they cancelled one of my favorite races to watch, the het volk classic which is usually the last saturday in february was cancelled because of snow. the weather leading up to saturday's decision wasn't very good and the parcours was being changed due to icy cobbled sections on certain climbs. the weather for this race is typically belgian, cold, wet, not a great deal of snow but flurries are commonplace. it is one of the first new videos i look for when i need to buy new stuff to watch while on the rollers. the winner is almost always a classics hardman, the race and course doesn't allow a fair weather rider to succeed. museew, bartoli, van petegem, van den broucke, peeters nobody not at home in the cold on the cobbles. it doesn't look like they will reschedule it either, maybe this will be the year they make a video of the second race of this weekend the kuurne-bruxelles-kuurne classic. another similarly hard race, taking place the day after the het volk, one hell of a saturday sunday set of races! less than a week until the first minor race for colorado. it should be just a good hard ride, nothing too serious unless you have your priorities messed up. i'm very excited to get in a bunch and go fast! i can smell the season, not too far until my favorite races in april!
at 6.30 am it was too cold to do much else beside walk number one and get inside before i got too cold. we packed up and the four of us went to the coffee shop. i had the best breakfast i have had in years, homemade granola with yogurt and fruit, i can't believe how good it was, unreal. late morning i got motivated and went for a ride. not too bundled up, but the fresh snow made the ride really fun. i softenend the tires at the top for the descent. after that climbing was much easier too, tire pressure does amazing things. i got a great week of training, good legs and i just might be able to be of some help in the march races and then really work for the team in the april road events. the legs are coming along, good volume and really good work this week. and a good nap everyday goes a long way.
a great block the last few days, by the time today came i was pretty cooked, the legs were stiff, i spent about 30 minutes today stretching. not enough intensity but certainly good volume. maybe i can get outside up here in the next few days and bury myself in a good motorpace workout. now i have exactly one week until race number one. can't really be a bad thing, right? i rode the fixy to work today, the wheel slipped in the drop out on the way in and locked up the rear wheel at about 20 mph. not fun. i fixed it and rode home to switch bikes in time to get absolutely snowed through while doing errands on my bike. on the trip home everything was grinding on the mtb. it got a good washing for getting me through the trip! overall i feel good about where i am for the season. the volume and milage are solid but the intensity is lacking. i need a hard group ride but that won't happen for another week, oh yeah, race number one. a race is a group ride right? regardless i can get a few hours with a tough 75 minutes in the middle. merckx and coppi said it best when asked what it took get good at cycle racing "ride lots." time for bed good night
ok, it's getting better. the hours on the rollers are adding up, i feel oddly tired the day after a good day on them. maybe it really is good work. b is almost better, the cold/chest thing is just about gone, just a bit of a cough right now. antibiotics are amazing. great walk with the boys, it was warm and sunny and not winter like except for the snow. b had a blast with the dogs, cheering them on and having a good time chasing them. surfing about the net the last few days i have found a long list of great sites to read. the bike community is amazing. there are so many different views but all join in at least one common theme; a love for two wheeled human powered crafts. i feel lucky to have a part in this community.
yesterday though i was off all day i only managed an hour+ on the rollers, b had a chest cold going on that needed attention. he amazes me, no matter how shitty he feels he still tries to smile! the hour+ i did do was really good quality, reminescent of a crit warm-up. good steady blocks with short sprints and always a high cadence in a big gear, good rollers go a long way. today on the route in i was unusually cautious, hopped a couple snow banks with care and tried to lay off the front brake. with the warmer day temps the glaze grows overnight to ice up most roads and paths. last night the inch or so of new snow made for a quiet and peaceful trip to work. i was thinking about how good dinner was last night, good bread and great pizza, giampietro's really does kill it. though i don't eat as much as i once did, i eat until i am pleasantly full, especially if i still need to get on the bike. i feel so much better and i'm sleeping really well, good stuff. you can't agrue with better sleep!
here are the photos from yesterday mornings odyssey. it was a great morning, going in late so i got to ride through sunrise! all was good until the fall 50 feet from the door. i wonder what the pros are riding in right now in arizona? 60-70 degree days, arms and maybe knee warmers, some winter i would love to get out for one of those winter camps and do days of volume, no agenda, just ride from town to town and enojy coffee and snacks. oh well, i get to ride in the beauty of winter's majesty. a gift if i don't spoil it by falling. look around you may be surprised by what you see.
surly had this link to some of their hometown stars who got a bit of press for not hanging up the bike in the winter. one of the people mentioned is former star gene oberpiller, a pro when there were just a few pros out there on the mtb scene. i remember reading in dirt rag about his successes in northern midwest mtb races. the scene in wisconsin and minnesota has always had a good following and gene was the king for a while! another fall today on the way in, i have to learn to not use the front brake at all! i was fine and almost at the door when, bam! down i went. i was getting past the entrance and without enough thought i grabbed a bit of brake and paid the price. i landed on the same spot on my shoulder, it's pretty jacked right now. as the sun was up this morning on the way in i shot a bunch of photos that i'll post later today. the sky was amazing, pinks and grays and blues across the horizon.
i guess it had to happen at some point. with the way the days are warm and the night are cold the roads get so glazed that black ice is everywhere shaded. almost in to work today and i saw it coming, slight touch of the brakes and slight turn of the bars and bang! i hit the deck. not too hard, no broken collarbone or chipped elbow just a sore shoulder and ankle. it happens. i got two hours in yesterday, i feel that that is probably my minimum time i should put in outside of mondays which will be 90 minutes. the base needs to be there for the road events. mtb stuff is too far out to really worry. the firecracker is 4 months out, for that i'll do the denver ride a few times at fast pace. maybe i'll finally do the loveland ride. that's a pretty long one. one day, about 180 miles. north to kremmling and then east to granby, north to grand lake and the entrance to rocky mountain national park and then down into loveland through estes. like i said a few miles, probably 10 hours or so. pretty good work. a la flahute...
it really snowed last night! the commute made all the difference in the world, fresh quiet snow to roll through and the subtle whoosh of tires cutting untracked powder. i guess roughly 4-6 but regardless it made for a great trip into work. the snow had that dreamy champagne consistency, the one that utah sells as the reason to ski there instead of colorado, it is nice out there...if you're mormon. riding in with a smile, i thought about the decisions that got me to where i am. and decisions recently that have kept me here. i'm glad i didn't take the advertising sales job and the move away from the ski industry are two that shine in neon in my head as good moves. utopia is far from here but it is a good life, not many can ride to work all year long, if they want to. i have the luxury of less traffic when i go in and no traffic if i want a cooler/longer ride home. the place we put ourselves must be good or else we risk ennui. my place may not be the best for you but i know it is for me. little b slept almost all night, a bit of a wake up around 3 but nothing too long. then the 5 am wake up when i was getting dressed.
a couple of good days, yesterday was too warm, the roads were slushy and the dirt roads sloppy. tim and i got in about an hour or so before i had to get home to get to a meeting about a proposed house on top of the hill above my house. the house would be a blight on an otherwise unspoiled bit of wilderness. the house wasn't passed but as the architect told me today it will pass when they sue, more redtape to sift through. i guess you can't really beat the rich, it just kind of sux to have them f up the wilderness. the public hearing was very interesting, i never attended one before, it was oddly fascinating. when the issue is so contentious the crowd shows up with well prepared remarks. well, at least some of them had well-prepared remarks. it finally snowed tonight, we'll see if it's worth a piss tomorrow. we really need the snow, the roads are almost clear, a few feet would be great, at least tomorrows commute will be fun with some fresh stuff.
a couple of good days, yesterday was too warm, the roads were slushy and the dirt roads sloppy. tim and i got in about an hour or so before i had to get home to get to a meeting about a proposed house on top of the hill above my house. the house would be a blight on an otherwise unspoiled bit of wilderness. the house wasn't passed but as i the architect told me today it will pass when they sue, more redtape to sift through. the public hearing was very interesting, i never attended one before, it was oddly fascinating. when the issue is so contentious the crowd shows up with well prepared remarks. well, at least some of them had well-prepared remarks. it finally snowed tonight, we'll see if it's worth a piss tomorrow.
boy did i worry myself yesterday. i started the ride with travis and the rest of the big group out of starbucks and then it split going up a climb, i thought i was going with the long group but it turned out to be the short group. so, travis and i went back a bit with them, then the two of us continued to get our time in. at the furthest point for travis he flipped (too much wine and too little sleep) i went out a bit more and started back with a guy who hooked up with us. we rode a while and then after i was finally solo i was getting a bit of a hunger knock as i looked at the ground and poof! a 5 dollar bill! i thought it a sign, into the minimart and out with a; pepsi, reeses sticks (king size), a sausage sandwich and krispy kreme cookies and kreme donut. i guess about 1500 calories. i was most worried and dissapointed with myself for eating such shit. i should have gone with a pepsi and reeses sticks but i fell off the wagon hard! i hate doing this. i thought in the 90 minutes i had left i would certainly crap my pants. or be in intestinal distress on the drive home. well i guess i really needed the food b/c it never made a cross thing in my system. strong stomach? no, dumb luck! in the end it was about 5.5 hours and 144 kilometers. good old fashioned base work. the legs were good, in the last hour i pushed 40k up a hill into the wind. i love training, life is good!
after the weather this past week i have been thinking a lot about he weather when we were on kauai last month. this is from the kalalau trail, we hiked the eight mile section to the waterfall. an amazing view the whole time. it was like a world cup downhill mountain bike course for 8 miles! super steep and very rooty. afterall it is better to be where i belong! stay warm
unreal selection of sushi last night. blue lou took me and tim out for dinner for setting up his road bike with new dura-ace and ksyriums. we had things that were a bit out of the ordinary for most sushi afficionados. some of things agreed with me and others didn't. lots of fish bellies, not quite sure why they are different but pretty good. the best thing i had was the octopus with sesame oil and seeds. another cold am commute. minus 10 today, i feel better riding than driving. the bike is pretty good i may try to ride a cross bike one day. maybe the traction will be just as good, but the handling i know will be worse. i wish i was sven nijs! good soup for lunch today, san fran seafood chowder, super tasty! the bread was a bit stale but the oatmeal cookie rocked! i am pretty tired so the commute home will do it for today. not much riding but sleep is needed badly. i can't afford to get sick, my volume overall is up but i need to do those long days to get my shit together for roubaix, carter and gila. gila may happen this year, it's been almost 8 years i have wanted to go but it just hasn't happened for variuos reasons, maybe this year. a good 5 day stage race to give me form for the early summer racing right into the firecracker 50 july fourth. sub 4 hour is an attainable goal, i just need a good spring of training and it will be there.
i know it's a bit late in the winter to start cross-training but yesterday i did a new kind of fitness class called body pump. as i have never done any other classes beside a few spin classes years ago this was an awakening. i'm just not the group fitness type. maybe it's the cycling thing, "plowing a lonely furrow" as ligget would say, but even in the realm of road cycling there isn't that canned enthusiasm that comes with indoor group fitness. and usually mtb is a solo effort most times. it was a great workout, it's been years since i lifted so later today i will be a bit stiff but overall the class did what it was supposed to do. that, and the extra 90 minutes i put in on the bike. hopefully this weekend we can get back to the right business of long days and coffee stops. this morning was a totally different story, i have heard various reports but the average is about twenty below zero, fahrenheit. i think that's the coldest weather i have ever ridden a bike. i took off my lobster paw to get out my keys and i got a bit of a burn on my fingers from the brake lever. it reminds me of the story dan or timmy linked a few weeks back about the guys riding in alaska, where if they stopped and slept they might not wake up. i didn't have to worry about that, my 30 minute commute didn't offer life-threatening consequences but it was frosty-foggy for the glasses and my eyes sort of froze shut briefly. the trails were great, little bit of fresh snow on the well traveled paths made for a soft flowing ride. tim brought us back thai food last night from denver, some new dishes that rocked, cellophane noodles in a pad thai and some other stuff that kicked ass. very good eats. i think i want to try korean, vietnamese and ethiopian cuisine. for whatever reason these are at the top of my list, the trick is finding a good place to have them and not get sick from whatever out of the ordinary is in there. thanks for reading
a great doctor visit yesterday for little b. she was happy with what she saw and happy to not see some other things. then i got to catch up with old friends. it was the first time i drove to denver to see the doctor with just b in the car. i was a little freaked out, the drive was clean thankfully, dry roads and clear sunshine out and back. i'm starting to feel less stressed about my form, i know a few big days will change the way my body responds to the workload. i just need a block of big days and all will be good. the racing starts very early but as i will be able to race a lot more this summer i'm putting less weight in the march events and using them for a springboard for the april/may road races and then get into crit form after that. nats are in salt lake this august, maybe... we splurged last night and got a pizza, salad and bread, it was soooo good! now that i try to eat until i am pleasantly full, i couldn't gorge myself the way i used to. not that i'm dieting, i just eat until i feel good, better for digestion, that's what eddy merckx says.
a day with b, we did our am errands and then it was a full day at home, couldn't have been nicer, a nice block on the rollers, a great walk in the woods. the boys really liked the latter, it warmed up a bit, maybe to the 20s. the birds were out, we got a great up close look at a woodpecker doing his thing. he was really beautiful, white with black and maybe a spot of red. we walked around looking for other creatures but they were all hiding from the cold. the snow had that crunchy cold squeak to it, we stayed warm enough, number one was thrilled and b and i managed to avoid frostbite. i was on the rollers watching the middle part of 2000 tour, i want to like lance but outside of his athletic skills i just can't. as a human being he seems to be portrayed in the media as quite difficult. the books aren't any great road map as they are biased first-person deals that border on self-congratulatory tripe. i have so far avoided the second one but the first got to be a bit much, and it seems that the second one is more of the same. he does make the tour exciting, we'll see what jan has to give him this year! curry for dinner tonight, i know we have really embraced lately but it is just so good, especially now that we can make it at home. so good with stout brown rice! foreign cuisine that you go out of your way to make makes the meal seem even more exotic, i never thought of my italian meals to be anything other than regular meals but curry is just a cool change.
the weather in the valley today isn't looking nearly as good as yesterday. yesterday was a cold start to a good sunny day. not that it really affected me that much, i was inside all day working. the weather is keeping me from getting the long days i got last year at this time. my longest day this year 3.5 hours. i can't avoid the stress that comes with lack of good preparation. like the day you had a big presentation due at school and you didn't get it finished. one month from today is the first race, the first race! my legs are good but not that good. it means that i'll be doing five hour days with the race in the middle of it. not the relaxed atmosphere we had last year at the first races, hanging out watching your buddies race before your own effort is due. can i do three hours on the rollers? is that equal to four hours on the roads? what would belgians do? wwbd? i hate feeling this way.
walking around whole foods this morning made me want to binge without throwing up. the variety made brian very hungry too, i love that guy, my own little parasite, are tapeworms parasites? we walked around and sampled wonderful fruit and cheese and all of it organic, mmmmmmmmm whole paycheck rocks! aisle after aisle filled with wonderful ideas made me hungry for different foods i have never had and all the while sampling ingredients for the new dishes we plan on making. after our shopping was through we had alegro organic coffee but i almost chose the yerba mate tea instead. organic stuff does taste better, cleaner or maybe it's a state of mind but eating better is good for the head too! i don't buy the line that "if the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything" bullshit! cleaner burning fuels make for a cleaner furnace! oh well, that's my piece for the day. eat well
a full moon through the clouds, i took the long way in today, i had the time, 4.30 out of bed, quick breakfast of scones and i was out by 5. the ride was made more interesting by the new snow and the clouds, colder than normal, probably a bit below zero. riding in on trails and roads makes me appreciate why i get up extra early and walk to the shed to get the bike out passing on the car. not that it's any great sacrifice, it's just what i do, my little place in this world. riding makes me happier than just about anything, seeing the peaks backlit by the moon through the clouds warms me beyond the minus whatever temperature. almost in this morning and i saw him, couldn't hear him though he was only ten feet away and there he was running but not with too much hurry, cruising over the snow and sidewalk to a safe place, fleeing the creature moving as fast as he was now running nearly as quiet too. i veered to the opposite side of the road to give him room and he went the other direction, away from me, to safety. i hope i didn't ruin his breakfast! it reminded me of the beaver i see in the pond out front on the way in the summertime. quietly doing their thing before dawn when i would quietly roll past and scare them into hiding underwater or perhaps in the lodge hidden in the bank of the pond.
the one day hospital visit became a long weekend of doctors and anesthesia and stress. the kid blows my mind, happy all the time if he isn't having crippling pain. i got in a great little ride thursday night and that was by far the highlight of the weekend. the legs are pretty sour right now after all of the stress of the weekend. the way he smiles all the time makes me realize that he still can surprise me, i hope that never changes. more later