Made it back! I am back in the Republic and happy that the week from hell is done. People often say to me "you must be SO lucky to travel!" I am my own worst enemy. I'm good at what I do, I love it in fact and love expressing passion for technology to all kinds of people around the world and have been blessed to see literally all reaches of the globe from Brazil to teh Far East to Eastern Europe. But secretly as soon as I take off on the plane towards my destination it becomes a countdown of minutes until I get back to see my beautiful wife and boys. I mak a game out of it in my head to help me stay focused by counting the days down. I can't imagine what a soldier (kid) in Iraq does to pass that kind of time.
This trip was tight. Lots of meetings between two cities (London and Amsterdam) so in all sincerity I get to do nothing for myself for a week. Nothing. I'd love to pack a bike but it just ain't happening. Maybe next time... The Amsterdam leg was packed but I got to see the country side via car window when going to visit some cool companies in the out lying regions of Holland (and while staring out of the window watching a boat load of mini pelotons of local club cyclists roaming about making me salivate...and then the salivation turns to semi-depression of how much work I have to do to re up the fitness when I get back). When I got to Amsterdam for meetings, we hit this vantage point in the City out of the train station where my bud snapped this pic with his camera phone (thus the shitty quality). It is tough to see but acres and acres of classic Amsterdam townie bikes that look like a bad weed control problem. It was hilarious. Behind me as far as the eye can see are just klunky steel bikes piled up on each other. As is customary in the City, you may seriously not find your bike when you get back from whatever it was you were doing....so you grab another one. There are 7 million people in Holland with more than 18 million bikes there. Sweet. In Amsterdam alone there are something like 1 million bikes dredged from the canals of the City each year...discarded by people who steal them, ride to their destination and then hurl them into the canals.
So I am back home (still sick...I won't bore you) and amped to be with the fam. My boys stayed up late to watch their daddy come through the door and i got this grin that I couldn't wipe off when they came running full steam at me, tackled....and then of course proceed to interrogate me for special presents I may have brought home for them from these far away places.
The RM Crit is this weekend. No racing (again) for me but I need to try and get down and support but I am like a mental void at the moment. Couch and the other team managers really pulled it together and make this race hum logistically. This is why I love being on this team but I got the hall pass for this race 'cause the fellas know my situation at the moment.
My training program ramps up this coming week so I need to square away the health issues so I can start moving towards the Fall with a good first (and healthy) step. I'm working with a guy (and friend) here in town who knowns my exact situation intimately and is intrigued with it and has a unique plan to help me remain competitive and try and do something special later this year. All his PhD's and studies on science and training aside, and teh pros he works/worked with, it is his ability to not look at me as a vanilla athlete and apply teh same plan which is so cool. He knows that my life is not that of a 21 year old who can eat/train/sleep and I have commitments (like traveling) and knows how to apply a unique and achievable formula to situations like mine. Yeah, yeah, things like periodization, watts, kilojoules, etc etc play into it, but so do things like stress reduction (and I'm not just talking about being 'zen' an doing yoga to reduce life stress....but how to avoid over compensating on the training side and gradually ramp up to reduce the stress on body and mind in addition to a solid 'sleep' plan! RAD! For me, my training for years (when I start getting to the cross season) has been like turning the power on the stereo, then just JAMMING the volume from 0 to "11" and nearly blowing the speakers. Interestingly, I've been able to quickly ramp and peak like this for a few seasons and win some races but it's no good and the body and mind are not there any more to do that. It's been good for the head a bit to know I have someone like him in my corner and eases the stress a bit to try and figure out how to ramp up for the periods I need to have the engine humming at.
Back home and moving forward. Life is good.
The weekend was epic. No Deer Trail for me as I am now in the bloody UK on business and my kinders and lady needed my participation way more than my homies at Deer Trail. Talked to Lauren C (friend from SF and new to Boulder) and she says "...I'm going on a business strip too! Where are you going? I need to go to Provence and I packed my bike so I could try the Vontoux." You can take your Vontoux...Whatever.
Saturday was sweet. 4 hours of pure bliss and solo tempo, smiling in the sun. It felt good to just roll and not have to attack, be attacked or generally get myself into a state of bother...a.s Liggett says. The steady tempo over 70 miles did just a s much.
Gonna work like a dog all week from morning to midnight here. Gonna sneak in runs when I can but the schedule is mad. Beautiful weather here too. Global warming? It's supposed to be pissing rain over here at this time.
Yeti is releasing their production CX frame this July. My team mate Boups has the original pre-production version of this bike that I believe FTW created. Honestly thugh, it may be another one of their stellar welders.
The specs on this are interesting. The CX-specific details 'appear' to be there in terms of top mounted cables, ample clearance on the chain stays to balance large (e.g. 34) sized tires and a single chain ring application with dual guards. This is the bane of many a frame builder's existence. For my tastes, the effective top tube length is too small. I am not a person in the camp of CX bikes being a 1/2 cm or so smaller than your road bike frame. Geometry aside, I do not want to be crawling all over my CX bike nor do I want my stem too long to compensate and totally tweak with the steering. I experienced this with my Felt and my Scott production frames and why I needed to dip outside of the production world to have mine custom manufactured to my road bike effective specs.
They have some interesting bellowing/curving of the top tube for what they say is shouldering comfort. I hope, based upon the various frame sizes, that they had small medium and large people actually port the bike in traditional/dutch (arm UNDER the down tube) and 'Belgian' style (arm AROUND the head tube) and ensure that the bevel in the tube rests comfortably in all positions.
The frame looks hot as all Yeti's do. Glad to see a great American producer adding a CX frame to their production line.
Go HERE for the deets.
Monday and I'm feeling slightly better. The house has turned back into the 'Hot Zone'. Again, the TTT effort essentially was like battery acid to my immune system. I clearly was not ready to go at that level of depth after being sick the way I was two weeks before. I've GOT to accept that being a young family with kids who are dragging things home and getting their little immunities sured up is just what it is. Or, I can order a boy in the bubble outfit from eBay and wear that around the house.
Anywhoo, Saturday was awesome! The Haystack TTT (they wrongly put in my team mate G Pent in the results in lieu of me...) was great as well as witnessing my wife in her first race in the SW4's. She rocked it. I was so proud.
We drilled it well and flowed very nicely Saturday. Early season rides out to Carter Lake were essentially like training grounds for the TTT. We go out essentially for 70 mile TTT's (sans all that time trail crap on the bikes) and beat the crap out of each other. On Saturday, Couch and I floored it extremely hard on the first 1/2 of the 13.6 mile course to shield our 3 ringers we needed to get to the line but Neal H was on fire the whole way. His strength and that of Boup's is crazy. They pulled fiercely the whole way. Boups will (no kidding) go from Cat 4 to 2 this year. His power output needed to be checked in order to not imbalance the rest of us. All that HP. Nuts.
Longman put his head down in the remaining k's and got it done with Neal and Boups at the line to ensure the first 5 wheels across were right there with each other. Amazing digging into the suitcase of courage for that Englishman.
My lady as mentioned above went out and threw down on Saturday as well in the ITT. She did so GREAT! No TT bars, Zipp wheels, aero helmets. Just her IF and some Gu. She came across the line like she could have gone another 20K. Amazing. I will look at this picture above often to remind me of why I bike let alone race. Her entry form in hand, just amped to go mix it up. That is what it is all about.
Whoever you are, I think you are my long lost sibling. Or, at a minimum, you enjoy potty humor as much as I do. Check out this Google query this guy (unless you're a rad chick who is searching for Boonen crapping his pants). There is hope on t his earth and people like us will join hands, talk poop, and laugh until we heal.
Awesome photo sequence from that Tour de GA.
This Sven Nijs move reminds me of that bunny hop that Euskatel rider did in the 2003 tour...in the major crash that Levi broke his pelvis in on Stage 1. Can't find any pics of that but the vid is insane.