Monday, September 29, 2008

Livestrong Challenge 2008

The Lance Armstrong Foundation unites people to fight cancer, believing that unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything.

Through the dollars and awareness that we raise, we can inspire and empower individuals, and we can make life better for the more than 10 million Americans affected by cancer.

* $10 provides information packets to 16 cancer survivors to offer support, inspiration and hope.

* $50 provides 35 people cancer survivorship information, worksheets to organize their fight against cancer and support, inspiration and hope from other cancer survivors.

* $155 provides a cancer survivor one-on-one direct support through the LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare program.

* $250 provides LIVESTRONG Survivorship Notebooks to 27 cancer survivors.

Please support me as I make a difference in the cancer fight through my participation in the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Thank you!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Going in Reverse at the Diamond Blackfan CX

Lookout EVERYONE, that guy's going backwards!

Yup, that's about how it felt at the Diamond Blackfan CX race today....... Reverse.

I couldn't even get out of my own way. Ha!

The course had lots of turns and I'm usually fine in the turns. I was in 4th place on the sidewalk when the "go" was said. From there it just went bad. No power, no rhythm, no fun.... I think I was dead last after lap one. I recomposed myself. Not really, but I told myself I wasn't quitting and that I was having a horrible day. I just started riding. I couldn't even go hard enough to get winded. That's a rarity in CX racing, so I knew it was going to get ugly.

In the end, I passed a couple of people that had mechanicals/ physicals. I guess some people were melting down in the heat. I like heat and hot CX races should be good for me. Today, I don't think I was going hard enough to melt or really to fall apart. Game over. Score so far:

CX Season 2, Adam 0.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cross Season 1; Adam 0: Hermann Lightless Cross

Expectations were high, bikes were clean, and team kits were fresh out of the plastic. But by the end, egos were crushed, breaks were vaporized, and bikes blended with mud. Yes. Cross is humbling. Very much indeed.

Hermann Lightless Cross
We jump in the Shad-juar and we're off... again. Myself, Joe, Shadd, and John Giles (the star in my CX practice movie). But, just to be a bit under the radar, as if the 3 bikes on top of the car wasn't a huge attention getter, it was decided that we should be on the down low...... You know, FBI style.

I'm racing for a new CX team this year: KCCX. It's a CX team put together by Bill Marshall and KLM Marketing to promote the sport and 2008 Cross Nationals being in Kansas City. Expectations were high going into this race. We had 4 guys on the front line so we better at least start off the season looking good.

The course: Start line, 100m, U-Turn, 40m, 1,2,3,4 U-turns back to back to b- get the idea, 10m, U-turn to 2 barriers, around a hut, down a screaming fast hill, 3 more U-turns, MUD like this, 200m pavement, U-Turn, more pavement, Stairs, finish line. Oh the "Stairs" video is from the race.

I forgot to mention, the whole thing was at night! Yup, first CX race at night! How cool is that?! It hides the faces of agonizing pain I'm making the entire time. Ha.

I got my first ever call up in a CX race.
I started out okay, better than I ever really have, 5th into the first U-Turn, which meant I had good placing until the course opened up again in about 1/4 a lap. I sort of tensed up on the downhill and lost some spots, got them back and was sitting at 7th at the end of lap 2.

That's when the problems started.... Crashed into the barriers, I think someone ran into me from the inside? Got back on terms, only to have mud shoot into both of my eyes later in the lap! Shit! (literally, it was) Riding at night on a U-Turn infested course without the ability to see is equal to a blind man driving during rush hour traffic in Dallas! I lost about 8 spots and was sitting 15th. Totally gassed, and demoralized.

I decided I should at least ride around for the remainder of the race just for a workout. That's when I noticed I wasn't losing time to any of my immediate competitors up the road (thanks to a tow from Bill Marshall). So, I went back into race mode and started really riding again. Caught a couple, a couple had mechanicals, a couple crashed and I'm in 8th place. Through all this Jeff Winkler was right on me, forcing me to race the entire time. Normally, that's good as I need to race the entire time. But tonight, it was tough. Jeff is an excellent rider and every move I made was neutralized. However, in the end I barely managed to hold off Jeff for the final spot. Check Results here. Now, on to the next step...

Clean Up.
Bad. My bike had probably 7-8 pounds of mud and grass caked on. Now I need to overhaul the thing.... Blah.

My synopsis of Cross..... Hard. Really hard. Humbling. Embarrassing. I forgot how long 60+1 is in a Cross race, especially if you're actually racing! Oh and I HATE U-Turns, but the promoter didn't really have much of a choice other than U-Turns or 3 minute laps. The rains of last week (Hurricane Ike I believe) flooded the better part of the park and we were lucky to even have the race at all. I don't turn on grass fast yet. What happened to those days where I would slide out on purpose? Time to relearn bike driving skills. I'm not fit for CX at all! I couldn't even race for 3 laps (14 minutes) without going into melt down mode. Apparently, I have some work to do.....

The race was, overall, excellent. The best was made from a crappy situation with the flooding and it was a cruel reminder to everyone that there is work to be done.

Josh Johnson: You seem to have corrected your slow starting issues from last year. Great ride, you were my "favorite pic" in this race.

Bill Stolte: Ride of the day. Sorry Josh. Bill started in DFL and was in the top 10 on a tight, technical course before the first lap was over. He did it the way bike racers do, by going flat out and taking risks. 4th place.

Joe Schmalz: In the top 10, started DFL +1, but decided it was too easy with all that air in his tires... then he realized that flat tires don't roll so good. But he DID have the 5th fastest lap of the night.

One improvement: I would have liked this race to have been in the middle of the afternoon. Not so much for the lighting thing, but for the Hermann thing. I don't think I talked to anyone who was staying overnight. I would have appreciated the opportunity to clean up, and go wine tasting all evening. Perhaps for the MO state CX championships, there could be a more "tourism friendly" schedule.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes "Graceful" just doesn't happen.

Ah, Cross Practice...... graceful, isn't it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

It has BEGUN!

It's Cyclo Cross Season!!!!! Time to break out that funny looking road bikes with the knobby tires and start putting them to the test. Dukes of Hazzard style. I can't wait. Can you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Call it a Comeback!

Yup, you heard it here. Lance is racing again. It's late and I'm tired so I'm just shooting writing, not really even proofing or anything. Okay, here we go!

The timing is odd, at best. Lance is probably the most widely accused doper in all of sports. BUT he's never once tested positive for anything. Anything! Strange right? Is it possible anyone can be that good? Just ask this Jamaican as he demolished the best runners in the world. I guess, this time he's coming back and making every one of his blood tests open to the public in an unprecedented act of transparency.

But WHY the comeback? How does racing bikes actually promote cancer research and improved care? Does he just want to ride fast again? Does he just want to give Astana the ammo it needs to ensure that the ASO can't possibly exclude them from the Tour de France? Does he just want something that will keep him entertained?

My only hope is that he is making a true comeback. I have a special appreciation for sport and sport performed at the highest level of competition. I don't want to see Lance do what Michael Jordan did when he returned, for the third time to NBA basketball and played for the Washington Wizards. It was phenomenal to watch a man seize command of his sport, claim victory and walk away knowing he was the best. However, the return of a King who is no longer able to lead by example, or improve his team, is a true disappointment. I hope, Lance will be able to defy what "most" research studies say, which is that he is too far out of his prime to be and effective athlete. I hope that Lance realizes that he's the only rider with something to lose by returning to the Tour de France. I hope.....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

COFFEE!! Support for the previous GBR rule!

Seriously everyone. Coffee! I just read a study that basically says:

Caffeine(8mg/kg of body mass) ingested with Carbohydrate(4g/kg of body mass) over 3 hours improves "muscle glycogen resynthesis" (pronounced "recovery") when compared to carbs alone.

How does this help you and me? Well......

Someone who weighs 150lbs should eat a Powerbar immediately following training/ racing and another one each hour for 3 hours. ALSO, drink a Tall Starbucks cup of coffee (not a latte or any of that other expensive stuff) right after the training/ racing and follow it with another Tall Starbucks coffee 2 hours later and BAM! The best recovery EVER recorded in a lab! This would be especially helpful for Shadd Smith and Steve Tilford (go Google alerts).

Here's the low down for all you disbelievers to look it up on your own.

David J. Pedersen, Sarah J. Lessard, Vernon G. Coffey, Emmanuel G. Churchley, Andrew M. Wootton,They Ng, Matthew J. Watt, and John A. Hawley. High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine. J Appl Physiol 105: 7–13, 2008.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ghetto Bike Racing: GBR

Next Rule:

Coffee. Nothing else to say.

Special thanks to Ben Coles for the wonderful picture.