Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Summary Link

Hello all. Long time no blog. Sorry about that. Not a whole lot new here. Still trying to decide on a new mountain bike frame. The Trek Elite 9.9 is the frame that I really want, but they are having problems with the design on the head tube, so they won't be available for at least another 6-9 weeks. I am also considering the Trek 8500 and the Gary Fisher Ziggurat. I may be able to get the Ziggurat custom painted through the warranty dept for only $68 more, so that is an option. I may also just ride the IF for another season, since my first mtb race is May 7th, right around the corner. We'll just have to see what happens.

I did a crit in Madison last Sun. Wasn't too bad, but I was correct in my assumption that it would hurt. I don't know what the deal is with me and crits, but I can never do well in them. Maybe I will stop doing them and just concentrate on road, mountain, and cross races. :) The race started off fine enough, but after about 5 laps, I got dropped off the back with a small group of riders. The main group wasn't too far in front of us, and we maybe could have caught them, but the riders that I was with kept pulling out of the race, one after another. There were 5 or 6 of us at one point, then all of a sudden it was just me. I started reeling in riders that were being dropped from the main group as the laps went by, but we never caught up to the main group.

No races planned for this weekend, so I am hoping to get in a couple of longer rides. The following weekend I think that I will try to do the race double. A road race on Sat and a mtb race on Sun. Both races are so close that it is do-able. I will probably be hurting in the mtb race, but I would like to get WORS series points regardless. Should be interesting.

It was just announced today that both Sioux tribes are now in support of the UND Fighting Sioux nickname, which not only means that they can continue to use it, but also that the NCAA may allow them to host more playoff events like they did this year.

An email invite was sent to 4 lucky cyclists to be the fourth member of a team for the 24 Hour National Championships, joining Trent, Vino, and myself. One invitee has already responded with interest, and so far has the inside track to making the team... Good luck to Vino this weekend as he races across Iowa! Hope you and Poprad kick some butt!

American Chris Horner won today's stage of the Tour de Romandie, and put himself into the leader's jersey. Good to see Americans having such a successful season thus far. Here is Chris celebrating at the line:

And here is former Tour de France winner, Jan Ullrich, having a subpar day, as he gets dropped from the main group:

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Oxbow Spring Classic

First race of the season is over and done with. I ended up 24th out of 98 racers in the 'B' race (Cat 3/4/5). Yes, that's right, there were 98 racers in just the B race. Crazy. Something else that was crazy was the number of people on road bikes despite the warnings against it and the fact that at least 15 miles of the 18 mile loop was gravel. The B race had to do 2 laps of the 18 mile course.

My lungs and legs were burning after the first trip up the Oxenberg climb. That thing was insane STEEP. They say it is around 24%. Definitely a granny gear climb. I was using my 38/25, and I could have used another 2 or 3 gears. Here's a picture of me struggling up it:

Toward the end of the first lap, my legs/lungs started to settle down and feel better. I was still hacking up dust particles hours later though. ;) Here's a pic of the X0-1, post race, full of dust.

All in all, it wasn't a bad first race of the season. I am glad that the season has started. Next up is a crit in Madison next Sun. That one might hurt a bit, as I haven't done as much intensity-based training as I would have hoped. We'll see how it goes though. Forecast is for rain and wind. Oh joy.

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Summary Post

Just a quick post here to summarize what's been going on lately:

Heather got a job! Today was her first day of work at a vet clinic on the west side of Madison. It is a similar job to the one she had in GF. She is still planning on working for the dog sitting place a few times a week as well.

Wedding plans are coming along nicely. Pretty much all the plans are set, except for the restaurant reservations. Heather has her dress, I have my suit, and we have our rings. Good to go.

Yesterday we made all of our France trip reservations through the Trek Travel trip advisor. She booked our flights and hotels. Our last night in France will be spent at the Radisson SAS hotel in Lyon. It is the tallest hotel in Europe. We are already looking forward to our trip, even though it's not until August!

I am excited for my first race of the season, this Sat. They modified the course so that it now has an uphill dirt finish. Should be fun. I put the Helium wheels on the X0-1 last night, and I will take it for a test spin tonight to make sure all is in order for the race.

In other news, one of my favorite singer/songwriters is coming to perform at the Overture Center in downtown Madison on Sept 21st. I will buy tickets the day they become available. If any of you other gringos are in the area around that time, you should come with us. :)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Date is Set

Hello all. That's right, Heather and I have set the date for our wedding! May 27, 2006. Yep, in less than two months. It will be a small ceremony held outdoors at The UW Arboretum with just family. A judge will be performing the ceremony, and then we are heading out to eat with the whole gang. We were hoping to get married before our France trip in August, so now that will be sort of a honeymoon for us as well. So that is exciting! Last night we went and registered at both Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. That was fun, but took a while. :)

I have been neglecting REO Speedwagon lately, so to make it up to him, he recently got an oil change (Mobil One Full Synthetic), and got an air filter upgrade.

A K&N Air Filter added a couple HP and will last the life of the car. Nice. He still needs a good wash though. That's next on the list.

Tomorrow and Sat I will be in Milwaukee for the Frozen Four. The Sioux play Boston College at 2pm tomorrow (I get to leave work at noon!), then Wisconsin plays Maine at 6pm. The National Championship is Sat night. Go Sioux!My first race of the season will now be next Sat in Rochester, MN. It is technically a road race, but they recommend using a cross or mountain bike since most of the loop is gravel/dirt roads. Lots of climbing evidently. Looks fun. If Heather doesn't work, she is thinking of racing as well using her mtn bike. I bought her some 1.6" knobby tires from Trek to put on her bike to use for this race and for cross races this fall. She'll try cross races on her mtn bike, and if she likes them, maybe she'll get a cross bike as well. We'll see. That's about all I know for now. :)