Tuesday, December 29, 2009

feeling huge, cookie style

This is definitely the year of christmas cookies/brownies/candy. I should never agree to do any racing in early January. The holidays are just to sickly sweet and calorie-rich. That coupled with my complete inability to ride outside has left me with the feeling that all my muscle mass has been replaced by chocolate and butter. Doesn't help that my self control is non-existent in this arena. I don't eat a cookie. I eat every single morsel in sight. At once.

This inspired me to ride to the gym yesterday instead of driving, which I probably shouldn't have:

That was fun.

There's a new Suberbike in town. Project '10 ("turning it up to 11"). Eric spent a few weeks with his machines and torches, trapped in a loop of ultra-heavy metal, and this is what crawled out of the bog when he finished.

Blacker than the blackest black. Times infinity.

Aaron wishes he could ride something so scary.

The Euro Sixes are an extremely flashy affair, so the bikes got a bit of sparkle to finish them off.

Actually they got a bucket of sparkle. Sparkle Motion.

And now for something non bike-related.
Found this gem a few days ago, the new video from Auckland/Portland's Mint Chicks. So strange I feel like a epileptic fit's coming on about halfway through, but can't turn away.

Don't Sell Your Brain Out, Baby (censored version) from Mint Chicks on Vimeo.

Sweet dreams.


Monday, December 21, 2009


Sooo. DMT? Nike? Any chance you guys could bring the heaviness in the form of SPD-soled wingtips? Like this?

And if you do decide to one-up those cheese-fiends from the big red B, I wear a 45.


Friday, December 18, 2009


I try not to complain too much on this thing. I hate self-important behavior, but I thought I'd update the few who still read this space in the winter.

Very edgy lately. Sleep isn't coming easily and my nerves are iffy at best. The snow and ice in Colorado has cut my training down to gym work and trainer rides for the entirety of December. November was a coach-mandated month off, so the combination isn't doing great things for my speed going into Rotterdam. In short: I'm slow.

I'm doing what I can, but when I meet with the velodrome director and he says that there is "no way in hell" that I'll be able to get on the track even once before takeoff, it's frustrating. It validates every reason I have for moving away from here, away from the federation and the olympic committee and all their political pissing matches with each other and the athletes they are supposed to be helping. I'll take the rain if I can at least ride! One month before a major international competition and I'm informed that alarms will ring and security will be dispatched if I jump the fence and try to do a workout on the dry, ice free, empty velodrome.

So I do what I can. Trainer rides. Weight lifting. The track in Boulder is utterly useless for any sprint efforts, so I do fixed gear road rides on days when the temps are above freezing. Hope for good flat-tire luck on the gravel-covered roads and hope there's not ice in that blind corner coming up. Fight the cars who think I should be riding all the way over on the shoulder in the snow drifts. Get it done, do the work and get to Europe and back to where I can do what I love under the lights.

Zesdaage Rotterdam

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

the season continues...

Nothing says "bathing suit weather" like January in Holland! Looks like I'm packing wool socks and rain coats, because contracts are settled, tickets are booked and I'm set to ride the Rotterdam 6 the week before my birthday. Throughout the entirety of the Amsterdam 6, all anyone could say was "wait till you see Rotterdam."

It's going to be epic.

Timing couldn't be better, as everything was confirmed only 2 days before the end of the coach-mandated rest period. Definitely a good motivator for the crappiest months of the year. With a new frame and fork on the way and a plane ticket in hand, there's no excuse for skipping the trainer rides this winter. Game on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

christmas shopping, anyone?

I think one of my favorite product partnerships of all time has to be with Rolf Prima. Most of the time, companies are perfectly happy slapping a logo on the jersey and handing you a pro-deal form. And as much as I appreciate getting sweet deals on cool stuff, these guys are different.

When we started working together, I was happy to be riding on nice road wheels, but didn't think much more of it. Rolf, however, realized that they were missing out on a great and passionate sector of the sport. A sector of the sport that to this point has been completely dominated by one scrappy American company and a pack of Frenchies that think the world of their track racing wheels, and charge accordingly. So they started asking questions.
"do people like tubulars or clinchers?"
"aero or lightweight?"
"carbon or aluminum?"
And so on.
For months and months.

I didn't immediately realize that I was a sounding board for a bunch of guys that were preparing to enter the track market, but when the first pair showed up completely stickered and ready to ride, the light clicked on. We went through several versions, we hashed out little nit-picky details and they finally landed on three versions ready for ultimate thrashing, commuting, and racing. Granted, they did all the hard work (I hear engineering is kinda tough. all that math and stuff), but after a summer of test pilotry, long winded emails and many many races on untested gear, there are 3 finished products.
So now, I am very proud to present to everyone:

The Rolf Track Alloy.
These are designed as a daily training wheel and a weekly race workhorse. I think the two words I typed the most when we talked about these wheels was "lateral stiffness," and that says it all. I am 190 pounds, and wanted a rock-solid wheel that I could do starts on all day, then turn around and race on that same night. This is the product. Custom 14 gauge bladed spokes, 20h rear, 16h front, clincher. Crazy stiff, very aero and virtually bombproof. A sprinter or enduro's dream. Beautiful. Black.

The Rolf 58 Track
Same brutally stiff setup as the alloy, but add a 58m deep carbon tubular rim. Low, paired spoke count on the front keeps it extremely aero, while the higher spoke count, paired design and high tension on the rear makes power transfer instantaneous. I rode these wheels in our winning team sprint at the Elite National Championships this year (and recorded the fastest first lap of the week, including Wednesday's 250 times). Not a bad debut. Also all the pics below from the Amsterdam six feature this front wheel and Rolf's forthcoming Carbon Disc. This is by far the fastest wheel I have ever ridden. It is also the blackest wheel you could ever ride. It is like the race wheel from the black lagoon, but blacker, and with menacing yellow eyes. Which is pretty great.

And last but certainly not least:
The Rolf P-Town
These wheels are sexy. Conversation over.
Based on the race wheels, but styled for... well... style. 130m rear spacing, so they'll fit on your hooptie fixie, killer mustache bar commuter or single speed cross bike. Flip-Flop hub will do fixie or free. These wheels will smash your face with killer-ness and leave you moaning and groaning for more. So get some. Today. Actual mustache not included.


Monday, November 09, 2009

a few more pics

Here's a sequence of one of my many 3rds in the kierin. It's a shame it misses the violent last-lap dive under one of the dutch guys to get back to Mulder's wheel.

Bauge and I after our team sprint win.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This is the True Hollywood Story about how Jenny and I met.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

professional circus animals

Day 3

The sprint World Champ has figured out his role. I have the luxury of a common language with the Dutch, so my first pro Six has gone fairly smoothly. They've acted as translators for VIP schmoozers, organizers and announcers, and I'm endlessly grateful. However. They nor I speak anything close to French, and Bauge speaks about 10 words of English, so that line of communication has been iffy. High-fives, shrugs and smiles only go so far.

But finally, after a few touch-and-go evenings, the massive french champion really Gets It. Before the kierin we are all relaxing in the cabins, mocking some awful song the DJ has chosen, when Bauge throws down a fierce French rap. Yondi immediately makes for the announcer's booth, smiling wickedly.

As you wind up for your 200, it's equally important to wind up the crowd. I ride my 200 while the previously mentioned "Born In The USA" plays at maximum volume, with the first two laps at the rail no-hands, clapping to the beat and willing the crowd to cut loose. So far, the DJ's have chosen some lifeless techno song for Bauge to wind up to, but tonight is different. He rolls up the track with his usual World Champion game face. Deadly serious. A true professional. There is a moment of silence as he climbs the banking and the song cues up. The chorus of 50 Cent's "In Da Club" erupts from the speaker stacks and the crowd absolutely loses it. Bauge smiles wide and for the first time seems to be enjoying himself, bobbing his head and dancing with the crowd on lap 2.

We are circus animals in colorful clothing, brought here to play to our national stereotypes and entertain the patrons. Winning the race and destroying your competition is secondary to the much more difficult task of winning the crowd.

They will know immediately if you are over your head. These people have watched cycling like football their entire lives, and there are no excuses worth their time. So make it a good one. Get out of the gate like you mean it, don't disrespect someone with rainbow stripes and give it everything for the show. There is no UCI or USCF rapping your knuckles for headbutts or chops. If we raced like they want us to at US Nationals, spectators would leave their seats and never again slap down 30 euros to watch a bike race. No reward without risk.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

let go of the bars, and do your job

This week was many things. Stressful? Yes. Successful? Yes. I returned from Europe with some great memories, average pictures, a notebook full of over-caffienated writing and a paid invitation to return.

So instead of going through a tedious day-by-day account of what happened, we'll start with a couple of excerpts of what I wrote at the time and a few pictures.

Day 2:
Baggage difficulties, language barriers and twisted, sleepless nights fade instantly as you find yourself riding at the rail, winding up for your 200 as "Born In The USA" blasts out of the stadium speakers. Now you're playing to the crowd like you've never done before. Hands off the bars in mid-corner, fist-pumping, willing the crowd of rabid Dutch out of their seats.
Keep your machine under control amid the road, the music, the derny fumes, the strobes, lasers and nerves. Just keep your head up, be the rockstar the crowd paid 50 bucks a pop to see. This is your job, so enjoy it.

The riders' cabins are beyond cramped. 36 pro men including the sprinters. 2 riders per 3X5 cabin, each pair with 2 soigneurs and mechanics drifting in and out. Add to that a constant stream of "VIP Liasons," taking paying fans through the rider's area to see their favorite starts. As a World Champ, Bauge is in high demand, so most high-roller patrons end up at the end of the row, standing in front of the sprinter's cabins asking for autographs and pictures.

Day 3:
The derny smoke hangs thick tonight. 3 rounds of 50-lap noise-fests down, one to go and I cannot wait for those laps to be over. Every night at the hotel I'm spitting black crap and listening to my ears ring, waiting for the noise/fumes/adrenaline/exertion headache to fade away.
This a scene tailor made for Vegas. Singles dressed to the nines, stalking each other and liver disease, swilling free booze on the VIP infield, chaotic frenzy from the cheap seats, strobes and lazers everywhere.

My corner of the world for six nights is very literally that. A tiny corner, with a light, a dirty mattress and a shelf. It is cramped and it is hot, but it's also mine. In someone else's country, at someone else's event and on someone else's turf, this is all the real estate I need to keep grounded. That and a free coffee every now and then...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

sneak previews R us

Longer version of this video is coming soon, but here's the short version:

Landrover Orbea Sizzle Video from pierre robichaud on Vimeo.

Big thanks to Pierre Robichaud for making this happen.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

tour of the cities of sin

Home is where the heart is? Where the wife is, the cat, the french press and by far the most comfortable bed in the world. Yes. All of these things. It's good to be home (for a minute). A quick breath, try to recover from a few weeks in two of the most vile places on the planet and off to somewhere unknown.

Vegas, first up. What a city. A bunch of rich guys showing off in the desert. The trade show went well, but it wasn't quite the show that it's been in the past. No huge announcements, not many revered euro-pros, very few (meaningful or exciting) unveilings. But there was a pretty sweet high-wheel:

Cav's Tour bike was cool to see:

It was also pretty entertaining watching the Chinese exhibitors assembling some future Wal-Mart Specials in the parking lot.

All in all I would say that the business side of my trip to Vegas was a success. Learned some good stuff for the shop, saw some important things, got some things settled. However, one thing is for certain: Vegas right before Nationals is no good. Too much free beer, waaaay too much walking, not enough riding. I did get one important thing accomplished. Every now and then you must go above and beyond as the only sober person in the room. Every now and then you need to take apart your couch and reassemble it on your unconscious, barely alive co-worker.

Enough of that. On to Los Angeles.

Nationals this year was not a bust, but it was not the nationals I was hoping for. I false started the standing 250 and destroyed my chance at a National record and another jersey. My time in the 200 was less than stellar. In face it was pretty much unacceptable to my coach and the USAC folks in the stands. My tactics in the Kierin were questionable (first or last!). I even briefly toyed with the idea of having my mechanic go chop some tendons:

Looks like he liked the idea. Actually not surprisingly the cause of Dave's burst of activity was cake. So there ya go.

It all came around on the final day for the team sprint, not a moment too soon. I rode first, lost a few tenths coming out of the gate a little late (was not interested in false start X2) but still rode a first lap that would have won me the 250. Lanell Rockmore rode a stellar lap and Kevin Mansker fought the big fight to chase back and finish the third lap. In the end we won by a comfortable margin and got to stand on the top step of the podium and pull on another one of these:

Feels good.

What will also feel good will be wearing it (or something like this) in the Amsterdam 6-Day. One week from today I'm back on a jet plane, headed over the pond to Holland. This is a huge opportunity for me, and something I've wanted to do for a long time. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have been happy just to see a euro 6, let alone race one! If you're interested, you should be able to follow the race at www.zesdaagseamsterdam.nl. With a little help from Google Translate the site is pretty cool.

As for me, I have a roller session to do. Rest is for suckers.

Monday, August 31, 2009

dont be a jerk, you stupid knee

Training has been chugging along like a brakeless hell-train straight through the desert. No stop, no rest for the weary... until.


Awesome day, 3 sets of 3 standing starts in increasing gears. USAC's athletics director was milling around at the track, so every effort put me deeper into the hurt locker. Things were going well, I was setting PR's at every distance (including a 250m that was 2 tenths off the national record), and the coach was happy. I start feeling some strangeness coming out of my hip flexors and we call it a day to avoid the dreaded 4-weeks-before-nationals-injury. I pack up my crap, squat down to pick up my water bottle and BANG! my knee crumples. fantastic.

Rode home with one leg and began a mandatory 4 day break, which thankfully ends today. Turns out I don't sleep so well without workouts during the day.

Looks like I'll be joining the rest of the cycling industry at Interbike in Vegas this year. Shame it's 1 week before Nationals, means I'll have to be on good behavior (which is not so much fun in vegas), but I'm not worried. This close to a national record and possibly a big fat check from USAC means there's plenty of motivation left. Guess I'll just have to try and keep Tuckerman A: alive and B: out of prison. That may be my biggest challenge yet.


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Take that Jason Allen.

My shoes are whiter than yours.

Like a glove. No oven time necessary.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

it's all about performance

This is simultaneously hilarious and awesome.

These girls pumped up their tires and oiled their chains...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. A-Hole

Elite level track racing is a funny thing. The margins of victory are so slim, the consequences of mistakes are so final, it's important to get everything just right. Your equipment has to be perfect, your fitness and strength have to be perfect, your warmup has to be perfect, and most importantly, your head must be in exactly the right place to ensure that your split-second decisions are perfect. If one of these things is the slightest bit off, your weekend goes from standing on top of a podium to watching the finals for gold from the stands. The recent Velodrome Challenge races in Portland and Seattle were great examples of this. Portland is my hometown. My all-time favorite place. I live and train in Colorado Springs, but if you handed me a blank plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, I would walk toward whatever gate said PDX. My friends are there, my family is there, my team is there, everyone I grew up racing with is there. As a result, when I step off a plane in the Great Northwest, I have a lot going on.

This is great for a vacation, but a tough environment to focus in.

So when racing started with the kierin on Saturday, my bike was ready, the legs were there, but my head wasn't in the right place. Throughout the sprints and the kierin, I would look back after every round and think, "why did I do that?" I'd go into sprint rounds with a huge speed advantage and come away with nothing because of a rookie mistake. I'd roll up to the line thinking "the crowds are huge today" instead of blocking out the world and reacting to the rider next to me.

So Portland was a bit of a bust. 5th in the sprints, 8th in the kierin, 2nd in the team sprint. Overall not a terrible set of results, but for a defending champion starting with a stars and stripes jersey it's not what I was looking for. So instead of obsessing over how bad things were I took a few days off to relax with Jenny in the city (much needed), got her to the airport and back to the Springs and started fresh for Seattle.

Seattle was exactly what I needed. I isolated myself, followed my own routine and didn't think about anything but winning the sprints and how I could do it. By race day I was so worked up I could barely speak. I qualified first, and each round went exactly as it should. The crowds were smaller than Portland's but the addition of a beer garden made the track seem twice as loud, and every move seem twice as dramatic. The gold final was between myself and a Mansker. He was the one sprinter who I felt like I was fairly evenly matched with on speed, so I didn't give myself any room for error. The race started clean, I kept control and by the final corner, I came around with enough speed to sit up and enjoy the win.

Now we're back in the Springs and back to training. Nervous days now. Budgets are hammered out, proposals have been sent, now it's just a teeth-grinding wait. My next season of travel hangs on some important decisions being made in air-conditioned buildings, and I want to hear results NOW NOW NOW. But that's not the way it goes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009



Nothing dramatic has happened since Portland. Lots of PR's in the gym and on the bike.

Leaving on a jet plane in T-Minus 8 days.
Happy to be headed back home with Jenny this time. It will be awesome.

So yep.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

hello, portland

Back in the time vortex that is Portland, Oregon. Days disappear here into some other universe. One minute you're walking off the plane and the next minute BAM it's wednesday, you've done two track sessions and a race, but you can't remember either. I've narrowed it down the causes to two alternate explanation encompassing both my previous and current lifestyles.

1: When we lived here previously: Put simply, time flies when you're drunk. This is a severely alcoholic city. I can't hold a conversation with friends here for more than 2 minutes without hearing "have you been to X brewery yet?"
"have you tried the new X Ale from X? It's killer!"
"have you been to X bar yet? We're going to Thursday! You should come with!"
This is a great city to lose it for an evening/night/day or two. So many great places to be, so many great people to be with. It's easy to let days slip by with just the sounds of a pouring tap...

2: This current trip, I'm not drinking, but replacing all drunken hours with workout hours. Today for instance, weight session in the morning, 3 hour ride in the afternoon and a hilly criterium in the evening. In between, eating free food at home, sleeping and trying to stay somewhat hydrated. Sounds like I won't be allowed to leave town without meeting people for a beer at least once (I"m thinking Thursday), but for the most part my days are being smashed out of my head with standing starts and sprints against old rivals.

Speaking of which, PIR was last night. Candi gave me a special welcome home gift. Or maybe a nice-to-see-you middle finger. 18 laps with 18 sprints. What. The. Hell. That hurt. Alot. Won a couple sprints, placed in a couple more and was so tired by the final that I managed to screw everything up completely and roll in for 5th or something. Was definitely hoping for a better showing, but a 300 meter headwind road sprint every 3 miles is not my cup o' tea. It was crazy hard, and crazy hard in a sprint stress week is good.

Picked up two of my custom sets of Rolf track wheels yesterday. They look A M A Z I N G. Possibly the greatest looking hubs I have ever seen. Custom machined splined cogs. One aluminum clincher, one carbon tubular. Can't wait to ride them tomorrow.


p.s. Important message for Pat Bateman: There is now a Muchas Gracias across the street from the track. Taste!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

wif moah intensity, prease

So here we are, it's May 24th and the velodrome is still closed under lock and key, in legal limbo. This has been frustrating beyond words. I've missed a month of track training and can't afford to miss another. My short term and long term goals both mean lots of track time and lots of racing. And I'm here trying to make up for it with fixed gear/road bike motorpacing. Better than nothing, but nothing like racing.


The plan.

Fly to stumptown on Monday June 8th and pray for good weather.
Gym work with brian in the early mornings, track workouts every afternoon and road or track racing every evening for 7 days, including the crit on Mississippi and the Heartbreaker at the track.
Fly home an exhausted shell of a track sprinter, ready for a few days off and some more road training.
Fly into a rage in the middle of a board meeting at the USOC if the track doesn't open in July.
Fly back to Portland to do another marathon session of heavy track work and two AVC's.

Tickets are paid for (sort of. credit cards are scary), dates are set.

By then my season will officially begin. Trying not to blow myself apart before the carnivals in Australia come December, so it's a late start and fingers crossed that the skinny roadies don't spend all the team's cash on donuts and Land Rover parts. If all goes well it's an autumn of sixdays and a winter of UCI points. London 2012. Onward and upward, with or without the usoc.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

judo CHOP!

So this one is definitely interesting.
Mike lost his room at the OTC last fall (for purely administrative reasons, which are still pretty murky). So after a long, drawn out battle, he's now living in California, trying to figure out what to do next, and now USOC is publishing a video he made with another athlete about "resident life."

The Mike and Myles Show

It's pretty funny actually. I would never wish Mike ill, but it's pretty funny to see a track cyclist get thrown around by an elite Judo guy twice his size.

Monday, May 04, 2009

spring is here.

it's may.

the sun is out.

i have the first track workout of the year scheduled for tomorrow.

the track is sitting there, waiting. locked up tight.

the shorttrack speedskaters are using the banked warm-up track, but I cannot go do a workout tomorrow on the track itself.

USACyling has done everything they were told to.

the Colorado Velodrome Association has done everything they were told to.

the US Olympic Committee keeps saying NO.




From the USOC website: "The vision of the USOC is to enable America's athletes to realize their Olympic and Paralympic dreams."

Not much enabling going on around these parts when the USA Cycling can't get into it's own "premier training facility."


Saturday, May 02, 2009

f#ckin A!

Notch one up in the Victory column.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fest for Friday

4 hours today with 4000 feet of climbing. Turned around above Divide at about 10,000 feet. Daaaamn. That hurt. Howling headwind the whole way down turned the usually fun descent into a demoralizing near-bonk march. The whole way up I thought about this video:

Rotterdam Six-Day. Got an invite to go this year from a Dutch sprinter (third down the WWF super-star stairs), so looks like I need to get in the shape of my life. Qualifying for London 2012 is only two track seasons away. Crunch time is now.

The parental units breezed into town for a few days of food, fun and Colorado-ing. It was great to see them and even greater to show them that the Springs is really becoming home for us. Between our incredible apartment, a great group of friends and plenty of great stuff to do, it's getting harder and harder to think about moving back to Portland. The resources I have here as a cyclist and the opportunities Jenny has at her work are impossible to turn away from. Tomorrow she flies out to New York for a week long buying trip, and today my coach took time off work to dive a follow moto up the mountain for me. How sweet is that? Them? Those?

Parents have moved on to DC for a killer Politi-venture. My mom's sure to post a billion awesome pictures. You will love it so much it's retarded.

First week on the track starts monday! Then it's back to two more weeks of road torture! Whoa!


Sunday, April 19, 2009


This is a long one, but things start getting heavy about 3:30 in. Theo Bos vs. Daryl Impey

Yeah. I know. Not cool.

You know what is cool? A professional cyclist riding from portland to vantucky with a bucket of donuts.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

it's story time!

Lifting at the Olympic Training Center is a strange thing. One one hand, you miss the pageantry of the public gym. The steroidal gym rats who waddle in to do 2 reps with massive weight for bicep curls, the ultra-flamboyant gays throwing dance moves on the treadmill, the cougars trawling for gym rats, etc. On the other hand, all that is replaced by a different kind of entertainment.

For instance.

A few Wednesdays ago: One of our Strength & Conditioning interns happens to be a competitive eater. You know the guys you see on ESPN2 scarfing hot dogs and ultimately getting beat by a pre-adolescent Japanese kid? He does that. So one day my coach bets this intern that he can not eat 3 whole Habanero peppers (seeds, stem and all) in 20 minutes without throwing up. No money is bet, no personal property, just "I bet you can't."
He takes the bet.
Several hours later, he is standing in the center of the gym in front of an improvised table (plyo box with a white towel on top), staring at a pile of Habaneros, a few cyclists, a puke bucket and a lot of cameras. To his credit, the intern finishes every last pepper in 7 minutes. Tears streaming down his face, buckled over the "table," trying to block out the uncontrolled laughter of everyone in the room. I laughed so hard at his misfortune and pain that my stomach hurt for days. His eyes weren't just watering, he was crying. Bawling, almost.
About an hour later, my coach finds him passed out in the corner of the gym. After rousing him, the intern says he feels like he "just drank a gallon of vodka mixed with gasoline," and has never felt so drunk in his life. He has to be driven home, where he retires to the toilet with a bottle of Tums. Later he says that the next 2 days are the worst of his entire life.

Today: I'm doing a workout with a cyclist who will remain anonymous. For the purpose of our story I will call him "Aaron Kacala." Aaron is a genetic freak who progresses faster than any human I have ever seen in the weight room. Today he is up to 180 kilos for 3 sets of 5 in the squat rack. He warms up, starts adding weight, and is finally ready to go. I stand back and watch with my coach as Aaron clears one rep by the skin of his teeth and drops the second rep. Aaron does not fail very often. In fact, this is the first time I've seen him miss a rep.
My coach asks politely, "how much weight did you do last week?"
The answer: 177.5 kilos. This would seem about right. Normal progression at this weight is 2.5-5 kilos per week.
My coach's next question, "Then why are you trying to squat 200 kilos?"
Aaron's face twists, he looks at the bar. Sure enough. 200k on the bar.
"Because that's not even close."
We laugh.
We are bike racers, not mathematicians.

Later, during that same workout: A female wrestler is convinced that if you do a handstand for 30 seconds before you get on a scale, you will weigh less. Supposedly, she has tried this successfully at a meet. I'm going through this in my head, trying to work out the impossible physics of decreasing mass via handstands when our habanero-chomping intern bolts up on his hands next to the scale. Gets on the scale. Sure enough, he weighs the same. The wrestler is baffled. We are very quietly losing our minds with "are you serious?" laughter. They try 3 more times before conceding that this theory must be total B.S.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

it's like a caption contest for reading lips

This has always bothered me.

Watch this video.

What the does he say?

"the bucket of donuts is gone."

"all the beer in the world has evaporated."

"if you don't lay down your head will blow up."


In other news, there's a new link just over to your right. Rolf Prima is the official wheel supplier to Land Rover-Orbea this year. The world's best wheels, made in Euguene, Oregon.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

So what have I been up to these last few weeks you ask? Well.
We've been getting up to Boulder to ride the indoor whoopdeedoo they have there whenever finances and time allow.
Allegedly one of the two guys who built the indoor track in Boulder is moving to Portland to repeat the task.
This track is... fun. I guess. It's fun for time trials because the transitions are so incredibly dangerous at sprint speed that it's a challenge just to stay on the track at a decent clip. The banking is not nearly steep enough to accommodate the hellaciously tight corners, so it's an exercise in staying loose and fluid, not having too much weight on the front end and not freaking out too much about the fact that your rear wheel isn't on the track anymore. It's not much fun in that racing head to head with someone is taking your life in your hands. The track throws you around so much that I won't even sprint with Kacala, and there are few people I trust as much as that guy (maybe Abers, but that's about it).

Criticism aside, it is fun. And it's better than riding in the snow.

St. Paddy's Day has come and gone, the IRA flared up and got dangerous again, and we drank way too many of these.

It was a good night, epic in every way. Walked right past the 2 block line out front of the Jack Quinns Irish Pub and was ushered in through the back door by the bar manager. It's good to be a local sometimes. Things only went downhill from there.

On the healthier side of things, the mountain is less treacherous this time of year, so Jenny and I are getting back into a little of this:

That's the Springs behind us. Picture is at 9,000 feet or so.

Shine on forever, benevolent sun.

Black Flag on the headphones, sun on the skin and plenty of miles to go before the season begins in earnest.
Training in Colorado does not suck that much.

Some people wanted to see the Brett.J sugar skull I had done last fall.

It is Jerolimous. I think so anyway.

Remember how I said I didn't think Sireau would survive track World's after decking Sir Hoy?

So sure, he was ultimately done in by his teammate instead of a vengeful Brit, but semi poetic-justice nonetheless. AND. How about that save by Bauge! WTF?! Sideways on a tubular at 220psi? And he pulls it out? Rad-tarded.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

yes, i have a new computer now


The World Championships of the Branch Of Cycling Nobody Cares About just finished. Phinney won the pursuit (by alot) and gets to paint happy sparkly rainbows all over everything he owns, Stephan Nimke managed to keep the skinny kid from winning the kilo (all he had to do was ride a 1:00) and my favorite sprinter Azizul Awang (he's a cool guy in person and is built like a human, not a gorilla-horse) from Malaysia fought his way to the gold medal round and gave gorilla-horse Gregory Bauge a run for his money. The British men had too much fish'n chips and Boddington's after dominating the planet at the Games in Beijing and couldn't put anything in the W column for this year's world's. Boo hoo. It'll be a quiet flight back to Brittania on the "Sir Chris Hoy."

My team is making me look like a chump. 2 top tens in the first 2 races of the year. Not bad for a first year pro team in its maiden voyage. Seems like every time I check cyclingnews for the California spring races there's some yellow in there somewhere. My first race will be the highly presigious not-a-track-race Air Force Academy Criterium two short weeks from now. We'll see if all these road miles have done me any good this year, or if my 185 pounds of luggage (leggage?) will overpower my lungs. again...

I hate spring.

T minus 3 months until my season really starts (portland AVC!). Time. Could. Really. Go. Faster. I'm just glad Jenny's going with me this year. That will be killer.

Speaking of Jenny, she gets to do some traveling of her own pretty soon. That high roller is headed to the Big Orange or whatever they call New York for some high-falutin, high-fashion business. She's one of those jet-set business people now. She'll be talking on a bluetooth headset, typing on a Blueberry phone slurping champagne in first class in no time. Crazy.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good times

The hard disk on my computer went up in a puff of smoke the other day, so looks like I'll be on blog-hiatus until tax return day. This time of year there's not much exciting news to share anyway. I went to the gym and rode today! I went to the gym and rode today! My legs hurt! I went to the gym and rode today! Blah, blah, blah. Catch ya later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday crash day

My gym schedule just took a turn for the ugly. 4 days a week of super-high volume work. After only 2 days I'm confined to the couch, avoiding standing up, trying to convince myself to go for an easy ride. The problem isn't the ride, the problem is walking from the couch to the bike. eggh. This is a good time to HTFU, so I'll fire off some amusing crashes and get the hell out of the house.

A good way to lose the family jewels

A good way to lose your face (and a couple of $30,000 race bikes). Rough way to go down, especially if you check out what happens at 4:32 in the video. Sir Chris Hoy's face gets spun around by his bike and driven right into the spinning blades of Vinokurov's 5-spoke. Ouch.

Sireau might not survive the kierin at Worlds after that...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

more from copenhagen

Men's 1000m time trial final

1 Taylor Phinney (USA) United States Of America 1.01.641 (58.402 km/h)
2 Michaël d'Almeida (Fra) US Creteil 1.02.071
3 Quentin Lafargue (Fra) France 1.02.134
4 Kamil Kuczynski (Pol) Poland 1.02.591
5 Yevhen Bolibrukh (Ukr) Ukraine 1.02.725
6 Tim Veldt (Ned) Netherlands 1.02.785
7 François Pervis (Fra) Cofidis 1.02.904
8 David Daniell (GBr) Great Britain 1.03.153
9 Sascha Hübner (Ger) Germany 1.03.933


Friday, February 13, 2009

holy f-ing crap

Taylor Phinney is an alien.
19 years old, just rode a 4:15 pursuit to win the Copenhagen World Cup. That's a time fast enough to win every World Championship since 1996 (when Boardman used the now illegal "superman" position).
He rode a 1:08 starting kilo, then a 1:04, 1:02, 1:01.

WTF. No one does that.

4:15 would have placed him 8th in the Team Pursuit in Beijing. By himself.


Friday, February 06, 2009


It's like a karate-chop to the face. But cooler.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The crappier i feel, the more the universe wants me to be happy.

The article is actually pretty funny, but the picture is all you need to see. Everyone's favorite father:

The actual caption from the actual article:'Solomon Woras catches his breath after crossing the finish line. He said his aerodynamic facial hair helped him finish first. “That was the fastest beard I could muster,” said Woras'


Thursday, January 29, 2009

these things don't just happen every day

So I feel like crap, but sometimes the world reminds you that things aren't so bad after all. This was the nugget of joy that was presented to me today:

I swear I did not do this on purpose. I wouldn't know how even if I was clever enough to come up with such a thing. These love machines came straight from a bag of unfrosted Animal Crackers. Just waiting for their time to shine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


There's a new bank account-draining charge today from USAC, but I'm not pissed. That means my pro license is through the red tape. It's up to the mailman now (godspeed Ralph!). Eric is somewhere in his workshop up on the hill planning out a pro-style baddass team colored paint job for the race bike, my view of Colorado Springs is changing every time I ride my new mountain bike, and I have a fresh new throat cold to reward me for riding said mountain bike in the snow that dropped this week! The new thing I'm most amped about is the Ira Ryan custom frame that is taking shape in a basement in the St. Johns neighborhood. Ira was incredibly generous to put a custom frame ( or two, although he didn't know it at the time ) up for grabs for the winner(s) of the Rapha Goldsprints during NAHBS last year, and I was lucky enough to have my name on one of them.

Ira loves making bikes that people use every day. He sees cycling not as some opportunity to make a quick buck by importing some plastic from China, or as a way to break into some fashion sub-culture, but as an ideal and sustainable lifestyle. He likes bikes to be dirty. His bikes are not wall-hanger art. They are hand-crafted tools made by someone who knows the roots of what he's doing. Ira's bikes are classics. They're nice enough to hang on the wall, but that would be a waste.

There she blows.This thing will be the do-all. The Do-er. I've been collecting parts for it for a solid year, so it will be the best of everything I can get. The dream bike.

One of the guys at the shop thinks I have bike ADD. That I can't decide what I like or want. Not true. I know what I like. I love euro-trashy, uber-fancy, feather-light road bikes with a lot of history, like the Orbeas. I love left-field "how'd he do that" machining wizardry of uncompromising race bikes like the Groundup (as Eric says it, "a piece of wieghtlifting equipment with wheels). I also love the classics, like the a Ira Ryan single-speed utility bike I can use commute in the snow or take back 20 lbs of library books. Everything has a place in my world.

Monday, January 26, 2009

worth 1000

No matter your opinion on war or policy, you cannot argue that this is a great picture.

From Chino.

Says a lot really.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


for more, check out Maakies.com and Qwantz.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It's 2009. A new era is opening up in front of us, all that's left is to grab your pen and make your mark. As Joe Strummer would say, "Pin your ears back and Let. It. Rollll!"

After a week (maybe two weeks) of living like a normal 24(!) year old human being, it's back to life as a bike racer. And now that my paperwork has finally been sent in, life as a professional bike racer. So here we start another season. One that hopefully will look quite a bit different. Take my normal season, your normal season, or the season of any road racer, and push it back 4 months. First confirmed race is July 4th. Rumors of a kierin/sprint competition with a 20,000 dollar prize list in early june are coming out of San Jose, but I'll believe that when I see it. And if I see it, I'll be there. Also looking forward to going back to Portland to repeat and improve.
Despite all the fun US racing, the real important stuff won't start until the end of September in Barcelona. Then Nationals right after that, and 2 months from there to the World Cup in Melbourne.

And hey, my UCI ranking jumped almost 30 places from last year. Went from 133 to 107. So that's something.

Starting the new year means starting at the beginning of the training cycle. It means lost of base miles and gym time. It means stashing the track bike somewhere I can't see it for a few months while I get more than a team-sprint first lap in my legs. The beauty of doing this in Colorado is the fact that there are about a million places to ride for hours. And none of them involve the I-5 bridge or Skyline. Skyline is for sissies. We ride real mountains! This is my framebuilder, on the way to one such mountain. He loves signs.

So enough with this bike business. Let's watch someone get ill. Here in Colorado, we don't need to do the same old boring tricks. All we need is Bon Jovi, some extra skateboards and some stuff to jump off of. Watch this video to the very end. Your mind might explode.


Tony Hawk eat your guts out. HOLLARADO!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009


The Gimp Pad as seen from the safety of the hammock.

From the track to the beach in 10 seconds.


Did you know that you can open a bottled beverage with nothing but a Shimano pedal? Kelyn knows.

Yeah. Word.