Friday, October 4, 2013

A bike without a chain is not a bike by any other name

I was at Armleder Park last evening doing VO2 max intervals. Well, started my second interval I ripped my chain straight off! Usually I have a toolkit with chain tool and an extra SRAM quick link but I had left it at home.

I had to push/scoot my bike five miles home. Geesh, my legs are sore.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Dang, rode into work at like 5:45 am because I am slammed. But got some ADD and/or inspiration and came up with a cute Ohio logo... Then a kit. Okay, back to work.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And your safe!

Last week I was trying to crush that off-camber downhill on the backside of Kings... That didn't end up well. Rear brake froze up, slid and hit the deck...

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Cincy Bike Racers' Dining Guide, part 1

Cross is here! But more importantly, lovely day trips to cool MidWest cities. So, I've been meaning to write up a tourism guide for a couple years. But, you know, I want to write up something comprehensive but I always run short on time.

Here is a rough start:

Dilly Deli: Okay food, some hearty comfort classics. But a great beer selection. Perfect for post-time trial discussions with certain teammates who look like the love child of Kid Rock and Axl Rose.

North Market: a fun selection of food stalls for everyone. Plus Jeni's (support the peeps who support bike racing!).
Surly Girl Saloon:

Adams County:
Cruiser's Diner in Seaman: Perfect for a stop back after the Frankenbike 50!
Blake Soda Fountain in West Union: a nostalgic bite after a log training ride in Shawnee Forest.
Portsmouth Brewery: Pizza plus BEER!

So here are some things I want to try or have been to in:

Bloomington/Columbus/Nashville, Indiana:
Papa's Grill: good grub and good beer selection after a jaunt to Brown County.
Backwoods Brewery: they have pizza and grub and beer and just down the street from Brown County, located in Nashville.
Upland Brewery: super solid beer and pub food.
Soma: solid coffeehouse on way to Bloomingcross
Scholars Inn Bakehouse: Kind of like a local Panera, good for breaky

New places I want to try:
The Bloomington Brewpub at Lennie's:
I've been to the Runcible Spoon in the past, I would like to go back.
The Irish Lion, bought a pint glass there but would like to try it!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bicycle Poems or "Spoke and Word"

I listen to this podcast called the BikeShow from London. One episode this creativity counselor (Rosie Walford of Big Stretch) spoke about how cycling elevates your mind into an alpha state of creativity.

So I wanted to design a poster to celebrate my love of bicycles. So, I through a leg over my saddle and as I rode I wrote a poem/prose.

After I wrote this short prose, I typeset it in antique wood type. I also hand carved two linoleum block illustrations to tie the bicycle art piece all-together.

I letterpressed the final poster on Rives BFK paper, using gold and silver inks on an old 1927 Vandercook press in Cincinnati, Ohio.

If you would like to purchase a copy, here is the link.

early drafts:

Oh Bicycle,
How you set me free,
Your wheels like wings,
All the things I see.

Oh Bicycle,
your wheels like wings set me free,

your wheels are my wings,
and I take flight with liberty.

I see the world,
all creation unfurled,
[forgot the rest, did I get buzzed by a car?]

My final:

OH! How we take to the roads
Climb mountains high
Soar through valleys below
We find ourselves on lost lanes
Bicycles give us freedom
—off we go!

Pablo NerudaOde to bicycles
I was walking
a sizzling road:
the sun popped like
a field of blazing maize,
was hot,
an infinite circle
with an empty
blue sky overhead.

A few bicycles
me by,
the only
that dry
moment of summer,
barely stirred
the air.

Workers and girls
were riding to their
their eyes
to summer,
their heads to the sky,
sitting on the
beetle backs
of the whirling
that whirred
as they rode by
bridges, rosebushes, brambles
and midday.

I thought about evening when
the boys
wash up,
sing, eat, raise
a cup
of wine
in honor
of love
and life,
and waiting
at the door,
the bicycle,
only moving
does it have a soul,
and fallen there
it isn't
a translucent insect
through summer
a cold
that will return to
when it's needed,
when it's light,
that is,
of each day.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Yeah I have a question: How much dope did you take?"

Speaker at Google opens floor to Q&A. First question is about doping, geesh... This was circa 2008 too (was that after Floyd?).


Dude, we close. But not that close. I will always "share a square" though.

Seen at MOTR Pub.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jersey designer?

Ever since I saw Twin Six back in the day I have wanted to design my own jerseys as well. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to design kits for several teams—some that I have ridden for. But often I come up with designs that teams don't dig as much (I really dig retro kits—my passion dates back before Rapha, I bought a book for the 2003 Tour de France and I fell in love with the old wool jerseys).

I am trying to find resources to do a small run of cycling jerseys. One problem I have is that I would love to design a kit with a collar as well as the retro pockets in the chest.

Some locals who make lycra jerseys:
Made in Bloomington:

Made in Cleveland:

Peeps who are hip with retro radness:

Perhaps it is best that I find someone to do a small order in wool jerseys.
So going from here I have two options:
1. Find someone to do a very small order to make jerseys for just Bridget and I
2. I start designing jerseys that have broader appeal—and get the minimums required to have them printed by one of the above fabricators.

Monday, August 5, 2013

2013 Tour de Colorado!

Some of my fam moved to Summit County, near Breckenridge. Can't wait to hit that.

Brewery Crawl in Downtown Denver!

Looks like a cool MTB trail down in CastleRock.

- Blair Witch
-peak trail
- Barney ford
Bankers Tank:
Rating: Moderate

Time: 1-2 hours

Elevation: 10,360-10,850 ft.

Type: Loop, dirt road, trail

Season: Late June to early October

Know Before You Go: When the gate near the trailhead is closed, Boreas Pass Road is still snowy and wet. Cyclists should avoid this ride until the gate opens. Expect vehicle traffic (especially on weekends) on the road which is bordered by aspen groves, making it a spectacular fall ride. Although it may look dry at the beginning, the shaded trail takes a while to lose snow and should be avoided in early summer and also a day after heavy rains. This is also a great ride in the opposite direction.

Parking: From I-70, drive south through Breckenridge on HWY 9. Turn left at the stoplight on the south end of town onto Boreas Pass Road. Drive 3.5 miles up this winding road to pavement's end. Park in a pulloff on the left where the road becomes dirt.

Description: Follow Boreas Pass Road for 3 miles to Baker's Tank (see the Boreas Pass ride to continue up the main road). Turn onto a jeep road forking left just before the tank. Climb briefly and veer left onto a trail starting near a fence. It parallels above the jeep road, then switchbacks left. Pedal along this nearly level trail as it winds around a hill, clinging to a steep slope. Reach a junction at 3.9 miles, turn left and begin a long descent (going straight leads to private property). For the rest of this ride, expect uphill traffic and use caution around blind corners. Twist and turn through dense forest. Then connect with an old road at 4.8 miles. Turn left (going right again leads to private land), descend briefly and then turn right almost immediately and back onto the trail. Cross another road and pass through a camping area/turnaround. Continue on the trail as it cruises along a fairly level section through the trees. It then descends along steep hillside, switchbacking downward and ending at the trailhead.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Race to Refuel

Last year I bought "The Feed Zone Cookbook," featuring a lot of healthy dishes for athletes. This is an interesting interview inside the tour bus.

Biometrics in 2013

We had another Biometric screening at work, trying to track all these results. I am rather nerdy about checking blood pressure and I like to make sure I take care of myself.

I feel my riskiest behavior is actually working. I have noticed working long hours and not sleeping enough has a negative effect on my blood pressure.

My body fat % has gone up, mainly because I am not working out my upper body. I got down to 10% last year, doing swimming, yoga, running and weights.

Weight: 142 lb
Height: 68 in
Waist: 31 in
BMI: 21.6 kg/m2
Body Fat %: 11.0


Blood Pressure: 106 systolic / 61 diastolic mmHg
Pulse: 49


Total Cholesterol: 188 mg/dl
HDL: >100 mg/dl (good cholesterol)
LDL: NA (unreadable/<100 nbsp="" span="">mg/dl (bad cholesterol)
Triglycerides: 55 mg/dl
TC/HDL Ratio: 2.0% (should be under 3.5%)


Blood Glucose: 85 mg/dl

This is nerdy but I frequently track my blood pressure and weight to see how lifestyle factors effect my health. Every time I go to the Kroger i jump on that lil machine by the pharmacy. They must think I am a loon.

Weight: 145 lb
Blood Pressure: 124 systolic / 78 diastolic mmHg
Pulse: 48 bpm

This was at the dentist, my blood pressure is always high there! Aside from the obvious perhaps it is because I am coming from work too, having to run out the door for a dental appt.

2/28/2013, returning from vacation
113/77, pulse 59

Lean mass: 128.4 lbs/86.2%
Fat mass: 20.6 lbs/13.8%
Hydration: 3.7 lbs (consistent diet of beer and coffee at altitude?)
Weight: 149 (147 on home scale, the most I have weighed in over a year)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Domestic Domestique

This year I didn't really have any goals for Mohican. I just wanted to ride with Bridget and made sure she had fun. But now she is bailing on the 100 miler due to minor injuries.

I took my Strava data from last year. I might write these numbers on my bike so I have a lil bee in my bonnet during the race.

Here are my approximate splits from 2012:
To Aid Station 1 (20mi): 1:57/10.26mph split/10.26 avg, took about 3 min: A lot of trail
To Aid Station 2 (34mi): 1:32/9.13mph/9.5 avg, took 4 min messing with Infinit, more trail than I remembered
To Aid Station 3 (46mi): 1:04/11.25mph/9.82 avg, took 4 min
To Aid Station 4 (72mi): 1:52/13.33 mph/10.96 avg, last fill up, about 3 minutes
To Aid Station 5 (88mi-ish): 1:29/10.79 mph/10.67 avg
To Finish (93mi-ish): :32/9.33/10.79 avg

Overall I was 43rd/166 with a time of 8:37:09 about an average speed of 11mph.

I guess try to go faster right?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cycling Citizen

I posted the following message on a radio station message board when they posed the question "Should cyclists be on the road?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I am a Madisonville resident and I commute by bike almost daily to my job in Downtown. I commute over 2,000 miles a year.
First, I want to say thank you to all my fellow road users. We all share the road. We all do our best to drive and ride safely and sometimes there are others, drivers and cyclists who are not cautious as we are.
Is it fair to take the rights away from all just because a few do not exercise caution?

I adhere to all the same traffic laws as a car. Most of the roads I ride on are two lane streets—I hope that in doing so it is easier for a car to change lanes to pass. I really make sure I signal using my hands and arms, and I often thank drivers with a wave. I do not take my fellow citizens on the road for granted, and I really ride safely because I do not want to endanger others or myself.
My commute also features many urban neighborhoods. I often average speeds of 15-25mph on flats and sometimes 35-45 downhills. I would worry that if I were forced to ride the sidewalk that I would endanger pedestrians, the mothers pushing carriages with their children that I often see along my route.
Also, I am a home-owner. I do own one car (although I let my wife use it). I have a job, insurance, pay my taxes. These contributions should add up to pay mare fair share as well of road costs.
I also hope my cycling can benefit you and society as well. Less demand on gasoline and health-care (I am fortunate to have lost over 60 lbs since I took up cycling and I have been going to the doctor less) will hopefully reduce the cost for everyone.
Once again I want to say thank you for sharing the road. I wanted to share my story and point of view. I am grateful to cycling for changing my life and health—and I am grateful that I can commute and be in the sunshine and enjoy our beautiful home town.
In closing I wanted to invite you to ask yourself how could you get around if you suddenly lost your car? Having a full array of transportation options benefits all of society. I am grateful to have a car but there are many who cannot afford this. I am happy to have the Metro as a convenient second choice. I feel that as the Greater Cincinnati area grows we need to ensure that there are options for everyone—sidewalks, buses, etc. so we are not tied to one specific form a transportation.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Unfortunately for commuters the bike trail (at the moment) does not network in every possible destination. In Cincinnati I am excited about the Wasson Way and Ohio River Trail which will provide this as an option.

At the moment cyclist are legally entitled to ride on the road. This 3 foot law just adds in a bit of safety for people. There are 1% of motorists who are not completely respectful and are rather dangerous. This law will help educate the public about safety (kind of like Buckle Up), prosecute the very few who are dangerous and will hopefully make the road safer for all of us.

- - - - - - - - - - -
True it is frustrating when all road users do not follow the law.

This is above the spandex nation. It is for the right of your neighbor's 16 year old without a license to get to work safely. It is for the impoverished that cannot afford a car to be able to get around safely. Currently is is legal for bikes to be on the road, the 3 foot law would just require extra safety, I feel it will act as an awareness campaign similar to "Buckle Up" and only be enforced against those who are truly negligent.

As Steve the bike lawyer wrote: "it is the right of every Ohioan to choose a vehicle to use on virtually all Ohio roads - be it motorcycle, car, truck bus, Amish buggy or bicycle."

- - - - - - - - - - -
I mentioned in another comment that I am a commuter who travels from the Suburbs of Cincinnati to Downtown for work. I do follow the laws because it keeps me and other drivers safe. At the moment there is not an option for me to get to my destination on a bike path. I would love such a route—sometimes rush hour is very stressful. Most people are nice and I ride in a way that is predictable (signaling, riding in a straight line, following traffic laws). But then there would be other days where I would require a more direct road route to get to my destination quicker—and I wouldn't want that bike path to make my ability to use the roads I help pay for and use a less "legitimate" option.

- - - - - - - - - - -
Trying to be a positive face for our sport and form of transportation.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bike to Work Week!

Photo of a photo by Chrissy B, capturing my red/white/black commuter get-up.

It's Bike Month again. The Giro is happening. And I'm getting ready for another Mohican and the first year of the 6 Hours Series.

Doing lots of rides. Last year I got hooked on a podcast from London called The Bike Show. He had the writer Lionel Birnie on recently and he is urging cyclists to attempt their own Grand Tours.

So I am tackling my Giro di Jimmy—trying to ride everyday until the Giro ends. Unfortunately I got a bit sick last week and I missed out on an epic Century with my teammate Gers. It was a reminder of how tough those races are and if one were to attempt the same, to race everyday for 3 weeks, how amazing the winners really are!

Anyway it IS bike-to-work week. I look back on my own history as a cyclist and I really owe some gratitude to commuting. Commuting was a real sea change for me—I rode more and got faster and became a stronger racer.

So I want to urge my fellow racers to give it a try. And I want to urge anyone to just to try commuting—cut back on your carbon and get some increased fitness. I think you will like it, it can be a rather relaxing way to get around. And if you live on the East Side of Cincy and interested, I will be happy to be your commute sherpa!

I've been missing out on the cool commuter stations Queen City Bike has set up. Try to hit those up! QCB is very cool, and these use these stations to count numbers of commuters.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I miss David Harmon

Listening to the Giro this year just isn't the same. David Harmon had such a good voice and brought a lot of delight to his commentary. I heard he is taking a break to rekindle his passion. Chapeau sir!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cincy Tour de Brew

Okay, just add Listermann's, Double Barrel and RheinGeist in that list of locations (maybe even knock on the door of Blank Slate) and that would be one hell of a ride. Perhaps start out about noon, make sure you get in Mount Carmel and Rivertown before 4pm and you would be good to go.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Always stop at the Overlook

As many of you know I practice "Joie de Vivre" cycling. Why ride if you're not having fun? I consider climbing "fun, " as in that it is a challenge. It is a metaphor for life. We face an obstacle and through hard work and determination we attempt to overcome the obstacle.

But here's my thing. If I'm going to do all that work, I might as well reap the rewards. So I almost always stop. Perhaps at the least it is a momentary slowing and gandering to reflect upon the view.

Many mornings before work I stop at Eden Park's Twin Lakes overlook and have a bit of a stretch, some coffee and embrace the new day. Some days it is the last moment of calm before the busy work day.

So let's have some fun and take some time to smell the roses. Do any of you have favorite places to stop?

Monday, April 8, 2013

1/3 as important as a car?

These signs went up on the trail about a year ago and I would get so angry because I could not tell what the hell they are! Am I 1/3 a person because I ride a bike? Another internet site commented: "My guess about the sign is that it means bikes are only 1/3 of the traffic on the multi use trail. There's about 3 of them between Newtown and Loveland, Ohio, on the the Ohio to Eerie trail. I just started noticing them in late summer."

Well, they are our Ohio State bike route signs. They work. They are just a bit generic. My only thought is to really own the shape of our lovely state, similar to our road signs. I like the green, feels eco and not as serious as a road sign. I like the bike symbol but maybe there is a way separate the numeral from the bike, right now they kind of read as equal. And my only other comment would be to use two signs on a shared path — similar to roads.

But this is a moot point now. They have been produced and it costs a lot of money to replace them. Plus I might be the only one offended!

I thought of this post as I browsed the internet and found these lovely posters from San Francisco showcasing their bike route signs.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cycling is now NSFW

I like to listen to the one day classics and stage races while I am at work. I find David Harmon and Sean Kelly to be very entertaining — yet chill enough they can hang out in the background.

To get Eurosport coverage one has to get creative and troll the dark catacombs of the internet. Well, sometimes those pop-up ads are a bit ridiculous. I go to the bathroom and come back to find a rather mountainous profile front and center... What did my coworkers see?

And what's up with VeloNews? They were bought out by some media company over a year ago and the recommended articles have nothing to do with cycling. Unless Hollywood's hottest racks refers to Yakimas, Saris and Thules.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mardi Gras turned into March Gras

Stepped on the scale and I was 148 today. Which is not a lot, but the heaviest I have been in over 2 years.

Partying pretty hard lately, and after my 2 week recovery I am definitely off to a slow start. I was hoping for more volume and base miles by now, but life keeps getting in the way.

Oh we'll, I will either find some form or not!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Handbuilt in the Mile High City


Bjet and I took advantage of NAHBS (North American Handbuilt Bike Show) being in Denver so we flew out and saw our family!

I chose to fly Southwest because bags fly free right? Not bikes, they cost $75 a trip. I didn't see that on their website and I had egg on my face... We only got two rides in so that was a $75 ride! Other than that I really enjoyed flying Southwest, they are a fun airline with good customer device, and they're a bit irreverent and goofy.

In the back of my mind i expected some mild weather. I visited Denver 4 years ago in February and it was sunny and in the 50s. This time it was snowy and the tempuratures in the mornings were in the teens. One reason we rode waaaaaaay less.

One day we tried to ride up to Cherry Creek State Park but we lost our way when the bike path ended, and then we ran out of daylight. There were some open spaces and prairie trails where we could jump off and ride in the snow.

Friday I wanted to ride early then hit NAHBS, but like I said th weather was super cold. So we went downtown and had some lunch and hit the show. It was great to see Tim from Shamrock, and Don n Blane from Walker. Don is incredible and really puts together a killer show. Tim's bikes were awesome, I especially had my eye on a stainless steel CX bike.

Posting a gallery soon.

Saturday we got out for about 3 hours. We rode south and hit this trail called the Hidden Mesa loop. Pretty cool to climb up a rocky Mesa and ride around it's deserty and rocky top, no trees to obscure the view!

Sunday we got snowed in when a mild blizzard hit Denver. We went out for a run, it was crazy because we could barely see but it was fun to get some easy tempo in. Took 26 minutes to run 2 miles, man I am slow right now. Well, slow plus bad weather and running in deep snow at altitude!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Denver NAHBS trip!

Every year Independent Fabrications has star riders come out and get people excited at their NAHBS booth. A few years ago we saw Molly Cameron in Austin. Well this year, IndieFab didn't really ask me, but I am assuming if I show up with a sharpie I am bound to draw a crowd with my star power. Kidding. They will call security...

Taking my sweet Taiwan machine built rig out to D-town. Can't wait. Just happy to get some base miles. I hope the weather will be decent for some rides. Supposed to snow one day, and be 48 degrees another.

Looks like a cool MTB trail down in CastleRock.

We could even ride a century by starting in Parker, riding on bike paths around the city, then down to Castlewood Canyon and back up.

Some other interesting posts for rides:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Year, New You


I nerded out and tracked my weight and exercise as I transformed

I've been there myself. I turned 30, weighed 205 lbs (at 5'8"), had a BMI that classified me as obese and was staring down the barrel of diabetes and heart disease.

I took stock and wanted to change. It's been 6 years and kept the weight off. I continue pursuing the optimal "me," where I eat and perform at my best.

I am writing this so others that are currently in a similar situation and want to change can have a starter resource. I should also note that I am not a doctor so I don't have exact scientific principles on some of these techniques. Also, make sure you consult a physician before drastically changing anything.

Weight Loss 101 (Small Changes)
Drink Water
Water obviously has zero calories, but beyond that water keeps us hydrated which helps circulation of blood and the flushing of any toxins or extra nutrients in our bodies. Less soda, juice and coffee.

You know when you are on vacation and sleep until you naturally wake up? What is that? About 8 hour-ish? Lack of sleep throws off our metabolism, makes us crave stimulants in the morning, then we drink more stimulants after lunch, then we can't sleep that night. Vicious cycle.

24 hours in a day, right? Well, fit in 30 minutes of exercise in a day and you can increase your life expectancy. Perhaps a post dinner stroll or a nice walk at lunch.

Weight Loss 201

If you really want to be aggressive with weight loss you need to burn off the fat. Plus, why not be fit? Perhaps you will be less prone to injury from minor mishaps.

The key for weight loss is to sustain your height rate in an Aerobic heart zone (roughly 130-140 bpm or light exercise, should still be able to have a conversation). Walking is fine, running will burn it faster than walking, swimming will use more muscle groups, and cycling is great because it is low-impact on your joints and it is possible to go for a 1-2 hour bike ride without feeling wooped.

Weight Loss 202

Calorie Track

Tracking Exercise
Tracking is great because you can start to see approximately how many calories you burn during exercise. Beyond that, I am inspired by racing myself. What is my best time on a route? How many miles did I go in a week? Can I beat that?

Websites like, nikeplus, and offer online and apps that enable you to easily track your exercise, even using the GPS on your phone.

Eat your Veggies

No more soda

Weight Loss 301
Eat whole foods

Less Sugar

Less TV

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Looking forward to the 2013 season!

Photo by the lovely Liz Schlaudecker

Maybe a more toned-down year — focusing on the bigger picture and lifelong goals. Last year I introduced a lot of diversity (some time-trialing, a Xterra), this year I might go back to more dirt, i.e., mountain biking.

Training Trips and Races I wanna do:
Short Denver NAHBS training camp in February — see friends and fam, drink some good beer and begin a ramp up after recovery from Da Worldz.
Death March and Brown County — I want to race as a co-ed team with Bjet, as a "team-building" exercise. Maybe stay out there a few days and get in some training rides with our Hoosier Buddies!
Murphin Ridge Inn and Shawnee Forest — maybe a training weekend East of the 'Nati?
Ashville/Knobscourcher Race/Long training Weekend — Bjet wants to work on a Pro MTB license. Maybe do this trip and check out the awesome stuff in that area.
Quad-Century? — Never rode TOSRV, should I go for riding to Cbus, then Portsmouth, then Cbus and back in four days? Also, my teammate Gersy and I might ride "Century of the Month," hoping to get in one 100 mile ride every month!
Mohican — Going for the 100 miler for a third time. I want to be Bjet's domestique. Gotta talk her into the 100 miler!
Big Dave's 6 Hour Series — I want to focus on this series, I hope for some podiums (We'll see if some badasses come up and woop me).
MTB trips with Charley and Sherri — my friends have been going to some epic races. Probably not this year, hopefully next year!
Madiera/Hyde Park Crits — I loved these last year, like CX races on asphalt! Lots of corners!
Versailles — I want to set a new PR in the XC race, aim to drop below 2:10:00
Tour of Colorado — Fun rides out there again!
John Bryan 6 Hour — Compete as a co-ed duo with Bjet or go solo and try to defend my title?
CincyCX — This year I am going to focus on the 4-5 local races and have fun. One last shot at the Elite field in the Cincy3 races, gotta stay "fast" or get faster for those. Last couple of years I raced 21 CX races, maybe this year just do my favorite courses including more trips to see my old friends in CapCity.

Other goals:
Even more soul — I usually do a good job of balancing my "joie de vivre" for cycling with training "hard." I typically train like a Merckx-wannabe and ride loads of miles. Last year I would get upset and crabby if I felt like my volume or intensity was being compromised by others/life. Other days I would get 2-4 workouts in, training that way 5-6 days a week. Was I recovering enough? Were my workouts specific enough? This year I just want to take training in stride. Commute for health. Perhaps do 4 specific targeted training rides per week. Have fun, train smarter not harder.
There are other things in life — make sure I reconnect with my non-cycling friends. I've lost track now that we are all married and having kids. Love'm, need to see more of them. I always hate being one-dimensional and all about cycling, even though I love it and it is very rewarding. But this year I want to put a bit more into my art, and work on fixing up my house too!
Get slightly skinnier — just want to nudge below 10% body fat (for overall heart health) and keep weight about 140lbs. Some of this entails being very mindful of my diet. I keep trying to tweek and "perfect" a diet that is healthy, mindful and sustainable. Sometimes that is very hard and stressful and it is hard to discern what is based in science versus based in a diet trend.
Be All-Over Fit — My core and upper body are my weaknesses. I need to keep working on being a strong person to maintain my health. I keep seeing people my own age or older that are very sedentary and pretty weak — I just worry that someday a minor fall could jeopardize my health. I want to remain fighting fit when I am old.

In the 2011-12 season I raced 47 races, and last year I raced 44. I still have passion and want to keep pushing, but my house and my wallet say I should focus on my home! Hopefully this year I will find balance!

I am saying no to running races this year. I would have to start training for the Heart Mini and the Flying Pig now. I want a break after Worlds. I hope to return to running races with next winters Topo Adventure Sports winter trail series.

What are you guys gonna do this year?


This is lame but I am taking a 2 week rest. There is a theory that every once in awhile athletes need to "reset" their legs with a break; reduce swelling, any injuries and any overcompensating where stronger muscles make up for weaker muscles.

In the meantime planning to do a lot pf walking (to circulate blood throughout the body), stretching and yoga.

After that, planning to get back into it real easy. I will also start off the new season and base period with a lot of varied exercise (weights, swimming, running, even inline skating). This helps set a strong foundation from which I can specialize later.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Races #153-154: Jimmy just got J-Pow'd (aka Jimmy vs The Pros Part 2)

Photo by Blair Fraley, my Facebook Friend

USGP Derby City Cup, Saturday

I have had a lot of fun at the USGP in the past. Pre-riding I get to ride with a lot of the Pro Women and a ton of them are super cool and don't feel the need to wear a race face. Maybe I get to ride behind Johnson or Trebon and just kind of gawk for awhile. I must admit, I'm a super fan.

But this year the pros seemed more ominous than usual! Maybe it was my head, but I cringed every time I saw one I them, knowing the thumping I was going to get later.

I had a pretty decent start, there were some crashes on the first lap and I perceived that I was passing a lot of people. My brain was saying "yay, you are not be caboose!"

Wow, the course was hard. It is very demanding and there is not a place to rest. Tons of dismounting and run-ups, sand, off-camber, hills. Ouch!

I was battling with a few more guys. I put in an effort through the sand and pushed on the gas hard through the "green monster," the Derby City's flyover with steps up and a ramp down. Well, I get about to the top and I threw up in my mouth a little bit!

My average heart rate was 179 beats per minute and my max was 189 (I swore I saw 193 for a sec)! Typically it is more like 174-176 average and 180 max.

I only made it about 29 minutes and change before I got pulled and I felt pretty happy with that performance. That night everyone let me know I was pretty much second-to-last. Evidently everyone I passed quit the race! Darnit!

Look Mom! I'm a couple of blurry pixels on a Live Stream!

USGP Derby City Cup, Sunday

I want to thank the weather gods the weekend was lovely in Louisville the weather was in the 70's the sun was out. It's so much nicer to suffer when the weather is lovely.

On Saturday I chose to race my Redline. I guess I am a little superstitious about the weight. On Sunday I was determined to race the new IF, wondering if the superior handling would make a difference. I had the worst pre-ride ever, I crashed 3 times, once endo-ing in the downhill sand! This was foreshadowing of things to come. I'm not sure if the front end of the IF is a little heavier, but my wheel kept catching zombie hands in the sand.

I had the worst race —I was in immediately popped out the back. Or at least it felt that way.

I had a crash on 1 the downhills and some stupid wipeouts. I didn't have it that day. I felt like I was dragging an anchor. When I was pulled Bridget grabbed my bike and noticed the rear brake was rubbing. Not sure if it was like that all race or because of a crash. It would be nice to have that as an excuse for my terrible ride.

There was reports of very bad hecklers saying pretty crass remarks. The heckles I received were some of the most witty heckles I have heard. I wonder if they had more time to think of something witty since I was so slow?

I must admit, it is a little disheartening to have the crap kicked out of you by your idols. Not sure if this was a cool opportunity or something no sports fan should endure! I licked my wounds and commuted to work the next day! Back to the grind.

Races #150-152: Jimmy Vs. The Pros (Part 1)

So I know I am not the hot shizz, I went into this assuming I was going to get pulled. BUT... wow, I was hoping to stay in a bit longer! These guys are really, really fast!

Race #150: Cyclo-Stampeded
4 Laps, 0:27:00, 37 out of 46, pulled 7 laps down
My first pro race! Yay?

I was warming up on my trainer before the race when Ben Berden came over to watch the women start. He turned around and looked at me. I idolize him, but definitely think he looks like he could eat me for supper. I didn't make eye contact because I was so scared!

I started out okay. I avoided some tangle ups. The course was tough, a lot of climbing and it was starting to hurt. I was tailgunning chase group on the second lap when my chain bounced off going downhill. That stunk. Then I was in no-man's land, suffering, looking like pooh, getting heckled. I felt so bad out there, I get like I was fighting with the bike all lap and when my friends did cheer for me I was embarrassed because I felt like I was riding poorly.

I was so upset when they pulled me. I was pedaling around trying to cool off, I was trying not to barf and I was definitely holding back tears!

This is going to sound weight weenie but I wondered later if the Redline would have been a smarter choose since it is a few pounds lighter. It felt like there was 1,000 feet of climbing per lap.

Race #151: Magic in the Mud
5 laps, 0:34:00, 40 out of 47, pulled 5 laps down
I dreaded going to this race. I am not a mudder. But my teammates Strecker and Karwash talked me into it. Night race? In the Pros? WHY NOT!

Bjet got me on the trainer, she was awesome enough to bring all my gear! She made me focus and I had a great warmup on the trainer.

I was pretty pissed about the day before. I was determined not to be an embarrassment again, but worried I would look like a cat 4 in the mud.

It's pretty crazy to see your idols on the start line right in front of you. Well, something sparked. We started as I hung in there. I lost some places, but then I started gliding over the mud!

My friends were out in full force! Everyone was cheering for me so much, I bet I had more fans than Ryan Trebon! You guys really lifted my spirits! I couldn't help but smile at the signs and disco Stu! So many times the cheers would drive me forward and I picked up spots immediately!

That night felt magical. I felt so lucky to have all of you cheering for me! I was pretty psyched and felt like I put up more of a fight.


Race #152: Hopeless at Harbin
3 laps, 0:29:00, 50 out of 55, pulled 5 laps down
I wanted this to be my race. Last year I set up the course, got very little sleep but still had my best result ever in the 2/3 race, placing 17th after coming back from a back row start.

Well, I felt like pooh! Only 3 hours of sleep, tons of labor and no recovery from the other races.

I started out okay again, but at some point I think I blew up a little. I lost that last wheel and I was DFL! I was trying hard, but I didnt have any power. I almost gave up and DNF'd, a kind of "spiritual wreck" on lap 2. But I decided to relish the moment. I didn't joy lap, I kept hustling hoping to pip one spot, but alas, I was the lanterne rouge!

The interesting thing is that statistically the Devou CycloStampede was my best race. I finished slightly higher in the field. It just felt that much worse! Although, I think I did beat more "finishers" at Kings and there were more DNF at Devou due to mechanicals and wrecks.

Once again, thank you to everyone who cheered for me! It was truly memorable. And thank you to my darling Bjet for supporting me so much!

2012 Mileage Report

I gotta write this. Just posting a pic of Nike +


I was pondering wether to rest or not at the end of last month. Well, I decided to try and topple my mileage for December 2011. With plenty of time off of work I looked forward to some epic rides and setting a "new base" for some intense training leading up to Masters CX Worlds in Luhvuhl, Kuntucky.

Kerstperiode is celebrated in Belgium with 7 CX races in 11 days between Christmas and New Year's. This is based upon the 7 cyclocross races that Joseph had to race to earn money for the return trip from Bethlehem to Nazareth. Let it be noted he placed 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 36th, 1st, 1st, and 3rd. Payment? Goats. Goats. And more podium goats.

My kerstperiode was more about hours and miles in the legs and cutting back on racing. I wanted to go to the final CapCity but my sister was in town and I opted to stay local. Well, mother nature had other plans for my kerstperiode. She decided to pour cold rain down upon us, relegating me to some trainer workouts and runs when I would have loved to ride to Rabbit Hash or ride an epic hill ride.

The nice thing about the colder temps and some precipitation was waking up super early and going for some mountain bike rides. Rode East Fork with Rogue Pals, Versailles with BioBuds and a solo ride at Tower Park.

I did get a wee bit of CX training in. I would wake up early and do a CX workout at some local trails or I would ride up to Kings for some training races. Nice to do the sport I love without the pressure of packing the car and traveling.

Legs are feeling rested again with less intensity although the running was a bit tough on 'em. 

I hope all of you had lovely holidays and may we have a lovely 2013 full of epic rides!