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]

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


tim jackson get well fund

unfortunately i have some bad news to report concerning one of our star riders, tim, aka masiguy, action jackson, maggie.
apparently someone slowed down in front of him at the SD velodrome last night and tim tried to go high and ended up hitting the boards at 30mph +. he sustained a concussion [he was out for 5 minutes], broken ribs, a few fractured neck bones and a mangled thumb that will have surgery done on it today. please keep tim in your prays and i will update his legions of fans here as soon as i know more.

tim is at mercy hospital in SD. he will be there till tomorrow?

down in SD now, tim is in surgery for his thumb and i will be going there around 6pm pacific time to see how he is doing and if he ruined his new long sleeve skinsuit. the latest i got from his parents is that he is doing fine and talking prior to surgery.

tim's surgery on his thumb went well and is now in his own room [1024 / mercy hospital], i'm on my way over there now.

back now from the hospital and tim is doing well. he looked a lot better than i had thought, after hearing about the accident from various people. his eye has improved almost 100% from what it looked like at the track [it was about the size of a baseball, now it is swollen like one would expect]. his head is fine, with frequent headaches. i saw a picture of his catlike helmet, and it was like a open calm shell, with the hinge at the front and back gone. the news about his right knee is not looking so good as of this evening, we are still waiting on the direct news from the doctor, but he had a CT scan and it showed that it was fractured, but that is all we know right now, other than it is completely swollen. they keep finding new road rash. one rib is fractured and one lung bruised, but not deflated and he is breathing fine. the right thumb is the real question mark along with the right kneecap. the surgery on the thumb to reattach it was a success, but it will take a few days to really find out. the thumb was not completely severed because of the accident, but it was not fully attached. the surgeon said that every looks towards a full recovery. in fact he is in good spirits and really appears to be on the road to recovery and should be out of the hospital by friday. as far as i can tell is that he should be fine. tim sends his regards to everyone and to thank everyone for their kind remarks and wishes. sorry if this post is a bit here and there, but i am completely exhausted, both emotionally and physically. check out some of the blog love at unbreakable bonds, kk [caution it contains pictures of tim after surgery, daddy iggy was there to see tim tonight,

i am starting a tim 'masiguy' jackson get well fund to cover some of the costs that his insurance may not cover. i am not looking to raise a huge amount of money for him, but enough to help him get through this unfortunate accident and the time lost away from work and to cover some of the uncovered medical / medicine costs. i will be setting up a paypal account for the fund and if you would like to send a check in the name of tim jackson, send me an email to blue_squirrelATearthlinkDOTnet and i will forward you my mailing address. if we could all give $1, $5, or $10, we should be able generate enough to get tim through this with a little less stress.

tim 'masiguy' jackson get well fund
i have set up a paypal fund for tim or if you prefer you can send a gift card for tim to me [email me and i will send you a mailing address]
- donate to tim via paypal using [blue_squirrelATearthlinkDOTnet]
- trader joes gift card
- starbucks gift card [don't get me started on espresso, this is a no brainer and convenient for tim]
- prepaid gas card [google]
- prepaid mastercard

the paypal link has been fixed, it now simply goes to the paypal homepage, use [blue_squirrelATearthlinkDOTnet] as the send to email. thanks in advance from tim, he is very proud and some what shy [don't laugh], but i know he is overwhelmed by the well wishes and support. it is almost enough to make a 200lb sprinter tear up. oh, i need to adjust the speed at which tim banged the boards, his estimate is 35 - 38mph, my thought is that is slow for tim when he starts winding up his sprint on the last lap of a track sprint.

back from the hospital again and tim seems to be getting better all the time. his eye is still nasty looking, but should make a full recovery. his thumb is still a [?], but should be fine. we will not know about his knee / kneecap till later today as to whether he needs surgery on it or not. head and neck hurt enough to warrant pressing the morphine button from time to time. he wants to thank everyone who has called, blogged, donated and simply sent well wishes. we all really appreciate it.
- tim wanted me to clarify that from his point of view, the rider that cracked on the bell lap [after 24 laps] pulled out high and thus with tim carrying a speed of +38mph, he had no were to go but higher and then into the boards, as such i have removed the moniker of 'nob' from my original post.

a few more links to blogs about tim's accident, there has been a huge outpouring of blog love, i don't have time to list all of them, feel free to leave a comment with your link.
avenue Z
bike biz
iggy racing

i am back in smelLA for a day and apologize for the delay in the updates. first off the prognosis for the knee is dissent, he fractured the tip of his femur at the knee [not that bad] and the tibula [sp], which is the more serious of two. the treatment now for the right knee is to have it in a brace for 10+ weeks and NO surgery at this time. tim is definitely looking better and had much better color. i will post a smiling picture of him once i download them. KKs pictures were great, but i want everyone to know that he is doing better and looks a bit more like the tim we all know. i will continue to thank all those that have been sending their well wishes and helping with the get well fund, we all really appreciate it. tim's mom is on the job and has the hospital staff on their toes. shes great, just so you know were tim gets it from. also tim has his personal nurse ann, at his bed side, i hope she doesn't spoil him too much, cause it has taken me years to get him to this point ;-)

the latest is that tim has already started physical therapy and mapping out how he is going to win that masters title on the track next year, since this year is a wash [ie evil conspiracy to get him out of contention this year]. he said that the physical therapy was not nice and of course went into how the crutch and or walker felt a bit soft in the corners and how they could strengthen the frame and change the angles a bit to make it handle better. so as i was saying, the cracks in his skull were there all along and he is back to talking bike frame designs. i almost forgot to mention that yesterday he got a call from one of his hero's, none other than bob roll'ske. he was totally jazzed like a little school boy to get the call and to talk with bob, it really lifted his spirits, kudos bob. tim did say he forgot to remind bob that at the sinclair party last year, he promised to come ride with the team some time, just saying. tim should be in the hospital for another day or so of physical therapy. rumor has it that i will be getting some photos of tim on his full scandium walker with carbon pursuit bars.

as i promised, a smiling picture of herr jackson and one of him with his new favorite knee brace. the picture of the knee brace was after the physical therapy torture [if it was any thing like mine, i am sure his neighbors heard]

[ohhh, ain't that there a smile?]

[i went to the SD velodrome and all i won was this nifty leg brace, well, ok and a neck brace, a pin in my thumb, really cool self inflating leg massagers, some really cool road rash, and a stunner of a black eye, oh, did i mention the cracked rib and skull?]

tim is still in the hospital as of this morning and could quite possibly go home this evening, or not. home for now for all of those that want to send him flowers or fat-free donuts, will have to hold off as he will be staying with his sister for a few weeks once he is released, as she has 10 less steps to get up. we can always arrange something, as i will be down there next weekend for the fiesta island TT and mothers day. ok, back to tim, he is doing physical therapy daily and has been up and using the walker as best his 200lb sprinter frame can handle. its a good thing tim started out as a young tall skinny climber, so he is not whining like an A-typical prima donna sprinter type. he is off the morphine drip and on to percocet [my favorite go to post surgery, hit your head pain med]. the headaches come fast and hard but are tempered by the percocet. he sounds so much better and alert [duh, he's not on morphine anymore]. he is going to go nuts having to be off the leg for up to 12 weeks, i foresee a bit of a contentious situation come 8 weeks with his doctor regarding why he tried to get on the trainer. so everyone can breath a bit easier as tim is doing fine this beautiful soCal sunday. oh, on a personal note, this week of drama has taken its toll on me and i feel like i have been floored by a bad case of the flu, just the feeling of having zero energy left, and thus i wussed out of racing today at san luis rey [love that race], but wes and brian are representing the colors today and trying to make something happen for tim.

good news everyone, tim is on his way home today. tim should be released from the hospital later today or this evening after his consultation with his doctors. he actually has been practicing going up and down stairs with his crutches and could quite possibly end up going home to his place. the walker just was not working out for him, balance wise, and so he moved to some modified crutches that work fairly well. he can't put pressure on his right hand, due to his thumb, so they modified a crutch to put pressure on his forearm. the GREAT news is that he can wiggle his right thumb and can feel the tip, that is awesome news for a full recovery. ok, more updates as i get the news.

TIM IS HOME tim confirmed this evening that he is home, climbed the stairs like a sprinter with a fractured knee and looking forward to getting online [ED. he already posted]. this has been a long week and we can all breath a sigh of relief that tim is on to the next phase of his recovery. check back here for any developments in tim's get well fund [which is growing daily, thanks to the generosity of friends, bloggers, and strangers, all of you rock more than you know], recovery updates, and other fun tim news. rumor has it, and this is just a rumor, that a famous american grand tour winner may be signing a jersey soon, to be ether raffled or ebay'd to add to tim's get well fund, so sit tight, come back soon and GO RIDE [if only because you can]. oh and before i forget, buy a MASI [how could i resist, i had your attention]

tim jackson get well fund

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RIDE sunday

[27 apr 2008]

sundays ride was still hot or is that hotter. i drove this time to tim's place and we headed out to point loma to hit some beautiful rollers. it was a fairly good tempo day with a few attacks out on the rollers, at the navy base on the way to the light house. other than a few nobs / freds riding treks, the day was great. we headed back at a good clip through fashion valley and up the HILL to hillcrest through the UCSD hospital. this hill is a good 8 - 15% grunter and we both surprisingly felt fresh going up it. all in all a great weekend of riding with my brother from another mother. with in a year i may even be able to stay with tim when he decides he is tired of going fast and goes faster.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

RIDE saturday

[25 april 2008]

ok, i've recovered from the heat and my rides with tim.
on saturday i started out from la mesa and headed west to meet up with tim in fashion valley, than on to fiesta island to do a few laps with manuel. after that tim i headed toward mt. soledad and i proceeded to wreak myself up it, in what was one of the first rides of the year in 100 degree weather, i swear i saw confederate soldiers on mt. soledad when i reached the top. from there we proceeded down the backside, on a decent i would rather forget [really bad concrete pads, that were raised up in every direction, usually pointing you straight into a pot hole at a grade of +15%] we then cruised over to UCSD and turned back towards the bike trail along the 5 freeway. out of no where as tim and i are doing a good clip and talking BS, a few riders from dewalt, ucc, etc. grab our tail and of course tim and i were having none of that, so tim put the hammer down, i followed and the boys behind, stayed behind. it seems that they couldn't muster enough strength to overcome tim's dieseling at 30+ into a headwind. i dropped tim off again in fashion valley and i proceed to climb my way back to la mesa in 100+ weather, uuugggg.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


ok, finally some form and redemption, albeit stymied by a huge pile up in front of me on the last lap.

the torrance crit went off very successfully for noah, wes and i. no one crashed and we all put in a good hard effort. the torrance crit is 4 corners of pure speed and some good ol fashioned bumping and skidding. noah was first off the mark and held his own up front for most of the race, while wes and i yo yo'd through the group. it was wes's first race of the season and even though he is getting a late start on things, he held his own and got stronger through the race. i too held my own and got some confidence back that had been lacking since coming back after surgery. i felt stronger and more comfortable as the race went on. i would say that every flat and or crash was due to a carbon rim blowing up, some guys keep their bikes upright, others did not. going into the first corner of the last lap at full rivet, about 10 guys went sliding across the lane as i was deep into my corner and as my back wheel went sideways and said hi to the front wheel, i finagled my way through the carnage and got on it to finish as best i could after going from 30+ to 3+ and still in my 53/11. all in all a good day, i am proud of the efforts that noah and wes put out, as far as i am concerned they did the colors proud and i walked away with a big smile after i caught my breath and could talk again.

[never start at the back of the field at torrance, oops, as passing is pure grit]

[wes getting his game on]

[am i really smiling?]

[chester and blue moving up]

[i will be able to talk in a few minutes]

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Saturday, April 19, 2008


a good solid ride with wes, brian, john, stefan, peter, and the soon to be racing paul [well actually peter L should be racing too, but i don't know if i have that much mojo to get him out try again after all these years] we did a good pace out to descanso gardens, rose bowl, lida, and back to HQ. all in all a great ride with a few big ring power intervals.

[wes is one bad ass vegan]

[saturday gang minus a few]

[team pride]

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


" a group of riders huddled together, trying not to blow over is NOT racing"
anon 35+ 4/5 racer, going home before the start of stage 2

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Monday, April 14, 2008


this image pretty much sums up stage 2. the winds were gusting +35 mph and after stefan returned a few minutes after starting his stage, i called the plug on our stage 2 antics. the wind conditions put the race organization into serious disarray, with start times starting 1 hour later than on time, i personally didn't even have time to get ready after helping the organizer tape down my groups sign in sheet, she said that our race would start on time, that gave me 7 minutes to get dressed and on the bike, instead of the previous stated 1 hour. needless to say i was highly caffeinated and not happy. the CHP even rumored to close highway 8 to traffic because of the wind. so stefan and i loaded his bike on the roof [not easy when you are blowing over] and headed back to la mesa and a consolation ride out to the coast and del mar.

[stefan smiling cause he knows that he is going to get to go UP torrey pines on the way back from del mar]

well, the crit did not go much better for me and quite frankly was pathetic and i don't really want to go into it, i felt good, i got some sleep, i eat well, warmed up and proceeded to fall victim to 3 large teams on the hunt for omnium points and places, nuff said.

stefan on the other hand had some fun attacking and bridging all day. he really did very well considering it was a flat course and his average speed is faster up hill. all props go to stefan for great first 3 straight days of racing. he really made me and the whole team proud.

[stefan warming up]

[stefan getting his race on]

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Friday, April 11, 2008


[quick update]

17 BECHER, JAMES TEAM BECHER+ 20:20.63 [masters 35+ 4/5]
14 WEBSTER, STEFAN TEAM BECHER+ 22:15.29 [cat5]

-now for the rest of the story, we had 6 hours of sleep, got up at 5am, had 20min of warmup, started at 7:10am.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008


[the pain of second]

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder: One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see." And I saw. And behold, a white horse. There's a man goin' 'round takin' names. An' he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the man comes around. 

The hairs on your arm will stand up. At the terror in each sip and in each sup. For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter's ground. When the man comes around. 

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singin'. Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum. Voices callin', voices cryin'. Some are born an' some are dyin'. It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom come. 

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree. The virgins are all trimming their wicks. The whirlwind is in the thorn tree. It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 

Till Armageddon, no Shalam, no Shalom. Then the father hen will call his chickens home. The wise men will bow down before the throne. And at his feet they'll cast their golden crown. When the man comes around. 

Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still. Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still. Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still. Listen to the words long written down, When the man comes around. 

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singin'. Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettle drum. Voices callin', voices cryin'. Some are born an' some are dyin'. It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom come. 

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree. The virgins are all trimming their wicks. The whirlwind is in the thorn tree. It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 

In measured hundredweight and penny pound. When the man comes around. 

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him. 

[sunday brings the hell of the north / paris roubaix will be taking no prisoners, may the best man win. thanks mr. cash for the lyrics]


Wednesday, April 09, 2008


"I came close. You have to fight and when you do, you have to be happy."
Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank)



tim let it all hang out last night at the tuesday night track races at the san diego velodrome, testing his form in various events. just starting to gain some form and after multiple out of country trips, he did very well, actually showed some spark, i feel sorry for the competition when that spark turns into a fire and those guns really start spinning.

'i like your bike, it's sparkly'
9 year old track racing girl

[racers to the line]

[the really cool thing about the evening was the graduation of the juniors track class, which was sponsored by squadra [?] these kids that would otherwise not have access to bikes and the track, got a chance to learn the ropes and race. they all seemed really jazzed about racing on the track and i hope will continue racing for both the good of them and cycling.]

[warming up with masidaughter]

[this is not tim walking up to the rail]

[but tim did finally make it to the rail]

[tim cooling down]

[tim making his move]

[tim off the front]

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Monday, April 07, 2008


so heres my weekend story, first i start off saturday putting in a great 2 loops of la tuna / verdugo / kenneth loop, a total of 68 miles of grinding rollers, la tuna, team TT speedwork with noah and paul. it was a truly great hard threshold workout, the boys really impressed. we did some speed work and team TT work on the downside from la tuna backside, on honolulu to verdugo, at a respectable 28mph + average [with stop lights]. noah and paul really let it fly. than after all that on saturday and a nap, i of course had to finish sizing my TT rig before a 6:45am sign-in in san diego sunday morning. needless to say in true blue fashion i got to our southern HQ in la mesa around midnight, stayed positive and set the alarm, it went off at 5am, than again at 5:20am and again at 5:30am, i felt like crap and blow off the fiesta island TT prep race [SDCV omnium next friday - sunday] and slept in for another few hours, woke up with the start of a bad i need sleep headache. i proceeded to arrange a ride on fiesta island to test the rig and sizing with big boy action masiguy jackson. the bike went great, it is really smooth and the position i believe is spot on, so not everything was a complete lose. after a few too many laps and an hour or so later, getting pushed around by the crosswinds, stupid drivers and trying to finagle tim into using his massive maggie size to block the ever changing winds lost its charm right about the time my head said 'enough, you can do what ever you want TT boy, but i am shutting down until i get some sleep and aspirin'. so that was my weekend. positive- TT rig is sized and ready to dominate [ie, i have to hang on], my head no longer feels like it did when i was in the andes the first time, and is back to normal [shutup].

[paul refueling for another lap over to the frontside of la tuna from glendale college, sporting his snazzy red shoes[ed. ok, so you can't see them, but trust me they are snaaazzzyy]

[paul striking a dominate pose or wondering why the hell he is doing the loop again]

[hi my name is tim, yes i am a dork. hi i'm jim, yes my head hurts and yes the wind is blowing]

[tim showing his disapproval of me being in front on him]

[proof i was in front of him]

[tim put his pride aside long enough to snap this great shot]

[finally where i should be, that is having tim's, huh, should we say large frameset, protecting me and setting quite the drafting precedent for the rest of the peloton]

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Friday, April 04, 2008


[news flash, masiguy seen training with big-foot in local mountains]

tim went to a top secret masi brand camp in big bear lake this past week and got in some good ol' fashion high altitude training. it was suppose to snow, which it didn't, but he did get to put some of the extra weight in the freezer, as it was hovering around 32 [that would be 0 for all you euro types]. i will have tim explain his make shift thermal booties himself or how to turn team aero booties into thermal booties. it reminds me of the time a few years back while i was in arizona training and got caught un-aware's that it would be 32 degrees at 6am, so i found myself in a 24hr wal-mart buying gardening gloves so i could get some feeling back in my hands. apparently i can only fit one hand in my mouth at time to warm them up.

[looking good in the over challenged team wind jacket, yet not cold enough for the cap]

[there you go, now it is cold enough for the cap, but just a wind vest]

[one sweet looking team bike with a very special red grouppo]

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