Monday, July 31, 2006

It's Really August Tomorrow?

Well, July ends today and year seems to be winding down pretty quickly. There is still a lot of cycling left to do though and I'll be riding quite a bit in the next few months. Just to re-cap the last few days I've missed......I rode about 35 miles last Thursday because I didn't want to push it too much with the saddle sores I had. Friday I rode for about 16 miles fairly easy just as a fun ride around Whitnall Park. Saturday morning my saddle sores were completely gone so I did the Drop the Doc ride in Dousman and felt really good, no issues in spite of the humidity and rising temps. It is one of the faster, if not the fastest training rides in the area and supposedly it was a slower day for the group as we averaged 23.5 mph for the 37 mile ride. From what I've heard from a few people it is normally faster than that, and the pace did seem quite comfortable so I have no doubt that they go quite a bit faster on occasions. Normally I would do a longer ride on Sunday as well but I didn't get a chance to bike yesterday as it rained throughout the morning and then we had to go out to my father's house in Burlington for most of the afternoon. We got home in the afternoon and it was my first wedding anniversary yesterday so I spent some time with my wife and we had a great dinner and relaxed with a movie in our recliners, just like an old couple right? I'll make up for yesterday's ride by riding today for about 45-50 miles even though it is supposed to be about 97 degrees with a heat index of about 110. The winds are 20-25 mph so it should make for a fun ride. I like the heat though and I'll take a route with a few County Parks along the way so that I can re-fill my bottles occasionally. Most likely I'll get a lot of things done around the house first and then ride in the late afternoon or evening when it cools down a bit, like to 92 or something. :)
The big ride for me this week will be the MS150 on Saturday and Sunday, in which I'll be riding 100 miles on Saturday and 75 on Sunday. I won't change my training program this week for the ride, I'll just keep riding as usual and will probably go for a short ride the night before even as my friend and co-worker Dave will be staying at my house as we have to be in Waukesha fairly early and he lives in West Bend. We'll take a nice leisurely ride of about 15-20 miles just for the fun of it and then we'll take in a nice pasta dinner and relax before getting some sleep. The MS150 should be a great casual ride and I'm looking forward to it and best of all it is for a good cause and I'm proud to be raising some money to help out. Well, off to do some molding work and door trim in the kitchen, until next time.........

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Hate The French

Surprise, surprise...the French have found a way to try and make another U.S. rider look bad and now we are hearing that Floyd is a doper as well. There was only one positive test this whole Tour and of course it was Floyd's. I'm just stunned right now. I really hope it isn't true and I can't wait to see the results of the B sample and hear what Floyd has to say. This is just crazy.
Anyways, I have been riding the last couple of days, in which I did a 35 mile ride fairly easy on Tuesday and felt a little sluggish but not too bad. Yesterday I did 46 miles at a little higher pace and felt pretty good although I think that I have a saddle sore issue now as during yesterday's ride I had a little discomfort and sitting was a bit troublesome but not to the point where I couldn't ride. Today it is raining right at the moment but I hope to get out yet for a short ride as I can tell I'm on the edge of a full blown saddle sore if I'm not careful and I ride for too long. I really have to be careful now as I have the MS150 next weekend and I'll be doing the 100 and 75 mile rides and there is no way I can afford to have a saddle sore going in to the ride. 175 miles with a saddle sore would probably make me cry like a little baby. Tomorrow I'll be off the bike for a rest day and then I'm still looking at doing the Drop the Doc ride on Saturday morning and a ride with my MS150 teammates on Sunday. Overall, I'm feeling pretty good, I can't wait to get back to some speedwork training after the MS150 as right now I'm just doing rides with no intervals or anything and I need to spice it up a little bit to make it feel like I'm getting a good workout. The Drop the Doc ride should be good for a lung burner and then I'll start my SpeedIntervals after the MS150 on the 6th. Well, that's all for now, I'm sure I'll put out an update on the whole Floyd thing tomorrow once I hear more. Hopefully he releases a statement soon.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I've Come A Long Way

I have to say first of all that although I didn't finish my 24-hour ride the other day I am proud of doing 175 miles in under 10 hours after only being able to ride for 15 minutes at a time when I started training in December. I thought when I started riding again this year that I'd be mediocre at best and would use this year as a base for serious racing next year. So far I think that I'm following that schedule as I've been decent enough in races this year, nothing spectacular yet, but I've also finished every race and have improved all year long. I've decided also to join a team for the rest of this year and next year and will be riding for Team Wisconsin ( for the next 2 or 3 races and for 2007. They have a new sponsor coming on for 2007 and have a Masters team that I think can be pretty dominant and I'm looking forward to being a part of the team. I looked at a few different teams and Team Wisconsin seemed to have more of a presence at some of the races, they have an attacking style that I like, they have multiple riders that will be upgrading to the Masters 1/2/3 category within the next year so there wouldn't just be one or two of us toiling away in the races. Team tactics aren't so important and not really necessary in the 4/5 races and even in the Senior 3's races, but since the Masters 1/2/3 races are run together we will be going against some well organized teams, some great riders, and will really need to utilize the gamut of tactics in order to do well and win some races. I feel we can line up with 4-6 really good guys and could be a team that dictates a race. I'm really looking forward to a full 2007 season, should be really fun!
Anyways, as far as riding goes, I didn't ride yesterday although I should have, but I just needed to get some rest as the long ride left my immune system a little compromised and I now have a bit of a cold. My throat hurts, my nose is plugged and I have a constant sinus headache. I pretty much figured this would happen, as the body shuts itself down to repair from the riding it really leaves itself open to sickness. I wanted to ride with the Velocity guys today but feeling the way I do there is no way I'd be able to go fast at all and really don't feel like getting dropped on a training ride today. I need to recover so basically I'll be going out to do about 30 miles at a really easy pace so that I don't tax my body anymore than I need to in order to recover. I'll see how I feel tomorrow but I should be doing about 40-50 miles tomorrow and about the same Thursday. Friday will be a rest day and Saturday if I'm feeling better I will possibly try to hit up the Drop the Doc ride. That's about it for now, time to run errands and do some housework. Until next time.........

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Some Pics......

After 145 miles, my dog knows I'm weak so he's trying to schmooze for my PB&J sandwich....

It's the reward not the journey right?????????

Can't Sit....That's It. Sorry.

Well, it's come to the point I've been dreading, I can't sit down anymore and rode my last 15 miles standing up off the seat, which beats the alternative of sitting down. I don't think I can do anymore unless I figure out how to form some sort of device that lets me rest each cheek on something seperately and leaves my boys free of contact. :) I guess for now the final tally is 175 miles in 9 hours and 45 minutes for an average speed of 17.9 which was at 18.4 until the aforementioned last 15 miles when I had to stand and go quite a bit slower. It isn't easy when you aren't riding with a pack or have a rabbit in front of you, so faster would've been better, but after only 8 months of riding that's not too shabby. I'm still happy with that I guess, I sure would've liked to hit 200 miles in less than 12 hours but oh well.......
I have a lot of respect for people that do the 24-hour races, it sure is tough to stay on the seat that long, I think I'll stick to the shorter races for now. Well, I need to go eat now at some place that serves a lot of fat and meats and cheeses and ice cream and chicken tenders, sounds like Dairy Queen to me!!!!!! I grabbed a handful of brown sugar right out of the bag and shoved it in my mouth when I just got back so I know I need big time spread right now. My wife took a few pictures throughout the day, I'll post them later once I get some food in me........happy riding to you all!

Still Going...In A Spot Of Bother Though

As Phil would say, "I am in a spot of bother right now" after 145 miles and 7.5 hours. My stomach is starting to get a little funky so I've cut out solid foods for the time being. I just changed clothes and am having some water and Ensure Plus which is basically a 350 calorie shake with 50 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein plus lots of vitamins and minerals. I need the calories for sure and the fat will help provide fuel to burn. The carbs will only really be replacing what I've already burned and will not provide much in the way of fuel at the fat-burning pace that I am going at. I'm averaging 18.4 mph after 145 miles, not too shabby with no one to draft off of. I'm getting a little giddy as I think the endorphins are kicking in, little things like the LED numbers on my computer and the sweat stains on my gloves are becoming the most amazing things to me right now. I tried to figure out little animal shapes out of the sweat stains for like 20 minutes. Riding this long really makes you introspective, or crazy. If I'm crazy, then at least I'm one of the happy kinds. Well, off to ride again, there are some cool looking clouds out right now, I think I'll try to find one that looks like a chinchilla.

5 hours down

Well, I'm 5 hours in to my 24-hour ride that may only last 12 hours, we'll see. I've got 4.5 hours of riding in and 30 minutes of rest and I'm at 85 miles. The list of sore body parts....arse, neck, quads, other than that I'm good. I'm just about to go back out for my 30 miles loops of which I'll do 2 laps and then I'll probably take a break. That will put me at about 8.5 - 9 hours total and 8 hours on the bike. I'll have 145 miles at that point and then I'll see how I'm feeling. Right now I just had a quick shower, changed clothes and ate a little bit.......Here is how I look after 85 miles.... How many monkeys can dance on my head? I'll let you know after 60 more miles.

Like the cornrows????

Friday, July 21, 2006

Enjoying My Time Off

Life has been good the last few weeks on my sabbatical, I'm really enjoying my time off of work, and I really don't want to go back!!! I've done a lot of work on the house and there is more to do everyday, I could work all year and still not get it all done. I'm sure my wife would agree with that! I've been riding some this week but not too much, I rode Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday all about 40-45 mile rides. I won't ride today although I might just hop on the bike for an informal stroll around the neighborhood because it's nice and cool out. Tomorrow I'll ride for about 50-55 miles at just a leisurely Endurance Mile pace and then Sunday at 7:00a.m. I start my own little race. I'm going to try to see how many miles I can get in from 7:00a.m Sunday until 7:00a.m. Monday morning with quite a few breaks of course as I've never done a 24-hour ride before. I'm going to start at my house and do my 45 mile loop twice for starters and then I'll take a break for lunch and a little nap. I'll change clothes and then I'll reverse the course and do it again backwards two times. I'll come back for dinner, a longer nap, a change of clothes and then I'll do my small 18 mile loop until it gets dark. After it gets dark I'll go down to a small 3 mile loop within my neighborhood and I'll take a break at about 10:00 or so and change clothes, nap again, eat, and then continue on until about midnight. At this point I'm sure I'll be thoroughly wasted and will decide whether to rest or keep going, I'll try not to sleep though as I'll probably not get up if I lay down. If I keep going I'll try to rest every two hours until 7:00a.m. and then I'm sure I'll sleep most of Monday to recover. I'm just doing this for fun and as a personal challenge and I don't know that I'll even be able to ride past 5:00 in the evening but I'm definitely going to give it a go. If anything the miles I put in will be good training for the 100/75 double I have coming up for the MS150 in 2 weeks. After that I'll be cutting back miles again to do speedwork for the State Criterium Championships at the end of August. Well, back to doing some yardwork, gotta mow the lawn and spread some more mulch in the flower beds. Until next time.......

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Taking It Easy...Sort Of.

Well, sorry for the lack of posts lately but just been really busy with housework, landscaping, etc. on my sabbatical. After my last race at Whitnall Park on Wednesday, the 12th, I just kind of took it easy to recover from the 3 days of racing. Obviously feeling disappointed with my results I just decided to stay off the bike for 2 days and didn't ride on Thursday or Friday. Saturday I rode for about an hour at a pretty easy pace to Whitnall Park and back, about 16 miles, so yeah, I averaged 16 mph, it was that easy. Sunday I did a more difficult ride and went to Muskego and back via Tans Rd. which was fun since there is a nice 1 mile long climb that gets steep near the top and really burns the legs. I did this route in anticipation of the race that I was supposed to do on Monday, the Holy Hill Road Race, in order to get the legs primed and ready to go. Ultimately Monday morning when I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready to race I decided my head wasn't in it and I figured it was better to stay home. I didn't ride at all and did about 10 straight hours of work around the house and worked on my landscaping which I have to say was probably harder than the race as after about 3 hours of digging holes I lost about 1-2 lbs. of fluid in the 96 degree heat. Later in the day I checked the results of the race and saw the announcement that a rider had been killed during my race as a result of a collision with a truck. My heart sunk and I was just stunned by the news. I didn't recognize the name but when someone.... anyone.... even those that you do not know, lose their life so young, it's really disheartening and very hard to imagine what their family is going through. My prayers go out to the family of Aaron Bieberitz and I hope they know that the cycling community is very close and we all carry a heavy heart today. I've been struck twice by cars while riding and was able to get up and ride or walk home. I know what it is to be "lucky", as either of those days could've been the end of my life, I wish the tragedy that happened yesterday could've been....would've been Aaron's "lucky" day.....God bless Aaron and his family.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Peaking? Um, No.......

Well, I was supposed to be peaking this week for SuperWeek but my schedule got a little messed up the last couple of weeks and I didn't taper as well as I had planned. It sounds like it would be easy to just ride less and take it easy right? Well, as it turns out I probably worked a little harder on the bike than I should've and I'm just worn out right now I think. Yesterday at Alpine Valley I had some major quadriceps cramping and couldn't push on the flats at all, the hills were fine though because I could stand and stretch. Unfortunately I lost the pack after they hit the gas on a hill because I couldn't sit and push a big gear without my quads screaming, so ultimately I ended up in 23rd place. Decent enough I guess but that was out of the 33 that finished the race from 50-something starters, so I was only 10 from the end. Oh well. Today at Lyons MGA I felt really good but they had a really strict yellow line rule in effect and I couldn't get position until the last lap so I basically sat in the pack and just hung out the whole race. On the last lap I managed to move in to the top 10-15 going up the hill before we turned in to the MGA Proving grounds but as we were going through the grounds I almost hit a matressed-wrapped pole because the pack didn't expect a sharp S-turn at the bottom of the hill and everyone slammed the brakes. 10 guys went around me as I had to slow down to avoid the pole and then I pretty much kept my position to the finish and I ended up somewhere between 20 and 25 in the results. I just checked the results on the web site and they don't have anything posted yet but I should know by tomorrow morning although it doesn't really matter in terms of points or money. Tomorrow is the Whitnall Park circuit race, a 2.3 mile loop that we do about 15 times, and it should be a fun race as it's essentially a closed course with some rolling hills and wide enough for the safety of the pack and to make some attacks. Since it's my last race this week I probably should try to do something instead of just sucking ass but we'll see how the legs feel. Right now they are a little sore but I think they'll be good for tomorrow. A top 10 finish would be nice after having 2 disappointing showings thus far, but I've done nothing to prove yet that I'm in any shape to be a top 10 finisher. Maybe it'll be my day, who knows........

All in all I'd have to say that this year has been a little below my expectations so far but I guess I should be disappointed. The level of competition is higher now than when I initially raced, the Cat 4/5s race like the 3s used to and from what I've seen the 3s and Pro 1/2s look faster now as well. Obviously when I move up to Master 1/2/3s I'll be able to better judge the speed but from the looks of it they are flying. I've been there and done that before, no reason I can't do it again, I just need to build up for next year, it hasn't been so easy this time around, that's for sure. In the next few weeks I'll be doing some long training rides for the MS150 and I've only planned 2 more races for the rest of the year, the 3rd Ward Criterium and the State Criterium Championships. Other than that, I'll just keep riding for next year and do some nice relaxed touring rides and just enjoy being on the bike. Until next time.........

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Sorry for the lack of posts, been extremely busy around the house. Just been relaxing pretty much and doing some yard work and today I installed a new back door on the house. The riding has been fairly short and I'm just basically resting up for SuperWeek which starts for me on Monday at Alpine Valley. I'm feeling o.k. but not great, we'll see how I do Monday but I'm really looking forward to the race on Tuesday in my hometown of Burlington. The roads we are racing on were the roads I trained on for a good 8 to 10 years, the course starts about 2 miles from my dad's house. Well, I gotta keep it short today, I'm still not quite packed for our trip to Governor Dodge State Park from tomorrow morning until Sunday. Well, I'll update ya'll Sunday when I get back.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bad result, Not Quite There Yet

Well, today was my last tune-up race before SuperWeek starts for me on the 10th and I should've been feeling really good and been near top form but I wasn't near where I wanted to be today. I ended up in 11th place in today's Elm Grove Criterium in a bunch sprint and would've been even further back had I not passed 3 or 4 guys with my suddenly improving sprint finish. The last 3 or 4 races my sprint has improved quite a bit and I am now passing guys in the finish instead of getting passed by just about everybody. Unfortunately my plan didn't work out today to attack the race and go for the win because my legs just weren't on top form, no other excuse than that. I went to the front and led the pack a few times but when I tried to push the pace to test myself I could tell my legs weren't really responding well. Part of the problem was that my schedule got messed up this week with the rain on Wednesday not allowing me to ride. I was supposed to do intervals Tuesday and Wednesday and then have an easy day Thursday. Instead I did intervals on Tuesday, rode for an hour on the rollers Wednesday at Endurance Pace and then did intervals on Thursday instead. Friday I only did a short 20 minute Recovery Ride because I worked late and spent time with the family. Training this week just wasn't optimal for my race today, and hopefully the weather will cooperate the next week or two so that I'll be good to go for SuperWeek. Anyways, my plan today was to attack on the last lap up a hill before the final bend but unfortunately a Wheel & Sprocket guy went with 2 laps to go and the pack caught him on the last lap right before the hill, so of course everyone pushed it right away and we were just going way to fast to make a go of it. I had good position though and was still able to pass a few people for 11th. After having 3 horrible placings to start the year....20th, 26th, 32nd I've turned it around the last 4 races with placings of 3rd, 18th, 8th, and 11th. The 18th place was an anomaly because in that race I attacked on the last lap and the pack caught me and I was too blown for the sprint. I've moved up from 21st to 12th as of last week in the Wisconsin Cup standings and with my 5th place today in the 30+ age group I should now be in the top 10. Not too shabby for a guy who hasn't ridden a bike in 3 or 4 years. Well, here's a couple pics from today's race, we had a pretty decent size field....