Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Inflation and Deflation

Just a quick note on my "pit stop" repair equipment. A very, very long time ago, I used to carry a Blackburn hand pump to inflate my tires after a flat, but as technology evolved and CO2 became available, I switched and never looked back. Usually stuffed in a handy zip-locked baggy, is a spare tube, one cartridge of CO2 with its adaptor, and two tire levers. Brand is not really important, as with all things cycling, if it's on sale, it's good enough for me.

Changing gears now, I'm beginning a 12 day rest (cycling deflation) period as of right now. I shouldn't be even typing this post since it's all about resting and having nothing to do with the bike, but then again I still have 11 hours ahead of me at work before I can really declare my vacation, which will be spent in of all places, Houston, Texas. Some pool time, good bbq and time with my daughters will be on my schedule.

Upon returning from Houston, five days of riding before Murad and the expectations now that the race date was changed went out the window. The form was great but now the race priority has declined a bit. Following Murad will be a trip to Colorado for the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, a good week of hard riding in the mountains should set me up perfectly for the assault to the Vuelta a Chiriqui-Masters, in mid July.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

War of attrition.

I never looked forward to racing in a field of 100+ riders, and to be honest, I was really hoping that for once the weather forecast was right and the rain would come in buckets, thus giving me a good reason to stay home and not race Bike Jam. It didn't happen.

At 9AM Jose Nunez checks in and gives me an earful for being in bed. Then Dan Dumwright texts to see if I'm going, after all, he wad riding with me. No other choice was left other than to get up and get my arse into gear. Dan met me at the house and off we went.

Upon arriving, we got our packs at the registration tent, checked the surroundings and talked to a few friends, then watched the 2/3. After their effort, a couple of our teammates came by and gave us some words of advice, the usual stuff, "stay at the front", "watch the S turn, go on the grass if possible", this and that. A good warmup followed and then we saw the last few laps of the pros.

The race itself was a war of attrition, and it pretty much turned out to be like the race last year. Fast at the beginning and middle parts, thinning the group considerably. But the advice given earlier wasn't working for me. It's one thing when you are the one inside the barriers doing the navigating. Nonetheless, I felt pretty comfortable and the guys from the team were mixing it at the front, while I was trying to conserve some energy. That was until the dude from HPC, who had gone off road earlier, aimed at my front wheel. Close call, an exchange of selected words and he was out of my way. Positioning continues to be a work in project, but I was happy with 16th, which gives me a good vibe for Murad and then my goal in July.

The funny moment of the day was when Dan attacked, went off the front and the announcer calls my name. I'm at the back thinking, "Dan and I got our numbers switched back at the car."

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's on!!

Second time I'll get to race on my native land, and this time it will get ugly.
My dad had told me about the Vuelta and it happens to coincide with my trip to Panama to visit them. The next few weeks will be tailored to get the body in the best possible shape. The mind is already racing though!!.