Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm on a BUS!

Currently I am on a Greyhound but heading to NYC. This is kinda cool since I have never ridden it before. Fortunately, the NY countryside is very pretty. The rolling hills and lush vegetation give me something to look at. So I am looking at it like a 3 hour tour.... (ech0, "a 3 hour tour).

Where is Gilligan!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chris Thater Memorial

Today was the Chris Thater Memorial Criterium in Binghamton, NY. The goal of the team was to preserve TZ's #1 spot in the NRC. That meant to make sure Sebastian didn't win. 3 teams were present and ready to fightBISSELL, Planet Energy, and Colivita. So all race, we covered breaks and worked in them to see if they would stick. In the end, no breaks worked since both Colivita and PE wanted a bunch finish. But in the end, we accomplished the main goal, as Seb ended up 2nd. Tom, you can send half your bonus check to me and I'll split it up among myself, Pete, Cody, and Jeremy ;-)

We rode well but ended up 18th, 22nd, and 31st. But hey Tom is #1!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Michigan Recap

Milford Criterium:

One of the best criterium courses this year. Started in downtown Milford and looped through some residential streets then back again. Probably 50 feet of clombing per lap. Which doesn't seem like much, but it was enough to bust things up a bit. We all took turns attacking off the front and at about 15 laps to go, Grammo got off for good. He ended up lapping the main pack but not the 15 man break away. Then at 4 lapps to go, Derrek attacked and after a short chase, the pack let him go too! In the end, we ended up 1, 2, and 6. Not bad.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Downers Grove

Most of you readers know that Downers Grove is home to the US Pro Criterium National Championships. A race that has been in my mind since Glen told me back in March that I would be doing. I was hoping that races like Tour of America's Dairyland and Superweek would get me prepped for....

Saturday was the Pro-Am race. The goal of the race was for each of us to take a lap or two at warp 10 to see how the course felt like at full speed in preparation for Sunday's race. Take no risks and no chances, but take a fast lap. So about half way into the race I found myself sitting about 5th wheel going up the kicker at turn 3 when I felt a deceleration. So I took that opportunity to drill it. After the next turn I looked back just to see what happened and I had a pretty big gap on the field. Probably only a few seconds, but that got me PUMPED! Head down and teeth grinding I took a flier. It only lasted a lap and a half, but at the end of that lap, Sheldon attacked with the same result. After he got reeled in, AJM launched and with the pack a little worn from the 3 laps of chasing, only a couple folks attempted to bridge. Fortunately, Pipp was in tow and a 7 man break away formed with 2 BISSELL riders. Back in the main field, Sheldon and I were calming ourselves at the back of the pack when the pack started splitting up. So we eventually just pulled ourselves out... our job was done for the day and it was a beautiful setup for what was about to come.

AJM jumped on several mines during the course of the break. Letting Pipp save himself for the sprint. At 3 laps to go, Pipp attacked the group and it shattered. Only 1 rider followed and that left Menzies to bridge up to Pipp over the next couple laps. At a half lap, Pipp was with two other riders but was able to play his cards right and out sprinted Menzies for the WIN! Way to go team!!!


Comming off the win on Ssaturday, we were feeling pretty good. Myself, AJM and Pipp rode to the Starbucks by the course and was joined by Ivan Domingez for a cup of Java. Then it was back to the hotel for a pre race meeting.

The race was quite the experience. A thunderstorm delayed the start by over an hour and the rain never stopped. The race was a constant smash of crashes and close calls. One after another, small groups went down around the last two corners. They were downhill, off camber, and slick as wet pavement can be.

As for my part, I did take one flier again when Amaran was at 30 seconds and got sucked back in a couple laps later. But I did take 10 seconds out of his lead. Fighting my way back up to the front was very difficult. The closer I got to the bulge, the more risky people were riding. At 12 laps to go, Glen came over the radio and signaled that this is for all the marbles and that we needed to do whatever necesary to get the job done. So I took some more risks fighting the bulge and eventually found the front of it. But at 10 laps to go, my luck ran out and I biffed it around corner 7, taking out Cody in the process. We got back in at 8 to go just in time to get caught behind another wreck on corner 7. I didn't go down but maybe I should have. I spent the next lap out of the saddle trying to catch back on to the main field and just as I did, I was caught behind another wreck and slid to the ground. I got restarted just before they closed the pits, but didn't start well and never caught on to the pack. My day was done.

In the end, AJM got 10th. The rest of the gang crashed out as well. This makes me ready for some cyclocross action. See you in the mud AJM!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gratton Victory

The biggest race in Grand Rapids on Wednesday night's are out at the Gratton race track just east of town. It is a 2 mile somewhat hilly track that is normally used for race cars or prototype cars from the big 3.

The race started out as normal with a few attacks from the local strongmen. I like to do some early attacking as well since it gets me fired up and ready to drop the hammer later on ;-) Eventually Nathan Williams (BISSELL Elite) and I were in an 11 man break with about 30 seconds on the group. We were all rotating through pretty smoothly sans some shenanigans by a select few. Then at about 5 laps to go, Nathan thought it was a good idea to attack up the short kicker before the start/finish line. He and I went and the break got strung out, but nobody was willing to do the work needed to reel us back in. Every lap we added about 10 seconds to our lead. Nathan sucked up the prime points and I took the overall victory with him in tow.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grand Rapids Update - BISSELL VICTORY

This trip has been a blast so far. My bro Tommy and I have been exploring the Grand Rapids night life (which is killer) and riding daily. Friday was the BISSELL company ride. Basically, all the BISSELL pros in town met at the BISSELL HQ for a meet and greet with the employees and all sponsors that felt like riding. We rode out of town and were greeted with a nice warm rain. It felt pretty good actually :-)

Saturday was the race. I met Beth at the Tannery Row apartment to watch Tom race. Then ate lunch and the rest of the boys came over for a pregame talk. Then it was GAME ON!!

From the gun, I launched an attack. Nothing too crazy, but enough to get the adrenalen going. Then Sheldon attacked, then Grammo attacked, and so on until Big Zirbel struck when the pack was weak. He ended up getting away with Jake Rytlewski and winnig the race.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Grand Rapids Again!!!

Back to Grand Rapids for the last time this racing season.

Last night was the Graton Wednesday night throw down. The race is around a race track that is normally used for race cars. It is about a 2 mile circuit and I think we did 25 laps. It started out pretty tame. Then the local BISSELL boys decided to get aggressive (MY FAVORITE!!!!). Attack after attack came and we ALWAYS had the numbers. at about lap 12, Nathan (BISSELL) got away with his brother David (Priority Health). Then an chase group formed with me and 3 other guys. I did my part and waited till Nathan and David were clear of us before rotating through. The guys I was with appeared to be knackered from establishing the break so I figured attacks up the back side hill were appropriate. I ended up attacking 3 times in the last 10 laps or so but every time they did what was necessary to pull me back. So at 1.5 laps to go, I just sat on them and won the field sprint for 3rd :-) Not sure who took it, David or Nathan, but BISSELL got 2 guys on the podium!

(Picture not from Wednesday, but I thought I'd add one anyway)

New York!!!

So here is the skinny on NYC =-)

Absolutely AMAZING. I thought I was more of a country boy then a city boy, but this little trip changed that quite a bit. Staying in Jersey City just across the Hudson River from Manhattan was breath taking. Seeing the city all lit up at 3AM is quite the sight. Then a couple days IN Manhattan sealed the deal. So much diversity in so little space. UNBELIEVABLE! Plus, everything was on a scale that I had never seen before. Bars that took up whole city blocks, restaurants that were so classy. Stores that Paris Hilton would have to save up for before going on a shopping spree (OK, maybe not Paris, but me fo sho).

Really, it is inspiring. I am about ready to sell all of my possessions but my bike and move to San Francisco.

For those who care about racing in Sonoma County

The Committee met last night to prepare for the upcoming City Council meeting on August 11th, at 4:00. I know it's early for all that are working, but we really really need you there. We will be in/out of the meeting in most likely less than a 1/2 hour (our presentation will only be like 9 minutes total). And we are first on the agenda.

Also, I need a setup and tear-down crew for August 18th, 25th and Sept 1st. Since it's a new course I'm not sure how many people I'll need but at least for the 18th, the more the better. Please email me....or call.

Lastly, to all those that so graciously donated primes for the past races, we're calling out to you again to help us with primes for the next 3 dates. It's soooo appreciated and of course you'll get kudo's on the TNT website with links and logo's if you like.

Oh, and I need caution tape for one of the course corners if someone could make a donation, email or call me.

Thank you,