Wednesday, July 29, 2009


While in Chicago last weekend, we met up with jR and saw Nina Nastasia play at the Hideout. She also happened to be recording a live album and video at the show. I would seriously consider going to Chicago for this show alone. The fact that it coincided with the bike race weekend was incredibly good luck. Above is a photo from the show that I found on the Internet.

Here's a video from an older show:

Between the opening act and Nina, these guys called about five games of Bingo, which was hilarious and amusing:

Did you know that four corner Bingo is called "Hippie Bingo?"

Neither did I.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Do I need to drive several hours to another race? No.

Do I even like crits? Not really.

So why do this race?

Because how often do you get to race in downtown Chicago?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kicking it Huck Finn Style

We went to the cabin in southern Ohio again this weekend. We regularly rent it from nice people who, much to my surprise, recently constructed a floating raft they use on the pond to fish. Of course, I had to take it out for a try.

I am easily amused.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More of the same

Last month, House of Representative Members John Boehner (from Ohio) and Eric Cantor sent the President a letter requesting the elimination of several federal programs in a supposed effort to save taxpayers money. The funny thing about Boehner is that he is always quick to vilify any spending or tax credit that promotes cycling, yet he has no problem with spending lots of federal money on highways and roads (from which his suburban/exurban Cincinnati district greatly benefits).

The letter is here.

Two money quotes from the letter:

Terminate Safe Routes To Schools Program
Created only in 2005, the Federal “Safe Routes to Schools Program” finances what have traditionally been viewed as local responsibilities, namely financing sidewalks and bike paths, crossing guards and other infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects to assist children who walk or bike to school. Returning these responsibilities to state and local officials would save taxpayers $183 million a year or $915 million over five years.

Sidewalks....the bane of every red blooded American.

Here is another one:

Terminate Federal Transportation Funding For “Non-Motorized” Transportation Projects
The Federal government is currently spending $25 million a year to fund four Non-motorized Transportation Pilot programs. This program is designed to fund a network of “non-motorized transportation infrastructure facilities” to encourage residents to walk or bike rather than using a car. Refocusing Federal resources on transportation projects with a federal nexus would save taxpayers $125 million over five years.

For comparison sake, $25 million, the cost of the entire program for one year, buys about 1/13 of one one single F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet.


Monday, July 13, 2009


The Tour of the Valley was my second multi-day stage race. There is something neat about immersing yourself in a three day, four stage orgy of bike racing. There is also something really grounding about arriving home Sunday night and realizing that the real world awaits you and that you are not, in fact, a professional bike racer, but one of many weekend warriors with way too much time and disposable income.

The race was incredibly well run, and Carbon Racing deserves a huge round of applause for pulling off such a great event.

ThomDom won the overall Cat 3 general classification, as well as Friday's criterium:

The team raced very well throughout and ensured that Thom got and kept the yellow jersey after Saturday's road race. I managed to take 3rd in Sunday's criterium after being away in a break for about 55 of the 60 minute race:

Back to the real world. For now.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Raccoon Rally Finish Line Photo

I torched those two other guys in the finishing sprint. Oh wait, it was for 18th place.

The guy in red in the background picking his butt really makes the photo.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

"Bike racing is hard"

A few miles into this year's Medina Twin Sizzler Expert 19-34 road race, I got into a two-person breakaway with Spin/Second Sole multisport stud Aussie Rob. Yes, he is from Australia. Yes, he is super fast. No, no one from the other teams knew who he was. Yes, I knew we could take it to the line.

We did manage to take it to the line, and I (barely) got him in the sprint. But the best part of the race was, about 4 miles into our break when we were going 26-27+ mph to establish a gap, he turned to me and said (in his Aussie accent) and in a totally deadpan way, "bike racing is hard." He then shared the fact that he had ridden 120 miles the day before.

Both of those things are not generally good to hear from a breakaway companion. Unless it's Aussie Rob.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

As ThomDom and I were riding home from Spin today and about to do a time trial workout, a pickup truck with a giant "Let Freedom Ring" sticker passed us. The woman in the passenger seat was hanging out of the window and yelling at us to "get off of the road." We just smiled and waved in typical passive aggressive fashion. She then flicked us off, while still hanging out of the truck. It was not your typical single finger salute....there was a whole lot of emotion behind it. She must have really put lots of energy behind hating the fact that cyclists were legally riding on the four-lane SOM Center Rd.

I doubt she appreciated the irony of her actions in the context of her vehicle's giant sticker.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Excuse me sir, but your son is a creep

I am a firm believer in going on a few bike racing trips every year, if not for the sake of bike racing, for the stuff that happens while on the trip. Last weekend's Raccoon Rally weekend was no different.

I learned that the Ellicottville Brewing Company has a 10% ABV beer called Pantius Droppus.

Also, while hanging out in Ellicottville on Saturday, we encountered a gaggle of fairly obnoxious young ladies who were presumably wasted and running around the town screaming and engaging in some sort of scavenger hunt. Word on the street was that they were celebrating graduation (from college, I suppose). At one point, they ran up to a police car stopped at a red light. All I could think of was, "public intoxication citation." That is most likely what I would receive if I drunkenly stumbled up to a cop car for no real reason and made a big scene. Five minutes later, however, we saw the police car parked in a lot around the corner, with its (young male) officer standing among the group of girls while they posed provocatively on the police car and took photographs.

At Sunday's mountain bike race, we parked next to a pickup truck with a couple and their three kids. As Scott was messing with his bike next to my car, the kid from the truck (who looked to be about 10 years old) stood up in the truck bed and purposely spit his gum at Scott, completely unprovoked. It landed right next to Scott, under his bike. This was done in front of the whole family, who said or did nothing in response to the actions of the young social deviant. Then the dad (who was the mountain bike racer of the family) promptly rode off in his camouflage bike helmet (that is not a joke) while the rest of the family walked off with their tiny beagle puppy that social deviant boy was previously manhandling and almost dropped out of the truck bed.

Then I raced my mountain bike over 30 miles for 2+ hours that felt like about 7 hours, after which we drove home and I ate everything in the house. Twice.

The end.