Monday, December 31, 2007

One Week Of Intense Training

I just finished an intensive training week designed to help me ride faster this coming season. After consulting my coach, the plan was hatched. I'd go out to Saratoga, New York to visit my wife's relatives over the holidays and train on a consistent basis. Before the trip, my last workout was Saturday, December 22nd. During the trip, I cross country skied for 2 hours on Thursday, the 27th, at Garnett Hill in the Adirondacks. My old ski buddy, Dave Matthews (the original) drove up there with me. The snow came down as we skated, about three inches and the skis had slow wax. Skiing for 2 hours in those conditions was like skiing 4 hours in decent tracks. Then, I waited until Saturday, the 29th to get in a highly effective 40 minutes on the sister-in-laws exercise bike. With training like that, I'll have a tremendous bike season...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another New Record...

I set another new record today... 176lbs! That's my all time high... The cause must be all of the weight lifting I've been doing lately. My routine includes leg squats, leg curls, sit-ups and most importantly, 12 ounce curls... Some people have six pack abs. Mine are the 12 pack version...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm Number One...

The Only time I've ever been Number One... From the State Cycloross Championships last month.

A Classic Day

Classic skiing that is. I joined fellow bikers and cyclocross racers Tom Bengel, Rob Belz, Jerry Engen and Lori Belz for some skiing at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. We used waxless skis and did one loop of the classic only section. The snow was pretty soft and slow but we had fun. I'm not in good ski shape but I'm in decent bike condition...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Records Were Made To Be Broken

Records were made to be broken and I've set several new records lately. I tied my all time high of 174.5 pounds on Wednesday. Thursday, I set the new record at 175 pounds. Today, I broke that record when I tipped the scale at 175.5 pounds. I don't know if I should go for 180 and try and lose the weight or whether I should start dropping the pounds now... Such record breaking feats sent me to the trainer today where I pedaled for 1 hour.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Barry Wicks Rides To Fourth

Rob Belz took this picture of Tom Bengel, Linda Sone and me as Barry Wicks was on his way to Fourth Place in the Men's Elite Race at Cross Nationals.

Back On The Podium

I got back on the Podium today. It's a place I'm very comfortable with... Yeah, I pulled out the Diamond Back Podium cross bike for a ride. Actually, I call it the "No Podium". I have it set up as a 1x9. The Podium is the bike I took down to Kansas City when I found out the weather was going to be dicey. Basically, if I'm going to trash a bike, I don't want it to be my Redline Conquest Pro... The Podium doubles as my winter bike. Anyway, I got in 11 miles.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cross Nationals Wrap-Up and Back On the Skis

Cross Nationals wrap-up: It was a blast! More people need to go next year... The total driving time was only six hours one-way. Plus, I am the 36th best cyclocross racer in the nation among the millions of 50-54 year olds. If anyone else was faster, they would have shown up on the start line... That's me, second from the left, in the Loon State kit climbing the stairs at Nationals.

Back on the skis: I got in three skate laps at the famed and storied Highland 9 Hole Golf Course. That's where local bike legends Tom and Lee Bengel and Dave Dow train.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Storm Front Cross Nationals Elite Race

The Sunday races at Cyclocross Nationals in Kansas City were awesome. After the collegiate races and 60+ categories were done, it was time for the elite women. Katie Compton crushed the competition in easy fashion. Our own Linda Sone had a fantastic race though by placing in the top twenty. Linda kept passing racers the whole time as she was one of the best at handling the deep mud brought on by temps in the low 30s with a warm sun. In the elite men's field, the race kept unfolding on different levels. The first group to hit the stairs before the end of the first lap included Jonathan Page, Todd Wells and Tim Johnson. Ryan Trebon, last year's National Champion and Barry Wicks were 20 yards behind at that point. Trebon only made it one lap as he crashed and dropped out. Page led most of the race and opened a gap on Wells and Johnson. However, Johnson gradually reeled him in and got around Page when he made a slight mistake. Johnson is known as the best cyclocross racer in the mud so it was no surprise that he pulled away for the win. Wells was a close third and Wicks got fourth. Check out the picture of me and Ned Overend at the Saturday night party. How many guys would have paid me to push him over when he lapped me on Saturday? The next picture is Rob Belz, me, the ageless Steve Tilford and Tom Bengel.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Storm Front Cross Nationals

When the big storms blast out of the Rockies and sweep across the plains of Kansas, nothing can stop them but the rugged racers who hit back. That would be the strong men and women who race cyclocross. After the stormy weekend, those racers could cruise through the toughest Paris-Roubaix. Snow, ice, frozen mud and deep frozen ruts greeted the racers at the Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City, Kansas on Saturday, December 15th. Tons of racers crashed, fell down and piled up. I managed to stay upright for the most part. That's me in second position in the picture. It was even tougher than it appeared. The afternoon races had the snow storm so it affected the masters dude field. All in all, it was an EPIC Day! I raced the 50-54 Class and got lapped by Ned Overend... He was close enough that I could have pushed him over... Tons of complaints from the competitors about the course conditions and tons of racers who dropped out. Not me though... Hey, I'm from Minnesota! It was definitely the toughest conditions I've ever raced in. Snow came down the whole time while we raced! We're tougher than the Belgians! Anyway, the officials pulled people after they got lapped. Ned lapped everyone in the 60-64 and 65+ category so those guys got pulled and had to race again on Sunday... Tom Bengel was in my race too but he was in the 55-59 group. Tom got bounced around so much that he had to drop out... It wasn't racing according to him. Did I mention I got 36th! Only 44 guys finished the race though. Future Loon Rob Belz was 83rd in the 40-44 race but a lot more guys finished so he didn't do too bad. The highlight of Saturday was Bjorn Selander winning the U23 Race against Jamie Driscoll and Danny Summerhill. He outsprinted Driscoll at the line! The Minnesota and Wisconsin peeps present were ecstatic! Among them, Dag Selander, Paul Schoening, Paul Thoreson, Linda Sonne, John and Carol Thompson, Linda Sone, Dan Casper, Cory Coogan, Dan and Dave Meyer, Hollywood, Tommy, Rob and I. The second highlight of the day was the fab party at Sunflower Bikes in Lawrence, Kansas. We got pics with Steve Tilford and Ned Overend. Score! Tons of racers, mechanics, bike reps and wannabes were there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Need An Aero Track Frame

I got my Masi Coltello track frame and a couple of days later, another one showed up. It's a 56cm like mine and is the same color. I know they want to sell it. Call me at 612-554-6081 if you are interested and I can hook you up with the right peeps...

More Skiing

What do you do when there's snow on the ground? You go skiing... When the roads dry up, I'll go biking... Anyway, I went over to the Highland 9 Hole Golf Course and got in three laps on the skate skis with Tom Bengel. The last lap was a little shaky as the sun was down and the lighting wasn't too good. The place is a better ski course than it is a golf course. It's only 2800 yards long and comes in at a par 35. It's not an easy place to score either because the fairways are narrow so you can get in trouble with the driver...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hanging In The Skate Lane

I got out on the boards for a 1 /2 hour session at the famed and storied Comenkollen. Tommy Bengel was there so we skied together. As usual, we talked biking. I tried to talk him into doing more time trials and track riding. Anyway, I rode the skate skis.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Winter Duathlon and Awards Banquet

Hats off to Don Schmichel for hosting the Loon State Awards Party last night. Tons of great peeps and teammates were on hand. It was fun talking racing on a winter night. As for today, it was another cold day in the Great White North. I did a double workout. First, I rode the trainer for 1 hour with stage 16 of this year's TDF playing in the TV/VHS combo. It's the stage where Contador and Leipheimer keep attacking Rasmussen. The Dane holds them off for the stage win up the Col du Aubisque while the crawl at the bottom of the screen says he's been kicked out of the TDF. After the trainer workout, I went over to the famed and storied Highland 9 Hole golf course and skied two classic laps. My legs were still hurting from yesterday's classic ski in Lake Elmo. If any of you cross country ski, you know how bad your legs feel after your first day of classic skiing...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dropping In With Masi

The bike project for the winter will be building up this Masi Coltello aero track frame. The frame is pretty cool with an awesome blue paint scheme and aero profile with a bladed carbon fork. I've got the bullhorn and aero bar combo for it already. The frame came with a Ritchey headset. I need a track crank and some track wheels, preferably deep dish carbon models. I'll add a RavX Aero carbon seat post to the bike and a RavX saddle.

Back to Classic Skiing Again

What a day. I grabbed the classic skis from the rack and scraped off the storage wax. The storage wax wasn't from last year but the year before... After scraping, I put on a layer of good old Rex Blue and headed out to Sunfish Park in Lake Elmo where I joined Jerry Engen and soon to be new Loon State rider, Bill Stuber. We kicked and glided our way through the rolling, forested hills for 1 1/2 hours. Yeah, it was cold but it's not so bad when you're moving along in the woods. I need to get back on the trainer though to keep in bike shape.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Famed and Storied Comenkollen

Como Park, aka, the "Comenkollen" was the venue for an after work skate ski workout. I named it the "Comenkollen" many years ago and now, numerous local skiers refer to it by that name. Ouch! I just dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back... Anyway, the name is in reference to the greatest skiing venue on the planet, the famed Holmenkollen trails above Oslo, Norway. It's a small part of a huge pine wooded landscape stretching all the way to the northern part of the country. There might be a few trolls hiding behind the trees but the skiing is fabulous as untold kilometers of trails cover the place. Okay, it's got to be over 400K. The trails sit about 700 feet above Oslo and at night, with the lights on, the place is spectacular. That's why the famed and storied "Comenkollen" reminds me of skiing at the Holemenkollen (where I skied 10 years ago). Just like the Holmenkollen, the highest point of the "Comenkollen" sits at least 10 feet above Como Lake and Lexington Avenue. At night, the view of the street lights on Lexington as they twist through the park are, well, kinda sorta not as good as the Holmenkollen... Well, the Holmenkollen doesn't have a zoo or a Conservatory. The Holmenkollen isn't a cyclocross race venue like Como Park either. Well, the cyclocross course was ruined this year when they put an asphalt path through the middle of the woods... Time to get back on the trainer...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Back On The Skis

The bike season for me has gone indoors until the roads are clear. As for now, I'll take advantage of the snow. Tom Bengel and I got in some skiing at Battle Creek today. There were a lot of skiers out on the trails but not too many who do a lot of cycling like us. The ski trails are some of the same ones we used to mountain bike on before they cut the single track. Great for skiing but nothing like the single track for mountain biking.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Snow Is Coming Down Hard

It's December 1st and the first significant snowfall of the season is coming down. I got the snowblower working a few weeks back and mixed the oil with the gas yesterday so I'm ready (providing the snowblower works like it did in the dry (really) run yesterday). With the snow on the ground I'll get some cross country skiing in. Today, I rode the trainer for 1 hour while watching the '07 Amstel Gold Race. Yeah, Stefan Schumacher won again just like the first time I watched it... Anyway, since I don't have a Pugsley, I'll ride indoors until the roads are clear and get in some skiing.