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.

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