blue squirrel

after a self-imposed 20 year absence from cycling, the sport i love, i am back and dedicated to holding my own in the superfast 40+ catagory. this blog will tell the journey, the highs and the lows, the team [team becher+] and it's cast of characters, our sponsors, supporters, and other local riders that make it happen... [anonymous comments are lame, cowboy up and put a name or start a blog]

Friday, June 30, 2006

right in the kisser

ok, the first velonews letter writer that says that cycling is dead, gets it right in the kisser. this is the best thing to happen to cycling, shake things up, have a little revolution, the clean riders will make this sport so much more entertaining and exciting. oh, it kind of reminds me a bit of the days when punk killed rock and roll... cycling will never be the same, it will be better.

my picks

Tour in turmoil as Basso and Ullrich ejected...

[guilty? or innocent?]

hmm, my picks don't look so bad now do they.

1] cadel evans
2] levi leipheimer
3] iban mayo

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

now on to the CRIT

[stage 3 criterium of the san diego omnium]

well sunday finally came, as did the dreaded criterium. i'll be honest, i have never been a big fan of criteriums, they are usually geared towards those guys with big guns and love to sprint at +45mph. i always levitated towards road races and climbing, but you got to do what you got to do. so off we went to the criterium in mira mesa with images of getting blown out the back of the pack floating through my mind.

[lined up and not looking forward to humiliation to come]

boy was i surprised to find myself at the front of the bunch after lap one, this might be fun today. low and behold my condition had gotten better over the course of the omnium and i found myself once again helping to set the tempo of the race. in fact i would say i was setting tempo for 2/3 of the race. i countered numerous attacks and went out on a few flyers of my own.

[hey this isn't so bad, setting tempo early on]

[hey, where are you going]

[leading the way with 3 laps to go]

as we got to the last 5 laps, i was sitting pretty good up front and felt confident, but it was not to be, as i moved up on the final turn, i got boxed at the last corner and by the time i opened up my sprint [ok ok, so it is funny for me to say sprint, whatever, i tried] i was looking at the main field to the outside in front of me and i was only able to catch about 5 guys. but let me tell you, that was 40 minutes of pure speed fun, the crit demons have been exercised and i look forward to the next rumble...

now this is what i call dedication

[now this is what i call dedication]

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

other racers

i wasn't the only one out there giving it their all this weekend. noah took on the cat 5 pack at the cedars-sinai grand prix. he gave it a valiant effort, but after a week of having the flu and prior to that he was off the bike and having fun in spain for two weeks, he was a bit shattered on sunday. we are all proud of him for giving it a go and getting out there and mixing it up....

check out him out at:

[stage 2] on to the road race

[getting ready to roll, of course that laugh must be because i am crazy and i know what i am about to suffer through, dig those purty LG shoes, all white and bling]

was there a weather change, well, not really. but it did rain saturday morning before we got back out to mountains east of san diego. the course for the road race followed the hollowed roads of the 'boulevard road race' held in feburary and is always a hard race. the course for the omnium started at the golden acorn casino and winds its way down to highway 94 for a good descent and some rollers to climb, than a right on la posta and up a wall over the railroad tracks to the hills we go, up some good steadily increasing climbs and a right on old highway 80 and up the mountain to the finish.

[at the start line, telling jokes]

[off we go, let the suffering begin]

we started under patchy clouds, high humity and about 92F, but it did seem cooler than the day before. i made my way to the front and put myself behind the lead rider [he looked like someone i knew, so i had talked to him before the race and it turns out that he was a cat 1 rider that started over after 10 years and his name is james, hum sounds familiar]. i hate being in the middle or rear of the pack going down descents as my MASI gran-criterium with american classic 30mm carbon wheels likes to eat descents for breakfast, as in it is fast, way faster than me, i just hold on and let her go. so james [yes i know, weird] lead the bunch up the first few inclines and celo-pacific comes up and leads up over the wall and we make our first right onto 94, with me in about 4th position before the descent really starts down 94. james decides that he has had enough of the slow pace by team celo-pacific and bolts off the front. i take a quick look around and see celo-pacific ether napping or they don't care to up the pace, so i bridge to james and we are now bombing down the rollers, we are joined by a healthnet rider and the 3 of us are off to the races, this went on for about what seemed like +5 mins or so, and then the peloton finally absorbed us. i think it was still celo-pacific driving the peloton and they boxed myself and the healthnet rider in. they slowed us down to 23mph, that did not set well with my masi, and she got in behind the revolving celo-boys and i launched past them and told the healtnet rider to stick to my ass and we would have another go at it. i launched so fast by the time i turned around at 30mph +, no one was behind me. so it took very little for me to decide that this was it and i went for it. i was on my solo attack for about 20 - 25min. i dedicated my attack to margaret [tim's wife] who is attacking something in her own right, all my best to you margaret and to a speedy successful treatment, we kicked some arse today] the peloton finally started working and caught me, but not before i lead them up the first climb. my day was made, i was smiling from ear to sweaty ear as i heard guys behind me at the top of the first climb say 'i'm done'. i did my job and thinned the herd and we went about the rest of the 22 mile loop [we did 2 loops of the course]. like i said before with no team to support today, i was free to be an agitator and have some fun, and let me tell you, it was a blast, it was worth all the hours of training and sacrifice [no ice cream]. for about 30 mins i was my hero jens voigt and you can't erase that type of smile. i lead a group up the old highway 80 climb, catching as many riders as we could. i was working with a team swami rider up the climb and told him that we should work together on the next lap.

[leading the group up to the finish / feed zone]

i pass the finish / feed zone, crabbed a bottle from the soigneur and started the loop all over again. when i got to the top of the feed zone incline and turned down towards the casino, i look around to regroup with the swami rider and once again no one was behind me. so i was off to the races again alone and bombing down 94 to la posta. the weather changed from the old highway 80 climb [98F+] to the humid 94 rollers and i swear it had rained before i got there again. so i started to swallow up more riders and suffered through the first two climbs as i ran out of water and took all the hammer gel i had and before the old highway 80 climb i took a swig of my GO-juice [enervite]. lucky for me i had brought some E-CAPs electrolyte tablets with me, as i was popping them left and right all day. they really saved me from leg cramps in the sweltering heat. i suffered up the old highway 80 with no fluids and finish at the back of the main pack. all in all a great day of racing, and i had so much fun working the pack and attacking. i love bike racing.....

[oh the tears of joy as i cross the finish line]

[i was one thirsty team becher+ rider, and yes that is salt from my sweat on my jersey]

first a very special thanks to josephine for suffering in her own right in the sun all morning just to hand me a bottle of water, thanks to TIM at MASI for the best bike ever made, thanks to the crew at iMartin for all the work on the bike, thanks to jessica at LG for the great gear support [and making a helmet that fits my big head], thanks to the team and especially greg for being my training partner. brave soldier for the 'friction zone' and first aid kits. thanks to our great sponsors, bobo's hamburgers and dave jarrett. one day i hope to make gerry proud with one good sprint...

Monday, June 26, 2006

3 days de fun

well it was a great 3 days of racing [masters 35+, no 40+ so i had to hurt the youngsters], i can't remember the last time i had so much fun racing. since none of my other team mates could make it [something about being wusses, i'm not sure], i was free all weekend to ride for myself and be aggressive and an agitator, which i took full advantage of and had a blast. i love working for a teammate or having them work for me, but i also love to make things happen in a race, set tempos, break away, attack, i simply like agressive racing, that is what i think racing bikes is all about, winning is great, but being active the whole race is what racing is.

[warming up, which really all i had to do was get out of the car and step into the blast furnace]

it all started with a hot hot hot 102F+ TT [time trial] on friday. we rolled into the mountains 50 miles east of san diego friday morning to clear skies and the temperature starting to reach towards 100F. got in a good warm up [more like hot up] and went through 2 bottles of hammer HEED. could not decide wether or not to wear the aero helmet [louis garneau] or not. i finally decided if the 50+ guys could, so could i, it proved to be a good decision, as it shield me from the sun and was actually quite cool inside. up to the start line and sweating and warmed up and ready to fly, after a few sponsor plugs with the announcer and name correction [beck-er, with an H] was soon flying down the road at sub-mach 30mph and ready for the first test of the TT, the first climb.

[asking the team soungier for some water before the start of the TT]

[did i metion it was hot?]

[getting ready to rumble]

[all ready down the road before the digital camera could react]

by the top of the first climb my mouth was so dry [can't remember it ever being so dry], my lips had stuck to my teeth and i had no, as none, nada spit. luckily my team mate, coach, and all around super MASIGUY, outfitted my TT bike with a cool aero bottle that he convinced me into filling half way. what a God send, i used it 3 times during the TT to free my lips and wet my throat. i caught my minute guy right after the half way turn around and then my 2 minute guy soon after that [was not looking to well in the heat]. i had a small mechanical at the top of the return climb, trying to get into my big ring, but i finally got it to move and bombed down the descent and into the finishing false flat. i felt pretty good about my effort and placed 13th out of 61 [not all riders rode every event, wusses...], so i picked up 4 omnium points and missed out on a top 5 finish by 30sec. urghhhhh... that woun't happen next year. it was great to score some points, as if you aren't in the top 20 of the omnium stages, you collect nothing for your effort. my time did beat a few of the guys in the pro 1/2 cat race. i was dreaming of a bobo's hamburger afterwards, but had to settle for la posta diner burger which i shared [yes i am a climbing freak, but i earned it], with josephine [team soigneur and photag for the weekend and all around beautiful person].

[all done and ready to jump into the swimming pool i kept seeing in the road in front of me, like a dangling carrot]

special thanks to jessica at LG for all the support, the guys at iMartin for setting up the TT bike [especially mike for building her and giving her some street-cred], MASIGUY for the TT bars and cane creek wheels, my mom for a place to sleep and veg after the race[s], my team for putting up with me, especially greg, bobo's hamburgers for being great guys, dave jarrett for being the best flatlander i know, GPTV [gerry, your my sprinting, big gun' s hero], and of course this TT was dedicated to maj. charles dale [still missing in action in vietnam, may your soul find peace].

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

swiss sweetness

[now don't get your screen dirty]



i guess i am as ready as i am going to be for the 3 stage [3 day] san diego cyclo-vets ominium [which i missed last year due to a tangle with a the hood of car a few weeks before]. greg and i put in a good effort today on the mulholland circuit and canyons this morning to clean out the pistons. i will hopefully be updating the blog during the weekend events.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

windy in italy

[oh, what a nice windy italian day, not, italian TT champ bruseghin]

LA is coupable


Jalabert drug party blamed for addiction:
During the first day of hearings in the "Cahors" trial, Laurent Roux's younger brother Fabien testified that it was former professional and current French TV consultant Laurent Jalabert who first introduced him to "pot belge". "I was initiated to using pot belge during a party with Laurent Jalabert in 2001," the 24 year-old said. "Together with other professionals, I've seen him injecting himself in the garage of his house that evening. It was a party organised by his fan club. It's frequent in the cycling world. These parties take place during the off-season. I came with my brother, who was a professional. The whole team of the cyclist who was hosting participated in these parties - from mechanic to soigneur."

Roux said he thus consumed the drug mix for the first time in the presence of Jalabert. "It was offered by the rider who hosted the party," he added. Later during the trial, a former teammate of Laurent Jalabert at CSC-Tiscali, who was heard as a witness, confirmed Roux's accusations.

[now let me get into the mind of the french media and l'equipe, this obviously means that lance armstrong doped... now let me get into the mind of everyone else, laurent jalabert doped...]

Sunday, June 18, 2006

wednesday heat

greg and i starting the last big climb of the day [la tuna cayon]
and this is what we are looking at

wednesdays ride was good big ring climbing powercranking heat'fest. i got a chance to stretch my legs and check condition before the upcoming san diego cyclo-vets ominum. the climbs of the day included, verdugo up to foothill, the full length of foothill, down to sunland over to the front side of la tuna canyon and then back via glendale to barham. greg put the hammer down after la tuna through glendale, that is one fast ol' son of a bitch. he is about to unleash his fury on the flatlanders of michigan wolverines, i feel sorry for them, they won't know what hit them.

look'ng good for TDF

my boy cadel is looking good for TDF. what are the two things you must be good at to win, that's right climbing and TT. he just stormed the last stage of tour de suisse TT, to come in second behind da kaiser. and don't forget his incredible last stage TT of the tour romandie to take the overall. it is going to be a fun filled, fireworks everwhere TDF.

[oh and look out for the new german wunderkind, linus gerdemann, he put in a lot of work for da kaiser in the hills and not a bad TT ether, he is sure to be star in the future, that is if he gets off t-moble, the talent crusher squadra]


1 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 38.45.21 (47.531 km/h)
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 0.22.85
3 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Würth 0.31.32
4 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.46.97
5 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.51.58
6 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Team CSC 0.52.99
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 1.01.63
8 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 1.02.35
9 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.14.69
10 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) Würth 1.22.95

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

saturday update

- i forgot to mention that it was a big ring powercrank day also and i didn't tell you what i did training wise on sunday [gotta keep some of my tricks secret, but it was a big power meter day]

i forgot to post something last wednesday and now it is this wednesday. so here is a picture of the ride last wednesday. yes that would be todd the muncher and no we didn't stop off at jack in the box' along the way. todd is one strong rider, if only we could get him on the team becher+ mantra and loss some more weight, he would be kicking some serious arse....
at the top of chevy chase after la tuna canyon, sunland, foothill [full length] and the back side of chevy chase.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

san diego east county mountain[s] loop

[sorry no images today, it was a hard day at the office]

today was a day to get back to some serious training before the up coming san diego cyclo-vets omnium in a few weeks. so what better place to go out and get used to riding in the mountain HEAT than the traditional east county mountain loop. this takes one out past the indian casino in descanso and up the 6 mile climb.

then down japatul road, then up japatul road [8 miles], to the end of lyon's valley road [by this point you way east of san diego and even alpine].

then down a small incline, then up many long rollers, than through deerhorn valley, up another long climb. did i mention all of the valleys i went into and then back out of them [up hill].

finally one ends back at 94 highway and a number of long climbs [8%+] with little or no shoulder to ride on with SUV after truck after bus after SUV passing my suffering arse up.

many thanks to all of the squirrel tofosi along the way that gave their support by running tempo along the side of the road for me. it nearly brought me to tears all of the support, although the deerhorn valley squirrel relay team that was taunting me with sprint intervals, although i don't think that 2 meter up hill intervals constitutes a hard day at the office boys.

what did i just get done saying???

thats what i'm talking about

the last post was still hot and yet in no time than a squirrel crosses the street [as in uber fast] iban 'the orange crusher' takes 2nd in stage 5 and now takes the stage 6 win. as masiguy would say, 'i hate being right'....

1 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 5.01.42 (33.61 km/h)
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 1.21
3 Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 1.37
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
5 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
6 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) T-Mobile Team 2.00
7 Jose Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.37
8 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 3.17
9 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile Team 3.26
10 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole
11 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Team Milram 4.32
12 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 4.54
13 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 5.23
14 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
15 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
16 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
17 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
18 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone
19 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
20 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team CSC 7.23

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

sneaking back in

check out the results of stage 2 [criterium du dauphine libere] today, one of my favorite 'animators' seems to be making a good come back this year after a [2] really bad, uncharacteristic years. i'm talking of course of that basque sensation iban mayo. i know i am supporting the underdog cadel evans this year for TDF, but i think this is going to be the tour of the unexpected, and iban could certainly be that person if he is on is game, and of course learns to time trial. [check out who is 10th and 12th]

58th criterium du dauphine libere
Stage 2 - June 6: Bourgoin-Jallieu - Saint-Galmier, 203 km


1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux 4.45.53 (42.605 km/h)
2 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 5.19
3 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner 5.23
4 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
5 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
6 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
7 Stuart O'grady (Aus) Team CSC
8 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance
9 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Team Milram
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
11 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
12 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

Monday, June 05, 2006


noah hanging loose out front

noah witlin representing the team in vintage blues during the los angeles river ride / race. we are expecting big things from this 35+ youngster next season. hopefully he didn't eat to many tapa's while on his recent trip to espana... hmm, funny how he went to spain right as the whole doping scandal broke, but then again i didn't see him in any of the surveillance tapes from fuente's office...

what a hot weekend

going up nichols canyon saturday

it was one hot ovenfest on saturday. we did some climbing, starting with nichols canyon than over mulholland to sepulvada, down to the valley and out to burbank. if you kept moving it was ok, but once you stopped the heat just hit you like a bad habit. by the time we hit the full length of garbage hill, it was over 100F. the only cool part of climbing garbage hill saturday was the dirt part, due to some construction. it was a little giro action in the middle of los angeles. sunday was a little cooler and we basically did a recovery ride down to san vicinte, and down the coast to olympic than back to HQ [hollywood hills]. we picked up a stoller'ette [susan] at iMartin and she tagged along for the ride. since it was almost impossible to cool off saturday afternoon, i introduced josephine to the delectable wonder that is a 7/11 slurpie. i think she is hooked, as she asked for one on sunday too.

sunday ride

Thursday, June 01, 2006

some good climbing

[greg making it to the top of inverness in true blue becher+ style]

greg and i got back to serious training on wednesday, with a day of climbing. [6] good climbs, starting with the length of verdugo to montrose, up to descanso, up the back side of chevy chase via inverness. inverness is the steepest of the chevy chase climbs and ends at the all girl's school. i felt good and had great sensations in my legs going up inverness, which isn't surprising since i hadn't done any real work for a few days. then down chevy chase proper, right at the bottom and up a good wall to garbage hill via glendale, up garbage hill [the long way] then back down [construction], than up barham to HQ. did i mention it was in the low 90's?

greg quote of the day [if it ain't hard, it ain't right]

[over looking pasadena below]

longer easy ride

rolling through redondo beach

sunday we headed out from HQ to palos verdes. this easy 'flatlander' ride was a little longer than saturday and a little faster at times, although it was more of a long recovery ride for me. we had acqua & sapne and navigators tagging on for a fun sunday ride.

the pearl beauty rolls out

josephine getting ready to roll [keep your eyes on the bike]

so saturday we rolled out with the new pearl MASI beauty. we did a good 'flatlander' ride down to san vicinte from HQ to venice blvd and back to hollywood. it was long enough for josephine to get in some easy miles, while she gets used to the new MASI. while it was being built up at iMartin, the bike was salivated over more than the bikes being sold in the shop. everyone stopped and took a second look. josephine really dug the way the bike rode and felt.

cursing along the beach