Monday, April 30, 2007

Team Get a Grip is tearing it up!!

Team Get a Grip has been tearing it up in the Midwest racing scene.

-- Devon and Melanie have like 50 podiums already, including a bunch of wins.

-- The men aren't too shabby either. Just this past weekend, Steve pulled off the first win for the men up in Wisconsin and his brother Jim hit the podium 2x in St. Louis (2nd by a hair and a 3rd).

Gotta love that! Congrats to what sounds like some awesome (smart) team racing!

Keep it up!

CLICK HERE to read Steve's race report and view pictures from the race.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Rides

Here's my attempt at mapping out Saturday's ride...(95% sure I mapped the right roads on the return)

On Sunday, I stayed closer to home and did some repeats on that first spike on Saturday's profile...there's a back way up that makes a nice 2-ish mile loop that is perfect for hill repeats.

BTW - My HR was back to normal...odd.

Pretty cool (and free!) mapping software available at KLIMB

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

5/13/07 - 10:50 AM

Golden State Criterium - Rancho Cordova, CA

This might be my first crack at a West Coast Crit.

5/12 is our housewarming party - hmmm...now see my last post about my training, which also relates to smart race-prep. Damn it!

Did you know? -- Blogger's spell checker thinks "Criterium" should be "Bacterium's". I guess Google should purchase a better spell checker. My guess is that they would first freeze all employee stock purchases and then pay $6 Billion cash for this technology.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Crowd Participation Please

I've always been the WORST about my training...for years I would train every now and then and show up to a cat 4 race and finish with the field and that was ok. The many days that I wasn't training, I was out partying or something. Sad to say, but I even carried this training method over when I move up to a 3. (I think that's what kicked my butt into being serious)

I'm still not as serious about training as I should be, but I'm working on that. I've worn a heart rate monitor for years, but only so that at the end of a ride I could write down in my training log what my average and max bpm's were and that was the end of it.

Late last fall I decided to step it up a bit and actually pay attention to it while I train...it paid off a bit...I kept it slower during the winter months and lost some needed pounds, rather than taking on the Jan Ullrich plan where you actually gain a ton.

Now, here's where I need some reader participation. I'm 30 years old (and proud) and my resting is around 45 - 50 (last I checked was months ago). That info puts my max at 190 bpm: 220 (magic number?) - 30 (age) = 190 (estimated Maximum HR). I know this is the generic way to find your Max, but hey, my training is generic.

On my last two rides, my HR monitor shows a max of 204 and tonight's ride hit 227!!! That can't be right, can it? I'm assuming that's not right and that my monitor is just picking up my irregular heart beat (murmur)? **Don't worry mom, I feel great**

If you know anything about heart rate training, please leave comments - learn me! I'm going to start watching it live while climbing out here.

Anyway, I love Trader Joe's...just whipped up some Asian Vegetables and Basmati Rice - easy and excellent!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Crisis averted!

Borrowed a roommates helmet (Thanks!). Got out for a great ride throughout Marin County (over the bridge). Overdressed a bit, but other than that it was perfect. My System Six makes me happier every ride.

I should be riding right now...

A co-worker and I drove down to Monterey yesterday to watch the Sea Otter Classic. Around 9:30am we loaded up his fly mini-van with our mt. bikes and he brought along 2 surf boards and wet suits for some surfing in Santa Cruz after the race. We did a quick tour of Santa Cruz on our way down and scouted a few key surfing areas...pretty much a wide range of wave sizes. Santa Cruz looks like a very cool city. Lots of beautiful roads to ride and the surfers rave about the waves there.

After a few stops we headed further south to Monterey and then east, climbing a mountain up to the Sea Otter Classic (the mini handled the mt. roads like a Porsche). This is a very cool festival...never before have I been to a bike race that crosses all disciplines. The festival started on Thursday and ends today (Sunday). Yesterday, we were able to watch the Pro Circuit Road Race, Downhill Mt. Biking and a bit of the Cross Country Mt. Bike race. There was also a BMX Track, Trials "Track" and a Dirt Jumping Area. And, of course, the Expo Area (more like a party).

We rode our mt. bikes around all day...hitting up the Expo and grabbing some free schwag and talking to some really cool marketing representatives throughout the day. Pedro's is coming out with two new new fully biodegradable products: chain lube called "ChainJ" and a foaming bike wash (I got hooked up and will let you know how I like these two as I use them). Yakima and Clif Bar had the party going strong in the expo...Sierra Nevada was flowing nicely. Clif also had a bike powered blender:

Besides living it up in the expo area, we watched a large portion of the pro circuit race and then headed up the mountain to watch the final few runs on the downhill mt. bike course. These guys were flying down this course.

Here's a pic from the lower half of the DH Course...tried to lable, but too lazy to make it look good:

Due to the 2hr rain delay on the circuit race, we did not have enough sunlight left in the day to surf, so that's been postponed for another day.

So, it's sunny and in the 60's right now...you may ask, why am I not out riding? I woke up early, ate/coffee'd, showered, got all kitted up, aired up the tires, put on my shoes, gloves, glasses and then looked around for my helmet...DAMN, I left it in the MiniV! No ride so far today...hoping to ride over and get it later today.

Friday, April 6, 2007

An Epic Good Friday

Lots to post about, so I'm forewarning you that this post might go all over....

Because today is Good Friday, our office closed at noon. I have nothing going on (still no bike yet...soon) so I did a quick transit search, loaded up my pocket with the Gummy candies I picked up from a China Town store on my walk home from work and then jumped on a bus out to Ocean Beach in hopes of watching some surfers do their thing.

Here's a picture up the beach...today was about 55 and foggy...

To my surprise, there were a number of Kite boarder's out there today, which (sorry any surfers reading) I think this is a much cooler sport. This is the second place I've seen kite boarders...once in the bay near the Golden Gate Bridge and here at Ocean Beach. Check out this video I took and watch this guy catch some big air. This is something I definitely want to learn out here.

After watching these guys for a while (there were also some sea kayaks playing in the waves) I headed across the street for a small hike thru the Golden Gate National Park. Tossed on the headphones and The Thievery Corporation pumped thru the ear buds as I made my way thru the woods. This is also the time when I started popping in the gummy candies. The Muscat Gummy's are the best; the flavor reminds me of the grapes my sisters, cousins and I used to pull off my Grandparent's vines. The trails were pretty cool and I did see a few mt. bikers roll thru, so now I know where to go for a quick, close to home mt. bike ride!

I came to a clearing in the middle of the park and got up close to a Great Blue Heron...I even got to watch him hunt...not sure what he was eating out of the grass, but he would use his pointed beak and long, snake-like neck to dart at the ground and get his tasty snack...If I had to guess what he was eating, I would have to say wild gummies?

For the sake of not boring you to death, I will just list the other things I saw...
sea shells
big trees with no bark?
crows or crow-like birds?
golf course
disc golf course
guy shotgunning a beer on the disc golf course

Oh - Then I took a slightly different bus back and it dropped me off in the Tenderloin around dusk (not so sure I want to end up there again).

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Beers and Frites

Springtime means a few important things...the weather is changing for the better and more importantly, it's time for some of the best professional bike racing around - The Spring Classics!

This Sunday is The Ronde van Vlaanderen (aka: The Tour of Flanders), so run out and pick up a few bottles of your favorite Belgian beer and an order of Frites, sit back and thank God that you aren't chasing these guys up the Murr or the Koppenberg.

Monday, April 2, 2007

UW Parkside #3

Just a quick race report from the 3rd UW Parkside Crit (well after the actual race).

Anyway - It was the perfect racing weather and not the normal Parkside racing weather. It was all sun and reached nearly 80 degrees! First time on the bike in just shorts and jersey and it felt amazing...if you've done winters in Chicago you know that feeling.

So the plan was to make sure that our teammate, Lee, stayed near the front or off the front in a winning move. These Parkside races present an overall podium for the series and going into this race Lee was sitting pretty in 3rd. This report is well overdue, so forgive my memory and lack of detail. Basically, our team presented an amazing team effort to chase down anything threatening and keep Lee from any unneeded work at the front. At one point I was chasing down a breakaway and looked back for a bit of help only to find Lee grinning back at me and had to push on. The race was fast, faster than the second of the series. During the final few laps our teammate Chip got off on a breakaway with a couple guys, while me and my other teammates controlled the front with Lee sitting on our wheel. There were a few bridging attempts that we had to jump on...unfortunately, these attacks are what killed us from giving Lee a proper lead out when it counted. Chip and the rest he was with were caught on the final lap and then it was just up to Lee. He battled the field on his own to pull off another 4th place finish, which was enough to move him up to 2nd for the series!

Our goal was for Lee to do what he did, so the team deserves a pat on the back for a very well executed race.