Saturday, May 31, 2008

Catch me if you can.

I took the Giant TT bike out today for some TT intervals.

It was going to be Giant versus Orbea.

John was ready...even after a night at the firehouse.

The wind would probably be our biggest opponent.
Our course was going to be a nearly 10 mile route in Pungo.

After riding around for about 50 minutes we decided to complete our 10 mile interval. I took off first and John followed 30 seconds later. I finished in 24:31. John's time was 25:10.

Weather was sunny, 80 degrees with 17 mile an hour winds.

What's your 10 mile TT time. Post course distance, time and weather info to comments. Who has the fastest course and time?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kyle the Kid at Bike Jam

Kyle Obrien of the Virginia Beach Wheelmen raced the Junior 15/16 race early in the morning. Since the Juniors all started together the 17/18 guys started the race fast, but Kyle maintained and scored a 6th place in his race.

Then the last race of the day was the Cat 4. Large field, fast race but Kyle raced smart and got to the front. On the last lap in the S-turn he took off after a solo break. No one followed. He cruised in for a stunning 2nd place finish.

This is a kid to watch. I'm just glad he's wearing our jersey.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bike Jam Pictures

Part of my desire to race Kelly Cup was the fact that it has been since I was a junior that I have done a big race like this. Since my return to the sport 3 years ago I have pretty much stayed locally. So although I had a bad race, I was able to hang around for many hours and soak in the atmosphere of the NRC race. I think that alone will make me faster, or at least more motivated. I took some pictures while I was there. Here are a few of them.

Masters 30+/40+ race was fast. It always sucks to be able to get pictures of the end of the race that you are supposed to be in...but oh well. This race ended up having a very fast break away which came down to a good sprint. The field followed just as aggressively.

Women's Pro,1,2,3 race was very exciting. A lot of attacks. A crash happened right at the start/finish line that required a regrouping and restart of the field because they were unable to get it cleared before the pack returned. These women were fast and they kicked ass.

Pro,1 race was actually pretty exciting. With 40 laps they maintained a pack for the over half the race and then some serious attacks occurred. The winning break was originally 8 riders and that number was cut in half, but the big names were in it. Rite Aid missed the move as did a couple other of the pro teams. But the race promoting Kelly Benefits made the move and got the win. No pics of the finish, I was too busy watching it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bike Jam Excuses

I got pulled about half way through the 30+ race at Bike Jam yesterday. Even though I didn't even finish the race I don't consider the day a waste. Although I could come up with a bunch of excuses as to why I didn't do well, I am aware really that it was my fault. But what the hell, here's the excuses:
  • I didn't warm up.
  • I only did one lap of the course prior to the start.
  • I was caught behind a gap that was formed from someone else.
Although those excuses sound good when explaining to you friends why you got pulled, here's what really happened:

Instead of warming up I watched the races. I did only get to ride the course once so I was not comfortable for the first few laps. I got in the back of the pack and could not move up. I knew from past racing and every bit of advice anyone could give ever give...never ride in the back. With such a large field gaps form and if they form in the right part of the course they could be hard to close. A lot of gaps were starting to form and I was doing my best to stay up with the group. I had just closed a gap in the back straight away. Another gap form on the finishing hill when someone tried to go from one side all the way over to the pit with a flat (or something) and it caused a slow down and then not everyone was able to catch up. I was behind riders who were not able to catch up. So a group of us got pulled about 5 laps later.

With better fitness I would have been able to close any gap. But I should have raced like I know how to and ride in the front. But it was a fun day and I got a lot of pictures. I will post those pictures when I get home to Virginia Beach tomorrow. For know I am going to go ride some hills.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kyle the Kid.

I went to Chesapeake last night to ride with Kyle the Kid. I got a little bit of a late start and then got stuck in traffic so we only had about an hour to ride. We got in some pretty hard efforts. Great weather, no wind, no traffic on the roads we were riding on. Good ride. Kyle and I are going up to Kelly Cup. He is racing the Juniors and Cat 4 and I'll be in the 30+. I know I'm looking forward to this (I probably won't be saying that during the race).

See you up there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weekend Expectations

I am really looking forward to this weekend. Kelly Cup will be the largest race I have raced in many years. I'm expecting to do well but I am expecting to enjoy the environment and have a great time.

I am really looking forward to training in some hills up in Maryland for the remainder of the weekend. There will be a party at my brother-in-laws house on Saturday which should be a blast.

I am really looking forward to this afternoon. The Virginia Beach Wheelmen are starting our team rides every Thursday night in Chesapeake. Tonight will be the first one so its kind of cool.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. I'll bring my camera with me and post some pictures.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Diet...What diet?

A lot of elite athletes live the athletes lifestyle. This life includes a healthy diet. I knew a guy once who ate the same thing at the same time every single day to ensure he got the proper nutrition. He had calculated what he needed from years of trial and error. This guy did not have much of a social life because dates and hanging with friends would interfere with his diet.

While most of us don't live that extreme, athletes do tend to watch what we eat. If we watch more we would most likely be better athletes. So why is it so hard sometimes to eat the way we should. Excuses. There are always reasons or excuses not to eat well. Here are my favorite (and yes I have used them all):

  1. I'm hungry. When I get hungry I lose self control.
  2. Junk food is easier and a lot of times cheaper.
  3. You can't eat healthy at a party. (And during the summer it seems like there are parties every weekend.)
  4. What do you mean, I ride all the time so I CAN eat this way.
  5. I'll start my diet on Monday.
For me it takes one meal during the week to throw me off. If I lose control of my diet for a single meal I am more likely to eat bad the rest of the week with the idea that I'll just get back on it on Monday. So here we are. Let's see how long it last.

It seems like our racing break in the VA is soon over. I have registered for Kelly Cup and will be spending the Memorial Day weekend in Jefferson (near Fredrick) Maryland. Anyone want to hook me up with some good ride information there. Usually when I am up there I just ride solo, its the only chance I usually have to ride some hills.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Picture This

Leah Nisbet (Jon Nisbet's wife) has been acting as our team photographer for the last couple of years. Not to be mistaken with Ramone Photography who is one of our sponsors and does great studio work (as well as weddings). Leah's interest in photography has grown and now she is trying to branch out a little more. She has started a photo blog and she is anxious to get any experience she can. So if you need a photographer contact here. For the time being she is working for donations. Here is some of her action shots:

Check out more work by her at Journey Through Life Blog.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What I would have said.

Last night I went to the Virginia Beach City Council meeting to show support for funding on the expansion of the bike race course/track at the Sportsplex. I think it was great for many riders and racers to show up from many different teams. Tom Coghill from TBA spoke on behalf of the riders. I appreciate all the work that man has done for cycling in this region. Tom is very passionate about this stuff and I fully agree with some of his reasons to get this track built. At some point, though, I felt embarrassed for being there in support of this. Here's what was said:

  • Too many cyclist get hit by vehicles in the City of Virginia Beach.
  • Too many health issues are related to sedentary lifestyles and these can be fixed by suppling a safe location for young cyclist to get into the sport.
  • The City spends too much money on things that are truly unimportant.
At the point that Tom seemed to be personally attacking the Council members was the point that I started to feel uncomfortable. I love the City of Virgina Beach. I like the fact that we are expanding a large Town Center and attracting larger hotels and businesses to our oceanfront. I have no desire to live in small town USA and am excited about the growth of our city. So I agree that the council spends a lot of money to try and increase the status of the city. But whats unimportant to us could be vitally important to another citizen. Tom mentioned many city projects that were a waste of money..but maybe they are a waste to Tom only. If the city wanted to build a stadium used exclusively for ping pong many cyclist would cry out saying it was a waste of money...but what if your life was focused around ping pong. There are many citizens who feel $350,000 spent on a bike course is a waste of money. Actually if you took a pole, more citizens of the Beach would probably vote against it then for it. So trying to shame the council into excepting it was not what I would have done.

What I would have said:
  • According to USA Cycling there are 7 cycling teams who list Virginia Beach as their home location.
  • In 2007 there were 40+ races (including training races) in the state of Virginia, 0 of them were held in Virginia Beach. Which means all 7 of those local teams left the city and spent their money somewhere else each weekend.
  • In 2008 after the crit course was built at the Sportsplex, over 20 races will be held in Virgina Beach (including training races). Which means the other 27 teams that call Virginia their home will come into the City of Virginia Beach and spend their money here.
  • Of those 7 teams that call Virgina Beach home, think about the number of riders those teams represent and think of the businesses in which support those teams. I don't have specific figures on this but if we compiled a list of Virginia Beach based businesses who would love to see riders wearing their logos locally, we would probably have a very influential list.
So although I appreciate the effort of those who spoke, I just don't agree with the tactics. There were many angry citizens who did nothing but criticize the Council and I felt we were not very disconnected from those individuals.

I know what some of you are thinking and I agree. I don't have room to talk because I did not speak at the meeting. I was there in a support role and didn't even think about talking. This is me simply being the Wednesday quarterback.

But anyway we had a pretty good showing and only time will tell what will happen. Council Woman Hennely stated the project is still in the planning phase and that is why it seems like nothing has happened. Many cuts have been made to City projects and I probably wouldn't hold my breathe for this to happen soon.

Thanks for all who come out.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Hot Moms Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there...

...especially the hot ones.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why I did not race well.

This is a generic excuse post. Racers use many excuses as to why they did not perform up to par at any given race. Whether it be a competitive stage race or a weekday training race I would venture to say that every racer has used these top five excuses as to why they didn't do better. I personally have said each one of these.

  1. I rode a hard 40 miles before the race.
  2. I haven't been on the bike since last weeks race.
  3. I was up all night last night _______________. (Fill in the blank here. Some examples include: for firefighters--running calls. for new parents--with the baby. for everyone except the new parents--drinking.)
  4. I made a tactical mistake.
  5. What do you mean?....I thought I did great.
The first three excuses can be adapted to pre-race excuses, simply tell people before the race and now you are off the hook. Number four is the best excuse ever. It doesn't down your fitness, training plan or work ethic.

What are some of your favorite performance excuses? Next week will be the top excuses for getting off your diet.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You can help the Tornado victims by riding your bike

Last week Monday tornadoes tore through Suffolk (as well as other places). Miraculously no one was killed. Property damage was high though. Suffolk is a very important city to my team. Our bike shop sponsor, All About Bikes has a Suffolk location, we have teammates who live in Suffolk and a teammate who is a Suffolk firefighter. But even beyond that the city of Suffolk is a huge supporter of bike racing. This is a city that actually approaches promoters and request races to be held in their city. The VBW Smackdown will be a yearly event. The Dismal Dash has been around for many years and I was in the works to set up a road race in Suffolk prior to the storm hitting (the road race may need to be put off till next year because the city officials are a little too busy with clean up efforts). Anyway the Virginia Beach Wheelmen and All About Bikes Racing teams are teaming up and organizing a fund raiser ride in Suffolk. Here is what we have so far:

  • Saturday morning May 17th an 8 am start
  • I believe Governor's Point will be the starting location
  • 40 mile and 25 mile loops
  • Aid stations set up for both loops to use
  • Police escort will be available (Suffolk police are too busy so Portsmouth will come out to help).
We still have things to figure out. We don't yet know how we will collect money. All money collected will be donated to the Suffolk branch of the American Red Cross. They have been instrumental in the relief effort, especially since Suffolk has been denied Federal Aid. This is still in the planning stage, we just want to everyone to mark there calendar. Most clubs do there training rides on Saturday (no race this day on the VCA calendar) so we are just asking for the groups to relocate for a day.

Think about this: Suffolk has some beautiful roads to ride on. We can show that community that supporting cycling pays off. This is another chance for cyclist to band together like we typically do.

So plan on this ride and let me know if you have any questions. I'll keep you posted as we get more details.


Pictured above: Not the actual tornado nor is it what the ride will look like.

Pictured above: Actual damage.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Today at a party (a coed baby shower) Madelyn was very helpful. She made sure I always had a beer. Thank you Madelyn.

Why I did not race Wintergreen.

If you have been a cyclist for any length of time you have heard every excuse imaginable as to why someone did not do a particular race. Actually I don't think you can even call yourself a racer until you have successfully used these five excuses...and meant them.
  1. I didn't want to drive for 3 hours to race 7 miles.
  2. I had to skip the race to get in a long ride. My training plan calls for long miles this week.
  3. I've been sick and have been off the bike all week long.
  4. I had family commitments.
  5. I had to work on my house.
The last one is starting to be the go to excuse, and Gene I am not just referring to you. I think I have heard house work or house repairs more often in the last couple of years then anything. But then again I have a team were every year at least one person is buying or selling their house...and we only have 7 people on the team.

This year I have used the family commitments and of course the being sick one quite a bit. However none of them are used for the reason why I did not race Wintergreen. I could tell you that family commitments prevent me from spending the weekend there, and I could tell you because of being sick all year I didn't have the fitness level to compete. Although those might be true it boils down to this:

I'm a f#$king p$##y and that race is hard. I still remember the pain from last year and did not want to race. Besides I needed to get some long miles in this week.

What are your favorite no racing excuses? Next week I'll post my favorite excuses as to why I didn't do well in a race.