Friday, June 27, 2008

Weather Widget!

This is the large version, but the small version will live just beneath my Twitter Updates. I have a feeling that my Chicago readers will really appreciate this in the winter!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

San Francisco Twilight Criterium

September 13th, 2008.

Book your flights!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Usual Suspects

Inquiring minds want to put faces to names.

Here are a few photos from the Santa Rosa Crit. Courtesy of Through My Eyes Photography:

Carmi "the 18 year old boy-wonder" Schulman

Murat "Drop the Gavel" Ozgur
(Carmi just behind)

Ken "I've got the plan" Arizpe

David "Dino" Acri (AKA: Carmi and Angelo's Driver)

Aaron Gallardo (AKA: Alejandro, the Spanish Climber)

And, of course, yours truly
(I'm the guy in focus, not the guy in the main group way back there in the background)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Jen coached me through the process...Here's the final product.

Port of Oakland Ride (POO Ride)

I've talked about the POO Ride a number of times...this is because I love the POO Ride.

Last night we hit it up hard (Dino, Anthony, Mark, Eric, Vince and Colin). I'm feeling it today...probably a combo of soreness from the weekend and the POO Ride. Here's how sore...we have a foosball table at work and when I play, I'm a bit bent-knee...and it was hard to last a full game.

One of the usual riders showed up last night on his motorcycle with a video camera mounted on the rear. Here's the video...it's a bit long, but kinda cool.

Nevada City Classic - 6/15

Race: Nevada City Classic
Location: Nevada City, CA
Category 3
Teammates: Dino, Aaron
Place: 19th (Aaron got 7th!)

This recap is even shorter.

90+ degrees, hill and elevation (~2,500 ft.).

Dino (his family), Aaron and I drove up to Nevada City after our race in Folsom. Good times - we hung out by the hotel pool for a while and rehashed the earlier race and talked about tomorrow's race. Aaron and I did this race last year on different teams and both DNF'd...I just got pooped, Aaron unfortunately went down in the screaming fast turn at the base of the downhill. Dino and I made a quick trip to town to grab some beers and snacks...while there I took him on a drive of the course...we both got pretty nervous (we're both sprinters, not climbers!)

After hanging at the pool for a bit, my Uncle came and picked me up and we went to their house. We had a nice relaxing time at their house, along with a great dinner and great company. I got a great night's sleep in preparation for the big day ahead.

This year's plan...just hang in as long as any of us could. Aaron was our best bet...he's the climber. We all finished...Dino and I one lap down (both got lapped close to the finish) and Aaron rocked it with the main group and pulled off 7th place! This was HUGE, I can seriously say that this is one of the toughest freaking races around. I wanted to raise my arms for my personal victory of finishing when I crossed the line, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to be a tool. Dino ended up 24th. All three of us were very happy with our race.

Big thanks again to my Nor-Cal Pit Crew and cheering section! My Aunt & Uncle and their family and friends, as well as Dino's wife, kids and father-in-law, Penny and anyone I missed that was there pushing me up the climb with the cheers.

This year I had a working Garmin (last year it was all funky and didn't work for the race)...here's the over-head shot and the elevation chart:

Specialized/Sierra Nevada Criterium - 6/14

Race: Specialized/Sierra Nevada Criterium
Location: Folsom, CA
Category: 3
Teammates: Dino, Gabe, Murat & Aaron
Place: 8th

This is going to be somewhat of a short recap...basically what I wrote up for our team's internal recap.

Murat was an attacking beast and grabbed 1 prime, then came in just shy of a few others. I wanted to feel out how the sprint would go so I went for one of the primes...I was in perfect position for it - sitting 3rd wheel behind two teammates doing a leadout. As soon as the leadout man pulled off and the main guy started his sprint, I started mine as well and was able to come around him and take it. This was a great sign and showed me that 3rd wheel would be a great place for the final lap. Several breakaway attempts and chase downs and/or bridge attempts by our guys. I sat in most of the rest of the race and helped mix up the chase when we had guys off the front.

The pace was hot on the last 2-3 laps...I struggled to hard to keep top 3 position...kept on finding myself in front, soft pedal a bit and then hop on the next guy to come up....it was quite an energy drainer, but I really wanted to hold that position. Finaly Russell White (Kovarus) started to lead out his bro. I sat next to his brother out in the wind and then got a bit out of line when Russell pulled off, which allowed me to get slightly swarmed in the final turn. I broke through the clutter a bit late and got 8th.

Everyone on my team did great chasing down and going with any break attempts. Before the race, they announced that they would award a rider with a "Most-Aggressive" prize. We all thought that Murat was robbed when not awarded the prize.

Dino, Aaron and I packed up the cars and set off for the Nevada City Classic...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Port Ride

Construction on the POO Ride so it was a bit of a cluster. I sat out and watched. I'm a bit tired and worn out so I guess it's for the better.

Folsom Criterium and Nevada City Classic this weekend.

Sent via BlackBerry mobile

Monday, June 9, 2008

Santa Rosa Criterium - 1st Place!

0.7 mile course...flat...5 corners.
Category 3: 45 minutes
Our Team: Aaron, Carmi, Dino, Ken, Murat and myself

The plan was to race aggressively starting about 15 minutes into the 45 minute crit. I was to sit in and wait for the finish and go for either the win or the field sprint (if we had guys in a break). Plans sorta flew out of the window. We did race very aggressively though.

Murat was the first gun and was off to grab the 1st of 12 primes....and then the 2nd also! After a few more primes and attacks, I decided to try and get a small break going just after one of the prime laps. I attacked hard and ended up solo...no one joined (they all know I'm not the kind of guy that will stay out alone for long). Our boys took over the front and allowed me to get a pretty nice gap for a few laps. Just when I decided to start soft pedaling and get swallowed up they rang the prime bell, so I toughed it out for one more lap. As soon as I was back in the pack, Murat countered perfectly ... one guy bridged it. They stayed out there for bit. The rest of the race was pretty much just like that...Active Athlete/Squadra Ovest attack, back together, AA/SO attack, back...etc...with a few other teams attacking also.

We were all in pretty good position for the bell lap. Coming into the final turn I was sitting 3rd wheel...coming out of the turn the guys that were on my wheel were now on my left and right and I knew that if I didn't go now, I'd get swarmed, so that was the start of the sprint. I found myself slightly boxed in (2 guys in front of me, one to my right and the curb on the left)...just then the 2 guys in front of me moved just enough apart for me to shoot through and it was just me and the finish line...I went hard and didn't let up until after I crossed the line (there was no way I was going to let myself get nipped at the line).

Pretty killer. They had a most-aggressive rider prize and we're all pretty shocked that Murat didn't earn it, he should have.

Dino landed in the top 10 as well, with an 8th place finish.

Our results are starting to look impressive: Active Athlete / Squadra Ovest Results

Here's a shot of the course. The start/finish line was right by the 2nd Y in "Mercury Way." We raced clockwise.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dash for Cash - Pleasanton, CA

"Woke up quick, at about noon, just thought that I had to be at..." ok, really 8am (Eazy E reference)

Anyway, I packed my bag up and hopped on the BART out to Pleasanton, CA for the Dash for Cash Criterium. I was in for a big day, Cat 3 race at 11:55am and then the Pro/1/2/3 at 1:55pm. This was a very cool race set-up...large rectangle with a nasty cross-wind on a super bumpy road (the rest of the roads were in great condition). Every 5 laps was a set $40 prime (hence: Dash for Cash).

We had a very strong 3's team in there, Aaron, Carmi, Dino, Gabe, Murat and myself. This was a 60-minute race. Murat went off the front a few times, racing a very aggressive start of the race, while the rest of us patrolled the front. At one point just after one of the prime laps, I wanted to keep the pace hot and got on the front. After pulling for a bit I found myself off the front solo (crap...anyone who knows me knows I don't like being off the front solo...no one should like that!) I stayed off hoping for some breakaway partners, but no one bridged so I came back in. With about 3 to go, Carmi took a well-executed flyer off of the front and held it with a break partner till 1 to go. It was a great move for us, because it caused the rest of the teams to chase hard and keep the pace up, while we just sat in good position without getting swarmed. Everyone said to be 10-15th in the final turn and you can win the long drag to the line, so that's exactly where Aaron and I ended up. It was on and I felt great, with Aaron on my wheel. We hit it hard and just when I could taste victory, the guys in front of me gave up and got very slow...we were boxed in and I was pissed. Pulled off 13th with Aaron just behind me somewhere. On the other side of the road, my teammate Gabe was in a much faster group and he killed it for 8th. We were all very happy with the race...hey...top ten!

Now we had a 1 hour break before the P/1/2/3 race. Jan picked up some race radios for us (he was thrilled to have more than 1 other teammate in his race). Jan, Aaron and myself got wired up and Dan had the radio on the side-line to bark orders. Murat, Gabe, Carmi, Dino and Chris were also there.

P/1/2/3...75 minutes...135 starters. A couple pro's, but mainly just a strong Nor-Cal 1/2 field. I was a bit nervous and it showed...took me about 5 tries to get clipped in (embarrassing). It was fast and due to my crappy clip in, I could barely see the front. Dan was chirping over the radio "Angelo, you need to move up...Angelo, you need to move up...etc). I sort of fluctuated between the front and back 1/3rd of the field. I was fast and much smoother than the 3's race. I found it easiest to move up on the two main straights (the bumpy cross/head wind one and the start/finish straight)...this might have been the reason my power was draining towards the end. I saw our Cat 2 rider (Jan) in the back 1/3rd with me when we were at 5 laps to go. I wasn't feeling too hot at this point so I asked him if he wanted me to pull him up to the front and that's what we did at about 3 to go...this killed me and I was popped off of the pack 1/2 way through the final lap. Jan ended up sprinting like a pro and took 3rd place! All of us 3's stayed in till the end, except for Dino and Gabe, who got caught up in a crash with 4 to go...so yeah, they made it too in my book. Of the 135 starters, only 75 finished. I'm very happy with my result (finished)!

Here are a couple photos from the P/1/2/3 race:
Here's one of Jan just after taking 3rd on the far right (Rock Racing just hitting the line)