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)