Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1 Day Left: Gratitude

I leave for L.A. tomorrow morning. I've got my bag half packed, my bike boxed up, and half of one leg shaved. I need a haircut, too.

I want to send out one big, giant, humongous THANK YOU to everyone for their support this year: Family, friends, fans, stalkers, teammates, other racers, Bob, and all the volunteers. I'll try to bring some hardware back to Blaine!

Then I'll throw a party and make everyone look at my medals. It's gonna be awesome.

Not Feeling Very SRAMmy

When I ordered SRAM Rival components for my road bike, I was excited. I like to support the underdog and I was looking forward to trying something new. In short, I liked the idea of using SRAM components. I wanted to like them.

But let's be honest here. Their stuff sucks balls. The shifting is sub-par, the double-tap system is stupid and unintuitive, the finish is tacky, the chainrings are wimpy, it's impossible to adjust the front derailluer to eliminate rubbing...the list goes on and on. If these components were on a race bike I would have gotten rid of them immediately, because I believe all the downsides would be a liability in races.

Maybe that's Lance's plan. When he fails to live up to expecations in his comeback, he can blame SRAM.

I give them credit for trying to be innovative, but they've got a hell of a lot of work to do.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Uh Oh

Clippers broke halfway through the job. I look way cool.

2 Days: Mental Prep

Hot damn, only 2 days to go! Here's the two main things I've been working on to get my mind in the right place:

1. Visualization: I never used to do much mental training, but it's proven to be beneficial to me this year. Being able to see myself riding fast, pedaling smoothly, and winning races has allowed me to be calm heading into a big competition for the first time in my life. It's crazy laying in bed visualizing a race and having my heart beating out of my chest. I know I'm ready, I've done the work, and now is the easy part: Just go pedal my ass off!

2. Pedaling Drills: The "get-on-roller-and-spin-like-mad" drills have their place, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm sworn to secrecy on the exact techniques, but I credit different types of neuromuscular training with a significant increase in my pedaling efficiency. It's also something relatively easy that I can do on my off days to get my head in the game.

Dammit, now I'm getting all worked up!

3 Days: The Defining Moments

OK, this one was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I was at the Twins game, then I was tired, then I ate ice cream, then I went to bed.

Here are the 3 events that really defined this year for me and helped my mental state leading up to Nationals.

1. Losing to Geno in the sprints at the Fixed Gear Classic. I gained years of insight in only two races. I learned what NOT to do, and started taking tactics a lot more seriously. I'm a much better sprinter because of it. Being less stupid is always a benefit.

2. Setting the district track record. I'd had it in my sights and had been close several times this season, but to finally get the 200m record in less than ideal conditions really validated all the hard work I put in this year.

3. Going Sub 11. Yeah, I was lead out behind the motor, but it was still a mental victory that help break the preconceived limits I had for myself.

Shit! Falling Behind. 4 Days to go...

The weekend was crazy busy, so I forgot to post these. Saturday I went for an "easy" road ride, then my wife took me out to Benihana for my birthday, followed by Cirque Du Soleil at the Target Center, where I had the biggest Gin & Tonic of my life.

Here are the 4 people who had the most to do with making me fast this year:

1. Hamish: Obviously, props have to go to the coach. While he may be a man of few e-mails, he wrote me a killer training programme (yes, that's how they spell "program" in kiwi-ville).

2. Ted: Day in and day out, he road nearly every single training effort with me. It's unbelievable how much harder I can push myself with someone right there next to me on the road or track. Especially when it's someone who practically throws a small party every time he beats me!

3. The Taint: The National Champion has imparted much of his wisdom on me, even sharing top-secret training techniques. He also constantly reminded me to keep my eyes on the prize and not worry about mid-season setbacks.

4. The Haters: Every time you doubt me, it makes me work that much harder to prove you wrong. Suck my balls!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Just E-Mailed My Congresspeople

This is the first time I have ever been inspired to do so. I'm sure the interns that read and respond to e-mails will be shocked and appalled at my vigorous use of seldom-utilized superlatives. At the very least, they'll be confused.

When I hit the 'Send' button, I had this empty feeling, like my e-mail is just being sent into the abyss, to be ignored by someone who doesn't give a shit about what his/her constituents think. Not a fun feeling to have.

5 Days: The Equipment

Five days to go. All my important workouts are done. Everything is scheduled for the trip. I put my bike in the workstand last night and gave serious consideration to doing some maintenance. Then I remembered that I suck at maintenance, so I lubed the chain went back inside. It's important to know your limits.

Here are my 5 favorite pieces of equipment:

1. Custom Tiemeyer Signature Frame: Super stiff, fits perfectly, and rails the turns like its on...um...rails.

2. Cane Creek Sprint 85 Wheels: Fast, cool, carbon. Word.

3. Dura-Ace Pedals with Straps: Secure as shit. Solid.

4. TIME Ulteam Carbon Shoes: Nice flat, stiff sole. Good fit, love the 3-strap closure. Buckles are for roadies!

5. Smith Frontline Sunglasses: I have a mild obsession with sunglasses, and these are my favorites.

I'd also like to report that my Dura-Ace 7700 bottom bracket has proven to be sprint-worthy. It's lasted longer than any other I've tried.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

6 Days: The Soundtrack

Everyone knows that they key to performing well at any event is a killer soundtrack. Here are my top 6 "Pump You Up" songs for nationals:

1. 3 Days Grace - Animal I Have Become

2. Papa Roach - Time Is Running Out

3. Rise Against - Drones

4. Avenged Sevenfold - Afterlife

5. Demon Hunter - Not I

6. Dark New Day - Evergreen

Better Late Than Never

I ordered these almost a year ago, now here they are!


Lightening struck my building and it's now on fire. I get the rest of the day off. Booya!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Countdown Begins: 7 Days

One week till Elite Track Nationals! I feel strangely calm and prepared, both physically and mentally. Since there are 7 days left, here are 7 reasons that I'm ready to kick ass this year:

1. In nearly every workout, I have pushed myself to the point of vomiting and/or flopping around on the floor.

2. I spent all winter crushing myself on the ergo.

3. I own the best equipment available. I have no excuses.

4. I took breaks when I needed them to let my body recover and maintain motivation.

5. I have honed my race-day mental toughness and sprint tactics.

6. I have a training partner who has pushed me to new limits.

7. I don't take myself too seriously, and can keep things in perspective to stay in a positive frame of mind, despite setbacks.

Less Ghetto

The tub served its purpose, but wasn't quite what we were looking for in a long-term TV stand.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I spend spent most of Sunday staining the deck. It was super awesome. I didn't even paint myself into the corner!

It's The Little Things That Make Life Worth Living

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nice Vest, Aladdin

It should be noted that this is one of Franz's offspring. Wonder where he gets his fashion sense!


I wasn't going to tell this story, because it's shameful, but since I have a long history of events like this, here goes...

Ya know that little gap between the rear wheel and the seat tube?

Yeah, that one. The one that looks like you could just barely fit a few fingers in there?

So I'm at the track on Saturday morning warming up, and the apron was still a bit wet in turn 2. After riding through the water, I took my gloved hand and wiped the water from my front wheel. Then I reached back to wipe my rear wheel, and WHUMP, my hand gets sucked into the wheel. This causes me to skid to a stop. Since my feet are strapped to the bike and my hand is stuck in my wheel, I have no choice but to tip over.

Ya know when you hurt yourself, there's that moment just before the pain sets in? All I could think was Oh shit, I just destroyed my hand 10 days from Nationals.

I managed to work one foot out of the pedal and break the zip-ties that held the strap on. Then I used my free hand to let the air out of the tire and free my trapped hand.

Like I said, it was shameful. I did an inventory of all my 2000 parts and nothing was broken, so I guess that's the "bright side".

I then had no less than 6 people explain the proper tire-cleaning technique to me.

What a dumbass.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here We Go Again...

Microsoft just can't figure this whole "advertising" thing out. First they hire Jerry Seinfeld to compete with the Mac Guy and end up with a couple commercials that make me want to throw my laptop out the window.

And now this. "I'm a PC". I guess M$ is sticking firmly to its "no original ideas" policy. You've got the money, why not hire an ad agency that doesn't suck?

Oh, and I just found out that many of the images in this new commercial were created on a Mac. FAIL!

I'm not anti-Microsoft in the least bit, but their latest marketing attempts have been some of the worst in recorded history. I'm only exaggerating a tiny bit.

Is it gone?

This is a test mobile post to see if I successfully removed the "Sent Via Blackberry for T-Mobile" crap.

What a PITA.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm not sure what I think of the Vikings' decision to bench T-Jack. While I truly think that he's one of the worst NFL quarterbacks of all time, Gus Frerotte is nothing to get excited about either. A 37-year-old white guy. Yeah, that's going to inject some life into the team. Sheesh.

Why does Childress still have his job? The hubris he showed in his supposed ability to "develop" Jackson is bad enough, but to leave the team without a decent backup is out-of-this-world retarded.

He has wasted one of the most talented (on paper) offensive teams in the league. All the pieces were in place, and he just plain fucked it up. It makes me wonder how much of the blame should rest on Tarvaris, and how much of it can be blamed on coaching deficiencies. I predict we'll be 2-6 by mid-season and Childress will be gone. Many of the Pro-Bowl veteran players will likely retire after the season is over, and then we'll be "rebuilding" again. Dammit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where Am I?

Hint: it's 'Whacky Wednesday'

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Hope This Shit Works

Leave it to me to get sick 2 weeks out from Nationals.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekly Spew

This thing is no longer going to be called the "Weekly" Spew, since it won't necessarily be produced weekly anymore.
I like to use catch-phrases incorrectly and see if anyone notices. Touché!
If I get a good fortune in my cookie, I eat the fortune. Yeah, the paper. Those cookies taste like shit.
The Vikings are totally going to suck again. What we need is a new coach.
Similarly, my fantasy football team is going to suck again. Normally, sucking is such a beautiful thing...
Every time I sell a bike on e-bay, at least 5 times a day someone asks me "Will this bike fit me?". I always say yes. If you're willing to spend several thousand dollars on a bicycle and you don't know what size you need, you deserve to be separated from your money.
I once tried to quit swearing. It fucking sucked shit-ass-hell-cock balls.
Ladies: if you have your thong sticking out 6" from your pants, guys are going to assume you put out. Show some freakin' class.
A crow flew into the side of my car this morning when I was at a stop sign. What a retard. Honestly, who does that?
Why do we always have to hear in celebrity interviews about how they are "in a good place" and have "learned to love" themselves. Shut the fuck up.
One of my wife's good friends dated and even lived with the murderer in this story. Freaky shit.
I don't remember eating peanuts yesterday, but something (Hehe!) tells me I did.
I had a friend in college who got drunk and pissed all over his girlfriend's computer. Then he used a towel to clean it up, and threw the towel at her.
A two-week-old poopy daiper smells like raw sewage (which, technically, I guess it is).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Odd Midnight Snacks

Fish sticks and Miracle Whip. Huh.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jonnycerious In The House

And look, he brought a box of wine! What a gentleman.

He also rode an 18.9 secong starting lap in our team sprint. That'll do.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

In My Yard

We saw something leaving a trail in the grass, so went to check it out.

Big-ass snapping turtle!

Of course, he hid when I walked over to him, which is WAY better than biting me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Racing's Cancelled. What to Do?

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This storm cell just went through St. Cloud and it poured like CRAZY. Racing is not looking good for tonight.

I haz a sad :-(

Dance Class

How cute is that baby right there?!?!?!?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crazy Bitch

The lady in the office across from me is currently complaining about "this horrible 'Crazy Bitch' song" that she heard on the radio. She has now banned her teenage children from listening to the radio. Yeah, they're going to grow up to be well-adjusted. What a crazy bitch! She's also recited the lyrics to at least 10 people, and has yet to find someone who shares her feelings about the song. Most of them say something along the lines of, "uh, yeah, that song has been around for like a year". She is unfazed.

She is just exasperated by it. "Unacceptable!" She has spent more than 2 hours talking about it. "But you boink so well I'm all on top of it," she keeps saying.

Some people just aren't cut out for this world. Time to go back on the meds.

And yes, this woman has pictures of kittens in her cube. And calendars. And a mouse pad. I could go on.

And Just Like That...

...My motivation is back! I think I was just away from the track for too long and went into a bit of a funk. I went down to Blaine last night and had a great workout, along with a lot of fun. Hanging out with a group of dedicated riders always seems to help me get excited to ride my bike again.

Bring on Elite Nationals!

Like Hamish says: "Train hard, stay focused, aim high, race hard, enjoy life!!!"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It Certainly Is!!!

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The Man And His Moto

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Master's Nationals Team Sprint

Ted's in front, followed by 35-39 sprint gold medallist Andrew LaCorte and Randy McClain. They took the Silver medal.

Riveting Shit

I spent all weekend planting trees in my neighborhood, and now I'm going to make you look at them. It really wasn't too bad because I had the greatest crew that ever existed (consisting of my sister-in-law, her friends, and a couple Mexicans).

We found a couple salamanders.

The Linden

The Clump Birch

The Autumn Blaze Maple (it's not crooked, just windy)

The Sugar Maple

The Ash

Another Ash

Check out the trees all along the boulevard. I planted those. Also notice Ted on the lawn mower.