Sunday, May 29, 2005

South Dakota Training Week

It's weird comming back from a week of camping.Everything feels unfamiliar.And boy has everything greened up.I heard Its been rainy all week.Darn,and we didn't even miss a day because of bad weather.The black hills is in a 4 year drought and the 8/10 of an inch of rain that they had while we were there was the most they've had since the snow melted.It was all at night so we lucked out on that one.Bottom line why we go out there... lots of hills,no mosquitos,dry air,and more blue sky days in a year than you can imagine.
I'll break it down day by day then talk about it.
Sat-75 degrees,19 miles,1,200ft of climbing,time-1:00
Sun-73 degrees,60 miles,5,000 ft of climbing,18mph avg,time-3:16
Mon-70 degrees,29 miles,2,600 ft of climbing,17 avg,time-1:42
Tue-2:30 hike up to Harney Peak.1,oo0 ft of climbing on foot
Wed-60 degrees,50 miles,4,000 ft of climbing,18.5 avg,time-2:30
Thurs-65 degrees,61 miles,6,000 ft of climbing,16.5 avg,time-3:42
Fri-65 degrees,32 miles,2,750 ft of climbing,16 avg,time-2:00
Sat-65 degrees,24 miles,3,000 ft of climbing,15 avg,time-1:35
Toatal-275 miles,25,000 vertical ft,time-15:45
Correct me if I'm wrong but that's higher than Mt Everest.I don't know how those guys can do a Grand Tour,because this was nothing compared to what they do and they do it race pace for 2 weeks!
I was feeling incredible the entire week.Once I got warmed up and in a tempo I would feel better and better.Even after a long day previous,the legs were very strong and my breathing and heart rate was low.At the top of every climb I was able to put in a good kick and sprint.It made me want to go faster and faster.
I wish I could say the same about Sam but he was having a bad week.The first couple of days his heart rate was sky rocketing.We had to cut mondays ride short because he was feeling crappy.His fitness was comming back mid week and he could actually stay up with me on a climb.
We found another rider to tag along also.Aaron Whalen is his name.He was in the same camp ground as us too,go figure.Aaron is 20 or 21years old,a cat 3 racer from Wisconsin,and is going to college for something to do with Sports science.I felt sorry for him because he was having the worst last couple of weeks.Its fitting that I say this on Memorial day because he lost his cousin in Iraq in a bomb attack the week previous to him going to South Dakota .So he's spending Memorial weekend at his cousins funneral.And on top of that his car engine blew up when he got to Rapid City so he had no car to get around.My prayers go out to that family.
We didn't just bike out there.There are so many great hiking trails and history stories out there.We make it a must to hike to the top of Harney Peak.The highest point east of the Rockies.It was the best day I've ever been up there.There was no wind whatsoever.Perfectly calm.Thats unheard of up there.And the view is spectacular.We also drove the wildlife loop in Custer State park.And leave it to driving,we also biked it this year and I was on edge to whole ride because around every corner I didn't know if a big bull buffalo was going to be standing there.Mating season is comming up and every year a couple of tourists get mauled pretty bad.People look at these things and think they're big and clumsy.But they've been clocked at 40 mph and they've been known to throw a Harley Davidson 20 feet through the air and tear it to pieces.We did encounter a few big males too.We had to keep backing down the road because they were comming straight towards us.We stopped a jeep tour guide and had him block us so we could get through.Man was that scary,I was 15 feet from that beast,and he just stared us down as we went by.
We had tons of fun out there,and I would recommend this trip to anyone thinking about going.Its nice to get away and see another part of Gods wonderful creation.
I have to put in a few plugs for some people.Kemps Kamp is where we stayed the whole week,its a very nice and quiet place to stay.Bruce the owner, is a well known turkey hunting guide and he runs one of the best campgrounds in the Black Hills. Word out to the guys at Deadwood Bicycles. We had a good chat and he wants us to call next time we go out, and he'll hook us up with some of the good riders out there.He also gave us both a free water bottle.Thanks

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Worksite hazards

My knee swelled up again monday.I don't know whats going on with it. I never injured it and I have very little pain.most of the problem is restricted movement.I'm going to the doctor when I get back from vacation,because thats the nearest opening.I just pray it doesn't give me trouble in South Dakota.So here I sit 2 days off the bike while Sam goes to the Opus crit.Oh,well as long as I get 100%by friday.
I'm back to work at Unisys and It's demolition time.We started a remodel in the conference rooms.So to my relief its all inside work.We filled a 30 yard dumpster full today with ceiling tile and everyone was thinking of what they could do with all the wood work we removed....oh,that would be nice in the basement.Chris's(my cycling friend) brother is one of the electritions there.Small world huh.
I have to explain myself to one of the security guards tomarow.I might be in big trouble.See,this guy comes up to me at the end of the day and tells me he was propositioned to ask me a question,and he's holding some money.I'm thinking he wants me to load up his truck with some of the material we were throwing away.But to my disbelief he says "are you single and available." At this point I knew just who it was that wanted to know.The security girl at the front desk.All day I was hauling material in and out and they have to buzz you through. I didn't want to ignore anyone so I would say hi and make smart remarks if she didn't buzz me through right away and maybe give a smile here and there,but nothing like mr. available.Anyway,I said no and kind of made it look like I was occupied.You know me I just try to avoid the matter and turn deep red.This has happened once before many years ago but this time I'm going to see her every day and she could leave me sitting in the cold outside.I'm just going to tell her thanks for the compliment and no hard feelings tomarow.I'll let you know if she maces me or beats me with her nightstick.Latter

Monday, May 16, 2005

Wors #1

We went to our first Wisconsin race yesterday. Those races are so different than Minnesota.In the expert class alone for males was 100 racers.But this is how the race went.......I got to the start line a little early to get a better spot because the start shoot isn't that big and with 100 riders you don't want to be stuck in the back.So everyone is standing there getting cold(at least it wasn't raining)before the start talking away the nervousness.When the gun went off, as usual everyone goes like mad untill you feel like your going to puke a lung.I didn't have the greatest start,but then I wasn't feeling the greatest either.After the first climb we came down into a ski jump bowl and then climbed back out.Up maybe the 3rd hill Sam comes shooting around me,and I'm like "crap, either he's feeling on fire today or I'm doing horrible." Sam has never passed me that early before I'm always out front for at least 15-30 min before he turns on.I stayed in the group with him for a bit but then fell back a bit.I felt just like Buck there for a while people would pass and I wouldn't have it to keep up.Then something clicked around lap 2 or 3. I got in a group of about 4 and I was like, I need to be more agresive here and have a break through mentally. So when the attacks started I would stay focused and pound the pedals. Pretty soon I started feeling better and I was starting to think of strategies on where everyones weakness was.I was in the zone at this time,and after dropping a couple guys, me and this other guy my age were mono a mono.I knew I was faster in the flat open and at the end section were there were 90 degree corners goig back and forth.And He was stronger at making surges.So at this time lap traffic was bad and I was making some people a bit nervous bumping bars,but what can I do when I have somone hunting me down.I made my move on the last flat and put the hammer down,and luckily in my favor, I was comming up on a guy who was about to go into a section that was almost imposible to pass so I yelled up a bit early to anounce my pass.I went around him just in time before the section and that put the guy behind me in a little more difficult position.After that I was going so fast through those corners that no one could pass me and I beat him! I never did catch Sam though,he was feeling the same way and he's an engine.He keeps it at one pace and never fades.
Racing is interesting because in the beginning you breath so hard and your legs build so much lactic acid. Then when you break through the pain and get in that zone your breathing slows and your body becomes so efficient I think that it seems easier.
end result- overall age time
Sam Oftedahl 15 6 1:44:48
Eric Oftedahl 20 9 1:46:16

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

First road race...ever!

I had this all written out and when I went to publish it there was a glitch on this web site and I lost it,so here goes round 2....I love the smell of lilacs in the spring time.They're everywhere,and I get a big wiff when I speed by on my bike.Its lovely isn't it.
Me and Sam did our first road race at the Opus crit.I was a little edgy at the start and moved straight to the front from mid pack.The first two laps were slower than expected and no one wanted to do anything.On the bottom of the hill on the 3rd lap someone made a move and some Gravity Lab guys came to the front at the top of the first sprint I took 4th(points are given to the top 3 riders every 3 laps). I was at the front most of the time to keep out of the pack since it wasn't a very organized paceline and one rider already went down next to Sam.On the 6th lap some one made an attack and I followed,then at the middle of the hill I made my move but I could only hold out for 3rd.The next two laps I should have sat back a bit but Sam took some good pulls up the hill and we had to hold on to a couple of attacks so in the final sprint I didn't have the kick and couldn't hold out for any points.In the end I took 5th overall in the cat4/5.I learned alot and I plan on a different stradegy for next time.
I called my boss today to ask for some time off to go to South Dakota.I got it.It took some guts to ask him because I've had like 3weeks off in the past 2 months because of a slow down.The date is set for May 20-29.I can't wait to do all the sweet accents,Iron mt road,Needles highway,Nemo rd, and 2miles of 10% grade up to Mt Rushmore.Or how about 20 miles of uphill in Spearfish canyon. 30-45 min of tempo on the major climbs with switchbacks at the top.Then you desend, passing cars at 50 mph,whipping around pigtail bridges,and swerving through the winding roads.All while breathing in the nice evergreen air and looking at spectacular views.I also like watching massive RV's trying to squeeze their way through the skinny tunnels and ripping off their auning. or putting a nice scratch along the side.Then you finish off the ride right by stopping for icecream in town.I would like to get some people together sometime and go out there with some more riders.It would be sweet with a group.
Tomarow is my last day of school.No more going back.Now I just have to put in my hours to get my raises.I'm thinking by next winter....Journeyman

Saturday, May 07, 2005

No bubbles or bacon...this time.

Ross sporting the hockey hair Posted by Hello

My aunt and grandpa hangin out after the race
Upon arrival it looked like we were going to be dealing with some mud.All during the citizen and sport race it was drizzly and rainy.Everyone was shivering in the cold.But as soon as we started to warm for the race it stoped.Staying dry for the warm up helped alot.
On the line everyone was there team Ski Hut was in full force. All the big dogs showed, along with quite a bit of Wisconsin's top guys.In all there were about 60 riders...I'm guessing here.
They routed us backwards this time from last year. So there was more climbing in the beginning.We lined up at the front and I had a very good start.At the top of the hill I was in the top 10 and I felt better than I expected my lungs that is. My legs couldn't really push the bigger gears that I would have liked to, so I found myself spinning a bit faster up the hills. It was tough mentally this time too,because people would catch me and I couldn't match em.They would just slowly pull away.Sam and Tim Norie caught me on like the 2nd or 3rd lap and I could hang with them for a while but they too pulled away. Then Ross passed me on the big climb on about the 3rd lap.He flew up that hill like a monkey being chased by a red hot poker.Now I wasn't feeling crappy the whole race,I would have peaks and valleys here and there,so I just took advantage of each peak.Another thing worth mention is that the temp rose about 15 degrees and the dewpoint rose alot.But I am glad it rained before otherwise it would have been dusty and looser.
In the end I ended up 22nd- 2:01:04,Sam got 20-1:59:48 and Jeff took 1st beating Doug by 4min... way to hammer Jeff!
I will be going back to work in another week or maybe sooner,but I called my boss and he said were starting an addition at Unisis.That job will last untill September.I'm happy because I can get my body into a routine and stay there instead of going here and there waking up at different times.A couple more plus's is that its a clean environment,they have a caffeteria,and its close to Lebenon and Buck Hill so I can do thursday night races.Sweet!
I got some pictures posted of the race.just click on my shared documents&links to the right of this page under my links.You'll come to my msn group page and then click on pictures on the left hand side.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sunshine...on my shoulder....makes me happy

What a wonderful day today the weather is finally turning around for good. Me and Sam are feeling the best we've felt all season(knock on wood).Every day I'm feeling better and better since Sunday. Today I went for 3 hrs and I could do all my surges feeling good.There's this one section of road where you have to race cars to the stop light in order to be in the right lane.So I put on a new song I down loaded called "Mona Lisa Overdrive", you may recognize it from the car chase scene on "The Matrix Reloaded".I just picture Trinity weaving through traffic on her Ducatti and just slam those gears,heck I think I ran out of gears.It was a good 150-200 yard sprint though.
Me & Sam took and tested the mt bikes yesterday and Sam was grinning ear to ear on the Bandito.I tried out my Sid World Cup & XO rear deraileur.I also brought along the Cabellero to bomb some of the downhills,fulls are so fun to ride.I also spent a good chunk of time just cleaning up and adjusting Mikes bikes. Mike said they get alot of crap from mechanics who work on their bikes,but everything is race ready now!
I have a funny story about last night. I didn't see it, but my mom and dad did.See we have red fox in the area and at night they make this God awefull screaming noise that seems like it should come from a horor movie.It sounds just like a little kid screaming his guts out. Well anyways, my mom and dad heard it and turned the yard light on, and when they looked out the window they saw a fox high tailing it across the yard with our cat hot on its heels. Then after that our cat came strolling up to the window ,and the fox was a ways back just screaming at him so the cat stops,looks back and the fox flinches. Since when does a cat have dominence over a fox. I have a new respect for him now. Maybe Kitty was a bad name to choose?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bikes & More Bikes

The arsonal Posted by Hello
Today I went to school,and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting very bright.I only have like 5 more projects left and I'm ahead in hours.That means I can go all summer without going back.I also need about 1250 more hours at work before I become Journeyman.I figure by next winter I'll have it.That means more responsibility when it comes to work though, and I'll be the one telling apprentices what to do.(i.e.-take this sledge hammer and knock down that wall and when your done haul it all out with the wheel barrow to the dumpster.)
After school I met up with Mike and he gave me 3 bikes to work on.Sams new Bandito,Jeffs old Cabelero,and an old school scandium hard tail that I forget it's name.So tomarow morning I'll be spending lots of time swaping out a whole big list of parts while sipping on a cup of jo and watching,fun.Right now there are 10 bikes in the basement.It looks like we're running a shop out of it.I like it!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Dealing with Butterflies

I know everyone is talking about the same thing these days-weather! Today me and Sam went mountain biking and experieced the first snowfall of may.Luckily the big stuff came through at the end of the ride.There was actualy accumulation for a few minuites.I need not say more about that because everyone is dealing with it.
With the Mn series starting next weekend I know everyone is thinking the same thing.Did I train right?Did I train enough? Who's going to be feeling in top form?I hope I'll feel good.Man this is going to hurt! Every time I think of it I get the butterflies.And you know all the big guns will be there ready to turn up the heat.From reading all the blog sites, everyone is doing very well and racing alot.I don't know how those guys can race like twice a week and put in super hard training rides and still do as good as they do.They're racing animals!I just remind myself that all you can do is your best, have fun, and hopefully you feel on form.
Some exciting news is some new gear comming our way.I might be changing out my fork for a Sid World Cup,Sam might be getting Jeff's old Bandito,and we'll probably be sporting new Salsa clothing for the race.Nice!
I need to say congrats to Chris Fisher for putting in an excellent finish at the Blast series today.He took my place from last year- 4th.Brian Narum took the win and Brendon Moore got 3rd.Good job guys!