Stupidity

I’ve grown up a lot over the last few years.  In the past five of them, I’ve gotten married, had two kids, moved to four different houses, and much, much more.  I like to think that I’ve matured a little over that time, but on a weekly basis, I seem to keep proving myself wrong.

Last week, I had an instance of sheer stupidity on a group ride, resulting in my butt coming in contact with the pavement in quick fashion.  I decided it was a smart idea to reach my hand back and give another rider a  handsling to catch another rider he was chasing up the road.  After my incredible display of handsling technique, the rider I threw forward pulled hard to the right and took out my front wheel, sending me crashing to the ground.  Not a lot of road rash or damage to the bike… just a little bit of a sore butt and sore pride.

Today (because I seem to be good for about one stupid act a week), I was playing with the kids on the new Slip N’ Slide and decided to take a graceful leap down the slippery sheet of plastic… and somehow jacked up my birdie finger on my left hand.  The pain was instant, and has still not gone away after four hours.  Whether it’s broken or dislocated, I don’t know.  What I DO know is that I can take the upper portion of the finger and bend it laterally, which I’ve never been able to do before…

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next week.  Hopefully, by then, common sense will prevail and I can save myself some trouble down the road.

UTAC Velo – PROBIKEWRENCH.COM Sponsor

UTAC Velo is an official sponsor of PROBIKEWRENCH.COM.  UTAC Velo is a group of cycling friends who participate in the annual AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which travels from San Francisco to Los Angeles, CA (545 miles) over the course of 7 days (June 6-12).  To date they have raised upwards of $100,000 for this year’s event.

Some of you may be asking, “What does UTAC mean?”  UTAC means, “Until There’s A Cure.”  My fellow VeloReviews.com Podcaster/friend, Jen Moore, is a team captain for UTAC Velo, and she does an amazing job with fundraisers, training rides, and being wholeheartedly committed to doing her part in finding a cure for AIDS.  There’s not too many people I know that are as completely sold out to a cause they believe in like Jen, and I’m proud to be involved.

If you’ve got a few extra bucks floating around and would like to make a last minute donation (the ride is next week), please visit the UTAC Velo Sponsorship page and donate to help beat this disease.

Athens/Roswell Recap, Part 2

On Sunday morning after Twilight, we departed the Hotel Indigo in Athens en route to Roswell, GA, for the Roswell Criterium.  After an hour fifteen in the caravan with the rest of Mavic‘s volunteer mechanic crew, we made it to the race course.  It was easy to find.  The traditional race course is only half an hour from my house and I had raced the criterium for the past 5 years.  You could say I was kind of familiar with the area…

We set up the pit area alongside Roswell Bicycles and I visited with my boss, Kevin, and one of my co-workers, Doug, who had set up the Out Spokin’ Sprinter Van and tent for the tailgate party.  They had the gas grill out and were already into “party mode” after their morning ride around Roswell/Alpharetta.

At the persuasion of most of my Mavic buddies, I signed up for the Cat 4/5 race.  I wasn’t going to do it unless I had enough cash in my pocket to sign up.  Race day entry was $50 (which is ridiculous, in my opinion), and I had $53… so I was in.  I worked a few races, then warmed up for my 1:55pm start.

If you’ve never raced Roswell, then you don’t know about the “race to the start.”  Staging area for this race is beyond the 250m mark behind the finish line.  Once the gate opens, you have to get clipped in and make a mad dash to the start to get the best position possible.  It’s pretty crazy, but necessary to get in the first two rows, or you’ll have crappy starting position, and in most cases, a crappy race.  Myself and my two teammates, Lonnie “The Legend” and Baxter, had a great “race to the start” and were all positioned in the second and third row.

My plan for the race was to conserve as much energy as possible, then see where I was at for the finish.  There is never usually a breakaway in the 4/5 race… that’s just how it is.  If there was a move, I wanted to be near the front to cover it and go with it, if need be.  I also wanted to keep an eye on my computer.  In a 40 minute criterium, the first 10 minutes is crucial.  If you can make it through the first 10 minutes, you can settle and hang.  If you’re in distress before that point, you should probably pack it up and call it a day.

I had a really good race.  I avoided crashes, stayed near the front, and didn’t take ANY pulls.  I downshifted before turns so I could pedal through without getting out of the saddle and expending any extra energy. I had no idea where my teammates were.  I didn’t see them for quite some time.  I think we lapped Lonnie at one point.  He got stuck behind some crashes and got separated from the main field.  I was consistently in the top ten throughout the race, so I figured a good sprint finish was in the cards.

I had good position for the field sprint, so I went for it.  I probably took off a little too early.  Roswell’s finishing straight is deceptively long, and I was running a 12t small cog.  If I had an 11t (my own stupid fault), I may have had enough gear to finish in the money.  I still managed ninth place.  Top ten is nothing to complain about.

After the race, it was back to work with Mavic.  We worked through the rest of the day’s racing, then packed up and headed to the house.  Lots of little sidebar stories throughout the weekend.  Ran into a lot of old friends and racers I have wrenched for in the past.  Made some new acquaintances, too.  All in all a good weekend of racing and fun.

Stuff in the Hopper

Don’t have a lot of time to post anything really substantial, but here’s a few things that are in the works at the moment:

  • Georgia Rides to the Capitol – Advocacy ride from several locations in Metro Atlanta, converging on the State Capitol tomorrow around noon.  I’m riding with the RAMBO guys out of Roswell, and will meet up with a bunch of folks there and along the way.  Going to show Atlanta what great numbers of cyclists think… Hopefully, we’ll get the “3 Foot Law” passed pretty soon.
  • FredCast Interview – I’ve got an interview with David Bernstein from “The FredCast” lined up for mid-week.  He helped launch the VeloReviews Podcast, and asked me to come on the air with him to discuss some Spring Bike Tune-Up ideas.  Link to be posted when it airs.
  • MS150 Class – Thursday, I’m teaching a basic maintenance/cycling tips class to a group from the Knights of Columbus that is doing the MS150. Several members of the group have already come by the shop to get outfitted for bikes and gear.  It’s always good to educate more cyclists and teach them good maintenance and cycling habits.
  • Beginner Track Class – Taking the Beginner Class at the Dick Lane Velodrome on Saturday and Sunday.  It’s only 3 hours per day, and I know my way around the track (having even officiated races at that track), but… it will be a whole different world riding on the track.  Pray for good weather…

That’s all I’ve got for now.  Gotta get my gear ready for tomorrow’s ride!

KENDA Pro Cycling p/b GEARGRINDER Ride – February 28th

Just found out about a cool event taking place here in Woodstock, GA on February 28th.  Here’s the details:

KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER Ride with Frankie and Team VO2 testing presented by Lifetime Fitness! 4 pros, Frankie Andreu and Team GM, Chad Thompson will be at the Mountain Brook Life Time Fitness facitlity on Sunday February 28. The day will have many attractions, including all of the guys riding the public LTF ride with all of you!

Schedule below (tentative):

10:30 – 11:00 AM Team arrival (1st rider VO2 test starts warm up)
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM VO2 testing 20min per rider (4-6 riders)
1:00 – 3:00 PM Club/Public ride (35 Miles)
3:00 -3:30 PM Food in Café and showers (for team)
3:30 – 4:00 PM Q&A with Andreu,Thompson and riders
4:30- N/A Enjoy the club!

(Direct link to this post can be found at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=296967257239&ref=mf)

I plan on being there for the entire day to do some photos/interviews/articles for VeloReviews.com.  If anyone wants to join us on the ride, please feel free to contact me at probikewrench@gmail.com.  You can also find the team on Facebook, Twitter, and at their Team Website, which is located at http://www.kendaprocycling.com.

Stay tuned for more information about this and other possible surprise events coming soon!

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