Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Night Interval Training

I missed Tuesday Night Worlds, but thanks to Stamm, I was able to get my interval workout in on Wednesday instead. We rode in the hills of Afton, and I shot my HR north of 160bpm a total of 11 times.

Maren Can't Catch a Break

So far 3 of Maren's outdoor meets have been cancelled due to weather this spring. She did 2 indoor meets, but has only been able to compete in 1 outdoor meet. Jordan and I skipped Tuesday Night Worlds this week in favor of watching Maren run. She recently switched from the 400m to the 1600m, and it would have been her first attempt at the new event.

Unfortunately, she got sick yesterday, and was unable to run. We felt so bad for her. Hang in there Maren. You have our support.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

3hrs50mins@160bpm Ave

That's what I got in this weekend between Ken Woods and the Excelsior Crit, in spite of the weather. I love bike racing!

A Snowy Criterium in Excelsior

My plan was to do the Masters 35+ first, and then the Cat 1/2's, which were consecutive, giving me a full 1hr40mins of racing.

Only 16 lined up for the Masters 35+, including newly snipped Hollywood. Hollywood attacked from the start, and held a gap for a couple laps until he gave up the ghost. The rough course did a number on him, so he eventually pulled out. A few laps in, it started snowing. The pace was fast, with a few attacks that didn't stick, but then Sedgewick and Binkowski got away on a prime lap, with no one to give chase. I didn't feel like racing for 3rd, so I went to the front, and pulled for as long as I could. Thankfully, Chris Johnston gave me a little breather for a lap or so. I was able to get the group close enough at the bell for them to close the last few meters winding up the sprint. As I expected, Pete Hannah won the race. I actually was disqualified for bad language. Guilty as charged. In the heat of the moment, I brashly asked for some help up front, and an official heard me. There is zero tolerance for it, so keep it clean.

There were 25 or so lined up for the Cat 1/2's. It was a good mix of riders, with no dominant team. My plan was to just sit in, and enjoy the snowy race. Then a few laps in, the entire field relaxed, and I took the opportunity to jump around the left side. At the same time, Hanna was jumping around the right side, and we were off. We worked well together, and established a healthy gap for a few laps. However, it was not to be, and they brought us back just after a prime lap. I mostly sat in the back for the rest of the race. I jumped around the field to give chase of riders off the front a couple times, but that was all I had. We actually stayed together to the finish, with Doig, Dan Swanson, and Muenchow pulling away on the final lap for the top 3 spots. I rolled in at 10th.

I ended up getting 3 primes during the 2 races, for gift cards to the 318 Cafe and Excel Cycles. Thanks to Verve racing and Excel Cycles for putting on a great criterium, despite the weather.

Dad, can I please race the Cat 5's too?

The 3 man breakaway in the Cat 5 race

The wind was almost negligible compared to Saturday at the Excel Cycles Crit. We arrived 20min before the start of the Cat 5 race, and I decided last minute to let Jordan race it. The juniors race was right after the Cat 5's, and I wanted him to focus on that race, but he really loves to double up.

Only 8 racers took the start of the Cat 5's. Jordan strung it out from the start, and ended up dragging 1 rider away from the splintered group after a couple laps. One more bridged up, and the 3 of them rode away from everyone else. They ended up lapping everyone, except a couple riders that just beat them to the bell before the 3finished. Jordan finished 3rd. Carla was even there to witness his impressive ride. We were 2 proud parents.

Immediately following the Cat 5's was the Juniors race. All juniors age 10-18 were combined, so I knew it was going to be a tough race for Jordan. There were 14 racers total, including Cat 2 Junior phenom Tony Olson was racing, so I knew it was going to be fast.

They mostly stayed together for the first half of the race, and Jordan looked like he was riding well, and holding a good position. Then with a few laps to go, Tony launched his attack. Barrett and Meyer were able to respond, and Jordan tried, but didn't quite make it. He ended up on the front, pulling what was left of the older juniors around for the last few laps. He dropped all but a couple of the juniors by the last lap, and sprinted in for 5th, with Cody Scott just nipping him at the line.

Carla and I were thrilled to see him ride so well, and have a great time too. He spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the MNJRC juniors. What a great bunch of kids.

Jordan leading the chase after Olson, Barrett, and Meyer

What remains a couple laps later, just before the bell.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jordan's 100th Race and 2nd Win of 2008

Photo courtesy of

Ken Woods was officially Jordan's 100th race ever. The Juniors were originally scheduled to start at 9AM, but ice on the road delayed their start until 11:30AM.

The juniors started with the Cat 4/Masters 40+ women. A breakaway of 3 older juniors formed just after turn 1, a common theme for the day. Jordan stayed in the wheels through the crosswind section, and bridged up to the leading 3 just before the headwind section.

The 4 of them (Jordan, Barrett, Meyer, and Ruud) shared the work. They stayed together until Barrett opened the sprint early, winning easily, followed by Meyer, Ruud, and Jordan. They finished 6 1/2 minutes ahead of the remaining juniors. Jordan was the only junior under 15 in the front group, so he scored his 2nd win of the season in his 100th race ever. Well done.

Kent Throlson Saves Me at Ken Woods

Photo courtesy of

Here is a blow-by-blow my experience in the Masters 35+ Ken Woods Road Race:

Conditions: Mid 30's, light snow, winds WNW 20-35mph!
We (Masters 35+ open combined with Masters 35+ 3/4's) start 5 mins behind the combined Cat 1/2/3's.
I got in a 2-man break with Gordy Paulson right after the first turn.
Gordy rode strong, I mostly followed, and helped when he needed rest(very little).
We had a 1min16sec lead after 1 lap over a chase group of 7.
Just after turn 1, my rear tubular goes flat (compliments of a small sharp rock).
Gordy bridges the last few meters up to a small chase group in front of us from the Cat 1/2/3 race.
Gordy asks if anyone can give me a rear wheel.
My incredibly selfless and generous teammate, Kent Throlson, immediately pulls over and gives me his wheel.
I can't catch back up to Gordy.
A chase group of 4 catches me (Hanna, Goblirsh, Coyle, and Parker).
We share the work equally and make almost no progress on Gordy.
Parker attacks approaching the finish hill, but is brought back.
Coyle attacks at the base of the finish hill and gets a gap.
Goblirsh and Parker chase with Hanna and me in tow.
I pop just over the top of the hill.
Hanna pops a little later.
Coyle holds off Goblirsh and Parker, who finish 2,3,4.
Hanna gives up the ghost, and waves me by for 5th.
Gordy won with a comfortable 43 seconds on Coyle.

Getting a flat is such a bummer, but thank God for Kent letting me salvage my race. Its been a long time since I've ridden in a 2-man break, and the wind made it even tougher. My HR was 20bpm's higher following Gordy, as opposed to our later 5 man rotation.

Congrats to Gordy on an impressive win in the hardest manner possible, on probably the windiest race I've ever done. Kudos to Ray Coyle for his successful attack to finish 2nd. Finally, a shout out to my uber strong teammate Goblirsh who finished a strong 3rd.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weather Forecast for Ken Woods

9AM: 37deg, 20mph W wind, 30% chance of rain/snow
11:30AM: 38deg, 21mph W wind, 30% chance of rain/snow

Don't forget a dry change of clothes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jordan Scores at Tuesday Night Worlds

Jordan wanted another shot at Tuesday Night Worlds, now that he knows how the points race works. He sat out the first 2 sprints, and then broke away just after the bell for the 3rd. One guy caught him, but he held the rest off for 2nd (3 points). He stayed up near the front for the final 3 laps, and finished 3rd in the final sprint (2 points). He ended up 5th overall with 5 points. Lunatic Biker, Hollywood, and Linda were all there to witness it. Congrats on your first points ever at Tuesday Night Worlds Jordan.

With a much milder wind out of the NW, the pace of the Cat 1/2/3's race was much faster. We averaged 26.8mph vs. 25.1mph a week ago. We've definitely gone faster, but not bad for April 22.

LSC fielded Painman, Clark, Skibby, Red Lantern, Kullman, Atherton, Frye, and myself. Painman made an impressive bridge across a gap to a breakaway to contest the first sprint. My efforts were very similar to last week. I got in a similar breakaway to last week with some of the same guys. Hanna had a small gap heading into the pinch point, so I bridged up. Mean Dawg and Joe Dubay joined us first, then Zim. Hanna dropped back, but we held it for a couple laps to get the bell. However, it was not to be, the front of the field caught our group just as the sprint opened up.

I did make my way into good position for one of the sprints, right on the wheels of Doug Swanson and Doig. All I can say is I have even more respect for their sprinting ability than I already did.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jordan's First Win of the Season

Jordan and I wanted to check out the racing scene down in the Madison area, so we did the WCA Great Dane Velo Criterium on Sunday. Jordan lined up with 11 Under 15 juniors. Jordan and 3 others got away on the first lap and never looked back. They worked together, with each taking turns on the front. They stayed together until the last lap, when Jordan attacked, and was able to get a gap to come in just ahead of the other 3. Congrats to Jordan on his first win of the season!

The Under 15 Junior Field

The Breakaway Group of 4

Next up Jordan did the Cat 5's. He sat in most of the race, and hit the front at the bell in order to chase a solo breakaway. He brought the rider back, but several riders were able to take advantage of his effort, and get around him coming into the finish. He finished a strong 12th place. What a successful weekend.

Start of the Cat 5's

Hitting the front with 1 to go

I myself did the Masters 1/2/3 Crit. I was active in the front of the race, and got in several moves, but none that stuck. I was recovering from an effort when the winning move went. I tried to bridge solo, but didn't make it. I tried another solo attack with 4 to go, but was reeled back in by the bell, and rolled in at the back of the field. I was very happy with the my effort and fitness, even if I missed the winning move. The average speed was a Tuesday Night Worlds worthy 26.1mph.

Gordy and Diane = World's Greatest Hosts

Gordy and Diane not only took us into their home Saturday night, but they let us sleep in their bed. They've got the coolest place with a media room most guys would kill for, a bathroom most women dream of, and a bike shop that every rider should have. They made us feel right at home, including feeding us breakfast in the morning before heading to our race in Madison. Many, many thanks Gordy and Diane.

Jordan counted no less than 8 national championship jerseys between Gordy and Diane. Wow!

Would you let me and Jordan stay in your bed?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Durand Road Race

Felt good to get in the first road race of the season. Jordan raced the Cat5's and I did the Masters 35+. The rain held off, temp in the high 40's, and a light NE wind.

Jordan's race was 2 laps, or 27 miles. He said the first lap was a slowish 18mph average. He said he led the group for most of the last lap. Unfortunately, the women's field caught them a few miles from the finish on the first big hill. Teresa politely asked the Cat5's who should finish first, and one of the guys told them to go ahead. They got a good gap, but then one of the riders attacked the group solo, and Jordan gave chase with the field in tow. They caught him, but as Jordan led into the final corner, he could see the women were right in front of them. Another rider attacked, and led a few Cat5's around the women. Jordan got caught behind at first, but then made his way through, and chased after the others. He was able to get around all but one of them to finish an impressive 2nd place. Very well done Jordan!

The Masters 35+ race was 4 laps for 54 miles. With Painman on baby watch, I had teammates Goblirsh and Rennert to work with. Bagley was back racing for Grandstay, but they were short handed with Cragle out with his shoulder, and Charlie Jacobs getting ready to tie the knot later that day. So it was just Bagley, Coyle, and Bell. GSCA had a ton of guys, and Hollywood had a solid showing too.

With numbers in their favor, GSCA launched Mark Dykes off the front on the first lap, and he stayed away for about a lap. On lap 2, GSCA launched Dave Peterson, and he stayed away for about a lap. It was all back together halfway through the 3rd lap, when the Masters 45+ group came through us. They were finishing, and we had another lap, so we intended to let them go, but they ended up coming back after the 2nd big hill. Thankfully, we didn't affect the outcome of their race, as there was a break of 3 ahead of them, who stayed away to the finish.

The 4th lap was fairly subdued with Pete Maxwell taking a healthy turn on the front. Then Bell punched it over the top of the hill on the South stretch, and took Goblirsh and Binkowski with him. They worked together to grow the gap, and with only Silver Cycling chasing, it was pretty clear they were gone. Greg Tischler and Dave Pramann tried to bridge but didn't make it. Pramann ended up coming back to us, while Tishler was stuck in no mans land.

Snide pulled us the rest of the way in like a horse, but no one else would help. Up in the leading 3, Goblirsh was able to take the win, with Bell 2nd, and Binkowski 3rd. Tischler rolled in for 4th. Pramann won the field sprint for 5th.

A most excellent race, and a ton of fun. Good job to everyone. Congratulations to teammate Goblirsh on a well earned and deserved win. See everyone next week a Ken Woods.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I swear, I didn't plan it this way.

Maren had a track meet Thursday down in Red Wing, so I immediately came up with the idea of Jordan and I riding the 40mi down to watch. Then we would catch a ride back with Carla. It wasn't raining at the start, but we knew we were going to get wet. We could see the dark clouds to the south. Anyone who knows me, knows my adage of "I'll train in the rain, as long as it's not raining at the start."

The ride was fast, with primarily a tailwind from the NE. It didn't start raining until we were about halfway down, and it was pretty light. As we flew down my favorite road (Cty O), it just kept coming down harder and harder, and kept getting colder and colder. We both just had 2 long sleeve layers on top, full finger gloves, bib shorts w/bare legs, and no booties. Our legs were the first to go numb to the cold. Leg warmers wouldn't have mattered, because eventually, with the temperature dropping into the low 40's, and us soaked to the bone, everything started to get cold.

We had our tail lights ablaze, but we still had to cross into Red Wing from Hagar City on the minimum shoulder road. Jordan led the way, and I ate his spray into MN. Thankfully, very little traffic headed into MN made it uneventful. We then headed up the hill to Red Wing High, only to see Carla driving the other way. Turns out hail forced them to cancel the track meet after the first couple events. What a bummer. I was so looking forward to seeing Maren run outdoors. They've cancelled 3 of the last 4 outdoor meets due to weather.

We jumped in the truck, changed into dry clothes, and went to "The Bluffs" bar and grill in Hagar City for dinner. Jordan and I sat there and shivered while Carla just kept laughing at how stupid we (mainly me) were. At least we got in our ride tonight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Redemption at Tuesday Night Worlds

I got 4th!

Last year was Jordan's first experience at Opus. He got caught behind a crash on the downhill, and went down. He continued to race, but had to ride solo from that point on.

Tonight, Jordan stayed in the middle of the pack the entire race, and finished 4th in the final sprint, putting him 7th overall. He was very pleased with his performance. He wished I would have explained the points format of the race, because he thought they were just racing for the finish. He figured the bell laps were just for primes or something.

Tuesday Night Worlds - Worth Every Penny

It is next to impossible to duplicate this kind of workout in a training ride. You couldn't ask for better weather (ignoring the wind, of course).

Cat 1/2/3 Points Race:
Distance: 18 Laps (6 sprints) - 16.06 miles
Average Speed: 25.1mph (amazing considering the strong winds)

I managed to reach my anaerobic threshold (180bpm) no less that 6 times. I made a couple moves off the front, and chased a couple moves down. GrandStay and GP were unstoppable. Flanders were strong too, but were a small group compared to GS and GP.

Doug Swanson and Patty Cakes got a gap after the second sprint, with Zim stuck in the middle. I bridged up to Zim with BK on my wheel, but with BK sitting in, and Zim and I on the Rivet, we couldn't get to the leading 2. We came back together, and I figured Doug and Pat were gone, but nope. They came back before the final sprint.

It is extremely difficult to breakaway on that course, especially with all the horsepower in the group, but Doug and Pat sure made us all look mortal.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sprinting - Jimmer versus Jordan

Slow motion for your enjoyment. Jordan and I definitely are the bookends for size in the Minnesota cycling community.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ready to Race

The weather came just in time for me to get some much needed rest and recovery from the bike. I'm doing my best to hold true to my commitment to less volume, more intensity, now that racing starts this week.

It's really hard to break from my normal routine of packing in the miles. So this week, I took an uncharacteristic 3 days off, and spent the other days doing shorter, interval workouts. I used the rest time to clean-up and prepare the bikes for racing. It took forever, but they are all in race ready condition now.

Today, Jordan and I joined the east side LSC crew at Dunn Bros. in Stillwater, and did a nice tempo ride. I'm definitely looking forward to racing this week.

Racing Plans this week:
Tuesday: Opus
Saturday: Durand
Sunday: Great Dane Crit #2

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Training Camp Man Cave

This is how the Cullen boys roll.

Jordan: 346, Jimmer: 340

Excellent recovery ride Sunday morning to end our 2008 spring training camp. We just beat the rain. Jordan led us home after accomplishing the unbelievable feat of riding a new camp record 346 miles. The old record, set in 2007 by myself, was 340mi, which I matched, but did not exceed this year. Jordan definitely wins the "Cycling Addict" award.

In yesterday's post, I neglected to mention that 3 separate riders managed to get flats on a high speed descent, in a short gravel stretch. This included a dramatic blow out by Donimator, who somehow stayed upright and was able to roll to a stop. Goblirsh and Macy were the other 2 victims.

There was also a late bike weigh in by Rotach of 21.4lbs. That means Cowan lost the two heavyweight competitions in the same day, finishing 2nd in both. "Eternal Second" Frye consoled him with a hug.

2008 LSC Spring Training Camp Competition Summary:
Cycling Addict Award: Jordan, 356 miles, 20.5 hours ride time
Lightest Rider: Jordan - 117.8lbs.
Heaviest Rider: Donimator - 243lbs.
Lightest Bike (as ridden): Scott Olson - 15.25lbs.
Heaviest Bike (as ridden): John Rotach - 21.4lbs.
KOM winner: Alex Atherton
KOS winner: Easter Bunny

Props to everyone who pitched in with the cooking and subsequent clean-up. Thanks to everyone who drove sag, keeping us all safe. See you at the races.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

LSC Training Camp Day 3

2008 Team Photo

Post Ride Peanut Gallery

27 riders on day 3. Warm and windy was the order of the day. We took in the climbs of Money Creek, Houston, 109, and 25 to give us another full century. The Houston sprint was very animated today, with a group jumping early. It was a headwind sprint, and came down to a 3 way drag race between Frye, Dave Meyer, and myself. It was a photo finish between Frye and Meyer, and they agreed to the draw.

Rotach and Dave Meyer showed Atherton some fresh legs on the climbs, but Alex was up to the challenge.

Donimator brought Skibby down for the ride today, and, as expected, Donimator walked away with the heaviest rider competition at a fit 243lbs. He sure didn't ride like a 243 pounder. Skibby weighed 141lbs.

Jordan accomplished his 3rd century in 3 days, but not without incident. During a rest stop, he was chatting with the guys with one foot unclipped, when a gust of wind came along an literally blew him over. He was unhurt, and it was pretty funny.

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Dad says I'm a cycling addict

A boy amongst men.
Hitting the hills.

Up we go.

Another day, another hundo. Sorry, no Garmin data, battery died. Unbelievable weather. 60 deg and sunny. The strong west wind definitely wore on people today, and we even had a few brief sprinkles.

We started with 21 today, with myself taking the first sag driving duties, meaning I was going to have to add a loop at the end of the day to get my fill of riding. We knocked out 52 before stopping for lunch at Subway. A few went home, but most opted for the 500ft. Money Creek climb. More headed home from Houston, but many kept going for the 550ft. Houston switchback climb. We fought the wind back to Rushford.

Heading straight home made the route a full century. However, I needed more since I drove. Goblirsh and I added on a loop, along with a couple climbs, and plenty of rollers and headwind. Jordan wanted to come, but I suggested 100mi 2 days in a row was plenty. Greg ended up with 119mi., and I had 107mi.

When I got back to camp, Jordan was beaming, and asked for my mileage. Upon hearing 107, he gave me his number. 113! He went back out with Scott Olson on the trail for what Casper likes to call the "gravy train". Unbelievable. 215 miles in 2 days. The apple doesn't fall far...

On the way back from Rushford, Jordan got a flat. His teammates helped him out, and got him going again. Macy's new quip is "What does a cyclist say when he gets a flat?" "Where's my dad?"

2 seconds faster

Maren improved her 400m time by 2 seconds to make the number 2 spot on varsity for the first outdoor meet. Congrats! All that hard work is paying off.

LSC Training Camp - Day 1 on the books

A nice sized group of 19 for Day 1. We took in the famed climbs of Money Creek and the Houston switchbacks. 6 riders opted for the 80 mile route, with the rest pounding out a century, including Jordan.

On the climbs, it was all about Goblirsh and Atherton, with Clark, Thorlson, and Olson on their heels. The big surprize was Jordan, who was right up near the front on every climb. He said his HR his 200 on the Houston switchbacks.

On the sprints, Jimmer had an edge in knowing where all the signs were. Even with a heads-up warning, Frye was only able to manage a single sprint, along with his standard fare of 2nd places.

Alex Atherton gets big props for serving up homemade Lasagna. Go big or go home. No Simeks this year.

The bike and body weigh off occured post dinner. Scott Olson edged out Macy with his superlight Time rig. Kermish's Cervelo R3 would be a contender, but he needs to swap out the powertap wheels for the Zipps to be in contention.

Olson's Time Machine w/SRAM red and Ksyrium ES's - 15.25lbs as ridden
Macy's Specialized Tarmac w/DA and HED Ardennes - 15.78lbs as ridden

Cowan easily took the heaviest bike with his Redline cross bike. Thorlson was a close second with his Steel Croll beast.

Cowan's Redline - 20.41lbs as ridden
Thorlson's Croll - 19.97lbs as ridden

As expected, Jordan easily took the lightest rider on Day 1, with Atherton 2nd, and no one else even close.

Jordan - 117.8lbs
Atherton - 132.4lbs

We had 3 clydesdales in the group. Jimmer, Kaeferlein, and Cowan broke the 200lbs barrier. We'll leave it at that.