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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In all my spewing of racing oriented stuff the other day, I forgot to put in a link of some epic photos from stage 7 of the Giro. Click on Cadel Evans (below) to see the whole set. The photos are rather large, so give it a minute to load.

On the mountain bike front, I had a precious time slot to do a little exploratory trail mission yesterday. I was quickly denied while trying to ride some favorites in Tahoe Donner fully meeting my low expectations of what I'd find. So, I road across town and did a loop on the 06 trails (aka sawtooth ridge). Good dirt. I was off the bike a couple of times for snow, but otherwise had good luck.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

goin's on's

Although cable television seems to be "the norm" at most folks house, we have no such thing here at Mighty Mobile world headquarters. Gotta say, life's been pretty damn good without it. I hope that when I die, there's no time table chart showing all the time I've wasted sitting through commercials during my life while watching programming that probably wasn't that interesting to begin with. I'm also happy to report that I'm much more happy NOT watching the news on a daily basis. Good grief. How depressing. Oil spills, corrupt business, failing government, skyrocketing unemployment rates.... how much bad news does a person need. How much bad news can a person handle!!

TV was also a fairly big letdown when it came to watching anything cycling related. Sure, you can watch the Tour Dey France five times per day while it's going on, but coverage for anything else is a crap shoot. Cycling can and will get cut short for ANYTHING else that the might be on the agenda for the networks. I can tell you from years of watching (or trying to watch) motocross coverage on tv that you just can't get worked up when shit like that happens. The program listing says there's motocross on from 4:00 to 5:00 and there will be guys airing 85ft gap jumps, banging bars while fighting for position, and otherwise going WFO for a half and hour plus two laps. But in reality, you might be watching live coverage from a nascar race that is running late... during a rain delay, with cars sitting under tarps as the cameras pan between people under umbrellas and shots of raindrops landing on the racing surface. That's ALMOST as much fun as watching paint dry. Friggin' ridiculous.

So, I turned to the interweb to satisfy my cycling needs. I've found some interesting things while surfing around. I found this site that gives a nice quick recap of various races throughout the world of cycling. It's my "go-to" when I'm short on time (this seems to be most of the time, even without wasting my time watching commercials on regular tv) either in the morning before heading out in the big white van to fix bikes or in the evening while kicking back with a fine beverage to end my day.

If I've got time in the morning, I'll go straight to live coverage of whatever might be happening at the moment. Lately, it's been the Giro. This race is epic. It ranks up there with the Tour Dey France, but doesn't seem to acquire the attention that the Frenchy race gets. In any event, go here if you've got time to kill and want to try and catch some live racing. This site is a little hit or miss. I've mostly had good luck finding coverage with English announcers, but have had days of watching the race while listening to two guys spewing some Italian language... which I guess is quite fitting since the race IS in Europe.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Round #1

Raced yesterday.

Didn't expect anything less.
Round one of the Nevada State Championship series was in Gardnerville yesterday. As the guys to my right talk about their results at Sea Otter and the riders behind discuss training with power meters, I realized I'm in for one heck of a day.

Lap one: Suffer. Chest strap of heart rate monitor immediately slips down to my waist. Suffer some more. Hoping the pace mellows slightly. One hike-a-bike. Realize I can't hold the pace of the leaders and settle in 5th. Get caught. Get passed. Hop on! Still 5th. Following a local. Power course. Lots of big ring climbs. Fast and flowing high desert moto trail in the middle and end of the course. Trying to limit mistakes. My leadout guy blows a tire just before finishing lap one. I'm sitting 4th.. all alone.

Lap two: Laps start with a ripping descent. Then... then you pay. Three steep climbs with the last one having everyone off their bikes. I can see the lead three ahead on the third climb as I top out on the second. Their nearing to top of the hike-a-bike about 2 minutes out. Try as I might, all the teeth gritting, groaning, and digging deep I have in me ins't enough to bridge the gap over the next 10-15 minutes.
"Knock knock knock."
"Who is it?"
"It's the cramp monster."
"Oh, ok. I'll slow down now"
Back off the pace slightly. Force gel packs. Force water. Start "givin' er" again as the course tops out and starts descending. Try and hold momentum. Try and limit mistakes. Breath deep. Starting to struggle with staying in the big ring on the small climbs towards the end of the course. As elated as I was to see Summer with my spare water bottle nearing the end of the second lap, my good feelings were immediately crushed after looking back to see that I'm being caught by Monte running in 5th.

Lap 3: My strategy of riding the first descent like I'm on turrets works like a charm and I keep Monte behind me for another minute or so. I'm able to keep him slightly honest until the hike-a-bike.
"Knock knock knock."
"Oh... sorry."
"This is your last warning!"
Slumming the last lap. My drivetrain sounds bad. We've lost the sun and I've seen a few snow flurries. My hands... damn cold. All I can think about is food. Wish I had some. I roll across the line 5th. Cold, tired, achy.

Fortunately there was food after the race and two cheeseburgers hooked a brother up. This would ultimately lead to a nice "food coma" about a third of the way home on the drive necessitating a short nap a short distance off the highway. All in all... good fun.

Next race: June 6th. Let's hope it turns into summer by then.