Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Next Day

After zesterday s snow terrifzing mess, I decided to staz off the slopes todaz. So I slept in and just walked around town while everzone else went skiing in bunnz suits. There is an apres ski pub where the DJ starts off the afternoon with the song the final countdown. I took a nap while everzone else went to the partz. Not reallz all that exciting, but it was good to just rest a bit.

Tomorrow Chris and I are working our waz over to Prague via train. We have 2 transfers in 9 hours and hope we dont miss anz conections. I was considering coming home earlz, but have decided that since I am here, I should do mz best to enjoz mzself. I am still concerned about the helo bill. The guz whom I was with has hayard insurance for this verz circumstance, and he seems to think that everzthing will work itself out.

The damn z and y kezs in europe are reversed and getting the better of me.

Besides that, everzthing is good.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy to be alive in Austria

ok, no pics this time. and no punctuation. and the z and y are reveresed on this kezboard.

Chris and I finally made it to St. Anton, Austria after 4 cancelled flights and some train confusion. we slept in becuase of the time difference. this morning, we woke up at 8 and hit the slopes with the group of people that all travelled here from all over the globe. one guy is from colorado and I chose to ski with him because we are on par skill level. on about our 10th run, JUST OFF THE LIFT, Dan was 100 meters in front of me and we were tag teaming our way down. his line broke fee and he was caught in an avalanche. I stopped immediately and just watched him disappear. I remember thinking there was nothing I could do but watch.

about 30 seconds later I see his head pop out of the snow and breathed a sign of relief. I yelled and asked how he was, worried that if I were to help him, he would be in another avalanche. I skiied on the ice down to him and (huge powder day, but the av made it like an ice rink). we started our waz down with his shoulder dislocated and missing one ski. I was terrified for him and our path was not a good one. His ski went about 1000 feet below and people were looking for him down at the runout thinking he was burried. He was safe but shook.

Soon, a helo came and dropped off dogs and picked him up. The helo left with him on a rope. I started gingerlz working my way down more than freaked out.

the helo came back and picked me up too. Awesome! only $3500 euros ($6000 us) later, I get to go free. I am praying that his insurance covers it because I was only trying to help him! I could have just skiied out of there! A guy even walked back up to me to get Dans other ski!

Anyway, I am still shaking from seeing someone almost die and am unhappz about my helo bill.

I may come home early now because I am broke as a joke!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Should be packing

Ok, I have 80 mins until my ride to the airport shows up. I have not packed anything. Not a single item. And I am blogging? Letter Grade for myself = F.

I am off to Switzerland, Austria, and Prague for a little "who am I" time. This week has been tough. I am sick as a dog and I have been absolutely struggling with the prospect of turning down UVA and the 1/2 tuition scholarship they awarded me. But I finally decided on Berkeley for a million reasons. I still have yet to call Darden and tell them thanks but no thanks.

All of that mess will soon melt away on my super long voyage to Zurich. Thanks T Karnes for the video player!

I couldn't leave my readers with nothing. So I leave you with the below. Wow.

(CLICK ON PICS TO MAKE THEM BIGGER)






This guy was rolling through downtown Norfolk the other day. He was poud'r than a pig rolling in mud!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do Work!


photo credit: kevin horvath aka kblog!

Right from the gun today tyler and Ian rolled. I felt it a great opportunity to stretch out the field and really find some safety from the scary corners at the Suffolk Smackdown 3 race. So it ended up being the 3 of us pictured, Andy D, and a couple more peeps in the break. VBW found two guys in the break and they definitely did not do the amount of work that the rest of us did. That's racing. They won. I scored my 4th 2nd of the year. Happy to be able to sprint, but this is getting silly.

I feel good about the race because no one can say that I didn't do my fair share of work. I mean, I ain't saying, I'm just saying. My chance will come.

After the race I was really lucky to find the only piece of glass on the entire course. My tubular started hissing like a stepped on rattler. I changed tires and spun out my legs for 35 mins with T. Karnes. He did good work today and more than his fair share of it too. When we got back, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I was losing it. Drew M and I were talking the day previous about how we never get sick. I was sick I tell you. I was sick for 6 hours. I am just hitting the sack now and and hopefully everything will be better in the morning.

Pre-race delight

GeneR and Rob Frank getting their smackdown breakfast. Wow! I guess
this simple sugar is all you need!

Gene, rob, Harlan, big mike, terry and myself rode in front of some
fast Kenyan runners today in the st patrick's day 8k. Final kick was
a title sponsor and we wanted to say thanks for our cervelos!

Crit later today for all of us.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Just under 45 mph

Kyle, Tyler, and myself are working on our tt positions. I have no
idea what I am doing but am still excited about Sunday's 40k tt.

Thanks to wick for the photo.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Big Sisters are too Cute!

Gracie!



Just bridged.


Working in the break. White Pro gloves of-course.


Danny workin.


Terry workin.



Pigtails melt your heart everytime. Gracie Holdiman is the cutest cheerleader I have ever had at a bike race. Every single time I came around the circuit today, I could hear her little (loud) voice yelling "Go MR JIM!" That little extra motivation was enough for me to bridge to the 4 person break-away with another kid and a tag-a-long junior with about 20 laps to go. I had tried to solo bridge earlier but just didnt have it. I was more determined in the second attempt because I knew the race was up the road with some decent sprinters in the group. Elliot is always talking about Dan Craft of Fat Frogs and other people talk about VB Wheelmen's John Nisbitt. I just learned who these people were in the race. They are medium sized guys and smaller than me. So I was worried about them following me in the last laps.

As expected, both seriously let up in the final laps in prep for the sprint. We were clearly away from the group and no one was really worried about getting caught. But I wasnt about to let them just use my size in the sprint. Turns out, the junior who bridged with jvrs red guy and I took a flyer with about 1K to go. That worked out well for me because I was able to just watch everyone chase him down. So I was sitting in 5th going into the last turn without even ramping up yet. I had the luxery of watching the two sprinters get ready and stand up. So when then did, I just ramped it up a bit while they came up to speed. Right at the time that I was about to go around, a crazy kitty hawk guy drifted about 6 feet left and forced me into the dirt. Awesome! I was thinking to myself and I navigated rockes and mud finally finding my way back to the pavement. I credit my north shore 4 foot drop last weekend for the skill building experience that kept me upright! I joke I joke. Anyway, long story short. I quickly passed scary kitty hawk guy and tracked down Dan. John had enough of a jump that I didnt have enough space to close on him before he crossed the line. 2nd for the 3rd time this year. I just need to get my act together and rid those circumstances where I get caught behind something stupid.

The 1,2,3 race went exceedingly well. Bryan was a crazy man and went pretty much at the gun. No one bridged and he was out there by himself for a while. Gener and I took a turn and when we got caught, Bryan and Keith countered. Nice. Those two are just so strong right now and I was excited to see them work. I dont know exactly how it unfolded, but Keith ended up chasing a flyer down in the last lap and took the victory. Seriously, this guy is older than 90% of the group and can crush anyone. Bryan ended up 5th. Geno easily took the field sprint. I really enjoyed just chasing everything down and sitting on the front trying to block all day. It was a good racing day for LeBleu.

Kblog, sorry to hear about your loss pal. I hope that everything is ok with ya pal. Long rides help me sort everything out.
And for those of you who have no idea what LeBleu is, I present the following:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What a weekend!

First things first. Friday was a crazy day. Some of you know that I put my house on militaryforsalebyowner.com. I received an offer, countered, and accepted an offer all in the span of friday from noon to 3. Wow. That was a roller coaster. The only problem with that entire scenario is that I was supposed to meet keith at 1230 for the drive to salisbury so that we could spin before sunset. We didnt even leave norfolk until 6. We got into salisbury late and stayed at keith's peep's house. Very nice place and $free.99 can't be beat. Thanks!

I was so emotionally drained from selling my house that I slept most of the drive down. We woke up at 455 the next morning (for some horrible reason unbeknownst to me) and drove to Charlie Brown aka-the judge's house. From there, we drove (I should say Keith drove as my ass slept) to greenville, sc for the fork shoals road race. It was rumored that George Hincapie would be racing the Pro 1,2 race. He was there and that was cool, but I missed getting his pic. Onto the race report.

Keith raced the 35+ Masters and scored a solid 6th. The untold story there is that his teamates went 1,2 because of his efforts. His selfless efforts there serve as testament to fact this guy understands what it takes to be a great teamate, and he will rip your legs off at will!

My race was a little different. There were at least 75 people in the Cat 3 (only) race. Most of the teams were SC or NC and most had 5+ people / team. As I sat on the start line, I looked around and noticed that I was the largest kid on the line, and that I was the only person from VA there. I figured it was just a training race anyway. So, right from the gun, two dudes roll off the front. I was happy to just sit there and see what would happen. After 3 miles, those two had a 1/8 mile gap and no one cared. So I just rolled off the front. No one in the race knew me (or my team) from Adam. So I kept the gas on with the hopes of catching the two escapees. After 30 seconds, another dude broke free and I soft pedaled until he caught up. He then tells me that he was already toast and was just trying to string it out. SO I just left him and continued my 10 mile bridge to the leaders. Caught them at the finish of the 1st lap (15 miles). The 3 of us rode the next lap together with only 2 of us taking pulls because the 3rd guy was hurting. He took every 6th pull. Weak. Chris Brianas told me he saw CSC banners at Tour of Cali that said: "Harden the F Up" Thats all I could think about on this 57 mile death march I was attempting. At a minimum, I would make the race really hard for myself and get good quality miles and training.

We were caught by a group of 6 breakaway riders at the start of lap 3. A couple kids were really hurting and then there were some kids who looked really strong. The course was rolling with only a couple climbs that would put you in a deficit. One of those climbs was right at the finish. So the group soldiered on for the next 1.5 laps. A couple times I had to remind people that we were racing and needed to keep the pace high. Anyway, with 3k to go, this guy takes a flyer up the long hill. I watched him for 10 seconds and he kept pulling away. I didnt know him and asked everyone else if he had a chance. They all claimed he did. Will (blacksheep cycling) Hoffarth took off after him. Will was the only other kid more than 150 lbs. He recognized that I had horsepower and made a couple comments to me during the break. I knew this was a great opportunity for me and let him gap a bit. Then I punched it up the climb to bridge to him. No one could come with us. We quickly ate up the suicide solo and then he and I had to keep the pace up for the last k to be certain to not get caught. He just had a couple more HPs in the tank and got me at the line. I figure my 10 solo bridge miles are a decent excuse, but are still an excuse.

This pic shows me holding my prize cash! Photo credit to keith.


I got back last night at 1 am. Woke up and went straight to Freedom Park with Rammer and Andre. I have no idea how doug's gear didnt explode on this header. His glasses and helmet were fine but he obviously has a serious amount of dirt on his temples!

Rammer and I pre-ride.

Andre is probably going to grow a tape-worm after drinking out of this absolutely disgusting camelback tube. He claimed that the human body has the most amazing defenses. I probably would have just went thirsty.


This is my first video posting! I took a little log drop. It was enough to get my heart rate up though!


video

I welcome all comments!