I used to juice nearly every day. But that gets expensive, so I'm getting back on it once a week. It's nice after a big hard ride. It seems healthy, even though it's a fructose bomb, but I've been mellowing out the sweetness with vegetables. Even when it gets green looking like pic'd above, it still tastes pretty sweet (and good). I don't know how good for me it really is, but if nothing else maybe I can placebo myself (did I use "placebo" as a verb, oh yes I did!) out this lingering cold (or whatever it is).       

We're a little under two weeks from CX worlds in Louisville. Some big name stars are already in the US. There's a pre-worlds international race in Cinci-nasty this weekend on Saturday. I kind of want to go to see current world champ Niels Albert in his last race in world champ stripes. But I don't know if I want to make the drive over or not. I'm not going to get a lot of chances to see these guys race in my lifetime, so it's probably worth the trip.
We'll see.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snow, thaw, cold, the bush situaiton...

What a week. The snow from "the 'blizzard'" was still on the ground in full effect for most of the week.
I went out for a couple of snow rides earlier in the week.

The one pic'd above,I decided to head down this "road" I'd never been on. It isn't really a road, or if it is a road under all that, it quickly turns into a trail. And as the trail went on, it became animal tracks that I was following for no good reason. After a while of this I decided I was for all practical purposes I was lost. I knew what direction I was going, for the most part, and as such knew I would eventually get to a road (most likely SR 446), but I was going to have some uphill snow walking to do to get there. So I decided to just turn around. I figured if all was totally lost I could pop my Sram quick link and use my bike chain as saw to build a shelter. Then I could use the tube from inside my tire to make a snare to catch some eats. Lucky for me it was just like 15-20min of back-tracking and I was good.   

The next day I went back out to the same area and checked out a couple other roads/trails I'd never been on. The one trail I specifically wanted to check out ends on the "cliff" above. It was pretty cool, and nice to get out. The snow was still very much here, but the temps weren't too bad.

Thursday I woke up and felt sick. Like a cold sick. Stuffy head, coughing and weak. I know everyone is thinking "oh it's the flu," but that never materialized. I stayed home from work Thursday to just rest. We're not real busy at work, so I figured it would do me good to just stay home and lay around. I think it did some good, but I still have this cold lingering...

About the bushes.
We have these shrubs on our property next to the street and they have grown completely out of control. They're big, they're wide, they're tall and I can't really trim them with and tools I have...normally.
When the heavy snow fell it drooped the top of these shrubs down to like 4'. So I was out with clippers the day after our "blizzard" clipping these. Fast forward to this week, it warmed way up and all the snow meted. So now I could get to more of the drooping shrub and trim it down quite a bit. I was feeling sick (I did this in Thursday when I stayed home from work), but I knew I had 1 day to pull this off. They still look like shit, actually they're all uneven and look even worse, but thy used to go up to that power line above them in the pic. I had called to get an estimate on trimming there last summer thinking 'I can't really do this myself, so I'll pay someone $50-100 to take care of it.' When the dude quoted me ~$350, I knew I had to come up with a plan. Somewhere between patience and neglect lies genius!
Despite being sick and it being snowy as hell for the first part of the week, I actually had and okay week in terms of being active. Hopefully this cold shakes quickly so I can continue to stay active and keep slowly building some 2013 fitness!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Ride without pride

I hit the Sunday group ride this weekend. I don't want to quickly blow over the fact that there actually is a group ride in Bloomington every Sunday (and Saturday) throughout the winter. It's cool to live in a place that has enough hard-men to make a group ride year round.

Anywho, I haven't been out on a "road bike ride" in close to a month. My road bike (pic'd above) is freshly overhauled and ready for some shredy, so I figured the Sunday groupies are a good way to get back riding.
The idea for the post title is my desire to just be out riding right now; not light anyone up, not take monster 10minute pulls, no to be at the front on all the climbs, etc. Just sit in and get into it. It was a tough day out there this weekend though. Sure it was cold, hovering around 34* I think. But it was really windy too. There was a pretty massive tailwind headed out (on the out and back course) and a lot of people get a false sense of "no chain," or feeling like they're having a great day when they get a big tail wind. So the pace on the way out was high; too high in my estimation.
This route, as I mentioned, is out/back and it has two pre-determined turn around points, one at around 20miles and one at around 24. I had from the beginning planned to only go to the first turn around. That's usually a little over 2hrs of riding and that's what I am looking for at this point. Only 3 of us (out of 13 I believe) made the first turn, so the ride back was heavy into the wind with only 3 to share to workload. I was more than happy to sit on the front and just hold a steady pace. I was able to just stare at my watts and get what I wanted out of the ride. When a rider would come around from behind, I'd just let the gap open and stay steady. This isn't a race for me. Not yet.
I was pretty happy with the ride overall. My av power was pretty good considering I haven't been on a ride like this in a while and haven't really ridden much at all for about 3 weeks. But it's not about setting records or anything, JRA (just riding along).          

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Goodbye holiday season 2012!

Another holiday season has come then gone like they all do. The holidays and weeks surrounding them were relatively uneventful, and that's a good thing. Once Lindsay got back from OK we went up to my parent's house for a day to have a "Christmas" thing w/ them, my brother/sister-in-law and their kids. It was nice to hang w/ everyone and see the kids.

We took about 4 shots here and this was the best
We also went to a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house. We haven't been out for NYE for a long time. Neither of us really drinks or "parties" as it were so we just haven't been out for years. It was a fun time with several people we knew and many we didn't. Plus the host had a selection of bourbons and among them was one that has been on my "want to try" list (Evan Williams). It was a little stronger than in usually my preference, so I'm glad I got to try it in this setting, rather than buying whole bottle and not being able to ever finish it.

Photo: Balls deep. Like, ball bearings I mean.

I got out for a ride NY day (pic above), as I'm getting myself back into a loose, but regular routine of working out. Nothing too structured yet, but hitting the weights  2-3 times a week and being on the bike 3-4 days a week. 
This winter has been legit so far. I hasn't been for the past several years, so I am having to find my indoor riding mojo again. It's there, I just have to get it fired up. I'm in no real hurry to be putting in big hours/week yet anyway. I just want to stay active and fit and work on my strength some to hopefully have a good injury free 2013. I got through this CX season with no real set backs injury wise, just normal "wear and tear" issues. I'd like to put myself in an even better position for 2013. And that really starts now with really trying to strengthen my core in order to correct imbalances.
So nothing else too exciting going on. Supercross starts this weekend and CX Worlds is coming up quickly too. I love supercross (SX) and having CX Worlds a short drive away is going to be awesome. The SX season is looking great with all the stars healthy and hungry for wins. This is going to be the greatest winter for sports for me ever!