Saturday, February 25, 2012

Street Cred 2012

Second place for the second year in a row. Three years ago I won this thing.

Street Cred is a great little alley cat stage race that started a number of years ago (2007?). It tests your ability to get around the city quickly and efficiently using tact and knowledge (luck). Next year I'll be gunning to win it again.

Actually, I am kind of surprised I pulled a second place finish out of my rear this year as I haven't been doing any riding other than commuting since January and for four months before that my butt didn't see a saddle. Points out how it isn't always about speed and fitness and that's the point.

This year saw the Peep eating returned (ugh), but saw a new player in the fantastic Cadbury Egg!! I love those things. Not so much in the middle of a crit, but still.

Levon did a suburb job of again organizing this race and securing sponsors (Tallgrass Brewing, Chrome, Volker Bicycles, and Velocity). Thanks to all the sponsors for the prizes and support.

It's great to get and race in February when everyone else is at home on the trainer.

Stay dirty!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


So, I think I am due for an update. In the interest of time and ease of reading I'll put my update in the form of pictures and captions. In this way, I can describe what I've been up to in this last year since it wasn't riding or racing.

So, here we go. Wow, after reading my last post a lot sure has happened.

First, my best friend and I went to Las Vegas for the Rock 'N Roll Marathon Dec. 2010

Walking to the parking lot of Mandalay Bay to get lined up.

I suppose I am ready for this!

I look and feel a bit confused. That was awesome and yeah, I felt it.

Not as much as this guy though...

Feeling good and doing the "Vegas" thing.

Finished school, finished clinicals (800 hours!), took boards and got licensed!

Oh, yeah this happened! That's my wonderful wife with our first child.

Me and our beautiful daughter, Holly Virginia.

So, as one can see life has been a little busy for me. This led to less riding and training than I would've liked and no racing. This year, however, I am committed to getting back at it. I am a little older, a little fatter, and a lot slower so I have some work to do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's heating up

Well, still no racing for me. The Gentleman's race got cancelled due to weather and I haven't had the time or the money to get away for any other races. That being said, however, I have stayed in the saddle the whole time. No real training though, but my base must be huge by now.

I quit the Emergency Room to work in the Cardiology Treatment and Recovery unit which was not only a pay raise, but day shifts. This works so much better with my class schedule as well as my racing schedule. Unless I work extra, I am off work by 9:30pm on Fridays which allows me to race weekends. It also gives me a consistent schedule to work with. Granted it is a very full schedule, but at least I can work with it.

So, that means that it is time to get focused on actual training instead of just maintaining a base fitness level. It also means that I get to watch what I eat a little better rather than just grabbing whatever I can. I have already taken off five pounds. I am also training for a marathon in December in Las Vegas. So I have to schedule runs with my rides. I have a plan for mileage each day with my runs and rides leading up to the race in December. We'll have to see how that works, though, as right now I have both my long runs and my long rides scheduled on the weekends.

The temps are really climbing. It's common to have heat indices of over 100 degrees most days. The race season is heating up too with the two biggest series' that Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee competes in coming up this weekend and the next with the Tour of KC and the Tour of Lawrence, respectively. I'll be racing in the Tour of KC, but not Lawrence. That's fourth of July weekend and I'll be at the lake!

I am looking forward to the Cliff Drive circuit race tomorrow. The Tour missed it last year because of construction and I heard that it is a really cool course. Then Sunday is the Power and Light Crit. This was a fun race last year with a course that suited me well. Steep and short climbs with sharp 90 degree turns, very cool. This will be my first whole year racing Cat 4 so I am not expecting too much especially since I haven't been doing any speed work this year. I figure that I'll just enjoy myself and get some more racing experience while using the races as a good hard workout.

The next races I have on my schedule are the Kansas State Games in Topeka in July and the Rapture in Misery 6/12 hour MTB race in August. I'd like to do more, but I am being realistic that with my schedule I might not be able to get anymore in.

That's it for now. Stay dirty my friends.


Monday, March 15, 2010

New Season

Well here we are. 2010 and a new season of racing. I didn't get any Cross racing in this last year as the funds didn't allow for a new bike, but that's ok. It seems to me that the cross season was a little hard on folks and some are feeling a little burnout when it comes to racing. Maybe that's just my perception, but anyway.

Until recently I have kept my rear on the saddle all winter which is good, but I have noticed my fitness falling off a little which is most likely due to a lack of riding at higher intensities. Most of the winter riding was just getting out and doing something and commuting. It was a long and wet winter. I don't/didn't mind the cold. That never really bothered me (until it got below zero), but the wet was just plain irritating; that is probably the best way I can put it. All that crap on the road, then on the bike and me. Washing the bike after every ride just to get it nasty again, uhggg. Yeah, irritating, without a doubt, irritating.

These last few weeks though my riding has been sporatic at best. I just started Paramedic school and that has really screwed with my schedule at work and life in general. My schedule wasn't really easy to fit riding in before and now it is even more so. I have been trying to find a rythmn with my schedule and how riding fits into that. I feel like I am getting there, but it is still a process. What really concerns me is how racing will fit into it. As it stands right now if we have races on Saturdays I am out. I work Friday nights and get off Saturdays at 7:30am. Sunday races are cool with me, but that may mean more mountain bike races and less road races. That's cool too though. I just wish I had the money to get my custom Curtlo hardtail ordered before this season, oh well.

I did race in the KC Street Cred series this year (I won that series two years ago), but that hardly counts as real racing. I got second this year and ended up winning a really cool PBR messenger bag from Chrome bags. Other than that my first race will be the MWI Gentlemen's Race coming up on the 20th of March. I guess it isn't even a "real" race seeing as how it isn't "sanctioned", but it is close enough for me. It's a team race in that your team's time on the clock doesn't stop until the last rider on your team crosses the line. Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee's team will be made up of myself, DanO, Britton, SteveV, Eric S., and Joe A. Joe, however, is healing from a knee injury so we'll have to go with one of our subs, but as of this writing I don't know who that'll be. I'm looking forward to this race a lot. Not only because it'll mark the beginning of the season for me, but mostly because I'm looking forward to racing with the team and working as a team. I've said it before as well as have others, but the real sense of team is probably the best thing about Colavita/Parisi.

Lastly, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this ad that I saw last month, as well as this month, in both Mountain Bike and Bicycling mags. Kinda pisses me off a little. I mean, I know it's an ad put out there by some agency that has no clue. Still, you slap IMBA's logo on the bottom and it seems like IMBA endorses this kind of trail usage. Yeah, I know, the name of my blog is Stay Dirty and one of my first posts has a pic of me covered head to toe in mud, but read the post and you'll understand that I don't condone nor enjoy that. What Subaru should have done was show the guy, the bike, and the car covered in dust and sweat rather than supper muddy trail destroying conditions. It just seems like it reinforces the 'ole "Mountain Dew" perception of mountain biking that we've been trying to get away from. Not to mention what a land manager might think after seeing this. *sigh*

That's all for now...Stay Dirty (just not muddy).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Tour of KC

This last Saturday and Sunday were the final Tour of KC races. The KCK Crit and the Overland Park Grand Prix respectively.

There seemed to be a general lack of enthusiasm for these races among the team, myself included. I'm not sure what it was with myself, but I think everyone else was looking forward to Cross season and treating these races as the last gasp of the road season. For me, however, these two races were only my 5th and 6th road races this season (ever actually). So, I can't really say I was "burnt out". Maybe I was drawing from the seeming apathy of my teammates or maybe the cancelling of the Cliff Drive Crit put a damper on the whole series.

Whatever the cause for my lack of enthusiasm I have thoroughly enjoyed the Tour of KC in general. It has been really cool to race in the downtown areas of some of the cities of the KC metro (Lee's Summit, KCMO, KCK and Overland Park) and promote those locations and businesses.

These two races were my first totally Cat 4 races after upgrading last month so I knew I'd have a bit of a learning curve. What was nice to find out though was that my fitness level was good enough to hold my own in both races, not good enough to win, but I felt adequately challenged by the field. The real issues were these:

I need to learn to get up front and stay up front, but not go out by myself. I expend too much energy in both the back of the pack and off the front. In the back there is much more sprinting then braking then sprinting and this wears on you. In the front, well, in the front you're doing all of the work. I have had both these issues this year.

Next I need to work on some speed work. I need to be able to sprint faster for longer. This will allow me to stay up front early on rather than try and make up distance and many times try and make up that gap by myself. This happened on Sunday. I spend 90% of the race essentially doing a time trial while trying to catch up to the lead group stuck in no-man's-land between the lead and the chase groups.

Finally, I need to put these two goals together with better mental work on the course. I know that I need to be in the front of the pack so that I can see what's going on and adjust accordingly, any splits in the pack that happen I need to be in the first group, I need to get to the front early and stay there and I need to have the sprinting ability to get there early and stay there. This also means more and better focus on warming up and getting my heart rate up just before the start of the race as well as getting a good position on the starting line. My first race and the only one I won I was on the line at the start rather than two or more rows back.

I didn't place in the money on either day. For some reason the results from Saturday don't have me listed at all. I finished somewhere around 16th I know, but I am not listed on the results. DanO was listed at 20th and I know I was in front of him at the finish. He went out and got the first prime which cooked him for the rest of the race. He ended up winning a sweat t-shirt for his effort, though!!! Sunday I finished 19th, by myself, in no-man's-land.

All-in-all, I had a good time if a little disappointing, but I have to remind myself that I am new to this road racing thing and I still have a lot to learn and a long way too go.

Cross season, here I come!

Stay Dirty!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunflower State Games Road Race

Wow, it sure is hard to catch back up with the pack when you're by yourself. I learned that the hard way on Sunday.

I was feeling really good before and during the race. I did the first breakaway with Rob from Team such and such. I raced with him at the Crit on Saturday as well as the Power and Light Crit where he came in third behind me. Rob just came up beside me and said, "Let's go." We went out at a pace that we weren't going to be able to hold, but that was fine. We were just looking to split the field a little and see who was out to race.

The course was a 16 mile loop. The first loop everything was going great. I felt good and the pace was one that I could hold all day if needed, while I was with the pack of course. It happened just after I had caught a solo breakaway. I moved back to the rear of the peloton to rest a little from the effort. I was making it a point not to spend to much time out front so that I didn't have a repeat of the day before. Just after moving to the back I heard something fall off my bike. I looked down in time to see that my second bottle cage (that I had just put on before I left for Topeka) had come partially off. The top bolt was gone. The cage then swung down and nearly got jammed in my crank. I spent about a minute trying to unscrew the other bolt with my fingers, but I finally had to just break it off. I spent the next 16 miles trying to catch back up to the group. I did a good job of bridging the distance, but I just didn't have quite enough to get all the way there. I did finish, but spent the rest of the race time-trialing. Below is a pic of me still trying to catch the peloton. This was the closest I had got and you can see the grimace on my face as I hammered the pedals, but to no avail. I even picked up a straggler, but dropped him about a mile later. Thanks to Lanterne Rouge for the pictures.

I think the cage bolts got loosened on the drive out to Topeka because they were tight when I left home. I had noticed that they were loose before the race, but I just tightened them with my fingers thinking it would be good enough. I should have just gone back to my car real quick and tightened them properly. Ah well.

Adam, Phil and I had some good after race grub at some cafe just down the road from Forbes Field. Nothing like a big greasy handmade burger after a hard race. Even though I didn't finish in the pack I felt much more whipped than I would have had I stayed with the group. Good workout even if the race didn't turn out well. Good times!

Stay Dirty.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunflower State Games Crit

Went to Forbes Field in Topeka on Saturday for the Sunflower State Games Crit. The course was super-flat at 1.5 miles. There was a 15 mph headwind on the final stretch coming out of the North. It was an awesome day for racing with temps at 80 degrees and I was feeling great.

I went by myself to the race. My wife, Karen, was working and no one from the team was racing this weekend so I had little pressure to really go out and get a win. This was also my first race as a Cat 4 so I wanted to just go out and see what it would be like.

The race started and the pace for the first two laps was painfully slow. We'd just be leisurely riding along, hit a corner, sprint like mad out of the corner and then immediately slow to a crawl before the next corner. This was nothing like the Cat 5's at the Tour of KC. Those were fairly fast, seemingly, at the get go and we dropped a bunch of people as the race wore on. Today there wasn't any of that. The issue was that nobody wanted to do the pacing. No one would stay out front and take their turn.

After two laps of this crap, I got tired of sitting 10th wheel and decided to spend a little time out front seeing if we could get the speed up. When I went out front the pace did pick up and everyone was obviously feeling good as they hung onto my wheel and we went around the course. Me, not wanting to over work myself so early in the race, decided one lap pacing the pack was enough for now and I'd let someone else have a go. Share the work you know? Nothing doing. I'd pull off and wait for the next guy to take my spot, but no one would go. I wasn't about to be the dofus out front the entire race using all his energy just to hit the wall and get killed at the line. So I slowed way down and fell to the back of the peloton when someone finally HAD to take some time at the front.

This went on for the entire race. I was either doing all of the work at the front or I was sitting 15th wheel or so. I'd have to say I probably did 80% of the work this race. That may be a little over-estimate, but it sure didn't feel that way. In fact, everyone I talked to at the end of the race said the same thing. "Gee, you sure did a lot of the work there today." Gee, big guy, it was sure nice being on your wheel." Really?

No one went for a serious break and when someone did make a seeming attempt I went with them in hope of getting two or three of us out front, but once I caught them they just shut it down. I knew I wasn't fast or fit enough to hold a breakaway myself, I needed at least one other to come with me. Again, no one was wanting to put in any equal amount of effort today.

Well, that's how the race ended. The entire group, save for a few stragglers, hit the last corner all together and as usual I was first wheel which is not at all where I wanted to be. I was straight into the headwind and at the line five guys used my slipstream to slingshot around me to give me a sixth place finish. Sure wasn't a good finish for all the work I did.

All in all is was a good race. Low turnout though, but I had fun. I just wish that if people aren't going to step up and do some of their share of the work that I had the fitness and speed to just go away and stay away. Road Race on Sunday. Should be just as flat. 46 miles.

Stay Dirty.