Mad Dash is a New Paralympic Event


Good news I made it to London. With my faithful companion I was able to make my connection in Chicago to London. Well the fact that the pilot sped and beat traffic by 25 minutes helped a little bit.

I had enough time to spare that I was able to partake in a Chicago deep dish meat pizza. I was able enjoy half of it and then board where I was able to enjoy the other half. The flight was not full, in fact many athletes were taking whole rows to themselves. I did not sleep but the flight seemed to go by quick, well 7.5 hours quick.

Upon debarking the plane a man was detained and we were greeted by a bunch of wonderful volunteers. I was able to help move the pace along with the help of my faithfully companion. The volunteers were amazed and in awe that I brought along my companion. All of the downhills were a breeze and I just grabbed onto the hand rail of the moving sidewalk.

We all have our credentials and are seeing the presences of the Games all around. After a short wait with 60 pieces of luggage later, which not all of it fit into the cargo truck, we were on the road to Newport, Wales.

We built bikes and road the country side. Dinner and tea later I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. Here’s to delirious and jet lag, I have yet another blog!

My Travel Companion to London


Folks the day has come! I’m going to London for my 6th Paralympic Games! No it does not lose it flare! I’m as nervous and excited as I was for my first Games in Salt Lake City ten years ago.

This year I am bringing a mobility assistance device, see picture above. I am excited to be traveling with my companion and will be sure to keep it along for all of my adventures.

First challenge of the Games, make my 25 minute connection in O’Hare. I’m trying for a new record from the E terminal to the C terminal, shuttles will be involved. I have all confidence that I will be able to make my connection now that my companion is coming along.

Now I need your help. I am currently taking suggestion for a name for my companion. Find me on Facebook or Twitter and I will take in your thoughts.

Keep following for more adventures around London with my new best friend.

Going East (US only)

Nationals and Canada

Let me just spoil the plot and climax of this blog. I’m going to London!!!!
I finished up the trials in Augusta, GA with a huge smile on my face. I started off the trip with a layover in Chicago to speak with college students attending a work shop with BP. Fun group and good times in downtown Chi town.
I then made my way south to Augusta. To my surprise the weather was quite manageable. That didn’t last long but I was at least not in the heat for the entire trip. The first event was the TT which is the last qualifying event for the London Paralympics. I had multiple opportunities to ride the course and plan a strategy for the race. Good news I stuck to my game plan, great news I went one full minute faster then my optimistic goal. This was great because with that ride I secured my spot on the team. For the women’s team thing were pretty cut and dry. There was one spot up for real contention out of the six slots we earned through the previous season.
The men’s team on the had was not as easy. For some reason unknown to myself and others they selection committee only selected six of the eight available slots. The final two slots were to be filled by two separate ride offs. The crazy thing is that these ride offs were never apart of the selection procedure and came out of the blue for a couple of athletes. I felt for those individuals because what should have been a simple announcement turned into a confused state of chaos for the whole team.
After all of the team selection issues were cast aside there were still races to ride including the road race there at nationals and a World Cup in Canada. I rode the road race and managed to beat myself 🙂 and got to ride with couple of cool peeps.
After the conclusion of my nationals I hung around and watch some of the U23 men’s race and the Pro Women’s and Men’s race the following day.
After nationals I got to hang out in North Carolina with our team mechanic and ride new awesome routes in the mountains. Yes I will call them mountains for they were long and steep climbs. NC’s western region does not know what flat is. I don’t think I rode a single flat section my entire time there.
My next adventure took me up to Canada northern region along the St Lawrence. A place that could be lost off the map and no one would know but also a beautiful country and community to ride in. The World Cup was the final international race before the Paralympics. I got one more chance to rise against my competition and to practice racing before the big show. I had a lot of fun. Did the Merck’s style of time trialling, raced on my road bike and not my time trial bike. The course is predominately up one the first half and then really fast technical down on the other side. I had fun on my road bike for sure. The road race was two days later on the big loop course. I got to ride with my teammate, not usual, which helped me push myself beyond what I thought possible. She encouraged me when I thought I was done and help me ride to another successful ride. All in all I won both my races and finished the season ranked 2nd, I didn’t compete in the World Cup in Spain which set me back to 4th. With the conclusion of the this World Cup the only thing left to do is polish up my track racing skills and get ready for my SIXTH Paralympic Games.

London here I come!

More Road Miles

So I start yet another epic and adventurous road travel extravaganza. I was home for two whole weeks, crazy I know. I actually was able to settle back into my own bed and routine at the Olympic Training Center. As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” Well the good hasn’t ended but sleeping in my own bed has.
I started this latest trip with a short hop to Chicago. I was asked to speak to a bunch of college sophomores that were getting to experience a really cool program at BP. For a week these students have been hanging with BP and learning all about the company and specifically trade. Pretty cool if you ask me. I had a lot of fun talking to them. Still young but starting to determine their future, perfect time to knead them and share my story.
After my little talk I am now in Augusta, GA for the Road Cycling Nationals and the last qualifying event for the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London. CRAZY!!!! I am here really early but gives me a chance to figure out the heat that much better. I will be racing the TT on Thursday, Crit on Friday, and Road Race on Saturday. The team will be announced on Friday after the Crit. So EXCITED!!!! I know that I have a great shot at making the team but I am still nervous. Some say that makes me a better athlete but I just wish I could relax just a bit more. Oh well. I will bottle up all of the butterflies in my stomach and release the furry on the TT course. For those starting in front of me watch out here I come!!
After Trials I am off to NC. What you ask is in NC, not that much really:) I kid. A friend has invited me to hang for the week between races and it gives me a chance to ride in a new part of the country. I hear that the Smokey Mountains are really awesome to ride. I hope so! After my training block in NC. I will be on my way up to Canada for the final World Cup before the Paralympics. It will be held in one of my favorite places to race, but my least favorite place to get to, Baie-Comeau, QC. After the races I will be back in Colorado for all of two days before heading to LA for the first of many velodrome training camps getting ready for the big show in September.
After LA I will be home for 10 days, aaahh-mazing. I should add up all of the days that I am home and see weather or not I am really ever home. I thing my duffle bag contains more of my bike life then my room does most of the time.

Look for day-by-day update on my twitter feed and facebook, both are jonezyrocks!!

My crazy travels!!!

So this trip should have started to go the right direction. First of all I got all my luggage, amazing. But that is where it ended. Do to some miss understanding and confusion we sat at the airport for hours. Eventually we started to make our way to Piacenza, about an hour and a half drive away. My van was the girls van, just happened that way, and our van made it all of 50km. Then it broke. Fully gassed and pedal to the floor we were going nowhere. Good spirits and many laughs later Pablo, the tow truck driver, helped us negotiate with the taxi drivers to get us back to the airport to pickup another van. We made it to the hotel 12 hours after landing in Milan. This was really the only thing that went bad for the week of Piacenza.

One week later…

I am write this is Italy with a big grin on my face. I am racing in gorgeous country side and eating great food. I have just finished a regional Paralympic Cycling competition in Piacenza, Italy. Men and women from the same disability classes started together and I stayed with the men for more then half my race. So jazzed that I am getting stronger and able to hang on, granted I was just hanging on by threads but I was.
The team and I are currently headed to Rome for a World Cup. We will race an Individual Road Time Trial and a Road Race.

When in Rome…
When we arrived in Rome, all vehicles arriving together, things were looking to be not so good. Pouring rain and find out that TT course is not where it was suppose to be. I think it was an upgrade if you ask me, we got to ride along the coast instead. Getting out of the city is rare when racing but to be racing along the coast was beautiful. The weather stayed beautiful and the company was in good spirits again. My TT did not go as well as previous but I have figured out some weaknesses that will only make me a better racer once I over come them. I was finished 2nd only 20 seconds behind first and 40 seconds ahead of 3rd. Still happy with my performance I went into the Road Race with only one thing on my mind, victory!
The Road Race was more my cup of tea, rolling, turning, and fast. As a group, three of us split the field into many little parts but even that took a couple of laps to happen. By the mid point there was just me and Denise from Germany up at the front. I was pushing a hard pace but knew I would have to be smart in order to win the race. Which is exactly what happened. It was awesome to hear the staff yelling loudly at the finish line after I sprinted away at the final corner.
After the races concluded I got to go see all that Rome has to offer. Thanks to Sam and a handy city map I got to see a bunch of really cool historical site that makes the US’s history look like a blink of an eye. I am know going to be reading all that I can about the places I got to see.
At this point I thought every thing was good to go. We had a plan of attack to get to the airport with all of out gear and I had a plan to get one last Italian coffee and breakfast before getting on a plane bound for the Americas. That didn’t happen. After being dropped off the wrong terminal we as a team got organized to make the trip with all of our gear over to the right terminal just to find out you can’t walk there. Next plan, turn the passenger van into a cargo van and move all o the luggage in that and people take the shuttle. Success. By the time I started to check in the second group of athletes arrived to the airport, they left the hotel an hour after we did. Baggage charges, security checks, and non accessible buses later we managed to hold the plane long enough to all get aboard and set off.

THE FUTURE… (still not totally predictable)
After the Rome World Cup I will be headed back to the States to get ready for the final team trials and last qualification opportunity for the London Paralympic Games. The trials are in Augusta, GA on June 21st. I will know then whether I’m going or not. Fear not but as of right now I will be qualified and have already set plans to be in London come August.

Where has the time gone

So my last post was forever and a day ago. I have written multiple attempts of a post but never seem to finish. So at your cost due to my laziness I am going to give you the cheap seat version of what has happened in the last 6th months.

September – I went to Denmark and represented the great USA on top of the podium in both the road race and the individual time trial at the 2011 Para-Cycling Road World Championships. I then went to London with the group. I got to see Cambridge, Westminster Hall, 10 Downing St, the Cotswold’s, Royal Shakespeare Company, cooking with Rob Reese, dinner with US government officials, and the Velodrome. I then went home, well I went back the US, I didn’t go home just yet. I met up with my dad in Reno. Unfortunately I did not make it in time to watch him race. There was a bad accident and the races were cancelled. I ended up driving through to Sacramento and hang with a friend. I raced in a local criterium and had a blast. With a small detour I drove to have lunch with some friends and then drove to LA. I started to get ready for Velodrome Nationals in Carson, CA. That was a fun trip. I drank a lot of coffee in Long Beach and did a bunch of riding along the spill ways in LA County.

October – Nationals were fun. It was nice to see everybody and know that everyone was in the same place that I was. Tired and ready for a real break of the bike. If you know me I can’t stay off the bike for very long. After retracing my step and then some I made my way north to Rossland, BC for some awesome mountain biking. It rained and I rode. I was covered in mud and loved every moment of it. After a week up north I made my way back to Colorado Springs. I then made a quick trip to New York City to have a new leg made. Well the original plan was to have just a new socket made but when I walked in with a busted knee the shop felt sorry for me and helped me acquire a new one. So I got a new leg.

November – I started off with a camp in Carson, CA trying to get more rust off the velodrome bike and get ready for the Para-PanAm Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. I started a new job while on the road. That was rather interesting but if you know me I don’t like to keep thing boring. The road time trial was first and it was rough. Literally. The roughest pavement, if you could call it that, I have ever ridden. I rode well be that was not my style of course. My teammate Anthony did really well finishing 4th. Next was the Velodrome where I went to set two new world records, yeah!! Then there was the road race. I got to help out my teammate but was pretty much just riding. After the Games I went back to New York to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister and her fiancĂ©s and his family. My mother met me there and we had a great time. Until… I got a tooth infection, made things a lot of fun. Managed to get it fixed enough to get home and with no pain. I got home and immediately unpacked and repacked my car.

December – I arrive to Chula Vista and make my home at the Olympic Training Center there. It was nice to be in one place for a bit of time but it was still not home. My time spent in Chula was like an extended training camp. Same people, same rides, every day. No complaint it just wasn’t like riding at home. Which I am glad I was in CA because it got cold in CO. I came home to Colorado Springs for the Christmas break and New Years.

January – Start the run up to World Championships. Every weekend was spent up in Carson, CA at the velodrome trying to get everything together in time for the World Championships. I was glad for the change in scenery but was definitely getting tired of the drive, but that was life.

February – Race time. The final prep camp and then it was down to business. I was super excited as all of the teams started to ride. We, the team, were all grouped together and made the hotel floor like home. The first race was the 500m sprint and I had a great ride. So did two others and I finished 3rd. In the 3k pursuit I was tied for 1st place up until the last lap in the qualifier where I finished 3rd, bummer but still a good ride. The final was fun. I had the lead for the whole race but didn’t really start to pull away until the end. I finished ahead of the Spaniard and finished 3rd place. After quickly packing everything up and heading back to CO I did the same dance that I did in November. I unpacked my car and repacked my car. This time was to get ready for ski season. Yes I am crazy. I headed up to Vail, CO to get in some training days before my first race in two years. I had a blast and stayed with some really cool friends. The first race was at the end of the month in Park City, UT, with a Giant Slalom and Slalom. With big grins on my face I managed to win both events and take the overall for the race. Back home for a couple of day of R&R before going to a World Cup.

March – Yes you can say it again, I am crazy. With two days of free skiing, six days of training, and two races under my belt I was competing at a World Cup in Winter Park, CO. I was very happy that I remembered how to ski. I finish the first Super-G 1.5 seconds out of 1st sitting 5th, the second Super-G was 2 seconds out of 1st again sitting 5th. I finish the Giant Slalom in 7th and 6th. I started the slalom by finishing 2nd after the first run but fell in the second run finishing 5th. Not bad considering the amount of training. I was super happy with what I managed to do.

I am now back on my bike, suffer from the whiplash of switching sports twice in one month and working part time. I am super happy and ready for what has yet to come. Can’t wait for the summer and all it brings.