Tuesday, November 16, 2010


is taking over the world. if you plan to keep up you better get signed up.

PSIMET has launched a new indoor training center in the Chicagoland area. brand spanking new CompuTrainers, fancy TrainingPeaks Software, and an accomplished coach are just a few of the highlights.

CompuTrainer Classes

Indoor Racing League

don't get left behind this off season. i know i wont. later.

Friday, November 05, 2010

i see you twenty eleven

first, i need to complete my 2010 Fall Fling race report.

i raced weekend two of the Fling. it was hard. i did not do as well as i wanted. however, a teammate won the overall podium (CAT 4s). that was sweet.

second, it is almost time to start training for 2011. almost i say, since i have a the Canal Connection 1ok this Sunday, then a week long business trip, then the Red Eye 8k when i return.

after that it will be me, the trainer, the plasma, and more base hours then i have ever dreamed of completing. EVAR!

twenty eleven, i see you baby.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Fling

"You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting."

A disappointing statement of fact for my first two days of the 2010 Fall Fling.

For those not in the know, the Fall Fling is a four race series held over two weekends. This year we have a Crit, a TT & two Circuit races.

Up first was the crit at the Pelladrome (business park where Pella Windows is located). This is the same location ABD held its weekly training crits. This is a non technical oval course. I may have been the only person in the field who was riding the course for the first time.

The race was tame and uneventful. A basic 25 mph group ride waiting for the final 200meter sprint finish. Knowing this was coming down to a bunched sprint I figured I would give a flyer a go. At the start/finish, with one to go, a rider made a move from behind the pack up the left. I wanted to grab his wheel, but something happened, I didn't shift quickly, wrong gear, not sure.....but it took me a second to get going.

As a result it took me turns one and two to get the wheel. Too much effort was spent due to the miss. When he crapped out I couldn't respond. Now I was just dangling off the front going into turn 3 waiting for the swarm. I finished almost last.

Sunday was the TT. Just me and the 9. No TT bike or converted road bike. It was only 9.6 miles, but 6 of that was into a nasty little headwind. In the end I went hard, maybe not hard enough. My Garmin was off a bit and I thought I was faster then I was. Maybe I was just wishing I was faster....

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

the only way to roll

PSIMET, originally uploaded by aham23.


Power, originally uploaded by aham23.

the 9 is coming. the 9 is coming. the 9 is coming.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

i need to dig these bad boys out of the closet. at least i think they are in the closet. i have got grand total of zero miles on them for 2010.

every year, this very same time of the year, things change. the wife is headed back to work, the kid is starting school & the days are getting shorter. the grind is back in full effect.

in order to deal i bust out the running shoes. running takes up less of my time and allows me to hang onto my fitness a bit longer. i enjoy it, sort of. running and me have an odd relationship. i love the feeling of a great run. gliding, hovering, just above the ground. however, about the time i reach some form of, well, running form, i transition to the trainer for the winter.

cyclo-cross is all the buzz right now with PSIMET Racing. i am sure it is something i would fully enjoy and even be decent at, but time is not going to permit it. it is all about balance.

"Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the 100

last week i logged 1300 miles, behind the windshield of a car. most for work, some for fun. either way that seems like a lot.

after a nice get-a-way weekend in St. Louis with family and good friends i was free and clear on Monday. i knew exactly what i needed to do. what i must do.

the solo self supported century sufferfest (SSSCF) or the 100. no, the ride did not take place on the 9, but my trusty 06 Giant TCR C2. she and i have seen many a century, but none this year.

i departed at 8am in perfect conditions. the 70 degrees were fall like, but that is to be expected after weeks in the 90s. i felt good, rested, but leery of how the mind and body would handle the long haul.

the goal for the day was modest, under six hours. looking back at my past solo attempts i really did struggle with them. i have completed close to 20 single day rides of 100 miles or more since 2006. slow and fast ones. i know what to expect. as much as one can know what to expect when one plans to ride a bike for 6 hours.

the rundown
-legs were good, not great, & i faded near the end.
-i was oddly focused & motivated for this effort.
-had to improvise my planned route due to gravel.
-stopped around mile 60 to refill the bottles.
-Assos plus DZNutz is the only way to go long.
-5 hr 36 min total time / 5 hr 20 min ride time / 101 miles.
-consumed 5 bottles of water, 1 HEED, 1 Cliff Bar, 1 Kashi Bar, 2 Hammer Gels
-mixing Hammer Chocolate & Raspberry is a good idea.

a great day on the bike for sure.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Rubbing is Racing

Grayslake Cycling Classic 8.7.10

i went to a race and a monkey fell in front of me.

someone needs to tell me why i spend the first 5 laps of every race near the back of the pack. do i like the pain that comes with the surges? do i like the fear of the back of the pack crash? am i just really dumb? could it be a bad combination of them all?

anyway, i was racing, getting comfortable with the turns, when 2.5 laps into the race a rider went down in front of me. he almost made a spectacular save, but didn't. i think we all avoided him, but we did it very slowly. race over.

i wanted to drive us back to the pack, but the pack was flying and few were interested. they let our little group of maybe 10 race around for about 27 minutes. they even gave us the one to go (when the main pack had about 4 to go). that was cool. with that signal i rode away from our group to stomp out some frustration.

27th out of 50 starters. John & Kyle were smart, rode at the front, and finished with the lead pack. nice job boys.

the Boss let me sulk and pout a bit after my race before he reminded me; "Dude, that's racing."

secretly i only toss my helmet around because i want a new one.

next up i watched the CAT 3s. we had 5 in the race. some young, some old, some new, some just back from injury. they all rode really well.

my day was not done. typically i pre reg for these events and always think the longer the drive, the more racing i need to do. Masters 30 CAT 1 thru 4.

oh no he didn't.

i think there were three 4s the race. me, my teammate Joe, and one xXx rider, but i could be wrong. there was some talent there. 30 riders and i knew half of them, which means their reputations preceded them.

i lasted 2 laps before falling off. it took me 3 more laps to catch Joe. i won't drag this out. i mean we were lapped once. i finished last of the finishers. yet, it was extremely satisfying for me.

that's racing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

the 9

the 9, originally uploaded by aham23.

let the crit bike building fun begin.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Wise Man Once Told Me

"You cant expect to finish 22nd every time."

7.31.2010 Tour of Elk Grove, Mens CAT 4, 35 minutes.

This isn't going to be all that complicated. I Did Not Finish the race. First DNF of the year and my fresh racing career.

I have been chasing something for a while and ignoring the obvious. The wife could see it, the mom in law could see it, the four year old could see it, but not me. Too much chart staring and confusion as to why the damn blue line wasn't going upward.

Eight efforts in Nine days leading up the race had me getting pulled with about 3 laps to go. I got the throat slash from USAC & pulled with 3 other riders despite working my arse off, 25 mph & 275w. I didn't take that very well. We weren't getting lapped or going to be lapped AND I like to finish.

However, I get it. I sucked today no matter how many laps I finished, or didn't, and a safe finish for the pack is more important.

This course requires a fresh set of legs and clear mind. The surges out of the tight corners were massive for me. The U-turn was, well, a U-turn and I never figured that one out. What hurt the most was the acceleration coming out of turn 2 & 3 onto a slight uphill back stretch. Not really my kind of course. No, I don't know what kind of course suits me best, but it aint Elk Grove Village. :)

A couple days off and a couple Fat Tire beers have been jotted down for this coming week. Up next for PSIMET Racing is the Grayslake Cycling Classic.

Friday, July 23, 2010


July is fast moving. the door on July is about to hit us in the face. done, closed, finished.

Superweek is almost over, but there is plenty of racing yet to be done. in fact, one more Super effort today, up in Kenosha, then the Tour of Elk Grove, then Grayslake Cycling Classic, then the Ronny Reagan Crit, then goodbye August.

my year is missing something. something close to my cycling heart.

100 miles.

i got my start as a super century domestique. 5 to 8 centuries a year. last year, at the Bicycle Tour of Colorado Bangert, & I knocked out several in one week. good times.

i need some solo self supported century sufferfest.



2010 _______ book it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just Got Paid

YES there were more participants than payout slots this time around.

Evanston Grand Prix (Superweek), 7.18.10, M35+ 4/5 Field.

Going into Geneva I felt great. Nervous about the technical course, but everything else was lined up. It was a difficult race and while my final spot doesn't reveal this, I rode well. Going into Evanston everything was not lined up. It is not my style to sandbag or under estimate my form, but I really wasn't feeling "it" yesterday.

A quick thunderstorm postponed things for a bit and allowed us to get in several warm up laps. Uh, wow, 6 left turns, 1 right turn, several that seemed tight, and several with manholes occupying the optimal line.

My PT wasn't working, which made me made (likely dead hub batteries). I had a kid in tow and while she had excellent race day sitters (Team PSIMET significant others RULE!) I still worry that she is OK, behaving, listening, not swimming in the local fountain :) and so on. Plus, when the rain cleared it got super hot. I think I covered it all.

Race Quick Hitters

1. Started at the back. Like all the way back.
2. Missed my clip in, but hey I was already OTB.
3. Once again, took me 5 or six laps to get comfortable.
4. PSIMET for the $50 prime...almost...nice effort Boss.
5.The only right hand turn was killing me.
6. Moved up gradually this time around.
7. Never saw the one man break who stayed away for the win.
8. In the drops, on the saddle, worked best for me & that right hander.
9. Bell lap, sitting 3rd, turn two crash, jumped on it hard to get a gap.
10. Got squirrelly in 5 on squishy asphalt, lost momentum & 2nd place.

I was going , but wanted to make a move coming out of the right hander when the crash behind us dictated otherwise. We were racing for second and I likely don't win that sprint, but I have a much better chance sitting 2nd wheel coming out of the last turn as opposed to first. Second, went around early, then 3rd, then 4th, and I was crapping out. I pushed through it, arse on the tip of the saddle, funny pain face on full display and grabbed me some 5th place.

Still plenty of room for improvement.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Willow Springs Road Race....

.....Road Race, Criterium, Circuit Race, Short Group Ride. Whatever it officially was I enjoyed it. I mean racing on Tuesday with perfect weather is much better than being tied to a desk on a Tuesday with perfect weather.

Keep in mind this is my first year of racing. It is all a new experience for me. From the events to the terminology to fellow riders comments to almost hitting a barricade while attempting to grab a water bottle at 25 mph, and so on.

I pre rode the course a week ago, but was interested to see how it would be officially set up. Meaning which roads of the three, if any, would be closed. Willow Springs was the only one. At least we could trudge uphill in both lanes. Archer & 95th were single lanes, center line rule enforced, with either barricades and/or cones.

Despinte being 20 minutes behind schedule I think Superweek put on another fantastic event.

I don't want to drag this out. I mean a CAT4 race report isn't appointment reading.

Quick Hitters: 7.13.10 Willow Springs Road Race M4/5 20 miles

1. Neutral Start was interesting. I wasn't ready to just dart out of the parking lot like that.
2. The only potential brake of the race was shut down, by the ladies race in front of us.
3. A flat can derail strong legs.
4. Braking at the front on a downhill back stretch seems odd.
5. Due to above Joe B. went down hard in the ditch (OK & finished).
6. You can crash hard going up hill.
7. I am getting better @ spotting the contenders for the day.
8. I still cant hold those contenders wheels.
9. Gassed @ the top w/ 1 to go cost me a top ten.
10. 26th out of 75 starters.

The last two efforts we good for me. Good right up until the end. I need to work on the end.

Good luck PSIMET Racing out at Lake Geneva today. I am back to work, tied to the desk and computer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Same, but Different...

Superweek(s) is here. 17 consecutive days of bicycle racing in the Chicago Burbs and Southern Cheeseland. This is my first Superweek(s) and I only know, what I know, from others in the know. You got that?

It won't be 17 races for me, but I'm paid for four with the potential of 2 more. Six would be a lot for this old man in two weeks. I'll try to keep the race reports short and sweet.

7/10/2010 @ Geneva, Masters 35+ 4/5 Crit, 40 Minutes; I raced and I didn't win.

You want more? Cool.

Geneva is new to Superweek for 2010. I thought it was/is a great downtown area and setting for a race. The historic business district is fantastic and lined with mature trees providing shade. Parking was easy and registration was a breeze. Plus, the Coffee and Ice Cream was a plenty.

Pre race talk was all about crashing, oh and the crazy technical course, oh and the heat. It was hot, but that is never really an issue for me. I took my warm up lap and rolled through turns 2, 3, and 4.............wow this should be interesting, if not really dangerous.

I was in the second row for the start. Off we go and after three attempts to clip in I am at the back of the pack. Real nice Clark. I stayed back there the first 6 laps trying to figure out the course. It was pretty much single file, with braking, through those turns. Then it was surging at 500 to 600 watts up a slight hill to hang on. My Spider Senses were telling me this was not good for me.

Six laps in and the pack is fracturing even more. About 20 guys are going forward and 20 guys are going backwards. I moved forward and continued to do so the rest of the race. Well, most of the rest.

While I was OTB the winning break of 2 got away. I had no idea who was in that break. Not knowing caused me to burn one to many matches attempting to up the pace or jump on a chase group. The breakaway'ers had teammates in the pack doing their job to contain it. We were racing for third, which I realized right after I lit up that last match.

I rode well. After lap 6 I was in the top ten each time around. I was on the front way too long, but hey at least I was on it. I went into the last two turns up front............ect, ect, ect.......I finished 22nd.

Same, but different.

Willow Springs Circuit Race is up next. I hear there is a hill involved. I like hills. Later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Peoria Cycling Classic 6.27.2010

I think it was about the middle portion of our 8 Day Disney Extravaganza Vacation when I signed up for this race. It is the Illinois State Criterium Championship and my first race as a 4. Typically 3 days off the bike and I get a bit crazy and do crazy things. This was no different.

After 3 days of chasing my fitness Sunday arrived and I headed to Peoria with Joe. He was fresh of a 2nd place finish at the 2010 USA Cycling Paralympic Road Nationals in Bend, OR. In typical PSIMET fashion Joe was sure to mention he wasn't feeling the best form. His recent travel and racing had him wore out.

Did I mention I was off the bike for 8 days?

As we rolled up to the starting line I felt nervous. Not anxious like in races before, but straight up nerves. Did I have my number pinned correct? Would I get clipped in? Am I in the big ring? Will I be able to hold onto the group? Don't take anyone out Rookie!?!?

Three turns into the race and the nerves were settled. A rider dived turn three cutting myself and one of the race favorites off. We had to slow to avoid him clipping us. The little non event calmed me because I realized I was not the worst bike handler in the field. :)

I spent the first half of the race in the back half of the pack. I spent the second half of the race in front half of the pack. I followed the wheel of the previously mentioned race favorite for most of that second half. Another solid learning lesson for me. Following a strong rider with excellent handling skills is always nice.

I would have loved to follow Joe, but he was too busy being tired AND Off The Front gapping the pack. Dude is a beast. The field was marking him too. At one point the pack slowed going into a turn and he strolled up on the outside. Strolling, not hammering, not surging, not nothing. Yet I hear someone yelling "ATTACK, ATTACK on the outside. ATTACK on the left."

Onward: I was almost gapped twice on the stretch into wind due to poor corning and a gust of cross wind. Around the 30 minute mark I started wondering if I could keep this effort up for 10 more minutes. With two to go I moved towards the front behind Joe. I lost him somewhere though with one to go. Coming into the last two right handers Eric from BH went zooming past. I grabbed his wheel (Or was that tried??). I was there for a bit, but was toast as we hit the final stretch.

I was passed by many riders on that final stretch. I was pushing it and the legs were burning. At the end of the race I felt like I had nothing left. However, today I am recalling something Joe said and I realize I could have pushed harder.

"You sprint until you turn your insides out."

Despite being boxed in the last two turns Joe still managed 7th. I think I spotted him picking up his insides before getting his payday.

I really enjoyed the course. Eight turns, closed roads, wide roads, smooth roads... The race was fast and smooth. 25.8 mph for 40 minutes is no joke.

Team PSIMET had a smaller turnout for this race with it being 2 plus hours away for most of us. Still, we brought home a 9th in the Masters 30+, 5th in the CAT 3, and Joe's 7th. Nice work boys.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

bump n grind

*late report, but just got back from an extended vacation. time to find the bike and some form. i hope*

Sherman Park Crit this past Saturday. they had two 5 races, so i did two races.

first one, rode well and near the front. i was ready to make a move. however, i missed the one to go bell and had no idea the race was over. i never got my sprint on. mid pack finish. i blame the damn lady near the start/finish who rang her big arse cow bell every time around. or maybe not.

second one, rode well and near the front, but a bit too much on the inside out of the draft and in the wind. led a couple laps. payed attention this time and caught the one to go. tried to get my sprint on coming out of the last turn as i sat top ten. i left my sprint at home though. mid pack finish.

this was the least technical crit i have done all year. a complete oval where brakes should not be needed. i was involved in some bumping and grinding in race one. in race two i had a wheel near the front as things started to heat up. i am pretty sure it was my wheel and told the guy to my right as much. he hit me anyway. i thought his front skewer was going to rip apart my PSIMET hoops. next i think our bars hooked. he gave me the bump, i didn't panic, bounced off a guy shooting up the left (inside) and back into him. this sent him him off course. not sure if he went totally down or not.

that is 13 starts as a 5. my 4 upgrade is approved. now i go on vacation for 8 days. that should help my form a lot......

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

the MOVE

6.6.10 Wonder Lake Lakeside Crit

on this day i would continue onward with my struggles to figure this racing thing out.

it was me and the 4 year old who were making the trip North for the race. we left early, got lost, stopped to go potty, watched Barbie the Mermaid Tale, cried (that was me) and eventually found our way to registration 15 minutes prior to race number one.

Bangert was racing and had his family in tow as well. his lovely wife and two kids had offered to watch my daughter while we raced. super nice of them, but this is pretty much the norm on our team. it could be the Bangert's, the Knoepke's, the Speciale's, the Cook's ,the Curtis family.....ect.....this is a great bunch of people.

CAT 5 race. i didn't get much of a warm up in, but such is life. PSIMET Racing was represented in this race with 6 racers. i think Low and i had the same plan, watch Bellum Racing and do what they do. in the end they didn't really do anything though.

there isn't much to say about the race. despite 4 tight turns on this 1.3 mile loop the 5s were pretty calm. the pace was being driven by the xXx rider who we have seen drive the pace before. he is strong and was OTF a couple times.

with one to go i was on Low's wheel who was on Bellum's wheel. we were on the outside going into turn 3. i wanted to go and grab Low for a move, but in a blink of an eye a strong move went up the inside. i was left scrambling to get un boxed and back in the mix. i didn't and came out of turn 4 frustrated just strolling over the line for 12th (30 starters).

CAT Masters 30+ 4/5 race. approximately 60 minutes later we lined up for this race. the 4s had just finished and we watched Raviv ride strong for 4th. we had 5 riders in this race and for the couple of 4s this was back to back efforts.

my plan was to follow Raviv's wheel and get some racing education. here is what i learned; riding in the top 10 is way more better than not. srsly.

i fought to keep his wheel and did so until the very end. i lost it on the back stretch when a move was made that he followed. i attempted to bridge back up and take Joe with me. almost, but a combination of getting squeezed and popping in turn 3 had me toasted. Joe went by on the inside and finished 14th. i was 23rd out of 37.

Raviv finished 2nd. that was back to back races resulting in a 4th & 2nd. he should be a three any day now.

all done and my so so efforts and results had left me wanting......

however, watching the CAT 3 race changed that. one thing i love about cycling is the limits. the ones you know about and the ones you don't. pushing beyond them to do something one didn't think or know they could do. this is cool to see. watching a teammate do it, well that's priceless.

(Click the blog post title for details on the MOVE)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Double or Nothing

it was 2008 when we coined this the Double or Nothing Metric. that year we did this ride on Saturday then hit the Udder Century Sunday, yes the very next day, for 100 miles. one day 62 miles with 6000 feet of climbing and the next day 100 miles in 5 hours (ride time). you had to do both to earn your Double or Nothing Badge. one of my most favorite cycling weekends to date.

the Double or Nothing name actually came about during the 08 BFNIC Spring Classic Ride. he was killing me up the hills. near the end of the ride i darted past and indicated last one to the top buys the first round. well, he grabbed my wheel, timed his jump just right, and hit the top first.

a few minutes later we approached another steep bugger. i dart past again and scream " Double or Nothing." i hit it hard at the bottom as i tend to do sometimes. too hard. midway up he zooms past me again. this was a longer climb though. i was falling back, but then i noticed he let up as he neared the top. i jumped on it hard.

as i neared his wheel the noise from the hard effort and my flapping wind jacket gave me away, maybe even startled Cy, and he droped the hamer one last time for the win.

tomorrow is the twenty ten version of the ride. good times. .

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fox River Grove Fun

photographic credit goes to the man Speciale. much thanks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


part deux

5.16.10 Fox River Grove Crit, CAT 5.

i will keep this one short and sweet, OUCH.

seven times the 5s trudged up that hill.

halfway up on lap one a split took place. i knew i had to make the split to have a chance at top 5. as i spotted teammate Cook dart off to make the split i realized i was screwed. the legs were just not ready to go. i think it was a combination of a poor warm up and two hard efforts from Monsters on Saturday.

i stayed calm and rode within myself. the third or fourth time up i was struggling mightily. near the top of the climb i hooked up with teammate Djan and followed his lead through downhill section. i really needed that. he was hammering it at 30 mph plus and i was right in his draft, working only half as hard. without that recover my day could have ended prematurely.

a couple more times up the hill and the legs started to feel better. i was approaching the start/finish line thinking i was going to make a move the last few laps.......ONE to GO.......so much for the move.

i hit that hill that last time hard. i wanted to punch it in the face. just once. just like the six jabs to face i had taken from it. i think i got a glancing blow in and i passed several riders that last time up.

at the top i flew around Djan who seemed to be resting up or struggling a bit. i yelled to him, go go go, and he jumped on. i didn't want anyone passing us as we flew into the finish. no one did. in fact we were doing the passing.

then i snugged behind a BH rider as we approached the last turn. i believe he was off the front early in the race and now floating back. i could tell he didn't want us passing him. i stayed on his wheel as long as possible. we hit the last little downhill run into the finish when i jumped.

it was just us three. no one else around. with an open finish on a closed course. so, sprinting for 15th place seemed kosher. it was my first race day sprint. Djan almost got me at the end. almost, but i took it and that glorious 15th place finish.

TP Link/Stats

this wan fun. i like fun.

Turning It....

Monsters-Cat-4-5 (26 of 39), originally uploaded by Tim Speciale.

5/15/10 Monsters of the Midway Crit.

Monday, May 17, 2010


5/15/2010 Monsters of the Midway Crit, Chicago, IL.

it was held at the University of Chicago Campus on the South Side. i was going to tackle the 4/5 and 5 race, which were the last two races of the day. i think i prefer the early starts. waiting around for a 4:40pm race start is lame.

this was the first race where the family would be in tow. also, PSIMET Racing was going to be well represented with riders and families in tow. as we loaded up the car i rummaged through my cycling stuff and took out what i thought was unneeded winter gear. i mean it was calm and sunny in my neck of the woods.

hello, Chicago sits on this big arse lake where cold winds from oh Canada blow in.

the 4/5 was up first. i hit the start line in some borrowed team arm warmers. i would not retain feeling in my fingers until these were removed an hour later. yes, they are oddly tight.

i had no expectations for this race. i am 5, i need starts, i need experience and i needed a warm up. the course is completely flat and FAST. it was very easy to move up and very very easy to fall back. in a blink of any eye, or is that a tap of a brake, 20 riders could fly past.

about three laps in i noticed i was fairly comfortable taking those hard lefts at speed. that made me happy.

fast forward to the final lap. this would be after Mr. Rob yelled at me for being at the back. with one to go coming out of turn 2 i blastedup the inside. as i zoomed past EC from BH i yell lets go. then i hit turn 3 and remember being on the inside of this turn is the wrong line. see ya pack. i didn't bother with the sprint for 30th since i had the 5s race right after this one. placed 52nd out of 71.

TrainingPeaks Link/Stats

the 5s race went off 10 minutes after the 4/5. thanks to solid advice from, Mr. Rob ,the team owner, i was four pins and one gel away from being ready. 3 of us from PSIMET Racing who just finished the 4/5 would roll the 5s.

as we lined up second row i noticed a guy on the line with a saddle bag. clearly he didn't get any sage race advice from his team owner and manager. wait, his saddle bag, that is attached to his Trek Madone with HED carbon wheels, is open. i mention to Cook that he should watch out for flying CO2s.

the race was fast, just like the previous, and pretty uneventful as far as racing goes. the wind was not a factor and the course does not lend itself to breakaways. i found myself near the front & on the front the beginning of the race. i thought about going for a bread prime at one point. i love bread, but the xXx rider looked hungry.

as we approached the start/finish line for the one lap to go bell i was stuck in the back. i don't recall how i got there, but i must have been hurting. i spotted xXx gathering at the front and i shot up the left side. we hit the start/finish line and i was flying.

i passed teammate Cook and thought "Let them do the work" (when i say thought i mean i yelled it out) AND "Where the hell can I squeeze in this pace line" (which i did not yell, but should have).

i didn't get back in the pace line. i stepped on the gas some more. i hit turn 1 in front and i knew i had one rider on my tail. this lead me to believe they were all there. i didn't look. i should have looked. maybe i couldn't look? so, i slowed in order to "Let them do the work." nobody came around. we hit turn 2 and nobody came around. in fact not until the middle of the back straight away did some one come around. they all did and i was caught on the outside when a move went on the inside.

20 or so riders zoomed past. i was pissed, made an attempt, but failed. as i came out of the last turn i strolled in for 35th out of 50.

according to my wife there were three of us, including teammate Cook, and we had a gap on the pack. it must have been a decent one for her to mention it.

TrainingPeaks Link/Stats

all in all, i was not a happy camper at the end of this race day......

*KAWOR - Kick Ass Weekend Of Racing* has been and is coined by PSIMET Racing and may not be used without prior approval of PSIMET himself. jus sayin.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In The Money

when the top 4 get paid and only 4 racers show, well, you get the idea. still, i had to hang on to a couple CAT 2'ers in order to finish and collect my cash. :)

Kenosha Business Park Crit 5/2/10, raced 4/5 where i was 5th out of 8 and masters 30+ where i was 4th out of 4. very hard efforts and some good practice with a couple fast technical turns. otherwise, kinda a waste of my time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Flatlandia Kermesse

MK3_7077, originally uploaded by never drown out.

Leading the charge through the loose gravel.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010 Flatlandia Kermesse, Leland, IL
-Road Race, 15 mile laps including three sections of gravel.
-CAT 5 was three laps.

I arrived early in fact way earlier then I wanted or needed to. Does that race day excitement wear off eventually? By now everyone knows, it was sunny, but windy, which made it cold AND there was some gravel. Not hard packed Cottonwood Pass dirt road stuff, but good old country living loose gravel road stuff. In fact, I do believe they grow there gravel rocks pretty darn big out there in Leland.

Let’s get rolling; as we roll out with a neutral start I immediately realize I am stuck on the right and in the cross wind. At least I was in the big ring and got clipped in. One of these days I will get the starting stuff right. I wasn’t sure how my legs would be since I was pre occupied with some allergies and a nasty neck/shoulder stiffness & pain. I was rolling next to and chatting up EC from BH. Everyone knew he was the guy to keep an eye on. He goes and I imagine 10 of us follow. It was pretty tame before that first section of gravel. The nasty crosswind blew me into the gutter, but my mad skills saved it without losing ground. Minutes later EC did the same thing, which we laughed about later. At one point I bumped into Bangert as I moved up and our bars got hooked. No worries, me and him are like Fonzie and avoided disaster without anyone noticing.

Mile 8ish of the first lap we made that left onto the first gravel section. I was midpack I believe going into it. No one went down, but everyone seemed to panic a bit including me. Next thing I know I am going backwards. Hey, so is Bangert. Hey, so is MCook. Hey, so is MZ. At least I had company. It did organize fairly quickly after that and we had one very long line of riders. I was worried, but everyone was still in sight, even if I was oh so way back. We took a left and EC took darted to the left side taking riders with him. No worries, I am still in the game. Next we hit a right turn with some seriously soft gravel right in the middle of it. I have never seen riders fall down so slowly. It was funny and it was not funny. They were falling right in front of me. I think 3 dudes just fell over.

They didn’t take anyone down with them, I think, but it fractured the group. I was way back now. Two or three groups were riding away, including the winning one with EC. I was on Bangert’s wheel with two other riders for the next couple minutes. It felt like we were slowing down when we needed to be hammering down. I got the sense that everyone was going into self survival mode. I don’t blame anyone for that, heck I was in that mode too. However, I needed to be in race survival mode, so I went. At some point MCook picked me up or I picked him up and we pressed on hard in that gravel.

As we rolled out of that section onto the pavement and into a tailwind we had passed everyone, but the leaders. We could still see them and MCook was ready to go go. I wasn’t sure. We had not even completed lap one. It would take a huge effort for only two of us to catch that group. I said we should wait for someone to bridge up and help. We needed help.

No one ever came. I don’t think anyone ever tried. Not sure. I don’t know how long we sat up, but eventually we pressed on. It was too damn late. At mile 10 our race for the podium was over.

The balance of the race was just as epic. MCook and I both took pointless flyers off our 5 man group at one point. After the race we were like, WTF. Lap two had me gunning it at 30 mph with that tailwind on the last section of gravel. I was floating on the crap. Ran out of water. Purposely shed some riders on the last lap to try to ensure top tens for us.

Last lap we hit the tailwind with a 5 from Half Acre. I try to drop him, he tries to drop me, does, but MCook brings us back. He made a great move on the gravel where he gunned it on a slight incline to pass some riders. I burnt my last match getting back to his wheel. As we are about to exit the gravel and turn to the finish I yell back, “MCook you still there?” and he is. I was hoping we could take the Half Acre rider, but we didn’t. No sprint, he just jumped and I couldn’t.

8th for MCook and 9th for me. Me and the kid had a great time out there. For sure.

Race stats for those who care. Max HR and CAD data is not correct.

Entire workout (232 watts):
Duration: 2:21:46
Work: 1972 kJ
TSS: 218.6 (intensity factor 0.964)
Norm Power: 251
VI: 1.08
Pw:HR: -1.2%
Pa:HR: -7.95%
Distance: 45.814 mi
Elevation Gain: 457 ft
Elevation Loss: 469 ft
Grade: -0.0 % (-10 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 819 232 watts
Heart Rate: 132 246 170 bpm
Cadence: 46 239 96 rpm
Speed: 0 31.2 19.4 mph
Pace 1:55 0:00 3:06 min/mi
Altitude: 688 745 717 ft
Crank Torque: 0 885 211 lb-in

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hillsboro-Roubaix 2010

that was fun. srsly.

my third race and first road race. the 29 mile loop was a challenge for me and my skillz. tight country roads with winter muck not washed away yet, short risers, short descents with tricky "s" turns, quick turns and the wind.

early start to the day since i was staying at the in laws about 60 miles away from the the race start. i didn't have the grand breakfast that some had, but i grabbed a McGriddle and some coffee in Litchfield. i got to tell you something, a pancake muffin injected with syrup is pure genius. god bless the Golden Arches.

i was pretty early to the start getting a prime parking spot near the start/finish. checked in, got instructions on proper number placement. since there were two, a giant one and a small one, i had the lady write down on the back which side which number went. later when the full crew arrived Rob pointed out that i pinned the numbers on wrong or backwards. even when a CAT 5 follows instructions he is wrong.

it was cool to hang out with the experts of the team before the start. warm up was solid as i rolled out with Rob, Kyle and Crystal. in typical Rob fashion he was all 411 and i was taking it in.

the first time we went up the "big climb" the sharp left turn on the decent really surprised me. i was in the gravel, then the grass, but managed to keep it all together. after that turn is the decent into and onto the brick road. my first thought was holly sh!t. i was coasting down it and hitting 30 with ease. the transition to the brick road is plastered with asphalt patches, uneven payment, and oh yeah, a left hand turn at the bottom. next, after the decent the bricks continue, slightly uphill, and i was bouncing all over the place. i was not comfortable on this section at all. i took two more warm up passes on it though. all that and all i had done was a solid warm up.....

lets race. the neutral start was helpful since i was small chaining it at the start line. Matt and I lined up together in the second row, then waited 10 to 15 minutes for the roll out. unfortunately, this would be the most time i spent with Matt.

4 miles in i was in the back 1/3rd of the pack. not due to fitness, but more a lack of skills. i need to work on getting my arse in the front half of packs and hope that comes with more races. the back was all that CAT 5s are said to be; brakes, surges, brakes, surges, squirrels, brakes, and surges.

then, everyone yells slowing, i hear brakes, i hear metal, i hear a pop, and the guy in front of me locks up his brakes. i got no where to go, so i continue forward on my line, slowing, but not braking, and i believe i pushed that guy off the road into the ditch. i either got my tire square on his or into his RD. not sure, but my first thought was braking hard was not the right thing. 5 seconds later i see Matt, who had been riding well near the front, floating back. remember the pop? as we pass i say, "flat" he says "flat" then i say "fuck" and slam my bars.

4 miles in his day was done.

i spent the next 16 miles at the back of the pack. i never got comfortable. braking and surging again and again. i would move up and fall back quickly. at one point on a nasty quick decent with a s turn i started to move up when a Metro East rider came blazing by on my left, into the gravel shoulder and i was sure he was bound for the ditch and a 10' drop. several minutes later he rejoined the pack, but i have more on him later.

riding at the back and being caught on the wrong side of the cross wind was killing me. no one was breaking away and no one was pushing the pace that hard. however, doing what i was doing was bad. at mile 20 the pace did pick up a bit and i was falling off the lead 20 guys. we hit a roller and i found myself standing, nailing it, and losing ground.

all i could hear was Curtis; "don't ever lose the wheel in front of you. do everything you can to stay with the pack.do it."

standing and hitting it hard for only 5 strokes, i pause, 5 more, i think i am done.

no no no. i am telling myself this out loud with a few curse words that i believe could have been DQ'ed. i bury myself and i grab back onto the pack at mile 22ish.

at mile 25 the pace really picks up and i finally look down at the Garmin and think the two climbs should be coming. i look up and i see the feed zone climb. i like climbing.

i am on the inside as we hit the two hills and think that is dumb. we shed riders in the feed zone. as we hit the final hill a skinny rider stands to go at the base and the pace picks up. i keep thinking go, but wait. half way up that rider is blown up and going back. my inside line didn't hurt me and i passed half the pack on this section.

next we have the nasty left and mad decent. at the top, the previous mentioned Metro East rider asks me if there are any more hills and i say no, but watch out for the tricky left. he floats back and i am about 5th going into the turn. he returns, blazing inside me and yelling; "look out & I'm sorry." he has pushed me back into the soft gravel and grass ditch that i scouted on my warm up. he and several other riders fly past me.

shift, jump, check bottles, grab his wheel and i am bombing the decent. i don't bomb, but i did today. i was up, just off the saddle as we hit the rough stuff. i was passing everyone and catching the two leaders. as i hit 41 mph a sharp left approached, i was on the inside, then remembered i am also bad at taking corners at high speed. i brake hard and fall back.

i navigate that turn, but i was dead up the last little incline of bricks. somehow i passed two riders. we hit the corner and the better pavement, but two riders flew by me. maybe three not sure. i thought i was done and should sit up, then i look up and there aint that many riders in front of me. i cant stand, but i am turning the crank. i believe i passed two the last 200m to finish 6th.

i finished up my day cheering on PSIMET Racing. a really really nice day. congrats to those who raced, especially those doing two laps and double especially to those with a brick.

my ride stats are HERE

i have logged some miles, slow and fast, low and high, solo and with a 1000 others, but this was fun. CAT 5'ish fun for sure. later.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


» Date 3/28/2010

» Name of event: COUGAR

» Format of event: Criterium (Autobahn Race Track)

» Number of riders 30 in CAT 5

» Placing 15

» Distance 13.51 miles

» Time 00:36:41

» Average speed 22 mph

» Average Power 214w / Max Power 829w

» Notes on conditions, key moments and why I didn’t do better: Overcast, Drizzly, Cold & Windy. Local event in Joliet so limited drive time. Team had 6 riders in the 5s. A break at lap two of two stayed away. Pack raced for 3rd. Once again I went to the front to early. That effort into the wind killed me coming out of the last turn. I was in the lead again into that turn.


» Date 3/28/2010

» Name of event: COUGAR

» Format of event: Criterium (Autobahn Race Track)

» Number of riders 26 in MASTERS 30-39

» Placing DNF

» Distance 8.94 miles

» Time 00:25:10

» Average speed 22 mph

» Average Power 238w / Max Power 977w

» Notes on conditions, key moments and why I didn’t do better: Overcast, Drizzly, Cold & Windy. Local event in Joliet so limited drive time. Race #2 of my day. It started out super fast and never let up. I thought I would be OTB before the first turn. I hung of for 3 laps at the back then 3 laps with Thomas, then called it a day. OUCH.

Burnham Spring Super Crit

» Date 3/27/2010

» Name of event Burnham Spring Super Crit

» Format of event Criterium (Autobahn Race Track)

» Number of riders 38 in CAT 5

» Placing 22

» Distance 14.88 miles

» Time 00:41:19

» Average speed 22 mph

» Average Power 197w / Max Power 886w

» Notes on conditions, key moments and why I didn’t do better: Sunny, but cold for 8:30am start. 2 hour drive to S. Beloit. First real race and not the typical 4 corner crit style. More subtle and wide on the race track. I felt good. I lead going into the last turn, but worked too hard to get there and sat up as everyone flew past. Needed to wait longer. Fitness is there.


» Date 3/27/2010

» Name of event: Burnham Spring Super Crit

» Format of event: Criterium (Autobahn Race Track)

» Number of riders: 45 in Masters 30-39

» Placing: 37

» Distance: 17.11 miles

» Time: 00:41:00

» Average speed: 25 mph

» Average Power: 208w / Max Power 940w

» Notes on conditions, key moments and why I didn’t do better: Second Race of the day and my career @ 10:50am. The goal was to hang on to the main pack since Masters is an open CAT. Faster pace, but easy for Masters, I was told. Group stayed together with no breaks and I handled the surges. Need to be more in the pack for experience.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the Proof

i raced. i had fun, see me smilling, and i mixed it up a bit, see me at front on the last lap.

Monday, March 22, 2010

we have a winner

PSIMET Racing has a winner. See the glorious details HERE. all we need now are the team kits.
congrats to TQ on the win. dont you just feel the power and speed and force coming out of the picture!
next up for me; racing this weekend.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Race Journel

soon enough these will be outisde, REAL racing.

-Date 2/20/2010

-Name of event ABD Indoor Rolling 10K TT

-Format of event Computrainer Indoor TT

-Number of riders 24 in CAT 4

-Placing 11th

-Distance 10k

-Time 16:33:50

-Average speed 23 mph

-Average Power 290 watts

-Notes on conditions, key moments and why I didn’t do better: Hot and stale. This one was harder than anticipated. It hurt the legs. My main downfall was too much coasting on the down slopes.

*Yes, this is old news.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

tik tok

time that is, not the current pop hit that is on the radio every 10 minutes that i sing like a little grade school girl.

it seems just like yesterday that i thought March would never come. now March is almost over. before March can end i will race. two races the last weekend of March. two events at each race. it seemed like a good idea at the time of registration.

training hours are up compared to last year. you may recall last year it was all about Colorado. the Bicycle Tour of Colorado; 6 days, 550 miles, two 12k summits. looking back at my training log i see 57 hours of training through March 31st. currently i am at 65 hours bike/trainer and 8 hours of core strength.

hours do not tell the entire story. training with power has given me motivation and focus over the winter. the hours have been harder and seemingly longer. much, much, more suffering this off season.

it is not all fresh roasted & brewed coffee around here though. lately, i am a bit lost, tired, and achy. my chronic left IT Band started barking at me last week. i am unsure how to transition the training outdoors and around events......ect.....

blah blah blah sings the current pop sensation. later.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


everyone says dont be a christmas star. whatever, this RACE is worth it. later.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Odd Things...

it is Febuary in Chicago. we just got 12 inches of snow in one day and had an earthquake.

all i care about is March and its arrival.

is it March yet?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

race journal

ChicagoBikeRacing.com is a great site. check it out and see for your self.

i am no longer weight loss aham23, or century aham23, or getting high aham23, but racer aham23.

so, i just read all 33 of his racing tips. most are targeted at the noobies like me. one says i should keep a race journal. that is cool since i love my numbers and the tracking of them.

» Date 1/24/2010

» Name of event ABD Indoor Flat 10K TT

» Format of event Computrainer Indoor TT

» Number of riders 28 in CAT 4

» Placing 8

» Distance 10k

» Time 15:34:31

» Average speed 25 mph

» Notes on conditions, key moments and why I didn’t do better : Hot and stale. The last 5 minutes. I should have pushed the last minute harder. I should have kept my arse down on the seat the entire time. AVG pwr around 300w.

**edit** Coach and Captin's Race Write Up is HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

it's evolution baby

2010, the year of racing.

PSIMET Racing Team

this should be.......interesting.