Friday, June 30, 2006


Hot Hot Hot

Boxed up a bike, hopped on a plane, and here I am in sunny, HOT, HUMID Florida.

Good for summer training. Will be out every day jammin' from Winter Park on the BOBies rides.

This AM we had 50 riders for a Friday! Cool, cool, cool. Was nice seeing everyone again. Cori, Turbo Todd, tall Dave and the rest of the crew.

Lots of nice bikes in the group, but the award for coolest bike in the peleton goes to Rocco, who was rollin' on a nice Bianchi.

Not just ANY Bianchi, but the Danilo Di Luca Team LeakyGas model! SWEET.

Of course we've all heard of the scandel with le Tour. I think it's a good thing. Gotta stop this shite somehow. I mean come on - would you let some guy keep your blood in a secret fridge with some kind of code name on it, then let him put it back in you months later? That's SICK dude. So far Team Disco has remained unscathed, hopefully it'll stay that way.

So I went to get to my secret fridge to check if the go fast stash was still there ........... thankfully it was.

Get out there and get your



Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Gettin' (rainy) Days In

Was "watching" one of those reality fishing shows on OLN and the guy said :

"Wee-ah just aht hee-ya gettin ahr days in,
Ya got--ta get ya daze in...................... or ya wahnt have a good yeee-ah."

Truer words couldn't be said. Hard to believe the yee-ah is just about half over with. So I've been out there gettin' my days in. Got 2 nice consecutive days of MTBing in on Marl Ravine at YRSP. I love that place. Drains really well. Partly because of the Marl* and partly because of the Ravine. Most of it isn't too technical (although I wouldn't of said that a year ago), and has a really, really nice flow. A few nice ( albeit short and steep) hills (by flatlander standards) to get you a huffin' and a puffin'.

Chain snapped day 1 because of my sloppy shifting. Was middle ringin' the trail, then on the fourth lap, I decided to shift to the small ring for the hill near the 2 mile mark. Problem was - too many hours on the SS made me forget how to shift. I shifted to the big ring instead, then when I realized it, I tried to slam it all the way across to the granny gear. Caught the magic SRAM master link just right and popped it. Quick fix and rollin' again.

Yesterday the rain continued to come down here. The triple-diple-super-duper doppler-sloppler radar showed there might be a break in the clouds an hour up the road, so it was in the car and up to the Ravine again. Got 4+ hours in before a thunderstorm caught me. Was very nice. Trying to work on my weak MTB skillset by doing stupid drills. Did some "relaxation hill repeats". Got at the bottom of the last hill and rode up it from a standing start, trying to spin steady slow circles. Actually trying to go as SLOW as possible up the the hill without tipping over. Then back to the bottom to do the same thing in the next toughest gear. The crazy games we play. I think it helped. Wasn't very relaxing though.



*marl - n., A crumbly mixture of clays, calcium and magnesium carbonates, and remnants of shells that is often found near old seashores and makes an excellent substrate for mountain bike trails.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Drop Dodgin'

Friday - Day of bike love. They were needing it. Cleaned the drive trains, followed by soapy bubble baths. Tryin' to keep the stable happy. Reassembled the R3000 which I haven't ridden this year. Out for an afternoon spin into 20mph south winds. When I turned around to head home I see why. The sky was black. Tailwind helped get me in just before the thunderstorms came.

Saturday same forecast. The weather in seems, moves in cycles........ as the meteorologist moves ON cycles. Today he was slammin' it w/ el Presidente on a nice tandom. Watts up? 4 sure.

Out at dawn for a 25+ mile pre-group warmup. Much of it with the Crazy one. Huge 7:15 group of 40 or so, about the same for the 8:30. Temps near 80 with drippin wet humidity. They wasted me, but it felt soooo good. Haven't ridden the Saturday group rides since before surgery 3 months ago. They sure haven't gotten any slower, but maybe I have.

Only the hardcore and/or crazy stayed for the last loop. Maybe 14 of us. In and out of rain. Got 80+ in, with a bunch of it way faster than I can comfortably go. Great workout.

Tomorrow may head up to Reston to photo a fast technical Crit. Or maybe stay down here to get more of an (__!__) trashing. We'll see. That squeeky clean drive train ....... is no more.



Thursday, June 22, 2006


"Getting RAAMed"

OKAY. I admit it. I'm totally eaten up with this RAAM thing. Reading the stories, looking at the pictures, trying (but failing) to understand the amount of perseveance, endurance, and just plain GUTS it takes to even try to do the thing. Not that there aren't other events that test, expose, and exploit the human condition just as much. Maybe, as a fledgling neophyte ultracycling wannabe, I just feel closer to this one than the others.

A quick summary of the "race" as I've see it. Mostly from the perspective of the Enduro class, as those riders are many that I've met or ridden with.

Transplant Athlete Lou had a crash into a ditch that ended his quest early on.

UltraRob was forced to pull the plug over 2/3s of the way through because of IT band problems. In 4th place at the time, he was forced to stop for over a day and seek medical treatment. He got BACK on his bike and tried to ride it out but the time deadline forced his WD.

Just now noticed that Mitchell Lesack pulled out with just over 350 miles left to go. Mitchell is in my age group and was at Sebring the last 2 years. I really wanted to see him finish. No word on the details yet.

Bryce is soldiering on, and will hopefully finish before dark tonight. From his team blog :

"Imagine being one thousand times more exhausted than you've ever been in your life. Your body started making outright demands for real sleep over 6 days and 2000 miles ago. Finally, when your legs absolutely refuse to pedal one mile further without a break, you are told that you are allowed to rest for 3 hours. Then you are expected to get up, feel rejuvenateded, and race well once again."

............ then go out and climb 7600 feet in 125 miles.

Shanna "banana" Armstrong is persevering toward the finish to be the only solo woman finisher this year. Like many she battled weak neck muscles. She is experienced in the ultra field of sports with wins in the Ultraman (thats TWO Ironmans together), and a win in the 2 person co-ed team RAAM last year. RAAM is, as RAAM does, taking her AND her crew to and beyond the limits of their endurance. From her race blog :

Yesterday morning:

"Shanna and crew are trying to tie down the emotions and focus purely on finishing in time. It ain't easy. Most of the crew are reaching or have surpassed their own personal endurance limits and crave a successful completion to this race. Shanna has found her legs and we continue to read your emails to her when it is safe to do so. Personally, I cannot imagine her not finishing, but never count out the unexpected. "

7 hours later, last night:

"Shanna made it in here but she is in less than optimal sleep. She is getting "RAAMed". Slightly disoriented and definitely afraid that everything she worked so hard for might be slipping away, we put her to bed. We wake her in 90 minutes and give it another go. Dramatic and dangerous times. Send her your strength.

52 yo Jonathan "Jock" Boyer won the Enduro class. This is his second RAAM win. He fought Shermer's neck with different assorted contraptions.

Marko Baloh finished the Enduro class in a close second place. This is his 3rd attempt, and first finish. We know his buddy Jure' is as happy about this as anybody.

Tinker came in third, with more official time logged off the bike than anyone. Bet you didn't know that he never raced with a chamois in his bike shorts. He'd cut them out with a knife saying he didn't like feeling as if he was wearing a diaper. He also never used chamois cream. That was BEFORE RAAM. Tinker now understands the value of diapers and cream . WTG.

Kenny Souza battled a bad case of pneumonia early in the race and should finish within the next few hours in 4th place.

Amazing tales of human dedication and endurance. Best heartfelt wishes and deepest respect to all involved.



Once again I'm unable to post photos......................

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Give This a Look

Remember back in the 2001 Tour when Lance made famous "the look"?

Years later he admitted he was just looking back to see if he had any teammates still with him on the climb up L'Alpe de Huez. We didn't want to believe it. The thing that makes the moment so special is really the blank expression on Jan's face just before he gets dropped, to finish second in yet another Tour.

Lance may have had "the look". But we have "the Cook". After the finish of the Amphibious Assault Crit, we now have "the Cook Look".

What could inspire such amazement and apparent disdain?

After lapping the entire field (with the exception of 2nd place) Laura is cruising toward the finish line way ahead of everyone when the 3rd place rider (who is 1 full mile behind) decides to engage her in a sprint!!


I think it's safe to say we can guess what she was thinking.

The Tuesday AM rides were quite full today. Doesn't seem like the century slowed anyone down ('cept me).



Pictures are so much fun.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


What a Great Day for a Ride

Today was the Knott's Island Century. A 78 mile ride to the Knott's Island Ferry, a 40 minute Ferry ride. then 24 miles back in.

initial plan was to meet JDiesel at 4:45 AM to ride the 40+ miles to the start, sign up, and be ready for the 7:30 group roll out. JD and I missed each other. Probably a blessing in disguise considering the strength he rode with today. Even on his fixey with a 2 day old broken finger Jim was puttin massive amounts of power down. Not sure what gear he was running, but once he got on top of it it ran a smooth 27 mph.

We had great team turnout

WOW, a picture finally posted! Will it continue?

Better contain my excitement.

A smooth easy roll out with Wild Bill setting the tempo. Nice 25-30 person pace line. The group splinters after a flooded road water crossing/rest stop. 5 miles later the Bill train rolls by. Wild Bill and Speedy BillG. Andele andele, ar-r-r-riba ar-r-r-riba. Just before the second stop at 48 miles the main group screams by with J-Turbo-Diesel off the front by 20 yards. Smmmmmokin'.

Quick refuel and off to the ferry with 1 or 2 others. There 3o minutes before the noon boat leaves. Decided to forgo the ferry fun and pedal back. (<----Samuel photo)

Hit the bridge for some hill repeats, a short loop in Blackwater, then the ride home.

The Saratoga 24 is just 3 weekends away and it was the perfect training ride. Didn't push it hard enough to have a long recovery. Felt really comfortable on the bike once I straightened out my twisted seat at mile 120. The ride back with a tailwind ws screamin'. Probably got in 175-180 miles in just under 9 hours in the saddle.

I've been riding the last 2 times with some new eSoles which are working fabulously. More on those later.

The bridge repeats with 130 miles in my legs didn't come close to Saratoga's Bacon hill after 250 miles, but they were all I had to work with.

Happy Dad's day to all you Dad's out there!!!



Friday, June 16, 2006


JRPS -Finally

This post was started over 2 weeks ago, the ride happened the day after the Captech Classic. Just before all the photo posting stopped.

Some sweet (very) technical MTB trails IN the middle of a major city? Sounds impossible, at least unlikely. Till you see the James River Park System in Richmond. Been wanting to ride it for a good while. Today had the chance at last. Even had a great guide. Funny thing is I wanted an easy ride. (credit jesse for the map)

"An easy ride around JRPS"

That's what you call an oxymoron. With me being the moron for thinking there could be an easy way around the place. Especially the Forest Hills section. "Seemingly" endless switchback climbs, sweeping fast descents, dense foliage. Somewhere in Forest Hills Phil looks back and says "This is where the pain starts". Ummm Phil..........I've hurting for a while already..........................

The thing that really makes the place special is the trail building and clean up done by the local MTB community. Some really really nice bench cutting, fortification and bridge building. All paid for with the time effort and money from MTBers. The pictures are few and far between and don't do the place justice.

Across the pedestrian walkway under the Robert E. Lee bridge from the Tredeger lot at the end of 5th St.

To Belle Island then over the steel bridge to the south bank of the James River. The river was running low.

I have other photos, but of course, can't post 'em. BIG thanks to Phil for showing me around.

One of the most incredible sections of the loop is a new ramp built by mountain bikers with donated time AND money. This ramp allows you to bypass the neighborhood around Maymount park, dropping back down to the river just after crossing the Nickel Bridge. The ramp was just finished in time for the XTerra Triathlon and Urban Assault MTB race this weekend. It isn't just an amazing ramp, its an architectural masterpiece! The steep sections have inlaid sandstone brick for traction. It even made the Richmond paper. This ramp took hundreds (maybe thousands) of man hours, not too mention thousands upon thousands of dollars. A real tribute to those selfless folks with the dreams, vision, time, and heart to pull the thing off. More photos of the construction here.

Back to the present day........................... I went out for a group ride Thursday evening. Thursday is normally a day off, but 4-5 inches of rain kept me inside on Wednesday. This ride is a local classic (someone said the ride is in it's 22nd year) that I'd heard about before but never tried. Basically just a bunch of the fastest guys around in a group that goes like hell. Around these parts it's known as "The Pungo Death Ride". Last night I got first hand experience why...................I died...................... maybe a few times. But my legs fealt good, and I'm sure to be back for more abuse.



Thursday, June 15, 2006


Totally Frustrated

That's how I feel. STILL not able to post photos. Can't figure it out. Initially it was a "server maintainance" issue, but it still isn't resolved. I give Blogger a swift kick in the (__!__). It still doesn't work

Can I can go on posting without pictures? I guess, but it just isn't me. Always been a visual sort of person. I mean, even those folks that said they read Playboy just for articles still wouldn't of purchased the mag if the pictures weren't there.

Anyway, until this is resolved, I'll try to keep writing away. But the pictures are so much more fun............................

Speaking of pictures......... I got a new camera. The little SONY that has (and will continue to) served me so well is still snappin' away, but I got a nicer rig to capture action and such. CHeck out some of the new photos on my photo page here. The new camera was used to take the Amphibious Assault Crit photos. Check out the men's 30+ and 40+ galleries. Click on slideshow and it will be easier to view all the shots without having to do a lot of clicking and waiting.. There's a bunch of 'em.

For those that live under a UltraWorld rock - RAAM is going on now, and entering its 5th day. Some amazing developments :

Jure' Robic has dropped out due to pneumonia. Guess he won't make it 3 in a row. Happens every year to more than one racer after the hot dry dessert gives way to the cool high altitude Rockies.

UltraRob is doing an UltraJob! From what I know by riding with Rob at the ADK - he has a great feeling for pace. He keeps it going steady, steady, steady. Negative split RAAMS (where the 2nd half is finished at a greater speed than the first) are extremely rare. If anyone can do it Rob will. WTG!!!! He is now in 4th place (enduro division) just 100 miles behind Tinker Juarez who has ridden the entire race so far (including the Rocky Mountains) in his BIG chainring! What a stud. Word is he hasn't used aerobars or tucked in those wing grabbing dreads. Yes his Mom is in the crew.

A few other tidbits :

Was sad to see Bacchetta recumbent rider James Kern pull out of the race. I've seen him the last 2 years at the Sebring 24hr - normally as a blur whilst passing me . He set the record there this year with WAY over 500 miles. Lots of 'bent fans were really pulling for him. To date no solo has completed RAAM on a recumbent.

Also sad to see Transplant Athlete Lou Lamoureux have to pull the plug. I wanted to see him make it probably more than any other one there.

Bryce Walsh has picked up the pace a bit after a slow start. He is now in 5th place (enduro division) just behing UltraRob. I had dinner with Bryce and others the night before Sebring this year. Than breakfast with he and JMC champ JohnJ shortly after the race was done. A very soft spoken, very FAST rider. Pedals a sweet IF custom. I guess it was dehydration problems early that are now straightened out. They said he lost 8 pounds in the first few days. Dude is skinnier than a rail, that's a bunch of weight to drop. Found out that a crew member is keeping a blog about the race HERE. Some interesting reading. RideOn.

Kenny Souza is also battling pneumonia, but still in the race.



Tuesday, June 06, 2006


What's going on?

Seems like the blogger photo server has had a siezure. Lots of stuff to post but can't do it without pictures..........

Friday, June 02, 2006


Captech Classic

Quick recap of the Captech Classic in Richmond Va.

The venue was nice.......complete with jumbotron and Bobke. The course was just over a mile long with 8 turns, and a nice climb. These guys were fast. Really, really, fast.

The Navigators were there

As was Jelly Bellys

There was some pain to be had on the hill

The mens race in a nut shell :

There was a break, it stayed away for a while. When the group got serious it was caught. This increase in pace shelled many off the back. There was another 7 man break...............Jelly Belly and Navigators controlled the peloton protecting the break which wasn't caught, but eventually splintered into just 4. Mark Walters (Navigators) crashed, got up and rejoined the other 3. Then he faded. Davide Frattiti (Colavita/Sutter Home) won by breaking away first with 3 to go, then again in the last lap. Exciting, WICKED fast. Paul rode his heart out and stayed in there for a long long time.

Bobke and Towle did an incredible job of announcing. I wish I could remember all the Bobkeism's, but I was laughing too hard.

The finish as called by Bobke and David Towle.



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