Wednesday, November 10, 2010
ps. pics of the new bike to come!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Moving on.... the 2010 off season is coming to a close. It's been pretty chill to be honest, and has been characterized by not having a sip of beer or booze for a month due to friendly competition, lifting weights religiously, a few really fun Mt. bike rides, a new member in our family (hi Miles!), working a ton, a Cat 3 upgrade, tearing down Lucy, building up Ellenor, getting a new job, and just plain kicking it. Don't worry I have gotten my sleep and rest and have barely been riding my bike which leads to excitement about riding again. I will start my base period Nov. 1, and will start it with vigor! I am lighter than I have been all race season which is a great start. I feel lean and in shape and am looking forward to being busy. Between my new job and doing base my free time will be little and I am excited about that. My enemy of late has been idle hands. I'll try and keep you posted but as I stated earlier I am making no promises.
Monday, August 23, 2010
So I raced. I raced an Ontario and two Dominquez Hills strictly for training purposes. In these races I went right to front and drilled it as much as I could. I got in each and every break and initiated a few as well. I than went to Brentwood two weeks ago which was to be the first race I was planning on siting in and trying to win. The night before I was at work until midnight and my start time was 7:45. I dragged my ass out of bed super duper tired and made it to the race with plenty of time to warm up and grab a cup of Peet's coffee (my fav). It was a 8 turn technical course which suited me well. I stayed at the front 10 all race until the last lap I got shuffled to about 20th from a surge that came up the left side. The last straight in to the final turns I hit it full gas nuzzling myself into about 10th wheel before the crazy 3 turn snake that led into the 500 meter straight to the finish. Out of the turns I sat patiently and than gave it everything I had. My sprint was great and the guys in front of me seemed to be going backwards as I passed 6 of them before hitting the line finishing 4th! I was super happy with this result. My next race started in 45 min. and it took me about that much time to not feel like I was going to puke so I decided to skip it, take my check, and go home to rest before work.
The next week I had a pretty bad chest cold and another late night at work on Sat. and overslept through my alarm which was set at 4:30 am. Life is life and I didn't beat myself up about it seeing that I wasn't feeling tip top. The following week (aug 22) was Ontario which I was really gunning for it being my home town race and all. The problem was that before this race I had worked 10 days straight with no day off and my legs were tired from some long doubles of being on my feet for 9 hours at a time. My first race was a bust due to no one wanting to pull. The pace slowed so I went to the front and didn't exactly hammer it but burnt too many matches. Whatever... pack finish. Didn't even feel like doing the next race but figured fuck it I'm there so I did. Sat in the back the whole time conserving and my plan was to move up with 3 to go. With 4 to go got caught behind a crash and had to dig deep to get back onto the pack (thats what I get for sitting on the back). I spent 3 to go recovering from the tough effort and decided I would move to the front with 2 to go. Saw my friend Derick move up and shortly made the move myself. I flew from DFL right to the front where I sat for just a second and than Derick let me into the pace line. I sat second wheel for a bit of the bell lap and than somehow had the benefit of slipping back to 5th sitting right on Derick's wheel which is exactly where I wanted to be. With 2 turns left the guys hit the gas hard even gaping me out a bit. I had to stand to close the small gap to Derick's wheel. We made a left and instead of cruising to the outside after the turn to set up for the final turn which we had done every lap the puller decided to drive it to the inside curb. This took me by surprise as I anticipated the former so I slowly drifted to the outside and the peloton slid over to the inside totally leaving me outside the draft. Did I mention we are absolutely hammering it here seeing that there is about 600 meters to the finish. So I put my head down and went as hard as I could alongside of the leaders but watched 20 guys go right by me into the turn. I knew I was cooked but wanted to finish strong so I gave it everything to hold on to a sad 24th. Insult to injury Derick won! Which is great for him but I had his wheel which proves I had the perfect position and I blew it coming out of turn 6. Shit. Oh well what are you going to do. That is racing. I was much happier with this performance than the first race and its always nice to be up in the front at the end (which I was at both races). I hauled ass to work and put in a short tired shift and looked forward to my first day off in a long stretch of 11 straight at work. Next week is the final race in Southern California which is in Costa Mesa. I have an early start time of 7:35, but don't think I will be at work too late the night before. After this I have one more race which is a 3 day omnium in Folsom on Sept 10-12 than off season, which kinda sucks seeing that I missed so much of the season this year. I'm sure I will keep busy riding and playing tennis or something.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Today was a lonely day as I rolled up to the line alone. It felt like last year, warming up alone and knowing that I would have no support and no one to support. No worries though, I knew it going into this race and wasn't planning on doing it until the last moment, the goal basically being one last tune up before my first target race that is Dana Point which is next Sunday. I had a one friend Derrick who I knew was a strong rider, one marked rider who has been on a winning streak and the rest were the usual suspects that regularly line up at the cat 4 races.
The course profile: 7 turns 1.2 mile circuit with a long 400 meter straight leading into the start finish.
I was coming off a rest week and yesterday told me that my legs were refreshed and ready to go. I took off from the gun and pulled for ¾ of the first lap (my signature move remember). Long story short I stayed in the top 7 the whole race never slipping back once and taking more than a handful of pulls leaving myself enough gas in the tank to recover well. I was reading the group perfect today answering every surge battling to hold my position at the front. Derrick and I didn’t work together but were constantly in contact with one another helping each other out by letting one another into the draft as needed.Laps cards came out reading 4 to go and I was sitting 4th wheel. I was in good position but didn’t want to get any further to the front so as each rider finished their pull I would let a small gap open so they would fill it keeping me in the front without having to take a pull. The last 4 laps were fast and strung out as a few teams seemed to try to organize the group and keep it fast, which worked perfect for me. With one to go I was feeling great and was letting the guys keep it nice and single file. My plan was to go early as I am a decent sprinter, but feel I have a better constant motor that is more effective than trying to come around other riders. Out of the last chicane I jumped out to the far left from about 4th wheel. I put my head down and gave everything knowing that the next 350 meters where going to be the longest I have encountered in awhile. I knew I created a descent gap only to be answered by a small select group of riders. As I got out of the saddle and was winding out my sprint about 75 meters from the finish I was passed on my right by the rider I marked as my biggest competitor. I attempted to grab his wheel but he had such a strong kick I couldn’t close the gap. I than was passed by another rider, and than one more nabbed me at the line leaving me to finish 4th.
Friday, April 2, 2010
After battling a pretty bad cold we still decided that I would be the protected rider at the Redlands Classic Crit. The Redlands Classic is part of the National Race Calendar, which makes it a pretty big event. The course is a challenging short .6 mile 6 turn course with a riser of a start/finish straight which leads into a 160 degree chicane into a slight downgrade straight than has a quick two turn right left snake that than goes into a soft fast right hand shoulder and right into a hard 90 degree turn leading you back into the start/finish straight.
We met at John’s house, which is a convenient five-minute ride to the race. We got a nice 35-40 min. warm up on the streets of Redlands and than lined up. Off the gun I pulled my signature move, which for those who don’t know is go right to the front and take the first pull of the race. The first 10 minutes of the 45-minute race was fairly uneventful. I could tell the boys felt strong as John and Mike moved relatively effortlessly through the field which for the most part stayed strung out and running smooth due to the fast pace. Later into the race there was a near miss as someone flatted on the chicane and cut the field off separating me from the field so I had to stomp on it to close the gap that was created. A few laps later I hit a massive pothole in the road and had to take a free lap while I got a new wheel from neutral support. I got back into the back of peloton to find Mike and John who had dropped back to tow me back up to the front half of the field.
Towards the end of the race there was a solo break up the road that was out for awhile so mike helped the group real it back in. With lap cards now reading 3 to go Mike and I were in great position and John was close behind battling to get to the front. With two to go Mike was sitting about 3rd wheel with me directly behind him. There was a break of 4 that just got absorbed after the start/finish (I’m pretty sure it was just a prime attempt that gapped the field) so of course as every second lap I have ever encountered the pace lulled. I yelled for Mike to hit the gas and get us up front as I was sure a surge would come from either side. Mike didn’t hear me, and a group of 15-18 riders came up on the left shuffling us back into about 20th or so. We stayed there for the remainder of the lap since there was nowhere safe to make up that many positions so we waited to do so on the start/finish stretch. As we got to the start/finish with the bell ringing signifying the last lap of the race I hit the gas and moved up a handful of positions but still sitting too far back. Leading into the chicane Mike and I were on the outside of the group and exactly as I knew it would happen a rider took the chicane too fast from the inside sliding himself out across the width of the field ending up right in front of Mike and I. I was forced to slow and safely avoid the bike and few riders that went down by riding into a driveway on the side of the road. My race was over, the small group in front got away so Mike and I got back on the course dropping a few F bombs as we slow pedaled to the finish. John made it through the crash and ended up finishing 22nd, which is awesome since earlier that week John had mentioned his goal was top 25. Way to go John! I can tell his confidence is on the rise and he is now super comfortable in the cat 4 pack and knows not only that he is strong enough to be there but also strong enough to be a player in this category. Mike also did a great job and has a strong motor that I used more than once to help me position myself in the peloton. I think if we would have made the move with 2 to go and took control of the peloton we would have avoided the crash and would have secured a podium finish as my legs were solid and had a lot left in them during the last 2 laps. There are definitely some things we can work on as a team and we would be ignorant to think otherwise. But the important thing is that we know we are strong enough to be where we need to be at anytime during the race. All in all it was a fun fast and technical race that ended with a huge chunk of bad luck, but hey that is racing and we will charge on and kill it soon enough!
Monday, March 29, 2010
This is day one of my rest week...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
There was one common word that got thrown around a lot during the endless banter while we shared team meals, watched Milan San Remo, sipped pre-race coffee, stretched out in the evening, argued about how arm warmers should be warn, filled water bottles, discussed the up coming stage etc… and that was “PRO”.
There was one common theme to the way we fought for wheels, closed gaps, lead our G.C. contender out, dropped back to tow in dropped teammates, out sprinted the field numerous times, trusted each others ability, turned ourselves inside out to get over the climb, demanded respect from the peloton etc… and that was “PRO”.
I woke up this morning to an empty feeling now that the house is void of bikes laying all over the place, racers preparing for another day of battle, and friends making silly comments to avoid the nervous feelings for the up and coming stage. But I also woke up feeling accomplished, feeling that we finished what we started with vigor and excellence.
So here it goes one more time…
Thanks to the team!
Thanks to Jim for developing the team, and for hustling behind the scenes to receive sponsors, design kits, and put in orders. Also for delivering nutrition, hollering at us during races and being our number one supporter and fan! In case you didn’t already know it’s noticed.
Also thanks for the on going support from Greg and Sarah. You skipped your own rides on very rare days off of work to come out and cheer us on. Greg said something really simple to me the morning of the road race that stuck with me all the way to the start line that was something along the lines of “Wes, every time I have seen you race you do well.” Thanks for building the confidence it truly put my mind at ease during warm up and at the start line.
Now for the SDSR line up.
Ben and Pat: Thanks for making the trek down South and back. You took time away from jobs, a wife and child, and your normal lives to completely burry yourselves for a teammate that you had never even met. Seriously there is no way we could have accomplished what we did without the two of you. Ben, I always look forward to kicking it with you I think our personalities just click. Pat it was great to meet you and there is no easier way to form a strong bond with someone other than going to battle together and that we did, its great to come out of this with a new friend. Your guy’s robust riding styles up the climbs and relentless thrusts on the flats were nothing short of inspiring. All kidding aside you guys are amazing cyclist and have a great understanding of the complexity of the sport.
John: What can I say… The guy who didn’t get a chance to ride for a week after a tough race where he got dropped comes out and crushes it. You put up a super solid time on the TT, never seized to go flying by me on the cannon climb only to recover and lead Sean on the most successful sprint lap! And there was probably nothing more that exemplified “pro” more than when you dropped out of the group to come pace me back on lap 6. So much more than a teammate a true friend!
Sean (last for the first time in his career): I knew when you came aboard that our team was for lack of better words “strong”. Of course I have to mention your riding, which is not just plain fast. You’re a hella strong rider with an amazing kick but also you are a smart rider who knows when to apply that strength and kick. The fact that you could do everything we did during the race and than sprint 3 times during it is absolutely amazing! Your bike handling skills are pretty F’n amazing too, way to stay upright when you’re hands slipped of the bars and when you slammed your seat down (that could have been a simple way to loose everything we worked for this weekend). It should also be mentioned that your humility made us only want to work for you more. Off the bike you never let our hard work go unmentioned and for that we thank you. On the bike you finished unbelievably strong with heart and speed, again never letting our hard work go to waste.
One last thing… Since our team training camp I have taken the title as “captain” with a few grains of salt due to being coupled with such amazing talent and knowledge of racing. But the trust you guys put into me on analyzing scenarios and building some loose plans during the three stages did not go unnoticed, and for that I thank you.GREAT JOB TEAM!!
|From Races (Feb. 2010)|
|From Races (Feb. 2010)|
|From Races (Feb. 2010)|
|From Races (Feb. 2010)|
Monday, March 22, 2010
TEAMWORK-noun-work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence for the efficiency of the whole.
What can I say about this weekend? It was hard, fun, and inspiring. For this being the first race of the year where Becher+ had a team riding together we worked very well. Wes, Ben, John, and Pat were the best teammates that I or anyone could ask for. They gave absolutely everything they had in their bodies to help me this weekend. I could never thank them enough or ever give them enough to repay them. I must also commend the efforts of our DS, Sarah, and Greg for standing in the blazing sun and swelling heat. They were there cheer us on, feed us, and support us. As a whole Team Becher+ is pretty KICK ASS!
Now to the racing and action! Friday was stage 1 with a tough time trial up Glendora Mountain Road. The road is twisty, 3.8 miles in length, and an elevation gain of about 1400 feet. John was first to go up from our team with Pat, myself, Ben, Wes, then Mike. Wes i believe broke the record for a time trial up GMR with a solid 23 minute effort! Completely sacrificing his GC position to help me. I was able to put down a 16:11 good enough for 13th position, about 50 seconds down. Pat threw down a 16:46 putting him in 26th, Ben put down a 16:57, John laid down a 17:13, and Mike put in a 19:55. Mike and Wes were having a competition to see who could lay down the slowest time, Wes clearly won that battle! Ha ha!
Stage 2 was a road race around and through Bonelli Park. The course has rolling hills and a wall of a climb called the Cannon Climb, which kicks to about a 13% grade. The Cannon Climb is where the KOM points would be won and the Green Jersey Sprint Points would be given at the Start/Finish line. We wanted to get the sprint points to possibly take the green jersey but also because they carry VERY important time bonuses. The point laps were the 3rd, 5th, and final(6th) laps. The race began with a hair raising moment with Wes and I almost being taken out by one of the motorcycles that unexpectedly stopped in our path. From there the first lap was relatively easy with Wes giving a good effort across the dam to get me good position for the KOM climb. The first climb wasn't tough but there was a crash in the middle of the park that sent down the polka dot jersey and caused a huge split in the group. The split was shut down fairly quickly and that began the second lap. The pace picked up a bit and field would begin line up a bit more. The 3rd lap is where the action really began, I had Wes and Ben work with me on the dam and up the KOM climb. I was in the top three at the top of the KOM and the group was lined up on the descent, and onto the flats. We began to swell at the front and next thing I hear is "Sean! Let's go!" John comes flying by us and helps string out the group and gives me a chance. He burnt up and fell back a bit and a train came rolling by me. I jumped to try and integrate in line by the guy next to me would not let me in so I, being a smartass, rode right next him with teeth gritted and when I decided to go I jumped the train and held it to the line to win the first hot spot sprint and 10 bonus seconds on gc. I burnt a match in that one. The next half lap it was hard for me to recover but eventually my HR came down on lap 4. Lap 4 was fairly easy as I rode with Wes and Pat protecting me in the pack with Ben, 86% of the time, hammering the front of the field making sure nothing got away and that the pace would be kept up. On the 5th lap Wes and I had a talk whether or not we go for the bonus and finish, or just the finish. We ended up going for the bonus. Wes did a great job of taking me to the front on the dam where I would then hook up with Ben and Pat. Ben took me up as far as he could until i had to get around him and hear him say, "get 'em boy." When I needed to be at the front the guys would take me there. I again crested in the top 5. Again after the descent and onto the flats the field would bunch and again I heard "Sean!" There was El Capitano Wes burying himself to string out the field. I latched onto his wheel and when another line came rolling past I had to jump into that line. This time someone else jumped me and I launched the effort. I thought I had crossed the line 3rd which would have given a 3 second bonus, but unfortunately that's not what the video shows. Wes with his massive effort was a bit cooked and a gap formed, he was just about back on the group but got cut off and slowed by a follow vehicle. I was also cooked after the sprint but I knew I couldn't give into the pain as I had another sprint to contest at the finish. This lap was critical as it had bigger bonuses for time and big sprint points. Ben worked the front of the field for me keeping pace fast and turning the screws in everybody's legs. John ended up falling back to Wes to make sure he was gonna be inside the time cut. On the last lap coming across the dam our race was neutralized and 2 riders were able to slip off the front and were not forced to slow giving them a huge advantage over the field. Ben led me for the final time up the Cannon Climb and got me good position in the top 10. Coming down the descent onto the flat into the finish the field began to bunch up again with lines of people trying to move forward. I was squeezed on the left side against the fencing blocked by 2 guys in front of me too. Ben had a bit of a scare coming into the finish when his rear wheel suddenly popped out of the dropouts. Wes, Ben, Pat, and John were all able to make it into the finish with the group. Unfortunately Mike didn't make the time cut and was forced to withdraw.
Stage 3 is a crit in downtown San Dimas. The course has a small climb in it, a fast downhill, and some fast corners. The race is ALWAYS hard. Last day of a 3 day race and what started as 100+ riders was now whittled to 59 riders. After giving so much effort on the road race and standing around at work from 5 to 9 Saturday night I decided for an ice bath. I didn't know how my legs would feel or react but I needed it as my legs were on fire. The crit was only 35 minutes long so its pretty much like a time trial effort; sprinting out of every corner and hanging on for dear life. Wes said he felt great and everyone else felt tight. At the beginning of the race I was riding with Ben and the pain was high, we weren't comfortable cornering where we were and this position just wasn't gonna work. Ben tried to take me forwards but I think he was just a bit too cooked from Saturday and crit riding doesn't seem like his riding style. So i had to jump and move. I knew Wes was at the front so I had to be there with him. As soon as I got there he let me in and let me recover a bit. Wes looked at me and said, "how you feeling?" I could not even talk. I just shook my head and looked down. At that point Wes took care of me for a lap and I began to warm up as the front of the group began to string out and boom I was comfortable again. Wes and I stayed at the front the whole time, he never let me see wind but also kept me in great position. The plan for today was to go for the hot spot sprint and the final sprint. unfortunately there were so many bells and whistles going off I could never tell which lap was the important one. Since I know I didn't get the time bonus I was gonna have to pull one out of the hat and get good position for the sprint. With 3 laps to go someone took a flier and nobody wanted to chase so Wes went to the front and drilled it to bring it back and on the last lap the solo rider was caught. I was sitting about 10th going into the downhill and found the right wheels to follow. Heading into the last turn I was third wheel and coming around the corner I hit something with my rear wheel sending me in the air and I landed hard on my saddle. I was able to recover and kick for the line. I had enough to cover the guys behind me and jump the guys in front of me for the victory! John, Ben, Wes, and Pat were all able to finish as well.
In the end we ended up with 6th on gc, a stage win, and we tied for the green jersey; on points, stage wins and hot spot wins, tie breaker was gc.
The announcer on Sunday was even announcing about our work as a team. I am sorry that we didn't get the green jersey, I gave my all and so did the guys. We worked really hard this weekend and bonded really well as a team. A BIG THANKS goes out to everybody! Wes was cool to let everyone and their momma stay at his place, and bury himself. Ben and Pat came down to play with us for the weekend and suffered like hell for the team. John for taking care of me in the group and also turning some nasty screws. Becher for letting us wear these kick ass kits and supporting us Saturday and Sunday. Sarah and Greg coming to cheer us on and hang out with us both days as well.
Cycling is as much a team sport as hockey or baseball. We worked very well together. I could not ask for anything more than what I was given by the team this weekend. I just hope we can keep this up. Again, thanks to Wes, Ben, Pat, John, Mike, Jim, Sarah, and Greg.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The second race I just sat in. It was an hour after the first and I was just not into it. My legs hurt and my head was a case for fucking up the last race. Not to mention I was late and jumped into the race at turn one ha ha. Nothing to report here other than that race was slow and I jumped with 2 to go thinking it was the last lap (told you my head wasn't in it) and actually thought I caught the peloton off guard and thought I was going to solo to victory until I saw in the distance the lap card being changed from 2 to 1 meaning there was going to be one lap left. Fuck what an idiot. I don't think anyone noticed though ha ha I hope not.
So now for the reflective section. I am really bummed with how my season has started. I know of all the excuses I have such as I was sick last week at Ontario and I simply did too much work at D.H. but the fact is I am not racing as good as I should be. I should be in the top 10 by now, my legs need more work and I understand I have just started build 2 but worst off I am not racing smart. Oh well I'll try and figure it out but I am just in a shitty mood these past 2 days. I'm over this post.
Friday, March 5, 2010
All in all I am happy with how I raced especially with the given circumstances. I am fast enough to be where I want in the pack, after that its just learning who are the fast guys this season to follow and who are the slow guys to stay away from. I still have a full build period to gain strenght and speed and about 1 million more races this season to get my win and upgrade to 3's! Ill be in Dominguez Hills Sunday racing, I am hoping it will be kinda dry!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Other news Sean and Mike represented the team at Roger Millikin crit on Valentines day. I really wanted to join them and spend some time with one of the two ladies in my life my bike Lucy (the other being Papaya of course) but of course had to work. I did show up to provide a little bit of support and hang out until they went to ride for a warm up. Sean fucking crushed it as usual finishing 7th! Unfortunatley Mike was feeling so good so he pulled out of the race but I am not worried shit like that happens and I know he is going to have a super strong showing this season just a bummer of a way to start the season for him mentally but he will heal up and kill it in Sac this weekend. These guys make me proud to be called Capt'n!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
As for my weekend I wasn't there to help Sean (not like he needed it anyhow). But I am still training am still sticking to the plan to peak a little later so that all of us teammates will have our time to shine and gain some wins and upgrade points. Feb. 28th will be my first race of the season. I spent Sat. staring at the rain from inside my house and decided it to be an off day. Sunday John came out and we did the dreadful Baldy climb up to the switchbacks in the freezing cold. It is Soooo steep. It was a lot of fun though. Monday I met Jordan and Crystal at Hwy 39 and we climbed up to East Fork and up the backside of GMR and down. I was running late for a 1:00 appointment so once we got down the Mt. I had to put my head down and drill it all the way home. I made it but my legs are fried today from all the climbing and hammering. Therefore, today is an unscheduled off day so I will have to re-arange my ride plan for the week.
Non-cycling news went to the Kings vs. Ducks game last night and was pissed when the fucking Ducks snapped our 9 game win streak. I guess it had to end sometime but against the fucking Ducks? Come On!!
|From Rides Febuarary 10|
|From Rides Febuarary 10|
|From Rides Febuarary 10|
|From Rides Febuarary 10|
|From Rides Febuarary 10|
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sunday both Mike and Aaron came out to my house. We went up hwy. 39 up to East Fork and up the back side of GMR. 4500 ft. of climbing and a 3:15 ride. My legs felt tight but I was still able to motor pretty good. I climbed what I thought was really well, we did the backside of GMR in about 30 min. All in all as I said it was a great weekend on the bike. I only snapped a couple of worthy pictures of Sundays ride and forgot my camera on Saturday so here are the two.
|From Rides January 2010|
|From Rides January 2010|
Friday, January 29, 2010
The other thing on my mind is Portland. I am going up in Feb. to visit and its got my wheels turning. I know it is going to be tough since I have been home sick since I have come back. And knowing that Thomas a good friend of mine has just moved up there to start a design firm only makes me long to return more. Looked up some apt. on Craigslist this morning and as always a ton of awesome affordable places to live up there. So I am going to go up with an open mind of maybe returning after the summer. I am going to bring up some resumes and spend a few hours pounding the pavement while I am up there just to see what happens. Once again not saying I am going to move back for sure but it has been on my mind a whole lot lately.
So here is a pic of me with the reflection of the open road in my eyes. Who knows whats to come? Stay tuned its going to be a cliff hanger ha ha!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
|From Rides January 2010|