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Living life on the edge... of the road
Photo by Musa Zaid


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July 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - Race Reports
I know it's been a few days since the race ended, but I'll post an update on last weeks Cascade Classic anyways.

The criterium was 4 corners in downtown Bend Saturday night. The road narrows between corners 3 and 4 so there was always a bunch of crazy wheel chopping. A ton of people were waiting for a crash at that 4th corner, but it was pretty clean there all night.

The crash, the one that tried to eat my arm, was right after the start finish. I don’t really know what happened, but I was going 30 mph, couldn't stop, hit someone, went over the bars and into a bike. The damage, chainring into the forearm.

Big props to the race doc who put 5 stitches into me right after the race. Someone said he did a sloppy job, but it was dark and I've been looking for a sweet scar for a while now.

Sunday featured the Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Us and Fly V were motivated to light it up because the course is hard to defend on. After a couple hard laps we had Rob and Kyle up the road and Rob was only 1:40 down on GC. That put the pressure on.

About 10k from the finish, Darren Lill, of Fly V, put in a big attack just as all the United guys were done. It was a dangerous move since it was just Rory, the race leader, left at that point.

Ah, but it seems like there is always someone ready to step up and help. This time, Chris Jones from Team Type 1, was that guy. He buried it for about 5k into the final climb. I guess he was just bored.

It went crazy hard up that final climb anyway but about 30 guys still came to the line together. Frank and Andy sprinted for 2nd and 3rd respectively, so that was nice.

Overall, I was 17th which I’m okay with after my poor showing the first couple days. For the team it was one of those "glass half empty" kind of races. Lots of top 5 placings, but no wins.

The season goes on and the team will be at Elk Grove this weekend. For me, it's Tour of Utah in a few weeks.


Friday, July 23, 2010 - Race Reports
It's been another few days here at the Cascade Cycling Classic. The wife is here and the weather is good.

Yesterday's TT was... not that great. Don't have much more to say about that. I just really need to learn how to time trial again.

Today featured the Cascade Lakes road races, the 84 mile one that finishes up at Mt. Bachelor. I felt a bit better than the previous days, so that was good. I covered a few moves, drank a bunch of water and went hard up the climb.

The big drama was the finish. They looped us around the Mt. Bachelor parking lot with cones. Taylor Sheldon, from Garmin, went down hard in one of the corners. It didn't look good, but the word is he’ll be okay.

Rob was ahead of the crash and finished 5th. I was somewhere in that group. After the last few days of subpar performances, it was good to race and contribute a bit today.

Tomorrow night features the Crit in downtown Bend. "Embrace the assh***," was Ben's advice. At least I think he was still talking about the race when he said that.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - Race Reports
The wife and I are up in Bend this week for the Cascade Cycling Calssic. It's a cool race with cool housing in a cool town.

The 2 mile prologue was yesterday in the Old Mill District downtown. It went alright. I think I was 17th, but tied with 8 people on the same second. I was on the wrong side of that second.

Through a twisted series of events I came across this fun fact: Manhattan has a population density of over 70,000 people per square mile. So basically I could ride my bike around 70,000 people in less than 8 minutes. That pretty much blew my mind.

Today was the McKenzie Pass road race. It was only 75 miles with a climb in the middle and one at the finish.

There were some dramas over the first climb as the group was coming apart with a bad, or us, break off the front, but we figured it out.

The finish was a bit disappointing for me. I think I was 1:30 off the leaders. Last year was worse so I guess I can’t complain, but I'm really looking forward to a good finish on this course.

Tomorrow features a Time Trial, with the afternoon "off."


Saturday, July 17, 2010 - General
So I Netflixed the first two Twilight movies last week. I needed to find out if I'm Team Edward or Team Jacob. I mean the Internet says it’s the thing to do.

Now before you start calling me a "teenage girl wannabe," or something, I think you should all know that Adam Switters has actually read the books. So who’s the “teenage girl wannabe” now? No, the answer is not both of us.

After carefully watching, I have to conclude that I'm Team Edward. I mean Jacob is just the rebound guy. But I guess now I have to watch the third movie to know for sure.

In other news, I just finished watching Hot Rod. Terrible, yet hilarious.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - Race Reports
It's official, the word, "epic," has reached, well, epic status. Phil Liggett is now using it everyday on Versus to describe the Tour. It's only a matter of time before the triathletes get a hold of it.

Thus, I think it's time we all move on to something else. I'm going to do my part and officially retire the word from this blog. There, done.

Monday's race? Yes, Stage 4 of The Fitchburg Longso Classic; crit, 50 miles. At the start I got a called up by the announcer, Dick Ring. He said I was a "very fine gentleman." No joke, it must have been the hair cut I got last week.

As for the actual racing part, we had Frank, Kyle and Rob in the break picking off the primes. I finished in the pack to lock in 6th place overall. Jeremy did the same to finish 3rd overall.

Next up for me is Cascade, but most of the guys are off to Michigan for the Grand Cycling Classic.


Sunday, July 4, 2010 - Race Reports
Here’s a little fun fact: I haven’t been at home on the 4th of July for the last 16 years. It’s true, I spent 14 years commercial fishing in Alaska and the last two have been at Fitchburg.

Today's TT went okay, just okay. I felt good till about about the last 3k. That's when it started hurting in the wrong kind of way. I think I was 16th, and am now in 6th overall.

I'm a bit disappointed. I wasn't expecting much going into this race, but bike racing is all about capitalizing on opportunity. It would have been good to do that today.

However, Bissll’s Jeremy Vennell took the win and moved into the 3rd overall.

Tomorrow features the criterium which has a tendency to shake up the GC.


Saturday, July 3, 2010 - Race Reports
An awesome place JV: Oh cool, they have a BJ's here.

AJM: Really? Are they good?

JV: Well, have you ever had any bad BJs?

You see, it's all about the teamwork. A setup is always required for optimal results. There was a bit of drama with that on the roads in Fitchburg today.

So 9 laps, 100 miles, good climb at the start finish. With like 4 to go, I put in a dig up the climb to try and split the group. It kind of worked but a few miles later there was a group of 20 chasing the break with just me from Bissell.

That move ended up finishing minutes ahead of the field. Kyle and Jeremy were in the initial break so we had 3, but it wasn't ideal.

After the race I got in a little bit of trouble for not making sure teammates were nearby before I made my move.

Well, in my defense, a group of 20 goes up the road and we only have one guy in it? It doesn’t matter who did what, we should have had more numbers.

The last lap was chaotic, as you’d expect. Lots of attacks all around. Up the last climb I managed to latch on to the Kelly Benefit train and just hung on. I finished second in the bunch behind David Veilleux, third overall. My first NRC podium. Yippee!

The winner, Aurelien Passeron, rode the 2008 Tour de France for Saunier Duval-Scott. Now, was that a glorious year or what?

Anyway, tomorrow offers a 9 mile TT. It’ll be hot because the TV won’t stop talking about how there’s a 90 degree heat wave coming. Give me a break, 90 degree heat wave?


Friday, July 2, 2010 - Race Reports
We have a couple guys coming off the DL for this race. Kyle Wamsley, my roommate, is back after breaking his collar bone at Joe Martin. Then there's Frank Pipp who missed the whole first half of the year due to a knee injury.

I'm happy they're back. Yes, even while Frank was reminding us to pay attention since we don't have race radios. Welcome to the new NRC Frank.

So, today was stage 1 of Fitchburg. It’s the 24 lap, 75 miles, circuit race on the state college campus. It’s got a good climb each lap.

The race was pretty aggressive since there was no team to take the lead. I was in a bunch of short moves, but the best was with about 6 laps to go.

Ben and I were up there. It started with 7 guys but a bunch of people bridged up. It looked promising, but people were sitting and someone was chasing. We got caught with a lap to go. I put in another dig at the top of the climb and got away with 4 other guys.

I had no legs to keep that away but we hung on till about 500 meters, the bottom of the finishing climb. I’d never been part of a breakaway caught so close to the finish, so I guess it was still cool.

Anyway, pretty tired, kind of jet lagged, going to sleep... after I call my wife.

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