Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
We did the Shorewood Criterium today. Fun, fast and rough like a good Superweek race should be. Strangest thing happened though. There was a FIRE in an apartment on the course during the race. Full stop for the race until all was resolved, then go! Again!
The best thing about the race being shortened is that all the primes and points sprints are compressed, which makes for a really tough race. To make matters even more interesting, there are a lot of new guys that are way too tense here. That'll go away in a couple of days, I expect.
Stupid, er... Superweek totals:
Days here: 7.
Days raced: 6.
Races finished: 5.
Races that I'm happy I quit: 0.
Number of corners turned: Approx. 1 million.
Near misses with crashes: No less than 20.
Number of times my legs were on fire: Approx: 9,583.
Scale of 1-10 I'm glad to be driving home: 11.
Happiness scale (1-10) tomorrow when I have to wake up early to make that happen: -3.
As for Mercy Cycling (myself and the Young Guns) we're driving South by the time you read this. Home. You know, the best part of being on a mancation is getting home. Back to the real world and back to all the wonderful things you missed while you were gone. KS, here we come!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Bensenville today. Hot, windy and sort of in a boring park type venue with only about 75 spectators. Lots of guys were gone today, taking a "rest day." I don't blame them. We started as all the races have started thus far. Too fast. Maybe I should warm up? Nah, what's the fun there?
I found my way up to Chris Wallace and he said, "my legs are on farrr!" Two laps later he was sitting on the sidelines doing his Tarzan impression. Meanwhile, I was in a number of moves that didn't work, but did allow the next move to ride up the road, unchecked. Total drag and really frustrating. In the end, I was sprinting to not be last and only about 30 some finished.
Finally, we get to eat at a Noodles and Co! Trio meal or whatever it's called. Yumm. We've been to 2 other ones but each time it's the same thing: we get there just after closing. BUT the closing time is different depending on where you go. Buyer beware! 9pm, 10pm, 11pm? You just never know.
Sometimes you hear stories about how much races and organizations hang on a thread. Today I learned a little bit about the problems facing Superweek, some of them are normal for all events, some of them are unique. The behind the scene look is definitely eye- opening. Hopefully, they are handled in the most professional way and get resolved. Among other things, Chris' prize money check from Elgin Lake U23 was never signed, making it utterly worthless. Hopefully, they do the right thing...... Updates on that as they happen.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
wake up whenever, usually around 930 or 10am. Eat a bit, then go for a warm up ride of an hour or so, ending at the coffee shop. Then coffee for 30-45 minutes before riding home sometime around noon. Eat second breakfast (1245) and then "free time" where you check email, facebook, etc. Get ready for the races and head out around 330pm. Get to the race around 430 and then dress, and get ready for our 545pm race start. The 545 is the official time, and it really starts at 630. Race until 845, pack the car, go eat around 930- 1030. Drive home (1130) shower and clean up until 1am. Then it's back to facebook because you're still jazzed from riding 100km at 50km/ hr. or 62 miles at 29mph... ish. Get to bed around 2am then do it all over again the next day.
We raced the Elgin Lake RR on Sunday. 87 miles, approximately 6432 corners per lap and an extra incentive for the "Young Guns." $1000 3 deep for Under 23 riders. Some of the U23 guys must have misunderstood the distance or how the race was going to play out because they did two very inadvisable things: 1) They assumed that no one would chase them as they were U23 guys and thus were free to do as they pleased. 2) I think they misunderstood the distance of the race to be 40 miles instead of the posted 87.
Wow! The first two laps we did at nearly 436mph! At least that's what it felt like! The race quickly came down to a war of attrition and groups of the strongest riders started peeling off the front, never to be seen again. Next time the overzealous U23 riders should race the first 4/5 of the race as normal, THEN start marking other U23 guys. Of the 80 or so starters, I think less than 1/2 of them finished. Joe was having a 'bad day' and thus it was up to Chris Wallace to throw down and see if he coud do some damage in the U23 racing. I managed to help CW out for about 2/3 of the race until I cramped to the point of seeing striations in my quads, then decided to be a cheerleader for the remainder.
Chris managed to score 3rd in the U23 and 26th in a shattered peloton. He was a complete train wreck after the race and into the next day.
Next day: Rest day.
We took Monday as a rest day. Why? Because we were tired and our legs were on fire. But being our day off, we were determined to make it a peaceful and relaxing day. Easy ride, coffee, and Transformers 2 were on tap. So nice indeed to be away from the racing scene. Chris didn't even look at his bike as his legs were just too tired.
It'll be interesting to see how the "Young Guns" handle the last 3 days.
Arlington Heights CT.
Holy CRAP! What a tough race. Figure 8 with the bottom half of the 8 200ft. for each side. It was a true criterium course. Fast technical and crazy tough. I was doing everything I could just to hang on the first hour until everyone started to get tired just a little, then it was time to participate. In the end the field was sprinting for 7th, I think. 45 riders finished but it was a good hurt. It reminded me that just being able to finish a Superweek race is an accomplishment.
Ever wonder why Superweek races are so late all the time? This was taken of the official's booth during the Women Open race. Look very close at the computer screen and you'll notice the INTENSE game of solitare the official is playing. Also, another official came over to "help out with the computer." Red 6 on Black 7? Great idea!
This one is self explanatory.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Alex and many others wonder how many times the following will happen at Superweek '09:
1. It will be announced that Eddie Van Guyse played the villain Italian in the motion picture "Breaking Away.”
2. How many riders Kris (the registration/prize money lady) will become impatient with and scowl at. (can't say I blame her)
3. How many races will be stopped within the last 5 laps due to crashes.
4. How many Pro Elite Development Amateur team riders will run out of talent in a corner and take out 30 guys.
5. How much PBR, Miller, Point, etc. beer will be drunk by fans and racers alike.
6. How many hours the Holy Hill Road Race will start late.
4. How many races will start over an hour late.
7. How many 3rd world national teams will come to Superweek and absolutely throttle everyone and then return home with their prize money and live like kings.
8. How many thousands of dollars the Super Prime will be at
9. How many dollars in late fees I would have been charged for not pre- registering. I'm guessing hundreds.
10. How ... times I would have gotten bored during a 100km crit and had inner dialogues with myself where I had to convince myself to not pull out and actually finish the race so I could win my entry fee back (didn't happen too often last year).
11. How hotel rooms will actually contain 6 guys when only one is registered.
12. How many hotel pools will be used as post-race shower facilities.
13. How many relatives and friends in the area will have broke-ass bike racers living in their basements for 2 weeks :-) No, seriously I love you guys ...
14. How many times you will hear "(fill in the name of a foreign rider)" loves collecting pictures of Benjamin Franklin." (i.e., winning $100 bills) Gotta love Eddy!
15. How many updates Eddie will give regarding the Tour only to find out later he was wrong or had the wrong guy.
16. At the Kenosha Crit how many times will you hear Robbie "The Rocket" or "K-Town Motor"
17. How much debt (from entry fees and food, possibly lodging) will be amassed by joker pro-developmental riders that can't make it in the money once over the course of three weeks.
18. How many of those guys will re-evaluate their decision of being a pro-developmental rider and get a real job.
19. How many innocent host families will be shockingly introduced to the true meaning (through example) of the word "cretin.”
20. How many times will the lap board magically go from 26 to 21 laps to go... or from 19 to 14? Funny how that seems to happen when races are running behind.
21. How many times guys will think that pushing you out of the way is the best way to make room.
22. How many times the foreign riders will freak out when they have someone dive a corner and take "their line."
28. How many $5 surcharges will be paid because some a-hole wrote 17 bad checks last year and now ALL of us get to fund his Superweek 2008, during Superweek 2009.
29. How many times would you hear "on your inside."
30. It's just not the same with out "The Gun Show."
31. How many crashes will be in the 4/5 feilds? Thats a good one... Maybe we can take bets?
32) How many times will someone who sat in the entire race dive bomb you in the last lap just to get 32nd?
Yesterday, er.. Thursday, Myself, Joe Schmalz, Chris Wallace, and John Giles loaded an insane amount of stuff into a Honda Passport and drove North. Destination: Chicago and the first few days of Superweek. I've been here a few times but the last couple of years I've made it a point to do different races that I've never done. Joe's done Superweek last year and had fun. Chris and John have never been here so they had no idea....
We are entering the Vortex. Superweek is a place where time has a different meaning. Where the only time that matters is the race start time and when Noodles or Chipotle close (10pm, sharp, by the way). Once you're in, you are on Superweek time. Coffee at 4pm, Race at 545pm, which really turns into 620pm after Eddie Van Guyse (sp?) finishes all the introductions and what not. On a side note, I heard he played the "Villan Italian" on "Breaking Away." The race gets over around dark and by the time the car gets packed and we wait for payouts, you have to book it to the closest decent restaurant and squeeze through the door as the employees are desperately trying to find the key so they can lock up and go home. If you're lucky, you're home the same "day" that you left, and by the time you get the car unloaded, laundry "done," showered, desert, and settled.... sure enough it's the wee hours of the morning. 2am or so. Awesome. But on the plus side you're not needing to get up at 8am or anything. But I wouldn't miss this for the world.....
100k Criteriums, thousands of cheering, barbeque-ing, beer guzzling spectators every night. It's definitely more closely related to Nascar than anything bike racing like.
Today's race was just that way. Super fun, fast, and really tough. Oh I meant to say, rough. I think a couple of potholes had their own off ramps. With 80-ish guys on the start line for a go, it meant that the racing would be hard. And sure enough it was. Mercy Cycling was represented in the break that formed 5-6 laps in (of the 62) and sure enough, they lapped the field. Chris and I did our thing to keep him out of trouble and out of trouble he was, finishing an incredible 9th place in his first SW race of 2009. Consider that a warning shot.
Other than that... with 2 laps to go, the rider in front of Chris decided to test the Pauli Exclusion Principle. Yup. It still holds true and indeed two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. He threw himself on the ground and took Chris with him. Chris is okay, but a bit bruised.
Okay, time for bed. It is 232AM in the Vortex.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
There's a difference between needed and NEEDED! Anyone who has organized or competed in any sort of athletic event understands that the promoter has the knowledge and acts as the central hub for all decisions, the athletes make the entertainment and take much, if not all of the press. BUT....
The volunteers are the ones who really make the event possible. This begins as early as packet pick up. Those packets don't stuff themselves. It takes a fair number of people to get that done. Set-up/ tear down, food runners, crossing guards, corner marshals (the ones that keep the cars from plowing into riders), and the list goes on. Those are the unsung heroes of the event. You can never have too many volunteers. But you can have not enough.
If you or anyone you know can volunteer for the Tour of Lawrence, please help us out. There is a lot of pressure to make this event seamless so that we can have it again. The University of Kansas has never allowed any sort of road closure of this magnitude and may never again unless this race is executed to perfection. Help us keep the riders safe and make it happen in 2010!
Registered: 51 Field Limit: 125
|james carrico 1||03||246622||mount vernon||IA||Mercy Specialized|
|duane dickey 1||01||9437||Cokato||MN||MERCY/SPECIALIZED|
|Seth Rubin 1||02||80715||Denver||CO||Subaru-Vista Auto Group|
|John Olney 1||01||152158||Iowa City||IA||MERCY SPECIALIZED|
|Chuck Coyle 1||01||102604||Boulder||CO||Subaru-Vista Auto Group|
|Ryan Sabga 1||01||98814||Denver||CO||Black Dog Pro Cycling Team|
|Ryan Luttrell 1||02||133963||Colorado Springs||CO||Black Dog Professional Cycling|
|Adam Mills 1||01||102467||Lawrence||KS||Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|William Stolte 1||01||34257||Kansas City||KS||Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores|
|Shadd Smith 1||01||138402||Overland Park||KS||TradeWind Energy / Trek Stores|
|Joseph Schmalz 1||01||197714||Lawrence||KS||Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|Chris Wallace 1||02||220920||Shawnee||KS||Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|Ben Raby 1||01||119285||Boulder||CO||Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|Brian Jensen 1||01||185340||Lawrence||KS||Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores|
|Bill Marshall 1||01||53358||Overland Park||KS||Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|zack allison 1||01||211435||Fort collins||VA||rocky mountain bicycles elite cycling|
|John Trujillo 1||01||225639||Austin||TX||TOYOTA / CYCLING TEAM p/b GCCA|
|Joseph LaFico 1||01||206317||austin||TX||TOYOTA / CYCLING TEAM p/b GCCA|
|Jed Rogers 1||02||271069||Austin||TX||TOYOTA / CYCLING TEAM p/b GCCA|
|Zac Davies 1||01||182034||Boulder||WI||Subaru-Vista Auto Group|
|Zak Grabowski 1||01||129309||lafayette||CO||Subaru-Vista Auto Group|
|Joshua Carter 1||01||0110443||WICHITA FALLS||TX||Mercy/Specialized|
|Kolt Bates 1||01||0194640||Bedford||TX||Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|Heath Blackgrove 1||UCI19801205||Austin||TX||Team Hotel San Jose|
|Carlos Vargas 1||UCI85255||Austin||TX||Team Hotel San Jose|
|Adam Bergman 1||01||103032||lino Lakes||MN||Texas roadhouse Cycling Team|
|Pat Lemieux 1||01||210769||Saint Paul||MN||Texas roadhouse Cycling Team|
|Steve Tilford 1||01||35598||Topeka||KS||TradeWind Energy/The Trek Stores|
|Christopher Cummings 1||02||116077||DENVER||CO||rocky mountain elite cycling team|
|Ryan Belew 1||02||0224524||Boulder||CO||Rocky Mountain Bicycles - STOK|
|Martin Guess 1||02||242094||Boulder||CO||Rocky Mountain Bicycles Elite Cycling|
|seth hansley 1||01||201753||fort lauderdale||FL||champion porsche|
|Frank Travieso 1||01||160295||fort lauderdale||GA||champion porsche|
|Yosvany Falcon 1||02||208086||fort lauderdale||FL||Champion Porsche|
|michael midlarsky 1||02||215015||delray beach||FL||Champion Porsche|
|Joey Iuliano 1||02||237283||West Lafayette||IN||Purdue University|
|Derek Laan 1||01||173347||West Lafayette||IN||Panther/RGF pb Felt Bicycles|
|Phillip Gronniger 1||01||14262||Shawnee||KS||Epic Cycling Team|
|jay blankenship 1||02||179001||wichita||KS||Tulsa Tough|
|Nick Kiernan 1||01||95282||Euless||TX||TX TOUGH Cycling Team|
|Tyler Jewell 1||01||168914||Frisco||TX||TX TOUGH Cycling Team|
|Tim Cook 1||02||152094||Euless||TX||TX TOUGH Cycling Team|
|Jason Knight 1||02||174449||Lawrence||KS||Epic Bike and Sport|
|Andrew Malcom 1||01||51206||Derby||KS||Tulsa Wheelmen|
|Brian Parks 1||03||168619||Edmond||OK||Team Undiscovered|
|Austin Allison 1||01||224219||St. Louis||MO||Dogfish Racing|
|Nathan Leigh 1||02||84431||Tulsa||OK||Tulsa Tough Racing|
|Sean Sullivan 1||UCI19780808||Boulder||CO||Team Hotel San Jose/ Redbudsports|
|barry lee 1||UCI85255||austin||MO||Hotel San Jose/ Redbudsports|
|Travis Burandt 1||UCI19891210||Woodlands||TX||Hotel San Jose/ Redbudsports|
|Ronnie Strange 1||UCI0248703||Houston||TX||Hotel San Jose/ Redbudsports|
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Cycling event rides into town on July 4 weekend
Inaugural Tour of Lawrence features 3 days of racesBy Chad Lawhorn
June 28, 2009
After a one-year hiatus, the Lawrence Jaycees fireworks show will return to the downtown area on July 4, but not before a new type of thrill show takes center stage.
Downtown Lawrence — home of quaint strolls and leisurely dining — will turn into a revved-up race haven over the July 4 weekend as about 400 amateur and professional bicycle racers take over the downtown as part of the inaugural Tour of Lawrence event.
Participants are promising the race will produce its own brand of fireworks.
“It will be like a more human form of NASCAR,” said Adam Mills, a semi-pro racer who lives in Lawrence. “There will be a lot of drama. You’ll have a pack of bikes going around a corner at 30 miles per hour, and you’ll definitely be wondering if anybody is going to fall.”
Organizers are hoping the Lawrence economy ends up being the ultimate winner from the event, which will have activities Friday through next Sunday.
“That is really one of the main reasons we’re doing this. Fourth of July weekends are really very quiet for the hotels and a lot of the downtown businesses,” said Bob Sanner, director of sports and conventions for the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We wanted to do something to change that.”
Racing and street closures
Downtown will be the center of the racing activity on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, racers will participate in the Eldridge Hotel Street Sprint. The event will be a drag race-like event with riders starting at Seventh and Kentucky Streets and sprinting uphill to Seventh and Massachusetts. The event will close parts of Seventh Street and the Seventh and Massachusetts intersection to motorists.
Part of the area also will be shut off to accommodate a “Kids Zone” at Seventh and Mass. that will feature inflatable playground equipment. The Eldridge Hotel also will provide a live band and outdoor food vendors in the vacant lot just south of the hotel.
The live music begins at 6:30 p.m. The Kids Zone and the racing begins at 7 p.m.
On Saturday — Independence Day — the event’s premier race will take over much of the downtown. Racers will speed through a one-mile course that will be run on parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont streets.
The race, called a criterium, is expected to produce some of the better opportunities for spectators to see top-notch racers.
“This event is going to attract, basically, the best bike racers in a 600-mile radius,” Mills said.
The crit-style racing — which is the same type of racing featured downtown from 2005 to 2007 as part of the Collegiate Road Racing National Championships — will produce large packs of riders tackling the downtown terrain at average speeds of about 30 mph.
“The riders are so close, that if they just throw their elbow out, they are going to hit somebody,” Mills said. “It is really tight racing, and it does get kind of scary out there.”
The Saturday race will completely close Massachusetts Street to motorists and parking. The parking garage at Ninth and New Hampshire will be open, although motorists can only access it from the north. Most of the other surface parking lots in downtown also will be open.
Bolstering the economy
Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., said many of the area’s restaurants and shops plan to be open on the July 4 holiday.
A Kids Zone featuring carnival-like rides and inflatables will be on Ninth Street between Vermont and Massachusetts streets. At 12:45 p.m., a kids bicycle race will be at Ninth and Mass. Walk-up registration is allowed.
The main racing will begin about 1 p.m., with the men’s professional race starting at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, the racing will move to the Kansas University campus. There, the focus will turn to longer distance racing on a course that features massive changes in elevation.
“There will be a number of guys who roll into town, and after a lap or two, they’ll be shattered,” Sanner said. “It is a tough course, but they tell me that is what they like.”
Motorists should use caution anywhere near the university’s main campus, as many streets will be closed for the race.
Various heats of races will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In all, 14 professional teams — along with hundreds of amateurs — have agreed to participate in the event. They’ll be competing for about $22,000 in prize money.
Fireworks and food
On Saturday, the racing will be just the beginning of the holiday fun downtown. Lawrence Originals, a group of locally owned restaurants, will be host to a food and music festival at Watson Park, Sixth and Kentucky streets.
The festival, which will start at 3 p.m., will feature three local bands and food and drinks from 18 locally owned restaurants. People can buy tickets for food and drink the day of the event.
Bands will play until about 9:30 p.m. when the Jaycees’ annual fireworks show will take over. The restaurant group is sponsoring this year’s show, and organizers agreed to move the launch site of the fireworks closer to the downtown Kansas River bridges. That will allow spectators to gather at Watson Park to see the fireworks. The view from Burcham Park, the traditional location for the show, will be limited.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Cycling enthusiasts prepare for the Tour of Lawrence racesThe Movie: http://www2.ljworld.com/videos/2009/jun/28/25289/
By Mark Boyle
June 28, 2009
When a professional cyclist challenged me to a race, I had my doubts.
That’s because I am from Colorado and quite comfortable riding a mountain bike over rocky terrain. However, I am not so comfortable riding a road bike on pavement.
Adam Mills, the professional cyclist, assured me that when it comes to the street sprint event, anyone can win.
“It goes a little bit uphill. It’s about 200 meters. As soon as they say ‘Go,’ you get to the end as fast as you can,” Mills said. “People who can go fast for 10 seconds have a chance and that’s the beauty of street sprint.”
Equipped with the best gear, courtesy of downtown Lawrence’s Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop, 804 Mass., I was ready to take on the pros.
It was my chance to see what it would be like to participate in the Tour of Lawrence, which is July 3-5. That’s when professional and amateur racers will take over the streets in the city’s first USA Cycling Pro-Am event.
“Lawrence is a great cycling community, and I think it’s a great opportunity to showcase that,” said Dan Hughes, owner of Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop. “Everywhere from downtown to the campus and everywhere in between, I think it’s a big event this year that’s just going to grow.”
Mills travels all over the country to race and is happy to welcome an event of this magnitude to his backyard.
“You’re going to see upwards of one thousand riders here over a weekend just racing and having a good time in a community that supports cycling a lot,” Mills said.
Mills edged out Hughes and me as we raced up the street sprint course on Seventh Street, between Kentucky and Massachusetts streets. He won all three races.
The sprint course is quick, exhilarating, and when the professionals take over the track, it will most certainly be exciting entertainment for any spectator.
“The universal response from folks who haven’t seen a bike race before is just the sheer speed in which these guys go around the course,” Hughes said. “It’s amazing and they create their own wind stream when they go by, so it’s fast and a lot of action and a lot of fun.”
For more information about the race, log onto touroflawrence.com.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Hot, muggy, technical, and fast. This was going to be a fast and furious race and also a duel of sorts between the Tradewind Energy Team of Steve Tilford and Company vs. Mercy Elite Cycling Team featuring the New/ Old guys. I've raced with the Tradewind Team when they were the Trek Stores team for many years and the guys are all my friends so this was going to be scenario like the Looney Tunes, "Don't Give up the Sheep," featuring Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. Okay, here we go!
Immediately the race was fast with everyone wanting to get to the front in order to minimize the "slinky effect." I like the heat and while I found it fast, it wasn't too terribly hard. There were points where it was fairly obvious that everyone was hot and that was good as I was never in that boat. I'm giving credit to my home A/C unit that doesn't work so well. That means that as all y'all are sitting in 73F bliss, I'm "acclimating" to the relative cool 83F in my house. Gawd.... I can't wait for the repair guy to come on Monday morning.
Steve has done a fairly good job depicting the race here. I'd like to make some personal observations.....
The best riders are always watching each other. When one moves, the others react.
Cycling as a skilled craft is a universal language of sorts. Mercy Cycling did a fantastic job of riding as a unit despite the newness of everyone to each other.
These races will not be won without some sort of coordinated team tactics in play. That means guys are going to have to go full throttle knowing that they won't make "the break" but that others on the team will.
Scott Moninger still has, "it." I wish I could be that fast and only train a few days per week. Although he was only one of the best Professional riders in the entire country for years.
Brian Jensen can't so much as sneeze without multiple guys ready with hankies for him. Yes, I said hanky. Why not? If you can turn the screws on a bunch of Pros at Winghaven (another post I need to finish) he's obviously a favorite.
I forgot how much I missed Tar-Zan Chris!
That's all from me! See you at the races!
Monday, June 15, 2009
WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - CIA director Leon Panetta says it's almost as if former vice president Dick Cheney would like to see another attack on the United States to prove he is right in criticizing President Barack Obama for abandoning the "harsh interrogation" of terrorism suspects.
"I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue," Panetta said in an interview published in The New Yorker magazine's June 22 issue.
"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."