Thursday, May 29, 2008

Soft spot for Team Type 1

I've got a soft spot for Team Type 1 for a few reasons, but most notably because every single day this crew hits the grind to show what they can do despite a disease many use as a perfectly justifiable reason to ratchet their activity down. Yet here's this team out there rockin' it day in and day out. The other two reasons are personal and go by the names Monique Hanley and Sean Weide.

I met the former last year at Superweek. A teammate and I noticed Monique had these box things on her arms and I just didn't think I could stand it if I didn't find out what they were for, so I asked and made a new friend. Monique is an exceptional person and a powerful sprinter who hunts lucrative criterium primes with success.

The latter, fellow Nebraskan Sean Weide, has given a great deal of time and energy to building cycling in our state, especially in the area of officiating, both doing and training others. Sean has also recently made the leap to the pro zone with his work in media/communications and generously gives me a peek now and then of what it's like at that level, so I am happy to share some info he brought to my attention.

This weekend,
Bike Masters Cycling & Fitness will play host to a special guest this weekend when Team Type 1's Timothy Hargrave joins the shop's weekly Saturday morning ride in Northwest Omaha.

Timothy Hargrave is a first-year professional for Team Type 1 who recently helped teammate Glen Chadwick capture two stages and the overall title at the inaugural Tour of Arkansas. Hargrave, 22, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of six. He began competitive cycling when he was 12. Next month, the New Zealander will be helping the team defend its Race Across America eight-person corporate team titles won in 2006 and 2007. This will be his first visit to Nebraska.

Team Type 1 was created in 2004 by Type 1 diabetes racers Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge to inspire people living with diabetes to take a proactive approach to managing their health and overcoming the obstacles often associated with the condition. In 2008, a 15-rider professional continental cycling team was established, which includes four riders with Type 1 diabetes. Team Type 1 finished third in the team classification of the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T.

Saturday's ride begins at 8:30 a.m. from the shop at 129th & Fort. For more information, call 964-1080.

Hargrave will also
be riding in the Tour de Cure in Sarpy County on Sunday:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Racin' Recap: Memorial Weekend in Iowa

Hmmmm. I think Steve Tilford summed it up best, "So many different variables in such a short period, at the end of the race, make it frustrating and exciting at the same time."

Racing bikes is one part fun and 9 parts frustration. You might wonder why I do it, and from time to time, so do I, but mostly I find challenging things more interesting than straight recreation or entertainment. Moreover, fighting through the 9 parts frustration to the one part fun means the fun isn't mere amusement to be shortly forgotten, but more of a kind of deep satisfaction that'll keep your chin up when life's serving grim. That one part also contains a dose of thrill the likes of which you can't get sitting on the sofa the same way you can screaming 'round a corner with 30 other speed freaks.

So, overall, the 2008 Quad Cities races were a good marker of what 12 months of training and learning can do. Last year, I was intimidated by the finishes and didn't know how to avoid being swarmed. This year, I finished 6th at Melon City, which is renowned for the finishing u-turn swarm. Last year, I was scared to descend at full speed on the Snake. This year, I stayed off the brakes and swooped through the corners on my lines every time without a qualm to finish 5th. Next year, I'm going to bring the proper gear and see if I can't win that sucker.

The final races delivered the frustration. In my 2/3 race, I didn't nail down the finish in my head before racing. The consequence was a much poorer finish than I should have had. Although I 'knew' the win was tied to being first to the 3rd to last corner, I hadn't fixed it in my mind and when the time came, I wasn't able to execute. I had a too big gear and a less than optimal position.

In the 1/2/3 race, I missed the break and didn't bridge when the time was ripe, which I should have done because that's a strength for me. The next big mistake was when we got lapped and we were able to do the finishing train, I should have handled it a little different. We were rolling well, I was on the front, we had our line and I should have taken it all the way through the key corner. I could have done that. Instead, instead I tried to pull off and let the next one in the train go, but the timing was bad, we got pinched, and our top finisher had to grab a new train.

Fortunately, that Bri's a quick thinker and got a 2nd place finish, but I think if I'd have done my job better, she would have had a good shot at winning it. We'll never know, but it was an education. This road racing stuff takes so much thinking. You can read about it all you want and it will help, but there's no replacement for experience, which frustrates the heck out of me. But, I'm determined, I'm taking notes and I get to try again this weekend at Tulsa Tough, which with over $10,000 available for the women's field in every race, ought to be plenty exciting.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Racing in Iowa Memorial Weekend

Iowa crits await Team Revolution. I'm pretty amp'd about this weekend. Feeling good and am going to get to roll with a full squad.

The Melon City crit holds a special place because it'll mark 12 months since I met the Team Rev women.

A year ago this coming Sunday, I had finished my race and was wandering around looking for a place to sit at watch when Chris and Carrie invited me over, and if I remember correctly, Carrie was rolling back and forth on a rolling pin massaging her glutes and Chris and I went and got some beer.

A good time was had by all and we ended up riding together later in the year at Superweek and Gateway Cup. What's most notable, is that 12 months ago, when I lined up for the Snake, I was shaking from nerves so badly I missed my pedal. Today, I think about racing, there's no anxiety, just makes me smile and triggers a pleasant flutter of anticipation in my belly.

Monday, May 19, 2008

5 kids, 24 hours.

So, I didn't go do the state time trial this weekend, opting instead to take my two boys, their two friends and my 6-year-old niece to a renaissance fair and then camping. I know, I know... your first thought is wouldn't pedaling as hard as you can for an hour in the wind up and down Norfolk's hills been easier?

Perhaps, but not near as entertaining or rejuvenating. I find when I'm feeling a little weary, nothing is quite as good a pick-me-up as getting a young person's view of the world. Case in point...

It turns out my niece, who has more pink than anyone I know and is a walking, talking embodiment of "girly," LOVES to fish.

"This is a full-size rod, let me help you with the cast."

"I know how to do this, Aunt Sydney," as she snatches the rod away, listens briefly to the instructions, and makes a perfect cast.

She did admit later, however, that in addition to catching fish, she sometimes catches people standing nearby. We all gave her a little extra clearance from then on, but she did great and caught two fish. One was too small to the keep, the next, too alive, I guess.

We were nearing the time to go and she still hadn't caught one. All the while, my youngest, Kyle, and his friend Andrew were catching something every 5 minutes. Disgusted, Anya vowed not to leave the lake until she caught one. At about 7 minutes to battle time (where I convince her to go despite her not meeting her goal) Fortune smiled upon us and she got one - a large, beautiful bluegill. She was thrilled and was carrying it and her pole back to the tent and talking about showing it to her mom.

Then I told her the boys were cleaning their fish at the lake and would help her. All the sudden she stopped and looked at that fish, a terrible sad expression took over her face and she said, "It's so sad to kill such a nice thing."

"Throw it back and let it get bigger and have babies, then you can catch it again sometime," I answered.

Her smile returned and we removed the hook, tossed the fish back in the water and returned to the campsite. I have to admit I was relieved. I'm a good one for doing what needs to be done, but when it comes to cleaning the catch, it's not my favorite thing.

The boys also had a good time. Erik and his friend Eric, climbed trees, made a fire and hunted frogs. Kyle and his buddy, Andrew, did a lot of fishing and all the boys played "hide and go shank," a game all about sneaking up behind each other in the dark and pretending to slice the throat. Boys. What are you going to do?

They all wanted to stay a longer and do it again, so we will, but next time, I'm bringing all three of my poles. I almost lost my serene attitude during the pole shortage bickerfest.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Longo 2nd in stage 3 "The first real road stage of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic was a circuit race climbing up to the Cooper Mountain ski resort, with the women climbing to the top four times. While a break did form early on the group was all together on the final lap. France's Jeanie Longog-Ciprelli continued to be a one-woman team, attacking multiple times before and on the final climb. However, prologue winner Joanne Kiesanowski (TIBCO) would not be denied another yellow jersey, as she sprinted for her second stage win followed by Longog-Ciprelli."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Congrats to Kendi Thomas and Amanda Miller

One of my Team Rev Racing teammates, Kendi Thomas, took 2nd in the overall at the Division II Collegiate Nationals. And, my friend, Colorado State's Amanda Miller, who I'm gonna try to beat at Quad Cities, was 4th in the Division I overall. A HUGE congrats to both of these young riders.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jeanie Longo takes 15th in Mt. Hood Prologue

This is pretty cool... Jeanie Longo, a great cyclist, and by that I mean GREAT in the renowned, historical, bar none kind of way... took 15th in the 1.7 mile prologue. At age 50 this is no mean feat.

Lincoln's new bus routes and schedules go live 6/5

I'm pleased to announce Lincoln has updated it's bus routes and after checking them out in some detail, I think they're a vast improvement. Not only do they reach further out, but they run every 30 minutes, which will make it much easier to catch a bus and get where you need to be on time. Hopefully, now that gas is getting so high, more folks will take advantage of our public transportation if they don't opt for a bike. What would be really cool would be a few buses with bike racks so folks who don't want to get sweaty on the way to work, could ride home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Top 10 Ranking

Pretty cool, huh? Too bad we aren't able to afford to go to more NRC events. Be kind of fun to see if we could move up a few spots.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Joe Martin - NRC

Well, in short.... it was a highly educational weekend. Team Revolution came out pretty good with 2nd in the Team General Classification (GC) and with places 7, 13, 15 and 18 in the individual GC. We probably could have done much better had I been a smarter manager of my energy resources and not essentially squandered the solid 7th place spot secured in the stage one TT. Not going to go into any detail here. Been over it plenty with the people who matter most. Anyway... even though the competition wasn't what it was last year with a huge chunk of the super tuffs at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in Oregon, Joe Martin still had many of the top cyclists in the nation and having 4 of our 5 riders in the top 20 was a solid start for our new team.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Michelle's right, NRC racing is the way to go

Whew. Talk about exciting. Sixty minutes as hard as I've ever raced Saturday night. the announcer said there were 60 to 70 women lined up to start. Of those, 35 got blown off the pack and didn't finish the race. The attacks kept flying and staying in that front 20 as my team captain had told me to do was real work. I slipped back a couple of times after hard efforts, but for the most part, I was able to hold my position, move around, jump on accelerations and even got into a break. Unfortunately, the break didn't go despite having reps from the big three (Colavita, Cheerwine and Aaron's). I don't know why it didn't, but my coach said there were several reasons, especially in a series race where points are given for placings. It may have been that the right team representative wasn't in the break. For example, if Colavita wanted Tina Pic to win, then if Tina wasn't in the break, the Colavita representative might not work, which could lead to a domino effect with other riders sitting up. Who knows? But, I'm starting to understand how helpful it would be to have a savvy director whose primary function is to stay on top if stuff like that. This road racing is COMPLICATED and when you're riding out there wondering if your heart is going to explode out your chest and your legs are stealing the oxygen from your brain, it's hard enough to just remember to keep track of who made the attack, who's off the front, etc. LET ALONE try and analyze the race in light of other races.

Unfortunately, I did get a little cowardly at the end Saturday. Two women ahead of me coming out of the 3rd corner were pretty upset with one another. There was some bumping and angry hollerin' and then the other cut across the front of the first. All that was on my mind was the granite block curb and I let off on the gas. I felt quite satisfied with my performance and wasn't going to get mixed up on the pavement. BUT I regretted that decision as soon as I saw the results. They paid 30 places and letting off the pressure put me out of the money at 34th. Sigh. My team should have been upset about that, but they were gracious and let me off easy. Though, I think it might be a one-time pass.

I worked harder Sunday to keep focused on my position and was right where I wanted to be on the final laps, but chose my side poorly. I went right and the open lane was left. I should have known this because I'd been seeing it happen every lap, but I didn't think about that and paid the price by running into a traffic jam. Again, just out of the money.

All in all, it was a great learning weekend and well worth the driving time. I'm going into Joe Martin feeling that although still inexperienced in comparison, I've the fitness and capability to hold my own with the majority of the field. You might not think this is a big deal, but Joe Martin last year was one I raced as a three and where I experienced my first conscious feeling of being completely 'star struck.' I remember how fit and strong the pro/1/2 women looked and how confident they stood and rode. I wanted to be like that, and now, 12 hard training months later, I'm getting to line up with 'em and they're not spitting me out the back. Although, it should be noted the pro teams had raced all of Speed Week and I was coming in with fresh legs, so under different conditions, I might get my ass kicked into the adjoining state. And you know, that would be fine. It'd just make me work harder.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Instead of organized sports....

My boys and their buddies make wooden weapons and try to beat each other into submission. No broken bones yet. Only bruises and scrapes. At least it's real instead of on the TV. My sister got pix (Facebook) last weekend.