Moving Sale!

Things are moving quickly around here — fast enough to incur an orthogonal mullet vector, to say the least — and I want to make sure to keep everyone in the loop.

In case you haven’t heard, I’ve recently moved my entire blogging enterprise to a new domain: http://counterattackingreality.com

I like to think of it as the blogging equivalent of moving from the Garmin-Chipotle development team to the real Garmin ProTour team. Let’s just hope I don’t choke like Tom Danielson.

Anyway, the point of this post is to invite those of you who subscribe to this drivel via email to head to the new URL and resubscribe using the buttons on the right-hand side of the page; there will no longer be updates from the wordpress.com-hosted site.

Again… http://counterattackingreality.com

If you’re also subscribed via RSS feed (IE, Google Reader, etc.), it might be a good idea to resubscribe as well — I’m not nearly PRO enough at “the internet” to know if my site redirection attempts will apply to those feeds.

While you’re resubscribing…tell your friends about the blog! Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

Rand

Nevada City Classic: 2 Laps Down and $60 Richer

Before I get going, here’s a kind of cool photograph taken from my balcony this evening.

While “malicious fog consuming an urban environment” makes for a good picture, it makes for awful cycling. I left my office this evening for a short, hilly ride up Twin Peaks (the name of the hill in the preceding picture, though both twins are enveloped in fog), wearing nothing but bibs and a short-sleeve jersey due to the 80 degree weather. In true San Francisco style, I was attacked by that Evil Fog Monster mid-ride and proceeded to contract hypothermia.

Cycling in San Francisco is like petting a cat. It purrs and snuggles and makes you happy for a few minutes…and then it bats at your face with a clawed paw when you least expect it. Bad kitty! Bad!

Now, hopefully by now the negative feelings toward me and my blog have subsided following last Sunday’s unfulfilled attempt at live blogging the Pescadero RR. I find it remarkable how disgruntled you people can become when something unavoidable like poor cell phone service interrupts my lighthearted attempts to do some cool blogging. I’m not the effing New York Times, people, I’m one dude with a course marshal’s flag in one hand and a data-connection-less smart phone in the other.

Actually, once I realized I had no cell service, I used the phone (and flag) for some epic air-guitar photoshoots, so the day wasn’t a total loss.

Nevertheless, in spite of the overwhelmingly aggressive response to my live-blog failure, I think the endeavor showed promise, and it was a lot of fun while it lasted; I think I’ll try again sometime.

On the bright side, the whole experience brought me closer to my Pro Cycling Idol and .pro blogging idol, Paul Mach (Bissell). You see, I waited in line for several hours at Nevada City so that I might get Paul’s autograph. When I finally got the chance to speak to “The Sock” in person — as he’s know amongst his fan base — he joined me in bemoaning the blogging lifestyle.

“Yeah, man, I know what you mean,” he said in an undeniably wise, .pro tone of voice, “once you set any expectations at all, then don’t meet them, people freak out! I always tell them, ‘Uh, I have a life, I can’t blog all the time.’”

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Mach has “a life,” but he is supposed to be training and compression-tight-wearing all day long, so he has a valid point.

I suppose that’s about as good a segue into the topic of the 2011 Nevada City Classic as I can manage, so let’s get to it.

My warm up for this historical, highly-revered, hilly-as-balls race through the quaint downtown of Nevada City consisted of watching the W/1/2/3 race while I rolled around in circles near the top of the course.


(From Tom Embree’s Facebook Album)

Katerina Nash (Luna Bar) got all crazy-like and won the race solo, as I expected. I was pretty psyched to see local ladies Emily Kachorek (Primal Wear) and Susannah Breen (Fremont Bank) give Nash a run for her money, but it was also kind of fun to watch a good old fashioned smack-down in the closing laps of the event. Nice ride, Katerina!

Fast forward: my race was hard.

I knew it was going to be hard, because I had heard through the grapevine that Nate English (Polka Dot Jersey Pro Cycling*) was planning to twist the proverbial motorcycle throttle from the gun “in order to show the Pros what’s up.” That’s a direct quote from a barely-reliable source, so do with it what you will.

And twist the proverbial throttle, he did. He was joined in the throttling by riders like Kirk Carlsen (Garmin), Mach the Sock, and Ian Boswell (Trek-Livestrong), among others. To make a long story short, the race was as hard or harder than I expected. Here’s some photographic evidence.

(From MyI2U’s Flickr Account)

At first, that picture doesn’t look so bad; in fact, it’s a pretty good exhibition of my equipment sponsors’ wares. However, some scientific analysis indicates that the race was wickedly fast.

That’s definitely the most horizontal mullet-vector** I’ve seen this year, and it’s on an ascent. No wonder I’m nearly catatonic.

As a consequence of the horizontal mullet-vector, I finished in 19th place, two laps down on the leader, after spending most of the day with Andy Goessling (Firefighters Cycling). Sure, 19th place sounds pretty bad, but when you consider that even the 7th place rider was a lap down, I think it puts everything in perspective. Hell, I made $60 by being lapped twice — how’s THAT for some perspective?

Anyway, congratulations to Boswell for winning the event for the second consecutive year, to Evan Huffman (Cal Giant) for placing 2nd after some ballsy solo attacks, and to Nate English (Polka Dot Pro) for placing 3rd.

Just to spite me, both Maxim Jenkins (Team Censored to Protect Rider from UCI) and Evan Huffman began scarfing down Horneresque quantities of ice cream on Sunday.

(Right-hand picture courtesy of Huffman’s Mom)

Now I don’t even have an excuse for being slow. Thanks, guys. Now I’m eating carrot sticks and rice cakes so I don’t get dropped at Burlingame next weekend. See everyone there, I hope!

* Seriously, though, Nate, why are you wearing your Everest Challenge polka dot jersey in crits…or anywhere, for that matter?

That jersey is ridiculous — and that’s coming from a guy who’s better known nowadays as “Big Pink.” The only man ever to make polka dots stylish was Richard Virenque, but I don’t know why anyone would want to emulate that syringe-cushion.

**The assumption is that “mullet-vector horizontality” is proportional to airspeed, that wind was negligible during the event, and that I don’t purposely gel my mullet horizontally so that I look like I’m going faster than I am. These are all assumptions, not facts.

Pescadero Live Blog Fail

Well…that was a massive failure. I can’t wait to hear about my terrible blog skills from all you hecklers.

As it turned out, my course marshaling location was devoid of any signal, rendering my fancy phone useless.

To make things worse, no one stopped to chat with me on the way back to their cars, so I’ve been without human contact for hours. After talking to myself (and Big Pink) for a few hours, it’s no surprise no one stopped – I realize now that I talk too much and too loudly.

Anyway, I’m sure many of you are angry that I forced you to sit there hitting refresh on your browsers, so I apologize. Maybe next year I’ll get it right…

And no, I don’t know who won.

Like I said…Fail.

Pescadero Live Blog #3

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Well…there’s currently a break of six(ish) riders up the road in the P/1/2/3 race. Cal Giant has Jesse Moore and Sam Pickman in the move along with Keith Hillier (Marc Pro – Strava) and Brian Buchholz (Webcor) and a couple other guys I isn’t recognize including a Yahoo? rider.

I don’t know what kind of amateury field lets Moore get into a move and gives him 4 minutes, cause that’s dangerous. I asked Moore how he was feeling and he just gave me a death stare.

Clearly Pickman is in the move for comedic relief; he’ll probably crash himself out on the climb and parts will start falling off his bike and all the spectators will laugh. Brian Buchholz is about as good a climber as…me…so…good call on putting him in the move, Webcor.

The second picture on this post depicts Nate English (Yahoo?)
soft pedaling and still dropping guys in the feed zone. Or maybe he was attacking in the feed zone because he’s just realized that Moore us going to win the race by 5 minutes. I can’t imagine anyone being so callous as to attack in the feed zone…

Stastny has not been dropped yet…next lap for sure. He just turned 21 today, so it’s been rumored that his Cytomax is spiked with vodka. Happy Birthday Staz.

Pescadero Live Blog #2

Well…watching lower category riders get dropped in the feed zone is kind of depressing, but I overheard a few Cat 4 guys discussing their love of beer AS THEY WERE BEING DROPPED. Awesome!

P/1/2/3 should be through soon on their second lap…let’s see if Chris Stastny (Cal Giant) has been dropped yet. Bets?

Pescadero Live Blog #1

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Well, after getting a slightly later start than I intended, I am here at the feed zone of the Pescadero RR.

My heart rate is actually sky high at the moment, a function of the stiff Relegate coffee, the wickedly fun winding drive over 84 to get here, and the volume of Girl Talk I was listening to on said drive.

As soon as a group comes through, I’ll start making fun of people…

I Will Be Live-Blogging From Pescadero Tomorrow: Tune In!

Being a blogger is hard*. It’s not always fun and games and posing in Ed Hardy hats with your shirt unbuttoned.

Just last night, I approached my good friend Joe on Gchat. “Hey, what’s up man?” I asked. A few seconds later, he responded, “Ah, just sitting here refreshing my Google Reader feed to see if you’ve updated your blog. Wait…nope, you’re still slacking.”

After the wave of guilt associated with letting people down had subsided, I decided to refresh my own Google Reader feed, whereupon I found the most recent NorCalCyclingNews entry in which the quality of my posts was impugned.

OK, Joe’s right, I haven’t been blogging three times per day like NCCN’s “Hellyer”, but I don’t think the quality of my material has diminished that much. I mean, I’ve been taking photographs DURING bike races and posting them online, and I most recently made fun of Pat Briggs**! That must be worth something.

However, in order to try and regain some of the blogging clout I didn’t even know I had lost, I intend to live-blog from tomorrow morning’s Pescadero Road Race.

The classic Pescadero RR course is being used for the District Championships tomorrow, so it’s sure to provide some fireworks. Not one for loud noises, I’ve decided to sit the race out, choosing to volunteer as a course marshal instead.

Please tune in tomorrow morning; provided that I can find even the slightest hint of a data connection, I’ll be posting photographs and text updates from the race. Those of you who read regularly can probably extrapolate that “updates” means “mockery and hecklings.” I also may bring my friend, Big Pink, and he may chase riders up the finishing climb.

Hope to see you tomorrow! For the record, I’ve also been asked to interview riders from the P/1/2 and W/1/2/3 races for an article of sorts. Riders: if you see me at the race, please come and talk to me so I can get an idea of how the races unfolded.

*It’s way harder than following Paul “The Sock” Mach’s attacks at Nevada City. Incidentally, Mach does both, which is why he has a .PRO address.

**Unlike some local Masters/P/1/2 racers, Pat has a very good sense of humor and he also has mastered the art of “the internet.” In response to my previous post, in which I maligned his overconfident attitude, Briggs has begun undermining my already-meager credibility via Facebook.

I don’t have the time (nor the wit) to respond appropriately, but I can say that this internet feud is likely to continue for some time. Judging by the comments on Pat’s posts, I think that’s exactly what people are hoping for…