Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foggy Head....

My head's been all foggy lately. Like it's got cobwebs in there. Thank goodness I just discovered McSweeney's. McSweeney's: dusting the cobwebs out of foggy brains, and replacing them with nonsensical prose since 1983.

Oh and speaking of nonsensical, here's a photo of a dancing alpaca. Just for you:

Sunday, July 27, 2008


If you can believe it -- THESE GUYS just won the state TTT title. GO US!!

Our victory wasn't exactly a surprise, but it still felt good. We won by a healthy, though not suspiciously healthy margin; we were the only team to go under 50 minutes for the 25 mile TT. For those of you who can't do elementary algebra (including my large new contingent of caveman readers) that's over 30 miles per hour. YEEEEEEHAW!!!!

And speaking of cavemen, I wrote a race report detailing how last week's circuit race went down from the perspective of a caveman (named Krogg). I might as well share THAT nonsense with my blog too:

Bike race start and me wonder how legs feel after many days resting. Cascade classic make legs feel like tapioca pudding on hot day, make Krogg wish he never born. After Cascade Krogg think nasty thoughts about "me quit bike racing for GOOD this time". Krogg take many days easy easy after Cascade Classic, and decide last minute no go Boise Twilight with Cooper, instead LWV Circuit Race. Cooper mad at Krogg. Krogg feel bad.

So Krogg go LWV circuit race. Race start. Many Hagens Berman racers. Many breakaways early in race -- Krogg think team do good job getting in breakaways! Big breakaway go up road from peloton and Krogg see three HB racers in breakaway. Good numbers Krogg think -- let breakaway go up road. Yes, make others chase Krogg think. Then Krogg see Hagens Berman racer 135 at front of peloton -- what? CHASE BREAKAWAY? WHY??? Krogg stampede up to front of peloton -- Krogg mad! Why HB racer chase breakaway with good numbers? Krogg think racer 135 better have good excuse; Krogg prepared to dish out fearsome verbal scolding. When Krogg reach front he realize racer 135 is Tom Broderick. Tom very smart racer -- why him chase breakaway with good numbers? "WHY YOU CHASE BREAKAWAY TOM??" Krogg demand.

"Dude -- where have you been? Tubbs, Stangland, and like six other strong guys are up there! That thing's not coming back if we don't make it -- we should chase that down and start over."

Tom smart racer. So team chase breakaway down. Everyone help -- impressive display, everyone chase very hard. Krogg think: better not fuck this up now or we look like huge idiots. Krogg hate look like huge idiot.

New breakaway go up road. Bing, Ross and Krogg inside new breakaway -- still good numbers, but now Tubbs and others tired -- Krogg not tired! KROGG FEEL LIKE STRONG RODEO BULL ON VERSUS AFTER TOUR DE FRANCE!!! KROGG BUCK OFF PIPSQUEEK COWBOYS WITH EASE!!! Breakaway work smooth like butter for many laps, but Krogg think sneaky thoughts. "Shhhhhhhhh....Bing, you attack breakaway soon" Krogg say with 2 laps to go. Bing smart racer. Bing attack breakaway hard, and breakaway say OUCH!!! Krogg counter attack breakaway, and breakaway say OUUUUUUUCH!!! Breakaway chase back together and Krogg think uh-oh -- Krogg hope he sprint good. All together with 500 meters in bike race and Tubbs attack early -- NO TUBBS, NO YOU DON'T ATTACK EARLY AND WIN RACE!!! Other racers chase Tubbs down, Krogg tuck behind other racers, then Krogg sprint at 200 meters to go and WIN RACE!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

FSA Grand Prix

Despite this piece of photographic evidence suggesting otherwise -- I had no idea what the hell I was doing out there.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ode to Breakfast

Here is my ode to breakfast. I sure hope it makes rattlesnake charmer.

Short stack of peach pancakes topped with vanilla yogurt, French press -- order's up.

Glider Bison Blast From the Past

Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? Let's go way back, to a time when I read PezCyclingNews every day, when I proudly wore long hair into battle (pony tail or pig tails were for girls -- I wore a stallion tail or boar tales, ok?), and when I did more than my fair share of crashing. Ouch!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Road Rash Update: Damaged Dermis Doing Dandy!

It's been 11 days since my crash. I used some Tegaderm, and was diligent with cleaning and disinfecting the wounds. As you can see, I was rewarded with a brand new layer of healthy looking skin!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


WOW is it fun to race locally again. As it turns out, getting my ass thrashed for a week at the Cascade Cycling Classic was a good way to build some form. I hardly touched a bike since stage 6, and I wasn't sure if I'd feel good for today's Lake Washington Velo Circuit race (a 60 mile race on a 6 mile, pancake-flat course, with not a single pro in attendance). It turns out I did. I'm not sure if any of you realize this, but after averaging 12 wins for my first two real seasons of racing ("real" meaning ones where I wasn't a cat 5, specifically 2005 and 2006), I was suffering from a bit of a drought; until today, I hadn't won a mass start race in over 2 years-- and no my Tour de Lovell win doesn't count--so I'm fuckin' stoked. Our team rode like a fuckin' team today to set me up, and boy did it pay off. Here's how it went down:

--A break went up the road on the first lap. We had three guys in it, but unfortunately, some of the well known Northwest strongmen were in it. We didn't trust our representation to win the race from that break. As much as we wanted to let our guys in the break have a crack at the win, we thought it would be better to bring it back and start over.

--We sent all our remaining riders to the front. It took us 3 laps of chasing and two butchered bridge attempts, and we blew up a few of our cat 2 guys, but we finally brought those stubborn fools back.

--Once the field was was all together, our team was pretty blown. None of us could respond to attacks very well, so I just sat on the front and set tempo as guys on other teams flung themselves off the front and chased each other down. Once I started seeing my own teammates in the mix, I took a little rest myself.

--Teammate of the race Bing Knight launched a beauty of an attack, and was joined by three others. Bing was a cat 3 earlier this year, but he's so damn good, and he's so damn strong he doesn't seem to realize he's in a different category. He just swings the battle axe in the 1/2's just like he did in the 3's.

--Several other guys bridged across to the move, including myself. Booyeah fools -- I could SMELL it.

--The move rolled pretty smoothly for a the next few laps. We put enough time into the field that it became pretty certain that the winner would come from our move. With a little more than a lap to go, Bing and I decided it was time to have some fun. Bing hit the breakaway hard going into a turn and the breakaway reacted sluggishly at best. If Bing were a house fire, and the breakaway was the fire brigade, he'd have destroyed all your valuables by the time he was extinguished. I countered Bing's move, and nobody went with me. This was a good sign, but I didn't feel like going for the Hail Mary, so I sat up, confident that I could get away closer towards the finish.

--On the final lap, Bing and I attacked the breakaway again but didn't work it quite right, and things were all together again with one K to go. Ian Tubbs attacked with 600 meters to go, and everyone chased him down. I tucked in behind some dude and out sprinted the rest of the breakaway for the win!! WORD!!!

--I didn't know what to do!!! I didn't even think about posting up -- but I sure yelled pretty loud. Here's me, mid yell!! YEEEEE-HAAW!!!!Yeah, I wore a long sleeve skin suit. Yeah, that's a goo packed tucked in my shorts (no pockets in the skin suit after all). Yeah, I sprinted in my 11 -- not a lot of pop, but once I get that thing turning over, watch out! Thanks to Dirk for grabbing the picture (he has lots of other great pictures of me and the other HB guys on his flickr site).

Full props to my team -- they made it happen.

Friday, July 18, 2008

This Ain't Your Daddy's Joker.

Good glory of god -- the new joker is scary. I grew up with this guy (basically a clown who liked to kill people): As much as I enjoyed Jack, he never unsettled me. He wasn't real -- he was too goofy and wacky. The new version is genuinely disturbing, a psychopath on par with Hollywood's best.


Allright Batman....

Everybody knows that when it comes to critics, there's me and then there's St. Peter. I'm no easy customer to please, especially when it comes to the cinema. I may not be necessarily qualified to critique movies, but that won't stop me from sharing my opinion with anyone who will listen. So when I heard all this hype for the upcoming Batman: Dark Knight release, I just had to get in on the action. I'm on my way to the theater now, so you can expect a full report by tonight. I'm not saying my expectations are high, but if the Batpod doesn't kick as much ass as Levi Leipheimer in the Cascade Classic TT, I'll be pissed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Making the Tough Choices

Over the last two days I made a difficult decision. I decided to cancel my trip out to Boise. This means I will not be racing in the Boise Twilight Criterium in front of a home town crowd, I will not get to help my teammate Cooper storm to victory, I will not be seeing Dark Knight on opening night (my friends got me tickets), I will not get to soak in the hot springs for a night, nor will I get to see my dad, stepmom, sister, or numerous friends who live in Boise. DANG!

Why would I choose NOT to do all these fun things? Well, the answer is simple: my desire to have fun is outweighed my by desire to achieve my goals. Driving upwards of twenty hours for a 90 minute race, especially one that isn't my specialty, just doesn't make sense. I've got only a precious few chances remaining to attract the kind of attention needed to move up a rank in this sport. The Boise Twilight Crit is unfortunately not one of those chances. Elite National TT Championships is.

So I'm staying in Seattle. I'm going to rest until I'm recovered from Cascade. Then I'm going to train with as much focus and precision as I can. Once my legs have been honed to their sharpest, I'm going Orange Country where I will have a killer race. Or so the plan goes.

I still want to see Dark Knight on opening night. Anyone in Seattle got an extra ticket?

Monday, July 14, 2008


Will you check out this picture? It's from the crit. Heidi sent it to me. Thanks Heidi.

Cascade Top 5's.

I spent 90% of this race staring at the rear hub of the rider directly in front of me. There were however, a select few times when I was able to look around and appreciate the staggering beauty of my surroundings. Top 5 coolest things I remember seeing from the bike:

  1. On stage 5 we rode by a series of lakes, the last of which was the most beautiful (and tempting) color of blue/green I've ever seen. Honestly the whole thing looked fake, like a fantasy painting. The water was too clear, the mountains were too grand, the trees too green, and the sky too blue. There was a boat ramp I eyed from the road -- I really wanted to ride straight into the water.
  2. We startled some bison on stage 2. They were captive bison, but were nonetheless unused to seeing cyclists. The beasts ran alongside us for a little while. I heard the thundering hooves of gliding bison.
  3. There was an amazing alpaca farm (also on stage 2). There were three massive pastures of brilliant green grass that stretched all the way up the nearby hillside. There must have been 300 alpacas, most of which had been recently sheered. They looked like happy alpacas, what with their new haircuts on such a fine sunny day.
  4. Just as we approached the final climb on stage 5, we passed a huge lava field. The road went right by these HUGE glassy black jagged boulders. For a while the strange hunks of rock filled my field of vision, and I thought I was on another planet.
  5. SWEAR TO GOD, I SAW A UNICORN!!!! It was in a pasture with one other horse (a non-unicorn), and it was running. At first I thought it was a pegasus, but then I realized I was wrong; it had no wings, but I'm positive it had a horn. "LANG, HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT THAT UNICORN," I shouted to my teammate. Lang looked, but by that time it had turned into a regular white horse. Lang, I know what I saw, and it was a unicorn, ok?

This was not an easy race for me. I was on the rivet a good chunk of time. Therefore I have collected a list of my top 5 most painful moments:

  1. Crashing on stage 1. This is a no brainer.
  2. All of stage 2 -- my crashed-on elbow was swollen and tender, and acted like a lightning rod of pain all day. Every crack in the pavement, every storm grate, every cattle guard, and every pothole really hurt! Ouch! I tried to take pressure off my arm, but for the most part couldn't. Riding with an injury like that really made me appreciate how tough some of the pro guys I've seen are. I finished the stage, and my body was all tweaked from favoring my left arm so much.
  3. The first lap of the circuit race (stage 6). The pace was so high over the climbs the field was blown to bits within the first 30 minutes. There were gaps all over the place. I wasn't in a good position at all on the first climb, and man did it take some diggin' to get myself into better position for the 2nd climb.
  4. The finishing climb up pilot butte on stage 1. I'd crashed, I'd flatted, and I'd chased a lot more than I'd wanted. I wasn't a happy man when I hit the bottom of that corkscrew, and I was an even unhappier man once I hit the top.
  5. Gettin' DROPPED on stage 5. I'm clearly having difficulty accepting my limitations. I'm strong enough to get to the front and cover a move or two. But I'm not Jens Voight. Two moves max -- not 5 or 6, which is exactly what I did; I burned match after match getting off the front with 5 other guys for a minute or two, but once that move got caught, I hopped right on the counter attack. Not smart -- once THAT got caught, I couldn't even hold a wheel. I slid right through the peloton and out the back. If I hadn't gotten the draft of my life behind the Veloforma van (we went 60 MPH for maybe 20 minutes on the descent), I would have been out of the race for sure. Thanks for that ladies.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Demoralization Station

Race reports from the last three races:

Oh man. I didn't expect to get walloped like I did in the TT. Clearly my plan of stating my intention to do well on my blog backfired in a big way. Placing 49th, and losing a minute to guys who I regularly beat wasn't exactly a confidence booster. I don't know what happened -- I thought I was going good! I do know that my teammate Jake, while riding a road bike, beat former world TT champ Santiago Botero by 5 seconds. So that was cool.

Last night's crit was crazy. It was long (90 minutes), and hard. The course was pretty tight, so it was strung out the whole time, and there were a lot of crashes. Fortunately nobody on our team went down. Unfortunately a lot of other guys did -- a Rock Racing guy left the race on a stretcher, and I was slowed up in a crash where I got to see a wide-eyed Ben Jacques-Maynes feeling his collarbone to see if it was broken. Fortunately I was able to rest for three laps after one of the bigger pileups by going into the pit with the rest of the crash victims. Unfortunately that still didn't save me from getting gaped off towards the end. My group was pulled from the race with one lap to go, and we lost 1:25. People who were pulled with AN HOUR of racing remaining only lost 3:35. I should have chosen that option.

Today's road race was also completely bungled by yours truly. I wanted to redeem myself by going for the breakaway. I ended up attacking so hard I got dropped from the field early on. I plummeted woefully through the field (and then the caravan, and then like 30 cars that were behind the caravan), and I got to enjoy the sublime embarrassment of having carload after carload of people I know pull along side me, say encouraging things, and then drive off shaking their heads, and wondering why I sucked so much. I ended up chasing for an hour (often catching shameless and lengthy drafts from motor vehicles), and finally catching the grupetto. We never caught the field.

I have one more day. One more day to do SOMETHING of note in this race.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Well So Much For That Idea....

So I'm starting off this TT, right? And I wants to do well in it, see? So I start pedaling, and before long I'm catching my 30 second man, got it? So I pass this guy, he was a Rubicon fella -- which was to be expected (he was on a road bike after all) -- and I'm feeling good about myself, right? But then a few seconds later, I hear the tenacious little guy trying to pass me back, and I thinks to myself "silly goose, when you've been passed, it's not going to help you to try to pass the guy back -- you're just going to blow up!" AND THEN I REALIZED I WAS GETTING PASSED!!!! This guy friggin' passed me!!!

For the first time this season, I got passed in a TT. Let's just hope to high heaven he set a good time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Plan on Crushing This Time Trial.

You know what? I plan on crushing tomorrow's time trial. It suits me. I feel good. I want it. Tomorrow the battle axe will be swung -- mark my words.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


So it hurts to type so this'll be quick. I made the split at the top of the climb, looked around to see if my teammate was still behind me, and next thing you know, I'm on the ground. FUCK. My bike was all bungled up, and it took me forever to fix it. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to catch back on, but to my surprise, the front of the field slowed up (for the first time of the day -- the winner AVERAGED 29.8 mph for a 83 mile race). I chased back to the field, and was doing a great job fighting for position towards the finale (a steep, 1-mile climb). I was maybe 7 k from the finish, and my fucking tire went flat. I got a new wheel, and chased hard, eventually catching the back of the field, just under 4 minutes down. FUCK.

I'm fine -- a raspberry on my hip and shoulder, and a downright nasty cut on my elbow that might need to be stitched. Nothing that will stop me from racing tomorrow. I was however forced to eat dinner and brush my teeth with my right hand (I'm a lefty). You try stabbing blueberries with a fork with your non-dominant hand. It's hard. Trust me.

Thanks to everyone for the concern. And Heidi for the complement.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Water Bison

This post is about water, and my complicated relationship with water.

For those of you who don't know me, I am a New Mexican. As a New Mexican, I grew up in a waterless environment. New Mexico is a desert, one where it never rains, there are no streams or lakes, and the creatures who live there are allergic to moisture. We fear water. Our bodies are different than people in the Northwest -- water is poisonous to us, and we eat dirt for hydration. The only time we ever saw water was at our city's yearly Water Demons ceremony, or La Dia de Aguas Atroz. This large public event (I dare not use words like festival, celebration or party -- the mood was solemn and grim) was where all the children learned that water is evil, and should be neither used nor trusted, ever! Everyone gathered at the plaza in the center of town to see the water, which was spattered into the sky through a metal contraption called a "sprinkler". It was like a clear volcano only more dangerous. The bravest men in the village would remove their clothes, tie themselves together at the waist with yucca-leaf rope, and run back-and-forth through the toxic spray -- writhing in pain, and screaming in agony. The water burned their skins, and caused instant blisters. It blinded their eyes and made it hard for the men to move as one; they stumbled and tripped. It melted their hair off, and made their jaw bones turn soft so their mouths hung wide open, flapping like giant, blistered, toothy banana peels as they ran. Before long, all the children in the village would be crying, and they wanted to look away because the horrors before their eyes were too much to bare, but their mothers would not let them look away -- "NEVER GO NEAR WATER CHILDREN, SEE WHAT THOSE DEMONS DO TO THE BRAVEST MEN IN THE VILLAGE??? IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD DO TO TINY CHILDREN LIKE YOU!!" The men repeated this gruesome trial, often having to help the weaker ones who collapsed with exhaustion and pain, until the screams of the children became louder than the screams of the brave men. Only then would the water relent, the demons banished until the next year. That was how we learned to distrust water.

And yet, for my birthday, I found myself up at Lucky Peak reservoir, racing around on a jet ski at 50 miles per hour. Despite the disappointment my ancestors would undoubtedly feel -- I had fun.

We had to sign a waver that contained the phrase: "Avoid falling off the water craft while it is in motion; the forceful entry of water into the anus or vagina can cause serious injury...HAVE FUN!!"
We did fall, but fortunately, none of us suffered a "forceful entry" based injury.
And then, less than three days later, I found myself floating down the Des Chutes river in a small rubber raft. Again -- water proved to be both relaxing and fun. Geese live in it.
However, I did my best to keep myself safe from the water by using extra rafts.
Cascade starts tomorrow. Levi better watch out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not to Beat a Dead Horse....

So Velonews recently came out with an article about how Damiano Cunego got a tattoo that says "I'm doping free". Naturally, BikeSnobNYC pounced on the news, bringing to my attention the following logo found on Cunego's "I'm Doping Free" website:
Now I sincerely hope Damiano's winking emoticon is simply a gross oversight. Please. Please let Damiano Cunego merely be a humongous fuckign idiot -- yes, a colossal moron who somehow failed to recognize the earth-shatteringly obvious problem with having his logo wink. Of all the possible interpretations of a wink, NONE of them leave me feeling convinced Damiano's being fully honest with his statement. To quote wikipedia: A wink is a form of semi-formal communication, which indicates shared, unspoken knowledge.

Maybe, as BikeSnob points out, Damiano is implying there's missing information: I'm doping [for] free.

Or missing punctuation: I'm doping, free!

The wink could suggest it's the timing that's ironic: I'm doping free [as opposed to the rest of my career -- talk about doping!].

Perhaps the wink is a stand-in for a "not" joke: I'm doping free -- [NOT!].

Winks often contain sexual undertones: I'm doping free [so the chances of my carrying an unknown STD due to a recent autologous blood transfusion is extremely low -- by the way, I love that blouse].

Whatever the reason for the wink -- whether it's a toddler-like failure to understand why grown-ups blink with only one eye, a brash, nose-thumbing disregard for the plight of modern cycling, or a previously undiagnosed case of severe mental retardation in one of the world's top cyclists -- I'm just glad Damiano Cungeo is doing his part to clean up the sport.