Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nature Valley

So here I am up in the Twin Cities after arriving yesterday for this year's NVGP in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I got some sweet host housing with my good friend Mike Lalla who also picked me up from the airport yesterday. I'm actually lucky that my bike got here because first the lady at the NWA desk told me the plane might be too small for my bike-box! That was a new one for me, but they figured it out and I was on board and on time on a CRJ900; pretty bumpy flight once we got to MSP since it's windy up here, but I'm used to that from the GREAT riding in Wichita Falls ;-) Mike, his girlfriend Leslie and me headed out to the local Tuesday Night crit last night and I did my second 45minute crit on a race track in 2 days after racing in Austin last Sunday. The local racers up here are using a Truck Driving School course as their weekly crit course. A lot of fun and HUGE turnouts for the races. I did the 1/2/3 race and in lap 2 out of 18 they guttered it in the headwind and I jumped in there and for 40minutes I rode with 4 other guys at HR 180 a team time trial. Exactly what I was looking for before tonight's 1st Stage of the NVGP. I tested my legs with one to go and pushed hard into the headwind and one local guy stayed on my wheel and I let it go with 400meters to go since I'm not up here to win Tuesday Night crits but to get a good workout in before the 'big game' this coming days. Actually, most of my friends up here were happy that he won because he's been racing and winning 3's races for a while and has like 60 (!) upgrade points. After that, we went and got some Coldstone Ice Cream and had some Frozen Pizza. Oh well, gotta do some 'loading' before I'll burn it off in the next 5 days ;-)
I'm racing for the local Nature Valley Team up here and that's our line-up for the next 6 stages:

Mike Olheiser - '06 Masters World TT Champ
Jonathan Page - '06 Vice Cyclocross World Champion
David Pierce - Sprinter from California who has a PhD from Stanford
Doug Swanson - local strongman from MSP
me - you know

Thanks to the locals Paul Komp, Aaron Johnson, Tim Ramos, Andrew Dahl, David LaPorte, and Hector Mendoza for getting me here.

Tonight is the 1st stage, a 60minute crit with 140 guys on a 1km course through downtown St. Paul. That will be exciting as the course is supposed to be pretty narrow and if you're on the front of the field you'll almost be able to see the tail of the peloton.

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