Friday, January 30, 2009

What Do You Know?

So there is this thing going around Facebook and other blogs where people are throwing out 25 things about themselves that other people wouldn't know, or are just interesting facts about themselves. I figured I'd do the same on my blog, but in order to protect my reputation in regards to all the crazy things I've done or to keep my vulnerabilities a secret (I watch HGTV), I'll post 25 things related only to my cycling endeavours. So here goes. Some are old, some are fairly new, some aren't all that interesting, but this seems to be the rage right now so I want to be cool too. In no particular order -

1. Back in the 90s I used to be able to do sets of 10 to 15 repeats up Johnson Rd. hill (State RR course) my big ring. Since my comeback to cycling 3 years ago, my best effort was only 3 my small ring. And I almost threw up.

2. See above....I almost always threw up after about 8 repeats, but ALWAYS finished the rest of them.

3. I've raced against Lance Armstrong.

4. From the time I was 11 years old to 23 years old, I never, EVER, got a saddle sore riding my bike. In the last 3 years I've had about 15, and I have no clue why.

5. In my previous 12 years of riding I owned two saddles, a Selle San Marco Rolls, and a Selle San Marco Concor. In my last 3 years of riding I've owned 6 saddles. Saddles were better back then, now a 400 gram saddle just wouldn't cut it.

6. I had never walked up a hill on a bike until I came back 3 years ago. 6 months in to my comeback I had to walk up part of the Blue Mounds climb. I'll never walk up a hill again.

7. Unlike a lot of people, I have no allegiance or preference for a particular tire maker. I've used Vittoria, Specialized, Hutchinson, Michelin, Vredestein, Continental, Maxxis, and Matrix (an old Trek brand). I have 3 wheelsets right now that I use for training and racing, all 3 have different tires on them (Vittoria, Specialized, Hutchinson). The only brand I would never use again is Vredestein.

8. Since I've started cycling I've owned 4 steel bikes, 5 aluminum bikes, and 1 titanium bike. The only bike I've kept throughout the last 21 years is my 1988 Columbus SL Pinarello Treviso, it is THE most comfortable bike I've owned. I will keep it until I die.

9. A very well known teammate (I'll keep his identity secret) on my old Chevy team had an affinity for picking up discarded roadside porn. I learned this on my first ride with him when he stopped to pick up something on the road. He caught up to me and I noticed a rolled up magazine in his jersey pocket, I learned when we got back to his house that it was just another item in his already extensive collection. I have never picked up roadside porn.

10. I've broken 3 helmets in crashes where my head has hit the road, because of those helmets I have never broken my head. I will never ride without a helmet.

11. From the time I was 15 until I was 18 I didn't lose a mountain bike race in my age class, I quit mountain biking when I turned 18 to concentrate full time on road racing.

12. When I was 16 I won the overall of the Minooka mountain bike race in Waukesha beating a guy in his 20s who had won 4 straight races prior to that. I only won because my dad, who was a really good mountain bike racer as well, unclipped his foot when we were sprinting up the steep hill to the finish.

13. See above...In spite of winning my age group I never won the overall of a mountain bike race again after that Minooka race.

14. I raced the Chequamegon 40 only once right after I turned 18, I bonked only half way through and finished in like 4 hours. At the finish line I threw up mud and sand because it had rained most of the week prior and I had my mouth open a lot. I never raced a mountain bike again after this race.

15. From about 1991 to 1996 my training sustenance consisted of at least 2 cans of Chef Boy R-Dee Ravioli a day, every day of the week. It was the perfect combo of sodium, carbs and protein, and it was cheap. I calculated once that I had eaten approximately 3,600 cans of CBRD Ravioli in that timeframe. I haven't eaten a can of Ravioli since 1997.

16. My racing weight in 1991 was 145, in 1996 it was 155. In 2008 it was 182, in 2009 it will be 180....maybe.

17. In the last 3 years I've gained and lost at least 25 pounds each off season in spite of training through the winter. This year I've gained almost 30 pounds.

18. I have never ridden a Shimano equipped road bicycle. When shifting Campy levers you press a button down to shift down, you move the lever up to shift up. Shimano uses two levers that both move up, even to shift down. Campy makes more sense and I like it better.

19. My next bike will be carbon fiber, I've never had a carbon fiber bike and want one for no other reason than I've never had one. Hopefully I like carbon fiber.

20. On a training ride when I was about 20 years old I had an aluminum stem snap off at the handlebars and I crashed right in front of a truck that was behind me. The driver of the truck swerved in to oncoming traffic to avoid running me over. No cars hit me or each other, I prayed a lot that night.

21. I've gone 59mph down a hill on my bike, my legs shook uncontrollably at the bottom of the hill out of fear. My dad has gone 61mph down a hill. I need to go 62 some day.

22. The longest I've ridden on a bike in one day is 180 miles. This year I plan on doing 200 miles in one day.

23. At the height of my training and racing career I was doing 550-600 mile weeks. The end of some of those weeks had me crying at the end of rides from overtraining/depression/insanity. I did not enjoy riding my bike all.

24. As a kid I used to ride my bike to town to get food, shop, and to get to friends' houses. As an adult I have never used my bike to commute, or to go in to town to get anything at all.

25. Before I joined Chevy I had the chance to go race in France, I couldn't afford the plane ticket though or the bills I had to pay. I still wonder how different my life would've been, would I be sitting in this cubicle right now? Would I be married? Not sure, but I have no regrets about it. I'm probably better off now with the path I took staying here.

Well, that's it, maybe I'll make some more lists in the future, but at least now I feel like I'm part of the Facebook and blogging mainstream. Yeah, I'm cool.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It's not really warm, but 17 degrees seemed mighty fine this afternoon compared to this past weekend. It's all relative I guess, 25 on Thursday and possibly even 30 on Saturday should seem like a heat wave. Other than that it will barely be past 20 degrees 8 of the next 10 days. On the bright side the average high by the end of February is 38 degrees, so we have that to look forward to.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Case Of The Mondays

No, this isn't Office Space, but just a bad day for me today. I have a bit of a sinus thing going on, an infection maybe, but it's killing the right side of my head, my teeth hurt, my right eye hurts and a little bit of an earache. On top of that I woke up to a cold house this morning as my 1 year, 5 month old furnace decided to take a dump overnight and I had to have a tech come out to look at it. He did some diagnostics, said it needed some cleaning (seriously? It's just over a year old!) and charged me $140 for the 25 minute visit. The furnace worked just fine after he left, so I guess I have no complaints. Of course it's all controlled by a circuit board with nice green and red blinky lights so I'm sure it's set to stop at certain intervals, hmmm, a conspiracy? I'm sure it's not, but dang, only after a year it's already giving me trouble. Such is life.
Well, I was off work today, but I will head back tomorrow, I'm about to jump in bed, get some good rest and hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow. No weights today obviously but I'll try to hit the bike tomorrow, riding seems to be a good way to get rid of sinus congestion as it's always running when I'm riding inside so maybe that'll help tomorrow to get rid of some of this junk. Well, I'm tired, and not inspired to type right now, so more tomorrow I guess.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Race Schedule?

I put a question mark at the end of my title because it really is a question mark in terms of how the racing will pan out for me this year. I've really just started training so my season will not start right away, which is fine because I've managed to avoid a lot of trainer time in the basement by starting so late. As I've said in previous posts, I have no aspirations this year of being good, I just want to race in whatever shape I'm in, I'm not going to try to go all out and spend every minute of leisure time riding my bike. There is just way to much other stuff I want to do, and need to do (housework, right Lis?). So anyways, as my friend Dave said, it's best to declare something so that you have to follow through on it, well, I guess I don't have to but the 15 or so people that read this blog will know I didn't do it, so that helps to motivate me. So here is my tentative race schedule this year -

May 16th - Leland Gran Prix (very hilly road race), Masters3/4 probably since I'll still be in horrible shape. And fat. This is just a training race for the State RR.

May 31st - Sussex Crit, Masters 3/4, I'll still be slow.

June 6th - Backroads TT, Masters 1/2/3, since I can still be fat and do a decent TT

June 7th - State RR Championship, because it's in my old backyard, Masters 30+, no aspirations, just doing it for fun.

June 13th - State Crit Championship, Masters 30+, by this time I should be in decent shape, but still no aspirations, just for fun

June 20th-28th - Midwest Cycling Series, I'll pick one or two races from this, that's it, probably one of the weekend races depending upon the courses.

July 4th - UWW Road Race, Masters 30+, I enjoyed this course a couple of years ago assuming it's going to be the same

July 9th-26th - Superweek, one or two races for fun, probably Holy Hill if they still have that.

Well, that's it, should be a total of 8 races as of right now, that's plenty for me this year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Football and Food

This weekend was definitely a good one, I worked out quite a bit, got some things done around the house (not that much though), and watched the football games while drinking a few beers and consuming some BW3 wings at my friend Jason's house.
The weekend started out well with a chilly but sunny start to some snowshoeing on Saturday morning. I was out at Valley View by 10:30 and the sun was out but going away quickly as the clouds moved in, and about 30 minutes into my first loop the flakes started to fall. Nothing major, just small flakes and I kept on chugging along for 90 minutes worth of snowshoeing. It was a great workout and I was pretty wiped when it was over, I really pushed the pace up hills and my heart was pounding quite a bit. I got back home and had some tea and ate some soup and a sandwich and then hit the bike. I rode the rollers for two hours and my legs were pretty sore to start with, but I watched a bit of the 2006 Giro and then some random shows and forgot all about my sore legs. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing with the family after a nice chinese dinner of Sesame Chicken and Szechuan Pork.
I mixed it up a little bit on Sunday and skipped the snowshoeing since my feet hurt a bit from the day before and after eating a nice 4 egg omelet and some toast I hit the rollers for an hour and then switched it over to the trainer for another hour. I was happy to get in some quality time on the bike for once and ended the weekend feeling a lot better about my fitness than I did going in to it. I plan to keep up the same weekend routine for the next few weeks, lots of snowshoeing and a few hours of riding, hopefully some of it outside but this damn snow has to stop coming down.
After getting my ride in I did some work around the house; a bit of laundry, roof raking, and some vacuuming. Once that was all done I got ready and headed over to my friend Jason's house to watch the end of the NFC game and then we consumed a few beers and ate some wings while watching the AFC game. I have to say that the Cardinals are a big surprise, I would've never picked them to make the Super Bowl this year, go figure. Pittsburgh was one of my AFC favorites going in to the year but I just didn't think they'd make it all the way, but good for them and hopefully the game is a good one. It will be Arizona's offense against the Steeler D, and we all know how the offense vs. defense matchups have turned out in recent Super Bowl's, the D seems to win every time. Hopefully it's not a blowout.
As for this week, I have to work late tonight, probably until 7:30 or 8:00 and then I'll just go home and crash I'm sure after 12 hours at work. That means no weights tonight which has been the routine, and probably no bike ride either as I won't be eating dinner until 8:30ish I'm guessing. I'll be riding at least an hour each day the rest of the week, some days will be 90 minutes and will also do weights on Wednesday and Friday. I'm feeling good on the bike again so I'm looking forward to the workouts.
The WCA meeting was yesterday also so hopefully we'll have the schedule soon, last year it came out on February 1st, so I'm guessing we'll have it at about the same time this year. Right now I'm only planning on 3 or 4 races for the year, nothing until at least June, and then I'll decide on what I'm doing the rest of the year depending on how those races go. After the lengthy break I had in '08 and the not so great start to this year, in which I've basically started riding consistently last week, I'm not aspiring to do anything great in the races, I just want to compete for the fun of it. If I can stick to the plan, enjoy riding this year, get back on track 100%, then in 2010 I'll be looking to do a full schedule. I enjoyed racing in 2006 and 2007, last year just wasn't meant to be with other stuff going on, but hopefully I'll come back full force by the end of this year and really rock next year.
Well, that's enough for now, until next time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Damn it's freakin' cold out, -7 right now, about -30 with wind chill. Oh well, I'm inside all the time anyways so it really only sucks when I have to take the dog out. I'm not riding outside or anything and can't snowshoe during the week so it's not really affecting me all that much. It looks like it's going to warm up to the lower to mid 20s by Saturday and Sunday so that's all that counts for me. I'll be snowshoeing at 10:30a.m Saturday morning at Valley View Park in New Berlin if anyone has snowshoes and wants a good workout. Meet at the Small Rd. parking lot. Anyways, I plan to do that Saturday and maybe Sunday but I'll probably do some longer trainer riding on Sunday and skip the snowshoes. This year is trending a lot like last year so far, hopefully the snow doesn't stick around well in to April. I'd really like to get outside on the bike without full arctic gear on. Just found out today that I'll be heading to Florida for work March 4th through the 8th, that'll be a nice reprieve from the cold weather here. I'm looking forward to it already.

In other news, I'm trying to start a community cycling resource for New Berlin and any of the surrounding communities, namely Hales Corners, Brookfield, West Allis, Waukesha, Muskego, Big Bend....and that's probably about the extent of the range I guess. It's mainly for New Berlin but since I ride a lot in Whitnall Park and out towards the Waukesha and Muskego area I figured that information for training rides and races, etc. would be pertinent for those areas as well. Basically the site has a calendar of events for future training rides and group rides in the area (once the weather gets warm and they actually start), and I'll post WCA events and pretty much anything bike related I can find. The site also has a forum to discuss any of the rides or events and also where people can talk about training tips, bike maintenance, nutrition, or whatever they want. Photos and videos can be added, members can maintain their own blog, and manage their own page. You can visit the site at Check it out and sign up.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Good Winter Day.....

....For some snowshoeing. I got up this morning and had some oatmeal and espresso and headed out the door to Valley View Park for two loops of the trails. It was not a bad morning, temps were in the mid 20s, it was cloudy but not breezy, and I was bundled up so I was feeling good. I'm fairly out of shape so 90 minutes on the snowshoes was more than enough for me, I was already better than the last time I went though and could have completed another quarter of a loop more in the same time if I wanted. No bike ride today, feet are sore from being on them more then I'm used to so tomorrow will be a two-session bike day and I will take the day off from snowshoeing. I'll do a roller ride in the morning and then a trainer ride in the afternoon or evening tomorrow while watching the 2006 Giro, a dominating performance by Basso, hopefully pre EPO/CERA/Blood doping. I have to also say I feel bad for my parents down in Burlington, only about 35 minutes away but in the last two days they got about a foot of snow and I only got about 3 inches, it's amazing how only a 25-30 mile difference can have such a disparity in the snowfall. Good for me though, too bad for them.



Thursday, January 08, 2009

This And That.....

We are in the doldrums of winter now, heavily entrenched in cold temperatures and random snow showers, the pattern of snow every other day has abated for now. We are supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow tomorrow and then the temps are going to dip to a sack-shriveling high of Zero on Tuesday with a low of minus Five. Riding will be near impossible this weekend with highs of 24 on Saturday and 22 on Sunday along with a chance of snow, but snowshoeing is not wind or temperature dependent as it IS meant to be done in the snow and outside, so I'll be hitting the trails both days. After some morning trail sessions I'll hit the trainer and rollers in the afternoon both days, but not likely for all that long, maybe 90 minutes to 2 hours each day. There is only something like 57 days until March 1st, 58 days until Daylight Savings time, that actually doesn't seem like all that far, and those dates are like a turning point for me in enhancing my mood as Spring seems close at that point and with it the nicer weather. I'm sick of the cold and snow already, but everyone has to deal with it and I will too, I can still be sour about it though....except when I'm snowshoeing, I do enjoy that. Not much other news of late or on the horizon, pretty much just waiting for some good riding weather, namely any day that doesn't have snow or isn't below 25 degrees. Oh yeah, as far as biomechanical deficiencies, I'm doing pretty good now since I've lowered my seat and moved it forward a bit, no leg rub and I'm feeling pretty straight. My left leg still tracks in a bit towards the frame but not nearly as bad as before. I'm not stressing about it anymore so basically that is good enough for me regardless of whether I feel perfect anymore, I don't think anyone ever feels "perfect" on the bike, we just get as comfortable as possible and I'm there right now.

I guess since the new year has started I better make some declarations about what I want to do this year, or think that I want to do, if that makes sense....maybe I won't do everything and maybe my goals will change but it's good to have a starting point so I've listed a few things below.

(Not in order of importance, just a random order)

1. Do a 200 mile solo ride in 11 hours or less

2. Do the MS150 - because it's for a good cause and it's not a race

3. Ride up Blue Mounds 5 times in one training ride

4. Be in good enough shape to finish the State RR Championship

5. Ride with my wife at least once a week

6. Maintain my weight at a steady 180-185, see previous post about racing weight

7. Do an overnight ride on the Glacial Drumlin Trail to Madison and back

8. Finish in the top 10 of at least one Masters 1/2/3 WI Cup race

9. Start a weekly group training ride out of New Berlin in the style of the Doc Ride or Centennial Ride - but not at the same time as either of those

10. Stay upright, stay healthy and enjoy my rides - yeah, that's 3 but encompassed in one goal.

Well, I suppose 10 is enough for now, I don't want to get too ambitious and fail miserably in attaining all of them.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Starting The New Year Right

First ride of the year on the first day of the year......................