Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Overheard

John Edwards' son Jack upon being informed that his father had withdrawn from the presidential primary:

So, Dad's going to be home tomorrow and the day after and the day after.



Never underestimate time spent with your kids.

Source

Overheard

A spokesperson for Lars Boom's hometown, Vlijmen, Netherlands announced that Boom would be given a tree to plant at a location of his chosing in his honor:

So men a hundred years from now know who he is.


Damn, they love their cyclocross over there!


Source: cyclingnews

Monday, January 28, 2008

Black part II

I received an e-mail this afternoon in regards to local teams coming out with black kits this season advising me that it was not public knowledge.

I apologize... I didn't know it was a secret. So, for the less than 30 people that read about it, please forget you knew until you see it on the road.

Black is the new... black

It seems like everyone is changing team colors... to black.


Pro team, Team High Road's new kit is black. The New Zealand National champ jersey.... black.


Local team (edited) will be black. Now XXX Racing-AthletiCo has revealed its new kit... black. They join Killjoy, which has always been black (I think), except for some pink jerseys I saw this season.

Black, black black.




2008 'Cross Worlds-FAST

Fast is the only way to describe that course. Just look at the results: a whopping 59 riders stayed on the lead lap! Only 1 minute separated 22 year old Champion Lars Boom and 25th place. As a comparison, last week at the World Cup in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, 6 minutes separated 1st and 25th place.

I'm not sure if I like the fast course. I think it eliminates alot of the tech aspects of cross.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

2008 'Cross Worlds U23

I just watched the U23 race. Niels Albert just rode away from the entire field and never looked back.

A very fast and mostly dry course. No barriers! One steep up hill run-up and then a set of stairs. Warm enough that no one wore arm warmers.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Overheard

Italian Enrico Franzoi:

My third position at the worlds last year was a very good result for me. And yes I was thinking for a moment to prepare for only cyclo-cross this year because there was a good chance for me to try to be the world champion. But, I realise that for a non-Belgian rider it isn't possible to focus only on the cyclo-cross season because if you want to make some money you need to race in both seasons. So I do my best knowing I can't focus 100 percent in 'cross.



Imagine if some of these guys were able to only focus on cross- the Americans too, not just Page.

Source: cyclingnews

2008 'Cross Worlds

Here's my podium:

1. Boom
2. Wellens
3. Page

Nys doesn't seem to be at peak form. Page is more a hope than an actual pick, but I think he'd have to have the race of his life to win, or maybe just the start of his life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Good Life

About a week or so ago, we went out for pizza. Elora was sitting in a high chair with a piece in each hand. She and I were giggling about something when a woman walked by. She was probably in her 70s, a grandma type. I'm always amazed at the attention that grandma age women pay to Elora. Drawn to her like a magnet or something, saying hello, engaging her in conversation, asking her how old she is etc.


Anyways, as she walked past us, she said "she's adorable," I looked up, smiled and said "thank you." Then she said "good life," touched me on the shoulder and was gone.


Good life.


I've never worn any of the popular Life is Good line of t-shirts etc. because I don't really embrace that philosophy. Life frequently is not good. In fact, it can be down right crappy at times. In my legal career I probably see more bad than good. I know the idea is to focus on the good things, positive thoughts etc., but I think you have to realize that for many, life is not so good and in fact it is a constant struggle.


The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what she meant was that I appreciate what I have. From her perspective it was Elora and her sparkly, wide-eyed, giggly presence. It goes deeper than that though. I have the ability to ponder a purchase like an SRM, time to ride, friends to ride with, races to compete in.

A good life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Goings on

Haven't posted in awhile. No reason other than I haven't had much to say, but here's an update.

It's cold and snowy here in Chicago. I haven't ridden outside in awhile and to be honest, I'm not stressed out about it. I actually like riding on the trainer. I know- blasphemy. But, here's the thing, I don't like riding outside when it's cold. Some people can deal with it, I cannot. Unless there's a race, if it's below 35, forget it. I just keep telling myself, it's only for a few months and you'll be stronger because of the time spent training now. You just have to give in and learn to love it. I think of it as a necessary part of my training and by watching cycling.tv, the iPod etc., I make it through.

This morning I watched the second world cup race from the Czech Republic. Nys bunny hopping the barriers, so damn fluid.

Booked some needle; Harlan is now backed up until the end of March. Good for him. His work is exceptional and well worth the wait. Right now I am touching up some of my other pieces, adding a new piece to my left shoulder and adding a nautical star on my left bicep to match the one on my right.

My coach set workouts so far have been harder and longer than what I used to do on my own at this point in the season. I would usually do 45 minutes to an hour on the trainer during the week and then longer on the weekends. Now, with my coach setting the workouts, none of my workouts are less than an hour. Also, the workouts themselves are more structured: specific times and efforts within a specific zone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Decision

After much consideration and looking at our finances, a new road bike is not in my immediate future. The price of the power meter is just too high. To do the coaching thing right, I need the power meter, so that si the must have. If I don't enjoy having a coach, I can sell it.

So, instead of a complete new bike, I'll get an SRM and ... drum roll please, a new carbon wheelset! The beauty of a new wheelset is that I won't need it until it gets nicer out, so I don't have to put the cash out right now and I'll be able to use it for cross season. Dugasts here I come!

Change

It's presidential primary season again and everyone wants "change."


All of the candidates, Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Huckabee, all of them, say they and not their opponents are for change. Most recently, Guiliani, declared that was "an agent of change."


But, none of them really say what they mean. Change for change sake doesn't really make a lot of sense of sense. I suppose you could say that anything is better than what we have, so that would be a change.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not much

Not much going on. Work, work, work both on and off the bike.

Brian's workouts are longer and harder than what I've usually done in January. I believe that is a good thing. In previous years, I've always felt a little slow in the early Spring, trying to play catch up. This year I don't want that to happen.

I had my yearly evaluation at work on Friday and I'm supposed to come up with 3 goals for 2008. Sensing an opportunity to multi-task, I asked if they had to be work related. The answer was: "yes, winning a bike race doesn't count, Jim." So, now I am in search of 5 goals- 3 for work and 2 on the bike. I already have put cross 2008 as my top cycling goal.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Beginning

Today was my first real workout of the 2008 season. With my training zones set, my new coach gave me a week's worth of sessions.

So what does this mean? Back to the life of a bicycle geek or maybe "monk."

To bed and then up early in the morning, no later than 5:30 a.m. I have to be finished by 7 a.m. so I have some time to hang out with Elora before I have to leave for the office at around 8.

Watching what I eat and when. With the cross racing, I have only gained 3 pds. since July. Usually, I gain about 8 pds. over the winter. My problem is that I am always hungry, so even though my activity decreases in the winter, I still eat as much as I would during the summer. Now, though, if I can keep my weight where it is now, I'll have less to lose later. Didn't they always say that Jan's biggest problem was that he gained too much weight during the off season, thereby inhibiting his training in the spring?

Looking at my week's workouts, they are longer and harder than I have come up with on my own. That can only be a good thing.

I can't wait to get the power meter, then I should be able to do some real targeted training.

Overheard

Talk about giving someon enough rope. Michael Ball, owner and head honcho of Rock Racing on losing sponsors, including HED wheels:




Nope. See ya. Gone. So be it. I'll go out and buy that company and do my own wheels. I'll make my own wheels. I don't need your wheels. I'll make better wheels. I'll make cooler wheels, that's for sure.

We just got another phone call from another sponsor who is wavering. And go! See ya. I don't care. I'll buy all the equipment. I'll make my own. Next! And guess what? I'll make it better, cooler, and I'll take your market share. Next! If that's the way you really feel about this sport, and it's just an opportunity, then you shouldn't be in the sport. There's more to it than the opportunity. Absolutely I'm in it for the opportunity, but there is more to it. There are people, there are lives. So no, you can go and disappear, HED, but guess what? Tyler is still racing for me.



He makes $200 or $300+ jeans now and people buy them. Scary thing is that he might just have enough money to actually carry through on his threat and buy some of these companies.

Source: velonews

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Effort

The 20 minute effort/test was harder than I thought it would be.

I wore my HR for 2 of the cross races and averaged 167 bpm at both races with highs of 189. One race was 45 minutes long, the other was 30 minutes. I had hoped to at least hit those numbers.

The warm-up went fine. 30 minutes, easy, 3 1 minute high cadence efforts and then one 2 minute hard effort.

Then 20 minutes full on. The playlist was perfect as "Hit the Lights" started right at the start of the effort.

I picked the songs in the playlist for 2 reasons, cadence/beats per minute and/or meaning/lyrics.

So a song like Who Are You, The Who is on there because while warming up I am also trying to motivate/inspire myself to attack this effort. It's not like racing where the adrenaline is punching and everything is GO!

A New Level by Pantera is on there because the song pounds for just over 3 minutes with a chorus of "A new level of confidence and power." It is also strategically placed at the end of the effort because the last minute was supposed to balls to the walls, everything left.

Times Like These by the Foo Fighters was the first cool down song:

it's times like these you learn to live again
it's times like these you give and give again
it's times like these you learn to love again
it's times like these time and time again

Result: 169 avg. and 187 high.

Monday, January 7, 2008

This is a test, this is only a test...

Tomorrow I have to do a 20 minute test to set up my HR zones for the first part of this season's trainings. Until I get the power meter, HR will be the measure by which I will train. In the past I've used HR zones, but just based on 220 less your age, not very accurate.

In preparation for the test, I came up with an iPod playlist for the effort. 30 minutes warm-up, 20 minute test, then cool down.

"This is a test, this is only a test..."

Who Are You, The Who
Around the World, RHCP
Droppin' Plates, Disturbed
Wake Up, Rage Against The Machine
No, You Don't, NIN
Better Living Through Chemistry, Queens of the Stone Age
Hit the Lights, Metallica
The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused
The Four Horsemen, Metallica
A New Level,Pantera
Times Like These, Foo Fighters
Auto Pilot, Queens of the Stone Age

The test will begin with Hit the Lights and end with Pantera. My HR during the 2 races that I wore the monitor during was around 165 bpm average with highs at 189.

Friday, January 4, 2008

2008 season is now

After much consideration, I have decided to change the way I ride and train for this upcoming season. I am now training with the assistance of a coach.

I haven't had a coach since I ran track and cross country in high school oh-so-many years ago. Then, we just did what we were told. We ran the times, or at least tried to run the times we were given for each workout. We didn't ask questions about it, we just ran.

My relationship with my new coach began with questions. He wanted to know what goals I had for 2008 and wanted me to rate myself on certain cycling skills like sprinting, climbing etc.

Goals? Cross is definitely my top goal. Beyond that though, I'm not sure. I will have to think about it.

Along with thinking about training in a different way i.e. goal oriented, I will need a power meter.

So, a new wheelset will have to wait.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back in the saddle again

What better way to start the new year and season off then with a bowl of Crunch Berries! The breakfast of champions.

First ride of the year and first since December 9, the last Chicago Cup race. It felt both weird and good to be back on the bike.

As I was struggling to find some kind of rhythm, Elora asked me what I was doing, I told her I was trying to remember how to ride my bike again. She held her hands out in front of her and said "Papa you put your hands like this and then pedal."