Friday, December 9, 2011


Sometimes, its the little victories. I am KOM of the second section of Lee Hill on Strava. Check it out. Lets see how fast I get once I am actually in shape. This Strava thing may be dangerous. I can't keep "competing" and get distracted from my training. Was nice to have some fun but need to stay focused on my goals. If you have not checked out Strava, you should. It is a fun way to keep track of your training.

Check it out!

Click on the upper Lee hill section link

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tale of Two Races

After I got married, Caitlin and I went to Traverse City for a week. I decided to race the Mass Avenue Criterium after not really touching the bike for a week. Needless to say it did not go well. I tried to cover some early moves to help out the teammates, but the efforts caught up with me. I was dropped like a brick at minute 55, which actually worked out as I was able to beat the rain and get back to my car. The race turned crazy with high winds that blew over race barriers and trash cans. I decided to get back after it so that I could do well at the Village Volkswagen River Gorge Omnium in Chattanooga, TN.

The race had a stellar field including Cesar Grajales of (with teammates Frank Trevieso and Oscar Clark), Phil Gaimon of Kenda p/b 5 Hour Energy, and Nate Brown of Trek Livestrong. Jonathan Jacob, the Elite National Time Trial Champion was also present. It was an excellent field for a non NRC event in rural Tennessee. The race started with an 8 mile time trial around a lake on top of Raccoon Mountain. I rode it in 7:54 which would have been good enough for 6th but for some reason 3 seconds were added to my time and I was officially 10th on the stage. I protested but to no avail. This would become the theme for that evening's criterium. The crit was fast, 30 mph average speed, and during the course of the race they offered a set of Zipp 404's for a field prime. There was a break up the road, someone in no man's land, and then the field. The rang the bell for us, and I led out Uberti who did an excellent sprint to take the win. They even announced that Panther had taken the prime. However, after the race they decided to give the wheels to the rider in no man's land. Turns out he was a local club rider. We protested and were given a very interesting explanation but ultimately did not change their mind. I was very frustrated and determined to do something in Sunday's road race.

Sunday's road race included two KOM climbs and a finishing climb of 3.5 miles up to the top of Raccoon Mountain. The race started out very fast and before I knew it there were about 15 riders up the road including most of the heavy hitters. Jonathan Jacob went to bridge and I followed to help with the chase. We caught the lead group and I thought we would sit up, JJ had other ideas and went right on through. I followed him and saw 1 km to the first KOM. I took it ahead of JJ and we kept on going. Frank Trevieso bridged and we stayed away until Sand Mountain, atop of which was the 2nd KOM. We were joined right before the climb by Cesar Grajales and Phil Gaimon. Phil set a hard tempo and I knew this KOM would not be easy. I couldn't believe it. It was like a dream come true. Racing up a mountain with great riders, including Phil Gaimon, Cesar Grajales (former winner on Brasstown Bald in the now defunct Tour of Georgia), and the current Elite National Time Trial Champion, Jonathan Jacob. I jumped with about 500 meters to go as hard as I could. I didn't look back and could not believe that I held them off and took the prize at the top. After the climb Cesar would not pull so we all took turns attacking him. This cat and mouse led to our lead group ballooning to 10-12 riders. After several attacks Oscar Clark and Phil got away. Cesar later joined them and the would contest the finale. The final climb was brutal. Jonathan left me pretty early and I struggled to the top to hold onto my top 5 finish. I was very happy with it. It was great being able to compete with such high caliber riders. Hopefully I can continue to improve so opportunities like this will come about more often.

Hopefully some pictures to follow.

Friday, July 29, 2011


ZIPP Super 9 Disc with both freehub and track axle. Tubular tire mounted and included. Asking $1800 OBO. Let me know. This wheel is ridiculously fast and has only been ridden twice. C'mon I have a wedding to pay for folks!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tour of the Valley

I got the chance to race with the entire Panther crew this last weekend at the Tour of the Valley in Youngstown, Ohio. It was a great weekend with Andy Clarke being gracious enough to open up his house to 5 cyclist. The hospitality was great. Thank you Andy!

The race consisted of a 9 mile Time Trial, a 93 mile RR and a 90 minute Criterium. The race started off with the time trial on Friday evening. I wanted to win win this race, but could only manage 3rd behind Paul and Dave Wenger. I covered the 9 mile course in 18:36. I was satisfied with my ride and more importantly the team was in a great place with 1st and 3rd on GC going into Saturday's tough, hilly Road Race.

Photo courtesy of Mike Briggs

We went into the Road Race with the goal of winning the stage, but more importantly of holding onto our lead in the General Classification. The race consisted of a 2k climb with time bonuses available at the top. We put Ryan Knapp into an early move to take the bonuses off of the board and it worked perfectly. Half way into the first lap I found myself in a move with Knapp, Greg, and Ryan A. along with a couple RGF's and Damhoff of ABD among others. The group worked well together, but to my surprise was caught. I think it is because nobody really worked all that hard with 75 miles of racing to go. Once we got caught Kirk escaped with 2 others, including Housley of Chemstar who finished around 10th in the TT and thus became the leader on the road. We could not afford to let him get to far up the road, so Paul attacked the steep rollers after the KOM and all of the other GC guys reacted immediately. Benefiting from this I attacked when everyone sat up. I rolled away from the front of the field and immediately got a decent gap. I was hoping that someone would join me so that I did not have to go across 2 1/2 minutes solo. However, no one came so I put my head down and got to work bridging up to Kirk and Nick Housley. I got them after 15 miles of chasing. It was a big effort and I needed time to recover. Kirk rode like a champion, taking long pulls to maintain the gap while giving me a chance to catch my breath. Unfortunately, this work caught up with him and he lost contact on one of the many steep, leg-killing rollers that follow the KOM climb. I rode the last 15 or so miles with only Housley, knowing that if we could make it to the finish I would be the leader of the GC. I put in a ton of work, and he got me for the stage win. I wanted to the stage but the race lead was a more than suitable consolation prize. Paul managed to escape the rest of the field and he and Kirk came home 3rd and 4th with another gap back to the field. This meant that going into the Sunday's final criterium we had 1,3, and 4 in the general classification.

Sunday's Crit was the easiest race I have ever done thanks to the awesome teamwork by the rest of the guys. I simply sat in and followed Housley to make sure he did not sneak away since my lead was only 23 seconds. The team rode flawlessly with Paul and Ryan A. picking up the mid race time bonuses. Near the end Paul escaped with Tom Burke and won the race with Ryan A. taking home the field sprint (without throwing up his arms ;) ). I crossed in 10th and thus won the General Classification. Thanks to everyone on the team for the awesome support , there is no way I could have done it without you. It was my first victory in a stage race, and it is always a nice view from the top step of the podium. Hopefully we will continue to win bike races.

On a side note we learned a few things this weekend.
1) Ryan Knapp is pretty good at basketball, but only when he is allowed to use the girl's ball.
2)Andy is a hell of a crit racer with a broken hip.
3) Lisa could drive a team car in the pro peloton.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I finished up Nature Valley with a decent ride on the final day at the infamous Stillwater Criterium. I had the goal of finishing the entire race and perhaps improve my overall standing. I got popped off of the lead group with a little over a lap to go. I rode in, thus completing all 20 laps but only finished 37th on the day. Not as good as I had hoped for but I did improve overall. I finished my first ever Nature Valley Grand Prix in 34th overall, which is nothing to brag about but I was satisfied with it. I missed my main goal for the week. I set out to win the Green jersey for best amateur. I did not win the green jersey but I finished as the 5th best amateur. I am going back next year with the same goal in mind and hopefully I can accomplish it.

After Nature Valley things got hectic. Immediately after Stillwater I got in Mac's van and we drove the 12 hrs back to Bloomington, including traffic jams and detours through Gary, IN. We got home at 4 am. I woke up the next morning to fix my bike and then hopefully relax before driving the 11 hrs to Augusta the next day. Needless to say the repairs did not go well and my one day of relaxation became nothing but stress. I got the bike figured out and Mac and I got back into the van to begin the trek to Nationals. We stayed in Atlanta on Tuesday night and finished the drive to Augusta on Wednesday. We got to the TT course and did some pre-riding, unfortunately, my first ride in two days. The course was not as difficult as I would have hoped (this became the theme for this trip to Nationals) and was truly one for the specialist. I got the bike dialed and went home to rest before my 1 pm start the next day.

The morning of the TT went well. I was fortunate enough that Mac competed in the U23 event earlier, so I had a gauge as far as what it would take to do well. I set off right as Jonathan Jacob crossed the line and immediately knew what it would take, which would have been the ride of my life. I took off and felt terrible. I just couldn't find a rhythm and the legs were fighting me. I am not one for excuses but I would have loved to have had better legs. I am sure the travel didn't help but I rode as hard as I could and came home in 38 min 33 sec. At the end of the day I ended up 13th out of 70 something guys. I told myself going in that anything outside of the top 10 would be a failure and while 13th is not bad it is not what I set out to do. I know I am capable of riding better and it is disappointing that I didn't have the ride I know I am ultimately capable of. However, congrats must go to my friend and old teammate Jonathan Jacob. He is the world's nicest guy and to see him pull on the Stars and Bars as Elite National Champ was great. If I could not win I can not think of a person I would rather see get the gold. Congratulations Jonathan, awesome ride!

I then had 2 days before the road race so I rode around Augusta which is a terribly disappointing city. I thought with it being home of the Masters that there would be an interesting downtown or something, but there was nothing. The heat was absolutely brutal. I watched the U23 road race detonate and figured due to the heat that the attrition rate would be just as high among the 200 starters in the Elite race. I could not have been more wrong. with 28 miles to go there were still 100+ guys in the mix. I was baffled and angry. A selective race suits me, a bunch sprint does not. WIth about 20 miles to go I laid my cards on the table. I got into a minor split and then followed attacks and found myself in what I hoped would be the move. We came through with 1 lap (15 miles to go) and things went south. As I feared our group of 13 was a little too large, people started sitting on and the gap plummeted. Our break came apart and I attacked but was brought back. One guy from our break survived as a group of 5 formed with 4 miles to go and fought it out. I was disappointed but gave it my best shot and actually raced the bike race. Next year will be better I hope. Now onto the rest of the season. I have some good form after by far my most ambitious racing trip and am hoping it will pay dividends.

Here are some pictures from my soon to be wife of my TT (Wedding is August 6th!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nature Valley TT

Didn't go as fast as I hoped. 7 seconds slower than my goal of sub 14 mintues. I did a 14:07 for 41st overall and 6th amateur. I am going to keep fighting and try not to be anonymous. Here is a sweet picture, thanks to Cycleture.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Iowa Update (better late than never)

This last weekend was one of my favorite race weekends of the year, despite the fact that I have never had any success there. I was out to change that at this year's Memorial Day Weekend Bike Races in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois. I set the goal for myself of one podium performance in any of the 4 races. I thought (and kind of wished) that it would come in the second day, at the infamous Snake Alley Criterium. More on that in a second

The first day was the Burlington Road Race. The course was changed slightly from previous years in that it was extended to 102 miles. Little did I know how difficult those 102 miles would be. The team discussed the plan and we knew we had a couple sprinters who could potentially win in the Ryans--Knapp and Aitcheson. My job was to cover the early dangerous moves and if I found myself in a break then I would obviously try to win. I covered several moves that included the danger teams; Aerocat and Roadhouse. After about 30 miles of racing, John Grant very innocuously rolled off the front and I simply followed. We were quickly joined by Josh Carter from Aerocat. We immediately began working well together and the gap jumped up to almost 4 minutes at one point. We went through the turn around and got a good look at the field that was surprisingly moving at a good clip. I was surprised at the random assortment of those chasing, considering the three strongest teams were represented in the break. The moto informed me that I had a teammate chasing, so I immediately stopped working and sure enough Mac bridged in a monster effort bringing along one other.

As soon as he joined we were informed our gap had plummeted down to just over 2 minutes. We immediately started rotating as hard as we possibly could, dropping the rider who bridged with Mac. We only had a little over 1 minute with about 25 miles left. We were going as hard as we could, it was a full on team trial and a brutal effort. I wished I could have attacked about 5k out but with the pace and the small gap over the field it was too risky and I honestly did have the legs for a 3 mile effort at that pace. We hit the last hill that leads into the 600 meter downhill kick to the line and I attacked and was immediately caught. Mac then went to no avail and I countered one more time with absolutely everything I had. It unfortunately did not work and I tacked on to the sprint. Carter led it out with Grant on his wheel and myself in third. That is how we finished. I honestly thought I could win this race but ultimately could not pull it out. I was happy to be on the podium for Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist but would have loved to win.

The next day was the coveted Snake Alley Criterium and my legs were feeling the previous days effort. I started 41st which after call ups is closer to 50. I did not get the best start and was behind the lead group. Last year I went into the red too quickly and never caught the leaders. After not making the group as quickly as I would have liked I had no choice but to settle into TT mode and hope to reel in the leaders. I caught them with about 13 laps to go. When I arrived a break leapt off of the front and knowing that I didnt have the legs to win, I went to the front to bring it back for Ryan K and Ryan A. I got close enough for riders to start jumping across and the teammates were able to go with them WIth 2 to go I clung to the back desperately trying to stay in contact as the legs were dead. I got popped off at the top of the Snake the last time up and rolled in for 15th, a career best at Snake Alley but not what I had hoped for.

The rest of the weekend was a wash for me as I developed some knee pain and was not able to finish Melon City and did not line up for Quad Cities. I have gotten a lot of treatment in hopes to be at my best for Nature Valley and Nationals. I have lofty goals for both events and hopefully I can accomplish them. Hopefully I can look back at this adversity as something I overcame to still accomplish my goals. I will keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Joe Martin Stage Race Update

I am down in Arkansas with a few of my Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist teammates for the Joe Martin Stage Race. I came down hoping for a better experience than last year when it was a struggle the entire time.

The first stage was a 2.5 mile uphill TT which I really wanted to do well in. I was one of the last ones off. I started off and immediately felt great. I rode as hard as I could and was satisfied with my ride as soon as I crossed the line. My time was 8:47 which was 30 seconds faster than last year. My time put me 37th on the day. I was hoping for a little higher but I could not have went harder so I am happy with it.

Today was Stage 2, a 110 mile road race with plenty of climbing. I attempted a few times to get into the day's break but to no avail. I decided after a few attacks to sit in for the rest of the day and try my luck at the finish. The run into the finish was crazy with about 5 teams trying to set up their leadouts. I had a hard time staying in the top 15 but knew that the last half mile was very hard with 3 steep climbs including one up to the finish. I kept my head down and and stayed glued to the lead group, crossing with the leaders and getting the same time as the stage winner. I was officially 34th on the day which moved me up to 28th on GC. I came here with the goal of a top 25 overall finish so that is still the plan.

My teammate Ryan Aitcheson had a hell of a ride today, getting 9th on the stage. There are 2 stages left including 110 miles tomorrow with some serious climbing. The hills tomorrow, while shorter, are much steeper so hopefully the lead group will get whittled down and I can continue moving up! The last stage is on Sunday with a fast crit. I am hoping for some good finishes and most importantly finishing my goal of top 25.

I will attempt to keep updating. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First W

I went out to the Mitchell Memorial Road Race today over near Cincinnati. The day started early (a little too early) with a departure time of 5:30. It poured the entire trip but luckily stopped in time for the race to get under way. The race was 50 miles and not a ton of people showed up but there were still some good riders present. The race finished up a pretty decent climb so I like my chances immediately.

Once we were under way I put in some of my patented early attacks, but per usual, to no avail. We then got around to a pretty long descent and I took it easy as I had never been down it before and the roads were disgusting with debris and water. Two people actually got a gap on the descent (Brad Schaeffer-NUVO and Isaiah Newkirk). I rode on the front trying to keep the gap manageable until we got to the climb figuring it would all come back together. Once we hit the Climb Tyler Karnes (Hincapie Development Team) went and dragged me away from the group. As soon as he let up I went and bridged to the leaders solo. I had them by the top of the climb. We then traded pulls pretty evenly with Brad taking shorter pulls. I wasn't sure if he was trying to conserve or was hurting. The next time up the climb Isaiah went and Brad didn't follow. I went around Brad and it was just Isaiah and myself for the last 4 laps. We had a pretty sizable advantage and worked well together.

I began scouting the course for where I would make my move. There was a pretty steep little hill about a mile before the last climb and I decided to hit Isaiah hard right at the top, liking my chances if I could get a gap and turn it into an ITT, him versus me. I think this is the first time a plan of mine has actually worked. I went over the climb with a few seconds and ripped it on the wide open smooth pavement leading to the last climb. I felt great and knew after a glance under my arm that I had it. I hit the base of the climb and soloed to the victory. It was not the biggest race, but nonetheless it was nice to get a victory, It was my first (of hopefully many) for Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist. Now to continue to work hard and accomplish the goals I have set for myself this season.

Pics courtesy of Jeffrey Jakucyk

This coming weekend the whole team is getting together for a couple races, including the Cone Azalia Spring Classic which is a dirt/gravel road race near Ann Arbor in Michigan. I am looking forward to meeting the entire team and hanging out for a weekend of bike racing!

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Weekend in the books

Saturday was my first race of the year, Hillsboro Roubaix. This race is always big with 100+ riders. It was my first race with Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist. I met up with guys (for the first time) and we hit the line. The attacks went from the gun and usually the first break does not go. This was not the case as the early move looked dangerous. I tried to get across to it and was chased down. After a couple more attempts both Greg and Ryan A. got into the move and it was gone. I spent the rest of the race trying to cover chase attempts and stay on the right side of the split. We came into the last lap and there were only about 20 of us in the lead group. I was pretty tired and just wanted to roll in when somebody decided to t-bone me in the second to last corner with 1/2 mile left. This sent my wheel into my frame as he hit me so hard as to knock the the wheel out of the dropout. I believe the frame is ok but the force of the impact and wheel hitting my frame took off the paint down to the carbon on both chain stays. I will be really upset if this stupid incident did more than cosmetic damage to my sweet new Canyon bike. It was not the best way to end a successful day but that is bike racing, I guess.
Back to the racing! With both Ryan and Greg in the break I liked our chances. Ryan ended up second with Greg third. Not a bad start to the season, not to mention that is was our first time racing together! I know the results will continue to rock as we get more familiar with each other and how we all race.

On Sunday I ventured to Ohio to do Hueston Woods with Ryan A. and Andy Clarke. The field was fairly small so we wanted to get one of us into the winning move, and when satisfied with it, shut down the field. Andy and myself tried a few times to get off of the front but once again it was Ryan getting into the break with a guy from XXX racing and someone from RGF. Ryan put in plenty of breakaway miles this weekend. Once the break was safely away I decided it was time to whittle down the field and started attacking and slowly but surely got it down to myself and 3 other guys. I was with Tyler from the Hincapie Development team and two guys who refused to work and just sat on. After all the work I ended up 6th on the day. Nothing too great but I will take it for the first races of the season. Ryan took 2nd again, so it was another good day for the team.

Pics courtesy of Jeffrey Jakucyk
I cannot wait to get into the thick of the season with the team. I am confident we are going to do some big things this year and I am glad to be a part of this team.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tennessee (mini) Training Camp

I ventured down to Knoxville, TN this weekend to do 3 days of riding. I went up the Foothills Parkway up to Lock Rock on Friday. It is about 11 miles. I then found a shorter 3mile climb but it was obviously much, much steeper. I will take the longer variety any day. I was down in the valley for a while and things took on a bit of a "Deliverance" feel. This sign on a church was great!
On Saturday I started at the visitor's center in Smoky Mountain National Park outside of Gatlinburg, which incidentally is one of the worst places I have ever driven through. I decided to do the 16 mile climb up to Newfound Gap which is almost 6000 feet.It took me 2 hrs to cover 32 miles, 16 up and 16 down. It was awesome. I have never done that kind of climb before, I would love to do a race that included that type of terrain. I may try to do "Roan Groan" in June which apparently has a 40 min+ climb to the finish.

Here are some pics of my sweet new Canyon, with SRAM force and some SRAM AL30 wheels. Thanks to Panther and Competitive Cyclist.
On Sunday, I ventured back to Knoxville to meet up with Adam Rodkey and Josh and Jake Prater. We climbed up the Foothills Parkway again as well as some other brutally steep climbs. I was also nearly bitten by a dog, it ruined a sock. I am just glad it didn't rip out my Achilles tendon. It was by far the closet encounter I have ever had with a mean set of jaws.

It was an awesome trip, the weather was beautiful and it was nice to get away and spend some time with Caitlin. Here are some awesome photos she took.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Panther Kit

Excited about these.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No Words

So apparently the frats and sororities are competing for a sponsorship from Vinyard Vines (a clothing company from my understanding) for Little 5 and have to submit videos and other things. It is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. However, this is the most embarrassing thing I have seen. Hard to watch but hilarious at the same time. Post comments, this is great! Watch here!

I have a feeling they are going to remove this video once they realize how terrible it is, so I wanted to ensure it lived forever here.

Please post your thoughts!!