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.