Living life on the edge... of the road
Photo by Heidi Swift

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May 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008 - General
That Just HappenedWow, what an event; high energy, yet classy. It lasted late into the night, so much so that Shannon was muttering, "oh, the wife will be mad, so mad" the whole way home.

I had a good time with my wife, the one in the blue. Sara found a new friend recently and it's been a lot of, "Was it you I was telling that to? Oh, it was Clare." It was good to not be the third wheel for once.

Also, want to give big props to Phil and Mandy for their 5-0 foosball record against people who've never played before. Almost as great as winning the race ride.

I was lacking creativity during the paper plate awards last night, but came up with these later. Vote for your favorite one.

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Best Paper Plate Award I Couldn't Think of Last Night

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Friday, May 30, 2008 - General
Trying to pull a fast one on Sport Clubs because we all know that Party + Undergrads = Fun, but Banquet + Undergrads could be anything. Best to keep them confused.

Anyway, last year Sara was the life of the um... "banquet" and thus has a lot to live up to. She's already started mixin' the Dr. Pepper. Normally I don't let her add anything to sugar and caffeine because she becomes... "hard to control." But tonight I'll make an exception, anything to get her to forget about my shaved legs.

Thursday, May 29, 2008 - General
I've been hittin' up the local race ride the past couple of weeks and boy has it got serious; team tactics flying all over the place. The problem is with DBC having 75% of the riders, some of these tactics are just overkill.

For example, last week a rider came up to me after the sprint and said, "If you were going 24 you would have stayed away because we shut down the group." Well thanks, but no thanks. Being caught is part of the ride because it forces you to try something else and that's what's going to happen in a race. Plus, sitting in the pack because you have a rider off the front isn't really a skill. The ability to be that rider is, practice that.

What I'm saying is that having one rider off the front and 30 others doing nothing doesn't really make anybody a better racer and it makes the ride kind of boring. I suggest we lay off the global team tactics and work on some of the smaller things like knowing when to attack and leading out teammates. This will hopefully let everyone try something and give people a better workout.

Whatever happens, you can be sure I'll be chasing everything down so feel free to chase me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 - Race Reports
Up. Up. Up. "The Viper" picked me up promptly at 5:30 am. It's crazy how much earlier that feels than 8:30; which is when I usually wake up.

We were headed to San Jose for the Mt. Hamilton Road Race. It's about 63 miles, with 20 miles up and over the mountain, followed by a rolly 40 miles to the finish. Last year I got dropped on the climb and road most of the race by myself. I was looking for something better this year.

At the start, everyone was watching the Cal-Giant boys and Jesse moved to the front to set the tempo. We sat on his wheel for a long while, people finally started attacking close to the top. I got in on it, but I wasn't too sure where the top was so kept it simple. Cozza, from Slipstream, was chasing me down and after a couple digs he said something like, "not so hot." Heads up Cozza, it gets hot when you're in the pain cave because you're closer to the center of the earth, duh.

Anyway, I attacked at about 2K from the top and held it for the KOM. This was cool because the KOM pays out more than the win and I was off the front for the decent so I could just keep it simple and not have to pull anything stupid just to stay on.

I hit the bottom and was surprised no one had caught me yet. As it was still 40 miles from the finish, I shifted into ME and waited to be caught. The miles clicked away and I was still holding about a minute gap.

Something was definitely not right in the chase group. I later heard talk of Cal-Giant causing the distress by not wanting to do all the work. At one point Ozzie tried to bridge and got to about 20 seconds. I was not looking forward to playing the "I have teammates chasing so I'm just going to sit on" game, so I went harder to avoid it.

With about 15 miles to go I was sure the group was not working together so I decided to go for it and proceeded to time trial straight through Suffer City and on to the finish. I barely made it, the chase group got motivated in the final miles and was only about 100 meters back at the end.

It was an awesome way to win. I'm honored to be added to the short list of people who've done the KOM/win double, which includes names like Ben Jacques-Maynes, Eric Wohlberg and Justin England.

The wife was happy I won some money and was all ready to go shopping. I had to remind her that she already bought all the clothes she ever wanted yesterday. It's funny how quickly they forget.

Sunday, May 18, 2008 - General
Recently, Phil came up with an idea for recruiting females to our team; using me as bait. I tried to tell him that, being married, I would be providing a false image. However, he insisted, claiming that Mandy would leave him if he did it and since I was already "in" with Sara it would take more than this to lose her.

This is a great opportunity to explain "in" to my almost married friends. You may think that once you're married you're "in," but good women are never that easy. What actually happens is "in" takes on a more literal meaning. So while she can't dump you anymore, you may still be "out."

I think my old track coach described the change best: "You're not looking for singles anymore, you're looking to go all the way around." This takes hard work and commitment. For some people it may even require performance enhancing drugs.

So maintaining "in" status actually gets harder after marriage and it's not something I'm willing to jeopardize over some lame publicity stunt, especially after dealing with all the hoopla about leg shaving.

P.S. A very special Happy Birthday to Nils. Make sure to congratulate him on now being able to date women half his age, legally.

Monday, May 12, 2008 - Race Reports
A great 2 days, but then the crit happened. I was the top finisher in 38th. This moved us down to 4th in the Team Omnium for an anticlimactic end to the weekend.

Basically a sketch fest. 8 corners and 75 minutes. About 15 minutes in, after the second crash, they had to stop the race. Someone was down on the first turn. They restarted with a neutral lap and then it was off. The neutral lap was the scariest part of the race; going 15 across into turns as people were jockeying for position.

After that it all went pretty typical. I hit the front once but was pretty gassed from the day before so that ended pretty quick. With 6 to go Phil crashed and was out. He hurt his hip and has some pretty nasty road rash. In the first turn, on the last lap, there was a big crash. Then a couple turns later I saw Tyler rolling on the ground. Then I flew past Shawn and realized this wasn't going to be good.

Ahead of me there were about 30 guys all gunning for it. I sprinted with the guys that knew they were out of contention and finished 38th. For me, it was a pretty good crit. I was in the top half most of the time and held my position pretty well. I just didn't have the legs to do anything other than follow wheels. For the team it was disastrous. So much so that even CSU beat us.

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Why did CSU's Philly Mann
win the Crit?

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P.S. I added some Web 2.0 bling to the poll. Please let me know if you have any troubles with it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008 - Race Reports
Second. Congrats to Andrew Talansky of Lees-McRae College for breaking Davis' 6 race winning streak (Photos by Casey B. Gibson).

So the road race: 60 miles. 1 mile flat. Biggest climb of the Race. 2 more decent climbs. Four flat 10 mile loops. Basically out and back with a 30 mph head/tail wind. Then back over the 3 climbs to the finish.

The start was kinda funny. Ft. Lewis' Winter Triathlon World Champion, Ben Sonntag, set pace on the climb and was trying to pull the field into the pain cave, but the wind was in the wrong direction. Just so everyone knows: On a 30mph head wind climb, it's way easier for the guys behind you. Keep this in mind for later.

The real attacking started on the loops. Someone would attack into the head wind and the field would just sit there because nobody wanted to ride on the front. Towards the end of the first loop 3 guys broke off. On the second loop a Stanford and Ft. Lewis guy broke away. Ft. Lewis had 6 guys in the race and they just kept attacking. It was hard to keep tabs on them all.

Since we were marking Ft. Lewis and Stanford I figured I should bridge or at least bring them back. I attacked off the front and brought another guy with me. The four of us worked well together and caught the other 3 guys a lap later.

The break was definitely "Suffer City State Nation Pro." We never had that big of a gap so we couldn't settle in and just kept going; Hard into the headwind and hard in the no-draft tail wind.

Towards the end I was cramping. On the way back I cramped hard on the second to last climb. Luckily it loosened up on the decent. At this point I just wanted the break to stick. I was so gassed.

The last climb had a huge head wind. The Colorado guy attacked. He stood up tall and went for it. I was on his wheel in my drops. He exploded (see my comment above). The Lees-McRae guy attacked and I took his wheel. I pulled over the top and we opened up a 10 second gap (see my comment above again). I knew that I would be at the back of any group that came to the line due to the cramps, so a 2 person group was good for me. I pretty much powered it home that last mile and a half for this reason. The guy out sprinted me and that was it.

Tyler and Shawn were 5th and 6th in the field sprint for 11th and 12th overall. Phil got dropped on the last hill and finished 58th. 3 in the top 12. These results put us tied for first in the team omnium with Ft. Lewis and Lees-McRae 10 points back in 3rd.

I realized I never mentioned why Judd was freakin' out at the end of the TTT. The last 4 teams to go were all in the top 5. All the early schools were turning in high 24s. Then Lees-McRae came in with a 24:00. Dave Towle said this was "unbeatable." Until Davis showed up and crushed their dreams. No, I sleep fine at night. Anyway, Judd saw the clock and was pretty excited.

Quote of the day:

"You can only race in pink booties
if you back it up with a first place finish,
and UC Davis does it."

Sunday, May 11, 2008 - Race Reports
I'll give you the quick report now. Phil crashed with 6 laps to go. Tyler crashed on the last lap. Shawn got caught behind a crash on the last lap. I was the top finisher for our team at 38th. Chandos got 7th (I think) in the women's crit. These results dropped us to 4th in the Team Omnium.

Top five; Lees-McRae, Ft Lewis, Colorado State, Davis, Stanford. But hey, we beat Stanford and Ft. Lewis still hasn't won a road title.

Hoping to write the full report on the plane home and post it tonight.

Sunday, May 11, 2008 - General
Got second in the road race yesterday. Was too tired to write something and now I have to go get my stuff together for the crit.

Will write something later.

Friday, May 9, 2008 - Race Reports
Ouch! At the finish of the TTT Judd was jumping up and down like mad. Yeah, well, we were kind of a big deal (picture). That's right, we took the 2008 Men's Division I National Team Time Trial Championship. Now I get those cool bars on my jersey. It wasn't the smoothest TTT ever, but we ended up 9 seconds ahead anyway.

As predicted the race for second was more surprising with CU Boulder 33 seconds ahead of Lees McRae. The Women got 4th with Stanford winning. These results sent us to the top of the team omnium.

Brendan was my volunteer mechanic today. He did an okay job. He drove the van and got the bikes all setup. But then he started giving me attitude, something about being tired. That was it for me, so he's out. Amanda stepped in to clean my bar tape, but I still had to do a lot of the work myself. Someone needs to step up here.

Tomorrow is the road race. It should be killer. Some big hills at altitude will put the pressure on the whole field. Stay tuned for updates.

Below we have a picture of a national champ, the women starting and for the ladies a picture of Tyler's butt so you can see how to pin a number. Quote of the day:

"Is their masseuse hot, or was she a chick?"
- Shawn

P.S. Thanks to the Mooney family for their support.

P.P.S. This poll was suggested by Phil the Fast about Phil the ... other. This is new feature of the site and let me know if it doesn't work right.

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How many Davis riders will finish
ahead of CSU's Phil Mann?

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Thursday, May 8, 2008 - Race Reports
One accomplished collegiate cyclist seeking an experienced mechanic to do bike work at large bike races. Must know bikes and enjoy long drives across the country. Will not compensate with money. No Perks. Contact me if interested.

Wow, what a day. Busy, busy, busy. First, washed my road bike. Then checked out the TTT course in a 30 mph cross wind. After finding lunch we spent the afternoon working on bikes; washing, tuning, admiring. They were checking measurements on all TT bikes and evidently my bikes weighs 2 pounds less with a disk and tri-spoke. Right....

Then we rushed to dinner to get back for a talk about aero dynamics. I don't even know if it happened, I heard something about the room being double booked. Dinner was entertaining. Max Jenkins tagged along and I learned a bunch of cycling trivia disguised with personal experiences.

Well it was nice to do something not directly related to one of my bikes. The Team Time Trial is tomorrow and the women race at 8:18 and we exit the start house at 9:20, that's MST. Should be fun. I think the extreme wind today was due to a passing thunderstorm. I hope tomorrow will be much better.

P.S. There's a couple making out in the Jacuzzi right now (What? I was looking for a bathroom).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - Race Reports
When we arrived there were puddles of water all over Denver. At first we thought someone had put on a giant car wash. But no, evidently water comes out of the sky here? My bike doesn't know rain!!

We're staying at the local Hilton and it's littered with cyclist. I feel sorry for them because they flew all the way out here only to get beat. When Phil's friend from CSU visited us at dinner he talked a bunch about riding fast. But I don't think he really understands what UC Davis fast is.

Checked out the road course this afternoon and it should be a good one. Lots of little hills to spice things up. There's this savage decent and I hit 62.4, and that's all English.

On a sad note, Amanda found out she's not eligible to race the mass-start events at Nationals because she didn't do at least 3 during the season :(

Below are some pictures I took today. First, we have the ride. 35 MPH, yeah maybe if you're 5'3". In the middle we have Phil test riding the new Williams carbon clinchers. And lastly we have rain clouds that I haven't seen in so long. Back at home, Sara got a parking ticket. That's what happens when you leave her alone for even half a day.

Monday, May 5, 2008 - General
Yep, that's the direction I'm moving. Over the last couple of days my popularity has skyrocketed by 18%.

This little bit of extra love has already manifested itself in my daily life. Last Friday, when I rolled into Velo City Bikes, this girl gave me a strange look and asked, "Are you... are you Paul?" I'd never seen her before, but she recognized me from my blog. Seriously, this blog! It turns out it was Clare, one of Sara's friends from work.

If you over analyze the situation you'll notice that all of the pictures on this site don't really capture every one of my stunning features. Only a stalker would have studied the photos enough to be able to recognize me in person. Thus, I have a stalker. QED. At last, I've finally one upped Taylor and his "I'm so cool I have a National Team Helmet" helmet.

On the home front, my wife was a little irritated the other day and yelled, "You are such a man!" Well, it appears my lack of sensitivity has completely offset my silky smooth legs. I think she's starting to turn.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 - General
Ultimate AccessoryI'm excited because the nationals crew includes WCCC Secret Crush, Phil Mooney. Yes, I know he's taken, but stick with me. The WCCC's Biggest Troublemaker, Marisa McAdler, is also going. Things could get crazy and I'll have all the gossip right here, whether it's true or not.

Yesterday I swung by Velo City in Winters and Myke set me up with one of these. Not only will it hold my frame number, but it will add to my Euro Pro look. No more of that janky, behind the head tube, number placement like I had at San Dimas. I'll be cruzin' just like a true pro at nationals.

To pass the time between rides I watched Enchanted with the wife. McDreamy was up to his old tricks; looking for love in all the wrong places and then realizing he's actually searching for a fairytale relationship. Can we say typecast?

Thursday, May 1, 2008 - Race Reports
The team time trial was Sunday morning on a short and fast 7 mile loop. Everything went pretty typical with Davis winning every TTT; except for the Women's B because we didn't have one. Way to go Davis! I'd like to apologize to the other teams, whose dreams we crushed.

It's all Davis babyBut the real action was at the crit. Davis showed the conference yet again that we win races, taking number 13 for the season (out of 16, and that's just for Men's As). We did it by attacking and riding hard.

The course was described as a "technical" half mile loop. I guess a downhill 120 degree off camber turn is technical. So it must have been my hot wife's fault the corner was sketchy. She was taking pictures there during the race and was pretty distracting. I'll tell her to be more careful next time. Anyway, there were a lot of crashes. Shawn started a pile-up and Phil crashed while he was off the front.Victoria Tri-Comp Open Corsa Elite Pro CX Race 6 Tires with DuraSkin what?

Here's how it played out. Phil was off the front almost immediately.When he came back I countered and was off with Ryan Parnes from Stanford. He wouldn't pull through and out sprinted me for the primes. Lame, so I stopped working and we drifted back to the pack.

At this point it was only me and Tyler left in the race so we just covered stuff. Phil came back in after his crash and promptly attacked. Awesome. T-bags countered, shoved everyone into the hurt locker and turned out the lights. As everyone was confused and disoriented, I figured it would be a good time for a surprise attack. There were about 7 laps left at this point.

Ryan tried to follow again but I got a jump on him and he never caught up. With a Stanford and Davis guy off the front, the field slowed down. It took Stanford a few laps to realize that Ryan was going to come back and by that time I had like 45 seconds on the field. That was enough for the win.

It was an all out team effort to just keep attacking till the field gave up. It was similar to what we did at the Stanford Crit, but this was a harder course so it was a little easier to pull off.

Below is a picture of Phil asking Evan Pickett to pull through. They were off the front with a lap to go and he just wanted to sit on. In the end Tyler was 4th and Phil was 5th. 3 in the top 5 ain't bad. Pull through!

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