Friday, May 22, 2009


What makes you feel like a pro? for me it could be as simple as riding with no gloves, which isnt advised. what makes you feel pro?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quote of the Weekend

Bike Haven guy, talking after the race, "every time i attacked, i looked and DAMN! that yellow Trek was still there." LOL i was riding that yellow Trek

Vernon Hills, and the Race within the Race

Vernon Hill was a raced I signed up for a while ago, so long ago in fact I forgot I signed up for it. But never the less, with quite a few teammates signed up for it, and the money already paid, I set off Sunday morning for the race. (anyone else love the idea of showing up to the race and not having to pay, is almost makes you feel like a superstar.)

For some reason I have no issue getting up at 5:45 for a race, but I can’t for the life of me get out of bed at 8:45 for class. Anyways, I was up and out the door at 6:30 for a little more than an hour drive to the race. My goal was to get on the course before the first race at 8:10 to get a nice warm up while on the course. This failed when I pulled the bike out of the car and found a completely flat front tire. I had done a 60 mile ride the day before and it was full when I put it in the car. O well, changed the tube and off I go to do 5 quick laps and register. Back to the parking lot to pin the number, eat some delicious Clif blocks and shots, and relax until the start.

Upon lining up, we were told to take a lap, makes sense to ensure everyone has seen the course at least once, Cat 5 rides aren’t always smart enough to preride the course at least once. After the one lap, I lined up, towards the back, a failure I really need to fix one of these days. Because of this I ended up chasing for the first fourish laps, which is never good. Can you see where this is going? I did, off the back, again. So it is time to switch to TT mode, in an effort not to get lapped. I ended up getting caught by 2 Bike Haven guys, a guy on a Specialized, and teammate Tom, a very happy site to see. I jumped on the back to recover, and switched from TT mode back to draft and race mode. This was going to be my race within the race.

We worked well as a group, until I got to the front because I accidentally, nerves I guess, bumped the speed up an extra 3-4 miles per hour, which resulted in us dropping one of the Bike Haven guys. Which I wish the move was intended, it wasn’t, even with a somewhat positive outcome. It was now 2 Half Acres vs 2 independent riders, this could work. The Specialized ride seemed to have a lot of energy and made 2-3 different random attacks, all of which Joe covered wonderful. As a group we decided that if he wanted to attack that much, he would lead as long as he wanted, I doubt he liked that because he started to noticeably tire.

As was headed in to the headwind, with the Specialized guy leading, Joe second, Bike Haven third, and me sitting his wheel in fourth, I noticed the Bike Haven guy look at his teammates, who yelled something. I figured he was going to attack; there was no reason to take all of us to the finish in 4 laps for now. So I shifted, and readied for some pain, sure enough he attack, and I chased. Tom, who I found out later, was too sick to chase, that fact he rode at all is amazing, but to see all the work he did mind blowing. (he really did sound bad, it would have been cool to see him health)

So it was Bike Haven and me for the next few laps, and he attacked again, and again, and again. Using the knowledge Julie had thought me from the week before, I refused to give up, and chased, and chased and chased. We ended up caughting a guy in a University of Illinois jersey, so with 2 laps to go it looked to be a 3 up sprint, for what ever place we could get. The Illinois guy liked to attack out of turn 3 (assuming it was purely a 4 corner course), so I made sure I was on his wheel with 2 to go, after leading thought the headwind, it was Bike Haven’s turn to pull. As he took the lead out of turn 2, it was Illinois guy on his wheel with me perfectly placed on third wheel. The Illinois guy was playing it right and refused to take the lead, until he attacked. Which he did out of turn 4, I chased, HARD! And as I was caughting him, I figured it was now or never, to make the pass. So I put whatever I had left into the pass, which I did, took a quick look back to see if Bike Haven was there, he wasn’t, than back to the power to finish it off.

I ended up winning the 3 up sprint for 40th place. I swear there were more people behind us, but I never count, so I must trust the refs. Either way, it was nice to be able to work with other people, and have a race within the race.

I still owe a huge thanks to Julie for helping me with the mental game of cycling. Basically she yelled at me at me for trying to quit during the Leland road race the weekend before. She really got me thinking about not letting the pack or the wind beat me before your legs say do. It was all that keep me going while covering the attacks that the Bike Haven guy threw at me. To you Julie, THANK YOU!!!!