Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Goals

1. Earn my new bike on the road

2. Not be last place in my races

3. Have fun!!! :D

2010 Goals

Ok, here are some goals so Jon and Chop don't feel so alone in revealing their goals to all who read the blog.
1. No DFL's unless there is some sort of mechanical failure.
2. I want to be competitive in each race finishing with the main pack and competing for the win.
3. I want to win at least one race during the season.
4. I want to improve my climbing, tactics, and bike handling skills as I gain experience racing with a group.
5. I want to develop sculpted calves.
6. I want to spot and admire at least one person (preferrably female) who makes wearing spandex an art form.
7. And of course have fun.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chop's 2010 Goals

So far my training is getting off to a horrific start, but I hope to iron out the wrinkles soon.
- the collegiate season last year was a lot of fun and I am just glad that I have one more opportunity to participate.

- I am probably going to enter the Navy race as a D just to feel out my legs, but I would like to be a competitive C.

- I think that if I can get my shit together I could race with the B's maybe not very competitively but it would still be fun.

- Last year I put in 7,115.3 miles and I am making it a personal goal to beat that milage, but I already have a two month handicap since I have done next to no riding at all so far this year.

- With this internship that I just started and 4-400 level courses I barely have a minute to spare for riding. I work until it is dark so going outside is not even a possibility until the time changes and I have so much freaking work to do that getting on the trainer is proving very difficult. Ill be lucky if I can get 6 hours a week on my bike and that is less than half of what I was doing at this time last year.

- So basically, my current goal is to just try and squeeze as many hours out of my schedule as I can.

- #1 goal is to have a good time and enjoy the thrill of racing while hanging out with good people.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 Goals - Please post your own goals now

Collegiate Season-

Be competitive in the A field

Try to get one top 5 finish

Race smart and have better positioning in crits

Qualify for Nationals!

Regular season-

Try to break my fourth place curse and score a podium spot- preferably several times

Compete in at least one stage race

Try a time trial, have to get better at these eventually

Work for someone else to secure them a victory or something close

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Great Saturday Ride

Just a quick picture post right now since I need to shower. I just washed my bike off and ate a 700 calorie stir fry. The ride was sweet with a lot of new guys and the biggest group I can remember for a while now. I took these pictures after we had split up a little but I think Dr. Goates got some of the entire group when we started.

Friday, January 22, 2010

the anatomy of a sprint

I can't sprint worth beans, but that's not for lack of respect for those that can. IMO, one of the coolest things about cycling is the organic snake-like flow of the pelaton as it winds up to a climatic, chaotic bunch finish.

Youtube "sprint finish tour de france" and watch a few clips. It's the areal shots that really move me. Crazy awesome stuff.

From this year's Tour Down Under (going on now). Andre Gripel, putting on a clinic:

For you newbies that haven't yet discovered the addictive joy of following professional bicycle racing, let me introduce you to and

You're welcome.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

tour of south mountain

la course de l'arbre et cultive

MLK day riding

Wow. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures.

Yesterday we had a great club ride in couldn't-ask-for-better weather. Eight of us. Six of whom will be racing in Ship colors this spring.

I'm excited. Are you excited?


On the tail end of the loop, along Mud Level Road, Kelley and I were privy to some wonderfully picturesque landscapes. With six riders up ahead, every time you'd crest a hill or a little rise we'd see y'all--not in color, just a kind of shadow relief--against the deep blue of the southern January sky.

It was stuff worthy of Graham Watson.

I was moved.


Later, before heading home, I spun up the mountain towards Big Flat. It was a treat to see Cody flying down, deep in a tuck. Way to get in the tough bonus miles.



See y'all tonight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So I've been super naughty in not getting these hats ordered. A combination of forgetting and not-quite-really-wanting-to-do-it. I'm sure you know the feeling.

Anyway, I'm finally doing it. Woo-hoo.

So, I remember that most of y'all, when asked, choose the traditional "euro-style"cap over the "tech" cap. But unable to commit, I asked for samples. Champion was kind enough to oblige. I'm glad I asked, because now that I've tried both on, the tech cap is clearly superior.

I took some pictures, but I'm not sure how much (about the caps) you'll be able to glean from them. But here goes...

Tech cap:

Perhaps you'll notice the major flaw--and this was true with both caps--is that when you flip up the brim it brings some of the headband with it. You see that white strip... That's pretty lame. But with the traditional cap it was actually painful to do the flipping--just a weird, tight headband design--but with the tech cap it felt fine, it just looks funny.


I don't know if you can see, but the euro-style cap puffs up all's one of the most poorly designed cycling caps I've tried on (and I have a lot of these).

But the tech cap is super sweet. The fabric is great (stretchy and breathable--like a jersey). It's more form-fitting over your head. All around better. The only drawback is that it seemed a touch shallower...meaning that the euro-cap came way down atop my ears, whereas the tech cap came almost there. So those of you with deeper heads (lower ears) may prefer the euro-style.


So this is the deal. Based on my experience with the two, I'm ordering the tech cap. Unless I hear a strong and sustained desire for the other. You've got like two days to voice your opinion.

I'm ordering about 40 (the minimum is 25). They'll be available to you all at cost and to anyone else at a modest markup. But no one need feel obligated to buy one. What's left over I'll put in In-Gear to sell and will use for giveaways at sponsored races and such.


I'm also ordering socks.

I'll order fifty (because that's the minimum). Four inch cuffs (because higher is better). Black w/ red (because euro-white is retarded...though the green sample sock they sent is pretty cool).

Something like this:

(The white checkered part will be black. The white dot thing on the back is the Champion Systems logo, which has to be on there. And now that I'm looking at the picture...probably the toe and heal should be black too. The boat logo--angle corrected, of course--on just one or both sides?)

They'll also be available to club members for cost, everyone else for a modest markup. And I also plan to use these for giveaways. (Getting a $14 check for winning a race would be kind of lame, but a Ship Cycling cap and socks...awesome.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Long term and short term GOALS

I think everyone should post their goals for the upcoming season. A decent amount of us are racing this year and I think we should all post some goals for the upcoming season. Everyone will have different hopes and expectations but I know it feels good to lay out your goals and be held accountable. I'll be posting my expectations for the 2010 season later tonight and I hope some of you other Ship racers will too. (Cody, Mike, Chop, Conroy, Jimmy, Kevin, Kelley, Pete, etc....)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A few winter riding pictures

I finally got Mike to venture out into the cold.

I've actually been cleaning my bike almost every night to keep it pretty clean and happy.

One cold shot from Johnstown

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the blog banner

As will be obvious, I changed the blog banner. It seemed out-of-date. But I don't love it (I never did).

Here's the old:

Here's the new:

If anyone would like to come up with something better that'd be swell.

of coldness and hardening...

When it's oh-so-cold in January, I take some comfort in this:

Yup, January is cold, but February is, on average, five degrees warmer. And March? Well, that's not even in the same ballpark.


Y'all got a week and a half left before you're back in classes. Here's an assignment to finish up before you come back to school. Find a copy of The Rider and read it.

Here's a favorite excerpt:

In 1919, Brussels-Amiens was won by a rider who rode the last forty kilometers with a flat tire. Talk about suffering! He arrived at 11:30 at night, with a ninety-minute lead on the only other two riders who finished the race. That day had been like night, trees had whipped back and forth, farmers were blown back into their barns, there were hailstones, bomb craters from the war, crossroads where the gendarmes had run away and riders had to climb onto one another's shoulders to wipe clean the muddied road signs.

Oh, to have been a rider then. Because after the finish all the suffering turns to memories of pleasure, and the greater the suffering, the greater the pleasure. That is Nature's payback to riders for the homage they pay her by suffering. Velvet pillows, safari parks, sunglasses: people have become woolly mice. They still have bodies that can walk for five days and four nights through a desert of snow, without food, but they accept praise for having taken a one-hour bicycle ride. 'Good for you.' Instead of expressing their gratitude for the rain by getting wet, people walk around with umbrellas. Nature is an old lady with few suitors these days, and those who wish to make use of her charms she rewards passionately.

That's why there are riders.

Suffering you need: literature is baloney.

Harden up. Soldier on. This weather will make men of your pansy white flesh.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cold Riding... the new gear and keeping your "junk" warm

Went for a cold ride today. I avoided going outside the past two days due to the extremely harsh wind and bitter cold. I have some gear and ideas I wanted to share to all...

1. I found awesome gloves from an unlikely source. Home Depot. I have been scouring the internet trying to find a picture of these gloves but have been unsuccessful. They are intended to be used as a work glove, but they are great for riding and don't look like Dr. Goats' manly work gloves. The company is Firm Grip and the gloves are named Blizzard. They are breathable but surprisingly pretty wind proof, have well distributed padding in the palm, the palm itself is tough but soft to the touch, and they have 40 gram Thinsulate insulation. I'm pleased.

2. The Baklava. Today was the first day riding with one. I was always scared before, but it was a great success. I liked the fact you could put it over your nose and mouth for cold descents or move it under you chin to allow for easier breathing. This may sound like a "rookie" find to more experienced riders, but I had to comment. I will be using it more often.

3. Finally. The jUnK. Speaking for us males out there with junk, I never knew how to properly keep the important junk warm during cold rides. Dr. Goates pointed out one could use a small piece of felt between the junk and your spandex. I was thinking about this and decided to try something a little different. I took a (clean) wool sock, cut it just above the heel, and decided to warmly contain my junk inside the sock... all my junk. This is the best illustration I could find that was appropriate, ha ha

You laugh and my think I am an insane idiot, but it worked really well.  Now, on to the physiology.  As you know, the junk moves closer to warmth  (aka, you) when it is cold.  When I put the sock on, it must not have been cold (follow me...).  I wouldn't want to prevent anything from moving when I put on the sock so I did a status check 1/2 way through the ride.  The junk had moved to an appropriate position, while remaining inside the sock.  Success.  And it was more comfortable than I originally imagined.  I may continue to do this on extremely cold rides, if anyone else tries, let me know how it works out.

That's all, hope everyone is having a good break.  Time is running out to ride at home before classes start!