Wednesday, December 12, 2012

You know it's a good crack when you find yourself sitting alone in the corner of DQ with one Blizzard in each hand.  Don't worry I'll be back.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A 2012 Racing Review in Photos

I was recently perusing the web in an indulgence of my own vanity, looking through all the pictures I could find of myself from this past year.  It was a truly enjoyable time, as I can't deny loving the look of  my lean self giving it a little bit of stick.

I figured I can't just save all the pleasurable viewing for myself, so I've assembled a small homage to my own personal ego below, for my 2.78 readers' enjoyment.

There is nothing I specialize in more than going solo in early season, office park, training crits.
But if there is one thing I specialize in almost as much, it is flat, windy season opener road races.  Staz and I started the season off right in this one, and it was too much fun not to commemorate.
In what would prove to be a theme for the year, Huffman did this in the TT at Merco.  The selfish bastard cost me a hundred bucks with his win.
And then to add insult to injury he wanted us to ride the front in the crit.
This one is from the first stage of Gila, super easy and then super hard, never in between.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't proud of this one.  Not necessarily the result I was hoping for, but at least I was in the right spot at one point in the race.
GK and I were on a bit of a day at the Iron Horse crit, can't say the same for the TT though.
Hood could've been worse.
Hood could've been worse for sure.
This might be my favorite picture of the whole season actually.  The kid that won, while he looks all of 10, is a stout 19.  He's a major hitter, and is gonna win everything with a hill or without in due time.  He'll never admit but he's my protege.
It's a major treat to come race at home, especially a Joe Jefferson race.  I don't think I've met another announcer that compares.  Ryan, Josh, Keck thanks for making it a race.
Like I said, in what would prove to be a theme for the year.  Hats off to you Huffman.
Aosta was the coolest and most beautiful race I've ever done.  It also has some climbs.

 It was a privilege to be part of the l'Avenir team.  Four of the guys from the team are going pro and it was clear at this race why.  I was lucky enough to make into the break one day, and I'm not gonna lie it was horrible.  Everyone in that race is a little bit motivated, and I left my main motivation back in the Folsom office park in the first picture.

All in all this year was a blast.  The teammates were great, most fun group of guys I could ever imagine to hang out with, at a race or not.  The races weren't so bad themselves, from time to time.  But yeah, here's to closing the door on the 2012 season and almost ready to open the door on 2013.  But first a few more 40's and bowls of ice cream.  In case you were still undecided GQ is saying a 40 of Mickey's is the 2012 "class on class" drink of choice.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I’m on the flight home from my second ever racing trip to Europe.  It’s funny the past two months I’ve had more free time than I knew what to do with and never managed to write an update.  Now I’m a week into the semester and everything is flying and yet I’ve decided now is the time to update the all important blog.

Aosta was a mixed bag for me.  The courses were incredible, so hilly and so beautiful.  It was the best race I’ve ever done for sure.  Well at least looking back on it now it seems like it was the best races.  However, during the race there were a couple mornings that I woke up and looked at the profile for the day and questioned how I ever thought I liked climbing.  I came in with some good form, but maybe didn’t put it too full use.  On the second day I got in the move that went early and went clear over the first KOM.  I got second in the sprint at the top and me and a French kid had a small gap on the descent.  He was nailing it even though there were 15 guys right behind use and 120k still to go.  Instead of just sitting up I was following him a little too hot and came into one corner comically fast.  It wasn’t even close.  But yeah so that day ended up being a wash, there were two more hard climbs the break stayed away and would’ve been a good opportunity to set up a good GC, but instead I suffered through the day.  I felt pretty wrecked the next two days, didn’t get too cut up but my hip and back were giving me some problems.  The 4th stage I had my main good day.  It was the queen stage, the hardest day on paper, so it was a good day to have a good day.  There was a big break that had some guys staying away to the finale.  Over the second cat 1 I made the first major selection though and in was in a front group of about 15 guys.  Over the next cat 1 it pretty much exploded.  I rode solo pretty much to the line, but went through a few groups on the last climb.  I ended up 10th but was only beat by a few people out of the field.  It wasn’t huge, but for me it was.  A big thing for me was that the stage was about 5:15, and I’ve had a history of cracking in long hard races, but that day I just kept getting better and better as it was going on.  So it gave me some hope for the future that I can do it even in a big race.  The main downside of Aosta for me came the next day.  It was another hard climbing day and whatever I felt the day before today I felt the opposite.  I ended up getting shelled and dropping out.  I could barely eat and looking back I was starting to get sick as I spent the next few days praying to the porcelain gods.

The rest of the trip was a mixed bag as a lot of trips are.  Some highs and some lows.  The guys were great and it was an inspirational crew to be around.  It’s pretty motivating when you’re sitting around the table talking and you realize almost all the guys are going pro tour next year.  l’Avenir was great to do, wish I had been riding better, but Boswell and Larry made it easy to want to give all the little bit of form I had.  So at least I know I didn’t let any go to waste.  But I think it’s official I used up all the reserves to squeeze the last bit of form out of the tube so to speak.  It was motivating to be at l’Avenir but mentally draining at the same time.  It’s the biggest race I’ve ever done that late in the year and I think for me I was running a little bit too much on fumes to be fully effective.  But it was a great opportunity and hopefully I learned something so next year I can come back and ride for the GC.  Boz ended up 5th on GC and Brown would’ve won if he wasn’t the worlds greatest work horse.  Better than that were the nonstop laughs and the nearly nonstop ice cream since the race ended. 

Now it’s time to break out the MTB for some collegiate racing and see what kind of fast times I can put down riding from one bar to the next.  Hopefully I pass some classes in the interim as well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


There are a lot of important races and chances for results throughout the season, but the national championships for whatever reason always seem more important to me than other races.  Not everyone feels this way, in fact it seems that recently most u23 riders place less and less emphasis on nationals.  For me I always feel a little more pressure at nationals than I do at other big races.  Maybe it is because I still have not quite let go of a couple years ago when I got second at nationals when I had the fitness but not the head to win it.  So either way, for whatever it is nationals always feels like a magical event to me.  One day you can be no one and the next your national champion, and everyone has that chance.  To me that makes it very special.  For whatever reason the past few years when I have lined up I have always had this feeling that I had a chance to win no matter what the course or who was there, that for some reason I do not always have at other events.

At the same time I have a lot of a love hate relationship with the national championships.  It almost does not seem to matter who is racing or what the course is, I am always in the mix but never seem to be able to finish it off.  In 2009 I rode away in the junior race only to be joined by Max Durtschi and outclassed at the end.  In 2010 in my first year u23, I was probably in way over my head but for whatever reason I just did not care.  Anytime Howes, Talansky, or Ben King would attack I would turn myself inside out to follow them, as if I was a contender for the win.  To be honest looking back on it, it seems comical.  But if anyone had asked me what I was doing covering so much more than I knew I could handle, I would have told them I was going to win.  Eventually Ben King went when everyone else couldn't and him and I rode away.  Again I could not handle it, and eventually he rode away from me as well, but this time the pack rode up to me.  Last year in 2011, I missed the winning move but took an opportunity to go across the three minute gap with some of the strong boys.  When we got there I was totally done and was barely able to get one bottle from the car to give to Evan and claim a stake in his excellent ride for 3rd.  This year I was again in the mix and was in the move without too much trouble. I rode it out for most of the day but just wasn't on the day I needed.  We got put behind the 8 ball and I had to ride to try and salvage something but like I said I wasn't on the day I needed.  Rob Bush was the quickest in a three up sprint between maybe the three quickest guys in the race.

So that is the end to another nationals for me.  It has been four years of being in the position to win, but being unable to finish it off.  It's an interesting feeling I have for the national championships, but it is a good one that keeps me wanting to come back, at least for one more year I think.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Yeah I'm sure everyone saw that.  I know I sure did.  All I can say is that it's an honor to have ridden with and raced with Joe and whether we're racing against each other ten years from now or not I'm gonna be pumped to know him.  What is your limit man?  I definitely don't know.

Friday, May 11, 2012

It Doesn't Get More Cliche Than This

I just returned from my good friend, Andrew Murphy's, graduation party.  Andrew is an incredible guy.  I've known him for three years now, and I've never seen him anything other than happy, upbeat, and laughing.  When left to my own devices I can become fairly negative fairly quickly so I always enjoy spending time with Andrew.  It didn't hit me until I was walking home from the party alone, but Andrew is graduating college and moving onto the real world.  It seems like a big step, and Murphy leaving seems like a big step as well.  Andrew is the kind of guy that definitely brings people together.  He's all about friends, and having a good time with his friends.  Anytime I hang out with Andrew and his friends I feel like I'm hanging out with my brothers rather than a bunch of drunk college kids.

As I was walking home I was really realizing how much who I am around matters to me.  It is not that I was having this epiphany that friends are important in life, but I was just seeing it differently.  It is more important to me who I am with than what I am doing.  As cliche as that sounds it just hit me really hard how important that sentiment is to me.  Murphy loves bike racing, and he loves hearing about my races.  I was thinking about it tonight and though and a lot of the fun in bike racing isn't going out and just riding hard.  I enjoy that, but it is about being with a great group of people and doing what you want together.

As I was thinking about this I was thinking about my recent trip to New Mexico for Tour of the Gila.  I had a solid ride there.  Sometimes solid is good enough.  However, sometimes solid falls to the wayside fairly quickly when there are so many people putting in spectacular rides.  I kind of feel like my ride at Gila fell into this category.  I felt like it was solid, but it is hard to be happy with solid when my peers are doing the spectacular.  This may seem like a negative interpretation of the race, but what I realized tonight is that I don't care.  What got me through that race, and what gets me to the next one is not results, but rather my great teammates.  Every race I go to, I am excited to race, but usually more excited to see my teammates who have become some of my best friends.  I sit around telling people I want to race professionally and this and that.  I still feel that way.  However, I think that if I had to race with people I did not like being around I would not enjoy racing.  Maybe that seems black and white but I think it is important.  If I had the choice of signing a six figure contract to race time trials all year or paying to race office park crits with some of my best friends, I would choose to race office park crits every time.  Now maybe if I was actually faced with this decision I would crumble.  But at least for a split second, while I type this, I am experiencing a moment of clarity where I am letting go of the pressure to chase a pro contract and embracing the moments I am experiencing right now.

I am sure my message did not come through totally clear in my myriad of words above, but the point is clear to me.  Thank you Andrew for all the good times, we'll miss you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

San Dimas

San Dimas had some good news and some bad news for me. The good news is, I didn't make it to the crit so I had plenty of time to do some deep thinking of what cliche metaphors about cycling to fill my blog with. Sometimes you're the hammer, and sometimes you're the nail. It doesn't get any easier you just go faster. The first cut is the deepest? Well you get the point.

San Dimas started out really well for me, I got 6th in the hill climb TT and took the best young rider jersey. It was a result I had wanted for a long time. I didn't care or know if it was going to be at San Dimas or at some other race, but the ride I did is one I've known I've had in me for a long time and I've just been struggling to get out. Over the years I've done that ride on local climbs and training rides a plenty, or on the first climb of a 5 climb race. However, San Dimas was the first time I did that ride when it mattered and it went down on paper. To have that break through ride was really good for me and I'm glad to get it out of the way this early in the season, because I'm hoping it will give me the confidence to do that ride more and more when it matters.

The bad part is that the race went 180 degrees for me and the team the next day. The second stage is an 85 mile circuit race that is historically sunny, warm and ends in a field sprint. I felt confident I would make it through relatively safely and keep the jersey. However, 50 degree temperatures, heavy rain, and gusty winds changed that for me. The race was very hectic from the start, but I was dealing with it and staying at the front. However, on the 4th lap there was a big pile up towards the front and I got caught up in it. It turned into a big mess of tangled bikes and took a long time to get my bike out and get going. I chased but a mix of maybe just not being strong enough, combined with a circuit that is not ideal to chase on as it doesn't have a caravan, led to me not getting back into the race. I rolled it alone for a few laps furious with myself until I just pulled out. It was a tough day for everyone as 2/3 of the field dropped out. However, it was very frustrating to not pull through and finish off the good ride that TT set me up for.

In short it was a frustrating weekend, but I finally today feel over it and am ready to move on to Redlands. Redlands should be good, I think we have some guys that can do some big results here so I'm looking forward to helping them out. I'm also excited to get Redlands out of the way, because in my head it marks the end of the beginning of the season, and then I can really get into some good training back in Boulder and hopefully be very ready for Tour of the Gila.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Singing a country song soft and low."- Josh Ritter

I was listening to the song that holds the quote above today and it seemed to align with what goes through my head on a lot of the rides I've been doing recently. I've been doing a lot of training lately and it's going pretty well, really well actually, but for the first time I'm not really excited by it. Let me clarify, I'm having a great time training and I'm always excited to go out and smash some big rides, between you and me I actually enjoy training much more than racing. However, in past years I've taken good training rides and translated that in my head to all these great results I'm definitely going to get. Usually it does not work out in reality how it works in my head.

So this year for the first time I have not been jumping to broad conclusions. My training has been good, but for the first time I just don't care. It takes me some time to figure out sometimes. I guess it took me about 7 years to figure this out, and maybe I haven't figured it out yet. But for the first time I'm just waiting until the races actually start to find out what result I'm going to get, rather than "knowing for sure" in January. So we'll see if this tactic plays out differently than my past methods. But I feel a lot better about it, theres no stress and I'm not getting as worked up about my numbers in training or at least trying to.

On my rides I've been just going out and clearing my head and singing country songs soft and low, well sometimes super loud. But I think after a few years about putting too much pressure on myself I'm finally past it and I'm not so worried about racing. This may be my last year of racing and I just want to enjoy it. If some good results happen and I continue that is great, but if not I'm completely at peace with it and will finally get to go out and just train with reckless abandon how I really like to.