Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Makaha Time Trial : 6th place.

Appearantly after cleaning up from the race, the missing sheet containing the lost times was discovered. I ended up placing 6th of 23 in the 4/5 class. Not too bad for my first race. Today I had a great lunchtime ride doing 2 hard intervals. I can't wait until the race next Sunday.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Makaha Time Trial Result: No Time

Today I competed in my first Road Race on US soil. The Race was a time trial which started on the southwestern corner of Oahu. I have never been a strong Time Trialist because I either start out too hard and bonk before the finish or I conserve too much. Plus I have never really trained for a time trial. This year I was going to try to do better. I have been doing some longer intervals and have pretty much figured out what I can keep my heart rate at to maximize my speed through out the 20-30 race. I also have been trying to keep my self hydrated through out the weekend so that I would be primed for the race. Last night I went to bed around 11 pm and fell right to sleep. Unfortunately my prehydration backfired as I woke up 6 times to go pee negating any decent sleep. I woke up around 0515 to get ready. I had a little time so I ate a nice bowl of oatmeal. I should have checked my email because Ben sent me a message telling me to bring a skewer ( the part that holds your front wheel in place. ) Ben and Casey arrived at 0600 and we loaded up the car and headed out. Ben loaned me one of his racing wheel sets so he told me to leave my front wheel at home. After a 45 min drive through some area's of the Island that you won't find on a tourist brochure. We unloaded the car. Ben asked me if I read his email and brought a skewer. Casey had one for a rear wheel but it was too long. Luckily, Ben knew everyone at the race so he was able to find one from a friend. Crisis diverted. I brought my old and new jersey figuring I would wear the old one if it was raining and the new one if it was dry. It was dry so I put on the new one. After our warm up we looked to the west and watched as a dark wall of clouds headed our way. I hoped that it would not hit until after the start but that wasn't the case. Just as I took off the rain dumped on us. The first 4 miles were in a strong down pour. I didn't realize the wind changed directions when the rain hit. When we drove in, the wind was coming from the east so we would have a head wind at the start and a tail wind on the return. The ideal. Heading out, I started at 28 mph feeling pretty good. I kept the rider who started before me in my sights and was slowing gaining. I was well above my target heart rate and was starting to taste my oatmeal again. about 3/4s of the way into the first leg I heard a familiar voice as Casey flew by me. I knew he was faster than me, just didn't realize how much. I kept him in sight until the turn around then he was out of sight. I kept gaining on my target and caught him and passed him on the first climb. Unfortunately he caught back up with me on the next climb but i was able to pull away before the finish. I forgot to look at my clock so I couldn't wait until they posted my time. I was quite disappointed when I didn't see a time next to my name and hoped they would straighten it out by the time the announced the finishers. I knew I wouldn't make the podium but I wanted to know where I stood. As they went through the classes, they mentioned that some of the riders didn't get their times captured. Unfortunately I was one of those riders. Luckily they agreed to repay our entry fees and I have another chance to race next weekend. All and all I feel pretty good about my ride but know I need to improve my strength if am going to be competitive. Casey and John both won their categories and Ben placed second.

After I got home, I watched the Tour of California's final stage. They also were riding in strong rains. The finish was great. One of my favorite riders: George Hincapie pulled out the stage victory and Levi Liepheimer won the overall race.

Afterwards I talked Chris into going to Momentum Multisport the new HACC sponsor shop. The shop was great. The workers were super friendly and helpful. I made the mistake of checking out their bikes and fell in love with a 2007 Fuji RC team http://www.fujibikes.com/2007/bikes.asp?id=266&subcat=# they had marked down from $3800 to $2500. I was so cold from the race that I put jeans on with my Birkenstocks. They insisted that I take the bike for a spin. Even with the lack of proper cycling clothes, the bike rode like a dream. I even managed to out run a dog up a short steep climb. Now I just have to figure out how to convince the wife and come up with the money to get the bike. I teased Ben yesterday that I could still blame my equipment for my lack of performance. If I got that bike, I wouldn't be able to do that anymore.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chocolate Chip Scone

A special thank you to Sonya L. for the great Chocolate Chip Scone she gave me after the wet ride up Tantalus. It was great.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Watchen Whales

Chris made me promise her that I would take her to see whales before I went to ride Haleakila. Our origanal plan was to do the Super Ferry trip to Maui from MWR. Unfortunately, the trip was quite expensive and the Superferry's debut has been pretty sketchy with several cancellations. I decided to give one of the whale excursions on Oahu a shot so I booked an afternoon cruise for President's day. The trip guaranteed you would see whales or they would provide a free cruise. I guess they figured most of the guest would be tourist so they wouldn't be able to take advantage of the free cruise. Living on the Island, I figured we would be OK, but I had my fingers crossed that we would see some so I could head to Maui to ride Haleakala 20 March. We headed out towards Diamond head. Courtney and I walked to the front of the boat. The Captain said to look straight ahead for some activity. Courtney caught a glimpse but I didn't see anything. I thought o well I guessed I missed it. Earlier I tried to take a picture of Waikiki but I forgot my memory card in the computer. Luckily Stephanie brought her camera or I would have been in the dog house yet again. We kept heading towards Diamond Head. All of a sudden I saw a splash. We got a little closer.

There was a whale calf that was putting on a show. It breached the water several times. It even made a beeline towards the boat runing right next to it. That allowed Steph to get a good picture. Finally the momma whale came up and carroled the calf out away from the boat.

We followed for a while then headed back out to Diamond head. We spotted several more whales yet non as spectatular as the little calf. We really enjoyed the trip.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Its about time: a new post

When I first started the Blog, I was doing an update about every day or two. I have recently slacked off to about every other week or two. I guess I have been avoiding the computer because I know I should be working on my Master's Project. Even my wife has been telling me I need to keep it up to date. So here goes.
This week our new order of HACC cycling clothing came in. Saturday Morning's ride started out we most people wearing their new gear.

We had a nice ride that included a ride up Pupukea is a long steep climb on the north shore. I haven't quite mastered the climb. I tend to get pretty strung out on the first few steep sections then have to hang on to the end.

The surf was pretty decent. I caught a guy trying to surf. I was surprised there weren't more as he had the swells to himself.

After the ride, Ben rushed me home so I could help Chris take pizza's to Courtney's Band practice. Later in the afternoon we headed to our favorite beach: Kailua to meet our friends Marty and Robert and their dogs. Unfortunately Marty had a project so she stayed back. We decided to lug the boogie board to the beach so we could ride the waves. When we arrived we found the surf extremely calm. Instead we decided to play a little catch with the football and use the boogie board as tables to keep the stuff from getting sandy. After we tired of throwing the football we decided to set back and drink a few adult beverages. It was such a beautiful night and the dogs were having such fun chasing and sniffing all the other dogs that passed by. As the sun started to set we gathered our stuff and headed home. I had the bright Idea about renting a movie so we watched Licence to Wed. It was not the best but did have some funny scenes. I think I would have been better off going to bed early.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Greetings from the land of the rising sun and falling snow

It is hard to believe that it has been a week since I arrived at Yokota AFB Japan. It was a very busy week of inspecting. The weather was alot different from what I left in Hawaii. The first few days the highs were in the 40's and the low's in the 20's. Not bad by midwest standards but compared to Hawaii, they were a shock to the system. Luckily I remembered my gloves. Yokota sits in the central part of the western edge of the country. It is bordered on the east by the foothills which lead up to Mt Fuji. On a clear day from the roof parking lot at the commisary, you can see the mtn in all its splender. Luckily we were able to have one of those days and I was able to get the picture.
Unfortunately, I was bikeless so I had to resort to the stationary bike at the gym. My knee has been bothering since I completed my fitness test a couple of weeks ago, so I didn't do any weight lifting or running. I started the week off eating very carefully and managed to lose a couple of pounds but that changed mid week and I had a few drinks as well as some big meals so all progress was lost.

Friday night we finished our inspecting and were able to go off base. We had dinner in a 5 story shopping center. The meal wasn't too bad. It had a large window with a nice view. I took a couple of pictures of the KFC and the street. After dinner, we headed to the bar district. There must have been a hundred bars about the size of a living room. The drinks were quite expensive averaging 7 US $'s. The Bar area became off-limits after 0100 so we headed back to the club on base for some better priced drinks. Saturday there was a Jazz band at the club so I enjoyed the concert with a couple of the other inspectors. On the way home, we noticed it was spitting some snow. I didn't think anything of it until I woke up Sunday to about 3 inches on the ground.

I walked to church and ran into one of my old co-workers and his wife. They offered to take me off base for lunch. We went to a great "truck stop" which served a variety of stir fried items as well as Japanese style egg rolls called gyoza . They were very good. I brought 4 extra's home. Even in my refridgerator, they smelled up the room. Not sure if I will eat them or not. Afterwards we did what military do when the visit another base, checked out the Bx annex. I went home and finished packing then headed for the gym for an hour on the exercise bike. I pushed it pretty hard and my knee felt pretty good. I hope it is on the road to recovery but I am still going to have it looked out when i get home. Tomorrow, I am going to get up early and watch the Superbowl before heading back to Hawaii. It is still snowing so hopefully that won't affect our trip out.