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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Performance" by M.C. SpandX

I found this video quite entertaining...hope you do too. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Alberto Contador

No one can climb like AC. Looking spectacular out there on today's Tour de France stage.


Had to pull up this old pic from Interbike 2007.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lunch Ride

It really doesn't get much better than this:

Today's Lunch Ride:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lance Beat Me

Actually, he and many others crushed me. It was insane how fast the Nevada City Classic was this year. Look back at my 2007 and 2008 posts and you can see how tough this race was for me as a cat 3.

I didn't really plan on racing it this year, but when Lance, Levi and Horner announced that they were going to race it I changed my mind. Now I can say that I raced Lance. Even though it was short lived for me, I can still say it. Of ~150 starters, maybe 30-40 finished...most of which were lapped by Armstrong.

Even the neutral lap seemed to be a race to move up. Here's a shot of me and Lance hammering it out on the climb: (Click on this to enlarge it and see that it really is me - ha!)
He utilized his call up to get great position for the start...the announcer couldn't pronounce my last name and failed to call me up to the front.

I did get some fame (joke coming up courtesy of my teammate Jan):

"Look at the two guys in the background. The one guy is proud of his picture that he just took of Angelo, the other is texting his 10 friends about how Angelo is doing..."

This must be the part of the race where I was putting the hammer down on Armstrong because I'm in the big ring and climbing the steep pitch (the camera angle doesn't give it justice.)

Anyway, it was awesome out there this year. The "Lance Factor" created a HUGE crowd that was totally into it. I felt very pro climbing and descending with that many people out watching. I was even asked for my autograph by a young kid before the race started...look for it on Ebay.

1st place: Lance Armstrong
2nd place: Ben Jaques-Maynes
3rd place: Levi Leipheimer

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gestalt - Racks and Sausages Are Back!

Something strange happened to Gestalt a while back...they took out the bike racks and no longer sold sausages. I never went to see it in this biker-less state, but I hear they even took away any evidence that this was a cyclist/hipster hangout...removed bike stickers, posters...anything bike related. It was very odd and sad, as it was a great hangout for me and my buddies to bike to, have some German brews, knackwurst and German potato salad.

Well...rumor has it that the racks and sausages are back. I'll be there tonight.






In other news, this blog's been a bit slow lately. I've been focusing a bit more on our team blog and twitter. Check us out, add us to your readers and/or RSS feeds and follow us.

Blog: www.squadraovest.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/squadraovest

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My New Love: The Valley Ride

If you are a long-time reader of this blog, a friend of mine on Facebook or you follow my Twitter account (@bobodig), you will know that I used to constantly rave about the Port of Oakland Ride (AKA: The POO Ride).

Well..........I have a new ride to rave about: The Valley Ride. I realized that I loved the POO Ride because it really played right into my strengths (flat crit racing). The Valley Ride is much more like a short road race. The ride meets up Wednesday evenings at Peet's Coffee in Los Altos around 6pm. It's pretty chill until we hit Arastradero Road. The ride consists of 3 sprints and one climb (sprint, climb, sprint, sprint). After the ride races up the Huddart climb, everyone waits up at the bottom of the hill for the group to reassemble...so if you are not a great climber, you won't be left out for dead. Also, some riders avoid the climb and ride straight to this meet up spot.

Great times and some great talent out at the Valley Ride. I highly recommend it. Go.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Great Climbing Profile

Try this ride...the first few uphills are pretty tough...the downhills are stomach dropping.


I'm pretty bummed about this Garmin 205 file. We did this ride on Saturday in the scorching heat...easily high 90's, low 100's. We started off at Cupertino Bike Shop, went up Highway 9, to Big Basin Redwood Park, Boulder Creek and then back up the back of Highway 9. Running out of water on the way back up 9 wasn't the most fun part of the ride. Even the downhills were like riding in an oven with a hot fan.

This file is also missing 10+ miles...likely due to the density of the redwoods in Big Basin (no fault of Garmin/MotionBased).

Last complaint...MotionBased took over 48 hours to upload this to my account after I downloaded it from my Garmin 205. :-(

The BEST part of the day (outside of the shady descent in Big Basin), was that Vance at Cupertino Bike Shop let us take showers in the shop before the drive home. Thanks Vance!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wente Criterium - A Few Pics

Some photos of the us during the Wente Criterium (Coutesy of our teammate, Geoff Calkins)


Jan & Aaron in formation


Yours truly


Advancing on the damn Botts Dots

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wente Criterium

Finally...a nice flat crit! Only issues were the strong wind and the millions of Botts Dots (pictured).


These little suckers lined this course and when you and your lightweight rig hit them on a curve or a turn it can hop your bike and scare the crap out of you. Sometimes your line would hold you right over a line of them with riders next to you on both sides, the only thing to do is hang on, bounce down the road and pray till you can move just a bit left or right. Good times...

Race went well...I was back in my element (crit racing!), plus my recent boost in training efforts allowed me to be competitive throughout about 58 minutes of the 60 minute race. Yeah, I was toasted on the final lap and couldn't give the sprint finish what I wanted to give it.

There were MANY unsuccessful break attempts. Likely due to the wind. I went with several of these, but every one came back. The most promising of them was with 6 laps to go...we had 14 guys off the front and only about 3-4 of us working to stay away...organization sucked...the group would take the right lane of a left hand curve (i.e. the long way!)...it was messy and therefore, we got caught with about 3 to go. I tried to recover and on the final lap Jan came by and wanted me to hop on his wheel for a leadout. I just didn't have the juice at that point. I think I finished somewhere around 30th...Jan and Aaron just ahead of me somewhere around 20-25th?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Knowledge is Power

"Knowledge is Power", literally.

I feel like I've made some large gains in my riding lately just by figuring out my Powertap and the numbers associated. Figuring out my power threshold has given me much more confidence and a smarter way to ride.

I used to hit the hills with my teammates and suffer with them for a bit and then just completely fall off the pace, get into my easiest gear and they would wait for me at the top of the climb. I'm still not a 'super-powerjunkie-know-it-all'...yet, but I now know that I can push it harder and survive. So this means that before, when I would use my 25 to go up, I should have been in a slightly smaller cog so that I push a wattage at or slightly above my threshold. I'm not sure if that would get me up to the top with some of our climbers, but it will definitely help keep me closer.

I did a great ride yesterday with a few of my teammates (Jan, Geoff and Dan). We met down at Dan's house in Mountain View and headed out to do some climbing. I forget the names of everything we did...Highway 9, Skyline, West Old La Honda... I felt great and was able to hold my wattage up the climbs, which probably made me look 200% better than I looked climbing a week ago! We set out to climb, but ended up with a pretty sweet mix of climbing, rollers and, except for the cars that slowed us down, some sick descents!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Expensive Tools Need To Be Used

I bought a Powertap SL 2.4 last fall in hopes of training smarter. Yes, I got a great deal on it via the Interbike attendee discount, but it was still a big chunk of dough. I don't regret buying it, but I do wish I would have bought the Carbone version instead of the Open Pro, but whatever...it's still an awesome tool (so I've heard and am learning now)...

So here's the deal. I bought it and I use it on almost 100% of my training rides (outdoor and indoor), but I don't really pay attention to the wattage while I ride. I just download it and view it post ride. Therefore, instead of using it as a powerful training tool, I've been using it as an expensive toy/novelty item.

I'm also struggling a bit with my upgrade to Category 2 racing...I'm fine and competitive in a flat/flatish criterium, but when the road points upward you can count me out with a DNF.

I recently did an indoor training session at Endurance PTC. They do eCycling classes...to paint a picture, imagine a spin class based on power resistance...everyone uses their own bike on a computrainer and the leader of the class tells you what power zone you should be in for each section/interval throughout the class. Since I don't really know my power zones (goes back to using my meter as a toy) Endurance PTC printed out what we figured would be similar to my zones and we went from there. The 90-minute class really wiped me out. The final two sets of intervals were nearly impossible for me to complete. It was an awesome eye-opener (along with my recent DNF's) - I NEED TO TRAIN BETTER AND INCORPORATE HARD POWER INTERVALS.

So, I've reassessed and refocused my training. I finally did the 20 minute threshold test you typically do when you first get your power meter and now I have my zones...which seem low to me, but I'll retest in a few weeks and see. I'm finally reading the book I bought when I purchased the Powertap ("Training and Racing with a Power Meter" by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan).

I'm also working on my coaching skills and certifications, so that I can start coaching some lower category riders, as well as improve my own training.

Pretty exciting times for me right now...the way I see it, I can only improve!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rollin in the new kit

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Recovery Goodness

Raced hard today at the Brisbane Crit. Jan got into the winning break and took 5th. Carmi raced aggressive and was in an early break and almost got away from the main pack at the end. I stayed cool for the field sprint and was 5th, which I believe put me at 15th (big break)

Jen and I just whipped up some chicken with balsamic pan sauce, mashed potatoes and artichokes! It was a masterpiece (and very delicious)

Tomorrow is 'stage 2' of this omnium. Circuit race with a hill...my 'fav'

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Snowcapped

On my way back to SF after a weekend racing the San Dimas Stage Race. Didn't go well for me, but my boy Jan pulled off 27th overall and 9th today in the crit.

Next up: Brisbane Crit and Circuit next weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

2009 Team Kit & Sponsors

I'm cheating a bit...just don't want to rewrite this post.

Full post with sponsor info here: 2009 Team Kit

And here's the 2009 Kit -



_

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Humor

This recent comic from VeloNews magazine paints a great picture. It's speaking a bit more to the domestic pro scene this year, but I think it also speaks to the current unemployment rate across the US also.

I know I'll be gunning to get my entry fees back!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pretty Nice Out Right Now

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Team Type1

Heading down to Sausalito
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Mancebo!

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AToC Stage 1 Finish

Coming soon!
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Team Blog

We're 'reviving' our team blog.

Last year, we rarely posted on it...our last road race report was the Dash For Cash in May. Oops...the season went through September!

Anyway, here's the link to our site: Sportgenic / Squadra Ovest

I'll even make it easier to get to the blog...Here's a link directly to the blog: Squadra Ovest Blog

Lastly, for those of you with Google Reader or some other RSS feed manager, pop this link into it: http://blog.squadraovest.com/

We are going to try to keep it up this year with at least two posts per week. One will be a recap of the weekend's races and how much we kicked ass and the other will be what we are up to for the coming weekend. Throughout the year, you may also see sponsor updates, product reviews and other such bike porn.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Let Me Google That For You"

I've been meaning to post about this for a while. It's a pretty funny site to use whenever someone asks you a simple question that a quick search on Google would have answered for them.

www.letmegooglethatforyou.com or www.lmgtfy.com

I've sent this out to a few teammates and friends...if I've sent it to you, I hope you took it in good humor. (I've never gotten a reply on one that I've sent...)

Here are a few screenshots of the end product and a link to the example I used for the screenshots, so you can see it in action.

Let Me Google That For You Example
Anyway...it's a good, fun little thing to do and hopefully you will get a laugh back from it.

I had the honor to send my friend one today...best part of that one is that she works for Google! Ha...love it.

Have fun with it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Race Blog is Back!

Ok, time to bring this blog out of retirement now that the season is underway.

Much of this blog will seem like a repeat of 2008 because the schedule is pretty much the same...new category for me, same races...

Today was my first crit as a Cat 2, The Cherry Pie Criterium in Napa, CA. There was a lot of hype coming into this race because it is only 1 week before the Tour of California and many of the pro's are in town. The Garmin-Chipotle team was pre-registered and there were rumors of Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer to show up. Unfortunately, Garmin-Chipotle pulled a no-show and Lance and Levi turned out to just be rumors. We did have a good number of pro's show up and race though; Bissell Pro Cycling, BMC, OUCH & Kelly Benefit Strategies were in attendance.

The Course:

One mile closed loop in Napa Valley Corporate Park. One moderate hill at start/finish with 180 degree turn at top of hill, three 90 degree turns, one looping turn, and one right-left chicane.




The Weather:
The sky was threatening rain and it was in the 50's...and there was a strong headwind while coming up the hill...matter of fact, the entire course was windy.

Race Recap:
Jan and I made sure to get a good position in the start because there were over 120 riders in our race. I felt pretty good and was able to hold position near the top 20-30 for most of the race. The pace felt ok to me. There were times when we seemed to crawl up the climb and this is where I was able to move back up into position and then there were many times that we were strung out single file as the pace was pushed to the extreme. Let's just say that I was pretty happy when the announcer was yelling "4 to go!"

Jan and I were in a pretty good spot to give a decent showing in the field sprint, but mid-way through the final lap Jan was taken out in a pretty hard crash. He managed to get away with some road rash and luckily no broken bones. I just cruised in with the main pack, happy to finish the race without getting dropped.

I think that this season is going to be a good one for us...I'm feeling pretty good and Jan was flexing some muscle out there and would have pulled off a good finish in the field sprint if not for the crash.

In other categories, our 3's pulled off a 2nd place finish (Great job Carmi...soon to join Jan and I as a Cat 2). And our Cat 4's got 2 in the top 10 (more possible upgrades!)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Homie

Little guy having a grass dinner.


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KUBB!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Baker Beach Won the Debate

Catching up

What have I been up to lately? Not really updating this blog a whole lot, so here's a recap in photo's...


Lake Tahoe:
Jen and I took a trip up to Lake Tahoe for a night just before Christmas. We stayed at the Black Bear Inn for a night and then set off to go cross-country skiing. We first went to Camp Richardson, but they were only renting snowshoes because there was not enough snow for the ski's. We jumped back in the truck and headed up to Kirkland (higher elevation = more snow). The drive up was worth every second and we loved cross-country skiing.




Short Urban Hike:
Read about this one in The Weekend Sherpa. You start at Buena Vista Park...go up and over and then a short walk down the street to Corona Heights. This is a pic from the top of Corona Heights. It's amazing up there and a short uphill hike. I highly recommend it.




Day Road Trip:
We took a day trip drive up to a small town called Occidental. It's just a bit north of Sonoma...still wine country...very thick forest. We saw a bunch of Mt. Bikers riding in and out of town. I bet the riding is amazing there. We drove from Occidental to the coast. This drive was beautiful. Once you get up to the high elevation you will find a bunch of cows just roaming around...no wonder California cows are "happy" cows. I also later realized that the road we took is the road that the Tour of California took as they rode from Sausalito to Santa Rosa.


No Fence, just one very large bull staring me down...he didn't look too happy, so we jumped back in the car and drove on.

Training:
Lots of it.

Right now...deciding if we should go to the beach or a park...mid-60's and sunny!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Muscle-Relax Gel

Much needed after this weekend's rides!!