Tour of California

Sonora, CA

DATE: 16 May 2012   TIME: 10:35 AM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

The big races are far and away a different experience than the NRC calendar. The infrastructure is so much more intense. Take sign-in for instance: an NRC race sign-in is often a folding table in the middle of a deserted parking lot, with a single official checking off riders. At the Tour of California, you’ve got to hand your bike off to a volunteer, bushwhack through a thicket of fans (signing autographs along the way), climb a set of stairs up to the stage, wink at the podium girl as she hands you a Sharpie, sign your name, smile for the photographers, and (if you’re unlucky) answer questions from the announcer. It’s a lot crazier. —Sam Johnson

Cascade Cycling Classic

Bend, OR

DATE: 20 July 2012   TIME: 7:32 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 3

Goals: Write them down, and look at them everyday. If you don’t write, it’s just a dream. So be brave, and write down your dreams.—Ben Chaddock

Cascade Cycling Classic

Bend, OR

DATE: 20 July 2012   TIME: 9:13 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 3

I am 6’4”, 185 pounds. I am wearing the polka dot Mountain Classification jersey at the Cascade Cycling Classic. I got to choose between size small, and size extra-small. Enough said. —Sam Johnson

Tour of California

Bakersfield, CA

DATE: 17 May 2012   TIME: 12:42 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 5

Depending on the type of race my pre-race routine changes. For a long road race I’ll usually be more relaxed than before a time trial. I tend to get pretty serious while warming up for a TT, though. As soon as the race is over I’m usually pretty laid back again.—Logan Loader

Tour of California

Big Bear, CA

DATE: 18 May 2012   TIME: 3:43 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 6

I fixed so many flats that it wasn’t one thing that I did the best, just an overall performance. Some guys were saying I work like three mechanics in one. Getting everything done right without botching it, thats me being a hero. Doing my job right.—Josh Geiszler, Team Exergy Chief Mechanic

Tour of Utah

Tooele, UT

DATE: 8 August 2012   TIME: 1:11 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 2 TTT

The riders can be very candid and say “Man this is really hard.” When they ask if they can ride on your motorcycle then you know they’d like to get off the bike.  — Bob Norem, USA Cycling Motor Official.

Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 9 August 2012   TIME: 11:15 AM   SUBJECT: Stage 3

Sam Johnson and Serge Tvetcov arrive at the team trailer to begin their daily ritual of sunblocking, hydrating, and relaxing before 100 miles in 100 degree heat.

Tour of California

Between Sonora and Clovis, CA

DATE: 16 May 2012   TIME: 12:15 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

I’ve learned what a great rider Alex Howes is, and I’m super proud of him. I really like Alex and he has all of those qualities I look for. He’s young and he needs a few years to develop but he’s tenacious, focused, intelligent. Even watching him ride for other people this week you can see he has a big future ahead of him.—Jonathan Vaughters, Team Garmin-Sharp GM

Tour of Utah

E. Canyon Rd, Morgan, UT

DATE: 7 August 2012   TIME: 1:43 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 1

Daily log: High temperature today 103° F. Expect adverse effects on riders.

Tour of California

Santa Cruz, CA

DATE: 14 May 2012   TIME: 9:53 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 3

I work from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. I skipped a lot of breakfasts, some dinners. Adding to that I’ll often have a lot of nerves in the car during the race, so I skip lunch because sometimes I can’t eat. I worked about 19 hours a day.—Josh Geiszler, Team Exergy Chief Mechanic

Ardennes Classics

Genk, Belgium

DATE: 15 April 2012   TIME: 7:25 AM   SUBJECT: Pro Tour Amenities

I was really surprised how nice it is having a team bus. Up until now I’ve always been sitting in lawn chairs after races; it’s a huge upgrade to have the RV to get ready before the race, and to go to afterwards. High level racing is baller.—Alex Howes, Team Garmin-Sharp1

  1. Manual #6: ENJOY WHAT AMENITIES YOU HAVE []

TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship

Philadelphia, PA

DATE: 3 June 2012   TIME: 1:17 PM   SUBJECT: Fans

I’m loving the race, so much action going on! Whenever the racers come by I just yell, “Woooooo!”—Richie

Off-season

Zion NP, UT

DATE: 7 May 2012   TIME: 10:35 AM   SUBJECT: Zac Davies’ Rehab

I drive on into the sun leaving the break behind, leaving the field behind, team cars, race officials and I am that little kid again, racing his bully neighbor across the unkempt park grass out back, knowing that a kid twice as old is half as fast.Zac Davies

Off-season

Zion NP, UT

DATE: 7 May 2012   TIME: 10:22 AM   SUBJECT: Zac Davies’ Rehab

There is something about living on the fringe that keeps me motivated. I live in a tent next to my friend’s camper. Every day he goes out and guides people into Slot Canyons while I ride-up every plateaus in south-eastern Utah. All my teammates are racing while I am stuck back in the winter months of base training and so my rides have a dream like quality to them. Often I spend hours riding up a hill in an imaginary race, talking to myself, getting water bottles, bridging, attacking, racing.Zac Davies

Speed Week

Spartanburg, SC

DATE: 4 May 2012   TIME: 9:35 PM   SUBJECT: Spartanburg Regional Classic

With Speed Week being such a long series, I knew someone was going to get hurt if the peloton kept racing so recklessly. I wish I could say that I was the only one to get hurt that week, but that’s certainly not the case.—Isaac Howe

Speed Week

Anderson City, SC

DATE: 5 May 2012   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Electric City Circuit Race

Hands down that was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Either everyone who breaks their collarbone is tougher than I am, or I did something wrong when it came to pain management. I may have been back to racing four weeks out of surgery, but it felt like it took much longer. The bone was put back together the day of the surgery, with the two plates and 13 screws straightening the break up quickly. The only question was whether the bone could handle another impact if I were to crash again. I figured that it wasn’t until meeting Jon Atkins that I had broken any bones, so I liked my odds of avoiding another one with him being suspended.—Isaac Howe

Speed Week

Anderson City, SC

DATE: 5 May 2012   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Electric City Circuit Race

It wasn’t until I saw the x-ray that I realized just how messed up my clavicle was. There was 4cm of overlap on the bone and several fragments littered around my muscle. It looked like someone put an M80 in my chest and lit the fuse. It was a mess.

It was really hard to handle because at the time of my injury I was riding better than I ever had. It was a wake-up call for me: I realized just how fragile my body was and how easily all my fitness could go away. I had trained for the six months before my crash, and it took only 21 days of forced rest to basically be back to where I started. The only thing that kept me motivated was my obligation to the team and my desire to not let this hot head ruin my season. Kenda was so supportive of me and all I wanted was to get back in shape so that I could be back on the road with the guys. When you are not winning races the only thing to think about is, “What do I have to do in order to get back to winning?”—Isaac Howe

Speed Week

Anderson City, SC

DATE: 5 May 2012   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Electric City Circuit Race

The whole experience iss and has been completely ridiculous. I won’t do the play by play of the crash again until I have the opportunity to do it in front of a judge, but it wasn’t until long after the incident when the implication of what had happened started to set in. Immediately after the crash I was thinking about how I wanted to punch this dude out despite my broken left shoulder.  Seriously. I was dead set on taking the right steps to assure the guy who crashed me would be brought to justice, though. Getting the police on the scene, getting officials to take statements, that sort of thing. I didn’t want to take any chances with letting this Atkins fellow slip away after he intentionally wrecked me. My shoulder was already broken, my season essentially over, and the only thing to do in that moment was to assure that this guy was held accountable for taking away the opportunities that I had made for myself after all my focused hard training this past winter.—Isaac Howe

Speed Week

Walterboro, SC

DATE: 2 May 2012   TIME: 8:58 PM   SUBJECT: Downtown Walterboro Criterium

I feel like there is a certain amount of camaraderie that pros need to have with each other, even if they are on separate teams. The fact that we all race together week-in and week-out provides us the opportunity to learn everyone’s riding style and to develop trust with each other during the dangerous moments of races.

By nature cycling is an unsafe sport, and that is why I get upset when good, strong, cyclists ride in a way that further endangers others in the race. You expect that kind of stuff from guys who are racing outside of their league, but I didn’t expect it from Carlos that night. Every night he was crushing us just by how hard he was pushing the pedals, but that night I felt that he lacked the experienced style of riding that I was used to seeing from him. People usually don’t intend to ride dangerously, and that’s why it’s important they be told when they do—so their mistake doesn’t turn into a habit.

Language barriers in the peloton make it really hard to communicate. More often than not there are only a few universal words that are picked up by both parties, and the wrong message is communicated. A well-intentioned chat can easily send the wrong message.—Isaac Howe, Team Kenda/5-Hour Energy

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