Monday, March 26, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
SDSR part 2
SDSR part 2
[ san dimas stage race ]
today was a better day, i made it over the cannon street KOM wall climb 5 times and made the cut to race tomorrow, nuff said. i was in the hunt for the some KOM points on the 2 second lap to make up for the previous days drought and in the process found myself in a group of 4 in the 'break at the back' afterwards. we fought hard and tirelessly together for 3 laps to catch the main grouppo before the end, but to no avail. of course everything behind us [15 plus riders] fell off like a ton of bricks and we were it to make the final selection for tomorrows downtown san dimas crit. many props and a big sense of pride goes out to my 3 other group riders, we never quit, never gave up, never wined, we worked like a well oiled machine for the remainder of the race. to say i was proud, would be an understatement, 4 strangers bonded together in pain and suffering for a common cause, you have to love road racing. i felt like the elder statesmen, which i was for the most part, and keep everyone working together and made sure that they did not pull too long and weaken our effort by being dropped. so to my fellow group of 4, thanks and it was a pleasure working with you today.
Friday, March 16, 2007
SAN DIMAS SR [stage 1]
38th out of 50 [20 min, 4 min back of the leader, or should i say ringer, he was flying up the mountain and had the best time of the day for a while]
today did not go as well as i would have liked, actually i am a bit upset with myself and the outcome of todays uphill ITT. i am usually not upset about results, as we all have bad days and good days and sometimes extraordinary days. but today was one of those rare days that i am just upset. i felt good today, not bad, not great, but good, my final time does not reflect the effort.
i rode the entire course in too small of a gear, as i should have been dieseling up the hill in a lower gear and not spinning so easily and it cost me a good speed /time. my climbing style is some where between spinning and dieseling, especially since i learned to diesel long before spinning was the in thing. oh well, chalk this one up as more experience and of course, 'thats bike racing'. now we are on to the road race course next, which has some killer classics style short steep climbs [no pave, duh, this is socal]. all though i am upset, i learned a lot today and now it is time to move on and go faster.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
tour day[s] murrieta
the tour of murrieta was fun [if not super fast]. it was short, as in just 2 days and the rolling 3.5 mile road course [10 laps].
the crit did not go as well as i had anticipated, maybe it was the 4:30am wake up time or something in my drink. at any rate it was a fast crit and i was able to muster a few turns at the front only to be left at the rears on the last half lap as a rider in front of me in the train lost the wheel in front of him and i had to dig deep to catch and finish with the bunch.
the road race on sunday was another super early affair, but i think i flushed out all of the 'whatever' that was bugging my stomach on saturday and road a good fast race. we never dropped below 25mph for the entire race and i found myself catapulted to the front on lap 6 of 10, as i refused to brake once again. there were numerous newbie squirrels in the race that i was constantly chirping at to stop braking through the countless corners. as i took the lead spot in the front train, i put the hammer down and the field scattered behind and by the the start of the 7 lap i had done my job and shelled all of those hanging on by a thread. that made my race and i TT'd it in at the rears of the main group. all in all a great day of racing.
[hanging tough at the front, during day 1]
[did not feel so well today [day 1] ]
[at the lead during lap 7, at mach 1]
[noah 'hapy' witlin hanging tough]
[practicing my sprint at the back of the main group, after being lead out by another team]
[pretty happy with the days ride]
Monday, March 12, 2007
sad day in comedy
the off broadway spanish comedy "operacion puerto" has decided to end its illustrious run and close it's doors, some may say prematurely. the spanish comedy, which had french backing will be sorely missed. the somewhat black comedy gave us many magical fictional moments to talk about for years to come. my french friends raved about how great it was, how honest, which is no surprise to this critic, especially being a comedy so close to their heart [insert comment about their anonymous financial support]. my italian friends that attended the comedy with me, spent most of their time on the floor laughing, needless to say they loved this comedy and we had many a good laugh after wards repeating scenes over a late night espresso[s]. unfortunately my german colleague seemed a bit lost, as most of the comedy seemed to miss it's mark on them. i tried to explain the sublime subtle twists of the story and how they culminated in pure comedic scenes that did not require serious analytical analysis. but in the end, i think that they just took the jokes too seriously. what was really funny for me was to watch the austrian critic keep looking at the german responses, which i think prevent him from truly enjoying the comedy thoroughly, as i caught him on many an occasion, wanting to join the italians on the floor busting a gut. i really think now that he wishes that he could see it again and really enjoy himself fully. my fellow american critics i don't think were fully able to absorb essence of the comedy, they seemed almost preoccupied with an on broadway comedy that is about to open in may.
thats it for now, this has been racer blue squirrel, the european comedy critic at large.
Monday, March 05, 2007
ok, so it has been a while since the last race update and a few good races have passed.
first off was noah's return to racing at the ONTARIO crit, after his pavement bounding exercise in costa mesa. i am happy to report that noah [soon to be renamed hapy, in forth coming post] kept the rubber side down and did a good job of exorcising the crash demons from his body and mind. it was a strong effort by all, as we were racing the open class with 20 somethings. the course at ontario is fun, with 7 corners and over a mile long. i didn't know how i was feeling, but once the race got a few laps in her, i settled in and went about protecting hapy. with 3 laps to go it was time to see what was left and i went about pulling myself towards the front. all in all a good day of racing and the form is coming along nicely.
[cruising at ontario]
[hapy post race after exorcising the crash demons]
[another fun day for the LA sqaud, where's greg?]
some cool photos by mitch wardman
next on the list is yesterdays crit down in DOMINGUEZ HILLS. it was another super early start for the BAR series 40+ set at 7:45am. I had a limited warmup, so i took it out on the field and set tempo at the front for the first 5 or so laps before settling in to the group. it was a really good tempo all day, the up hill parts were a nice addition and i believe we lapped the women twice. the first laps played out as follows, after leading the points leader [making him work a bit] on the first lap, i was recruited by a rider to catch and pass the women as soon as possible. after the he'man effort [i could care less if the women were in front or behind us] , i was recruited by a fellow masi to have some more fun off the front again, which i kindly obliged. then it was time to settle in to the bunch and cruise for a while. as the 4 laps to go was announced, we started to ramp it up a bit and I found the health net masters team sucking wind at the front with 2 lap to go and i saw an opportunity to jump again. i went off the front trying to bridge to the rider that had just jumped before me. i powered it around at the rivet to the finish with 1 lap to go. the other teams had to mark us and dug deep to reel us back in. i was rivet plus as we came around the final corner and started my sprint [don't laugh, she is getting smoother], put my head down and squeezed out what power i had left and didn't lift it until i heard the all to common sound of bikes hitting the pavement, only to catch a glimpse of 3 riders down in front of me. that pretty much busted the sprint and will of most and i cruised in with the front bunch. for what ever reason the dominguiz hills crit had quite a few crashes, but all in all a great course with some up hill bits to make it fun and play a bit to my strengths. oops, almost forgot, this was after hapy and i did 65 miles in the mountains the day before. tour of murrieta is coming up next.
[heading to the line]
[at the line smiling, i am so warped]
[round 1 at the front, points leader in tow, as we dive into our pain cave]
[round 2, points leader no longer in tow and the women one lap down]
[round 3 and almost warmed up]
[final sprint past the mayhem]
[it was a hard effort today, there's a smile under there]
[post race hapy and i, where's greg?]
WRONG [on so many levels]
Monday , March 05, 2007
SANTA MONICA, Calif. —
Officials have tried poison, gassing and euthanasia to control a breeding frenzy among squirrels in a city park here. Now, they plan to give birth control a shot. Under a new program to start this summer, squirrels in Palisades Park will be injected with an immuno-contraceptive vaccine to stunt their sexual development. "We don't want to kill them if we don't have to," said Joe McGrath, the city's parks chief. "I personally like squirrels, but we also have to be receptive to the county's concerns." Health officials say the squirrels, which number about 1,000 in the park, pose a public health risk. They warn that the rodents are aggressive and may carry rabies or host fleas that can spread disease, such as bubonic plague. Since 1998, Santa Monica has been cited five times by Los Angeles County for squirrel overpopulation. But the suppression methods it has used, including euthanasia, have angered animal-loving activists. City officials say the infertility shots offer a diplomatic solution. The vaccine, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stops ovulation and lactation in female squirrels, and testicular development in males. The shots, running $2 to $10, have no side effects such as swelling, said James Gionfriddo, a USDA wildlife biologist. Santa Monica would be the second city in the state, after Berkeley, to try the immunization program. [ED. two of the most liberal cities in the US, doing the dumbest things, isn't this counter to their charter, oh yea, they are smarter than the rest of us, oops, my bad.]
Animal activist Catherine Rich said she supports the vaccine program but believes any health risk posed by the squirrels is overblown. "There is not a pressing threat of squirrels attacking people," Rich said, "so I don't know why the county is getting their panties in a bunch."