Friday, June 29, 2007

Did some race-wheel TT's today to get an idea of how everyone is going. I had no idea what to expect, since I've never even done a 200 on this track. First lap on the track I hear that horrible psssstftpssstft sound coming from my disk. Awesome. Des let me borrow a Zipp disk for the session, which was cool, but I missed my sweet white Campy straight away. We started with a couple of flying 100m sprints to see how fast everyone can turn on the power. I suprised myself by sticking within a short tenth of Blatch and Trini.

By the way. Junior nationals starts tommorow and there are 180 people registered. That means that although we have the track for our workout, there are more people hanging out in the stands than at most weekly races. Makes for an interesting atmosphere for a workout.

After 2 max efforts comes the 200m. Des is was happy with how things were going at that point, so he turns up the motivation: "If anyone goes 10.5 I'll take you all out to Mongolian Grill." MMmm. We can all taste the delicious heaps of beef, noodles, chicken, grilled veg... Now everybody needs it. Must have. Must do. I've been doing about 11.8 at Alpenrose. I figured our surface would add about a half second, which would give me 11.2. That in mind, I wanted to do a good time, but I was looking to the other guys to break into the 5's. Chris rides a 10.9. Solid time. I think for sure I'm gonna be at the back of the group today. I roll up, ride a sweet line and everything comes together for a 10.6. Fastest I've ever done. Des is so happy he runs up and wraps me in a big hug. It was tough to smile while I was still gulping oxygen-less air, but I was definitely psyched. Trini tops it with a 10.55 and Blatch finishes us all off with a 10.50.

I ate so much I went past the point of full and straight back to hungry. I think I won dinner.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

You know how when anyone ever leaves home for a while, they always say "the first thing I do when I get home is *blank*"? First thing I do when I get home (after planting a big wet one on Jenny) is go directly to Stumptown, order up a couple Esspressos and enjoy a good coffee again. That's my one complaint about this place. The coffee is horrible. Comes out of a machine. You have to drink three cups of it to equal one Stumpy's. Yeah I know, they're trying to ween me off the bean so to speak, but I'm not going without a fight.

Speaking of coffee. The kitchen here is pretty funny. You have 5 or 6 choices of main dish at every meal with all the works. Thing is, everything has a sign above it that announces what you're eating. The page also lists the exact caloric content, fat content, saturated fat, protein, cholesterol, etc. At the top of the page, under a Olympic logo, is the phrase "every athlete has a dream, and every choice makes a difference." On every food choice. Come on. All I want right now is some ice cream and you're making me feel guilty about it. Jerks.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Did you know that the 2008 Olympics are only 407 days away? I do. I'm reminded daily. Everywhere I look there are posters of memorable American Olympic performances, advertisements for Olympic games past, and reminders of the Big Beijing Shimmy. The computer I'm typing on happens to have a full color artist's rendering of the Laoshan Velodrome... which looks a little like this:

Kinda flying saucerish, eh?
A person could easily never leave this place for months, this village of motivation, support and seemingly impossible amounts of work.

Day 2 of workouts and I'm feeling wrecked. Been trying to keep pace with Trini, my roomate, which is no easy feat. Did I mention he's done 2 years of international competition? Rode a 10.2 at Moscow? Dude's fast. More importantly, he's also hilarious. The stuff that comes out of that Jamaican's mouth is enough entertainment, I might as well push the TV out our window. It's like a drunk, male Miss Cleo after smoking a couple gallons of PCP.

Gym sessions remind me of football practice. Tons of dynamic plyometrics, medicine ball work, box jumps, shuttle runs, windsprints, etc. Thought our strength trainer Jason was gonna kill me if I didn't beat Trini in the shuttle sprints.

I've been crowned with the title of Whitest Kid on the Block. Blatchford used to own the title hands down, but looks like he's stepping aside for a new champ. Also happen to be the skinniest sprinter this side of anywhere... Which is funny. After spending the winter locked in the gym I kept hearing people at the track go "hey you got bigger," "you gained some power this winter eh?" Here it's like I'm back in school. Skinny white kid.

Haven't been able to take a single picture yet. Too sore to walk anywhere but to food and bed. Probably should start taking it out on evening road rides. That's the only time I get to see anything other than the campus.

General impressions from the staff is I'm right about where they thought I would be. Which is good. Had a panic attack on the bus from the airport that I would show up, ride like a chump and be sent home with a "thanks, we'll call ya." Granted it's only day two, but things look good so far...


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

landed... the Training Center last night. Had a headache within an hour. Coach says it'll probably last a couple days with our workout load. No worries. Tried to drown it in coffee this morning, but now I'm just amped beyond control just in time to head to the gym.

The facilities here are pretty nuts. Could get very addictive to have everything taken care of, from laundry to food to transport to medical to massages to everything in between. Rooming with Jamaican sprinter Ricardo Lynch. Nicest guy in town, probably.

Kind of nuts to be around so many world class athletes. Weight lifters, vollyballers, gymnasts, wrestlers, swimmers, even a couple of shooters. The track cyclist camp is pretty small. Just 5 of us really. Seemed almost like high school again at breakfast this morning. Us at the trackie table scoping out the room. Mike Blatchford, Adam Duvendeck and Ricardo know just about everybody here, I'm still operating on advice and good guesses.

Time to lift. I'll try to get some pics up later.


Friday, June 22, 2007

it's saturday!

it is for me anyway...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the hurt box

Two workouts a day while still working at the shop sucks the big one. Yeah, I know it'll make me fast and all that, but until I get used to it, it sucks. Take yesterday for example. Was up earlier than early to do some standing starts at the track before work. Had some food when I got to the shop at 8 or so, then got so wrapped up in work stuff that the only thing I ate or drank before riding to PIR was a piece of chicken and a cup of coffee. Real smart. Carbs? Don't need em. Hydration? overrated.
Led Big Brad out for a sprint and finished off one of my own after a screamin leadout by ANT and Kirk, and things seemed to be going pretty good. Then the cramps started. I could feel it starting in my calves and working up to my hamstrings. So against my more aggressive judgement I called it a day with 6 to go, pulled the pin and rode home. I figure theres no sense in wrecking tommorows workout by going into full cramp mode for the World Champs of PIR.

Rode home with Officer Curl, where we got the news by Bat Phone that there was a nasty pile up as soon as we left. Suddenly I felt great about leaving. With my luck I would've been right behind it, hurt myself and missed my trip to the training center. No PIR's worth that. No matter what a bunch of old men say.

Rode the first part of the State Champs last weekend. It was moist. Seriously. We started the day with a rain delay, and did hour or two sessions in between the two other rain delays before the whole day was cancelled. Laid down a decent 200 to get the top seed, despite being completely out of control the entire time. I was bleeding in two places after my 200. That's how bad it was. Smacked my knee on my stem and rubbed some skin off my knuckle on the rail. Out of control. All the ride went well, especially my race vs. Brain Abers. It was an old-school smackdown. Very little drag-racing, very much wrestling for control. More hooks and chops than a pirate ship. For some reason, this sequence from the movie Top Gun popped into my head:

Charlie: Well, if you were directly above him, how could you see him?

Maverick: Because I was inverted.

Iceman: [coughs whilst saying] Bullshit.

Goose: No he was man, it was a really great move. He was inverted.

Charlie: You were in a 4g inverted dive with a MiG28?

Maverick: Yes ma'am.

Charlie: At what range?

Maverick: Um, about 2 meters.

Goose: It was actually about 1 and a half I think. It was 1 and a half, I've got a great Polaroid of it, and he's right there, must be 1 and a half.

Maverick: Was a nice picture.

Goose: Thanks.

Charlie: Eh lieutenant, what were you doing there?

Goose: Communicating.

Maverick: Communicating. Keeping up foriegn relations. You know, giving him the bird!

Goose: [Charlie looks puzzled, so Goose clarifies] You know, the finger
[gestures apprpriately]

Bummer thing is, because it's rained out, they had to reschedule the finals and the kierin. The date they chose happens to be the day before my wedding. Which happens to be the day of our rehearsal. Dammit.

Ed Norton took some sweet pictures, posted at his sweet website Stopping Time This one rules. This is about a half-second before the door to that lane slams shut.

Friday, June 15, 2007

buy my beans

Ever wondered what a Team Rubicon Blend coffee tastes like? Me neither. Now that I think about it, seems like it should taste like Muchas Gracias, sports drinks and PBR. And maybe some blood. Seriously though, taste the rainbow and buy the Official Team Rubicon Blend Coffee, made by the awesome people at Portland Roasting.

No really, we have coffee and it's great. I challenge you to try some. Actually I challenge you to buy some, then try it, then buy some more. 10 bucks a pound, which if you know your way around a locally hand roasted bean, is a pretty good deal.

It'll be sold everywhere you see skinny guys in Orange racing other skinny guys. Places like Mt. Tabor for instance. Maybe even a PIR here and there, who knows.
Just look for the mildly sketchy looking scruffy guy named "dave" and ask him if you can grab his beans. Do it. If you can't find him, ask around. If you're shy, email If you can't handle that, then bummer, you lose.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

night-time pre-final update

this whale is tougher than you

New links on the right somewhere. Chader's faster than you. Trust me. And Ms. Littlefaster is getting a littlefaster these days. Soon she's gonna get a wayfaster so watch out.

Oh and Russel Stevensen is addicted to meth and I have proof.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

leavin on a jet plane

Headed to Colorado Springs to spend a couple of weeks at the Olympic Training Center with my new coach Des Dickie. I'll be riding with a couple of sprinters who are much, much faster than me, so I might die. But I hope not. If I do, I want my tombstone to say something clever, so get to work.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

schools almost over, schools almost over...

One more week. Just one more and this degree is DONE.

Just one more week.

Two finals a big fat paper and one shift at Vancouver Fire...

One week.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Are you bored? Have you done your workout today? How about your homework? Feed the cat? Water the plants? Kozy'd the Shack? All done? Sweet. You should come with me to see Rembrandt And Pals at the Portland Art Museum. Or PAM if you like. Then let's head to OMSI to check out some dead people. Then maybe if school's still in session we'll all take the train up to the Zoo and throw rocks at some bears, because we're humans, the master species, and we can do stuff like that.


Monday, June 04, 2007

put out an "amber alert"

Cool Thing Of The Day: Watching one of our mechanics take his first ride on a bike he built. I'm not talking 'built' like buy a frame and buy a bunch of parts and put it all together. I'm talking 'built' like make a bunch of drawings, do some geometry wizardry, take a bunch of steel tubes, painstakingly arrange and weld them together, spend a few months fillet-brazing the thing to perfection then putting some parts on it and it's a bike. This was the first frame he ever built, he took his time with it and it looks great. It was a fanfareless but very cool little event in our small corner of the world. When you spend a good portion of your life working on bikes slapped together by machines in far-eastern mega-factories, the day you ride something built by your own hands is a pretty cool deal.

Un-Cool Thing Of The Day: Some worthless idiot stole our shop demo Trek 69er off of the roof rack of an employees car. Which was parked in our parking lot. While we were open. Who does that? Here's the good bit: That bike's pretty new. So new, that we have not sold a single one. We are the only dealer within 200 miles that sells that bike. With a 26in wheel in the back, a 29in wheel in the front, a gigantic triple crown fork and a crazy bronze anodized frame, it is very distinctive. Seriously. You can't miss it. And some idiot has the only one. Here's what it looks like by the way.

By noon today every pawn shop and used bike shop in town will have a picture and serial number, so when the idiot tries to sell it, he'll get arrested and we'll get the bike back. If the bike shows up on Craigslist of Ebay, game over. Same result. If the idiot takes it to Forest Park, he'll get jumped by one of the 10 shop guys who commute through the park, get beaten with a frame pump and then get arrested. So if you see this bike, it's ours. And we want it back.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

whoopin up.

The US team officially crushed all at the Pan Am games. Everyone's favorite mulleted Team Peestream/Chipatople rider Brad Huff pulled off the big one in the Omnium, then followed it up with another win in the madison with none other than the newly un-retired Colby Pearce. Blatchford slayed all challengers to win the sprint, then teamed up with Duvendeck and Selker to show everyone who's boss in the Team Sprint. They convinced everyone but the Cubans, who were so unimpressed, they beat the boys by 6 tenths. Jennie Reed was numero uno in the Kierin, then silvered in the sprint behind another wicked fast Cuban.

Whatever. They're all in trouble when Ping-Pong gets his new track bike figured out.

Tuckerman's 3 minutes back at Hood going into the last big climbing stage. Good luck ANT. Don't go blocks.

Waiting anxiously for a letter from Seattle. Any day now.

If Zabel's a doper, I'm done with pro road racing. That corner of the sport's a mess.

It's hot in this east-facing apartment, with it's giant winows and poor circulation. The sun heats up the concrete blocks and turns this place into a pizza oven. No AC. Just window fans, ice cubes and muscle shirts.