Tuesday, January 31, 2006


....those 3s are callin'.

Why do we practice sprints?

To win!

Of course, this shoulda been one of our own riders, but there was something peculiar going on with this particular rider winning the Golden State Criterium last year in the 4/5 race. What was it??? Let me see if I can explain:

"Hey, I have enough points to upgrade from 4 to 3.....can I do it?"
"Sure. Oh wait, no, you can't. You see, you only completed 8 races as a Cat. 5. You'll have to go back and complete those two more races as a Cat. 5."
"OH, well, okay. Then I can move up to Cat. 3?"
"Well, no, you can't. You see, once you complete those two Cat. 5 races, you'll have to start all over again as a Cat. 4."
"You mean, I have to accumulate all those points again to go from 4 to 3?"
"Uh, yes, you will."
"Um, well, okay.....then I can upgrade to Cat. 3?"
"Yes, but first you must go back and complete those last two Cat. 5 races."
"Okay, I'll do it."

It makes about as much sense as the cereal diet(uh, yeah, another one of my Guinea Pig training ideas.....I'll explain the results in a later posting. One word - Mistake.).

As for the rider winning above, it's funny what anger and training can do for you. Can you say Cat. 2 by the end of the year??? This dude is already eyeing Cat. 1.

Wanna be a better bike rider???

Ride your bike! And read Olaf's blog. I swear, MH is one of those dudes who actually get it. That "it" being what riding is all about.

"So, to conclude this discussion.....

.....If you want to be a top professional, you need to climb 60,000 feet per week. A top amateur needs to climb approximately 40,000 feet per week. And the top Masters riders normally do 20,000 feet of climbing per week." (Yeah, this was a real discussion).

Uh, what? Anyone up for riding Cohasset to the gravel 7 times this week.....and the week after....and the week after that?? If so, let me know how things go at Natz.

Don't think I'm going to GP this one.....at least not this month.

Fuzzy logic.....

....Larry Nolan is a great racer. Larry Nolan has HUGE legs. So, if I have HUGE legs, I will be a great racer(uh, do you sorta understand that whole Guinea Pig weight lifting session now???). Hmmm. Let me ask Chris Walker and see what he thinks. Nice jersey Dude.

There are bikes you ride.....

....and then there are those that you hang on your wall as art pieces. Obviously, my bike is not an art piece - it's a dirty filthy fully ridden piece of carbon. Not sure if I could do it to this bike above. It's like Daniel said after a certain someone we know purchased his new bike - "This bike is made for looking, not riding!" Hilarious. Unfortunately for me, Lori and I don't share the same taste in art.


.....has a blog! It's pretty cool - can't wait to hear about the upcoming races.

Monday, January 30, 2006

How do you know it's the off-season???

When your club's e-mail group has 50 e-mails a day on the topic of supplementation. 6 months from now, when it's still light outside at 9:30 at night, the weather is warm, and all you wanna do is ride......well, I have a feeling the last thing you're gonna want to do is write about supplementation - or worse, read 50 e-mails a day about the subject. As for me, I thank God for two things - one, the delete button.....and two, my team.

Thou shalt not covet.....

....thy teammates bikes. Man, what a sinner I am. Bike lust makes you do crazy things.

Steel is real baby.....

......and this bike made me wanna ride steel again. This is my teammate's Tallerico. And man, with full Campy Record componentry and Ritchey DS wheels......this thing looked sahweet. Of course Richard's Tallerico weighs about nine pounds less than my steel LeMond.....also known as "The Yellow Tank". I swear, that LeMond was built up to withstand the Apocalypse. And when you consider I'm a Guinea Pig on the Guinea Pigging training schedule, it's probably better that it was built that way. Speaking of which, I heard the Polish National Team practices pedaling 39x24s all the way down descents. Anyone up for some 250 rpm drills tomorrow???

Can you spell....

.....Implosion??? My heart goes out to the Weathers man - some efforts are just lost on those who don't appreciate it or don't recognize it. In the end, as crazy as it sounds, I think you made the correct decision in this case Dude. So, now that it's over, we just have one thing left to do......let's go ride!

Guinea Pigging.....

Each year, I like to go where few riders have gone before in terms of training. I call it the "Guinea Pigging" training method. Essentially, it's a training schedule based on moronic chaos. For instance, so far this year, I have found out why it's not a good idea to do intervals three days in a row. Not only could I not walk by day 4.....but worse - I could barely ride the next three days.

Last year, I thought it would be fun and interesting to do weight training for the legs 2 to 3 days per week during the middle of the season. The workout? 1.5 hours, 20 sets of leg press, 15 sets of squats, 10 sets of calf raises, 10 sets of leg extensions, 5 sets of leg curls and a couple other legercises. What I found out? First off, again, I couldn't walk out of the gym nor could I walk the next day.....and second, I had a hard time riding the next day.....like my 39x19 felt like that 87x10 gear. So, after a few weeks(yeah, it's bonehead disease), I bailed on it.

The T-mobile guys use a 53x12 to climb hills during the pre-season??? Awesome - I'll go ahead and Guinea-Pig it. Result? Well, let's just say my bike hated me and my knees disowned me.

You mean, you're not suppose to double your mileage in a week??? Hmmmm. I wonder why? Guinea Pig it. My result? The week went great! The week after went horrible!! I was sick, tired, irritated. Another lesson learned.

So, yeah, this whole cycling thing is also a big experiment with me too. And although it's fun, there are many lessons to not only be learned - but believed as well.

Nothing says dork.....

.....quite like crashing on your own, with nobody else around - except the 50 other Cat. 5 racers looking on from the sideline during their Q & A session with the Mentors. Not sure what happened with that guy, but maybe his bike didn't like him or something.

Bonehead move of the day yesterday.....

.....bringing my camera instead of my bike! What a bonehead. The pictures turned out like crap!! And now I'm all amped up to go riding - which means a rain ride tonight, or rollers. Shoulda brought my bike yesterday to the race. So, I learned an obvious lesson at the Early Bird Crit - If you're gonna go, bring your bike, not your camera.

It's funny how you can learn the over-obvious at these races.

Early Bird.....

Yesterday, Paul and I jetted over to Fremont to check out the Early Bird Crit. What fun! Definitely a great idea - you get a better feeling on how to ride in a pack, practice skills, learn how to race. It's great.

But Paul found out one thing about the Early Birds - the Mentors don't know everything......like what time the races start! God bless 'em though - those Mentors are awesome. And there were tons of 'em too!

One thing I noticed at the crit yesterday was the difference between those dudes who ride regularly, and those who don't. There was a definite separation between the two groups. For Paul and Richard, they were the epitome of guys who ride regularly......solid riding, predictable, smooth cadence, effortless motion, smart riding, relaxed - no tension, and very aware. In fact, I'm not sure either of those guys even broke a sweat during the race. And each placed in the top 6. For the ones who don't ride regularly, I noticed choppy pedal strokes, unpredictable, skiddish, lower RPMs, and they just didn't look comfortable on a bike.

So I guess the old school equation still comes into play nowadays too. As Mike Peavy would say, "Oh, I see. Well the one thing you need to do with your training is ride more." Hmmmm. Makes sense.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

It's 5:30am on a Sunday....

....time to jet to the Early Bird. Unfortunately for me, I'm just going to take pics. Actually, it's probably better - don't wanna freak anyone out with my erratic cornering just yet - I'll wait to do that at Apple Pie. ;) Just kidding. Good luck today Richard and Paul!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Now, if I were a bettin' man......

.....I'd take Magnus(Morgan Stanley Steve) in an arm wrestling match over Easton.....but I'd take Easton over Magnus on a hill climb......and I'll take that one guy on the left in the Documentum jersey to blow 'em both away in a bike race.

Time to move on.....

If you were a Junior racer back in the 80s.....

.....and a guy showed up to your race wearing this jersey, the first thing going through your head is: "I wonder if I could get my other wheel with the 13-cog on it. Even if I get DQd for a gear violation, I wouldn't get dropped. No, that's stupid. You're gonna get DQd for that. Yeah, but I'm gonna get dropped with THAT guy in this race. He'll kill us all. What to do, what to do. Wonder if I could race in the Cat. 4s instead."

Yeah, in case you couldn't tell, it's nostalgia night.

Bob Cook......

Sometimes, for whatever reason, the great ones are taken from us.

My first "real" racing bike......

....was a Benotto. Not exactly like the one above - but close enough. Of course, mine had brakes, toe clips, road bars, no sloping stem and a 6-speed freewheel in the back. So, yeah, not exactly the same bike.....but looks similar.

My one regret - getting rid of it. Would've made a great art piece which my wife would encourage me to throw away.

"You have got to be kidding me!"

"Dude, you're joking with me - Bernard Hinault is gonna race in the States???!!!"

No, no joke - it was true. Hinault came to race the Coors International Classic here in the US back in the mid-1980s. To see him race in Sacramento - at the Old Sacramento Criterium stage - was a true thrill for a Junior rider like myself at the time. I took a ton of pictures of the race and it was awesome to be there. But one thing I noticed about Hinault in this criterium really had me thinking. Even though Greg LeMond - his teammate - was battling it out up front with the other top riders, Hinault spent almost the whole criterium in the very back of the pack.....we're talking dead last rider every lap. I saw him move up once, but then went back to the very back again. Clearly, this was not a race to his liking. Of course, when you're a 5-time winner of the Tour de France, the last thing you wanna do is break your collarbone in a silly criterium crash.

In any case, it was one of those moments you'll always remember - seeing one of the greats in your sport race in your backyard.


Uh, when I see legs like this, I think two things: First, are these dudes okay??? And second, man, I have a lot more training to do! The first time I saw legs like this on a cyclist was on the American champion John Ellis. I couldn't believe what I was looking at - it was like, these long worms inside these tan legs. The next time I saw legs like that was on 1976 Tour de France champion Lucien Van Impe.

I swore that one day my legs would look like that too - to the absolute horror of my mom(I was just 13). Of course, I never quite got there. But hey, there's still time - anyone who rides around here locally should see Bill's legs - got some definite vascularity to 'em! So, I'll be workin' on it Bill!

Man, what an ugly picture.

Had to post something different - sorry to all of you for that one. Yes, I went ahead and abbreviated the blog page - the archives can be found on the right-hand side.

Who in the world owns that ugly mug???

Yeah, that's me. I was testing out music to see which ones would be good for roller riding. Obviously, by the expression on my face, this CD was not going to make the cut. Of course, I have pretty unusual taste in music. And yeah, I ride rollers listening to this guy too. Man, what an ugly pic.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What kind of bath??

A Gong Bath. Yeah, went to a Gong Bath tonight - it's essentially a sound performance using a massive Gong(normally seen behind the drum kits of Tommy Lee or Alex Van Halen......or my favorite, Neil Peart). The reason I went? My wife. It was her Uncle Richard performing. I'll describe it in a way, well, that only we can understand:

75 degrees, flat road, smooth pavement, slight tailwind, sunny, no traffic, bike is in perfect condition, and so are you.
Then, after some time, the road pitches up a bit - not much, but a little....and the road is not quite as smooth.
Ten minutes later, the road is now an uphill and is becoming a bit potholish....not severe, but enough to make you look at the road a little more often just to beware. Your PE level? Hmmm. I would say......a 6.
Now things get interesting - you see up ahead a 20% grade hill....you don't know how long it is, but you know it's there....and the climb begins. Your PE level has now gone to 8.
40 minutes into the show, your rear derailleur cable snaps. You have a 12 on there....and obviously your 39......but that's it. You are now stuck in that gear on this 20% climb.
PE level = 10.
When suddenly, the top of the hill is reached, and you have an unbelievable descent back down. And I mean FUN - smooth road, no potholes, no traffic, sunny, gorgeous views.......and FAST(Hey, your front derailleur still works.....big ring it)!
After your 70 minute ride, it's all over.....and all you wanna do is do it again.

Yes, I would recommend Uncle Richard's Gong Bath - almost as fun as a ride(but not quite!).

Sponsorship, Part 2:

.....there's always the option to approach these guys too. I mean, geesh, they're headquartered right here in Chico. And I believe, at one time, every employee there was a member of this club. I still own an unopened bottle of their Chico Criterium beer - I wouldn't open it though.....it came out in 1982.

Definition of hardcore.....

.....Riding at 5:00AM outside in the cold and wet and dark to do intervals. Steve and Kareem - you guys rock! (As for me, I was sound asleep in a dream state).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


.....I didn't realize he trained on that 4-mile stretch of dirt from Centerville up to Nimshew. Guess I'll have to start riding that hill a little more often. Anyone wanna do repeats this Sunday???


So, I happened to be shopping at this store last night, and all I could think about(besides wanting to get home to get to sleep) was this team. And I thought, you know, I wonder if these companies realize what kind of an impact they have on the cycling group as a whole. And then I was thinking, hmmmm, wonder if this store might be interested in sponsoring our team.

Yeah, Dan Boyce is a real guy.....

.....total animal on the bike. Some other interesting items about Dan:

Once on a 70-mile ride with my brother, Dan thought he might get thirsty. So, seeing how he NEVER carried water bottles.....or even cages....on his bicycles, he decided to bring a 5 ounce flask of water in his back jersey pocket. That's right - not 50 ounces - but 5 ounces....enough for one sip. And that's all he took - one sip.

Dan's favorite cycling outfit? Shorts and a short-sleeve jersey or skinsuit. 28 degrees outside??? Yeah, whatever. I'll have a jersey and shorts on - that'll be enough. Santa Rosa fog??? Not a problem - my short-sleeve jersey and shorts should protect me.

"A small chainring??? What's that??" Dan only used one kind of chainring - BIG. There was nothing else. It's 52 or higher - or you just don't ride.

His favorite ride? A track bike - yeah, with no brakes and a fixed gear - in a 52x14.....and yes, he would ride it on the road on an almost daily basis.....not to mention the countless hours on the rollers each day.

There's a hill coming up soon? It's 12%?? Well, that's okay - I have a 52x14 as my low gear - I should make it okay(and he did, always, usually dropping everyone).

Once heard from Greg LeMond: "Dan, I hope I am as fit as you are when I am your age!" Greg's age was like 29......Dan was 42. Unfortunately for Greg, although I love him to death, Dan would've whooped him at 42.

Dan's stolen bike: If any of you see a custom painted black Kestrel 500 Sci with full Campy Record - ala late 80s, early 90s - with a Flite saddle on it....no H2o cages and one chainring(53), it might be Dan's.

How many days I lasted on Dan's training schedule??? 1/3 of a day. Did the rollers that morning, commuted to work by bike that morning - and I was done.

Dan was one of those tough guys of cycling. I had never seen anything quite like it before....or since. I felt lucky to have been able to ride with him that one day - I was with him a short time....saw him in his 53x13, noticed his legs muscling it a bit.....and that was that - I was dropped.


Word has it that Rich has already ridden the entire Paskenta course 8 times this month alone. No, not just a portion of it - the entire distance......8 times so far. Probably 9 times by now. Think he's ready for this one???


....uugghh. Today's one of those days where I'd like to tell my boss that this work stuff is really getting in the way of my cycling. But it's also a day that reminds me that the guys out there who are really really good - like Olaf and Nolan - are working professionals as well. They don't spend all day training everyday - they work just like the rest of us. And I have a feeling that their training is more than training - it's an outlet for handling the work stress from day-to-day, a way to really live life. In other words, yeah, I have a 10-hour workday ahead......but that doesn't mean my bicycle and myself can't connect today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hey, remember that 87x10 gear.....

....I was just talking about??? I think I may have found a rider who can actually turn it over.

What is that smell???

Back in the day(yeah, another one of those stories), guys use to wear Ben Gay on their legs prior to races. Now, this is back when "Scent Free" or "Scentless" was not yet invented. Imagine showing up to the starting line of a race, nervous as all get up, stomach in knots, left most of your nutrients in the local restaurant's bathroom.......and all you can smell now is the gagging stench of Ben Gay. "Dude, I'm about to vomit launch all over your pink Colnago - you mind scootin' down some?" Personally, I preferred Tiger Balm - better scent and felt HOT on the legs.

"Wait a minute.....

.....you're not suppose to wear underwear with cycling shorts???!!!" That was my horrified reaction when I found out, at the age of 13, that the wool cycling shorts I wore on all my rides were not suppose to be ridden with underwear. This caused two reactions - besides being horrified. First, I thought that maybe my saddle sores would finally clear up. And second, what happens if I crash and my shorts get torn up???

At the age of 13, stuff like this can bug you. Nowadays, who cares - rip away. But as a kid, this caused nightmares! I'm at a crit, people everywhere, I go down in a corner and my shorts rip up and...aaaccckkk.....I'm exposed! Yikes. Yes, it's not one of those classroom dreams where you show up naked - when you're a teenage bike racer, your nightmares involve silly stuff like crashing in front of a crowd at a criterium and ripping up your new wool shorts with nothing underneath but your birthday suit. Geesh.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Yes, I have an obsession.....

.....or maybe it is just an infatuation with this particular bicycle. Call me kooky, call me crazy....for whatever reason, I kinda dig it. Well, that is until I got this e-mail from Seven Cycles this morning:

Hello Rodney,

Thank you for your interest in Seven Cycles. We look forward to working with you and your authorized Seven dealer to design your perfect Seven when you are ready. The Race models are designed for race specific riding and therefore are quite stiff and agile compared to our SG frames. If your primary riding focus will be criteriums, we can design your Elium Race to be very agile when cornering. We recommend talking with your local Seven dealer to better compare your existing Trek to our Elium frame models.

We offer a lifetime warranty on all of our frames for the original owner. This warranty does not cover damage as a result of a crash. If your frame is damaged in a crash, we will work with you and your authorized dealer to repair the frame if possible, for a nominal cost. Please note the Elium is not warranted for use on a fixed rear wheel trainer. If you are training indoors, the Elium is appropriate for use on rollers only.


Scott Rosenthal Customer Service Seven Cycles, Inc.
T: (617) 923-7774 ext. 39 F: (617) 923-7757 http://www.sevencycles.com

Oh, I see. Okay, thanks Scott. So, if I were to spend $8,000 on this bicycle, I could never ride it on that cool fluid trainer or mag trainer I have in my laundry room(aka - the bike gym). But I can ride it on rollers. Hmmmm. Cool - I love rollers. But I'll tell you what - for the price of that 1 bicycle, I could have 3 of these....1 for the fluid trainer, 1 for the road, 1 for the rain. And, of course, my $8,000 roller riding bike.

So we were coming around the last turn.....

.....and I thought, hmmm, what the heck - I'll put it in my 87x10 and see if I can take the sprint.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Day In The Life Of Dan Boyce.....

Woke up early, went to cycling shed out in the backyard, got on the rollers on my fixed-gear bike and rode 52x14 for 1 hour.
Showered, got dressed.
Rode bike half an hour to work.
Worked at hospital - and ate raw cabbage.
Lunch time = Riding road bike 45 minutes.
Back to work - continued eating raw cabbage.
Work day now over = 60 minute road ride after work before going home.
Home - Time for dinner......noodles with no sauce or anything on them. Just noodles.....and water.
Kids bedtime? Great - Time for another hour on rollers in a 52x14.

And the weekend:
Got up at 6am and did an hour on rollers in a 52x14.
Ate breakfast.
Time for ride = 1.5 hours out on the road bike pushing a 53x13 over hills and all.
Back home = shower time and lunch.
After lunch = 1.5 hours on the fixed gear no-brake road bike, pushing a 52x14, hills and all.
Back home = time to mow the lawn.
Dinner = more noodles....and water.
Kids bedtime? Great - Time for another hour on rollers in a fixed 52x14.

Day after day - 365 days per year. The only morning not doing rollers - Christmas Day.

To this day, I am dumbfounded how Dan did this schedule. Talk about a strong rider. We went out riding one day in Santa Rosa, California - he puts it in his 53x13 on the flats, and that was that......pulled away from me and he was gone. He was one of those dudes who could drop you on the flats - even while you're drafting him. He just pulls away......ala Rich Thurman. He had National Masters Champion written all over him.

I know I couldn't do this type of schedule - a little too OCD for me. But man, I would like to have his ability on the bike! And to the scum that stole Dan's brand new Kestrel back in the day when Kestrel actually made cool bikes - I hope you rot in eternal flat tires, bent rims and cracked frames.


This article on training for racing is pretty good. I grew up watching these two fine people race bicycles and I always thought they were awesome riders. The one thing that bothers me at times about some of the new training ideas nowadays are the ones that have you saying, "Oh, sorry guys, I can't go out with you tomorrow on that epic 3 hour multiple hill climb ride because my schedule says I need to do 1 hour of Zone 1, with a 10 minute stretch of 110 RPMs. Maybe next time though." Uh, okay.

Back then, it was more like "Hey, we're goin' out ridin' today - probably do 3 or 4 hours and climb this Mt. Everest climb, followed by Hell Hill repeats. Wanna go??" Answer: "When are we leaving?" Call it, I don't know, the Bob Roll training method. Hey, it worked for Lance on his way back from cancer. And obviously, it has worked for many others as well.

I'm not saying that the new training methods don't work - they do. But after reading this article , it reminded me of one of the primary reasons....if not THE primary reason....we are in this sport - to have fun! ;) And if having fun means blowing off your prescribed training schedule for a day or two in order to ride with your buddies - I'd rather ride with my buddies.....'cause there's no guarantee I'll be able to ride with them tomorrow or next time.

Football season is now over.

Yes, my team got their butts handed to them today. Part of me, although in total anguish, is sort of happy about it because now I can spend my Sundays and Monday nights thinking about - and doing - other things. Of course, there's always next year for football. And the one thing I like about the game is that it comes during the off-season......or cross season......whatever way you like to look at it. As of now, for me at least, football season is officially over. Cycling season has now officially started. Thank God.

If you win the Tour.....

.....how could you be considered a loser? Seems to me the same kinds of things were being said about that Lance guy after the '99 Tour.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Uh, you ride a what?

I'm all for going to a Spinning class or two during the week this time of year. I mean, geesh, with Tom as a Spinning instructor, how could you not go - pain, suffering and, well, fun! But this guy is nuts - crazy nuts. I would actually be a bit apprehensive to take one of his classes - and even more apprehensive to race against him!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Okay, my legs hurt.....

So, I did three days in a row of fairly good riding - not very long, but pretty intense. And today - of course - my body is paying the price. I was having a hard time getting out of bed this morning - and my lovely wife actually brought me a mug of Peets to drink while I was still in bed - God, I love that woman! So, after chugging the mug of Peets, I got out of bed, legs stiff and sore, and managed to roll into the kitchen to get yet another mug of Peets. All day at work, I was dragging. Came home, wanting to hit the rollers for an hour to loosen up - but instead, a 2-hour nap was the next item on the agenda. Man, that is whacked.

I love to ride - and I love the intensity training - but you can't do it everyday. Your body needs to rest and recover. Think I'll do a recovery ride tomorrow and work on those crit cornering techniques again - or maybe some time on the rollers - or both! In any case, I would say its been a good week of riding so far. And you know, I could get use to those Peets-in-bed mornings!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sterling McBride......

....was a Cat. 1 racer when I was an Intermediate and Junior racer here in northern California, back in the 1980s. There were a ton of great riders in northern California back then(sort of like now too!). Two guys I remember the most were Sterling McBride and Keith Vierra. I remember once in a road race I was in, I was on this one climb - about 10% average grade and a mile long or so - and Sterling flew by me - and I mean FLEW!!! That guy could climb like a fiend! He was going so fast up that hill, I would have had to sprint just to stay behind him for a split second....and even then, I would have been dropped instantly, pulled over, and died.

But one of the great things I remember about some of these guys - and our local guys too(like Andy Paulin and Bruce Gesick back in the day) - was their approach to training. How do you train for bike racing??? Ride your bike - that was the answer. Ride your bike. Of course, they rode a TON. 400 mile weeks? Yeah, that was typical. If I was able to get in a 200 mile week back then, that was cause for massive celebration! But 400??? Typical??? Dude, that's heavy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ride in peace......

.....yet another one of my idols is gone.

Bike snob.....

Okay, yeah, some people would think I am a bike snob - like my wife. She thinks I'm a bike snob because I won't ride a road bike with anything less than Shimano 105 on it, preferably Ultegra.....and if I can get Dura Ace, I'm on it. And, of course, the ultimate - Campagnolo Record. To be totally honest, I don't really care - I just act like I really care. And yes, I think it is fun to have new equipment, nice equipment, equipment that is both light and efficient. Let's face it - that stuff is fun when you're a cyclist. I remember the first time I ever tried index shifting - what magic!! But ultimately, I just like to ride bicycles.

To me, a bike snob is not someone who likes to ride good equipment. To me, a bike snob is this: You go out for a ride, you see a fellow cyclist coming the other way, you wave to him or her - and they either ignore you, or see you wave and look the other way(in other words, ignore you!). That, to me, is a bike snob. I wave to all cyclists out there - commuters, racers, mountain bikers, tourers, recumbants - just everyone. I feel a type of fellowship with my fellow riders......makes sense, doesn't it?? If someone says HI to you on the street, do you just ignore them?

Right now, I'm hitting about 60% on my waves back......which means 40% of you might be considered bike snobs in my book.....except for the ones who truly didn't see me wave, or were so stunned to see a cyclist wave they about fell off their bikes. Here's the funny part - I'm at 100% with the cars I wave to(no, it doesn't happen often, but when I do happen to wave at them, they wave back.....very odd).

Okay, that's my daily rant for today. Time to move on........


What a great rider! Not only did he win multiple green jerseys in the Tour de France - but he could hang with the climbers on the climbs in the Tour too. Of course, he would always have that one bad day in the moutains - which would not allow him to win the Big Race. I own one of these Vitus bicycles - super comfortable, but very flexible too. And they're definitely not for screaming down descents at 50+ mph - talk about fragile - I have one where the seatstays disconnected from the seat tube. Luckily, it wasn't on a descent. Nowadays, I use the Vitus on the indoor trainer now and again. And every time I ride it, it always reminds me of the great Sean Kelly - a complete rider through and through.....and an unforgettable champion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Love Bob's new bike. That thing is totally sweet. The most amazing thing to me about it was the weight - almost nothing. For climber like him, it's an amazing addition to his arsenal. For a non-climber like myself, it's just another lightweight thing to lust after!

Tom Spinner.....

Tonight is Tom's Spinning class at the gym. Call me crazy, but I just love those classes. He's got the 2005 Tour de France DVD playing on the GIANT screen television, and he has us doing standing hill climbs for 45 minutes straight while the sound system is generating music I would never listen to in a million years. However, there's just something satisfying about taking these classes twice a week. They're just fun. And the thing of it is, Tom himself is a cyclist - he's been in the sport for over 30 years straight. He's one of the only guys I talk to on a regular basis who remember having to nail your cleats to the bottom of your shoes - or using Cateye cloth tape - or wearing wool shorts and jerseys. And helmets?? You might as well have been wearing a baseball hat, because the hairnets we had didn't protect jack. So, yes, Spinning class - at least for me - is a fun experience and one of the many many reasons why I love cycling so much. And you know, I'm glad I'm no longer a retro-grouch - the new stuff nowadays just rules!!!


So, I spent last night working on cornering out at our local airport - which I can see from our house. There is a great little criterium course out there that we use to race on back in the early 1980s. I just wanted to head out there and spin around - and try to work on that whole cornering technique thing. I would say it's pretty useful to work on when much of the racing calendar is made up of criteriums! And you know, I swore at the end of last year that I absolutely would not race any criteriums in 2006. Man, what was I thinking. Looks like my first race back will be a crit.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Training Camp this weekend, Part 2:

Okay, so training camp is now over. Saturday was wet - 4 hours total riding time and I didn't have to take a drink one time from my water bottles.......all I did was draft off of a couple of teammates and the spray coming up from their rear tire was like a drinking faucet. Just open your mouth and drink. Yeah, sure it was grimy and dirty - but minerals are good for you!! In all honesty, it was pretty gross and wet and cold out there - however, it is also one of those epic rides that we'll remember in the years to come. My bike is in need of a bath and some TLC after Saturday's riding - that is the project of the day today. And in the end, it was actually a blast to ride in the rain.

The one thing I really like about these training camps is finding out what you need to work on. For instance, I found out this weekend that I need to work on cornering, descending, hill climbing, sprinting, drafting, pacelining, blocking, spinning, riding in general and getting into better shape. Yes, very useful information when you want to be a bike racer. My teammates are amazing - they're going to put the hammer down this year at races. And the amount of knowledge the team has as a whole is incredible - encyclopedic knowledge of racing, races, training and riding. That alone was well worth the trip down to Livermore this past weekend.

The other cool thing about training camp is seeing some of the new equipment out there. Like Bob's new bike. That thing is SWEET!!!! And super light too. He said he loves it, it's very comfortable and has excellent power transfer. So, that was great to hear. When I picked that bike up, I thought my pillow weighed more. It was one of those, lift-the-bike-with-your-pinkie light bikes. And that dude can climb!

Anyway, looking forward to starting work on all that stuff listed above. Think I'll start work on cornering first - I can almost see a criterium course from my office window here.....and I believe it's calling my name.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Training Camp this weekend......

.....Yes, our team is having a mini-training camp this weekend in the Livermore area. Not sure what to expect. I know I'm not in tip-top condition right now.....but I'm hoping nobody else is either. I mean, geesh, it's still January - and it's still winter! We'll see how it goes. The best thing about it is meeting all the new teammates, and bonding on the bike - that's always fun. It seems like our Masters 4/5 team is HUGE too! In any case, I look forward to it this weekend - a little apprehensive, but a little excited too. Should be fun....I hope.

I wonder if Abby rides a bike. Yeah, I know, I'm married......but got a thing for the goth thing too. Not sure why, especially since I'm a glasses-wearing Accountant/Office Geek/Bike dork kinda guy. Nevertheless, this was the pic I thought about during interval #7 tonight(the last and most painful). Call it.....I don't know.....inspiration?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bike Rider or Writer......

.....or both. I really enjoy this website - I love reading about bicycles and cycling almost as much as riding itself. Well, not quite. But still, it is a love of mine.

Yes, I'm a 4......

So, I asked Casey this morning for a downgrade from Category 3 to Category 4 and he granted it to me immediately - changed it in the USCF database and everything. Part of me was sad about it, but another part of me knew that it was necessary. Now I'll just have to work my way back up and re-learn things from the past. I'm actually really looking forward to it all - and looking forward to a fantastic year of riding/racing ahead. It will be fun to finally get back in the racing action. I'm tired of just sitting on the sidelines all the time watching and analyzing races on the weekends. I love coaching, but I would like to be racing too. This will be a great year.

I would definitely like to thank Olaf for his tremendous advice - that is what ultimately did it for me, making the decision to downgrade. When you have the opportunity to learn from one of the most experienced riders out there, it's an honor to take their advice. Thanks Dude!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My wife

You know, my wife is extremely understanding. She is very patient with my cycling addiction. And although we do not share this addiction, she enjoys getting out on her mountain bike every once in awhile. But imagine how obnoxious it is to be married to a guy who gets up in the morning, and the first words out of his mouth - besides "Good morning Honey!" - is "I dreamt about this great Seven Elium Race bike that I owned - I was winning every criterium I entered!"........or "Sometime before the day is over, I really need to clean my drivetrain." Before bed at night, I read every book and magazine imaginable about cycling - especially the old stuff. I talk about training, racing, tactics....just everything cycling. I tell her about my rides, my teammates, this blog, my bikes, racing. My wife knows more than most about the Tour de France too - you ask her about the outcome of the 1976 Tour - or the 2005 Tour - and she can tell you about it. Not that she really wants to, that is - but she can tell you about it.

And this is one of the many reasons - that she is extremely patient with my cycling obsession - that I thank her and love her. Thanks Honey!(And I'll try to cut back on the bike talk a bit.....if I can!).

You guys go ahead.......

.....start without me and I'll catch up. I love this pic from the 2005 Fremont Criterium. Olaf was doing stretches before his race while the rest of the pack just looked on. Actually, this is the perfect time to do a pre-race stretch - while the race official is giving instructions. Of course, if you are a Cat. 1, you've heard it all before......so why not meditate and stretch prior to your race. Do you still have this Colnago Olaf - or did you sell it?? That thing looked SWEET!!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

You want a what???!!!

Yeah, even though these guys laughed at me when I asked them if they could make me a 10-tooth cog for my road bike, I still think they rock......glad they're here in town too. By the way, why were they laughing????

To 3 or not to 3....

....that is the question - the one that is going through my head this early in the racing season. I was a Junior racer during the 1980s, basically spending my entire adolescence riding a bicycle - road riding/racing, mountain biking, commuting, cyclocrossing, working on bicycles, learning everything I could about cycling, racing and its history. When I finished with the Juniors after six years, the USCF was kind enough to grant me a direct upgrade to Category 3 based upon my experience in the Juniors - bypassing Cat. 4s altogether(which, at that time, was equivalent to Category 5). At that point in time, I really didn't race much. The last time I actually entered a sanctioned race was in 1991.

Since that time, I've renewed my USCF license a half a dozen times through the years - and I am still in the USCF database as a Category 3. The problem is, it is now years later....I am going to be 38 years old next month....and I feel it might be a good idea to downgrade to the Cat. 4s - and race Masters 35+ 4/5s......and Category 4. I have people telling me all the time though that I should just go ahead and race 3s - no problems getting into races, less sketchiness in races, more experienced riders, and I would have the opportunity to race in the Masters 35+ 1/2/3s.

Well, the 3s sound okay - not great, but okay. But racing in the Masters 35+ 1/2/3s is like asking me to race with the friggin' pro peloton! The guys from this team, this team and this team would just hand me my butt in a paper bag. Maybe it's better......maybe not. Do I downgrade to the 4s and just race the Masters 35+ 4/5(and taking my chance in getting in to the entry lottery at every race), or do I just take advantage of this get-out-of-jail-for-free card that the USCF has given me with the 3s license??? Decisions, decisions.

What would YOU do????

You just gotta love....

....this team. Makes me wanna go out and do Vomitervals.......you know, doing intervals until you get to view breakfast again in its semi-digested state. Gotta luv the suffering.

Friday, January 06, 2006

These are trippy......

I ride rollers a couple of days per week this time of year - usually for some easy recovery spins. But man, these rollers look pretty cool. For the price though, I would prefer to try them out and really hammer them before laying out that kind of cash. Still, they look like they could be fun!

4,388 rides in a row

This guy is unreal - today is the 4,388th day in a row he has been on his bike for at least an hour......with his average ride time being 90 minutes a day. 52 years old, lives in Santa Cruz, and he is now my new idol. Incredible. I can't imagine all the things he must have seen and felt during those 4,388 consecutive days of rides. Way to go Jim!

Spinning Classes.......

I got off from work last night and decided to go to the gym to take back-to-back Spinning classes. We have this instructor named Tom who enjoys a thing called "cadence changes". Essentially, they are standing climb hill sprints. The great thing about it is that he gives you about 5 seconds recovery between sprints(well, sometimes he gives us 10 seconds, but that is rare). After about a dozen of these(of the 20 we do), I'm on the bike saying "Son of a b**ch - knock these off man!! You're killin' me here!". But the cool thing about it - besides the post-ride euphoric bliss - is the result on the road.......really helps in the weekly Fast 50 ride whenever the Thurmanator goes to the front. As soon as I see him take a pull, I thank Tom for all those "Son of a b**ch" moments.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

2005 Nevada City Classic.......

Of course, although Jeff Angermann slayed all in this race, I was watching Chris Walker(stars and stripes jersey on the Leopard) fly up this hill without breathing. I mean, was that dude even trying - did you hear him breath Olaf??? I think the one dude who was breathing for the both of them was Larry Nolan - what a stud, but the NC Classic wasn't quite suited to his strengths. But man, I would hate to have to race him in a crit. I would need to practice motorpacing 20 hours a week.......at 35mph.

Beryl Burton......

.......would have kicked all our butts on the bike. She was FAST! The ability to sustain a high pace in a BIG gear for that length of time is just amazing. Beryl rox!


This would be fun to learn. Of course, some might think I've gone Dave Stoller on 'em.


These look like some fun bikes - not too expensive either.

Joseph who??

Last night, I had the opportunity to read about Joseph Magnani . What an interesting and mysterious rider that guy was - the first US road racing professional in Europe. I think it would be fascinating to talk to him today about US cycling, cycling in general, the Lance factor, etc......just to see what he might say(if anything!).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Lance is Great.....

......but I still think Eddy is God-like.

Colnago back in action.....

Found my old Colnago sitting in our storage closet yesterday. Gotta get that thing back in action again - that was such a fun bike. I ended up cracking the chainstay in a crash and never got it repaired. But seeing it yesterday staring back at me with full Campy Nuovo Record components ready to ride - made me wanna call the welder right away.

Rose Bowl, Part 2

Uh, okay, I'm a college football fan now.


Back in the day - like, early 1980s(81, 82, 83) - I owned a modified cyclocross bicycle. I LOVED it! Cyclocross is one of those sports that has a very high pain level, but a HUGE fun level too. One of the hardest rides I had ever done is riding my cyclocross bike up North Rim(those from these parts probably think I've lost my mind). I rode up that trail and back down, and absolutely obliterated my cyclocross wheels. But you know what? It was hella fun!!! And I continued riding that bike everywhere - it was my do-everything bicycle.

Now, years later, I miss that bike. I sold it one year during a yard sale. It was one of those not-into-cycling-anymore years - yes, dark years indeed. Which only means one thing - gotta get another one. I've had my eye on this one for the last month. Of course, it may not compare to my old 80s bike.......but I would certainly like to find out.

Rose Bowl.......Bike Race

I'm watching the Rose Bowl a little this evening - more out of curiosity than anything. I follow college football about as closely as I follow baseball - which is almost not at all(NFL is a different story though). This Rose Bowl is such a big event - the National Championship of college football, Texas vs. USC. And I think about all the millions and millions of people across the US - and the world - who are watching the game. And it made me wonder - what if bike racing were just as popular in the US as this Rose Bowl game? Would any of us riders/racers still race and ride if it were that popular? Or do we like the fact that we're in a fairly unique sport? Sure, it's become more popular now, primarily because of Lance. But does anyone remember the early 90s and how road cycling just about died in popularity?

I don't know, but I think I sort of like the fact that we're in a fairly unique sport. But most of all, I just love the feeling of riding.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Stuck in the office......

Man, I wanna go out and ride today.....even in the pouring down rain......but I'm stuck in the office. May have to hit the rollers again tonight for another hour......or a couple of hours in Spinning class.....or both. In any case, I'm definitely riding today - this cycling stuff is addicting. But I love it. The office stuff on the other hand....well......I could do without it, but need the cash for the bike addiction!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

RIP Dan Plummer

It's times like these that make you wonder if you should stay in the sport. Dan was killed this morning on a ride - high winds knocked a tree over, which ended up falling on him. This kind of stuff just sux. But I have a feeling that Dan would want us all to keep riding. Godspeed Dan.

Bike Lust.....

I pretty much suffer from a condition called "Bike Lust". I lust over bicycles all of the time. Sometimes my wife thinks it's pretty hilarious, but annoying too.....and sometimes I think she gets a little jealous. But nothing can ever replace my wife - I love her!

But, I love bicycles too. Here are the bikes I am currently lusting over at the moment:

Everything from these guys.
This bike from these guys.
But I like this one too.
I use to hate this bike, but for whatever reason, I love it now....although in the 2005 paint.
Love this bike.
And this frame too.
And for commuting, running errands, training on rollers, etc., I would really love to have this bike, this bike, and this one too for cross sessions in the levee course across the street from our house. I've been really impressed with this company lately. I think they're really using their brains in the production of very useful bicycles.
I love these bikes too! And these.

But there are some bicycles out there that I think are just ugly as sin. And then there are some out there that are just beautiful!

If I had to choose one road bike right now though, it would probably be this one.

And one mountain bike.

But realistically, can you own just one bike? Sure, but why????

Gilbert Duclose-Lasalle

When asked about his training for Paris-Roubaix, the 2-time Hell of the North winner said that he went out and rode 5 hours per day 5 days per week in a 52x15! 25 Hours a week in a 52x15!! On flat, windy, rough, cobbled, rainy, wet roads. Hey, it worked though!

I look out the window right now and it's both windy and pouring down rain. I could maybe do an hour in a 52x15 in this stuff.......but 5 hours?? Uh, probably not. Of course, GDL would probably think I'm nuts for riding 5 hours on the indoor trainer.

Erik Zabel's bicycle collection......

Eric Zabel likes bikes!

Mike Hernandez

This guy is an unbelievably good rider. He races Masters 1/2/3s and the Pros/1/2s here in northern California. Last year, he raced in 117 total races, with 17 victories. The dude is a stud. But not only that, he is one heck of a nice guy as well.

On another topic, these have to be the two hottest women in Cyclocross! Or these two!

2006 Cycling Year

So I woke up this morning wanting to go out for a bike ride, but the weather is looking ominous at best. May have to do an hour on the rollers this morning, or maybe head over to the gym for a Spinning session. My rain bike is not quite finished yet, otherwise I would take that one out.

As far as New Year's Resolutions go, I have plenty......how realistic they are, I just don't know yet. One thing I would like to do this year is to ride everyday. Is riding 365 days in a row a good resolution? Who knows......but I'll be anxious to see how far I can get.

I hope that 2006 is a great year - and I hope that all of you have your best year ever!