Friday, April 29, 2005

The "real Masi" debate revisited...

The below is part of a reply to the question posed below, regarding an article written about what is or isn't a "real Masi";

"Let's be honest, Ernesto Colnago hasn't lifted a torch in decades, but his bikes are still works of art. Bikes with the name Bottechia, Coppi, Basso, etc are named after dead people now. They were created by a person and are still run by a person, just a different person. All of the bikes that we love from years past really have very little to do with the person who created them. (Tullio Campagnolo has been dead a long, long time. People still think the parts are pretty cool.) Faliero died in 1992. Does that mean that any bike created afterwards has to use a different name? Does it mean that the last bike he personally brazed was the last real Masi? How about bikes like Peugeot? They sure were popular and for good reason, but who knows the total number of incarnations they went through. Faliero was committed to building functional machines that did their job. He believed in the best materials and best craftsmen. The bikes being made now are not being made by one single person with a torch in one hand and an espresso in the other. That isn't how you make money anymore and it isn't very efficient either. The people making the bikes now are making the bikes to the precise specifications given to them and very well at that. I assure you that the quality of the bikes is on par with anybody else. Now, as for the country of origin, it should really tell the world something that Ernesto Colnago has himself gone to Taiwan to have some of his bikes made. Pinarello has been doing it for years. Cinelli, Cervelo, BMC (the Phonak bike) and countless others are going to Asian suppliers as well. Reality dictates that you have to go where you can get the best possible quality and price. Plus, these folks having been doing this for a long time in high numbers and quality. Carbon fiber fabrication is almost unanimously recognized as being ruled by the Asian suppliers. Honestly, with carbon fiber, it isn't enough to be cheap. The liability is so huge if something fails. You have to trust the supplier; I trust my suppliers.

I believe that he was partly playing Devil's Advocate with this article, opening debate and getting people to evaluate why they value what they value."

Really, not just because this pertains to the bikes I get the pleasure to sell, we ride bikes because we like the way they ride or look or make us feel. It really doesn't matter who makes it if it works. Now, I'm not trying to discredit a custom built frame. Having somebody measure you up and build something that is as unique as your fingerprint is special. Not all of us have that option, whether it is because of the money or impatience, etc. It is our intention to build a premium bike for a better price. I think that if you look at the bikes and give them a ride, you'll be more than just a little pleased.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Now a good picture of the Speciale in the new color. This is one sweet set of wheels. So cool, I had to show it two days in a row... (Photo; Pete Demos) Posted by Hello

Random bits and pieces...

I can't believe that I have a 3-day stage race coming up in just 3 weeks. I am finally beginning to feel some fitness coming on, but I doubt it'll be 3-day stage race quality. 3 weeks to get prepared for an arse-whoopin'. I am SO not ready for this. However, it is a great race and will be a lot of fun since we are bringing a strong team. It's always easier to suffer through something like that when you have teammates and a purpose. We have a legitimate GC contender, so it'll be my job to get him into good position on the last lap climb of the road race and keep him out of trouble in the crit. Losing a little weight so I can climb a little better. We'll see what happens in 3 weeks.

Interbike (the bike industry trade show) is at the end of September this year and we are already beginning to make preparations for the event. It's the biggest event of the year for the industry, so it's awfully important. We're working diligently to get sample bikes here and ready, as well as discussing things like booth set-up and special promotions, etc. It's actually pretty exciting to me. Like a total bike nerd, I love Interbike. It's a ton of work and very little sleep (too many late nights and beer) and I always come back absolutely wrecked... but I get to see cool crap and people I have idolized for years. It's fun for a doofus like me. Although this year I will likely be attending trade shows in Italy and Germany earlier in the same month. I'm gonna need a nap...

The new site went up and all of a sudden I'm getting a ton of email through the site and phone calls about new products. Cool. People are looking at the site I guess. Very good...


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Steel revisited;

I knew there were some steel-lovers still out there.

Some answers to questions and comments;
I love lugs too. Lugless keeps the cost down though. Way down. Lugs are cool, but not cheap to work with. (More on this.)
The steel used is our own 4130 double butted chromoly. Not too fancy (meaning not air hardened), but relatively light, excellent riding and inexpensive.
Do we have plans to use lugs again? Yes. (See post from March 11th.) If I could, I would have a series of frames with hand filed and shaped lugs. Long point lugs with small cutouts, not too ornate (wasn't Faliero's style), and tubes selected individually for each location on the frame and for the rider buying the bike. But I can't... yet. Who knows what the future holds...

Steel-lovers, you are not alone. I am in love with steel too and I will always try to find ways to keep the torch burning (and brazing).


A slightly better angle of that beautiful steel sweetness. A very classic steel ride and a retail of less than $1500 for the complete bike. Ummm... delicious steel. Posted by Hello

I know the composition of the photo is all wrong and the lighting is terrible, but this is what you get for today. This is the Speciale all steel bike. If you go to the 2005 Masi website, you'll see it pictured in Electric Yellow (the Legnano color of lore), but the color was changed to what you see now.  Posted by Hello

Bikes, bikes, bikes...

Well, I was going to post a picture of a full shipping container of Masi bikes, but I instead got hooked into unloading the darned thing! So much for the visual impression of the attempted photo.

Lots of bikes arrived and more are still coming, so please go to your local retailer and buy one or two. If you're a retailer give me a call and order a few dozen... I'll give you a deal.

Things have been busy, as evidenced by my less than daily updates and additions. Cool stuff going on...

Gotta run again,


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Chuck Cowan, owner of bike shop Behind Bars in Minneapolis, is the proud papa of this blue beauty! Quite the looker, isn't it. Posted by Hello

The cover of our monthly flyer sent to all of our retailers. Autographs are free; just mail your copy in with a self-addressed stamped envelope. Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery... Posted by Hello

New website is up!

The 2005 Masi website is finally up and running!

Go forth and spread the news from low valley to high mountain. The word (and pictures) is ready for the world! Rejoice, for the word is good... the word is MASI!

More pictures to be added to this site today. Updates coming. News, news, news...


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Family time.

It'd probably be cooler to say I got lots of miles in or that I spent the weekend racing onto a podium, but reality is that I spent the weekend with my wife and kids, loafing around and doing chores. No rides. Not even one. The bike stayed where it rested all weekend long.

I thought of breaking out the trailer and dragging my daughter around for a while so I could get some miles in, just a little saddle time. Instead, we ran around doing the mundane things that make up the bulk of family life. The sort of things that do not show up on the "Have a Family" brochures.

Can't say I'd trade it for anything though; my daughter is almost 4 now and really developing a personality and her own sense of humor, my son is almost a teenager now and is rapidly approaching a manhood I just didn't see coming this soon and my wife is the best friend I've ever had. Mushy stuff, I know, but I like it when I have these little weekends of revelation. Those times when the kids are spilling crap all over the backseat of the car and the noise is deafening, but yet you still find yourself smiling like a moron. It was one of those weekends.

Monday begins a new week of lunchtime training rides and some earnest preparation for upcoming races. This weekend just belonged to family- I think I did pretty good for myself.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Masi love for your handlebars. Can you feel it? Posted by Hello

EM2- "The third metal"... how cool is that? Posted by Hello

Buttery smooth welds and an incredible ride. Posted by Hello

Gran Criterium; the classic Masi beauty of years past, but all moderned-up. Dedacciai EM2 aluminum tubing with Dedacciai Monobox and Race Tail carbon stays, Easton EC70 all carbon fork, FSA headset, Masi carbon seatpost and Masi embossed bar tape. (In stock now and ready for anything you can throw at it.) Posted by Hello

"D" is for Dedacciai... and delicious. Posted by Hello

Ummm... carbon (and steel). Posted by Hello

Speciale Carbon; Dedacciai EOM 16.5 steel tubing with Dedacciai Monobox and Race Tail carbon stays, Easton EC70 all carbon fork, FSA headset, Masi carbon seatpost and Masi embossed bar tape. (In stock now!) Posted by Hello

Let's get ready to r-u-m-b-l-e! (Or- "That's gonna' leave a mark!")

Ouch! Smacking the track at speed is a painful experience. Fortunately, I wasn't one of the ones to fall. Two of the better riders we get at our races went down pretty hard, but were both fine. Neither needed stitches or broke any bones. One bike was knackered pretty bad, but both guys got up on their own and walked away. Controversy ensued, but the evening was able to otherwise continue.

I was able to avoid the carnage by pulling out of the race the previous lap, so after the spill took place I pulled the plug on my racing for the night (just getting back to feeling good after my two crashes last year) and sat in the stands with friends and had a beer. That's beauty of it all- plenty of good friends hanging out watching the races. A friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a while said, "dude, you're like a rock star- everybody wants to talk to you." Cool! Since I have absolutely no musical talent, that's as close as I'll ever get. It's all about the bikes... otherwise, I'm just another dork at the track.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Austin Kropp's sweet steel steed! Austin is our sock and bottle winner #2. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

... Breaking News...

April 18, 2005- San Diego, CA- Lifelong cyclist and Masters-aged rider Tim Jackson has announced his return from retirement. Jackson, the Brand Manager for Masi Bicycles based in Vista, California, says that he is trying to fill a void generated by the announcement of Lance Armstrong's retirement. Armstrong, the 6-time winner of the Tour de France, announced his impending retirement Monday during a pre-race press conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

"I'm merely trying to replace Lance's place in the peloton. His retirement is a big blow to American cycling and as a proud American cyclist, I don't want to see our role in the world of professional cycling diminished in any way", Jackson stated during a brief phone interview. Representatives for Armstrong could not be reached for a response to the news.

Jackson believes that by beginning an intensive training program now, he'll be ready for the 2006 Tour de France. Jackson stated, "I'm not saying I can win right now- that would be a foolish statement to make. I think I can get back to where I was before I retired a few years ago. If so, I think I can compete again and should be able to stand up on the Tour podium." When contacted for comment about Jackson's plans, representatives of Haro Bicycles, the owners of Masi Bicycles, were somewhat startled by the news. Mike Varley, Product Manager at Haro and Jackson's immediate superior, stated "Tim says a lot of things that you just can't take too seriously. It was hot last week and I think he rode a little too long without enough water."

Never the less, the news of Lance Armstrong's imminent retirement is the most significant news in cycling this year.

(Good luck Lance! It's been a great ride.)

Team Becher+ (the "plus" is silent, by the way) racing at Sea Otter last Friday.  Posted by Hello

Round two;

OK, our contest winner has graciously offered the prize to somebody else, as he is currently riding under a full sponsorship. What a guy!

So here's the deal; first person to name the last 5 Giro d'Italia winners gets the bottle and socks. So I'm looking for winners from 2000-2004. Since the Giro starts soon, the info should be easy to find...

Good luck,

Saturday, April 16, 2005

We have a WINNER!

Wow, that was quick; Jeff Kerkove is the winner of the socks and bottle. Congratulations.

1980 Tour de France winner was Joop Zoetemelk and his last name translates to "sweet milk". He's a Dutch rider who was an eternal runner-up at the Tour before finally winning. He also won the World Championships when he was 38 years old. Sort of my cycling hero...

Stay tuned to this channel for more chances to win...


Friday, April 15, 2005

Crap, I forgot...

We just received a shipment this week of two incredible framesets (I will put pictures up next week); the Gran Criterium and Speciale Carbon.

The Gran Criterium is the bike I ride and the Speciale Carbon is the frame I am waiting to build into something special (both are pictured on this blog, but I'll get better pictures next week). The Gran Criterium is Dedacciai aluminum and carbon and the Speciale Carbon is Dedacciai steel and carbon. Both frames ride incredibly well and will make you very, very happy.

See your local retailer to purchase one- tell them the Masi Guy sent you.


Beer braze-ons... (in reply to comment posted to track frame photo)

Ah yes, a beer braze-on for the track frame. That sounds awfully nice. Sort of like the old Hand Job braze-on on the Ibis bikes several years ago. Those things were fantastic. They turned them into bottle openers and I still have mine.

I spent the morning proof reading the content of the 2005 website. It should be all done early next week and then you can finally see pictures and spec info for all of the new bikes. I know it's a bit late coming, but it is almost done now anyway.

POP QUIZ; The first person to tell me the winner of the 1980 Tour de France and what the translation of his last name means, gets a pair of Masi socks and a water bottle. Results will be posted here!

No racing for me this weekend. Some time with the family at Disney Land and a nice ride on Sunday. I hope you have a good weekend and I might even post again before Monday.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

I stare at this drawing all day every day. It sits right over my monitor on the wall in front of me. It's the drawing for my track frame... coming soon hopefully. Yeah, I know the numbers are smudged so you can't read them. Super-secret stuff here. Since it is a prototype, I can't share that info with you. Once it is real, you can know. I can't wait to get on the thing and rip it up! Posted by Hello

The weather is too nice today...

Not that I haven't been getting my work done today (I swear boss), but I have been feeling rather useless at times today. The weather is just too nice to be inside a building... working. I have been scratching my head to find a way to go for a ride (another ride) today. I am expecting a few prototype frames in the very near future and they will need to be ridden. Ridden for hours and hours preferably. I just might have to head for the local mountains and climb for a few hours. I hate climbing, so would you if you weighed 210 pounds, but I love to ride. The roads are calling me!

The warehouse has been filling up with new bikes and it is a sight I dearly love to see. Now, I can't wait to see them going on a truck and heading out to retailers. Fortunately, lots of the bikes are already sold and just waiting to be shipped. Demand has been great and now they are heading out into the world to be ridden.

I wish I was on a ride right now.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The field getting strung out during the motor-paced burnout event. You can't see the 30 riders in front of us and the other 10 behind us. Another good night of racing. Posted by Hello

Final stretch before rolling off in the "consolation sprint"... which I lost for being dumb. Posted by Hello

Why am I smiling like a dork? Because I AM a dork. Moments before losing my first round sprint. Posted by Hello

Glass half empty or half full?

Is it possible to die from asphyxiation due to racing with your head up your butt?

Last night was sprint night down at the old velodrome. Yours truly was third fastest qualifier in the 200m sprint. Not bad for the first one in more than a year. I was pretty excited and thought I had an outside shot at regaining a little sprint form. Oh how silly of me to believe.

1st round sprint was a 3 up and since I had been the fastest qualifier of the 3 of us, I figured I had a shot. I might have if I hadn't let the other two riders roll away and get a 20 meter gap right off the rail. Since it was only a 2 lap sprint, I ended up chasing right from the gun and they were smart enough to keep their gap and make me work that much harder. At the line we were grouped fairly tight, but I was still at their hips and settled for 3rd.

Off to the loser's bracket! So I'm not letting that happen again. No way. I've learned my lesson. I controlled the pace from the front and kept the other two in check until rider two moved to the front to take control as we came through turn four. While I was watching him and we were rolling slowly and deliberately, rider three jumped from the highest point of the banking in turn one and opened a huge gap. Since I was stuck behind the guy in front of me, I had to slow down and back out before jumping down track myself. Too late and too big of a gear, so I sat up coming out of turn four and saluted the smarter winner. Gracious in defeat at least.

Now it's time to tango. 5 mile Scratch race... that means 25 laps. This proved to be the most fun of the night. The pace was good and I was able to stay in and do a little attacking and kept the pace strong. When the bell was rung for the last lap, I was simply spent and missed the move that found its way to the finish line first. Still, it was a lot of fun and I managed to be a part of the action.

So I guess the glass was half full. Until I realized I lost my car keys and had to climb over the velodrome fence in my skinsuit to find my keys in the infield.

Over all, quite a fun night. Even a few folks from the office came down to watch me get a trouncing. As usual, the locals helped to make it so much fun. Adams Avenue Bicycles donated all the beer and water bottle primes. I (Masi) donated socks for prizes. A local store offered up gift certificates. Even the race announcer pulled a $20 bill out of his wallet for the women's race. Sweet!

Who said track racing was dead in the US?


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Get ready race fans!

It's race day, it's race day! I love race day. I hate getting the snot whooped out of me, but I sure love the racing. In a few hours I will be hugging the boards and banging my way to the finish line at my beloved velodrome. Yippee!

Speaking of the velodrome. I have added a link to the San Diego Velodrome ( for you to peruse. As I mentioned before, I am working on helping the Velodrome Association find some funding for repairs of the track surface and improvement for the overall facility. Look at the photo gallery and read about the programs they provide. I am sure you will see why I hope to help them out.

Race report will follow after the racing tonight, maybe even a few more pic's from of the racing too.


Monday, April 11, 2005

Here's my boy Dave Law, one of our exceptional inside sales masterminds. Notice the doughnut and appropriate sneer. Hey, if we didn't give him a job, he'd be on the street doing nose wheelies. We're probably keeping him alive. Posted by Hello

Fun in the sun!

Ah. The sun and fun of a bike swap meet. Elbow deep in boxes of greasy, pitted bottom brackets, frames with only one rear dropout and the occasional Campy Super Record high flange track hub in near-mint condition for $20.00 without the axle nuts. Jewels in the rough, each and every one! If I wasn't a redneck before the swap, I sure am now. A little sunscreen goes a long way, but no sunscreen insures a nice pink fire burning your skin. You'd think that somebody who is used to being in the sun would remember to put a little sunscreen on. When I turned out the lights to go to bed last night, the room was still well lit from the glow of my neck.

Not picking on anybody, but it always kills me when you have a product you are selling for less than half of retail and you have to have the conversation with somebody about why you won't sell it to them for 35 cents. "Dude, this thing retails for $1700.00. I sell it to you for $15.00 and I won't even recoup the cost of paint!" My people are a strange breed.


Friday, April 08, 2005

One of the funniest things I have seen in may, many years. I pulled this out of the bag when I got my "lunch" one day and I almost blew soda outta my nose! Posted by Hello

It's Friday!

Ok, I won't brag about the weather here today, just for all you folks not in Southern California. However... I will go so far as to say it was a gorgeous freakin' day today. Warm sun and a cool coastal breeze. Almost paradise. Well, really, really close to paradise actually. Truly, a fantastic day.

This week has been so very busy and I was out half of the day for three days this week, due to my daughter having an ear infection and my wife and I splitting nurse duty. That has meant that I have been riding less too. It's one thing to keep me away from my work, but to keep me off my bike... that is when it hurts.

The 2005 Masi website is almost complete and should be up in about a week. Then you can all see how purdy them bikes is. The '05 bikes are gorgeous and I think you'll agree when you see them. (Buy Masi, buy Masi, buy Masi.)

So maybe you'll hear from me this weekend. Maybe you won't. Either way, have a great weekend.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Frenzy of activity.

Today, more than ever, I am glad that I am the resident road dork in the building and only responsible for road bikes and the shaved leg freaks we are who ride them. The place is a frantic little bee hive right now as the Haro folks are preparing for Sea Otter. I'd love to be there to do the road races this year, but it just isn't possible. Sea Otter though, is hugely important to the MTB segment of business here. Team bikes and gear are being assembled and brought together in preperation. It's the first really big event of the year with all the disciplines of dirt being held during the week. Needless to say, there is a lazer-like focus on getting things "just right". As a self-proclaimed road nut, I am admittedly one of the very last people on the planet you want working on a mountain bike (some might argue the same about a road bike... Mike). I feel their pain, but am pretty much helpless to help them. I can stand there and look stupid (or pretty depending on the day), but I am not exactly able to get team bikes built and ready for a major event.

My head is still spinning from the excitement of the Tuesday track races. It is so exciting to see the amount of support being shown at the track by the people in the stands and the racers on the track. Now we just need to find some people to help finance having the track resurfaced. I am going to create my own little crusade to get some funding to the track so it can get resurfaced. Know somebody with deep pockets and a philanthropic mind, let me know. The velodrome association really needs some money to get the track back to a better level. They do an awful lot for the local community and should get some recognition for it. They do great free classes for the local kids and it is one of the many great things they do.

If you are in San Diego this Sunday, swing by the velodrome for the Spring Bike Swapmeet. Checkout for more information and directions. Lots of cool deals and the money they charge for entry goes directly back to the track. It's certainly worth checking out. If you need a left-side crank arm for that old Campy Nuovo Record crankset, you just might find it. Maybe an Omas titanium hubset? How about a Girvin Flex Stem or a Simplex rear derailleur? Benotto vinyl tape or Cateye cloth tape?You'll see me digging through boxes of old track stuff looking for more chainrings and cogs. You can never have enough...


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A view from the infield before the racing started. All told, there were about 80 racers on the track for the first night of the series. Soon the track will be covered with Masi bikes... Posted by Hello

Race report; (no, this isn't going to be pretty)

Fat. Old. Outta-shape. I'm getting used to the sound of that.

Last night was the first night of racing here during the Tuesday Night Race Series at the San Diego Velodrome. I admit it, we have a crappy track in need of lots of repairs, but we HAVE a track and a lot of people who enjoy racing. Heck, we've even got stands full of people. Between 3 classes of Senior riders and one Junior class, we had about 80 racers last night and almost as many spectators in the bleachers. It was a lovely night for racing with warm weather and loud raucous fans. All that was missing was the smell of brauts on the grill. Next week.

First "event" of the night was the motorpaced "burnout". This is actually just a warm-up, but they turn it into something of an elimination event burning folks off until there are only four riders left to contest a final sprint as the motor pulls off and the elbows start flying. Well, with about 80 folks in the burnout, you can imagine how long an event that turns into. So I did my 15-20 minutes of motorpacing and pulled out. With that many riders of different ability levels and being the first event of the year, the field was just too sketchy to be comfortable. It was constantly inch-worming with crazy accelerations and then quick slow-downs of speed. It was just a bit too much to worry about, so I got my warm-up in and then went to the infield to stretch. Effectively, I wimped-out because I was on the wrong gear and was not interested in crashing.

Next up was a 9 lap Snowball, where each lap is worth points equal to the lap number; lap one = 1 point, lap 2 = 2 points, etc. The key is to either win a lot of laps or the bigger laps. I shot off the front and took lap four and thought I had 5 in the bag when I got swarmed at the line and had to settle for 4th place with my 4 points. Still, for an old guy racing with the A's, I felt good to get one lap anyway. I have a feeling some of those guys have been training. I can't prove anything yet, but I have my theories...

On to our third event; 4 laps plus a Miss and Out. This is where the last rider across the finish line is pulled form the race each lap until there are three riders left to sprint for the win. First though, they make you do four "parade" laps which turn into a thunder clap of speed to shed people early. Not one of my favorite events or events I am particularly good at, I stuck around until they pulled about 6-7 folks before I voluntarily left the field. I'm just not brave enough this early in the year to make sure I stay at the front and bang on folks to not get eliminated.

The fourth and final event of the night, the Main Attraction of the circus, was a 45 lap Points Race. Now, this is a pain fest. For a sprinter, this is abject horror. It's about 35 laps more than I ever feel like doing. You sprint every five laps for points going four riders deep (5, 3, 2 and 1) and/or you try to go up a lap (or more if you're a real jerk who's been training and is really fit and want to have people hate you). As we crossed the finish line for the 4th lap they announced a beer prime (pronounced "preem" and is just a prize) to the winner of the lap. As if I had been fired from a cannon, I rocketed off the front of the field and crossed the line first for my beer. You just can't taunt me like that. I have some pride after all. The next lap was a point lap and I held on for 4th and my one single point of the event. I was off the back a few laps later and out of the race and in the stands waiting for my beer after about 12 laps.

The best part of the night, winning a beer excluded, was the fact that we had so many people there to watch. I had my own little cheering section of friends and felt like a slow, fat, outta-shape rock star. What a blast. I love track racing.

If you're in San Diego one Tuesday night and want to see something different and fun, we start racing around 6:30PM. I promise you'll have a good time watching. You'll have even more fun if you bring your track bike and enter the race.

Next week we'll see if I can complete a few more laps without hurting my self.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Owie, owie, owie! It burns, it burns!

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." These are great words to live by. Well, unless you have my legs and they burn like all hell. Our local evening track racing season begins this coming Tuesday, so I figured "I guess I should go down to the track and do a workout at least once before starting racing." What a fool! Sure, just jump on the track bike for the first time since about June and go motorpace and do sprint jumps. Sure sounds like a good idea to me.

See, back in June (I think), I was involved in a major pile-up on the track that took about 11 riders down and sent a few people off in ambulances (including one of the riders from the US National team). Fortunately, I just got dinged up and had to skip riding for a couple weeks. I did break my bike though. I didn't get another bike again until a few months later (thanks Keith) and then I had that accident involving the car (see previous post from March 6th- "Ever feel like you are here to serve as a warning to others?") Needless to say, I didn't immediately get out to the track again for a while... today.

When you are fit and ready, motorpacing hurts. When you are far from your best and so unused to riding a track bike and forget how to spin, it is a tortuous experience. We are lucky to have a group of great riders here in San Diego and they are a pretty good group of people as well. It didn't take long to get back into the rhythm of things, thanks to a little help from friends. It still hurt like hell though. I warmed up well enough and felt ok. Then we did sprint jumps from a slow rolling pace. Seated and standing. I pulled a muscle in my back on the first jump because I put on too big of a gear. Each of the jumps was slightly embarrassing, as I was so far behind my two sprint companions thanks to the incorrect gear selection. Then we started our motorpacing and I was in too small of a gear for that and was spun out early on and forced to gasp for air to send some much needed oxygen to my burning legs. I must have looked a bit like I was going to explode, as I got a few "you ok" queries once back to the infield of the track. Finally, we did 5 lap motorpaced solo efforts. I finally got the gearing right and felt better than I had the entire workout. Unfortunately, we did more than one effort and I was completely cooked after the fourth one and had to limp to the infield to put a smaller gear on to cool down.

Still, all whining aside, I loved it and can't wait for the racing this Tuesday. Track racing is my true love in cycling. This time each year is a lot like waiting for Christmas to arrive as a child. I'll be scared to death and riding like a complete dork for the first few races, but by the end of the night (I hope) I'll feel that familiar "oh yeah, track racing" feeling in the legs. Well, that is of course until they call us to the line for a 60 lap Points Race.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Dust, meet lungs.

Friday was one of the most beloved days in the cycling industry, well, any industry really; Inventory Day. Nothing quite matches the thrill of digging through dust covered parts bins, stirring up sinus infiltrating particles of mystery. As a full-blown bike geek, you'd think that spending hours counting bike parts would be a form of ecstasy. Well, you'd think that. Some times it's better not to think. If you ever need a blue anodized seat collar (one or two bolt style) for an early nineties BMX bike, let me know. I know where I can find some. Better yet, if you need an s-curved chromoly BMX seatpost in a 22.2mm diameter, I know where those are too. You can pimp that ride out. I know somebody who knows somebody.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go rinse my sinuses with saline again and try to kill off this mystery funk. I think I know where that came from too.