Thursday, November 29, 2007

Smile For The Camera

The photos are back from the "photo-shoot" several of us were a part of earlier this month. The photos taken will be used to promote Chesapeake tourism - hopefully they won't include this mean looking photo on their brochure or website. See more photos at the All About Bikes Racing website.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Party No-No

You know the rules about parties - no shop talk, no politics and no religion. That way nobody gets offended, bored or overzealous and everyone has a good time.

Well, that rule holds true in my blogger world too. Although I seperate my blogs by topic (cycling - personal and race team, family, and other personal interests), I will sometimes come across a topic that relate to all of my blogs.

I will know commit a Party Foul and discuss one of those forbidden party topics.

Work? No, that's boring IT stuff in the big money banking world. I don't see the big money and moving .0000001 of a penny into an account doesn't work - I watched Office Space.

Politics, ever since moving outside of the beltway, I have no interest in politics. Living with political aides and lobbyist for years in the DC area was interesting and exciting to hear all the Capitol Hill gossip first hand.

That leaves religion.

(Just like in a party, when you hear one of those topics come up, it's time to go refill that keg cup or find the shrimp cocktail tray. So here's your chance to click on one of the many bike related links to the right now and get away from this conversation while you can.)


After what seemed like eternity, we finally made it back to church today. Forefront Church to be exact. We were regulars on Sundays for years since they opened and met at Regal theatre at the beach and then to OLHS. But after a baby and busy weekends we drifted away. If you're in the 757, you've probably heard the wacky commercials on rock stations and read about the church that holds services in a bar on a Tuesday night.

Today's service talked about "Transformers". Yes, the movie, Transformers. The Michael Bay/Speilberg one and not the 80s version (Transformers, Robots in Disquise). You can see by the title of the movie where this is going - how being a Christian can transform your life. How the different forces in the world - Autobots vs. Decepticons - can influence your life. The sermon had a lot more meat than that and my mind wandered some (most) of the time. However, one of the verses that was referenced during the sermon caught my attention. 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

What did I immediately think about after reading this verse? Cycling. You see the parallels?

" a race all runners run but only one gets the prize...Run in such a way as to get the prize."
"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training."
"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly..."
"I beat my body and make it my slave..."

"Run in such a way as to get the prize."
What do you think of? I think of the strategy of racing. In a crit, don't go out on a solo flyer when you know you can't maintain it and end up OTB when the speed kicks up on the final laps (yes, I've done that one before - Langley Crit 06 and then repeated again on the same track in 07). Race tactically and smart. Find shelter, stay up front to get on the break and pick a good wheel.

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training."
Train. Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly..."
It's all about training and training for a purpose. How many of us find it easier to ride when we know we have a goal or a purpose? We train for that upcoming "A" race, and build the base over winter knowing how much it'll pay off come spring or to improve on those long sustained effort intervals so we can chop seconds or even minutes off our TT.

"I beat my body and make it my slave..."
We tell our body to stop crying and do 10 more 2x1 intervals. You'll thank me later.

Of course, this was not the intent of Paul when he wrote this letter to the Corithians but it wasn't too far off. Some of these verses referenced "the games" that were a competition of track and field events held every two years.

I've probably either read these verses or heard them about a dozen times over the course of my life and just passed over it without much thought. Now I have the appreciation of the "strict training" that this passage references and will keep it in mind during this upcoming season.

Forefront Church meets every Sunday at Ocean Lakes HS and Indian River HS and Tuesdays at the White Horse Pub.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes

Travel back to November 26 of last year when I did my first cyclocross race at Trashmore. I was riding a 24lbs Specialized HT Stumpjumper. I practically stopped to unclip to dismount and the same for the remount. I got lapped by the leaders and finished 24th out of 31. I remembered every lap hurt.

I had a good time "racing" (racing used very loosely) and could feel the cross juices enter my blood. The best part of the race was taking home a new Specialized S-Works CX frameset that I won in a raffle to benefit Meredith Nicolls.

Present day, November 18, 2007. I'm sporting the bike that I won last year and got a year of road racing under my belt. My fitness had improved since last year at this time and have raced in 9 more cross races since then. This year it was me that got to lap riders instead of being lapped. This year, I got a first row starting position instead of last. This year I finished 5th. The only similar thing from last year's race was that every lap hurt.

My technique still needs help (I still need to "commit" on the remount, learn to shoulder the bike properly and and my barrier jumps suck) and my motor could always use more horsepower but I was content on my placing. I wanted a top 3 but can live with a 5th.

Pic above. Early lap conversation and chuckle with young NCVC rider Brad Kendall on how he let's his younger brother Steven (15) always escape in the races. MABRA racers took all three podium spots with Ken Woodrow (Squadra Coppi) placing 2nd between the Kendall brothers.

Pic below. All those bike runups on the "big" hill at the Trashmore practices really paid off.

Photo courtesy of

Big props to TriPower for putting on the race. This was the best race so far in the VACX series. Not just because I didn't have to get up at 0'dark thirty to drive 3 hours to race but because the course was fast with a good flow and transition, the vibe at the trashheap was electric and my family got to finally watch me race (where I didn't suck).

2007 VACX Championship Results

Friday, November 9, 2007

Don't Be a JAM

JAM - no, not the kind you spread on bread to make a PBJ nor the 70/80's punk band, "The Jam" and not the abbreviation for "just a minute" for you online chat-a-holics. If Java Application Manager entered your mind then you've found this blog in error and go back to Sun. And it's definitely not referring to from my previous post.

JAM - Jack Ass Motorist

Scenario: Thursday night AAB mountain/cross ride waiting at the light at the 7-11 on GB Blvd. A group of 12 riders on a chilly 40 degree night. We are first in line with a white Nissan Pathfinder (Florida plates) pulls up behind us. The light turns green and before we could clip in, JAM lays on the horn. After hearing that, I take my sweet time trying to clip in (and if you've read my racing posts in the past, you know I suck at clipping in anyway). JAM revs his 4-cylinder and takes the middle lane as we move to the outer lane. As he guns his 4-banger past us, he must have gotten even more P.O. because he was hit with about 1000+ lumens from everyone's helmet light as we look over to see who this JAM is. It was bright enough to see it was a white male, early 20's, Steelers jersey and was talking on the cell while sipping on a big gulp. After JAM passes us to make the next right into the Fernwood Farms neighborhood, he kind of slows down and almost stops (at a green light) waiting for us to give chase. Sorry, not tonight JAM, you're not worth it. That neighborhood isn't that big back there and don't be surprised if you find some "Share the road" stickers on that Nissan one day - you JAM.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Be A GamJams Ambassador

Mike May, creator of - the blog of blogs for the VA, MD, DC (VCA and D20) racing scene has put together a package to be an "Ambassador for". Check out the details here:
Basically, if race and blog about it, Mike will hook you up with some swag from sponsor deals to try out products and blog about it. Maybe it's a wheelset or just bar tape - who knows - but its a way of communicate what you like or dislike about cycling products. If you're like me and have have Velonews Tech Talk bookmarked, can tell the difference between Santa Claus and Sheldon Brown and drool over bike porn then this might be up you're alley.
So if you race (if you're reading this then chances are you do), have a blog that gets updated regularly and are interested in cycling products then check out Mike's site.