Monday, January 31, 2011
On Saturday I was planning on making a triumphant return as defending champion to the "Enemy Bike Shop" B ride. I was eventually convinced by "My $6000.00 Cyclocross Bike Finally Paid Off" Tom to HTFU and go back to doing the "A" ride. So Tom, "Fast" Eddie, and myself jumped in and did it. Eddie faded, Mongo hung tough near the front, and in a precursor to his victory the following day in a cyclocross race in Alabama, Tom went to the front and never looked back. In all honesty, this may have been the best I've ridden on this course...ever.
Sunday turned out to be the nicest day of the year, literally, and Mongo made the wrong call on where to do my recovery ride. The SCT was packed! Dogs...kids...bladers...runners...old people...they were all out there and in my way. Add to this that the triathletes have come out of the woodwork on their TT bikes, and it was a crowded and miserable day. After twenty miles I turned around and went home.
Today it rained, so I cleaned the bikes and hit the trainer for a fast, forty five minute session. I'll be checking out the TT course on Thursday and putting in a couple of practice runs, so Mongo will be able to compare his times to last year's race and see where I stand.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this."
( Henry David Thoreau)
It's been a great weekend of riding. The Sun came out occasionally and the temperatures skyrocketed into the forties. This allowed Mongo to take advantage of some free time and do some "Cat 5 Domination" training.
On Saturday I made my return to the "Enemy Bike Shop" ride. I met up with teammate, "Fast" Eddie, in the parking lot, and we decided to do the "B" ride. Revenge is a dish best served before noon and below forty degrees. We had a fast group of about twenty, and with a strong leadout at the end from Eddie, Mongo took the win and redeemed his third place finish the last time out.
On Sunday I took the F600 out for a cruise to the shop. Tom was flying solo while MC-Lean was out getting a Silver Medal at the Georgia State Cyclocross Championships. I chatted for a long time, including a brief Snow Bunny sighting, and eventually rolled down the SCT with Tom's bride to be, "Queen-A". I split off after a short while and went to the local singletrack. I'm proud to say that Mongo did three complete circuits without either crashing or unclipping. That shit is not only hard, but my HR was at 160+ at an average speed of about 5 mph...Great workout!
Today I spent a couple of hours cleaning and rearranging my garage and getting LPE set up on my new trainer. I have my position on LPE set up exactly like my road bike, and with the multiple handlebar positions, including being in the drops with the Speedbars, it's going to be a perfect addition the the "Cat 5 Domination" arsenal.
After doing all of this, I took out the Barchetta for twelve miles of interval hill training. When I came home, Mongo did thirty more minutes of spinning on the trainer to cool down.
My mantra for the upcoming Tundra Time Trial is this..."I'm going to beat someone I shouldn't!"
Almost one year ago to the day, Mongo proclaimed his support for Alessandro Petacchi. Look what happened...One of the best seasons of his career, including the Green Jersey at the Tour De France.
This year I'm hitching my saddle to a GC racer. I've liked this guy for a few years, but this season I have a "very" good feeling about him. "The name's Hesjedal...Ryder Hesjedal."
UCI Cyclocross World Cup Champion, Saane Van Paassen, celebrates as the disinterested podium girl gives a polite golf clap while staring into the distance and thinking about what she's doing later that night and the overweight local dignitary who, though more enthusiastic in his applause for Van Paassen, is actually checking out the podium girl and wondering if she'll dig his vintage, '86 Citroen.
It should be noted that the above text is a single sentence. Quite impressive...I know! It should also be noted that Saane Van Paassen is the only professional female cyclocross racer ever to be featured on this blog...and now she is the World Champion. (Though if American, Katie Compton hadn't skipped two WC races, she would have won the overall title easily) You don't have to drink the Kool-Aid, but you can't deny the Juice.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I took a step in that direction today with a loop on the 23/2300 Hammerfest course and another ten miles of cool-down afterwards. It was the first time Mongo had been out on the Barchetta in many weeks, and it felt good to go fast once again.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Computer Uses Other Than Porn Or Facebook: The Five Riders On The UCI Pro Tour Who Share The Same Birthday As Mongo
5...Xabier Tondo (Esp)
Unfortunately, none of these guys are, how do I say this?...any good! If I had been born one day later, I could be rolling with my boy, Fabian "The Motor...Literally" Cancellara.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Mongo has been trapped at home for a few days now. The fun wore off very quickly. Laying around and doing nothing is only good if you have the option of going out and doing something. Too much of any one thing always gets old quickly. The fact that I haven't been outside on a bike since Saturday is really bothering me the most.
Today I decided that I was going to get out of the house and get some exercise. I briefly toyed with the idea of taking the F600 out on the icy, crusty, slushy roads at about 40 psi. I figured my Ned Overend skills would carry me through. Ultimately, I decided against riding...not because of danger, but because of the hours I would have to spend cleaning the salt, sand, and road grime off my bike. So instead, I laced up my Timberlands and went on an "extreme" six mile walk.
Let me just say this...walking six miles on unstable, treacherous, terrain in hiking boots is easily the equivalent of a two mile power-walk at the mall with the ladies from the "Home"...while wearing Skechers Shape-Ups
Mongo powered up to the shop and chatted with "I Crashed But At Least I Finished" Tom, and "Series Leader...For Now" MC-Lean. Since absolutely no one was out riding the trail, for obvious reasons, the highlight of my short stay was the Fed Ex delivery of Tom's new, Look Carbon cyclocross pedals. Which are pretty sweet, by the way.
As much as I was enjoying being out of the house, I knew I had an hour of hoofing ahead of me, so I cut my stay short and headed back home. My biggest surprise on the way was that someone actually pulled up next to me and asked if I needed a ride. This kind of friendliness and concern only occurs during natural disasters and bad, teen horror movies. Of course, I declined...but had the person offering been a "lady" rather than a creepy old man, things might have been different.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
1...Mellow Johnny is "finally" leaving the Pro Tour
2...What are they going to do with Robbie McEwen?
3...Is Tiago Machado or Janez Brajkovic the GC future?
4...Kloden, Leipheimer, or Horner: Who's got anything left?
5...Sponsorship contract ends after this season
6...There are at least two American teams that are more respected
7...Though a slimy weasel, "allegedly", Johan Bruyneel is a winner
Sunday, January 9, 2011
"Write this down...If you find yourself in a three man breakaway during a competitive Cat 6/7 group ride on a hilly course you're not familiar with...don't get dropped."
Mongo got up early Saturday morning feeling good and with every intention of doing the regular "Enemy Bike Shop" ride. Forty miles of hammering on wide open roads with long steady climbs. As soon as I walked outside, I knew this would be a daunting task. The wind was blowing steady and the gusts were at least 25 mph. Add to this that the temperature was in the 30's, and my motivation started fading.
If it wasn't for the fact that I'd already applied the embrocation to my chamois, I may well have called it a day. Instead, I decided to HTFU and get on with it. When I got there, the wind was blowing so hard that it was actually a topic of conversation permeating throughout the parking-lot-peloton. This is unusual because most cyclists find it very difficult to talk about anything other than themselves or their equipment prior to a ride.
A group of sixty rolled out with many of the regulars talking about doing the "B" ride to stay out of the wind. That certainly sounded good to me. When the time came for the ride to split, Mongo went left with about thirty other people, including some "A" ride regulars, and settled into what I thought would be a moderately paced, 25 mile ride through the hills of suburban Atlanta. That didn't turn out to be the case.
For some reason, a few of the decent riders decided it was "on" from the get-go. I guess their egos were a little bruised from pussing-out on the big boy ride, so they wanted to take it out on old men, women, and unfortunately for them...Mongo!
Once I realized that I was as strong as anyone in the peloton, I settled in and watched things unfold. After about ten miles of hard climbing, Mongo turned around and realized that there was no one behind me and only two guys in front of me. That would have been all well and good had the two guys not been complete douchebags. They constantly looked back at me, and any time I bridged the gap, they worked together to drop me. I shouldn't have been surprised. They both fit the profile of the "Enemy Bike Shop" customer. One was riding a Parlee, and the other, a Look.
I was actually quite proud of my effort. I hung tough, never losing more than about 50 metres (European for yards), until I finally got dropped at a stoplight. It was then that I realized I was lost. No joke...Mongo has the worst sense of direction of anyone you know.
I should have just pulled off to the side and waited for the peloton, but instead, I guessed the direction and rode down a steep hill which turned out to be a dead end. When I climbed back to the top, I was sure that I had missed the group. But as luck would have it, as I crowned the hill, the peloton was there.
Mongo joined in with about ten guys for the rest of the ride. The pace was ok, but I was kicking myself for losing the two leaders earlier. With about a mile to go three of us separated from the group and, in the last few hundred metres, we ramped it up for a sprint...Mongo won easily. It was a fun day.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I'm always feeling dizzy, my mouth tastes like aluminum, and my legs feel like a couple of dead bodies being dragged through the Everglades...I guess the training is working.
Mongo is taking his Winter cycling program very seriously. I'm doing hard rides on the road, mixing in some challenging, for me, singletrack on the mt. bike, and controlling my diet as well as I ever have. The results are showing. I'm losing weight, tightening up, and increasing my aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. Unfortunately, that ain't good enough.
On Sunday, I went riding with teammates, "Crash Test Dummy" MC-Lean, "Surprisingly Strong" Wes, "Comeback Player Of The Year Candidate" Clay, and "Cat 3 College Ringer" Knox. Mongo didn't have to look too far to find the weakest rider in the group. Since Snow Bunny wasn't there...it was me.
We did thirty miles of climbing steep hills, and then in between to mix it up, we climbed some really steep hills. Mongo was in the back most of the way and even dropped a chain and got temporarily left behind near the end, but overall I was quite satisfied with my performance. I was riding with stronger riders who were 40-80 pounds lighter than me and 8-20 years younger, and the course couldn't have suited my strengths any worse.
It's time once again for Mongo to pick two teams to throw my "Juice" behind for the upcoming Pro Tour season. For those who have been reading for a while, you know that I truly have a gift, and that the results over the years have spoken for themselves. For those who are new to my Kreskin/Madame Cleo/Dalai Lama/Hunter Thompson skills...stay tuned!
As a proud American who is as patriotic as a pickled pigs foot floating in a jar of many pigs feet on the counter of a local General Store in a small town as idyllic as a Norman Rockwell painting, the first team I'm going with is... Katusha! Just kidding.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that for the fourth year in a row Mongo is a picking Team Garmin-Cervelo. In my opinion, this team will end 2011 as the number one ranked team in the world. They are stacked from top to bottom with the addition of all the key players from last year's Cervelo Test Team. The only thing holding them back is the lack of a "realistic" Grand Tour winner. Don't get me wrong, I still loves me some VDV and Tom Danielson, and Ryder Hejsedal is a solid rider, but top tens on GC are the only realistic goals for the Giro, Tour, and Vuelta.
It's the Classics, Stage win, and Sprint lineup that's going to carry Garmin-Cervelo this year. Heinrich Haussler and Thor Hushovd will add potential winners for every Classic, and it the Sprints, Hushovd also adds a second option to Farrar, especially on the tough, uphill finishes.
Mongo would also like to add that since the team's inception and vocal support of cleaning up the sport, there hasn't been a hint of scandal or impropriety surrounding them. They need to be held up as an example of the right way a Professional cycling team goes about their business.
For my second pick, Mongo usually goes with a traditional European team. I like to stay close to the "smarm" of the sport. This year, the one team that is as shady as Johan Bruyneel's porn collection is...Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team. Ricco, Mosquera, Devolder...need I say more? I was thinking about going with them as a lark, but Mongo is trying to do his part this year to "classy up" the sport.
Of the eighteen teams with a Pro Tour license in 2011, four of them are American and thirteen are from the country of Europe. (I know it's a continent, I just wanted to see if you noticed or were geographically retarded) The good ole USA represents over twenty percent of the field. That's why this year the choice for my second team was so hard. Do I go with another American team not named RadioShack, or do I stick with traditional guidelines and choose a European team?
Mongo is a sucker for an underdog. Any time the little guy can stick it to the "man"...I'm in! Therefore, Mongo is proud to announce that the second recipient of my "Juice" for the 2011 Pro Tour season is...BMC Racing Team!... USA! USA! USA!