Saturday, January 30, 2010

So, umm... yeah...

I was right, dammit- crazyass week this week. I would say "I told you so", but it's not like there was any argument about it.

The week was a blur... a very busy, Technicolor blur.

Monday I spent the entire day working on a presentation for our new VP of Sales and his trip to Australia to see our distributor there and show them a sneak peek at our 2011 bikes. (No, you can't have one... yet... )

Tuesday was spent getting our demo trailer cleaned out and repacked with bikes for our trip next week to Boulder City, Nevada. All of the bikes were tuned and prepped for the drive and the waiting riders.

Wednesday was spent in the field visiting local retailers and launching the new in-store POP displays we have created for all of the Haro/ Masi brands. This was one of the highlights though- I love being in the field- whether working with retailers or getting to spend time with consumers... I'm a "people person", so I enjoy getting to interact with people.

Thursday and Friday both consisted of attempting to build the presentation I am giving next week, except for that it is still not finished and I really should be working oin that right now... but that's what midnight at Sunday is for, right? Thursday was also my wife's 2nd doctor visit/ baby check-up. The baby is doing fantastic and so is my wife, though she is a bit anemic (which I knew was the case) and is now taking iron pills... which she sincerely hates. Still, overall, it was a very good visit with the doctor and very reassuring as well.

Today I got out for Weekend Worlds again. Unlike last week, I didn't win the final sprint, though I did get 3rd. The legs were just too tired after working too hard on a couple hills before the sprint. My legs never felt all that great this morning to begin with, but I wanted to try to be a little more "well rounded" on the ride today so I rode hard on the few good hills we have on the ride. I made it over the 1st hill with the leaders- since it is a fairly short one- and made the top 20 on the second, more difficult climb which is actually more of a series of stair step climbs. I was far from being a super star, but it was nice to be a little bit more aggressive and not just sitting in for the sprint. The recovery between efforts is getting better and giving me hope for the February 7th Red Trolley Criterium. If I can maintain my form next week while on the road, I'm really thinking I might do the race and get 2010 racing off to a good start... hopefully.

Today was also spent walking the tide pools with my 3 girls. We're having some awesome low tides right now, so it was really great to get to walk around exploring with my girls. I love time like that with them. I also got a nice surprise visit from my step-son. Since the divorce, I don't see him nearly as much as I would like to (which is really very hard for me to accept). He's got his first ever job down the street from my apartment now, so he stopped by on his way home after work. I can't remember the last time I was so happy to have an unannounced guest! I love that boy and miss him more than a few lines in a blog can explain.

Another highlight of the day was getting to record a podcast interview with Josh Boggs from it should be posted pretty soon, so keep an ear out for it. I've "known" Josh for years it seems, but this was the first time we've actually ever spoken! Thanks again to Josh and for having me!

Tomorrow consists of finishing my presentation, doing laundry and packing and trying to get in a ride. Monday morning I leave for Nevada until Friday and will be getting to do some nice riding in Boulder City again around the Hoover Dam. Part of the perk to this trip is leading group rides along the lake and down to the dam. If I have to be away from home for the week, it's good to at least get to ride a lot!

Alright... time to finish this off and prepare for some sleep so I can get up and ride in the morning.


Friday, January 29, 2010

I told you...

Yes, it really has been a week from hell, just like I said it was gonna be. I'm glad it's Friday, though I'll be working a fair bit this weekend and getting packed for the week long trip that starts Monday morning.

Had two great nights of roller workouts on Wednesday and Thursday and a nice ride at lunch today. Legs should either be total crap for the ride in the morning or they'll be feeling really great... so we'll see if I defend my title.

I had all kinds of cool things I was gonna talk about, but since it is almost midnight, I'm cutting it short and leaving you with this...

Next time,


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


No ride today- busy.

No ride tonight- raining.



Monday, January 25, 2010

Cranking and burning...

Today was "one of those days" packed with too much to do, too little time to do it and no chance to breathe... some people call it "Monday". (I hate that day.)

Since I have the punkin, aka Masidaughter 1.0, this week I didn't get to go on a lunch ride- because I leave early to pick her up from school. However, with the day I had, I really, really needed a ride. So, as I have done for many years, once punkin was in bed and asleep I headed outside with the rollers and the fixed gear. Thankfully, my wife really encourages me to do so... probably because she lives with me and knows what a mess I become when I'm too stressed out and don't ride.

After a solid hour of burying myself into the pedals and that smallish 46x16 gear, I now feel a little more human and a lot more sane... not to mention a few pounds lighter after sweating like an ox (I'm fairly sure my long sleeve wool jersey now weighs about 8 lbs). My legs weren't really into the whole thing for the first 10 minutes, but as they warmed up they began to feel great and eventually felt incredible. I ran out of water with about 15min to go and then ran out of music with about 10 to go... which was far more bothersome since I rely so heavily on my music to stay focused on my workout when I'm on the rollers. I held on though and pedaled through the distractions to reach that place where the pain in the legs went mostly away and the frustrations in the mind became a lot softer.

And now for the numbers... 1:00:32, 20.8av/40.3mx MPH, 21.08mi, 92av/181mx RPM, 147av/163mx HR. That max speed of 40.3 is my favorite number because I don't think I've hit that number before on the rollers on the 46x16 gearing. I've hit nearly 50 with my geared road bike on the rollers, but don't think I've hit the 40+ mark with such a small gear before tonight... which again gives me hope. (Unfortunately, my form was really terrible at that speed and I rolled off the rollers and grazed the fence... but we won't bring that up...)

Now it's time for bed so that I can hit the ground running for another truly crazy day tomorrow. But for tonight at least, I'll sleep the sleep of the truly tired... thankfully.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The sun came out today!

Today was one of those glorious SoCal winter days that people dream about- it was warm enough to wear a light jacket/ sweater with a t-shirt and maybe even shorts, if you're the shorts type. The skies were insanely blue and clear- if you looked to the east/ northeast, you could even see all the mountains capped by snow. The air was crisp and clear, as only a winter's rain can provide. In short- amazing.

You can't really tell from the photo, but there is snow on the distant hill tops

I snuck out for a 1.5hr ride today, after Ann came home from her swim at the YMCA- 6.5 months pregnant and still swimming 1500M in the pool nearly every day! I left home with legs that felt a lot like wood, but they slowly warmed up gradually and I found myself pushing my pace. The first part of the ride was largely a headwind, so I had no choice but to push... but as I warmed up, I wanted to push. The first real hill kicked my ass and the pain from the day before was lingering in the legs. As I reached the top, I forced myself to not relax and kept pushing to the stop light at the top of the hill before turning left for the second climb heading out to the Cabrillo National Monument. As is my tradition, I stopped at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to say hello to my grandparents before motoring on to the end of Point Loma and heading back toward home. I rolled the hill pretty good and zipped through Pt. Loma and then raced back by the airport before hammering through downtown and up the hill to home- never letting the pressure off the pedals the whole way.

The air quality was incredible and clear for miles.

I didn't feel great or ride with inspired legs, but I rode happily through the stiffness and made myself feel the burn of the tired legs... because I could. I rode the scandium frame again and really relished the stiffness of the frame- it's so nice to dig way deep and feel the frame not relent at all. Carbon has a special ride to it, but I love my non-carbon bikes a lot too. It wasn't an epic ride and I only won sprints where I was beating myself... but it was a nice ride in the sun and cool winter air. Not a bad day at all.

Happiness is being on a bike... well, it's one form of happiness anyway...

This week is going to be an unholy busy mess as I prepare for a week out of the office 2/1- 2/5 in Boulder City NV again. The yearly tradition continues this year, so we'll be heading out for a demo event for one of our major retailers. It's the 3rd year for me and I look forward to it... because, rather selfishly, I get to ride every day while I am there! The roads around the Hoover Dam are not the best roads, per se, but the riding itself around the area is really a lot of fun. I am hoping that being in Boulder City will mean some good training while I am there. This week, however, is going to be pretty much the exclusive territory of roller riding at night in the driveway. After the last week I've had, it will hopefully be good leg speed work and help me regain some of my pedal stroke. Sunday, 2/7 is one of my favorite crits of the year and I am giving really serious consideration to being on the start line for the Masters 35+ race. It's 50min long- about 45-48min longer than I really want to be pegged at anaroebic threshold... but it's a great course with a short power climb to the finish. The course has always treated me well in the past, so I hope it will again. But first... this week.

I have a couple PowerPoint presentations to create, some research to do and a bunch of demo bikes to build and tune up before packing the trailer full on Thursday. It's gonna be one helluva week... so don't be surprised if I happen to get quite here on the blog for a bit. I'll be back... eventually.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

That felt good!

I already know I didn't blog last night, but it's only because I fell asleep on the couch again at 9:00 after I got my daughter to bed. It's been a long week and it caught up with me.

I got up this morning and cooked breakfast for my daughter and made my cappuccino, before scrambling to get ready for the Weekend Worlds... the Chili's Ride. This morning broke sunny and clear, with lots of standing water and wet roads. The temp was cool but the skies were not black with clouds... it was a perfect morning to ride! I got out the door with barely enough time to ride down and catch the small first group of the Chili's group (one of the local Saturday group training rides). I got down the hill and caught them as they were passing, so I whipped a U-turn and joined them. It was a small but dedicated group. After a little rolling, we were eventually caught by another group doing the same ride and our numbers grew to around 12- 15 riders. Again, much smaller than the usual 40+ riders, but it was a quality group of dedicated riders.

Even though I only had a granola bar and a cappuccino in my belly, my legs were feeling pretty healthy and once the caffeine began to wear off a little, my heart rate settled down a bit. The early accelerations came at the usual spots they always do with the usual suspects, but I was able to stay with the group and even help push the pace a few times. At roughly the midway point of the ride, the first "climb" to challenge our legs came and I was pleased to hang with the leaders much longer than usual. I crested the climb within sight of the leaders and in about 6th place. For me, that was a very good effort. I mean... I started the day at 208.2lbs... not exactly my climbing weight yet. After the climb, we stopped at our usual spot to regroup and refill water bottles. As we rolled off, we laughed about how massively outnumbered I was for the final sprint by my friends on the Adams Avenue Bikes team... about 8 of them against me. We rolled off laughing about how they were going to gang up on me and make it impossible for me to privateer the sprint. Truthfully, I agreed with them- the numbers were NOT in my favor, at all.

We rolled off towards our date with destiny and the final major sprint of Weekend Worlds. I put in a short, but legitimate pull for a few Km on the front... earning my keep in the group. As we headed down the long final few miles of rolling roads toward the sprint, my sprinter's nerves got all tingly with excitement... even knowing how improbable my chances were. The group was rotating well, with the AAB guys drilling the front fairly well to maintain a good tempo. It was clear they owned the ride. I tried to maintain my position in the front group, sitting third wheel as often as I could. As sometimes happens, we hit the final light of the road with a red light and had to slow to a near stop before the light changed and we were able to roll off with a fresh regrouping at the front with new AAB legs to set tempo for the finale!

Two weeks ago, with less ready legs, I was in roughly the same spot- riding the wheels of the leadout- when I nailed a pothole and double flatted. That image kept playing in my mind as I told myself to not repeat that sad performance. When we finally passed the offending potholes, I felt a lot safer, but also knew that the sprint was coming in a few more pedal strokes. I was still in third wheel as the AAB guys, including my friend C-Murder (Chris Michels of Focus Bikes), began to give it the final wind-up. When the lead rider pulled off and Chris began to wind up a sprint/ leadout for their big fast man Everett Hauser who was behind me, I knew I had to go or get swamped. I launched my sprint, deep in the drops and knuckling through the gears with my SRAM shifting (a sprinter's best friend). I was out of the saddle and flogging my scandium bike with all the power I could give the pedals. The chain lagged slightly dropping from the 12t down to the 11t, but once the shift was complete I gave it all I had left- which wasn't much- and ran for the finish with open road ahead of me... and heavy breathing behind me. I allowed myself the chance to peer back behind me through my legs to see that I had the sprint won and crossed the imaginary line with my arms held high! The "victory salute" was half joking with my friends and half honest and sincere elation. I don't know if this is the first time I have won a sprint like this since my crash nearly two years ago, but it was certainly the most satisfying if it wasn't!

After the sprint, my legs were wobbly noodles and my heart rate was damn near hummingbird speed... but I had won. I had won with terrible odds against me and good friends dead set against letting me win. Afterwards, there was plenty of discussion about how unlikely the win had been and how a lesson had been taught by a wily veteran. I admit I was very pleased with myself!

We added an extra few miles to the ride and rode up and over the 52HWy, which is a nasty 4+ mile climb! The group quickly dropped my exhausted ass and put a few KM gap into me as I settled into the best pace I could maintain. We regrouped at the bottom of the descent and I helped Chris with a flat, holding his impressively light Focus Izalco Milram team edition bike. We chatted about the sprint as I told them they'd gotten their revenge dropping me so easily on the climb.

Andrew and I rolled off through the Mission Trails park as the others rolled up and over the Mission Gorge climb. We chatted about our relative lack of condition and about life, etc. We nursed each other along on the final few miles, lending encouragement and support. We enjoyed the sun and lack of rain, though we were drenched to the bone and covered in mud from the water and debris all over the roads of the day's ride.

As we split to go to our respective homes, I was reminded of why it is that I love to ride bikes. Time with friends, healthy competition and a desire to force myself to dig just a little deeper. The ride had been an incredible one on many levels. It was so great to have that first feeling of truly getting something of my old legs back beneath me. Getting a "win"- even if the only prize is bragging rights for a week and the right to give my friends grief for not being to able to keep me from winning the sprint- is such an emotional boost. I'm a long way from being where I want to be, but sticking with the riding during lunch this week as it dumped rain on me, paid off and helped build the base for more miles.

I love riding a bike. I love riding a bike with my friends. I'm glad I keep coming back from these setbacks and frustrations again and again. I'm glad I haven't given up yet. I'm glad I'm actually motivated to buy my racing license again and contemplating racing in a few weeks against riders far better trained and prepared.

I hope your rides this weekend- or whatever it is you like to do- inspire you too. In the end, it's great to be alive and have friends... even friends who can't seem to keep me from winning a sprint that really should've been theirs! (I kid... I kid... sorta...)


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Got too many projects going on, so this is just a short attempt to say that I'll be back this weekend.

Work is so insane with projects and things that need tons of coordination... I've "gone plaid".

See you kids later...


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2 outta 3 ain't bad...

Today's lunch ride ended up being dry! Admittedly, I was a little bummed- I've been enjoying the hard man/ nutjob reputation I've been building (further) in the office. The past 2 days were very rainy, cold and windy. Today was just cold and windy. I finished the ride with a nice hard sprint up the short hill that leads into our parking lot. It was kind of an afterthought, after struggling up the earlier hill toward the office into a crazy-strong headwind, but I was very pleased with the sensation of power getting to the rear tire. I felt strong. I liked it.

Heading out the door...

Standing in the warehouse freezing like a drowned rat...

Part of the power I felt in the sprint no doubt came from the frame, which is the same Scandium prototype I've been riding for more than a year. It's now my "rain bike"- with a blend of Ritchey WCS parts and SRAM Rival drivetrain. The frame is super stiff- lending to that stiffness is the fact the 60cm frame uses the chainstays of a 58cm, so they are super short and keep the rear end MEGA stiff. The frame is an absolute missile! Also lending to that stiffness is the Ritchey WCS Zeta wheels- which I have mentioned before. I love these wheels- sincerely. They are among the best wheels I've ever ridden that weren't built specifically for me. The low profile rim paired with the spoke pattern creates a super stiff wheel that just rails. In the insane winds I was in today and earlier this week, the low profile helped me keep the wheels under control and the bladed Sapim spokes sliced through the wind just fine. All in all, the wheels and frame create an awesome riding machine when stiffness is the order of the day... and chugging into some mean headwinds requires stiffness!

208lbs. That seems to be my current baseline... 208lbs. Now that I'm back on the bike regularly, it's time to start getting serious about my diet again. I've dropped nearly 10lbs since Christmas, but I'm still a few pounds away from that 195 goal and I know I can get there... since I was just there as recently as September. My wife, who is beginning to look HUGE these days, has been very encouraging and has continued to push me to ride and train. I'm enjoying the feeling of getting some power back- all things being relative, 'cause it ain't like I'm about to win le Tour. However... still kicking around the idea of buying the racing license online soon so I can race the Old Guy division of the local crit on 2/7... so we'll see.

I'm not hearing voices in my head yet (well, new ones), but we've gotten tons of the rain we so very desperately need here in SoCal over the past few days. I'm not sure if I've seen heavier rains here since moving to San Diego in 1986, but I know that my drive home tonight was the most challenging one I've had since '86! Wow... tons of standing water on the freeway and nobody sure how to drive in it. It was chaos. If it rains like this for much longer, I'm collecting lumber and animals...


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Masiguy exclusive interview; 2001 UCI MTB World Champion- Alison Dunlap!

Yes, I am a full-on died in the wool jersey road and track geek. I have far more scars (of the physical and emotional kinds) from road and track cycling- though I did tear the PCL in my right knee many years ago (1996 or 97) in a MTB crash. Truth is, I am a devout Bike Nerd- I go to the the church of Bike Nerdery and I have read all the hymns, which means I love all my cycling brethren, regardless of how they choose to celebrate cycling. With that in mind, it is a fantastic privilege to get to present to you an exclusive Masiguy interview with Alison Dunlap!

Alison is the 2001 UCI MTB World Champion and has won more than a dozen US National titles in road, cross and mountain. To say the least, the woman is insanely talented. On top of it, she is rather universally regarded as one of the nicest people in the sport of cycling. Alison and I happen to have a friend in common and through this connection, I was able to get the chance to put a few questions to Alison. (I'm also hoping to eventually get the chance to actually speak with her directly and get a podcast with her... so stay tuned for that as well.)

This 2009/2010 cross season, Alison came out of retirement to do a bit of racing again. Apparently, the racing itch hasn't completely left this amazingly gifted competitor. Though not a full-blown launch into a full season of racing, her ability to rejoin the pointy end of the racing was pretty incredible. With 6 National titles in cross, she obviously knows a thing or two about the the event, so it isn't entirely shocking that she's been able to do so well in what might look like a very short amount of time.

I recently caught up with Alison as she had pretty much wrapped up her season of racing and was preparing for her adventure camps and coaching. Here's how that conversation turned out...


First, Alison, thank you for taking the time to let me ask a few questions. I know you’re a busy person and I am very appreciative for your time.

I have it on fairly good authority that you got into cycling because soccer didn’t really work out for you in college. Since you wanted to get into sports and meet guys, you got into cycling instead. We obviously know that the whole cycling thing worked out for you pretty well- all things considered- so that begs the question; did it work for meeting guys? Were you already “into” skinny guys with shaved legs at that time? Now that you’ve been one of the most successful and decorated cyclists in US cycling history, do you find you prefer guys with shaved legs or hairy legs?

Ironically the guy I started dating my first year of college wasn’t even a student. He was a rock climber and I met him at Garden of the Gods. However I did end having a crush on most of the guys on the Colorado College cycling team. They were all so cute and very friendly and helpful every time we rode together. I don’t think I had ever seen guys with shaved legs before college. I definitely prefer guys with shaved legs!

Living in Colorado, you obviously have a lot of really great places to ride and most riders who have reached a high level of success tend live where they like to ride. When you aren’t home, where do you like to ride and do you have a discipline that you prefer to do most? You’ve won so many races in cross, MTB and road over the years, is there one type of riding you prefer or are you a riding omnivore and anything with two wheels is good?

When I’m not home, I most prefer to ride in Summit County, near Breckenridge. Some of the best trails in Colorado are in Summit County. My favorite riding is above treeline. I still prefer riding my mountain bike. I love my road bike but I get so tired of traffic and angry motorists. The cross bike is great but you can’t do a whole lot with it, other than ride the bike path or the pavement. I have always loved the out of doors, so mountain biking fits in with my lifestyle perfectly.

You’re coaching now; how many athletes are you currently working with and are there any we might know? As a coach and active athlete at the same time, how do you balance your own training with coaching other riders? Do you feel that still being a competitor helps you or hurts you as a coach?

Right now I have eight athletes. During the summer I’ve had as many as eighteen. My most well known athlete is Kathy Sherwin. She raced pro for Kenda. I am also working with Kyle Ashton, one of the top semi-pros from California. Balancing training and coaching was a challenge this year. There were times when I neglected some of my athletes because I was so busy getting ready for a race. On the other hand, being an athlete also helped with my coaching. Makes it easier to relate to my athletes and fully understand their suffering. Haha! It’s also been fun for me to see athletes at races and even race against some of my athletes.

On those epically long rides, how do you stay focused? Do you listen to music while you ride or do you just have that ability to cut out the rest of the world and focus? Did you find it hard to focus on training in your earlier career or later part of your racing career? What do you tell the athletes you coach, to help them find the ability to focus?

On long rides I am usually busy thinking about projects I’m working on, phone calls I need to make, programs I need to write etc. The only time I listen to music is when I ride the bike path. I don’t think it is safe to listen to music while riding on the road. My acute hearing has saved me from many a dangerous situation. On the mountain bike I never get bored. It’s just too much fun! I think it is harder to focus in the later part of my career. There are so many other things that demand my attention, that I feel like cycling gets only a small part of my energy. When I was young and life wasn’t as complicated it was easy to focus on bike racing 100%. I usually tell my athletes that if they can’t focus on their training and racing, their main competitors will. That’s usually enough to motivate someone. Haha!

What is your favorite flavor at Josh-n-John's Ice Cream and has it changed since college?

Coffee has always been my favorite, ever since I was a kid. But now I am in love with Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

Pop Quiz Tech Question; Where is the transmission tensioner and frequency modulator on your cross bike and what does it do?

It balances the inertial q factor with the I drive regulator inside the ovulated shell of the power meter.

We all have our “proudest moments on a bike” – what’s your least proud moment? Mine is from a training ride where the seam on a pair of shorts split all the way from my thigh to my waist, leaving an entire butt cheek in the breeze for the remaining 20-30 miles of my ride. Have you ever had your “assets” in the breeze?

I crashed in a Norba National at Snowshoe, WV in a terribly muddy race. I somehow clipped a tree and tore a big flap into the shorts of my skinsuit. It was around the front of the chamois. As long as I was riding you couldn’t see much. But when I crossed the finish line I immediately grabbed our manager’s towel for cover.

Are there any things that you want to accomplish still on a bike? It’d be hard for many folks to imagine that there could be anything else left for you to do, so maybe the only thing left for you to do is to do a ride across the globe?

The only thing I didn’t accomplish was winning an Olympic medal. Unfortunately that will never happen because I will never be at that level again. But I’m ok with that. I would like to ride the entire Colorado Trail (not all at once) as well as the Continental Divide Trail.

Are there any projects you are really passionate about- either on or off the bike? What gets you motivated to get out of bed each morning?

There really isn’t one thing that I’m most passionate about that gets me out of bed each morning. I have so many things each day that I love to do. I love to eat. I love to play ball with our Border Collie. I love my coaching. I love going out for a ride. I love cooking. I love hanging out with my husband. These are the things that make my life worth living.

You’ve enjoyed a long relationship with the Luna Chix. Is there any one thing that really stands out in your mind from the years? The team has been a big force in women’s cycling in the US over the years. It’s hard to find another example of a team with the kind of footprint and legacy- is that something that you think about ever or is it something that will “sink in” years after you truly retire… for real.

My time on the Luna Pro Team has been amazing! Every year has been a incredible experience. My biggest accomplishment with LUNA was winning the 2002 World Cup Overall. The things I’ll remember the most about being on Luna are the friendships I’ve made. I think that’s what makes this team unique. The riders get along, the staff loves what they do, and the owner of Clif Bar is our biggest supporter. The entire company is behind our team. This is something I’ve always known and that’s a big reason I’m still with the program.

Going back to your collegiate cycling days, were there any rival schools that you really dug deep to try to beat?

We always enjoyed beating CU and CSU.

You have a well-earned reputation of being an incredibly nice person- on and off the bike. Is there anything that actually gets you worked up and angry? Did you ever have a moment where you raced on the fuel of anger?

I get super angry at riders who cheat during a race, or cheat by using drugs. I also get very angry at promoters that don’t support women’s racing. For example, the promoter of Cross Vegas gave the men’s winner $2000 and Katie Compton got a paltry $250 for winning the women’s race. That infuriates me! There is absolutely no excuse for that. Have I ever raced on anger….occasionally but it usually because of something I’ve done. It might be a crash or a stupid tactic that makes me angry. The adrenalin goes way up and I definitely ride harder. 90% of the time I race hard because I feel strong and I’m motivated to do well.

As a public cycling figure, it’s a delicate thing to ask… but I’m gonna anyway; is there any current or past trend in cycling that makes you scratch your head? Helmet mirrors? Knee-high socks? White shorts?

Ok the white shorts thing is absurd, especially in cyclocross. Have you ever tried to wash a white jersey and white pair of shorts after a muddy race? You might as well throw them away. White shorts can also be semi-transparent, which is never a good thing.

Have you ever considered track cycling? I’ve never seen or heard anything about you doing any track cycling, so unless I am missing something, there is at least one more discipline you have the chance to excel at! Seriously- if you haven’t already, maybe you should consider an attack on the track. Points race? Scratch? Maybe even just the Pursuit? You obviously have the engine for intense efforts and Colorado has one of the best tracks in the US… just a thought.

I have only raced one day on the track and I was terrified the entire time. I am still a cat 4 on the track. I have done a lot of motor pacing and interval training on the track when I was focusing on the time trial, especially before the Olympic Trials in 1996. The biggest reason I didn’t race track was because I just didn’t have the time.

What kinds and how many bikes do you have in your garage/ home? What bike is your “go to bike” for just having fun? Is there a bike you once had that you wish you still had?

All of my current bikes are Orbea. I have a road bike, cross bike, 29er, and a sweet full-suspension. I also still have my Olympic bikes from Atlanta and Sydney, and my Worlds bike from Vail. I wish I still had my Santa Cruz Blur. I loved that bike!!

Do you do any work on your bikes yourself or do you have a mechanic who takes care of it all?

I can do basic stuff to my bikes, but anything complicated goes to my husband. He is an awesome mechanic.

Roof rack or rear carrier?

Roof rack.

Romantic ride on a tandem taking in the Colorado vistas or side by side on your favorite ride with that somebody special?

Definitely side by side. I like to be in control.

If calories were no question, what is the one food that you absolutely can not live without?

I love ice cream!

Lastly, what is something that you would want people to know about you that they might not already know? Is there a favorite song, book or movie?

I have played the flute since 4th grade. I am an avid tele skier. I am addicted to LOST. I have been a vegan for the past two years. I love to read. And I love pancakes!


Again, I want to thank Alison for taking the time out of her very busy schedule, as well as our mutual friend Deb for connecting us.

In case you missed the links above and want to learn more about Alison or take advantage of her experience, here you go;

Alison Dunlap (via Wikipedia)

Alison Dunlap Adventure Camps

Alison Dunlap Coaching

And you can also find Alison periodically on Twitter; @ADCoaching

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!


Monday, January 18, 2010

If you can- help Haiti

I was going to write about my lunch ride in the rain today- it was cold, wet, windy and lots of fun- but as I was thinking about how spoiled I am to have a "rain bike" that is better than a lot of other people's race bikes, I was suddenly struck again by the tragedy in Haiti. I found it hard to find the words to celebrate how fortunate I am, when the images of the destruction and loss in Haiti are so powerful.

The economy in the US is still limping along, but we're seeing nothing like what Haiti has gone through already for decades. Before last week's 7.0 earthquake, Haiti was already one of the poorest nations in the world- right at our doorstep. Since the earthquake, the suffering of the people of Haiti has been unbelievable and unimaginable. Estimates of the death toll are now eclipsing 100,000 and there are many areas still to be investigated. It is no exaggeration to call this the worst disaster in this part of the hemisphere in many, many decades. Needless to say, the people of Haiti really need our help.

If you're like me, it isn't like you're swimming in money- lord knows my bills come and go with plenty of "juggling". Still, I'd venture to suggest if you are reading this, then you likely have a few dollars- even just $5-10- that you could spare without feeling the burn for too long. The fact is, every single penny helps right now. Haiti needs our help and I hope that we'll all find a way to give what we can.

Here are a few links to help you help Haiti;
American Red Cross
Google Haiti Crisis Response page (lots of good information)
Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund

Thank you,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 2 of 2 hour rides

I guess 2day was my 2-fer, of sorts; my 2nd day of 2hr rides... although 2day was more like 2.5hrs (2:22:45), but who's counting? (Aside from me, that is.)

I got another 43.59mi in today, mostly along the coast before the rains began to arrive. I first left the house without my arm warmers, but had to turn around and get them as the temp began to drop as soon as I rolled out the door. The winds were beginning to pick up and the temp was dropping, but the tunes were playing and the legs were turning. Yesterday's ride just never felt quite right, with the hear rate too high and the lungs not feeling all that lung-ish. Today was not a 180 degree reversal, but it was a big difference- even riding solo in the wind.

Yesterday, I just never felt like I was getting things to "click", but today was different. The wind was a real battle at times, but overall I felt so much better and more fluid. The pedals didn't feel like they were fighting me and I felt like I was able to sustain power longer, though I still felt like an old-fat-outta-shape-guy when going uphill. At more than 200lbs, it's clear that I am not in my earlier mountain goat shape of (many) years past. BUT... it was good to feel like I was giving power to the pedals from the base of the climb to the top of it... well, mostly.

The best feeling was that I was able to recover from a less than stellar day yesterday and ride a lot better today. That gives me hope. Maybe, just maybe, I can return to some level of fitness this year. Not feeling completely like crap has me considering racing at one of the local crits- which I have won in the past- on February 7th, 2 days after returning from a week long trip to Nevada, where I will be riding while working. It might be a great way to test how far off the back I am, compared to all those who have been training hard all winter. Luckily, I know the course really well and have a good record of placings there, so I can ride the race more on brains than legs... if I focus. However, sadly, it's a 50 minute race (which I am not prepared for) and it's a 1/2/3/4 field... which means it's gonna be damned fast!

We'll see...

I spent part of the day working with my daughter on a school "Biomimicry" project for Science Night. It's an inventor's project, where you are only limited by imagination and not reality. The assignment was to "invent" something that mimics nature, but does not necessarily have to be "good for the environment"... but is not allowed to be destructive or gross. Easy enough! So, Punkin created Robo Turtle; it's a mechanical turtle that patrols the forest at National or State parks eating litter and transforming it into toys for kids that can't buy their own. The shell is made of solar panels that supply power and recharge a master battery. When it is full, it returns to the home base to be emptied and then returns to look for more litter. It also has sensors to alert the Rangers if there are forest fires. This way, less privileged kids can have free toys, the rangers can concentrate on real work and the parks can stay clean and trash free! (Is it any wonder why I love this kid?)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

And so it goes...

Yes- for those keeping score, I fell asleep again last night before I could get on the rollers. There... I admit; I'm getting old. Time for dinner at 4:00, re-runs of Matlock and Murder She Wrote and bed by 9:00. I guess it's all down hill from here... well, until the baby is born.

So, umm, yeah... I was asleep by 9:00, but at least this time I managed to make it to my bedroom first. My neck was killing me, so I tried to lie on the bed with my head hanging to the side- turns out that was kinda comfortable. Oh well.

Today I took my daughter to her dance and guitar lessons- the punkin is too damned cute! Her mother is the one who has set up both the dance and guitar lessons, so I can not take any credit for being anything other than a chauffeur and bystander. Still, it's amazingly cute to watch a room full of 5-9yr old girls doing tap and jazz dance. How I don't get caught giggling is beyond me.

Ann went swimming before the classes, so after we got home from the lessons, I hopped on the bike for a 2hr-ish ride. The weather is starting to turn, since there are storms coming, so the wind was a little bit of a factor... though not that much. The skies were cool and grey, so the temp was beginning to drop as I headed out around 2:00. My legs felt ok- the power was there when I was trying to push the pedals, but I never felt very good overall. My heart rate was consistently too high and I always felt a bit short of breath. Just felt "off" the entire time. My neck and shoulders were unhappy, the cardio systems was wonky... but the legs didn't seem to mind the work. So, who knows... we'll see what happens tomorrow morning when I get out again. Stats; 1:56:32, 17.6av/33.9mx MPH, 34.33mi, 75av/128mx RPM- HR was somehow lost... but the numbers were not favorable anyway. It was nice that I didn't feel even worse after 2 days of not riding and the little bit of leg weights I did yesterday. Maybe I'll survive after all... maybe.

I began the day around 207lbs and was down to 203.8 after the ride. Still not close to my fighting weight... but closer than I was a few weeks ago!


Friday, January 15, 2010

I fell asleep!

I know I missed my blog post yesterday/ last night, but I have a really lame excuse at least; I laid down on the floor to stretch out my back and ended up falling asleep around 8:30 instead and didn't wake up until around 11:30... so I just got up and went to bed. Apparently, I was actually tired.

Yesterday was also the long-awaited first doctor visit with my wife's new doctor- the one who will be delivering our baby in April. This was Ann's first ever doctor visit in the US, so it was a totally different experience for her. I'm glad I was there to keep her company and help with "translating", not to mention just simply having the chance to meet the woman who will be holding my daughter even before I get the chance. As it turns out, she also delivered one of my nephews and comes highly recommended. Needless to say, we were both really put at ease. I think we both left feeling a lot more relaxed.

Meet the newest Jackson! I can tell by the fist pump she's giving me here that she's gonna be every bit as awesome as her sister.

And she's already showing signs of a meaty brain. Hopefully she has the brain of her mother, just like her sister.

She was being stubborn and was lying face down and looking away for the entire sonogram, so I didn't get a chance to see her eyes yet, but I'm sure they're beautiful!

Yesterday was also the 3rd day of sushi for lunch... and I loved every single morsel of it. However, since Ann has to avoid certain fish because of the pregnancy, telling her about my sushi dining has me sleeping with one eye open these days. (A man can never be too careful around a pregnant woman.)

If I can manage to keep from falling asleep tonight, I'm hopping back on the rollers tonight. I need to burn calories! The weight isn't falling off as quickly as I'd like- guess I might have to go back to watching what I eat... maybe. I did make a few detours to our little weight room at work today whenever I was downstairs in the warehouse. A quick pit stop to the weight bench to bang out a couple sets of leg extensions... just a little. You know... just to keep a little power building. (It's killing me to not be down there every day doing squats!)

For all the weather-related trash talking I was doing recently, things are about to get a lot ickier around here starting Sunday with a good week+ of rain expected, along with cooler temps. We desperately need the rain though, so it's worth the lack of sunshine for a bit... even if it does turn me into a huge whiner.

To cap off the cavalcade of Masiguy-ness, I leave you with this;

It's like 1983 all over again... just more glossy.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On a roll(ers) still...

Today was another very busy day, of course, especially after being out of the office the past two days. The highlight of the day was having a "working lunch" with Lance Camisasca and Chad Battistone of Lifeboat Events. Sure, getting to have sushi for lunch was a big part of it, but I sincerely enjoyed the lunch that Jill Hamilton (Haro MTB/ Adult Brand Manager) and I got to have with Lance and Chad. It is the people you meet and get to know in this industry that make all the difference. Truly. The sushi was good, but best part of all was the conversation... and we all know that I live for conversations.

Since today was such a busy day and I had to leave the office early to get Masidaughter 1.0 from school, there was no lunchtime ride. This meant hitting the rollers tonight, which I haven't done- apparently- in a couple months because I was suffering like a pig! The short 45 minutes that I managed to survive was anything but pretty. The first 10min were bad and I really had to talk myself into staying on the rollers and getting the ride done. My goal going outside tonight was 40min... hoping I'd go to 45, which I did. So, small victory... of sorts. Riding the fixed, I was able to lay down the following- 46:11, 19.0av/ 39.0mx MPH, 14.68mi, 86av/ 178mx RPM, 125av/ 162mx HR. Nothing spectacular, by any means. The first 40+min were pretty easy and I kept things as smooth as I could. Spinning 46x16, holding a cadence of 90RPM was the goal, but I was just short of it. I finished up with one good hard effort and seated sprint... then I rolled up and down the street for a few minutes to cool down a bit. The legs were stiff and heavy at first and finished stiff and slightly less heavy feeling... but it was a good starting point and momentum keeper.

Some stupid stats; weighed 210.6 before the ride and 209.6 after, quads 25" and calves 17.5".

Tomorrow morning is the rescheduled doctor visit for my wife and I. Her first US doctor visit and our first visit with the doctor who will- hopefully- be delivering our daughter... Masidaughter 2.0. We're excited, of course, and a little apprehensive... but we're more excited than not. I have to admit that it's awfully "cute" to watch my 5' wife slowly adapt to being pregnant with the child of a 6'3", 200+lb bike nerd. She's got a slight "waddle" now (and she'd kill me if she read this) and is just beginning to strain to sit down or stand up... but she's still in the pool at the YMCA every single morning. She looks as fit as ever... just a LOT rounder in the middle.

I will leave you with this, since it played on my iPod tonight during my roller ride and is one of my all-time favorites...

Rock on!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Almost like a day off... almost.

I was gonna excuse myself from posting tonight, but my new found drive is forcing me to try...

I spent the entire day at a seminar on managing multiple tasks and projects. I need the help, for sure, so it was a good experience. Many of the things they teach in classes like this would fall into the "common sense" category, but for some reason as humans we tend to ignore such things until somebody else says "you should be doing this___". Creativity is my strong suit. Organization is not. Needless to say, I further recognize the need to get better at organization after today.

The seminar was just 2.5 miles from my home, so after I dropped my daughter off at school, I drove home and then rode my SoulVille to the hotel for the seminar. It was so awesome to be on a bike on a gorgeous day, passing stopped cars in traffic... usually my commute consists of an hour-long drive. I didn't get to ride for fitness today, so being able to have two short commute rides was a pretty nice consolation prize.

Be on the lookout soon for a special guest interview here. I hinted at it the other day, but it's soon to become a reality. Exclusive content in only the way you would expect from me... so it will hopefully be fun. I know I am looking forward to it, big time!

Also, I'm still thinking up a contest. Maybe even two. Since I have the company site blog to work with as well, might have the "big one" (bike frame?) there and then a smaller one (t-shirt?) here. Who knows... maybe I'll even autograph the t-shirt for the winner... maybe.

Ok, stay tuned for more great goodness and Masi-geekery. I have plenty of the latter...


Monday, January 11, 2010

Sore (not soar)...

So today I am sore. After a few days of good, hard efforts... I'm sore. Mostly my back/ neck, right between the shoulder blades and from the base of my neck to the middle of my back. The muscles there are still getting used to being put to use again. Plus, I still can't quite straighten my right arm, so the tricep is always having to do a lot of work. By the time I finish a ride, my right tricep is usually barking pretty hard... some rides I finish with the muscle in full spasm. Oddly, my legs are in the least bit of discomfort.

I rode for an hour in between appointments today. My legs were tired, but otherwise "ok"... it was my back/ neck/ shoulders that were complaining the most. It wasn't an excellent hour, with lots of speed or power... but it was an hour outside in the sun again. Since I intended the ride to be more of a recovery ride, I hopped on my fixed for the spin and rode around the bay for a bit; 1:00:33, 16.4av/ 30.1mx MPH, 16.66mi, 75av/ 134mx RPM, 136av/ 167mx HR. Again, nothing spectacular at all, but a good spin for the legs. The last rise back to my apartment felt like l'Alpe d'Huez on my 46x16... but I made it home to have lunch.

The big appointment of the day was the visit to see my wife's new doctor, who will be delivering our daughter... but the appointment was rescheduled (without us knowing) due to office remodeling. So now, all the anxiety that had built up now has to fester for another couple days for our next attempt on Thursday morning. Hopefully this time we'll actually see a doctor! My poor wife is already not too excited about getting to know a new doctor... but this just makes it worse for her... and, well, me too. So far, my wife is the only one who has "seen" our daughter when she visited her doctor in Taiwan last month. I've only seen her as a photo from the sonogram... but I can feel her moving all the time now and my wife is convinced she stops kicking her in the organs when I place my hand on her stomach- "she's knows it's Daddy", she always says.

Tomorrow is another day out of the office, though this time for a seminar on managing multiple projects. I need the help and I am hoping I come out of the seminar with some great new tools. Things are just moving far too fast these days and I want to get better at organizing my efforts and time. A man can dream, right... Luckily, the seminar is a few blocks from my home in downtown, so once I drop my daughter off at school, I will stop at home and grab a bike so I can ride to the seminar and not have to pay for parking... AND be on a bike!

Alright... that's all I've got for today... with a Moment of Zen...


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another day in the sun on a bike!

Let's get the numbers out of the way... shall we? 2:28:34, 18.3av/ 41.1mx MPH, 45.65mi, 74av/ 221mx RPM, 150av/ 175mx HR. I rode from my place up the coast to Solana Beach via Sorrento Valley and then headed back home via Torrey Pines. I won't pretend that I felt awesome, but I did feel better than I expected after the good two hours yesterday. Truthfully, I probably started the ride off a little harder than I shoulda, but I got into an early rhythm after my legs loosened up. The bulk of the ride North seemed almost exclusively headwind, while the return trip was more crosswind than tailwind (how is that possible).

I climbed Torrey with a good rhythm and actually felt pretty good, all things considered, but it was humbling to remember the days when I climbed the hill in my big ring at 17-20MPH instead of in the small ring and almost in the bailout gear, inching along at 10MPH. Granted, I was also 30+ lbs lighter when I climbed like that. But still...

The last 5 miles of the ride felt like pedalling through molasses, as my legs began to fade away quickly. I'm not sure if it was the cumulative effect of two days of riding hard or lack of proper fueling along the way... but I was riding on some pretty shaky fumes by the time I had to climb up the last mean climb, Washington, to get back home. I crested the climb in the granny gear and just short of wobbling... but I made it home with an exhausted smile.

I hope I can keep this momentum going as long as possible- I'm hoping to have a date with destiny June 12-13 for California State Master's Track Championships. I'd like to hallucinate that I could get fit enough to contend for a medal in one of my events... so I'll need a lot more wobbly days on the bike!

I admit that I am luckier than I deserve some days. Thanks to the connections I have through a good friend in Denver, I've gotten the chance to "meet" Alison Dunlap in the past few months. I'm not even a "real mountain biker" and getting to email with a former World Champion is pretty exciting to me. I mean... she IS Alison Dunlap after all! I watched a lot of her racing career, from the multiple national titles in cyclo-cross and MTB, all the way to those rainbow stripes. She's an amazing ambassador for the sport, as well as an incredibly nice person. Needless to say, each time I get an email from her, I get pretty excited when I see her name pop up in my email... I mean... Alison Dunlap!

Anyway, here's a part of the last email I got today;

"I'm doing my first live forum on on Tuesday from 11-2pm PST."
Alison is kinda new to jumping into the online world and Social Media- which is part of how we got introduced- so this forum is new and exciting for her. If you have the time and desire to ask a question or two of a World Champion, former Olympian and coach... you should swing by and drop her a note... tell'er the Masiguy sent you! (FYI... stay tuned here for a possible upcoming exclusive Masiguy interview/"funterview" with Alison...)

You've hopefully heard of this; if not, I suggest checking it out and joining to help stop hateful stupidity. I'm all for freedom of speech, but hate speech is kinda hard to defend. Take a second to join the group and leave a message of encouragement and support, if you're so inclined.

Big day tomorrow- my wife and I go to the doctor for her first US doctor visit and baby check up. Needless to say, we're both on pins and needles in anticipation. It's gonna be a big, exciting day... to say the least.

Alright, I'm beat... heading to bed. See you kids in the daylight.