Friday, December 19, 2008

Scarface Update

Remember this post: Another Crash

Well, all the road rash is cleared up...still evident, but all good. My chin is going to take a while still. The doc said it will be there for about 6-months, before it is just a small scar... I decided to post an update...along with some of the surgeon's photos (not for the weak stomached).

Photos from day of crash (These are the close-ups the surgeon took...I warned you) Close-up Shots

And here's a recent photo (with my girlfriend, Jen):

Speaking of Jen...we baked a ton for her clients...and we have lots of leftover fudge!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Road to Recovery

This morning, as I was breezing through my Google Reader I ran across some excellent news.

First, the background (this is def not the good news):
My old teammate Steve was hit by a cab on November 20th while out on his bike. He suffered a really bad hit to the head and had to undergo brain surgery that following day. I don't have many more details of the accident, but Steve has been in a heavily sedated state (induced coma) until just recently. Here's a post on ChicagoBikeRacing.com for a bit more info: Steven Vandeven Seriously Injured

OK....so here's the good news - Steve is up and in good spirits. I was so happy to see this picture of Steve laughing and playing a board game (I just stole it from Seth - Thanks Seth).

Seth paid Steve a visit and here's his post: Steve's Getting Better

Steve is an extremely strong guy and I'm sure he'll be back out in the P/1/2 field this summer killing everyone the way he always does. (He enjoys inflicting pain on the field)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving and Painful Rides

Jen and I took a small road trip to see her family for Thanksgiving and then another short trip out to see some of my family on Friday up in Nevada City (I showed her part of the course that kills me every year). It was a great Thanksgiving and I was happy to see my Grandma while she was out to visit my Aunt and Uncle. We got back to the city on Friday night...Jen had to work on Saturday and I had some rides in store for Sat/Sun.

Saturday's ride crushed me. My teammate, Jan, picked me up in the morning and we drove down to the Peninsula for a change of pace. Jan had the route set up...all I knew is that we wanted to roll for 4.5 - 5 hours of ride time. I got worried when he asked if I was ready to climb and then he threw out 10,000 feet in around 60 miles.

The direction we went made it even harder...he saved the toughest climb for last. 50 miles into this ride (already climbing more than a sprinter ever wants to climb) we hit the Tunitas climb. This climb goes from decent to HARD to decent. There are plenty of reasons why I hated this climb.
  1. The middle (HARD) part was steep.
  2. The middle part also had a horrible road surface.
  3. The top (back to decent) section started off on a newly paved surface that was sticky and soft (which added a nice amount of resistance right when I needed it!)
  4. The rest of the top section had a big headwind
  5. I was beginning to cramp.
From there, it was a nice long downhill back to the car. I vegged the rest of the day.

Sunday was an easier day...we did about 50 miles, fairly flat and at an easy pace.

Monday was a rest day that I've never appreciated as much before. My legs were so tender and sore it was sick.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chamois Cream

My tube of DZ Nuts arrived today! Gotta love Dave Zabriskie's humor.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Night Cross 2

Gabe is close behind!

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Night Time Cross!

That's my boy A-Train in the green, killing it!

So much for "Staying in Zone 1 Today"

We've had some amazing weather lately...today was about 75+ and clear. As we rolled out over the Golden Gate Bridge this morning, you could see the Farallon Islands in the distance.

Dino, Jan, Phil, Geoff and myself met up at 8am...the same time as the Roasterie Ride...therefore we got mixed in with this group. As we approached the point of the route where the Roasterie Ride gets moving, we all agreed that we were going to lay low and let them do their thing, while we stay in zone 1. That didn't last too long...Jan waved me up and said "Let's play for a while"........from that point on it was race pace. We kept it up until we got to Pt. Reyes Station and then we pulled off to wait for a couple other teammates that actually stuck closer to zone 1.

I felt great...we totaled out at 5 hours in the saddle and then hit up Pancho's on the way home.

Tonight, I'm heading out to the Brisbane Cross Race...It's going to be under the lights. I have a few teammates racing in the B's and A's, so it should be a good time. I'll be packing a flask.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Surgical Hardware Removed and Successful!

One of my teammates got some metal taken out of his collar bone and elbow yesterday. He had it installed over the 4th of July weekend after a crash.

I'm happy to hear that the removal surgery went well and he'll be flying up the hills again in no time.

Hard to believe all of this fit in his skinny arm and shoulder.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Web 2.0

Lance just took the stage.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Powertap Time!

Just arrived today...if I could pop it on this bike for the ride home I would... Can't wait to get it set up tonight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Specialized Bikes

Saw Cipo's Aqua Sappone and World Champion bikes on display!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Survey Time

It's that time again - Sportgenic is conducting our annual study of our network audience. We want to find out more about your passion for sport and would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to participate.

And you'll have additional incentive as well. Respondents who complete the survey can enter a drawing for a $500 cash prize. Use it for a new bike toy.

Here is the link to the Online Survey: http://tinyurl.com/5n6xvc

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fleet Week -- Day 2

Headed up to the roof for today's Blue Angel Show.

Here are a few of the shots that I took:

4 in formation

I dug the way the sun bursts into this photo

Flying right overhead


Formation overhead

Fleet Week 2009

It's Fleet Week time in San Francisco. Caught the end of the airshow yesterday...just in time for the Blue Angels:

Making their entrance
The best part of the airshow I saw all day

Also, yesterday morning while riding back home, I saw a Paragrine Falcon hanging out on the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge...that was pretty sweet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tom Perkins' Maltese Falcon

That's the Maltese Falcon...a 289 foot super-yacht that sailed into the San Francisco Bay on Saturday. Check this out...due to it's 191 foot high (carbon fiber) masts, it had to wait for low tide to squeeze under the Golden Gate Bridge. I read that it had about 20 feet to spare. Pretty amazing.

It's anchored in the bay between Sausalito and Belvidere. Dino and I had a great view of it on our way back from our team ride this morning. It was amazing and made the other yachts look like dingys. It was silent and still. I couldn't help but think that it should be more like Rodney Dangerfield's yacht in Caddy Shack.

More info on the Maltese Falcon can be found here: http://www.symaltesefalcon.com/index2.asp

Reid Mumford Lapped Me

So, I'm watching the coverage from this year's Tour of Missouri and Reid Mumford is in a break...I remember Reid lapping our cat 4 Park Forest Crit solo (back in the day). We marked him the week later. :-)

Ahh memories....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bike Parking

Post ride omelette about to come!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Off-Season

There's something to be said about the off-season. Our season here in San Francisco begins in late January and it rolls pretty much through this weekend. We train or race pretty much every Saturday and Sunday. Weekday nights are also full of training rides. We often loose a bit of touch with family and friends due to the hours that get eaten up while out riding (and post-ride napping). Weekend nights are tame because of the early starts on the weekends. We rarely get to sleep in. We rarely make it much past an early Friday evening happy hour. "Sorry guys, gotta run...getting picked up at 5am tomorrow"

Well...This was my first weekend officially in the "off-season." I got to enjoy the pleasures of a "normal" person!

Out with the guys for a late night. Not even thinking about an early Saturday morning start, hydrating or shaving my legs.

We slept in...watched a movie...played Rockband...headed out to Baker Beach for some ocean air and sunshine...quick drive/tour of the Presidio...Cocktail's and Fish & Chips at the Presidio Social Club...back home for another movie.

Finally made it to the Flea Market with Jen and gang. It was a big success...we picked up the steal of the market: an old military fold-up cot for the back deck. This prompted a trip to IKEA for some pillows and a curtain to partition off the grill area. Ordered in Thai food. Blogging now and about to start another movie (making good work of Netflix).

Check out the deck HERE.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Poker Tonight

Rob picked up some pimp chips - Volcom.

BTW - the recent crash actually fixed the camera on my phone, so I'm back to mobile blogging!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ADIG - from 5 to 2...

Remember this? New Year's Resolution

Really, that was more of a goal than a resolution, but I'm never good with the whole resolution thing.

Either way: Resolution/Goal = ACHIEVED!

Yes, it's official. I put in my upgrade request yesterday and got the approval email this morning. Should be an interesting 2009 for me.

I'm pretty stoked. I started racing for fun and to keep me in check...this was Junior year of college (keeping me in check translates to keeping me from drinking every night).

College/Cat 5 Highlights:

It was fun. My teammates and I would stay in on a Friday night so that we could wake up early, drive to another college, race, drive home and then party. I don't remember many of the highlights...I got 9th in my first crit ever!

Cat 4 Highlights:
I kept it up after college, but not until I moved from the suburbs of Chicago to the city did I start getting fast. I began snatching up primes and started to feel the thrill of winning. Then I shifted my focus off of primes and onto the final lap. I won the Monster's of the Midway Criterium on Mother's Day...in front of my Mom (I gave her the point after the finish line). My final two Cat 4 races were State Championship Wins (USCF & ABR Criterium State Champs).

Cat 3 Highlights:
I helped create a new team: Team Get A Grip Cycles. We were basically a group of cat 3's from ABD Cycling that lived in the city and wanted to start our own thing. We had a ton of fun. We were one of the most dominant midwest teams. We controlled races from start to finish. I made some great friends there and whenever I go back home they greet me as if I were still on the team.

Then I moved out west. I definitely had an adjustment period last year. I did the first half of the year solo...still racing for Get a Grip.
- I came home for the Winfield Criterium and got 2nd place...with a lot of family in attendance! It was sweet.
- I joined Squadra Ovest...and then helped turn it into Active Athlete / Squadra Ovest. My employer is our sponsor.
- 1st Place: Santa Rosa Crit
- 2nd Place: Davis 4th of July Crit
- 2nd Place: Metromint Giro di San Francisco
- 3rd Place: Lafayette Criterium
- Team Accomplishments: We have a BAR and BAT competition out here (Bay Area Rider/Team). Currently, in BAT, our Cat 4's are 5th, Cat 3's are 4th and our 2's are 15th. One of our Cat 4's, Antonio Ricalde, is sitting 1st place in BAR! (I am 8th)

CAT 2!
Well...not much to say here yet. But I'm very excited for next year (I get to sleep in more before my races!) ha. Seriously though, this is what I've been working for over the past few years.

Monday, September 15, 2008

San Francisco Twilight Criterium

I manned up, put a band-aid on my chin and strapped on the helmet for the San Francisco Twilight Criterium last Saturday evening.

I was already pre-registered and my Doc gave me the OK on Thursday while taking my stitches out...I believe his exact words were, "You can't do any more damage." I think what he meant was that my injuries wouldn't get worse if I went down again. The way I figure is that since these injuries do not impair my movement, they should not impair my racing...injured or not, a crash would be a crash and I'm not ready to give up racing.

There were a ton of us and a ton of the Fusion guys. As my teammate, Aaron, put it: "The start line looked like a scene from West Side Story."

Speaking of Aaron:

Yep, 2nd place!

So there were a lot of attacks on this course, but nothing stuck and it ended up a sprint finish. We had a few guys off the front throughout the race and every time there was another team off the front, our guys stepped up and chased it down. Aaron and I were designated to hang back and chill...waiting for the sprint finish. Unfortunately, about half way through the race there was a fairly large crash that took out a few of my teammates, so we lost some fire power. Heal fast guys!

During the final lap I was about 2 or 3 positions behind Aaron, which was a pretty good position. I felt a small "slow down" on the back stretch during this lap and thought that I should attack here and just go for it. I hesistated and didn't go (which is still haunting me). Coming into turn 3 (of 4) we were too wide and I had to make a quick exit up to the sidewalk and then back down at the next driveway. This bummed me out because I lost my position and was a bit too far back. Luckily, Aaron is riding super-strong lately and rocked out a 2nd place finish.

I think I ended up somewhere in the top 20, but I still haven't seen the results posted. Why does it take promoters so long to post the results?? I hate that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

SF Twilight Crit

Raced tonight. Report to come. Happy to have recovered quickly! Watching the P/1/2 under the lights now!

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Bike Shop Humor

Picking up my g-ride today.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


Party is pretty bunk, but at least I'm with good friends.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Crash

Yep...another one for me. This has been a rough year:

- Cherry Pie Criterium
- Final lap crash
- Body: Minimal damage...scrapes
- Bike: Broken carbon bars
- Time off: None

- Kenosha Criterium
- Sprint finish Crash
- Body: Nearly broke my collarbone
- Bike: Nothing but a flat tire
- Time off: 2-weeks

- Port of Oakland Training Ride
- Dumb guy crashed in front of me and I had to hit him...flipped over bars
- Body: Minimal damage...scrapes
- Bike: None
- Time off: 1-lap

- Easy Ride around Paradise Loop with team
- Sprint into Tiburon...bad crash (explanation coming)
- Body: Lots
- Chin: 12 total stitches
- Road Rash: Left shin/knee, both elbows, both hands/knuckles, right wrist & right shoulder
- Bike: Broken carbon bars (again)

So here's the deal. I really wanted to make Ben's "Going Away Ride" memorable and I'm sure he will always remember driving me to the ER and then hanging out in the ER waiting room for a while. Mission accomplished.

Our team went out for an easy ride around Paradise Loop. This really was an easy ride because a number of us were set to race the Benicia Criterium on Sunday. Coming into Tiburon is always a great place for a sprint. You hit a nice downhill that levels off to a perfect, clean, flat drag into the town. Jan had the pace picked up for a while leading into this downhill and I was patiently sitting on his wheel. Dino came around us both and started leading it out...I jumped around to his wheel and Jan moved to mine. We hit the flat part and Dino was up out of his saddle in full sprint. I started to come around him and had to coast for a second and then immediately got right back into it full force. Standing and cranking hard on the pedals and then all of a sudden my chain either skipped or fell off and got jammed. Whatever it did, it cause my rear wheel to come up off the road and I was flying down the road on my front wheel...at 40+ mph. It was extremely fast (but somewhat slow motion).

I stood up off of the road and felt horrible. My teammates were all looking at me with concern and told me to just lie down. Jan went into town and came back with an ice bag for my chin...it was split open. We made a few calls and another teammate (Jeff) was home and able to come pick me up. He drove me and Ben to Ben's house, where we switched cars (Jeff was about to head to his daughter's 1st soccer game, so this let him make it for the end of the game). Ben drove me to the ER. I owe my teammates big time. Many of them made it into the ER to hang out and see how I was doing. Jan and Emily stuck around to give me a drive home. They were great for sticking it out till the end...it took a while for the plastic surgeon to make it in and do his magic.

I look like a mummy.

I'm feeling ok though. Stitches come out on Thursday.

Needless to say, I did not race the Benicia Criterium on Sunday. :-(

On the bright-side, I've had an amazing year...I posted this New Year's Resolution and nearly hit it (I'm only 1 point away)

Chronological Order:
- 6th Place: Rhonde van Brisbeen
- 6th Place: Burlingame Criterium
- 6th Place: Martinez Criterium (Really 4th!)
- 1st Place: Santa Rosa Criterium
- 2nd Place: Davis 4th of July Criterium
- 3rd Place: Lafayette Criterium
- 2nd Place: Metromint Giro di San Francisco
- And several Top 10's

p.s. I'm pre-reg'd for this Saturday's SF Twilight Criterium (doubtful though)...well...???

I'm leaving you with a few injury pics from this one...sorry, no chin shots - they are pretty nasty.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Giro di San Francisco

Giro di San Francisco
Teammates: Aaron, Carmi, Dino, Chris, Dan, Gabe, Murat
Place: 2nd

I hopped on my bike this morning around 9:30am and excitedly rolled down to the course. Our Cat 3 race was at 2:10pm, but I wanted to watch the other races and hang out with the team.

We set our tent up at turn 1 (Battery & Green), which was the perfect spot...view of the finish line straight, turn 1 and straight/turn 2 and then partial viewing of straight 3 and 4. We planned to camp out at this spot from beginning till the end, so we had plenty of food/beer/soda and shade to keep everyone happy.

The course:
6-turns, a 2-block uphill section (up Vallejo from Front St.), then a long (barely) downhill, 2-fairly quick right turns and then a decent length drag to the finish.

The Race:
I felt great today and with 7 strong teammates on my side, I knew it was going to be a great day. I was able to carry speed up the hill very easily by staying on the outside and avoiding the right-turn "pinch" that seemed to happen most laps. We were looking to throw either Carmi or Aaron into a mid-race breakaway and if that failed then it was up to me and Dino to finish it off in the sprint. With about 4 or 3 to go I felt a tug on my shorts...someone's shifter was caught up in my spandex. I held my line and we separated...phew!

My shorts ripped. :-(

Not long after that I heard the horrible sound of carbon fiber bikes hitting the pavement. That crash took out a couple of our guys, but they were ok.

Oh...1 guy slipped off of the front with about 5 or 6 laps to go...at this point he was still off.

Fast-forward to the final lap.

I found myself on the front during the last lap heading down Sansome Street. Not the ideal position for me, but I had to make do. I looked back to see if Dino or any of my army were on my wheel. If they were there, I would have sprinted early hoping for them to come around and take either the win or the field sprint for 2nd. No dice. Now what? I was in a bad spot. I kept an easy pace until close to the 5th turn...then I picked it up a bit and carried that speed through turns 5 and 6...go time! I hit it and I hit it hard. I could see the solo guy dying and was closing in on him, but it wasn't enough. His move was great and he pulled it off. I was just happy to get another podium and more points towards my upgrade.

Next week is the Benicia Crit and then the following week is the season finale, The San Francisco Twilight Criterium.

Here are a few pictures from today:

Our tent

Most of the Cat 3 squad (post-race)


Monday, August 25, 2008

Bike Against the Odds

Some of my teammates and I participated in the Bike Against the Odds last Saturday (8/23). This was an amazing event put on by the Breast Cancer Fund.

There were over 360 cyclists in attendance and we raised a ton towards Breast Cancer Research!

There were a few options for the ride:
-31 miles with 2,660 feet of climbing
-51 miles with 4,000 feet of climbing
-72 miles with 6,500 feet of climbing
-103 miles -Full Century- with 10,000 feet of climbing

Anthony, Mark, Chris, Jan, Colin, Lloyd, Eric, and I decided to do the 72-mile route. We ended up riding with the Code 3 girls and we had a great time.

About 5-miles into the ride we hit our first major climb...up from about sea-level to around 1,500 ft. This climb was a nice steady grade and the last 1/3rd of the climb was in thick fog. After that, we had a nice downhill and then a long, somewhat flat stretch until we hit found ourselves on the same route as the Berkeley Hills Road Race. We had to climb up Mama Bear, Little Bear and Papa Bear, which brought back great memories (I DNF'd on this course earlier this year!). Another short break and then it was off to more climbing...up Wildcat and Grizzly Peaks (about 1,600 ft.). This climb ended with amazing views of Oakland and the Bay. The final 10 miles were downhill and flat...phew!

We got back to the park at Lake Merritt and enjoyed hanging out in the sun...eating and sharing some good laughs. Willem (our currently broken teammate) met us with cold beers and sodas, which were just what we all needed.

Not being the best climber, I found myself riding solo a few times. This allowed me to reflect on the ride and the cause. It was very nice to think about family and friends that I've lost, as well as those that I know who are currently battling breast cancer.

I carried my Garmin with me and recorded the ride...below is the map and the elevation profile.
Here are a few pictures that I snapped throughout the ride. Anthony took a bunch more, as well as the professional photographers that the Breast Cancer Fund hired for the ride, so I'm sure I'll post more once I get my hands on them.

The view of the San Pablo Reservoir (on the Google map, this is in the upper loop)

Jan, pumping up Anthony's tire after flatting...had to snap that angle.

The Sportgenic banner up at the finish. Sportgenic ran free advertising to help drive registrations and in turn, the Breast Cancer Fund made us a sponsor of the ride. Big thanks to Anna (Code 3 and my teammate Willem's wife) for helping tie this up...she also played a big hand in organizing the event.

I'm already looking forward to next year's Bike Against the Odds and recommend it. The various levels make it fun for all levels of riders, so just go do it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Suisun Harbor Criterium

Suisun Harbor Criterium
Teammates: Aaron, Carmi, Dino, Murat and myself
Place: Carmi WON

We had a great day last Sunday.

Murat started it off with a stellar performance during the Masters 3/4/5 race. He was in two very good looking breakaways...the second one was a 3-man that was chasing after a solo rider. That solo guy stuck it to the finish and Murat took 2nd.

Immediately after that race, he lined up with the rest of us for our 40 lap category 3 race. I was going to just sit back for a while and feel it out. This was a very short course (1/2 mile, 4-turns) and I knew it would be fast and thought it would also be tough to move up, so I planned on moving up about 1/2 way through the race.

Aaron started it off with a breakaway. I'm not sure how many guys were in that one, but it seemed pretty strong.

Unfortunately, that got caught.

Fortunately, it was caught by another break that had Carmi in it...this one stuck it to the finish.

Aaron, Dino, Murat and I tried our best to control the front so that Carmi's break would stick. (I need to mention that Carmi was out in a 40-mile breakaway the day prior at the Winters RR...he's riding very strong recently!)

I wasn't too motivated for the field sprint since there were 7 guys in Carmi's break, but I still wanted to test myself out and see how I was fitness-wise after the time off. I moved up and got into position behind Aaron. I knew Dino was somewhere close behind and was hoping he would find my wheel. I came into turn 4 a bit further back than I would have liked to be and pulled in 10th in the field (17th overall).

While taking our cool-down lap, we talked about the fact that we at least had Carmi in the break and were hoping he did well in the end. As we approached him at the start/finish line, he let off a giant grin and showed us one finger (not the middle). Not only did he win, but he grabbed 2 primes along the way!

We all cheered, hugged and sang jolly songs, while lifting him off his bike and carrying him away (just kidding).

Here's our little Carmi (18-year old boy-wonder...now a man) doing his post-race interview.