I've been blissfully unemployed for over a year now, and I'm afraid to go back. But rent in that apartment next month won't pay itself, so it looks like the days of sleeping late and doing nothing but riding are coming to a close. Now I'll have to sleep late go to school, go to work, ride my bike and THEN do nothing. Drag.
So if you need some kind of wonderful Trek product in the next few months, drop by Hollywood Bike Gallery and say 'hey.' Or 'hi' or whatever. DT
Apparently, in Boise Idaho, jumping from a tall stairway railing into the deep end of a pool can land you in jail.
But before I get to that, one gut point goes to Scotty for racing on a "maybe broken" hand. After pulling some intense, military-style manuevers in a friend's front yard, one of Scott's hands is now considerably bigger than the other one. It's just not right. Like if someone put breast implants in his palm and covered it all in bad mascara. Why anyone would do that is beyond me, but whatever the case, it's big, it's ugly and apparently it hurts. Trick is, he can't go to the doctor unless it's broken FOR SURE. And maybe it's not that bad...
By the way, Boise is a long damn way to go for a crit. There, I said it. Granted you can win big money if you have a great day, but if you don't then you're still 7 hours from home and down a hundred bucks or so. Which sucks.
So the pool thing. I didn't know it was illegal. I knew it was dangerous, but nearly everything worth doing in life is risky or dangerous in some way. And honestly, who puts stairs and a securely welded, iron railing with a level section about 6 feet above and 2 feet away from the deep end of a hotel swimming pool? Obviously people who want you to enjoy life, that's who. For some reason the current hotel proprietor doen't have any zest for living, because after Tuckerman and I had taken a few test jumps ('safety first' may not apply all the time, but 'safety at some point' sounds reasonable enough) before the backflips started, he comes barreling out of his fake-plant infested, badly wallpapered, heavily brochured front office just about to have a coronary.
"YOU CANT DO THAT! THAT'S ILLEGAL YOU KNOW!" This is where we try not to loose it, dont laugh dont laugh.... "A KID JUMPED OFF THE ROOF AND IMPALED HIMSELF ON THE FENCE AND DIED LAST WEEK YOU KNOW!" Okay wait. Obviously this guys a touch sensitive but wait. wait. If the kid was jumping of the roof of this two story building, that's a 20 foot drop and a good 8 feet laterally from the pool. Pretty safe to say that this kid was never destined to make it far in life. If he didn't have a real, actual death wish, his life span must have been shortened by genetics and a complete lack of judgement. Ever heard of the Darwin awards? To try this jump, he would easily be an honorable mention. Second of all. To hit the fence he would have had to jump out towards the pool, change direction in midair and go backwards a good 6 feet to get to the fence which is underneath the second floor walkway, or he would have had to sail a good 40 feet all the way to the other side of the enclosure... both of which are possible... if you are a bird...
I didn't race very well, I wasn't really into it all that much and I didn't make much cash... That being said, it was fun.
KILOS HURT SO MUCH, THEY REALLY DONT MAKE ANY SENSE... But I keep doing them nonetheless. This is what happens when people tell you that you're really good at something, even if you don't like it that much. Once again I rode a spectacular first 3 laps and a gawdawful last half lap to finish somewhere mid group. I've since retired from the kilo forever and ever, but I'll probably come out of retirement for Nationals just for kicks...
THE BIG SALUTE SO my sprints this weekend were nothing spectatular (except for one wicked near-crash with Carl Boucher), but the final Repechage round was interesting. First off, let me say that the descision to run the sprints as 3 and 4 ups bummed me out. The descision was made most likely in respect to timing issues (meaning, the officials didn't want to sit there all night and run a million sprints... whatever, I probably wouldn't either), but as a racer, it's a drag. Sprints at World Cups and Nationals are all one on one, which makes for better spectating and better racing (I think), but either way, they're not here.
Long story short, the final rep ride is 4 people, as it usually is, but two of which are riders on the same team. One dude lives here, and one was paid cash money to come here and race in this team's kit for a few days instead of his national team garb. So the local boy attacks on the first lap and his rent-a-teamate goes to the front and sits there, allowing the local guy to walk into the finals without the slightest challenge. Say what you want about the responsibility of the chase going to the other two riders, but I wouldn't want to drag an Olympian to the line to let him outsprint me for the one final rep spot either. Every person I talked to who saw it happen said the same thing: It was a cheap way to win, and a bit of a bummer to watch. The huge victory celebration was particularly grating to some people, so when the rider finished last in the final, it was agreed that it would have been nice to see one of the faster riders in the final.
KIERINS ARE COOL What more can I say.
There was more bumping, hooking, crashing and general madness in this year's AVC kierin that any other event that I've been a part of. Except for maybe last year when the motor ran out of gas in mid-race and Josh Kerkof nearly dove straight onto Mike Murray's back. That was funny. Anyway. Big time craziness in this year's edition, and it was so fun that I wasn't even all that bummed that I missed the final by about a tire's width. Favorite moment was easily from the final, when Josiah NG (crazy-fast Malaysian kierin specialist) is on the motor, starts leading it out at Warp 3 and Stephen Alfred decides that he's not going to take it anymore, blows everybody a kiss goodbye and crushes everyone in his path. It was impressive. He came from the back, halfway up the track and blew by everybody like they were standing still. Revenge is sweet...
You'd think the guy would be tired from such an effort, but hell no. As the evening comes to a close, he hauls off and demolished the flying lap record set a few years ago by Jeff "Iron Chef" Labauve. Every person in the packed stands was absolutely loosing thier mind the whole time, and barely got a break before Jenny Reid powered out a record time for the women's side. Unbefreakinleivable. The way everybody was loosing it you'd think the Cubs were winning the World Series the day after aliens had landed and declared president Bush "Idiot of the Universe"... It was intense... DT
PORTLAND, Ore. - A cyclist died when he crashed headfirst near the finish line during a road race at Portland International Raceway on Tuesday night.
The 29-year-old cyclist from Milwaukie, whose name was withheld pending family notification, was 300 yards from finishing the 40-mile race when he lost control of his bike, said Lt. Allen Oswalt, a spokesman for Portland Fire and Rescue.
The cyclist slammed headfirst into a steel post filled with concrete.
“He was wearing a helmet, but it didn’t do much at 30 mph,” Oswalt said.
Oswalt said the cyclist suffered “huge head trauma” and died at the scene.
Race organizer Jeff Mitchem said the cyclist, who had several years of racing experience, was in a pack sprinting toward the finish line when he tried to pass on a straightaway and veered off course.
“As soon as he hit it, the sound was such that we knew it was serious,” said Mitchem, who also participated in the race sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association.
Portland International Raceway is designed for auto racing, and the cyclist hit a support for a fence that keeps cars from the crowd, Mitchem said.
Mitchem said medical personnel treated the cyclist within seconds, but there was no chance to save him.
I've figured a few things out in these days of stupid heat, pro envy and killer crits. Sticking around local races can get your confidence up and is good for morale, but big races like this put the big picture in perspective. It's safe to say that I'm in a pretty small group of top sprinters (road and track) in the Portland area, but thrown into a big-time race like this I fall into a big group of average joes who fight just to finish, let alone go for any placings or money.
Seems the biggest struggle so far has been with failure to commit to anything (university, racing, career). I'm not getting to where I want to be in cycling by continuing on the present course. SO. It's time to go. Time to do it. Give it a go. I'm not giving up on the rest of my life, just scaling a few things back. Take fewer classes for a couple years, concentrate on training in the winter instead of trying to juggle 3 ambitions at once. As for the rest of the season, I may not be winning any pro events, but a nice new jersey from track nationals would be a great motivator... DT
So I'm signing in at one of those snazzy new "self-service" kiosks at PDX and a little screen pops up to ask me if I want to upgrade to "economy plus" for an extra 25 bucks. This is where the next 6 hours goes very wrong. I know th eextra 25 bucks will buy me legroom, wider seats and maybe a night's rest, but no. I'm poor. I'll be fine.
Then as the clock struck 11:30pm I squeezed in between two 300 pound sacks of body odor and hair for a less than restfull night.
"It's okay" I think. "I'll just crank up the A/C and get some shut eye." You know how on most planes you reach up and twist the little ventilation nipple above your head and that cool, dry air rushes out? Not today. When the head stewardess came by to inform us that the AC wasn't working properly, but we should be 5 minutes ahead of schedule, I died a little inside. There I sat in a pool of sweat, 90 degrees, pressed on both sides by hairy, sweaty flesh, knees pressed up into my chest, staring straight ahead watching some awful Lindsay Lohan movie and some bad sitcom reruns with no volume, for four hours.
Enough whining. On to Chicago. Scotty and I arrive around 4:57am. We have 36 hours to race time. Damn it's early after a sleepless night. Mikkel picks us up at the airport, we chuck the bikes into the van and off we go to nowhere in particular. We have all of Friday. "Should we find a motel and crash? Go to the course? Get some food?" "Downtown" I say. "Just head straight for those buildings."
Chicago is a big place. It's real big. The Portland skyline wouldn't make it halfway up to the top of the buildings here. Looking up at the Smith Tower and all the enormous skyscrapers downtown is like driving around through a canyon all concrete and glass. And holy crap is it dirty. Trash everywhere. And it's big, by the way. We have a day to kill, so we decide to kill it wandering around town. We bludgeon time shopping for things we'd never buy, we sit in cafes sipping water, and search for the Ultimate Pimp Glasses. These glasses will be huge, gaudy, and the number one secret to surviving the week. Hours go by and finally, there they are. They're big, they're white, they're extreme, and they are 16 dollars. They make Scotty into some kind of alien rock star, sitting in a lawn chair in the back of a seatless van, packed with bikes and wheels.
Driving down some random city road at one point, imagine my surprise to see a beach covered in bikinis and swimmers. Awesome. That is one big lake.
So after a day of cruising, we retired to a South Chicago Super 8 motel and rocked out to Beverly for the first stage. Damn it sucked. We're talking a one mile circuit through a very old, leafy neighborhood. Packed into the circuit are about eight hundred and ten corners and a crappy false flat/hill. After about 10 of 60 laps I end up watching from the sidelines as Scotty's brother Big Jase racks up a cool grand int field primes. Some Aussie guy wins.
DAY 2 We are the only white people in South Chicago. Just thought I should add that. The second day's crit is a good 4 hours north of Chicago, so it's back into the van and back out on the road to Menasha, Wisconsin. This one starts out much better as I dive-bomb through the first hairpin leading the field, then spend the rest of the race fighting to avoid getting dropped. 40 laps later I have a heart-attack on the bike and loose my grip on the field, doomed to watch again. Some other Aussie guy wins and Scott rides like a man and ends up around 30th or so, gets some cash and we get on our way.
DAY 3 Another tough day for me, another couple dead presidents for Scotty. We're back at the host house a half-hour west of Milwaukie, and tommorow's a day off. DT