Monday, June 25, 2007

The Opposite of Relaxation

Non-stop running around this past weekend. Brooks and I donned the TBB gear for the first time in racing action, competing in the Whitewater Omnium and Heather went to Lake Geneva for an Olympic distance triathlon. Brooks has an excellent recap of the races (and the weekend in general) on his blog as well. Here's my take:

Things started off on Friday afternoon with the time trial. It's been years since I last did a TT. I slapped my Cosmic Carbones on my road bike and there was my TT bike. The course had rolling hills, lots of corners, and plenty of wind. I ended up 6th with a time of 32:04 for the 20k course, so just under a 24mph average.

On Saturday was the crit in a was a short loop with a decent little climb, some fun, fast corners on a descent, and then a sketchy turn off of a driveway. This was not a course where the pack was going to remain together. I got with a group of 4 other riders (there were 2 packs of riders in front of us) after 4-5 laps and we stuck together until the end. I ended up 15th, which I'm fine with since I normally suck at crits anyway.

Sunday brought the road race and the sun/heat. 6 mile loop that we had to do 7 times for 42 miles. This was a fun real big climb, just lots of rollers and twists and turns around a lake. The pace was pretty slow for the 1st lap, and then 2 riders broke away at the beginning of the 2nd lap. I was feeling good, so I decided to bridge up to them. Once I reached them, they didn't want to work anymore, and they waited for the field to catch them. I continued on and soon after another rider bridged up to me. We started working well together, taking 1-2 minute pulls, and we soon had a good gap on the field. We stayed away for almost 4 laps, getting caught toward the beginning of the 6th lap. It was probably destined not to succeed, being that there were only 2 of us, but it was fun nonetheless. If we could have had 2-3 more riders with us, then maybe it would have stuck. I didn't really contest the sprint for the finish since I was further back in the pack, and rolled across the line in 18th.

Other tidbits from the weekend:
  • Heather did well in her tri, getting 17th in her age group.
  • She surprised Brooks and I by showing up to watch our road race on her way home from her tri.
  • The new Brown Bear jerseys look fantastic on the road.
  • Brooks' Reynolds Stratus DV-UL carbon rear wheel, 2005-2007, RIP. Sometimes they die too young, unfortunately.
  • I forgot how good Taco John's is. We hit that up after the road race.
  • The Dr. Bakke's are making their move to OH. I saw Andy for a total of 10 min during a "rest stop" on his journey. He DOES NOT like parades.
  • On Saturday night I went with Mary and Brooks to watch Roller Derby. That freakin ruled. If you have the chance, I highly recommend going.
  • The weekend ended nicely by playing some disc golf in perfect conditions at a course in East Madison. Really cool 18 hole course.
  • All this action, and absolutely no pics from me. My apologies. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Heather and I had a relaxing vacation in northern WI with Heather's parents. The lake cabin was very nice and secluded. It was built by former world champion lumberjacker Fred Sheer. His trophies were all over the place. We passed the days by canoeing, paddle-boating, swimming, and reading. Vontoux and Willa had a grand time as well, swimming their little hearts out and attracting ticks like there was no tomorrow. Jim went fishing each day and caught a couple of decent sized smallmouth bass that we fried up and ate on our last night there. It was a great time, and we hope to go back again next year.

Vontoux and I in the screened in porch.
Vontoux loves the water.
Heather leading Willa into the water for the first time.
Joyce summoning the fire gods.
Canoeing around the lake. Pale white skin alert.
The mother and daughter on the dock.
Jim taking a break from the paddle boat and fishing from the dock.
The doggies showing off their new bandanas.
Chillin on the shed porch.
Tomorrow night Heather and I are going to Little Amerricka, a somewhat scary amusement park in Marshall (in between Sun Prairie and Waterloo...smells like feces with all the cow/pig/slaughterhouse) for the Trek company summer picnic. Free rides, food, and good times. Possibly some death and/or dismemberment.

This weekend will be the road racing debut of the Team Brown Bear jerseys!

Monday, June 11, 2007

State Champs and a Vacation

Brooks and I headed down to Burlington on Saturday for the WI State Road Champs. We had to do 6 laps on a 7 mile course. It is a fun real flat, straight sections...just a bunch of rolling hills, twisty roads, fast descents, and a decent climb right before the start/finish line. About halfway thru the first lap, a solo rider got off the front and the field let him go. After that, the laps ticked by relatively quickly, with it breaking up a little on the climb each time, but (for the most part) getting back together shortly afterwards. We finally caught the solo rider with about 3 miles remaining, and then the field ticked along nicely at 35mph entering the corner before the last climb. There were still at least 40-50 riders in the peloton when we hit the base of the climb, and then it was every rider for themselves. The field was splintered pretty quickly, and I got to the top of the climb with the leading group of about 10 riders. Then there was around 1/4 mile flat before the finish line...and the 10 of us must have used all of our energy on the climb, because we proceeded to have the slowest sprint for the win that I have ever seen. It felt like it was slow motion. No one had the legs to blow by anyone. I ended up 6th (4th WI rider), but I was literally only about 10 feet behind the winner. That's frustrating. Oh well I guess. There are still a few road races left this year...time to start mixing things up with some attacks. :)

Heather and I have a nice vacation planned with her parents this week. We leave on Wednesday for Hayward, WI to stay at a lake cabin for a few days. Here's the link to the website for the cabin...some cool pics of it there. Should be a great time!
On the way back home on Sunday we are going to hit up the WORS mtb race in Phillips, since it is right along the way. How convenient.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Missing! Reward Offered!

Missing Madison Blogger

The Ministry of Attorney-General and the Madison Police Board have authorized a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the unlawful confinement, kidnapping or murder of the blogger listed as missing in this reward poster; a reward will be decided by the Madison Police Board, in its sole discretion, and that decision is final, binding and not reviewable. Only those people who come forward and volunteer information which is received by the Madison Police Department on or before June 18, 2007, will be eligible to receive a reward.
The blogger was last seen on April 28th, as he was working in his freshly planted garden. His wife, who has been cooperative with local authorities, said that he had planned a trip to Ikea near Chicago the following weekend. An internet rumor was circulated that he may have been detained at an Illinois toll booth as he tried to smuggle Scandinavian particle board across the WI border. Our investigations have not been able to validate or discredit that rumor.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Chainsuck sucks

Yesterday was my first mtb race of the season. It was a marathon race, 40 miles of fun on the dirt. Even though it poured on the drive up to Wausau, thankfully no rain had fallen at the race venue. The race began as a mass start for all 150+ Comp racers. The start was pretty uneventful, I didn't want to go too hard being that the race was so long. The first of four 10 mile laps went very smoothly...I was in the top 25-30 racers and still feeling strong. That's when it started to rain...nothing too hard, just enough to soak the course. The second lap was going fine until near the end when I was starting to experience some chainsuck in my middle chainring due to all the mud. For those that do not know, this is chainsuck:
By the start of the third lap, I could no longer use my middle chainring, so I was forced to keep it in the big ring. This was ok in the flat, fast sections, but not very fun at all in the technical parts of the course. Then, in the middle of that lap, I started getting chainsuck in the big ring as well. I couldn't pedal more than 5-10 strokes without it doing it. I would have to stop and pull the chain out each time. Sucky. So, after doing that for 5 miles, I decided to call it a race right after the start of the fourth lap. Thirty miles of muddy fun = messed up bike.
The end result after a quick cleaning...yes, that's bare carbon there.
Ouch. When I started the race, there was a metal protector in that spot, but that must have gotten ripped off at some point. I got a new protector from the warranty guys at work, but I'm not sure how much of that mess will get covered by it. Makes me want to get an aluminum mtb frame again. :)

I don't have good luck with that Wausau course at all. Last year I flatted there, then there was the monsoon at 24-9 that Vino got caught out in, and now this. I'm not too disappointed though, as I felt strong during the whole race; the legs/lungs felt good.

Heather and Mary had a tri yesterday as well. They both did very well from what I've heard, maybe Heather will post a recap with some pics on her blog...along with pics of our new roof and gutters. :)

Up next: The Wisconsin State Road Champs on Sat.