Monday, December 22, 2008

Visitors: Curtis and Janine

Last night Curtis and Janine dropped by for a visit. Curtis is my "little older brother" and Janine is his wife. They were in town for a church thing and stopped by in order to crash before returning home to the greater LA area this morning. It was great to have them over since we only see each other a few times a year. They seem to be doing well with the church's website and new television station that they are creating.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Character Building.....

Today was another fine day in Northern California. I think the high temperature was in the low 40's with a lot of rain and a little breeze. Which is a perfect day to lounge by the fireplace and drink a fine Cabernet while nibbling on some creamy brie on sourdough bread. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I am still juggling full time Engineering and full time cycling (so does that mean I am giving it 200%?). So I did not have the choice to take a recovery day and wine and dine by the fire. For those familiar with the area, I rode from my house to Occidental and then did the Chileno Valley Grasshopper loop. It was quite the ride cosidering the weather. Fortunately, my Marmot rain pants and Merrell Shell / Jacket kept me nice and toasty for the most part. Up the hills I unzipped the jacket and once at the top I closed down the hatches for decending. 6 hours later, Emily had a beef stew in the crock pot and we shared a couple glasses of local Shiraz (by the fire of course).
The pictures are from the top of the Marshall Road climb. Misty eh?!?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Food Update: Riviera Ristorante

For y'all that are ever visiting Santa Rosa, make sure you go by the Riviera Ristorante. OK, I am a little bias with the place since they sponsored the Norcal team this last year and GP has a habit of dropping me on rides. But still, every time I go there Emily and I order something different, and every time, their interpretation of the dish blows my mind. Last night was a simple Pappardelle with sausage and if it wasn't for Emily sitting next to me and the beautiful ambiance, I'd have licked the plate. Then there was the deserts.... wow.... trippel cholocate mousse and tiramisu.... with coffee... not sure how you could top that!

Cheers to the gang at the Riviera!

Friday, December 19, 2008

MMMM...... MMMMMM...... Tasty! Stout Brothers

I have had a few friends from school visiting me for the past couple days. They are Matt, Emmaly, Toya, and Nick. It has been fun so far. They have been going out and doing the typical San Francisco / Sonoma County touristy stuff during the day and hanging out with us in the evening. Last night, we had a fix'n for some Irish food. So we walked downtown Santa Rosa and found Stout Brothers. It was the kind of tasty that makes you want to go for a 2 hr run after, but man was it wirth it. I had the waiter "Burger me" (TM, Kevin B.) and had a Smithwick's. Although it is a classic, next time it's gonna be a Guinness. Matt had a traditional Shepards Pie... I don't remember the rest, but if you are in the mood for tasty Irish food, a friendly wait staff, andan Irish pub restaraunt, I highly recommend it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rid'n the rain

This year's rainy season kicked off with a bang yesterday. JP and I went out in the pouring rain for a 5 hr ride and man-o-man was it wet...and cold... I think John said it was 36 degrese when we started. However I got to tell you, being prepared for the weather was a learning curve for me. Most winters in Nebraska I spent a lot of time with my MTB in the snow on paths well covered by trees. So even though it is cold (let's say 10 degrees F on any given winter day) it was simple to stay dry. Last year I spent all of the rainy weekends up in Tahoe at Royal Gorge, so once again staying warm was easy with the precipitation was snow. But, fortunately I had JP there to push me along. We started the ride at NorCal Bikesport a tad under dressed. But on the way out of town, we turned back to myhouse to get warmer stuff. He headed out again, but by the time we were down the block, my toes were numb again. So we headed back and took a "rain delay." We warmed ourselves by the fireplace and I found the heavy duty cycling gear.

1: Marmot Rain pants
2: Pearl-Izumi Amfib insulated bib pants
3: Smart wool hiking socks
4: Insulated booties
5: Capo Bib Shorts
6: Capo Jersey
7: Capo Thermal Jacket
8: Merrell Soft shell Jacket
9: Craft insulated gloves

That's a lot of stuff to put into the washer after 1 ride... geesh! Oh well..

Any tips on how to train in this cold weather would be welcome. Lemmee know!

P.S. Wilow Creek is beautiful rain or shine.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Herbie Husker strikes at Santa Rosa Cyclocross

Yesterday, I did my first cyclocross race of the season and as expected, it was pretty fun. Here in Cali, CX races have beer flowing, live music, and lots of fun people to hang out with. However I have to respond to the most common question I have gotten about the race, so here it goes.... No, I did not break my new CX bike. I have been riding it a lot lately and enjoying the heck out of it. But I got to tell you, there is a simple pleasure I get out of racing on a SS, out geared, out gunned, and over loaded (with beverage ;-) ) that I cannot get any other way. So for those of you that have wanted to try racing cross but think you need to go out and buy all sorts of fancy stuff to have fun, think again!

Special thanks to Veronika Lenzie for the photos! Did I mention photos make great christmas presents. ;-) She does sell them you know!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Plant Closing

Dear Friends and Family,

Today is an upsetting day for me and my co-worker at 3M in Petaluma. We were gathered today to learn that 3M Petaluma will cease operations in June of 2009. The next 6 months or so will be spent transferring manufacturing lines to other 3M plants around the country. The reason why I am posting this is because I know many very talented people from production workers, maintanence, warehouse, supervisors, engineers, and managers that will be looking for jobs over the next 6 months. So, if you or somebody you know needs good people to work for them, please let me know and I can refer you some top choices. If you know somebody affected by this, please be considerate to them while they work through these tough times.

Thank you

Folks from Petaluma

Look who I bumped into yesterday! I was just minding my own business doing a few intervals up Lynch Creek Road in Petaluma and I ran into some of the stars of the Casa Grande High School MTB gang. I am very impressed with what Colby and Riley are doing to try to share this sport with others. Which reminds me, if any of you have cold weather gear that you no longer use, these guys need it much more then some scumbag on eBay trying to score a bargain. So if you have some stuff (size small to large probably), give me or Yuri a message.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Willow Creek Trail

Here is a snapshot of the entrance to the Willow Creek path. It was (and is) quite the trail. Thank goodness for cycocross bikes though!!! I cannot tell you how great it is to have a cyclocross bike again. I would highly recommend that if you have a road bike, TT bike, and no CX bike, you are missing out! I should have taken pictures yesterday on my ride with John Stroba, however I forgot to bring my phone. But it was so great it encouraged me to try to re-live the ride solo today. But it's amazing the people you run into around here. As Stroba and I were riding part of Old Caz we met up with a few good friends, not only the worlds fastest Denstist, but also the world's fastest mechanic (Roger Bartels and Glenn Fant), along with select members of the veggie crew. Lots of off road fun was had.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Boy named Suh!

So for my California friends who don't follow Husker football like I do, this is a picture of a Nebraska defensive lineman trying to be tackled by CU's quarterback. Why is he trying to be tackeled by the quarterback you might ask??? Because he has the ball... duh! Like a gnat against a windshield. Anyway, GO HUSKERS!!!! 9-3 baby!!! GO PELINI!!! And happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sonoma County at it's finest!

Oh man, another beautiful day out here in wine country. JP and I went on a little ride out to the coast yesterday (Sunday) and man was it breathtaking. Here is a picture from on top of Coleman valley a couple miles from the coast. Despite the crappy photography, I think you can still see why I love riding out here so much!

Ride on!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CX season just started for me :-)

My cyclocross season has just begun, thanks to Bissell and Glen hooking me up with this Pinarello CX. Anybody up for some trail riding this weekend?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top 5 Questions about next season...

Over the past few weeks, I have had a lot of friends and family asking all sorts of questions about my team for next year. So I thought I'd put together a little blurb on some of the more popular questions.

Question #1: Are you racing the Tour of California?
Answer: Not in 2009. Bissell has 15 riders on the team and most of them have been competing at this level for years.

Question #2: really!?.. so is it the "real" team?
Answer: yes, it is the real team. Is there a "fake" one that I need to know about??

Question #3: Are you quitting your job at 3M?
Answer: No. Unlike other professional sports, there are no quarter million dollar minimum salary requirements in cycling. However I may have to take some extra vacation and figure something out over the summer. My management at 3M seem pretty excited for me and have offered to be flexible.

Question #4: So how much do you make.
Answer: See the last patagraph from Paul Mach's blog on Monday, November 10th.

Question #5: What kind of bike?
Answer: Pinarello Prince spec'd with Campagnolo Record 11 and Easton wheels.

So that's the top 5 for now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Photo worth 1000+ words

I had some time yesterday to rifle through some pictures from the past couple years of racing. This photo came up and it opened up a flood of amazing memories from last season. It was taken by Ronnie on a training ride with the team earlier in the year. It reminds me of just how much RedPeloton means to me and how proud I am to be assocated with them. We spent a lot of time together doing all sorts of fun stuff. From cross country skiing up in Tahoe, driving around in Ronnie's and Andrew's team cars going all over the state, volunteering at all sorts of community events (there are quite a few that haven't made it on the website yet), and epic rides on Saturday morning, we sure had a lot of fun. It will be amazing to see the team grow and continue to represent the NCNCA as the primere team from Sonoma county.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 2 of blogging

I am going to try not to put too much junk on the site, but I want to get int the habit of writing regularly since the last 2 times I "started" on this blog, I left it hanging for months....

So Today is quite the rainy day in Petaluma. It started raining last night. On the one hand, it will be nice to see the countryside turn deep green again. On the other hand, I do not like riding in the rain unless I am racing. But fortunately, the rainy season coincides with the off season. The plus side of that is that most of my training is in the form of lifting weights at Parkpoint (inside), swimming at Parkpoint (I am already wet), 1 hour powercranks sets (inside), running (kinda sucks to get the sneakers wet, but what can you do?), and 3 hour endurance rides on Sundays (I can go in the afternoon when it's typically dry).

My main objective over the next few months is to establish a strong core and KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF!!!!!!!! Currently I am only 7 pounds from my "racing weight" and it has been holding there for a while, so I think I have found an equilibrium. But tonight is the night for gools and goblins to give and recieve candy, so I got to be careful tonight. But before I do that, I have a 1 hour run. Hopefully that will make up for the sweets tonight.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New season, new year, new team, new motivation!

Apparently it's been over a year since my last post. I plan on changing that trend from here on out. My goal is to keep this site up to date in order to keep my friends and family in the loop. So here is the clif notes from the past year for both my readers out there (thanks for reading mom and dad).

2008n started out great. I spent a lot of time at Parkpoint Health Club in Santa Rosa lifting weights, swimming, running, and all sorts of activities off the bike. I also had the opportunity to cross country ski at Royal Gorge up in Tahoe. Between all the off the bike activities I was doing, I was in pretty good shape.

There were quite a few races along the way, but for time sake I'll just focus on the ones I did well at.

First was the Chileno Valley grasshopper. For those of you that do not know what this series is all about, it's the official unofficial race series in Sonoma county, which often see the local pros, this year it was Levi , Scott, and Kris. Shockingly enough, I hung with them over the Marshall wall and Willson hill (or they let me ride with them, whatever...). Then going up burnside they dropped me like a rock! Much to my luck, Scott crashed after narrowly escaping a car when he was making a left turn. He was able to get back on the bike right as I passed by and we rode to the finish line together. I don't know exactly how it happened but we sprinted to the finish and ended up second place. This was the first time I had ever been able to hang with pros. So it was a very thrilling day for me and one that my friends bring up every time I have a bad day (thanks guys!).

After that, there was a series of top 10 finishes at real races. A few wins, a couple runner-ups, and a spattering of top 6 finishes got me my 1 upgrade by June. So I registered for my first NRC race, Tour de Nez. Quite frankly, I got spanked. No excuses. I got served! But it was a good reality check, I have a lot to learn and a lot of fitness to gain and that is pretty motivational to me.

Over the course of the season, I had been joking a little bit about going pro in 2009. I was joking simply because I was a little embarrassed to talk about it and really didn't know if it could even happen. Fortunately, I visited Norcal Bikesport one fateful afternoon where some team mates Shane and Glenn were chit-chatting. We talked about the whole "pro" thing and they seemed to have confidence that I could make it happen if I tried. So I started talking to one of my other good friends, Andrew. He hooked me up with Glen Mitchell, the director of Bissell Pro Cycling. Glen and I talked about it off and on for a few months and just two weeks ago, he decided to give me a shot.

So now, I have a lot of work to do to prepare for next season. Core strength, cycling specific lifting, running, swimming, and a teaspoon of cycling is in the plans for a while. Training camp, which will be held in Santa Rosa, starts at the end of January and I have some pretty big shoes to fill on this team. So wish me luck!