Sunday, December 30, 2007

blurs of the Basslink

sit tight and strap in, this one's a doozy.

The 2007 Basslink Christmas Carnivals are one day from their end. It's all been quite the experience so far. Seems like I've been wide-eyed or too tired to focus for most of it. Des, Eugene and Viktor (Eugene's dad) left this morning, so Kelyn and I have transferred from the posh Tasmanian Country Club to a downtown Launceston hostel. Huge, hundred year old building complete with hundred year old furniture and hundred year old maids. We managed to score a room with two beds and just enough room to fit all the bikes and bike cases and bike accessories and bike minutia for a wickedly cheap rate. We could stay here for 2 weeks and still come out ahead of what most people are paying at the Country Club for a single night. Magic. Tonight's New Years Eve and the question of what's happening is all anyone wants to talk about. All over the building, all over the cafes in town it's all "what you up to" and "where you headed tonight?" Word has it a big barbecue's happening at the hostel (which is allowing beer on the premises for this day only) then a big group's heading into town for some traditional Australian revelry (read: drinking beer until you fall over). We may not race till 2pm tomorrow, but a race is a race and this one's boasting some good cash up for grabs, so we're imposing a strict 50 beers per person limit tonight. No attempting the century with racing the next day... Actually I'll take it easy on the liver (gotta get it rested for a weekend at the lake in NZ with a certain Scott Allen), but I'm sure as sh!t not sitting in the room on New Year's Eve.

The Launceston carnival was quite nuts. I guess they're all a bit crazy, but that one seemed a bit further off the rails then the rest so far. The Silverdome is an indoor board track, which is nothing new if you've ridden LA. The new part was the freestyle motocross on the infield, the woodchopping, the Aboriginal war drumming and the 4000 boozed up Tasmanians in the stands all the way around the track. Wheelraces are already a chaotic affair in my book, and cutting the distance and width of the track in half doesn't make things any smoother. I wasn't too worried until the last lap of the feature wheelrace heat. Myself and 3 others were catching the leading group with the bell ringing and the scratchmen breathing down our necks. Just as we're about to swing up and around the group riders start diving off thier bikes at the rail, guys from my group are smacking into downed riders and faceplanting all around me and I dive onto the apron to keep from losing my front wheel. I make it through clean just in time to realize that I'm on the painted concrete apron heading into a sharp corner, which is about the point that my front tire gives up and I come crashing down, hipcheck the cement, knee into the top tube and grind to a stop. Des helps me up, tells me the bikes okay and sends me to the first aid stand to get scrubbed out.

Devonport was better in that I did not end up laying on the track or in an hospital bed. The best way to sum up the day actually comes from the front page of the local paper, which just printed a picture of riders splayed out on the shallow bank and a line of ambulances headed toward the track with the headline "CARNIVAL CARNAGE. Four in the hospital and one in Intensive Care as the Christmas Carnivals take a bloody turn." Fortunately none of the US riders were involved in any of that business, but it made me feel pretty lucky about sitting the day out with a swollen, sore hip (which kind of looked like I was trying to steak a grapefruit by hiding it in my pocket.) Two separate crashes prompted hospital trips, and one ended with a rider flying over the railing at the top of the track and colliding with a light post. The last update we heard from the organizers was tough to hear. Broken ribs, punctured lung, broken wrist, broken collarbone and a head injury which landed him in a medically induced coma. Most of the racing was cancelled for the night, and a visible funk settled over all of the riders and spectators alike.

Devonport's a two day affair, and the second day proceeded as scheduled. Collections were passed around for the rider in the hospital. By the end of the day they had collected just over $15,000 from personal donations (including $1000 from Stewart O'Grady, who was apparently in the stands) and a large amount of riders donating their winnings. On the racing front, I was not allowed to start the wheelraces or the kierins, as my joint pain had gone away and been replaced with paralyzing cramps through my left side hip flexors. I assured my coach that I'd be fine for a first lap in the Olympic sprint, and so we lined up against the Australian Institute of Sport B team. The last time we had done a team sprint in Latrobe we finished 6th of 6th. This time I blasted off from the line, got the team up to speed, pulled off and nearly fell off the bike as my leg started to seize. Eugene kept the speed up, Kelyn finished strong and we beat the AIS team by almost 4 tenths, to grab 4th place. We were 2 tenths from third and Des was a happy man.

Feeling much better today after some good food and good rest, so hopefully by tommorow I'll be at 100%. Enough typing for now. I need a coffee..

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

live rounds

Internet access, finally. The yardstick of civilization. No internet at the hotel, so Kelyn and I are spending our day off wandering around Hobart (Tas' only major city) and have wandered straight into a internet cafe, into 3 coffees too many and probably into a steep bill after my little "me me me!" screed is done.

So anyway. About me. My first ever Tasmanian christmas carnival is done and dusted. Latrobe: check. What's that phrase athletes tend to throw out when they've been beaten senseless? Ah yes... "I learned alot."

For instance.
I learned not to ride a 95in gear for a 200m on a pan-flat windy track. I was off 5th, so I kind of had to wing it on gear choice and came up nil. The 200m times ended up being similar to a fast day on Alpenrose (slowest track on the planet), so when I couldn't muscle the 95 up to speed, I "learned something."

I learned that no matter how many times you put on sunscreen, you will get a sunburn in Australia. If you're a fair-skinned Portlander raised under cloudcover, you will fry when riding in circles under the hole in the Ozone layer. No matter what you do.

I learned that a Tasmanian wheelrace is simultaneously the most confusing, exhausting, sketchy, stupid-hard, death-defying race there is. And that was just the heats. I never figured it out well enough to qualify for either of the finals, but the heats were challenge enough. Just making it into a final by the end of this will be a big deal.

I learned that the Tasmanians are pretty cool people. The UCI officials will say "no collusion!" while the Tassie organizers are telling you how it really is so you might have a fighting chance.

I learned that Tasmanians love their carnivals. A sold out crowd of several thousand were in the stands watching us skinny US geeks get "learned." The spectators are great.

I learned that these Australian Olympic riders are not human beings. They are alien cyborgs that eat wallabies and kangaroos in one bite, have rocket booster packs under their skinsuits and can't process things like "fear."

I learned the Japanese are pretty much the same, but with more interesting hair.

I learned that despite being an alien cyborg, Shane Kelly can loves Borat just as much as I do, and is a pretty cool guy.

Anyway. That's the condensed version of the latrobe carnival. The little counter at the bottom of the screen says :12 minutes - 5 dollars: so in conclusion, I'm having a great time, never gone this hard in my life, hurting real bad but hopefully improving, didn't make any finals so not in contention for anything but tomorrow's a new day a new track and I'm out.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

holding patterns

Three more days till racing starts. Three more days. All I've been doing the last few days is riding and resting. Not much else.

Had one day of racing at Manukau Bowl, dirtiest track in New Zealand. 6k scratch race, 1k handicap heats and final, 500m scratch and a long points race. Still had a 95inch gear on, but who has time for a gear change these days? Just as I pulled my shorts on, they were calling A grade riders to the rail. Last time I was here, I learned the valuable lesson that warmups are for suckers, so the scratch worked well to get the day started. The big man-gear was tough to push but got me most of the way through, until the poo hit the fan and the skinny guys had their way. The 3 lap handicap went a bit better. I'm not used to handicaps, and Tas will be full of them, so I felt a bit of jitters for the first time in months as I rolled up to my mark.

::Handicap Crash Course::
A handicap (a.k.a. "wheelrace" or "gift") is a standing start scratch race. Riders are "graded" based on past performances, speed, skill and the whims of the promoter. While most traditional races are restriced to categories (elite, a grade, b grade, etc.), anyone can ride a handicap. Olympians and first-timers can end up in the same heat. To make things fair, the Olympians and the bad dogs start the race at the exact race distance. If it's a 1k, they start 1k from the finish line (with laps). This is called riding "on scratch" or being a "scratchmarker." A rider with slightly less speed or experience will start a few meters in front of the bad dogs. Mid-level elite hacks like myself might start 50 meters in front of the Olympians, while beginners will start 150 to 200 meters in front of the scratchmarkers. Therefore when the gun goes off, the lesser riders have less distance to cover, giving them a legitimate shot at beating the scratchmarkers to glory and a big fat check. It's a full-on super-dangerous effort from start to finish.

So we line up for our handicap. I'm off 30 meters in front of a junior world champ and a well known NZ sprinter dude. The gun goes Bang and I look around for a second and kind of go "eewah?" before I realize I should probably go now so I do. Big start to get over the 95inch gear and I get moving, get through the field and on through to the final. The final also makes me weirdly nervous even though it doesn't really mean anything. The scratchmarkers are the same, I'm still at 30 and we have to catch 160m or riders. Another big start, big enough to leave the scratchmarkers behind, never to catch up, I come up on the lead group with one to go and it's 6 wide around the final bend. Fast as I can turn the toobig gear, I can only make it to 4th, trying to come around the field on the rail.

Felt good about that. Out of the money, but on the right path. The 500 meter standing scratch should have been my big one, but that's when I checked my tire pressure and saw my rear tubular delaminating in my hands. F!&K!. No spares, no neutral wheels. Guess it's time to call it a night and buy a new tire instead of a christmas present...

As for now, time to climb back on the bike.

Friday, December 21, 2007


MT Eden Village. Our hood.

Wisconsin is the shizzle, apparently.

Edible heaven, lightly fried and wrapped in the paper of joy.

These tires are so great. I love them. They will complete 2 track sessions like nobody's business. On the third ride they will self-destruct faster than a bottle rocket, but what else would you expect from a tire that only costs a hundred bucks? Everyone knows you need to dump your entire savings to get any quality in the bike industry, so who am I to critisize?

You can't see the wonderfully phalic snorkel air intake very well in this awful picture, but this car is the mechanical equivalent of that guy you see walking around town in 100 degree sun wearing combat boots, leather pants, and a knee-length black leather trenchcoat that barely covers his cheeto-fueled beer belly.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

too much time, not enough time

Ah, the comfort of routine. Even on temporary stay in a country on the other side of the planet it's easy to find a routine. The bike racer lifestyle demands it. Wake up to the sounds of a raging screaming 8 year old. This kid Tom is like Calvin (from calvin & hobbs) without the good intentions. Coffee, food, kit up and roll down to the waterfront. The waterfront on Mission bay is the ultimate morning spin. A perfect 90 minutes, mostly flat, full of people and sights that are easy to look at and duplicated every day. Ride along Mission Bay and you do feel like you're miles away from home. Palm trees, outdoor cafes, white beaches, bluish green surf lapping up on people in boardshorts and less... this is not December, is it? Can it be? The ride home takes you through the Auckland Domain, which is a jungle mid-city. Trees that seem older than man, HUGE fronds and ferns. You can't stop looking at all this deep green wildlife stretching above you and you're now drifting to the right side of the quiet road and shit there's a car coming straight at you but it's not his fault and he lets you know with his horn which snaps you out of your tourist stupor, you ride home and straight to the fridge.

The rest of the afternoon is spent at coffee shops and on couches, trying not to think too much about the evening workout ahead.

Track racing tonight, Mint Chicks concert Saturday. Had a run-in with the Mint Chicks last time. Turns out that my favorite Kiwi band is a couple of months away from becoming one of my favorite Portland bands. Been reading local music rags and lately everyone can't stop moaning about the spazz-rockers ditching thier bassist and heading for wetter pastures in PDX. Can't wait to see them play in town after they find a bassist a following and a regular spot at Tube.

If the video above is not showing up on your automated electric computing figure generator box, click here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

took the camera on the morning ride

Good art doesn't always live in a gallery.

I suppose you could consider this art. Like the art that I made when I was six years old and stuck in the grip of ADD. Let's cover this house with glue, throw a shitload of lumber at it and paint the whole thing black. At least this one has windows unlike...

This house is ugly in the way that Las Vegas sucks. It's stupidly expensive, completely impractical, dark inside and isn't really as impressive as the builders hoped it would be. Looks about as comfortable as living inside a casket.

Maybe this is what happens when you admire the two above houses, read too many design magazines but have neither the cash or the drive to see a project like that though to its end. This is the housing equivalent of a teenage girl wearing neon underwear on the outside of her jeans.

After I got back to the house, Baxter/Whiskey/Meatface the boxer/german shephard dog mauled me until I took his picture.

So here he is. In all his glory.

Baxter/Whiskey/Meatface plays rough.


Monday, December 17, 2007

tuesday list

Songs you should be listening to, should you find yourself wandering around Auckland on a warm, overcast and somewhat humid day in December with 5 hours to kill.

"Ballad of Jim Jones" - Brian Jonestown Massacre
"A Warning To The Curious" - The Coral
"Zurich Is Stained" - Pavement
"El Chupa Nibre" - Dangerdoom
"The Worst Taste In Music" - The Radio Department
"Down Boy" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"Walk On The Wild Side" - Lou Reed
"Back 4 You" - Jurassic 5
"Sentimental Man" - The Dismemberment Plan
"Good Morning" - The Dandy Warhols
"Kiss Kiss" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Slow news day on the island.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

kia ora

I hate that flight. I hate it so bad. Air New Zealand does a great job of making things as comfortable and pleasant as possible, but there's only so much you can do for a 14 hour flight. Anyway. Stumbled out of the plane and into Andy Small's tiny compact car, where we drove at top speed straight to the corner cafe for a kickass breakfast and coffee.

Nothing beats taking off from Portland under rainy 40 degree skies and rolling out the door the next day in Auckland wearing a sleeveless jersey and shorts for a ride along the waterfront. Nothing beats it. Except maybe more coffee after that.

My favorite Kiwi spazz-rock band The Mint Chicks plays on Friday. Excellent timing indeed.

Off to the store for some camera batteries and food food food.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

the flying meatball victorious

That right kids, hot off the press, fresh off the blackberry txt vines from Des in the Kung Pao General Tso Velodrome in Beijing, Mike Friedman won the World Cup scratch race. Sounds like he didn't actually win it, he annihilated everyone in his path with a solo breakaway that would make Armstrong himself shed a single tear of joy. Not that we care that much what a skinny millionaire roadie thinks anyway, but cool stuff regardless, eh? Good thing too, as Meatball seems to be the only US trackie that isn't deathly ill. Sickbay thus far: Jennie Reed, out. Michael Blatchford: So out he couldn't even make in out of the springs. Bobby Lea: Down and out in a chinese hospital. USAC needs to find another cook, maybe start distributing Flinstones vitamins...


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

our town could be your life

So it's been a while, eh? Feeling pretty ill at the moment, so I've kicked out of work early and now have time to burn, and I will burn it in your face.
Walker The Stalker has come and gone for his November Crappy Weather and Sad People Tour. A note for anyone looking to come to Portland for a pleasant vacation and some loose partying with people of the fairer sex: Don't come in late November. It's wet, it's cold and everyone's either studying for finals or suffering through the first waves of seasonal affective disorder.

Anyway, we went to the Doug Fir to see a pair of kick-ass dance-rock bands last Friday. The bands played well, they sounded great and yet everyone stood there like a bunch of slackjawed invertebrates, hands in pockets, eyes to the floor. Come on, you paid 13 bucks to see two party bands. Two bands whose sole purpose is to get stupid hipsters to dance and you're too cool to even nod your hoodie-covered head? Fakc. Lame. Jenny and Walker and I rocked out despite the cool kids. We won the night.

Open note the the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross promoters: Next year let us run the show. They came to town with all thier "rules" and "fees" and stuffy pro-ness and damn near crushed the Portland cx spirit. Rider attendance for the Alpenrose Crusade race was over 1000. Rider attendance for the USGP barely topped 400. Crowds were okay but not great. Someone said to me "i thought portland cross was supposed to be a big deal." It is, but only when it's on our terms...


Friday, November 09, 2007

back into the light

So I crawled out from under the rock I was hiding under and ended up at a different shop, worrying about money and speed. Not the smokable, snortable, injectable speed, but the kind that's all relative and pretty tough to come by. I'm committed (plane tickets in hand) to racing the Christmas Carnival track races in Tasmania this year, so speed is something I don't have yet but I'll need in big quantities. So now instead of riding home after work I'm riding up cemetery climbs and down deserted streets doing all kinds of efforts.

Yeah, and then there's the money part. Thanks to a generous race promoter and a pair of generous parents, the plane tickets are paid, which leaves me with food and transport in the country to try and cover. Nothing like running out of money in a foreign country to make you race hard for prize money.

Cool thing about all this is that it ended up being cheaper to fly into Auckland a week before the racing, get some warm weather training in, do the carnivals, then fly back to Auckland for a week of warm weather recovery before I fly home.

So that's the plan. Game on.

I found a wonderful "i feel so superior" blog. Bike Snob. Check it out, revel in his literary ninja-skills and instantly feel better about yourself.

How not to win a madison.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For those that didn't know him, this is Brett. Brett was a great friend to not just me, but everyone he had ever met. He riding his bike south on Interstate around 12:30 yesterday when a garbage truck drove past, and turned in front of him. He was headed downhill at the time, carrying alot of speed. He had no room to stop when the truck turned in front of him and took the corner. Brett was killed.

Brett was unconditionally nice. Seeing him with anything other than that goofy smile on his face was rare. Brett worked sales next to me at the Gallery. He did well selling bikes not because he could rattle of specs and weights and material names and suspension designs and all that. He was good at what he did because people knew that he was truly happy to be helping them with a bike. Customers knew that Brett was not a "salesman," he just wanted people to be happy.

He was a great racer. Not in the sense that he had an impressive list of victories or a signature "move" or something. He was great because he pushed himself and had a great time doing it. I watched him achieve his finest result on Sunday, 3rd in the singlespeeds at the Cross Crusade at Rainier HS. I saw every lap, and could tell that he had finally found his limit. He was riding right there, right up next to it. No reserves, holding nothing back. He fucking went for it. After it was all over he knew he had given everything, and was so happy he looked like he would burst at any moment. He could have finished 300th instead of 3rd and I think he would have looked the same, knowing he had ridden to his true maximum physical capacity. He didn't take off to shower and recover after he finished. He stayed to cheer on his friends who had yet to race, and to be with his friends that already had.

A world that allows a perfectly good person like Brett to die before his time doesn't make any sense. My heart goes out to Sarah.

I'll miss you buddy. We all will.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

man i'm hungry

there is no better way to kick back after a hard cross race than with...

And now a bear stuck in a bridge.

all of todays entertainment stolen from How To Avoid The Bummerlife.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

not much more than meets the eye

Yeah, I finally saw Transformers. Guess what? It rules.
Optimus Prime kicks ass, just like he did when I was a kid. The human dialogue and backstory wasn't just bad, it was painfull. It was awefull. It was excruciating. The auto-bot and Deceptacon dialogue was obviously bad, but it was bad in the same way it was in the show, cause you know, robots are not so good with the syntax, remember? So it's not really bad, it's gloriously silly.

Anyway. The movie is 2 hours and 15 minutes long. At least 45 minutes of that could be cut out and left in Hollywood. Pretty much all the non-transforming bits of people going bla bla bla, i'm an acqward high school kid, bla bla bla unrequited love, bla bla bla, i knew you really loved me bla bla bla bla bla. As much as I cringed and heckled through these parts, I was smiling ear to ear during the bad-ass transformer battle sequences. They are massive, sprawling triumphs of modern special effects, they are rediculous and totally perfect. As we left the Mission theater, the 4 people I was with all agreed that it was retarded, but my inner 8 year old was screaming "I WANNA GO AGAIN!"


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

wrapped up like an dead fish

Nationals and 2007 are finito. Complete. Done. Over with. The cycling end is done. Had a slightly better showing in the kierin, but still couldn't escape the reps and the minor finals. Attended a small end of season party at a super-posh condo by Redondo beach. We drank too much Pacifico, toasted with Veuve Clicquote and watched Ricky Bobby twice.

Now it's back to the gym, back to the fridge and out to the cross races for some spectating, wound scrubbing and broken bone stabilizing. I'm taking the day of the singlespeed CX world's off, as I need at least one race to be that beer-soaked shirtless guy jumping around screaming at my racing friends and throwing Cozy Shack at people. Looking forward to it.


Thursday, October 04, 2007


Everything I could've done wrong, I did. 12.01 on an indoor board track and qualified 23rd. Only top 12 went to the rounds, so it was a short day. 3 months after I did a 10.6 outdoors. I'm out of the team sprint.
Not many funny jokes i can make about that one.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

crappy luck and robot wisdom

Quite the morning in LA. The sun's strugling to get through the brown sky, but still managing to get everything up to a nice 85 degrees. Huge cannonball run Sunday night at top speed to get to LA before the sun rises and the track opens. Saw nothing but torrential rains and white lines until we rolled through Sacramento. Finally arrived in LA around 4:30am. Driving in Los Angeles is like running the Indy 500 in a Toyota van. Same amount of cars as Portland rush hour, but spread across 6 lanes, everybody doing at least 90mph, and everyone using at least 3 lanes at a time.

stupid gates...

Had a rough morning in the standing 250tt yesterday. Legs felt great, bike felt great, everything was going well until I sat down in front of the gate. This start is crucial. I have one lap to prove that I can start fast enough to ride second behind Blatchford in the team sprint. So the countdown begins, gets down to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO and I'm sideways. Not sure if I jumped too fast and got ahead of the gates or if one of the gate arms didn't release completely, but either way, I avoided going down by a whisker and ended up aimed uptrack. Not so good. Got back on it and after that everything fired perfectly, but Des said I lost between 3 and 4 tenths because of the horrible start. Ended up with a 19.1, same time as last year. So had I not missed the start, maybe would have ended up around 18.7 or 18.8, good for third. Either way, fast enough to stay in the team sprint, so Saturday's the big day.

Seemed like a tough day for most of the NW contingent. Heather wasn't happy with her 500, Beardsley didn't like his kilo, The Mantis' team pursuit team fell to Rock and Republic for the silver after one of the four riders drops off only halfway in. Good thing this is only the first day. Plenty of events left to go.

Sprints are today. Gambling a bit on the gear, riding something relatively small, so we'll see how that one goes.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This is my least favorite part of the season. At this point there is nothing I can do to get faster by next week, I can only maintain what I have right now. A horrible feeling for sure. I'm excited about nationals for sure, but at the same time I'd rather stay in bed with the covers up to my eyes and the blinds shut tight... So I'll keep my mind off of it. Walker The Stalker may be jetting over to the states for a little R&R from law school. Sounds like an idea and a half to me. Would be great to see the guy again.
Got some wedding pics finally. Awards will be forthcoming.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

the indoors are a load of hooey

Abiqua falls: somewhere outside of Silverton...

winding up for a big jump


getting some altitude...

...and losing it quickly

And on to the beach. Camping in pirate country.

on the trail to Cape Falcon

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

mostly moved

still a little scattered though...

bullet points:

- Just discovered a third National Team qualifier in mid-December. This is good. 3 weeks of weddings and moving equal 3 weeks of not training very much.

- This means I'm waiting till November/December to do the big pre-TT training camp. Looks like I'll be here for September after all.

-Downtown crit was Friday. I rode for a few minutes and learned that Mt. Dew is not so good for the brakes. Dried sticky goo on the brake pads makes your wheels lock up as soon as you touch them. Locking up the rear wheel in mid kamikaze corner dive with riders on all four sides is exciting, but tough to recover. After about 3 consecutive laps of "how'd i do that?" and "how'd I survive that?" I took the hint, realized my nine lives were up and rode back to the van.

-Tuckerman rode like a man at the Twilight, but got punted by lady luck when someone went down pretty spectacularly in front of him with 2 to go. That place was crash-central, so no big surprise there.

-I found out about the Nationals Qualifier about 12 hours before they started. Apparently Norrene assumes that I'm aware of my own schedule. Showed her.

- Muchas Gracias is too close. Cheap burritos on the way to everything. Dangerous.

- Word on the street is that a prominent velodrome architect is arriving in portland in early September to check out a couple of proposed sites for a new indoor board track.

- The Little League World Series has been all over ESPN the last couple of days. So no one will show Track Worlds, Road Worlds or anything other than the Tour, but we should watch a bunch of pre-pubescent winers play wiffle-ball? wtf?



Friday, August 17, 2007

hurricane me

So there's a Hurricane Dean hurling itself around the gulf of Mexico these days. It' not every day you get your own hurricane. The last reports placed me at about 115mph steady winds. Apparently I may be headed for the Mexican mainland and an upgrade to around 130mph.
Here's a bitchin video of me picking up speed.

Back in my other corner of the world, Jenny and I are moving to the Couve this week, so not much time to waste on writing stupid blog posts. Will let you know when my tears are dry and the boxes are gone...


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oregon State Flipping Off Hummers World Championships

Can be won by submitting a photo here.

Sprint Champs were last night. It was cold. Actually it was only the last half of the rounds, as we had already completed more that half our rides a few weeks ago before the rain started. So I had one ride vs. Abers and if I survived that, one vs. the winner of a Battle of the Stephens (mclaghrey vs. beardsley). So the whistle blows and I roll out behind Brian. Now first off, I have a hard time looking menacing while I'm sprinting. Something about being skinnier that most other guys and looking generally a little odd keep me from being "scary" during the first couple of laps. I compensate by talking alot, smiling like an idiot and cracking jokes while the other guy is trying to concentrate. It's like the Mike Creed aproach, but fewer "your mom" comments. Anyway, I'm doing all this while trying to be somewhere that Brian is not looking, picking up speed and Abers goes for the old-school "im gonna do a trackstand" thing. Fine. I roll underneath, pin him on the rail and before you know it we're getting the bell. Coming into the first corner I give brian a little flick, which I guess turned out to be not so little, because when I looked up he was off the ground nearly horizontal trying to stick the landing. Which of course is a wonderful time to go, so I went. Into the finals. I knew it was a good hook when he was still laughing about it after two cooldown laps.

McMuscles rode Beardsley pretty perfectly and drew second in our ride. The ride everyone is used to seeing from me is the one where I take it easy, wind up slow, steal the lane somehow with a lap to go, lead it out and go from there. It's tried and true. It works. But people expect it now, so I tried something different. Sneak attack with 2 and a half to go, let up, drift Stephen uptrack a bit coming into the bell and hit it from there. It worked. Rolling around on the apron afterwards, McMuscles rides up and says "well, that was different."

You know what else is different? Seeing Jimmy Lingwood in all his tall-socked glory in a Keirin final. The final in question was legendarily messy and I screwed up big time. When I won last year, I pretty much had my eyes closed the entire time and the thottle full open, hoping I would make it to the finish line in one peice. This year I should have done the same, but suddenly the next couple of months flashed before me and I got careful (read: sissy) for half a second and that was all it took. Ended up second, with Jimmy Tallsocks making a huge charge to come around me on the line. Didn't quite make it, but he only needed another couple of meters and I would have had to tackle him off his bike. He's got Kerin-Fu in his blood... Come to the dark side Jimmy. Do it.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

commence with bloodflow rejuvenation for glorious nation of khazakstan

Yet another khazaki pro-tour guy got positived (i hereby declare 'positived' a new transitive verb) the other day. Caught in the big out of competition rounds like a dolphin in a tuna net. A really skinny dolphin. From Khazakstan. Funny thing is, they got him for the exact same thing as his Astana buddy and countryman the venerable hero alexander VINOkourov. Homo-logus blood transfusion. Don't they know that stuff was so 2004? Just ask tiny Tyler Hamilton, he'll tell ya. I have visions of strapping young square-jawed, blonde-haired cyclists lined up at the "now leaving Khazakstan" sign recieving SuperSoakers full of blood to help them on thier journey...

You know what reeely sucks? I'm going to miss the state crit champs this year. Yeah, I know. It sucks. Especially after last year, which with 3 to go looked to be a pretty sweet Dean Vs. Skerrit Vs everybody else field sprint, then the big Tim Coffey Spill happend. Shannon ended up on his head, I ended up dodging flying bodyparts but trackstanding in the middle of the road anyway, and Father Bosson rode away with it. Can't get the day off work though. I've tried everything aside from "We're renewing our vows. From last week." If Shannon wins I'm probably going to off myself.

Been having fun hearing about how everyone had a great time at our wedding. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. "short and sweet ceremony, good food, killer party." Mission accomplished. Also been having a great time referring to Jenny as "the wife" and "the old ball and chain." Seriously though, don't tell her I said that last one...

I need to get myself out to the track, old blood and all. Only 8 weeks to Nationals. Only one week to Jimmy's bachelor party though. hmm. I'm gonna be on poor form for that one as I'm off the sauce again, but I'll soldier on. And try to stay upright this time...

I'll leave you today with this soothing video. If someone could get this played before every theater movie, the world would be a better place.

p.s. that guys black shirt says DOPERS SUCK. Funny stuff.


Monday, August 06, 2007


i got married this weekend. It was quite the party. Pictures forthcoming. My mom won the 'coolest person of the wedding' by dancing everybody into the ground. I'm back to work snap quick. Going to have to start training again. Never an easy feat to jump back in after a couple weeks of wedding stuff.

Good stuff from US Rep Patrick McHenry (R-NC) in response to pro-bicycle legislation:

“A major component of the Democrats’ energy legislation and the Democrats’ answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle.

Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike.

Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: “Save energy, ride a bike.”

Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no.

They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing.

Apparently, the Democrats believe that the miracle on two wheels that we know as a bicycle will end our dependence on foreign oil. I cannot make this stuff up. It is absolutely amazing.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Democrats, promoting 19th century solutions to 21st century problems. If you don’t like it, ride a bike. If you don’t like the price at the pumps, ride a bike.

Stay tuned for the next big idea for the Democrats: Improving energy efficiency by the horse and buggy.”

Seriously. Not making that one up. See for yourself. Just click on "Congressman McHenry Slams Democrats' Antiquated Energy Plan"



Wednesday, August 01, 2007

tuckerman's really letting himself go

Good to see that he's getting some excercise though...


Monday, July 30, 2007

i feel dusty

Winthrop in late July is a dusty, dirty, hot tinderbox just waiting to burst into flames. It's like Bend, but hotter. Great place for an outdoor wedding, don't you think? Actually Solomon's wedding was this last Saturday, it was pretty great. Hot, but great.

We showed up on Wednesday for some bachelor and bachelorette party time, and to help set up the big shindig in Brandy's parent's back yard. Actually, it's more of a mountainside acreage than a back yard, so setup involved alot of carrying chairs and tables around, building dance floors and clearing 20 years of accumulated knicknacks and gardening things. All the while, brandy's parents would keep us hydrated with a steady stream of beer, which does not work as well as one might think. (it's made of water, right?) The ceremony itself was cool, despite having to stand next to solomon in the groomsman attire of black shirt, black vest and black shoes in the 95 degree heat. I guess we know which one of my groomsmen is wearing the skirt and heels at my wedding...

The reception was all anyone could hope for. Plenty of drinking and merryment, good food, good dancing, and in true hippie fashion, an impromptu rhythemless drum-circle, which was fun all the same. Jenny and I retired late, woke up far too early the next day, piled in the truck, drove the 8 hours back home and collapsed on the couch. As I was sitting there I could hear Des in the back of my head reading me the riot act in his sickeningly calm and quiet carribean manner, bemoaning my 6 days without turning a single pedalstroke and 4 days of excessive calorie intake (mostly in beer form) and excessive alchohol intake (see previous parenthises). So I knew I had to do some kind of ride.

It's now 5:30pm. I could A: do the stumptown-bikepath-cemetery-stumptown loop, which makes for just short of an hour if I go slow, usually a good choice for a recovery ride or easy day. I could do B: The stumptown-cemetery-council crest-skyline-germantown-23rd loop, which is a good hard couple of hours. I could also do C: drive up to Vancouver, pay 15 bucks and see how long I can stay in the Courthouse Criterium, and hope there's an early prime wortwhile. C seems pretty alright... Long story short, I thought I was going to spew within the first 5 minutes, and 10 minutes in I realized that A or B would have been far smarter in the long run. I lurked around in the top ten for a while until I heard the bell ringing for 50 bucks cash around 20 minutes in. I stomped on it on the back straight, got a decent gap and who do I see coming up behind me in the last couple of turns but the Aussie. Fan-effing-tastic! Kept it fast but reasonable the last couple of turns as he drifted everyone back a couple of lengths, he made a show of sprinting up to me in finish straight, so I did the same and it was game over. So 50 bucks in hand I pull the pin, ride around the block a few times, barely avoid hurling in front of an 8 year old, and roll back to the van, where Engine 82 from the Vancouver Fire department had just pulled up to watch me race. Little embarrasing there... "hey, we thought you were racing today!" yeah... about that... I only dress the part and ride the bike... not really a bike racer today...


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

transfusions of blood for make benefit glorious nation of kazhakstan

Another one bites the dust.

When Skerrit told me Vinokourov tested positive this morning, for a split second I thought "but he seemed like such a great guy!" Then I thought back on doping cases of the recent past:

Roberto Heras. Nice guy
Tyler Hamilton. Really nice guy
David Millar. Nice guy, and Scottish too
Stephen Alfred. Exceptionally nice guy
Ivan Basso. Quiet, but always looked nice
Floyd Landis. Funny looking, but nice
Alexander Vinokourov. Crowd favorite. Like cheering for a scrappy puppy in the middle of a huge dogfight.

How ironic that his road stage came at a very familiar point, and in a very similar situation as a memorable stage last year. He gets spooked by the testers on the TT stage so uses the same old blood he's had for the last 48 hours, gets stomped, recieves some fresh blood the next day and makes a miraculous turnaround. One day he rides like a cold turd and the next day he's a heroic pheonix soaring to victory on a flaming golden pillar of fire, burning to a crisp everyone in his magnificent wake. Didn't floyd do that? oh yeah. Tried to forget that one.

So I guess I'm bummed, but not surprised. It's like when you broke the glass vase on the mantle when you were a kid and your mom says "I'm not angry, I'm just dissapointed."


Monday, July 23, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

pull the trigger, push the kill button.

Turned in our 30 day 'notice to vacate' at our apartment today. The Plan thus far: Get married, get Jenny through her finals to finish her bachelors and out we go. Off into the great blue yonder. Looks like I'll be headed back to the springs for a few weeks before the nationals champs to see if I can get scary fast. If I get scary fast and ride some blazing times at Natz, I'll head home, pack up some stuff, grab Jenny and head on down to the other olympic training center in sunny San Diego for the cold winter months, train train train, race a world cup or two, then head to the new Home Base in Colorado Springs.

If I don't get crazy fast and can only manage to get pretty fast, and if I get the old "good job, at least it's progress... maybe next year" bs, then it's back to PDX for a couple of months, save up some cash, then head to CSprings in february or march, as soon as the goons get back from San Diego.

So I suppose my life is taking a rapid left turn that even I didn't really see coming. But hey, I'll roll with it. Jenny's into it. Adventure on, man. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead and all that good stuff. Just like kierins I suppose. You plan as best you can, but when it all comes down, you really just close your eyes, hit the gas and hope for the best.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

bored. gore ahead.

This picture is a 9.4 on the nasty scale, and will probably blow your mind.

I think we should rid our country of prisons and just hold a running of the bulls every couple of weeks. Idiots like this could thin themselves out of the gene pool.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


that dogs hate pink.

BLAM! Gotcha! Take that Pinky! Dog 1, skinny roadie 0.
Look at that form! Perfect slide tackle.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

home again

back on home ground, and just finally getting caught up again. Lots of wedding stuff to do, lots of shop stuff to do, my apartment's a bit of a disaster and there's still and XL pile of riding to be done.

Missed that view.

AVC went well. Not as well as I wanted, because I didn't win everything and be crowned Champion Of All, but I'll take what I can get. Here's what I got:
Qualified first in the 200 with the ugliest, most completely out of control ride of my life. I tried a super-early mach 3 wind-up and came into 1 and 2 so fast I drifted all the way to the top of the track and rode on the vertical retaining wall for a couple of pedalstrokes. So my brain registers whats going on and immediateley goes AAAAAH!!! SHUT IT DOWN!!! so I did for a couple seconds and then my brain went AAAAHH!!! I"M GOING TOO SLOW!! and I re-jumped so hard i felt my ankles and knees shed a single tear.
Sprint rounds went well until I rode Felix Haspel. The Plan: Get the lane, keep him checked uptrack on my hip, twist the throttle on the backstraight, sail home for the V. The Reality: Got the lane with a semi-suicidal jedi manuever underneath at speed, let up for a split second to keep him checked, and just as I give one soft pedalstroke, he gives full juice and comes right back over the top. Obviously nobody told him the plan. Caught back on, tried to come back around, but could make it. That put me into a deep funk and into the 3rd 4th ride with Kelyn Acuna. In my book, Kelyn's just as fast as Felix, so I couldn't make the same stupid mistake. So defying all expectations, I didn't. Used a sweet Keirin-Fu manuever to steal the lane on the backside when he was looking right at me, wound it up on the front straight to uncomfortable speed, gassed it on the bakcstraight and sailed home.

Kierin also did not go to plan. Our first round was so F-ed up in to many ways that the officials completely cancelled the results and restarted us. Let me count the ways:
1. The heat featured 4 of the 6 riders that would eventually make it into the final, but only 1 rider would go through to the next round.
2. Rene Regimbald was riding like an 8 year-old playing Kierin Battlewars for XBOX. Guy was all over the place, trying to crash Jeff Hopkins for 4th wheel with 5 laps to go, telling Hoppy he was going to kill him. Come on. Hoppy may not be big, but he's crafty, and more importantly, he's from Australia, which gives him automatic danger-mouse status. Those guys are all descendents of murderers and theives, and you can see it in the way Robby McEwen and all the rest of them ride (excluding Michael Rogers and Cadel Evans).
3. They rang the one lap to go bell with two to go. We sprinted anyway, because when you hear the bell, you go. As Barlee and I came across the line with a bike throw, the bell rang again. Que?

So after a great reshuffling, we got out rides in and all went well. I led out both my heats, made it through each to the final. Final did not go so well. I pulled 6th up high, so had to start in the worst possible position. The only way to make good on this would be to A. jump with all I had and pull my guts out my ears to get first or second over the top of a bunch of strong dudes off the gun or B. gamble on the secret-squirrel jump from the back as soon as the motor pulls off. I chose B. My jump from the back was cancelled by the fact that Kelyn Acuna led it out at full gas as soon as the motor pulls of, so I switched to Plan C: close your eyes, hit the gas, shoot underneath everyone who drifts up for a split second and hope that a hole opens up before the line. Plan C generally isn't the most successfull way to go, but sometimes it's the only way, and it's fun in the way that that Big Drop amusement park ride is scaryfun. I'll take 4th by a wheel over 6th any day.

Did the team sprint, did the flying lap, both were kinda blah.

Brad and Dan rode like ten men in the endurance stuff. Brad pulled my favorite straight-arm shove "get out of my way" move in the madison. Brought a tear of joy to my face. Jimmy Lingwood gets the jersey for Most Agressive Asian Rider. Ping Pong would have been proud, but he was elsewhere. Probably napping.

Killer thunderstorm couple nights ago. Jenny and I watched like 6 year olds for a solid hour. "OOH! Good one!" "Whoah, I think that was close!"


Monday, July 09, 2007

last couple pictures from the springs

I laughed a little every time we rode by these guys.

Must be tough...

The main weight room, the fishbowl. Hurt be here.

You wanna say that to my face?

The main drag. Sports medicine on the left, admin and weight rooms on the right and the athlete center straight ahead.

Kiss the rings...

Headed home. This building is our kitchen, the home of our coaching staff, dormitories and big TV's playing Wimbledon and SportsCenter.