Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishing you health and happiness in 2010, Here's some highlights from the past year

An EPIC Paris-Roubaix Day

Independence Day in Steamboat

Big bikes at Keystone


Cross Nationals in Bend

And for a little reminiscing, here's a shot from (about) the beginning of this decade

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

THIS!!!...this is cross!!

My sentimental favorite Styby ..( for obvious reasons...I'm a company man to the core ) would LOVE to see him take the stripes on his home turf.

Check out the photography from Zolder WC here...stunning, absolutely stunning work

A Bart Hazen shot of Stybar from the Loenhout race, also check out the insane power output in the video from this race

Monday, December 28, 2009


It's been downright wintry here, spare time on weekends has been time well spent watching the World Cups in the morning on, followed by stuffing my face with holiday leftovers and doing non-cycling type things like visiting our new rock climbing gym downtown. I thought I'd throw out a couple of recommended reads for the dark season.

First up, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Let me be perfectly clear. I strongly dislike borders on hate. I can't think of any other mindless, boring activity to partake in,other than perhaps.....jogging, so while reading this book, I must say, it actually makes me want to go out for a run!!! It's an amazing story of the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon, Mexico and their extraordinary abilities to run ultra marathon distances. There's some evolutionary explanations on why the human body is born to run while another interwoven story is told of Tarahumara's being brought up to Colorado to compete in the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race. This tale (which at times seems like fiction), then culminates with the best North American runners traveling down to Copper Canyon to see how they stack up against the locals. Read it, trust me, you will want to head out on the trails by foot.

Second, The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. Yes, that David Byrne, former member of the highly eccentric band, Talking Heads. I've been a huge fan of Byrne's musical work for decades and this book didn't disappoint either. While travelling the globe, he brings a folding bicycle in order to explore his surroundings. It's not a "bicycle book" per se, sometimes I was lost in his thoughts on modern art or architecture but it's a fun read and glad to see that someone else feels as though the bicycle can save the world.

Lastly, The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston. For about 3 years, Jen and I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains surrounded by massive redwoods along the California coastline. It was remarkable to be able to see so far through the forest but because the canopy's were so dense that very little light actually made it to the ground. This is a fascinating story of those persons who dedicated their lives and careers to studying and searching out these massive trees, some reaching almost 350ft into the sky. Many had their own very own ecosystems at this height. It's a great read about what brings a number of people who's personalities are polar opposites of each other together to live and seek out these trees.

Plan can't sit still with a book ? Pop in the Road To Roubaix, in my humble view. The BEST cycling documentary ever...yes...ever. A Sunday in Hell is fine but nothing else captures the Queen of the Classics like this movie

Thursday, December 24, 2009


My best wishes to everyone during this holiday season!! A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May your cup be filled with what fulfills you the most.

I was going to use this space as a "best and worst"of the past year but will pass. Suffice to say, it was one of the years I've ever had! Filled with all the "normal"peaks and valleys that come our way.Is normal boring ? Hardly... 2009 was marked by deep satisfaction by many things, a wonderful companion to share my life with, family and friends, constant personal growth and the drive to rise up to challenges, particularly at the workplace, a non-exclusive membership among crazed group of fanatics who like to race their bikes in the worst conditions possible. The past year was also marked by deep sorrow for a friends loss,and those who are suffering in some very tough economic times.

Thanks to all who've stopped by for a read here, there has been more than a few occasions where I've thought that racing uses up enough energy as it is, I don't want to continue to burn precious spare time by writing about it, but it seems as though there are enough of you on the other side of the tape ringing your cowbells and yelling encouragement, so I keep plodding along here and say thanks for that.

Here's to 2010 ! Happy trails and may the wind always be at your back.Have a great holiday season!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Commuter Races

Well, apparently the racing fire still burns...on a long slow climb up the bike path to work, a fellow cycle commuter passes me without as much as "Hello or Good Morning". I let it go but I've seen this guy before and he processes no common courtesy towards his fellow riders. The more I think it about and the further he goes up the road the more steamed I get. So down goes the chain and I am firing on all cylinders while using whatever last specs of fitness remain from the season. It takes me awhile but I catch and pass, look over and fire off a cheery "morning !" and man, did that feel good.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pics from 45+ Race in Bend

Thanks to James Huang for sending these over....also, go here for a beautiful video of the mens 30-34 race

Friday, December 18, 2009

States- redux

My bold, strategic move to slide down that tricky part of the States course backwards and on my back captured on film about 31 seconds in....enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Feeling a little out of sorts with a open weekend on the horizon. After 12 consecutive weekends of racing it's not a huge surprise. While I'm very much looking forward to some downtime, there's still piece of me that desperately wants to get out and open it up and charge hard, it's difficult to find something else to fill that void. As usual, I'll get over it and embrace the space.

I'd like to take the time to acknowledge of number of persons who make this silly obsession possible every year.First and foremost, my honey for giving me a strings-free hall pass for the entire season. ( I know it wasn't easy ) J Mathis, my co-pilot for the entire season, pretty sure he's hooked. Lortie, for the stunning imagery, Keller and Matty O for the contagious enthusiasm and inspired speed. Matt K, Rich, Brian, and all the FMVC guys who keep racing in perspective. All the 35/4 guys who I've been chasing all season, the Brads (2), Bob P, James H...shouldn't you all move up next season ? New local cycloblogger, Dale Riley, thanks for posting all the videos so I could re-live how badly I was shanking it. So many others, especially those I re-connected with in Bend, from the New England Cross Mafia ( Stu, Timmy,)to the Santa Cruzer guys and girls ( E-Richter, Willie B, Justin and Jenny ) . To all family and friends who have sent encouragement from afar.

This season, unlike any other, our cross family has grown exponentially and it never ceases to amaze. Thanks All !!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What A Day

What can I say...I've never seen a cross race like the one I witnessed today, crowds were at least five deep in most good viewing spots on the course and the volume was turned ALL the way up. To the point where you could barely hear Dave Towle's was that loud. Seems as though the Portland vibe and all it's crossy madness had migrated East for the weekend. Drum Crops, some guy dressed as a pirate playing a saxophone, another dressed only in a Mexican wrestling mask and a speedo, Santa Clause was here....everyone came out for the big show. It was a pleasure witnessing Tim Johnson take his 3rd Stars and Stripes jersey (obviously paying attention to my valuable advice (scroll down) has paid off ). For the ladies, it was the Katie Compton show all over again and she took her 6th National title. Well done to everyone who laid it all out there today. Cyclocross continues to be the greatest show on earth. Bend put on a great race. Mark your calenders for next year and make the trip.

The day was made that much better by a surprise visit from some former Mainiacs now residing in Oregon ( seen here enjoying the best frites..ever..there's some kind of additive properties to the spicy mayo that are slathered all over these things )
As for now, there's still plenty of season left ahead for the Euro's.... check out Stybars new brakes!! (photo courtesy of Bart Hazen)

Thanks for reading


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Finale

Friday afternoon marked my last race for the 09 season, and I couldn't have been happier with the race, so much so that it almost got over on me after crossing the line. I ran a super clean race, avoided the inevitable pile-ups and just tried to lay down some nice smooth power for the entirety. I wasn't lapped or asked to leave the course. The track thankfully had thawed slightly during the day and while temps and sunshine were simultaneously plummeting during our race, the traction was far better than Thursdays "B' race. My effort netted me 50th place out of 139 starters in the 45-49 group, I'm calling it good since it's further up the line than last years Nats and I started about 3 rows from the back. This sport always gives back more than I put into it and I'm super thankful for that.

Colorado riders are continuing to take home the stars and stripes jerseys. I'm not sure if Danny Summerhill took the Espoirs race today but Jon Baker took the win in the 35-39. Pete Webber crushed everyone by 45 seconds on the 40-44 ( YEAH PETE!!!!!) and when I left at 4PM Paco from Velonews was leading the 30-34.

Noon was open course so I spent that time critiquing riders techniques then following up with them post-practice to point out their obvious flaws
TJ could use a little help with his shouldering technique

Jamie Driscoll finally understands how to set up for bunny-hopping a barrier, ( check out his sweet frame pump!...what a dork ). I was trying to give Jeremy Powers a little help but his bike was literally run over by a Lincoln Navigator while we stood beside watching it happen. (He wasn't on the bike at the time)

Tomorrow should be a barn burner. There's a lot of unknowns, namely what course conditions will be ( they seem to be changing by the minute ) Todd Wells seems to be in fine form. Trebon looks confident, no one has seen Jon Page yet. The Cannondale/ Mafia guys are on a tear and work very well together. For the ladies, it will most likely be the Katie Compton show
That is all from Bend for now, Thanks for Tim and Jamie for putting up with shenanigans and thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this seasons ramblings

Friday, December 11, 2009

Backwards and Forwards

I'm not going to bore you with the blow by blow on how our State Championships went down but suffice to say it was HARD. I prerode during the 35 Opens with Griffos on and thought traction was decent, the course was still mostly frozen and the extra volume provided some floatation on the snow. Big mistake, I brought my Michelin Muds and left them on the spare bike thinking they wouldn't be needed so when temps rose and a skim layer of grease formed over the frozen ground it was mighty difficult charging the lines that I wanted. All in all, a great race, the ICCC guys did a great job with the cards they were dealt. I bested last years placing by one position (15th) and thus ended the Colorado season ( sniff...sniff..dang...I'll miss you guys)

Here's a summary of sorts of the Colorado Season
12: Starts
1: DNF
1,679: Appox number of miles driven to races
15: packets of Gu used
0: flats!
7: highest placing
38:deepest placing
3: crashes
2: trips to Taiwan during the season
0: illness' caught
Best New Race on the Calender: Castle Cross

Bend Update: Arrived yesterday and barely got to my start on time for the killer B race. Scrambled to the hotel and built my bike, pinned on numbers and arrived at the venue 30 minutes prior to start! The course at this time of the day is treacherous, a layer of dry snow on top of rock hard frozen icy ground. You can spot these frozen ruts sticking out above the snow and must avoid them like the plague. I only had 1 minor incident when I lost my rear end around a hair pin and managed to stay moslty upright but drove my knee into a fencing post. My co-worker Scott MacLaughlin, a Srammie from Chicago came by me for the win ( on Shorty Ultimates! ) with 1 to go and that ended my race but still was super fun derbying around.

3 things that have made an impression on me
1) the tech area looks like a mid-90's Norba National. I've never seen such a presence like this at a cross nationals. The lot is filled with team trucks...very PRO
2) The amount of carnage on the course yesterday, 170 something guys on a tight slippery course, a recipe for disaster. self preservation kicked and and I rode probably too cautiously
3) Rabid fans, our race was at 3:30 pm, it's getting and the sun is setting, there were still ton's of people out cheering and heckling

Stay tuned for more soon

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bikes are prepped and waiting for what will most likely be my last race on the Colorado calender, our State Championships are being held up in Arvada tomorrow. Here's all I know...there's a "death spiral" and winter has set in here...hard! This morning temps were hovering around the zero mark, there's snow on the ground and while tomorrow is supposed to be hinting at 40's, course conditions will most likely be perfect..again!! Frozen, rutted, slippery icy mud ! This season reminds of the Surf City Series in Santa Cruz during an El Nino year, just non-stop epic conditions!!

As soon as my race is over, my Jamis gets a thorough wash and tune and goes in a box bound for Bend. Sunday, we leave with some friends for Francie's Hut for a few days of sliding on snow in the high country...sweet! Then it's back in the germ tube on Thursday for this point..a little downtime is all I need for the holiday. I'll be posting as often as possible from Nationals so while I won't have much new news for a while, stay tuned for more to come about mid week

Thanks for reading