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The Paul Mach Blog - February 2008

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

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February 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - General
My New Look 595 After months of obsession I finally have a new bike. It's a '07 Look 595 with Dura Ace. Many thanks to Alan and the guys at Foy's Bike Shop for their help.

Took it out for its first spin yesterday and it was nice and smooth. I rode the flats of Davis easy which isn't a good test for a new machine. Today is SFR and the race ride. That should be a good indicator.

On an unrelated note, last week Sara started helping out with swim practices at the high school. I told her I'm an expert at the breaststroke if she needs some pointers. I tried the joke several times, she never found it funny.

Sunday, February 24, 2008 - General
Doris in 2004Found out this week that my old track coach, Doris Heritage, is retiring after 30 years. I was there for 5 of them.

Doris is off the charts: 5 time world cross country champion, member of like 11 hall of fames and pioneer of women's athletics. She could always do more pull ups than me (I maxed out at like 12) and her driving is legendary.

For sure SPU track will be different without her, but they're in good hands with Erica.

Thanks Doris

Find out more at

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - General, Race Reports
So we ended up 3rd, 7th and 10th. I got passed up by a sprinter and Chris thought he was 0.2 seconds ahead, but was actually tied and got bumped back on crit placing. That would have been good to know earlier. But three in the top 10 ain't bad.

The last couple of days I've just been giving race reports, so now I'll fill in the rest.

Not being involved in the planning for the VOS adventure I wanted to be on time for the 7am send off. I was late, but Chris was later. After packing the truck, we rolled out at 7:30.

A major highlight of the trip down was us pumping gas, but not. Somehow we managed to look the part without any actual filling going on. A few minutes down the road we were surprised our tank was still half full. Yep, classic.

The other highlight was me driving stick. I can't drive stick! Yes, it's true. However, after we hit Arizona I did a some loops around a gas station and a couple of engine stalls later we were on the freeway doing 80.

In Phoenix the house we rented was nice except that all the living room furniture was gone. The second day they delivered replacements. 5 tech savvy kids and not one could figure out how to watch anything but CSPAN. But leave it to the old guys to figure it out.

The movie of choice was "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." I'd rate it low, way low. We had much discussion over the quality of the dialog and if it was possible to drift on a road bike.

I was surprised to learn that Staz and his family were Czech. I got to practice the language a little and it gave me the inside track to the famed Janwitch. While there were about 200 of these guys made during the weekend, at Joe and Taylor's rate of consumption you had to get at them quick.

The all night drive home was uneventful. Judd whipped out the laptop to watch a movie, but it didn't kill enough time. When we dropped him off he pulled, "If I forgot something, I'll get it from you later." Not surprisingly, "it" included half of his stuff.

Overall it was a fun weekend. Many thanks to Stevo, Jan and Jim for their support. They cooked, cleaned and had all the right stuff ready after the races. Thanks guys.

Official results to the Time Trial, Road Race, Crit and the GC.

Sunday, February 17, 2008 - Race Reports
Okay, after two days of racing I'm sitting 6th in the GC, here is the recap.

The time trial was on Friday. Under cloudy skies, over a rolling course, I finished in 6th place. I felt like I put in a good effort so I was a little disappointed I was a whole 1:20 down. Tyler won and is obviously flying right now. Coming in, 5th place was the goal, but not by so much time. Oh well, there will be many more opportunities to dial in that skill.

As for the GC: Taylor in third, me in 6th and Chris in 12th. With three in the top 12 we are the strongest team here. That's a nice feeling.

Saturday was road race day. I played around like I always do during flat road races. I chased down some breaks and pulled some lame tactics for the KOM, which was more of a sprint. Throughout the whole race I felt like I had no top end. ME for an hour, no problem, going any harder didn't last very long. But that is okay for this time of year, early season racing is meant to build that kind of strength. Coming in to the finish the group was going really hard up the hill and it was all I could do to stay with them. I finished 15th. Taylor was 12th and Chris was 14th. Three in the top 15 isn't that bad.

There were some splits over the climb the last time and now we have three guys in the top nine on the GC. Taylor still third, me sixth and Chris moved up to ninth.

Today is the crit and I'm not a crit guy. Afterwards we're driving all the way back to Davis through the night. Yep, lots of fun.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 - General
New KitMade it Phoenix Arizona for the Valley of the Sun Stage Race that starts tomorrow. This is my first time in Arizona and it looks like it gets really hot here.

The day pretty much included the drive down, 12 hours. The only interesting thing that happened was that we got the finger from a cop in LA. Way to keep the peace buddy. The funny thing is we don't even know what we did. Maybe he just doesn't like bikers.

When we finally got down here we found out the house had been robed of its living room furniture and TV the night before. I know what you're thinking, but it's actually a really nice place.

The new DBC gear came in so I tried it on right away. Yep, I'm pretty excited, as you can see.

Monday, February 11, 2008 - Race Reports
Four of us Aggie racers went down to SoCal last weekend for the UCLA collegiate races. I already wrote up a report about the general happenings. Here's some more detail.

I wanted to make the drive so I could test out all the time trial gear before the big Valley of the Sun race this weekend. The time trial started at noon on Saturday and to save some cash we drove down in the morning. It was a typical almost flat course. Basically, on the way out I felt bad and on the way back I felt better. This was probably due to the wind direction. I won by a second, which just means I was more lucky.

What I learned is that I need to warmup. 15 minutes on the bike is not a warmup! I also learned a little more about how hard I can actually go. Something you can only get from experience.

On Sunday the road race was five laps of seven miles up followed by seven miles down. The ever strong U23 champion Max Jenkins took off from the gun. After one lap he had four minutes and that freaked the field out a bit. Three of us finally caught him a lap and a half later. The deciding point of the race was at the top of the hill for the second to last time. I upped the pace and the other riders started to get gapped off. Max saw this and attacked just right so he wouldn't fill the hole. That was it, we had about 30 feet at the top of the hill and never looked back. At the end Max was toast from being off the front all day and I rode away from him up the last hill.

So all in all, it was a fun weekend. I'm excited about what the UC Davis Men's As will do this season because there are five other guys on the team who are just as capable.
Another Chase Group Picture

Thursday, February 7, 2008 - General
Welcome to my new blog. On it I hope to have race reports from the Collegiate and USCF season and other interesting stuff, if it happens.

Let me share with you my long and complicated relationship with domain names. I own a few of them, most I don't care about anymore like and from the college days.

They all were very special at one time. was our wedding website. Now they're lost to cyberspace.

My prize possession is A rare four letter domain. It's worth thousands, but only if someone wants to pay for it. Interested?

This domain,, was first registered in 2004 to host a resume/portfolio. That was put on hold when I realized that the working world was not ready for me. But now it's back for you to talk about, or complain about or just forget about.

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