Friday, December 29, 2006


Buon Natale e auguri! or somthing like that. I'm in Sicily right now. With Clara and her parents. having a swell time. a few pics of the area. plenty more to come. but remember, Europe hasn't discovered the internet yet.

Clara's mom loves stray dogs. and we learned that stray dogs like power bars!
I think I rode out there...
A beautiful lady and a beutiful view
Not sure what was going on here. looks like an Italien sausage fest to me.
Mount Etna. a volcano, and a biggie.
Ciao for now

Saturday, December 16, 2006

signed, sealed, delivered

I'm yours.

4 years of college, degree. in the books. Finished up on Tuesday and it feels good. Not amazing or earth shattering in any way, but it is nice to know I accomplished somthing which I set out to do over four years ago, or even 16 years ago, depending on how you look at it. Life as usual right now since everyone is on break between semesters, but i'm thinking I'll be super psyched come next fall when i don't have to buy books, show up to classes and convince my teachers its cool if i Come back a month late.

On to the present... Congratulations to my wonderful girlfriend Clara! The 2006 women's Collegiate Cyclo-Cross National Champion! (thanks to scott jackson for the pic) I had to make the announcement on here because cyclingnews seems to think the u23/collegiate women's events aren't quite newsworthy, at least immediatley following their race. Brilliant riding by the entire LMC women's team to kick the weekend off. They went 1,2,3 in the collegiate division and had 7 girls in the top 15. Pressure is on the men for tomorrow. Whatever happens, sounds like a great weekend of CX racing. i miss it.

Layin low the past couple days. Robbie King is still kickin it here and I have another guest roomate in the skinny MI kid while Sheedy is up in Rhode Island. My knee has improved a bit, but it is still not great. Rick and I made the executive decision to take some more easy time. As much as it kills me to do so, especially with this dreamy weather , it is the best thing to do for now. i don't wanna be nursing this thing through base season then have it blow up once i start racing. Easy, short rides. not what i want to be doing but what has to be done. Went hiking today, a solid change of pace.

I'm lookin forward to next Wed. Off to Italy to spend Christmas and New Years with Clara and her Family. I sure will miss seeing my family over the holiday, but I'm excited to check out a new place, minus the racing which usually accompanies any travel I do. Looks like I've hit blog quota. Ciao for now.

check out our sweet tree.
sugar mtn had some start of the ski season firework show tonighthiking??

Monday, November 20, 2006

From the sidelines

10 comments = A new blog entry

plus I have a few pieces of eye candy from the UCI cross race in Hendersonville this past weekend. Watching cross makes me realize how much I miss racing it. Yea, when your out there your wondering why you would ever subject yourself to such a massacre, but there is a certain beauty to being on a cross bike and rippin through mud or layin a nice arc through a grassy corner. I miss it. trying to keep the eyes on the future though and get my knee healed up. It was still great to watch Clara, the LMC kids and a handful of others I hadn't been able to catch up with in a while.

Clara in cool down mode.
NC state champ John Hamblen put up a brave fight the first day.....
but was tag teamed by these two. they clearly ate their wheaties for breakfast.
the womens field stacked with cheerwiners.
sheedy got the award for most places gained from start to finish.
long sleeve skinsuit!!! oooo la la

Looks like Sheedy, Clara and myself are packing into the 4 runner and heading to MI for thanksgiving. a short trip but will nice to see the family before the whirlwind of training and racing begins.

turkey, chicken, duck, tofurkey??

Sunday, November 12, 2006


the blog situation is getting rather desperate. I've got nothing. well not much at least.

made a quick trip to Park City, UT the past couple days. Had to get my knee checked out. Kudos to Dr. Eric Heiden and Max Testa for taking a look and also to usacycling for making the trip happen. looks like the knee will be ok. gonna start easing back into the pedaling and hopefully all goes smoothly.

I was in the airport thursday and I saw an amazing sight. A guy peeing at the urinal, eating a bag of chips, with both hands. thats the effort and talant i like to see. don't worry, he most definitley made a promt exit, sans hand washing. classy.

my second favorite airport sight was a person running next to the moving walkway, going the same speed as the people walking on the moving walkway. brilliant. good exercise i suppose.

That old man winter dude butted his way into banner elk last night. what a punk. i didn't order any snow. tomorrow looks on the up though.

does anyone still read this?

Friday, October 27, 2006


Its been a while and I've realized that I'm "un dun." It's time to end the blogging off season. Not to be alarmed though, the proper "off season" is still in full effect. No use in doing a full backtrack of the last month. A boat load of radness has happened as well as a few roundhouse kicks to my face, the main one of those being the return to school. Should be my last semester though and overall it has been going alright. I've managed to dabble in a bit of colleigate mountain biking and that has been great for the sanity levels. Road racing in Europe to Mountain biking witha bunch of college kids. Biggest contrast ever but one of the best if you ask me. Last weekends collegiate nats in NM was likely my last. Can't help but being a little sad and bummed about that, but it is about time to take another step. Its great knowing that the team is headed in a dominating direction and has a hot set of young, up and coming riders to throw it down and turn heads.

Sheedys bday. he got beat up by a girl ...................Saxton rockin with fine style

Get ready. 18 miles. 5000 ft. of climbing Kevin H. MVP

scott got a concusion in Florida.
The LMC convoy starting the 30 hr. drive back to NC
Jesse pooped his pants
not my best race. but a fun one. scope the new kit.

ciao for now

Thursday, September 21, 2006


All done. game over. Not a great ride, but threw down what i had. Good write up and a few quotes at Velonews.
Congrats to the US ladies!! Amazing riding and an honor to be on the team with such top notch competitors. In other news, I had my first "competition" blood test yesterday. Vampires showed up at about 8am and i was one of the lucky ones to give them some of my blood. A few south americans weren't allowed to race because there hematocrit was too high from their blood tests, but mine was nowhere near that point. actually over 3 points lower then what it usually is. guess i need some rest.

Doing what i can to help out the team over the next few days, as well as trying to enjoy myself a bit before i head back to the gauntlet of schoolwork which awaits me. US Elite TT'ers baldwin and Zabriski roll out in a few hours so be sure to send them a tailwind!!

Thanks to all for the thoughts, prayers, love and support!

Ciao for now

Monday, September 18, 2006


i suppose 10 comments on my previous post warrants a new update. no recap on the recent haps, just the here, just the now.

Arrived in Salzburg, Austria today for the road world championships. I race the TT on wed. no RR for me. I've had a little flare up with my knee over the past week and there are 3 other great guys slotted in for it. Steve Cozza and I are the crew for the U23 tt and John Devine, Craig Lewis and Tom Peterson will be reppin the red, white and blue for the RR.

I flew my first "Ryan Air" flight today. a sweet euro budget airline that i've heard much about. not bad though. So far things here are rolling along. I'd say about half the American team has showed up and i'm sure the rest will be rolling in over the next few days. i'll take a gander at the course tomorrow.

the door to our bathroom has a big window in it. there is a cupid painted above our beds, and there is also a rotating mirror which allows you to look into the bathroom (through the door) from the bed. weird.

Friday, September 08, 2006

what time is it?

A fine picture to display what is happening around here.
Racing this weekend. Wish me luck and leave me some love.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

gopher510 (1:48:36 PM): update your blog you tool

guess I'm a bit overdue.

Its getting quiet around here. Earlier this week a bunch of guys escaped the clutches of Izegem. Tomorrow 2 more get out, and the rest of the crew besides myself and John are racing at a race in France. Just the two of us for the weekend, and even to the rest of the season its a minimal team.

GP tell was a slick race. Hills, mountains and hills on some rad twisty cart path roads. Unlike anything I've ever done before and super exciting to race in that kind of terrain. The prologue was my best results of the race. 7th place, and just a second or so off the podium, but the main thing was that i got to rip this sweet "video game" course. check out this pic, this was probably the widest part of the entire prologue course. So once again, no out of this world performances from me, but not horendous either. I think thats kinda indicative of my form right now. Still able to hit a good level, but a little tired and not as consistent. From here on out the formula is simple. maximize rest, keep the body tuned and focus when the race days come. I think 4 or so race days until worlds. then the TT and i'll find out about the road race soon.
Going to switzerland made me once again think, "why can't the national team be based somewhere else?" I think this area would do.

Lots of hard thinking on deciding which direction to head teamwise next year. Fortunate and lucky to be in my current situation though.

I thought I was in a good place concering my late arrival to school. Until now my advisor hadn't really expressed much concern about me being fashionably late, but all of a sudden its a last minute scramble to get things sorted out. can we please just do our job? also streaming out of the "brent bookwalter complaining network" is my current predicament of not having a place to live when i get back to school. my roomate jesse has been a total champ in the hunt for a decent place, but it seems the banner elk scene is not prime territory at the moment for a place to our liking. The specialized tt bike is just not doing me right so i'm doing my dangdest to get the Ridley over here. Wow, I almost forgot how nice those bikes were.

kieth jennings
mr. bolian. mvp for teamate and overall good guy. he broke is arm a week or so again. speedy recovery bolian!wish me luck. with.... everything. thanks for the comments. keep em rollin.

ciao for now.

Friday, August 18, 2006

both dishwashers are broke

Whew! back to blogging. The usual excuses for the recent lapse... France, no internet, hard racing. Since my last post, I've wrapped up Tour de Namur and a few 1 day races on the west coast of France. Just a quick summary since I'm not feelin a full race report.

Namur...Ok but not great. Body seemed to be a bit angery with me after removing those large chunks of skin in the days leading up. Had a couple decent days and a couple bad days. TT was dissapointing and by the last day I was feelin kinda whacked so Noel decided it was best I not start and save my mathces for the coming weeks. Props to Nick and Andy who both made it through the last day with strong rides.

Bretagne Races...First observe the pick to the left... me modeling our fashionable "team" casual gear in our plush accomidations. Different crowd in France and I have to say I wasn't feeling any love. Each of us did 3 of the 4 races over the 4 days and overall it went alright. The drive was absolutley bogus though! Its not often we have to travel 8 hours to a race in Europe, and i can't say i enjoyed any part of it. It was nice to check some new scenery though. Why can't the national team be based in an area like this??? The races were all circuit races and a few of them had a good bit of climbing. Day 1 I ended up 12th after picking my way through a pretty destroyed field. Day 2 Nick rocked out the field sprint for a bon 5th place. Day 3 we botched it big and missed the first group of 17, but did what we could to limit the damage as I snagged the field spring for 18th. Last day was tough. I think Nick was our top dog somewhere in the top 20.

So there's the rundown. I'm almost inside the "1 month to go" window till the end of the road season. Giddy up! Lots of laying low and a good bit of rest for another couple days, then its off to Switzerland for a 5 day stage race called GP Tell.

School starts in less then a week. oh wait, I won't be back there for over a month! I know, sounds a bit excessive, even by cycling standards but I'm hoping I can pull out one more semester of a late arrival and graduate in December. So far the teachers I've been able to get a hold of have been alright to work with so lets hope for more of that. Anyone back in MI should be sure to check out the Priority Health Rockford Criterium NEXT weekend. A big prize list, action packed course and a great crew of helpers putting the race together are sure to guarantee an awesome show.

Best of luck to my Priority Health boys and Clara along with her fellow Cheerwiners for this weekend at the U.S. crit championships!!!

ciao for now

Thursday, August 03, 2006

butt surfing

yesterday was rough. it looked like it was gonna be a rad race. cloudy skies, strong winds and a few solid climbs on the route were sure to make a selective race. unfortuantley, i didn't really get to give it a go. top 30 wheels, I make the first left hand turn into cross wind. Of course the field kinda panics and eveyone smashes their way to the gutter. They must have missed the memo that most bike races are in fact, not transparent and when you hit one, you bounce off eachother.

A pretty good pileup ensued. I went crashing down and even manged to hook my jersey on a riders bike who was still moving at a good speed. After dragging me across the ground for 20 meters or so he finally stopped and I calmly released myself from his bike as he flipped out yelling and jumping up and down like a circus monkey. i don't know what this dude was freakin about. yea, he was watching the race ride away but at least he had his skin, somthing i couldn't say for myself. After using a saftey pin to close the giant hole in my shorts, I got a new set of wheels and began to chase. At first i couldn't even see the last follow car for the race, but eventually I began to make up some ground and finally caught on to the last group on the road, seeing the field had already been shattered into bits. I just from group to group, and made some solid ground up but finally pulled the plug as i rode throught he feedzone and got the "cut it" sign from chris. ugh! damage? right side. butt cheek, skinless. arm, patchy skin loss. back, scrapped and bruised.

so that was that. Murphy and Sheldon ended up riding great, both making the front group of 12. Murph dieseled his way in for a sweet 5th place, Sheldon just out of the top 10. Awesome to see those guys put in a good ride, but also tough to watch as i was wishing i coulda been in there throwing down with them. I guess mass quantities of chamois cream do not make the shorts invincible.

More dissapointment this morning as Noel told us the teamd Did NOT get an invite to Tour de L'Avenir, also known as the Tour de France for young riders. stinger! i got my first taste of L'Avenir last year and its a bit dissapointing to think I won't get another shot at it this year. Why you ask? deponds who you talk to. mainly because the organizers can make whatever decision they want, but i can't help but think the recent crap with Floyd didn't play into their heads.

Still planning on Tour Namur starting saturday. 5 days, 6 stages of tough racing in the hills of belgium. Last year, i finished top 20 GC there so hopefully I can get recovered from this spill and put in a solid ride over the 5 days. monday has a TT, after a RR in the morning of course, but the TT will be cool. my first one flyin the stars and bars! I can pretty much guarantee i won't have internet access from saturday through tuesday or wed, but i'll keep my fingers crossed and roll out another update when i can.

down the street. wanna come visit?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

2 weeks

Its saturday, which probably means very few people are spending their summer weekend reading "this", but even less people are emailing me! I was on a good roll until today with incoming and outgoing emails which seem to roll the boring belgian day along, but today I've hit a cyper stump. maybe its because i've been here for 2 weeks now and the simplicity of our days is finally sinking in. I'm not complaining, nor am i yet officially "bored" because i know i need to stock as many of these easy going restful days as possible. The coming weeks of brutal raciing and living in some abandoned belgian dorm are sure to make an uneventful day in izegem highly appealing. Here's a fresh action shot of me today.

Floyd eh? not good. I say wait for that B sample to be tested and go from there, but its still a roundhouse kick to the face of the cycling world. Plenty of people already ranting about it so I'll just say that it really bums me out and leave it at that.

Raced a couple days ago. Reninelst, a 1.2 uci race. It went ok, but not great. Beleive me, I know this already seems like a reaccuring theme over here but I'm gonna do my dangdest to fix it. Anyway, 185km of belgian small roads and wind. a few uphill rises but nothing i would call i climb. We only had 4 starters from our team, but Andy and I stayed strong and finished. maybe around 30th for me. I gave it my all trying to get into one of the small groups that stayed away off the front but it just wouldn't happen. The good news is that i did this race last year and can honestly say i felt improvment since then. lets hope the improvment will materialize into somthing one of these days.

Other big news includes that I'm actually reading a book! yea, i know surprising and terrifying at the same time considering I'm still a month or two out of the academic season. It hasn't been half bad though, and I think I might actually finish this one. "Cloud Garden" by a couple backpackers who were kidnapped in the Darien Gap of South American. Keeping me entertained so far.

not sure if you've had a chance to scope it yet, but Team Priority Health has updated their website with a TeamBlog section. posts are sure to be flowing in from all the PH guys so give er a gander every now and then.

Riding has been mellow for the past 2 days, some good exploring but no leg thrashing. that will come soon enough. here's a couple shots from one of my recent rides in one of the few nearby wooded areas.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

US national Team; 1 Liege dorm; 0

We may not have won the race we did last week, but we did outsmart the hotbox, garbage dorm that we stayed in. take a look....

that is state of the art "full moveable blanket curtain", as well as a handy "fan stand". what makes it even better is none of the euros down the hall thought of anything even half as cool. you woulda been psyched too if you coulda felt how miserable and hot this dumpster we stayed in was.

Another noteworthy part of the 5 day, 500+ mile race through the hills of Liege was the rediculous amounts of skin being ripped off my rear end by the shorts we had to wear. wow, i hope these things break in. until then, massive amounts of chamois cream.....So how did the race go? ok. 3 of us made it to the finish. the first day i snagged a top 10 in record belgian highs. 103 f or so? sick to say the least. the next day i rode terrible, missed a feed and was without water, in the gutter for over an hour in some bad crosswinds. that whacked me pretty good and i basically spent the next couple days trying to recover from that heat exhaustion experience and hoping my legs would come around. The last day was pretty epic with some gnarly climbs from liege-bastonge-liege.

The past couple days have been spent trying to heal the legs a bit. Surprisingly I haven't been really bored since i've been here, for belgian standards at least. I've been able to chat with clara just about everyday and that of course helps a bunch.

Here's a pic of my belgian ride. i miss the Ridley but this one is pretty smooth too. check out this diddy. lets hope i get to do some time trials in the coming weeks!
One day 1.2 race in a nearby town tomorrow. Noel said he won't be surprised if we all get dropped. confidence inspiring eh? well, he just wants us to know it will be tough. thats ok, thats how we like it right?

ciao till then