The 2012 Kit

The 2012 Kit

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Chilling Morning

Being as I am, however elusive in my own way, I am alive and well and this is proof.

I got the bug to share a few thoughts after reading a friend's blog post, which I admittedly do on rare occasion. The bug to blog. As Ted King is racing the Tour of Poland and can't join me for a fine dining experience this peaceful morning, I took the liberty of hopefully complementing his recent nutritive post with another glance into an athlete's favorite time of day, meal time, which fortunately comes in many forms, many times during the day, as we are forever finding new ways to satisfy an abysmal appetite.

Today, the number of aspiring dietitians is multiplying. Most magazines issue and re-issue topics on what's right and what's wrong. What to eat? What not to eat? Your body is your temple. You are what you eat! Etcetera. No matter how many magazines, books, articles, journal entries and ads were released yesterday concerning nutrition, there will surely be just as many released today. This means that people's interest isn't satisfied by reading things once. Information is repeated all the time and amazingly, people read the same things over and over again in different forms - perhaps looking for something new, but still content to find what they already know to be reinforced.

It's a wonderful thing that the world is attempting a health-oriented mindset but this movement doesn't come without its caveats: dieting as a fad is dangerous and the media is a large contributor to growing complexes around the globe. It's nearly impossible to escape blaring ads reminding you to monitor your caloric intake; many companies' low calorie travesties are often supposed replacements for organic, wholesome foods. Though this is a topic worthy of a compilation of references, let's stick to the positive side of things for the day.

Those skeptics that can challenge the absurdity of most of today's tempting marketing strategies are able to adopt wholesome diets rich in nutrients.

That said, Tedward King's record of nutritive consumption during a typical training day is attractive to the proliferating population focused on mind and body. So I'll add to that.

For breakfast I like pancakes, oatmeal, baked goods, eggs, the usual - but usually with something fantastical about it. Ted's take on oatmeal with an egg whipped in sounds delicious. Really getting into cooking is for some, but not for all.

Breakfast in bowls:

Food in bowls is awesome and it all began in my college days when it was far easier to expedite mealtime by piling a bunch of stuff into my favorite half-sphere and mix it all up. Plus, I hate chasing small things like peas around on a plate with a fork worse than playing golf, so I welcome bowls to a number of my eating experiences. Except when I wanted toast. Or pancakes.

On a typical summer morning, I prefer a cool, simple breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or many. This morning I managed a bowl of fruit containing blueberries, a chopped peach and a few diced strawberries. I added some walnuts as well as chilled Bob's Red Mill Wheat Berries - a hearty whole grain alternative to the daily oatmeal trend I found myself stuck on for a lengthy period. It's got a similar texture to barley, which I've also enjoyed. When you pour some tasty almond milk over the combo, you get a refreshing start to your day. Plus, by happenstance, this is a vegan meal, so enjoy knowing you haven't killed animals if you care. Not that you killed them in the first place, but let's not get into that.

Summer Bowl:
1/2c Soft Wheat berries (take ~1hr to cook in 3water:1wheat berries combo, so night before preparation is encouraged if you want breakfast quickly and especially if you like it chilled as I do).
1/4c Bluberries
1 Chopped peach
3 Chopped strawberries
1/4c Raw walnuts
Almond Milk

Winter calls for a warmer experience. My go-to is oatmeal seasoned with cinnamon. Add raw walnuts, some raisins, and a chopped banana to the mix and you'll no doubt enjoy every last bite. Don't forget your caffeine for antioxidants.

Winter Bowl:
1/2c Oatmeal
cinnamon to liking
1/4c Raw walnuts
1/4c raisins
1 chopped banana
(Almond milk, 1tbspn brown sugar if you like)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tour of Battenkill

That's the link to the 2012 Tour of the Battenkill, my first race of the season.

I rode the course on Saturday. It looked as though the roads had been graded recently. Some dirt sections were smooth and about as fast as any dirt road can be, but the majority was loose and difficult. So, though smooth, a lot of the dirt roads are slow riding. It precipitated a mixture of snow and rain this morning, which hopefully helped settle the roads on the course just a bit.

Team Type 1 starts filtering into the Empire State on Wednesday night. I have a press commitment there on Thursday evening and planned to stay at home this week. I will be staying the night at the Hyatt race hotel in Malta, NY the night before the race. I can save myself a 60mi drive the morning of the race this way.

I'm now in Lenox, MA. California was a blast. I left some excellent weather and came home to the 40's and 50's, a mild climate considering the meteorological arsenal of New England.

The race:

Begins at 12pm in Cambridge, NY.
Riders navigate two 100km laps with dirt roads and many hills.
Estimated finish 5:15pm.

If you are considering coming to watch Battenkill, there will hopefully be a small cookout or gathering at my car or another local's after the race around 5:30pm. Bring some eats or share some of ours. Bring beer or share some of ours. We can catch up and enjoy eachother's company. All are welcome, even if I've never met you or pretended to disown you. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What else do I do?

I'm a cyclist and I get to ride my bike all around and it's great, but I can't do it ALL the time. In fact, aside from limitations on a regimented training program, it can actually be very healthy to get away from the bike a little bit.

On my down time in afternoons or my rest days, I find it important to occupy myself with intriguing, non-boring activities.

I did the Solvang Century ride on Saturday. I was on craigslist that morning bargaining for my new recovery assistant. He calls himself "XBOX 360."

I purchased Grand Theft Auto 4 for this toy, a small investment that the IRS might agree with as a write-off. This can be viewed as a juvenile and simple-minded way for me to spend my time, but it's relaxing: I can put my feet up on the couch several feet away from the television and the wireless controller still connects to the console, amazingly. I don't play it nonstop or cut my rides short hoping to feed a new addiction. No, if I have time to play for an hour before dinner, I will and if not, the XBOX will always be on-hand for the next time. I also read. I just finished the first of the The Hunger Games series. An entertaining new trilogy for young readers. I'm still young.

Baking delicious goodness is something I share in common with many women and Ted King. Ted sent me a photo of his latest Pumpkin Bread creation in response to an image I shared with him of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. This is my version and will serve as a mid-day snack and a healthy ride-food alternative for at least 1 day. The small loaves have chocolate chips, the large is infused with walnuts and raisins. Salivate.

On my off days when I have a bit more time, I sometimes think about making my own food to eat on rides instead of opening another Clif Bar. They're delicious and nutritious, but so are my own recipes.

Just last night, I went to dinner with Ken Hanson hosted by our local friends Lola and Randall Tinney. We had a very casual evening just after I was offered to take his own new toy for a spin in Santa Barbara's foothills! This used to be a 50cc scooter, but it was since outfitted with a 277cc motor. It's a total rocket. Really. Here's me after my ride. How cool is this?

Then we tried some wines before a pork roast and my own beet salad contribution. I limited myself to no more than two glasses for the night so I could drive home after a few hours.

I'm very responsible except when I crash on my road bike showing off how swiftly I can take a parking lot corner for a friend as I did on my way home from yesterday's ride. Now you know I crash training, too.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Schedule Update: India trip canceled

Apparently the races in India were canceled. I'm waiting for news on schedule alterations, but this is a bit of a disappointment at the moment. Officially, that leaves Tour of the Battenkill as my season opener on April 15th, a solid month from now, though I have a hopeful feeling I'll be shipped off to something prior to that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Look around

Photography can often tell a better story than words. It's universally communicable. Children respond to pictures before they have learned to read. It may limit imaginative creations, such as what characters or scenery looks like, but perhaps one can create an imaginative timeline between each photograph marking just a single experience. Though my skills are limited to the "zoom" function, here are a few shots I've taken in the last week from my bike and around town. A short explanation follows each photograph.

Mysterious parachutes on the knoll of the Mesa

View of Lake Casitas on Saturday's group ride

Vertical shot of the trail that led to here.

Panoramic view of the same

This trail didn't continue up to the top of Gibraltar.

Homemade Spring Roll Dinner Spread

One marketing technique

Weird plant in a restaurant bathroom

Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson's Handlebar Cafe creation

Picnic table backdrop

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Joy in racing

This weekend marks the beginning of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference season. In light of that, and in light of the fact that I am also racing in just a few weeks, I am dedicating this post on March 1st, 2012 to remembering my very first racing experience at UVM.

My training then was in Vermont. I did a couple of weeks there this year, but am now spoiled in California (not denying that I did a lot of work to earn this privilege).

We were a band of brothers on the UVM Cycling Team.

My first race was at Rutgers University in New Jersey. We left Vermont at 3:30pm and arrived late. Bedtime wasn't until midnight at the earliest. We stayed in the "finished" basement of a dormitory that was used as a common room. I hope you can agree that most dorms are a total maze at first walk-through. I remember paying particular attention to directions in this location because I felt a bit more uncomfortable than usual in this different place. There was spraypaint everywhere, first-off, with a dark background that gave the halls a very dreary and surreal look. It was a co-ed dorm with shared bathrooms as well - something different, not to mention that it had a vague affiliation with LGBT and was called the "art wing" of the dorm or campus or something not completely understood. I found it was better not to uncover the facts for this entry as this is how it was upon the real experience and thus how it ought to stay for your full appreciation. This was housing provided by the Rutgers Cycling Club and we were forever grateful. I have no photos to document my description. Only words.

I do, however have a few photos of this weekend's racing. Thank you, Facebook.

Everyone awoke at 4:30am. The "D" category racers had a time trial that started at a ridiculous hour. We had to load up and get all the vans + trailer to the TT course.

My Rutgers 2006 Results/Photography
Saturday AM 4km TT: 6th (lacking photos)

I distinctly remember warming up on the trainer. It was 35F. It was decided that legwarmers were not an option for the Crit. I would decide against that now, but baby oil sufficed that afternoon.

Saturday PM Criterium: 6th

Daniel Cassidy, a graduate student at the time led the field on several occasions. The Cassitron Legend lives on.

Sara Uhl, an Olympian on the track would race the Men's A races with us. We were proud to have her in the group. She's actually a UVM alum, only wearing Penn-State colors here as she finished graduate school.

The sprint to the finish against a McGill rider, somewhat larger than I.

Sunday Circuit Race: 4th

Following these races, we drove to Banner Elk, North Carolina for a week of training during the Collegiate Spring Break. There must've been at least a dozen of us that made this trip. I cannot provide photos of this because there was too much debauchery and rule-breaking that happened. It was, however, impressively memorable and yet another moment of fun around the sport.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sex in the kitchen

While you're on your lunch break - these are some shots of the carbon mold that's literally almost able to drag me through Santa Barbara's trails.

What's that? Oh, yes, there are road pedals on this mtn bike. I didn't expect to have an alternative to my road bike out here in the great west, so I left my mtn shoes at home.

It's got disk brakes. Does your car?

This costs over twice as much as my car. Ought I be embarrassed? I admit to feeling a little spoiled with my amateur skills on this thing, but I'll take all the help I can get.

No, I'm not sponsored or associated with Specialized in any way. It's a bike I'm borrowing for a week. I started riding bikes when I was a kid. I rode next to my mom on her walks on North Street in Northampton, MA. I'd jump off curbs and splash through mud-puddles. Life was carefree and I let me tires explore the earth around me. So, tearing around on this rig has helped me remember why I started riding. This bad-larry has oversized wheels to roll over bigger things more easily. It's my temporary $9,xxx machine perfect for helping me get navigate technical single-track. Hell, I am riding a mtn bike with carbon wheels!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Something the same only a little bit different...

An old friend and collegiate competitor that I lived with last year in Tucson stopped by for a visit in Santa Barbara. I got out on some killer mtn trails for a change. If you didn't know it, mtn biking was my entry into the world of cycling, so this was a great throwback to days of unshaven legs, camelbacks and the adventure in the things that we all love to do.

Scott showed up with a big truck.

Then we rode into the clouds and far beyond and it looked like this.

I was on a 29 inch wheelset with all sorts of travel. I have been so used to rigidity on the road and in cyclocross that I was reluctant to unlock the suspension, most of the time, but these new bikes are extraordinarily capable off-road. I've been away from it for a long time, but had glimpses of confidence over some rocky terrain. Here are some photos of our short adventure on Friday afternoon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rides to Remember

It's Saturday and I am resting today. I'm totally zonked - mostly due to a ride on Thursday that took a year off my life:

I rode up a beautiful climb (Old San Marcos Road), whose view and switchbacks rival those of Europe's, then out to the Santa Ynez Valley and started to climb "Happy Canyon" up to Figueroa. After missing a turn that put me about 45 min out of my way 20 minutes from the top of Figueroa, I flatted. I made it to the top 4hrs 30 minutes into the ride. I got to the Bulldog Cafe, one of my highly anticipated stops whenever I pass through Solvang for a snack after 5:22 ride time. But I was still over 2 hrs from home.

"Yes, I would like some help. Small, medium roast coffee with one of those enormous cookies, there. Thanks."

"That'll be $4.75."

I got a medium coffee, apparently. Next time I'll specify "SIZE SMALL."

This carries importance 1) because I have generally limited human interaction over the course of 5+ hrs of self-talk on the bike, so sometimes I need practice and 2) after drinking this coffee and demolishing this cookie that could've been split by 3, I was unsettled to say the least.

I began my ride home and trying not to dilly-dally, I kept the pressure on the pedals after all of that pedaling I'd already done. But it was a beautiful day and I was heading back along the coast on "The 101," where I can get a gorgeous view of the deceivingly cold Pacific that I probably won't touch unless I have 2 wetsuits and a 10ft pole. Anyway, I started to burp up on my full stomach. Gross, right? Totally. I continued to burp, which turned into minor puke. For 2 hrs. Yup. I lost all that coffee. None of the cookie, though. That was nice. By the end I could taste a little bit of the half-digested cookie coming up. I swear.

No, I couldn't put anything down for the last 2.5hrs of riding. I made it home in 7:46. And as some UVM-ers are familiar with the term, this was a "vision quest," at its finest. The last hour my self-talk escalated to me reminding of myself of my reality. "You are here. You are pedaling. Stop - Red Light." I was truly living in the moment. It wasn't all that pleasant. I was in the moment to survive, one pedal-stroke at a time. I couldn't even feel myself pedaling after a while. My legs were simply turning circles because I had to turn them. It became simple. I got home, showered immediately and started sipping on electrolytes. It was the first step. Small steps, remember?

Today I'm off and I'm telling you about this because these are the kinds of days I remember most. I don't embark to get to these types of memorable moments, but after countless hours, they're practically inevitable if you have any sense of wonder at all. Maybe I won't race for close to 8 hrs ever, but climbing and descending and the sights between are undeniably fantastic. If I stuck to interval-training and 4 hr rides, my explorative self would be lost. This is how I stay alive to ride another day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 Spring Program

My Spring racing program is released. It's all on the Calendar below including details on my location. For the local followers, I'm happy to be returning to the Tour of the Battenkill on April 15. It's a great 200km race starting in Cambridge, NY, a close venue from Massachusetts and one of the places I raced as a Junior. I encourage you to come and watch, there's usually a fair bit of entertainment in town between viewing us bike racers.

My first race is in Mumbai, India on March 25th, as previously mentioned. Though I'm arguably one of the two most traveled riders in the Pro Peleton (teammate Fabio Calabria and I were the only two to have raced in 5 Continental Tours in 2011), I haven't yet made it to India. The experience will be adventurous. I'm approaching it similarly to Rwanda. I don't know much about what to expect, so I'm preparing for less than ideal conditions. I'm sure the landscape will be beautiful and I'll learn some good culture. Three single-day events await Team Type 1 there. One of them is fairly hilly and close to Pakistan; maybe that'll be a good shot for me!

I'm heading out bright and early on this sunny Santa Barbara morning for a ride through the coastal hills while my motivation is up, now that I've got some dates to narrow my focus. Off we go!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Small Steps

This year I started a bit later and I'm planning on small steps to the heights of great fitness again.

I was in VT between team training camp and my recent trip to Santa Barbara, CA where I will take the next step in putting in the miles for the season.

Vermont is a wonderful place. This year the weather can't quite decide between a proper winter and springtime. If temperatures held steady over 20, I was able to ride outside on dry days; otherwise I had secret rendez-vous with the rollers down in the basement. Check out the cage in which I trapped myself. This is the basement - a storage unit - of my home in Essex Junction.

So I went from that... to THIS... in an afternoon.

Every time I touchdown in SB I realize why I come here for training. It's so easy to focus when you don't need to motivate to put on your riding clothes. The different roads and gorgeous scenery make it hard for me to get off the bike! Tomorrow I will have arrived 1 week ago. It rained once. The rest of the days have been just as beautiful as my first. Over the next two weeks, I'll continue to finish off my base preparation for the season and then advance to a more focused training regimen. My race schedule will be posted soon. Right now I'm to drop bombs in India at the end of March.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Story to Share

Lisa and her son Nick Robinson stopped by the TT1 tent on the last stage of the Jayco Herald Suntour back in October. Nick was a young kid psyched to race, but he has one thing against him - he's fighting Type 1 diabetes. He was wearing a baggy set of cycling shorts and an unmatched jersey on top. All smiles.

This reminds me of the days when I put on all my 1 cycling kit that i owned, used a cotton t as a baselayer, a turtleneck as my long sleever and went out to jam with the rest on a cold day. It wasn't about looking good or having all the right stuff. It was about getting out and getting it done in great spirits.

I kept in touch with Nick since October. I told his mother, Lisa, that I had a kit that might fit him better. She jumped on it. The kid races track. TT1 has a future from Victora, AUS.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Brief Return to Burlington

Unable to take photos whilst in one of the most beautiful places to ride, I relied on teammate and young talent Joey Rosskopf to share with me and ultimately you some of the sights from our camp in Italy. The majority of the team put in 1500-1600kms in 9 days, amounting to something around 45 hours. Because it was my first week on the bike, I was given a little reign and able to take Day 3 as a recovery day and rest completely on Day 6. So, despite the fact that I was hammered and beaten by all of my teammates who are impressively fit, I'm happy to say that the camp was a complete success. I am injury free at present and I got to ride around on panoramic mountains for 10 days with the motivation of new teammates from all over the world. Check a couple of these cool shots below.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Ok, it's the last day in Terracina that I get to ride long hours and get cracked by my extraordinarily fit-compared-to-me-teammates... We're going for 4-5hrs. I had a birthday on the 15th. I received an orange with a candle carefully balenced in the proper navel orange. 2012 has started out incredibly well. I've been to Italy. I've done my 25 consecutive pushups just about every day regardless of how tired I've been since my 25th birthday, and I've survived a 25hr training week the first week back on the old two-wheeler. Here are a few photos from camp so far. Two are from dinner on the 15th, one is from the beginning of a training ride when Ronny (soigneur) was admiring my set of sharp D2 shoes that I'll be using this 2012 season.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Welcome to Italy

You may or may not know that Team Type 1 is in Italy for it's second training camp in preparation of the 2012 season. Three weeks ago, the team parted ways in Tucson, AZ from its introductory camp that lasted 1.5 weeks (above photo showing team on one of it's first rides together. The sore thumb? Remy Cusin, one of two former Cofidis riders new to the team). Here in Italy, the focus is less on media and acquaintances and more on the riders' business. We're here to put in miles and get used to the different riding styles we each bring to the common ground of TT1, tweak our positions on new bikes, get some speed training in before the first race of the season (Tour of Wellington, where 6 riders will go a couple of days before camp ends), and perfect team efforts like lead-outs and talk race strategies. This is the type of camp the riders didn't get last year with eachother. It's a response from the directorship to the veterans' call for an imperative development camp so that when we get to a race, riders will know how to communicate effectively and achieve victory by strength of camaraderie.

I haven't touched my ride since the last camp and am refreshed, motivated and ready to put my body through the ringer for the third season with TT1 this 2012, a season that I hope will get me a UCI victory and a step closer to a Grand Tour.

Terracina, Italy is known for it's Mazzarella di Buffala, admittedly delicious. The first day of riding ended after 140km. It was a "vision quest" for me. I was completely blown -just one day on the bike and I was in the hole! But, that was nothing, because yesterday, the second day on the bike for me, the team was to ride for ~6 hrs total and race on open roads for the last hour! Well, that was all a possibility (however small) until I started to crack 3 hrs into the ride. I didn't race, but I did bonk harder than I've ever hit the wall at about 150km and ended by myself, bringing up the rear for 176km, the last 30km solo. It was a rude awakening about how much fitness can be lost when you take 3 weeks off the bike, but these guys are ramping up their training now, whereas I'm just beginning. Races like Marseille in France, Tour of Wellington, Tour de Mediterranean, etc are all coming quickly and if we want a shot at racing a Grand Tour this year, we've got to start winning races early to prove ourselves worthy of wildcard invitations to those races. So, in two days, I've ridden for about 10.5hrs and done 315km.

Today's schedule? 2-3hrs AM and sprint workouts this afternoon on a marked circuit. The team has been split into two groups, each with 3 designated sprinters. I think we're supposed to race eachother. Frederik Moncoussin, our French director gave a presentation last night and named the teams, nominating each rider to a position in the group's lead-out, saying in less than perfect english and one of those thick french accents, "I'm almost sure I know the strengths of each rider after the past two days of riding, but if we need to make changes, we can." In a moment of shock at the expectations of me on my own Day 3 of Training and an attempt at some comic relief, I prompted "And just about what am I good for?"

It turns out nothing can break the cold intensity of Europeans so next time I'll try to say it in Italian...

When I can, I'll post phographs and even rider bios to bring you closer to the team and not just the rider you may already know as Will Dugan. Thanks for all your support and interest. Happy New Year.

Arrivederci Tutti.