27 July 2006

Not Floyd!?!?! say it ain't so!

Well, we were all shocked to read today that Floyd Landis had some drug test results at the tour come back positive for out of whack testosterone level. As luck wouldn't have it it the positive test was right after he won big in stage 17, having the ride of his career, after one of the worst days of his career. Hopefully it get's sorted out, and it's not true. Otherwise you might see yours truly in the pro peloton after all the real pros are kicked out for various banned substance violations.

In other news, we're going to Portland this weekend. That should be a good time kicken it in the valley. Paradise that it is, I have to say it's always nice to get out of the bubble that is Bend Oregon. And I mean bubble in more than one way. I found a site called Bendoregonbubble that talks about the real estate bubble that may be causing havoc with the local economy. It's true, houses are expensive here, and it's also true that there is probably at least 1 if not 3 houses for sale on almost every block. So you could say it's a buyers market, but part of the reason so many houses are for sale is because people want more for their houses than buyers are willing to pay.

In more other news, I have begun donating my Hemochromatosis blood at the American Red Cross. There's alot of strict policies and procedures that they follow, so they haven't actually put any of my blood in the bank yet, but next Tuesday I should be good to go. So far I've had 7 pints extracted in 8 weeks (since June 5th).

oh yea, there's some forest fire activity around here, but we're not preparing to duck and cover just yet. They are a long ways away, but hopefully they don't burn down too much forest.

audi 5000.

19 July 2006

Cascade Classic Day 2-3

On to the Time trial. Since my weekly trips to the blood bank, one of the things I've noticed is my recovery times seemed a bit longer. Well after going all out the day before, it was time for a morning time trial (only 6.5+ miles) with a start time at 9:04:30am. It went OK, well except for the fact that like 3 people passed me. That was kindof a drag, and it didn't really seem like I was able to get all of my power on the pedals. One of the top objectives for next season is to improve the time trialing. I didn't finish last, but i was bottom 10.

On to the Criterium. Lining up for the start:

So if we had to follow that guy all day, it might have been a bit stinkier. The GTO lead out the first lap, and it smelled like a combination of burning rubber, and super hot exhaust that didn't really smell like normal car exaust. Maybe more like race car exhaust, I'm not sure. Anyway, the GTO lasted for 1 lap, and we had to go for 50 minutes around a downtown course of about .7 miles. This kind of racing has it all, it's fast, fun, scary, intense, hard, and fun for everybody to watch. I had alot of people cheering for me, so it seemed, and all I heard was "Go Ryan!, Start moving up!" on almost every lap. So when I heard that I didn't want to look back, because i might have been the last in line. The fact was, I was constantly trying to move up, but I just couldn't get more than about 1/3 of the way to the front. There were prime laps (where you sprint for a prize) like every 3rd lap it seemed, so the pace was pretty relentless. I wish I knew our average speed, because we were flying. I finished in the pack, again making it a step closer for the goal for the weekend. Finish (No DNF), and don't be DFL.

Sunday would bring a circut race with 4 laps around a common training loop west of Bend. I've ridden these roads many times, and that should have played to my advantage. Well, it was pretty cool to know the course real well, as the majority of the field was from out of town. Next year I'm going to use that to my advantage more. I made it one lap and then I got dropped. I did too much work at the front of the pack early, and then on a steep climb (Archie Briggs road), I just couldn't hang on. I rode the last 3 laps solo, to make it in 3rd from last on the stage. (oh well, bottom podium) I made it through my 3rd and hardest (by far) stage race, and my 1st Cat 3 races and I didn't finish last. But I finished. The 5 units of blood I lost in the last 6 weeks was definatly a factor. 6 weeks ago I was approaching top shape, and during the last 6 weeks I couldn't train with the intensity I had in April and May. I'm really determined to come back full blood and de-ironed next year, and plan to come out swinging. Watch out.

Until then I think I'll do some yard work.

17 July 2006

Cascade Classic: Day1

The first (of 4) stage of the Cascade classic took us through some pretty good scenery. Photo of the CAT 3 pack going down the first descent after a 4 mile climb to start the race. The 1st stage was a 74 mile road race that started out with a tough 4 mile climb to the base of Mt. Bachelor. That went OK, and was followed by a long descent (later to be climbed) and about 50 miles of rolling hills through pine tree lined roads. The course was like a lolly pop with an out and back, with a loop in the middle. It was in the 80s or 90s, a really hot day, and it was made worse by a tail wind on the return, so there was not as much wind blowing through the 'peleton'.

I started this race with 2 water bottles, one with HEED and one with water. My lack of training in the mid-day heat was evident in the choice to only bring 2 bottles. I would later pay for that in the last 10 kilometers of this race.

I was dropped on the last climb, and at 2 points had to stop because my hamstrings were cramping up. I did make it to the finish line with a smile. There were many casualties on the last climb and I was only one of them. My first CAT3 race went OK, and with more water, I could have placed a bit better, and who knows what the 5 pints of blood that I've lost in the last 6 weeks have done.

Day 2 includes a 7 mile TT and a 50 minute downtown Crit.

10 July 2006

Netflix: Worlds Fastest Indian

We netflixed the world's fastest Indian last weekend. It was hands down the best movie I've seen in 2006. And it's based on the true story of the life of New Zealander: Burt Munro. Definitely one to put in your queue, or rent at the video store.

two thumbs way up for _the Worlds Fastest Indian_.

06 July 2006

Tour rolling.

Sweet pic from today's TdF stage (it's a team game).

Well, the first week of the TdF is nearly in the books. Although it's always a great show, the action has been pretty boring: breakaways that won't make it, and a sprinters dominating the tour to this point, with a fair amount of crashing too. Boonen is in Yellow, but McEwen has 2 stage wins, and the green jersey. We'll see how my predictions pan out...

Whatever, maybe it would be more exciting on TV, but we don't have cable so I'm just watching the 2 minute updates on velonews. They do have a very sweet daily video diary with Chris Horner. Check that out.

Unlike some of the top cyclists in the world who like to put extra blood in their body for performance, I'm taking it out (in case you don't know, here's why). From a training perspective, the first couple weeks went OK. I ran in a very difficult big horn 30k trail run after 3 weekly bleeds. My next bleed after big horn, was very bad, tired all week, virtually no quality training. I amazingly recovered this week after my 4th bleed (although my CBCs don't really show raised HCT or HGB). We did go to Madras for the 10k, where I was 3rd overall running a sub 38 minute 10k. I also did the weekly crit yesterday, and felt OK. And since I got my upgrade to a Cat3, and a spot for our team opened up for the BMC Cascade Classic, I'm deciding to give it a go. It starts next Friday, and was a race I really wanted to do. We have a really strong team, and it will be fun to ride with those guys.

Don't tell my doctor, but I'm skipping next weeks blood removal to prepare. I have been going every 8 days anyway, and am coordinating with the red cross to start doing my bleeds there, so I'm thinking my next one will be the week of the 17th at the red cross, so some in-need person may be able to use my iron rich blood for a transfusion.

Go Floyd! Standings should change on Saturday in France (Big TT).

Have a good weekend.