Friday, May 25, 2007

"Are there no Bike Heroes left???"

This was a question posed to me this morning by my friend and teammate James Plummer.....after we both read about the drug confessions by 1996 Tour de France champion Bjarne Riis. Yesterday, it was the doping news of Zabel and Aldag. The day before......geezo.....I can't keep up with it all. Reminds me of the BL years....Before Lance.....the Festina drug affair and all of that. Drugs, Cheats, Dopes, Drugs, Cheats, Dopes. Check out any of the latest cycling news......and it's hard to pick out those heroes.

Last night, I had the opportunity to be a timekeeper at our local 40 kilometer Time Trial. We had 19 riders out there competing. These people work for a living - they come out after work and give it their all for those 24.8 miles. Are they breaking world records??? No. State records??? No. What they are doing is showing us what REAL cycling is all about......going out there, giving it your best shot, your best ride, pushing yourself that little bit a non-drug/doping/cheating fashion. It's REAL. We had one woman out there last night - Kim - who did the whole event on her 80s hardtail mountain bike. She's new to cycling and triathlons......but she wanted to give the 40k a shot. And she did - it took her 99 minutes and 24 seconds to complete the course. She was pooped at the end of the time trial and it looked like it took its toll.

To me, Kim is my new Bike Hero. She motivates me, inspires me, to get out there and ride. Just ride!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

River Roadin........

We had a great turn-out tonight for the River Road Time Trial - a total of 33 participants! The conditions were ideal, with temps in the mid to low 80s, light winds, just perfect weather. I want to thank everyone for coming out for these time trials - it's great to see you all out there! Hope to see more of you out there in the coming weeks and months. Remember: We hold these every 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month - 6pm. The next one will be held on June 7th.

Okay, now for the results:

1. Steve Vickery - 23:04(I told Steve if he broke 23 minutes, I'd eat a banana peel......he didn't quite make it this time around, so I'm safe until next time. Yep, I know I'm gonna have to eat one soon.)
2. Jim Walker - 23:59
3. Jim Greenlee - 24:18
4. Chris Blee - 24:37
5. Frank Winters - 24:42
6. Dave Berman - 25:28(Loved that old school Pinarello Dave!)
7. Tyson Schroeder - 25:34
8. Nathan Coy - 25:49(Nathan - that bike polo training is working!)
9. Jeff Galland - 26:11
10. Mike Thorpe - 26:13
11. Kerry Maxwell - 27:02(1st place in the 60 and over division)
12. Teresa Kludt - 27:36(1st place woman!!!)
13. Lau Ackerman - 28:00(On his cyclocross bike!)
14. Jeff Ochs - 28:04
15. Walt Schafer - 28:10
16. Jeanne O'Regan - 28:13(2nd place woman!!!)
17. Gabrielle Walters - 28:31
18. Christian Griffith - 28:56
19. John Wiesinger - 29:00
20. Grace Twedt - 29:04
21. Janine Rood - 29:05
22. Susan Johnson - 29:19
23. Elizabeth Brent - 29:25
24. Josh Strong - 29:34
25. Sandra Barton - 29:41
26. Nicole Bateman - 30:02
27. Anne Yates - 31:19
28. Mike Trowbridge - 31:44(Had to fix his flat tire out on the course.)
29. Shawn Hughes - 32:16
30. Laurie Gallagher - 33:01
31. Clayton Anderson - 35:47
32. Margaret Bomberg - 37:59
33. Kim Stavey - 38:39

Great job to all of you!!!! Thank you for coming out to these - we will see you at the next one on June 7th!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


So, this Saturday, May 19th, I will be participating in an event I have never done before.......but probably should have long ago. It's the Sacramento Tour de Cure - a fund-raising event to help the American Diabetes Association. "Yeah, yeah....another fund-raiser ride.....big deal." I know, I know. But this one is a bit different for me - I've been a Type I diabetic since the age of, for the past 35 years I've come to live with it and manage it the best way possible. And the American Diabetes Association has always been there for help and support with the management and treatment of this......uh.......I don't like to call it a "disease"'s more like a bit more challenging way of life. And I'll tell ya - if it wasn't for cycling, I'd probably be pretty messed up. So, it's nice to see a bike ride - of all things - is helping to raise funds for something I know has helped me tremendously.

If anyone would like to donate to this worthy cause, please visit this website:

Even if you just want to donate a dollar.....every little bit helps......just like our riding! Thanks for reading - stay safe out there - and enjoy the perfect riding weather we're having!
Pic above - Yeah, that's goofy me in the home office checkin' the old e-mail.


It was great to see that consistency pays off. On Sunday, at the Golden State Criterium, my friend and teammate Evan LeVang(in the green and yellow Chico Corsa kit), raced in the Masters 45+ race. A year ago, I don't think Evan could hang with these dudes with their rainbow-striped-sleeves, teamwork, strategy, constant attacks, speed. But a year later - and plenty of consistent riding - Evan not only hung with these big Dudes........but he looked like he belonged in there. Smooth, relaxed, confident, not hanging on for dear life. And you know, it's gonna be great to see his riding develop during this next year!

Way to go Evan!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Whoa......think you're gonna need......

.......a new bike helmet.

Way to go TAZ!

Linda Elgart's post-race interview with Dan Martin immediately after the Masters 35+ 1/2/3 race at the Golden State Criterium yesterday in Rancho Cordova. Dan took off on a breakaway with two other riders......dropped one.......then the other.....then solo'd in for the win. It was an awesome spectacle of pure power and determination. Jason, man, it hurt just to watch trying to stay on his wheel!!!

And, uh, yeah......I took 456 pictures of this race we'll be enjoying(or not) most of them during the next year or two. LOL.

And a big congrats goes out to 17-year old Junior racer Alex Wick for winning the Pro/1/2 race yesterday!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Honey Run Road Time Trial 2007.......

We would like to thank all of you who came out to the Honey Run Road Time Trial this morning. There were a total of 15 competitors, but it seemed like everyone was out riding today!! Great to see!! And a HUGE thank you goes out to Geno and CJ for helping with the timing, registration, start and finish - without you guys, these time trials wouldn't be taking place. Thank you!!!

Results will also be made available on . Okay, here are the final results of the Time Trial this morning(start at the covered bridge - ends just before the muffler shop):

1. Jim Roberts - 23:28 (and 2nd time winner of this event! He's in the picture above during the snowy and wet 2006 Cohasset Uphill Time Trial)
2. Michael Cordova - 23:51
3. Zach Yeager - 24:18
4. Benjamin Bryant - 24:32
5. Jeff Galland - 25:12
6. Kyle Hughes - 25:14
7. Andy Grayson - 28:19
8. Daniel Henning - 32:18
9. Brian Oppy - 32:38
10. Sue Kamrer - 33:26 (1st place woman!!)
11. Laurie Gallagher - 35:49 (2nd place woman!!)
12. Jay Coughlin - 36:14
13. Amy King - 37:51
14. Jenn Gruber - 38:44
15. Shirley Adams - 41:04

Thank you all again for coming out - we'll be doing this one again next year. In the meantime, get ready for more upcoming time trials - including River Road, Jack & Jill TT, North Rim Trail, Cohasset Downhill, Cohasset Uphill #2, Forest Ranch and Humboldt Road!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

50'n and other thoughts.......

Oh man, say it ain't so - heard tonight that friend and teammate Mike Ricks may have gone down in a crash during the Fast 50 tonight. Last week it was CJ. Dude, that stuff spooks me. Makes me a bit nervous. And, of course, I'm no help with my lack of cornering ability! But thanks to Mike Peavy and Geno for giving me a boost during the first sprint tonight - appreciate the help, big time! Thank you!! And a big thanks goes out to John for letting me leech on to his paceline towards the end there!

Sometimes I wonder about this racey race stuff some of us do. You know - the Fast 50, the criteriums, the road races, the big group rides and so on. Times like now make me question why I do it. It's one thing to be involved in it - but to see it happen, or hear about it happening, can be mentally shattering. Why do we do it?

It's our passion. It's one of those things that make life worth living........and, even with the crashes, it makes our lives better. Fun, exercise, reduced stress, weight loss, cleaner air......the list goes on and on. We love it. It is a part - perhaps a small part - of our lives........but it's still a part of us. We ride. And we crash. But then we ride again. "Think positive Dude", I keep telling myself.

CJ and Mike - get well soon - let me know if you need anymore vids or DVDs for the indoor trainer workouts! Think I have the 2003 Tour DVD around here somewhere. Uh.......wait......nevermind.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Overanalysis is one thing........

.....I do too much.

Do I race road races instead of crits? Do I race crits instead of road races? Should I do just the races that are within a 2.5 hour drive of home? Maybe I should ride Cohasset everyday until my weight drops a bit......then do all the road races on the calendar? Or should I practice my sprints and cornering at the airport crit course instead? What do you my shoes weigh? Maybe my climbing would improve if I got new shoes? What other limits can I put on myself and my riding????

I liked the advice I read last year on one of the cycling forums. It went something along the lines of, "If you're just getting into riding, just ride." Yep, that about covers it. No over-thinking the situation. Just ride.

Which brings me back to the overanalysis stuff. I need to tell myself to just knock it off. Too much thinking can cause the old paralysis to show its ugly head. And what I wanna do is......ride.

OH - The pic above - Yes, this is from the 2006 EMC/Vellum Criterium - you can sign up HERE for the 2007 event. I'll be there - keeping those angry Home Depot shoppin' folks from drivin' on to the course!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ah....Cat's Hill day.......

......hope it's a fun and safe race today. Seems like every year I hear about some god-awful smash up that happens there. But today, hopefully, is a different story......just nice steady racin'.

Went to a presentation last night on the use of Power Meters. The presentation was done by our own local rider, Coach Mike Trowbridge. Man, I'll tell ya - there was a lot I didn't know, or realize, about the use of the Power Meter. And me, being the geeky geek that I am, I would probably spend way too much time analyzing that data. Even though I'm the kind of rider that just likes to go outside and ride.......that statistical stuff pretty much floats my boat. I love it. What I don't love though is the over-analytical side of me......the whole paralysis from analysis stuff. However, I think if it's used intelligently, it can be a valuable weapon to have in your arsenal.

And on a side note, found out last night that there is, in fact, a bicycle polo group meeting in Chico every Thursday night. Man, I am soooo there!!! Hey - that'd be fun to bring a power meter to! I mean, as long as you didn't bust it up. Definitely have to bring the heart rate monitor out there......I can see it now.......180, 120, 180, those bicycle polo intervals.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I have all the admiration...... the world for those folks who get out there and give it their best shot, even when the circumstances may not be top-notch. You know the kind of people I mean - the ones who go out there, give it their all, have a great attitude about things no matter what the conditions......and they just make you feel.......inspired.

But I tell ya, there are a few out there who really torque me sometimes. They gripe, they complain, they point fingers, they never seem to help out, "stupid" seems to fill their vocabulary, and sometimes you just have to wonder why in the world they're so unhappy.

The thing about cycling is, it can be a tough sport. There are going to be conditions that may not be ideal - could be hot, could be cold, could be windy and rainy, could be trafficky(didn't I tell ya last post I like makin' up words!).......there's a lot that "could" happen out there on our rides. And if ya just can't handle it, well, maybe pick up another sport.

The ones I love though are the ones who go out there and......pardon the advertisement.......just do it. And lots of times, they do it with a smile on their faces. Go out, jam hard in that local 10-mile time trial..........or that fast club ride.......or that hilly rainy epic ride.......and they do it with an attitude which could make the sun shine. That stuff stokes me - I love it.

As for those who don't seem to "get it".......well........maybe you could try your hand at basket weaving.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Don't be a Cartman.......

"Rodney, what are you flippin' talking about??" definition of a person who doesn't work in a break, and sprints for the win at the end of a race. You know, you get out in a breakaway with one or two or three other're working smoothly together to stay away from the chasing pack.......but one of you either won't pull, takes super easy/weak pulls, and just won't do their share of work. At the end, the non-work-sharer(hey, I like makin' up words!) sprints at the end of the race.....and because they're fresh as a daisy.....they take the win.

And I'll tell ya - it's not just in racing. It's in life. There's always that one who doesn't seem to do jack. While you're workin', making sure the job gets done, you've got a Cartman sittin' around, sippin' hot cocoa, laughing at the fact that you're taking them to the finish line. It just don't sit right with me. Hey, it's one thing if you're dead tired and know you're gonna get smacked-down during the final sprint. But taking the win with a Cartman-move. Hmmm. I'd give my winnings to my breakmates at the very least......even if it was a VP t-shirt.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Kareem Speake. My friend. During the last couple of years, I liked to think of local rider Kareem as a carrot I was chasing. I always felt that he and I were almost the same ability in cycling, but he was always just a bit better.....on the hills, the sprints, the races, the local Wednesday night group rides known as the Fast 50 here in Chico.......just a bit better than me in everything cycling. Kareem is a guy I would think about when I was out training/riding/vomit-launching. I'd say to myself, "Self, you gotta push yourself just that little bit extra if you wanna catch up to Kareem". And I would.

But along the way, I think Kareem had motivations of his own.....he had his own carrot he was chasing. And now, he's got it. This dude is no longer the rider I remembered from the last couple of years......his riding has been taken up a few notches this past winter and early spring. After reading his latest race report on the Madera Stage Race from this past weekend, I swore I was reading a race report from some Cat. 2 stud. Seeing him......briefly(I get dropped quickly!)......out on the Fast 50 rides confirms my analysis......the dude is having one helluva cycling year! He's improved.....big time.

And that, in itself, motivates me. That carrot I was chasing has improved - and it wasn't EPO or drugs or blood boosting or any of that stupid stuff we seem to read about on a daily basis in the cycling news. was good old-fashioned hard work, along with a strong belief in oneself. I remember just a few months ago when K was telling me about how hard he was training, but felt like he wasn't getting anywhere. I knew in the back of my head that all the work he was doing was going to take effect soon.......there was just a lag to it. And finally, it did......and the payoff is showing big rewards now.

So, yeah, although my carrot is gone........or at least a bit further away.......I'm proud of my friend. And it motivates me to know that it wasn't a short-cut that got him there - it was those 5am morning rides.....the blistering motorpacing sessions with Mike.......the jams up Humboldt Road.......and on and on. It was the work......and the belief......that eventually, it would pay off. Motivating.

Keep it going Kareem!!!! (But look out......I'm ridin'.......and I see that carrot off in the distance! Yeah, you better keep ridin'!!!)