Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I am really starting to enjoy this early morning training thing. You would be amazed how much you can get done before the sun comes up. Waking up at 5:15am to go and hurt yourself intentionally sounds a little masochistic yet I do it and I am happy afterwards. Wednesdays are my climbing days. We spend about 40-50 minutes riding up long and steady climbs. Going up,and then back down, going up, and then back down. I do have to admit that when I wake up, I spend a few seconds wondering what the hell I am doing up so early, and when my legs are burning I also ask myself why am I causing myself such pain? What is all this for? I am not a very competitive guy at all, although I am constantly reaching for that brass ring. Is it so I can prove it to myself? Is it the satisfaction of accomplishing something that I never imagined completing before? Is it as simple as the endorphins? I know that in the past I have never really stuck to anything I have done, I have always lost interest in any hobbie or "like". So why is cycling so different? And why did I decide to race even though I am not a competitive person? See that is part of the allure and magic of cycling, you will never quite figure it out and it will always tease you just enough to keep you intrigued. It is like a dance with your feelings and emotions, like chasing a hat blown away in the wind that is almost in your reach when the wind blows again. A grand champion once said of cycling that "it never gets easier, you just get faster". That is the truth in so many levels. The pain is always the same. I think the best answer is that the sooner you surrender to the pain the better it all seems. Stop fighting it, or asking questions and just accept the love and passion for what ever your love and passion is. Learn to love the pain and the inconvenience. At least that is what I will do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Only to see you better with my dear

Some of you may have noticed the designer eye wear I have been wearing to race in, That is because they were the only sunglasses I had in the car at the time. You see I have to wear prescription glasses and I don't have the luxury of contact lenses. My astigmatism is a little higher and contacts would not offer me the same clear vision that eyeglasses do. This has been a problem for me since I was 15 years old and especially tough when it comes to sports, but I think I have found the closest thing to a solution as possible. In the past if I knew that I was going to be riding beyond sun down then I would wear me clear eyeglasses suffering through the sun and waiting for it to set and then I would be comfortable, but now through the magic of technology for the past few years they have been making aTransition lens that is also polarized. What is Transition and what is polarized you ask? Well, Transition is a lens that reacts to the suns u.v. rays and gets darker in higher u.v. and clear in low to no u.v., and polarized is a lens that helps to reduce surface glare at a 180 degree angle, like glare on pavement, windshields, water........ pretty much any glare that would bother you will the sun is out. So you know what this means, I can wear these from the minute I wake up to the minute I lay my head down to sleep. I do have to tell you that these lenses are called Drive wear and they don't go all the way clear, they have a slight yellowish tint to them when they are as clear as possible. See, these lenses were designed with driving in mind. Anyways, I did take it a step further and had these lenses in my prescription made and edged into an Oakley cycling specific frame. I am so excited that I can finally be comfortable all the time while riding my bike. So I am posting this for you fellow riders that suffer from the same. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Also understand that these lenses are not inexpensive, but like a set of carbon wheels, they have a very important purpose, they help us see better there for improve our reaction time and that is always important when all we have for protection is a helmet.

Oakley Jawbone-designed for cycling, it helps to reduce wind in the eyes so you don't tear up and can't see at higher speeds.

This morning also marked the beginning of a new routine for myself and my workout buddy Mark, we decided to try our hand at logging miles in the morning instead of at night. I was at his front door and ready to go at 5:45am and to my surprise he was ready to go as well. We rode for about 50 minutes and got a nice long climb in. The climb was 10 minutes of the ride. We plan on making this our regular Wednesday morning thing. I have to tell you, it is an awesome way to start the day, better than coffee.

Monday, March 21, 2011


This weekend started off with yoga Saturday morning at Volker Velowerx in the Crossroads district of Kansas City. If you have never done Yoga and would like to feel free to join us Saturday mornings  beginning at 8a.m., $5.00 donations for the instructor would be greatly appreciated. The stretches and poses are geared towards cyclist and the areas where we tend to hold a lot of tension, or where we need to strengthen for cycling. We spent an hour doing this and I felt so relaxed when we finished.

After Yoga we all got on our bikes and went out for a 1 hour ride. I got stuck at a light and was dropped so I decided to take a nice relaxing stroll instead of trying to catch back up to everyone. It was a beautiful morning.
The rest of the day was spent packing boxes as Kate and I are moving in two weeks and she being pregnant is afraid that she will be of no use then.


If you are wondering about the title if this post, it is not my locker combination but my results for the series. I know it looks like I managed to improve from 44th to 28th by the end of the series but the truth is that less and less people showed up each and every week.

Sunday was the third and final race of the Perry Dam series. We arrived to the course at about 9:00 and the race was to start at 10:05am. The weather was beautiful, a little cool, around 60 degrees. The one down side was that there was a very strong wind from the south. We decided to do one lap to warm up and to see what the wind was like and what role it would play in the race. The wind was blowing just right to help on the climb and down the dam. Unfortunately this also helps everyone else up the climb and down the dam. This week was to be 6 total laps at 5 miles a piece. The whistle blew and I was fifth guy from the front on the inside. My teammate Mark was on the outside parallel with me.

This photo was taken by Roger @ Lantern Rouge

We were about half way across the dam on the first lap when I noticed the first break away, two guys from the same team jumped off the front with the two guys in front of me and Mark also from the same team slowing the pace so the the break could get larger. The problem with that attempt is that it was only two guys and the wind was blowing like crazy so once the route turned into the wind we caught them. Mark, I still think we should have jumped with them and tried to hold everyone else off with 4 of us working together. I was only able to truly hold on for one lap this time. My teammate Brian who not only went on to win the days race but also won King of the Mountain is a an extremely strong climber and set the pace up the first climb and I just couldn't hold the same speed. I was pretty much alone for most of the race managing to pass a person here or there but never really feeling too strong for the day. I was inside my head too much psyching myself out. Not really pushing myself, more like just finishing the race. I had a lot of lower back pain again and that consumed my every thought. So my plan for this week is to get back on and keep logging more miles and peppering in some hill intervals and maybe some sprint intervals.

As you can tell I am a little disappointed with my results this week. I thought I would have done better.  No worries, I just have to work harder.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Turning a Corner

Growing up in South Florida is a little like living in a bad dream, and what I mean by this is that the weather never really changes. It is always hot and usually sunny. The temperature change from summer to winter is a difference of maybe 10 degrees. The funny thing is that on the rare 50 degree day you see the natives donning their coats, scarfs, gloves, and hats. Although I can't fully make fun of these people as I was one of them for many years. Now when it warms up to 50 degrees I leave the coat at home and wear a short sleeve shirt. This morning it was 60,humid,and a nice breeze coming from the south, it felt like spring to me. This lets me know that better warmer weather is around the corner. Now that I experience four seasons I can fully appreciate the warm weather.

 My training and motivation has improved as well. A couple of nights ago I went out for an hours worth of hill intervals. Fortunately I live in an area that has many long and steady hills that are perfect for training. I tell you, I am going to conquer this climbing thing.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Comfort Zones

I had a pretty productive weekend. Saturday Kate and I spent the whole day in a Child Birthing class. This class was awesome, I learned that I(birthing coach) have a large roll to play in the birthing process. Whenever you watch a movie or a T.V. show, it shows the husband in a character of a weak knee'd chump who doesn't either want to be bothered with the process or is passing out from the blood. This couldn't be further from the truth. I learned that I will be a huge influence on Kates' state of mind throughout the entire labor. Assisting to keep her calm and comfortable. I can't wait for this day to come. Society has found a way to make sex casual but there is no way of making this experience casual. This is THE ultimate bonding experience between two people who love each other. That or she will yell at me the whole time blaming me for putting her through all that pain. Will keep you posted on the results.

Now let's talk Perry Lake race 2

I had a better race this week. I still finished way back, but I feel like I accomplished more in this race than in the first. For example in the first race I was dropped on the climb at the end of the first lap and spent 3 laps all by my lonesome. Race #2 I managed to stay with the pack for 2 and a half laps. Yes that meant that I had to stay with the pack after 2, yes count them, 2 complete climbs. This race had 5 laps and so I only spent 2.5 laps out of the protection of the peleton. 

       The picture above is proof of me still with the peleton nearing the end of the climb on the first lap. I am in the back but staying right there with them.

I felt much stronger this week but I also had the confidence to push myself further out of my comfort zones. I made myself hurt. Not a bad hurt, but a good I am accomplishing something hurt. Cycling is not only about fitness but I truly believe it is about our individual pain tolerance thresholds. Some people have the confidence to get closer to the edge and sustain it longer than others, they can bare the pain and look past it knowing that no matter how much it hurts, they aren't going to remember the pain once the goal they are trying to accomplish is completed. This is one of the many reasons why I ride and race bicycles, for the learning experiences that you can only come accross when you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Like I said in my earlier post, I climb like a rock. In Cycling Mag I found an article that states that climbing is much like sprinting and they recommend doing these "squat jumps" plus sprint intervals. To start they say to do 4 sets of 5 squat jumps per set with 1 minute of rest in between. The sprint intervals are 5 sets of 15 seconds of all out sprinting starting from no more than an 8mph speed with a 4 minute soft pedal in between. I have started doing the squat jumps every day and the sprints every other day. Let's see if this does anything for my climbing. Above is a post that explains proper form. Watch and enjoy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My first post

I recieved this "onesie" from a friend of mine today, I already know that it is going to be Lucy's favorite outfit when she is born.

First race of the road season and my 4th road race ever. I was planning on going to Spring Fling on Saturday to race in the mens Cat 5 35+ but was talked out of it by Britton. He said that racing a 7 mile crit was not going to do me any good and that I should do the Perry Road Race. Perry Lake is located 12 miles NW of Lawrence Kansas, home of the Jayhawks. I packed up the car and invited two other fellow team mates to join me on the hour drive from Kansas City. The temps were at about 25 degrees when I raced at 10:00am but once your adrenaline starts going you no longer notice the cold. I wasn't alone in this race as Andrew L., Casey Buta, and Quiet Brian were all in. All three of these guys are new to racing but their abilities are far better than mine. The first lap started on a down hill for about 1/4 of mile and then it opened up to a mile or so trek accross a dam. Pretty strong cross wind on top of that dam of which I would suffer alone later in the race.The peleton was moving relatively slow with a lot of breaking. I don't understand why this happens so much in the 5's, perhaps it is do to the inexperience of some of the riders. I felt pretty good and was right there next to Andrew L. until we reached the climb for the first time. I would say I was in the front 1/3 of the peleton when we hit the climb and by the time we hit the middle of the climb I was 7 guys from the back. I climb as well as a rock does. We had to do this climb 4 times and so you can imagine just how well I did. I finished 44th out of 50. Lots of room for improvement. Casey Buta went on to finish 3rd and win King of the mountain for the day. For those of you who don't know what King of the Mountain is, in this race at any given time they will ring the bell when crossing the finish line and the first person to climb the hill in that lap is K.O.M. The cool thing is that this is a race series and Casey has to defend his title for three more races.