This is my world of cycling and just a fun way for me to share my experiences, thoughts and joy I have for cycling. Thanks for visiting Cycle Jabber and good luck in your training! Dirk Friel

Friday, February 26, 2010

The weather in on the front range of CO has been horrible this winter. Usually we get a 50+ degree day weekly and this year we've had about 5 since Christmas. I have more hours XC skiing this past two weeks that riding. I'm just glad we have an indoor velodrome to help supplement the training hours. I hate riding indoors.

When I'm not XC skiing I'm alpine skiing with my daughter Keara and she is doing awesome.

Today in fact was a great ski day at Eldora. 5" of new snow and sunny blue sky. Keara has been rockin' out at age 7 on the double black diamond runs. Check out this photo of her hitting the glades on the south side. Notice the "Black Diamonds" in the background. I couldn't do that when I was age 7. No way.

We also ran into a Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage teammate of mine, Christian McCarthy, and his son Zach at Eldora today. It was like a holiday in Boulder County today as the School District had an in-service day for the teachers. It seemed as if half of all the students headed up the mountain to Eldora for an incredible ski day.

Let The Classics Begin!!!
Lastly, Het Volk, now called Het Niewsblad, starts in just a few hours from now in Belgium and I can't wait to watch. Check out or for the live video feeds.

Back when I raced it in 1993 (Team Saxon) there wasn't even a such thing as e-mail, no live video etc. I'd call home from Belgium once a month from the pay phone and my mom would just cry on the other end. Nowadays mom and dad can tune in live almost no matter where little Johnny is racing to see first hand live action. Sure wish I had that.

I gotta give a shout out to Lance Armstrong today for tweeting the following:

"@DirkFriel definitely remember that. i was rockin' tube socks and a hanes beefy tee undershirt. ah, the good ol days. be well."

Lance was referring to my tweet of:
"Het Niewsblad is tomorrow. Hard to believe I raced it 17yrs ago. Good memories of being in the break for 100+kms w/ @lancearmstrong"

Yep, back 17yrs ago I suffered on a cold wintery day in Belgium in thick thermals trying to stay away in a break with Lance, Marc Seargent, Johan Capiot and Edwig Van Hodoynck. We took off on the Kwaremont and stayed away until the Bosberg, 100+kms. It was a great day at my first ever spring classic. It also happened to be Lance's first ever Spring Classic so I was pretty happy to share rotations with such a select group.

I made it into the break as we were entering the final 300meters before the old Kwaremont. We were on a 3-lane road and somehow the group spread cur to curb racing for the final turn before we entered the narrow farm roads of Kwaremont. The group literally opened up in front of me as if the skys were parting and I made a huge effort to squeeze the gap and seize the opportunity I had been given. I knew the chace only comes a few times in a classic and so I sprinted to the front front of the bunch as if it were the finish line.

I entered the Kwaremont about 12th place and was quite surprised with how things eased up once we hit the one-lane road. The cobbles hadn't started yet so I was trying to gather myself and get ready for the mad dash for the cobbled section. A couple guys attached and I didn't take much notice, but ten I said to myself "what the heck" why waste this opportunity? "Go for it man."

So there I went. With no radios back in 1993 we raced with instinct. I just bolted off and never looked back. Sticking it out with the front breakaway for nearly 70 miles sure wasn't easy, but I pulled every trick in the book to stay with those guys.

Eventually the tall Edwig Van Hoydonck stopped working because Johan Capiot was also in the break with us and Johan had won the race in previous years with a mean sprint. Edwig was the strongest guy in the break, but he had no chance if it came to the a sprint finish with Johan. And of course, no one knew me and they had little knowledge of a young Lance Armstrong (who would eventually become world champ later that year). So we were brought back in by the field after the Muur de Grammone and the Bosberg.

I have to say that has to be one of my best memories of racing in Europe between 1990-1995. Entering such important climbs in the front with grand champions of the sport on roads which helped write the history of cycling from the earliest beginnings makes me proud.

Thanks mom and dad for allowing me to live my dream and leave home to pursue my adventure when I was just 19.

I hope I can provide my daughter, Keara, with the same opportunity someday.

Love you mom and dad,

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posted by Dirk at 10:11 PM | 2 comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

WKO 3.0: Comparing Files with Multi-File/Range Analysis Tells a More Complete Story

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posted by Dirk at 11:21 AM | 0 comments