Friday, November 14, 2008


OK this is ridiculous. I really just think about food all the time. I'm not hungry all the time but I think of food all the time. I get up in the morning take Liam to school then go to Cafe Macchiato for a quick latte. What I really want is the damm ciabata toasted with butter as well. So I sip my latte and read the paper quickly and then walk to the Northwest corner of 48th Street and Third Avenue where there is probably the best fruit guy in the city. Don't get me wrong he has the best fruit and makes the best juices but what I really want is my portuguese roll with butter and coffee with sugar from the street guy on the Northeast corner of 47th Street. I have to walk past him and then walk back and not go to him. And he always saves me the last portuguese roll since he knows how much I love them. Out of guilt today I went there to get the roll and pay for the other 4 that I know he saved for me througout the week. But I only do that out of guilt.

By the time lunch rolls around its off to the Hale and Hearthy Soup to have a nice salad and a bowl of soup. Look nothing wrong with the salad or the soup. They are delicious. But seriously I'm next to Sparks, Smith & Wollensky and Patroon's. I mean can't I just have a stake, a baked potato and a bottle of wine for lunch. Is that too much to ask for. Timy at Smith's even complains that he hardly sees me anymore. The other day I actually had to wait for a seat at the bar. I've lost my place at the place. It's like falling out of a buddy's spee dial list. Relegated.

Don't get me started on dinner. Jason Nikic one of my New York colleagues texts me the other day from Roberto's in the Bronx asking me if I wanted the Burata. Do I want the burata? What the f*$# do I really need to hear this. Roberto's is the genius of NYC Italian restaurants in Little Italy in the Bronx. I started going there with my college buddies back at Fordham. I've had many, many wonderful dinners there. But what I really want is to leave work, walk accross town to get a little exercise in and wake up the stomach juices and go to Pepe's. La Maseria on 48th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue. Pino plays the symphony with the dishes. I just sit down and he starts throwing them out. Pepe and Enzo fight over which bottle to get me and I just eat course after course of delicious food. A little mixed sea plate, a small dish of pasta or two, a fish plate and perhaps the rabbit to finish it all off. But no I go home after training and have a small dose of a healthy meal that our kind nanny Charlene has prepared for us. It tastes good but its not the indulgence I am looking for.

Yesterday I was driving home and talking to Nanna my nutritionist and I drove by Grimaldis's Pizza on Old Fulton Street. I really just wanted to stop and have a pie (yes a whole pie) with mushroom and peperoni. My favorite. There wasn't even a line when I drove by. It's like they do this to temp me more. Normally the line is 30 minutes long for the brick oven pizza. Damm it. It's not fair.

So the first week of training is almost behind me. Today I went out to do some hill repeats on river road and it was raining the whole time. And I forgot my rain jacket. By the last repeat it was pitch dark and I could hardly see the powermeter. After the last repeat I hooked it back to the city hoping not to get mowed down by a car. Came close a few times but like that guy said. Lights are for sissy's. It only let's the enemy know where you are. I finished off in the park with a few light intervals and then went back to the office to check my inbox and send out some e-mails. Finally home by 9 where Liam was still up. Dinner (don't ask), a little blog entry after watching a little of Sabrina. One of Harrison Ford's best and now to bed. Pardon the ranting but I am trying to do these a little more often.

If anybody is up for Gimbles (and who wouldn't be) this weekend see you on Sunday. For you newcomers here are the rules. Tempo up the first set of climbs off of 22, right turn at the gas station in armonk and watch the lights. Tempo to hard until the second set of climbs where it will be all together to the top. Back to 22 and more climbs. Again all together to the top. Now some of you may want to get frisky and go ahead of the group. Not a good idea. It pisses people off and ruins my week so if you do. I will bring you back and I won't be happy about it. After the climbs its a free for all to the finish line and everybody knows that real man attack on the flats.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Season Starts Now

Wow is it already November? Normally I like to test at the very end of October to see where my baseline is for the first period of training starting November 1st. Yes I am a big dork. But this year on November 1st I was at a Bissell event in Grand Rapids with Tom Zirbel and Ben Jacques-Maynes as well as new director Eric Wohlberg and team manager Glen Mitchel. If Glen ever gets me the pictures he took than you can see me stepping off a certain private plane. It was very nice. Oh look the pictures "finally" arrived. It wasn't all fun and games on the plane. Below you see half of Eric Wohlberg looking very seriously wondering if this thing came with parachutes. Tom and I engaged in a very serious conversation about how we were going to split the season. Ben was next to us (out of picture) but he remained mostly silent. The second photo is Tom negotiating whether or not I could win some time trials. Jeez the guy just can't give one up. And of course the group shot. Bissel team complete with team manager, bike-washer, director-sportif and star riders. Finally Tom giving me a piggy back ride into the plane. It's about time he works for me.

Instead I had to postpone my tests to the first week of November which I am sure will completely undermine my season by missing all of my goals by exactly one week. I wish I had good news but I don't. My test results were absolutely horrible. I was trying to gain power and loose weight but instead I gained weight and lost power. Max of course always sees the positive of everything and says it will be fine don't worry. Don't worry! Crap I have a part time job in worrying. Here is a picture that Teddy King took of me doing a Vo2Max on his handy iPhone. Notice the exhale coming out of the stomach. That's a new breathing technique being employed very successfully by the Iranian national team. I did 80 Watts less than at this time last year on the Vo2Max test and 40 Watts less on the Lactate Test.
Teddy had an awesome test. Damm you Teddy. And there was one other certain Bissell rider there by the name of Tom Zirbel. Oh poor Computrainer. I'm sorry about that. Tom almost snapped his bars at 500+ Watts and the Computrainer was crying uncle. The big man did it again. Burke Swindlehurst was suppose to come and see us suffer but instead he had a late night at a play with some other to be un-named bicycle rider.

So now the work begins. I'm really looking forward to riding in the dark in Central Park and trying to avoid the squirrels. Indecisive little bastards. They go one way then they change their minds and come back the other way.

Oh and one more thing. Bissell team roster was announced this week and I am on it again. Portuguese MSN picked up the news. What the hell? My job will be to once again make my teammates look good by acting as a decoy for the other teams. I'll attack, draw some riders with me because they see the Bissell jersey and then when I can't pull through and the break is doomed one of my more capable teammates will do the coupe d' force and launch the successful attack. Look I don't like it but its the job that I have been given and I will execute it with pride. Besides the looks on the Health-Net or Kelly Benefits guy's face is just too precious when they realize its moi.

Now seriously. This will probably be my last year racing with Bissell and I want to make it count. Last year was a great year but a fairly disappointing year performance wise and I am going to change some things around this year to take advantage of the times of year that I am good mainly in the beginning of the season. I'll focus on that and take a break in April after which I am hoping to be well recuperated for the May criteriums and June nationals.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Camp Twinlakes Wrap Up

Thank you all for donating. I was really touched by the amount of people who donated including some of my teammates. OK so I had to step on some necks but most of you did it willingly and for those of you who needed coercing or in some cases bodily harm. Hey your still an all-star in my book. Besides physical scars heal but what you've done with your donations will last a lifetime in my heart. All in all you guys over matched my contribution so it looks like I need to go make some more money. The total came to nearly $12,000 which is a great contribution to a great cause. Thank you.

A special shout out to my boy Mike Kaeske. Mike came up with the most genius scheme. He made me go out and do a 3 minute interval and send him the file. He promised $3 per watt. Mike thanks for the $1,300 buddy.

Last weekend I went to Camp Twin Lakes for its annual charity ride with one of my colleagues Jason Nikic (thanks for driving man) and Saul Raisin. It was a great day of riding where we got lost, got chased by a bunch of dogs, almost died on a plank bridge and thanks to Saul's Garmin made it back to the camp in amazingly the same amount of distance we were suppose to ride. One of the highlights for me was meeting up after about 10 years with Charlie Seward an old friend of mine who is now living near Atlanta. I met Charlie back in the late eighties when I came to the US and I still remember him motor pacing at SUNY Purchase with his then girlfriend/now wife. Anyways Charlie somehow bumped into this blog a few months ago and we reconnected. Oh the power of the Internet. Charlie has a young daughter who is now a very good competitive swimmer and we reminisced about SUNY Purchase and of course Gimbles where Charlie and a bunch of other folks like the Whalens, Jeff Knisley, Chris Lambiase and a bunch of others used to shelter me when I was around 13, so that I wouldn't get dropped. Come to think of it I think that as soon as I could ride away I re-paid them by dropping them. Not very nice. Any hoots.

The experience at the camp was incredible. I got a tour of the property and its absolutely amazing. It's huge and its got multiple lakes, woods, a garden, a pool and lots of cabins with great looking mailboxes. On my Tour one of the campers came along and it turns out he's the kid in the poster for the ride. His name is Madison and he's been going to camp for a few years. The folks at the camp gave me the star treatment and I was a little embarrassed as I am lining up to real pro's like Cesare Grajales and Phil Southland. I'm sure they are still asking themselves who the hell was that guy.