Introducing Plan B

It is time for Plan B. I’m back to full-time racing status. Welcome to decade three. I've applied for a couple of coaching positions in recent years and just missed out on a couple, but seriously, with that 20/20 thing going on, I’m glad. I was out of commission for a lot of the 2005 season and I missed it.

Sure I did some 'cross this fall in Oregon and I raced Tazzy (Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals) again but I was never really in shape. I even won some races in my poor condition. I had to dig deep and pull them out of my toes. This fall, I was working with this massage therapist that ended up being psychotic and practising without a license. She did wonders for my knees - not.

No matter, she got busted for her illegal work so she won’t be doing much damage to anyone in the near future. I’m out a bunch of money because I paid for tons of work in advance but I’ll just chalk it up as a big mistake and be much more careful next time with my cash flow. Everyone gets taken advantage of at sometime in their lives so here was one time for me.

Karma is a big time force to be reckoned with so I am sure things will balance out. I have made a conscious effort to change my Karma as of late and it is paying off. Since Rebecca Twigg's birthday, March 26, my luck has changed for the good.

On that day, I decided that the hidden covert agendas and the crazy like Beyonce maneuvers I was pulling had to stop and I needed to get focused. It is cool to live for the moment but it doesn’t get you too far down the road of life. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my chest and I am ready to pay the dues. I have had zippo problems with my back and my knees. I have also have had awesome weather here in dirty Durango since returning. I have been riding up the passes every day and I am responding to training in a very positive way. I better because the T-town season starts in eight weeks. It’s funny how casting evil out of your heart can make every day brighter and more minty fresh. I am now studying under the guidance of the monk, Sha-Ma-Lama-Ding-Dong.

Party people have asked me about Northwestern Mortgage and what happened. All I can really say is that there were many conflicts and crazy thingys that made life rough. We had some major success, though. All of my elite boys and girl have moved on forward in a direction that they are all very happy with. I am totally cool with the fact that NWM became a platform for some of our riders to reach the next level.

Josh Kerhog is a brand new daddy and racing for Specialized now. He is currently at my house with baby and his baby’s mama (aka his wife, Kara) helping me unload my unused cycling parts on eBay. Mike Fried-Ham is riding for TIAA-CREF and he seems happy. Becky Conzelman is having a baby girl this June so she is out of commission in a very happy way. Gui G Money has toned it down a bit because he does the Pro Snowboarder thing and I just heard he landed a big skater contract with Independent. Big Bad Bobby Lea is racing for the new US Super Power Team, Toyota United Pro Cycling. He is currently at track world's and ready to kick some pirate treasure (booty) in the scratch race there. He had an excellent finish at the Sydney Track World Cup - fourth in that event. That's the best US finish from anyone other than Colby P and myself in that event. It should be a blast racing Madisons with him this year. OK, I better get into the secret plan now.

The secret plan is for me to get back into super shape by October to do the time standard and win a bunch of national titles again. During this climb back to the top of the ladder, I plan on getting my crew to where they want to be too. I have a bunch of juniors, and some of them will go to junior world's this year - I'm confident of that. Others are targeting elite nationals with me and collegiate nationals.

I was planning on going to worlds with Bobby this year (this week) but I'm busy moving back to T-town for the summer. I am pissed that I am missing it. It was super cool to prepare him for the Sydney World Cup. Part two of the plan is to secure enough sponsorship for my Fuji/Salamander Cycling Team to become a pro track team before the world cups this fall.

You see, I have a bunch of young riders that are going to need to get up into those events soon. The NWM thing happened too quickly and there were too many conflicts. The core is solid now and I have tonnes of confidence in Pat Marzi and Bill Short. UCI points are now critical to getting start positions for world's and I wouldn’t be surprised if USAC started using them for selection, so it’s best to acquire points whenever possible.

After my massive win at the Rosebery Carnival scratch race in mid January, I had to make a big decision. My back was not doing so flash, my left knee was hurting on every stroke and US track nationals were 10 months away. It was a hard decision but I decided to take a couple of months off. I needed to heal. I already mentioned that even though I had some fun this fall, it was really a waste of time in retrospect. I didn’t heal, actually hurt my knees more and I spent too much money on garbage.

Some good came of it, though. The town bicycle of Portland suggested that I use the fi’zi:k Aliante saddle instead of the Pave. She was right, my back is much happier with that puppy. On the Pave, I sit way crooked and everyone comments when they ride behind me. I’ve only done 14 million laps around velodromes so I think being a little off centre is acceptable. My new carbon Fuji bike rules and I have named her Almighty Mandy. Somerville is seven weeks away and I’m hoping that she goes fast on that day.

As I said before, my training has been solid for the past ten days and I’m very happy. I’m in no pain and not as bad as I thought I might be. I have done every ride in Durango 72,000 times so I know where I should be every minute. I’ve been eating so much after training that I sometimes feel like I’m pregnant ... with Josh’s baby here, sometimes I begin to wonder about that. I am so happy that I’m not a chick. I can’t get that 'Aliens' scene out of my head. You know the one where that evil little dragon thingy bob busts out of that dude's stomach? That's all I would think about if I was carrying a baby. Hopefully modern medicine won’t allow this to happen for men in the near future.

The target list goes as follows:

Bobby at track worlds,
Erica at collegiate natz,
Everyone and their Mom at Somerville and the T-town summer
Possibly the Alpenrose 6-day,
Madison Cup with Bobby,
US elite road natz,
Junior track natz,
Junior world's,
US elite crit natz,
USAC time standard,
Collegiate track natz,
Hopefully the elite racers of the US vote me on to the Board of Directors for USAC,
US elite track natz,
More rule changes with the Board of Trustees and then some World Cups.

After all that is tackled, I’ll head back to Tazzy and try to get that Latrobe win. That's the last one I need. The other option that has been talked about is starting another Team in Tazzy like I have here in the States. I've thought about spending six months in the States and six months in Tazzy for a while now. They have so much talent there that it would be a lot of fun. We just need to find some backers there to fund that kind of program.

If it's pulled off, an incredible exchange program could be established and I could avoid winter forever. The track world's in 2007 are in Majorca, Spain. I’ve been there before for collegiate world's in 1991 so it would be nice to go back. I’m sorry people, I’m not done yet ... winning that scratch race in Launceston this last December got me hungry again.

Plus, I have too much fun racing with dudes like Big Bad Benny K, Todd the Terror Wilksch, Darren D-Rex Young, Matt Gossome, Christian Later-man and all the rest of the chicken hawks of the track. I only have a couple years left that I can hold off the youth of the sport. I am 29 for the 8th year in a row so it is just a matter of time before a certain special someone retires me - guess who - but when that happens I will smile and watch him rock out. You never know, though. Danny Clark and Kent Bostick had pretty amazing years when they were 42. Someone will give me a cool job before I get that old though, I hope.

Lastly, here is a lesson for the kids ... we’re going to end each diary with useful racing tip. This one is “LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING”. Tazzy is a perfect example of this. In Tazzy, I have been fooled by many a rider that looks super fit and awesome on his bike but when it comes time to go, sometimes he goes nowhere. Vice versa, other dudes or dudettes have looked like hell on their bikes and have even had hairy legs and stuff and made me look really dumb because I underestimated them.

In Tazzy, riders are ranked by numbers. My suggestion is to sit on someone with a low number regardless of looks. Take a hint from wildlife; a squirrel may look very cute and cuddly but just because it is, doesn’t stop it from being a rodent. Rodents are vermin, so be careful. Looks can be deceiving and beauty is only skin deep. Who knows what's inside? You have to respect first and find out just like Ali G.


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