It’s Here…

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It’s amazing what you can do with a vision and a thumbprint.

We’re leaving our mark.

Intrigued?

You should be.

Thumb Print Racing [dot] Com

 

 

To the Critical Mass Pukes. Please Read

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(if you can, that is)

Yeah… you on the fixie, dreads and the “cause”.  Knock it off.

I hate you. 

This crap right here?  It doesn’t help.  You are putting ME in danger when you do this. 

What good are you doing?

I’m waiting…

I thought so.

 

NONE!

Remember my Tour picks?

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If not, let me remind you…

CSC-Saxo is going to dominate. It’s going to be a Schleck party in the mountains, Fabian will motor away from the pack and kill it in the TT and Sastre will be in Yellow in Paris. My other predictions-
Polka Dot Jersey – Andy Schleck
Green Jersey – Cavendish
White Jersey – Of course… Andy Schleck

Well, Cavendish with the green was a pipe dream but he did win 4 stages for Team Columbia. Kohl was amazing this year winning the Mountains classification and throwing down a seriously good ITT.

Now, I will admit, I wasn’t giving Sastre a chance in hell to stay ahead of Evans but when they hit the first time check my jaw dropped. After all of the head butting of police, whining and high pitched baby crying from Evans it came down to who could push themselves to the absolute limit.

And Carlos Sastre pulled a TT straight out of his butt :-). To tell you the truth, so did Andy.

I have not enjoyed rooting against another racer as much as I have the past two years with Evans. His constant tantrums are reserved for the younger riders. He should know better.

Karma’s a bitch, eh Cadel?

Anyway. Team CSC-Saxo bank really proved that they are tuned perfectly. Their teamwork is unmatched and just won them the best team, White Jersey and the Yellow Jersey.

“Good on ya, mates!”

Something is in the Air….

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Can you feel it?

Somethings about to happen, something fantastic…

A used Cycle U water bottle to the one who guesses first. Emptied and washed of course.

Hold on to your chamois’ folks!

While you sit and contemplate, I’m gonna go ride Lake WA.

*grin*

 

Fitness Update-

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So, if you’ve been following the blog lately, I haven’t been riding/training/racing much.

Seriously?

Uhhh, yeah. not so much.

Don’t think for a second that I didn’t WANT to be on the bike. I just had a lot of really important things (plus being sick for like… a month).

I rode last Sunday after a night of drinking at Dustin’s birthday party. I was a little queezy for the whole thing and actually puked (sorry mom) at Coulon halfway through. That didn’t really count for quality miles. So what was the first day back like? Seward Park 6pm crit with no warm up.

Yup. I’m out of shape, not to mention almost 10 pounds heavier than at the Walla Walla stage race.

But I’m back, bitches. I want to get some VO2 work in so I can atleast contribute to my team before the end of this season :-). Dustin’s in the points for the LWV series so we need to back his butt up in Gig Harbor and Carnation now.

Good Luck to my boys rocking the Team Time Trial this weekend. They’ll be defending the gold from from last year-

Stay Beautiful!

Friday Musical Interlude – My Morning Jacket

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Feels like it’s been forever since the last FMI but it’s back and with a group from Louisville, Kentucky.  My Morning Jacket was formed in 1998 and is known for their reverb-heavy sound, their eclectic mix of indie rock, country rock, funk, psycodelic and jam band styles, as well as enthusiastic and energetic live shows.

MMJ has 5 studio releases, Evil Urges, Z, It Still Moves, At Dawn and the Tennesee Fire as well as many Live recordings, Demos EP’s and singles available.

These guys rock :-)

Gideon

I’m Amazed

Enjoy!
 

Teamwork, When it’s Needed the Most.

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Italian and former Giro winner Damiano Cunego went down hard 23k into the rolling 18th stage of the Tour de France and pulled a superman on chip-seal. 

 

 Although Cunego hasn’t had the tour a lot of people had predicted (including me, I put him on the podium) I can’t help but admire him as he pushed on through what must have been a butt-load of pain. 

“It’s a miracle I finished this stage,” said the Lampre rider, who came over the finish line with blood dripping from a wound under his chin and injuries to his chest and thorax.

Mad props to his teammates for sticking with him and helping him finish-

More of the story over at VeloNews.

Pictures from Graham Watson.

This is How It Feels…

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We like the pain.

Now.  Go Ride.

And…. We are back!

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Well, we are home now. We flew in about 10 last night after waking up to a monsoon that woke me up early in the morning. First it was just the wind howling through our room, then the distant flashes of lighting and I knew I had to get out and watch. I sat on the patio for 30-45 minutes and watched the storm come fly down the gulf. It was amazing.

And then the wind shifted.
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In the moonlight I saw the clouds roll over the mountain to the north and the flashes wee turning into distant fingers on the water. It was time to go back in the room. As the sky got lighter and the wind stronger I sat by the window and hoped it would skip right by us, boy was I wrong. I looked out over the water and I could see a wall of rain creeping right toward the villa and the lightning was getting even closer. I ran in, grabbed one more cup of coffee and headed back to the room to batten down the hatches.
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It was amazing. I had never seen rain like that before. The lightning was hitting the beach out front of our place and water was pouring into our room. I got everything off of the floors and unplugged the fans. Rosanna was having a blast and thought it was a hoot! It poured for about an hour until it started to fade away, the lighting and thunder moved up to the mountains and it was gone. The smells of the flowers came out as well as the birds playing in the puddles. It was beautiful! The rain played havoc with our long drive down the dirt/rock road on our way to the airport. Many places had washed out or been flooded and if it had not been for the Jeep we rented we would have had a really tough time getting back and as we hit the airport, all of the clouds were gone and the sun dried it all out.

The flight was non-eventful, with a quick stop in San Francisco to change planes, we hit Seattle ahead of schedule. Ro And I still had to go pick up the dogs at her parents house so by the time we got home it was about 1:30 in the morning.

What a fantastic trip. I can’t wait to go back down to Cabo and play again. Maybe do some deep sea fishing next time or some sailing but I do know it will be relaxing. Check out the Honeymoon posts below for our entir adventure.

Now I have to get back to the “real” world. Work, training, racing…. Cleaning up dog poop. Feel free to come over and help.

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Honeymoon, Part 4

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Yesterday was by far the hottest day since we have been out here. I measure by my “Sweat and Breathing” factor, which is, if I am sitting in the shade under a fan and sweat is dripping off my face and I’m having a hard time breathing, it’s damn hot.

Whew.
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Rosanna loves it. She sat out on the patio for a lot of the day, while I was restricted to the indoors, trying to catch the breeze off of the water. After a grilled sausage lunch, we threw on our life jackets and grabbed the double kayak. We broke through the first series of waves and we were off, our paddles flailing through the water trying to fight the swells which for some reason did NOT look as big from shore. Suddenly we realized that we picked the WRONG time to kayak! As we turned around, the swells grabbed our beem and pushed us north towards a hard break I told Rosanna to just try and keep the nose straight and to lean back, the waves shot us toward land, launching Rosanna out of the kayak and pulling me back out, then forcing it back over the top of her and missing her head by about a foot. What an adventure. The two of us hiked back – boat, paddles and life vests in hand, with a lesson learned. “Kayak When It’s Flat”.
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We spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards and putting a puzzle together (Ro did must of the puzzle, I just sat and watched) and then as the sun started to set, we went out and walked the surf, played in the waves and drove the ATV over to the mountain and back.
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A relaxing and death defying day all at the same time. Who could ask for anything more?

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Honeymoon, Part 3

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Saturday morning Rosanna and I woke up for breakfast and a quick room pack up. We had plans to hit Costco for food and water (beer!) before we started the drive to Villa Las Frailes. Check out went smoothly and all of the meals and drinks charged to the room were in order except one. Hint- always always ALWAYS keep your room charge receipts! With the car packed and the AC blasting we scampered away from SolMar, waved to our time share lady and headed north to Costco.

Yes, I said Costco. It looked EXACTLY THE SAME. Same layout, same items, same low prices and same 5 gallon jugs of mustard. It was fantastic. We stocked up on Bottled water, XX beer, diet coke and then headed to Wal-Mart

Again, yes, I said Wal-mart but this time it was different than the ones in the states, this was MUCH better. They had people constantly cleaning the aisles, the workers were friendly and it had a HUGE fresh food section. The only thing that kept us from buying more than we did was the tiny little rental car and Brian’s impatience wanting to hit the road.

With the car full of food, people and gas we headed up Highway 1. A narrow, twisty and fast road with memorials from those who lost there lives on it strewn every 10-15 kilometers. Probably from the truckers as they FLEW down the road passing everyone in their path, turn or not. We made the turn to head east on a road that took us through some small villages, fruit orchards and dessert and then the road ended. It was gone, all that was left was a twisty, hilly dirt path that we had to travel for 30 kilometers. We weren’t alone as we were passed by caravan of off-road vehicles, probably on their way to the mountain for rock driving. It was barren and beautiful, huge cacti and either a shack or a palace around every turn and just as the directions say, just when you think you are truly lost you arrive and so we did.
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The door to the Villa was open when we got there, no one was there but I am sure they were expecting us soon. It was amazing! It sits right on the Sea of Cortez with a small mountain on the left and nothing but beach to the right. A small sitting pool joined to a swimming pool on the patio courtyard surrounded by 4 bedrooms and anchored to a large living area and kitchen. All power is supplied by the solar panels on the roof or a generator at night and is so quiet. The Caretaker, Solomon, greeted us an hour later and he is very wonderful. If we needed anything at all.. ANYTHING just ask. ATV, Kayaks, the boat,… it was all up to us. After a quick tour he disappeared and Rosanna and I did what we came here for… Nothing. A dip in the pool, a walk through the water and some shelf hunting followed by a few drinks and dinner. As the sun set on our first day Rosanna set on the patio, scrubbing her shells and I had my feet in the pool, drink in hand listening to the surf.
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Sunday Solomon brought us the ATV and after a cooling dip in the pool and a sprint down to the surf, Rosanna and I grabbed the kite , jumped on the ATV and headed down south. After 15-20 minutes of driving we came to a rock formation that was just BEGGING to be climbed on so out came the kite and camera. We did misjudge the power of the waves and a few crashed about the height of Ro’s head, which made for great shots but a little scary for Brian. Heading back we passed the villa and drove around south by the mountain by some small shacks used for surfers and fishermen. When we got back we escaped inside for some lunch and to get away from the heat followed by an intense game of water polo in the pool. Ro scored first but I came back with a vengeance. Little did she know, I put my feet down a couple times to block her shots, I mean, come on… I’m not gonna get beat by a girl! As the sun fell, we grabbed our flashlights and waited for darkness to surround us as we wanted to go see the turtles hatch on the beach. While we didn’t get to see any baby turtles we did see all kinds of crabs, shelled or not, poking their little heads out of their holes and scampering either down to the beach or just away from our flashlights. Fast little critters! It was all fun until one ran straight for Rosanna, over her feet, waved its claws and “plopped” right into the water. Straight out of a damn Disney movie.
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Here I sit Monday morning after waking up early to watch the sunrise and making us coffee, realizing that I’m typing away on a laptop when I should be out playing in the water. We plan on taking the kayaks out by the mountain. And cruising around the bay.

Oh- Jack Johnson never made any sense to me,…until now.
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Honeymoon, Part 2

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It’s hot here, really hot and very humid. My family and friends know that I run really hot to begin with so I’m a little worried that I’ll get what I call “heat grumpy” and I’ll end up pissing Rosanna off. Well thank goodness for a cooling breeze coming straight off the pacific to keep me relatively comfortable as well as a few dips in the pool and the occasional ice cold beverage. I think I really started relaxing Thursday after a stroll through Cabo San Lucas markets and a delicious lunch at Roja (along with a few drinks) we spent the rest of the evening floating in the pool and playing Uno. Rosanna of course won EVERY damn game we played so I stuck to what I did best… drink.
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Friday we used our free shuttle pass to head on back to the airport to pick up our rental car. I thought the ride TO the hotel was bad! We shared the shuttle with a family from Texas and Oregon and you could tell everyone was white knuckled. At one point when his cell phone rang you heard everyone mutter “Oh please no, just drive” and when he was having problems opening his Coke (sending us in the other lane in the process) I offered to assist him so he didn’t kill my wife. He gladly accepted and all in the van were appreciative that I probably saved every one of their lives. Our car rental went very smooth, they even upgraded our vehicle which turned out to be a brand new Jeep Patriot, I was it’s first renter and was so happy because I normally end up renting cars that reek of past smokers. We took the long way down highway 1 and I now realize how very lucky we are back in the states. Cleanliness, security, building codes, low poverty rate… It seems so awkward to have shanty towns not 5 miles away from posh gated resorts. I guess I live a fairly sheltered life tucked away on a hill in Seattle.
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OK… back to the honeymoon.
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Our last night in Cabo San Lucas, Rosanna and I had an amazing Lobster and Filet Mignon with a bottle of champagne and lovely Spanish music. Rosanna was gorgeous and I must say I looked pretty smashing myself (in all the clothes Ro picked out for me) as we enjoyed the evening, watching the sun set and the ships cruise up and down the coast. The long day, the heat, food and drink finally got to us and we scampered back to our (air conditioned) room and passed out.
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What a wonderful few days in Cabo San Lucas, it was an eye opener for sure. Though we had a few speed bumps, we will be back.

Honeymoon…Part 1

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Our first segment of the flight down to Mexico was pretty uneventful, with the exception of the flight attendants chattering behind me about how much the hated working the MD-80’s and couldn’t wait to get them out of Alaska’s fleet.

“They just don’t feel as safe”, she said, to her co-worker.

Great. Sure sets my mind at ease!

We arrived at LAX a little later than normal and had a few minutes to shift to our next flight and Rosanna’s head cold was starting to get the best of her. Her sinuses wouldn’t decompress and her ears didn’t pop so not only did her head hurt like crazy but she couldn’t hear a thing so either she was yelling or mumbling. Pour girl, but she fought through it like a champ and we landed safely in Cabo.

We made it through security and customs fairly quickly but were caught up in something we weren’t prepared for… the Transportation Gauntlet. Apparently, Cabo is having a little taxi and transportation upheaval right now and the taxi union is in cahoots with the time share folks. So when they asked where we were headed, I told them SolMar Resort and was quickly shuffled to a “Transportation Specialist” who’s REAL goal was to scam me out of as much money as possible for a taxi to the resort with the promise of her personally taking us to breakfast the next day and give us “guaranteed cash back” at the end of our 90 minute breakfast. Our cost for said Taxi? 1500 pesos ($150 usd).

Not only no but HELL NO. We’ll find another way.

That’s the thing… there IS no other way. So as we walked away from that lady we were snatched up by the next “Specialist” who offered us a ride for 800 pesos. Hell, fine, we took it. The 30 minute ride into town was DEATH DEFYING. Our cab driver wanted to push that thing as fast as he could and pretty much did. I told Rosanna that I now know how she feels when I drive… sorry babe. I’ll slow down from now on! Our check in went smoothly and the hospitality clerk was very understanding of the folks at the airport and promised to make up with it by paying for our return shuttle, giving us a 50% discount on all activities we book through the hotel and paying for our breakfast the next day. I felt a little relieved and Ro and I headed off to our room and proceeded to relax and we promptly passed out.
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The next morning… Bells started going off in my head when we were shuttled to the Playa Grande for breakfast. We saw lines of folks in front of desks and none of them looked happy. Yup, we were snagged into a timeshare presentation. An uncomfortable breakfast, a crummy tour of the resort, the shuffle between people trained to get as much information out of you as they can before they make the place look too good to be true. You MUST BUY NOW!!!

You will be happy to know the We did NOT buy a time share. Rosanna and I finally had enough and we walked out on them. Straight out the front of the resort to the beach, took a left and shuffled through the surf down to our hotel.
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At last… Our Honeymoon had begun.
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Off to Mexico-

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Villa Las Frailes

And we’re off.

Ya’ll take care while we hit the beach, Ro and I will be dancing in the Sea of Cortez by the end of the day. My internet access will be off and on so we’ll get pictures up as we can.

Two things-

1. We got a sneak peak of some of the wedding pictures and they are absolutely FANTASTIC.

2. I hate Bank of America. I hate them very much.

Stay Beautiful!

Joe Matava July 4th 2008 Criterium

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Even with the threat of rain, 60 cat 3 men ventured out on the 4th of July to battle it out on the streets of Burien. Byrne/ JCV had a great line up with the following:

Greg K
RC R
Dustin V
Jeff D
Tony B
Brad K

I was, once again, out of comission as I’m still trying to shake the crud out of my lungs. I was, however, able to do my second favorite thing at a race… Pictures.

Tony

RC

RC & Tony

Jeff

Greg

Dustin

Brad

All of you guys did a fantastic job, pulled in 5 primes and 2 in the top 10.

All of my shots are loaded into either the JCV Flickr or my personal Flickr site, linked to the right. Feel free to use them if you would like, just give me a little credit :-)

I Have a Feeling…

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I have this odd feeling that she misses me.

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I was out on the Cannondale the other day and I know that pissed her off.

Soon.

Very Soon.

Tour de France 08 – My Picks

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I’ll just come right out… CSC-Saxo is going to dominate. It’s going to be a Schleck party in the mountains, Fabian will motor away from the pack and kill it in the TT and Sastre will be in Yellow in Paris.

Velo News couldn’t have written it any better-

With the lone exception of baby-faced Tour rookie Andy Schleck, CSC consists of hard-nosed, bad-asses who intend to impose their will on the race.

Be prepared to see Jens launch himself off the front so many times throughout the next month it will make your head spin. The mans got a set of stones in that sack of his and with O’Grady back in form it’s game over. I can’t wait to see how well Andy does.

Team CSC-Saxo Bank for 2008 Tour de France
Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
Carlos Sastre (Sp)
Andy Schleck (Lux)
Fränk Schleck (Lux)
Nicki Sørensen (Dk)
Jens Voigt (G)
Stuart O’Grady (Aus)
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (N)
Volodymir Gustov (Ukr)

My other predictions-

Polka Dot Jersey – Andy Schleck
Green Jersey – Cavendish
White Jersey – Of course… Andy Schleck

I see George with a Stage win early on and maybe a TT podium and Soler will solo on what I think will be the most exciting stage in this years tour… stage 17.
stage 17

Bring it!

Friday Musical Interlude

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Flight of the Conchords, formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo.

Ha!

Now put on your Business Socks, sit down and enjoy ;-)

If that’s What You’re Into

Business Time

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros

The Humans are Dead

Thursday Randomness

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Whenever you are in doubt… dress up.

 

 

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t quench my thirst. (picture from Ennistimon, Ireland after a night of…. drinking.)

For Those of You That are Wondering…

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I’m still sick, so I have decided not to race tonight, Thursday or Friday. Basically, I’m off the bike until Rosanna and I get back from our Honeymoon on the 18th. I feel as if everytime I make a little headway and start to feel better, I go out and hammer and feel like dog crap the next 3 days.

I think I’m going to sell all my bikes and get back to golf. I was better at that anyway. Anyone want to buy a set of Spinergy wheels? How about some Easton Tubulars? a Scandium Cyclocross frame?

Rosanna beat me in checkers last night, I’m still a bit grumpy about it too.

Randomness. Love it.