PaulMach.pro

Living life on the edge... of the road
Photo by Pat Malach


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June 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008 - General
Never ask an amateur how many minutes are left in the race. It makes us think you're weak.

So to the random Bissell guy at Nevada City, we still had about 50 minutes left. Hope that helps.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - General
Lots of fish. Every summer, this will be number 14, I head up to Pederson Point Alaska to take part in the Bristol Bay Salmon Season. My family owns a boat up there and my dad, brother and I work it every year. This is commercial fishing folks; all work and no play. I've been trying to get out of it for years but my mother knows how to lay down a pretty mean guilt trip.

So what kind of hardship will this trip dish out? Well, 3 weeks of no research, 3 weeks without my wife and 3 weeks without my bike. The research, well no one wants to work anyway, my wife will actually enjoy it, but the bike, oh the bike.

Through high school and undergrad, I was a runner. Alaska was great because it gave me a mandatory 4-6 weeks off. This kept me relatively injury free, but I was always a little behind for cross country season in the fall. Now that I'm a cyclist, it comes at the worst possible time, the middle of the season.

What am I doing to deal with it? First, I'm only going for 3 weeks this year, down from 6 last year. Second, I trained hard up to now so I'm due for some time off anyway. And lastly, I have some solid goals for when I get back to keep me motivated. All of these are improvements over last year.

So what does this all mean? Well, I'll come back ready to start riding and racing hard through the end of the season. Elite Nationals is going to hurt, but I should be rolling nicely by Utah. Come September and Collegiate Track Nationals, I'll be back to crushing the dreams of America's youth.

So why do I go? The family business obligation is a major part of it and I do come back with a nice paycheck. But I'm really hoping this will be my last year.

I put together some pictures from 2004 and 2005. The place is like a time capsule, nothing ever changes, so I stopped taking pictures. Should give you a bit of an idea of what I do.

While I'm up there I'll be completely out of email and cell phone range. But don't forget about paulmach.com, there will be some awesome preposted content coming your way soon.


Monday, June 23, 2008 - Race Reports
Like a Prrrrrroooooo, with your road bike, next to mine. Okay, so it wasn't my first NRC race, but I don't consider hanging on for dear life at Sea Otter racing.

Saturday's Tour de Nez circuit race wound around the Northstar Village. I don't know exactly how to describe the course. It was about 1.75 miles 22 times. It had a decent climb, wound through the actual village on the bricks and had a bunch of fun turns.

The pace started off pretty high. I was just feeling out the course for most of the first half. Then Graham Howard from Bissell came rolling by me and I got on his wheel. I thought he was just moving up, but he hit the front and kept going.

We worked together for a lap and then a couple more guys joined us. We had about 12 laps to go at this point. I was working, but learning from the day before, I made sure to keep it within my limit. With about 7 laps left, like 4 Bissell guys rolled up to us and took over the work.

With a lap to go Jonathan Baker attacked and I chased it down. I was pretty tired after that. Roman rolled by me and looked calm, collected and focused. Then he goes and wins the thing. I ended up 6th. Our group was 30 seconds ahead of the next guy. That was enough to move me up to 8th in the GC.

There was definitely another level of team tactics going on in this race. All the pros had their heads up and knew exactly what was going on. Even the ones without radios. I was always a little behind, but played my cards a lot better than Friday.

He did need a little of my helpProps to my wife for fulfilling one of her goals for the weekend. Some random guy walked up to her and asked, "Who's that ZteaM guy in the break?" Sara answered, exactly like she'd practiced, "That's my husband, Paul Mach." This should keep me "in" for another couple of months or so.

Ever wonder what a cyclist's body really looks like? Go ahead drink it in. Even if you can only make out part of the right arm, it's still impressive.

Big thanks to the ZteaM for their support. Christian was all over it with cooking and bike cleaning.

Another big thanks to the Tour De Nez. It seemed like the whole race was just flying by the seat of its pants, but in the end it was awesome.


Sunday, June 22, 2008 - General
Wow!!! I first saw this one on Scott Nydam's blog. It's part of the Tour De Nez Collection by Lyne Lamourenx. It's after the road race on Friday and Christian just doesn't know what to think of Matt Cooke.

So if you have a caption, post it as a comment!


Saturday, June 21, 2008 - Race Reports
That Just HappenedAfter the party in Truckee Thursday night it was a good thing we didn't have to race till 1:30. The course for yesterday's circuit race was simple. Think the University Road Race, but with a 6 mile loop. So 3 miles up, 3 miles down, at elevation, 10 times. Epic.

Every professional race needs an amateur whose sole goal is to see how long they can stay with the pros. In Stage 4, I was that guy. I don't think I followed all the proper pro peloton etiquette, but chalk it up to inexperience. I'll be better next time.

The race played out as you'd expect. They went hard up the climb and I just tried to stay with them. At some point they let Eric Wohlberg and a couple other guys get off the front and they were gone for good.

The steepest and most critical part of the climb was right before the feedzone, where Sara was helping out. Wishing to reaffirm myself as a worthy mate, I made sure to stay in the lead group through that section.

I finally lost contact the second to last time up the climb. I finished it off with Corey Collier from Health Net. He got me to the line and I got 9th. The time gaps were huge so that put me 9th in the GC.

Overall, I raced hard, which was what I wanted after the disappointing time trial the day before. I stayed in the top 10 a lot of the time. This was good and bad. On the one hand I didn't have to close any gaps. On the other, I was doing a lot of extra work and it caught up to me in the end. But, it's a lot easier to learn to race smarter than it is to race faster.

What is the #1 reason Eric Wohlberg is Bad Ass?

   View Results

PS. 6th in stage 5 today, moved up to 8th overall. More on that tomorrow.


Saturday, June 21, 2008 - Race Reports
A little late on the blogging, sorry about that. There has been limited Internet up here and I was super wasted after yesterday's ciruit race. Here is the low down on what happened on Thursday at the Mighty Mighty Tour de Nez.

The uphill time trial, Stage 2, was in the morning at Northstar. It was 2.75 miles with the first half up and the last half rolling. It should have been good for me.

I ended up 17th, 0.8 seconds behind Adam Switters. If ZteaM had given me a skin suit, it could have been the other way around. Ian MacCissik won with an 8:30, 45 seconds ahead of me.

Overall, I wasn't too happy with my ride because I felt like I rode it too conservatively. My head just wasn't in the game for some reason. My wife says it's because she wasn't there yet. I think I just got freaked out about the elevation and didn't want to explode.

The legendary Truckee crit was in the evening. My wife showed up via train and was ready to party. I had to hold her back as it was only 2pm and the race didn't start till 6:15.

There was a huge crowd and it was fun to race with so many tipsy spectators, including Sara. As I tend to not be very active during crits, I don't have much to say. It was just really really fast.

Roman Kilun, a former UC Davis rider, avid paulmach.com reader and pro, won the thing. He got in a late break and took it to the line. I was impressed as I was just trying to hang on the back.

Yesterday was the epic Northstar circuit race. I placed 9th and moved up to 9th on the GC. Many stories about that soon.

"Paul, you give in too easily.
You would make a terrible cop,
but make an excellent husband."
- My Wife


Thursday, June 19, 2008 - Race Reports
You know, bike racing is alot like gambling. It starts with just 30 bucks to Velo Promo every other weekend. Then you win a free t-shirt and you're hooked. You start shoving all your extra money into it hoping to win big. Then it consumes your life. Before you know it, all your friends are bike racers and all you talk about is that last night of racing. Wait, should I be worried?

Anyway, the first stage of Tour de Nez was yesterday at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. I'm racing with ZteaM's Christian Kearney and Chris Swan for this one. The stage was just a simple crit in the parking lot of the casino. It did have a nice 180 in it, but other than that, it was pretty typical.

As usual, I started out at the back. I moved up a little bit and spent most of the race in the middle. With about 20 minutes to go the pace picked up and the whole field was strung out. I struggled to close some gaps, but I managed to stay in the main group and placed 34th.

What makes me the most excited is that I beat the Jesse Moore (39th). I'm now 4 for 4. It doesn't matter that he crashed a couple times. I figured he was a little frustrated, but then I noticed him softly singing these words to the tune of I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry.

I kissed the dirt and I liked it
The taste of the Reno street grit
I kissed the dirt just to try it
I hope my team mates don't mind it
It hurt real bad
It dinged my bike
Still means I'll be sore tonight
I kissed the dirt and I liked it
I liked it

I think he'll be okay.


Monday, June 16, 2008 - Race Reports
Big thanks to Michael Hernandez for giving the blog a shout out at Nevada City yesterday. We'll see if he did as well as Phil yelling "paulmach.com" all weekend at collegiate nationals. Either way, the pressure is on, luckily I eat pressure for 4th Meal, so I should be fine.

I'd never actually done the Nevada City Classic before so I was excited to see what all the excitement was about. Dan wouldn't shut up about how hard the course is. I must say it did live up to all the hype: epic climb, epic decent, and a bunch of pros to push the pace.

It was only Joe and I representing for the DB club. The race plan was simple: just hang on. Justin England and Scott Nydam went off the front early and I was not going to fool myself into thinking I could bring them back. I just followed moves the whole race. On the last lap I put in a dig up the hill, but it was nowhere near enough and I just ended up on the front at the start of the decent. I spun out my 12 to nip Tyler at the line for 7th place.

I don't have much else to say about the actual race except that those pros are very coordinated at shoving people into the hurt locker.

Overall, I'm pretty happy about my performance. I felt like I could hold my own against the big boys and was the top amateur. After the Exercise Induced Fatigue I caught Saturday, things turned out pretty good.

Post race, Hernando, the announcer, came over for a few words. I dropped the ball, but it's amazing just how well today's popular music captures how I feel about it:

The last time I freaked out, I just kept lookin' down
I st-st-stuttered when you asked me what I'm thinkin' 'bout
Felt like I couldn't breathe, you asked what's wrong with me
My best friend Sara said, "He's just being a dork."

Congrats to DB club Junior Chris Stastny who won the field sprint for second in the 3s.

PS. DB stands for Davis Bike, don't try to get creative with it.


Saturday, June 14, 2008 - Race Reports
I almost didn't sign up for this race, but when we arrived at our "Host Housing" and Dan's Sister in Law started lecturing him about how he needs to dress better to get a girlfriend, it was well worth it. Actually I don't know why I hesitated to sign up, but when I remembered the beautiful 103 miles of roads the race covers, I paid my $2.30 Sports Base Online Service Fee without hesitation.

The field was similar to last year, 12 Cal Giant guys and 66 total, math says 18%. It doesn't take a Grad Student to figure out their tactics; at the gun, send a couple guys up the road, make everyone else chase, and then counter when it comes back. ZteaM played a similar game. For a rider on a small team the early break is usually suicide, especially in a 100+ mile race, so it's best to wait for the counter. Unfortunately, there was no counter.

Today, the other 40+ riders in the field couldn't be bothered with keeping tabs on a breakaway. News Flash: Paying money to do a 100 miles at 16mph is called a century ride, not a race. As neither Dan or I wanted to play the "sit in and then sprint for 6th" game, we stepped in to do the work so many would not.

This resulted in me spending a good amount of time on the front. I was determined to bring back the break, but it was moving fast and I wasn't getting any help. I finally exploded at the bottom of the two smaller climbs the last time. For the final half lap Barry Wicks and Daniel Holloway took over to finish the job while I just tried to hang on.

By the time we got to the final climb, I was totally done. As the field road away from me I uttered my last words, "It's been fun, make sure to check out paulmach.com." That was it, I finished 34th.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the race. I put in a ton of work and didn't blow up till about 90 miles in. I'm excited to see what happens when I race smart and have a full team to work with.

That Just HappenedThe one thing that really pissed me off during the race, and I think is worth mentioning, is when Cal Giant slowed the pace so much that the Women, a historically slower field, repassed us. Then they sat about 10 feet behind them. I know that tactically they didn't want to do any work, but letting a different field do your blocking? Seriously, have some dignity.

While I was out on the road the Wife was, and still is, at a bachelorette party in San Fran. Last night she spent over an hour choosing her outfit. Go figure, she ended up circling back to the first one. As I was giving her feedback I was having trouble being truthful as I wanted to make sure she ended up back at home with me.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - Race Reports
The District Time Trial Championships in Sattley last Sunday started with the typical early morning road trip when I picked up Shawn and Tyler at 5am. Driving two quality time trialists and letting them sleep on the way had me a little concerned. Was I giving them "the edge?" Just to be safe I hit a few bumps in the road whenever I saw Tyler dozing off.

I'd never done the District Time Trial in Sattley, but flat time trials are all the same so I wasn't too concerned about the course. What had me worried was the distance. It appears you can fake 10 miles without any specific TT training, but 25 is another story. The position started to hurt after 30 minutes and the infamous road surface didn't help much.

After the race I was a little bummed knowing that Roman Kilun passed me before the turnaround and Tyler and Shawn both beat me by a good amount. However, when I saw the results, I was stoked. For the Elite Men, Roman was the only one faster then me since Tyler and Shawn were U23. Overall my 51:43 lead the pack for 4th, while Tyler, Shawn and Roman were definately a cut above.

On an unrelated note, the last post allowed me to achieve Season Goal number 4, "Get into a fight with a Pro over something stupid." I'm assuming number 7, "Get a pro to laugh at me," happened at the same time so... 2 more down, rock on!


Monday, June 9, 2008 - General
First off, if you're trying to be pro, you need to be reading this blog. Roman Kilun does and he's a pro.

He may be reading, but he's having trouble with comprehension. Yesterday he told me he didn't get Race Day Tip #1229. They must be letting just anybody pass the BAR these days. Well, everyone except this "girl" I guess.

So for those that were in over their heads with Race Day Tip #1229, it's a subtle commentary on the riders that weigh 200+ but whose bikes weigh 14-. Why not shave weight on clothing? Do I have to explain everything?


Friday, June 6, 2008 - General
Plan ahead and purchase a set of team clothing that is 1 or 2 sizes smaller than your usual. Because less fabric means less weight and less weight means more speed. Believe me, it works. Why do you think Max Jenkins is so fast?

Pros: One of the cheapest ways to shave grams.
Cons: Moose knuckle.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - General
Every great achievement pales in comparison to a win on the local Race Ride. All except winning the local Time Trial; it's like winning the race ride two times.

In Davis, Wednesday Worlds (old link) is always a big show and today was no exception. The Juniors were there, even though it wasn't on their training plan, but then left after their coach showed up. All the "good" guys were making sure everyone knew they weren't taking it seriously in case they got a slow time. And the masters prayed for Kelly to have a mechanical or something, so they wouldn't get girled.

Some local junior asked Phil if he wanted to use his 404 front. But Phil denied the honor with a sharp, "What are you, a Cat 2?!?" Needless to say it broke Alex's the kid's heart.

Afterwards, Nils showed up riding his bike! We chatted it up while Jesse was trying to justify yet another loss to me at one of the country's biggest events.

You know, all the typical Wednesday Worlds drama. I longed to be a part of it so I donned all the aero gear and rode 20:28, sending Phil to second place, where he belongs.

On a serious note, I hear that the local residents aren't too happy about our event. So remember, "There are plenty of good places to stand and the middle of the road isn't one of them."

Additionally, this blog has been Rated G by some novalty website so you can be assured that the content is Junior Race Team friendly. To compare, the Junior Blog was rated PG and the Masters Blog was rated R. Gasp. OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

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