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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gift From America's Gas Stations

The past couple days I have lying pretty low, back home in Boulder. It never fails, the first race of the year comes and goes and I seem to always get sick? Your immune system takes a beating from racing and then hanging out in America's gas stations doesn't help.

Scope this, it is about time I get some respect from "the man". Thanks to Coffee and Bikes for taking your time in the chamois to stop.

Right now, the only thing I am focused on is recovering for Sea Otter and beating Tristan. Tristan and I have a wheelie competition scheduled at the Otter and the loser has to cook the other his favorite pre-race dinner. Don't be fooled by this picture, it will take more then sending me pictures of you lifting up your front wheel to make me nervous T. I have my own tricks up my sleeve.... Bring it.

BTW, I did a short interview over at Buying A Bike 101, scope it out if you looking to procrastinate work a little longer.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Baby Steps

The whirlwind tour of racing tends to blend one weekend effortlessly into another, this weekend was no exception. Both my humbling marathon bonk and my first win as a pro, seem like distant lessons as I watch America pass me by from the front seat of the Touareg.

This weekend reminded me how exciting the art of XC racing can be. The Nova Desert Classic, formally known as "The Cactus Cup" has a long tradition of being an early season indicator of things to come. I managed to hold myself together and finished out the XC and Super D in 5th place, holding onto 5th overall. For me it was just an honor to ride amongst some of the leaders in our sport and get the first race of the season under my belt. Next up, Sea Otter.

Speaking of leaders in the sport, T-Brown showed us the importance of the pre-race meal. Scope out the size of the burrito vs. the size of his head? Don't be fooled, we were both feeling the residual effects of the burritos during Sunday's XC.

Ross came prepared, packing only the essentials, as he left AZ to fly down to the World Cup opener in the Caribbean.....Lucky. If you want to see something hilarious, have your buddy try to pedal in flippers. Wait, have your buddy do ANYTHING in flippers.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Redemption Songs

Another day, another lesson....

Today's adventure was a far cry from yesterday's demoralizing march. I guess things were just clicking on all cylinders. When the dust settled, I had won my first race as a professional, the opening time trial to the Nova Desert Classic. It reminded me that there is always tomorrow and not to get too hung up on one day's mistakes. Live and Learn.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I Need An Air-Conditioned Helmet

The hardest part of today, was not the 85 degree heat, the feeling of your cramped toes curling inside your shoes, or the attack Kris Sneddon threw down that finally popped me.... it was knowing that I was going to have to write about it later.

After two solid laps in the lead group of 5, I was feeling like a million bucks and actually believing I was going to be on my first NORBA podium as a Pro. Unfortunately that thought is quickly followed by an "however". In one moment, I went from all systems go, to the "check engine soon" light blaring in my face.

The heat had cracked me and within seconds I was one giant cramp, I DNF'd... that won't happen again this year, I promise. Lesson learned: When you are from the cold and your first race is a Marathon in the blaring heat...Take it easy.

The entire Marathon looked like a war zone. If your stomach is queasy, I apologize, but the tough guy of the day award goes to Yuri Hauswald who rode 2 laps like this. Hardcore....

On the side of the course lied a set of gloves and a bike jersey littered in cactus. The entire race I was wondering who that poor soul was.... I found my answer.

Mad props to Jenny Smith for thowing down and winning her first Pro NORBA. Keep your eye on her this season, big things are still to come from this woman.

Tomorrow is another day and another lesson....

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Forgot My Water Wings

...and my SPF 100 sun-block. After a less than glamorous 1100 mile drive yesterday, I have officially landed on the sunny side of the fence. I am down here in Phoenix AZ, getting ready for tomorrow's opener to the NORBA Marathon series. Everyone here is looking like a white ghost from their winter hibernation and we all agree, it will be a struggle just to finish. Prescription....bonk.

Ross apparently failed road trip 101. There are two simple rules when traveling across the country in a small, air tight vehicle:

1. Don't open a can of tuna while driving and

2. Don't dine on dehydrated fish as your go to snack (he seriously was chewing on salmon jerky the whole time).

Monday, March 20, 2006

California Dream'n

One minute, I was ignoring the severe weather warning for Boulder County, ripping some of our city's finest urban single track.

The next minute, I was waist deep in wet mountain roads, cursing winter. My Mom called on the celly as I was freezing my butt off, I told her "ah, don't worry, I am on this road I have ridden a hundred times and it is barely snowing". Well actually, I was soaked to the bone and couldn't see 20 feet in front of me.... visions of her 80 degree pool pulled me through.

I honestly think that next winter I am renting an RV and moving to California for the winter months. I am turning a little soft in my aging years. If anyone has a sweet place to park an RV in CA, let me know!

Btw, check it out.... my wheelie-gene deficiency has made local news!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Real Men Bonk

For some reason I thought today it would be ok to roll the MTB on the roadies group ride. Three hours later, hating the rolling resistance and draping my tongue over my top tube, I bonked.

It had been a while since I had paid a visit to the "pain cave" so I guess I was due. The epic bonk isn't as bad when you have views like this to console you (however I would have much rather been consoled by a nice cup of coffee and a warm muffin). I managed to get within a mile of my home before I had to run into the gas station and mow down 3 PayDay candy bars.

Views from the pack.... Thanks Becker, for always keepin things in perspective.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rubber Side Down

Talk about random.... one moment Ranno and I are cruising mindlessly down the road, the next moment we are struggling to keep the rubber side down within the 100 mph winds. Seriously, this picture is the real deal, Ranno is lifing his bike off the ground and letting the wind do the rest (note his jersey getting torn off)!

Wind 1 Ranno 0

So yesterday I met up w/ Marty and Matt to do an article for the Daily Camera on the art of the wheelie and my qwest to aquire its hidden secrets. I can reassure you that I am one step closer however I still have no game. Matt on the other hand, has game coming out of his ears.

BTW, I need to give a big Thank You out to my friend Stephen for getting my new banner dialed in! Thanks bro!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Held Together By Clothes Pins

This week was suppose to be the longest week in the saddle for '06 however I was graciously greeted by a freezing Colorado storm. Going with the flow I opted to error on the side of recovery, with words of Joe Friel ringing in my ears, "rest as hard as you train".

So on Saturday I found myself knee deep in another one of Nick's, "Uh Oh" moments....

I had climbed up Sunshine Canyon (one of Boulder's longest and steepest roads" in the mix of our wonderful March snowstorm. With sweat pouring down my face and random cars giving me the "what's up", I was feeling tough. Well my moment quickly turned rye as I found myself wrapping my body in newspaper that I had to steal from random people's mailboxes and shaking violently as I stumbled down the adjacent canyon, struggling to get home. I am happy to report I still have 10 toes and 10 fingers but I am officially over winter.....

You guys wouldn't happen to have a cup of hot water now would you?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Take the Long Road Home

It amazes me how quickly a day can evaporate from our finger tips. One moment I find myself waking up, clutching my morning cup of jitter juice and eyeing up the prospect of the day. The next moment I am left complaining about all the things I was suppose to do with my day. I think that a day is actually a lot shorter than we think. The world wide web, cell phones, digital this and that, have all made this world so fast paced that I don't think we are satisfied anymore.

Too many people rush through their years and lose their flow, holding onto the thought that money will buy them time. These days are only getting older and fading light... be passionate about SOMETHING, sturdy up your heart for the road is long ahead.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Food 4 Your Ears

In an effort to promote the site, I had a bunch of CD's printed up with what I think is the ulimate soundtrack (maybe you will think otherwise but hey it is America right). I will be traveling with a stack of these soundtracks to all the NORBAs (and any other race I am at) so make sure you come grab one from me before they are all gone. I know about 90% of you ride with an ipod so maybe this will modivate you like it does for me.

Thanks to my bro Cormack for throwing together the CD graphix.

Shot me an email if you want to get your hands on a copy in advace. Ride on....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Much Love and Respect

Right now I am just thankful that Whitey can say the words, "keep in touch". Today has been an emotional roller coaster.... I found out that my good friend and training partner, Whitey Debroux, was involved in a very serious crash down in Mexico while racing the Vuelta. Out of respect for Whitey I am not going to post the picture of his injuries, but a full story, complete with a picture is available on his website. Please take a moment of your time and send him some positive words of encouragement, dabrew3@hotmail.com.

We are all part of this incredible community, connected by the spirit of two wheels. Each of us has his or her own story and we can all relate on some level. Whitey's positive spirit is contagious to everyone around him and his passion for cycling is inspirational. Your in our thoughts and prayers Whitey, wishing you a speeding and healthy recovery!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Beds Are Burning

That smoke isn't from Tyler climbing up Sunshine Canyon, it is actually a blazing forest fire that kept us from descending our choice singletrack. Wind + Fire = Colorado in the Spring.

Scope Stefano Barberi's new team threads with the ultra pro, football style, name on the back. This is another case of the "you know you made it whens". As the youngest member of the United Pro Cycling Team, Stefano has a bright year ahead of him. I guess my teammate, Jeremiah Bishop, bet him his 9.9 team issue hard tail that Stefano couldn't beat his time up a local climb. I will keep you posted as the story unfolds.... Now that is confidence JB.

These pics are for all of you that are scoping this site when you are suppose to be working! Welcome to my office.

The Fire scared Ranno a bit and he disappeared.... I found him chilling under this prime piece of real estate, chanting "There is no place like home".

On a random note, I can barely think about this post because I am trying to eves drop on the group of girls next to me as they discuss their book, "The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex"?!? Seriously, I think I will leave let the pictures talk and quit typing.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pretty Sweet

this is an audio post - click to play

Surrounded by a garage of at least 30 high end bikes, Andrew "Shep" Shepherd helped give birth to my brand new 9.9 last night. I guess you know what I am doing today.... Thanks for all your help Shep.