Friday, June 29, 2007

These go to eleven

Tomorrow morning, at 5:30ish, I’ll start my Saturday morning workout. It will be almost the same as the last 2 weeks. Instead of forging ahead straight into Louisville via Highway 50, I’m going to turn west onto Platteview Rd. Then take that until 216th (Highway 31) and take 31 south/east until I get back to Hwy 50 just north of Louisville. This will add 11 miles and a few climbs to the ride. It will make the ride about 75 miles long. Oh boy.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sometimes you hit the bar ...

The people whose names I know, who were there:
Kent, Steve Jarrett, Matt Landen, Mark Brackenberry, Count Chocula, Bernardo, Pete Duryea

Names of people I know who were there that I had not seen for at least 2 years:
Dan Hanson, Joe Savoie.

Names of people I know who were notably absent:
Ellis, Gregg, Andrew, Gary, Shim

Names of people I know who are scared to ride and probably have hair on their legs:
Mike Munson, Jon Randell – but especially Jon. I’m just giving crap to Mike, whose legs are, most likely, naturally hairless.

The ride went much better for me than last week. On the Highway 36 section, I got dropped only slightly (last week I was spectacularly dropped).
On the rolling trace section, there was this really insane person, who I believe is named Matt Landen, who was pushing the pace (or at least that’s how it felt to me). I sucked his wheel for a while waiting for someone else to get up there. No one came. I can’t handle the stress – So I got out and pulled for a while, trying (unsuccessfully) to maintain the speed of this Matt person. Now I’m waiting for someone to take over. and waiting. and, uh waiting … I check behind me and I’ve dropped the whole group.

Just kidding.

So nobody comes around for what seems like 5 minutes, but was probably 15 seconds. Then here comes that Matt guy again. Jeez. I’d like to say we were going such and such a speed, but all I could look at was his back wheel. I’m also glad I wasn’t wearing a heart rate monitor, because if I’d seen my heart rate, I would have known that I can’t really go that hard and slowed down. Heart rate monitors suck. There, I said it. I think they’re good for recovery, but otherwise …

Normally, I get dropped on this section (the trace rollers), So I figured I might as well get a good workout in now rather than try to hang on at the back and get dropped anyway.
Eventually Matt sat up, and I was in front again. I pulled for a while (around 2 seconds or so) and dropped back myself. I tried to latch on to the last guy in the group (Bernardo), but no. I fell back. Then Matt dropped off the group. Then Bernardo. Then this big guy was coming toward me (from behind). He caught up to me and we traded pulls. We caught up to this Matt character, who was just cruising now and didn’t feel like joining us hairy-legged freds. Actually, I think the other fella was clean-shaven, but he was big (for a cyclist), bigger than me even. We tried to catch up to Bernardo before the big downhill to Highway 75, but nope. When we got to the gas station, I realized my riding buddy was none other than Joe Savoie. Wow, I haven’t seen that guy in a while. Cool.

The ride back was pretty uneventful, except for Dan Hanson recognizing me. Wow, I haven’t seen that guy in a while. Cool.

Summary: My legs are at their strongest this year. Close to last year, but not quite. I should really do well on the U.P. lunch rides now, though. Yes!

I think the one thing that really stands out about this ride was the number of hecklers. The skate park is always a good place to hear dope-induced, slow speaking, monotone heckles. Last night’s was something like, “wow, are you guys gonna be in the Tour-day-Fraunce?”

“Wow, are you guys gonna be in drug-rehab?”

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Trek store ride tomorrow.

Yippee! The Mrs and I have worked out a deal whereby I just might be able to do the Trek Store Wednesday night ride. Or as it turns out - the "Few minutes behind the Trek Store Wednesday night ride".

But this time, it's personal.

Those Trek store guys and their "riding really fast" antics. I'll show them. I talked to Andrew at the hockey store the other day, and I think we'll be able to join forces off the back and make a completely undetected statement of defiance against those anorexic so-and-so's. Ooh, I can't wait.

Those guys might be fast, but they lack the endurance that Andrew and I have. That's why they have to get finished with the ride so quickly.

See you tomorrow suckers.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday "Recovery" ride

I don't mean "recovery" in the 'spin easy for an hour or so' sense of the word. I mean it more in the 12 step way. Wow, we were up late on Saturday! We went over to the brother-in-law's bar, "Flashback's" for the weekly freak show. Don't get me wrong - we're a part of the show. We participated until close.

Because of my brand new handy-dandy breathalyzer, I drove home from the bar with confidence that I probably should have brought the breathalyzer with me. In my defense, though - The instructions clearly state that this device should NOT be used to determine whether or not you should drive. Uhh ... Ok - but that's kind of why I bought it.

So I'm on my 'recovery' ride Sunday morning and stop at Crane Coffee for a recovery mocha white chocolate blah blah blah something something coffee (I get the tall, which is coffee-speak for "small"). There's also 'grande' and 'mondo' or something, which I'm pretty sure are coffee-speak for 'medium' and 'large' respectively.

Ok so it was pretty good hot cocoa. I sit outdoors in the beautiful morning weather and enjoy my obvious biking superiority over the other bike clods there, while at the same time feeling a bit self-conscious in my fancy lycra getup. Luckily nobody with shorn gams appeared or I would have had to join the clod group. It's all relative.

Anyway, While I'm sitting there at the last available outdoor table, Mr and Mrs Hippie pedal up. Mr Hippie has his Bell-met on backwards!!! Yes! I haven't seen that since the last time I was on Ragbrai. Thank you awesome and wonderful lord of hosts for bestowing this vision upon me.

So now I have this internal conflict. Tell him?
Which would be more fun? Seeing the dork's reaction, or leaving well enough alone. Then I remembered my motto. The 4 letter word that directs my every action. WWJD. The good lord Jesus would not be selfish. And it would surely be selfish for me to deny all of my fellow snobs a good chuckle. I left it as it was.

So now he's sitting at the bike rack, waiting for a table to open up, pretending to be casually reading his paper. But to me it looks like he's horribly disfigured, because I can only see the top of his helmet, twisted halfway around, looking straight up, I start snickering and he shoots me a look like "I have eyes in the back of my head, buddy," which scares me. So I cool it a little.

Well, I eventually finish my drink and bite my lip so I don't start laughing when he gives me the international "you leaving?" point and look.

I give him the international "yes" nod and present the table to him with a smooth sweeping arm motion, and approach my bike (waddling in my cool bike-snob shoes).

Walking over to the rack, I'm proud of myself. I didn't selfishly help one person but through my total lack of action, brought joy to potentially dozens. Surely others have witnessed the back of this finely crafted headgear approaching and exercised the same restraint. I'm part of a wonderful brotherhood.

I personally believe that the Lord rewards such selflessness. I nearly wept with thankfulness as I approached my bike and noticed that "Backward helmet man's" front wheel was held to the fork by a completely tightened, open quick release.

Now that could actually be dangerous. Do you think I told him?


Praise be.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Get ready to say, "Aaaawwwwe...."

So Brady and I were riding back from our Sabbath Ride to Louisville, and we came across this cute little guy.

Much like the one that Mike found, he did not seem to be afraid of us at all. In fact, this might be the most relaxed raccoon I have ever seen. Just laying there as all this traffic goes by. They sure are clever little fellas.

Anyway, the ride was excellent. We started at the record time of 5:30 AM. The usual, keystone to 370 to 50 to Louisville. But today, I wanted to SHOW Brady that hill. So he thought (wrongly) it would be fun to ride up it. About 1/4 of the way up, he muttered something about getting off his bike and pushing. It was pretty funny. Then when we were coming down on the next block over, he said we should do it again. I said "oh yeah, we should."

I don't think Brady understands sarcasm.

So we went up again.

Afterwards I said "I thought you were joking about going up again."

He said, "C'mon fred, that hill is so preposterous, you can't just go up once."

He has a point.

Good ride.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hosanna in the highest and such

In honor of the great big YHWH in the sky. I’ll be once again prostrating myself before his super goodness in order to demonstrate my commitment to his invisible holiness – and to get a more aero position going. On this coming Holy day (tomorrow), I will ride to Louisville, Nebraska. This is done out of a very non-creepy sort of love for the Almighty and for no other reason, except maybe to get a good ride in. Worship begins at 5:30 AM.

Dope is more interesting than Cycling

So let me see if I get the gyst of this story:
Some professional riders “train in strange places”, so they are considered “high risk” because they have good results in specifically “The Tour de France”. Also, since they wear neutral clothing (instead of their team kits), they must be hiding something. That’s true because I always see Team Discovery Channel riders on the Keystone. I would have never noticed otherwise. If the Pros in Europe really wanted to fool the UCI, they’d were RAGBRAI jerseys in training.

This story could be summed up as follows: We don’t have anything.
They say “We have to respect the process … Before we can make any announcements.”

Good idea. Oh wait – then why am I reading about it now?

Because Bullshit sells papers.

The story below is from cyclingnews June 21, 2007:
UCI goes after the "Men in Black"
The UCI has targeted "six or seven" top riders who are suspected of using doping products, by subjecting them to extra unannounced doping controls. Some of these riders have already produced "non-negative" results, according to Anne Gripper, director of the UCI's anti-doping program. "We have picked out six or seven riders who are considered high-risk cases because of their suspect behaviour and subsequent good performances in the Tour de France," she told the press agency Belga. Some of these riders "have already had three or four unannounced doping controls," although the UCI only requires one per rider per year.
Gripper said that "We have information that they train in strange places." The controllers refer to the riders as the "Men in Black", because they wear neutral clothing on their training rides, rather than their team kit, which helps them avoid attention by the UCI controllers.
"Some of the results may well be announced before the start of the Tour de France," Gripper said. "Several abnormal results have already come in. We are busy with those results and not all of them are negative," she said, "but it will take time, because we have to respect the process, the analysis of the B samples, before we can make any announcements."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

U.P. Train(ing) ride for June 21, 2007

So today, it was Wesley, Edley, Shimley and Hinsley. Apparently Surge Ullrich is still a little sore from his spill last Friday.He descends just like the real Ullrich! Spectacular.
Anyway, since the beavers took care of business last night, there was no afternoon game. So we were able to go south without the CWS crowds getting in the way. It was a good ride. It was nice and warm. We went at a good steady pace. Shim was "tired" because he actually kept up with the lead group last night. Fool. I know better. Yeah - I could have stayed on, but I knew I had to save myself for the 45 minute lunch ride.

Ok, I was tired too. But that's mostly because after last night's ride, I was experimenting with my brand new breathalyzer. That was fun.
"what's that fredcube? You bought a breathalyzer?"
Oh yeah. Actually, I only got up to .06 last night (school night and all), but I didn't want to set the bar too high right away. It goes up to .40. Maybe someday, I'll turn it over! A guy can dream.

Oh yeah, then I had to go to court for a while, today.

So let's see ...
He commutes everyday by bicycle,
He buys a breathalyzer,
He has to go to court ...

You guessed it, I'm trying to get my child support lowered.

So here's a short transcript of the courtroom drama:

I'm like, "I want to pay less child support"
and my ex-wife's like, "I want him to keep paying the same amount."
and so I'm all "noooo ..."
and she's all "yessss ..."
and my laywer's all "I object and stuff"
and my ex-wife (who's a lawyer) is all "i'll like withdraw the question."
and my lawyer is like "fine"
and my ex-wife is like "fine"

and that took like 3 hours.

Oops. I've veered off course. Better go try out the old breathalyzer.

As the kids say, w00t.

Wednesday night ride.

Ok, I went to the Trek Store ride last night. I expected to be able to hang with those guys. I don’t know why. I was riding like I thought I could keep up with them (pulling at times), and got dropped very early. Earlier, in fact than ever before. I made it all the way out of the Trek store parking lot before the problems began. Actually, I did not get into trouble until Highway 36. But I’ve always made it to the Trace before. I felt like I kind of had to pee most of the way to Ft Calhoun, so I debated and decided to use the restroom at the Gas Station. Man. I think I lost 3 lbs there. I felt like a new person. I don’t know if it was related to my failure at the cave, but I’m saying it to make me feel better. If you can’t ride better, make excuses better. Nobody believes you, but they always nod and act like they understand when they’re actually thinking “Yeah that. And you’re slow.” But I always feel better when I can fashion a good excuse that I can believe. Not as good as if I stay with the group, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

I’m going to check with Missus Fred (or am I Mister Jill) and see if we can’t plan on me being a regular at the Wednesday ride. The result of the ride for me was I already felt stronger this morning. I needed to get out and have a hard effort.

I don’t know, maybe I should just get one of those Segway dealies.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today's U.P. Lunch Ride.

It was probably pretty good. I don't know because I wasn't there. I don't think Jan Ullrich was there either. I didn't see his bike. He hasn't been there all week. Maybe we were too mean to him. I miss the attacks. I think Ed, Wesley and Brady were there. Surely the ride was like "Man, I wish Fred were here."
"Yeah, that would be neat." and so on.

I think I will be at tonight's TREK Store ride, though. That should be fun until the actual riding part.

If you must cheat, have a really funny excuse.

cyclingnews June 19, 2007

German Ivonne Kraft positive

German Ivonne Kraft has tested positive for the asthma medication Fenoterol after a cyclo-cross race on May 6. The German federation (BDR) has opened proceedings against the 36 year-old, deciding not to wait for the B sample. She faces a six-month suspension.

In a statement, Kraft said that her mother, who suffers from asthma, attended the race, and when she tried to use her medicated spray the bottle exploded and the cyclist must have inhaled the substance at that time.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

6 am ride to Louisville (NE)

Ok, so it started out at about 6 AM. I was standing in my kitchen, eating a bowl of Life cereal, when I noticed Brady circling around the street in front of my house. I guess I should get going, I thought. So I got dressed and stuff and went outside.

Weather was perfect.

So we headed to the trail to meet up with Brant, who would be heading north. We went down to 370 to 50 to Louisville. Pretty basic stuff. Nice ride. The other 2 guys made it really difficult at the beginning. Me just trying to hang on until I got warmed up. For some reason, it takes me about 30-45 minutes before I feel warm. The good thing was that I went to bed about 10:30 last night. Of course, I missed out on the edgy thrilling debate on Munson's blog about which sport has REAL athletes. That seems to have gone on into the morning. A lot of new ground was covered on that. No wonder they couldn't get up early and ride. Oh well. Maybe they'll bring up the old "people who don't wave to you" debate. I'll have to stay up late for that if it happens. But anyway, I sacrificed. The ride ended up being 66 Miles. We averaged 19.5 MPH. I was pretty pleased with that since I felt like we could have gone faster. I have been wondering why the lunch rides seem so tough anymore. I thought it was because I'm not in race shape, but I think part of it is these U.P. guys are pretty fast this year.

I am finally feeling better on the rides. It has taken a good 6 weeks, but I think switching to filtered smokes has helped a lot. I also try to limit myself to a pack a day, since I'm in training and all.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday U.P. Lunch Ride

Ed, Jan Ullrich, Shim, Brant, me.

Today we went around the airport and north on the trail next to the river. It ended up being about 16 miles. We avoided the south route because of the CWS. Even though we wear shiny colorful helmets, it would suck to get hit with one of them home run balls, so we play it safe. Normally, Jan attacks constantly and it really hurts us, but today I think he was taking it easier because we started being mean to him for making us hurt.

This is the saddest thing I've ever read.

Rocky Cheats