28 April 2008

Okay...a product review and endorsement!

I'm old-school with some things, some have even thrown around the word 'luddite'. Granted, I ride a high-tech carbon bike with ceramic bearings everywhere, but when it comes to cleaning the bike, I've always been the 'bucket of hot, soapy water and a toilet brush' kind of guy. Between scrubbing with the Dawn-infused water and healthly doses of not-so-Earth friendly solvents and cleaners, the drivetrain usually got pretty clean. Skip forward a few years and we are in the here and now. I've seen those chain cleaner thingies in the mags and catalogs, but always thought they were hokey and a waste of money. Well, I'm man enough to admit that I was wrong. Way wrong in this case. I bought a Park Tool CM-5 'Cyclone' chain scrubber the other day. It came with the mailman today and I couldn't NOT try thing the out. My chain was somewhere between clean and still dirty. Not having any of the tree-hugger approved solvents, I used straight-up, peel your skin off, un-watered down Simple Green.
I followed the directions, ran the chain through the machine for a minimal amount of time and SHA-ZAAM...the chain was cleeeean. Frankly, I was a bit shocked. It took all of the crap out of the inner and outer links, cleaned the rollers and made the chain look borderline new.
$25 well spent...
Oh, and my back is feeling much better. I'm not riding tomorrow night, but I may come out with #1 to watch. I'll be out Thursday though...

27 April 2008

Rode okay...felt bad...

Saturday rides seem to be my undoing. We had a pretty good group yesterday and did the Eastover loop, which is all fine and well, but the wind was always in our faces and my back is FLARING again.
I rode okay, but just couldn't get comfortable on the bike and the ride seemed to require more intensity than it should have. Everytime I got in the drops and gave some effort, I could feel my back pulling and sending pain signals to my legs.
To add insult to injury, it started to rain on Shop Road and rained hard for about 2 minutes. Just enough to get really wet and get the bike dirty.
I ended with 95km and 3 hours on the bike. There will be no ride today and my next ride will be Thursday at the earliest.

25 April 2008


Wow, am I whipped this morning. I haven't slept well all week and am really starting to pay for it...retail.
When I got on the bike last night, I was waiting to have a night like Tuesday, where I generally felt like shit and just went through the motions. The longer the ride got last night, the better I felt. I will say though, I really need to sack up and go up Elon like I'm capable of riding it. I puss out and climb it easy and then am forced to chase like a lunatic to get back on. After my little chase, I felt strangely better and rode pretty well for the rest of the ride. It wasn't a ball-breaker by any stretch last night, but there were a few sections that were less than a comfortable pace.
At one point, we had a nice, rolling paceline working at 40kmh. As soon as I pulled through and off, Doogie nailed it. No sooner did I get back in line, then RW countered and a break formed. RW, Doog and Beano were away. I sat behind Reed for a short while and as soon as he pulled off, I got into diesel-mode and pulled the group back to the break at a high rate of speed. Yes, it really hurt. My back is feeling it this morning.
We all stayed together for the rest of the ride. The pace down Shop went from easy to tempo and was just south of hard coming to the sprint. I was waiting for someone to jump, even though we were at 500 meters to go. No sooner did I look over my shoulder and saw RW coming up the inside. I jumped hard and rolled away. Mandrus gave chase, but I took the bridge at 65kmh with ease.
I don't feel bad this morning, other than tired and an aching back. Time to do some yoga and call the Chiro for a tune-up.
See you guys in the morning...I'm sure I'll ride like shit...

23 April 2008

TNCWC...I was the bug...

Here's the end of Milan-San Remo, if you missed it...

The crit went off as usual last night, but it was a different vibe. Maybe it was just me...
We rolled through the neutral lap and half of the first race lap at 16mph, then all hell broke loose. Attack and chase was the rule for the first 25 minutes. Someone, not me, would attack and we'd all chase like hell and bring it back, only to have a counter go. Lather, rinse, repeat.
After 25 minutes of this, the ride got positively slow...for ten minutes. We lollygagged around, literally. At minute 35, the poo hit the fan again. I had rolled down the armwarmers early in the race and they were beginning to interfere with shifting and braking, so I sat up to pull them off. When the bunch came back around, the break was the bunch and the second group had dissipated into a chase of 5. I sat in for a few more laps and just threw in the towel. The heart wasn't in it last night...nor the legs, lungs or any other part needed to effectively race a bicycle. Some days you're the windshield and some days, you're the bug!
Doogie, Toby and Der Kaiser got in a break with three to go and held off the group. Doog waited too long to sprint and got nipped by a half wheel at the line.
I generally rode like crap and felt like crap for the rest of the night. The feeling continues today. I'm achy, crampy and in a foul mood...even moreso than usual.
I'm hoping I feel better by Thursday night...

Oh, and I'm 38 today...BFD!

20 April 2008

Two good rides and a lesson

Saturday morning threatened rain (on radar and the worthless weather guys), but the ride ended up being in pretty much full sun and 70+ degree temps. There were two races in Charleston this weekend, so the Saturday ride was thin. It ended up with 5 of us after 2:45 and 90km on the bike. Of course, as Saturdays have been for me lately, I felt like crap, had really bad legs and was horribly flat. I muttled through though. The H.O. and Management Trainee #1 moved mulch all day. He was a tired little soldier last night. It was funny and pitiful at the same time.
This morning, Il Prof and I met for a slow loop around Lower Richland. We rode the small ring for 2 hours and then parted ways. I went through downtown and home and he headed out for another 2 hours on his own. I would have enjoyed the second half of the ride with him, but today was #2's first birthday and I had yard duty to complete before the masses assembled at our house. I ended with 2:15 and 70km today. I felt waaaay better than yesterday too.
I had two good rides this weekend, got some quality miles and enjoyed some wonderful spring SC weather.

Of course, we did the 'let the baby smash the cake' thing for #2's birthday. The following picture shall serve as both a lesson and a guide for the proper technique when eating birthday cake...

18 April 2008

Good news...

Last night's ride was good. We did the whole loop for the first time. It was just about dark when we got home though. I felt okay and we never really went super hard. Just a good, fast tempo ride. It was a perfect night though. 75 degrees...little wind...clean fresh air...all good!

DiLuca cleared by CONI...the Giro might be fun to watch this year.
Rock Racing into the Tour of Georgia...it might actually be fun to watch this year.
Amstel Gold kicks of the Ardennes leg of the spring classics this weekend.
Mandrus got some Zipp 303 wheels...look out!
#2 is turning one on Sunday...time for some smashed cake.

See you guys Saturday morning.

Oh, as an aside...if you make your blog invitation only, it kind of defeats the purpose of having it! The link to CG's page has been dumped for this very reason.

17 April 2008

08 Roubaix

Last 20km...you're welcome!

13 April 2008

Meet the new Boss...

...same as the old Boss!

George finished 9th...

The ride yesterday was a mile of suck. It was windy. I was flat. My back hurt. My allergies are peaking right now. We turned onto Shop and I just sat up. I stuck it @ 30kmh and just pedaled home.

No ride today. I did finish the fence though. Nothing like firing up the circular and reciprocating saws @ 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Wakey Wakey college kids....

10 April 2008


(Cue Monster truck announcer voice)
...live in Compiegne, on the outskirts of the City of Lights, come see the true 'Hardmen of The North' begin their battle for supremacy over 260km of racing. This year's event features 53km of bike, bone, and spirit breaking cobbles.
Will 'Gorgeous' George Hincapie finally get the monkey off his back?
Will 'Tommeke' show who the 'Hell of The North' who's boss?
Can Devolder pull the double?
Can CSC stick a sharp finger in Quick-Step's eye...again?

These questions and more will be answered this Sunday...BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

09 April 2008


So, Doogie and I decided to go out EARLY last night, to get some extra miles before the TNCWC. We met at 4:30 and headed out through the Fort. After a short jaunt down through LR, we ended up at the course. I had 2 hours on the bike before the Crit even started. After the neutral lap, 3 folks took off. I jumped across and took Doogie with me. At this point, I was feeling froggy, so I figured WTF. The 5 of us rode a hard tempo and voila, we were away. I took my pulls, albeit short ones and quickly realized, after 15 minutes in the break, that I was the albatross. I sat up and drifted back to the group.
The break went from 5 to 4 to 3 and then RW and Doogie were left. They stayed out for 25 minutes and got swallowed up. The rest of the ride was punctuated by attacks, chases, big gaps to close and counterattacks. There was horsepower out last night, but nothing would stick.
With three to go, I really began to question the fact that my computer was telling me I had 55 miles at that point. My legs were little more than bags of meat and there were no bullets left in the gun.
I got gapped a bit on the last lap and fought to close it to get in position for the sprint. The little chase fired my last shot. I watched as the top four rolled away for the sprint. Derek won* the sprint, but RW won the Crit. I finished 6th* and was a hurt monkey on the ride home.
Overall, I didn't feel all that bad, considering..., and ended up with 60 miles for the evening.
This morning, I'm dehydrated and a bit shaky. The legs feel like I've been beaten at GITMO for a few days. As I type this, I'm getting a cramp in my calf.
Even though I feel iffy today, it was a good ride and will help me in the long run...at least that's the mantra I keep repeating.

*Derek won, but was relegated as he missed the first 20 minutes of the race. Everyone moves up a spot.

07 April 2008


Saturday was an absolute POS day...so I went out and rode the cross bike in it. It was 65 degrees and barely drizzling when I left the house. About 30 minutes in, the full fenders I put on the bike were as useless as tits on a boarhog. It was raining so hard that I could feel the torrents of rain splashing against my back. It rained like this for about 30 minutes. The last thirty minutes were back to the drizzle I had departed in. 90 minutes on 38c tires and full fenders...oh, did I mention that I took the opportunity to do some intervals while I was out? If a ride is gonna suck...make it suck completely.
Sunday, most folks in town either went to Charleston for the century or to Rock Hill to race. TVH, NID and I headed out and did 45 miles in the damp, cloudy weather. My legs were HEAVY from the combo of intervals and 90 minutes of riding underwater the day before. I got home, ate lunch and crashed out hard until 4 o'clock. Sometimes, the body tells you it's time to sleep.
The new carbon wheels ride great. They are very stiff, both vertically and horizontally. They roll very well and weren't at all bothered by crosswinds. Now I'm just waiting on the Vittoria Open Corsa tires to arrive from the UK...the Michelins are great, but I loves me some Vitts.
The back is feeling pretty good, the legs are coming around and it's April already. Time to actually ride my bike again....

See you at the Crit...

03 April 2008


The H.O. came home a bit early on Tuesday, so I got out earlier than usual. I was on the bike and out the door @ 5:15...shocking.
Instead of the Crit, I went out through Fort Jackson and down through the flats. The winds were blowing from the WSW, so it was a very nice headwind for the majority of the ride. All things considered, I didn't feel all that bad. I had the music in the ears and just rode tempo for 2 hours. I got to the cutoff to go home and decided to see what was happening at the Crit.
The group was pretty big and seeing as I didn't do the first 20 minutes, I jumped in at the very back. Very scary place, the very back...turn people, turn...don't square it off.
I rolled up to the middle and rode there for a few laps, then dropped back and talked to Doogie and Philip for a lap or so. I looked at my watch and turned to go home to see the management trainees off to bed. It felt good to get the legs going around that quickly. I'll be out for it next week. I don't think my fitness is close to optimal, but I can suffer through for 45 minutes. It'll probably do me some good.

I don't know about tonight. It's 48 and dismal outside right now. Saturday is looking like a crapfest as well. Sunday is supposed to be nice, so I'll definitely be out.
9am Saturday...if no rain. 9am Sunday...both at the circle. I'll send out an email @ Sunday.