Saturday, July 23, 2005


Thoughts on Milwaukee: Miller, fireworks, happy people (probably b/c it is summer time)

Saturday, July 23,

I wake up at 8:15am, and realize I am still tired, no good, not a good night of sleep. Get moving in the morning and head to a few bike shops to grab all the gear I need (they don't all have the things I need). Also hit a Verizon store to update my cell phone plan (need more minutes)!! So buy a few new tires, and throw them on my bike. They should be faster, but conditions need to stay good for it. I register for the race, talk with a few racers I recognize, and ask advice on tire selection from a few of the pros. Decide it is time to test my new tires and head out on another pre-ride....and they feel great. Def faster over the hard-packed trails. BUT, I then break my chain on a power climb up a hill, lucky this didn't happen race day, I would be pissed! First chain I have broken...EVER! What is up with all these technical problems in the past week...I don't like it! I fix the chain, only to see a storm coming upon me. No good, it starts pouring as a huge storm moves through. Trail gets nasty quickly, the tires get a little squirmy, but are holding better than I expected. Not how I was hoping to spend my last pre-ride getting ready for the gets nasty out. Finally finish up a lap on the bike, and start calling the bike shops to see if anyone is still open. I find a bike shop that can make the repair, and I end up having to replace a few other parts also...spent nearly $300 in the bike shops today...I guess doing my part to support the local economy ;) The good news? My bike is running smoother than it has in months! Maybe this is a good thing?!?!

I grab a quick pasta dinner, and then go to catch a professional road bike race the guy in the bike shop told me about. It is a road crit, which consists of 68 laps around a .8 mile loop right in the city. It is totally awesome!! These guys are FLYING around the lap...very cool!! And great for spectators as you see them each lap. The bike shop has a tent set up with free brats and beer...I am starting to really like Milwaukee!! The race had a really exciting finish over the last 5 laps, with different guys trying to break-away from the lead pack of 7 racers (who were about a half lap ahead of the peloton of ~100 riders). Good times. Got back to the townhouse to wind down and prep for the race the next day...and heard some fireworks going off. I went up to the roof-top deck and had a perfect view of a 15 min firework COOL! I live for fireworks (and playing with fire) ;)

Bed time, big championship race tomorrow!

Friday, July 22

Packed up camp and drove up to Milwaukee. Oh yeah, and my car does not have the most desirable smells coming from it right now either...ugh! Hit some traffic along the way, but a pretty short drive. I first went over to the race site to check out the set-up. I then shot over to meet up with the guys I am staying with. They have a sweet townhouse, right in the city. They seem like pretty nice guys (and I am so thankful they are hosting me b/c there is no where else to stay in the city). I decide it is time for my first pre-ride on the race course. I quickly realize the trails are pretty hard-packed and I may need to try another tire (faster one with less tred) on my bike for the race. The bike shops are closed so that is first thing on my list of things to do Sat morning. The trails are pretty sweet, and I am just hoping we are allowed to use our wetsuit for the 1.5k swim in the lake. Water temp is currently 68 (we can use them if temp us under 74).

Grab a quick bite at Bucca di Beppo....great food! Starting to get my carb load for race day.

Get back to the townhouse (which has pool table and roof-top deck over looking the city)...which makes it great for entertaining...which is all good, but it is my most important night of sleep for my race. The guys all head out, I crash, but then they start loudly trickling in at 12:30am, 1:30am, 3:15am...woken up each time...I feel like I am at some frat house~!


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