Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cold and Chilly Weekend

First - GO PACK!!! Woo hoo! 37 to 3. ha ha. Work is going to be fun tomorrow with Mgr back from Hawaii! YEAH!

Man, has it been chilly lately. Seems even colder right now with Wieser once again with DA. This time if he comes back home, he stays here and there are no more nights like Friday realizing he's not here to snuggle up with. Sometimes trying to be nice just sucks.

Perdy misses Wieser too.

Friday night was a bummer packing up Wieser again. Called it an early night. Saturday was busy. Got up and got a work out in (yeah!) and then figured I should really attempt some yard work. Of course the lawnmower wouldn't start. As a last resort I called DA and he just made me feel worst. I will learn. I really will. So the grass didn't get cut and the leaves just got moved around, but many of the plants and such got cut back/down like they needed. I would still really love one more nice weekend to get more done but that would be needed in December as the next couple I am up in WI.

I woke up this morning to a pretty sore back but looked forward some fun Cross. Called Nads on my way out to find out she was still chillin' with her Dad and Kim. Of course I can't blame her for getting in as much of a visit as she can. Gave her some crap and told her to get in the shower and drive quickly. She missed the 3's but hung on in the cold until the start of the last race. Such a trooper! Afterwards we chilled and watched Transition 2. Good stuff.

Quick minute to drop a shout out to
Brad Huff! Nice win today! That following his win of Stage 3 the other day. Way to go! The Jelly Belly guys have been racing the Tour of Hainan in China this week and have been doing pretty well. Kiel got a top 10 the other day too! Keep it going guys! Just 3 more stages to go.

The cross race today was down right chilly. Started out pretty nice (considering the day seemed colder as it went on). There was some good sun, just a light wind. Then the sun went away, the wind picked up, and it snowed! The snow didn't stick until tonight on the ground and was just flurries during the day but still. I'm not sure I'm ready for this just yet.

I've checked the site but there aren't many results up yet. There's a chance Mike got a top 10 again. That would rock with as flat as the course was. Last week he got his 1st top 10 in the 3's and you can
read his write up on the team site.

Here's a few pics:

Greg making it look easy down the middle.

Mike chooses to run as he passes the guy who tried to ride the pit.

Run Eileen - Run!

My flickr account with more pics.
xXx Racing Team Site.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chilly Cross and Fun

I have no idea where this weekend has gone but it was at least a fun weekend from start to finish. Fun game night Friday night with the gang. Got my ass kicked in Scene It and realized I held my own during the 80's movies and failed miserably with the more current ones. Oh well. The rematch in December is so on!

Saturday was great getting to sleep in a bit. Saturday night was just what was needed with a visit with some old friends and some good wine. Maybe a bit too much wine but very worth it. Not sure what I was thinking though as Friday everyone was at my house and I didn't drink a drop yet Saturday night I had like 5 glasses of wine. Oops. At least I sobered up before I drove home.

Today started way to early for my slightly hungover self and it was flippin' cold. Headed out in search of some caffeine after picking up Nads for the Cross race and then attempted to prepare for some mind over coldness to cheer on the riders. It wasn't too bad at first but it took no time to realize the wind was going to chill us to the bone. We headed over for the hill after saying hi to Mike and wishing him some good lucks. It was chilly today to say the least but wasn't too bad out of the wind. Or we got numb and it didn't matter. Not sure which. I cracked up laughing at how bundled up Nads was but she enjoyed the last laugh as my cold fingers opted for less picture taking to keep the hands a bit warmer. Still a good fun time.

After we left the race we headed to warm up with some lunch and then went to say hi to Theresa and see little Ryan. Such a cutie. Both Ryan and mom are doing great and he's already up to 8 pounds. Yeah! After that it was a trip to Nads and we watched a Cross video. Looking forward to the next one with a few more riders that I know. That first wasn't bad but not as interesting only knowing 2-3 guys in it.

Here of course are a few pics of the day with the link below for some more.
Rebecca taking the corner.

Heck leading Parker down the hill.
Jeff tackling the stairs.

Matt tries to scare Mike around the corner and almost lost his footing.

My flickr account is here and xXx Racing is here. Enjoy!

Stay warm this week and have some fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

GO Nads GO! ha ha ha!

Another fun weekend has come and gone. Such a bummer.

Spent most of the weekend de-exing the house which was way over due. Certainly feels good with the progress made in the basement. For now there are several boxes out in the garage awaiting pick up on Tuesday. Still a few more things than need to be gone through but the progress made was pretty awesome. Thank god for awesome college roomies that know me better than I know myself sometimes. With out them I am not sure how the past couple years would've turned out. Huge thanks to Ames and Nads for sure. :-) Love you both!

Dizziness is still a bit of an issue. Latest from the doc is that I have to do my best to hang on for another couple weeks. Apparently the labrynthitis can stick around for 6-8 weeks. I'm just ready for it to be gone but the meds are keeping most things in check. Saturday's cleaning certainly set things off a couple times but never too badly. Blood work done earlier in the week has all come back and there's still signs of inflammation but good news was the iron was finally in check so I'm down to one of those a day, and after a month, I get to go every other day. Good news for sure. I hate those things.

After all the work yesterday it was some fun time today. Nads and I headed to the Cross race and we had the best time today. We usually don't stay for all the races but we were there until the end. Since she couldn't watch the Packer game, she was all for staying so we did. And we're glad we did. It was a lot of fun and tons more people were there through out the day.

Below are some pics so enjoy!

Of course more can be found here.
And Newt's got a fun write up on the team site.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Wind. More Cross. :-)

Another fun day at the races. :-) Today started out pretty nice. Sun was out, mid 50's, races to watch. Then the wind picked up and yikes! It was windy today but a lot of fun. We met more riders (probably way too many in one day) and had another fun day. I think we've got the names but putting them back to faces will be interesting next weekend for sure. This afternoon we watched it rain/snow(!?!?) while we watched a movie. It was a quick shower but man, it's not even November yet. I'm so not ready for the cold snow stuff yet.

Here's a couple pics from today...

There's more out on Flickr and make sure to check out the xXx Racing site for more.

Got home tonight and had a message from my Aunt. Mike is off at boot camp in San Diego and we're heading out there for graduation in January. His dates kept moving back but now graduation is going to happen the weekend of my birthday and I'm thrilled! It should be a great weekend. It looks like we'll fly out Wednesday and be there until Sunday. I am already looking forward to the sun and the anticipated break. Winters are chilly here and work is already picking up so a long weekend seeing Mike graduate will be an awesome birthday present. I can't wait! I got to read his letter and letters his way are welcome along with goodies but no candy. Power bars are okay. I think I might try sending him some Jelly Belly Sport Beans. Ha!

Things this week were pretty quiet. I was sent home early everyday to make sure I didn't overdue things. Monday included a flickering light above my desk which drove my head insane. Tuesday they wanted me to head home way earlier than I thought was needed. Apparently I was looking rather "white" so it's no wonder I went to bed early. The week got better for sure but this dang virus thing is still hanging on. Tomorrow it's a call to the doc. I'm all for letting a virus running it's course, but over 3 weeks? Really? Hopefully it's nothing but since the light headedness and dizziness came back after the meds were gone, it's worth checking out - again.

This next week is going to be packed. Work is starting to pick up and the small lull we had the past couple months looks to be gone. Month end at the end of the week and Mgr leaves for HI so there's a lot to tie up before he heads out. Very jealous and I have only myself to blame since Tim is there and a visit would take nothing more than a phone call and a plane ticket. We also have our volunteering afternoon on Tuesday. We're headed over to the Chicago Food Bank to bag food and help out. Always a feel good day when you can get out and help someone.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Fun Cross Day

Another week has come and gone and I have little idea where to. Checked in with the docs again a couple times through the week and now we are on a high dose of meds which seem to be eliminating all of the symptoms of the dizziness but what a roller coaster. The meclizine makes me pretty tired and I'm on 150mg of that and the predinsone pretty much wires me up and I'm on 60mg of that. The kicker is that he has me on it for 5 days and then off cold turkey. I'll be calling him on day four as I know the med well enough with all the years of my dad being on it that it is not one to just stop taking, even if for only a few days. But in the meantime I just wait to see which one hits me first through the day. I'm either wired to go and running around doing stuff all over the house, or I'm snuggled up with a blanket wondering if I should take yet another nap. The good thing is that at least now there are no spinning rooms, no dizzy spells, and I went the entire day today with out feeling light headed or feeling like I just lost my balance. So that is great.

After not sleeping much last night (took a dose of predinsone too late and it stayed with me till the wee hours of the morning) I was running later than I wanted to today. But, still got up to see the Cross race in Carpentersville. It was another enjoyable day outside and it seems like every week we are meeting a few more people and we're having fun cheering on Mike and the xXx Team riders. After the race Mike came over and he said he finished 10th. Great stuff. He moved up to Cat 3 a couple weeks ago and it seems each week he's moving up in the placings so that is cool. We think it must be with the help of the cheering of course. :-)

A couple pics from today...

The guys were going along the side of the hill giving it full gas to the flatter part of the course.

There were two lovely barriers to hop over on the way up the incline.

Mike fully exerted himself with this climb. ha ha!

Fun sand pits. Kids playing on both sides cheering for mom's and dad's as they rode through the play area.

More pics can be seen HERE.

After the race we grabbed some lunch. Jane and I both thought pizza sounded good so pizza, with a salad for our appetizer, it was. Good stuff on a chilly day. From there we went baby clothes shopping and headed over to say hi to Theresa. The "IBS baby" is still in the hospital getting well enough to come home but Mom & Mike were both home and doing well. The baby's room is painted and cute and tons of planning is being worked on. Nothing like being told you have IBS and then go into the ER from pains and getting told you're having a baby - today. He is a cute little thing and we can't wait to meet him when he gets home and they all get a little settled. Huge congrats Theresa on the cute little one!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spinning Rooms and Cross Fun :-)

It's been a few weeks since I've updated the blog but I've racing and life certainly hasn't stopped, which is a good thing. :-)

Just over a week ago, I ended up in the doc's office suffering from extreme dizziness, headaches, loss of balance, and unreal nausea. The doc called it labyrinthitis but I say it is the worst hang over feeling in the world. And as I joked later in the week, the worst might just be, never getting to enjoy the party that might lead to such a hang over the night before. It sucked.

I spent several days just hoping the spinning rooms would stop moving and that I might be able to eat a lunch versus sticking to shakes as at least those I knew I was keeping down. I feel for anyone that's had vertigo and I really feel for those that have it over a week. It hasn't been any fun. All the doc recommended was sleep and Bonine. Thanks. I ate 2 boxes of the motion sickness pills over three days in attempting to keep the spinning to a minimum. It helped but never took it away. And for sleep, I think I slept more in the last week than I have in the past six months - seriously. I generally don't sleep much for many reason so to find myself sleeping close to 20 hours in one day was off to say the least.

Things have been getting better everyday but things still aren't "normal". I'm finally able to watch TV, be in the computer, and I'm sleeping more normal hours. I still have some bad dizzy spells and I get bad headaches following it but laying down seems to help it go away. I've been off work a week and will be working from home for a day or two. When I last spoke to the doc she said it could be a few more days. I'm hoping it just goes away.

Last Sunday, with out realizing how bad things were, I headed out to a Cross race with GG and Theresa. Woke up and waited for the dizziness to stop and then I was feeling okay so I figured why not. :-) We headed up to DeKalb for the 2nd Chicago Cyclocross race. We got there and unlike a majority of the road races where I've met great riders like those from Jelly Belly and Garmin, we knew no one. So it was a little odd. We cheered on the riders but GG and Theresa were not having quite the fun I had hoped they would. Between races we were walking around and I saw one of the riders from xXx Racing and he looked somewhat familiar so I went up to say hi. Turns out he was at Downers and that's where I had seen him before. It was fun meeting Mike and it now gave us someone specific to cheer for so GG and Theresa had much more fun during the 2nd race we watched. And it didn't hurt that Mike came in 2nd in the race so that was exciting too. :-)

Mike avoiding a fallen rider on a down hill section at DeKalb.

In a rare event, I handed over my keys after the race for GG to drive as I was just not up to it. There were a few times during the race that if someone didn't know me, they might've thought I was drunk. The whole balance thing started to give me issues and just a step up or down a hill bothered me. I was ready to be home. We stopped for a bite to eat and headed back to GG's where I laid down and slept for awhile. When I got up I felt good enough to get home and that's what I did. Went home and straight to bed.

Once I got my pics uploaded into my flickr account I dropped an email to xXx to share the fun of meeting Mike and cheering him on and to let them know I had some pics they were welcome to. Luke emailed back and so did Bob. I also got an email from Mike and I shared that with Theresa and Jane. It was fun to meet a rider to cheer on and the girls had a good time and we planned future races to check out.

This weekend Theresa was busy but Jane and I were looking forward to going again. So we headed out to Hawthorne. In the email from Mike, and per his entry on the team site, he was moving up to the cat 3's so we went earlier. We found a spot near the nasty ass hill the riders had to go up twice on each lap for pics and cheering. As Mike came by he had a huge "Hi Nikki" which was fun that he knew us. We cheered him and the team on and then moved up to the top of the hill and cheered for even more riders as the hill wasn't easy. The view from the top was great as we got to see them come up twice and could see the whole course. On a beautiful 80 degree sunny Sunday, it doesn't get much better. :-)

The dreaded hill the riders had to go up twice each lap.

Almost to the top for the 2nd time, after jumping the barrier at the bottom.

Of course I got light headed before too long so we left a little earlier than planned but still had a good time. As we drove out I saw a rider with an xXx tee on and tonight, per his email, it sounds like the good luck Jane shouted to him as we passed, it was Bob. His first Cross race today and he said he lost it in the mud pit so we are bummed we didn't check that part of the course out. :-) All good stuff and xXx Racing has new fans for sure as thus far, starting back at Downer's when I met John and Nico, the whole team seems very friendly and fun. We look forward to meeting more and cheering them on at more races. I love the guys I've met this past year and to now be getting to know a local group is just loads of fun. No reason for the season to end when we have some many fun people to meet and cheer on. :-) Check out the pics I've shared at the team site. They're on flickr and on the team's main page. Good stuff.

Some Cycling Updates...

So I know it's been a little while since I've blogged but life has been busy for sure. Since it's been a bit, I wanted to put up some good reads and huge congrats to some...

HUGE belated CONGRATS!!! to Daniel Holloway! I started following him earlier this year and had a chance to meet him at Elk Grove. Then got to see him again at Downer's and at the Tour of Missouri. He recently had a pretty awesome time on the track and rode to a few medals. Huge congrats to one of our great younger talents and newer rider for Garmin. He's very friendly and very talented! I hope you check out his site and if you get a race - cheer him on! Both the Garmin site and Lyne's Podium In Sight site had write ups so I hope you check them out. Back at Elk Grove, I had told John that Daniel was one to keep an eye on for great things and he most certainly has made it look like I had a clue as to what I was talking about. Huge thanks and even bigger congrats Daniel! Way to go!!!

In Cross news, since I'm new to following this year - huge thanks to Drew and Jeremy - check out Jeremy's new diary at VeloNews - Crackin' a curse and kickin' it with Clinton. Jeremy had a pretty good weekend as well - (VeloNews) Powers and Compton win in Cincinnati and Compton and Powers win in Ohio. And for those of us that like pictures - (CycleCross magazine) Powers and Compton Repeat in Ohio. Great racing Jeremy!!!

The Garmin guys have also been doing well over in Europe. Make sure to check out the team site and read up. For many, the season is pretty much done but for guys like DZ, Meatball, Euser, and Farrar (to name just a few) there are still races to be done. I have to admit that Facebook has been pretty fun to follow riders and friends but I must say, I hope it doesn't keep the guys from writing diaries and updating their blogs. Most of those are directly from them from their views and are great for some laughs from time to time.

You know I love reading stuff from Michael Barry. This is from last week but I'd hate for you to miss reading from him - Attacks, crashes and goodbye kisses. And before that diary, Will had a diary as well - Sometimes off the bike can be more tiring than riding...

And of course, I have to mention the GREAT job that Maggie is doing on Christian's Fan Club site. I'm trying help with links to older results and the many diaries that he's written over the years but my help is nothing to the work that she has put into it. Being the long time fan that I am of C's, it's a pretty awesome site to have out there. I'm thrilled she's letting me be a part of it! Make sure to check it often for updates, great photos, and entries!

Sad call to get...

Two weeks ago I got into work and had an email to call my cousin. Sadly it was with news that my Grams had passed away. The funeral was nice and I think because she was 89 and lived a pretty full life, I was really okay with her moving on to a better place. The next day at the cemetary was a bit harder for me. Having dad buried in front of her and Grandpa certainly didn't make for an easy morning. Miss them all. God bless us all to live life to the fullest with few regrets...

Esther (Janko) Gosse, born May 20, 1919 daughter of the late Charles and Olga Janko, formerly of Kohler and currently residing at Morningside Health Center returned to her Lord on Thursday, September 25, 2008.

Esther married the late Marvin Gosse on August 26, 1939 at Trinity Lutheran Church Town of Wilson. He preceded her in death on April 16, 1978.

She worked for the Kohler School System until retiring in June 1984.

She is survived by a son, Roger of West Virginia and a daughter, Rogene (Kenneth) Bruckner of Kohler. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by two sister-in-laws, Virginia Janko of Sheboygan and Betty Gosse, of Oostburg.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her son Robert, and one grandson and one great grandson, three brothers and two sisters and three brothers-in-law.
Esther was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Kohler. Esther had been active in several organizations at the Church.

Funeral services for Esther will take place on Monday September 29, 2008 at 7:00pm with Rev. Robert Steele from Bethany Lutheran Church in Kohler officiating. Family and friends may call at the Novak-Ramm-Ziegler Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12th Street, Sheboygan on Monday from 3:00 until the time of service. Burial in the Woodland Cemetery, Kohler.

A Memorial fund has been established for Bethany Lutheran Church.
The family wishes to thank the staff at the Morningside Health Center for the excellent care provided during her residency.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Catching up and the ING Direct DC Crit

Still working on the TOM stuff including the write ups I didn't have time to do that week and going through hundreds of pics trying to label and edit them the best I can. I worked a lot of hours last week coming back from the week off so this weekend was going to be a weekend of catching up. And it was, for the most part.

This past weekend included having today off which would've been sweet had I not twisted my ankle while working out yesterday morning. And I'm not even sure I twisted it as the pain is pretty low in the area. It is getting a little better though. It'd probably be doing a lot better if I had not gone for a ride yesterday but I couldn't pass up having the time and perfect weather to do so. I had a 3 hour ride planned but that cut in half with the ankle finally having enough. Still felt great to be out there. Today it hurt more to drive to the path but felt almost good riding. Again, probably not the best idea but time outside is limited these days and I hope to take advantage when I can. :-)

I got the siding fixed today. I noticed it before leaving for TOM but needing to be here to talk to them pushed the repair to today. Took him all but 10 minutes and no charge so that was sweet. Got some much needed cleaning done today too. Thankfully nobody could see me hopping around while vacuuming.

The past week has been a lot of fun. Enjoyable emails with some of the riders and fans I met at TOM. Sharing some great pics. Looking forward to finishing my pics this week. I have reloaded the TT pics from stage 3 onto my flickr account with labels and such. I also found a few pics that me and the gang were in at DailyPeloton.

Yesterday was fun watching the ING Direct DC Crit that C and company were in. (Start list 1 and list 2) Will started the race but had to pull out as the knee is still on the mend. C animated things for awhile. Took a flyer off the front for several laps and had Bahati with him so they weren't going to get too far. Danny Pate and Mike Friedman were also seen flying up front. In the end the race was won by Hilton Clarke. Full results can be found HERE.
Check out our chat during the race on Podium Cafe.
Also check out pics from some of the gang that was there: JFS_PGH and Sui Juris
I also found some more pics - Luke Pingel's Pics

In other random chatter, Blake Caldwell is back home and recovering from his crash during the TT at TOM. He took a horrible spill but sounds to be doing much better. Check out his Blog and see his update on the Garmin site. Also, Jeremy Powers has started off his Cross season with a bang! Way to go Jeremy! Check out a chat with him and Tim Johnson too. They didn't do too badly on Sunday either. Sweet start for sure. Being pretty new to Cross this year, I am already looking forward to getting to a race or two this season. My PT rides and it by far has to be his favorite time of year. So with him selling me on it all year already and then to know Jeremy rides and so does Alex, it's time to check it out. Doesn't hurt that everyone I talk to about it, smiles from ear to ear and says it really is the best time of year. We shall see! :-)

Reads: I'm Stupid for the Capitol Crit (part 1). Interview with Bobby Lea.
NewYorkTimes_M.Barry: Cycling in America Is One Big Exchange Program

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 6

I'm starting to think sleep is just not going to happen this week. I guess that's what Monday is for. :-) Tonight we were talking and remember different things this week and it has me almost floored with how quickly the days all melded together. Thank goodness I have pics to trigger reminders on what day was what. Several jokes with the Tour and I am not convinced there is no way the riders have any idea after like day 5 or so. I think I was good until Thursday and tonight, it's all one big mush of memories. Hopefully I can pull better write ups for the earlier days when I get back.

Another enjoyable stage today. Started down in Hermann and for me a search for some coffee as last night was a wee bit of a late one trying to get caught up on a few things. (Tonight's not looking much better.) We had some rain as we left the hotel. As we pulled out onto the highway the Jelly Belly crew was there. As we all turned for the off ramp I found myself in with their cars. Janann and I thought T might be going a little crazy seeing them. I think it would've been a treat to have seen her in the middle of the cars. Hopefully no crashes would've been had but I have to think it would've been cute.

Jelly Belly in front of me, the truck behind, and the camper behind that. Light drizzle and what felt like back country roads. Fun morning trip to the start. :-)

At the start the first priority for me was coffee. Usually I grind and brew mine (bring coffee pot and all when on a driving trip) but choosing 30 minutes more sleep this morning meant no making coffee. Once that was taken care of we walked around in downtown Hermann. Went and chatted with Jelly Belly and dropped off some cookies and some good coffee beans with Brad. (Serious apologies guys as the cookies this race were not the good ones from back by me.)

Walking around we ran into Luis again. Wished him happy birthday (which was yesterday) and teased him about Janann being married. Good laughs and all good fun. When he got the email he even noted - MARRIED on it. So funny. After that we ran into Kurt again. I've been seeing him at races the past couple months. Then at Downers we joked around with him. Now here at TOM it's becoming a fun part of the day to stop and catch up. Some smiles when he walked up and says he has a favor to ask. Luckily it was simple and not a problem at all.

The past couple days I've been running into Neil from Road as well. Being a fan of the DZ interviews one has to check in to see what the new laugh will be. Still waiting for the one he thought he might get I think on Tuesday or Wednesday but the chamois cream one got some laughs when we watched yesterday for sure. Make sure to check it out.

Once the riders got going we headed out with plans to watch the 3rd KOM. Our plans got yanked though when the road got closed well over a 1/2 hour before the race came through. No other day gave us any issues but the gang said last year this area had the same issues. So we watched them turn onto the road from that point and then opted to skip the KOM since we were now behind them instead of 40 minutes in front. Just as I took a couple pics of the guys coming around John called to see what was happening. He was headed to pick up Leah. Tonight looking at pics I got one of at that stop which was pretty cool.

The entire drive today kept us awake. It was loaded with rolling hills. In a lot of spots it was the kind with the roller coaster feel where you push to get to the top and unable to see anything until you hit the top and then you roll down and head back upwards. Good stuff. Although on the way to the start in the Jelly Belly cars, more than once I wondered how the camper managed that with out making the guys sick. They all seemed good when we saw them so maybe it's not as bad as I think it would be.

We got really sweet parking at the finish. We were parked right off the course and only a couple blocks from the line. We headed to the jumbo trons to get some updates. The GPS locks on a signal and my blackberry was pretty sweet in keeping us updated from the CN live report but cell service was touch and go through all those hills. The jumbo trons were great to sit back and watch the race until the riders arrived. We got a spot on the fence about 50-100 meters from the line too which was nice. While waiting I located John and called him. Told him to wave. Little Uma was so cute and grandpa certainly was enjoying the time with her.

The riders had a straight shot at the finish today. No circuits through town. The pack came flying by us and Cav won the sprint. Usually we wait and watch the riders all come in and the finishers ride around but we headed to the podium area as there were tons of people with this being a weekend (and the rain holding off). Once everyone started filling in that area, the sun peeked out and winds slowed and we all got baked. It has been humid all week. Today didn't feel nearly as bad as yesterday but it was still sticky.

The podiums were great. Rollin is having some good fun with this KOM. Cav got back the sprint jersey after having lost it on the course with sprint points. Eisel got the most aggressive. And C looked great in yellow! It was pretty fun having the Vandevelde family down here today. The cheers and excitement were clearly stepped up. Being a weekend also jumped up the crowds. Everyone seems to be loving the riders and C is getting great warm welcomes from all watching.

After that we hoped for some wind to cool us off a bit. Lyne came walking by and pushed me! I couldn't believe her nerve. LOL!!! We ran into Kurt so he and I headed to my car so he could get his pics. I walked back then and saw Brad after his press interviews. Got to give him a hug and congrats on his 3rd place. Then I headed to find the gang. We located a smoothie stand and we were ready for something. I'm not sure Janann and I ate anything more than a small bar all day and in the heat the cold drink was great. We decided to head to the cars. On the way we saw C doing some press interviews too so we stopped and listened. He was asked about next year and he said he wants to come back and he loves the race. He would come back as long as his schedule would allow it. He then says - and his schedule WILL allow it. Smiles and laughs all around. As he headed out I gave him a hug too and congratulated him on a great day.

With Garmin having gotten bigger and C having the best year in cycling ever, getting to say hi to C is pretty rare. He stopped over earlier in the week on his way back from sign in and Janann and T got to get his autograph at sign in one day. I was enjoying seeing the kids go nuts on the teams and got some fun pics. T and Janann got the close ups of the guys coming by. Tag teaming the fun has been great for us all week.

After we checked in tonight we were all starving so he headed for dinner. As we're eating I noticed Neil walk in with his girlfriend. I comment to Janann that it was him and T tries to figure out what we're talking about and we lie and say some guy looked like Neil that walked in. (Good laughs and if you know T, you know we did this for her health and safety... maybe Neil's too. ha ha!!! We love you sweetie!) After dinner we were up in the lobby and Neil and Joy came up so we all said hello's and talked for a quick bit. I headed outside for a bit and the gang headed up to the rooms.

Neil and Joy came outside and we chatted for a bit. Talking to them about this past week reminded me of some of the hillbilly stories we have had this week. I'm hoping Alan and Janann see him tomorrow to fill in some of it but the jist was still funny. I kid you not on this one... Thursday was like the day from a Jeff Foxworthy comedy. The best over the top part for me was walking past this group next to their car trying to figure out changing the tire. The women is on the phone saying they have a flat and they need the person to bring them a spare. She then proceeds to tell them that the spare is in the front yard! Janann and I just look at each other. We get about a block down and we bust up laughing. After the many other things that happened Thursday, that just sent us into pure laughter.

Once I got back to the room I uploaded some of my pics. I've decided I will probably work on some edits on the computer and then will reload the stages on flickr again and delete the other files from this week. On stages like the TT, I think I have most of the riders labeled on my computer but the upload took so long that I didn't wait to add it. Oh well. I also worked on loading up T's pics for her onto her web spot.

All good stuff but now I am totally due for some sleep. Tomorrow looks like we could have no rain during the race and high humidity or up to 6 inches of rain possible. Gosh help us! VIP tent tomorrow is looking pretty darn sweet. The course is a 14 mile city course and I think they make the loop 5 times. It doesn't start until like 2 pm so sleeping in and chilling tomorrow morning is going to feel pretty good.

Some of my stage 6 pics are up.

CN: Live Report - Stage 6
CN: Cavendish back to winning ways in Missouri
VN: TOM: Cav tops again, Vande Velde holds lead
Garmin: TOM Stg 6: Christian Vande Velde One Stage Closer!
JellyBelly: TOM - Stage 6

Friday, September 12, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 5

Well somehow we have already flew through the week and it is now Friday night. I remember thinking on Tuesday night I was so tired and I could not believe it was ONLY Tuesday. Tonight, I sit here, thinking, oh my... it's Friday night already?!?

So far this week has been pretty much a blast. Take out some issues with the ex and it might just be one of the best week's I've had in a really, really long time. It's been enjoyable seeing the riders and I have to say some of the guys truly have moved up into my favorites. Others have come down a few steps and for no other reason than watching things through the week. Of course C is still my favorite though and I love him in yellow!

C put on the jersey and brushed the shoulders. It got the crowd laughing.

The Jelly Belly guys have put up with hello's and small talk all week and I hope they can kick some butt. Their efforts today were huge but it didn't quite work. Nick and Bryce were pretty cute "racing" to the line. I'm hoping Sunday might be a great stage to see Brad up on the podium. I've been watching them all week and it's a shame more riders don't do what these guys are doing. They spend time signing autographs, almost always smiling before the starts, and truly impressing the people that meet them. I keep saying it but really guys - you and the team are making a lot of people's days enjoyable with the sweet time you spend being so great. (Not biased at all here. They're great guys and it's a great team.) Go say hello!

Bryce and new guy Kiel signed authographs on Thursday.

There's been a lot that's gone on this week and I think I might have time to type more but for now this little bit will have to do. So tired tonight and lot's to do tomorrow. We are heading to the start and then off for the 3rd KOM and then to the finish. The course crosses over the paths we need to use to get to the finish so moving around is tricky. Hopefully the rain will hold up while the guys race. Prayers out to the guys if it doesn't as it will make for slick roads and I for one hate crashes.
More later!

Some of my stage 5 pics are up.
JellyBelly: TOM - Stage 5
Good Reads:
TheNewYorkTimes_M.Barry: Pedaling His Way Back to His Passion

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 4

Finally had a night where I chilled out here a bit. It's helping too that tomorrow's stage starts much later so some sleeping in tomorrow will be in order. :-)

Today started out with a trip down to the start. We ended up parking near the Batman Marshall Van so I found Clydesdale (knowing him only from his PdC sign on, asking for Clydesdale was odd to say the least - hello Marvin) and said hello. From there it was a trip over to the Jelly Belly guys with the peanut butter filled pretzels Danny said the guys could have. Talked to Bryce Mead for a bit and I think we need to find him a few primes to win to get the house fixed from the tree. But married life is treating him well so things are good. :-)

At the start this morning there had to be like 200+ kids. It was great to see them all in their yellow shirts and had signs for each of the teams. Looked like they hit up the tents as they all had oodles of goodies. I watched them walk around to find their teams and wondered how much sugar some had. Heading over to Jelly Belly again, I got some pics of the guys signing the kids signs, cards, and even shirts. Talking with some of the adults with the kids - hands off as they were really excited and so thrilled the Jelly Belly guys were being so nice to all the kids. The guys made sure they were all taken care of. Danny and company made sure they all had Jelly Belly Sports Beans. Good stuff. We got a couple riders and couple of the classes in group shots. It was pretty fun. The kids loved it, the adults were ever so thrilled and just loved the team, and the riders I think had some fun with it. The smiles by all were cool.

I headed over to the Garmin guys and dropped off some more coffee for C. I had hoped Eric was there as these guys must just laugh at fans. Hopefully C is enjoying the beans. As I walked around the kids outside the Garmin bus had me cracking up. They were chanting Garmin over and over. Then they started yelling at the bus as they could see riders moving around. A few girls by the door were just screaming at the guys that they had to come out and right now. DZ added to the fun by throwing out gels from the window. The kids went nuts. God bless Steven Cozza who dared to come out the door first. He was so great with the kids and I think he really had some fun with it but man was it kind of funny seeing it. Tyler Farrar was the next one to come out and face the screaming girls. Hats off to the guys that faced these kids today.

Once the riders got sent off, we headed out to catch some spots on the course. The first was an overpass. We got there and George Hincapie and Tony Cruz had like a 5 second gap on the group and were just hauling ass. We took off from that spot to head over to the 2nd KOM spot. It was a relaxing and pretty enjoyable. Meeting people and talking away as we wait for riders. The actual KOM spot was a bit further from us but it flatted out so we stayed on the incline a bit earlier. I've got my blackberry so we are able to keep up with the race from Cycling News until the radio announcer truck pulls through. The guys coming up the hill were still kickin' a good pace. We can't help but crack up with watching Rollin come flyin' up to get some more KOM points. There's just some good humor in him having that jersey. I think many of us are hoping he keeps it all week. He certainly has been a treat up on stage.

After the KOM we headed to a sharp turn on the course. A lot of people there. We heard and read about some more crashes happening. The trooper at this corner was kind of an ass but the one from the hill going up to the TT finish yesterday was so fun we forgive today's guy. The huge break (with Christian, George, Barry, Danielson, etc) flew around the corner and were high tailing it. The announcer truck had pulled in for a bit waiting for the guys. They had time gaps and rider info. I went up to the driver and handed him my blackberry for the CN update as he was missing a couple riders and his time gap info was old. With smiles, they updated, and then headed back on the road. At the time the gap was only like a minute or so but by the time the pack finally came around, it was over 5 minutes, possibly even reaching closer to 6. The difference of the break making that corner at speed and the pack just kind of riding along was enjoyable to watch. There was a kid down from us with a Go John Devine sign. One of the Columbia riders pulled over to see if they were family to let them know John had crashed and was en route to the hospital.

After that we needed to get to the finish. Some unexpected construction traffic hurt a bit but all was still good. We got to a parking lot and headed over for the finish. We got to see Barry come around the corner to do his last laps and then got to see him win! I like Michael Barry a lot and I think most do so I think just about everyone was thrilled to see him get the win. Then the rest of the break came in and it was great to see C going for the time bonuses on the finish. He came in 4th but it was still exciting.

After all that fun, it was a good 10 minutes before the pack came in. And they were totally taking it easy. The guys were talking away, smiling, goofing around. Not typical but certainly could be expected once the break got free with the top GC guys in it. As the podium stuff got underway the rain drops started. Michael Barry was adorable up on the stage. C was too and I have to admit, his smiles are contagious and I hope he keeps them coming!

Tomorrow has a chance of rain so it could be a wet one. I told the Bryce I'd bring him and the guys cookies so hopefully the rain will hold off a bit. The stage doesn't start until like 2 so there is some nice free time in the morning. I think we might try to get to a sprint point possibly. The start and finish for sure but weather will probably run the plans for the day.

Hope everyone is having a good week. I hope to update the previous days soon, maybe in the morning. I should be hurt with not having a pic of C up but I'm sure he understands. Maybe I can use the coffee beans as a bribe for now. LOL! Later!

I've been able to upload all of my pics but I haven't had anytime to do any kind of editing. To top that off, the TT pics I went through and labeled were already in the process of loading last night so I need to redo those notes on the flickr ones and edit them. Right now flickr is getting pretty frustrating with it taking so long and the editing taking forever to get in and out of so that might need to wait until I get back home. BUT... here is a link to my photo sets so you can take a look. If you go through them and recognize riders and such, please feel free to comment to help identify them. I know several but there are many I don't by just looking at them.

Some linkies:
CN: Live Report - Stage 4
CN: Stage 4 - September 11: Lebanon - Rolla, 95 miles
VN: Barry solos to stage win in Missouri; Vande Velde holds lead
Podium In Sight - Race notes, pics, and comments.

Garmin: TOM Stg 4: Vande Velde 4th on stage, hangs on to yellow; Danielson 5th overall
JellyBelly: TOM - Stage 4

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 3 TT

Okay - another really late night here.

The TT was awesome today! Way to go C!!!

I have a bunch of pics but uploading is giving me a headache. Tomorrow night I look to have a good chunk of time open so I can upload and write more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 2

What a fun flippin' Day!!! Huge thanks to Lyne, Janann, Alan, and T for the encouragement on the stops through the stage today. It was so much fun. Huge thanks also to the team cars Lyne and I ended up in a train with on the way to Springfield as going that fast most certainly has me thankful I wear a damn seatbelt - holy crap!

The weather today was great. With a few ramp closings from construction the trip to the start was a bit off. Thank god for GARMIN though as that damn little unit has more than once eased stress of getting places this week. Other than the ramp issues, seeing dogs at the side of the road (just roaming around) while booking it at a pretty high speed got the pulse up a bit. I was happy to see them head back towards the field instead of their course in my path.

The start appeared to be pretty relaxed and the weather most certainly put everyone in a better mood today. Tony Cruz stopped over for a chat. C stopped to sign some autographs of fans and it was good to see him smiling with some hellos. Rory stopped to talk to Neal at Road again today and we said hello's to them as well. I ran into Luis when the riders took off. The guys this morning were pretty much smiles and ready to go. When T yelled to DZ looooove you" the look on his face was priceless. I wish I had caught in on camera - and thankful I was a few feet down. She is so much fun to hang around as she fears nothing and truly does love the riders.

Once the guys took off, we headed down to just before the first feed zone. It was a turn from one road to another with a small roller. As the break passed us we watched and waited for the peloton which was about 3 minutes back at that point. As the field turned the corner Columbia was in control with Garmin directly behind. C saw us as they came up and I am bummed to great shots were out of focus (especially as those before and after were great - ugh!). The guys all looked great and it was fun to be out on course as there were few people around. When Danny Van Haute of Jelly Belly went by we all got some good laughs. One has to wonder just what he thinks of us.

From there we headed out to another point that had them turning a corner. When we got there, Lyne pulled in too. The break was still going strong and Columbia was still heading the back. There were boatloads of Brad Huff fans out and about too which was great. This year instead of the "I heart Brad Huff" shirts they had on the "GO BRAD HUFF" shirts. Great stuff. (Brad came in 6th today!)

Once the guys passed us there, Lyne and I headed to Springfield. Having the team cars on the same route was pretty interesting and I have to say speeds are well... pretty damn impressive. Too bad who ever was leading their group thought they possibly missed a turn or something. Very odd.

The finish was pretty awesome. I found a spot right on the rail about 10 feet from the line. When the guys flew by - OMG were they flying. I've been to races and up close like that but it still was impressive and caused most to take a step back. Mark Cavendish won. Tyler came in 4th. Brad came in 6th.

After the stage we walked around and checked out the stuff they had going on. We met a cute little dog names Goo - sunglasses and all. We saw Danny and Brad after the press conference. From there, Lyne and I headed down to Branson to our hotel.

More to share for sure but for now, it's super late and with some ex issues going on tonight, it's time for me to call it a night. For the couple of you looking for the pics, I will try once more tonight and then it will need to wait until tomorrow.

*I'm having some issues with flickr tonight and it could just be the hotel connection. If I get the pics up check them out using yesterday's link. If not, check back tomorrow as I should have time tomorrow night to get them loaded.

Monday, September 8, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 1

Down at the Tour of Missouri this week and so far enjoying it. I could do with out the storms we had this morning though. They were so bad that our hotel and the team hotel all lost power. Fun way to start out a morning - not.

We headed up to the start and it was chilly and windy. Many of the teams stayed in vehicles to stay warm. Can't blame them for that at all. While Lyne worked on getting some of her interviews and media stuff covered, I walked over and said hi to the Jelly Belly guys. Bernard and Brad were sweet and I got to meet their young guy Kiel. (I'm starting to think that Jelly Belly might have some of the nicest guys around. I think some teams could take a lesson as I've seen some riders actually be almost rude to fans trying to say hi. Not enjoyable to watch. So kudo's JB guys as you set high bars for fans.)

The rain we had early this morning held off for the start but the guys found it again on the way. And it followed them to the finish. Made for a damp and chilly finish for sure. There was a crash in the last lap but I'm not sure who was all in it just yet. Hopefully all the riders are okay and it was something minor. Tyler Farrar gave Cav a run for the finish today and I for one loved the head on competition. Mark won the stage but didn't blow Tyler away as he was right there at the line with him. Cavendish now leads the points, young rider, and is the overall race leader.

Better weather is in store for tomorrow but a lot of driving so it will be a long day for sure. Looking forward to catching up with some folks and once at the hotel tomorrow night I hope to work on the pics a little more. I am way too tired tonight to upload pics here as it takes time to get them to look right but feel free to check some out that I dumped in flickr tonight. I also loaded with some captions on my Facebook page. Here is the listing of the results. Check out Cycling News for a write up and results as well.

Lyne has a couple updates from today on her site - Podium In Sight as well so make sure to check it out.

PopUp started a thread at Podium Cafe that I'm sure once video is up for viewing will be more active during the week. Feel free to join them in the chats this week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Team Garmin's 2008 Tour Highlights

Huge Thanks Guys to a great Tour!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Thought I should maybe drop a note here since I've really been slacking since the appendics set back. Funny how a couple weeks off from work has actually set me behind closer to month or more with everything else. Work is really keeping me busy right now but it's one of those needed evils - well, at least the paycheck is needed for sure. In hopes to be down for the TOM in a couple weeks and taking advantage of not being in the office for a few other days, the hours have been piled on pretty hefty. I plan to update with races and such but looking at my drafts, I still have several to finish. I think it fell apart when I realized video links changed so I tried to update those which just pushed the other fun stuff behind. At some point it will all be updated and my inbox (still maxing out daily at work) will be clean.

I'm thrilled to share that Maggie has started a CVV Fan Club site. She's already got several pics and video's up and it should be a fun place for reads and follow up on how C is doing. Thanks for taking that one on girl! Make sure to check out her other site - Andy Schleck: The Best Bike Racer of the Universe. It's filled with some great stuff. And if any of you like CSC and love the guys there, you'll really enjoy her site. Make sure to check it out!

For the most part things here are quiet. Working way too many hours than a person should and trying to find some time between to do everything else life related. Not always easy. Yesterday I decided to go make some purchases that I've been looking at in honor of my weekend off. I have to say for the first time - in a long time - the sales guy was really helpful. One of my goodies was my GPS unit. Knowing I "wanted" a Garmin - for obvious team support of course - I wasn't sure which model. I had researched other brands and looked a few models so Garmin was it for sure but the model choice was still looming. After figuring out which options I was really interested in and which ones I cared less about he helped me narrow it down to two. And - as a surprise to those that know me - I was able to decide pretty quick.

From there it was on to look at cameras. I like my cheap Kodak for the ease of sharing pics with family but it is not all that sweet for taking sports pics or pics of the adorable kids in my life when we're out running around and having fun. Nothing says fun like asking a 3 year old to stop and stand still while playing. I had price ranges and options in mind and surprisingly, the guy helping me (at least sounded like) he knew what he was talking about. I've narrowed it down to a Cannon a step up from point and shoot but certainly not as pricey as an SLR.

From there it was off to update the cellphone as my update was due. Having looked at many before and thinking a blackberry might be the way to go I was pretty sure it shouldn't be too hard to decide. Never think things are easy. Ha. I did end up with a new phone which has been pretty cool so far but I'm not sure the plan he upgraded me to is needed or if all the features are necessary. I like things somewhat simple but having web abilities for traveling (especially up to mom's) was a solid goal. I have yet to figure it out but I hope to play with it next weekend when I head North. The real test to my patience I am sure. :-)

I'm off to continue my house cleaning and laundry and to dare log into work for some stuff. Then it's a night and a new week begins. Luckily it should be a short 4 days but the days themselves are most likely going to be extremely long. Small price for a good 4 day weekend back home though! Hope everyone had a great weekend and here's to a quick week to hopefully another great weather Holiday weekend coming up! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Downers Grove - National Criterium

What a totally fun weekend! Meeting Theresa, Janann, Cat, Dan Schmatz and family, and Tony Cruz was just a blast. Seeing Brad and Jelly Belly and of course seeing C again were true treats. Today started off again with a work out but this time with me being super tired from Saturday. Once done I headed up to get the girls and it was off to the race for another great weather day.

Tony Cruz was nice as could be to all who stopped to say hello.

I had gotten a pic of T and Brad on Saturday and sent it off to be printed as an 8x10. Janann and I disappeared for a bit so we could have Brad sign it for her to surprise her with it later. It worked out great and she loved it. Brad was even a sport and signed her smaller one I gave her when she saw him later. Thanks Brad! I also dropped off some cookies and bars for the guys so hopefully they enjoyed them after the race.

While we were doing our sneaky work, John and C showed up. It was great seeing C and being able to congratulate him on such a great year so far in person. I often wonder how loaded down his blackberry gets as I know I send my share of good lucks and congrats. C put together his bike and then hung out low key with the Jelly Belly guys. When Janann and I got back T was sure we had to run into someone as we were gone for quite some time. When I told her it was C she was not happy with us. I told her to go say hi before the race as I was pretty sure it would be hectic once people knew he was there. Off they went.

When they come back I hear how she saw Danny Van Haute and then realized that C was in the car and she screamed his name. I was sort of hoping it wasn't quite like that but it turns out it was. C is great and I'm hoping the fun wasn't too much in his laying low before the start. When I wave hi and go to talk to Bobby, they tell me he was the one who took their picture with C. I think Janann and I are going to be enjoying some laughs for years to come on the weekend's fun. Huge thanks to C, John, and Bobby for their sweetness in helping T in meeting one of her favorite riders.

Janann, C, and Theresa.

When Janann and I went to put the pictures and some goodies in the car, I ran into Harriet and Grandma Mary Vandevelde. It was great to see them again. Val and Harriet were at Elk Grove and I love talking to them. Mary looks great and sometimes its pretty easy to see why they all call her Hamster. That girl is just always moving! :-) When the race started she wanted to see C so I told her to go up to the front. It's great how big men will quickly and smoothly make room for grandma to get a picture of her grandson!

Harriet and Grandma Mary Vandevelde.

The race got ready to start and several riders got calls up before the start. Brad, Tony Cruz, and Christian just to name a few. C got huge cheers from the crowds and it was great. Even if some of the riders think little of him being there, the fans loved seeing him and I'm thrilled he did the race to connect with so many that followed him. I still find it mind boggling that they use Boulder as his home though. C's not there anymore and hasn't been for quite a while.

Brad smiling waiting for the start of the race.

The race started and it had some odd laps with speed and the pack seemed like they were in warm-up mode. Several times riders tried to get off the front. We were cheering on Bernard Van Ulden as he got away for some laps from the break he was in. There was a nasty crash right near the Mavic tent that left some serious road rash on a couple of the guys. There was a slow down at one point and we weren't sure if it was for others to get on or if something was going on in the pack.

Breakaway is formed with Bernard included.

Janann and I walked around to get out of the sun for a bit and to get some water. As we head back I stopped and said hi to the Vandevelde family and then we get treated to watching C fly off the front and he got a nice gap. I think he was out front for 5-6 laps and it was fun and exciting hearing the crowd cheer him on. A few people were talking about him winning it and they looked at me funny when I said he looked to be doing it for fun and he'd stay totally clear of the sprint at the end. No way he'd risk that. And he did. He likes to liven things up and crits are not his racing but it truly was fun to watch him take off and get the sizable gap.

C flies off the front for several laps getting loads of cheers from the fans.

It was interesting watching the pack too through out the race as different riders were talking to each other. Guys would move up and then you'd see them further back saving some energy talking with others. By the end the pack was together and it was flying. Being further down we couldn't see the lead into the finish. I hope for some more info on Brad's pedal. I was wishing him a great race this weekend as his form is back and I wished he could get the jersey back. Sounds like a mechanical but not sure on any details. Hope all is okay Brad!

Thanks to all the riders for giving us great races to watch this weekend.
VeloNews has a small write up. CyclingNews has small write ups on both days of races. Hopefully the Downers Grove Cycling site will have results up as well. Check out my small blip I put up at Podium Cafe with some pics of the races too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Downers Grove - ProAm

What a totally fun day today. I got to meet Theresa and Janann on Friday and it has been a just a great weekend since. Today Cat met us as Downer's for a pretty enjoyable day of race watching. I'm not sure better weather could be hoped for as it's just been beautiful. Sunshine, light breeze, and live racing - does a weekend get much better?

Cat, T, & Janann :-)

Today was a lot of fun walking around. We met some great riders from xXx Racing today and I hope to put up a post on them and the team. Great stories and John and Nico were absolutely great guys who were so friendly and ready to share insights on the team. They even enjoyed the good laughs we had with what exactly did the "xXx" stand for. I really hope to shed some more light on the guys and the team in the coming days. I got to help Theresa meet many of the guys she's been following including Daniel Holloway of Garmin. She met the boys from Jittery Joe's and I again got to see Amy during the race. Cycling's a small world and it's great getting to know different ones from race to race.

Chad Hartley and the Jittery Joe guys happily take a pic with T.

Nico Westlund with xXx racing and T.

We also of course stopped by the Jelly Belly Team and I have to say Thanks for boss man Danny keeping us really entertained before the guys even got to the race. The laughs were enjoyable and the story of Nic Sanderson's missed flight last night was priceless. Thankfully he made it in this morning but I have to say - next time wait and go on the plane! I had brought cookies for the team and Danny was more than happy to take them to put in the cooler for after the race. I said it during the Elk Grove race but again, these guys are great. To put up with us wanting to try to get to know them better with smiles is a lot of fun and they make it really easy to be fans.

I also got to finally meet Dan, Myriam, and adorable little Samuel Schmatz tonight as well. I'm looking forward to talking them some more tomorrow. Dan has by far been one of the friendliest riders I've followed the last couple years. I'm so happy that he is doing so well and that Samuel and Myriam are the center of his life and he's loving life not being a full-time rider now. I'm sure he misses some of it from time to time but I'd imagine little Samuel fills any of that pretty quickly. The little guy is even more adorable in person than in all the pics Dan has shared. Great family and it was really enjoyable meeting them in person. Make sure to check out
Dan's blog too with the little guy at the airport. Sorry on the bikes Dan as that just bites but I'm glad you, Myriam, and Samuel made it here safe and sound!

ProAm race start.
Sorry for the blurr but the guys were flyin'!

There was racing all afternoon and I am hoping the site puts up results to share. We watched just about every race and rang the cow bells through out. I still have the headache from that as well as those things are LOUD. They are so loud but certainly beat yelling at every lap although I think we all still have sore throats because you can't help but to want to cheer on riders.

Rock Racing took 1st and 2nd tonight with Jittery Joe's getting 3rd. Brad ended up with a flat front tire in the under 5 laps to go so no free lap - race done. :-( There was a crash on the other side of the course with just a couple laps to go that many riders got caught behind. I think the field started with over 160 riders. They were moving too!

My pics were not the greatest today partly because I just didn't take nearly as many as I usually do. Much more fun visiting and cheering on the riders than snapping pics. Tomorrow I do hope to get more pics of the race. With the National Jersey on the line it will be intense with stress levels pretty high. Christian should be there riding with Daniel. I'm looking forward to seeing him and John. John had me almost in tears laughing when I talked to him this afternoon. Always a good time!

Hopefully the race site will have results up - HERE - shortly. There was great racing by the riders today and tomorrow should be even more intense. Hope if you're in the area you come and check it out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

2008 Olympics - Cycling

Last weekend I was one of many that pulled an all nighter Friday night to watch the Men's RR which was shown live on There were many variables to play with which added to many of us wanting to see it.

Over at Podium Cafe, I think we hit a new record with the # of threads and comments for a one day race. You can find and follow along with the fun here -
PdC1 - PdC2 - PdC3 - PdC4 - PdC5 - PdC6 - PdC7 - PdC8 - PdC Post Race
PodiumCafe_Chris: Hail to the Heroes
CN: Live & Results

The racing was exciting to watch but it was weird not seeing fans up and down the sides of the roads. The weather looked brutal. The riders looked hot. It was thrilling to watch the last lap of the race. When watching Fabian TT to the chasers and then watching them take off and catch the leaders - awesome. I felt so bad for Andy not being able to get a medal but it was hard not to be thrilled for Tony getting the bronze. Our US guys raced really well with the conditions. JMac was out front pulling early on. We got to see Dave up front and it was great seeing him back. George, Levi, and C all had great shots and all looked spent at the line. Levi finished 11th, C 17th, and George 40th.

Then of course, like we didn't get enough Friday night, many of us stayed up and watched the TT from start to finish.
PodiumCafe - Women's TT - Post Race Men's TT1 - Men's TT2 - Post Race
CN: Live - Women's TT Results Live - Men's TT Results

It was awesome watching Fabian pass Schumi. I'm not sure why, but I don't like the guy so seeing him get passed by Tony was great. He rode so well and put it all out on the road. I was thrilled for Larsson as he was so thrilled to be up on the podium. Huge congrats to both Kristin and Levi for their rides and awesome medals!

2008 Olympics

I am starting to feel bad that I am not updating this as often as I used to. Seems that the appendics thing put in a dent in my life that I have yet to get back from. My email inbox is still on the border of "over its size limit" on a daily basis at work. I get through 100 and then a fire pops up and I get 200 more. Not winning the battle. :-(

The only somewhat valid excuse I can offer on my limited postings are the 12-13 hour days I've been putting in since returning from my break after surgery. Nothing says we missed you like a work load that has yet to be controlled. I at least like what I'm doing or it could be very bad but it was pretty nice spending 2 1/2 weeks at home following the Tour and not thinking about work much. Just wish it wasn't so much to come back to. But we're almost caught up - I hope.

Any who... on to good stuff!!! I love the Olympics and I'm not sure much compares. They only happen every 4 years (2 if you're looking at both winter and summer but each only happen every 4) so there is something really special about those wins, those records that get broken, those medals, and certainly all the athletes.

I am not sure there is an event that I don't get sucked into once the TV is finally turned on late at night but I certainly have ones I like to watch for sure. Cycling is an obvious one but then I love watching most of the swimming events, especially relays. Add in some diving, highlights of gymnastics, some beach volleyball, and finally some track and field, and chilling out at night is great.

Before the events got under way there was much media attention brought upon some of our cyclists choosing to wear masks as they got off the plane in Beijing. I think at this point the census is that the timing might not have been the best but I don't hear too many bad mouthing them anymore for the decision. I support them as I feel it should be their choice and thought that the USOC looked bad for not supporting them when the masks were issued in the gear supplied by them.

With a visit to Beijing last December, the cyclists had an idea as to what to expect upon their arrival. Lea ended up with an infection (if I recall) on the last trip and with what Mike has worked through to get to this point - how does one not respect their decision to protect themselves? One bad thing I've gotten from reading is that we may not truly not know just how bad things are. Many have said that the media is making the air sound worst than it is yet I've also been reading the athletes have been told NOT to discuss it in a negative way.

Here are some links to articles on it and the air quality in Beijing:

8/06_TheNewYorkTimes: U.S. Cyclists Are Masked, and Criticism Is Not
8/06_PodiumCafe_Chris: Meatball & Co. Apologize for Mask-gate
8/06_MikeFriedman: 5 Minute World Wide Fire Works
8/ Beijing Olympics: American cyclists apologise for 'smog masks'
8/06_BikingBis: How Olympic cyclists are dealing with Beijing's air pollution
8/08_EnvironmentNewsService: Beijing Olympics Open But Air Does Not Clear
8/09_TheHealth&WellnessPost: The Smog in Beijing And Its Affects On Our Athletes
8/11_Bicycling_LizReapCarlson: Divine Inspiration
8/12_TheNewYorkTimes: When It Comes to Masks, Cyclists Are Still Apologizing
8/13_DenverPost: Phinney can't mask his excitement