Beverly Hills Criterium
Beverly Hills, Illlinois
Round and round we go, up and over, push pull and all that. Follow the wheels that are carving the turns, don’t touch a wheel and don’t fall down. That was Friday night’s crit. Bit of a shocker straight out of the car but the legs were going well enough to stay out of trouble, but not fast enough to get off the front to lap the field like some boys did, and they just ripped through the field when they finally came around the back of the pack. It was impressive. Wish I was there with them but ‘the Beast’ (Marco’s Armada) took my legs, though it may have been Continental, or it may have been just the fact that I was slow. Oh well, there’s always 17 more races to do!
Saturday, July 9, 2005
We were going to race, we talked about it, we planned it, then we slept in. Tired legs are not the best to race with. We were a little sore from the night before and Jay Allen’s (McGuire) girl was coming in from Scotland right when we were supposed to finish the race so the driving around would have thrown us all over Wisconsin so we ended up bailing on the race. And that was actually OK since we got to see the Tour Day French and Lance do what he does. He’s fast, but I have both my balls, so HA! Marco and I ended up running errands and sorting out our switch to Heim Time’s house (where we crashed last year) as he was on his way back from Nebraska. Kevin Heim is the man with the house that has more couches and beds than anyone I know. It’s very hospitable up in Brown Deer, where he lives, and it’s home from home while we’re all in Milwaukee racing around in circles. Hell, he’s got Tivo! What more can you want?
Suunday, July 10, 2005
Flat, fast, 4 corners. Just what the Doctor ordered for the go fast legs. Hooked up with Hudak and the boys (Axt, Yeah Yeah, D-Rizzle), swapped some stories an got ready to go. McKenna was with us in the car and was sipping the Lite’s while we were spun out in the 11 trying to follow Menzies around the course. Strong bugger that guy and set to rip your legs off all the time, especially now. Funny that we haven’t really seen them all year, but I guess now is the time for them to get going fast since their sponsor is in Milwaukee and the racing is basically in their back yard. All the Endevour guys are riding really well right now, but they just can’t seem to grab the leader’s jersey.
During the race the break went up the road and I tried to bridge but failed, then I tried to chase them down, got close then blew, then I tried to get off the front, and failed, again and again. Annoying, really annoying. One of those days where I just couldn’t get into a rhythm. After the race we had to wait around for Marco and Jay to pick up their cash, then we switched out Jay for Rahsaan Bahati and brought him back to his host house for the rest of the time. Got some grub at a Mexican restaurant that was overrun with dumb cyclists, shoved it down, got in the truck and jetted back to Milwaukee. Dropped off Bahati at his host housing then went to McKenna’s for some sleep. Mike’s dog started yapping at us (it’s 1 am mind you). Mike let her out then she started whining to go out, so I let her out the back door. She wandered off so I had to go after her. Running around the streets of Ravenswood in my boxer shorts whisper-yelling at Harley to get her little ass back into the house. Lovely. Got her back into the hose and then she started whining for Mike’s bed. At around 3am she got into the room and I finally fell asleep.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Legs are feeling tight right now, but ok on the little spin we took. Got some coffee, watched the Tour, played some Texas Hold ‘em, took a nap, tried to eat right, packed the car up and headed over to Heim’s house at about 7pm. Chatted for a while about life and such, grabbed some dinner and went to sleep. Rest day’s are long, but missing Alpine Valley road race is worth it. Ouch, my legs just ache thinking about it.
MGA Proving Grounds road race
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Finally going to do a road race and a good one at that. Not really too many hills though it seems up and down all day and if not that then it’s windy and flat. It’s actually a lot of fun. We woke up to rain pattering the windows, got into the Beast and drove over to Cosi for some coffee and a snack of eggs and biscuits, packed the truck and headed down to Burlington for the race.
Rocked up to the parking lot with very little time to spare but the race got delayed and so we ended up having a lot of time for the eggs to disappear into the ether. I was hungry on the line ad that wasn’t good. The rain was still spitting down and there seemed to be a lot of dour faces on the start line. We finally got racing and the attacks came thick and quick. I finally had some kind of legs and got into a move with some fast buggers and we stayed away for the rest of the day. We rolled on and I never saw less than 170 on my Polar for about 2 laps. I started seeing stars and gave Hudak the "NEED FOOD NOW" sign by putting fingers to my mouth. I saw Drew go Matrix slow-mo, reaching over the cooler for a pack of brownies. As I came by my hand went out and his came up- the brownie pack into my hand. I’ve never had a better brownie pack in my life.
We were flying around the course and splitting the wind as fast as we could go. I kept thinking that it would settle down, but it never really did until some more guys came across and the shit hit the fan when Menzies attacked. He split the group and 7 guys went off, with one gangly German dangling in no man’s land. Our sprint opened up and I stood, then sat and finished 14th. Hardest $65 I ever made.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Coffee, snack, nap, TV, Starbucks ride, some Lites and then to bed. A fantastic day all in all. Not very descriptive, sorry.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Finally a race just down the road from where we're staying, and near the lake as well so the temperatures are reasonable though the racing was hot hos (whatever the hell that means. I read it somewhere in the comments buried in Saunder's blog)! Met up with Hudak, D-rizzle, D-La-B, DD, Paul and their host family, took a nice photo (once I figure out how to upload it into my new laptop I'll post), and got ready to race. I walked into the salon that was right off the passenger door and asked where the restroom was. One of the stylists said in the back and then dropped her comb when she looked at my package. God bless my Garneau shorts, 'cause you know if you can see an Irishman's banger then the shorts are all tight and right!
Got to the line and got my head into it. Round and round we went and the legs felt all right for a while. I was minding my own buisness with Hudak keeping guys form diving my inside when I realised it was about 12 to go and then the shit hit the fan and the pace got worked up like a whore on a Friday night. I didn't drop it form my 12 for about 4 laps and guys started to gap off. I tried to move up and shot up to about top 20 in one backstretch and all was good. The field started to go gangbusters and McGuire started to lead out. It got real hectic with about 4 to go and I was worried about dying. Something about field sprints that make me cringe even though I've got really good healthcare. Anyway, lived long enough to see the line in about 20th spot and got into 11th at the line. Good but not good enough for a top ten. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.
Side note- it was funny to see Menzies giving Saunders a hard time, jawing back and forth and then Menzies was on his ass due to poor bike handling skills. 10 points to Saunders for not peeing on him while he was down. Class.
July 15, 2005
The grandaddy that would kick your ass when you were young designed this race. And you remember how you felt about that. It was cool to get those dollar bills every now and then from Pappy, but then he would rap his ring on top your head when you were being a bit ansy, or a bit frisky with his patience. Don't get me wrong its a cool race, cool as actually, but 70 times up that hill feels like a visit to grumpy grampa's house after a while- its fun, but there's no cable tv. I felt like a rock star for about half of it, but missed the move/split that lapped the field (32 guys) and then got worked over by a GuataPortaMexiRican guy that wouldn't let me breathe up the hill. I was surprised that Danny Neilleson (Denmark team) missed the move along with Menzies and some other guys as well, but there we were, getting lapped. Feck that, I pulled out and then realised that I was going to throw up, maybe into my own mouth. Awful feeling, really, but I kept it together and sat in the gutter for a while counting the guys that dropped out. I think more guys were on the side of the road than in the race. Oh well, there's always tomorrow, right?
Hopefully I won't vomit on my laptop.
July 16, 2005
OK, didn't vomit out my mouth- only my back end erupted like Carmen Electra's implant in 1998. Nasty. I think Marco and Rahssan are feeling it too, but it's hard to tell as I haven't left my room except to use the head. I've got a fever of about 102 and I'm cold but sweating through my sheets. I feel like ass and my ass feels like a bilge pump.
July 17, 2005
Rahsaan has the butt pee too. Marco has crooked guts and the house is starting to smell like the bluberry candle lit all day in the bathroom and open ass.
I think I'm going to die.
July 18, 2005
Tried to ride my bike today but I had to poo 5 times before I could think about eating and then I ended up forgetting about the notion of riding. Went down to Alterra coffee and put in a hour session. My laptop wouldn't connect to the wireless network there so I went to Best Buy later that day and bought a new Compaq for 800 bucks. That made me feel a little better, but then had to use their restroom while the Geek Squad was checking it out, and then I felt like before except with 800 dollars more riding on my credit card. Whatever, my laptop is dope and now I can open more than just one window at a time!
Went home, crapped again and pondered what the hell we'd eaten to make us feel this bad.
Went over to Damian Keck's house for a jam session with him and Jonas. I tried to keep up with my VERY limited bass skills and learned a lot. Erok Saunders showed up and really started slapping the bass- man that guy can jam! It was impressive and I've got more respect for big dark now than I had before. Rahsaan was killing the drums for a bit too and it was an all out laugh riot for about 3 hours. Marco and McKenna were manning the recording, I ended up on video (thank goodness because I really do need some bass lessons), Jonas was on drums, Saunders pounding the bass, Damian and one of Jonas' buddies (Jeff) on guitars. An all star Cycling Band.
We're going to be on tour next year, check your local pub for info!
Lake Front Road Race
July 19, 2005
Raced today. Oh yeah, a whopping 1.5 hours until I bonked. I guess it wasn't all that bad considering I'd eaten 3 bowls of cereal, a turkey sandwich, some pretzels and a bowl of oatmeal in 4 days. I'd lost 5 pounds (now 148 bitch!) and felt like ass, but I figured I had to do something other than try and become a cushion on the couch. The race was hard and it's like a big crit every year, this year was no exception. Really wished I'd the legs to go as I really wanted to do well here all year, but the butt pee wasn't helping matters.
G. Henderson and some other guy got away and then Hendy dumped him up the first climb on the last lap and won solo. Hardcore move and really made the rest of us look like fools since he won by more than 3 minutes. Hard cunt.
Jay-Al took 4th in a little chase group and Marco toughed it out to finish strong in the laughing group. It was a rough day, but Rahsaan and I were able to glean some really good info about salmonella poisoning from a nice lady in the feed zone. I was pretty much convinced I'd never bee the same again, but she got my head sorted, now if my ass would follow directions, I'd be OK!