Thursday, May 31, 2007

More speed for 2008

On the heels of my earlier post...looks like they'll just keep making the cars faster and faster. My 150hp engine always seems to get me where I need to go...on time. Do we really more cars with 300+ hp engines???


Driving scares the crap out of me. This past Sunday, I drove to and from Camden Yards. On the Beltway, I was sitting pretty at about 70 mph. I was still driving above the speed limit. The way cars around me passed so quickly, it seemed like I was practically sittin' still. They had to be clocking upwards of 85 and 90 mph.

And then shit like this happens. It's a tragic, terrible thing. I can't, however, help but dwell on the final sentence of the article...

'The accident "illustrates the problem we have with speed and what can happen in an instant," High said.'

This isn't to say any of the resulting damage wouldn't have happened at slower speeds, but I think lots of folks don't register how bad it all can get at 85+ mph.

I say, "Slow down!" It's true on the highway and it's true on side streets.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Three weeks of silence

Not nearly as long as Bjarne Riis's fourteen years of silence.

I don't have time to go on endlessly about the sh*t going down in the pro ranks right now. Needless to say, it's a meaningful change from the years and years of secrets and lies and crime.

On the one hand, it's hard to watch my most favorite sport's most elite players cop to such disgraceful behavior. I'm not one to see the courage of fessing up. Plenty of commentators expressed pride in Millar when he came out with it. Don't forget, he came out with it all after they found the goods. It has also been said of others. I don't buy the courage bit. I am, though, a bit proud that cycling is owning up to its mistakes while so many other sports (bigger budget, bigger return American sports) continue to keep the wool pulled tightly over Americans' star-struck eyes. You gotta figure there's a seriously dark underbelly to pro football and baseball and basketball. I don't expect stars of those sports to magically and suddenly see the light. Too much cay-shhh to lose. Point being, I think there's something slightly redeeming to cycling being the whipping boy...the sport to take the hard knocks while the others continue living the lies. Just like cyclists, eh? It a painful process...these confessions and admissions. But have you ever known a cyclist to shy away from pain?

And on to my personal pain.

I've been training very, very sporadically. I'm not impressed and am eager to get back on it. This week was a marked improvement, but still nothing to write home about. Still eagerly awaiting my chance at training with powah. I'm hoping to secure the PT within the month.

On the racing front, I think I've only managed Poolesville between Ephrata and now. What a disappointing race. I surprised myself last year and hung on for a decent finish. I expected, and was gunning for, better this year.

The race seemed slow. The gravel was more fun. And then I crashed. I was better off than most. I simply rode up and on to a pile of downed cyclists. Untangling bike and body took long enough for a gap to form to the leaders. I chased like a dog and never re-gained contact. My cheering section (thanks Drew and Sonja and Evan) encouraged me to finish the last lap. I'm glad I did. I'd post photos of my blood-splattered shoes and legs, but the home computer is broken. So I finished, but all by my lonesome. Better luck next year, eh?

The personal pain also includes the aforementioned computer problems. The screen on the laptop is shot, so I can't post to the blog, can't download the Max Blob's photos, and can't update my training log. And so life comes to a grinding halt, right?

Long weekend on tap. Looking forward to having mom and Dale in town. Can't wait to show 'em the new digs, take in an Orioles game, gorge myself at Komi, walk the trail near our place, and maybe even fit in a training ride or two. No Kelly Cup for me. And no CSC for us amateurs. I think I've got a few crits lined up in the next month. It'd be great to actually race one of those with some confidence and certainty.

There's more to tell, but there's also work to do, right?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tour d' Ephr-notta lot to report

Five days removed, there's not much memorable about this year's TdE.

Road Race: Spent the morning watching the ambulances come and go. Lined up for the Cat. 4 race in good position in the staging area. Waiting for the medics to clean up the mayhem from the women's race, I decided to take one last potty break. Of course, the officials opened the staging area flood gates while I was takin' a wicked pissah. I exited the john to find my ever-so-loyal (for how much longer after my brilliant bathroom break move?) teammate, Dave Kemp, still holding my bike upright and waiting for me. We ended up at the back of the group at the official start/finish line. I felt terrible for Dave. That's about as exciting as things got.

Never really worked my way up to the front on the narrow roads. Avoided three crashes out on the course. Hung back for the sprint and watched plenty of guys shoulder each other off the road and generally make a mess of things. Rolled in for an impressive 40th!

TT: Windy. I did worse this year than I did last. Naaahce. Ahh liihke. I did not make any sort of sexy time. Got to the top of the climb in 27:47...good enough for 27th.

Crit: One word for you: shelled. I was not too happy with myself. Still can't claim to be much of a crit rider. Evan reported, however, that, once off the back of the peleton, I appeared to be traveling at about the same speed (read: pretty fast). One thing that kept me in it...the guys hanging out just around corner two and, every time I dragged my tired ass up the short incline there, totally cheering for me 'cause they misunderstood my grimace for a sh*t-eating grin. I guess I was rockin' it Horner style and they loved it. Sometimes it's the little things, eh?

Two other good things that came out of the crit:

1. I got plenty of practice cornering at speed...alone.
2. The crit turned out to be, more or less, a LT test for me.

Overall, I can't say I was happy with any results. Maybe three days off the bike last week wasn't such a good idea.

Hoping for better this Saturday at Poolesville.