Sunday, December 16, 2007

Somehow, it works.

My days have been somewhere between freezing and only slightly-uncomfortable lately. The last couple weeks have landed in the acceptable range as far as training has been concerned. Everyone here in the 'Burg seems to be pretty motivated. The calls start coming in "pretty early" everyday. The crew has been meeting at all the local baked-goods/acceptable coffee establishments. It's good but not without its pressures. I'd say on the leaner $$ days, we come damn close to loitering the shit out of these tolerant locals businesses. I kinda instituted a new rule: last person there, granted everyone has been waiting a while already and it's 15+ minutes past the planned departure, is obligated to buy an espresso for each one of us. The only one to actually follow through with this has been Jeremiah. So, I won a free espresso! Our mornings are always a crazy rush because we're are all so good at staying true to our morning routines. In my case this does not always mean preparation. Then again...I'm preparing to be myself, I guess. I'm the most hyper-productive person I know when it comes to squeezing EVERYTHING into the final 15 minutes before making the leap from comfort to action. My roommate acts annoyed but deep down I know he's impressed. I mean, golly gee, it impresses me! The rides have been really amazing, though. We've been hitting the mountains when the weather allows (even when it doesn't sometimes) and the rolling valley farm roads North and South of town to keep the engines at a good tick when it's too cold.

Harrisonburg has an eclectic mix of ego's when it comes to our cycling hardcores. They run the gamut from complete narrow-minded obsessiveness to lethargic contentedness. We have the aspirer's and the inspired. Everyone is making it work in their own right and no one really gets it. We criticize each other then look at ourselves and wonder WTF do we Know? No standard template, yet everyone keeps looking for one. It's a working art-form and completely situational.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And now it's cold.

Been hittin' the cross scene lately with my teammate Johnny Sundt. First couple went pretty good. 2nd in Richmond in my first race effort post-surgery. That was nice and I got the bug. The Teapot called hard the next week so I could really revel in that nice piece of pre-season glory. A few weeks later Johnny (a.k.a Gato) and I went south for a double weekend of UCI Cross Madness east of Asheville.... Hendersonville?? Not sure but one thing was - a-typical cross weather. The competition was stiffer with legitimate cross talent showing up. Justin Spinelli, a KBS teammate of mine, was a dominate force all weekend taking first on Saturday and second, giving the win to a teammate, on Sunday. In-to-it. Motivation this time of year always impresses me this time of year since I'm usually hiding behind highly unfit base miles as an excuse not to be racing. Rad to enter a new scene, though. The Cross scene rules and there was even a random tailgate with a banner advertising free beer. I ended up 9th on Saturday and 10th Sunday justifying the trip with a respectable $166.00 for the weekend. Thanks to Gato and CGSM for covering gas, lodging and emotional support. Pretty much the only way this time of year. One things for sure, driving rules. Especially when it comes at ya 10 hours at a time. We stayed @ the Applegate's bike compound and that was a highlight if I've ever experienced one. Awesome hosts to all the poor racers looking for floorspace. Check out Cara's blog for some good shots of me smurfin' it up.

I botched the last two cross weekends (Massachusetts/Reston, Va) pretty good. Not for lack of effort and desire (maybe a lot) but I just didn't justify the suffering when confronted with actual competition. The cold definitely plays a role but really I've just not been entering the events in a focused state. Not because of any outside circumstance, really. More just general beast confrontation issues. The beast must be confronted every time regardless and I guess I'm just not up to it at the moment. No worries since the season has not yet begun so I'm just grateful that I'm cycling these issues through the system before they become detrimental. Word to that.

The regimen has begun in earnest. Not necessarily resembling anything from the past but new and exciting all the same. Besides, one must enjoy this insanity from all angles in order not to derail catastrophically. Sleep, ride, revel, Pay rent, repeat.

Mind in order. Question everything and fight complacency around every corner. The teapot enlightened my outlook with a great blog quote today. It read: "Don't be fooled, help is not on the way."

Home WV climbing when it was warm. The top of Sugarlands road for those of you with rad local knowledge. Two words: Compact-cranks.

Out for an early one with JB tomorrow. MTB suffer-in-the-snow style, big time. I'm packin' the space blanket and pemmican.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I swear to Ulr, god of snow, that I have been riding my bicycle. Not stretching or even training per say, but definitely riding. Building myself up from an atrophied post-surgery state of fitness has been interesting. Humbling may actually be a better term for it. My approach has been to jump into anything going on around me that sounded epic and beyond my current fitness level (rule of discomfort: leads to a stronger you!). Since I came back into the mix during the time of season most racers were winding down, I didn't feel much pressure to be up and running at full capacity. Instead I just took the day-by-day approach of riding when I felt like it and not when I didn't. Mentally this has worked out great since I tend to destroy my love for bikes when I choose to obsess about the nuances of training instead of, lets say, drinking more beer. At this point it's safe to say that I'm maintaining a bit more focus on riding consistently while I'm home all while staying true to my new longevity approach of caring less. Jeff Schalk, my Trek/VW MTB roommate, spends his days on the other end of this philosophy choosing instead to follow a firm set of self-imposed anti-fun guidelines. This actually works out really well because he makes me feel just lame enough to keep me in a semi-straight line all while indulging in my own antics.

Yesterday Mia Bishop and I took the cross bikes out northwest of town and toured a bunch of the classic "Harri-Roubaix" gravel roads. It blows my mind to go out there and put together a completely refreshed loop and still only be 10 miles from town the whole time. We road the steep, serpentine narrow roads through the valley for three and a half hours only stopping for roadside pee breaks and to run with our bike to warm our frozen toes. The snow fell on us for the first time in at least a year today. Minutes before the snow really started in earnest, an icy, still-forming piece of wet snow landed on my lip. It was invigorating.

Going to NC for a weekend of Cross Madness with the one, the only, EL Gato (a.k.a Jonny Sundt)

Monday, September 24, 2007

VEGAS + Bikes

Sort of. Not that I'm actually taking a bike out there. Interbike is pretty much a perfect excuse to go to Vegas, get way too excited about bike stuff and then control the enthusiasm with a bit 'O volatile beverages.

Interbike. The perfect excuse.

And I'm off!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hurry up and... Wait!

Woke up at a fine hour this morning with the motivation and determination to respect my check-up appointment time at the UVA hospital. I sped. I ran. I stressed. I obsessed. I was late. And just like last time, none of it mattered as I sat for unreasonable amounts of time waiting to be seen. The first part of the appointment was an ankle/brachial pressure test to compare the pressures in my legs from an earlier test I did before the surgery. Hippie John who recorded the first test back in June passed the reins over to another women who, like my previous experience with Hippie John, proceeded to confuse and slightly depress me with her take on the test results. Basically, the results showed that I was way out of shape (which I fully expected) and so pressures in both legs dropped compared to the peak form I was carrying during the last test. "They both dropped", she said. "Hmmmm, well of course", I countered, "That's the hardest I've pedaled in two months and my body is freaked out". I hate it when someone who is there for the sole purpose of "data gathering" and knows little about a situation feels obligated to bleed negative opinions. It's like mental terrorism. Back in June Hippie John tried to convince me that surgery wasn't necessary. It's all a bunch of noise as far as I'm concerned until I get Dr. Cherries opinion. When that time finally came hours later, it was reassuring and positive. No, wait, it was human. He was psyched about the prospects of what close to 50% more blood flow in my left could mean for my career and so am I. He's the doctor and he gave me the "all clear" for a build back into training so on your mark, get set, frickin' go!

I'm off to Minneapolis tomorrow morning for some promotional charity tours for my Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Pro Cycling Team. Larry (our team soigneur) and I are planning to hit the Minneapolis bike film festival plus the shequamegon race in WI so it should be a good trip. Not to mention all the java bliss ever morning from downstairs at One on One bike/art/coffee shop.

I'm already back in action somewhat, I suppose, after hitting the tour again with the team last Friday in Delaware for more public displays of our program. Always nice to ride with a group protected by the man from the man in this police state.That evening as I continued my pursuit of the Teapot the rest of the guys were topping off the Kilojoules for Saturday's Univest Grand Prix in Souderton, PA. Ryan was second and Johnny Sundt (aka: El Gato) stole the Sprinter's Jersey. With a fifth in the following day's Crit the team took the overall for the weekend and I think that's rad. I'm aching to be back in the game...

Joey Riddle, a good WVMBA friend of mine, had a terrible crash this past weekend at the Dirt Derby race in Huntington and is now home recovering. I'm thinking of you guys. Check out this benefit for Joey and Mandi Riddle.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Push. pull.

This reminds me of my last six weeks. Belgian Ardennes 2005

And here we are. Or here I am anyway. Tomorrow is 6 weeks post-opp. A pathetic little loop around town awaits me and I can't seem to curb my enthusiasm about it...

Don't worry, please. The last 10 or so blog-free day's are all part of the plan. The same plan as last time the words disappeared only to reappear with new found meaning and energy. Just like bio-rhythms. When some are up, others are down. Controlled chaos on the screen? Perhaps. If it gets that far.

I've been working for SMT man, Chris Scott for the last week or so before and during the SM100. So much work goes into that event ! I feel guilty and lazy having just been a racer all these years. Volunteers are the reason events work. Thanks for all the suffering on our spandex wearin', leg-shaving behalf! Jeff Roommate Schalk pulled a Floyd Landis on Floyd Landis (insane solo win) this past weekend and he hasn't rinsed the grin off his face since. Not to mention a pretty big record fell and is now smoldering out at the stokesville camp ground.

Floyd was in town and I was stoked to tie on more than one buzz with him. That guy knows how to party! Anyway, some boycotted his presence and others embraced it. After all, he's a former local mountain biker and apparently human as well.

Oh, the teapot! Yeah, sleepy time tea is exactly what I'm reaching for right now. It makes me happy.

Ready, set, go.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championship
Downers Grove, Illinois
1. Martin Gilbert (Can), Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast
2. Kirk O'Bee, Health Net-Maxxis
3. Shawn Milne, Health Net-Maxxis
4. Alex Candelario, Jelly Belly
5. Tony Cruz, Discovery Channel

Suzie Q

Nice work.

2007 TransRockies Challenge
August 12-18
British Columbia, Canada
Final overall

Women open
1. Trek-Volkswagen/Giant (Susan Haywood, Hillary Harrison), 32:26:35
2. Canwi Girls (Jenny Hillman, Jo Turnbull, at 0:45:20
3. Minx-Extreme Endurance (Fi Spotswood, Meggie Bichard), at 2:50:07
4. Team Hilly Hell (Hilary Bloor, Helen Lambert), at 8:04:52
5. Guidi-up (Amy Guidinger, Josee Hull), at 8:59:48

Friday, August 17, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Passing bottles.

Went to the Black Bear 40k down in Kanawa State Forest with Matt M. yesterday. The course was way dry this year. At least what I saw of it... It seems the Black Bear, which has a long history as part of the WVMBA Series, is either up or down as far as attendance and promotion is concerned from year to year. With less than 100 racers this year and the course being packed with dry singletrack, it's easy to question what WV mountain biker's August priorities are. Perhaps it's the event's branding as "WV's Scariest" mtb race, fear of Black Bears, memories of last years rain soaked gravel road fest or any number of other things. I know I've enjoyed the event over the years with it's history of one of the most impressive prize tables on the circuit. Ah, regardless of the missing 50 racers or so it looked and felt like a typical WV Mtb race with practically all the weekend regulars, tons of well groomed singletrack and a nice post race BBQ spread.

I experienced the perspective difference of competing to spectating and bottle passing and I can tell you I understand and appreciate all those on the sidelines cheering and waiting hours for the next glimpse of the riders.

Post race, Matt and I met Steve Thaxton at his healing compound in Sissonville for some much needed tuneups. Once again we were styled out to the max with adjustments + an emotional and physical post-surgery detox for me. I'm walking a bit more up right now. Thanks Steve.

JB had a pretty decent weekend.

And so did my KBS/Medifast teammates...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

WV. August. Hangin' out.

The last two weeks have been slow. The first week post-opp I felt like a junkie from all the pain candy I was on. Still, not a bad time. Just a bit hunched over with no use of my stomach muscles and thoroughly spun in the head. Heard some great music two Wednesdays ago at the Fiddle in the form of Lindy Cyr's little sister's band, Hogzilla. Check'm out. It's good shite. That was one of the three outing highlights over the last couple week besides, of course, being home mid-summer. I definitely have a tendency to drift towards idleness when not constantly stimulated by being on the move. However, I've passed the 2+week mark. Things are fine and I've been eating unbelievably well with the garden being the central theme. Multiple night's of Blueberry cobbler definitely confirm this.

My stomach wounds are healing nicely but still have "dissolving" sutures sticking out of them. It's going to be a project dealing with the scare tissue that is clinging to my stomach muscle fascia at the moment. Feels like I'm sticking to myself. At this point I'm almost able to walk normal and stand somewhat up right. It seems this is the condition of choice in the domestic peloton this year.

This weekend marks the end of the '07 NORBA series, with the finals in Aspen Colorado. Jeremiah won it last year and he's on form to do it again this year. Also this weekend is the BIG money Tour of Elk Grove stage race for my KBS/Medifast team. Good luck, boys. $$!

I'm rolling down to Charleston tomorrow with Matt for the BlackBear WVMBA Points series race. Should be fun limping around cheering and passing bottles... Ahh, just good to get out.

Monday, August 6, 2007

All patched up.

All went well with my surgery on July 26th at University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville and I'm back home - Sooner than expected- recovering in WV. For those that have no clue what I'm talking about, I just had a procedure to repair the iliac artery in my left leg that had narrowed and was restricting blood-flow. When I rode any harder than tempo my left leg would lose power and burn a whole lot more than my right leg. Not to mention swelling up and being tight almost all the time. Not a comfortable thing to deal with when your job is doing what provokes the symptoms on a daily basis.

Round 1:

In June, after the Nature valley grand Prix, I underwent a diagnostic test called an arteriogram to investigate the inner structure and function of my iliac artery. During the test, Which I was wide awake for (not a problem with the wonder-drug verset coursing through my system), the doctors inserted guide wires through a catheter in my groin to access the artery. Contrast dye was released (felt like I was peeing down both my legs) so x-rays could be taken of the arterial structure and nitroglycerin was released for pressure measurements. It was pretty wild being wheeled into a full blown operating room with stainless steel torture-devices, music in the background and plasma screens for watching the movie of my artery system. It's funny to think back at how nervous I was beforehand only to become the epitome of mellow after I was given the Vercet (Magical dissociative). I actually had fun and was in a great mood throughout the two hour procedure. Although I did ask, the doctors wouldn't burn me a copy of artery show they just taped.

Round 2:

Almost a month after the Arteriogram, I finally had things in order to go ahead with the big day. Through a bizarre twist of fate no one could have predicted, my brother and I were both admitted into a hospital on the same day. This would be the first time either Waite brother checked into any sort of medical establishment. My brother for a Staph infection (which he is recovering from just fine) and my self for a Patch Angioplasty on my Iliac Artery. Karl was in Maryland and I was in Charlottesville. With my brothers situation being more acute than mine, my mom stayed with him while my good friend Matt Marcus clocked out of Blackwater bikes for a couple days to accompany me.

The night before surgery was a bit unnerving having to deal with the news of serious turmoil in this year's Tour De France. Not to mention the expulsion of Micheal Rasmussen. I was starting to wonder if the sport's top level would still exist when I came out of the following day's planned anesthesia. Nonetheless, my alarm hit at 4:30 A.M and Matt and I cruised through the quiet streets of Harrisonburg on our way to my 6A.M. check-in for surgery. Once we arrived at the hospital the anxiety of what lay ahead began to creep into my system causing me to shake. Luckily Matt and I tend to look at strange situations with cynical humor so most of my tension gave way to laughing with an extremely high heart rate. My mood continued to rise as Matt and I hung out in the pre-opp room where I had to trade in my KBS Pro Cycling casual wear for this ridiculously huge moo moo surgical robe. The thing had to be tied in the back and I was completely naked so the site from the rear must have been frightening! After I was changed, the nurse came in to start my IV and since I was super tense she had a difficult time finding my normally impressive arm veins. The first try was a miss enticing Matt and I to label her the "needle Nazi". After a little hot towel therapy she managed to find suitable entry point in the top of my hand. After that the anesthesiologist came in and things started to get fuzzy. I remember shaking Matt's hand on my way out the door, climbing from the roller bed to the cold operating table and nestling my head onto a cupped rest of some sort. The next thing I remember is looking up at nurses in the recovery room asking me to rate my level of pain from one to ten. I think I said eight after which I was given a mega hit of morphine. I also remember reaching down to my right side and checking for a bandage since I had to remind the docs to do the Inguinal release on the right leg as well. It was there and so were the two other bandages on my left side. For what seemed like a short while in the recovery room, was actually like four or five hours while nurses secured me a room for the overnight stay.

When I finally made it to my room the first thing I did was call my mom since Matt and my Grandmother hadn't yet made it in. While I was talking to her I fell off my morphine induced "cloud 9" and sort of emotionally fell apart. Along with the tear jerker the pain was coming on full tilt as well. I told mom I had to go and proceeded to slam the nurse call button until someone answered,"May I help you?". I answered back with, "I need a nurse and my pain killers now!!". I was so frustrated that I had been dumped in a room all by myself in pain and without my family being told they could come up. Once that fiasco ended things were great and I was really happy to see Matt and my grandmother. That night I was rewarded with this angelic nurse named Wendy. She was beautiful and gentle. Exactly what I needed after suffering through the not so gentle nurse before her. Wendy even brought Matt a cot to sleep on. Even though I did not get much sleep that night, it was a pleasure to be woken up by Wendy when she made her rounds. I think Matt would agree. The next day Dr. Cherry came in for a visit and explain that my artery was the size of a pencil where it was damaged. To fix it he cut the artery down the middle and stitched an oval shaped patch of dacron (a woven polyester material kind of like gore-tex) over the open segment to enlarge it. He also trimmed my Inguinal ligament which stretches over the External Iliac Artery to allow more space for the artery to move while I pedal and to prevent further damage.

Thanks to all who helped me get through this including: Dr. Cherry, Tracey Lea, Beth Leasure, Hunter Allen, my family and friends. And of course Matt Marcus for dropping everything to come hang out with me at the hospital making me laugh so hard my wounds almost came apart. That freakin' hurt but it was worth it!

It was a pretty liberating feeling when "They" finally let me out of the matrix that is a hospital. Who are they? Well, that's what Matt and I were asking ourselves every time we asked a nurse about when I could go home. "I'll see what they tell me", she would say...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ryan Cox

Yesterday was an extremely scary and sad day for me. Around 10a.m. I heard the news of Barloworld's Ryan Cox's death following a surgical procedure he had three weeks ago to fix the same blood-flow problem in his leg that I just had last Thursday. This is a tragedy and I send my heart felt condolances to his family and friends.

I spoke to my surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Cherry, yesterday and he was able to calm my fears of a similar disaster happening to me. Needless to say, I'm going to follow the rehabilitation plan to a T.

Rest In Peace, Ryan.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

AAAnd it's over!

Today was the last stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Dan Bowman brought the team it's top result and only finisher in the final crit with a super steep climb to the finish. The past five days have been pretty fun since most of the stages were short and within 100 miles of the "Warehouse" (a.k.a: Our soigneur Larry's loft apartment. It's actually pretty funny because all the riders are set up on inflatable mattresses in this huge storage room with a 15+foot ceiling. Most of the guys in town for the event, my self included, have been racing and traveling a ton over the last few months so it made for pretty relaxed racing on our part. Minneapolis is also the headquarters for Circuit Global Sports, the company that manages the KBS/Medifast Pro Cycling Team. The days have been really busy for the team not only racing but meeting with all the sponsors that are in town to check in on their team. Friday's downtown criterium was a big hit for the team with our mega crit rider Dave MCcook rolling across the line for fourth right in front of the VIP tent Presented by one of our sponsors MPC.

Our teammate Ried Mumford, who is recovering from his broken knee from our tour of Virginia recon, drove from Chicago with his wife to hang out with the team for the last couple days. Good to see him riding a bike again. However, he's still on crutches when not on the bike.

The race is over and now I'm just resting a bit before Larry's post race super party dubbed "Rally in the Ally". It's going to be quite large. Luckily my flight home isn't until 2P.M. tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nature Valley Grand Prix

Just a quick note since it's been, well, a long frickin' time. I'm here in Minneapolis at the NVGP. It is a five day stage race that started yesterday with a tight little 60minute crit. I was active and gave what I had to the team. Today was a really flat with a few rollers 65 mile road race. Of course with no trees or embankments it made for lots 'O wind. I actually survived quite well through the bad sections and was very close to making the main breakaway of the day (I was in it then had my left leg decide otherwise forcing me to fall back to the group). The course even had a half mile of dirt road in it so that made me feel a little better. Anyway, I've got to do a TV interview tomorrow at 8A.M. before the TT so I'm rolling to bed.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pots of gold? Cold Showers.

I've been officially "guttered" since stage 3 and it seems to only have gotten worse. Yesterday's stage five marked a return for typical Irish Ras weather... A ridiculous amount of wind and rain hit the peloton from the start along the coast and it shattered the field up the first climb. Normally this would not be a problem for me but I started in a rather precarious mood and that meant not dealing with raging cross winds and cold very well. I ended up relegated to the last group within about 20k or so. The roads were absolutely brilliant, though. They were picturesque Ireland - rolling and narrow through the hills and fields with with stone-wall fences spanning the vibrantly green landscape. The last 50 kilometers actually took us over some large exposed climbs. At that point my group was thoroughly drenched and miserable just pushing it's way up and over the misty mountains heading towards the coast which also meant plowing through a stiff headwind. The penultimate climb of the day was a narrow and roughly paved goat-path of a road. It was a Category 1 climb with a 20 percent grade (think the steepest part of Sugarlands road by the cemetery) for two kilometers. The guys running 11/23's were quickly spit out the back as well as anyone without extra soft compound rain tires. The caravan vehicles were spinning tires around all the switchbacks.

On my way up, many minutes out of contention, I noticed all the trickling streams flowing down the mountain beside me and thought, "Oh, I get the whole Irish Spring Clean thing now". Yeah, product of commercial brainwashing I suppose but I'll probably think about that stream every time I see a bar of Irish Spring soap. Over the top of the Cat one sent us sailing down an unbelievably sketchy decent. The road was narrow, strait and windy as hell. I must have hit close to 60k an hour. Luckily I was alone as the deep dish carbon wheels I was running were all but stable in the crosswind.

I finished the day soaked, cold and sore dreaming of a hot shower. Since foreign countries are rife with inconvenience that dream was quickly dashed as I was greeted with 30 seconds of luke warm followed by cold.

Today was an easy and beautiful 97k stage that took us almost all the way North.

Two to go. 167k tomorrow and 177k for stage eight on Sunday. I'm feeling rough but I'm still in it...

Hey Matt Marcus and Jason Cyr! Flipping good work at Tour de Lake last Sunday!

Time to roll into bed for me. There are a bunch of drunk Irish couples getting crooked in the lobby. I've found it tough and a bit funny just trying to understand the Irish accent since I've been here but when they're drunk, which seems to be often you can forget about even trying to understand them! Ok, I'm really out now. The hotel pub just started blaring Garth Brook's "achy breaky heart". You can only imagine what the people singing along sound like...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Counting Kilometers, lads...

Alright, so now I have finally landed in a B&B with Wifi. So far my first visit to Ireland has been greeted with unusually good weather. In fact the locals have said this is the best weather they've seen in the past 57 years of the Irish Tour.

The style of racing is pretty chaotic since the teams are so small, only 5 riders, and the routes lack hugely decisive climbs. The other mind bender, at least for those of us driving/riding on the right side of the road, is constantly having to think "left, left, left". Just trying to cross the road can be dangerous since one must go against established instincts. Look right, then left. Stay alive. The passenger seat in a vehicle is just as frightening as I question the ability of others to be on the ball while going with such an unnatural flow of driving on the left.

The roads take the us through some amazing scenery but the surface is "absolute shite" as the locals would say. Riding on the side of the field while moving up can be really scary as the edge of the road seems to just crumble away.

Stage one (157k) took us from Naas, just south of Dublin, to Templemore. I felt great for the most part and was able to push it over the cat two climb called "the cut" in the front of the bunch, just behind the breakaway. A bit of a struggle over the top with my left leg deciding to play it's "shut down" trick. Over the top I was able to recover on the decent and turn my self inside out at the front of the field to reel in the breakaway, witch we did by the finish. My first tempo day at the front of the field included about 50K of work. I was shattered at the finish.

Stage Two (147K) sent us from Templemore to Loughrea during which I was suffering the effects of the previous day having to chase up through the caravan on one occasion. I came around in the final 50k and was able to ride for the team a bit.

Stage 3 (171K) Loughrea-Sligo. Suffering. I was coming apart at the seams all day. my leg is not feeling so good and that is not a good thing during an eight day stage race. The final 30k was stunning as we finished along the west coast.

Today: (Sligo-Dungloe 136k) It's raining.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Time for Ireland.

It's been a wicked long time since my last post. Something about that first big stage race of the season (TOV) I suppose. Shocking! I'm jumping on a plane for Dublin this evening with the Kelly boys. The FBD Insurance Milk Ras starts Saturday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tour of Virginia Stage 1

TOV began today in Natural Bridge, VA, only about an hour from my place in harrisonburg. I rolled out @ 10:29 A.M for my prologue Time Trial. 8 minutes later I ended up I believe somewhere around 90th out of about 170 or so. Since today was a double - stage day there was a bit of napping and a 45min transfer to.... I forget. Anyway, whatever town I'm in hosted the Criterium. Nice up and down course lined with Cobblestones. I enjoyed a few minutes off the front to but to no avail as no one was willing to work as a breakaway. A lap after I was gobbled up the first time my teammate DAN Bowman to the KOM and is now in the "mountains leaders" jersey. The race begins tomorrow really... 100 miles with a Category 1, 7 mile, steep switch-backed climb 10 miles before the finish.

JB made it back from Belgium yesterday and was at the TOV today. Nice. And Jeff Schalk cherry picked last weekend's Big Bear WVMBA. Nice.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Floor pizza.

Sometimes it seems that when there is little to do, things that actually need to get done get completely neglected. Taxes? On that apologies for the lack of updates this week. The last couple weeks have been full of racing, training and traveling so when my teammates left for home on Tuesday I went to sleep for a few days.There's plenty of room.

Well, almost. First I rode with Andy Mac for 5 hours and hit up Mexi-night @ the Grill on Tuesday night. Since the ride with Andy marked three weeks of hard training and racing I was psyched to spend Wednesday and Thursday Slothing around the house, sleeping anytime I wasn't standing and eating in between. Hit all the rest week cuisine in the form of Five Guys Burgers and Ciro's pizza - still keepin' it real with mega doses of Jon Barron's Private Reserve Super Food to supplement. As Jon puts it in his book, Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, "you can't build strong, quality blood with pepperoni pizza and twinkies". As it turns out, rest was much need and I already felt the new "form" sensations in my legs during today's early evening paradise spin in the 'Burg. Spring is springing and the grass is looking green in the Shenandoah Valley.

Chris Scott's been up in DC the last few days so the house has been extra mellow. He rolled into town this morning to crank out a few house chores unfortunately at the price of the last sunny day of the week. I launched a few items from the bike clothing pile into the ebay matrix today. Always a tedious, mind-numbing time.

I didn't mention this in my last post but on Monday during our TOV recon my teammate Reid hit a car. He was descending a steep road, over-shot a turn and slammed himself into the side of an on-coming van. He went to the hospital via Charlottesville's warp speed emergency response crew. The crash broke Reid's knee and gave him a nasty laceration on his shin. He was released at 2a.m. the next day. This is a huge loss for our team since Reid was a major player going into the Tour of Virginia in two weeks. At this point we're all just relieved it wasn't worse.

I'm still contemplating my move for racing or not this Sunday. My mountain bike isn't exactly ready... The dirt crew is all out at Sea Otter this weekend. Looks like most people are waiting 'till the XC on Sunday unlike years past when the stage race was mandatory for all pro riders. I can see why it's not like that anymore after last year's 2 minute time trial. Hardly worth a day of prep for that. Oh, man, last year I didn't even make it to the XC because of an alien growth on my underside. While the lightning and rain was hitting the pro men start, I was eating fish 'n chips with my manager on Canary Row.

Heated up the last couple slices of pepperoni pizza from last night today for lunch. A piece fell on the floor. I still ate it.

Monday, April 9, 2007

A little tired.

I made it back from the Monster on Saturday and Roubaix'd it up on Sunday with a nice turnout of 40 or so renegade cyclists in town for the Classic gravel road throttle fest. Matty Marcus and Jason Cyr both made appearances as well as Sparky and Big Matt from the snowy mountains of WV. JB rocketed into the lead after taking advantage of the multiple misfortunes of my KBS team. Guess I could have just chased instead of stopping to help my teammates. C'est la vie I suppose. Nice work Bishop. If there is one thing I've learned from this whole road racing thing, it'd be that when it's three on one the solo guy shouldn't feel obligated to do anything. I almost froze on the 10 mile ride home afterwards. I don't think my body temperature was quite normalized from the previous day's arctic march.

Chris and I had a huge crew at the house with my KBS teammates, Matt and Jason. For dinner we all went to the JMU cafeteria and had an amazing all-you-could-eat feast for $7.20. A nice (and cheap) change to the typical out on the town spots we would normally hit. As a group of professional athletes and mountain men we certainly stuck out in the college crowd. Even managed to smuggle out enough bagels for breakfast this morning.

Today Team KBS did a little Tour of Virginia reconnaissance of the two major climbs in Stage 4, Douthat to Waynesboro. I'm beginning to feel the wear of three major weeks of good training and racing building towards TOV. Rest is next up but first:

Tuesday 4/10/2007:
Planned duration: 5:00

Final day of the block!!!!!!! GO NICK!!!!!!!! WU: 30 minutes MS: Just get out there and get in at least 5 hours today. The goal's are: Get in 3 x 30 minutes at BP and do this starting in hour 3(last one is in the last 30 minutes of the ride) . Also get in a bunch of little hills and make sure to push it up them at threshold(not at anaerobic capacity, but hold back a bit). Finally, make that last 30 minutes STRONG tempo pace. Smooth and steady and motoring. I want you to finish strong! CD: 15 minutes

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Fantastic weather.

Absolutely brutal, today was... 5am alarm followed by 1hr transfer in a raging snow storm that didn't stop until two hours into the race. You get the idea. The start of today's US Open was delayed because the helicopters wouldn't fly in a blizzard, not for saving the riders from hypothermia. The lone coffee shop in town made a killing off the Caffeine-starved racers awaiting the star, myself included. It was pretty wild hanging out at the Java hut with the entire US Pro peloton.

Getting dressed was a huge challenge today. Since most teams arrived in VA with minimal cold weather gear we were forced to get creative to keep the wind, snow and icy road spray at bay. The Kelly team rocked the toilet scrubber yellow rubber gloves to keep the gloves dry and Zip-Lock bags for our shoes, knee's and hips. Can't get much more water proof than cheap plastic and rubber. We stayed in the Saabs with the heat cranked until the pack was actually rolling down the road. The day started with the entire peloton/caravan taking a wrong turn. We flipped it, made the "right" turn and we were off on our frozen journey. Almost every time we rolled under trees the pack would get pelted by frozen chunks rainy down on us.

I Almost got dropped a couple times during the cross-wind sections. I was taking back some clothing to the team car and when I got back to the pack it was in the gutter and I was forced to dangle at the back which is practically THE most difficult position to be in when it's windy. Felt really good on the Circuits in Richmond and climb near the front on the first 5 laps (look close in the coverage, you'll see my red gloves). Johnny, Reid and Ryan justified our sponsor's investment today with some nice NBC breakaway airtime. My good friend Dr. B(onk) visited me on laps 6 and 7. I hate that cruel bastard. GEL gel gel. I will not race without that sticky slime ever again. The bars I had in my pocket were frozen and it was extremely difficult to find the time the mess with them during wicked fast circuits. I finished. Bla bla bla.... and bla! Surprisingly there were only a few crashes today. I narrowly missed being a part of the big one again. There were these train tracks on the left side of the road on part of the circuit and a guy rolled into one at the perfect angle and BOOM, quarter of the pack tasted the sterile Richmond pavement.

I'm worked and I've got a beverage in me so to bed to bed tobed tooobed. Harri-Roubaix Tomorrow! I'm bringin' some teammates.

Friday, April 6, 2007

US Open

The beginning of this week was unreal for riding around here. I Drove into a beautiful Harrisonburg afternoon on Monday. On Tuesday I napped in the sun and made sun-tea followed by burger night @ the Bishops. Wednesday was a super "race winning" interval day with JB while the temperature was easily in 70's. However, the ride did greet us with a few insane pollen and white petal filled wind gusts. An allergenic whiteout. I even got burned over my California tan??

That brings us to Thursday where the bottom dropped out and Harrisonburg awoke to cloudy skies and 30 degrees. Chris Scott and I went out for a "mellow" super rolling loop to check out some of the key turns and gravel sections for this weekend's Hell of the North... Harri-Roubaix. As it was windy and generally miserable we didn't see much and instead opted to ride the wind home to escape the cruel joke that nature is apparently playing on us. It's Spring! Relax! And just as you let down your guard... mother nature blows in an icy "just kidding!". Tomorrow is going to be brutal. Not because I haven't managed to wake up before nine since returning east and tomorrow's start being 8:10 am. And not because the race is 112 miles long. It's because it's going to be freakin' 30 degrees and snowing!

I'm actually really psyched. I've got the French-press packed for the 6am departure and the pace is going to heat things up fast. No worries.

Delayed coverage on NBC Sports tomorrow from 2:30-5:00 PM.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I'm back. Feed me, please.

Nick and Karl (and Karl's giant truck). Brothers.

Just got back from a nice little home visit up in Davis, WV. Touched base with the crew that pretty much makes what I do happen...or at least enjoyable. Hung out with Matt, Jason and Roger @ Blackwater bikes and witnessed one of the new WV 29'er team bikes get built and weigh in under 21 pounds! BWB seems to be cranking up nicely for '07 with bikes and other retail stuff starting to disappear at the quicker Spring rate. Ran into most of the locals including Gary Berti who always seems to be sawing or building something in his backyard that he shares with the bike shop. The Cyrs cheffed up an amazing SUPER-steak dinner for Matt and I - the second welcome back dinner since we returned from our trips ( the first being from Saundra Goss at Sirianni's on Friday night). The roll continued with an awesome Turkey dinner at my parent's house in Aurora on Sunday night with both the Cyrs and Matt. Matt told a bunch of really cool stories of his epic bike adventure in South America and the harsh reality of having to once again shop at the local Shop N' Save... You get the idea if you've ever been to Europe or S. America. The freshness and variety of produce and baked-goods just doesn't compare. At least we have lots of colorful packages with nice pictures on them that in no way portray what's actually inside. Anyway, thanks to all those that fed me while I was home! Matt and Roger contemplating their big order.

The New Team WV 29'er bike. Jason Cyr:"Hey, check this out". No way! CRAZY!!

And finally the big ride of the weekend to complete a tired and jet-lagged week. In the rain and nothing short of a WV style mountain throw down. A 90 mile, five hour and ten minute tour of the gritty mountain roads that built me! A flat tire from a roofing nail in hour five had me arriving home just before dinner.

On Monday morning I miraculously was able to make it to BWB before 10am and met Jason and Matt for Breakfast at the "new" Bright Morning cafe. I give it four out of five stars. I'm going to say the fifth star is for "originality" and one look at the menu will explain why they didn't get it...

Rolled into town last night. Got a visit from the Bishops on their way back from the airport. JB had a solid weekend @ NORBA # 1 in AZ. Congrats.

Today was a rest day.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Headin' to the mountains.

Pre-Stage 4 last Sunday in CA.

Man, I was wondering when my recent blog update-string was going to end... That was pretty intense. I needed a break for sure. The last few days have been completely packed with solo jet-lagged training. Basically, I didn't manage to make it out of bed before before eleven a.m. everyday and training took up the rest of the daylight hours. I finished each of the last three days after seven p.m. Finally a mellow day today with an easy couple hours with Andy Mac and his buddy Grant.

Anyway, I'm heading up to the Valley for the weekend. If anyone's looking for me it's almost a sure bet I'll be at Blackwater Bikes most of the day Saturday. Seeya soon, Roger!

My plan for Sunday is to spend 5 hours riding all over Tucker/Preston County before rolling back down to Harrisonburg to prepare for the US Open of Cycling on the 7th (Williamsburg-Richmond, 220k and live TV coverage on NBC Sports!).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Big trip #1 in the books.

Two relatively sleepless nights, thousands of miles and a gigantic cinnamon roll later, I have arrived back in the 'Burg. An hour or so after I walked through my front door Matt Marcus called to inform me that he had just flown into Dulles this morning from his huge cycling adventure through South America. Damn, that would've been the perfect ride home. I made it. Not a problem.

And how you ask? Well...

Jeff, sensing my concern for being "stuck" in the tower of doom (a.k.a Jeff's high rise DC apartment building), kindly offered me the use of his truck. He is leaving tomorrow for the early-season MTB trifecta of NORBA #1,2 and Sea Otter and I'll pick him up when he flies home on the 17th.

Dude, I made it through the chaos of Rhode Island, M St. and Georgetown fine. I only made one turn too early missing 66 on the first try. Made it on the second, though! I was on the highway rolling along listening to Ted Leo with the window down and feeling free when all the sudden... Ahhh, not so dramatic really. It's interesting to note that while traveling the forces seem to be generally against you.

A perfect travel day.

Ouuuch. Karl??

Wait, I can do this. I believe.

No damage, brother, other than the flat tire... Glad to see all the tools were where they were supposed to be. It's a good thing you had a pump in the back, too. The spare had about 5psi!

Enjoy the trip and watch out for the cacti in AZ.

Made it back to town in time to ride for a couple hours. I finished at seven this evening and the temp was still 77 degrees.

Almost there...

Yesterday was wicked, however, I finished and I'm now on my way toward actual form! 150 riders began yesterdays stage four sunset loop and 60-something finished. Painful, yet satisfying.

Spent the day in-transit from LAX to Dulles. Direct flight back to the homeland. Perfect.

Jeff Schalk picked me up a few hours ago and now I'm stuck in the Tower of Doom in DC.

Next step:

Find ride to Harrisonburg.

Hello? Anyone....??

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stage 4: Sunset road race

1:30 pm – Men - 12 laps, 146.5 km - Lots of steep, punchy climbing.
Start/Finish: Citrus Avenue, Downtown Redlands

This one's gonna hurt.

Yesterday's Crit was one of my best - ever. I say this because my three previous attempts to even finish in the group during this stage have all been futile. Yesterday wasn't a problem and for this I give many thanks to my teammate Reid Mumford for all the key tips he's offered over the last week.

My body hurts but it should stay together for today's grand finale.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

OakGlen and Ted Leo

Tough day in the saddle and only a 60th place to show for it. I'll get ya the details but I'm tired at the moment so in the meantime check out this video of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. These guys really wail!

(click the play button on the bottom left to stay on "the blog")

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

116th out of 180.

Oddly enough, I'm not feeling like quiting after my result in today's stage 1 5k Time Trial. After all, this is time trialling. I plan to get better, honestly.

The course was fast and rolling with a climbing finish on rough roads. My lungs, as always here in the "clean" air of Redlands, were torched at the finish and I had that awful metallic blood taste in my mouth.

Tomorrow is the much more fitting stage 2 of Redlands to Oak Glen. 156K with a mountain top finish. Not sure exactly what my role will be but it will probably be riding in support of Reid who was 39th today.

I'll try to post some photo's of the amazing palace later tonight.

Getting ready for massage and dinner.


The road to Redlands.

I'm pleased to announce that myself and four of my teammates have landed in the mother of all host-houses here in Redlands, CA. Our place sits up on a giant hill above the City. I'll post some pictures tomorrow that will explain the grandness of the place KBS will call home for the next four days during the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

I had a great nights sleep last night and woke up to one of the sunnier days in a while. The house was buzzing first thing this a.m. with riders doing laundry,going for morning rides and getting equipment ready for the mechanic to pack into the team trailer. Larry, our soigneur, spent the morning putting his care-kit together with radios, musette bags, race food and of course everything for massage. He also handed out more of our gear that is still slowly trickling in. We finally have skin suits and gloves!

My morning was consumed by cleaning up the disaster zone that has been my room for the last three weeks. I had the best room in our three story beach house as I was on the second floor with the kitchen, living room and ocean view. It was supposed to be for the mechanic but he bolted shortly after team camp. Yeah, he basically just disappeared one day and we later found the team car at the train station. It's a tough job but... Anyway, we've a new guy, Brian, who has been awesome. He's from Ventura so it's worked out well but he won't be with us all year. Just through Redlands where he'll train the new full time guy. Speaking up team staff stuff, KBS is looking for another soigneur-like helper during the Tour of Virginia. Someone to do massage, fill/clean bottles and work the feed zones. Get in touch if ya know of anyone.

On the bike:

Your Workouts for Wednesday 3/21/2007:
Workout # 1: Bike, Planned duration: 1:30, Planned distance: 0

1.5hours with 3 x 1 minutes hard, with at least 5 minutes of easy riding between each. Also do 3 x 30 seconds hard sprints, with 5 minutes between. Rest is just easy and cruising.

SuperFood Green Shake for Lunch.

Drove with Larry and Reid Mumford in the Saab wagon to Redlands along a bunch of wicked mountain ranges. Ahhh, and of course a stop @ a shady little burrito shack in Pasadena. Muy rico!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sleep intervals

It finally rained today. Oxnard has been consumed by overcast skies and fog for the last week and a half but no rain. Everywhere to the east has been sunny with temperatures in 70's and 80's the whole time. I start my rides every day with a jacket and leg warmers only to take them off fifteen minutes later after reaching the "real" So-Cal weather.

I took Johnny Sundt to the airport this morning at four A.M. Besides the lack of sleep, it was awesome to be outside during the pre-dawn stillness with the only sound coming from the crashing waves across the beach. The smell of the ocean is pretty sharp that early in the morning. The Oxnard airport is only about seven minutes away so I was back in the sack by 4:30.

My morning, witch began around 9:30, was a little rough as some of the fog from outside seemed to be sitting on my brain.

Coffee....Coffee? Coffee!! And into the rain for a ride...

I've been feeling a bit flat the last couples weeks so I had a chat with Coach Hunter yesterday and we got the plan all dialed in. Tour of Virginia at the end of April is the center piece but for now it's all about Redlands.

My Day:

Your Workouts for Tuesday 3/20/2007:
Workout # 1: Bike, Planned duration: 2:30, Planned distance: 0

WU: 20 minutes warm-up MS: Then do (6) x 2 minutes striving for 135% with 1 minute rest between each, Then 5 minutes easy, Then 6 x 1 minute, striving for 150% with 1 minute rest, Then 5 minutes easy and finish with 6 x 30 seconds ALL out with 1 minute rest... CD: Cool down for 15 minutes of easy spinning. Try for at least 200% of your threshold watts on each sprint as an average. SHOOT for 350% of threshold watts as your max in the last 6 sprints.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Money, stitches...

Murphy's Law conspired against KBS/Medifast yesterday as our money-man, sprinter Dave McCook, hit the pavement warming up for the Visalia Criterium. He won a sweet tendon-exposing flesh wound and a broken hand. Dave was riding a lap of the course and somehow ran into a Japanese rider who was riding the opposite direction. I came around the last turn to the finishing straight seconds after the crash and saw the bike on the ground and could tell immediately by the light color of the frame that it belonged to one of my teammates. When I got there Dave was sitting quietly on the curb sweating, looking pale as a ghost and holding his crippled right hand. It's crazy how much damage low-speed wrecks can cause as apposed to high speed wrecks where the load tends to be spread over more of the body. I don't think the Japanese guy even hit the ground. As I was talking to the paramedics and Dave trying to make sure they didn't try to snare him with a $500 ambulance ride to the hospital 3 blocks a way, and they tried along with accusing us of being too concerned with the bill, the Japanese dude says "I don't think he ride today". Needless to say, Dave is out for a while. This is a huge loss for the team and an even bigger bummer for McCook.

On a lighter note, I managed to miss the call up that Dave Towle so kindly hooked me up with. Instead of rolling easily up to the front row I was out sprinting between stop lights warming up. Tumble weeds rolled by and crickets chirped as Dave announced " The future is now! Nick Waite riding for KBS/Medifast ladies and gentlemen!". Actually the future is hangin' out at the back of the field...dang it! Sorry about that, Dave. Thanks for the love, man. I'm still working on my start line punctuality. Johnny Sundt rolled up in my place as the team's front line representative. The team road with more intent yesterday and we managed to show our selves quite a bit at the front of the race. I'm still working on being comfortable in these circuit speed festivals. From the gun it is all out efforts followed by sitting in and going again. It'll come...eventually. In the last few laps we had four guys up there with Sundt, Gilbert (the guy we're all working for), Mumford and myself. The goal was to bring Gilbert up with 4 to go and get him on the Juggernaut train of Toyota/United. We lacked a bit of horsepower with only four guys and I'm not a big help at that speed but Gilbert and Sundt stayed close landing in the money at 17th and 19th. Toyota/United's Ivan Domingez won. I finished on the tail end of that group, however, not in the money. My helper's cut was $40.00. Groceries!

I've got lot's to take care of today getting ready for a race that suits me a little better, the 4 day Redlands Cycling Classic.

The list:

Race and spare bike set-up.
insoles and shims for my cycling shoes.
easy ride
Chiropractor visit
foam roller/stretch

Jeremiah Bishop left me a message this morning. Sounds like he'll be pumped for some training when I get home on the 26th. When ya gonna put my link on your site, JB?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Today: Visalia Criterium (NRC)

I just found this picture of me riding in stage 2 of the Rhond L'izard in Southern France during June '05. The picture was taken with 1k to go on a mountain top finish. I was 10th over the line.

Up this foggy morning getting ready to head north for the Visalia Crit later this afternoon.

Winter again in WV. White Grass is pumped!

Chris Phillips just called me over the net. Better talk to him.

Hey Roger! Get in touch. Anyone heard from Mackie (Matt Marcus)?

Matt, get in touch unless you're being held captive @ some shady South American border.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I can't work under these conditions...

My computer is up and running finally! The last few motivated posts were due, in part, to computer-charity/pity. An hour here a charger there... In the end solving the dilemma was a simple trip to the local discount electronics store to buy a flipping charger.

I left off last week with the stage 2 Time Trial in the CVC race in Fresno. Uneventful and slow on my part. That's why I listened to fast music the whole time. Stage 3 was a criterium in downtown Fresno. The course was animated with a 180 degree "U" Turn at the end of the 500 meter start/finish drag strip. The other five corners where pretty mellow comparatively and the group was able to carry a lot of speed through them. The U Turn on the other hand had people so freaked out that there were wrecks basically every lap. Lap two was neutralized because of some random pile-up. The pack would go from 35mph down the straight to 3mph right before the death turn. The smell of burning rubber and skin completely over powered the BBQ clouds coming from the vendors lining the course.
With this being my first NRC Crit of the season and second in two years, it was an immediate struggle to sit in let alone make it to the front in order to contribute in anyway. I was pinned at the back for the first six laps at least. Once I warmed up, learned the corners and smoothed out my pack-surfing I was a little more comfortable at the highly uncomfortable speeds. The death-turn ended up being my favorite part of the course because it reminded me of the first turn the usually greets the field in the NORBA XC and Short Tracks. I just stayed off the brakes, shifted before the turn and rode the outside to avoided the carnage. This technique would be good for ten or so spots per lap. As far as how the team rode, we were all a little off the back relative to the other big teams with big representation at the front of the race. We missed all the moves but almost managed to get our main sprinter, Marten "Bam Bam" Gilbert, to the front for the sprint.
I actually used my last kick to get him up about thirty spots with three laps to go. In the last lap, however, Marten lived up to his nickname and managed to insert his rear dérailleur into someone's front wheel (sound familiar?) and destroyed his frame and carbon rear wheel. This marks Bam Bam's second complete destruction of a $7000.00 bicycle in as many weeks. All in all, Johnny Sundt still managed an 18th place on the day and $40.00 or about 8 burritos for the team. Ah, yeah.

My week has been a bit foggy for some reason. I've been sleeping a lot since the house is empty of all but three of us. Monday and Tuesday were both super mellow and I managed two decent training rides on Wed/Thurs. A bit of early season energy-lull, perhaps.

A few of the guys on the team are doing a Time Trial today up in Visalia. Only the tall guys on the team since we are still waiting for the midget TT bikes. So, that means I'm still here in OXnard wasting time on the beach, watching a lot of E! and getting educated on all my celebrity neighbors down in Malibu. According to E!, Christina Agulara lost all her "baby fat" running on the beach in Malibu with Pam Anderson. I need to talk to the team about moving camp down the PCH about 30miles next year.

Looks like the Team USA MTB'ers rocked it for the most part down in Argentina during the Pan-America championships last weekend. A medal or two in each event. Kickin'.

Ryan Trebon, '06 US XC National Champion and '07 National Cyclo-Cross Champion, stopped by the KBS/Medifast house the other night for some desert.

Hey, chocolate pudding is delicious!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rock and Roll Time Trial

Just got back from stage 2, a 16 mile Individual Time Trial, and now I'm blogging it up in the hotel room with a California burrito in my stomach. No pressure in today's TT for me since I finished a ways back yesterday and was not riding a TT bike. The TT bikes are apparently in-transit so the team should be all set for next weekend in Vasalia. Without the pressure of crushing myself on today's flat course for a top 50 result I instead used the day for a training effort and even manage to smuggle my ipod past the officials at the start. Nice to see my good announcer friend Dave Towle at the start which meant I got a little attention amongst all the accomplished road racer guys. The course went straight through an orange grove and was completely flat with a head-wind for the most part. It was pretty funny to see guys in full TT gear going by 5mph faster than me while I'm riding the hoods, cranking out a nice Lt-tempo effort and rockin' out to Green Day's live "Foot in Mouth" album on my ipod.

Talked to my old LSV/KBS teammate Matt Cooke at the finish. He's looking lean and all Euro-styled out in his new Navigators kit. Apparently most of the climbers are getting the same treatment by their teams in the Time Trial with Cooke's road bike set up with crooked TT bars that he installed himself and me with my lone piece of "Aero" equipment being a set of KBS Shoe covers.

Tomorrow: 100k 5 corner Critierium with a a crazy "U" turn in it.


That was tough. I Felt pretty good during today's 102 mile stage and was assigned to mark moves (riders trying to escape) and try get into the main breakaway. I succeeded in doing both and then floating right out of the back of the main field on the last climb in the last lap. This is not a bad thing since I absolutely sacrificed myself for the team. Today felt like one of Hunter's "Monster Gear" interval workouts. The first lap was smooth but on the a cross-wind section in the second lap someone hooked my derailleur with their front wheel. Neither of us went down but I ended up with a severely wrenched rear derailleur relegating me to a few high gears hence the "Monster Gear". I was so destroyed when Jonas (team director) came by in the Saab that I could barely pace my way up through the race caravan to make it back up to the main field. Actually, I didn't make it up at all.

I'm not sure what my result was but I know my group finished a ways back from the main field.

Tomorrow: 35K Time Trial

Friday, March 9, 2007

First race...

OK, based on the lack of comments being left on my website, I'm assuming most people have given up on my sporadic blogging. I understand. In any case, if there is any lingering interest out there whatsoever, I'm doing my first race with the KBS/Medifast team tomorrow in Fresno, Ca. It's a three day stage race called the Central Valley Classic. Tomorrow is a 102 mile road race with two good climbs each of the three laps. Saturday is a Time Trial (the mechanic is outside building the TT bikes right now in the parking lot!). Sunday is a Criterium. and should have pretty good coverage. For those that still care and haven't lost all faith in my blogging frequency can also check here for a different view.

We're leaving the hotel @ 6:45 in the morning and the race start is 9:00am.

The weather is supposed to be in the 70's tomorrow and in the 80's this weekend. You guy's (WV, VA) are getting snow, right? Float the powder for me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Speed Clinic

Alright, I suppose it's time to explain the Speed Clinic ad you see to the right. Over the years I have dealt with a number of cycling-induced muscle-imbalances and frustrations resulting from poor bike fit. I've also been to many performance centers and biomechanical experts looking for the a more comfortable and powerful position on my bike. Well, it turns out the place I was looking for was a lot closer to home than I expected. I had the chance to visit The Speed Clinic located at the UVA hospital in Charlottesville, VA a few weeks ago just before heading out to California to start my season.

Jay Dicharry (a White Grass regular) is the fit guru. He was a little bummed that I didn't cancel when I told him I had to escape an epic snow storm in Canaan the night before in order to make the Monday morning appointment. Of course we'd both rather be shreadin' fresh pow pow at White Grass but I'm a professional and I've got a tight schedule... Luckily for everyone I made the red-dress Ski-hash Sunday. Back to the fit:

The first part of the process was a biomechanical evaluation to address problems I had already been dealing with to give him an idea of where to start. We found a host of things including core stabilization problems and lower back issues that were causing a lot of stress in my left leg.

The 3D Bike-Fit was the final step. The lab reminded me of a NASA control center with computers and high tech cameras focusing on me while I spun on a Compu-trainer in the center of the room. The cameras shoot at 250 frames per second and only pick up strategically place reflective nodes on my ankle, knee and hip joints. The cameras don't actually see me but instead create a 3d diagram of my lower body in a computer program. The whole recording process is real-time so while I pedal Jay's assistant can measure the degrees and in which planes my legs and hips are moving. From here Jay takes measurements and adjusts the bike so I end up in a more neutral and powerful position. I was also shown how to address the bike properly to keep my spine straight to keep my hips and breathing "open" rather than a curved spine that tends to shut down a lot of power and restrict breathing.

Several weeks and hundreds of miles later I'm still seeing improvement and am more comfortable on the bike than I have been in at least five years. Wish I would've found these guys sooner.

Check out their link on my site or contact me for more info.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


The last couple days have been pretty mellow. I went on a nice solo ride on Sunday and explored the area a bit. There are a lot of really good climbs in the Santa Monica mountains. Getting out there from the beach in Oxnard (where the house is) is super flat and a little smelly from the sulfur fertilizer used on all the big Lemon and Avocado farms, though.

The communities at the base on the Santa Monica range are all your typical upscale west-coast urban communities but still give the feeling of urban sprawl with no real centralized public areas like you would find in more established communities like Santa Barbara or Ventura. It's kind of a bummer to have to jump on a super busy highway to go to the grocery store or a coffee shop and still be surrounded by identical homes and people you don't know at home. Wait, you have to get in a car to go places in WV, right? Sure, but the difference is that when you're at home you are drenched in peaceful solitude with mountains and rivers sheltering your privacy. Home should be a sanctuary not a locked-door chamber.

Everyone is back from this weekend's race so the house is full again. One of my teammates, Martin Gilbert, came back wrapped in bandages from a nasty fall that left his fork snapped in half and his carbon wheels crushed and missing about half the spokes. He rode into a buddy of mine from the National Road Team when the guy crashed right in front of him at about 25miles an hour!

Jeremiah Bishop called me a few days ago. He's getting ready to leave for the Pan-American MTB Championships in Argentina. Good luck, JB.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Home alone.

While the rest of the team is racing in Merced this weekend, I'm taking this mellow weekend as a chance to explore the coast and put in some nice solo training miles. Yesterday I went into the mountains off the Pacific Coastal Highway. There are some amazing views of the Ocean after climbing about 1500' up the steep canyon roads. Once you've made it over the first steep climb from the PCH, you connect into an endless network of European-style, serpentine, single lane roads. The homes up there are incredible and are certainly owned by the rich and perhaps even famous local population.

The bummer about riding around here is that from the house in Oxnard it takes an hour of riding along the PCH in the wind to make it out to the really good, smaller roads. Yesterday I rode three hours and my average power was higher than any of the rides I did with the team earlier in the week.

All right, I suppose I should be heading in the directions on the bike. It is noon...

Friday, March 2, 2007

KBS/Medifast Pro Cycling: Team Camp

The burn-lines on my legs from the Southern California sun are beginning to settle into my first '07 tan-lines. This always "marks" the beginning of the racing countdown. As opposed to my pals in VA and WV, for the next month anyway, I'll be building my tan-lines layer-by-layer, ride-by-ride. Ahhhh.... No leg warmers, lots of Sun block. Bummer.

I've been out in Oxnard, CA just south of Ventura and north of L.A. riding with my new KBS/Medifast teammates. The travel here from Jeff Schalk's "Tower of Doom" to LAX's smog clouds was not without a hiccup or two. First, I ended up packing way too many clothes which made for insanely heavy bags that lead Jeff to remark "Ya goin' to the Oscars or something?". Just getting to my gate proved to be a challenge as I somehow managed to forget which airline I was flying on. Once again prompting commentary from Mr. Schalk: "Nick, you need to start acting less like a slack @$$ MTB'r and more like a prompt and organized road racer". So, a few call's to the command center (Chris Scott) later, I found my gate. Of course being so behind the ball always comes with consequences and my late arrival on the departing end translated into -2 bags on the arriving end. Fantastic. I feel ready, honestly.

This has by far been the most organized, intense and professionally run program I have ever been apart of. Starting with the fact that for the first time in my career I do not have to travel with bikes! I have a "training-bike" that stays at home fully equipped with Harrisonburg gravel road assaulting tires. In the loving care of our team mechanic Jonno, I have two other fully race-tuned Lemond road bikes. When I arrived at the team house on the corner of Las Palmas St. and Sunset drive I was greeted with more goodies like a Timberland travel duffel bag embroidered with my name and stuffed full of sponsor shwag all sporting the KBS/Medifast logo. Oh, yeah and like 4 pairs of timberland hiking, running, lounging and casual shoes. Nice. By the way, this is the first team I've been a part of that provided prodigious amounts of cool casual threads.

From day one the schedule cranked up to full throttle. The day's started at 7am for breakfast and riding by 9am. The riding here is pretty spectacular since our time on the bike starts and finishes each day with about 20 miles to and from the mountains along the Pacific coastal highway. The first ride the team did together, we rode a stage of the Tour of California backwards and watched the peloton roll by. The spectators along the course were all yelling, " Hey, you guys are going the wrong way!". Next year KBS will be in that race.

The riding was finished by 2pm each day and we had about an hour to chill out before the sponsor presentations and media training began. This went on for six days.

I caught a cold midway through the week so unfortunately I'm not racing with the team this weekend in Merced. On the upside I do have a three-story house on the beach all to myself for the weekend.