Monday, June 29, 2009

Specialized Creates First Ever Frictionless Tyre!

No, not really. I'm just bitter.
It's been quite a while since I've written anything all up in here, so after about a month, I feel it's about time.
Last time I wrote was in May sometime, and since then, I have graduated from high school! Hooray! A bowl, a bowl, I found a bowl! Good for me!
So that's exciting. If you get that reference, good for you too! Otherwise, just pretend you get it. Anyway, after I got out of high school forever, nothing of really any importance happened for a while. Mostly, I just rode my bike for a while everyday, and spent the rest of the day sitting around on the couch in a semi-catatonic state like the jaded, friendless misanthrope that I am.
But suddenly! there was a bike race. It was in Colorado Springs. So I headed out to there from here and raced the race. The course was super fun; there were a couple nice fast sections, as well as a fairly lengthy technical section. I pre-rode the course four times. On one of the pre-rides, I was cruisin' it with Bryce, and right before the technical section, I thought he just misshifted and fell over like an idiot. So I laughed. But then I found out that he had actually broken his middle chain ring in half as well as sheared off all the chainring bolts. So I laughed even harder. Then we rode the rest of the course, and he was on the most hilarious looking 1x9 ever conceived. Later that day there was short track, but since I'm lazy, I didn't do it. I just watched in horror and awe embarrassment as Bryce got beat by a 14-year-old.
THEN. The next day, I woke up stupid early (by my standards) to go and try to watch the Junior X (now known as "Cat 1") girls race. Unfortunately, my breakfast went long, so I only got to see the second lap and the finish. If only Alicia were a crazy fast descender, she would've killed it since she can climb like nobodies business. Even I am jealous of her ability to pedal up hills.
Then later, there was the "Cat 1" 15-18 men's race, where Bryce once again got beat by the same kid from the short track. Again, I had to laugh, but this time it was at the race organizers since they obviously had their brains and the scrotum switched around. Everyone who was a "Cat 1" man went off at the same time, so there were about 120 people bottle-necking into a single track off a road. It was disgusting.
Much much later, there was the pro race. Which I was a part of. There was a call-up, which was totally useless, because there was a "rolling start" to the actual start, where we actually started, and during the confusion, I worked my way through the crowd to right behind Adam Craig. He has a similar name to mine. Sweet. So I had a good start, and I took advantage of it by doing the entire first lap in my big chainring. I was also excited to be the only pro rider to ride a certain rock mess. Then there was another lap, and then on the third lap, Kevin caught me, and I was like "aw, shit." and then he rode away and I was sad. But the third lap was the only lap where I was able to ride everything! Even the terrible rocks, and about 5 minutes into the decent, I caught Kevin, and I was happy again. Kevin was like "Whaaaat!? How you descend so fast?" but I didn't get to answer him because we went up hill again and he pulled away. I was sad once more. Then I crashed, which was more embarrassing than anything else. But i got up, and kept descending like a crazy person, and only finished about 40 seconds behind Kevin, which was about two places.
This is me. Lookin' at you.
That's how technical it was! On the brakes climbing? What? Yeah.
After that race, I went to a bike camp down there in Colorado Springs. The riding itself was fun, but the whole camp was full of people who should really go jump off something high onto something sharp. Except for a very few exceptions. In fact, there was this one guy, who just had this look about him that said "Yeah. I know you know I'm totally the best." I really hoped that I had a look that said "It is taking every ounce of willpower that I have to not punch you in the face right now." But other than the people, like I said, the riding was a fun time. I think we rode for 27 hours in that week-ish. On the last day, we rode Palmer Park, which was by far the most fun I've had on a bike since I was 14 hopping around in a parking lot.
This is ALL the cool kids in the park.
Some people actually went for an easy ride during this. I honestly can't even imagine a world in which that would have been a better idea than riding the park. Seriously, it was just stupid fun. I had a big goofy smile on my face the whole time. It's really hard to describe it. Just go there and ride it. Then you'll know.
After this camp, there was a race in Crested Butte! So I went.
I didn't pre-ride because I'm lazy, and on race day there was a bunch of stupid, stupid, annoying rain. Also the course had been almost entirely re-routed, so I didn't know what i was getting into. The rain made it mostly unridable, and, this is where the frictionless tyre comes in, I got ABSOLUTELY ZERO FUCKING TRACTION on the specialized tyre I was running. In fact, on one climb, it looked like a slick because it doesn't shear mud. At all. Ever. It collects it like a freakin' kleptomaniac or something.
I crashed on the first lap into an embankment at about 30, and was more-or-less fine, just a little winded. Then I finished the second lap (of three) and then dropped out because I wasn't about to risk crashing again to get last.
There was a rock section that was seriously like an ice rink, and since it was freshly cut single track, it was all off-camber. So I walked most of it. Not because I was afraid, but because if I rode, I washed out into the trees on the downhill side of the trail until I couldn't ride anymore. It was faster to walk. Cleaner, too.
So yeah, I dropped out.
Speaking of things that sucked, that start was awful. With all 80-ish of us pros, we bottle-necked into a singletrack something awful. It was so bad, there was more on-brakes-climbing! Not the technical fun kind either.
Seriously. Stuck behind Russle. He's not in this picture. That's me and Kevin.
I was not amused, as you can understand. But there were many 3's to be had, obviously!
Over the next two days, me and Cody rode some trails that DIDN'T suck in NOT rain. That was actually a pretty fun time, I must say. We rode the 401 trail, which is pretty much a mandatory ride if you're in Crested Butte. Do it!
Then I went to Durango and registered for college classes. Yeah. It's... Not as fun as it sounds. But I had some really good cream soda at some brewery in town! Then I went home. Now I'm here. Nothing really new since that....
Well actually that's a lie. I'm racing the Firecracker 50 solo this year in the pro division since nobody would do it with me as a team. It's gonna be hard. I'll probably be totally fucked over for nationals, which is two weeks later. But I don't know if I'll be able to recover in that time since I'm slow and young and weak and inexperienced. That last one is entirely due to USACycling, which can SUCK MY FUCKING BALLS. They are truly unacceptable. Fuck.

Lat5,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sweet Jesus

Well, it's May all of a sudden, and I'm almost out of high school forever! This is a very exciting occasion for me! After four torturous years of sitting around under mind-numbing fluorescent lights, I finally get to go out into the real world and do stuff!On that note, I'm going to college at Ft. Lewis College in Durango. Great, I know, and it's for their biking programme. Biking is so awesome. Everyone who's anyone rides a bike, clearly. 
In other slightly more important but less photogenic news, about three weeks ago I sprained my ankle. Instead of doing something cool, I was walking down the stairs at my school when I stepped wrong. Clearly the stairs were poorly designed and I plan to sue the school for shoddy craftsmanship and using all the money they SHOULD use on correct stair construction for a turf field. 
Now don't get me wrong, the turf Field is pretty cool! But living in Steamboat we get a lot of snow, and also living in Steamboat, we have a lot of sports teams. Since both of those things are true, we need to practice on the field when there's still snow on the field. I always thought that us Steamboatians were hardcore enough to just grin and bear it and run around on the snow-covered field like crazy people, but I was wrong. Of course I was. Instead, we have to plow the field. If your school has a field or if you've ever been on one, you know there's lots of little tiny ground-up tyres all over the field in the form of little tiny rubber pellets about the size of six or seven grains of sand. When the field is plowed, which it often is, the little rubber pellets get in the snow, and now there's a big ol' pile of rubber next to the field where the snow was plowed and on the field there aren't any little pellets. There's probably a machine to re-disperse the pellets, but we don't have one. We're too cheap.
Also in modern news, I got my wisdom teeth removed! It's not as fun as it sounds. Immediately after the surgery I couldn't feel my face, and I was thinking "I would rather be in pain than be totally numb." Then the numb-ness went away, and i suddenly realized "No I lied. I'd much rather be numb." But there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. Then i missed some school and a lot of riding and sat around the house watching Stanly Kubrick movies in a semi-catatonic state on my couch while eating ice cream. Now it's day seven after my surgery and only now am I able to eat solid food. For the past six days I've been eating ice cream and smoothies and milkshakes and other fluids. I guess I should've said drinking. So it goes. Tomorrow I get to go back to the doctor for a follow up, and maybe they'll give me something that helps me chew food! Right now I have to use my front teeth for everything. My molars are all tender and useless currently, so even though I CAN eat solid food, it's a horrendous pain in the ass. The End! Oh wait, there's no pictures in this one. We can't have that! So here's one to entertain you:
Who want's to ride? This guy does.
Alright. NOW The End!

Lat5,

Friday, March 27, 2009

News and Tributes?

Hmmm.... Well this week was c-saps for our school. Unlike a number of other schools I know of where the seniors get the whole week off during this period, my school decided it would be better to force us to participate in "various team-building exercises." Yes, really. I can't make this shit up.
However! I had a solution. The weekend before this waste of a noticeable amount of my life, I decided I would go down to Fruita, CO and ride some real trails on my bike. So I did. 
The first day consisted of a 45 minute ride around the 18 Road area until it was too dark to see. Then the next day me and Cody rode around the Rabbit Valley area, and I got to rock it all on my single speed. Single speeding is probably the best thing ever. EVER! So that was Saturday because I had done my other ride on Friday night when I drove down.
Later Saturday night, we went on a night ride up in the 18 Road area. We rode Zippity-Do-Da at night, and it is way more narrow than it is during the day. It may have been the most terrifying thing I've ever done on my bike. Also, there were of scorpions.
The next day, we went out to the Loma exit area to ride another trail called Moore Fun. It's really technical. All the time. And then it ends, and not all of it is ridable. Well maybe it is, but it's difficult. That's not to say it isn't fun though. It definitely is "Moore fun." That was a pun. And that was a rhyme. Then we rode Steve's Loop or Steve's Cutoff or whatever that one's called. Then we were just cruisin' back on Mary's Loop, and I was running low on water, but we decided to go do Horsethief Bench Loop anyway, which was awesome. There was this one couple on the trail that looked angry. The guy could ride everything, but the girl couldn't, and neither of them were being very personable when I tried to say hi while riding by. I can't really see that lasting too terribly long... At the end of the day, we went to the Lunch Loops and rode around there for a bit until it was so windy it was like riding on a sail instead of a bike, and then we got rained on.
The next day was a Monday, when I should've been in school, but fuck that. So we headed back out to 18 Road and rode a number of trails there. My legs were more or less toast, so I was whiny all day. That may have also been because I left my glasses in the hotel and couldn't see very well most of the day. Actually, all of the day. I was sad. That night, Bryce rolled into town and we had dinner with him and his family and my family and Cody's family.
On my last day, us three kids went over to the Lunch Loops again to ride The Ribbon, which is an absolutely fabulous trail. After wandering around on some granite for a good 20 minutes, we were more or less rolling up until the point where I decided that I was going to ride an obviously closed hiking trail instead of the normal route. 
Then we got lost for about 2 freakin hours because no one wanted to backtrack and we couldn't find the trail, so we were just wandering aimlessly around some slick rock stuff looking for anything that looked like a trail, and eventually we found a Karin. One of those little rock stack trail marker things. But we only found one, and there wasn't any trail near it. It was just hangin' there. Doing nothing. Just.... Being there and being rocks. 
So we just kinda passed that and meandered through the desert until we finally found another hiking trail that just happened to be inside the Colorado National Monument, where you're not allowed to ride your bike. Well, we didn't have a whole hell of a lot of choices, so we rode out. The guard lady at the kiosk thing was pretty suspicious since we didn't have park passes, so I told her we got lost. Then we were home free! That was basically the whole riding weekend, which consisted of about 15 hours of riding in a little over four days. Also during that time, I took some pictures of trees and such. No pictures of riding, sorry. I'm too lazy. Someday I probably will.
Anyway, here's they is!


He's headed for the edge!




Riiiiight

Monday, March 9, 2009

Track Happens

Last weekend, as with every weekend for the past two or so months, I got in my car and drove down to Boulder, CO to ride their indoor velodrome. If you don't know what it is, go to www.boulderindoorcycling.com now and see it. With your eyes. I woke up at 7:30 in the morning so we could be on our way at about 8ish to be in time for noon riding. It was a relatively uneventful three-hour slog to the Boulder from Steamboat, but it gave me a good chance to listen to Magellan by The Disco Biscuits, which is a song that is 33 minutes and 26 seconds long. It's good though, so it doesn't get boring halfway through, even though halfway through is still longer than most songs that aren't techno, and it's not techno. It's real music.
This is the velodrome.

Anyway, we got to Boulder around 11, so we went to Noodles & Co. For noodles. Obviously. Then after the noodles, we headed to velodrome for a couple hours of joyous velodrome riding! The first hour was by far the best, with a good group of people who knew what they were doing, so we could get a good paceline going that would slowly increase in speed until the one fastest and strongest person ripped everyone else's legs off with the pace they were inevitably keeping. Not to brag, but a lot of times it was me. Also, I set a new track record for people under the age of 19 at 8.141 seconds. I was excited. I texted a friend of mine in Boulder to deliver the good news, but she didn't seem to excited. I was sad.
The second hour was really not too terribly fun. All the skilled people but me left to go have lives and be social and stuff, and i was left with a couple douche-bags and an old Italian guy. The Italian guy was actually a pretty good rider, he just wasn't too terribly fast. His accent was awesome too. I'm not bashing on Italian people; they're pretty much cooler than Americans in every possible respect. One guy was probably morally against riding in a paceline or something because he just wouldn't. Ever. Then I decided to try to beat my previous record on the track, but I failed because my wind-up was interrupted by him and his annoying-ness and inability to vary from his line ever. EVER!! So I was unable to beat my record at that time.
After that, I got a smoothie.
Then at sevenish, I arrived back at the velodrome to do another hour of riding in the advanced class. I was the only one to show up. In fact, the coach didn't even show up. Instead, he emailed a list of things for me to do for an hour, and I did them. It wasn't too terribly fun since i was all alone.
After that semi-failed ride, I drove around for an hour and a half looking for some ice cream. Eventually I happened upon the Haggen-Dasz store. It was delicious. Then I drove back to my hotel and went to bed.
The next day was even better. After a breakfast at ihop, I went to the track to do another couple hours of riding. The first hour was similar to the second hour of the first day, in that it was unorganized and no one would paceline so it was pretty much useless, but I was somehow able to set yet another record for me on the track at 8.015 seconds! Don't believe me? Check it:
Yey! I'm fast!

I was excited, as you can understand. And rightly so, because I was now the second fastest person on the track!

One of these days, Kevin, I will beat you.

So that was all good and great, and then, since I'm just that cool, I went and rode with the women's advanced class. It's fun, and a workout sometimes! Plus, I have the pink gloves, so I fit in.
Later that day, around threeish, was my last riding session of the day, and it was just the advanced class. So I showed up and there were two old guys and the coach and me in the class. Stuff happened, and it was boring.
BUT THEN! We started to do this drill where we go and lap the field. I was doing it at full 110% pace and I came around a corner and there was someone in the sprinters lane. We'll call him Old Guy 1. There was also a guy up at the rail, and we'll call him Old Guy 2. So I figure I'll go right in between them and continue my effort to catch the main group, which was somewhere in front of them. So I powered up track, and was about to pass in between them when Old Guy 2 decided to drop down to the sprinters lane to get on the wheel of Old Guy 1. I was in between them at the time. So Old Guy 2 drops down right in front of me, forcing me down the track and onto the cote and the apron, which is not the place to be when you're going 35mph on tyres with zero traction. Then there was nowhere for me to go. I could see the accident coming, but with no brakes and no coasting, I didn't have any options. So probably for two whole seconds, I saw the crash coming while thinking something along the lines of "Jesus Balls" or "Holy Fuckin' Shit" or "This Is Going To Be Really Unpleasant."
The turn came, and since I had nowhere to go, my bike launched straight up the track. It was interrupted by the wheel of Old Guy 1, who wasn't really doing anything. I ran straight into it and my tyre popped loudly and washed out, which put me on the track on the inside of the corner. From there, it was weird. Since I was sliding, I could see the bikes of the other two go around me as I slid to a stop on the cement on my ass. I was not excited about the crash. I checked myself and decided that I actually WAS excited because I had no broken bones that I could find. That was pretty much the whole crash, and probably the most terrifying two seconds of my life. I mean, I could see what was going to happen, and there was absolutely nothing I could have done to avoid it at all. Nothing. At all. Really.
Anyway, nothing broken, and i had a flat tyre, so nothing really bad, but still. Scary Shit. That night (which would be last night) I took the most painful shower of my life. Even now, it hurts to type since i have track burns all over my right hand. The friction melted through my glove and into my skin.
So my list of things that hurt looks like this:
Right hand, Right foot, Left knee, Right knee, Right Thigh, Left Shoulder, Left Hip, Right Shoulder, Left Elbow, Head, and Right Nut. That's all I can think about right now. Here's some pictures of the damage:
Left Knee

Left Shoulder

Left Hip

Then I bandaged all that crap up and went home to take the most painful shower of my life. Moral of the story: Don't ride with old guys.

Lat5,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blog

Well, it appears that I now have a blog. This is it. I'm not too sure what to say here right now. I've never been that good at talking about myself because it always makes me fee like a douche. Well, this is my blog, aptly named "Safety Third." In the future, there will be updates from me and my life of cycling and skiing. But mostly cycling. Also, from time to time, I'll throw in some interesting tidbits, and maybe some past x-rays of various parts of me for some entertainment, and then give a quick story as to what all happened. Updates will be approximately "whenever I feel like it," which will probably be whenever interesting stuff happens, so don't hold your breath. In the mean time though, here's a picture of me riding! Enjoy!

Lat5,