Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This guy raced against Andy Daley last year!

Last year these were the highlights for Matthew Busche: 

2009 Highlights (from his RadioShack profile) 1st – Wisconsin State Road Championship 1st – Sussex 1st- Chiropractic Partners crit. 1st- Chiropractic Partners time trial 1st – Tour of America’s Dairyland 1st – La Rue-Denzer-La Rue 4th – Stage 4 – Tour of Utah 5th – National Championships Road Race 5th – Stage 3 – Vuelta a Chihuahua 6th – Stage 2 – Univest GP 7th – Overall – Tour of Utah 9th – Overall – Univest GP 9th – Prologue – Vuelta a Chihuahua 10th – Stage 6 – Tour of Utah
Do these race names look familiar???? I mean this guy was racing against the one and only Andy Daley

Well this year Matthew goes out on group rides with the likes of "Big" George Hincapie and Chicago's CVV and his team is owned by some guy with a little experience in big bike races

If you want to read about what its like to go from racing at the same races as us to racing in Europe with the best athletes in the world check out his blog, http://matthewbusche.blogspot.com/

I enjoyed this post about eating..... or lose his love for eating

Thanks to my teammate Danno for turning me on to this blog!

Monday, April 26, 2010

All to be Govorner of Texas

My teammate Bryan wants to be the governor of texas one day, this is so important to Bryan that he wont be spotted without a united states flag lapel pin when he is suited up. I mean if that pose doesnt say future governor of texas i dont know what does. Bryan cares so deeply about sitting behind the governors desk in austin texas that he even purchased a red white and blue helmet. Up until the Whitnall Park Spring Classic this past weekend bryan had sported this red white and blue helmet refusing the adhere to the Ken Mitchell's stringent fashion instructions. (notice Ken's tires match his hoods which match his wrist band which match his shoes which match his kit which accent his helmet which is accented with a hat that go well with his socks which are the same shade of black as his sunglasses)

 Now that Bryan has switched over to a conventional racing helmet has he ruined his chances of ruling the state of texas? Check out the difference in bryan's appearance in the pack, how will his fans pick him out of the group? In the past all they had to do was look for the red white and blue of bryan's helmet, it was easy to spot. Kids called him captain america and adults saluted him as he passed. Will this treatment continue with bryan's new lid? It is yet to be seen but it is clear that bryan is finally looking more pro and adhering to the strict spidermonkey fashion policy. I mean Bryan captured a second place in his first race in the new dome a clear indication that looking pro makes you faster.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whitnall Park Spring Classic

The alarm rang early, the gear was packed, i brewed some coffee and then we went racing. Dan, Bryan and myself ventured up to Hales Corners, Wisconsin to do a little bike racing today. I would provide a course description, but I prefer to leave that to the expert. (If it wasn't for the outstanding preview i am not sure i would have dragged myself out of bed this morning)

When the week started the idea of racing my bike this weekend sounded awful, i had a disappointing race the weekend before; mainly due to user error. But then the weekend preview came out on Chicagobikeracing.com, and Dan and Bryan stated chatting about a Saturday trip to Wisconsin, and the next thing i know i was racing today.

Before the race Bryan insisted that our plan for the first couple laps should be to sit in, relax and then formulate a strategy to attack this course. With 80 feet of climbing a lap it would be important to conserve our legs for a final push towards the line. However, as the race started (I had a terrible clip-in again today, thanks for asking) Bryan charged to the front, with bryan driving a medium pace I took the opportunity to go off the front, not with any sort of vigor but enough to open up the legs and erase the nerves.

It is very important to mention the weather today, the weather happened to be a important factor in today's race. It was cold (about 7 degree Celsius) with a rain shower that picked up in intensity as the race neared its conclusion. In order to deal with the wet and cold conditions Dan and I decided to layer on the Mad Alchemy embrocation that Bryan had brought with him (thanks Mike Shea). Embrocation is fun, if you've never given it a try i highly recommend it, its the gift that keeps on giving (or burning).

Okay enough about embrocation back to racing. After my little leg opener the field settled in. I made a point to care more about my position in the pack today, and for the first couple laps i made sure to sit near the front (not on the front there is a big difference) to avoid any nonsense that that was sure to happen in the back of the 4/5 pack, there was a crash at some point but i cant provide any details (it was behind me). I stayed in the top 20 for most of the day and avoided my tendency to slide to the back of the pack for no reason; great success, but would it pay off?

All the attacks (i don't remember many) were chased down, and with 4 laps to go it was time to figure out how to make a statement today. Its at this point I made sure to find my way to the back of my teammates wheels, its just more comfortable to race wheel to wheel with your training buddies. I knew that I should stick like glue to the back of bryan's wheel, he would be able to take me to the promise land. As we charged through the start finish the the bell rang and it was go time, last lap, time to HTFU. We jockeyed for position on the down hill side of the the course, I was sitting top ten as we entered the final turn into the first of three uphill sections. The attacks started up the first hill, I mashed my gears to stay glued to the bryan's wheel through the first and second hill, at this point i am pretty sure a gap of about 5 or 6 riders was established. As we crested the final hill I turned the pedals with everything i had in order to maintain contact with the group. The group remained together as we came down the hill and the sprint began. I was sitting on bryan's wheel but i couldn't come over the top, Kaleb of IS Corp took the sprint ahead of Bryan. I rolled across 4th, my best result in quite some time. The car ride home was fun (got to love when Journey comes on the radio, right?), its always good to come away from a race with two top 5's and (hopefully a couple of upgrade points).

The course was awesome the repeated hill climbs really took it out me today, registration was smooth and the races were on time, thanks to Team Wisconsin for putting on a fantastic event.

Next week, its time for Vernon Hills, lets hope we can have some more results.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Friday

this has absolutely nothing to do with cycling but it will make you laugh!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Leland Kermesse

I'm not exactly sure what the final distance tally was, but the 60 or so miles we traveled were rough.

We set out in a normal fashion for a day in the sun...and the wind. The race blew up halfway through the first lap and somehow I found myself in the second chase group. We stared at Popper and his group up the road, followed by another group...and then my group (introductions to follow). I counted 10 guys up the road and new that unless we sucked up a guy we were racing for eleventh; the pace of the front group was too fast to be caught in the cross winds and gravel.

As we made the right hand turn for the third lap I took inventory (because I am an auditor in the professional service industry by day) and counted four friends and gave them a unique identifier:
1) John "I have purple jawbones and a giant Redbull in my pocket"
2) Yeomen "How far is this race?(smile)...How much left? (smile)"
3) Mike "I'm wearing what appears to be an offwhite long sleeve T-shirt under my jersey"
4) Tyler "Yea, I'll have a sip of that Redbull, thanks!"

We rode in a paceline that was determined to not get caught. We chased the whole the second lap and the groups ahead of us just fizzled, but we didn't exactly lose energy or tempo. We rotated to the left...then to the right...then road over gravel...then we did it again...and so on and so forth. 3 hours in the saddle is a long time. I loved every second of it.

I wish I was behind popper going into the gravel for the first time...

For the love of the suffer,
Bryan Witry

That's my racing mustache!

Like I wrote about on thursday, I wore a mustache for my race this last weekend. The race didn't go all that well but the mustache was amazing! I went with the Cozza, that guy knows how to grow a mustache.

Race report later today, it wasn't a good race!
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

I got a beard, its going to be some sort of mustache, but why type?

So for the last two weeks i have been growing a beard (not sure if choosing not to shave is really growing a beard but lets go with it). I think the beard needs to be no more, but before that happens I want to race this weekend with some sort of interesting facial hair, preferably a mustache. Here are some great mustaches, which style should i choose? Let me know what you think in the comments.

The DZ Nutz Stache'

The many staches of cozza 

The Costner (think American Flyers)

The Pirate (rest in peace Marco) 

The Floyd

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hillsboro 2010

The outlook calender was set for an 8am appointment back in February to register for this race and last Saturday the race finally happened, and then the pain happened. This race was all that I expected, hilly, rough roads, tough turns and the bricks, oh the bricks is where it all went wrong for me.

We traveled to Hillsboro on Friday afternoon. I rode down with my teammates Dan and Bryan. Its always fun to go on a racing road trip, except of course for the hotel stays (avoiding the Super 8 next year). When we arrived in Hillsboro Dan, Bryan and I went for a pre-ride of the last hill and the bricks section that lead to the finishing straight. The bricks didn't seem that bad, I had been making a point of riding a brick section on my training route to ready for this race. The last hill was bigger than I expected, but all and all I wasn't too concerned about the finishing loop, mistake! This loop would turn out to be the end of my race on the first lap.

Race day arrived and the excitement my was high, we had our morning coffee and breakfast and heading out to the course to meet up with the rest of the team (Ben, Trent, Drew, Brandon, and Chase). We had a six man Cat 4's team for this race, my game plan was to hang on for the first lap and then see what I had left. I had packed myself with food that morning and had three bottles (2 gatorade 1 water), 4 gu's and 3 shot blocks with me for the race. At 58 miles eating and drinking on the bike would be critical to success. 

Dan making a nutella and banana sandwich and the rest of our prerace supplies. 

We all started staging for the race about 25 minutes before the start, everyone wanted good position to start the race as the roads were narrow and moving up during the race was going to near to impossible. Standing in the staging area for that long was torture, I tried to stay loose before the race and luckily I was staged next to a bunch of the cuttin' crew guys those guys bring the fun, I mean come on they come on a bus!

The race started and we set out for a 58 mile race, the longest distance I have ever raced. We weaved our way out of town and when the neutral start was over we hit the gas, well kind of. The field seemed to slow regularly and taking the turns in the middle of the pack was unnerving, around one corner I lost my back wheel a little and felt the bike start to go sideways, I un-clipped the the inside pedal to stabilize and steadied the bike saved the turn and sprinted back into the pack. I found my teammate Dan and he helped me find a safe postion about mid pack where stayed for much of the first lap.

The turns didint get any easier as pace picked up, I looked down and realized we were coming into the last 1/3 of the first lap. The race was stressful, I buzzed a wheel, the roads were tough and life midpack was not easy. I remember looking up at Bryan and Chase who sat top 20 nearly all day and thought, those guys are riding great races, I need to get up there. However moving up at Hillsboro is no easy task (unless you are too cool to obey the center line rule, there were a bunch of you out there). As we came into the final hill I made a move to try to gain position, I shifted into my small ring. This may have been a mistake, but I had to keep a high cadence and dodge all the riders who couldn't keep the pace up the hill. I thought I had climbed up the hill well, but a small gap had developed between my front wheel and the group that would decide the race.

As we turned towards the down hill leading into the bricks the gap had grown, I wasn't paying close enough attention to the race ahead of me, and then I realized the race was riding away from me. It was all about to be over, it was crushing. As we flew towards the bricks I remember thinking "I should be freaked out, I flying down this hill on a piece of really expensive plastic toward a road made fully of bricks" but that thought went away quick. As I hit the bricks I made a last ditch effort to try to get back to the group, I hammered across the bricks, losing a bottle full of gatorade to the bricks, damn!
As I made the final turn off the bricks into the finishing straight I was done, I had gone so far into the red trying catch back on I could barely turn the pedals. As the pack continued to ride away from me I thought how cruel of a sport cycling is, its so demoralizing to watch a group ride away, they look so close but they just keep getting smaller, and then it hurts more.

Off the back a gruppetto formed, we attempted to start a rotating pace line, it wasn't until this day that I realized not every team practices rotating pace lines, thanks for Bryan Merrill for teaching me how to do this it saved my life that day. Our gruppetto grew in size and but the number of people wanted to actually pull threw did not. I put a lot of effort into pulling the gruppetto, as the pack rode away I promised myself that I would finish this race and I would not stop racing my bike. A big thanks to Paul Miner from Spin Doctors for monster pulls that saved me during the last 5 miles. As the gruppetto came to the final hill I gave it everything I had, made it into the final turn with four others and as we raced our way across the bricks I looked under my arm and saw that the spin doctors rider was spent, I felt bad that guy worked his heart out. I finished 44th out of about 110 or so riders, I had finished the race, worked as hard as I could. I crossed the line in terrible pain, and felt empty, if it wasnt for the 20oz coke I had in the cooler and the cliff power protein bar Nate threw at me i am not sure i would have made it. The coke was so good that when I saw my buddy Jared from xxx (whom I had just spent the last 1 1/2 hrs riding next to off the back with) I told him "you got to try this, its the best thing I have ever had.

This race was epic, it really felt like i was riding a classic, with the narrow roads, dodgy turns and brick roads not mention the daunting distance. Thanks to everyone who was involved with putting this race on. I can't wait to go back next year!

The most impressive feats of the day came after the race, on the way home all the Burnham boys and spidermonkeys stopped at the steak and shake for a feast, it was a great meal and a very impressive displaying of eating. I am not sure that I tasted my food, quite frankly i think i inhaled everything they put in front of me. In the picture notice the veteran move on Dan Pollards part, he ordered a chicago style hot dog as a side cart to his burger, we were all envious of his brilliance.

We flew what Eric tagged Air Iden on the way home, we sat coach, but it was still a smooth ride.

Later that night I ventured out for a night on the town, that's right my roommate and I completed a 58 mile road race, drove 4 hrs home, and then went out to party for his birthday, the picture below was taken about 230 am, a mere 18 hrs after the day started.

Well next up another Tuesday in Matteson!

Keep the Rubber Side Down

The Hillsboro Recovery Ride

Tip for the day, make your recovery ride after a race fun, for example ride through the park and take pictures mocking the statues.

Hillsboro 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Its almost time for hillsboro!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Opening the Matteson Season

Last night I made the trip down south the Matteson Il, the South Chicago Wheelman put on training crits around the Ace Hardware Paint Factory. There are three races of various length around a 1km oval with sweeping wide turns, points are accumulated for the night, but results aren't why I race there. Matteson is where you learn to race. When I stated racing last year I was terrible, I would get dropped. My excess weight and lack of fitness were my main racing limiters. By late May /early June I had taken care of the excess weight and managed to improve my fitness, but I still wasn't racing very well. I quickly realized that I was simply scared to turn in the pack. I would lose position and burn myself out chasing back to the group. So I went to Matteson and somehow a night of racing there fixed the problem. The pressure free atmosphere really clammed me down, and I was able to work on my turning, after that night at Matteson my fear of turning in the pack was gone and I was able to hold the pack in races, I learned how to race that night.

Last night's training crits kicked off the SCW Tuesday Night Series for the season. The weather was great, 80 degrees at the start, however the winds were strong. Here is a summary of the three B (4/5) races from last night.

Race 1: 8 laps - Riders attempt to strech the field's legs with an attacks (self included), nothing succeeds, field calms down, a few riders pull threw, pace is nice, ken from Bellum Racing rides away from group to the win.

Race 2: 18 laps - Pace starts quick, I attack early just to have some fun, others attack, all is brought together, others attack, with 2 to go Ken attacks, I almost cook the second turn of the last lap trying to chase down Ken, have to touch the brakes to readjust, i save it. Ken rides away to another win.

Race 3 -8 laps - I attack from the start (after saying at the start "I refuse to chase Ken this time"), open a nice gap, scw guy comes to work with me, wind sooo strong it dies after one lap, for the next 3 or 4 laps I continue with attacks that go no where. Ken rides off the front to another win. I finish 3rd in the sprint.

All and all it was a great workout, threw down a bunch of attacks which was a goal for the night, worked the legs and got a out of work riding in the wind, that will be good prep for the race this week.

Hope to be down on the southside again next week.

Tonight the Wednesday Night Ride begins, see you at JJ Peppers.  

Why you should race Matteson by Luke

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Flanders Day or Easter

7am ride to tower with a pass of the cobbles!
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

What you missed this afternoon

Since the rain made riding this morning unpleasant I went for an afternoon ride on the lake front path with a detour to northerly island.

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Nice Work Matt!

Matt Smith is very proud of this sign.

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