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The Paul Mach Blog - April 2011

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

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April 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - Race Reports
"I'm pretty sure this is what hell will be like for you," commented my teammate, Andy Baker. And he's probably right, the Internet seriously sucks here and I can't handle it.

It needs to decide if it'll work or not. Right now, it works just enough to keep you hooked, but not enough to do anything useful. It's driving me crazy.

Anyway, stage 2 today was good for Team Bissell. Jay Thomson was in the break and Frank Pipp won. I helped out a little here and there, but overall I didn't do much. Unfortunately, it still hurt.

This is Chris Baldwin's first race for Bissell. Some of you may be asking, "What's it like racing with someone you raced against?" Well, he's been around a long time and is a legend in the sport. That makes him a good bike racer and I like racing with good bike racers.

He's been pretty nice. He showed up knowing everyone's hobbies from the website. He also gave me some shampoo since our hotel doesn't provide any.

That's all cool, but he spent last night watching American Idol. So... the jury is still out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - General
A lot has happened since The Sea Otter and here's some of it.

On Monday, our little Australian Shepard, Jens, went in to get his balls cut off. We took him to the Vet School at UC Davis, so he could help future doctors. They explained to me that he might die and then just took him. He could have died and I didn't get to say goodbye. Maybe they do that because people freak out.
The Tools Since the dog was out of the house I whipped out the dynamic duo of Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum and Deep Cleaner. I was very happy with the results and our apartment stopped smelling like dog. For at least a few days.
So sad Jens came back with a dish. It was hilarious to see him bump into things and get all frustrated. He, however, was not laughing and just started to mope around.

Then my mom came in for a couple days over the weekend. Now you get why I cleaned the apartment. It was only her second visit down since I've lived in Davis. When she came our fridge and freezer were empty, when she left, they were full. What more can you ask for?

Saturday, I signed up for a checking account at Chase. I thought it would make my life easier. They'd give $125 and I can deposit checks by picture. Then, yesterday, I got these text messages.
WTF? Turns out that since I opened the account online it was flagged as fraud. So after a rather boring trip down to the bank I should have an account in a few days. So much for making my life easier.

Yesterday I traveled to Silver City, NM for the Tour of the Gila. High winds grounded our plane so we took a shuttle bus from Albuquerque. It was a solid 4 hours of good times.

Today I raced stage 1. It went good. A lot like last year but with more attacking and less climbing.

And that's been my last week, or 10 days if you're counting.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 - Race Reports
There have been a couple more races here at the Sea Otter Classic. Yesterday was the road race. I felt really good for the first half and got in the break, then I stopped feeling good. You can see all the details at Race No crazy drama to report.

Today started off with a Fi'zi:k photo shoot. I was all excited to be chosen with Ben JM and Jeremy. It turns out it was actually, "Oh well, we needed someone who rides the Arione and since you're already here at Sea Otter..."

But I'll take what I can get. And if what I'm hearing is true, I'll be getting something really big, as big as my personality.

The afternoon featured the TT, it was one lap of the course from yesterday. I was pretty proud of my efforts on the hills, but was having trouble making up time on my 30 second man on the flats. I think it was just that kind of course. I finished 7th.

We had the super deep Easton front wheels on today. I've had some really good TTs with that wheel, but today was too windy for it. In hide sight, it was a bad choice. Going 45 mph, down a hill, into a sharp left, with some crazy cross winds, trying to switch out of the bars to grab some brake and then back to shift, was all a little crazy.

Tomorrow is the famous circuit race at Laguna Seca, you can read all about it at Oh, but the article doesn't mentions last year's winner and interviews two riders that aren't even here. Sorry to pick on you Facebook friend Brian, but this has happened before.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 - Race Reports
This years Sea Otter Crit was a lot different than last year's. Basically, there were a lot more quality riders.

Thanks to a ride from Sam, I got to Laguna Seca a bit early. It's been a while since I'd been at a race 2 hours before the start and it was eye opening. I was surprised to find some riders already kitted up and see others asking their girlfriends to help them put on their skinsuits. All way to early. Or maybe I need to rethink my timeline.

So, the course was a hot dog with some crazy hooks at the ends. There was kind of a hill in the middle so it was always up and down. All these things contributed to a sprint finish. Big slow downs at the turns and downhills doomed every breakaway.

But it was an aggressive race and that was fun. I attacked a few times, but ended up somewhere out of contention. I "same timed" it but unfortunately this weekend is an omnium. So you get points based on place, not on time.

Anyway, tomorrow's road race will surely bring us more exciting bike racing.

Monday, April 4, 2011 - Race Reports
The team on the front 12 days on the road and I'm happy to be on my way home. There's just something about home that doesn't compare to the Good Night Inn.

Well, the BISSELL team had a couple of hard fought, drama filled days to round out The Redlands Bike Classic. We definitely raced for the win and it's always better to race than sit back and still get second.

The crit was highlighted by Ben JM taking 3 bonus seconds and Fransisco Mancebo taking 2. The team lined it up to bring back the break and lead Ben out for the line. There was a bit of confusion because there was a "Sprint Bonus" lap right before the "Time Bonus" lap. Mancebo won the first one and Ben the second.

After that, the two were tied on time. The officials told us Ben had the lead, so we took control. 25 minutes later they changed their minds and all 8 of us swung off the front. The resulting chaos was pretty funny.

For Sunday's circuit race we decided to take the bull by the horns. We lined it up from the gun for the bonus seconds the first time up the climb. Ben delivered so we stayed at the front.

But the attacks never stopped. People were even asking us to move so they could attack and then getting mad when we didn't. I'm not really sure what the deal with that was. Anyway, I cracked early, about 6 laps in.

Bonus second were available before the finishing circuits. Without much help from us, Ben was on his own. Mancebo took the seconds he needed and secured the win. And that was the race.

Sunday featured some of the most dynamic, aggressive racing I've seen. I'm happy to have been a part of it and I'm excited for the rest of the season.

And now what you've been reading for, news about The Paul Mach Gift Certificate Challenge. This morning I generated a random winner and it was Greg from Davis, CA. Congratulations, I'll email you tomorrow.

The contest generated about 20 new likes. As of this posting I'm tied with Cody Tapley. So if one more person could like this page, then balance will finally be restored.

Friday, April 1, 2011 - Race Reports
I wish I was a baller, I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her. Oh wait, check and mate on those two.

Anyway... 120 miles out in Beaumont, in the sun. I'm pretty tired now. Here's what happened at the Redlands Bike Classic, Stage 1.

I felt like crap right from the gun. I felt like we were 80 miles in but the race had just started. It was really weird. I'm thinking it was the heat. I've never felt like that before.

My teammate, Jeremy, told me to hang in there and that it would get better. So I focused on eating and getting bottles. I think I went back 4 times for my thirsty teammates.

I never did feel better, I just kept feeling the same. That was good, because everyone else was naturally fatiguing.

The last time up the climb I dug deep to make the front group. Into the finish I needed to help with the chase. I gave it everything, but wasn't getting any help from anybody. It didn't take long for me to detonate. That's when I was wishing I was stronger.

A new fan There were a bunch of crashes today. I almost got taken out in the Luis Amaran crash on the last lap. Later, I pulled some fancy moves with 2k to go. I just barely made it between the curb and a bike.

Overall I had a good quality to feel ratio, but I was hoping to have a much better feel.

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