Monday, June 30, 2008

The Crash

I'm still trying to figure out what caused the crash... should I get new tires just in case? I can't see a thing wrong with that rear.

This leads me to believe that I did hit a bump or something, my tire lost traction and rolled off the rim. Dare I ever try tubulars?

Proctor Cycling Classic

At the start of the season, I laid out my racing schedule and placed Proctor as my last Cat 5 race, it being my 10th mass start. I ended up racing Cobb Park last week so it was actually my 11th race, but stuck to the plan upgrade-wise.

To most people’s surprise, the 5’s field didn’t fill up - my guess that’s because of the high price of gas and the the lack of a road race… makes it hard to justify the drive all the way to Peoria, especially for a ~25 minute race. Looking at the field of 35ish riders, it was clear that the guys from Wild Card Cycling (Champaign, IL) had the largest presence with 7 - the four of us would have to either work with them or try to recruit others if we wanted to work against them. I’ve been in several races with these guys and we’ve always gotten along well and “played nice” so we decided to continue that trend.

The pace started out pretty fast on the hourglass course, ~25 on the straights and ~20 on the corners, the smaller and more technical top half of the course clearly slowing the pack down - this clearly would be the place to make moves.

Had I only known that I was riding in front of Unlucky Rob.

I Crashed on turn 5, about 1/3 way through the third lap (rear flatted on a 20+mph corner), didn’t take anyone else out with me even though I was ~8th wheel. While sliding across the pavement (whee) I somehow kept my hands on the bars and managed to make myself as small as possible so I wouldn’t be run over. As soon as the majority of the peleton passed me, I knew I had to get up. I ran the 4 blocks back to the wheel pit as fast as I could, got a 404 from SRAM’s neutral support and was back in it. It took me a lap to get back on, but I contested the next prime, unknowingly leading the winner out… He could have the innertubes and socks, I was happy to be back in contention. The pack had spit out several riders at this point, no doubt my crash had created a gap attributing to that. The remainder of the race was fast and fairly smooth, with only one instance of an unattached rider breaking his line and cutting inside, almost pushing a Wild Card rider into one of the 6” curbs on turn 9 with a lap to go. At the bell, the group accelerated and lined out before regrouping on the backstretch.. I was 12th wheel on the slight uphill leading into the last corner and powered down the long sprint, picking up a bunch of spots on the sprint to finish 6th.

As usual, positioning going into the sprint is everything, but all things considered I had a great race and I’m happy with my top 10, bleeding.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Hate (apologies to The Car Whisperer)

Dear guy in the locker room who takes up ten times more space than he should,

I understand that you're used to sprawl. I do. You probably live in a 4000sf house that's on 1/6 acre of land at the end of a cul-de-sac that prevents any sense of a "neighborhood" from forming. You park your 12mpg SUV across two parking spots at Wal-Mart so you can "keep its resale value" (good luck with that @ $4/gal). You obviously move around a LOT of gym clothes with you in the huge duffel bag that's parked on the floor next to my locker.

Why do you feel the need to burden others with your desire to sprawl? I understand that you might want to have 2 or 3 days worth of gym clothes in your bag, that's understandable... but maybe you can keep the clothes IN THE BAG? On that note, maybe the bag can be somewhere close to the locker that you're "using" rather than 10' away, adjacent to the opposing lockers, contents vomited all over the floor.

Perhaps nobody has ever told you that it's patently rude to do this. Maybe you're aware and don't give a shit because you're an inconsiderate asshole. Maybe you turn on two showerheads at once and use them both because you're that cool. If so, I bet your kids think they're three-popped-collars kinds of cool.

Consider this your official notice. I'll crosspost this to Seattle Craigslist, too. If your sprawl extends into the online world, you should come across it between CL and Facebook. Unless you're busy parking across three spots on your way to buy disposable diapers while driving your 12mpg SUV.


Guy who uses ONE locker and the 3' in front of it. Only.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pleadings from a Convict

I’m sick and tired of this rock, so I’m breaking out…

I’m racing Escape from Alcatraz in San Francisco this weekend and thought some of you might be interested in getting updates of my progress throughout the race. If so, you can register for updates with Accenture’s Triathlon Alert System at You will need to sign up for an account, but it’s free and I’m pretty sure they won’t do anything completely evil with your information. When you get to the “Select Athletes” page, my Bib number is 237.

If you’re not familiar with this race, here’s an overly dramatic synopsis:

Distances: Swim 1.5mi (Across SFO Bay)
Run 1mi (to transition)
Bike 18 miles
Run 8 miles

Course Map:

Many thanks to Bob Mitera ( who has coached me through all of my preparation for the race. I couldn’t have done it without you, Bob. I’ll pull for you any time (though with that Lynskey R4 you shouldn’t need it!). I also want to thank Lisa Walker whose wisdom and tips substantially improved my ability to not drown as fast as possible.

As usual, Facebookers - my MotionBased entries will be posted as notes on my profile. Feel free to laud/laugh at my times.

If you’re coming to SFO, sweet! I appreciate the support.

I’m staying at the Sheraton on Fisherman’s Wharf, let me know where you’re at and we can coordinate. Additionally, This FAQ answers many questions you may have.
Favorite part of the FAQ:
“What happens if I don’t make the 1-hour cut-off for the swim?”
Being afraid of the cut of times is a good thing. It will make you race faster.

If you’re coming from SFO/OAK and staying somewhere in the Wharf area, here’s a transit site that can help you get to your hotel without having to take a taxi:

Here’s a map of the site grounds:

First wave is off the ferry at 08:00, last wave is off at 8:06. They don’t mess around.

See you this weekend!