Monday, January 30, 2006

This last week I started some base training…well by base training, I just mean that I put in some extra hours at a reasonably low intensity. I still managed 3 hockey games through the week, which is plenty of intensity for this early in the season. Throw in a couple days of lifting, a jog or two, stretching, and some time on the bike (trainer and outside), and you have my off-season training program.

It was a good weekend for riding…well until 3 pm on Saturday at least. Luckily, Fisher and I left my house at about 10 am Sat. We were on our mountain bikes (is there any other way?), and we headed South around Prior Lake, down through Jordan, then over to Waconia, back to Chaska, and home. It was a good long medium paced ride and took us about 4 hours. We were going strong until Chaska when Fisher started to bonk. I gave him my emergency gu and we hammered out the last 15 miles. I guess we shouldn’t have planned for the last half of the ride to be into 15mph head wind. Oops!

The highlight of my week was going to Les Miserables at the Ordway Saturday night. My mom and dad, sister and her husband went with us…man what an amazing show! This was the second time I have seen it, and I would definitely go again…although each ticket costs about as much as a carbon fiber seatpost=)

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I forgot to mention my sponsor in the last post; Rochester Cycling and Fitness sponsors my racing. Matt, the owner is a family friend, and a bike guru. Before last year I asked him if he would be interested in sponsoring me and he didn’t hesitate. I really appreciate all he and his staff have done to help me out.

So I said I would continue the background info stuff again and today I felt like writing about equipment…I guess cause I stocked up for the year on disposables yesterday (chains, lube, tubes,etc) and I have a new bike coming in a couple weeks.

I have multiple bikes - my wife would say way to many already – but they all get ridden.

Trek Fuel: This is my favorite bike and I have done all my racing on it. There isn’t much left on this bike that is stock (only shifters and derailleurs). It is about 23.5 lbs. There are several distinct changes/upgrades that have drastically improved the performance of this race rig. First is the wheelset. I upgraded to Mavic Crossmax SLs. These babies kick ass. I have had them for more than 2 years and bought them slightly used…they still haven’t needed truing. While they aren’t the lightest (they are still very light) on the market, but they are the stiffest and most bombproof I have found. Second are the tires and the conversion to tubeless. I run standard 2.0 Kenda Karma DTC Stick E’s (480g’s claimed weight), but they are converted to tubeless using Stan’s sealant. This allows me to run 30 PSI without the risk of pinch flats. Third is the Fork. I switched out the wishy-washy SID race for the rock solid F80X. The F80X uses an inertial valve platform to be plush on rocky terrain and lockout in smooth areas. Also, the Fox is SO much stiffer than the SID. This stiffness really helps when railing corners.

Specialized Enduro: This bike is what I use for most of my off road training. It weights about 31 lbs and I run 800 gram tires on it. Basically after riding this thing, the fuel feels like a rocket. There are no highlights to speak of…this thing is a work horse and I only replace parts as needed.

Giant TCR Composite: This is my ‘road bike’…at least in theory. I do almost all my road riding on my fuel. I am most comfortable on the fuel and I enjoy riding it the most. However, the TCR is still a light fast bike that tops the scales at around 17.5 lbs.

Gary Fisher Big Sur: This was my first real mountain bike that I purchased back in 1999. The Sur gets no respect any more and I only keep it around for those nasty salty wet road rides in the winter…the shifters are broken, the drive train is shot, the wheels are untrue, the seat rails are bent, but that is what beaters are for!

The most exciting equipment news for me is my new ride. A Trek Elite 9.9 (I will call her the Niner Niner or just Niner)…it should be here in a few weeks and I will be sure to post a pick when it arrives. As with the fuel there will be upgrades=)

Other important equipment choices are Shimano shoes (the ones with the carbon sole), egg beaters pedals, and plenty of nasty old t-shirts for racing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

This my first attempt at a blog, so here goes...hmm, a little about myself.

Family: Beautiful Wife, Jennifer; 2 cats, I am not a cat person but Jen loves em, Roli (named after the MN Wild goaly) and Madison (named after the city we lived in when Jen got the cat)
Home: Shakopee, MN
Occupation: Product Engineer for Seagate Technology
Hobbies: cycling, hockey, camping, watching basically any sport, running...I could go on but won't

Most people who read this probably want to hear mostly about cycling, i.e. racing, training, equipment, and just riding in general. So here goes on one of those topics.
I started racing 4 years ago. My athletic background is a little bit different than most cyclists. I never did track, cross country, xc skiing, or any other endurance sport. I played baseball and football through high school and a little amateur baseball beyond that. In fact, I remember complaining when the coach made us run 3 laps around a football field=)
Anyway, my first season, 2002, I did 2 races...on Murphy Hanrehan short race (hardly counts) and one called the Blockhouse Roll in Platteville, WI.
The next season I did 2 weekend races, Spring Cup and Blockhouse again, along with a couple Buck Hill races all at a comp level.
In 2004, I debated before the season about expert or comp. I ended up forking over the $50 for a NORBA license so I could try expert. It ended up being a better season than expected with a 5th place overall in the Expert/Elite class for the Minnesota State Championship Series. At that point, I was granted an upgrade to semi-pro.
The 2005 season was another step in the right direction. I had a list compiled of the my results so I just pasted them here.
2-Apr Oxbow Spring Classic 10th (road race on my dual suspension mountain/road bike=)
29-Apr Hillside Blast 3rd
7-May Spring Cup at Buck 7th
29-May Buck Thurs 2nd
2-Jun Buck Thurs 3rd
9-Jun Buck Thurs 2nd
12-Jun Afton Avalanche 5th
16-Jun Buck Thurs 1st
23-Jun Buck Thurs 3rd
26-Jun Dirtspanker Classic- Mont Du Lac 5th
30-Jun Buck Thurs 3rd
10-Jul Mankato 6th
14-Jul Buck Thurs 1st
17-Jul Lebanon Hills TT 1st
21-Jul Buck Thurs 1st
24-Jul Muddy River RR - Red Wing 4th
28-Jul Buck Thurs 1st
7-Aug Welch Jam 3rd
21-Aug Spirit Mt Powder Monkey 6th
25-Aug 24 Hours of Afton Team Competition 2nd
17-Sep Chequamegon 15th

The long and short of it is that I haven't been racing long and am still learning. We will see what this year brings.
Look for future posts on how I train, what equipment I use, and 2 sweet training trips I have planned for spring.