Thursday, January 15, 2009

Michigan Winter

What's up? Yes, I've been busy. Work at the bike shop is going fine and I'm continuing to hone my wrenching skills. Overhauled a mtb suspension fork last week and realized why road bikes are so much better that mtb's. Trying to ride my bike into work more often than I drive... without catching frostbite. The single digit temps and 5 inches of snow are making it tough. Overall things are pretty good though. The Panther/ RGF Team meeting is comming up and the kits and equiptment look awesome. I'm going to miss Belgium, but a new team and a new race schedule are refreshing. Keeping me motivated during the cold.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crossin' it up

It's October and I'm racing cyclocross. Haven't been on the blog much but that's how it goes sometimes. I'm working at a bike shop in Plymouth and really diggin' it. I ride my new cross bike to and from the shop, work on bikes, and enjoy a beer now and then. Plus I'm learning a ton about wrenching. My plans for the fall involve racing cross here in MI, working 30/ week, and thinking a lot about what the hell I'm going to do next year and beyond. Hopefully the stars align and I win a cross race this fall but I'll settle for a podium appearance. Come out and ring a cow bell... and don't forget the beer.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Top 3 Reasons for a Cyclist's Blog-Slacking

1. The results have not been blog worthy.

2. The author does not have form to brag about.

3. The author left his creativity in Belgium.

I've been working part-time at a local shop which hasn't been bad at all. I ride to work and fix bikes all day... definately could be worse! Raced some of Superweek and did the Chicago Crit last weekend (see #1). I won't be going to Nationals as I had planned but will race out the remainder of the season here in MI. There are a good deal of criteriums through Labor Day, which should keep me semi-motivated and occupied. So until #1 and #2 change and #3 gets shipped back to me,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Low Down on ToPA

It was a new experience for the team to have to defend the leader's jersey from day 1. I also have a new found respect for the top level domestiques who spend hours on the front of a race keeping a break in check and finishing the stage 15 minutes down. That's how I spent the first few stages. Unfortunately our team could not hold the jersey into Pittsburgh but it was still a sucessful week. 4 days in yellow and a stage win. Despite a crazy and dangerous last stage criterium the rest of the race was organized and the courses were tough. For being in the US, the ToPA exceded my expectations in terms of organization and race quality. I do have to say that on the final day the live TV coverage was a higher priority than rider safety, which I believe is totally wrong.

I left my teammates in Pittsburgh as they were headed back to Belgium for the Tour of Liege. I'm now in MI and will spend the rest of the summer racing locally and trying to earn a buck or two. I do plan on racing the U23 National road race in August but other than that I'll be rolling mostly crits... just my forte...not.

So if any MI folk know of any part time work, drop me a line.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Just yesterday I was in a country where "dunk u wel," "alstublieft," and "speculoos" are the 3 most popular words. Now I'm back in the US of A where "extra-large," "instant," and "24-hour" rank among the top 10. It's both exciting and frightening to be back in America. I'm not quite home and won't be for another week seeing as how I have a job to do before hand. The Tour of Pennsylvania starts tomorrow. 6 days, 7 stages, and a lot of money to be won. The JCBA/ CC Team for the race is made up of Jim Camut, Steven Van Vooren, Peter Horn, Aaron Pool, Dave Nelson, and myself. It's a strong selection and I believe we can do very well.

It's been a while since I've done a race of this scale in the US. In Europe there are UCI races every week, but the the peloton isn't U25 and the language sure isn't English. Needless to say I'm glad to be here in PA, and looking forward to a great week of racing on home turf. I'll note the differences and get back to you. Till then... speculoos!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The 8 Day Rule

I think I should institute an 8 day rule: No racing in the week leading up to a major stage race. 8 days before = ok... 7 = no good. My last 3 crashes have all happened 7 days before big stage races. Last year I had a major crash in Willobroek, 7 days before Tour of Liege, and was unable to race. A few weeks ago I kissed the pavement, 7 days before Volta a Galicia, and luckily was still able to race (although probably not at 100%). And yesterday in Romsee, 7 days before Tour of PA, I took a little spill. I think I may have broken the curse yesterday, though, because I didn't touch the pavement. 50km into the race there was a big pileup near the front of the peloton. Unfortunately I was eating at the time and didn't have the braking power to escape untouched. I landed on a pile of riders and quickly rose to my feet, powerbar still in hand. After I fished my bike out of the pile (and chucked my powerbar) I checked it and started rolling. My derailleur was bent and by the time I got a bike change my race was over. No radios and car 24 in the caravan... not a good combo for mechanicals. Not my ideal last race in Europe. At least I escaped unscathed. On the plus side, my legs felt great in the 90 minutes I raced. Now it's all prep for Tour of PA. And in the future the 8 Day Rule will reign supreme.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mini Training Camp

I'm in Houffalize right now with 3 of my teammates for a short training camp in the Ardennes. 3 long, low-intensity days of up and down. The weather is unbelievably bad. Yesterday it rained for the entire ride and it doesn't look much better now. It's June 13th and I'm wearing a thermal coat with a rain cape. Gotta love Belgium. My last race in Europe this year is Tuesday in Romsee. Then it's off to the Tour of PA from June 24-29. After that, I'll be sticking stateside racing locally, working a bit, and trying to hunt out a few big races to do. I think it stopped raining, at least for 5 minutes, so it's time to ride.