Thursday, July 26, 2007

Au revoir

The bags are packed and the bike boxes are full. I know that there are some people with laptops so I'll try to post when I can over there. I got an email from someone over there now and the forecast is saying between 75-80 for highs and lower 60's for lows with no rain in sight. Storms are suppost to be rolling in right around the time we take off tonight. I'm hoping the front will move faster and be gone by our 9:30 departure.A bientot

Monday, July 23, 2007

National Championships

As much as I'd like to have gone to Mt Snow in Vermont, I couldn't because of the France trip. Sam and I are hoping we can make the championships next year. But here is the rundown on the Midwest representation we had there this weekend.
Jeff Hall was the top midwesterner taking 9th place.
Mike Simonson who is a powerhouse from MI came in 24th
Jay Richards took 35th place which s pretty good for his age and the amount of stress he has to carry each week at the resort fittng in a workout when he can.
TJ Woodruff pulled in a respectable 38th
Paul Hanson ended up with a dnf

Pro Women-
Jena Zander and Kyia Malenkovich came in 12th and 14th respectively.

Mike Phillips from WI tore the course up and brought home the coveted stars and stripes jersey.
Chris Pearsio also from WI took 7th
Jesrin Grier was there but I couldn't find his placement

The Young Guns-
Ben Moore the brother of MN series champion Brendan Moore suffered from an early mechanical and struggled to come in 29th among the U23 class
Fellow training companion Eric Thompson was aiming to take home a stars and stripes jersey himself but came in 14th in the Jr Expert class for the xc race; however, the next day at the stxc event he succeeded and will be sporting one of those fancy red white and blue jersey's.
Jake Richards (Jay Richards son) fought hard in th jr 13-14 class but had some mechanical difficulty towards the end and came in a close 2nd place.

I hope I didn't miss anyone but that is a great showing by alot of the top midwesterners. I'd read there blogs for some interesting stories.Good work everyone

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Last friday after a nice block of training I went to get a massage. I think I go through more pain there than I do at a bike race. The guy I had also massaged Greg Lemond when he worked over in the Plymouth branch. He said Greg has a high tolerance for pain because he was pushing off the walls for more pressure, ouch! I never fully realized how tight I was until I started going, they know exactly where the painful spots are and then work them. I recommend getting a deep tissue the day before a rest day because the legs hurt the next day even if you do drink alot of water. A few days after the massage though the legs feel great. By breaking apart the tissues and stretching them out the muscle has more motion and is more efficient. I highly recommend getting one.
After the massage I went over to my cousins house for her 30th b-day party. I let myself loose on the food since the 3 previous days were tough and I went through alot of calories. I had my share of fried chicken and great summer salads. Sat early morning I went to Mammoth for a couple laps before heading out to the Lake Howard area to visit some family friends for the day. Again I ate good, did some fishing, played cowboy golf, and shot some guns. I didn't have my camera at the time but my friend Dylan caught the biggest bass I've personally seen. It was easily 6lbs and I'd say 21 inches. Good to see everyone again. Thanks for having me over, and thanks to Holly for all the great food.
Yesterday I went down to Afton and then up to Marine on the St Croix by me lonesome. I did as many hills as I could find. 100 miles total and averaged 19mph. not bad for almost 4000 ft of climbing. I love the compact cranks, I can climb the steep stuff so much easier and relaxed.That is all for now.
This pic reminds me of Sam and I when we were little up at our cabin.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

France training

I've adjusted my training for long multiple days of climbing in a couple more weeks.Tuesday I did 3 hrs at Lebanon Hills on the mtb. I saw Shane there with another guy a lap or two in so I rode with them for a while. If you haven't been there lately (like me) they put in a new section in the double expert loop thats pretty cool. It includes a power peddaling uphill log sectiion and one of the sweetest berms I've ridden. Wednesday I went up to North Branch by myself via the sunrise trail that goes from Hugo to North Branch. Usually I would go over to Scandia and up to Lindstom but I didn't want the straight headwind going from Lindstrom to Stacy. On my way back from North Branch I turned west at Stacy and made my way around the Carlos Avery preserve, and East Bethel. I wasn't looking forward to the 20-25mph headwind but it wasn't too bad. My legs were feeling good and I was finding the power and rhythm needed to conquer such winds.That was a 4hr day riding tempo the whole time. Then today H'wood himself invited me to go for a ride starting in Prescott. Todd (Jay's shop hand), Greg?, Jay, and myself had a hankering for some hills. H'wood grew up in this part so he knows his way around. We did alot of sweet climbing on the back roads, up and down the bluffs. Me and Todd had to wait at the top of the beginning climbs and the pace mostly was at a socializing pace. On the last big climb which was 8-10 miles from Prescott, I was riding tempo and Hollywood starts hitting my rear wheel with his front tire yelling "ya,ya!" I quickly slow down, look back to see if he's going to go around, but both he and Todd just sit behind me. I do a quick jump and set a fast pace to the top. When I get to the top H'wood is the only one there. He goes around me and the game is on. We Hammered all the way back in the headwind. I spent most of the time on the front pacing on the hills and the flats while H'wood took over on the downhills. We put on like a 10 min gap on Todd and Greg. I knew H'wood would be up for a city limit sprint into Prescott. I didn't let him down. But when he went around me way wide I look back to see like 3 cars right behind him, sorry I'm not going to whip out into traffic for a friendly sprint. I don't know how someone is going to react to something like that. He ended up beating me by a bike length. Before the sprint I was thinking about attacking him on one of the last rollers but I didn't really know where the sign exactly was. Good ride though and I was feeling stong in the winds and on the climbs. We did 3.5hrs and 3,800ft of climbing. Tomorrow I rest and maybe get a message'.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Climb like a butterfly and sting like a bee

So yesterday I was walking through the yard when I feel this instant sharp pain in my right leg down by my ankle. I must have jumped 2 feet in the air while brushing my leg with my hand in a sweeping motion. A yellow jacket bee got me good as I walked by its underground hive. It hurt like crazy for a few seconds then started to itch. I went on with daily life as Eric Thompson came over in the evening to go swimming and fishing with me. It was fun because we anchored the boat a ways away from one of those water trampolines across the lake and did a few flips off of it. The sun fish were vicious, nipping at us all the time. Then we fished for a couple hrs. I was teasing Eric about how a rookie always catches the most weeds. Then he pulls up a 24inch northern. I recovered pretty good by reeling in a 17inch bass a while later. Anyways afterwards we watched the tour and I noticed how swollen my foot was. It had grown like a balloon. It doesn't hurt its just a bit tight and warm. So now I ice it and elevate for a while. I thought of the move "Pure Luck" with Martin Short where he gets stung by a bee in the airplane and his face swells up without him noticing. That was a classic movie.

I switched to my compact cranks for the France trip which is in a couple weeks. I really like it. 50-34X12-25 is what I'll be running. I know if I was running a 53-39X12-25 I would be halfway up the climb looking back to see if I have another gear.If the Pro Tour riders put them on their bikes and their threshold is well over 100+ watts greater then me, I think I'm going to need it. And with day in and day out climbing, spinning the climbs is going to save the legs for the next day.fellow MN cyclist Dan Cleary is over in France right now enjoying the alps and the Tour so check his blog out.

Richard Virenque over here however, is going to keep the big gears up front and put either a 12-25 or a 12-27 on the back.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Kato Cooker

Yep, paid 7 deep and I got 8th. I gotta get up in that top 5 consistency group here soon. This 7th and 8th business is getting old. Before the race I was feeling kind of drowsy and not much energy. I think it was the heat. I looked at a themometer in the shade and it read 95 degrees with the dewpoint in the 70's, making a heat index of 100+ degrees. Let me tell you, its an experience to be climbing as hard as you can up a ski slope baking in the sun with no wind. It gets real uncomfortable fast. Off the line my legs felt like junk and hurt bad I even thought we were on the conservative side (except for Paul and Brendan). I found my way up to third way behind the two fast guys. Fisher, Jeff "I'm only on a training ride" Hall, and Jay Richards were right behind me. At the end of the 1st lap Jeff goes around me right before the new "quick release" descent. Fisher and Jay found there way around me on the second lap and I saw Sam hard charging behind me. He fell twice on the first lap and had to do alot of catch up. He passed me quickly and rode up to Jay. Chris Peariso caught me on the 4th lap and had an excellent last lap kick. I took it easy since I had no one in sight behind me, and I was feeling the heat. I felt like I couldn't push myself that hard in this race. When I tried, I would just bog down and get that over heating feeling. I could only run on cruise control for the whole race to stay at a certain temprature. Sam came in 5th.

Friday, July 06, 2007

photo blog

This morning I went out and raided the wild blackberry bushes that are growing all over our property, and I took some pictures as well.
King of the Junge

19.5"The fishing has been the best I've ever seen in our lake. The weedbeds are easier to fish and the fish are alot healthier.


Our massive tiger lily patch

Kitty meandering through the sun flowers
Going to have a bumper crop of apples this year. All 3 of our Harlson apple trees are plumb full. We got about 10 lbs of cherries from our trees this year. My mom has been making cherry jam.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Northfield Crit

Its not too often the Giant TCR comes out to play. Today we had some fun on the skinny tires. Chris Fisher, Sam, and I did the cat 4/5 race. Chris and I did allot of the work up front. There were a couple crashes but no major pile ups. I was behind one guy who jumped his pedal in a corner, did huge fishtail, saved it, then his tire blew up. An old lady in a car somehow got on the course and one of the course officials stopped the lady right after the apex of an on coming corner. Luckily everyone saw her and the pace was not crazy fast so everyone was able to avoid her. With a few laps to go I let up and decided I wasn't going to be involved in a chaotic finish, this was a training race and I just wanted to finish with all of my skin. However,coming out of the last corner before the finish line we had one lap to go and I was in the back. I don't know if it was the adrenaline or what but I found myself advancing really fast through the field on the outside down the straightaway. Well I didn't want to be next to anyone going into the first corner since it was the sketchiest one so I punched it and pedaled hard, when I looked down we were doing 32-35mph. The first corner is a sharp and narrow 90 into a short punchy stair stepper climb. I stayed on the gas with Chris on my wheel and held the pace the whole lap taking the corners as fast as I could, no need for brakes on these corners. As I exited the last corner onto the finishing stretch I yelled to Chris, "there's your leadout". He did a good job on the sprint and took 1st. He also got two of the three primes. I rolled in 9th. I told Chris that if anyone was going to win I would like to have it a mountain biker. Chris is a powerhouse on the sprints lately and I knew he had the best chance. Sam was looking pro out there with his fishnet like arm and leg bandages holding on the gauze pads. Good times though.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bad Karma

"In south east Asia we'd call something like this bad karma"- Mr Rumsfield

Just like 2 years ago when I went down at this race, Sam got shafted this time on the start and went down hard. He made it about 3/4 of a mile further than me however. I never saw him go down which was good because it looked nasty from what I hear. I guess he got sandwiched between two guys and then hit the deck going full speed down a gravel straight away. The bodily damage- His knee and calf took the brunt of the fall. It looked exactly what I had when I went down at MT Kato. Picture someone taking a cheese grater to the skin just under the kneecap. His calf was swollen too along with some gravel rash on the forearm. Josh Shwantes ran him over so his back was sore too. I'm shure he got up real slow this morning. Yesterday John Thompson was kind enough to give us some road rash supplies until we can find our own. The bike damage- The Stans rim is toast. He already ordered a new rim and Dave Meyers is going to lace it up for him. There are some scrapes on the gripshift,brake lever,lower fork and calipers. I didn't see any frame damage. Like I told my grandma, He'll live to fight another day. I told him to take it easy this week and try to be ready for Mt Kato. After that we have 3 weeks off before we go to France, plenty of time to recover.
Ok now my story. Brad Johnson (Scott Kylander-Johnsons brother)rode his bike to my house in the morning and after we had breakfast at Deny's we headed to the race. (As a side note click on Charlie Farrow's or Sara Kylander-Johnsons blog to the right for a crazy story about what Brad did after the Dirt Spanker last week). I lined up next to TJ Woodruff at the start on the OUTSIDE this time. Even though we had a call up we were 3rd row. The start was the craziest start ever. It was so dusty I could only see the guy in front of me. I was trying to hold my breath while going as fast and as hard as I could. It was like a 2 mile all out flat start. And with 5 times as many guys as a MN expert race guys get boxed in all over the place. After dealing with thick dust for the first 3/4 mile I spotted TJ making a move on the right side and I followed his wheel. It was perfect, everyone was on the left side of the gravel road and the wind was blowing the dust to the left. We had a clear path out of the dust right up to the top 10 guys or so.(This is where Sam saw me moving up and wanted to jump on my wheel but was taken out before he could move). Right before we hit the first singletrack section Marko Lalande went down in front of me and Scott K-J, forcing us to stop and a half dozen guys got around us. That really messed things up as I was not going as fast as I wanted to through the singletrack. I also lost alot of time on a spot where if you weren't the first 10 guys through everyone behind you had to dismount and wait to get through. The first lap was tough as I found myself surging hard on the doubletrack and trying to collect myself through the fast technical singletrack. At the end of lap 1 I took a bottle from my holder (at like 15 mph :) had it in my hand but then dropped it trying to put in my bottle cage, CRAP! I knew I was going to need it so I quickly turned around and picked it up. The chase was on as I had to catch back up to the group of three that I was with. I caught them a few miles in on the gravel road that Sam crashed on. I don't remember too much about the 2nd lap but we all stuck together. Going into the third lap Sam was unexpectingly there to hand bottles to me. Chris Peariso caught up to us and led the group going into the singletrack after the long gravel road yet again. He was railing it and we gapped a couple of the riders from the group. It was now Chris,I and Seth Lenss. We caught Eric Thompson who was having a stellar race untill he hit a tree and slowed to our group. I took over at the front and continued to hammer the flats and rail the singletrack. I must say that the Giant Anthem is so smooth with the pro-pedal switch off. Its a night and day difference on how much control I can have through the technical singletrack. Anyway, I was surprised when I saw Brian Matter riding slow ahead of me. I made a small gap on everyone but Seth Lenss bridged back up and took the lead going into some singletrack. A little ways in we were flying through the singletrack when Seths front wheel washed out. It was the weirdest image as I see his bike and body turn sideways through the air and travel down the trail through the trees untill he finally hit the ground in a cloud of dust. "Are you all right?", "I guess" he says. From here on I was running on adrenaline as I could see a big chase group not far behind and I was all alone. At the start of the final lap I caught Chris Fisher and told him to jump on my wheel. He wanted to help out but he couldn't. I kept telling myself to stay alert and ride the singletrack clean and hammer on the flats. It was tough being alone on that gravel road going into a head wind with a group 30 seconds behind. I was thinking WWDD (What Would Doug Do). I know what he would do, put your hands in the drops of the riser bar,get as low as you can, put it in the 44-11, and roll that big dog. Half way into the lap I saw Jesrin ahead of me. Sweet another carrot for me. Boy did I have him running hard. He kept looking back and I kept getting closer. I've never went so fast through singletrack (except when I was being chased by a dog at Lebennon) in my life. As you can see in the photo I was so close to catching him. If we had just a little more road I think I could've got him. I was surprised that I was only a little over a minuite behind Paul and TJ at the finish. Yeah, my legs were feeling pretty good on those flats and I think those big breakfasts help in keeping my energy level sustained instead of having peaks and valleys throught the race. Thanks for reading-EO.

Welcome to Wisconsin where everyones a winner