The 2012 Kit

The 2012 Kit

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Camelback Advertisement...

You are driving along a narrow, two lane road with a "NO PASSING FOR 2 MILES" sign posted. Approaching a slow-moving bicycle rider, do you,

A: Follow the rider at 13 mph for two miles, or

B: Break the law and pass this sucker?

Answer Below

Answer: Why take unnecessary risks and get a ticket?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tim Johnson won something once...

I've been totally drained for the last couple of days. Tomorrow morning Tim and I will pick up a ride at 9am and ride around Lake Casitas. Sheesh, here's a shot from back in the day. Can I get a year on this photo? Feel free to attack the comment box. I think it's gotten less action than Bill Clinton has in the last 10 years.

Tribute to Tim and the amateur days. They were memorable and all of that.

Before I forget: those following the TT1 issue equipment, these are the Shimano R310 team shoes I'm wrestling with to get the perfect fit. As I mentioned before, I've been on the Time shoes and pedals for 3 years now.

Voila, Unedited 1st Ed. + 2nd Ed.

I don't know if I made the deadline of posting this by the end of Sunday night's NASCAR race, but if I could guess who won, I'd say Jeff Gordon. Here he is spicing things up on the track after one of his many race wins.
There's no doubt that Jeff Gordon is extremely successful, evidenced by his attractive trophy wife, always proudly standing by, but would you say that he is a successful athlete? What IS sport? What IS athleticism? Does being totally strung out on caffeine and adrenaline, peeing into a cup, and driving for 5 hrs make you an athlete? What does one need to do to be considered a real live athlete, that's what I've been wondering. I've always come to the conclusion that athleticism requires a combination of endurance, skill and mental flow, something cycling can provide. So, when curling is displayed on the television as an Olympic sport, something turns inside me, wondering, "how long will it take until cyclocross makes it?"

But for now, I'm on the road, and we'll see the Road Olympics on the 'tube in 2012. At camp, I got one team kit (size small) from Biemme because the rest were held up at customs coming from Italy. I have to say it's a slick look. Here's me in my hotel room after the photo shoot. Fabio Calabria, my teammate and roommate during camp was kind enough to use his handy iPhone to take the photo. I'm waiting for my XS kits come. My guess is that they'll arrive just in time for the San Dimas Stage Race, my first team race.

I had a brief meeting with Team Directors Vassili Davidenko, Michael Carter and CEO Phil Southerland discussing some of my goals and early season race schedule. I'm on the team roster for the San Dimas Stage Race and the Redlands Cycling Classic, two great spring races in Southern California. I'm really pushing to get into the Tour of Battenkill (UCI 1.2) in Cambridge, NY on April 18th, but it's an A-team race. I might not get first dibs since I'm the new guy, but keep your fingers crossed! I enjoy racing on the East Coast. In fact, I miss it so much, that I'm looking forward to returning early in April so that I can mix it up on my home territory and get to the races I like best. The Battenkill promoters are actually hosting a Pro/Am race on the 10th of April, the weekend before that I'd like to do as a prelude to the following week.

*A recent update from one of my favorite young riders at UVM, Matthew Buckley warns me that the UCI Battenkill race is in jeopardy!

The Team Camp was great. The camaraderie is fantastic and I feel that I fit well into the personality of the team. The mood of a 10 man amateur team where only 6 are regulars is a lot different than a 17 man professional squad. One can only imagine what it is like trying to feel comfortable enough around each of 17 teammates to spend weeks on end together jammed in foreign hotel rooms, luckily, it didn't take much work. The guys on the team are fun and ambitious for the season. Martijn Verschoor (Ned) got the first victory of the season at a local race in Atlanta last Saturday. Congratulations to Martijn.

Thinking about posting during camp, I jotted some notes down (dated) that I'll include here:

10:30 PM - 2.15.10
"I know many of you are on the edge of your seats chewing your fingernails off awaiting this next piece. I have only a few minutes before I have to get out on the bike to tell you a bit what it's been like, so in a few words, follow along...
I arrived in ATL at about 7pm and I was taken to a Marriott Evergreen Conference Center where there was a lot of food, but a little less riding. The first day was devoted entirely to public relations and media training for our sponsors Sonafi Aventis who make insulins Lantus and Apidra for those out there suffering from Diabetes. The meetings ended an hour early, but only the lucky few who begged Alex Banyay, one of our mechanics for their bikes (he was busy trying to build some of them) got to go for a 1 hr spin. For me, I chose a 1.5hr brisk stroll in the woods around a lake, and yes I was sore afterwards. On day 2 we got to ride and I pulled a strong 4 hrs only to be coaxed to the warmth of Marriott hospitality because of the blizzard that began with about 45 min to go. I didn't bring shoecovers, so I relied heavily on my cyclocross cajones to carry me through the raw and unusually inclement weather. The next day was even worse for riding, though. The plowing around here isn't extensive enough to cover many roads so it involved dodging patches of ice, and drinking some good road spray. I called it a day when my toes froze after an hour. Oh, I forgot to mention that we were riding on a 4 mile rolling loop, so I'd already gotten dizzy from riding it dozens of times. After the festivities of meeting the Triathlon team, the RAAM team, the new addition of Team Type 2, the Elite and Development teams, the Pro guys and gals took off to Gainesville for some better bonding and more riding. I got my feet checked and orthotic prints made. My cleats were moved back about an inch. It made me feel like a helpless 10 year old trying to ride for 4 hrs next to Lance. My legs are shot from the new position, but that's what happens, I guess. Today I'm going back to my old shoes and pedals for a 5.5hr ride. I'm missing the beautiful summer climate of California."

Team Type 1 put more "k's" in than we expected, though, and I was able to test some fitness while riding with my new, more experienced teammates. Lyne has helped get me off to a very solid start so far this year (I almost won the KOM at camp, but my attack came meters too late). I have room to grow and a modest but fresh outlook on the season, which will be challenging, but not overwhelming. This morning, in fact, Lyne and I had a brief breakfast rendezvous (yes francais out of respect pour La Quebecoise) to discuss the season's progression and goals for the next 5 weeks (some of which I mentioned above). In preparation for San Dimas and Redlands, I get to choose a couple of races in the weeks prior in order to get my feel for the peleton back! After Redlands, I want to get down to the most serious of all of this business by training on my own stomping grounds back east.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I just got back from Team Type 1 Camp. I'm regrouping.

There will be a post tomorrow. It will be ready before the NASCAR race Sunday evening, but if you must wait until work Monday, by all means, read it then.

If you want to complain, send your emails to, my editor.

If you want a snack, you should get a Raw Revolution nutrition bar and enjoy it. They're my new big thing.

If you want to see new, Dragon-related photos, scroll down. Any photos forwarded to me might be lucky enough to get posted online. Try me.

I'm going to post something nice for everyone to read. It'll be ready before the NASCAR race this Sunday evening, but if you must wait until work Monday, by all means, read it then.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Team Camp Continued

The Things You Expected:

Steve's response to the quiz on my future:

stay until april 1
get a car back here. you can get a very good car for $3k...
not something cool but a very good car
dont say the word marriage until yr 30 and making 90k a year at least
dont talk on the phone so much
thats my story.

If you don't know The Pooch, this pretty much sums it up, except there are too many full sentences and there isn't a post script unintroduced as "post script" after his famed signature. Right Pooch?
To the right is a photo of all the Cinnamons that Isaac could find. Here they're prepping in the studio and signing up on the bulletin board for whatever games Isaac wanted to play with them.

Ok, on to my fitness. I'm going ok right now. I'm definitely going better than I was last winter while I was in the hospital, but I'm not quite in great race shape. I bet I could hold my own in a road race, though. My base is there, and my strong cross season is definitely contributing to steady training now. I am able to put in longer miles this year and handle a larger training load.

Because I did so much racing last year, I'm really enjoying my time out of competition. Racing takes a lot of focus. I'm a relatively competitive person and find it easy to shift into that motivated state, but 10 months straight warrants a decent rest. That feeling is coming around and I don't see myself straying from races too much longer.

Last week Colin Jaskiewicz came for a visit for 5 days and I got to show him some of the beautiful riding around here. It was really nice having someone from home come for a visit. It's amazing how people can come from the same place, travel so far separately, and find themselves in the same place again. I'll try not to be so philosophical, but the World does seem smaller as I get older. After a few batches our classic pancake mix, Colin left feeling pretty good about Santa Barbara, I think, and with some strong miles in his legs to take back to Pasadena. If I'm not doing much right after camp, we'll have to reunite for some more training again at the end of February. After all, San Dimas Stage Race begins with a hillclimb out Colin's back door that I might like to explore before race day.

The itinerary for team camp entails the first few days of photo shoots, meetings, and more meetings educating us about Diabetes and some of the companies that sponsor us. Rule #1 is that riders on our team that suffer from Type 1 are riders with Type 1 Diabetes, not Diabetics. The riders are not defined by their diseases. The last 3 days we move from Atlanta to a more mountainous area for better riding and we'll get a better chance for time on our new bikes. The feeling I get is that we won't be riding much within the first few days so my plan is to go to camp with full legs, recover a bit, and then get some quality K's in with the team. Yes, it will be 40F and raining.

One of the kids I'm coaching lost his virginity last weekend. That's all I'm going to say. Oh, and he hasn't talked to her since. I guess now he can look for true love now that he smoothed out the rough spots of his game. Was that too far? Sorry kid.Funny Photo with many Hearts of Coach Lyne Bessette on T-Mobile.

Tonight, Lyne and I made a trip to The Habit for burgers tonight after a long ride on the bike. After that we cruised over to Yogurtland, my new favorite place in the world where you pay for the amount of frozen yogurt that you serve yourself and even get to add your own toppings from a very wide selection. I tried Nutter Butters for the first time on top of Peanut Butter, Cheesecake and Vanilla Wafer & Cookie Dough flavored yogurts. Delicious.

The quality of the burgers topped Silvergreens', though Silvergreens did have tasty buns made on-site (pun not really intended but might be suitable based on the employees and their working hours). The teriyaki burger was tastier than the bbq, in my opinion. Both were outfitted with crispy, well-cooked bacon, cheese and avocado. I highly recommend making a stop at The Habit. The only problem with these burgers were that they were so soft, they went down the hatch quickly, leaving me less time to savor the flavor. I am trying to work on eating less quickly, but it's been difficult. Maybe THAT can be my new year's resolution... I also went to the In-N-Out Burger with Colin while he was here and found that the Animal Style Double Double burger was quite satisfactory after a 4hr day in the saddle. Animal style isn't on the menu: it's a secret locals only know about. Animal style means they slather secret sauce and grilled onions on the burger. You can also get your fries Animal Style as well (with cheese and maybe some beef or something). Either way, The Habit beats In-N-Out, but In-N-Out tops all other burger franchises. Bam.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Team Camp Coming

I'm in my bed. It's dark. I'm tired. Bachelors of Science is playing. Alex introduced me to them. Yes, personally. Duh.

The Equipment
Since my new bike came (see previous entry), I made a few small adjustments and spun for 35 min last night on the new rig. Today I spent a few hours on the thing, but new bikes are always a bit funky feeling. I have to beat the funk out of it in order to be comfortable with it, I guess. Handlebars are a little wider than the Time's, and the saddle's a little smaller and harder (above, Selle Italia SLR Team Edition). I've been trying to get used to one point of contact on the bike at a time (Handlebars, Saddle, cleats/shoes/pedals, still to come). I was sent my new pedals and cleats, which I think I'll throw on for Monday and Tuesday before I leave for camp. I've never used a Shimano pedal setup before and I'm kind of looking forward to it. The Time system has done me well for the last 3 years, and before that Look pedals were my first experience on the road after stunning my competition with old SPD mountain pedals as a junior. We're on PRO (Shimano) handlebars and stem. The seatpost matches the Colnago frame. Shimano Ultegra componentry outfits the training bike (still getting used to the hoods coming from SRAM). This year, Biemme instead of Louis Garneau will cloth our bony nakedosity with more skin-tight lycra (when will they get over that?) My fingers are crossed for the Biemme kits because my last experience with them provided a mediocre level of comfort. The final piece of equipment that I'm eager to meddle with is the Time Trial Bicycle. Colnago will also provide TT bikes for us (and pretty ones, at that). This will be my first experience with a bike for this discipline. In the past, I would construct what one would call a Frankenstein TT bike from a mashup of odd parts and an old road frame. If you aren't positive what this looks like, you might be able to see some differences if you view either this image of me time trialing at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, or the one below where I've actually attached SRAM Red shifters to my aerobar extensions and used the Time road frame to facilitate a faster TT.

I'm closing my lids to slip into a tranquil slumber. But, that's only to wake up to Lyne hammering me into the ground for 5hrs tomorrow.

To Be Continued...

What to expect:
*Fitness evaluation and its pertinence to Team Camp
*Past week spent with former teammate Colino Jaskievelli
*My itinerary for Team Camp
*Publicizing the recent accomplishments of the UVM Cycling team members I coach through sheer embarrassment
*A survey with a hidden bias condoning drinking well under the age of 14
*15 strippers each named Cinnamon with whom Isaac Howe did not have relations of any sort
*What Steve Pucci has to say, personally about my future for the next year (remember that survey you all took?). His response will be posted. Verbatim. Tune in!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The new ride has arrived.

My new frame arrived in a tightly packed Colnago cardboard box. Bellissimo Bici! Click on it. It gets bigger.