Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MEGA-SWEET

SINGING THROUGH THEIR FRIGGIN' HAIR?? COME ON! HOW SWEET CAN YOU GET!?!?!

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Blogs on the Horizon!

I'm happy to announce two new additions to the blogosphere:

Good Sensations

My teammate Adrian Hegyvary has once again picked up the metaphorical pen, and started a new blog. Adrian is no stranger to blog writing, and his posts never fail to entertain. To quote Adrian:
In no particular order: I do bicycles. I do law school. I do coaching. I do yoga. I do hula hoops. I do sunshine.

Adrian makes no attempt to hide the purpose of this blog: PRO TEAM OR BUST! Folks, if there has EVER been a man who has shown he deserves a spot on a professional cycling team, it's Adrian. Adrian has been on fire all season long, and we're barely two thirds done. Follow along -- it should be a satisfying story with a happy ending.



Eli in the Dominican Republic

My former housemate Eli Asch is taking an exciting trip to the Dominican Republic. Eli is enrolled in the Sports MBA program at San Diego State. He and the rest of his classmates will be going to the DR for ten days to do a bunch of cool things that include the following words: micro-credit, baseball, publicity stunt, free vacation, beautiful beaches, streaking. [note: I added the last few]. Enjoy!

Making an Old Lady's Day

Anecdote from the life:

Alright blog readers, I'm going to try to paint a picture for you. This won't be a pretty picture, but it's an honest one -- and don't say I didn't warn you -- a slightly pornographic one. Let's begin at the third stage of the Tour Of America's Dairyland, a six corner twilight crit in a hip little town called Grafton, just outside Milwaukee. Our race didn't go especially well, with only one of us placing inside the money, but nobody crashed, and we raced better than the previous day, so as is often the case in bike racing, things could have been worse. Despite tail-gunning for 95% of the race, I managed to win a bottle of wine on a prime lap, so I was reasonably satisfied. I was slow in returning to the team van (I had to collect my wine after all). By the time I got back, it was getting late, and we were almost ready to go: Lang was loading the folding chairs and stacking them into the back of the van, Nick was throwing used bottles into the cooler, and Aaron was on the roof, putting bikes on the rack.

Now let me pause here, and briefly address the subject of public nudity at bike races. To be quite plain, it's a common occurrence. Unlike many sports, where the athletes can change clothes inside a locker room, cycling takes place outside, on public streets. Changing usually takes place a parking lot. Sometimes that parking lot is reserved for racers. Other times, we share the parking lot with (unfortunate) civilians. While some of us are more discrete, changing under a towel or inside a vehicle, most racers are indeed publicly nude for a few seconds every race-day. Beginning racers are sometimes shocked to see their teammates and competitors casually "drop-trow" while standing in plain sight. Seasoned veterans like us are so regularly exposed to brief flashes of nudity (and so regularly expose ourselves), we can grow slightly numb to the whole thing -- we forget that public nudity is not only a crime, but that for certain members of the general public, watching a man strip naked, slather his undercarriage with chamois cream, and then squeeze himself into what appears to be a spandex wrestling singlet is downright traumatizing.  

So there we were, in the very back end of a (seemingly) deserted, dimly-lit parking lot. I removed my helmet, coiled up my race radio, and unzipped my jersey. Nick was standing off to my side, still fishing around in the cooler. While partly concealed by the van doors, I was still standing solidly inside Nick's peripheral vision. When it came time to drop my bibs, I chose to do something that was, in retrospect, extremely inappropriate; however, at the time it seemed absolutely necessary. Feeling rather impish, and with my spandex around my ankles, I -- how shall I put this -- I did a little dance, and waved my genitals in my teammate's general direction. Nick avoided looking directly at what I was doing (fear of blindness?), but my body language, and the muted sounds of skin slapping skin told the story. For those familiar with the movie, think the opening scene of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Aaron, who was still atop the van, also got the gist of what I was doing. 

"Dude -- not even cool," Aaron said, disappointedly. 

"Yeah, but you made this old lady's day!" a woman's voice issued from the darkness. Straining my eyes, and with the hair on the back of my neck standing on end, I focused on the a sixty-something year old woman who happened to be walking through the parking lot at that exact time. Dumb luck really -- had she approached the van moments earlier, I would have noticed her in time to abort my unseemly display; had she approached later, she would have missed it entirely. 

Now supremely embarrassed, and with my teammates starting to howl with laughter, I threw on my boxers. "Sorry 'bout that," I offered. 

"Whoo -- I haven't seen an ass that tight in a loooooong time," the woman cackled (mostly to herself), and strode off into the darkness. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Tour of America's Dairyland....

So as some of you may know, things have been going "less than well" for me out here at the Tour Of America's Dairyland. If you include Nature Valley, I have failed to finish my last ten races. Trust me, that doesn't feel good to say. It feels even worse to do. 

My post of last night entitled "Total Fucking Meltdown" was in reference to my perfromance at the TOAD. It was written hastily, right after pulling out of last night's Downer Ave. Criterium (read: getting dropped). The race was still going on (in fact there was still an hour on the clock!), and my teammate Nick Clayville had just established the winning breakaway, securing him a position in the top five. So yes, I wrote that while indulging in self-pity -- hell, I'v been downright wallowing in it all week. Yes, it may have been overly dramatic. For that, I apologize.

HOWEVER -- and this is a big however -- I'm still a bike racer, and bike racers know how to pick themselves up, and keep racing. Sure, I just had a rough three week trip through the midwest. I crashed; I got dropped; I lost my nerve. But honestly, I've been a lot lower thanks to cycling several times over the last few years -- you should have seen me in July of '06 right before I went to the Tour de Toona. Or the spring of '07 before the Tour of the Gila. If anything cycling is an excellent teacher: it shows you how to take your licks. It gives you innumerable obstacles to overcome. And it rewards you tenfold when you succeed, and those successes are all the more sweet thanks to the trials met along the way. 

There's still a lot of racing I'm excited to do this season. This thing's far from over...

TOTAL FUCKING MELTDOWN!!!!!


EVACUATE THE GODDAM BUILDING!!! TOTAL FUCKING MELTDOWN IN PROGRESS!!! GET THE FUCK OFF THIS SHIP -- 
IT'S FUCKING SINKING!!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

TOAD Stages 1,and 2.

Stage one of the TOAD was staged out of Blue Mound state park. It was beautiful, hilly, and hard, hard, hard. Here's a shot of the sweet finishing chute.

Naturally the race is slathered in dairy product promotions...
I got popped within the first 20 miles (swung the axe straight out of my hands....dammit Krogg!) My teammates Nick and Lang finished inside the top ten however! An awesome start to our race! Racing through Wisconsin's countryside on an overcast day.


The winner of the stage has to chug a glass of chocolate milk. Prizes were dished out by this bizarre prize troll.


Stage two was in Waterloo. Home of the great Trek bike factory.

Wisconsin traffic jam:
Lance is Loved in many ways out here:
Evidence of Wisconsin's dairy-rich history.
Naturally cheese tasting is available for the VIP's during the races.
My knees are still bothering me. Bottom scab: doing fine. Top scab: lookin' pretty puffy, itchy, and infected. Plus my tendons still hurt, and my range of motion sucks.
The final half hour of the crit was wet. Thankfully I'd been blown out the back of the race by then!
Sloppy!!
Strange exoskeleton bike I saw in the parking lot. I'm not sure if I'd trust one of these to carry me without exploding into a pile of carbon fiber toothpicks, but it sure looks cool, no?

Richland Center is the Place To BE!

Here's the lovely farmhouse we stayed at in between the NVGP and the TOAD (Tour of America's Dairyland). 
Here's the Barn. It's a pretty legit barn, no?!  It was inhabited by dozens of barn swallows who HATED it when I would go in there and look around. 
Amish live all over around here. I found that Wednesdays are an especially busy day for the Amish -- we sighted at least five wagons full (although we only were able to capture two on film). 


The Amish also like to sell chickens? Here's the local food store: 

Here's a few shots of Richland Center, in all its glory:


Aaaand finally, a shot or two of my broken handlebars (the string in there was the bladder that they use to press the carbon into the mold. I didn't know they left those in there...)


Monday, June 15, 2009

Nature Valley Wrap-Up

Stage 4, uptown Minneapolis crit. Here's the women staging.
Hennepin Ave. "If you see people with purple hair and shit, you'll know you're there."

We're kind of a big deal...

Hagens Berman groupie and road racer extraordinaire June Sayers. (and DS extraordinaire Joe Holmes)Hagens Berman groupie and track racer extraordinaire Terra James.

Hagens Berman groupie and track racer extraordinaire James Stangeland.
Where 90% of our food comes from:

I am not very impressed....
EATING CHIPOTLE AGAIN!!!! STUFF FACES!!!! YUM!!!!
GROINK SLURP MUNCH!!!!


Stage 6, Stillwater Crit. Women's staging.
Kristen Armstrong, being a badass. Kristen Armstrong winning her 4th NVGP

There is NOTHING FUNNY about seeing a grim reaper 3/4's of the way up Chillkoot hill!

Sweet tricks.

Ryan with Shimano: our best friend in the world.
Dave at the medical tent: our second best friend in the world.

AAAAAND IT'S A WRAP! NVGP 2009 IS IN THE BOOKS!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Somehow my blog turned two years old. This is my third year blogging about the NVGP -- remember when I wrote about knocking Ted King off his feet? Or those silly little "rules of Minnesota" (which still hold true I might add)? 


Happy very belated birthday, GliderBison. Welcome to the terrible two's. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Krogg Review New Dura-Ace 7900


So Krogg smash bike into little bits on Thursday. Actually that slight exaggeration -- Krogg smash only his handlebars and shifters and pedals and shoes -- the rest of bike ok. However, Krogg unwilling to race bike with broken handlebars, so Krogg mope over to Shimano Neutral Support, 

and them very kindly offer Krogg this: 
Krogg pretty psyched, mainly because if Krogg smash this one, Krogg don't have to buy replacement parts! New bike look very pretty. See? 

At first Krogg worried he get in trouble for taking such fancy neutral bike because it say "Pro" on handlebars, and Krogg not actually pro. Then Krogg remember that english language pretty flexible system, and under expanded definition, sure, why not? Krogg plenty pro! Pro enough to pedal Shimano Neutral bike -- that's for damn sure!

Krogg try out new Dura-Ace 7900. It pretty sweet, but honestly, works like most other new fancy bike parts: very well. 
Krogg find that everything covered with words Dura-Ace. 
Nice mechanics equip Krogg with 11-26 cassette for tomorrow's crit -- Krogg have to climb 18% hill like twenty fucking times! Kick me in the woolly rhino groin! Krogg don't think magic cassette will help, but sure won't hurt! 

Fortunately, Krogg able to return borrowed bike without so much as scratch. Thank you Shimano. Krogg bought you 12 pack of beer to say thank you!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Now Don't Get Me Wrong....I HATE Twitter.



Twitter is stupid, especially if you don't have a smartphone (like me). However, I've just been given the keys to the HBcycling account at Twitter.com, and asked to update it. Seeing as how I blog plenty anyway, I guess I'll play the game and start tweetin' my little lungs out. I am supposed to keep my tweets "sponsor friendly," so you're still going to have to check in on my blog to get the good stuff. Like this.

Minnesota Nice

Look!! It's Floyd (and Floyd's body guard). 

They eat cottage cheese here -- just a big bowl of plain cottage cheese. The waitress recommended salt and pepper. 




Yum!


Oh gosh Minnesota is just so NICE!