Sunday, December 24, 2006

more Moscow pics

Jet lag is a perennial problem as Kori displays here by coming to breakfast with her shirt inside-out.
Colby gives some post-race instruction after the Women's points race.
Red square - the Kremlin outer wall w/ tower on the left and a museum(?) in the center right.
These Russian security forces were EVERYWHERE at Red Square. The first day we went to Red Square, it was closed due to protests. We saw this horse brigade a few minutes later. Those poor protesters....
Sima, Kori, Gina (a Canuck), and Colby pose in front of St. Basil's Cathedral (or CandyLand as Colby calls it)
Ya know that Colorado blizzard you've been hearing about? A photo of my poor Corolla on Thurs. Would Teddy and his TUSB training method ride in this??? What about the TUSB indoor trainer riding? I have to change my chamois every 60-90 min. because it's like sitting in a saturated diaper. Pleasant, eh?

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I'm back safe and sound from Moskva - no radiation poisoning, no fatal run-ins with the mafia, and no malnourishment from lack of food. They had plenty of food in the country, however most of it was not to we Yanks' liking. That's never been a problem for me though...The only obvious downside of the trip at this moment is the fact that I'm posting this entry at 4:00a due to sleeping woes.
Overall, I had a very good trip. I was happy with my race, I got a good dose of culture while there, and I definitely enjoyed watching the high-level of racing and sightseeing.
I was psyched about my 13+s p.r. in the race but I also realize that I had a lot going for me this time around. I had about 6 weeks of specific training in prep, I had a PERFECT bike setup (I wouldn't change a thing), and I was on one of the fastest tracks in the world. It might prove difficult to improve on this time in the near future but the desire to beat teammate Rich England's 4:28 best is a good motivator! :)
Next up for me is the LA World Cup on Jan. 19-21. I will be doing just the IP again and then again the week after in the US selection trials for the track World Championships. Then it's on to road season! That didn't take long did it? If I were to win the WC trials and we qualified a spot for the pursuit, the Track World Championships are at the end of March in Spain this year.
I'm sorry I've been intentionally mum about the upcoming road season. There are a lot of exciting news and additions with the team that I will share soon. For now, here are pics of the hotel we stayed in. I'll post more pics later when this server isn't being a pain in my b-side:
the Hotel Ukraine where we stayed for the week - beautiful architecture.

the Hotel Ukraine at night. You can't see it well but it has a big red soviet star at the top of the tower.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Red Dawn approaching

Just got back from LA and being all trackified. We got a good week of work in and I'm feeling more prepared to take on Moscow. For those of you who may be wondering - the bike is stellar on the oval. I leave for Moscow in a few days so any words of wisdom about the culture or traveling to that part of the world would be appreciated! I know many of you are experiencing full on winter doldrums right now but we experienced a few beauteous days in LA (minus the smog and traffic of course).
Here is a view from Palos Verdes - there are some decent hills in these parts.
I took a spin along Redondo Beach and got passed by one person all day - this dude! This is the same bike that won the 4-man team comp. at RAAM a few years back. Kinda cool.
This is what some people do in December (play volleyball or watch women in bikinis play volleyball - either one is fun).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

purty bike

Anyone want to see a beautiful piece of engineering and craftsmanship? Putting this work of art on 2 dimensions doesn't do it justice but it's the best I can do unless you set up an appointment for me to bring it to your living room.
Do you have any idea what this means? It means that no matter how fast (or slow) I go in Moscow, there will be one certainty: I'm gonna look gooooooood. And as slippery as this thing looks to the wind, I'm guessing that it will help nudge me a little further to the "fast" side.
I owe a great deal of thanks to Mark and Glen for making this frame go from Italy to my doorstep in less than 3 weeks. Plus, if all goes well, I will be riding prototype 180 SRAM track cranks and the lastest Easton has in aerobar technology. Oh yeah, and a wicked fast Bell aero helmet. Sheesh. No excuses, eh? That's the way I like it. These guys came through HUGE for me. I feel a little uncomfortable about all this hustle bustle on my account, but I don't think they'll fire me if I don't podium....will they??? If so, I guess I've always got pizza delivery to fall back on. That's comforting.
I head to LA on Tuesday for a week of much needed time of going in circles. I think I will be spending a little less time in the donut shops this time around. I'm actually looking forward to hanging out with some of the cyclists whom I met at the first track camp. I'm finding out that pro cyclists aren't all bad. We're just a little "disconnected" from reality for the most part. As long as I don't start spending my free time sitting in coffee shops browsing cycling forums with my laptop while polishing off my 4th "specialty coffee" - there's still hope for me.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 13, 2006


So, now that I'm delivering pies again, I tend to spend a lot of time staring at the bumper in front of me. And being Boulder, there is no shortage of opinionated bumper stickers. Democrats and bumper stickers go hand in hand don't they? Anyway, I want to know what the funniest bumper sticker or vanity license plate that you've ever seen is. Thinking back, my favorite vanity plate has to be "msanthrp" which I took to mean "I really don't like you people". I was laughing to myself the rest of the night trying to deliver pizzas when I saw that one a couple of years ago. Recently, I just saw a hispanic driver in a big truck with the license plate "miburro". I thought that one was pretty good too. One bumper sticker that I get a kick out of is "visualize whirled peas". Another one, though political was still witty, was "Bush/Cheney for 1984" during the 2004 election campaign. Sooooo, I'd like to hear some more good ones if you can think of any.

Cycling news: not much new with me. Just training and working for the most part. Though I am going through one of those streaks where I have some sort of mechanical every other time I ride. Kind of annoying but can be fun to play the "what will it be this time?" game. From the rumor mill: This week the U.S. National team sent out a few riders to Japan to represent the U.S. for the Tour de Okinawa - a one-day 200k race. USAC footed the bill for all the expenses (travelling, food, etc.) aaannnndddd the men missed their start for the race. Big whoops.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

isn't Halloween over?

I had a blast watching the cyclocross races this past weekend. As Joe pointed out during one of the races, "it sure is fun being a spectator and not a racer". I don't want to get tooo used to it though. Cyclocross is a great mix of skills, fitness, and toughness. I'm determined to try it next year if I actually get a bike - but I've been using that line for 2 years now. Here are some of my "costumes" from the past week:
supporting Ben and Andy Jacques-Maynes at the races. Ben was 7th and Andy 9th in Saturday's race vs. the best in the country. photo courtesy of D-Mac.
I'll be dressing up like this quite a bit in the next few weeks. A glimpse into the glamorous lifestyle of a pro cyclist. Eat it Dave Towle! (no pun intended)

some race photos:
Megan (in the middle) battling up the hill during Sunday's race. Nice backdrop, eh?

Ben doing his thang ahead of Geoff Kabush in Saturday's race.

Colby MF Pearce mounting his steed

the "who's who" startline from left: Todd Wells (defending National Champ), Chris Horner (in red), Ryan Trebon (series leader, also he's 6'6"), Andy J-M, Tim Johnson, and Ben J-M.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Scary Spectacles

Took part in a less traditional form of Halloween celebration last night. Had a nice run through the Pearl Street Mall donning nothing but a pumpkin while there were hundreds of people still out and about. I'm trying to incorporate more cross training in my program this year. You may not realize this, but pumpkins really tire your neck out when trying to run with one on your head. I just can't shake the WXC from my blood.
This is a momentus weekend in the Denver/Boulder area. First off, the Nuggets have their home opener on Fri. night against the Timberwolves. I'm going to see them start their glorious championship year first hand. Also, Longmont and Boulder are hosting the Crank Bros Cyclocross Series this Sat. and Sun. Ben Jacques Maynes (2007 teammate) and all the other cyclocross stars will be coming to town this weekend for some top level racing. Bring your cowbells and drinks of choice for a festive and exciting afternoon!
Local updates: Betts' Boulder High cross country teams finished 13th and 16th at the state meet this past weekend while Kenny and Sara's Salida team finished 22nd in their first appearance (ever?). Both have young teams and are getting better every year. Also, Logan finished 10th and 11th at the Collegiate DII Mtn Bike Nationals in short track and cross country while Scott Stewart finished 4th at the DI Nationals for cross country. Very cool.
Logan at Collegiate Nationals equiped with pink cast

Here, Knife (pronounced cuh-niff) sports his getup for the festivities.

Monday, October 23, 2006

3 tomatoes are walking...

a momma tomato, a daddy tomato and a little child tomato. The child tomato keeps lagging behind...
What's the punchline of this joke and what movie is this from??? Today's trivia of good movies that you should know every line from.

I've been having trouble posting pics on this site and that is the reason for delay, but I'm tired of messing with it so let's get up to speed: I did a little vacationing on my way back from LA and was going to post some photos to prove it but that has been a futile attempt thus far. After finding a 2nd and 3rd wind on my drive from LA (4 large afternoon/evening coffees will tend to do that) I got about an hour from the CO border before retiring for the night at 4a in Utah. Before I go on, I have to say that driving through Vegas at night is quite spectacular. I'm not much of a Vegas fan - in fact, one might say that I despise the filthy place - but driving through the city at night after 3+ plus hours of desert driving is something everyone should experience. You'll get sensory overload after being deprived of anything stimulating for hours beforehand. I was like a little kid doing double takes and doing lots of ooohhs and aaahhs while driving (possibly a little swerving, too).
So, after finding a place to throw my sleeping bag in Utah, I slept in till 7:30a because as you can guess, it's rather hard to sleep in the desert after the sun comes up when you have absolutely no shade. Then it was on to Gunnison, CO to visit former SG milita teammate Logan. After a brief 3 hour coffee stop in Grand Junction talking with an amusing compulsive liar and waiting for Logan to call me back, I busted it to Gunni and was reunited with Logan. Logan is currently attending Western State (ala Old School) and is competing on the collegiate mtn. bike team. More about Logan shortly. Next, I visited Kenny, Sara, and Eli in beautifully quaint Salida, CO. They're coaching the hs and middle school xc teams there and are doing a great job of building those programs. I came to practice one day and attempted to give a motivational speech but may have been more effective when later I pulled the line "if you run this interval hard, I'll show you all my freakish sternum". I think they ran hard cause who doesn't like a good freak show now and then? Highlights of that visit included some very intense and dramatic ping pong games on the new table at the church that Kenny is a pastor of. Here is the one sad lonely pic I was able to post.
Sunset from Logan's place - also the highest point in Gunni. And, if you'd like to see one spectacular and highly effective way to break a bone in your hand, you should check out this blog, scroll down to the Oct. 7th entry and click on the first video. Logan is the last racer. Disclaimer: I don't know this blogger so watch out for inappropriate material when searching for this video. It's worth the risk though. He was sporting a pink cast at the mtn bike race that Carri and I cheered at the next weekend in Golden. A broken hand isn't going to slow down Logan!

So, since this is supposed to be a cycling blog - I should update everyone on my latest cycling news (as Uncle Don strongly urged in the comments). Because I was able to hit the talent pool time standard in the mass start test at Track Nationals, I will be going to the World Cup track race in Moscow in mid Dec. to race a pursuit. For those of you that don't know - a pursuit is a 4k time trial on the velodrome that should take me about 4:40. So yes, I will be traveling halfway across the globe to race less than 5 minutes. That works out to roughly 19.6 miles travelled for every second that I race. It should be a fun trip, but I'm a little apprehensive about how much faster World Cup track gurus are than me. It's very possible that I will get caught during the race and forever humiliated (1/2 lap takes about 8 seconds). But, I just found out that teammate Richard England will be in Moscow too so that'll be really cool. I'll be able to use him for advice, tips, or a shoulder to cry on. Anyway, that's why I'm going to be doing intervals today (in October!) on the indoor trainer because it is snowing outside right now. It was a nice offseason while it lasted.
Time to get fast again! or to start the long, painful process of not being slow. thanks for reading, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

is it a sign?

this was the view from our deck yesterday. Yesterday was to be my much anticipated return to the bike after 10 days off. I leave it to you fatalists to decide.

I know many of you are worried about me being un-mulleted and not having a proper haircut for the 2007 season. Worry not, I have a committee researching feverishly on what style will maximize performance while still making the ladies faint where they stand. While the results are nowhere near conclusive just yet, initial reports indicate that one of these may be in order.

Monday, October 16, 2006

end-o-year trip, pt. 1

Here is the first half account of the 3 week trip that the Corolla and I soloed:
Day 1 - drove to Fischer Towers area NE of Moab and found a place to "camp" (consisted of throwing sleeping bag down and sleeping) just before dusk. Highlights: crystal clear night, stared at the stars and enjoyed the meteors and bats flying in front of my face.
Day 2 - drove to Vegas and met Mark and Glen at about 7p. Highlights: Sinclair party which included half-naked caged dancers, yummy hors deveurves, a sweet view from the roof of the Rio Casino, and The Cippolini (he's hot).
Day 3-4 - Interbike. Highlights: free coffee, cool bike gear, free coffee.
Day 5 - Drove to Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jim's. Highlights: saying goodbye to Mark and Glen (I have my limits).
Day 6-7 - Hangin w/ the fam. Highlights: home cooked meals and generally being spoiled
Day 8-15 - Track Nats in LA. Highlights: donut shops and not crashing like these poor chaps
Drive-by shooting in Utah. Have I mentioned that I love Utah?
LA is all about the donut shops. This was Zwiza's favorite. It had coffee, donuts, gambling, and a little buddha shrine in one corner complete with food offerings.
Oh yeah, there was racing too. This is Scott off the front of the scratch race.
The vast Pacific - Redondo Beach. The only day I ventured outside the route from the hotel to the velodrome all week. The water was nice. I had fun fighting a few waves but they won out in the end.

This concludes pt. 1 of the trip.

Friday, October 13, 2006

it was time

updates on the latest trip soon to follow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

not just yet...

The season is drawing to a close but it's not yet time to hang up the chamois (I feel like I've been saying this for the past 2 months). We finished off the road season well with Teddy getting the "W" out in New Hampshire in front of the home crowd; Eddy, Tommy, and Jake going 1-2-4 at the Tour de Lelanua; and Omer and I scoring another NRC victory and almost landing a podium GC finish at Parker. A nice end to a fun and exciting season. But, instead of shoving my bike in the closet for 3 weeks, eating junk at an alarming rate and enjoying a season-in-review reflection - I've decided to prolong this season by competing in Track Nationals out in L.A. at the indoor velodrome. Not so much because I'm fast on the track, but because I had a lot of fun this past week at the OTC in Colo Springs and I would like to give the track some time and effort for improvement. I'm sure it'll be fun. I mean, doesn't riding around curves at 55km/hr at a 45 degree angle sound fun to you? On my way out to L.A., the Corolla and I will be stopping at Interbike to see what all this bike-nerd-orgy-fest-hoopla is about. I also plan to do a little car camping in Utah out in the middle of nowhere at some point and visit some of my friends living deep in the mountains of CO on my way back. My goal: to return home with a memory card full of stimulating and awe-inspiring pics that I will somehow figure out how to post on this site. Or at least get one of little Eli Wilcox climbing a tree. You gotta have goals if you want to succeed in this world. Take care, ya'll. Here are some pics of the Parker crit courtesy of our awesome Parker host, Becky:
scootin around in circles with Blake and Scotty
One on a curve with Brad Huff, newly crowned crit national champ, in the foreground. See those scrapes on his leg? Yeah, I more or less caused him to crash earlier in the race because as he says, I used my "estrogen bars" (brakes). funny dude.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

George who?

Well, I guess they're ProTour riders for a reason. Even without their teams the big boyz were able to walk away from the Championship weekend with 2 jerseys and 4 top 3 finishes. I wasn't too pleased with the results of either race for us as a team but I was happy with the effort that we gave. My 7th place in the TT was a personal disappointment but as my good buddy Betts pointed out, "you probably would have finished 5th if you didn't have that mullet flapping in the wind". He, of course, didn't factor in the pcychological advantages that are inherent with a haircut of this caliber. In the road race our leader for the day, iamtedking, flatted in an especially difficult part of the race and ended up using his big effort just catching back to main field. That meant that halfway into the race, I was suddenly annointed as team leader, despite having chased down breaks and sitting on the front for a good chunk of the first 2 hours of the race. I didn't exactly set myself up for a good finish after not drinking or eating near enough early. But, you have to roll with the punches and I had a chance at cracking the top 15 but wasn't able to slip away from the bunch when the attacks were flying. I think I finished 11th of 15 in the bunch sprint and subsequently my phone has been ringing off the hook with ProTour teams looking to replace their aging sprinters. Sorry fellas, I'd like to keep racing in the U.S. Here is a pic taken during the RR. My camera is having some problems so that's why the pics have been in short supply of late. The pic has been rated PG-13 due to the inordinate amount of sternum showing. My apologies to the parents of young children.
Last weekend was the Univest Grand Prix in PA. Another cool, hard race that ended up being a death march. Teddy bounced back from his bad luck the week before to rip a 6th place finish and win the Best Young Rider jersey. Fantastico! The crit the next day was a little more low key but hard nonetheless. Synapsis: we missed the break, we chased like mad, they stayed away, we did well in the bunch kick. After the race, we had a our last meal together as a team at none other than Micky D's. It was quite emotional. I'd like to share my post race meal with you:
double cheeseburger - 460 Cal - 55% sat. fat - 47% sodium
McChicken - 370 Cal - 17% sat. fat - 34% sodium
sm. fries - 250 Cal - 13% sat. fat - 6% sodium
large choc. shake - 1160 Cal - 82% sat. fat - 21% sodium HOLY COW!!!
3 cookies - 480 Cal - 33% sat. fat - 12% sodium
Totals: 2720 Cal - 200% sat. fat - 120% sodium
all for under $8 I might add. Impressed? For reference, I probably burned about 1800 Calories in the race earlier that day. I'll bet Hincapie can't eat like that. Okay, enough bragging/confession. I have the Parker Omnium this weekend, which is the only NRC event in Colorado. It'll be interesting to see who out there still feels like racing. After that is a week long national track camp in Colo Springs where I will be trying my hand at the velodrome. It'll be a fun time (until I try to freewheel or brake and go crashing into the concrete). Ciao.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Rockin Rockford

The Rockford crit went well for us with placings 1-5, 7, and 10. For the 2nd year in a row, we beat up on (the other) local pro Kirk O'Bee and took turns attacking him until he dropped out. We're ruthless. Sheedy won in a crowd-pleasing fashion by crashing on the final straight about 3/4 through the race and then coming back to win solo. He's all about putting on a good show even at the expense of some skin. Today, Bob had me break a record in this Monday night TT Series that they hold in Ada May-August every year. Bob wanted it broken bad because a dude from a rival club team set it a few years ago and there were rumors that he turned around early on the out-and-back course. Again, we're ruthless. So now we head to S. Carolina tomorrow and spend a couple of days checking out the courses before going to work Fri. and Sun. And yes, I'm still excited. Very, very excited.

Rockford podium. We'd be happy with filling just 1 of the podium spots in the next 2 races. See? We're not greedy.

Tommy and I sportin the fresh mohowks for the final round of racing. Pulling out ALL the stops!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bring it on!

Here we go with the last month of racing and I can't speak for my teammates but I'm excited! Excited that many of us are riding well right now, excited that "my" event is finally here, excited that we have the opportunity to put an exclamation point on this season, and also excited that some R&R is on the horizon. I leave shortly to get on a plane to make a race for the last time this year. Okay, send us good juju if you get a chance.

Discrimination is dispiccable. This was at a Utah burrito joint and in case you can't read it, this kid's shirt reads "Friends don't let friends have mullets". A brawl nearly broke out shortly after this pic was taken. Photo courtesy of the multi-talented Belgian Tim. Okay, gotta go catch a bus. Laters.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Final Push

We're getting into that last part of the season now when I can't stop thinking about how glorious the off-season will be, but I still have the biggest races of the season coming up in the USPROs. Talk about conflict. Just have to stay focussed for a few more weeks...but MAN, 8 months of straight racing can take a toll on a guy. Okay, enough whining. At least I wasn't racing ProTour riders in Feb. Hehehe.
Utah didn't go quite as planned. I wasn't climbing very well and the other guys really struggled with the altitude. I had fun spending time with the guys though, so it wasn't all bad. Next, we have the Rockford, MI crit - which is 1 of 2 races that Priority Health, Advantage Benefits, and Bissell sponsor each year (which basically means that we have to win!). That race is on Aug. 26th and then we travel down to S. Carolina for the USPRO TT on Fri. Sep. 1 and the RR on Sun. This is the first year that it is US only so we won't be able to utilize the skills of Richie, Tommy, and Glen for those. But, Eddie is rumored to be making his comeback there so it will be great to have him in the road race and hang out with him again. Talk about morale boost! After USPROs, I have the Atlanta 100k, Univest, and then the Parker Omnium to finish things off. My life is pretty hectic right now, so don't expect any frequent or creative posts. I'm surprised that there are any readers left - as boring as these posts have been of late! Anyway, I hope to be back to my old self soon and I appreciate everyone who continues to keep up-to-date on our happenings.

Attention all masochists: for a good time, try O2 intervals! This is Frank and I prepping for TT Nats. I'm officially a spoiled athlete.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

me gustan burritos!

Tonight's agenda: repeat "I'm a climber" over and over until I believe it. We're in the midst of racing the Tour of Utah and I'm reminded why this is my favorite state in the union. It is so beautiful here and this isn't even my favorite part of the state. The views are magnificent and the upcoming climbs are stellar (and scary hard). Jake, Brian, Glen, and I are joined by Omer and Dan Timmerman and supported by Benno and Tim, who is helping as an invaluable soignier. We've had some quality time together in the close quarters of the team van (around 25 hours from Michigan) and no fist fights worth mentioning to this point. The racing has been very difficult due to a combination of a hella-strong field, massive crosswinds, 95-105 degree weather, and altitude to top it off. My favorite kind of racing usually, but poor positioning has cost me valuable energy in both road races thus far. Monday's road race was highlighted by hurricane force winds for about 20 mins. while a front passed through the area. It made for some interesting racing: I was kept busy dodging tree branches and other debris blowing across the road while being equally attentive to the 130lb "climber types" who were also blowing all over the place. Kinda funny and scary at the same time. Late in the race, 2 dudes tangled right in front of me and I had no where to go but straight over the top of them, somersaulting over my bars and rolling on the pavement (Mary Lou Retton would have been proud, I'm sure). To my amazement, I was fine and tried to get straight back on my bike but my bike had taken the brunt of the impact. After a few futile attempts to get my bike operational again, I pretty much blew my top and had what is best described as a "tantrum". Pretty funny stuff, really - I don't really remember much of it but I think it involved a lot of cursing and even jumping up and down! I wish someone would have gotten that on tape. I'll have to work on that...Ben was able to get me on the spare bike after a bit and Glen and Dan helped me pace back onto the field at the expense of their own races. Overall bummer but could have been worse. Day 2 involved more insane crosswinds and poor positioning caused me to miss some initial splits and I (and Brian and Glen) had to use way too much energy for me to catch back on. Do I learn? Don't answer that - it was rhetorical. On the bright side, Omer must have set some kind of record by going back to get something like 50 bottles from the caravan during the race. He needs to be in the domestique Olympics or something. Unfortunately, Dan had to pull the plug after getting some food poisoning and thus having little energy and Glen was having problems controlling his bodily functions during the race on Mon. (he's getting old - this is to be expected). The time trial today went a little better for us as we finished 3rd on the day in team gc and are now 4th overall. I had a pretty decent run, though not too exciting. My uncle David and cousin Amanda came to watch which was really cool and the only bummer was that I had the fastest time for about 20 min. and we had to sit there and wait as guys kept slipping by me and ended up ousting me from the podium.
Okay, that's enough babbling. Big hilltop finish tomorrow = gc shakeup. Be sure to check it out...ya know, if you care.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

No Soup for You!

My body isn't happy with me right now. I pulled the plug after completing 2 of 3 laps in today's race. All systems were beginning to shut down just like 80 miles into the race yesterday. I've had a sore throat with occasional cough since Mon. evening, but the kicker was the constant achiness and lack of energy. Time to shut it down and let the recovery begin. The King brothers are both still sitting good on GC so that will be the focus for the rest of the race. I will now turn into soigneur extradinaire and help out where I can - but I don't do massages, so don't ask.
Hey - for all of you Priority Health Faithfuls, there will be a friends and family team gear order going through if you would like to get your hands on some sweet team goodies. We have bibs, jerseys, t-shirts (3 colors), fleeces, hooded sweatshirts, ball caps, polo shirts, 3 season jackets, knit beanies, gear bags and even foldup chairs all for sale if you so desire. Prices aren't stellar but they're not too steep so send me an email or a comment if you're interested. The order is supposed to go in Sun. night so you'll have to act fast (sounds like a shady car dealership). Sorry that the online store has taken so long but this just goes to show you that constant complaining really does get results.
I forgot my camera on this trip but I'll try to borrow one so I can get some hot race action photos in the next few days.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Eddy w/ a side of Toona

Hi All,
a lot of you have asked me how Eddy is doing and I thought I'd just post the email that he sent us last week (with his permission) for you all to see for yourself:
hey boys,

dang, you guys have been rockin', way to tear it up! that sweet article, Brentmaster general - holy sweet ride, Zirbel, you've come SO far, i mean attacking the biggest names in US cycling and winning - Tommy ALMOST getting the win - i love it:) i appreciate the back and forth emails and phone chats, it's been great keeping in touch w/ several of you lately.

i thought a little overall update would be helpful... Carlee and the kiddies are doing wonderful, lots of time together as a family these past few weeks. We've had more time with friends and my family coming to town in 3 different incredments than I can remember. our business is coming along nicely, i've had more time to market, advertise and devleop a t-shirt line, which is due to come out this fall.

the pelvis healed quite quickly for normal day to day stuff, whereas getting on the bike has been a bit slower. i guess i had grand visions of returning quickly since it healed so quickly for every day walking around. i had some nasty times, a bit of depression i think, not too bad but not being active for 3-4 weeks was tough. it's not like just taking time off and then hopping back on. i don't say that as a pity party, just for those of you who may get injured in the future... i've been told it is a physiological response when athletes are so used to getting that endophin and adrenalin rush. i know that's true, but it sucked nonetheless:)

i got my longest ride in this weekend - a whopping 2 hrs. i pushed it a bit too much, and had to take sunday off b/c my back was tweaked a little.

well, thanks for the extra motivation of doing well and things coming together as a team. I don't know when I'll be back to racing with you guys, as Frank and I are taking it a day at a time. i look forward to supporting you guys when I do get back.

rest well before Toona, for those of you doing it, and have a blast!

Eddy Hilger
Priority Health Pro Cycling Team
VP Hilger Higher Learning

As far as Toona, things are going alright so far. We all stayed upright in the technical TT course which was good. And the showdown between Sheeds and I to be known as the team "Prologue Specialist" went to....Teddy King actually. Nice ride, dude! Yesterday was a hectic bunch finish which I wanted no part in but Teddy, Glen, Tommy, and Robbie did a good job of finding position and setting up Robbie for a good finish. Today will be the first real GC mixup with 2 big climbs in the middle of a 95 mile death march during the hottest part of the day. Wish I could say that I'm ready to unleash, but the truth is that I'm feeling pretty sick and I'm not sure how my body is going to react to the effort. Either way, our team is deep enough and strong enough that we should have at least 2 guys in the front group. Should be interesting...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


These last 2 weeks have been quite the blur. A lot of good times, memories and results but hectic and busy nonetheless. Two weekends ago we headed to Clear Lake for the BBB festival and had an awesome time. Did a lot of autographs, interviews, and other silliness but had time to enjoy time with friends and family and fellowship with other riders, too. The race ended up well but was a little stressful at times! Even though there were only 25 or so guys on the start line, every one of them wanted to take it to me and so followed my every move as long as they could. I had 2 allies in the race who helped me bring back a solo break close enough where I could bridge without too much effort and then 3 of us rotated through the last 20 miles before I attacked to come in solo about 2 miles from the finish. Thanks for your help, Lee! Even though victory was not assured until the last part, I knew that my legs were coming around and would be feeling good for Cascade. So, after the race Kira and I flew back to Boulder and then I jumped in a car Mon. morning with Scott and headed to Bend, OR for one of the most scenic and challenging stage races the country has to offer. During the first stage, my legs felt incredibly good and so it was mucho frustrating when I reverted to my old ways and filtered to the back of the pack just before the decisive left turn into the crosswinds. The peloton quickly shattered after the big teams worked together to drill it at the front and form an efficient echelon. I was caught back in the third group with about a 40-60s separating each group. I was able to bridge to the second group at about 5k to go and then tried to recover before the steep 1.2k climb to finish the stage. I finished over 2 minutes back and just like that a podium gc finish was likely out of reach. So, our focus changed to stage wins. From that point on, Glen along with Omer, Jonny, and Ian worked flawlessly to help me reach the decisive points in the stages in good position as fresh as possible. It all worked perfectly on Stage 2 as I was dropped off in the front group on the final climb and was able to attack solo with 1500m to go for the win. My missing the front group the day before helped me get a gap before the heavy hitters chased. That was just enough to hold on for the victory. It is the biggest win of my career and I was so thrilled that it was a total team effort to achieve the result. There are great photos on the Cascade website that do a good job of documenting the guys on the front of the race drilling it to whittle down the field and catch the break. The picture of me crossing the line was good except for that I did not feel like I had time to zip my jersey (so un-pro) and the way that the sun is hitting my helmet makes it look like I have my tongue hanging out. I have been catching a hard time about that one! The rest of the race went well with a good result in the TT and a bunch sprint win in the circuit race. The only disappointment being dropped on the final climb of stage 3. Mr. Nydam showed his mettle with a gutsy breakaway on the final day to snatch the KOM jersey and sneak by me in the gc. I will get you next time you sneaky rat! So, overall, a very thrilling and successful race. Plus, our host family (Robert and Terri)lived in the most beautiful home in all of Bend with stellar views of the Cascades from the deck. They were big-time cycling fans as well. Nice job with the hookup, Omer. After the race, Scott and I hopped into the Toyota once and again made the trek back to Boulder - braving the 90+ heat without ac was almost as tough as sticking with the best climbers in the country in the Cascades. So now it's Toona time where I will be reunited with the full squad (minus Brent whose in Europe and Eddy who is still getting back into things after his crash). It should be a fun, hard race. I'm excited to be lining up with my team again. Thank you for all the congratulatory calls, emails, texts, and blog comments. They all mean a lot. Sorry for the novel, but that was an eventful 2 weeks!
Taking a moment to stretch during a hectic autograph session in CL (I'm the one in the middle, not on the right)

Russ Rayburn of Lakeside Cyclery making my bike race ready for the big hometown race (after 9pm on Fri. night, by the way)

Enjoying some BBQ with the fam at the Clear Lake festival post-race.

An Oregon sunset from the deck of our host family's house

Thursday, July 06, 2006


So, when Tour de Nez was all said and done, 3 top 5 finishes including a stage win, top 10s in every race, and 3 in the top 20 overall. A good outing for Priority Health, I'd say. Letting the country know that we're just getting started (dramatics), the boys at Fitchburg got our 2nd NRC stage win of the year, held the leader's jersey for a day, again placed top 10 in every stage, and had a 5th and 6th in the overall. Great job, fellas! Next, Brent will vie for 2 U23 National Championships in the road race (with help from Frodo, Birdman, and Stewie) and the TT on Mon. and Wed. of next week. Kick some espoir tail, Brent!

Well, after having my first weekend off of racing since mid-April you would think I would be feeling as fresh as daisies, but that just hasn't been the case. Between recovering from that Tour de Nez crash, having a bout of food poisoning, traveling to a family reunion, and attempting to fix my bikes - it seems like I've been missing out on the recharge aspect of being home. Ah well, I'm starting to get my bearings (and my apetite) again just in time to fly back to the homeland of Clear Lake, IA for a hometown bike race. The promoter of the race Tim Putnam raised enough money for me to fly back for the weekend to race and help promote the sport in the area. It should turn out to be a fun trip with many activities packed into a short amount of time. The festival can be found here. A big thanks to Tim for making it possible for me to take part in the festivities. And Kira will be coming with me to meet some more family and friends - yippee! After the Sun. race, it's quick fly back to Boulder, so I can jump in a car with Scott and head to Oregon for Cascade starting on Wed. I'll be racing with Glen, along with 3 guys from Team Axley whom we met at Tour de Nez. It'll be a fun, hard race. And it's the only NRC race that I did last year - so that'll give me an upper hand, right?
For those of you who think Sheeds is a nice guy, look at this picture. This is the face of someone who will rip your legs off at every opportunity and put you into the curb at a moment's notice. (pic pirated from

Allstar sponsor Lance of Sinclair Imports (far left) who provide us with our beautiful steeds, treating us like ProTour riders at Nez. Yeah, that's a stretch limo. Reno in the background.

This was the extent of my training last weekend at the family reunion. Pretty intense stuff. I should be prepared for the next round of racing.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Rollercoaster ride, anyone?

Ah, the joys of bike racing. I had about 8 hours today to bask in the joy of our first NRC win this year before I found myself dazed, tangled with my bike on the ground, missing over a square foot of skin. Shit. I feel like a manic depressive. I had a rear blowout mid turn. But let's focus on the positives: I got to wear a leader's jersey in an NRC race for about 25 min. or so. Anyway, I'm planning on starting tomorrow. I should be lighter considering all the skin I donated to the pavement tonight so the climbs should go well.
In other news: my girlfriend can now legally buy an alcoholic beverage. Suck it, Betts! Happy Birthday, Kiks. I wish I were there.

pop quiz: Today's crash makes how many total in 2006 for me? so far, anyway :)
Bonus points if you can name the races.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not Infiniment Bon...but good.

Okay, okay - a little behind on the updates, but (no readily available internet access) + (no surplus energy for anything other than lifting a feeding utensil to my mouth) = (no blogging updates). Some good racing has transpired since Lancaster. Philly went well with everyone on the team making it at least 2/3 through the race (which is an accomplishment in itself) and Glen and Brent making the final selection. Glen (always the crowd pleaser), made me cheer ballistically with 2 solo attacks off the front in the final 3 circuits of the race. Pretty exciting stuff. The atmosphere was so incredible at Philly with something like 200,000 people along the course. Unfortunately, Brent continued his crashing streak when he got tangled up in the last 200m, but Glen finished in the top 20 in the most prestigious one day race in North America.
2 hours later, we hopped in the van and headed for the border. We pulled into St. Georges, Quebec on Tues. afternoon and it didn't take me long to realize that the Tour de Beauce was going to be the biggest, hardest, and most professionally run race that I've ever competed in. Everything was tip top: the venues, media coverage, officiating, competition, and most importantly the meals. We ate like King Bros. all week.
Stage 1 started off pretty rough for the team because everyone was smashed after Philly except me, and I just happened to have all the shit happen to me on that first day. In the last half of the race, I had 2 flats and then had a loose crank arm that forced me to get off my bike and have it tightened 3 different times. Faulty bolt or something. Bad luck combined with bad timing. Anyway, my GC hopes were over so the focus shifted to helping Teddy and Brent in GC and getting stage results, if possible.
Stage 2 was the hardest of the race for me because Glen and I got in a break of 18 riders early on and tried to hold out as long as possible. Glen was still feeling crummy and so he did all the work for me so that I could sit on as much as possible and hopefully take it to the line. It wasn't to be though, as I got popped on the last KOM with like 20 miles to go in the race. There were 7 of us at that time, and the remaining 6 dudes finished with a 2 min. gap on the field. Bummer.
During the TT, I was allowed to give it my all and I managed a fair result which I was content with. However, I realized that those first 3 GC riders are in a different league right now and I have a ways to go to be at that level.
Stage 3, 5, and 6 were basically the same for me: try to keep Brent out of trouble and into the climbs in as good position as possible so he can keep that red jersey (which signifies the best under age 23 rider) on his back. I don't know if I actually did much good for Brent, but I know it helped me to ride in good position for the race and work as a unit with my teammates. It was a great experience for me in that regard. And it was inspiring to see Brent gut out some good performances in those first 3 days while having terrible legs. It took a lot of toughness and grit. Teddy and Brian rode very well, too. Those dudes are both getting stronger every week so it should be fun to see how Fitchburg and beyond goes. The team support was absolutely phenomenal at Beauce. We had a sougnier for the first time all season in Jo, which was fantastic. Plus, she made us feel important because all the other teams were constantly asking about her, taking pictures with her, or giving her flowers :) In addition, Mark, Ben, and Kate were there to take care of us as well. It takes a lot of motivated and organized people to keep a team running smoothly at a race as big as Beauce and they pulled it off without a hitch.
All in all, we had a shaky start but finished well with several top 10 stage placings and we came home with a jersey in the 3rd biggest stage race in North America. It's hard to be disappointed with that.
Right now I'm in Reno, NV getting ready to partake in the Tour de Nez omnium starting Thursday. I'm excited and am expecting my legs to be fully recovered from the 20+ hours of racing last week. Jake, Robbie, Tommy, and Glen will be joining me for the racing fun. And now, muchas picturas:
Brian coming up Lemon Hill in Philly - notice the crowd and this wasn't anywhere near the finish
This was the finishing straight at Philly when the final 32 riders were coming through (containing Glen and Brent)
There were a lot of beautifully ornate churches in Quebec and nice weather too - this was at the start of stage 2 (with Easton wheels showing for crafty product placement)
Glen improving team morale with chamois cream before stage 2
le Brent Bookwalta - Priority Health...ADVANTAGE BENEFITS!!! (must be said in deep voiced, loud, French accent)
this was Ben's ultimo pack job fitting 2 bikes in one bike box - keep in mind that these are my Sasquatch frames, not one of my wee teammate's.
This week's "poor me" picture: 22 hours of traveling yesterday with over 9 hours of it with exactly this much space. Next time you wish you were taller, instead wonder what it feels like to have your knees disappear into the back of the dude's chair in front of you on a plane. Message to the kids: don't drink your milk, drink coffee instead. Who wants to be 6'5" anyway?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rough Week

Wow. I'm sorry that I complained about how poorly Captech went for us because now I realize how bad things can get. At least at Captech we all stayed upright and left with our bodies still intact. At the CSC Invite, we weren't so fortunate. Worst for the team was the loss of Eddy from the racing scene for a few weeks at the least. Eddy went down hard midway through the race and broke his pelvis. His spirits were good that night (considering how much pain he was in) and knowing Eddy, he will do everything in his power to be back on his bike riding in less than the 6 weeks that the doctor predicted. Our other ER visitor that day was Richie who suffered a gash on his chin from a crash with 6 laps or so to go in the race. Richie ended up with 14 stitches but was otherwise feeling okay and decided to sit out Lancaster for a couple more days to heal and recoup. Crash #3 came courtesy of Brent Meister General who was killing it in a 3 man break when something caused him to slide out on a corner. Brent hit his knee hard and got some scrapes on his face and wasn't able to continue either. A rough day indeed for the Priority Health squad. Robbie continued his dazzling form with an 11th place finish and Teddy gutted out a 23rd place after covering a ton of moves early in the race.
So, by default, I was on the Lancaster roster and raced a good 2-3 minutes before I got caught up in a crash and landed hard on my toosh. Bummer for me, as the pace was so high that I wasn't able to catch back on and my race was over after 2 laps of time trialing in vain. Robbie, Brent, Teddy, and Tommy all finished with Robbie in the lead group and Brent 1 min. back after suffering a slight mechanical on the last lap. Another super hard race from the start to the end where finishing is an accomplishment in itself. Reading is on Thursday and probably won't be any easier so it's time to put these races behind us and suck it up. No excuses, we can race better than this.
Enough of this - it's picture time!
Cool one of Brent on a corner while in the break at CSC

Teddy working hard in the early going at CSC
Robbie getting a feed from Ben during Lancaster
Team ride in Amish Country
Intercourse, PA (no joke) where we're staying this week. These Amish carrying buggies zip by every 5 minutes or so. Kinda cool.
The team is sporting new Ergomo powermeters (lower right), but they just don't compare to Glen's ultralight super power meter that includes everything that we have plus Seinfeld episodes, a mobile phone and more! (upper left)

Here is an article in the Richmond newspaper after CapTech - needs no explanation.