Wednesday Hill Repeats

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Like I have said previously, if you want short, steep hill repeats, West Seattle is a great place to live!


Bike – Flyte SRS2 50-34 x 11-23

Ride food – water

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Fun times.

Blast from the Past.

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Vance Creek Road Race

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Sunday was the Vance Creek road race in Elma, WA, lovingly staged at the Satsop Development Park (which is a cute name for a never finished nuclear reactor plant).  This is a fairly challenging course starting with a sweeping decent into a cross wind followed by a hard right on to twisting narrow farm roads, another right turn into the wind and small rollers that end up being a greater than 90 degreeturn with a 20% incline before rounding the coolant towers and starting another lap. 

The weather was perfect with the exception of a slight breeze that grew stronger throughout the race and it was just in between arm/knee warmer or without so I opted for with, which turned out to be a good choice.  We rolled down the first hill through what seemed to be purposely sanded yet never swept roads.  The gravel was flying every where… in my helmet, in my mouth, bouncing between carbon wheels…  a lot of flats today.  We drilled the farm roads on almost every lap and if you were unlucky enough to be at the back, that’s where you stayed.  the tight corners and narrow road exacerbated the accordion effect and it was strung out for pretty much the entire length.  We all came together though at the park… the collective breath  before the rollers and climb.

The climb to the finish really isn’t all that hard.  Alex and Ryan rolled it in the big ring.  I was spinning the small ring to the top and never felt I was in any type of trouble.  I sat comfortably mid pack every time up and was glad to hear the cheering from Elizabeth through the feed each time.  Thanks!  Alex once again sat at the very front for most of the race, which I didn’t feel was too necessary on the 1st and second lap.  No one was letting anything get away.  He tried a couple of times and so did Aaron but Recycled and Cucina were killing it to keep it together.  I shot off with Tom Wick on the farm roads lap 3 (his second break attempt) and some other guy but right away I knew it wasn’t going to go anywhere.  the other guy wasn’t pulling hard enough for us to get away, I was tired from bridging so I couldn’t pull and Tom couldn’t do it ALL himself so I sat up seeing how close they were.  All of a sudden Olivier from Apex screams past me and is gone, picking up one of the guys from the break and heading off.  I let Alex, Aaron and Ryan know who just went off and the chase was on… caught just as we hit the rollers.

You could tell by lap 5 that the fatigue was starting to set in.  2 guys over cooked corners on the farm roads and ditched it.  Ryan Dean took a spill after the park but before the rollers.  I stopped and yelled if he needed a pull up but he was taken care of by the follow car and the pack had slowed a bit, it was easy to catch back on.  Going into the last lap there was a small group off the front and no one was really concerned as we descended into the farms roads for the last time.  I picked my way up to the front and gave chase with a Receycled and Hagens guy and then started rotating.  Odd that no one was coming up to help considering the representation in the group.  Finally mid way through the back side half of the Recycled crew just drill the chase.  It was pretty impressive!  and with their efforts came the inevitable catch and posturing before the final climb to the finish.  I was in poor position at 1k and when the pace really picked up right before the turn I was no where near the front.  I rolled though the line with a smile though… I knew Aaron and Ryan were in great position and that is a perfect finish for both of them.  Turns out they went 5th and 6th over the line together, Alex at the front of the main pack and then me.  Poor Recycled Cycles, after ALL of that work I don’t think any of them cracked the top 20.  Sucks but that’s racing.  They won the tough team of the day award.

After the race it was off to Alastair’s house and had a great time munching on Lamb burgers and a couple of beers.  Good Times!

Race – 80 miles

Bike – Flyte SRS2 50/34 x 11/23 (back up bike until the new cranks get here for the BMC)

Food – 1 large bottle w/ 4 scoops of Enduarance/ Malto 1 small bottle of HEED (I could have used another bottle and two bags of shot blocks

Max HR 197

AVG HR 141

AVG speed 24

Max speed 48

Great news from the day, Brenda took 2nd in the cat 4 women and Cathy took 2nd in the Cat 3 women.  Greg K finished well in the Cat 1/2 men and Dave H took a top 10 in the Masters Men.

Next weekend is the Glenwood RR in Port Orchard (which I will miss) and then Longbranch RR on Key Peninsula.  Pain fest!

Friday Musical Interlude – Band of Horses

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Band of Horses.

The Funeral

Reminds me of My Morning Jackets, “Gideon” (another fantastic group that I have written about before)

The Great Salt Lake


Have a fantastic Weekend,

Live Beautifully.

I’m still alive… I promise

Posted: Category: Life as I Know It, Racing No Comments

Sheesh it’s been busy.

I’ll do a longer recap of the Tour of Walla Walla stage race.  I’ll just say that it was hard… REALLY hard.  In fact, the new Friday stage was the hardest race I have EVER done, next to TST a few years ago.  The team had a great showing in all categories for men and women.  Rosanna got to ride her cruiser bike all over Walla Walla with Elizabeth and wine tasted while all of us were killing each other in the hills.

Oh my god hills.  I need more climbing.  Lot’s more climbing.

Quick tip to those who put on night crits.  It’s supposed to be dark, I know, and it’s really cool but make sure their is adequate lighting to see a couple feet in front of you, at least on the corners.  That was $@%^ ridiculous.

Brad had a nasty fall on Sunday but because he has 20 pound stones hanging off him he got back up and finished the race, then drove himself to the ER.  Holy crap.

Rosanna and I ended the life of a deer on I-90 heading home.  Deer meat and blood all over the car and bikes.  Not a pretty sight.

More to come, I just wanted you all to know I was still alive and kicking.  More recap and photo’s to follow-

We are all French Now

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OK, we Americans need to face it. The French were right. We were wrong. Yes, this is a provocation but there’s a lot of truth to it. Let’s go down the list:

The Iraq War: Yep, the French said there was no real reason, no weapons of mass destruction, no Al Queda—and they were right.

Neoliberal free market capitalism. Yep, the French wanted more regulation and less globalization and the US wanted no regulation and total globalization. The resulting financial/economic disaster shows—the French were right. National Champions? The US government is now picking corporations and banks it wants to survive. The French always did.

Global Warming/ Cap and Trade. Yes, the French were for it. US against. Now, the US is racing to catch up. So…the French were right.

Health Care.
The US insurance-dominated system costs twice as much as France’s with poorer health outcomes. The French public/private health care system is a better model. Hey, doctors actually come to your house in France. Yep, the French were right.

Wine. The French always said wine was good for you. The US had to spend billions in scientific research to prove that wine is good for your heart. So…the French were right. I’m waiting for the results on cheese.

Food. The French have always been into local, seasonal food. Americans are just beginning to “get it.” France has always had artisanal cheeses, breads, pates, etc. Yep, Americans are just getting into it. So…the French were right.

Sure, the French still need lessons in making entrepreneurs who take risk (all the young French hotshots leave for New York and London). And the very idea of electing a black man to lead France is still shocking. France has a way to go in race relations.

But, all in all, Americans would do well to remember that we really do love French Fries (even though they are Belgian). And we are all French now

Volunteer Park Crit

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I have never finished this course.  First time I ever raced here I got spooked after a bad crash, got dropped and then pulled.  The next couple attempts were fitness problems and I just got blown out the back (granted I was REALLY sick last years race) and for a 1 minute period yesterday I thought it was going to happen again.

The first 10 minutes were pretty fast.  I have to say I was completely red lined but looking at a lot of the guys around me, we were all in the same boat.  30 minutes in and I was getting comfortable but had a hard time holding position.  I’d find myself at the front going up the hill only to get shut down and slammed to the back around the water tower.  

Midway through I tried to move up on the right side of the hill and tagged the curb, dropped my chain and shot right to the back.  A spectator gave me a great push and I was able to get the chain back on but not in the big ring.  I hit the support and Phil said he would put me back in the pack but a lap down.  At the time what he said didn’t register with my brain and I was stoked that my race wasn’t over. 

I finished mid pack but because of my “non mechanical pit” I was put last which doesn’t bother me too much.  I wasn’t anywhere close to placing just happy to get this race done :-)

Great team showing with Aaron, Brad, Tony, Alex, Ryan and Darren. 

Race – Volunteer Park Crit, .8 mile course 1 hill 2 tight turns – 60 minutes

Bike – Flyte SRS2 50-34 x 11-21 SSC SL Wheels

Breakfast – 2 eggs, pasta, cottage cheese and a bagel

Lunch – Peanut butter sandwich, snickers bar and Heed

Race food – Nothing.  I didn’t even take a drink of my water bottle.  Sheesh!

Max HR – 204

Avg HR – 145

I’m spending Easter trying to get my BMC working.  I might have to break the epoxy and swap the cranks out.


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That was one bad ass race.

Thursday Nights at Seward Park

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Hit up Seward Park 6pm with a handful of the Racing Team.  It worked out pretty well with the Aaron and Dean rolled off the front to bridge with the early break of the night, I just sat up front and kept the riff-raff at bay.  Break stayed away and Aaron ended up with 6th place.  Thanks to Jeff Lynch for the picture!

Tuesday Night Lights… My Return to PR

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I haven’t raced Pacific Raceways in about a year and a half. The drive, the cost, the wedding race restriction… all factors led to me staying put in the Seattle area staring at my bike on Tuesday nights. Well, last night I hitched a ride in the Martin Mobile and jumped into the 1/2/3 race with Brad, Dustin and Aaron.

I anchored the back of the pack and chatted it up with a few guys I haven’t seen in a while, talked about the new team and basically watched what was happening from afar. That got boring though so I moved up to Pat G and sat on his wheel for a while. Chased Hone down after the first prime but I don’t hink he was giving 100%, seemed tired from the stage race last weekend. When we got caught he and I floated back a bit and I asked him how Ongers was doing. Sounds like he needs some recovery time but he’ll be back up in the mix soon. What a scary thing to go down. Back injuries scare the hell out of me.

By the second prime I was finally feeling the Wheaties and pounced on the group leading through the turn. I couldn’t come around the Lenovo guy at 100m though and missed the point by a few wheels. We had a bit of a cluster going into the bell lap at the exact same time the 4/5’s were finishing but no one ate pavement luckily. We stalled on the drag strip and I could see Dustin and Brad, then Aaron and they looked in great position so I jumped up to string it out a bit into the turn. Aaron took a dig and we both pulled off before the straight and I think Dustin got 8th with Brad close behind, not sure since I was sitting up in the back with Aaron.

Lesson from the night was I started it too early. Should have waited until the turn but then who knows someone would have jumped us and we wouldn’t have put anybody up there. It’s just a fun night. It’s nice to be back

Bike – Flyte SRS2 (the BMC is broken… Boooo!) 50-34 x 11/23 Easton EC90 wheels
Ride Food – bottle of water
Speed- Dunno… my magnet came off on the warm up. Any one get the max and average?

Seward Park this Thursday and Volunteer Crit/ Brad Lewis Crit this weekend. Good Times!

Weekend Wrap Up. Bonking and Dog Poop

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Saturday morning met the team at Leschi at 8am for an absolutely beautiful ride out to Snoqualmie Falls, the upper loop and then back home.  For some reason I just never got the legs and the lungs going.  I’ve been fighting this chest crud for what seems like a month now and the pollen count is off the charts so the entire morning was Brian coughing wheezing and basically trying to hold on for the entire 70 mile ride.  The guys turned around and waited for me a few times (even though I told them not to)  and Jeff rode with me for a bit too as he wasn’t in the mood to hammer.  I actually started to feel  good about mile 55 but promptly bonked when we hit mercer Island, creeping back to the car at a blazing 8mph.  There are always days like this, days that the body just doesn’t want to go.  Today was my day.  I just wished it wouldn’t have happened on such a beautiful day and on this ride.  I love this route but it’s brutal if the body doesn’t respond.

Bike BMC SL01 51-35 x 11-21 Ksyrium SSC wheels
Ride – 72 miles Snoqualmie Falls
Breakfast – Pasta, cheese, French bread
Ride Food – 1 large bottle of Endurance, 1 small bottle of HEED, 3 shot blocks

I was out of my mind really after that ride and recovered with a few (read FIVE) Dick’s Cheeseburgers.  I know… not healthy but I had the urge.  Then Hit up pizza with Aaron, Jeff and Dustin.

Sunday was all yard work.  Raked up brush, trimmed the hedge, pulled weeds and scrubbed the brick porch.  Then I went out in the backyard to mow the dog poop. Good times.

Rosanna spent all weekend at the Walk MS event.  Fantastic weather for it too!  I haven’t heard what the official tally is for fundraising but when I do I’ll post it.
Stay Beautiful!

Friday Musical Interlude – I Get a Bit Sappy.

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I’m certainly lucky. Waking up every morning to the person who completes and compliments me in every way. She listens to my Ride and Race recaps with out ever looking bored (even when she is… they all sound the same! Dude went off the front and I chased him down, didn’t have the legs at 1k… blah, blah, blah) She challenges me to be the best person I can be, not just for her but so I can say that I tried my hardest and became a better person after any ordeal.

I’m so happy to have found you. You are amazing.

Stevie Wonder – Overjoyed

Living in Fauntleroy has its perks.

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 The West Seattle Bridge slog,  Highway 35th Ave SW,  Gang Bangers over on Delridge, Pothole haven on California Ave.

Living here does have it’s perks though and this is one of them-