Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good News...well sort of

Good news is that I finally got a camera so I can start taking pictures of things and post them on my blog. Cool huh?

Bad news is that it's been raining for the last couple of days and I have nothing to take pictures of.

Christmas was good, I got pretty much everything I wanted except a new Lambo. The best thing about this Christmas was the fact that I could actually use everything they gave me. In the past my parents have given me paper clips, staples and bulk notebook paper. Awesome.

Christmas is a long word and pretty hard to spell so I'm going to switch to x-mas. X-mas had a strange feeling this year. It was the first time my family wasn't together. Tash was in Boulder and flew to Scotland X-mas day. Weird. We would have a whole schedule on x-mas day, when we were going to open presents, when to eat our special breakfast of chocolate chip muffins, when to open the stockings etc. We still had our stocking opening after Mom and Dad got me up at the friggen crack of dawn-8 o'clock. And we still had our breakfast of muffins but it felt different when I had no one to race against when I opened my presents.

I wasn't sad or lonely but I knew this was a part of growing up and one day I wouldn't be there for Christmas. I hope Tash is having fun in Scotland, I haven't heard anything from her so I'm guessing she's not dead.

Anyway, enough of the depressing stuff. I changed some stuff on my blog, namely adding a picture at the top of the page. I think it's pretty cool but you folks are the ones who read the blog so let me know what you think.

Still waiting on some more sponsorships letters to come in so I still have no idea who or what I will be riding for next year. Right now I'm having fun at my house, enjoying my four week long break and downloading illegal music. Fun, fun.

It seems like it's been raining every day I'm off work. Screw you God. Him and I do not have a pleasant relationship since I was six. I woke up early that morning and prayed for a Playmobile Pirate Ship. Yeah never came. Ever since then He and I have been sworn enemies. He was there before the short track national championships and told the guy in front of me to push me out of the race. He was at the 4-H competition a few years ago and convinced the judges that Bond's presentation was better than mine.

The only time that I have done good was when the devil parted the waters. When I won the Pro race at Ducktown, God made me burp air out of my tire but the devil made sure that I was able to hold off the other riders and win.

The bottom line is this: God made the mountain, the Devil created the bike.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crack is bad

Wow! Sorry about the last post. I just reread it and noticed how bad it was. Either I was on crack or just sleepy or probably...on crack.

I just finished writing another proposal to another sponsor who probably doesn't care whether I die tomorrow of cancer, he's definitely not getting this deal. So, I'm in a writing mode. I've started typing a lot more in college, I guess you have to. The proffs are like: five pages typed tonight-even though I don't have you until next week, you need to run by my office and lemme see it. Ok, proffs are really strange people and I think I'll add them to my list of Really Strange People I Don't Like. Along with docs and dentists.

Man I totally had my tires replaced today-on my car mind you, not the bike, I can still do those by my self St. Marie. It kinda sucks now because I can't drift around corners but it dose help that I can get enough traction to slow down a hundred feet before a red light rather than a mile back.

It's really, really cold in my room so I think I might go to bed if either: global warming starts now or I find something actually interesting to type about.

I feel pretty good. A little sleepy, but content. That will probably change when I get my grades tomorrow. Maybe my parents will resist killing me until after Christmas. I hope so. Perhaps if I buy mom a bunch of candy and dad a truck load of bird seed they will forgive me.

Um...yeah it's almost midnight. Which wouldn't be that big a deal but my training starts Monday so I should probably get more sleep. Peace.

What Would Jon Dalman Do??

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

College Life

Dudes I've been totally not keeping up with my blog while my sister has so she thinks that she's wayyy cooler than me now.

You want to know what sucks? Like, after the AWESOME cross race this week end I was going to go to a party at the boss's place. But Dad watching out for my well being and health and all that good stuff told WWJDD that I wasn't able to go. See like I had to be in class Monday morning because the Proff gives out a jump in letter grade if you are a little goo-die two shoes and go to all the classes. So I couldn't figure out if I should go back to school after the party or drive up in the morning or what.

Anyway, I finally decided to drive back to school that night and skip the party. So every thing's cool right? I get to class on Monday and my freaking prof decides to have a heart attack and not come to class so it was cancelled. Awesome.

This week has seen me get totally sleep deprived, pull a Tasha freakout session, and get lost in Walmart. So it's been a good week and it's not even over yet and that's a good sign.

Yesterday: Gatling Gun, Dot-com, Real Tall, Chaput and Timmy and I sessioned the new Burnt Mountain Trail. Pretty good fun, but Gatling gun and real tall beat me during the time trial.

Cartoons are really bad for you, I figured. They teach kids to act a certain way in certain situations and kids-at that young age are so influenced by emotions they see. I'm glad I never watched Cartoons, I seriously cannot sit through any kid cartoon because I get scared of how it makes me think. I'm somewhat weird so if you don't want to be friends then it's cool.

Don't you hate it when you want to listen to some music but you just can't find the right one. It sucks and I'm going through that traumatic experience right now.

Definitely, going with sista here, it is almost jager in the watter bottle time. Actually, nah probably is a better word so: Probably because I'm super cool and everything I scheduled my training to start on X-mas day. Weird huh?
Told you so....

Man textbooks suck, they are expensive, you don't get anything back when you sell them, and it's usually just a bunch of people telling you how dumb you really are and how much smarter they are than the average human.

Man! I never thought that getting more little people for the college cycling team would be so hard. Squirrel set up some parameters to make it even harder. First we need more gravity people for making Newton's Laws and stuff seem false. Then he wants more women. Which are pretty much non-exsistent around Brevard. To top it off he wants girls who can race downhill. Dude!! I'm trying as hard as I can to get just one of the afore metioned people much less BOTH!

Dude I would be totally suprised if the Saint didn't have a blog. Need to check up on that.

Time for racing is getting a little closer again. Well not really...but it's the same thinig.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Update stuff blog

Sorry again dudes, I've been really busy the last couple of weeks. Driving to races, working, and trying to finish all the stuff I need to do before I go to school. Funny, that sounds a lot like the last entry I did.

The trip to Brevard was fun except for the fact that it rained the whole time and we didn't get to ride as much as I wanted. Oh well, I shouldn't complain too much as I'm going to spend the rest of my life there pretty much. After taking like 2 hours to find a place to eat we came back to the camp site and packed up and then it started to rain again, sweet. So we instead of riding we loaded into the car and drove over to Fontana. The hole way over it poured on us and I was cringing in the driver's seat. I have luckily missed all the muddy races this year and I didn't want to break my streak. I think wet and muddy conditions are something that I excel in but I hate getting all that dirt out of my bike, clothes and hair.

Surprisingly the course was incredibly fast and dry. I had never seen the course sooo dry, I actually had dust on my bike. Insane. We got there Friday afternoon and pre-rode and the Kemps let Ethan, Mike and myself stay in their bad ass cabin. It was a really nice cabin right next to the start. You could see the start/finish from the porch. Anyway, props to the Kemps. Saturday morning Mike and I suited up to go ride again while Ethan readied for the downhill. Ethan thought he had a shot at winning the downhill until we found out that Chris Herndon was showing up. Chris Herndon is probably the nicest person you will ever meet. You'd never know that he is one of the fastest guys in the U. S. if not the world. Back in the spring he hit the world cup race in Spain, he had just gotten his new downhill bike like a week before that and jumped off the plane and was less than 20 seconds behind Sam Hill, the world downhill champion. Oh and by the way he can do Farlow Gap, I can not do Farlow Gap at all.

The Saturday night short track raced around the little park in the center of Fontana Village. Word had been getting around that I was favorite to win the short track so there came a little bit of pressure from the rumors. Woodall won last year by attacking on the first couple of laps and soloing to the win. One comforting thing about the soon to be slaughter fest was that I had two teammates in the race: Andy and Brad. Tactics do not play a huge part in short track races but having teammates does not hurt. Since the objective was to prevent Woodall from winning Andy instructed me to mark him through out the race and make sure he didn't go on another solo break. The race started incredibly fast and attacks were going off the front every five seconds. I remember covering attack after attack and looking down at my watch to find only five minuets had passed!Anyway the team messed up on tactics in the end allowing Woodall to pass Travis Liverman and grab the win. I was able to hold off Andy for third and Wes brought up the rear in fifth.

The next days cross country was a little less exciting for me as, to make a long story short, I didn't eat enough after the short track the night before and bonked pretty hard about half way through the race. I couldn't even see the trail on the last lap I was just trying to keep the bike going in (more or less) a straight line. After I finished I rode back down to the feed where the rest of the team was. I almost fell off the bike (actually quick pause, for those who don't know what a bonk is it is when you run out of food or water and you basically can't even pedal any more and eventually fall off the bike and go to sleep. Bikers can go longer than runners after the bonk because the bike frame supports us but once you get off you can't even walk you just kind of fall to the ground and wait until the wolves make off with your remains.) So that's what happened -minus the whole part about getting carried off-it was funny because I said very weakly: "Does anybody have anything to eat?" All of a sudden I had sandwiches and water bottles and candy and ice cream shoved in my face. It was awesome! I ate a ton of food and promptly fell asleep for a good 20 minuets. I woke up and Tash was crossing the line in front of me, so I cheered her on and then went back to sleep. It was awesome! After that I felt great and was about to do another lap of the XC-um yeah, I'm going to have to throw the bull shit flag on that one.

I'm going to skip ahead so you'll be up to date on my national schedule. Sunday is the last SERC race in Anniston, AL. I'm doing that race so I can have a last minuet prep before Nats which is the next weekend. I'm sitting in 2nd overall in the SERC (sorry it was a mistake when I said that I was 1st because I had forgotten about the dropped races) and I just need to do the race to make the legs feel good and to pick up my awards. From the race we drive 12 or 14 hours (I forget how much) to Mount Snow, Vermont. The cross country is on Friday and the short track is on Sunday. After that race on Sunday we drive down to Sugar Mountain in North Carolina. Again I race on Friday and Sunday. The national race in VT and the NMBS at Sugar are the two deciding races for the national team for the World Championships in Scotland. These are the two big ones that I've been training all year for. As Andy said, our team has an odd habit of winning on odd years. We've had people win in 2001, 2005, and perhaps 2007. I know that we'll be staying in a condo for VT so hopefully I'll be able to keep updating my blog, checking my email, and of course, checking my facebook. Dude whenever I start thinking about the race I just get a feeling in my stomach and my legs start twitching. You have to listen to your body all the time but especially when the legs start taking. The legs tell me they want to go fast, they tell me they want to crush all the minions that are my competition. Despite what Jon and Phil say I agree with Buck: "I've got witches in my legs." Unlike Cowboy Yuck my witches make me faster when they are under the control of the Dark Lord Dalman. Hold up, my bad I got carried away a little bit.

I'm writing this passage before I go into work so I can get in the evil, dark, cruel mindset that is required to make black magic at the local bike shop. This morning has been really crappy because I set all my forms for Brevard on the top of Tasha's car. When she went into work the paper went all over the road. So I've been trying to figure out what I'm missing for like the last half hour. Righteous. I haven't been able to get connected to the Internet so I decided to just sit tight and work on my blog.

I'm grouping this all into a huge blog because I don't really have time to separate all the different stories so here's an update on the Mt. Snow trip. We got in about 6 o'clock today and checked into a really decked out condo in the Mt. Snow Village. The Kemps showed up soon after and we had supper before going out for a quick ride. We tried to ride the whole course but it got dark to fast and we could only ride the first climb. We headed back and by the time I got in a quick shower and Tash showed up. We got settled in and went to bed about 11.

Wednesday morning was Friday morning for me. It makes it a whole lot easier to remember what to do when you always race on Sunday. Since I'm racing Friday, Wednesday is Friday, Thursday is Saturday, and Friday is Sunday. That means you have more room in your brain to think about racing. Anyway when I woke up I found out that it had been raining since 4 or 5 in the morning and the track was good and saturated. That makes it so much better for me, the west costies can't ride any dry roots much lesss ones covered in mud.

Saturday morning dawned with no rain which was pretty cool but as we soon found out the first climb was almost completely unrideable. Sweet, I like riding in the mud when I can ride in it. I rode for about half an hour on the road, just trying to spin out the legs and chilax. The legs felt good but I still need to switch my front tire over from the small block eight to a Karma. The Karma hooks up better in the mud but Brad just showed me a Kharisma which might be a little better but I think I'm going to stick with the Karma. I'm a little nervous because the climbs are usually where I make my moves but most of them will be unrideable so I'm trying to think of another way. The plan for the race is to just sit back and watch the other racers until the right moment when I do my thing.

I watched the tour today, I'm sure that Phil had fun watching Vino attacking in the last K, impressive. I think Mom Dad are going to show up today or sometime tomorrow hopefully before 5.

Mom and Dad did show up before 5 but they were a little late no worries though. It was pretty cold at the start and during the whole race as a matter of fact. The start was pretty sweet because they decided to call us up based on our USA Cycling Ranking meaning that I would be on the front row. A call up usually doesn't matter at local races because there's not as many people but at the national races a good call up is very important for the start. If you start in the front then you don't waste as much energy moving up to the front. The start hits a long ski road climb before ducking into the woods for a quick decent back through the start/finish. Two devo guys attacked right from the start I covered the move One of them, Greg Carpenter dropped off the pace so it was just Ethan Gilmore and myself. By the way, the trail had not dried out at all during the last couple of days. The first climb was completely unrideable. Ethan and I jumped off and ran for about half a mile before we hit another road and hopped back on. Ethan kept on going and wee Tristan was left staring at his shoes. He got a good 15-20 second gap at the top of the climb and opened it a little more the next lap. Eventually two Devo guys caught up to me and did pretty much the same thing. The rest of the race was me chasing those three guys. I thought I knew how to ride mud but those guys really, really knew how to ride mud. It also didn't help that we raced in the friggin dark! When you went into the woods at the top of the decent the trail went completely black. To add insult to injury I crashed on the lap allowing another Junior X to pass me, I thought he was a U23 but at the finish I found out the truth. I went as hard as I could and those guys were faster in the mud.

Anyway nothing much happened Saturday except that I fed Andy and ate over at the sister's place. I was pretty pissed at myself and at Ethan and the other guys who beat me. I was the strongest guy in the race and I deserved that win. I was ready to race the short track and I was ready to win it. Those witches were doing their job. I rode after Andy's race and they felt like I spun around the block instead of racing a 2 hour cross country race in the mud.

Sunday was the last day of the 2007 Nats and it didn't start too exciting. I got up, made breakfast, talked to Brad's dad about college, switched tires to my super light Kosmik Lites, and sat around watching Versus Red, White, Black and Blue Summer programs. The parental units showed up around 12:30 to like talk and stuff. Hell if I know what they did. No wait, they did do something. Guess what Dad was wearing when he walked into MY condo. A freaking MAXXIS SHIRT! What were you thinking Dad? You show up to support you son racing in the national short track championships and show up wearing the opposing team's colors. Yeah, so I gave him my KHS T-shirt. Don't EVER do that again father! Warmed up and everything and rolled up to the line. USA Cycling once again reserved a space on my black list went they announced that the call ups would be decided by order of registration. So if you were a good little boy and registered back in February of last year you could start front row. Another thing about starting in the front is you don't half to deal with PABs. A PAB is a mix between a jerk and ass hole. It kinda right in the middle-haven't you always wanted to have something in between those two? Well now you do, a Punk Ass Bitch. PABs are bad, they start in front of you and don't even know how to shift much less know how to clip into the pedal correctly. In order to get past them (there are usually quite a few) you have to whip out ya hockey elbows (new term-cirtousy of the Velo Bella team) and proceed to hack the hordes down.

So, I had to start behind those terrible PABs. It went OK I move moved up about five places at the start only to slam on the breaks and run over three more in the first turn while 10 got past. I kept on trying to move up because every time I stuck my head around I could see the guys in the front attacking each other. Last year I was the very last one to get called up to the line and by the time I made it up to the lead groupo they had started launching race winning attacks (an RWA is when you go all out in order to break away from the group-you totally commit 100 percent). Really suckful. Things were doing OK in command central until I tired to pass this guy in the front drag. I yelled at him over the noise but I don't think he heard me because when I pulled along side he tried to pass the guy in front of him. We locked H-bars and we both went down. I think I had the breath knocked out of me because I just curled up on the ground gasping for air. I thought about getting up and trying to get into the race but by the time I did I probably would have been pulled because I was too far behind the leader. So after about 5 minuets I was out of that jersey too. Totally suckful.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

More grinding than bumping

Sorry again folks. I've just been sitting on some chairs and bike seats and enjoying my summer.
But I need to get back blogging. So, here we go: the SERC at Jackson went OK, Woodall won again while Andy and I chased him. Tash and I drove down Sunday morning and pull into the parking lot right behind Brad, my teammate from Indiana, why he comes down to race the southern GA races I have no idea but that's how he rolls. As we got registered Bruce interviewed both Tasha and me. The best part about it was that Bruce asked Tash what the best part about racing around the nation was and she answered with: "I just love looking at all the pretty rocks and trees and flowers, because that's what I studied in college." NERD!!!!!! Come on Tasha, you could have said something about like the different courses or different food or different tasting mustard or SOMETHING ELSE!!

Whatever. We did the kids race which was a lot of fun and we found out that they actually aren't that slow after all. A couple almost ran me over at the start! I've got to do some more of that, it's fun and it's a good start to my warm up.

Da race. We had a pretty good field at Dauset, about 20 guys, with some guest appearances. Mike Cummings showed up as did Todd Deprano and some Titus guys from FL. Luke took off at the start and I sat second wheel for the first half mile. It was a really long start and just before a gravel 90 degree turn into the single track Ryan Woodall comes flying by on my right with Victor Alber (remember 12 Hrs of Tsali) on his wheel. I tried to react, but I got boxed in and couldn't get out. I hit the woods fourth and the first two started opening up a gap, fast. I got around Robert Marion and tried to bridge to the tandem. I got about 10 feet away but just couldn't bring it back. On the next road section Andy and Robert passed me but I latched on the back. Robert blew big time and I had to close the gap to Andy. We chased for the rest of the lap and about in the same spot we caught Alber who had been dropped by Ryan. Andy attacked on the road and we sandwiched Victor on the decent when he crashed and double flatted.

To make a long story short, Andy and I chased for the rest of the race and never pulled any time back on Woodall. He won, Andy was about a minuet behind and I was another minuet.
I was kinda bummed but one, it's Ryan and two, that course sucked. There was really no place to put down any power and make up time because it was just tight single track, all you had to do to win was get a gap early on and keep the pressure. And that's what Woodall did. But the fun didn't stop there as I waited (as a good brother) right beside the finish line and was the first to congratulate my sister on her first Professional win. Everything was great after that except she couldn't get the top off the champagne and I ate some insanely hot hot wings at Zaxby's.

Last Sunday was one of the "classics" of southern MTB racing: Bump and Grind at Oak Mountain in AL. I had never done this race before and was stoked about riding the trails. It's a stand alone race, not associated with any series and includes a fairly big purse. Since it's a stand alone race I couldn't get into the pro class which meant that I would race Senior X. About 300 bucks went to the winner of the Senior X class. So I was basically doing this race to earn some money. Tasha would have it a little more difficult because pretty much every female pro this side of that big river would come over to race. We got there Saturday and pre rode. The course is pretty sweet with steep climbs, gradual climbs, and a super fast technical decent. Really fast too, each lap is 17 miles long and we did two laps which made it about 2:15 for me and 2:30 for Tasha.

Before hitting the single track there was a start of about a mile of "urbanized" trail. Side walks, gravel, pavement etc. At one such side walk it curved up and had a lip from the grass to the edge of the pavement. Like a half pipe. Now I had pre rode this section with no problems, but in a race you sometimes forget what you did in the pre ride. I hit the lip with my back tire doing about 30 mph right at the start of the race. It was not fun as I sat front rode to a slow-mo movie of me flipping over the bike. I slid for a couple feet and kind of rolled back on my feet. I stood up (well, figuratively-can you say "fetal position"?) and check everything out. The spectators were real helpful: somebody put my bottle back in the cage and held my bike up. I knew if I could get back on the bike adrenaline would kick in and I wouldn't be able to feel it. It worked, systems check came back good and off I went trying to catch the front of the race.

I chased and chased and finally I caught back on half way up the big climb. I was really surprised when I saw Seth and this other dude at the front of the race. Seth is freaking 15 years old and is racing against 20 year olds and was in the lead groupo! He saw me coming and put in a attack which the other guy closed but I caught his wheel and he toed me back up to Seth. As soon as we made contact I put in a dig. He blew trying to chase me and Seth dropped him and joined him.

I didn't know that I was leading so I soft pedaled the rest of the lap. We came through start and finish and I turned around and was like: "Are we leading?" And Seth's like: "I think there are two more guys up there." And Tristan then said a few choice words and started chasing. Seems like all I do these days is chase other people.

Well turns out there wasn't anybody else so I won with Seth coming in second. Andy had an OK race in the pro class, he got 5th in a stacked field. Tash had one of those days and finished 10 again in a top heavy field. Now I'm trying to heal before the GSC at Fort Mountain this week end. I rode last night (Tuesday) and my leg felt good, but my arm is pretty sore and it's hard to grip the H-bar on the real technical stuff. It should be good enough for Sunday. I just got a call from Luke Rozanski yesterday asking if he could stay at my house for the GSC. So it will be me and him as the only two from the standings at the race. Johnston has a wedding to go to, Woodall lives in FL, Robert is traveling to Park City for the NMBS and Dustin Greer lives in west TN.

So have a good summer and all that and keep listening to the radio because...
Rush Limbaugh is a real man.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Wow, I just checked my last blog and it was like three weeks old. Sorry dudes. The last two weeks have been sooo busy, trying to get everything finished before finals, taking finals, trying to fit in training, hanging out with my friends, and making sure we don't run out of peanut butter.

I guess I'll start with the 12 Hours of Tsali. I had never done a 12 hr race before so I didn't really know what to expect. Simple enough, I was on a team of four and one person would go out and do a lap, come back and the next person in rotation would do a lap, etc. It wasn't too hard because you could go as hard as you could because you had almost 3 hours to recover. Each lap would be FSA but Andy reminded us to be safe and not take any risks. It would be more important to finish each lap than save 2 or 3 seconds on a downhill.

My job was to run the LeMans start and get us a good gap on the first lap. I was about the 5th or 6th person on the bikes and in the first lead group. It was kind of funny because Andy is like: "There is no reason you shouldn't have a five minuet gap on the first lap." Whatever Andy, the start of the course goes up a fairly long (7 minuet) climb up the county line road and I wanted to get the front of the race whittled down as much as possible so I could open a time gap. The entire climb I was constantly attacking, trying get the bunch down to just me. By the top it was down to three riders: Me, Wess Dickson, and Victor Alber. I didn't know it was Victor until the end of the lap-more on that later. So we stayed together pretty much the whole lap. Wess dropped off on one of the last climbs so it was just Victor and me.

Pause for a sec. I used to race Victor when I was a junior x after I moved up to Senior Expert he disappeared, he did some races down in FL (where he's from) but that's about it. When he was a junior x he was freaking flying, he would win pretty much every race.

So I'm trying not to be conceited but when we hit the last climb and this dude was still with me I was a little pissed. It would have been different if it was like: Ryan Woodall or Robert Marion or somebody I knew who was fast. But I had never seen this guy before to make it even worse he DROPPED ME on the decent. Now this was sacrilege, I might not be the fastest descender around but I can usually hold my own. And this dude dropped me. I was really pissed now so I chased for about two miles or so and caught back on. Just before the last climb. I went to the front and attacked him as soon as I got there but the hill was a little longer than I remembered so I kind of blew at the top allowing Victor to grab my wheel. The last three miles was the fastest I've ever done Tsali, every incline I was on the gas and I don't think was even gaping him. We came into start/finish sooo fast I almost ran into Andy, handed off my baton and headed back to the truck.

Andy opened another two minuets on his guy and Ethan and Seth opened about a minuet a piece. So by the time I came around again it was up to about 4 minuets. We kept on going from there. It was still really close because if we had a wreck or a flat, the other teams would be back in the mix. Luckily we had no flats or mechanical or crashes and other than Ethan cramping on his third lap we had no problems.

I posted an album on facebook and you can check it out here:

This last week of high school went by sooo fast, I still don't remember what I did like Tuesday or Wednesday. It feels really strange because I'm really tired of school but I'm probably never going to see half these people again. Oh well, I guess I'll find some more people to hang out with in college but that seems forever away.

Tomorrow is the SERC in Jackson, GA. Things look pretty good because I'll probably stay here instead of going to Utah because wonderful USA Cycling changed the selection process. Now the automatic nominations go to the winner of nats and the winner of the NMBS at Sugar, at week later. So I don't have to spend money to go to Salt Lake City. And I can stay here, do the SERC at Fontana and pretty much grauntee winning the SERC series. Therefore I'll be around this summer training and racing instead of being on the road everyweek.

Ketchup, the mellowing agent.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday night in TN

Well, the ranger run was very anticlimactic. I was all ready to go at friggin 5 in the morning to the race and my friggin power goes off the night before the race. Woke up at 6:30 and by the time I got packed it was too late to get there.

Oh well, I had a nice, calm, relaxed breakfast and made a ton of coffee. I'm still running on that coffee actually. Drove up to the race, hung out with some folks and continued on my way to TN for the sista's commencement.

Got up here at about 2 o'clock-just in time for lunch with the family at a pizza place. After that I cursed around with Tash before going to Luke's party. He drove down to Chatta to get two kegs of beer. One was oatmeal porter and the other I don't know, but it was really good.

Now I'm sitting in Tasha's dorm room trying to get caught up on all the stuff I need to do. And I'm sleepy, I hope she dosen't mind my sweaty legs on her bed.


Monday, May 7, 2007

SERC Ducktown

So, I'm sitting at the house waiting to drive into town at take my AP Government Exam and I'm totally stoked about sitting in a cold, small room, with uncomfortable seats for about 4 hours. Sweet.

Let's move on to something a little more exciting, racing. I drove up to Ducktown, TN to hit the next round of the SERC series. On the drive up (Saturday) it rained the whole way, but I wasn't too worried because: one, I do pretty good in the wet and two, it's alwayysss raining here. Tasha was still going to be a while (coming from Sewanee) so I got registered and caught up with some people I hadn't seen in a while. I didn't really want to get muddy again so I rode for about 45 minuets on the road. I met Tash and Luke coming the other way. When I got back Luke and Tash went for a pre-ride and I hung out at the car.

After they came back I cleaned the bikes and packed everything while they got changed. We had to get some more food items so we drove into Ducktown to pick up some stuff. On the way to the camp site we had to drive like 6 miles on dirt roads. Rally time!

The next morning surprisingly I was the first one up, Tash and Luke were still on central time and Luke had finished his finals the day before. So I spent my time shaving, cleaning the bikes, and washing dishes. Totally.

The white wave went off at 9:30 and added on to that the sun came out so by the time we hit the trail at 11:30 it was almost completely dry. Warmed up and I felt pretty good. It was about 80 degrees but it didn't really feel hot. I was kinda disappointed because there were only 6 pro men racing. Most of the big names were in Cali for the next national race and the rest were in SC for a local race. Oh well. I had a really bad start actually, slipped a pedal and fell forward on my stem. But I got up quickly and made it back up to the front. I wanted to start really hard because I figured I could blow the race apart on the first climb and only one or two people would stay with me.

Well, I was first into the woods but I went really hard trying to get up the front so I was hurting on the climb. About half way up the first climb it switches from single track to gravel roads. I had finally recovered somewhat by then and ramped up the pace again. At first Drew was the only guy to stay me with me (which was actually kinda funny because he's from Florida and has no idea how to climb) but I think he popped on the gravel section. Felt good after that and just settled into my rhythm. On the second lap I started running into problems. Sometime on the first lap I burped air out of my rear tire. Think of a car tire, it has no tube in it but if the pressure gets down low enough it can roll off the rim and release some air. That's what happened. All I have had do to fix it was pop in a CO2 and pump it up. But I lost my cartridge sometime before. So I thought I was screwed. I soft pedaled for about 20 minuets and nobody caught me so I was like: "Well, if they're not going to catch me going this slow I might pull it off."

Everything was peachy keen until this dude grabbed my back wheel on the last decent. But he made a mistake by never attacking me, he made me pull along this really long section by the river but never attacked. Me, on the other hand was going my own pace waiting for him to pass me so that I could draft him. I lead through the feed zone the last time and he popped. I could go hard on the climbs but I had to take the downhills easy to prevent my tire from rolling off. I nursed the wheel around for that lap and took my first Pro win.

I'll try to write more this week but later for now,

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tuesday Night Ravings

Do you ever go to the grocery store and like the next day you come home and there's like not a freaking thing in the fridge?

Yeah, I'm having one of those nights. Mom and Tasha went down to Harry's this weekend to do some shopping and I don't think they came back with anything. I was looking for something to go with my spaghetti but we didn't have any accessories. So, I made my self some toast and I was going to have a nice PB&J but NOOO somebody didn't get some peanut butter.

Well I have to give them some credit, they did get some PB and some Jelly but nobody had the notion to mix up the PB!! Duh! How do you have a PB&J with out PB! WTF!!?!?

Luckily this hasn't been a base training week. Base training is a bunch of long, long miles (have you ever heard of a short mile? Whateva) usually on super cold days with gusts of 30 mph cross winds. It's designed to build a "base" to your training (think of building a house, what's the first thing you build?). THOES days it gets really weird, you develop cravings of some of the most random stuff: PB, Lay's chips, milk, and raspberries are just some of the stuff I crave during my rides.

I guess I should take this time to explain how the whole NRC thing works. In order for me to get on the national mountain bike team for the world championships I have to do one (or both) of two things. One, I can win the national champs in Vermont in July. Or two, I can be leading the National Racing Calendar (NRC) by July 30th. The NRC is a collection of races all over the country, they are all given a category ranking. So a local SERC race is a Cat 4 and a big NMBS race like the one in AZ is a Cat 1 or 2. You get more points for wining a Cat 1 than you do wining a Cat 4. The idea is to hit some of these bigger races to boost my national ranking. The race in Maryland was a Cat 2. I won that race so I got some good points toward the national team. The key to wining the NRC is to do really well at the next three Cat 1s: the NMBS in Park City UT, the national champs in VT and the NMBS at Sugar Mountain in NC.

But if I win nats then I will have made the team so the NMBS at Sugar doesn't matter.
Park City is still a ways off (June, I think) so the next weekends are filled with other local races. This week end of course is Ducktown in TN, after that is the Ranger Run in my home town, if you're in area please come by and check it out. It's a good race with a lot of potential of getting bigger. Right after that race I have to drive up to Sewanee to attend my sister's graduation. The weekend after that one is the 12 Hrs of Tsali, another good race, I've never done a 12 hour race before so it should be interesting. And....that's about as far as I can remember.

Well I should probably do something useful so I hope you had a little more to eat than I did.

Monday, April 30, 2007

UCI Greenbrier, MD

This week end we headed up to Maryland for a Cat 2 NRC race.
I'll explain the whole NRC thing later, I actually need to finish a paper for Literature so this blog has to be short.

Anyway, nice place but, the course was pretty boring. Just a climb, downhill, some gavel road, then a super steep climb, another decent, a really, really rocky climb and a somewhat techincal downhill to the Start/Finish.

Had a good start, slotted in behind this guy from Maryland, I think. I had no idea who was strong and who these people were, because I'm used to racing the guys back home. Andy told me to sit in the first couple pf laps and see what everybody else did.

Well I let this guy go on the climb and decent and caught up to him on the road I passed him on the next climb and this Trek guy followed me. I lead part way up the steep climb until I fell and had to run a bit. The Trek guy passed me and I latched on to his wheel. I followed him for the rest of the lap and coming through S/F I wanted to do some of the pace making so I went to the front. That was the last time I saw anybody in my class.

I think I won by two minuets. Didn't feel great but I didn't feel bad either. A local race, Ducktown is next week end and I would like to win it, it's a climbers course with some long climbs and decents. I just hope it rains.

I'll come back someday and fill ya in on what else happened. Got to finish da paper.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ramdom Stuff and SERC Athens

I haven't posted anything in a while so I better do something to catch up.
Don't have a ton of time to write so I'll try to finish some time in the near (far) future

Athens went really good, attacked from the start and soloed for a lap with Rober Marion chasing me down, I grabbed his wheel for the 2nd lap and about half way through I dropped my chain. Had to stop and put it back on and I tried chasing but I crashed
3rd lap I was down about 20secs chased for the whole lap and missed out on another hundred bucks for first. Bummer.
But I did beat Ryan Woodall and Andy. And I'm ranked number one expert in the nation
boom daddy

up coming stuff, Friday I leave for Maryland and a NRC race come back some time Monday

the week end after it's Ducktown which I'd like to win since the course suits me-long climbs and decents
the weekend of the 12th is the Ranger Run at the ranger camp, this is my only "local" race so I have every intention to win it and show off to my friends and family who support me all year long

Thursday, April 5, 2007


ok I'll skip the non racing stuff to save typing
TT was Friday afternoon, I just wanted to post a decent time and not lose too much on GC took off with out pre-riding which was kinda interesting because I couldn't really open it up because I didn't know what was coming, felt good but my heart rate was through the roof (I'm guessing it was because of the flight and lack of sleep) to my surprise I got 2nd by 5 seconds felt really good because I had plenty left in the tank. Found out who beat me too, a freaking 16 year old kid from CO? Cody Cox, pretty good but doesn't have the endurance for a cross country race

Super D was up the next day and I found out that I was the 3rd from last rider to start, not bad, I didn't think it would take that long to go through every body and I could do a quick pre-ride of the xc before the short track. I was wrong. I got up to the top at 3 and didn't go off until 5 (short track started at 6:40-I was a little pissed) to make matter worse they sent all the little 10 and 12 year olds off in front of me, so here I am blasting down the mountain trying to avoid running over our future cross country stars
again I didn't go really hard, more worried about the ST and XC, took no risks and rolled in 3rd-another surprise

I didn't even get undressed or picked up my medal after the Super D just drove straight to the ST. It was mostly in this really rocky field with some small whoop dee dos and a long slightly uphill finishing straight on pavement, I decided to switch to my cross tires (Kwicks) for speed-by the way I got the wheels in time but could carry any Stan's on the plane and couldn't find anybody who was selling it cheep either. The race started pretty fast but there were only 9 guys and non of them were really any good- Cody did not race saving his legs for Sunday. Neither did Ethan Gilmore. I waited till about 10 minuets in and I could tell that I was opening gaps on the rough stuff even with my tires so I put in a dig at about 8min to go and soloed the rest of the way

XC- ok I saved everything for this race, put on the new wheels, felt pretty good and I was sitting 2nd on GC 6 seconds behind Cody (the ST didn't count to the overall). I didn't to completely take off from the start so I got into the single track 2nd and sat on this guy's wheel for 3 or 4 miles (10 mile loop done 3 times) until he crashed on a corner and I took over, I had no idea where I was going so I figured that I'd just set my own pace and follow the next guy who passed me. I could hear them behind me with a little gap so I rode tempo on the next climb, a little more gap rode tempo again-they popped so I had no idea where I was going, I had no one to draft, and I didn't want to be out front this early so whadda do? Put my head down and went. Rolled through feed with about a 90sec lead and just as I left I felt the front go a little soft.
take a break while I tell about my flats-I knew there was a good chance I'd flat since I didn't have any Stan's so I built up a spear set of wheels, I had about 10 tubes, about that many CO2s in the feed zone and had a CO2 and a tube on my bike
so I figured that I could run it till went completely flat and put a whole CO2 and sprint to the feed zone switch wheels and put in a really fast last lap, it started going really flat about 5 minuets later so I hopped off stuck the CO2 on there and pressed the trigger and...nothing happened-there was no air in the CO2. So after that I was screwed, and I thought I was a lot further on the trail than I was so I kept on walking around the course-I ended up walking for 2 hours to the Start/Finish and I still had another lap to do. I had the overall locked up too. Bummer.

the good thing is that everybody knows who would have really won, punks-I was the only one who dnfed
oh yeah check this out: my average heart rate was 160-that includes about 5 minuets of walking so bump it up to 165. My average was just a little harder than a endurance ride max was 186 and my ride time was like 1.10.37
needless to say, I had plenty left in the gas box

so they haven't come out with results for the overall and I didn't look, so I think Cody might have pulled it off he was about 2 or 3 mins back on the first lap but he could have had enough cushion to take it
Ethan had a really bad day finished 30 or 45 mins back from the winner (who was a downhiller) he stopped to keep me company for a little bit
In the end I had a totally suckful XC race, I got beat by a friggen downhiller and a 16 year old. Arrrgggg. Just wait till VT.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

GSC Macon

This week has been a real roller coaster ride. It started with me getting sick right after FL. So it wasn't until Friday that I decided to race. I forgot to get pre-registered again so I paid another 8 bucks bummer, maybe next time I'll remember.

The course was in Macon Georgia which was really nice for a change since I didn't have to drive 3 plus hours back home. In fact we got home at like 4 o'clock which was pretty sweet because I could finally get me home work done on time.

Da race: Tash and I got there pretty early (2 hours before the start) and they had just started putting up the banners and everything. We drove around a bit while I showed her the finishing climb and the lake, bathrooms, etc. It was freaking freezing too. Probably about 40 degrees. Not much but not what I've been used to. So it was kinda funny because nobody wanted to get out and warm up they just wanted to race and get the heck outta there. My "warm up" consisted of sprinting up every hill I could to get really warm.

This race is part of the Georgia series and it's not as competitive as the SERC which is the whole south east. But still, there were some pretty fast people there: Woodall, Johnston, Luke (sorry I can't spell your last name Luke), Vertle, Cummings. To make matters worse the race started with a climb straight up the side of a hill, super steep-not something you want when the legs are cold.

Got a bad start but made up some time on the climb, first lap looked good I was sitting in fourth position behind Luke, Ryan, and Andy. About a quarter way around the first lap Woodall started going off the front and Andy went with him. I tired to bridge across and I almost made it when I wiped out on a descent. I still don't know how I did it either, it was a really smooth part of the trail. I guess I kinda rode off the side of the trail and lost the front wheel.

Well it really, really hurt and I had to stop for a second at the side of the trail, usually when I wreck I sit of the ground and do a quick assessment of all the organs and such before I jump back up but, the only thing going through my head was: "Gotta get back up to the front, gotta get back up there." The way you can tell if your doing good in these races is when your able to make the front group for a least half the race and still be around in the finale. So far I've been getting closer and closer to staying at the front.

So, after a supa fast body check I hopped back on the bike and took off. The nice thing was that my leg and rib actually stopped hurting about 5 minuets later, good. It took me two laps to do it but I was able to catch up to Mike on the start of the third lap. By this time Andy and Woodall had taken off. Mike and I rode together for the rest of the race until he dropped me on the last lap. But I had my coke and gels so I was happy riding by my self for a bit. Then I noticed Luke sneaking up on me again-full gas till the finish.

Ended up 4th over all, which isn't bad but this doesnt compare to a SERC race. The GSC races are nice because you can catch up with all the people who don't drive 8 hours to FL for a SERC. Most of these people I knew while I was growing up so it's good to hang out again.

So, Tash left for Tuscon today and I think she's in Little Rock right now so I hope she's having fun. This week end I'm hitting the SERC at Columbia Tennessee and after that it's a week until the opening NORBA in AZ.

Friday, March 16, 2007

SERC Reddick

OK, I'm back. Sorry it took a while, been sick and the dsl has been down. Before I get started I need to give some background. Last year I was riding my old Kona Nunu for the race because the team machines hadn't come in yet. Half way around the course I clipped a rock and ripped my whole derailleur off the frame. Luckily Andy had his old bike too so I could race that.

This year was no better, I was almost all the way around the course and my freaking crank fell off. I had to hoof it back to the car and get the tool to fix it-bad news I stripped the bolt that hold the whole thing on. Once again Andy came to the rescue, I nabbed the crank off Dustin's bike (more on that later). The legs felt good, Tasha was a little worried about this hill at the start. It was a steep 100 meter long, off camber, slippery drit climb about a half mile away from the start. I told her to run it to save time. No such luck for me, I was racing pro the next day and if you can't make it up the hill then you're going to be fed to the ravenous spectators ( in other words you'd be dropped). So FSA and all that.

Had a good meal that night at Panera and did some shopping at Publix. I was going to try the Coke trick which is taking a bottle of flat coke at the end of the race-you get enough caffeine and sugar to turbo it to the finish.

Race day started with Andy waking me up so he can have somebody to talk to-thanks Andy. Got registered, watched some of the Beginners and made fun of this kid who had his dad write his number on his calf-backwards. It was a little cool at the start so I warmed up with some arm warmers and an undershirt. The legs felt good, not great so I was a little hesitant about how my tactics would play out. It was nice being the first group to start, you just roll up and your off, no waiting around.

Got a good start, third into the woods made it up the hill the first time and I was on Andy's wheel-everything going good. Travis Livermon made it up to the very front and set the pace for the first lap. It wasn't very fast though, so I felt really good. Earl then went up the front on lap 2 and started to push the pace. He attacked Andy and got about a 10 second gap Andy was about 5 seconds ahead of us-the lead group of four: Me, Tinker, Robert, and Woodall.

Now I was in good position because Andy was ahead of me and I was blocking for him in my group. But just before the climb I hear this really soft, almost girlish voice: "On your left".
BAMM!! There goes the, what: 5 time 24 Hour National Champion, multiple World Cup winner, and has probably been RACING twice as long as I've been alive. What am I gonna do? I have to protect my team leader but I'm racing Tinker dude! Anyway, I had to get on his wheel and I tell you what, man, he was bookin. We were hauling up that climb. I stayed on his wheel for the next couple of miles until I got caught on a tree, letting Robert and Woodall go by. Just as I was trying to get caught on to those two I flatted. It was a slow fix too, probably about 2.5 minuets. Anyway I shot me back to 11th place. The worst thing about the flat was that it dropped me off in the middle of no where-there was no body coming past that I could hook up with and get a ride up the front. There was no way I could get motivated either. Bummer.

So to make a long story short, I cruised in 10th out of 16. An OK result. I was a little disappointed about flatting, but it happened just as the legs were starting to hurt. On to Dustin's bike. Dustin Broadaway is a new guy on the team. He is a Beignner racer out of Macon. We had ordered his bike with SRAM components but it came with full 2007 XTR. He only paid for SRAM so we had to swap out all the XTR stuff. In the end I got some brand new XTR brakes and a rear derailleur. Bad A dude.

So I've got to run down to the bike shop to fix both bikes up for the coming weeks (Tasha will take my FS out to AZ while I race the hardtail at Columbia). Sunday I think I'll hit the GSC race in Macon and depending on who comes out I'll be favored to win the whole shebang.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Greenville Training Races

Finally I got the first race of the year out of the way. It was sweet, I was cruising the net last week end while I was sick and noticed a Training Race in Greenville, SC. Why not? The first race is hard not only because it's the first real effort of the year, but you have to make sure you have everything ready before hand, in order to prevent mishaps from occurring. I got everything ready on Tuesday before the race, but I still found out that I had printed off the wrong directions. Luckily my sister saved me by printing off all the directions.

Anyway on to the races, that's the good part. They were about 5 miles off the I-85 just after the Greenville exit. The course was at this huge air force base. Tash went off at 9:00 and I raced at 11:00 so I helped her get ready and all that good stuff. Actually I helped this other dude too because he got there late and I pinned his number on. The rest of time I just sat around trying not to expend too much energy. I was thinking, this is a road race, so they're going to start slow and just cruse for the first couple laps right? So I didn't really warm up, it was about 55 degrees so I wasn't too cold. Roll up to the start and get the whole spiel about: "be nice, stay inside the course, show your number, etc." Oh yeah, this was supposed to be slow right? Wrong, it was freaking balls to the wall for the whole race.

I hadn't pre-rode the course so I had no idea what was coming up, nothing too bad though, just a long but gradual climb a little down hill of about 1.5 miles and then a climb of about a half mile, flat and then gradual down hill almost for a about a k and then another k to the end. Not my type of course, but it wasn't bad. When I get to a race course I don't think how bad it is or whatever but how I can use my strengths to win. Nothing much happened expect it was attacking the whole time, I got in a break mid-way through the race but we were caught about a lap later. In the end I kind of ran out of water and needed some more sugar and energy for the finish sprint.

The next day went better, we got there a little earlier and it was freezing, probably like 40 or so. Cold enough for me anyway. Tasha went off at the same time and her race went really good, she got like 10th or 11th in a field sprint. Next came mine, I figured I spent a little too much energy in the break yesterday so I decided to sit at the back and conserve. Everything went like it was supposed to, lap three I started to move up to the front. At the top of the climb on lap four I decided to put in a little dig to see if anyone would go with me. When I moved off the front nobody went with me. I stayed out for a half mile and still nobody came a cross, but I was opening a gap. So I was like, "Let's commit." Just put my head down and opened a 30 second gap. The whole time I was just looking at my power meter trying to keep it above 300 watts. The crappy thing was that I got caught about a mile from the finish and then everybody blew by in the sprint so I rode in after that. Got like 35th, I think. I don't really care anyway, it was more important to get the training miles in.

Anyway, next week is the SERC race in Reddick, FL. I felt really good during the time I was out in front so I think I'll be in pretty good shape. It's a really, really fast course in Reddick but really fun at the same time. I'll be racing the Pro/Semi-Pro class too, so that will probably work me over a bit. We also have to drive back that night too, because I have to go to school the next day. I'm soo tired of school and it's just going to get worse.

Thanks for reading and keep the rubber side down,