Friday, February 27, 2009

Looking forward to the weekend!!!

I am very excited for this weekend. Merco has been one of the biggest race weekends in Northern California and this weekend will be no exception. Not only will Bissell have a full squad, but there will also be several other pro teams in attendance plus all the regular super teams from the area.

Saturday will be the Merco Credit Union - Downtown Grand Prix. An 0.8 mile loop that is wide open and FAST!!!!

Sunday will be the Merco Credit Union - Foothills Road Race. This is a 120 mile rolling course that always is windy.

Since these races are designated as "team races," I hope to do everything I can to support a victory for the team.

Special thanks to the Merco Credit Union for continued financial support of cycling in Northern California.

Go Bissell!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Snelling Road Race Report

Snelling turned out to be quite the blazing road race. To set the stage, let's just say that 4 of the best teams in northern California were well represented. California Giant Strawberries, Webcor, Z-Team, and Lombardi each had assembled a very decent squad. Add in 5 pros like Jackson Stewart, Daniel Holloway, and Max Jenkins, Paul Mach, and myself, and that added up to be one FAST field.

By looking at the pre-registered list, I think most people thought that the race was going to be won by a break away. So right from the begining of the neutral start, riders were pushing and maneuvering themselves to make a jump as soon as we were clear. Once the lead motorcycle gave us the green, the race turned into a frenzy of riders from all teams launching left and right. My impressions were that this was going to be the game of the day, and as it turned out... I was right. Since there were 4 strong teams, I knew that no break would stand a chance if all four teams were not represented. I tried bridging along with other riders but what I apparently didn't realize is that in trying to bridge up after a break has pseudo formed, I ended up dragging the pack back up, since I now have a giagantic bull's eye on my back, thanks to my new pro kit. This didn't happen so much last year, but things are changing and I have to learn and adapt.

In the end, Paul Mach and John Stroba helped get me to about 6th wheel going around the final turn about 300 meters from the finish. I felt really good and ready for a big result. Unfortunately, the train that I was on heasitated just enough to let another train come from behind. I did my best to accelerate and move ofer to get some kind of draft, but it was a little too late. The train had whizzed by the station and I was sprinting just to catch it. So 20th(?) place.

Major props to Ryan Eastman, who at the age of 17 is giving me a run for my money and placed just in front of me.
Major thanks to John Stroba, who helped me get into a great position just before the finish.
Uber props to Paul Mach, who was the most aggressive rider... by far!
Major thanks to Daniel Holloway, for cluing me in on tactical changes needed now that I'm a pro.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tough couple days for the boyz...

The last two days have been rough on team Bissell. Andy Jacques-Maynes crashed yesterday and was taken to the hospital with a mild concussion. Omer Kem crashed today and was diagnosed with a broke pelvis. Best wishes to both of them as they recover. Let's hope that's the end of the injuries for the season.

Levi crashed today too and broke his bike, but that is easily replaceable.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Let the rains come down....

Well, enough of the sunny skies here in northern California. We had a good run, but it has come to an end. On the bright side, we are at 62% of "normal" rainfall now, as opposed to the 32% just last week. Hopefully, it will continue to rain for a while so the term "water rationing" will not be common come summer.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

No pie :-(

Well, today was the first race of the year. Getting ready to go was a nice reminder that it has been about 4 months (maybe more?) since I last raced. Leaving the house was a comedy of errors in itself trying to remember everything I needed to go race. Shoes, helmet, bike, water bottles, Kellogs bars, EFS bars, EFS liquid shots, Ultragen, EFS drink, cold weather gear, warm weather gear, warmup stuff, trainer (forgot the skewer), tools, license, and Emily. It's no wonder why people find it difficult to get into the sport. There are a lot of things to get right.

Emily decided to race today as well, so I had to try to remember to remind her of the things she needed too. But it was nice to have her race. She was pretty happy to get out and race again and I was happy to see her back in the saddle again too.

As far as my race went, it went very well. I had a pretty easy go of it just sitting on the front and covering moves. There was an early break that stuck for 90% of the race, but it didn't bother me since there was plenty of talent there to pull it back in the end. Add to that the bull's eyes on the back of all the pro jerseys in the peloton (we'll say about 8 of us representing 5 teams) and there was no incentive to chase it down early since the guys in the break wach had about a dozen team mates in the pack. In the end though I made a pretty rookie mistake, in that I thought the race was 75 minutes and when people started sprinting at 60 minutes, I assumed it was another prime. OOPS! Darn shame too since I was in really good position the whole last lap and had I known, I had plenty left to give it a good go. Oh well, there is plenty of racing left in the year. But I think I'll pay more attention to the race flier for the rest of my career.

Ride on!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mug is up...

I have had countless people ask when the my photo will be on the website. Well, it is up there now. You can also browse the site to see pictures of from training camp from actual photographers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let it rain!

The good news is that the fields are getting watered and the reservoirs of Sonoma County are getting replenished. The bad news is that 35 degrees and raining makes an unpleasant commute. If there were showers here at work I might consider riding through it anyway, but there are no showers and I hate getting sick. But the other good news is that it is the perfect time to start interval training on my Blackburn trainer. The past two days I did a couple workouts to gauge my fitness and without divulging any numbers, I am happy to say that this is the strongest I have ever been on the bike. We'll see what heppens as I do these more and continue to improve.

In other news, it looks like Team Bissell will have a strong showing in some early season NCNCA races. See you there!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pinarello got Pez'ed

Pez cycling news just did a review of the Pinarello FP3. This is the little brother to the Prince, which is the race bike for Team Bissell. How appropriate is that?!?!?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When purchasing Cereal, buy KELLOGS!!!

As most athletes know, carbohydrates are very important to performance and recovery. Before a workout, simple sugars and some protein in a 4:1 ratio can help boost the blood sugar while the protein helps regulate the insulin, meaning you'll get a controlled amount of energy in your blood stream. While I do not recommend solid foods 2 hours before threshold or above efforts, I would highly recommend a nice bowl of cereal before long rides. Plus, IF you are going to the grocery store, you owe it to yourself to buy Kellogs brands. "Why Kellogs?" you might ask... Well, because they are putting their money where their mouth is and supporting the sport by sponsoring Team Bissell. As part of their sponsorship, they will be trying to be more involved with the sport and that will in turn pay all of us cyclists back. Oh yeah, they also make very healthy food for breakfast, snacks, and even a well placed desert (Baer Naked Peanut Butter Granola with yogurt and a banana). Nutra-Grain bars also make a good low calorie snack to fend of that late morning hunger.

Ride hard and eat well!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Veronika Lenzi's Pictures from Bissell Training Camp

Veronika Lenzi came to camp and took plenty of pictures too. Here is here site.

Back to the Cube Farm

Well, it is back to the office for me at least for the next few months. Life is good, but it sure feels like hitting the brakes hard. From having a whole week with Bissell to concentrate of biking, eating, and recovery to meetings, meetings, meetings (a.k.a. The 3 M's of 3M), it sure is a different type of work. I am just glad I am having the opportunity to do both.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bissell Training Camp - Day 7

Today was a helluv a ride. The 120 miles of pain dished out by Skaggs Road and the Smash Brothers was hard, but I loved every second of it.
Here is a picture of Olympic bronze medalist and Bissell team mate Peter Latham.

The man, myth, and legend lives on!!!!

Beautiful Pinarellos waiting for their jockeys to remount for the surge back into Santa Rosa.