Friday, April 23, 2010

Go Time - for real

Well folks, it's race day (save for about an hour). What an awesome girls race today, Alpha Gamma Delta put out an AWESOME performance and got 2nd place overall in what came down to a sprint finish. And to think, we're paired with these girls!! In the words of Chuck, "I'm inspired."

Moving on to tomorrow...we had our team dinner tonight at Olive Garden. Before I go any further, Jim Hurley, YOU ARE THE MAN. Jim is one of our alums and the reality board president. He has been more supportive of our bike team than absolutely anyone else. This guy goes above and beyond to ensure that everything related to the team, our budget, and well being of the guys is taken care of. Big shout out to you, if we do well tomorrow, it's for all the hard work you put in, along with all the other active alums and current brothers. We really couldn't do anything without all of your support!

I was going to write some kind of a motivational speech, but then I realized...I'm not here to motivate the readers of this blog. So instead, here are a couple YouTube videos that inspire me whenever I watch them:

The first is a promo that Versus TV network was running during last years Tour de France. Awesome stuff, and the speech is even better. It's the year of the underdogs.

Good stuff, right?

Next, is video of the final lap of the women's race that happened today. I took it on my digital camera (read camera, not camcorder) so the qualities not great. You can see Mindi Balchan sprinting down the final stretch though, so that's all that matters!

Remember that Chuck Taylor has his 60's alumni race tomorrow morning at 8 am, and the start of the 60th men's Little 500 will be at 2 pm. Let's get this done. I finish with a quote from Lance Armstrong:

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

Get ready to be in the pain cave tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Final track practice

Well folks, there goes another track season. It's hard to remember that we were hitting the track back in March, wearing our full winter gear as it was an absolutely gorgeous day in Bloomington. The classes are empty, the bars are full, and everyone is ready for the 60th running of the Little 500. Billy and I were at the track today, and hit our exchanges hard. Chuck was there as usual spreading his bs all over the place for everyone to see. Now is the time to really start focusing on the task at hand: 200 laps. The weather forecast keeps changing (I mean seriously, how can you predict there's a 60 to 70% chance of rain accurately?) I say, bring the rain on. They're not going to cancel the race, and I'm sure the rain will come in short and intense bouts. The track has been bone-dry this past week, it can really use as much moisture as possible. The guys plan on riding both tomorrow and Friday (prior to the girls race) to keep our legs fresh and ready, and because we have no reason to taper. Argue as much as you want, but our team has no reason to do so, plain and simple. Sure, back off a little on the intervals, but hit those damn hills as hard as you possibly can, and then some.

Anyways, here are a couple pictures stolen from Facebook from team pursuit...

(Shields was the dyngus that couldn't coordinate kits with me and Kev. Seriously, give your laundry to your girlfriend to do it and quit bitching about how bad it smells)

Next up is a picture from yesterday...not only were the riders practicing starting the race, but Chuck was practicing using his brand new white-board for race day...

(Who needs race radios when you can cause a peloton-shattering wreck in the 2nd race lap trying to read the chicken-scratch that CT writes on there...)

Seriously though, he writes some pretty funny things on there. Maybe HDNet will give us a shout out and show a funny quote he comes up with on race day.

The race is in 2 days, eat your Wheaties, put on your lucky underwear and do work!

This is off topic, but I found this old Camel ad from the 1930s and thought it was hilarious. Maybe instead of riding we should be smoking? (joke of course)...

(Photo courtesy of, thanks for the laugh)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Team Pursuit Recap

Another spring series event in the books. Once again, a disappointing finish. Our strategy from the start was to take the first few laps at a slightly less than grueling pace in order to save our legs for the latter of the 15 laps. After posting a pretty poor first lap (51-52 seconds), we really started putting the hammer down. Shields made a couple mistakes which in the end cost us a few extra seconds, and the lack of any (strong or not strong) fourth rider contributed to our 23rd place finish. We are a completely different team than we were over spring break. During spring break, we all looked like (dare I say) a dark-horse in this years deep Little 500 field. After the quals debacle, most of the team took a brief leave of absence mentally from the focus and dedication that is required to compete in this race. That small lapse of faith has been taxing on the entire team, and as school started consuming precious track hours, the team time we have put in the saddle has dwindled.

We have 5 days until the race, and 3 days until the track is closed. In this very short amount of time, we need to get back the "team" spirit we had coming out of spring break. We are not out of the race by a long shot, and assuming we can put in a solid level laps and stay safe, we might be able to shake off the teams that we know we are capable of beating. While the rest of the campus is drunk and clueless, we need to polish up our act and really put all of our efforts and focus into race day prep. I am sure we are out of contention by the opinions of the "experts" but I'm not going to give up. I plan to prove them wrong and say "whoa, where'd THEY come from?" We have worked too long and too hard to post another embarrassing performance. We've got 200 laps to prove ourselves, and we plan to go like hell.

Again, thanks for all the support we've gotten, it is without this support than any lesser team would have given up by now. Hang tight and hang on, this is going to be a long and rough ride.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Team Pursuit Info

Sorry that I'm updating this so late...

Our team pursuit time is at 9:30 PM tomorrow (Saturday) evening and we share the track with Acacia. No telling how we are going to do in this 15-lap team time trial. We did a lot of work with this during spring break, but with 5 riders, instead of the 3 that we will have tomorrow (Jake, Jake, and Kevin). Come out and support us, we'll be going like hell this or the other way.

Also, since our Little 500 "pair" is Alpha Gamma Delta, it would be good to get as many guys to their team pursuit which takes place at 6:18 in the evening. Let's not forget to support both bike teams, as we have been putting in a lot of time and effort into this. I will (hopefully) have some pictures of our run up tomorrow night.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Quick Update

I know I said I wouldn't update this thing till Friday...but I couldn't help it.

Me and Shields before the practice race

We had a practice race today (50 laps). It was me and Shields battling the field. Shields was caught up in the first wreck, but he's golden, except for re-opening his arm wound. No big deal. Bigger news...our race jerseys came in today!

They look awesome, and we're lucky to have gotten this color scheme after 23 other teams selected their own jerseys. Also, I dropped by the house after I watched the practice girls race to drop off the new jerseys. The guys were fratting on the lawn as usual, but came over to me to talk...thanks for all the support, we need every bit of it. We'll try to pull off a race-day upset, and it'll be all that much easier if we've a huge Theta Chi section, full of loud guys that are feeling good. Race day in t-minus 10 days, GET READY!

Ok, back to being a college kid, study time!

Jake-over (Jake takes over, get it?)

Sorry for the lame title but my brain is a little spent (classes are done for the day).

Newkirk is a great guy and all, but his blogging was a little sub-par as of late. I have been pestering him to add me as a "guest" blogger for a couple weeks, and finally he took care of it. Now, to the important matters...

Our race team is finalized (in no particular order): Jake T., Jake S., Kevin, and Billy.

Quals: we had one of the earliest slots possible, and were the first ones at the track warming up. Itai took the track with all the confidence in the world and started his fly lap. His quals lap was fine, but on his exchange to Billy, he got off the bike a little awkwardly and caused the bike to hit the inside of his left knee. We scratched that attempt and had Itai cleaned up. We took the track for our 2nd attempt about 15 minutes later, and this time Itai took a very conservative approach to his exchange to Billy, and it proved to be successful, albeit slow. The other 3 riders (Billy, Kevin, and Jake S.) did their laps and completed safe exchanges. The final result of the day was us qualifying 24th. This is not the result we were expecting, and we were all a little shocked and disappointed. After thinking about it long and hard, we realized that we are not a "quals" team. During spring break, we rode laps in a pack. We simply prepared for race day and nothing more. 24th puts us on the outside of row 8, so hopefully we will be able to put the hammer down (it's hammer time), catch up with the main pack, and avoid any stupid beginning-of-the-race wrecks.

ITTs: Once again, we consider ourselves a "race day team" and didn't really practice. Sure, we did hot laps and few-lap hard-effort sets, but starting from a dead stop, tucking in to an aero position to combat the 25 mph wind gusts (no joke), and sprinting on a loose track were not part of our agenda. We all did the best we could, and our results showed our lack of total preparation.

Miss N Out: I lasted a few laps of my first heat, but took the inside lane, and got eliminated after a guy next to me took the outside and outsprinted me. Billy was the only other participant, and he didn't advance at all either. Shields and Kevin did not participate. Shields had some exam and Kevin was a sick boy (strep or some BS).

We have exactly 5 more days on the track (closed next Thursday to prep for the girls race). We had an excellent practice yesterday with all 4 guys, riding in the pack and trying to get as many as we can before breaking out and coming in to our pit. We have been blessed with beautiful weather (minus the pollen) and our "riders tans" are coming in nicely. Until race day, we plan on hitting the track hard when we can, and trying to get any pack riding jitters out of the way (mainly me, it's a result of wrecking twice in a week). We have team pursuit on Saturday, I will post more details about it on Friday.

"Success is 1% preparation and 99% perspiration"